Making money with an affiliate website requires work, but once you nail it, you can achieve steady, passive income. If you’re able to make a consistent effort, provide thoughtful and informative content to your readers, and select the right affiliates, you’ll learn how to make your affiliate website successful.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the practice of selling a recommended product or service via your own channels, such as your website and social media platforms. You can do this by signing up for an affiliate network or by contracting directly with any company that offers an affiliate program.
Amazon is a primary example of a popular affiliate. Affiliates discuss and provide special, individualized links to Amazon products and receive a portion of the sales. Have you ever seen an Amazon product linked to in the middle of an article? This is why. For example:
Let’s take a look at the key habits of a successful affiliate website owner.
Bring (and Build) Your Own Audience
If you’re already a known personality in a specific industry, niche, or as a blogger in general, you can carefully bring your own audience to your site (or monetize your existing web property with affiliate blogging and links). Invite people to visit your site by providing useful information, interviews, and new takes on existing ideas. I like to link my IG account so people can see I am a real person that demonstrates success in this industry and not a bot pumping out reviews.
Being an affiliate is partially about numbers: the more eyes on your pages, the higher chance of conversion. However, they have to be the right eyes—people interested in the subject matter of your site.
Invite your existing audience using your social media sites (cross-promote) and your existing email list.
While most affiliate networks like Commission Junction require you to have an existing web property with tons of traffic, there’s value in a niche audience, too, especially when commission percentages run high. It all depends on what you’re selling and how.
Choose the Right Affiliate(s)
Whether you have an existing web property or want to build something new, it’s important to choose a product, service, or affiliate marketing network that meets the following criteria:
- You feel ethically sound recommending it; the product or service you’re recommending is something you actually use and refer.
- The affiliate network or brand is established and the payment terms to affiliates are clear.
- There is a means to track your progress and receive estimates for payout.
- You sign a clear contract with the brand or network.
You should also consider the type of affiliate payout you get. You’ll find the following models:
- Pay per click: This model will pay you for every visitor you send to the site (often, the visitor will have to spend a certain amount of time on the site to qualify). This option may work best if you have a huge amount of traffic on your site.
- Pay per conversion: In this type of affiliate relationship, you get paid when your visitors purchase a product or service after you refer them. In this arrangement, you’ll get a specific referral link or a code you can tell your visitors to enter so you get credit. This type of affiliate relationship can benefit you regardless of traffic size, especially if your niche is particularly engaged on your site. The Builderall platform has a great payout system.
- Pay per qualified lead: To get paid for this type of affiliate relationship, your visitor must complete a specific action (such as completing a form or opting in to an email list) before you receive credit for the lead.
Here are some affiliate marketing facts to consider:
- The five most popular affiliate marketing categories are: fashion, sports, outdoors, health and beauty, and travel.
- At least half of all affiliate traffic comes from a mobile device. In addition to being a major ranking factor for inbound traffic, mobile usability is necessary for you to make affiliate sales.
- Up to 30 percent of all online sales happen via affiliate programs.
- Affiliate marketing earned over $700 million last year, and is paced to grow at least ten percent per year.
Inbound Marketing is Affiliate Magic
It’s also the way to attract readers and viewers with genuine interest in your niche or article—in which you can advertise affiliate products and services. Inbound marketing is all about providing useful and valuable content—content that also ranks on Google.
To make the most of your inbound marketing content, you should research what search terms and phrases individuals might use to find your area of expertise (and your affiliate products). For example, you might have searched “how to make your affiliate website successful” (or something similar) to find this post.
Find Your Keywords
You’ll want to find high-value, low competition keywords using tools like Moz or SEMrush. Those are keywords (or phrases) that would cost a lot if you chose to purchase an ad with them, but relative to that, there aren’t many other websites competing for those keywords. It’s like finding an opportunity in a vast sea of keywords, and you get to capitalize on it.
Once you have your keywords, it’s time to create some content around them. You can check out Quora or use AnswerThePublic to see what people are already asking about your keywords of choice.
Create a Content Plan
Once you have those keywords, you’ll want to steadily produce content to dominate them. Set a realistic goal for yourself, as success and audience growth depends upon your ability to steadily produce and update your content. Make sure you’re careful to recommend your affiliate product within your content, in the call to action, or on a static sidebar on your site—and always recapture viewers by inviting them to follow you on social media and subscribe to your email list.
Produce Meaningful Content
Each bit of content you create for your affiliate website should offer value, actionable advice, or unique insight to your viewers. This keeps them on your page longer, encourages them to trust you (and your affiliate recommendations), and helps you rank better on Google. Ultimately, Google wants you to please the reader, provide a mobile-friendly experience, act ethically, and follow the rules of the road.
Don’t limit yourself to blog posts: your affiliate actions can take place on social media and in podcasts and videos (which you can also embed on your website). Remember, you must disclose your material connection with any products you discuss if you make money off of them.
Follow Best SEO Practices
Best search engine optimization practices are extensive, but they can help you rank and get your affiliate-promoting content seen. Jaaxy can help with this. Some quick tips:
- For every affiliate link you include, provide three relevant links to authoritative sites.
- Every 250 words, break up the text with an informative embedded video or picture. If you’re talking about a product, this is a great way to demonstrate it visually.
- Use appropriate headers and subheaders.
- Don’t keyword stuff; use natural language and keyword inclusion.
- Use Yoast SEO to ensure optimal keyword use on your WordPress-based website.
Jaaxy even has a brainstorming tab for idea creation with trending topics.
Over time, your efforts should pay off. Just be sure to maintain communication with your affiliate network, diligently track your progress, and correct any penalties new Google algorithms may introduce. Your audience trust should increase over time, along with pageviews.
I hope this helps you on your journey to an online business! Feel free to comment if you have any questions or tips of your own.