You will find the first “Chapter” of the Affiliate Marketing without the Sleaze over HERE
We are continuing on from there in discussing ways or principles that will keep affiliate marketing the profitable and authentic strategy it could be.
- Choose your product carefully.
If you are promoting a single product, remember that it is better to specialize in one product that either brings a huge return by way of commission or brings in masses of sales.
If you are promoting across a platform such as Amazon, where there are masses of organic visitors pre-qualifying themselves every day, it won’t matter so much if the commission or other rewards is comparatively low just because of the numbers—but if you are promoting a high-ticket course, for example, you will have a small, specialized conversion rate, so it’s important to make sure the commission on each sale will be well worth-while.
- Be your own case study.
If you can prove what a measurable, positive difference a system, course, product or eBook has made in your own life, you will double your chances of getting a conversion.
If you are just starting out, you have a perfect opportunity to plan the documentation of your journey, step by step.
Use videos and tracking data screenshots, in addition to photographs. Note that people respond especially well to videos, since they perceive these as less easy to fake—particularly if you are showing something happening in real-time—mistakes and all!
Remember that people identify with mistakes and failures, so providing you also show the way to overcome or avoid these, you can create tremendous credibility by keeping it real.
- Be clear about which specific niche you operate within.
Resist the urge to promote products all over the map. Only promote products that are highly relevant to your list. This is the only way to keep building trust with your followers.
- Make it easy for others to praise you.
Unfortunately, it is all too easy to fake results in images and screenshots—and your audience knows this all too well. That’s where your reputation comes in. Combine your proof with praise from others: Both formally (in testimonials or comments) and informally (i.e. people talking positively about you on social media, after using a product you recommended—or getting direct, no-strings-attached help.
Don’t just hope they’ll praise you, however:
- Ask leading questions and ask your readers to answer these in your comments
- Give specific, irresistible calls to action
- Provide a feedback form (and be sure to tell people to leave feedback!)
- Approach people whose products you want to represent and suggest a JV partnership.
If you already have a decent list and even a modest (but active and blossoming) web presence, it may be time to approach the person or company whose product you want to represent.
Before you do, however, think of this from your potential JV partner’s viewpoint: What is in it for her? Why will partnering up with you be an advantage when she already has many affiliates—none of whom need “special treatment”?
Give your potential JV partner the special treatment: Create a highly valuable incentive for her list. Make it easy for her to work with you. Provide resources, links and tracking. Show her how teaming up with you can potentially increase her conversions. (That goes back to creating a “win-win” situation.)
- Be prepared to turn down offers.
As your affiliate marketing efforts become known and appreciated by your audience, the inevitable will happen. Companies will notice that people do what you say and buy what you recommend.
You may be asked to recommend products in exchange for pay. There is nothing wrong with this—as long as you follow two key “rules”:
- Let your readers know you are receiving compensation to review the product—not necessarily within each article, but in your general disclaimer page or notice, as “Heidi” does in her Food Doodles blog.
- Be ruthlessly honest. Never, ever let a generous fee (or free product) make you feel pressured into giving a kinder review than you would if you’d had to purchase it for yourself.
It is your reputation on the line. You will only maintain your celebrity affiliate status if people absolutely know they can depend on you to tell the truth about products, whether you are asked to review them or not.
Make sure the person or company asking you understands that your review will be unbiased and honest.
(Incidentally, this is also when you will know you’re reaching “celebrity affiliate” status.)