I wanted to take a minute to discuss some ways Affiliate Marketers can maximize their online marketing efforts and generate more revenue with their efforts all year long. It’s important to plan out your annual calender of promotions especially if you get a lot of traffic or have a decent sized subscriber base, that way you can present offers and deals which will more likely be taken advantage of by your audience.
1. Focus on Timely Products/Services – during various times of year, i.e. New Year, Spring, Summer, Fall, Holidays, people are shopping online or looking for services that match those times of year and the traffic volume surges for products relavant to those times. For instance, in the beginning of the year people are looking to do New Years resolution oriented things like: lose weight, stop smoking, find love, and get healthier, so you should be ramped up with your promotions with companies that are in those niches. Similarly, in the Summer, people are looking to slim down, vacation, and buy products like sunglasses and travel packages, so affiliate should be promoting those types of products heavily. You have to start your promotions some time prior to the season hitting so you are early as opposed to putting it up last second, that way you can plant the seed in your visitors and subcribers’ heads about what they might be wanting coming up in the calender year.
2. Focus on Building Your Subscriber List – make sure you are prominently displaying your newsletter sign-up, Twitter account, and Facebook Fan Page on your sites and blogs in order to increase the overall rate at which you gain new subscribers. This is always a good idea because you can re-market to your fans, followers, and subscribers during the year. Some site use pop-ups or pop-unders to ask the user to join their list, this can be effective if you present a good value for their sign-up. Don’t use a pop-up on your homepage if you are running Google Adwords because they don’t allow that. Incorporating the Facebook Fan Page widget into your blog or article pages is a must so you can build your fans from your visitor traffic.
3. Syndicate Your Content Better – Once you have posted a new review or blog post, make sure you are “syndicating” your content by sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Stumbleupon, Delicious, and your other favorite social bookmarking sites. By syndicating each page or blog post you are spreading it around for others to share or like it, which allows other people to be exposed to your content. Once you post a new page of content or article, you should run it through a process where you are sharing it around the Internet in various venues. But doing this you can maximize the views and rankings of each page of content on your site. Once you have hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of original content on your site and have shared and bookmarked them you will definitely be seeing higher traffic levels and affiliate commissions. Make sure to use Google Analytics on your site so you can see where all of your traffic is coming from and it will motivate you to produce content more frequently.
4. Increase Your Social Networking Presence – Always make sure to add new Facebook friends, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, Foursquare friends, and connect with people on forums and other types of sites that allow you to build friends. Building more friends and followers is always a great idea because you can interact with them later and share your content and pages with them. Adding to your network should be something you work on daily with some kind of process, although you can do it randomly and get a good effect. Then, when you proactively interact with your connections’ content postings, they will be more likely to reciprocate by interacting with your content postings which brings more traffic and exposure through the social sharing effect.
5. Message Your Fans and Subscribers More Effectively – Now that you have fans and subscribers to your newsletter, what are you sending them? Make sure you are sending quality, purposeful messages that will be well-received. This is a process that should improve over time until you are sending really professional, effective messages to your subscriber base. Send timely types of promotions and balance your promotions with good content and articles so it will be better received. Have a really nice HTML newsletter design you can send to your lists of subscribers that’s professional and has a purpose. There’s nothing worse than receiving an ugly newsletter, it just won’t get any play. Also, make sure you are creative and compelling with your Subject Lines and always be testing new subject lines to try to increase open rates. Use an email sending program like iContact, so you can gauge the success of your email campaigns. Also, make sure to have the unsubscribe link in the bottom of your emails and follow email sending best practices so it will be well received every time. Make sure the Forward to a friend is included in all your newsletter campaigns.
6. Build Your Social Networking Karma – social networking is the most power tool there is and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Make sure you are proactively interacting with your friends and followers by Sharing, Commenting, Retweeting, and Liking their posts (where appropriate). By doing this you will build up a lot of good “social karma”, which increases the likelihood they will Share, Comment, Like, and Retweet your content, which helps it go viral and get more traffic. People in general aren’t very proactive with their online social networking, so you have to be the one that makes the effort by scanning through your friends’ postings and seeing what you can interact with. The more you proactively interact, the more they will return the favor and your content will get more syndication and sharing, which brings in more traffic and eventual commissions from affiliations.
7. Ask for Higher Payouts – make sure to ask your Affiliate Advertisers for higher commission amounts on a regular basis, especially if you have produced for the company in the past. Most Advertisers hold back what they can payout, so there is room to go up with commission amounts. If they balk at your request tell them you will go to their competitor and I bet they change their tune quickly. Over time, as you generate quality customers for your Advertisers, they will be more inclined to increase your commission rate because they can gauge the lifetime value of the customers you are generating for them.
8. Make Sure to Promote Deals from Your Advertisers – make sure you are promoting current deals and coupon codes from your Advertisers because people like getting and using deals, and they increase the conversion rate on the click-though. If people come to your site and find no promotion they may go elsewhere looking and someone else will get the sale. You can obtain “vanity coupon codes” from your Advertisers that match your site title, which are nice because it brings a certain amount of branding to the user experience and they may remember they got the coupon through your affiliate site in the future and return. Try to have a site where you can easily edit the pages you are creating, something like WordPress, so you can easily update the page with the most current coupon promotion. Promoting coupon tends to increase the conversion rate of the visitor make a purchase, so make sure to promote them on your site when ever possible. Most Advertisers will offer coupon codes on a fairly frequent basis, so keep on the look out for them.
9. Learn from other Affiliate Marketers – making friends and learning from other affiliate marketers is a great way to further your own knowledge. Don’t be afraid to share what you know with others so you can get ahead together. Attend affiliate conferences like Affiliate Summit so you can meet others in the industry and gain bits of knowledge and strategy you can apply to your own efforts, not to mention you can share your successful strategies with your new friends!
10. Ask for Products to Review/Samples- reviewing products and services is a great way to provide valuable content for your readers and subscribers. Providing an actual product review can be very effective in selling the benefits of the company you are promoting. Once you have a decent amount of traffic and/or subscribers to your site or blog you can ask Advertisers for samples you can use and review. Not all companies will do this with you but it can’t hurt to ask. Then you can make a nice review on your site and link to their site through your affiliate tracking link/banner so you get credit if someone buys. Don’t make misleading reviews or untrue reviews, rather if you can’t review the actual product, write about the company itself and what a wonder line of products they offer!
11. Produce More Content – content is everything, so make sure to write until your little fingers get sore…and then keep writing! Websites tend to rank better in the free traffic when you post frequently to your site or blog, so don’t be afraid to post several times a day to your site. And make sure you are syndicating and sharing all of your new posts! Try to become a fast and more accurate typer over time, so you can produce more content quicker. The more content you produce the more traffic you will get, so always live by that rule. You can also outsource some of your article production on a per article basis, this can be effective if you find the right writers. These days there are tons of people on Facebook that would respond to write some articles for you for $5-10 per article. Only original content though, accept nothing less than great!
These are a few ways to improve your Affiliate Marketing efforts and leverage seasonality to your advantage. Make sure you have a good strategy and cover all the bases, it’s not enough to do a little bit and not bring a full effort to your website. Make sure you are on a site platform that will allow you to publisher content/pages quickly and easily, so you aren’t caught up on your site design, which is wasting time. Make sure to tie Facebook and other social networking plugins and buttons into all your content so you can really facilitate sharing of your own content. build site/blogs about things you know about and are passionate about and it will go easier, although learning something new to build a site about is great too! Most of all have fun with it, be clever in your writing, and make friends with everyone! Hope you liked the article, and feel free to share it on your social networks. Have a great day!