Learn affiliate marketing: how to beat your competition

Thanks to FYF community member Godfrey Wambani for this guest post that gives some useful tips about how to beat your competition.

Digital marketing is an industry that’s getting bigger and better every day. Income potential is higher than ever before and everyone wants a bite.

This might sound like good news, and indeed it is, but you have to position yourself strategically in terms of your inbound marketing strategy to get your rightful share of the pie.

Here are a few basics to get you started as you learn affiliate marketing and grow your online venture.

Ensure your site is mobile friendly

You’ve probably heard this a thousand times before, but its importance cannot be over-emphasized. The logic here is simple – if you want to find the market for what you have to sell, look for it in the right places.

Research into digital marketing trends indicates that more shoppers are browsing on their phones. According to the findings by The Statistics Portal, the number of smartphone users is expected to hit 2.7 billion by the time 2019 draws to a close.

As a marketer, you shouldn’t just be looking at this as merely numbers, but rather as your potential market. As you think about optimizing your desktop ad, don’t leave out the mobile version because in so doing, you’re ignoring 50% of your potential market. That’s not a great strategy, especially if you’re growth-oriented.

Stand out from the competition

Here’s a mistake that a ton of affiliate marketers make: they’re just “clickstreamers” as they haven’t taken time to learn affiliate marketing techniques that work.

Let me explain.

Many players are just after getting in front of their target audience through email marketing, SEO or PPC or whichever marketing approach they favour. But the question here is, what happens after that?

Look at it this way, everybody is running towards and trying to learn affiliate marketing, but many of them are doing it the wrong way. Wouldn’t you be miles ahead of this crowd if you discovered what works and stuck with it right from the word go?

Even some of the most well-known affiliate marketers don’t really add substantial value to their customers.

Armed with this insight, your end goal should be to convert your visitors into leads, then to customers and then turn them into your brand ambassadors.

Endeavor to build a dedicated audience through unique insights that include hands-on product reviews and use-cases on how the products resonate with their daily lives. You must be thinking, this will take a lot of additional work. But. The good news is, if done well, this strategy delivers an end product that will send the search engines crawling your way.

Get hands-on experience with your product

For you to stand out from your competition, it’s essential that you try out the product for yourself. Affiliate marketing is more than just placing an affiliate link on your site, singing a few praises about the product and hoping to have massive traffic jam your site.

The truth is, it takes a considerable amount of work if you are looking to build trust and gain the confidence of your audience. Try out the product you intend to recommend before promoting. One advantage of trying out the product yourself is that it gives you the authority to present it to your targets in a way that shows you’ve done your homework and really understand it.

If you continuously keep the users’ experience in mind, your target audience takes it more as a recommendation customized just for them. They will be more willing to buy as opposed to when they feel that you are literally trying to force the product down their throat. That’s how you learn affiliate marketing the right way and become successful at it.

Guard your credibility jealously

Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Neither is it a jack-of-all-trades kind of thing. It’s a long-term strategy that requires you to have patience and a clearly defined end-goal.

First of all, you need to decide on your niche. There are several things that go into selecting the right niche and top of the list is that it should be something you enjoy promoting.

Although you’re not limited as to the number of products you can promote, it’s advisable that you only pick a handful. In affiliate marketing, the fewer products you choose, the better for your brand. Why? Because your audience will consider you as an expert if you choose one or a just a few products and do your best to market them.

Credibility also demands that you give an unbiased opinion about the usability of your products. If you find issues that you think may have an impact on a buyer’s decision on whether or not to buy the product, let your audience know.

In short, call it like it is.

Learn affiliate marketing –  killer content strategy.

Content is the currency of the web. For your digital campaigns to be effective, you will need to have a content strategy that resonates with each stage of your buyer’s journey. Ideal content is that which guides the audience from the point of awareness and eventually gets them to make a buying decision.

After that, you should produce content that encourages them to become your brand ambassadors.

If you want to tap into the full potential of your audience, develop compelling and informative content. When your audience feels that you are helping them make an informed decision, they are three times more likely to buy from you and to promote your business in the long run.

If you feel that content creation is a bit overwhelming, you can outsource the content creation part so that you can concentrate on affiliate marketing techniques.

There are many different types of content, so you also need to know which types are ideal for which product and at what point. For instance, landing pages, product reviews and videos, blog posts, eBooks, and more should be used correctly for maximum results.

Creating content that converts will be the most technical aspect of your affiliate marketing strategy. Work on a long-term content strategy that adds value to your audience by constantly and predictably creating genuinely useful content.

Become an authority in your field and no prospect will think twice about buying from you when the time is right.

Over to you

When you make up your mind to learn affiliate marketing and set your sights on becoming a pro, these are the basics you should have at the back of your mind.

Remember, success with your affiliate marketing strategy is only possible with targeted and consistent efforts.

The secret is to keep learning and implementing. If you do, success will inevitably follow!

About the author:

Godfrey Wambani is a direct response writer, blogger and digital marketer. learn affiliate marketingHe writes conversion-oriented copy and content for both clients and his own blog.

With 5 years of writing experience, he is a HubSpot Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing certified writer who specializes in B2B sales copywriting and direct response copywriting.

This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click on one of these links I’ll receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you and, in many cases, I’ll get you exclusive discounts. Your support helps me to make more content like this to help you – thanks.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Dave Sweney

    Lots of gems in this post, I could not agree more with the broad brush strokes of what it takes to plan and establish a strong vibrant affiliate marketing business online. Affiliate marketing is like any other business. There are basic elements that you have to consider (that you mention) and then it is off to the races.

    I have learned that once you have the basics down, the key is consistency over a prolonged period of time. There will be moments when the work that is required to do the research for keywords that you can easier compete with as you create content, then creating and publishing, and finally marketing that content can get a bit overwhelming.

    It truly is a lot of work but the work is cumulative. I found it helpful to keep telling myself that over the past 4 years, plus building in some reward points and breaks helps. All work and no play is not healthy, but no work and all play will not work either. if you can find a happy medium it will be best.

    Also, a good point that I discussed in another post is elsewhere is that once you have a substantial lead list, you can add a second phase to your marketing program. That would be creating an opt-in and sales page (plus a bonus page) for programs you promote without going through the content publishing phase.

    This will be an easier sell to people that trust you and have awarded you authority as what the content publishing phase brings you. It is a kind of one-two punch. This means that you will be able to continue to work to get new leads and sell more to the ones you have.

    Lastly, the importance of the social platforms and the tools you can use (i.e. bots and Messenger) to further expand your reach and grow your business even faster. As you become more adept at the basics, you will find that you can add these additional angles to your business.

    All in all, it is really a focused planned effort over an extended period of time using the right tools and checks and balances that will make it possible to earn a full-time income from affiliate marketing. This was a very positive post that will help a lot of people get started and have success! A good read, thanks!

    1. Les Blythe

      Thanks for the detailed comment Dave.

      Yes, you need to spend time on the basics and lay a strong foundation for your affiliate marketing business. The key here is unrelenting consistency and effort as you rightly say.

      Collecting leads via email is a key part of any affiliate strategy, and if you do genuinely help people (I try to) then there’s no reason they wouldn’t follow you and act on recommendations for tools, products, and courses you offer.

      Personally, I don’t use bots myself right now, my approach is more of a 1-on-1 thing. But, I definitely want to explore it further because I do believe in anything that can make your marketing efforts more efficient.

  2. Kenechi

    Affiliate marketing demands patience, creativity and hard work. Anybody interested in affiliate marketing should be patient and very patient while he works hard. The world of affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick schemes and you don’t expect sudden growth overnight. Everything here is all about strategies, hard work and patience.

    1. Les Blythe

      You’re 100% right with that. Work your strategies and the strategies will work. Good luck!

  3. swangirl

    I really like your suggestions here. They sound a lot like my strategy. I take a different approach than many online marketers. I keep my site very clean with no pop ups, minimal banners, no random ads that aren’t related and only content that is based on my own experience. I started out with only products I owned and used myself. I was 100% authentic. Now I am branching out a tiny bit but most of my reviews are products I use myself. If not, they are products similar to those I use myself and those I feel comfortable recommending. I have never picked  product just because I think it will get me a large commission to recommend. 

    I always focus on products that solve a problem for my readers. I don’t have a lot of “fluff”.

    I focus on good SEO and make sure I always add my own description, use very good keywords (I am picky about them and don’t use any with too much competition but also look for high traffic) and use optimized images which I compress etc. 

    One tip I would add is to make sure you get good comments on your site. Comments can literally raise the rank of your posts overnight. I have seen it work many times. 

    Thanks for your very authentic approach! It is honest and refreshing in the online world of smoke and mirrors!


    1. Les Blythe

      Thanks for your comment Jessica, much of what you said I couldn’t have put better myself!

      Google is relentlessley moving in the direction of the best customere experience possible and with improvements in AI almost every day , the’yre getting a pretty good handle on it by now.

      Your policy of “quality” on your website can do you nothing but good in the long run.

  4. alexandra

    This is some great information and a lot of good tips that I am going to use myself.

    Much of what you are saying is really important, especially the advice about promoting just a few products.

    I can definitely see the point in only promoting a handful of products as opposed to promoting thousands.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge. 

    1. Les Blythe

      I agree it’s a good idea to concentrate on one or two products to promote initially and to get to know them really well.

      You can always expand your range of affiliate products later as your business grows.

  5. Shaka Don Darcy

    Hi Les

    How much do you think I can earn on a monthly basis? Is affiliate marketing lucrative?

    I have myself started as an affiliate marketer and your website is pushing me to keep it up.

    The part which is not so easy for me so far is the content creation. It is really time-consuming

    1. Les Blythe

      Hi Shaka,

      I’d suggest not looking at it purely from the point of view of what you can earn. In my opinion, that’s completely the wrong mindset.

      Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t make money from affiliate marketing, freelancing etc., but as the post says, you need to create value and solve problems first.

      Yes, content creation is time-consuming. Working for a boss is time-consuming, dead-end, unrewarding and mindless.

      Create the content…

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