Back in October 2011, I was pleasantly surprised to learn I had won a contest for being the person with the largest sales for Blog World Expo over the fifteen day period when the early bird pricing came to a close. So not only did I make the commissions for the ticket sales, but I also won a $500 bonus on top of it all. To celebrate, I thought I would share my tips on becoming the top affiliate for a product.
1. Choose an affiliate product that works with your audience.
This is probably the most important point of them all. You can push products that do not resonate with your audience and maybe get a sale or two off of them, but they won't be the kind of sales that push you to the top affiliate throne. You have to, instead, get to know your audience. What types of products do they buy? What events do they go to? What are their needs?
If you can find a product that your audience is already buying, especially if it is something that they will have to buy again and again such as annual event tickets, then you will likely strike gold. This is why the Blog World program has worked so well for me - because I know a lot of my audience attends Blog World, so I know it is a product they will want to buy.
- Learn from the best: Ruud Hein interviews Rae Hoffman
2. Get your own discount code.
This one is a bit tricky as not a lot of product creators will give affiliates their own discount. But if you see other affiliates have their own discount, be sure to ask for your own. It makes asking for people to use your affiliate link much simpler because you are not just asking them to buy from you so you can make a sale. You are giving them valuable savings for which, in return, they will be happy to give you the sale.
When you do have your discount code for your affiliate product, use it everywhere you reference your affiliate link. This will make people more likely to use it because they will want that deal!
- The other opinion: Discount Codes Are The Devil in Disguise for eCommerce Sites
3. Know key dates for your affiliate products.
When it comes to events, the key dates are simple.
- When registration first becomes available.
- When early bird deadlines are going to end.
- When tickets are about to sell out.
When it comes to products, there are also some key dates you can use to your advantage including the following.
- When the product first becomes available for purchase.
- When the product's introductory prices are going to end.
- When the product has a relaunch after closing its doors.
- When the product has a special sale such as Black Friday / Cyber Monday.
How do you find out about these dates? This is when subscribing to the affiliate newsletters (and actually reading them) comes into play. Product creators (or the affiliate program managers) want to do everything to help you make sales. Therefore most will give you the heads up on when you should be campaigning about their products.
If the product owner doesn't have a newsletter, then your next bet is to monitor them on Twitter (or the social network they use the most) and their blog. They will probably be working on pre-launch hype buildup for their upcoming product, or announcing upcoming specials or discounts. Two key dates to keep in mind for any affiliate product that are coming up are Black Friday and Cyber Monday - these are affiliate gold mine days if you are affiliate marketing products that will run a special sale.
So what do you do on these key dates? Try both of the following steps.
- See also Using An Editorial Calendar
4. Write a review.
Reviews are powerful. Your audience doesn't want to just see banner ads for something - they want to know why you are recommending it. With Blog World, I did a post prior to the early bird deadline talking about why I'm excited about going to the conference. Then after, I did a post on how to prep for the conference. Most of my affiliate sales for Blog World have come from links within those posts.
5. Promote, promote, promote.
If you're gearing up to make one product your top product, you will want to promote that affiliate product everywhere including the following locations.
- Your Sidebar - This is prime banner real estate because, no matter where a person lands on your site, they should be able to see it. For Blog World, mine is loud and proud right at the top.
- Your Post Footer - I like my blog to show content first, so while the post header is probably a more profitable region, the post footer banner still gets the job done (assuming you write posts that people will read until the end).
- Your Newsletters - Of course, you will want to email your list about the key dates I mentioned above. But even for regular newsletters, you can keep a small banner in the newsletter sidebar or within the newsletter content.
- Your Email Signature - Think about the number of people you email every day that are not on your list. Simply adding a line with your affiliate link such as "Are you heading to Blog World next week? Get your tickets now using this link and discount code..." might give you some good sales results.
If you can follow these five steps with an audience who sees you as an industry authority, becoming a top affiliate for the right product can be a reality. What other steps would you add to this list? Please share in the comments below! Also, don't miss my post on organizing affiliate information to find out which products already work the best for you and how to make affiliate marketing easier.