15 Tips I’d Give to a New Affiliate
If you want to know anything, ask someone who’s already been doing it for awhile. In other words, someone who walks the walk instead of just running their mouth. So who better to ask what a new affiliate should do than a seasoned affiliate marketer?
15 tips for the new affiliate
Provide lots of value. The key to getting visitors to return to your website time and time again (and buy from you time and time again) is to provide useful content they need and/or want.
So what’s “useful?” That depends on the topic. If you’ve got a website on how to drive web traffic, then naturally giving them lots of great info they can use on how to get more website traffic is going to be useful. However, if you run a humor site, then providing content that is genuinely funny might not be “useful” in the traditional sense of the word, but it’s what your visitors want.
Here’s the bottom line for the new affiliate: Give them what they want and they’ll come back for more.
Here’s a little trick: Instead of focusing on “making money,” focus on creating value and the money will come.
If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll be waiting for the rest of your life. Are you still “getting ready” to be an affiliate? Big new affiliate mistake. Make the decision to just do it. So what if your website isn’t perfect or your emails aren’t perfect? I’ll let you in on a little secret: They never will be, no matter how long you wait. So just jump in and start swimming – the water’s fine!
Do it with passion. You can be an affiliate in ANY niche – so why not choose a niche you’re passionate about? It’s far more fun to review a product or write a blogpost on a topic you love, rather than one you feel complete and total ambivalence for.
Watch out for the picture in your head. You imagine sending out one email and getting a 50% response rate, or doing one PPC campaign and raking in $10,000. Then it doesn’t happen. Then you get discouraged. Then you procrastinate. And pretty soon you’re out of the business entirely. Why? Because reality didn’t match the picture in your head.
Here’s the news: That picture in your head is what you’re shooting for – it’s not what’s going to happen the first day or maybe even the first year of being a new affiliate. Like anything else, you work your way up in affiliate marketing.
You get better. Your list gets bigger. Your website gets more traffic. You become more attuned to what works and what flops like a dead mackerel. And one day, you finally match that picture in your head. But it doesn’t happen overnight.
Worrying won’t change the outcome. You write an email to your list and you worry you’re saying the wrong thing, you worry you’ll make a stupid typo, you worry no one will open it, you worry no one will buy the product you’re promoting, you worry you’ll get hate mail or everyone will unsubscribe… etc.
What a colossal waste. I can tell you from experience that worry has never once changed the outcome. Worry is a useless emotion that will drive you bonkers if you let it, so just let it go.
See also: pre-written autoresponder messages
Thinking you’re too late. The new affiliate often makes this assumption. Yes, there are affiliates out there making six figures a month – maybe seven figures. You should have jumped on the affiliate wagon 10 years ago, now it’s too late. Right? Wrong. You have to start somewhere and sometime. Right here and right now is absolutely the best place – it always is. And if you think that just because you’re starting from scratch, you can’t be effective – bear this in mind:
“If you think you are too small or too new to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.” That’s a quote from Betty Reese. Mosquitoes only live for two weeks – guaranteed they don’t worry that they’re “too late” to bite the bejeebers out of you – they just DO it.
Think of it this way – Those who went before you have laid the ground work for you to be successful.
Comparing yourself. This goes right along with a new affiliate thinking they’re “too late.” If you’re trying to compare yourself to the mega-watt affiliate who pulls down six figures a month, you’re just hurting yourself.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” -Theodore Roosevelt
Knowing and doing are two different things. Getting your first affiliate payment is like getting your driver’s license – you’ve only just begun to become a great affiliate or driver. It’s when you’re driving your car everyday, or getting paid every day, that you’ll find you know what you’re doing and you’re actually DOING it.
Know your partners. Before you sign up with a network or an affiliate program, do your research. See if someone has had a problem with them, if their products are good, if their customer service is stellar, and if they treat their affiliates well.
Focus, focus, focus. By far this is the biggest new affiliate mistake. You’ve got 5 different niches and 7 outstanding ideas and you’re going in 12 different directions at once. Know what happens when you pull someone 12 different directions, or even just TWO different directions? They either don’t move, or they get pulled off balance.
Build one website at a time. Make it profitable. Work on it some more. Once you have a very firm foundation, then and only then should you consider going in a second direction.
See also: niche wordpress blogs for affiliates
Optimize for ONE search engine. If SEO is your method of traffic generation and you optimize your website for Google, don’t get smart and then optimize your website for Yahoo or Bing – you’ll get penalized for this by Google. No, it’s not fair, but it is fact.
Only promote products you are familiar with. If just one time you promote a product you haven’t tried yourself, and it turns out to be a lousy product, you’ve just ruined your reputation with everyone on your list who either bought that product or already knows it’s junk. Why risk it? Only promote products you can wholeheartedly recommend.
Test everything. Even if the biggest guru gives you what sounds like the best advice, it still might not work for your niche / website / audience. As a new affiliate, never assume and always test.
Establish trust. This runs throughout everything you do, whether it’s the information you impart, the products you offer, etc. The more transparent and trustworthy you are as a new affiliate is, the more people will trust you when you suggest they make a purchase.
Become an authority in your niche. Whether you do it by creating your own products or by surrounding yourself with authorities is up to you. Best scenario – do both.