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5 Things No One will tell You about Affiliate Marketing (but you should know anyways)

5 Things No One will tell You about Affiliate Marketing (but you should know anyways)
22 Sep 2017

Ever since the dawn of affiliate marketing, the one thing that has remained consistent is the desire of millions to earn a passive income. Simply stated: earn A LOT of money. Even while sleeping.

This online marketing genre entails selling a product on behalf of a client in exchange for a profit. And because it has been providing users a steady flow of income, many have come to relate it as nothing short of magic. What they don’t realize is that the magic actually lies in how successfully you convert your audience in prospective buyers and subscribers.

What those with the ‘get-rich-quickly’ mentality don’t realize is that there is actual work involved, despite the apparently simple mechanics of affiliate marketing.

With the rise native advertising and the threat of ad blockers still lurking, the affiliate marketing providers continue to transform the ad industry by making a larger portion of the digital advertising sector. For retailers, affiliate marketing offers a quick and easy way to gain a large commission based sales force. As for affiliates, specifically those with superior marketing skills, this is a perfect way to earn a passive income.

Anyone can make a website and sign up on an affiliate network…

You will start placing ads on your website or blog and start making money. Right?

Wrong!

Don’t let the ease of the process deceive you.

Just because you can create a website, sign up on an affiliate network and place ads, doesn’t mean you will start making money immediately. Of course there is no denying that a very few lucky ones might incidentally end up running a successful first campaign. Still doesn’t mean this will last though. Unless you really know where to put in the real work, you will probably not make a dime, no matter how amazing the product or how clever your domain name.

Those who run successful affiliate marketing campaigns will tell you that the success lies not in packing a lot of affiliate links on your website but putting in exceptional efforts into creating rich and interactive content which appeals to the niche audience. But what you learn after years of experience is that affiliate links are secondary to social and visitor engagement.

What no one will tell you when you enter the affiliate marketing domain is that you will…

  1. Need money. Quite a bit of it because chances are that you will lose some in the first couple of traffic campaigns which you will run. Then you will also have to test run your campaigns to see if your landing pages and traffic sources work. So if you do not have any savings, you will have no money to fall back on and will go bankrupt. Meaning you’ll have to cease all your affiliate marketing campaigns till you have enough money again.
  2. Need to research current trends to see what products sell like hot cakes in your niche. Otherwise you will be choosing offers blindly and fail at picking the ones that will might work for you. To eliminate all the guesswork, the best place to start is by connecting with your affiliate marketing manager or other fellow affiliates and check out affiliate forums to learn which offers, trends and ads work well.
  3. Uninterrupted online content is no longer a possibility. At least not entirely. As affiliates, you will find hurdles in the form of ad blockers, specifically if you prefer working with pop up and pop under affiliate ads. The threat of ad blockers is very much real because the audience wants a positive experience but despite that many marketers tend to find a way or two around these hurdles.
  4. Thin websites don’t work. The audience you are targeting is already accustomed to rich information which means that adding dozens of random links with a little bit of content will not do. Your audience requires information which means something and can benefit them. They will most likely avoid you if you try to sell everything with the ‘best’ label. To gain audience trust you need to present unbiased and informative content which will engage potential customers while smartly linking affiliate sites in the content without overdoing it.
  5. Create a real voice because your audience will see through the fake personas you create or if you try to lure them into buying something. Being real and honest is the way to go. Create interactive and out-of-the-box content which encourages the audience to participate. When your audience trusts you, they will believe what you say and become potential buyers. So be real and avoid creating fake representations of yourself.

Arm yourself for the Battle

Because it’s real.

And yes, 89% of the affiliate marketing campaigns fail. But yours doesn’t have to. If you select a niche you are passionate about, have a proper pre-launch checklist and use the right affiliate marketing tools you will be able to run a successful campaign. Everyone will tell you how important content is, how you should never forget to split test your campaigns (highly important actually) and how creative your ads need to be. But what no one (or at least most people) will tell you are the 5 things I mentioned above.

Armed with this new knowledge, you can capitalize on your affiliate marketing programs and have a higher chance of giving your merchant’s brand maximum exposure, helping them gain better conversions and earn higher profits in return.

Did I miss something which you think can be critical to an affiliate marketing campaign’s success? Join the discussion by leaving a comment below.

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Sana Khan

Sana is the communications director and content specialist at Bevo Media. When she isn't working, she loves to read and paint.