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