As a new affiliate marketer, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed. After all, the affiliate marketing industry is vast, and the amount of information you need to absorb on the topic to get started can be mind-boggling.
Fortunately, getting started doesn't need to be difficult or time-consuming. Once you have a solid plan in place, you can learn how to get an audience for affiliate marketing and build a strong foundation your business can grow on.
In this post, we’ll offer up four beginner affiliate marketing tips you need to know. You’ll learn why each tip is important to success, and how you can go about implementing them within your own business. We’ll also give you a glimpse into Easy Affiliate and how it can help you achieve your marketing goals once you get things off the ground.
Let’s get started!
1. Choose a Profitable (Yet Fun) Niche
The niche you choose is perhaps one of the most important elements of your affiliate marketing site. It's essentially the focus your site (and business) will take.
Simply put, without a niche you don’t have a target audience. While marketing to everyone can impact your sales negatively, “niching down” enables you to focus on gaining a steady following who will likely become customers.
While profitability is something to keep in mind, your interests should also play a key role in niche selection. To choose a niche that you love, and has a high chance of turning a profit, follow these three steps:
- Narrow down niche ideas by researching niche marketing keywords. Start with a large list of ideas, and whittle it down as you go along.
- Use Google to compare the competitiveness of chosen keywords. The less competitive the keywords, the easier it will be for you to turn a profit.
- Decide whether the niche market is what you’re looking for. It’s okay not to pick the first niche you come to. Let the results of your keyword research guide you, and don’t settle.
Once you've chosen your niche, it's time to narrow down your audience.
2. Know the Audience You're Seeking
Your website's audience can make or break your business, so it’s important you know who your audience is from the get-go – including what they want and need. By delivering the content they're looking for, you build relationships, which is the only way to get an audience in affiliate marketing (and keep it).
There are a few ways you can go about getting to know your audience:
- Conduct user surveys. Approaching your audience directly is the best way to learn more about them.
- Use Google Analytics. This will help you narrow down your target audience’s demographics and interests, enabling you to create relevant content.
- Do social listening. On social media you can monitor competition, track down customer pain points, and even identify business-building opportunities.
- Look to your competitors. What are your competitors doing to engage their target audiences (which are likely aligned very closely with yours)? Take a few tips from their playbook, and add them to your own business plan.
Some of these may seem time-consuming. However, the investment is well worth it, as your audience relationships are everything.
3. Stick With Products You Know
The products you promote will (of course) vary by niche. However, one thing holds true no matter what niche you’re in: you should only promote products you’ve personally used.
As an affiliate marketer, trust is your most important asset and the most important factor in getting and keeping an audience. When you erode that trust by lying to your readers, it's difficult – if not downright impossible – to gain it back.
Of course, the temptation to write content without using a product is tantalizing. However, you're better off putting in the work to find quality products. For starters, you can:
- Promote products you already use. This is the simplest method by far – you can approach the companies of products you love to see if they have an affiliate program you can join.
- See what your competitors are using. If your main competitors swear by a particular product, why not give it a try yourself? Whether it’s a good product or not, you can provide the ins-and-outs to your own audience, and expand upon your competitors’ reviews.
- Ask your audience for suggestions. By testing products your audience swears by, you can directly target their needs.
Of course, each of the above options will still require you to extensively test out the products prior to promotion. However, that should be the fun part!
4. Track Your Affiliate Stats and Results
Simply put, affiliate stats can help you see which of your marketing efforts are working or not. This aspect of affiliate marketing can be overwhelming to beginners. However, when you break it down into simple steps, the process becomes a lot more manageable. Here are just two simple ways to begin tracking your affiliate stats:
- Track outbound links. Find out which of your affiliate links are performing best, and optimize those that aren't for better click-through rates.
- Keep an eye on site traffic. Simply put, know where your traffic is coming from. Whether that's search engines, social media, or another site’s outbound links, you should leverage the information to better target your site’s actual visitors.
There are all kinds of link management plugins out there to assist affiliate marketers with this process, but we recommend ThirstyAffiliates. In addition to robust reporting, it includes features like auto linking, cloaking, smart uncloaking, and more.
Easy Affiliate – For when you get off the ground
Easy Affiliate is an affiliate management plugin that enables you to manage your own affiliate program, where other affiliates are working for you. There are myriad features that will help you to manage your affiliate marketing, starting with Reports:
This provides you with detailed information on your affiliates, such as link clicks, top referrers, and the number of affiliate transactions completed. With this, you can effectively track your site’s affiliate program and make improvements where necessary.
There’s an abundance of information out there that beginning affiliate marketers can use to get started. However, it’s important to walk before you can run by focusing on the basics, then branching out as your business improves.
In this post, we've provided you with four key tips that you should focus on as you learn how to get an audience for affiliate marketing. To recap, we recommend you:
- Choose a niche.
- Know the audience you're seeking.
- Stick with products you trust.
- Track your results using a tool such as ThirstyAffiliates.
Are there any affiliate marketing tips for beginners that we've missed? Let us know in the comments section below!