Whether you’re an online product creator trying to sell your digital course, a blogger recommending products that solve readers’ problems, or a brand trying to reach a new audience through social media news sites, affiliate programs provide a way to earn revenue from referring visitors. But to succeed, you need to understand how they work. The first step is identifying what your audience needs and finding products that fulfill those needs. Next, you need to promote these products in ways that will build trust with your audience.
For example, a high-quality review from someone who’s used the product can help convince readers to buy it. Likewise, a video from the maker of a product can create a more intimate connection with potential customers. Another common strategy is to partner with influencers, user-generated content creators and affiliate marketers who can amplify your product or service. This can drive more traffic, and the right partnership can yield an influx of new customers.
It’s also essential to be clear with your audience about whether you have an affiliation with the product or service you’re promoting. Providing this disclosure is not only required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), but it’s also an excellent way to build trust with your audience and show them that you have their best interests in mind.
The most common type of affiliate program is pay per action, which pays you a commission for a specific action such as a newsletter signup, click, contact form submission or sale. Other types of affiliate programs include cost per lead, which rewards you for every person that signs up for a particular offer such as a sweepstakes or trial period.
As an affiliate, you should always be sure to test out products before recommending them to your audience. This way, you can ensure that the product is good quality and works as described. You also need to be careful about what keywords you use in your affiliate links. Avoid using terms such as “free,” “sale” or “deal” as they can deter your audience from clicking.
You should also make sure that the amount you’re paying your affiliates is competitive with your customer lifetime value (CLV), which is your average annual profit per customer. For this reason, you should consider a tiered commission structure that rewards affiliates for bringing in more leads and customers.
Affiliates should also keep in mind that certain products are more popular at certain times of the year. For instance, a superhero costume may be in high demand leading up to Halloween, and exercise equipment could see a spike in sales following the New Year. As such, it’s important to know your audience and publish seasonal content when the need is most pressing.