The internet is full of beginner guides on how to start affiliate marketing. For anyone who thinks about giving media buying a try, there are thousands of both free and paid resources available worldwide.
But in order to find some advanced affiliate marketing tips, you have to dig deep. Community forums, expensive but valuable courses with affiliate marketing professionals, and exclusive webinars are your best bet.
Alternatively, you can just read this article for a quick overview of advanced affiliate marketing strategies that are used by affiliate marketers making big bucks every month.
Is affiliate marketing still profitable in 2021?
Let’s get this right out of the way. Every year, people who want to make money online are asking that question – is affiliate marketing still profitable? The answer always is yes, it is. Although the affiliate marketing industry is not immune to changes, it’s still just as possible to earn money from media buying as it was 10 years ago.
The changes to the industry are related to many things. For one, social media marketing has become more present. The market has become more saturated. Affiliate products are now frequently promoted by bloggers or influencers via blog posts, social media channels, and email marketing.
But it doesn’t mean that good old ad exchange platforms are in decline. It might not be as easy to start now as it was a long time ago. There are a lot of beginners who try running an affiliate marketing business but get discouraged before it has a chance to take off. Those who prevail, however, can still achieve triple-digit weekly profits.
Affiliate marketing techniques for beginners
Before we hit you with the big guns, we want to make sure that you know the basics. We could assume that you are an intermediate affiliate who already has their own perfected affiliate marketing strategy. But just in case you are not, it’s best to first check the list of beginner tips so as not to jump ahead.
As a beginner affiliate marketer, you should be able to earn money within the first couple of months. If the lengthy period for seeing your first profits surprises you, you might want to check the below affiliate marketing tips that every beginner should know and follow:
✔ Avoid shiny object syndrome.
Beginner affiliate marketers have a tendency to switch between networks, offers, niches, and tools to pursue new ideas or recommendations. What ends up happening is that they get into many different niches but don’t stick with them for long enough to start making a profit. It takes time to develop a personal affiliate marketing strategy. But if you do your research beforehand and stick to one thing instead of trying many, you have a much better chance of mastering a niche and becoming a successful affiliate.
✔ Choose offers with low affiliate commission rates.
Unless you have a big budget to burn through, you need to keep in mind that promoting high payout offers takes a much larger budget to generate a passive income. Conversion rates for high payout offers are generally low and the time and effort it takes to make these offers work might be too much for a newbie.
✔ Promote a product that appeals to a broad audience.
Niche products require a well-optimized audience to score conversions. Starting with something general like electronics sweepstakes, will make the learning process much easier. If you promote products that appeal to any audience regardless of age, gender, economic status, or GEO you will score the most affiliate commissions.
✔ Use affiliate marketing tools.
Starting with an affiliate tracker, to a lander builder, spy tool, to tools that can help with hosting, keyword research, and even the smallest task. You only need a traffic source and an affiliate program to get started but the deeper you dive into making money with affiliate marketing, the more money you’ll need to invest.
✔ Use all the help you can get.
Your affiliate marketing income stream is a direct result of your marketing efforts. However, as a beginner affiliate marketer it’s likely you will make some mistakes. That’s perfectly alright – no better way to learn than by correcting your own mistakes. Nonetheless, the affiliate marketing industry is full of helpful resources, be it traffic source support teams, community forums, or YouTube tutorials. Use everything you can to save as much money as possible.
✔ Test, test, test!
Last but not least, the most common reason for quitting affiliate marketing by beginners is not seeing satisfactory results right from the start. Affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick scheme. If you’re hoping for immediate results, this might not be the best work-from-home business idea you can have.
Affiliate marketing is a lot like doing jigsaw puzzles. You need to put many pieces together and you need to make sure they’re compatible. Whatever your affiliate strategy is, in the end, you need to find and combine the perfect offer with an engaging lander, decent conversion rate, ideal audience, and a saleable affiliate product.
The only way to arrive at a perfect money-making combination is by persistent testing.
Advanced affiliate marketing strategies
If you’re here for some advanced affiliate marketing strategies then this section is for you. Making money through media buying can be a side hustle but it can also be a legitimate business.
Either way, if you want to take your affiliate efforts to the next level, you should familiarize yourself with advanced affiliate marketing tips and tricks used by affiliate marketers who make consistent steady profits. Without further ado, here are the 7 steps you need to take to become an affiliate marketing pro.
1. Remember about the Pareto Principle
If you’re not familiar with this term yet, you might find it surprisingly useful in many areas of life. The Pareto principle states that:
for many outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes.
Although it’s widely known in economics, it has many applications in computing, sports, and occupational health and safety. How to apply this principle in affiliate marketing, you may ask? Once you gain some affiliate experience, the Pareto principle should be taken into consideration in every possible aspect of your business.
To translate the principle into affiliate marketing terms, in the simplest way – 80% of your earnings will come from 20% of your campaigns. You can swap campaigns here for anything really sources, landers, offers. Of course, these numbers might vary depending on external factors but the key takeaway stays the same.
For example, if you join 10 affiliate programs and run 10 separate campaigns, only 2 of them will become profitable and earn money. Other affiliate products will flop, or merely breakeven before clearly losing their potential.
Remembering about this affiliate marketing strategy lets you prepare and adjust your expectations.
It really doesn’t matter what kind of affiliate marketing you do, email marketing, social media marketing, adding affiliate links to blog posts, or advertising via your own website, the Pareto Principle stays true.
2. Optimize every campaign before quitting
While you’ll learn this tip in the basic affiliate marketing training, it’s also the number one affiliate marketing strategy you should stick to as an intermediate level media buyer. A lot of people tend to stick to budget-saving strategies even when their businesses grow and that’s just not ideal.
Beginner affiliate marketers often try to make money online with as little investment as possible. Therefore, their methods of testing campaigns are focused on damage control – doing quick tests with minimum optimization and sticking to the most promising affiliate products.
The advanced affiliate marketing strategies include a more thorough testing phase. Especially with products with higher affiliate commissions, it’s best to take time to optimize the campaign before quitting.
Considering the aforementioned 80/20 principle, you always need to be on the lookout for those offers that belong to the 20% that will drive affiliate sales and propel your business forward. Making passive income is not easy specifically due to 80% of unavoidably failed efforts. If you want to advance your affiliate strategy, you need to test and optimize to really make sure to fish out those rare gems of money-making campaigns.
Visit any community with affiliate marketing pros hanging about and they will tell you one thing for sure. Learning the basics of coding can be extremely beneficial to your affiliate business.
While you don’t need a technical background to be successful in affiliate marketing, affiliates who have knowledge and experience in coding, have a big advantage over others. How can technical knowledge benefit you as an affiliate marketer?
- Choosing a self-hosted tracker not only saves you money but gives you full control over your data which can be especially valuable for experienced marketers who would otherwise have to choose an expensive, business-oriented tracking solution.
- If you are planning to create your own landing pages, which is a must in any serious affiliate marketing business, you will need to host these pages. Although hosting does not require in-depth technical knowledge, the more you know the quicker you can troubleshoot to make sure your affiliate links are always up and running.
- Even though affiliate marketing tools are so functional you can easily score affiliate sales using a drag and drop lander builder, making landers yourself is an even better option. Not only can it save you the money you’d spent on tool subscriptions but you’d also have the possibility to test or implement novel ideas. Sure you can hire somebody on Fiverr, but having full control over the quality of your lander can take your conversion rates to the next level.
- Lastly, people who can code have endless possibilities for creating their own tracking and optimization tools. The most advanced strategies you can think of are usually based on someone’s ability to think creatively and build their own set-up for everything. It’s worth investing in basic coding courses considering the benefits of having a wholly personalized auto-optimization software.
Adding a simple back button script to your landing page is a good way to make extra money. This is not a basic setup so if you want to make money with back buttons you need to know the basics.
How does a back button work?
You need to add a script to your landing page that will “take over” the back button of the browser window and instead of returning a user to the page they previously visited, it will take them wherever you want. Of course, you can redirect the user to a chosen website, straight to the offer, to a completely different affiliate product, or yet another landing page for the same offer. The choice is up to you.
It’s highly recommended to track the back button results separately from your main campaign in the tracker. Using this extra script is bound to bring you additional profit from your backup affiliate links, extra email sign-ups, or blog visits.
5. Collect & make money from push subscriptions
A solution similar to the back button is adding yet another script – a push subscription collection script. The purpose of collecting subscribers is to either use them for your own purpose as an additional audience for your offers, or, alternatively, you can sell them to one of the many available affiliate traffic sources that specialize in monetizing your push inventory, e.g. Monetizer.
How does push subscription collection work?
All you need to do is to add a script to your landing page that will trigger a pop-up on top of it. The pop-up will ask the visitor if they want to receive push notifications. If they click yes, they will be added to your collection of subscribers. If you choose to sell your subscriber list to a network they will pay you a percentage of the CPC they make when these subscribers click on their ads.
Despite the high churn rate, the remaining subscribers often stay active for months bringing you additional weekly profits.
6. Use low-payout offers to test traffic
Beginner affiliate marketing tips will always advise you to stick to low-payout offers because of how much easier it is to learn with them. They are perfect to get started as they convert easily and you don’t need a huge budget to test and optimize a chunk of traffic to find the right audience.
However, expert affiliate marketers who have been in the business for a while will naturally move on to higher payout offers. If you’re able to put in more revenue you no longer need to press for that high ROI. It’s easier and more efficient to achieve a 20% ROI with a 3k revenue than a 120% ROI with a $100 revenue.
Nonetheless, testing and collecting data costs money and it’s not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars testing a high payout offer when you could use a low payout offer that is very similar. Of course, more expensive traffic is usually needed for selling more expensive products, however, with the currently available volumes of traffic, a large part of your general audience will not even be interested in that kind of niche.
So, the best way to assess a chunk of traffic is by running an offer with low commission rates and higher conversion rates. Next, you can whitelist and blacklist placements with the most clearly positive and negative performance. Lastly, you can use the audience data on a similar affiliate offer with a higher payout. Don’t forget to up the bids though, as earning a higher commission does usually mean bidding on more expensive placements.
7. Avoid cash flow issues
The last tip that is the key to the success of your affiliate marketing business is avoiding cash flow issues at all costs. If you’re a blogger who makes money by adding a suitable affiliate link to a blog post or if your income stream comes from email lists you don’t need to worry about being able to afford traffic.
However, if you’re using the traditional method of media buying, you need to make sure your cash flow is up to par at all times. Because when you do find an affiliate offer that converts well you would not want to stop sending traffic to it simply because you’ve run out of money.
In affiliate marketing, you profit from opportunities like that, and if you don’t have the financial means to continuously send traffic to your lucrative products you might lose a significant amount of money. There are various ways of making sure you can keep the cash flowing.
- You can mitigate top-up fees by preparing in advance and sending a larger wire transfer to your tried and tested traffic sources.
- You can open separate bank accounts for different currencies to save on additional exchange fees.
- You can build trust with your affiliate program/network representative to negotiate payment terms.
- You can hunt for bonuses, extra credits, and promotions in the community.
- You can take part in community competitions and win prizes in credits or cash.
There are many ways in which you can increase your expertise in affiliate marketing. You can always get the most from testing and researching ideas by yourself. However, the help of expert sources can be invaluable in achieving or doubling your success.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to support teams, network resources, and communities. Listening to professionals talk about their strategies can be eye-opening just as reading about advanced tips can easily lead you in the direction of extra income.
Have you been missing out on the extra passive profits because you didn’t know you should use a back button? Hopefully, that’s changed now.