4 Ways Affiliate Marketers Can Use Long-Tail Keywords Effectively

Search engine rankings are important to affiliate marketers – and for good reason! Not only do high rankings give you more visibility, but they also provide you with industry authority. Unfortunately, there’s a powerful Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technique which many online business owners haven’t heard of, and that’s long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords provide you with a unique opportunity to target your ideal audience while simultaneously boosting your search page rankings. This makes them an ideal addition to your business’s SEO strategy.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to long-tail keywords. You’ll learn why they’re essential for boosting your site’s search engine rankings, as well as four ways to use long-tail keywords more effectively. Let’s get started!

An Introduction to Long-Tail Keywords

A long-tail keyword typically ranges in length from two to five words, and it provides content marketers with a more specific way to target their audience. Instead of one word, marketers can now aim to corner the market on longer search terms.

One way in which long-tail keywords help you to rank better is to cut down on search engine results. Take, for example, this Google search for the keyword ‘paleo’:

Google search results for keyword 'paleo'

Now, take a look at a long-tail keyword search that incorporates ‘paleo’, but that also significantly narrows the scope:

long-tail keyword Google search results

With long-tail keywords, not only is it easier to rank more highly in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), but you’re also better able to target your audience.

4 Ways Affiliate Marketers Can Use Long-Tail Keywords Effectively

If you’re ready to get started using long-tail keywords, there’s a few ways you can utilize them more effectively. Let’s take a look at four ways you can optimize their usage for better results.

1. Know Your Target Audience

When you create content, you should do so with specific people in mind. This is your target audience, and it’s who you want to find you through SERPs.

If you’ve never considered your target audience, it’s time to get started. The process of finding and getting to know them is quite simple:

  1. Perform research. Take a look at competitors’ sites, as well as your own. Consider the kinds of traffic they attract, and what that traffic’s most urgent needs are.
  2. Put yourself in their shoes. In order to learn what your ideal audience is searching, you need to understand their struggles. Using audience demographics, consider what your target audience may need help with.

While long-tail keywords will improve your website’s SERP ranking, they’re also used by people to find the answers to their problems. This is a helpful consideration when choosing long-tail keywords to attract potential customers.

2. Utilize Low-Competition Keywords

It’s not enough to use keywords aimed for your audience; they also need to be low in competition and high in search volume.

Fortunately, finding low-competition keywords in your niche can be broken down into three, easy steps:

  1. Search a niche keyword you want to rank for. Let’s use ‘paleo’, as we did in the example above.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the SERP, and look for “Searches related to…”. For ‘paleo’, we see ‘paleo diet benefits’, ‘paleo diet food list’, and ‘paleo diet breakfast’. Each of these are examples of long-tail keywords.
  3. Use Google Keyword Planner to perform research. Enter the long-tail keyword of choice into the Keyword Planner. You want to focus on the Competition column, as well as Avg. monthly searches. The lower the competition and the higher the average monthly searches, the better.

Another great keyword research tool is Keywordtool.io. When you search just one keyword phrase, this tool pulls up hundreds of variations you can then further research to determine competitiveness.

3. Integrate Long-Tail Keywords Into Your Content

Your main focus should always be on quality. This can sometimes make it difficult to incorporate keywords, because many keyword integrations can come across as unnatural.

When you create content around pre-selected keywords, though, you’re better able to naturally incorporate them into your content. Here’s how:

  1. Create a compelling headline. Choose long-tail keywords that can be easily turned into compelling headlines, and use them to the fullest.
  2. Use the keyword to guide your writing. This makes it easy to naturally incorporate the keyword, instead of shoving it into any ol’ place after the content has already been created.

With long-tail keywords integrated into your website’s content, you increase your chance of ranking higher on SERPs and boosting visibility.

4. Use a Link Tracking Tool to Measure Long-Tail Keyword Results

Tracking keywords is an easy way to measure keyword success, enabling you to find out which long-tail keyword variation is more attractive to your audience.

Of course, you’ll first need to pick a link tracking tool. Affiliate Royale incorporates this feature nicely into its offerings. To use, simply purchase a plan and then download and install the plugin. To track, all you need to do is create a link based on the long-tail keyword you’ll be using.

After you have used the links, it’s time to measure their success by looking at the stats. Select Affiliate Royale > Reports from the left side of your WordPress dashboard menu.

Affiliate Royale Reports menu

You’ll find yourself looking at a stats overview, complete with clicks, uniques, and transactions. To further explore, use the tabs at the top of the Reports page – labeled Clicks, Top Referrers, and, Transactions – for a more in-depth look at the success of linked long-tail keywords.

Conclusion

Long-tail keywords can offer you a number of benefits. These include providing you with higher search engine rankings and driving traffic that’s ideal for your website’s content. This makes their use essential if you want to improve your reach as an affiliate marketer.

In the above post, we showed you four ways affiliate marketers can use long-tail keywords most effectively. To recap, they are:

  1. Know your target audience.
  2. Utilize low-competition keywords.
  3. Integrate long-tail keywords into your content.
  4. Use a link tracking tool to measure long-tail keyword results.

Do you have any questions about long-tail keywords and how to use them effectively for your affiliate business? Let us know in the comments section below!

4 Tips for Creating an Affiliate Program That Marketers Will Want to Join

Once you’ve poured everything into starting your affiliate program, it can be devastating when affiliates aren’t flocking to sign up. It’s enough to make you wave the white flag and turn your attention to something else.

However, with a few tweaks, you can create a program that will have high-performing affiliates queueing to sign up. Fortunately, many of these tweaks are simple and require very little extra work on your end – especially when you use an affiliate management tool such as Affiliate Royale.

In this post, we’ll offer four tips you can follow to create an affiliate program that marketers will want to join. You’ll learn why each one is important, and how to implement them effectively. Then, we’ll show you how Affiliate Royale can get you started!

1. Offer Competitive Commissions

Commission rates example

SugarSync offers both percentage and fixed commission rates.

“Competitive” is a subjective word. However, in the context of affiliate marketing, all it really means is to offer better rates than your competitors. For obvious reasons, competitive rates will attract high-performing affiliates. So, while you may be out a few extra dollars per transaction, you’ll likely make more in the long run.

To determine your program’s commission rates, follow these three steps:

  1. Decide between a fixed and percentage rate. Commission based on a percentage is the traditional model, but a fixed payment may work better for you.
  2. Take a look at your competitors’ rates. As commission rates vary by industry, you’ll need to look at the rates of your competitors and switch things up accordingly.
  3. Determine the maximum you can afford. Simply put, this means knowing what you can lose on each sale while still meeting your profit goals.

By putting these steps into action, setting commission rates shouldn’t cause you any trouble. Let’s now look at the marketing resources you offer.

2. Provide Extensive Marketing Resources

An example of an affiliate resources hub

Booking.com provides affiliates with helpful marketing information and a breakdown of policies.

There are plenty of resources dedicated solely to marketing advice, which is testament to its importance. By extension, a desirable program should offer your potential affiliates a wealth of resources to get up and running.

This could include guides, e-books, videos, and more. Admittedly, it may seem like a lot of extra work to set up. However, you needn’t go to extremes (although your efforts would likely pay off). For example, you could:

  1. Create a special resource page for affiliates. This one-stop source will give your affiliates instant access to practically all of the marketing resources you deem valuable.
  2. Create an email course for new affiliates. A bit more intensive than the above, this will engage your new affiliates while also giving them something to continually refer back to.

The quality of your resources will largely impact your affiliates’ efforts, so be sure to make it high quality and actionable. Let’s now turn our attention to the marketing tools you provide.

3. Equip Your Affiliates With a Variety of Marketing Tools

Google AdSense provides affiliates with a number of marketing tools, including different ad formats.

If providing resources teaches your affiliates good marketing practices, the tools you provide helps them to implement what they’ve learned. Equipping your affiliates with the relevant tools is necessary for a number of reasons. However, the most pertinent is that it gives your affiliates a head start when it comes to making sales, and promoting your products.

If you’re not sure what tools to offer, try these essentials first:

  1. A variety of ad options, such as links, banners, display ads, and more.
  2. A handful of sales copy templates, which affiliates can then use to personalize emails, landing pages, webinar scripts, and more.

Of course, there are plenty more tools available. However, they’ll provide your affiliates what they’ll need in the beginning, and you can always expand your offerings as you build your program.

4. Reward Your Top Affiliates For Their Work

commission rates

SiteGround offers tiered commissions rates. This acts as an incentive for affiliates, as they earn more based on monthly performance.

While competitive rates are nice, they won’t be the only thing to keep affiliates around. This is where rewards come in. It’s natural that affiliates will want to be recognized for their hard work in bringing new customers to your product, and a rewards system will keep your affiliates happy. It may also push them to try and achieve more each month.

There are plenty of creative ways to reward top affiliates. Here’s a look at three of the most common:

  1. Offer various commission levels, dependent on the number of sales or sales totals.
  2. Give a bonus each month to your best performing affiliate.
  3. If your budget is there, you may also provide an all-expense paid trip to an industry convention or similar event.

By showing your affiliates how much you appreciate their efforts, they’ll be more likely to stick around (and, maybe even recruit more affiliates to your program!).

How to Use Affiliate Royale to Create an Affiliate-Friendly Program

To implement these tips, you’ll need a powerful tool to make the process easier. That’s where a plugin such as Affiliate Royale comes in. It’s an all-in-one affiliate management program that offers almost all the management features you could reasonably need.

Aside from features such as stat tracking and payment integration, Affiliate Royale provides you with a number of customization and configuration options to create an affiliate-friendly program. For example, Commission Settings enables you to set percentage-based rates dependent on affiliate levels…

Affiliate Royale Commission settings

…while the Affiliate Dashboard is a great place to add a marketing resource hub and provide the tools necessary for affiliate success (including banners and link ads):

Affiliate Royale affiliate dashboard

All in all, Affiliate Royale can help to streamline the work involved when creating your affiliate marketing program, and make sure it grows from strength to strength.

Conclusion

The quality of your affiliate marketers will have a huge impact on the overall success of your affiliate program. It’s therefore vital to create a program that only attracts top-level affiliates.

In this piece, we’ve offered four tips for creating an attractive affiliate program. To recap, they are:

  1. Offer competitive commissions.
  2. Provide extensive marketing resources.
  3. Equip affiliates with a variety of marketing tools.
  4. Reward your top affiliates.

Do you have any questions about creating your own affiliate program, or how Affiliate Royale can help? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Leverage Email Marketing to Maximize Sales (And Why You Should)

Affiliate marketing is all about making the most of the strategies available to you. This enables you to maximize your reach and, as a result, your profits. However, there are plenty of sales-boosting strategies that many marketers – perhaps even you – fail to utilize.

Email marketing is one such strategy that boasts many benefits, including the building of relationships and the nurturing of sales leads. And with the right guidance, email marketing is relatively easy to implement and leverage.

In this post, we’ll first discuss email marketing and why you should consider adding it to your affiliate marketing strategy. Then, we’ll show you how to leverage email marketing to maximize sales, including using the Affiliate Royale plugin to optimize your approach. Let’s get started!

Why Email Marketing and Affiliate Marketing Go Hand in Hand

Email marketing is the process of sending email campaigns to potential customers in the hopes of convincing them to purchase your product or service.

This is a great business-building strategy for affiliates, especially considering its various benefits. For example:

  1. It builds relationships. If you can get into the inboxes of potential leads, you can build meaningful relationships based on their trust in you. Trust directly correlates to sales.
  2. It creates a ready-made list of potential sales leads. You don’t want to oversell to your subscribers, but an email list gives you access to ready-to-buy leads. How effectively? Just take a look at Bryan Harris. Even with a tiny list for each of his three launches (25, 575, and 1,200 subscribers, respectively), he still managed to make a respectable amount from his email sales campaigns.

Bryan Harris email marketing sales example

The above example wasn’t affiliate marketing specific, but as you’ll see below, the sales process is the same whether you’re selling your own product or an affiliate product.

How to Leverage Email Marketing to Maximize Affiliate Marketing Sales

With a better understanding of email marketing and its relationship to affiliate sales, it’s time to implement this strategy for yourself.

Step 1: Build an Email List

Your email list is the bread and butter of your email marketing strategy. While building this list will require some work, the reward will be worth it in the long run.

Fortunately, there are a few list-building strategies which you can apply to your affiliate site immediately. Let’s take a look at three of the simplest.

  1. Landing page. With a specific goal in mind – collecting emails from site visitors – landing pages are the easiest way to begin growing your email list immediately.
  2. Content upgrades. Think of these as extensions of your site content. These are free, but they require an email for access.
  3. Freebies. Unlike content upgrades, freebies aren’t linked directly to any content. However, they offer their own value and can be anything, including e-books, e-courses, and guides.

Now that you’ve got the subscribers, how can you better target their needs to maximize affiliate sales?

Step 2: Segment Your Email Subscribers

Since each subscriber will be at a different stage of the sales cycle, it’s vital that you target each subscriber at their level. To do this, you’ll need to understand segmentation and how to do it.

In simplest terms, segmentation is the process of breaking your email subscribers into themed groups. These groups may be based upon demographics (including gender, age, and location) or behaviors (such as previous purchases, previous site views, and link click-throughs).

So, how can you go about segmenting your subscribers to ensure you’re sending each one the best message for their stage in the cycle?

  1. Collect demographic data. Tools, like Google Analytics, enable you to collect the information you need – such as gender, location, and career – in order to better target your email subscribers.
  2. Use behavioral data. With tracked affiliate links (more on that in Step 3), you can segment users based on previous purchases, webpage visits, and even email click-throughs.

With this information, you can now focus on targeting each subscriber group specifically. This includes defining your data points, selecting your segments, and creating specialized content to send.

Step 3: Track Affiliate Links with Affiliate Royale

The Affiliate Royale plugin.

Now that you have a solid following, it’s time to use your list and the segmentation you’ve implemented above to maximize sales. You can do this by incorporating affiliate links and tracking them with the help of Affiliate Royale.

This is an important step, because it tells you two major things. First, what are your customers interested in? Does your segmentation data line up with reality? Second, how is each current link placement working?

To start tracking links, the first step is to create them. The great thing about Affiliate Royale is that each generic affiliate link is automatically converted to a unique link for each affiliate.

Now, once the links have been created and you and your affiliates have had time to use them, let’s take a look at stats. Navigate to the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard and select Affiliate Royale > Reports.

Affiliate Royale Reports menu

Here, you’ll see a stats overview. However, you can further explore stats by clicking the individual headings at the top of the Reports page. For link tracking, you’ll be most interested in Clicks, though Top Referrers and Transactions can provide some valuable data, too.

What do the stats say about your email-specific affiliate links? What about your affiliates email-specific links? With this information, you can now continue to make improvements to your strategy, and increase sales.

Conclusion

As an affiliate marketer, it’s good to utilize a variety of strategies in order to boost sales. Email marketing is one such strategy, and its use can mean great things for your business.

In the above post, we explained why you should consider email marketing and how to get started using it to maximize sales. To recap, you should:

  1. Build an email list.
  2. Segment your email subscribers.
  3. Track affiliate links with Affiliate Royale.

Do you have any questions about how to use email marketing in your affiliate business? Let us know in the comments section below!

Why You Need Affiliate Royale for Your Affiliate Marketing Program

Affiliate marketing is great way to help promote a fledgling product you’re proud of. Of course, you may already know this, but getting started could cause you a few headaches if you don’t know how to go about it.

However, with a tool such as Affiliate Royale, you’ll have practically all of the affiliate management tools you need to run a successful program. You’ll be able to keep track of your affiliates quickly and easily, directly from your WordPress dashboard.

In this post, we’ll firstly discuss the aspects that make an affiliate marketing program successful. You’ll then be introduced to the Affiliate Royale plugin – including its three main elements – and why you need them in order to create a stellar affiliate marketing program. Let’s get started!

The Aspects of a Successful Affiliate Marketing Program

While everyone defines success differently, a winning affiliate marketing program relies on two essential components. They are:

  1. A quality product.
  2. Clear and stated objectives.

Of course, we’re assuming you already have a great product you’re proud of. As for the second element, defining your goals enables you to choose the right affiliates for your program and set the correct commission rate. Your goals need to be clearly defined, such as “I want to increase sales by X% within six months”, and doing so at this stage should be a simple process. However, it’s a rabbit role you could get lost down if you lose focus.

Choosing the right affiliate management tool is also important. Firstly, the right choice enables you to stay in close contact with your affiliates, which shows professionalism and solid leadership.

Secondly, an affiliate management tool can provide you with the information you require to make informed decisions about how to optimize your affiliate marketing. You’re able to closely track affiliate stats, as well as keep an eye on your program’s goals (and how well you’re meeting them).

Why You Need Affiliate Royale for Your Affiliate Marketing Program (3 Key Elements)

Of course, we recommend Affiliate Royale for tracking your affiliates. It’s an all-in-one management tool with three key elements that make up the bulk of its value.

The Affiliate Royale plugin.

You’ll firstly need to purchase and download the plugin, then follow the simple installation instructions. You’ll then find the Affiliate Royale menu on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard. This is the plugin’s jumping off point and where you’ll begin each session.

Now, let’s get acquainted with Affiliate Royale’s three key elements, and take a look at why you need them for your affiliate marketing program.

1. You Get to Leverage a Powerful Admin Screen

The main admin screen is where you’ll configure all of your program’s settings. With the plethora of configuration options available to you, you can create a personalized program that works for you and your affiliates. To begin, navigate to Affiliate Royale > Options:

The Affiliate Royale plugin menu

Here you’ll find the bulk of the options, including your commission level settings and payment options:

Affiliate Royale Options menu

Your first step will be to add some commission levels. You can have an almost unlimited number, and adding them is as easy as navigating to Options > Commission Settings:

Affiliate Royale add commission levels

Once here, click add level and enter your commission percentage. Additionally, you can check the Recurring Commissions box if you’d like to pay affiliates each time a subscription is renewed, or leave it unchecked if you’d like affiliates to only receive a one-time payment.

Once you’re done here, you’ll want to configure your affiliate settings by navigating to the Options page, then selecting the Global Affiliate Settings drop-down. Here, you’ll find options for setting affiliate payment gateways, their registration options, and a signup agreement.

2. It Offers a Personalized Affiliate Dashboard

Next up is the Affiliate Dashboard. This enables your affiliates to track their stats from a personalized dashboard, access any links and banners you’ve created for them, and view their payment history. They can also update their profile and even change their payment options:

Affiliate dashboard affiliate stats

To configure this feature, go to Options > Dashboard Settings. You can add a personalized welcome message and even add additional navigation pages:

Affiliate Dashboard settings

These simple settings make it quick and easy to set up a functional dashboard for affiliates. What’s more, your affiliates will be able to track their progress with comprehensive stats!

3. You Can Integrate Other Tools to Maximize Your Marketing Program

Affiliate Royale offers a number of integrations to help you with your affiliate marketing program. Some require zero configuration, while others may require a bit of tinkering on your end.

Many of the popular integrations – including WooCommerce, WP eCommerce, and MemberPress – require no configuration whatsoever. For others (such as PayPal), you’ll be required to make some tweaks. Let’s take a quick look at how to integrate PayPal with Affiliate Royale.

Firstly, you’ll need an active PayPal account before following the integration instructions to the letter. Failure to do so may cause your affiliate commissions to go unrecorded. You can optionally set up Affiliate Royale to record refunds and process recurring payments. In a nutshell, you’ll need to toggle the functionality within PayPal before pasting a URL into the Notification URL field.

Once you’ve fully configured the integration, the final step will be to navigate to Options > Payment Integrations to finish the set up:

Payment Integration

There are plenty of other integrations to choose from, which only serves to enhance your affiliate marketing program.

Conclusion

Whether or not you’re experienced with creating affiliate marketing programs, a full-featured management tool is an absolute must. That’s where Affiliate Royale comes in. It offers you a number of premium features to help create you program and meet almost all of your needs.

In this post, we’ve introduced you to the three main elements offered by Affiliate Royale and why you need them for your program. Let’s recap them quickly:

  1. A powerful admin panel. Keep track of all aspects of your business including transactions, payments, and affiliate stats.
  2. A personalized affiliate dashboard. Enable affiliates to keep an eye on their affiliate stats and manage their accounts.
  3. Popular tool integrations. Seamlessly integrate your affiliate marketing program with a number of helpful third-party services.

Do you have any questions about getting started with Affiliate Royale, or how to best utilize its features? Let us know in the comments section below!

4 Key Tips for Affiliate Marketing Beginners

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 effortlessly build a strong foundation your affiliate marketing 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 Affiliate Royale and how it can help you achieve your marketing goals.

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:

  1. Narrow down niche ideas by researching niche marketing keywords. Start with a large list of ideas, and whittle it down as you go along.
  2. Use Google to compare the competitiveness of chosen keywords. The less competitive the chosen keywords, the easier it will be for you to turn a profit.
  3. 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 Your Audience

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 an important concept in affiliate marketing.

There are a few ways you can go about getting to know your audience:

  1. Conduct user surveys. Approaching your audience directly is the best way to learn more about them.
  2. Use Google Analytics. This will help you narrow down your target audience’s demographics and interests, enabling you to create relevant content.
  3. Partake in social listening. On social media you can monitor competition, track down customer ‘pain points’, and even identify business-building opportunities.
  4. Look to your competitors. What are your competitors doing to engage their target audience (which is 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. 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 the work in to find quality products. For starters, you can:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. Track outbound links. Find out which of your affiliate links are performing best, and optimize those that aren’t for better click-through rates.
  2. 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.

Fortunately, there’s a plugin available that’s equipped to handle the above steps, and more.

The Affiliate Royale home page.

Affiliate Royale is an affiliate management plugin that enables you to leverage the information you gather to help improve your affiliate marketing numbers. There are myriad features that will help you to manage your affiliate marketing, starting with the Reports menu:

Affiliate Royale Reports menu

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.

Conclusion

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 a beginning affiliate marketer. To recap, we recommend you:

  1. Choose a niche.
  2. Know your audience.
  3. Stick with products you trust.
  4. Track your results using a tool such as Affiliate Royale.

Are there any affiliate marketing tips for beginners that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments section below!

The 6 Most Common Mistakes New Affiliate Marketers Need to Avoid

The ins-and-outs of affiliate marketing can be overwhelming, especially for ‘newbies’. It can be easy to get lost with aspects such as deciding on a profitable niche or choosing a suitable affiliate program, and at the beginning, you’re guaranteed to put a foot wrong somewhere.

However, some of these mistakes can prove to be more detrimental than others. The ones that can impact you the most are the ones to avoid from the get-go – although you may have already found yourself falling victim to some of the more common ones.

Today, we’ll reveal the six most common mistakes new affiliate marketers need to avoid if they want to grow a successful business. You’ll learn why each mistake can be harmful, and how you can be sure to avoid and overcome each one. By the end, you’ll have a stronger framework on which to build your affiliate marketing business.

Let’s get started!

1. Signing Up for Too Many Affiliate Programs

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with multiple streams of income, but signing up for too many affiliate programs can be counterproductive to success.

In a nutshell, potential customers will be able to tell how well you know your product from reading your content. It stands to reason that the more products you promote, the less you know about each one. If customers begin to doubt your authority, this could potentially impact click-throughs and sales.

Fortunately, this mistake is easy to avoid. In the beginning, choose one product to promote. Spend all of your time learning about the product, testing it out yourself, and creating awesome content that promotes its use. Once you’ve begun to see the benefits of this, only then should you add an additional program or two to your plate.

2. Failing to Test and Compare Products and Tools

Following on from our last point, promoting a product you’ve never tested yourself can also impact your credibility and sales, despite your best intentions.

Promoting a product you’ve personally tested and compared enables you to create more authoritative content, and causes you to come off as more knowledgeable to your customers. As a product user yourself, you’ll be able to answer all questions truthfully and present all the facts. This is essential to building trust with your customers.

That being said, there are times when you’ll need to act quickly in order to beat your competition to the punch. Only experience can help you in these situations. However, for the beginner affiliate marketer, purchasing and testing your chosen product out will be more beneficial in the long run.

3. Working Within an Uninteresting Niche (To You)

In the beginning, picking a profitable niche may seem the most appealing option – and it often is. However, espousing the qualities of a niche you find bland or boring will make the work seem a slog.

It almost goes without saying that choosing a niche you’re interested in will benefit both you and your customers. Your passion will shine through your content and communications, and overall, you’ll be happy to spend more time working on your business.

Unfortunately, guides for choosing a profitable niche are more prevalent than how to choose an interesting niche. For example:

However, this means you’ll need to rely on your own taste to choose an interesting niche to you. Of course, profitability should always be a consideration, but ultimately you’ll benefit more from a niche that’s fun to work with, than simply plumping for a high-earning one.

4. Not Collecting Customer Emails From the Start

A strong email marketing strategy is a must for affiliate marketers. It enables you to build a genuine relationship with your readers, and it also provides you with a ready-made list of potential leads. Putting this aspect off until you’re already up and running is a definite mistake.

While collecting customer emails can seem difficult at first, leading many to simply sidestep that aspect and focus on other areas, it doesn’t have to be!

A tried and trusted technique is to implement email opt-ins on your site, along with the promise of something valuable – such as a weekly newsletter, a free e-book, or report to the reader:

Of course, opt-ins aren’t the only way to collect email addresses, and in regard to this at least, the only roadblock is your creativity!

5. Choosing Quantity of Content Over Quality

Many new marketers begin to churn out content from the start, with their only concern being the quantity of posts in their archive. However, the focus should really be on quality. One or two in-depth and valuable posts per month that provide readers with all of the information they need to make a purchasing decision will ultimately trump a short article every day that doesn’t do the product you’re covering justice.

Fortunately, there is much you can do to ensure quality content. For example, always begin brainstorming post ideas by focusing on value with questions such as, What value will this post provide to my readers?

In terms of article creation, begin with an outline to give yourself focus. It will help you to find and eradicate the weak points in your work. Finally, make sure you’re also comparing yourself to your competitors – ensuring your content is bigger and better than theirs practically guarantees high-quality content.

6. Not Tracking and Managing Your Links

Link tracking is essential for building a successful affiliate business, and failing to do so can lead to less revenue. It can also make it difficult to know whether your marketing strategies are working or not.

While Pretty Link Pro can help you with link redirection and shortening, Affiliate Royale is an affiliate management plugin that can help you to take control of your affiliate marketing program:

The user-friendly dashboard enables you to see how many clicks your affiliates are driving, the sales they’re making, and how much to pay them at the end of each month.

Combined with the functionality of Pretty Link Pro, you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips to ensure you can keep on top of your affiliate marketing.

Conclusion

The development of an affiliate marketing business will take considerable work, patience, and perseverance. From time to time, you may also find yourself questioning your strategies and choices.

However, with the knowledge we’ve provided, you can now avoid the most detrimental mistakes and build a strong, successful business. To recap, the six most common mistakes made by new affiliate marketers are:

  1. Signing up for too many affiliate programs.
  2. Failing to test and compare products and tools.
  3. Working within an uninteresting niche.
  4. Not collecting customer emails from the start.
  5. Choosing quantity of content over quality.
  6. Not tracking and managing links.

Do you have any mistakes new affiliate marketers need to avoid? Let us know in the comments below!

Link Shortening: Your Secret Weapon in Social Media Marketing

Ever since their creation in the 90s, Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) have earned their place as one of the core components of the modern web. However, just as websites have grown in complexity, so have their URLs. These days, any site can have dozens of directories and subdomains, which can make their URLs difficult to handle.

That’s where link shortening services come in. These tools enable you to tame unwieldy URLs by ‘compressing’ them to more manageable lengths. Your original URLs won’t disappear, but you’ll have access to easier-to-use alternatives.

In this article, we’ll go into more detail regarding the importance of link shorteners, their benefits, and some of the best services available out there. Let’s jump right in!

The Importance of Link Shortening

In some cases, URLs can be long, difficult to remember, and a pain to type out. Despite what their name implies, link shorteners tackle this issue by generating new URLs (rather than shortening the originals) and redirecting them towards the addresses you want.

In short, your original URL isn’t affected in any way and you get to enjoy a couple of perks for your trouble. Let’s take a look at those perks now.

How Link Shortening Makes URLs More Manageable

Long URLs are difficult to read and to share via social media. Twitter, for example, employs its own link shortening tool to avoid including unwieldy URLs and keep its content tidy and readable.

However, the benefits of link shortening don’t apply only to social media. For example, if you’re writing an email campaign, some readers may be dissuaded from clicking on your links or sharing them if they seem too long.

How Link Shortening Tracks and Aggregates Data

Aside from making links more manageable, URL shortening offers an additional key benefit. A lot of modern link shortening services provide you with some form of analytics, mostly focusing on click-through rates. If your goal is for more people to click on your links (as it should be), this information will tell you exactly how well you’re doing.


These days, many link shortening services also include support for Urchin Tracking Modules (UTM). This technology enables you to track links across specific campaigns and platforms such as Google+ and Facebook, among others.

5 Popular Link Shortening Solutions

There are quite a number of popular link shorteners to choose from these days. Let’s take a closer look at five of the best services available.

1. Bitly

Bitly enables its users to shorten and brand their links, which should aid you in your social media marketing endeavors. The tool also tracks individual link performance and campaign analytics.

Furthermore, the service includes a feature called ‘mobile deep links’. These types of URLs can recognize from which type of device users are clicking on them, and redirect them (if necessary) to either your mobile website or app (if you have one).

 

2. Google URL Shortener


The Google URL Shortener – also known as goo.gl – enables you to make your links more manageable and track their performance. As you might expect from a Google service, their link shortener is easy to use, yet robust.

Furthermore, if you’re an end-user, you’ll appreciate the fact that this service warns you beforehand if it suspects one of its links is being used to mask malware.

 

3. Shorte.st

Aside from the benefits you’ve come to expect, such as conveniently short URLs and link analytics, Shorte.st also provides its users with a mass shortening tool. This feature enables you to shrink as many as 20 URLs at a time, which is fantastic for social media (or affiliate) marketers handling several accounts at once.

Shorte.st also features a high-paying referral program, which might just generate some additional revenue for you while you go about marketing your content.

 

4. Ow.ly

Ow.ly is a link shortener born from the Hootsuite social media management tool, which means both services work particularly well together.

Much like our first pick for this list, this link shortener offers branded URLs and access to analytics. However, it also comes with some unique functionality, such as exportable PDF and CSV reports and custom URL parameters for tracking Omniture and Google Analytics campaigns.

 

5. Pretty Link Pro

Last but not least, we have Pretty Link Pro. This a WordPress plugin that offers branded URLs as well as automatic link shortening for all your pages and posts.

Additionally, the plugin can handle automatic keyword replacement and link cloaking, which makes it an excellent addition to your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) toolbelt.

 

Conclusion

Just like the websites they lead to, it’s only natural that URLs should evolve over time. While keeping your links lean and manageable is an excellent start, it isn’t the only benefit to URL shortening. In fact, by picking the right tool, you may even be able to boost your online marketing efforts, thanks to the power of analytics.

If you’re not sure which link shortening tool offers the best fit for you, here’s what you need to know about our picks:

  • Bitly: A fantastic tool for branding your URLs and mobile marketing.
  • Shorte.st: Great if you need to shorten several links at once.
  • Ow.ly: A good option for social media marketers.

 

Do you have a favorite link shortening service? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

4 Ways to Make Your Affiliate Marketing Content Highly Readable

If affiliate marketing were easy, not only would everyone be doing it, they would all be swimming in piles of cash like Scrooge McDuck. However, it isn’t easy to succeed in the world of affiliate marketing, and quite often the biggest challenges lie within your content.

In reality, there’s no mystical black art to writing compelling affiliate marketing copy – just a few simple tricks to get ahead of your competition. They are tried and trusted elements of easy to read content, and will stand you in good stead regardless of their application.

In this post, we’ll reveal four ways you can make your affiliate marketing content highly readable, and also show what Pretty Link Pro can do to help along the way. Let’s get started!

1. Optimize Your Headlines

Headlines are one of the most important aspects of affiliate marketing. Optimizing them simply means making them captivating enough to ensure readers click through to the article in question.

Much like any other form of writing, a good headline compels readers to click, can potentially help your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and can even increase traffic. It all stands to supercharge both the number of people putting eyes on your content and your affiliate revenue.

While it may seem a dark art, writing a good headline follows some basic principles. Essentially, use numbers or ‘trigger words’ (such as “why” or “how”), interesting adjectives, and speak to the reader by offering something valuable. Even though we say so ourselves, the headline for this article is right on the money!

Before you release your new headline to the world, make sure you run it through a tool such as CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer:

This enables you to tweak your headline to perfection, by taking the advice given to improve its grading. Once you’re finished, you’ll have a powerful headline to help make your content highly readable.

2. Structure Your Copy

The structure of your piece has much to do with how readable your final content is. What we’re saying here is that your piece needs a logical flow and order, with clearly defined sections.

A well-structured piece will enable readers to assimilate more of your content quickly, but as with your headlines, there’s also an SEO benefit to be had. In addition, although you’d ideally like all of your visitors to read every single word, many won’t. A good structure enables the ‘skimmers’ to get just as much out of your content as the rest – which could potentially increase your affiliate revenue.

To create a killer content structure, you’ll mainly want to make sure your subheadings are clear and direct, and that paragraphs are short – no more than five lines is a good rule of thumb.

Within the content itself, look at focusing on your product’s benefits to the reader, rather than the features it offers. Scannable elements are also important – these are things such as images and bulleted lists. They help to break the content up and increase readability.

Finally, structures such as the Four “P” approach are trusted ways to engage readers, and others such as the inverted pyramid and the AIDA formula are just as simple to implement.

3. Write Tight and Concise Copy

Once your headline and structure are set, you’ll need to start crafting your copy. Writing tight and concise copy means exactly the same as it does for other forms of content. It relies on using short sentences, free of waffle, that speak directly to the reader.

As with the right structure, concise copy helps keep readers interested in your content, and it also helps skimmers process the gist of your piece. Of course, any reader who can take in your writing without fatigue will be more inclined to click the various affiliate links throughout, so it makes sense to optimize your copy correctly.

Given that the majority (if not all) of your writing will be read online, a good start for keeping your copy lean and mean is to look into writing for the web. It’s an extension of what we covered during the Structure Your Copy section, but also includes elements such as front loading, and using pronouns (i.e. “we” and “you”) correctly. Of course, having a suitable narrative structure is just as important as your concision efforts.

4. Keep Your Affiliate Links Short

Finally, we come onto your actual affiliate links. While choosing the right affiliate offer is an art form in itself, keeping your links short is just as crucial for maximizing your revenue. There are a number of reasons long affiliate links can cause you problems:

 

  1. Visitors could see long URLs as ‘spammy’, or distrust the resulting page.
  2. You could mistype the URL, giving you a broken link and frustrating your visitors.
  3. Because of the two previous reasons, your click-through rate could be adversely affected.

 

A plugin such as Pretty Link Pro can save you both time and hassle in creating your affiliate links. From the easy to use dashboard, you can set up links with a clean, ‘pretty’ URL, manage their redirection, and also designate them as nofollow links:

Of course, having short, pretty affiliate links is nothing without a well-maintained affiliate program, and a plugin such as Affiliate Royale can help get the job done:

This plugin can help launch your affiliate program in the right way, and helps you monitor your affiliate links, sales, and payments.

Conclusion

Much like any seemingly dark art, writing captivating copy to increase your affiliate marketing revenue can seem completely out of reach. For some, it could even mean shelling out more of your hard-earned cash to try to improve the situation. However, with a little thought, your wallet can stay where it is.

In this post, we’ve touched upon four ways you can create affiliate marketing content that compels readers to click. Let’s take a look:

 

  1. Optimize your headlines.
  2. Structure your copy.
  3. Write tight and concise content.
  4. Keep your affiliate links short.

 

Do you have any tips for making your affiliate marketing highly readable? Share with us in the comments section below!

Affiliate Marketing: Information Products vs. Physical Products

One of the great things about affiliate marketing is that you have myriad options when it comes to choosing what you’re going to promote and sell. However, the sheer number of products to choose from can be a little intimidating. And even before you decide on what specific product(s) to recommend, there are bigger considerations to take into account. You could choose to concentrate on information products, (such as online courses), or you could stick to selling physical products.

Both approaches have their pros and cons – the key is for you to figure out which is best for you. Knowing what’s involved in the selling of information products versus physical products will enable you to choose the right option, and help you avoid unnecessary problems along your journey to success.

In order to make the decision process a little easier, in this article we’ve compared both options, exploring the pros and cons of each. By the time you’re done reading, you will be in a much better position to make the right decision for you. Let’s start with information products.

Affiliate Marketing with Information Products

Information products include e-books, online courses, and audio or video material. They typically help people solve problems, or teach them how to do something.

For example, consider the information product below, which promises to teach you Chinese:

In order to earn an income from marketing information products, you need to find a niche, and build trust with an audience. You’ll need to convince buyers that investing in your product will solve a problem for them, and that they will get good value for money.

The Pros

The Cons

  • It’s easier to refund a digital product, since there’s no shipping involved. This means taking the risk that someone will download the product, and claim a refund shortly afterward, effectively taking advantage to get a free product.
  • Some digital product vendors are unreliable, and may even remove their products. You need to do some homework on the available options, and find a trustworthy partner.
  • Digital products can have lower conversion rates than physical products.

Some of the most popular digital marketplaces for information products are ClickBank, Tradebit, and JVZoo.

Affiliate Marketing with Physical Products

Physical products, of course, are tangible things like clothes, sporting gear, or weight loss pills.

When it comes to promoting physical products, Amazon is the biggest affiliate partner out there.

As with information products, you’ll need to find a lucrative niche and build web traffic in order to succeed. You could opt for high value items, or cast your net wider and sell a bigger variety of lower cost items.

The Pros

  • Tangible items can be easier to sell, since people can see what they’re getting, and if you’re selling a well-known brand, it’s already a trusted name.
  • Refunds tend to be less frequent because of the hassle involved with shipping something back.

The Cons

  • As a general rule, decent money can only be made on high-ticket physical products, which can be tough to sell.
  • Commission is usually lower than on information products (between 4–15%).

There are a number of ways to find the perfect products to market, including Google’s product search, and Amazon’s best-seller lists.

Information Products and Physical Products: Which Is Right for You?

Your success as an affiliate marketer depends on choosing the right things to promote. Once you’ve found your niche, the next step is to understand what your potential customers really want and need.

Let’s say you’re a musician, and this led you to investigate ways to make money that involve your passion. You could find affiliate partners that sell instruments, or you could go in search of an information product that helps your audience to learn how to read sheet music in double-quick time.

In the end, it’s really down to your goals. And the reality is that you don’t necessarily need to choose between either information products or physical products – there’s nothing stopping you from marketing both. The important thing is that you carefully consider your options and move forward on an informed basis.

Conclusion

When it comes to affiliate marketing and deciding whether to choose between information products or physical products, there isn’t necessarily a clear answer. Much of your success may ultimately come down to trial and error, and some product types will fit your business far better than others. That’s the reality of the situation.

However, informing yourself on the pros and cons of information products versus physical products before you move forwards puts you in a far better position to succeed. With that in mind, let’s quickly recap the relative merits of each product type:

  • Information products often earn higher commissions, but tend to convert less readily than tangible products.
  • Physical products can be easier to sell and involve fewer refunds, but your percentage commission can be lower.

Out of information products and physical products, which option would you say is better and why? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Guidelines for Effective Affiliate Marketing with Product Reviews

reviews

Online reviews influence people. One study shows that 67.7% of buyers will read reviews about the products they intend to buy before committing to a decision, and that trend is only likely to continue. Clearly there’s a need for reviews, and that means there’s also an opportunity for affiliate marketers.

Product reviews are useful to consumers because they offer valuable advice, and effectively compare the pros and cons of similar products (or at least, they should!). They’re useful to businesses because they offer an avenue for their products to become better known, and also act as a form of social proof.

Best of all, product reviews can be highly profitable for you as an affiliate marketer. They provide a way to secure a steady stream of income, and by showcasing products or services in your reviews, you can steadily drive traffic through your affiliate program.

With the above in mind, this post reveals three guidelines for supercharging your affiliate marketing with product reviews that people will both love and trust.

1. Become an Expert in Your Niche

An expert is someone who sets himself apart from his peers in terms of knowledge and insight, and who delivers unerringly consistent results. To convince people that your opinion matters, you need to set yourself up as an expert on the industry and product(s) you’re covering.

Of course, that will take some work – so how much time is really necessary to become an expert on a particular subject? The author Malcolm Gladwell would infamously have you believe that you need to invest 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert. However, that seems impractical, and in reality opinions are divided on the matter.

Compare Gladwell’s rule to what Tim Ferriss said in The 4-Hour Workweek:

Expert status can be created in less than four weeks if you understand basic credibility indicators.

Regurgitating sales copy or simply listing the features of a product doesn’t make for a valuable review. You need to give expert advice, insider tips, and practical information, and you need do it consistently. Doing so will ensure the exponential growth of your reputation.

How to Become an Expert in Your Niche

There are ways to become known as an expert without having to invest months or years of your life. It’s always a good idea to choose a subject that you already know something about, and build on that. You can also use the following tactics:

  • Join trade organizations and display your affiliations on your site.
  • Read the top selling books and most popular online content in your niche to stay up to date on all the latest trends.
  • Write guest posts on authoritative blogs to boost your reputation.
  • Partner with an expert.
  • Quote only credible, authoritative sources.

2. Develop Trust

Product reviews are one of the mainstays of affiliate marketing. They’re often more effective than blatant sales tactics because they can get past a buyer’s ‘filters’. However, to be effective, your reviews need to generate a sense of trust with readers.

The ultimate challenge is to write something honest, that still converts into sales. That means you need to review products that you believe represent good value for money, and also offer an authentic, unbiased opinion.

It’s important to be balanced and fair when reviewing. There are actually some positive effects from negative publicity. It may seem counter-intuitive to mention the negatives about a product in your review. After all, you’re trying to sell it. On the other hand, people are more likely to trust you if you provide a balanced point of view.

How to Gain the Trust of Your Readers

Readers appreciate transparency, and will be far more likely to follow through with a purchase if they sense that you’ve provided all the facts. To gain trust, use the following tactics:

  • Openly discuss both the pros and cons of your product.
  • Explain who the product is right for, and also who it’s not right for.
  • Be authentic and forthright. For example, could you honestly say that you would buy it for yourself?
  • Test your product thoroughly and show people how it works in real life situations.

3. Stay Clear of Legal Issues

When you have a financial agreement with the company you’re endorsing, it implies a responsibility to your readers, and has legal ramifications.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides guidelines about fair and legal disclosure on your product review site in the USA. Misleading readers by failing to disclose the fact that you have a vested interest in selling a product is sure to land you in hot water.

How to Stay Clear of Legal Issues

Broadly speaking, the FTC seeks to protect consumers from misleading endorsements. If you follow the guidelines below, you should be safe from legal issues down the line (although we recommend you make your own inquiries as you see fit):

  • If you’re making commission on a product you’re reviewing, you need to disclose it.
  • If you got the product you are reviewing for free, you need to mention it.
  • You should disclose your relationship to the retailer clearly and conspicuously, so readers can decide how much weight to give your endorsement.
  • The guidelines apply to blogs, websites, and social media equally.

Conclusion

In order to make product reviews a viable and sustainable source of income, you need to do far more than just sell products. You need to give your readers something of value, and do so with a clear conscience.  

Keep the following three guidelines in mind in order to create reviews that will continue to satisfy readers, and ultimately work to earn you more commission:

  1. Become the expert in your niche by doing your homework, providing an ‘insider’s’ point of view, and offering practical advice for users.
  2. Build trust by remaining transparent, unbiased, and thorough with your testing. Only endorse products you would buy for yourself.
  3. Watch out for legal snares by following FTC guidelines.

What key elements do you think make up the perfect product review site? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!