3 Keys to Nail Your Affiliate Marketing Strategy

So You Want To Monetize Your Website. Don’t We All?

When you’re a service provider, there are only so many hours in a week you can schedule. Not everything you do is billable to clients, and there are quite a few expenses you need to cover for your own business.
Like a website.

Let’s Face It: Not Everyone Who Follows You Will Buy From You

In fact, a very small percentage goes from follower to client. 

Whether you’re a social media star or a blogger, or you have a service based business, conversion rates are pretty low. Across industries, the average conversion rate is as low as 2.35%.
This means only 2 out of 100 visitors or social media followers are going to hire you and pay for your service.
Are you hitting your goal at the end of the month?
Probably not. 
But…

Here’s Where Affiliate Marketing Comes In

An affiliate program is a program you sign up for to promote a product or service and receive a commission for every sale you drive.

Now you’re wondering what this has to do with your sales.
Well, in order to buy from you, people need to establish a relationship with you. They need to see who you are and how you make their life better.
When you refer your audience to an already reputable source, they’re going through you to make the sale, but you’re not making the sale yourself.
You don’t have to deal with stock, expand your services, or even fully understand the process behind what your affiliate program does. For example, you might share a great website package, but don’t know how to code yourself.
This helps you expand your profit without having to invest in more technology, outsourcing, or additional services to run your own business.

A Good Affiliate Strategy Starts by Choosing the Right Programs

The right partnership, as many brands call it, is the one that connects you and your audience with genuinely valuable opportunities or products.

Companies you believe in, may have worked with, and are relevant to your audience have a better chance of success than random businesses you’ve never heard of but decided to try.
A great example of this is working with other brands that relate to your main offer, but aren’t your direct competitors. Think of it as a complementary service or product to what you do.
Not only does this approach help you find allies in your niche, but it also helps define you and your expertise in front of your audience.
You want to work with great brands because you want to provide your audience with real value: Your credibility is on the line. If you offer a low-quality product, you’re the one who looks bad. Think of it like recommending something to a friend: You want them to get all the benefits you’ve experienced yourself.
And you want them to trust you. A great affiliate marketing strategy helps you gain trust and be seen as an authority in your field.
You become that friend everyone texts when they need an opinion.

Three Concepts You Need to Know Before Signing Up

There are a few terms you find everywhere when you’re reading through affiliate program pages. These terms are key to help you choose the right brand to fit your strategy:

1. Average Order Value (AOV)
Average Order Value is pretty simple: The average price a customer pays when buying products from a brand. 
Depending on the brand, this can be for single items or for a cart full of things. Think of a trip to Target versus buying a couch.
This can also be the average service most users sign up for when buying software. The annual subscription versus the monthly payment.
The AOV matters because, as an affiliate, you’re paid a commission of those sales.
And you also need to consider whether this is a one-time purchase or a regular one. A desk versus a cleaning service, for example.
All of these factor into how much you’re going to be able to make out of a particular program.
2. Cookie life
AKA Referral period, this term refers to how long you receive a commission after a customer first clicks your link.
Cookies are a small file a website downloads to your computer to remember your actions on that site. They help websites track what you do, the pages you visit, and any relevant information like logins and more. Cookies make it easier to process your information when you enter a website multiple times. 
It’s common to see a 15-30 day referral period for most brands.
For clothes or other impulse buys, one to two weeks is generally good.
For larger items, I’d say the best approach is to look for longer referral periods. After all, there are items people might think about for a while. Sticking to a longer referral window ensures you get paid once they pull the trigger.
3. Commission
This is the money you get once someone goes through your referral link (the link you need to lead people to) and buys something. 
It’s a percentage of the sales you bring in. Which is why the two previous concepts are important.
There’s usually a waiting period between the sale and the payout. And you can track your sales and payments with the brand’s affiliate program management.
The commission is where you need to keep an eye to make sure you’re seeing a return on the time you’ve invested in these programs.

The Right Affiliate Strategy Brings Great Passive Income

Affiliate marketing is one of many creative strategies people who work digitally use to generate income.

Be sure to read the fine print of any programs you sign up for and keep tabs on what you’re investing into your strategy versus what you’re getting from it. 
Learn the key terms you need to track and start connecting people to amazing brands!

Share Your Favorite Tools And Products With People Who Love Hearing From You

Don’t let doubt keep you from dipping your toe into alternative income streams.

Make money without the hassle of doing more.
 
Eliana Ifill,
Lead Copywriter

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