Every business has essentials tools, services, tactics etc. Affiliate Marketing is no different than any other business. There are affiliate marketing essentials, essential software, services, strategies and many more. This is a post in a series where I introduce some of these essentials in groups of three. I like to call them the Terrible Triplets!
A mother is holding in the hands feet of newborn triplets baby.
The 3s – Affiliate Marketing Essentials
The Terrible Triplets – What are the Affiliate Marketing Essentials?
They are three concepts that when combined together help produce a desired outcome. This article is going to look at some of these affiliate marketing essentials. For example, the 3’s maybe:
- tools that are essential for affiliate marketers business.
- tactics that increase your conversion rate among visitors.
- ideas for increasing traffic to your website.
- must have pages on your site.
- 3 Etc …
Every marketer is attempting to improve their business on a regular basis. We all want bigger and better commissions per month. That Lamborghini isn’t going to pay for itself, especially in “blu aegeus” with red caliper brakes!
Affiliate marketers are like inventors. They are trying to perfect their invention. Their invention can be many things. A new marketing technique that converts more sales! It depends on the marketer.
The Right Blend
It may be an eBook they have authored, “Embroidery Scandals Uncovered.” Fred is releasing it next year! Donal might be trying to perfect away to ensure sales of Fred’s book. More sales equals more commissions!
It takes combinations of tactics and ideas to arrive at the right mixture. That perfect blend, a pinch of this and a cup of that, to achieve excellence. What is that excellence? The highest conversion rate possible, ranking number one of google, etc.
It is something different for each marketer. The final objective is more money, the route we used to get there is subjective. My hope is this article may provide a missing piece to your jigsaw puzzle. An idea that crafts your pathway to your excellence and final goal.
- Whilst there are many essentials for affiliate marketing, we try to break them up into easily digestible chunks for you.
3 Must-have Affiliate Marketing Essentials for the Marketpreneur!
What does it take to be profitable in this affiliate marketing business?
Affiliate Marketing is NOT the Holy Grail of getting rich programs. It is a business that takes dedication and perseverance.
So it is natural then for aspiring, may be even seasoned, marketers to always look for new tips or tricks. Tidbits that can improve their strategy. Some of what we are covering is elementary. But, it needs covering because there is always a new marketer joining the game.
Answer the Question
Responding to the opening question of this section, it might say that one should be astute. Planning your strategy to take a product and market it profitably. This plan should be in place before you do anything else.
If you have a blueprint for success then it should not matter what product you choose to market. “Hold on” you yell, “what about the whole niche thing?” True, a good niche is important but a good sales plan can sell inferior products.
What a marketer wants is a good product (adds value and solves a problem) and a superior sales plan. Fred and Donal both believe they have a good product and plan. They decide on three tools they need for the venture. Three tools that will enhance their chances of success.
- Affiliate Marketing is NOT an easy job, it is easy to get into but it is difficult to prosper without hard work.
- If “you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – I know tiresome cliches.
The Affiliate Marketing Essentials
Tool 1: A Website
“Duh!” Yes, obvious but a necessity. Some will argue that the website is optional, if you have a large email list. True, there are people who have profitable emails lists and do not use a website. Most marketers would agree that a website is a must. It is a member of the affiliate marketing essentials.
A February 2018 article by Forbes gave an amazing statistic. 82% of smartphone users completed online research before making in-store purchases. Think about that! They are standing in front of an item of interest but, they take out their phone to research it first.
Consider the number of people who would do research before even going to the store. Or the multitude of online researchers and shoppers. The sheer volume must be staggering. A website is a no-brainer! The perception of the website requires a lot more contemplation.
If you wanted to buy a coat, you wouldn’t go into a run-down shady looking store in a back alley. One look would tell you that its not an establishment you want to buy anything from. Your perception of the store, whether right or wrong, prevented you from buying a coat there.
Donal knows this and so he pays a web designer to deliver to him a clean, professional looking website. The website name is straight-forward and is a “.com” domain. His website “must-haves” are as follows:
- Easy to use.
- Easy to navigate.
- Must have high quality images
- Must have uncomplicated sales copy.
- Original content that adds value and solves a problem.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The developer delivers an aesthetic website, with clear concise writing. It is very easy to use. The developer incorporated “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) as well. Good SEO may permit the search engine robots to find, index and rank the site.
This is important, as it means potential customers easily find Donal’s website. Donal has an electronic store front that anyone would be happy to enter. Getting them in the door is half the battle.
The importance of “must-haves” laid out earlier in the section cannot be overstated. Your site must look trustworthy and professional. If not, then potential consumers will pass your store by. Or worse, may never know your site even exists.
Once on your site, you must engage the customer and keep them on the site. How? With content, articles or blog-posts that are helpful and solve problems. To achieve this task, the content should be interesting, well-written and credible.
Quality content ensures attentive customers. Attentive customers will return to read more articles. This builds a following for the site. Even better if they comment on your articles. It establishes a relationship of trust and a bond forms. Now, you have created a loyal fan base to market your goods to.
- Seems like a “no-brainer” but you need to have a SEO optimized website to build your audience and therefore your business.
- ‘Professional‘ and ‘Trustworthy‘ are important stipulations.
Tool 2: A Great Affiliate Marketing Hosting Platform
Another of the affiliate marketing essentials, there is no point in having a fantastic website if you have no where to host it. Worse still, if your hosting platform is crap. Cost is important, no point in having an incredible platform, if it is draining your bank account. It will take time before you get that first sale.
What’s needed is a web-hosting company that delivers the following:
- A Content Management System (WordPress, Joomla etc…)
- Network Reliability.
- Great Technical Support.
- Website and Network Security
- Trustworthy website – SSL
- Website Database & File BackUps
- Keyword Search Tool
- Website Builder
All the above for a reasonable price! Good luck some will say. Most hosting providers charge extra for a lot of the items listed. I fell into this trap when I first started.
Addons and upsells came thick and fast. The hosting package I purchased was not capable of running WordPress. No email, no security or SSL. No nightly site backups or keyword tool. Luck was on my side, before my refund window expired I found a savior.
Wealthy Affiliate rescued me. Finding their website by accident, I gave it a quick look. There was no expectation on my behalf that they offered anything I needed. What they did offer, saw me cancel all my products with “arm and leg” hosting and become a member instantly. Everything listed above and more for a very reasonable price.
There may be other companies that do the same or even better. For me, there were an actual oasis, not a mirage, as I said luck was with me.
- While your website might be initially expensive to build if you use a designer; the largest and continuous expense to an affiliate marketer is web-hosting and the additional services required to keep the site secure, have redundancy and optimizing speed.
- A good web-hosting platform provides additional tools and applications that help the affiliate marketer to succeed.
Tool 3: Social Media Engagement
Social media was not in existence when affiliate marketing in its infancy. At least not in its present form. Sure there was Geocities, Friendster etc, but unless you were sitting at a PC you weren’t interacting. With the advent of the smartphone social media made the transition to the cellular world.
Soon every man and his dog were friending this person or tweeting on that. This opened up a whole new form of marketing. Previous to this, the email list and backlinks were paramount to your success. Email lists are still very important.
A loyal email list can generate a substantial income for the internet marketer. Backlinks are still relevant but not as much as they were. There has been an inundation of social media applications. All with their own particular niche or quirk. This has led to a new marketing opportunity for marketers.
Facebook et al
Donal has realized that his MySpace Embroidery page is no longer relevant. He hasn’t had a comment in years. Facebook is the way to go. He sets up his profile and creates a business page and a Facebook group. Through his embroidery club email list he reaches out to his embroidery club. He informs everyone that the embroidery club has a Facebook group and they should join.
The embroidery club page has 300 new members. Donal then has his business page send a “friend request” to his group page. His group know about his business and know he will be advertising. Donal has told the members if they have a business they can use the group too.
Of course, the group grows virally, friends of friends, wanderers etc, all join. Membership has a steady growth. Donal now launches his Facebook ad and targets his group. His advertisement has a video detailing the website and the books available. All the books are must reads.
Sales are slow at first but then speed up. As hoped, the books are being reviewed positively. Readers are leaving intelligent, well-thought-out comments. The video sales letter in his ad is getting more and more views. Magic!
- Love it or hate it, social media is widely used and is here to stay. Therefore, you must establish a social media plan to engage different media audiences to maximize your potential returns.
Social Media Marketing
There are plenty of different methods for social media marketing. You may choose to use Facebook or LinkedIn ads. Or use influencers on Instagram or Twitter to give your product a “shout-out” or review it. YouTube is amazing if you like doing video sales. There are lots of choices.
According to the Alexa, YouTube is the second most viewed website in the world. Alexa, owned by Amazon, is an internet marketing services firm. They monitor the internet for information like this to help their clients. Facebook is third most visited, Yahoo is seventh and Amazon tenth.
Google is the number one viewed website, Google+ anyone? All other spots in the top 10 most visited sites are Chinese sites. Twitter comes in 11th. For affiliate marketers, social media engagement is a massive opportunity. It enables getting your product in front of larger audiences than you would reach on an average day.
Social media is not something to scare you. I dislike social media, I do not have any personal accounts. But, I realize I need to have a presence. Trying to keep up to date with 5 or 6 social accounts is a nightmare.
- Be smart about your social media plan.
- In my opinion, I would not start out the gate with offering 10 different social media accounts.
- Trying to keep them all up to date whilst continuing to build out your site, increase traffic and conversions is detrimental to your business.
As with everything else internet, someone has solved that problem. There are a multitude of software application that centralize management of those accounts. Application permit scheduling of posts to the company social media pages. Monitoring and gathering statistics of what works and doesn’t work marketing wise.
These applications span a range of budgets. Think, one brand may have up to 6 to 7 different social media accounts. Multiple brands and now you are into tens of accounts. A social media management software may be a must have.
Social media engagement is a must have in today’s internet marketing arena. In future posts, we will review some of the social media management packages available.
- Having a “one-stop shop” to management all the aspects of your business, a single platform would be the grail. However, if you can find a platform that provides as much as possible is important.
Summary of this Affiliate Marketing Essentials post:
The post intention was to inform the reader of three “must-have” tools. Three essential tools needed to start an affiliate marketing business. To experienced marketers it may appear to be an obvious selection of tools. An unnecessary post due to the obviousness of the nature of the business.
To someone starting out in this business, my hope is you learned something. Through Donal’s journey and my own pontification, I try to highlight required tools. Followed by explaining why they are needed.
It is my hope that this first post in the “Terrible Triplets” series is informative and useful to you. More posts will follow in this series. As with everything in life, there is never enough time to get everything done that one would like. A common problem for part-time internet marketers like myself.
To be Continued …
If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the best,