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Multilingual Affiliate Marketing – How Translation Can Set You Up For Success

What is international affiliate marketing and what makes it different from conventional affiliate marketing?

If you regularly read blogs or watch YouTube videos, you are more likely familiar with affiliate marketing. If you are, proceed to the next paragraph. If you aren’t, affiliate marketing is basically when you promote somebody else’s product and you get a commission every time somebody buys that product through your link. It’s a win-win situation for both of you. The reason it’s called “affiliate marketing” is because you, as the “affiliate”, will be the one promoting somebody else’s product for them — whether it be on a blog article, podcast, video, or a simple social media post. To get started on your affiliate journey, here is a guide that shows you how to successfully start an affiliate marketing program.

International affiliate marketing differs from conventional affiliate marketing in that it utilizes one strategy that conventional affiliate marketing doesn’t: multilingualism. Just this one addition to your marketing strategy can multiply your sales. Actually, no. Scratch that. Multilingualism will definitely multiply your sales.

If you Google “international affiliate marketing” right now, you will find out that different people call it by different names. But international affiliate marketing, global affiliate marketing, multilingual affiliate marketing… whatever you choose to call it, all of them tell you the same thing: use it.

Why Utilize Multilingualism?

English is the universal language. So it makes sense that English is the top-spoken language on the internet.

Myth Numero Uno: English is the best language to use

Fact Numero Uno: So you should only translate to English

While it’s true that English is the best language to use when publishing content on the internet, it doesn’t mean that you should only translate to English. Look at it this way: about 4 million blog articles are posted on the internet daily. This means that the popular keywords in the English language are much harder to rank because you have more competitors.

You might be thinking, the popular keywords in the English language surely have translations in other languages. And you’re correct! This means that using keywords in other languages can help you rank. The awesomeness of the internet is that it links people no matter which country they live in, so why not take advantage of it, right? According to Google Trends, 93.80% of users in Madrid use Spanish in Google searches while only 2.50% of users search using the English language. Whoa. That is a huge gap.

But wait. Even the English language can vary. Take users from America, Australia, and the United Kingdom for example. They all speak and search online using the English language, but look at the data from Ahrefs Keyword Explorer:

The word “colors” has a keyword difficulty of 88 (super hard) while “colors” only has a keyword difficulty of 64 (hard). This means that you can benefit from using non-American English as well.

It’s the same in Australia. “Colors” has a keyword difficulty of 89 (super hard) while “colours” has a lower keyword difficulty of 76 (super hard).

Myth Numero Dos: Since English is the universal language, it’s the most spoken language

Fact Numero Dos: Chinese (Mandarin and other Chinese languages and dialects) actually has the most native speakers.

Surveys vary whether English or Chinese really is the most popular language. Nevertheless, the gap between them is small. One reason could be that even if there are more Chinese native speakers, some of those speakers have learned English as a necessity.

However, one thing is clear: the fact that it varies means you can benefit from translating your websites into Chinese. China is even one of the top 5 emerging markets of 2020 along with India, UAE, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Source: Agility

International Affiliate Marketing Strategies

International affiliate marketing can be confusing, especially if you are a beginner. But here are some tips to make your journey as an international affiliate marketer easier:

  • Choose your niche

Choose a niche that you are interested in. This step is important because if you are going to be creating and releasing content consistently, you have to make sure that you enjoy the creation process. Another tip is to search for niches where competition is low because it will be easier for your content to rank. But don’t sacrifice your passions for the sake of ranking. For example, if you choose to make content about gadgets and technology but aren’t even interested in that field, then you will more likely stop after 3 days.

  • Create content

People are natural consumers. One thing we definitely love consuming is information. So the first step of your affiliate marketing strategy should be creating content. It could be in the form of blog posts, podcasts, Youtube videos, Twitch streams — basically anything you can share on the internet.

  • Apply copywriting strategies to your content

Content is king but even if users read your content from the beginning up to the last period, they won’t click “buy” if it isn’t persuasive — if they are not convinced that the product or service will give them value. If people are not convinced, they won’t click. And if they won’t click, you won’t get any money. This is where copywriting comes in. Copywriting is the art and science of writing in order to get someone to do something — whether that is clicking buy, subscribe, or sharing a link. You can pluck some strategies from copywriting and apply them to your content.

  • Use SEO to bring more traffic

In a survey conducted by Statista Research Department, a whopping 69.22% reported that they used SEO tools and tactics in order to bring more traffic and, by default, generate more sales.

Source: Statista Research Department

  • Utilize translation for your content

When you click a website but then find out that you can’t understand the content, what do you do? You exit it. The same thing goes for foreign users who do not understand the words you put out online. This is why you should translate your content.

  • Join an affiliate network

An affiliate network is a bridge between the merchant and the affiliate. Since it is where merchants publish their affiliate programs, this is a good way for affiliate marketers to find products or services that they want to promote. Examples of popular affiliate networks are LinkConnector, ShareASale, and Rakuten Advertising.

  • Use marketing and business intelligence tools

Marketing and business intelligence tools can help you gather data such as web analytics, sales data, and competitor review. There are many different kinds of marketing and business intelligence tools out there but some of the popular include Crunchbase, InsideView, and SimilarWeb.

International Affiliate Programs You Can Check Out:

Globally recognized brands often have international affiliate programs that you can join. You promote their product, and you get a commission every time someone buys their products through you. In order to get you started, below is a list of 5 international affiliate programs that you can check out. See if you are interested in any of these and if your content is a good fit:

  • Nike Affiliate Program

Photo by Shane Aldendorff on Pexels

Nike is an American multinational corporation co-founded by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman in the 1960s. It is mainly a footwear manufacturing company, but Nike also sells athletic apparel, sports equipment, fitness apps, and fashion accessories. Their products are perfect for content based around sports, fitness, fashion, and lifestyle.

  • Sephora Affiliate Program

Photo by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash

Sephora is a global cosmetics brand that originated in Paris, France. It was founded by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970. Currently, it has physical stores in over 29 countries. The Sephora Affiliate Program is a good fit for lifestyle, fashion, and (predictably) make-up blogs or channels.

  • Udemy Affiliate Program

Photo by Lewis Keegan on Unsplash

Udemy is the world’s largest education-focused website founded by Turkish entrepreneur Eren Bali. This is a great affiliate program to join if your content revolves around learning and education, career advice, and productivity

  • Zalora Affiliate Program

Photo from Zalora

Zalora is an e-commerce platform founded in 2012 by Chris Feng, Tan Wee, Steven Kim, and Rocket Internet. It conducts operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Brunei, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. Partnering with Zalora is a good idea if you are a fashion and lifestyle content creator.

  • Newegg Affiliate Program

Photo from Newegg

Newegg is an American online retail company founded by Fred Chang in 2001. Newegg sells consumer electronics such as computers, laptops, cameras, television sets, and software tools. Newegg is a perfect fit for content based around technology, consumer electronic reviews, and productivity.

How to Add Translation to Your International Marketing Strategy

Now that we have established why adding multilingualism to your international business strategy is important to your game plan, your next step is to find a good translation company to partner with. “Involving a translation company to your international marketing venture from the outset can make a significant [difference] to your chance of success,” says Tomedes, a leading translation company.

A good translation company does not only handle all your translation requirements, but they can adapt it to your marketing goals. Having a dedicated professional translator or a team of translators who speak the language fluently are useful to have when you are creating a marketing strategy such as how to best present the product or services that you offer. These things can make a huge difference in simply translating versus actually engaging with your foreign customers. Which do you want to be? If you want your business to succeed, then, of course, you want the latter.

International marketing in general needs to balance both globalization and localization strategies for it to truly succeed. The products and services that you offer must be global — that is, it appeals to a global audience — but a large part of your customer acquisition techniques must be localized. A professional translator who knows the local culture well is beneficial because they can share ideas on social media usage, purchasing patterns, and help you choose which marketing techniques to use. These insights are helpful when planning out the content that you are going to put out.

A translation company can also handle not only marketing but also the communication aspect of your business. They can write a manual on how to use the product that you are promoting, build a website and add content in your target language, and send emails to old and new subscribers as well as potential business partners. They can also be your interpreters when you are in a meeting with people who do not speak the same language as you. Talking to a stranger can be intimidating, but talking to a stranger who does not speak the same language as you is just downright terrifying. Having a professional translator with a good personality can make or break the results of a meeting. Remember that bad interpretation creates a bad impression and will thus give you bad results.

The Internet’s Most Popular Languages:

English is the most popular language on the internet. Here are the statistics as of January 2020:

Source: Statista

  • English

 The United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have the most number of native English speakers.

  • Chinese

 The People’s Republic of China and Taiwan have the most number of native speakers.

  • Arabic

Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen all have Arabic as their official or co-official language.

  • Indonesian & Malaysian

Indonesian is mostly spoken as a native language in Indonesia and East Timor, while Malaysian is mostly used in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore.

  • Portuguese

Portuguese is the official language of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, and of course Portugal.

  • French

French is the official and co-official language of Belgium, Benin, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Faso, France, Guinea, Haiti, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Republic of, the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, and Vanuatu.

  • Japanese

Japanese is spoken in, well, Japan. Foreigners who choose to work in or migrate to Japan are required to at least have a working knowledge of Japanese.

  • Russian

Russian is the official language of Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Russia, and Ukraine.

  • German

German is the official and co-official language of Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.


Remember that your words only matter to someone if they can understand what you are saying. No matter how convincing your article is, you cannot make your readers or viewers take action… except exit your site. Are you ready to take the next step in your affiliate marketing journey and go international? Then you already know how partnering with a professional translation company and making your content multilingual can help you out tremendously.