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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

6 practical tips to help affiliates increase commissions

Affiliate marketing tips
Product relevance and familiarity are key
Affiliate marketing has become an incredibly profitable source of Internet marketing over the past few years and is a fantastic way for bloggers to monetise their blogs without 'selling out' and plastering their sites with invasive advertisements.

Here we'll be examining 6 quick and practical tips for experienced, amateur and prospective affiliate marketers alike that should help significantly increase commissions and commission rates.

Choose big ticket items


If you're working in affiliate marketing, you'll more than likely be earning a percentage of whatever product or service you are promoting. This means that the more expensive the item, the more money you'll make. Whilst smaller ticket items might (generally) sell more units more often, if you focus your talents only on triple or quadruple digit items the commissions you earn will significantly increase. Indeed, to earn a livable income you may only need to achieve one successful referral a day!

Choose products you're familiar with


This should go without saying really but it is far easier to write decent copy about products or services that you actually use or have at least had some (hopefully positive) experience with. A blogs readers need to feel like they can trust its author and if you're blogging about something you've never even used, unless you're an incredibly gifted writer most readers will be able to see through you. You could also end up endorsing a product that simply isn't very good and this would do potentially irreparable damage to your reputation and in the blogging game, reputation is everything.

Be educational, not confrontational


One of the best ways to promote a product or service in an affiliate capacity is to write a review. This way, your audience feels like they're making their own decisions when they click on a link and not because you've simply told them to.

Focus (One at a time)


We're not saying you should stick to just one product or service indefinitely, but try not to focus on more than one product at once. If you're constantly sending your readers in different directions with your posts they might end up getting a little confused and will look elsewhere for their needs. By focusing on just the one product at a time you'll hopefully make more sales and the vendor you're partnering with will also have a greater amount of respect for you, which should lead to more work in the future.

Know your audience


Of course this will come a lot more naturally if you've adhered to tip number 2, but even if you've been tasked with promoting a product that falls outside your field of expertise it's important to spend some time getting to know that products target audience. Spend some time and effort on some online forums where fans and users of the product congregate and build up a reputation on the boards that people will respond to whilst also leaning more about the niche your product falls into. Also by leaving a link back to your blog on these sites you could net some potential sales or at very least a few curious clicks.

Increase site traffic


The final and perhaps most useful tip is another obvious one but it's still something that many bloggers overlook as they expect their blog to pick up an audience on its own merits. In reality however this simply doesn't happen so if you really want to increase traffic to your blog (and by extension clicks and commissions) you're going to have to work at it. One of the most popular ways to increase site traffic is to get your name out there and spread word of your blog across all corners of the Internet. This means utilising social media to the best of your ability, posting guest blogs on other sites, writing press releases and just generally keeping your finger on the pulse. You could also utilise SEO (search engine optimisation) in order to boost your traffic. This boosts your sites Google ranking in an organic way and thus increased your potential traffic immeasurably.

There are of course other methods you can be using to increase not only your commission rate but the frequency of your 'clicks', such as offering 'bonus' incentives to your readers or only using affiliate programs with a trusted amount of kudos. But in general, the affiliate game is very much one that requires a certain amount of common sense. Keep this and the tips above in mind and you could find yourself on the cusp of a very profitable career! 

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Image license: Pvdkerk, CC BY-SA 3.0, ECB