6 Best Practices for Affiliate Marketing in 2021

6 Best Practices Affiliate Marketing

If you’re just jumping into affiliate marketing, I’m sure you’ve come to the conclusion that it is a long-term project. Many people get into affiliate marketing with the hope of building a passive income overnight. 

The reality is, affiliate marketing takes time, patience, and most importantly, strategy. With this in mind, we’ve put together this quick list of tips that you can follow to build a more successful and profitable affiliate marketing venture. 

1. Choose a Niche

The first step to any successful affiliate marketing endeavor is to choose a profitable niche. Yes, this means diving into your research to find a niche that’s profitable but not completely saturated. Ideally, of course, this is something you’re genuinely interested in as well. 

Now, once you find a niche that fits the bill, the work isn’t over yet. The real challenge is narrowing down this niche into something more specific. This is true across all platforms, whether you’re focused on social media, blogging, or video. 

Niche examples: 

Category: Food

Niche: Outdoor Grilling, Baking, Desserts

Category: Fitness

Niche: Keto, Meditation, Crossfit

Category: Outdoors

Niche: Kayaking, Football, Hunting

Affiliate Niches

(Image from theaffiliatehub.net)

Finding a sub-niche allows you to stand out from the crowd and build a loyal audience who is far more likely to purchase what you’re promoting. This brings us to the next item on this list: topical authority. 

2. Gain Topical Authority

Topical authority is incredibly important for boosting your visibility within a given field. Just so we’re on the same page, I’ll give a quick definition of topical authority.

Topical authority means that you have successfully chosen a sub-niche and created a large amount of quality, in-depth content, whether it’s through blog or video, to bolster your niche. 

If you’re asking why topical authority is so important for affiliate marketing, the answer is simple: Google likes it. As with so many things related to affiliate marketing and SEO, if you want to do well, you have to cater to the ranking factors. 

As far as topical authority goes, Google rewards sites that appear to be the expert in a given niche. For example, let’s say somebody does a Google search for the best “above ground pool.” Google is far more likely to show you results from a small site dedicated to pools and home improvement than say, a major news outlet. 

The bottom line is this, if you’re relying on a blog as your main vehicle for affiliate marketing, it’s absolutely essential that you gain topical authority. 

3. Build an Engaged Audience

I know this is far easier said than done, however, if you’ve successfully followed the advice above, this should happen fairly naturally. Building on a unique niche with quality content will attract a specific demographic of people who are genuinely interested in that subject. 

Now, attracting the right audience is of the utmost importance to the affiliate marketer. The reason for this is simple– your audience is the deciding factor in your affiliate income. 

You can have thousands of followers on your social media but without an engaged audience, you won’t be seeing many conversions. On the flip side, you can have a small, dedicated following and see far more conversions than the person with a huge, random audience. 

So, the lesson is this– focus on attracting a loyal audience, who is actually interested in the niche. 

4. Use Multiple Platforms

All platforms are not equal when it comes to affiliate marketing. Let me explain. As you know, in order to make any money with affiliate marketing, we rely on our affiliate links. Now, some platforms make it incredibly easy to incorporate affiliate links, while others present a challenge. 

For example, blogging may be the easiest way to seamlessly place your affiliate links in your content. These days, you can build a professional-looking blog relatively quickly with simple website builders and tools. Blogging is also great because you can incorporate SEO and gain visibility through Google’s results pages. 

Most people will agree that blogging is a powerful tool for affiliate marketers, but it’s totally possible to do affiliate marketing even if you don’t have a blog. Youtube also presents an excellent platform for affiliate marketers with the ability to place links in your description and directly in the video. 

The best strategy, however, is to combine multiple platforms. For example, let’s say your main source of traffic is through Instagram. Now, Instagram is not the best platform in terms of affiliate links. That’s because the platform doesn’t allow active links to be placed in captions. To counteract this restriction, I recommend directing your traffic to a blog or a Youtube channel where your audience has easy access to affiliate links through your content. 

Regardless of which platforms you choose, utilizing two or more platforms helps you cast a wider net, grow an engaged audience, and make more conversions. 

5. Promote Relevant Products

When we talk about affiliate marketing best practices, we have to talk about the products you choose. The products you choose have everything to do with your success as an affiliate marketer. 

If you’re just starting out, you may become overwhelmed by the number of brands and products available to promote. If you’re thinking, “more products mean more money,” let me stop you right there. 

The number one priority, when it comes to choosing a product, should be relevance. Does the product fit into your niche and does it speak to your target audience? If the answer is no, there is absolutely no reason to promote that product. 

6. Craft a Product Strategy

While we’re on the topic of products, it’s also smart to craft a financial strategy around the products you choose. If the goal is to build an affiliate income, then you should be choosing products accordingly. 

Now, there are two ways you can do this. The first way is to choose high ticket items. Mathematically, it makes more sense to promote a $100 item at a 10% commission than a $10 item at the same rate, right? Now, promoting high-ticket items certainly gives you the best bang for your buck, but it can be more challenging to make conversions on expensive items. 

In order to offset this challenge, I recommend finding lower-priced, subscription-based products to promote. Subscription-based affiliate programs often pay affiliates for every month or year that the subscription is renewed. This brings in a recurring commission from a single conversion. 

My advice is to choose a combination of high ticket items and subscription-based items as you’re selecting your affiliate products for the best results. 

Final Advice

This advice may seem overwhelming at first, but it really all boils down to a few things: choose a profitable micro-niche, create valuable content, and choose the right products. If you do these things, attracting a quality audience will be far easier. Once you’ve built a loyal audience, the job of making conversions takes care of itself. The most valuable piece of advice I can leave you with is to stay patient and continue improving your strategy as you go

Liam Abbott

AvatarLiam is a SEO/SEM Specialist & Web Designer from Calgary, Alberta. He maintains a passion for contemporary design and everything search engine related. He is an avid gamer, and enjoys collecting entertainment memorabilia.

If you have questions or inquires for Liam, feel free to contact him by email anytime [email protected]

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