Marketing Strategy

How to Get More Affiliate Sales and Grow Your Business

How to Get More Affiliate Sales and Grow Your Business hero image

Most important affiliate marketing strategies to grow your business:

  • Analyze your current performance
  • Re-optimize your articles 
  • Develop link building strategy
  • Improve your copy 
  • Make your affiliate links POP
  • Strategize your drip campaigns 
  • Switch up your affiliate programs

Has your affiliate sales plateaued over time?

Don’t worry - it happens to the best of us!

The current tactics you’re using are no longer cutting it. So you have to come up with new ways to:

  • Drive traffic and grow your audience
  • Grow your email list
  • Build trust to turn your audience into customers

All these will boost your affiliate sales and help you make even MORE money...Who doesn’t want that?

To get started, let’s start the list with the most important tactic of ‘em all:

Analyze your current performance

To know what you must improve on your affiliate marketing business, you must monitor the metrics that determine your success.

How much money you’re earning is the most vital factor that governs your performance. But it is a BYPRODUCT of different smaller variables that contribute to your revenue.

Now, here comes the hard part:

The variables depend on the methods you’re using for generating affiliate sales.

For example, most affiliate marketers rely on having a website where they can rank on Google and attract traffic for their target keywords.

Some of the metrics you need to track on your site are in a period:

  • Total traffic
  • Bounce rate
  • Average time on site
  • Pages with the most visitors

You use Google Analytics to unearth insights from these metrics on your site. Here’s an example:

You have 30,000 monthly organic traffic but have a bounce rate of 85%. Visitors are leaving your website after 20 seconds.

From here, you can make a few hypotheses such as:

  • Your website is loading slowly. People then leave because they can’t wait before the whole page loads.
  • Your articles are poorly written. The intros of your top-ranking pages are not inspiring visitors to read through the end.
  • Visitors can’t find your affiliate links. You can’t make a sale if you don’t feature your affiliate links that people can click on!

These are just whims based on the data above. But at least you have ideas to jumpstart your research. From here, check your site speed and content to confirm if these are indeed the issues.

Also, check out your email marketing and social media analytics to identify metrics affecting your affiliate marketing efforts. Keep in mind that these platforms have their own set of factors you need to look into.

“Ugh. This seems like hard work.”

Yes, it is. But it’s a necessary part of the job to boost your affiliate revenue.

By understanding your situation as an affiliate marketer, you get to BENCHMARK your performance. You can then scale upward by making the necessary changes as shown by your analytics.

Now, let’s look into actual changes you can make to your affiliate marketing strategy.

Re-optimize your articles

Here’s a common scenario that most affiliate marketers are all too familiar with:

You’ve published blog posts targeting commercial intent keywords, i.e. best, top, vs., etc.

However, you’re barely driving traffic to these pages from Google.

This normally shouldn’t be an issue except these pages have most of your affiliate links.

You can’t make money if your money-making pages aren’t attracting traffic!

Reasons why they’re not ranking on organic search vary:

  • Blog posts aren’t up to snuff
  • Not optimized properly for your keyword
  • They don’t have internal links pointing to your site, making it harder for search spiders to crawl and index them
  • Page loads extremely slow

WHATEVER the reason may be, you need to fix this fast!

The most ideal way to do this is by re-optimize your content for your keyword.

I know what you’re probably thinking:

“I’ll edit it using tried-and-true on-page SEO practices from tools like Yoast/Rank Math/etc. and ramp up the scores! That ought to do it!”

Unfortunately, optimizing your articles is not as simple and straightforward as it used to be.

Here’s something you must know about optimizing for keywords:

No two keywords are the same. That means you need to optimize different variables for each keyword. And you really can’t determine which factors to work on unless you research for what they are!

There are two ways you can do this. The first is the manual approach below:

  1. Type in your keyword on Google and review the SERPs
  2. Check if the keyword has different SERP features such as featured snippets, People Also Ask, image/video carousels, etc. that you should use in your post
  3. Review the top 10 ranking pages and cover the topics/terms mentioned in each (as much as possible)

This process is long-winded because you’ll have to comb through each page from top to bottom and take the best ideas from there.

OR...you use a tool that will do the heavy lifting for you, which is the second approach.

A tool to use for this purpose is Surfer SEO. Just type in your keyword in the Content Editor feature and choose the competitors you want to use as a basis (in reference to their Content Score).

The editor screen will show you:

  • the keywords you need to mention
  • the number of times you must include them
  • Other elements you need to consider (number of images, headers, paragraphs, etc.)

And the best part? The Content Score will keep your written work in check and ensure that it’s optimized enough to be compared to the other top-ranking pages!

Develop link building strategy

Building links to your website is a “power boost” of sorts especially if the site linking to you is AUTHORITATIVE and RELATED to your niche.

The more backlinks you get from these types of sites, the higher you can rank on Google. It’s really simple!

The problem now is building a sustainable link-building campaign that will help drive traffic consistently without getting penalized.

It’s common for sites to disappear from Google search at a moment’s notice because of SHADY and SPAMMY links.

Most of these backlinks were acquired when they hired a link builder to do the job or they bought links from a questionable source.

In most cases, it’s better to not link to avoid the Google hammer. But you want to increase your affiliate sales. And the best way to do that is to boost your organic traffic via backlinks.

Below are ethical ways to build links without worrying about penalization:

  • Build link assets like infographics, pillar posts, massive guides, and others that webmasters would be happy to link to.
  • Write guest posts on other sites. Place your link within the content or at the author bio of the post.
  • Reach out to sites that mentioned your brand without linking to it. The fact they mentioned your brand means they should be willing to add the link in there.
  • Promote your page via blogger outreach to relevant website owners and ask for a link back for it. Incentivize the deal by doing something for them in return (link back to one of their posts, give discounts, etc. DON’T PAY THEM FOR A LINK)

The methods above should spark some ideas in your head. As long as you acquire backlinks in line with Google’s guidelines, you’re in the clear to get more organic traffic soon!

Improve your copy

Your content’s already ranking on Google? Cool.

They’re barely converting into affiliate sales? NOT COOL.

It’s one thing to be driving traffic to your website from search engines. But it’s another to be getting visitors to click on your affiliate links.

This is arguably the HARDEST part of affiliate marketing. Because the goal is to create content that converts. Even if you have the most informative and most well-thought-out content out there about a topic, visitors still won’t click on your link even if your life depended on it!

So what gives?

Here’s a clue: people respond well to those they trust. And they will only trust someone who can communicate with them properly using language they understand.

It’s like trying to teach a kid how to play basketball. You must teach the fundamentals by knowing first what their level is and understanding them on a human level.

Here’s what I mean:

KNOW WHAT TICKS YOUR AUDIENCE:

Below are suggestions:

  • Write in simple sentences. Avoid complex sentences like a plague.
  • Use analogies and examples in line with their interests to drive down a point. Pop culture references are a great starting point since most people are familiar with them, i.e. Amazon is the Walter White of online marketplaces - it’s the one who knocks (I’m proud of this one)!
  • Use bucket brigade as pattern interruptions in your content, i.e. “In other words,” “The long and short of it is this,” “Bored yet? We’re almost done!”
  • Show some personality! The last thing you want to be is another robotic in the sea of boring content.
  • Create compelling intros. Write with the search intent in mind, i.e. if the keyword is “best laptops under $500,” don’t explain what a laptop is, its history, and benefits because the user already knows that. GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT - a list of the best laptops for said price.

These are just some examples to tighten your writing and get more people to read your content until the end. All share the same goal - get people’s trust to increase your chances of conversion.

Make your affiliate links POP

If you’re linking to affiliate products and services using anchor text, no wonder why you’re not getting even close to an affiliate sale!

Put yourselves in the shoes of your readers.

Would you click on this link:

Source

...or would you click on this?

Source

Amalinks PRO ran this test on their blog post - the first is the regular image and anchor text link from Amazon, while the second is using their tool.

After 2,500 page views, the second variant received a whopping 368.6% increase in clicks!

Let me spell out to you why that’s the case:

The widget looks MUCH better than just the image + link combo. It has the description of the item in bulleted points, its price is shown, and has a clear button at the bottom where people can buy the product.

Amalinks PRO is just one of the many tools out that that you can use to pimp out your Amazon affiliate link. Use whichever you’re most comfortable with and replace your existing image + anchor text links with this one.

Strategize your drip campaigns

This tactic applies to people with hundreds and thousands of subscribers. If you don’t have an email list yet, I suggest that you start building it NOW.

The next step is to plan out your drip campaign for your subscribers.

One-off email blasts don’t work without any underlying strategy - it’s like shooting the ball every time you catch it (another basketball analogy!).

This is especially true if you’re promoting affiliate programs of high-ticket products or services. You can’t expect subscribers to buy off an email you sent proclaiming how good the product is!

A successful affiliate plays the long game. So you must develop emails that nurture your leads into a sale.

If you have existing email campaigns that aren’t converting, take this opportunity to review and revise them as well.

Below are email ideas on how to draft your drip campaign to get started:

  1. Identify the problem of your audience that the products or services can solve. Empathize with their plight and put yourself in their shoes.
  2. Share a success story of someone who overcame the SAME problem and tell them how s/he did it. No need to share what the item or service is yet.
  3. Talk about a product that customers are raving about which solves a similar problem. Share testimonials here if possible.
  4. Share the item with your subscribers for the first time. Talk about how it personally helped you and include its affiliate link at the end.
  5. After some time, share a link to your blog post comparing the product to others and explaining why the product you’re promoting is much BETTER.

You can build your drip sequence off this example and make it even better.

The point of the sequence is to build trust by showing them that you understand their plight and you have a solution to make their lives easier.

Do this on all the affiliate links you’re promoting. But make sure that you are sharing the right affiliate product with your subscribers. They won’t hesitate to mark your email as SPAM if you send irrelevant suggestions to them!

Switch up your affiliate programs

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Amazon has decreased its commission rates, cutting the legs of affiliates all over the world.

Source

Make no bones about it: IT SUCKS. But at the end of the day, there’s nothing you can do about it.

Well, you can, but it’s probably going to be the most difficult decision you’ll make in affiliate marketing:

Cut ties with Amazon and join another affiliate program!

Yes, Amazon’s affiliate program is one of the best out there as it offers countless products that customers are willing to buy.

But Amazon is among MANY affiliate programs you can join.

By limiting yourself to just Amazon, you’re not maximizing your earnings as opposed to joining affiliate programs with HIGHER commission rates.

Let that sink in for a second.

Now, some affiliate programs don’t have the bells and whistles that Amazon offers. But if your goal is to increase your affiliate revenue, it’s in your best interest to explore your options.

Moving the links from Amazon to the new affiliate program or different monetization methods could be troublesome. But it should be worth the effort if the endgame is a higher income.

Here’s a doozy:

Is it possible for non-Amazon affiliate programs to lower their commission rates too?

Sadly, yes. Such is part of the affiliate marketing game.

However, you can overcome this issue if you go straight to suppliers and strike a deal to work DIRECTLY with them for your affiliate marketing needs.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is a constant work in progress. Affiliate marketing as “passive income” is only true to an extent (surprise, surprise). You will make money off it but only if you keep putting in the work and finding ways to improve your conversions.

With the tips mentioned above, there’s no excuse for you to NOT keep growing your revenue in affiliate marketing! There’s always room for improvement - to grow your traffic and build even greater trust with your audience. Again, it’s a matter of putting in the work.