It’s a plain, simple fact. The only way to make money as an affiliate marketer is to get people to buy the offer you’re promoting. And your first step towards achieving that goal is to attract traffic to your blog or any other tool you’re using to promote the offer.
But then, there’s more to making sales than traffic generation. If you implement effective traffic generation strategies, you’ll attract visitors, no doubt. Possibly hundreds to thousands of them.
However, most people are not going to buy what you’re promoting. And that’s why conversion rates higher than 10% are extremely rare even among seasoned affiliate marketers.
After landing right on your blog, some of your visitors would doubt if they really need the product or service. Some would nurse the fear of having issues with it. Some would worry that they might be paying more by clicking through your link rather than visiting the website directly. And some would have other concerns that will make them hesitate to buy the offer you’re promoting.
So, don’t expect your visitors to click your affiliate link and purchase what you’re promoting right after they land on your blog. It not as easy.
However, if you want people to take the action that will fetch you money (that is, buy what you’re promoting), you need to encourage them—without being desperate.
Here are some strategies you can use to encourage your visitors to buy your affiliate offers without plying unethical routes.
1. Create a dedicated page for the offer
Just as you won’t buy something that you don’t know anything about, your visitors won’t, too. So, if you want them to purchase a web hosting service or plan, for example, you need to enlighten them about the offer. How? By creating a dedicated page for it.
With a dedicated page, you’ll be able to address the “what”, “why”, and “how” questions that your visitors are likely to ask about the offer. In other words, the page should include the following details:
- What a web hosting plan is
- Why the reader needs to purchase a web hosting plan
- What they reader will miss by not purchasing a web hosting plan
- The web hosting plans you recommend
- How much it costs to purchase a your recommended hosting plan
- How the reader can purchase the recommended web hosting plan
- Call-to-action statements (such as “Click here to purchase your web hosting plan now”) bearing your affiliate links
- Other details that will enlighten your readers and encourage them to complete the purchase
After creating a dedicated page for the web hosting service you’re promoting, direct your readers to that page at every opportunity, so that they can get the information and probably take the expected action.
2. Craft posts that will make the reader yearn for the offer
Since your goal is to market your affiliate offer without being desperate, you must learn how to go about it in an indirect, unobtrusive way. And a smart approach is to publish posts that will make your readers feel a strong need to purchase what you’re promoting.
For example, using web hosting plans as an example, consider publishing a review post on certain WordPress plugins whose wonderful functionalities cannot be found in Blogger or other free blogging platform. Examples include All-in-One SEO Pack, Comment Reply Notification, Social Media Share Buttons Adder, and so on.
Similarly, you can publish a post in which you’ll compare WordPress with Blogger and other free platforms. Emphasize the downsides of those free platforms and the reasons why WordPress trumps them all.
At the end of each post, direct the reader to the dedicated page you created for your recommended web hosting offer. This way, they’ll have more understanding as to why they should purchase it and how to go about the purchase process.
3. Craft posts on topics that are closely related to your offer
Another smart way to market your affiliate offers is to write and publish detailed, resourceful posts on topics—preferably tutorials—that are closely related to what you’re promoting.
For example, you can publish a detailed post on how to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog. No doubt, setting up a WordPress blog requires buying a hosting plan. So, when you get to the “Buy a hosting plan” step in your post, simply direct the reader—using a link—to your dedicated page, so they can get more details about your recommended hosting plan.
Here are some other topics that will serve the same purpose:
- Why you need to set up a blog for your business (and how to do it)
- How to set up your affiliate marketing business
- How to set up your online business empire
- How to sell your services online as a freelancer
(These are just sample topics. With some brainstorming, you can get more topics—even better ones.)
Since all these topics will include buying a hosting plan, you can use them to promote your affiliate offer without being “salesy”.
4. Promote your offer to your mailing list
If you’ve read a good number of posts or e-books on internet marketing, then you would’ve come across the common statement, “The money is in the list”.
Well, that’s true. Your mailing list is not just a tool for bringing repeat traffic to your blog; it’s also a tool for making money off your subscribers.
At intervals, send a promotional message to your mailing list subscribers, reminding them of the benefits of purchasing a hosting plan and directing them to your dedicated offer page, so they can make their purchases through your affiliate links.
In addition, at the bottom of every email you send to your subscribers, add a link promoting your affiliate offer that actually redirects to the offer’s dedicated page on your blog.
Now, here’s a warning: Don’t ever make the mistake of adding your direct affiliate link to any email you send to your subscribers. Most mailing list service providers don’t condone this. If you break the rule, you’ll get banned, and you’ll lose your account.
5. Use banner ads
Sometimes, banner ads prove to be catchier than text links. So, it’s important to use them as part of your affiliate marketing strategy.
All affiliate programs and networks will provide you with promotional banners that you can put up on your blog or any other platform you want to use to advertise their offers.
Alternatively, you can create your own custom banner ads if you’re not satisfied with the ones provided by your affiliate program. But be sure to copy your affiliate code correctly when putting up the custom banners.
6. Offer an incentive
This is one of the most effective strategies for compelling visitors/readers to buy whatever you’re promoting as an affiliate. What is incentive in this context? It simply means something you offer for free as a way of motivating your visitors to purchase your offer.
For example, if you’re promoting web hosting plans, a smart idea is to offer free WordPress installation and setup service to anyone who buys a hosting plan through your affiliate links. That way, the buyer is happy and willing to pay only for the hosting and get the installation and setup done at no cost. But in reality, you’re not rendering the service for free; the commission you’ll earn from that purchase is your pay
So, offering an incentive creates a win-win situation for both the buyer and you—the affiliate marketer.
Your incentive could be a free e-book containing step-by-step instructions on how to install WordPress and build a professional blog (just an example). It could be a free-e-course that teaches a topic that your visitors will be interested in. It could be anything your audience will deem valuable and will be eager to have.
7. Offer a free e-course/e-book
Another powerful strategy for selling affiliate offers is to offer a free e-course or e-book that covers a topic closely related to what you’re promoting. So, if you’re promoting web hosting plans, consider a free e-book titled, How to Set Up a WordPress Blog or How to Make Money Online as an Affiliate Marketer (those are just examples; you can choose any topic that will attract a lot of people).
One interesting thing about offering a free e-book or e-course is that you can implement the strategy without having a website or blog. All you have to do is ensure that your affiliate links are placed at appropriate places within the content, so interested readers can click through them to buy what you’re promoting.
[Digression: Another way to make affiliate sales without having a website is to use forums—just start a great topic or series of topics that will interest people who are likely to buy what you’re promoting. Then cleverly embed your affiliate links where necessary.]
8. Use word-of-mouth marketing
Though commonly overlooked, word-of-mouth marketing is another effective way to generate affiliate sales. Tell your friends and relatives about the products or services you’re promoting. If they need to purchase such products or services, they will think about your offers first.
Even if your friends or relatives don’t need what you recommend, they can help you spread the word to those who need it. So, don’t underestimate word-of-mouth marketing.
Now you’ve learned eight fail-proof strategies for promoting any products or services as an affiliate. Implement them carefully and consistently, and you’ll get the results you expect.
On a final note, I strongly warn you against all unethical practices. While it could be very tempting to become dishonest when promoting affiliate offers, resisting that temptation is what will help you in the long haul.
Again, if you want to gain people’s trust permanently and have rest of mind, avoid all unethical practices. I just can’t warn you enough!