If you have a blog, one of the easiest ways you can make some extra passive income is to sign up to affiliate programs. Businesses large and small use affiliate programs to market their programs, products and events. It is one of the most common forms of marketing used for online businesses.
If you are keen to explore using affiliate programs to grow your income, here are 10 tips to help you identify if affiliate programs are right for your business, what opportunities are a good fit for your business and how to go about promoting the programs you align yourself with.
1. Choose businesses that are in alignment with your business and branding.
If you try to promote products, events and services that are out of alignment with your branding or products, you will be unlikely to attract affiliate income. It may sound obvious but there are lots of websites out there with dubious advertising. Ask yourself: Does this complement my branding. Does it make me look good? If you answer “no” to either of those questions, keep a wide berth.
2. Ask: how can this program help my niche market?
Align yourself with other brands that can offer something valuable to your ideal customers and clients. If you can offer great value to your leads and customers through the affiliates you are aligned with, that will have a flow-on effect to your business. Also ask yourself: Will people thank me for introducing this business to them?
3. Make a spreadsheet of your affiliate programs, logins etc to keep track.
Once you sign up for a few programs, it can be really difficult to keep track of logins etc. I highly recommend you group all of that information in a spreadsheet or use a service like Lastpass or Roboform. That way, if you have to make changes to your affiliate profiles, it takes a lot less time.
4. Follow your affiliate businesses on social media and have special inboxes set up on your email to keep track of new programs.
The affiliate programs I have signed up for are all with businesses that I’ve been following for awhile but occasionally you may come across a new one you’d like to try out via an organic web search or via word-of-mouth. To keep track of your affiliate activities, assign a separate inbox in your email account for affiliate newsletters and add your affiliates to a list in your social media profiles.
5. Ask: How much do I need to put into this for a return on investment?
Before promoting an affiliate event or product, ask yourself how much time you’ll need to spend in relation to the return on investment. Many programs offer significant percentages but some do not. As a guide, anywhere between 40 to 60 percent is worth putting more effort into.
6. Look for programs that give you all the information, links, ads etc. Some are great at doing this, some are not.
Affiliates that hold your hand through the process make it easy for you to promote their events and products. So this tip is for those looking at running affiliate programs as well as for those who are looking to sign up to some. Not every affiliate program needs a lot of promotion but if the goal is to earn passive income, you want to make your life easier, not more complicated and stressful.
7. Disclose your interest when you promote.
You can simply state this on your website or put it into your post as a testimony. It’s really important to be up-front with your visitors, followers and customers. State for the record that you are proud to align yourself with such and such product or event.
8. Use your own words and speak from the heart but take guidance from pro-formas.
Although many affiliates want to put words in your mouth, it is always a good idea to personalize emails, tweets and Facebook posts. People can smell inauthenticity a mile off. If they’ve seen the same post from a number of affiliates, they’ll be less likely to buy via your affiliate link.
9. Be consistent and regular, but don’t over promote.
When you do promote an event or product, be sure to promote it regularly at different times of the day and in different ways.
10. Commit to fully promoting the affiliate program.
If you do things half-heartedly you’ll not reap the rewards. Use social media to get the word out as you would your own campaigns. Placing one ad on your blog may reap some rewards, but drawing attention to it and stating why it is helpful to your ideal clients and customers is even better.
Are you in any affiliate programs? Do you have one of your own? What are your tips?
*This is a revision of a post Cas originally published on www.startupsmart.com.au.