6 Noteworthy Lessons I’ve Learned as a Full-Time Affiliate Marketer

affiliate marketing tips 1. Multiple Product Exposures are Very Important

Most people never buy the first time you introduce them to a product.

It takes an average of 7 to 10 exposures before someone converts and that’s assuming you’ve done everything else right (built credibility, PREsold effectively, promoted a relevant product, etc.)

It’s important to mention products on several different pages of your website so your audience gets used to seeing them over and over again.

Many bloggers struggle with affiliate conversions because they mention a product in their post once and never write about it again.  Since most posts get lost in the archives over time, the exposure is limited.

One reason 2 Create a Website performs so well with affiliate marketing is that the static, logically organized layout makes it easier to reference the same content and products over and over again.

With my blog, I have to be more conscious of multiple mentions of products I am affiliated with because of the default layout and posts getting buried over time.  (That’s when creating WordPress pages and interlinking posts/pages comes in handy.)

I noticed my affiliate checks for AWeber have gone up quite a bit in the last couple of months, and that’s because I’ve been mentioning the service in more posts recently.

Multiple exposure is key when it comes to conversions.

2. Anonymity is a No-No

When I first started as an affiliate, the Internet was still in its infancy stage.  People were more guarded when it came to sharing personal information.

I remember when displaying something as simple as a photo was considered risky and even unheard of for some.

Boy, have times changed!

Thanks to social media, people are a lot more comfortable displaying photos and sharing information about themselves.  Without a doubt, some people take it too far, but I do believe that anonymity can be a big disadvantage today.

People take much more time to investigate and verify information that bloggers and Webmasters dole out.

They Google you and check for About Me pages so they can learn more about what makes you such a credible source on [Topic X]. This is especially true if your site is about making money or any topic that breeds skepticism.

The more personal and transparent you are, the easier it will be for people to trust and buy what you recommend.  And when I say “transparent” I’m not suggesting you give out information you are not comfortable with.

I just mean that it’s important to share your journey and why you created your site.  This can do wonders for your credibility.

My About Me page is not overly personal, but it at least shows you that I’m a real person with a story.

3. Don’t Fake It

I rarely promote products I don’t own.  If I do, it’s a product that has been highly recommended from a very trusted source and I’ve done a lot of research.

I can usually tell when someone doesn’t own the product they are promoting.  The review is usually very generic and there’s no mention of any personal experience.

Others just slap up a banner and hope for a sale.

If you want to create a compelling, believable review, show that you actually use the product by sharing details on how you use it.  And if possible, take it a step further by creating a video showing yourself using the product like I did in my first Thesis video.

This video helped me generate over $600 in affiliate commissions the first month I promoted Thesis.

4. Over Selling is Lame

No one wants to visit a website with sales pitches everywhere. What a turnoff.  Unless you have a shopping website, keep your selling to a minimum.

One reason I like affiliate marketing over MLM (multi level marketing) and other more direct methods is that it’s a lot more casual.

Rather than writing an entire sales post dedicated to AWeber’s features, I prefer to compose a helpful post about my newsletter strategy with a subtle mention of the service in the copy.

This contextual strategy has always been the #1 way I’ve converted sales with affiliate marketing.  I’ve never been one to write direct sales pieces for products I promote.

I’m just not a salesperson.  In fact, I hate direct selling.  If I am ever forced to make a living that way, heaven help me! :)

But I do love teaching.  Fortunately, affiliate marketing has given me the opportunity to teach what I know and subtly recommend products and services that relate to what I’m writing about.

5.  Negativity Can Sell

Many affiliates are scared to say something negative about a product because they believe it will hurt their sales.

To be honest, the negative comments will turn people off, but you’ll gain something much more valuable…

Credibility.

Here’s an excerpt from an e-mail I received last week…

Hey Lisa, just wanted to tell you that I bought Site Build It this morning.  What’s ironic about my decision is that it wasn’t the positive stuff you had to say but it was when I saw you on your forum talking about what needs to be changed/updated.  It was actually the first time I’d ever seen an affiliate saying something semi negative/constructive about a product they were promoting.  You won my trust right there.  I wish more affiliates were this honest.

So yes, negative comments about a product will definitely turn potential buyers off.   But as you can see from the e-mail above, this can actually help win over trust with some people.

And even if you turn off potential buyers with your honest comments about one product, the next time you write a glowing review for another, they will take your recommendations much more seriously.

The net effect of giving honest reviews is always going to be positive in the long run.

6. PREsell With Your Own Intermediate Landing Page

One benefit of owning most products I promote is I can create very unique, personal landing pages that PREsells the product before the visitor goes over to the company’s sales page.

This allows me to show that I actually use the product and I can mention any relevant benefits that I know my audience will value.  My Artisteer page is an example of a strategy I often use with affiliate marketing.

I see a lot of affiliates just throwing up banners and linking right to the sales page, but I like creating an intermediate page with a video or personal review to make my content more credible.

Try this.  I guarantee it will impact your conversions in a positive way.

A Special Thanks to My Affiliate Mentor

I’d like to give a special shout out to Mr. Ken Evoy for writing Make Your Content PRESell.  This free book changed how I conduct myself as an affiliate marketer and opened my eyes to many things I was doing wrong.

SiteSell gets a lot of criticism today because they don’t teach you how to blog.  It’s a shame that’s the measuring stick people use to judge them.  It overshadows the hidden gems they provide.

The marketing lessons I’ve learned from Ken Evoy are invaluable.  It’s why I continue to promote SiteSell and I have no intention of stopping — despite any criticism.  My loyalties to SiteSell goes far beyond any affiliate commission.

Bloggers often brag about how easy and flexible WordPress is, and I must say that I agree.   The WP themes are getting slicker (Have you seen the newly updated Headway theme?) and the plugins are becoming more powerful.

However, many people still struggle with building a real online business and converting sales.  SiteSell gave me that education years ago that I still use today.

Putting up a site today is easy, but converting sales and making money is another story.  All the WordPress plugins in the world are not going to teach you how to convert traffic into income.

Ken Evoy taught me how to become a more effective, ethical affiliate marketer, and he is a big part of the reason I am able to do this full time.   Thank you, Ken!

You don’t need Site Build It! to become successful online, but any serious affiliate marketer should read Make Your Content PRESell at least once.

What about you?  What lessons have you learned about affiliate marketing?


Comments

  1.  googlesuccess

    These are certainly very valuable tips for beginners in Internet marketing like me. I hope I can be successful by following succesful Internet marketers like you.

  2.  capdenny

    The tips you offer here are invaluable. These small pieces of advice are so useful for the newbie in affiliate marketing that I am sure by following your lead that they can become successful in internet marketing.
    I have noticed that have not mention one important piece of advice and that is protecting your affiliate links from being hijacked. The fact remains that a affiliate marketer should protect his or her affiliate links by either redirecting the customer or cloaking the links. The link cloaker software is one such word press plugin to cloak your affiliate links.

  3. Hello Lisa!
    1st time coming to your beautiful website. Thanks for sharing this video. Is a very familiar story to me.

  4.  esmconcepts

    Hi Lisa,
    Very informative article, really adds a different mindset to my new design efforts. Things change across the internet almost on a daily basis. A less harsh presentation of affiliate links is more comforting on the eyes and the mind.

    Your ideas on and the use of video to get your message across is exceptionally professional and informative. You do get the subject issues out there with a personal clarity. Well done.

    If you wish too, and it’s not an inconvenience; what software and video camera do you use for your videos? I have not personally done any videos, but do see the power and interest they provide. This is a field of marketing I would like to pursue and would like a little info on your experiences and video tools.

    Thank You,
    Steve

  5. Wow, you know I found your site while looking for solutions on the search engines for some things that have come up with WP 3.3.1. But this site has some real information.

    I will tell you now, I do not make money online. However I have over 10 years IT background, although NOT as a programmer or web master, and I am more tech savvy than some (even most of the low to mid skilled ‘technicians’ out there).

    Anyway. I just like to thank any internet marketer who doesn’t act in a way to promote negativity towards the business.

    I’d also like to say that including negative comments in posts, reviews, etc, is a great way to build credibility. I’ve read many, many books on copywriting and the like. And I also draw from my own experiences as a human being, of course.

    While building my first site I’ve searched, and searched, and searched some more for some *legitimate* reviews of products I am reviewing in my niche. The niche is ‘get your ex back’, and anybody that has experience here knows how wishy-washy it is. Even as a novice, I believe my copy is already 5x better than 95% of the sites I’ve come across. But I still have a lot of work to do. Point is.. it isn’t hard to beat out people that have no substance in their content. No facts. No helpful information at all.

    And nothing, and no one, is perfect. If you have nothing bad to say about anything, ever, it isn’t going to make many people believe you are telling the truth. However there are better ways to state everything. Being truthful, and negative, are GOOD – when and where appropriate – but learn copywriting, and learn how to “spin” things you say.

    This does not mean lie.

    Oh, and as far as studying the subjects of marketing, positioning, copywriting, etc – I would say do NOT believe all the hype behind David Ogilvy. Ogilvy on Advertising is easily the worst book out of nearly 3 dozen I’ve read this year. It is difficult to get through. He almost never educates the reader. It is like an autobiography where he spends most of his time talking about how great he is.

    However, Confessions of and Advertising Man by David Ogilvy actually contains useful information.

  6.  issuesatwork

    I think most people do like honesty, all positive things makes you sound too much like a salesman on commission. That is bad. I do not like paid endorsers.

  7. You have very strong points here Liz, one lesson I learned from affiliate marketing is that every website has a very strong Call to action. I have handled websites that are very good in design but lacks the call to action. It is completely a useless website if not corrected.

  8.  issuesatwork

    Lisa, I am using some of these principles. Thanks

  9. Hi Lisa,

    This post or article was well written and realy interesting. I will definitely look up your affiliate mento Mr. Ken Evoy, and if this is the result of his mentoring I will definitely look into reading “Make Your Content PRESell” I will sign up and who knows maybe be one of your customers .. thanks again

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    Fortexa Hotel Safe, easy to install and easy to use. Strong, cheap, practical and of course safe Simply the best choise for the hotel guest’s in room security.

  10. Freedom McFlyy says:

    Great post< I am thinking heavy about getting into the game!

  11.  midastouchcopy

    Hey Lisa, how often do you write product reviews on your blog? I personally wonder if it’s a great revenue model, or if I should do them rarely…

  12. Hi Lisa,

    I have been following your blog since 2011 the year i started my travel blog. I have a travel blog on blogger but have had my own domain. I am so used to blogger platform and I am planning to start making my own amazon affiliate marketing blog. However, I may need to use WordPress as I’ve read other reviews including yours that WordPress is better for affiliate marketing as it has better SEO pluggin.

    I am interested to invest in affiliate marketing and before I start I really need to know whether to use WordPress platform and get my own domain. Would that be something you would recommend to start off with?

    I would really like to have my amazon affiliate blog/site where I can promote any products I’ve used. I’ve already got an amazon affiliate code. But I still haven’t decided which platform to use and also still haven’t decided my domain name.

    I have other several blogs on blogger which I blog about inspirational things in life and I was thinking to use that to build an affiliate site however the domain name does not really match or relate to product reviews so therefore I might have to make another blog on WordPress where I can talk about any products that I like to promote.

    I understand that I have to start from scratch building more contents with good keywords and generating traffic knowing that a new blog or site will take some time to show up on search engine but I was wondering would WordPress be an exception? WordPress has better SEO plugins and they are a lot easier to generate traffic compare to blogger right?

    For example if I try to produce 30 articles promoting products in 30 days challenge would that accelerate my new WordPress affiliate blog showing on google search engine? My main focus first is writing good quality contents about a product I promote and also generating my traffic. I don’t expect to be earning in a month or in a couple of months.

    What are your recommendations in regards to my questions above?

    I really hope you can answer them and I look forward to hearing from you soon:) I have been your follower since 2011:)

    Thanks.

    •  2createawebsite

      Hi Bella, yes you should get your own domain first and then hosting. Most hosting companies have a free WordPress install that comes with your monthly fee. So if you go with my site http://www.websitepalace.com for hosting you get WordPress and a free eBook on how to use it.

      I have a video on my site http://www.2createawebsite.com/traffic/create-free-blog.html

      The SEO plugins are not going to give you much of an advantage. Today ranking is about getting quality links, social media shares, etc. It’s harder today so you really have to prove to Google you are worth a ranking.

      Also feel free to come by forum http://www.websitebabble.com for advice. It’s a great place to learn.

      • Hi Lisa,

        Thank you for your prompt reply. Do you own websitepalace.com as well? So if i purchase my domain from there it comes with free hosting for wordpress and a free eBook.

        Thanks

  13. Hi Lisa,

    I have just read your blog post – How to Create a Blog With WordPress (Tutorial). I am confused you mentioned that if you use a free platform it may not be secured as your website could be taken down for any reason. Blogger is an example which I have a travel blog with blogger but with my own domain. Do you think that I should start backing up all my contents from my travel blog?

    Also,

    1. wordpress.com is a free platform right? So that means your website could easily get taken down from wordpress.com even though you have your own domain?
    2. What about wordpress.org? Is that a free platform or I need to find my own hosting (which in this case if I purchase it from your http://www.websitepalace.com I get my own hosting for wordpress? Is this for wordpress.org or wordpress.com?

    I hope you can clarify the above questions.

    Thank you.

    •  2createawebsite

      What I mean is even though you own the domain, you don’t own the content on Blogger. I’ve read stories of people getting their accounts removed for various reasons.

      I don’t recommend WordPress.com. I recommend WordPress.org which is the self-hosted blog where you own the installation and content on your own domain. This is a self-hosted blog using WordPress.org. Plus with WordPress.com you cannot monetize it.

      If you go with Website Palace, that is WordPress.org where you own everything like I have with this blog.

  14. Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for answering my questions. I’ve read your other post “how to choose a host for your website”. Can you please recommend which one from website palace should I buy that comes with WordPress.org and does not require me to build my blog/site for affiliate marketing. I don’t know much about HTML and CSS and don’t really have much time to code so I need something that comes with a template and allows me to monetize.

    This is mainly for affiliate marketing site and I might add some google Adsense in future.

    The one in your website right now. Are you using the regular host?

    So, I can purchase my domain at website place which include hosting for WordPress.org? Is that for one price or do I need to purchase a separate host from website palace? Also recommend which one to buy that does not require coding and something that comes with beautiful templates to choose from.

    Thanks.

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