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…
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?
Dennis Marshall says
I’m so glad you said the part about negative comments. I’m writing a negative comment on a product I bout and I must say I’m surprised at how badly support is and the fact that it caused my blog to shut down; and were talking about one of the most influential products in blogging.
I’m not going to go crazy on them but I am going to give my honest review..
Good for you for keeping it real, Dennis!
Thanks Lisa I will keep these things in mah mind…
Im only just starting to see a benefit from Affiliating recently, i found mail chimps bulk mailing free gave a real edge without having to create a blog post. I can only hope it continues
Uma Bad says
How are you? I have an article on that here http://leadsharvest.com/making-residual-income-stream-online/
Franck Silvestre says
I learned a lot with Ken Evoy and his “MYSS” back in the days, and particularily with his affiliate marketing handbook, plus I still earn money with site sell as an affiliate. I must admit that I never understood the way they pay affiliates though…strange affiliate payment structure.
I make a lot of money as an affiliate, and I don’t think that owning the product is a requirement. Don’t mistake here, I don’t promote bad products. I only promote products when I know that they are good and will help my readers or subscribers. But there is no way I can own every single product. As an example, if I decided to promote thesis themes to my visitors. I know the product is good and I don’t own it. I don’t see anything bad with that. I don’t think that amazon or ebay affiliate can buy every single product ever!
Thanks for the insights.
The Short Guy says
Again, another great post for affiliate marketer to learn. I learnt a lot from you Lisa and this post really hits the spot. Thanks again.
I know no one like the words thanks in blog comments may be you also Lisa don’t like the word thanks. But I really want admire you by saying thanks for this effort. This article showed me the right direction to do all my effort. Lisa I am subscriber of your blog and I am so impressed as you have all the time some new things to share.
All your suggestions are quite good. The only one I have trouble with is anonymity. I know I have to be more transparent about my identity, but I haven’t been able to get the nerve to do that as much as I should yet. Your post has me thinking about it again. Thanks!
i want to be a affiliate marketer..
Respect of Women in Islam
Coltri Compressors says
I am currently visiting the States and this is exactly what a family who recently who had a baby recently told me. People should be very careful while giving out their SSN for any websites.
very good article, keep me updated with the trials
Kenny Fabre says
number three and five is right on point with three “Dont fake it”
thats the worst thing a marketer could do is fake it and lie, I pride myself on being honest at all times no matter what, as people in general we must hold our integrity, and stay honest with ourselves and people until death.
with number five “negativity can sell” I like how you put it it builds credibility our name, what people know us as is key so we must uphold, honesty at all cost.
I’ve heard of Ken Evoy and I believe he is famous.
Well, because of your recommendation, I will go and download his ebook for a change. Thanks for the reminder of giving value rather than selling all the time.
Raymund Camat says
One of the most important lessons I learned as an affiliate marketer is that you should not put all your eggs in one basket. You should diversify, diversify, did I say diversify?
Amen to that!
Shonda @ Abundant Journeys says
Another great article. Today I just received another check for my affiliate marketing efforts. I am learning each day how to improve and produce better work. 1. We are finding it takes 5-6 times for people to purchase across our site. 2. We are replacing our old About us page with just me (removed in August) and adding an Our Team page – our aim is to start Jan 2012 with the new pages. 3. Cannot agree with this more… we only market places we have been personally and products we personally use. It’s just too difficult to do anything else. 4. Since I am not very good at sales per se, this is no problem for me. I prefer the story-telling approach and providing information I think our readers will find useful. It seems to be working since I became more focused in October. 5. Giving pros and cons on any product is more beneficial than a glowing rant. This is true in person as well. Think about it. If you meet someone and every time you see them they are going overboard with the compliments about you – at some point you are going to question their motives… are the genuine? 6. This one I need to work on… I have done landing pages sporadically.
As always you provide such valuable tips. Thank you.
As the affiliate marketer, your tips and information in your blogs open my eye to do more better plan in future. I like your suggestion use wordpress as medium of website to promote the affiliate products, because it is easy to use.
I love the idea of using intermediate landing pages in your affiliate promotions – very good idea. I’ve actually done this and it does work well. A view review or inside tour of the product is great too! But if you can do an honest review that highlights the good and the bad, it build credibility for sure!
Saif Afridi says
very nice.you are one the the blogger from which i got motivated and today i am moving my Urdu Poetry Blog very smothly.and its producing results.
thumb up for you.especially love your youtube videos.
Great page and great website. I am also an SBI’er (pretty sure I’ve seen you in the forums) and I’m jumping into improving the affiliate part of it on my first site http://www.free-shrimp-recipes.com. I still have so much to learn and love the information you share here. I will be back to read more. You are an inspiration to me because I also want to do this full-time someday (sooner than later!)
Hang in there, Beth! You can do it. 🙂 Thanks for coming by.
Hi Lisa, been watching your youtube videos they are great. I real did learn many things like negativity and would be trying most of your lessons on my blog. Learning from someone else’s experience will cut short the learning curve. Thumbs up..
Jovie Onyema says
Yes…great points. and i agree overselling is bad. it immediately turns me off. in fact, for the fear of overselling, i some times don’t even PRESELL. but i’m learning to balance things now.
Send Gifts to India says
I have my own blog running well now.
I am planning to signup for some good affiliate networks.I have always thought that there is very less chance to get peoples to our links for affiliate products.
As i have now gone through your post i have some good idea how to deal with the affiliate market.Your post elped me a lot to build me a strategy for me.
How very thoughtful of you to write about this. The only thing I regret now is not having started with my own online venture when the internet was in its infancy. I would have learnt lot then and might be my own boss by now. Wonderful post there.
Julius Orias says
I started to like this blog, I can learn more about how to your subscriber become loyal to what you have recommended to them….thanks for this wonderful post once again..
I have recently got into affiliate marketing, its extremely fun and enjoyable but im not sure after reading this article if im being ‘casual’ enough, I think im being too forward and direct in my sales approach…
This has made me feel like the way im going, things are never going to convert… Do you have problems getting clicks or conversions?
I launched my blog about a week ago and I have had around 50 clicks on the link, none have converted, but to be honest I expected that. What do you think?
Hi Michael, Some products convert better than others, but my average conversion is usually between 2 and 5%, which is normal for this niche. 50 clicks is not really a lot and unless they are REALLY targeted visitors it’s not too surprising. Keep experimenting and try being more casual. Every niche is different so it’s hard to say what you should be getting.
Hey, thanks for the information Im really growing to like you Lisa! Me being an IM’er I suspected you at first to be putting on a nice impression so people bought your products (im sure most im’ers do this?) but after watching your videos on youtube and reading the posts and on WebsiteBabble I really grew to like you!
By the way, more youtube vids please!
Also, how many affiliate products should I be promoting on my targeted blog? I currently only have 2, but one is superior, this is the one with the most clicks. I am thinking of adding a link to my theme I use, this will be an affiliate link so that would be more money!
Thanks, Michael! You really have to experiment with the number, but I would try to keep it small (under 10). I don’t really keep track, but it just makes sense to find a select good products and stick to promoting those. If you promote too much you look greedy and people will just think it’s all about the money for you. Obviously that is part of the goal but you don’t want to overdo it.
And yes, definitely add a “powered by” link to your blog. You will be surprised at how many people will buy from that link.
disaster recovery says
it is very helpfull information for me i didn’t know about it before so many.
i read all through and i’m gonna do it again:)
thanks a lot,
I’m really trying to get the hang of affiliate marketing, so thanks so much for sharing the information.
I liked what you have post,It would be valuable information for me as I’m new to the concept of affiliate marketing,thanks for kindness lisa.
Adeline@Life and Leisure says
I’ve been thinking about going into affiliate marketing lately, and your post is very timely and very informative. This is a must-read for anyone considering to get into affiliate marketing or those that are struggling with it. Thanks so much for this, Lisa.
Anytime, Adeline. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
Helen Speed says
I think some of the best tips are;
1. Don’t just try to sell any old junk, make sure you are promoting something that works/you believe in/you would buy yourself
2. Don’t spend all your time thinking and planning – just get out there and get started
3. Your website is important but if you want to make any real money you need to focus on generating lots of traffic and building and NUTURING your list
4. Focus on giving your customers extra value – put yourself in their shoes what would you like to see, what would make you buy?
5. People buy from people they know, like and trust – do what you can to build your relationship with your customers and focus on helping them solve their problems. Get good at this and the money will soon follow.
6. Don’t spread yourself too thin – concentrate on one thing at a time, get that first website making mone before moving on to the next project.
Lovely Chu says
I love your post and thanks for sharing. And yes multiple product exposure is such a great tip. Mentioning the product several times can build a credible state to our target clients.
And most important tip you’ve mentioned that I really agreed upon is not faking the promotion. Being honest will reflect the sincerity of the promotion.
First of all we would say about this article that it is a proper guideline for the people who are related to affiliate marketing or interested to it. Lisa has pointed out 6 important factors which are really the part of affiliate marketing. To do these jobs these 6 factors are very helpful.
I loved everything you said here! Building a reputation and using it is really one key thing in this area!
stock blog says
Those are some great tips. I do a few naturally but there are others I don’t come close to. I’ve been know to “just slap” a banner up on a few of my sites and then never get around to making it better. Great reminder.
Genie @ HealthyLivingNow says
You’re talking about me again Lisa! LOL! I’m still working on my about us page, and as far as slapping up a banner and hoping for a sale – so me 🙂 So much to do, and so little time. Thanks for highlighting my deficiency and keeping it real!
Hi Lisa, another fine post cheers. Yes, slapping up banner days are near dead as content and trust is helping me with conversions. When I started out, it was all about picking crazy products, knowing nothing about the niche and hopeing for the best. Now, it’s what I know and a slow build up of interaction with people and advising what works for me, giving good points and bad points of the product or service, this works really well
Yes, I did the same thing at first. I think a lot of people do. 🙂
Dave Lucas says
I love your number 3 – DON’T FAKE IT…
FAKERYt is misleading and in one case i’m investigating, illegal. And every “affiliate” of that seller is liable to end up with a tarnished reputation!
If you sell or create something, let it find its value. If it is truly worthy, you’ll get more sales by word-of-mouth and you may even capture authentic “testimonials” from real people!
David Cornick says
Lisa, You are so right when you talk of credibilty.A person’s reputation is everything. You want people to revisit your blog over and over. The more times they visit,the better the conversion rate.If people do not trust you this will not happen
Kiesha @ WeBlogBetter says
I’m definitely not a sales person. And I hate being over-promotional, that should never be the sole reason for writing a post. Sharing something useful and helpful should be. When I do openly promote items, it’s definitely got to be something that I believe in.
You’re right, it does seem to be the the personal touches that make affiliate products sell. That’s because when people are looking to buy, they want to hear from someone else who owns the product and has used it -they want an honest opinion, not another sales pitch.
I’m not the biggest affiliate salesman, but as my site continues to grow, so does the affiliate sales. Thanks for sharing these tips. Now matter how many times I visit this site, I always find something new to put into practice.
Glad you found it helpful. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching you grow. I don’t always get time to comment on your blog posts, but I’m watching you! You’re doing great.
I always love reading your blog posts and I continue to use your static site as a reference for building my website. I bought my SBI program through your site just to show my thanks for your great advice. I have been working to get the correct mix of affiliate programs that complement my site and I have started product reviews so that people get insight from my first hand experiences. I think I may ask visitors to leave comments as well about my affiliate products just for more feedback. I am going back and re-read Dr. Ken’s advice on making content presell. Thanks Lisa!
Thanks, Ann. That means a lot.
Emeka Madusha says
lisa, i wanted to ask if one can use your easy starter css templates with the upcoming Block builder 2..on SBI? Nice post by the way..!
No, you need to choose one or the other. My templates are for people who want to “Upload Their Own HTML” and use their own templates without the block builder.
Hi Lisa, this is valuable information. I recently started my online career, and you gave me a lot of things to work on.
julie@uk heavy metal detox says
great blog…i`ve learnt a lot from you, i especially like it when you said…”Others just slap up a banner and hope for a sale” that is so true and really annoying
Zell Denver says
Wow, Lisa, great post.
I’ve been casually blogging for ages now and casually monetizing via AdSense – mainly for the fun of it. I’ve been a seriously inactive member of the Amazon Associates program for about a year. I thought of all the things I could promote – to no avail. You kinda made me realize that “hey, I’m a designer, I have vast experience in all major packages, WHY AM I NOT PROMOTING THIS!?” It was under my nose all this time. Thanks for waking me up!
Peace, love and prosper,
Might as well earn some cash from all that knowledge floating around in your head right? Go for it!! Thanks for stopping by.
Lisa, all the stuff in this post is a compilation of the things I learned from you and Dr. Ken. You honesty about everything is what gets me to search through your blog to find affiliate links I want to buy through. When I wanted to join Aweber a few months ago, I thought “I bet Lisa has a link somewhere”, I went to your static site and found it. Just my tiny way of saying thanks for everything and the proof that trust is what works. THANKS!!!!
You have been such a loyal fan and e-friend and I certainly appreciate all your support 🙂
Katie Woodard says
I haven’t been able to make very many affiliate sales, and I have been attributing that to the fact that I only have a few hundred visitors a day, but it is partially because I just have one link to the things they are selling. I’m going to start doing a blog post every week or so about things I am trying to sell. Like you said, I don’t want to overdo it.
Your tips were really good. To be honest my sales are a bit low so I hope to raise the amount by following what you said 🙂
Boy, have times changed ? haha I remember those times when nobody wanted to send a picture for a strange …. now with the social network thing nobody cares anymore ….
Sunil from The Extra Money Blog says
I second your thoughts Lisa. Writing clear, in-depth, honest / transparent views on products and services help me the best. I also agree that one must have personal experience with what they advocate, or the lack of experience / involvement easily shows through words.
Mark @ Infopeer says
I liked what you have said…It would be valuable information for me as I’m new to the concept of affiliate marketing
kayua@exercise for fat loss says
This is an eye opener for people like me who is trying to cut his teeth in the information marketing world.I
I have been struggling for a while selling as an affiliate but ton o avail.now, i know better.I have discovered my mistakes and that is in the area of preselling.thanks for this tips.