How You Can Use YouTube to Improve Your Affiliate Marketing

YouTube is one of the most visited sites on the internet – in fact, it’s second only to Google. It’s a perfect place to showcase your creativity. What you might not know is that it’s also a useful platform for increasing your affiliate profits.

Affiliate marketing on YouTube is a smart way to provide extra value to your audience, while earning revenue at the same time. While YouTube offers various built-in ways of monetizing your content, affiliate marketing gives you direct control over what products you promote and enables you to see more of the resulting profits.

In this article, we’ll discuss how affiliate marketing works on YouTube and why you might want to get involved. We’ll also show you how you can get started. Let’s jump right in!

The Benefits of Using YouTube for Affiliate Marketing

The YouTube home page.

With nearly 2 billion logged-in users every month, YouTube is the second most visited website in the world. This also makes it the second largest search engine on the web. In both cases, YouTube is only surpassed by Google (its parent company).

Not only does this make YouTube an excellent platform for communication and creativity, but it’s also a lucrative market for earning revenue through your content. YouTube itself enables you to monetize your videos by running ads before and during their run time. However, another way to earn money via your work is by incorporating affiliate links alongside your content.

Every time one of your viewers uses these links to buy something, you’ll earn a commission. This gives you a greater degree of control over what you promote, and lets you keep tabs on your results by tracking the links.

How You Can Use YouTube to Improve Your Affiliate Marketing (3 Key Tips)

Throughout the next few sections, we’re going to look at how you can use YouTube and affiliate marketing together, in order to earn more commissions and provide additional value to your viewers.

If you haven’t already, the first thing you’ll need to do is create a free YouTube channel. In order to get the most out of what we’ll be discussing, we also recommend that you apply for the YouTube Partner Program, which will give your channel access to more features and monetization opportunities. Then, you can get to work!

1. Create Relevant and Engaging Content

The first step is to make sure that you’re able to attract an audience. There’s not much point in promoting your affiliate links to non-existent viewers, after all. This is obviously easier said than done. However, a vital factor in any affiliate marketing campaign is making sure you can provide top-notch content.

The quality of your videos is what will encourage viewers to visit your channel and trust your advice (as is the case with your blog posts). Therefore, it’s important that you find the right niche, and produce videos that are relevant to the products or services you want to promote.

As one example, you could devote your channel largely to review videos, where you discuss and rate affiliate products. This will provide actual value to your viewers, and can help you grow your audience. Just make sure that along with being engaging, you provide an honest assessment of each item. This will help ensure that viewers trust your judgment when you present them with affiliate links.

2. Add Affiliate Links to Descriptions (And the Videos Themselves)

The easiest way to include affiliate links alongside your videos is simply to add them into your video descriptions. These appear underneath each video, and there is no limit to the number of links you can post within:

A video description on YouTube featuring a list of affiliate links.

It’s also smart to mention in these links in the videos themselves. This should make it more likely that viewers will take a moment to check out the descriptions.

If you’re a member of the YouTube Partner program, you can also incorporate links directly into your videos. YouTube offers a feature called end cards, which you can add to the last 20 seconds of each video. These cards can contain links both to other content on YouTube, and to external sites.

While end cards are available to all users, however, only Partners can add external links:

Warning message when adding an end card, saying that you need to be a YouTube Partner to include external links.

As such, if you want to get serious about using YouTube for your affiliate marketing, you should definitely consider applying for the program.

3. Be Honest and Disclose Your Affiliate Links

Transparency is vitally important in affiliate marketing. It ensures that your audience can trust you without feeling tricked, and it enables you to market honestly.

Therefore, you’ll always want to clearly label your affiliate links. We even recommend that you mention this aspect in your videos. For example, let’s say you’re reviewing a product for which you’ve provided affiliate links in the video description. You could mention that if the viewer wants to try the product for themselves, they can use the link in the description, and if they do they’ll be helping to support you (since you’ll get a small cut of the profits).

This makes the benefits of clicking on your links – both to yourself and to your viewers – readily apparent. Being honest about your opinions and goals will serve you and your audience well in the long term, as it establishes trust and loyalty.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing can be a lucrative and rewarding way to monetize your creative content. With its enormous user base and many useful features, YouTube offers the perfect platform to spread your affiliate links, while remaining in control over your content’s quality.

In this article, we’ve discussed three crucial tips for getting started with affiliate marketing on YouTube. These include:

  1. Create relevant and engaging content.
  2. Add affiliate links to your descriptions and videos.
  3. Be honest, and disclose your affiliate links.

Do you have any questions about how to conduct affiliate marketing on YouTube? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Ways to Create a Powerful Call To Action

Every affiliate site has an express purpose, one goal towards which you’re guiding visitors. Before they can reach this goal – the end of the sales funnel – they’ll need to complete a specific action. The key is getting them to take that final plunge.

This is where your Call To Action (CTA) comes into play. A CTA is a message you present to your audience that lets them know exactly what you’d like them to do. This could be completing a purchase, for example, or signing up for a membership.

In this article, we’ll discuss CTAs further, including how to create one that can help to increase your conversions. We’ll also cover some tips for making your CTA compelling and effective. Let’s go!

An Introduction to the Call To Action (CTA)

Campaign Monitor's call to action

Strategically-placed buttons or text can compel visitors to perform a specific action.

In simplest terms, a Call To Action (CTA) is a marketing device that’s used to prompt an immediate response from your audience. On affiliate sites, these are often used to encourage conversions (i.e. sales). As such, they can appear in blog posts (such as on a banner in the middle of the page) and on product pages (for instance, as a button with a text prompt).

Every online business uses a CTA in some way or another. After all, it’s simply a message that you use to encourage visitors to perform a specific action. This could be buying a product, joining a newsletter, or even just signing up for an account or membership.

To be effective, however, your CTAs must be both clear and compelling. You don’t want your visitors to have to guess at what you’d like them to do. Instead, you need to provide explicit instructions for their next steps, and encouragement to move forward.

3 Ways to Create a Powerful CTA for Your Website

Now we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a close look at how you can make your CTAs more powerful. In turn, this will make them more likely to be clicked on by visitors.

1. Make the Message Engaging and Persuasive

Netflix's compelling call to action

Netflix uses a compelling and straight-to-the point CTA to attract new subscribers.

If a powerful CTA is your goal, an engaging and persuasive message is a must. Doing so will require you to use the ‘right’ words to make the CTA effective. Of course, the phrasing you’ll need to use can vary depending on your audience and ultimate goal.

To get started, we recommend that you:

  • Make the benefit of your products or services clear. For example, you can offer a free trial (so visitors can test a product out for themselves), or highlight some positive customer testimonials.
  • Use powerful words and positive emotions. These choices will evoke good feelings in your visitors, which can compel them to click through to the next step.

Another option for making your message persuasive is to use specific terms rather than generic ones. Instead of “Try It Now”, for example, you can use CTA text such as “Click Here for Your 14-Day Free Trial”. This will give visitors a clearer sense of what they’ll get out of following your suggested action.

2. Choose the Right Colors

Aquaspresso's colorful call to action button

Aquaspresso’s use of yellow in its CTA ensures that the message stands out.

While the words you use are important, so too is the presentation. In fact, how your CTA button looks can have a drastic effect on its success. This is why you must choose the ‘right’ colors when designing a CTA.

However, what is the best color choice for one website may not be ideal for another. Since various colors have different connotations, you’ll need to spend time considering your goals, as well as the overall impression you want to present to your visitors.

Most importantly, you’ll want to:

  • Pick an emotion. For example, red is a solid option if you want to project a sense of urgency. However, if you’d rather promote a feeling of security for more reluctant buyers, blue is your best bet.
  • Consider contrast. You’ll also want to think about how the CTA’s colors will look next to the rest of your website. You need your CTA to stand out, which means you’ll want to use colors that contrast with the rest of your design.

Do keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to color selection. However, following the general guidelines above will get you off to a good start.

3. Display Your CTA in a Prominent Location

OfficeVibe's prominently placed call to action

Officevibe places its CTA at the top right of its website, a place that is seen by the majority of visitors.

Not only does the way your CTA look play a role in success, where it’s placed has a significant effect. This is because people usually read websites in an F-shaped pattern. In general, that means CTAs will perform best when placed at the very top of the page, or somewhere towards the middle.

However, there are other scanning patterns your visitors might follow, so it’s best to test and optimize your individual CTA’s placement. To do so, you can:

  • Use a heatmap. This kind of tool will help you to see which placements work best on your website, and will highlight where visitors tend to interact with your pages and posts most often.
  • Use CTAs sparingly. If you have multiple CTAs in close proximity, you may confuse your audience. Ideally, you should never have more than one CTA per page.

Don’t be afraid to test out different placements, as this will be the only way you can learn which locations are most successful on your website.

Conclusion

Having a powerful CTA is a key part of making your affiliate site profitable. If you can design a CTA that persuades people to complete the action you want, you’ll be in a strong position to increase your conversions and revenue.

In this article, we’ve discussed three ways you can create an effective CTA. These are:

  1. Make the message engaging and persuasive.
  2. Choose the right colors.
  3. Display your CTA in a prominent location.

Do you have any questions about how to power up your website’s CTAs? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Attract ‘Super Affiliates’ to Your Program (In 3 Ways)

When it comes to your affiliate program, not all members are created equal. While you naturally appreciate the hard work of everyone who takes part, there’s no denying that some affiliates perform better than others.

In fact, the best marketers are often given the title of ‘super affiliate’. These are the affiliates who bring in significantly more money than the rest of your program’s members. In many cases, a small number of super affiliates can bring in 50-70% of your entire program’s profits.

In this article, we’ll dig deeper into what super affiliates are, and explain how you can attract them to your program. Let’s go!

What Super Affiliates Are (And Why You Need Them Around)

The This Is Why I'm Broke home page.

A super affiliate’s website, such as This Is Why I’m Broke, can vastly increase referrals, traffic, and conversions to your program.

As the name implies, a ‘super affiliate’ is someone out of the ordinary. This term refers to a particularly skilled and valuable affiliate marketer, who brings in a huge number of referrals for your program.

There are several criteria that denote a super affiliate. These can include their consistency, authority in their niche, and other competitive advantages. As an example of that last characteristic, a super affiliate may have a large pre-existing audience or industry connections that make them especially productive.

Naturally, having one or more super affiliates in your program is highly desirable, as they’ll often bring in the majority of your program’s profits. This also means that super affiliates are very in-demand, however, and have a lot more leverage than your typical marketers. As such, they may require more from you if you want to convince them to join your program.

How to Attract Super Affiliates to Your Program (In 3 Ways)

Getting a super affiliate to sign on to your program requires more work than attracting any other type of marketer. Due to their heightened abilities and advantages, you will need to consider each super affiliate carefully and work especially hard to gain their attention. This is worth the effort, of course, but relies on a unique set of strategies. Next up, we’re going to look at three of the most effective techniques.

1. Find Them in Your Niche (And Get Their Attention)

The first thing you need to do is understand that you’re not just looking for any super affiliates, but for ones that match your niche. Not only will this make them more likely to be interested in your program, but it will ensure that their skills and authority are used optimally. For example, if you’re selling beauty products, working with a super affiliate whose main focus is on tech gadgets isn’t exactly ideal.

Once you’ve located this type of affiliate, the next step is to get their attention. Many affiliates on this level will already have easily-accessible contact forms, which is a decent option. However, they’re likely inundated with many requests and offers, so you need to stand out from the crowd.

You could do this by reaching out in a different way, such as by sending them a small gift along with a personal message. This way, you’re more likely to get their attention and build a positive relationship right away. It also shows them that you’re willing to reward your marketers well, which is an added incentive.

The most important thing, however, is to be genuine and honest. Don’t go overboard in your efforts to get the attention of a super affiliate. If they’ve made it clear that they’re not interested, don’t be tempted to push the issue further, as this is more likely to frustrate rather than persuade them.

2. Offer Them an Irresistible Deal

A super affiliate knows their value, so you need to make it clear that you do as well. If your program is going to be worth their time, they’ll need to know they’re getting a great deal.

Using Affiliate Royale, you can do this by offering the affiliate a unique commission tier, where you can give them a higher rate for each referral than your other marketers. It makes sense to pay them more, after all, since a quality super affiliate is likely to increase your overall profits by a substantial margin.

You can also sweeten the deal in other ways, such as by offering them rewards or even ad space on your site. These are bonuses that may sway a super affiliate in your direction when they’re choosing which programs to work with. Most importantly, be prepared to tailor your offers to their specific requirements and needs whenever possible.

3. Make Sure They Have All the Resources They Need

This may seem like a basic issue, but it’s one that’s often overlooked. In short, it’s crucial that your major players are never left confused about your program, or don’t have the resources they need to market your business. If your program is difficult to use, or if you don’t provide adequate information or support, a super affiliate in particular is unlikely to stick around for long.

To help you out, Affiliate Royale lets you easily provide links, banners, and other resources to all your affiliates. You can also create a simple but customizable dashboard, where your affiliates can find everything else they need. This lets you ensure that the process is smooth for all involved, which is especially important when dealing with super affiliates and asking for some of their valuable time.

Conclusion

Super affiliates certainly live up to their moniker, in that they can be the superheroes of your program. Since they’ll often bring in a substantial majority of your profits, it’s in your best interests to attract them and make sure they enjoy using your program.

In this guide, we’ve shown you how you can get the attention of these super affiliates. We recommend that you do the following:

  1. Find super affiliates in your niche (and get their attention).
  2. Offer them an irresistible deal.
  3. Make sure they have all the resources they need.

Do you have any questions about super affiliates, or how to attract them to your program? Let us know in the comments section below!

Why Affiliate Theft Could Hurt Your Program (And How to Stop It)

Affiliate theft is a serious problem that’s plaguing many programs. By manipulating your affiliate links, malicious users are able to game your program to earn commissions without referring any new traffic to your site. Businesses lose millions every year on these dishonest practices, so how can you help prevent the same fate from befalling you?

Fortunately, it is possible to stop affiliate theft before it becomes an issue. Doing this requires you to keep an eye on your program, track your affiliates’ activities, and secure your affiliate links. It may require some extra work, but this could save you a lot of money down the line.

In this article, we’ll discuss what affiliate theft means, and explain how it can negatively affect your program. Most importantly, we’ll talk about how you can prevent it today. Let’s get started!

What Affiliate Theft Is (And How It Can Hurt Your Program)

In case you’re unfamiliar with affiliate theft (sometimes referred to as ‘commission theft’), let’s start with the basics. In short, it refers to certain methods of manipulating your program into incorrectly believing that someone accessing your site was referred via an affiliate link.

The most common way of doing this is by creating a downloadable toolbar or browser attachment. Users can download this software, which will automatically unlock otherwise hidden deals or coupon codes as they browse websites. However, unbeknownst to those users, the software actually changes the data that’s sent to the sites.

For example, if a user entered your site directly from a search engine, the software would trick the page intro registering this hit as a referral that was using an affiliate link. The owner of the toolbar would then get a commission from your program, despite not having actually referred a new user.

This process is deliberately designed to be invisible to the end user, who just thinks they’re getting easy access to better deals. However, it can cost affiliate programs a lot of money. Forbes estimates that millions of dollars are lost due to affiliate theft. One famous example was when a single affiliate managed to defraud $28 million from eBay using these tactics.

How to Stop Affiliate Theft (In 3 Steps)

Now that we’ve established the threat affiliate theft poses, it’s time to look at how you can protect yourself against it. Here are three ways you can secure your program, in order to keep out fraudulent affiliates and scummy tactics.

1. Cloak Your Affiliate Links

The most important factor in protecting your program from theft is making sure to cloak your links. This adds a layer of protection to the affiliate links you supply to your marketers, as they can’t easily be bypassed. It also stops other people from injecting their own affiliate data into your member’s links, in order to steal their commissions.

Cloaking your links also makes it easier to track them and see how and when they’re clicked on. The best way to cloak your links is by using a shortening solution, such as Pretty Links:

The homepage for the Pretty Links plugin.

This lets you create shortened, ‘pretty’ links that you can supply to your affiliates. It also lets you track every click on each link, so you can make sure the traffic you receive from them is legitimate.

The best thing about this method is that creating shortened links is very simple. Once you have your links ready, you can provide them to your affiliates via the Affiliate Royale dashboard.

2. Track Your Program’s Analytics

We touched on this in the previous section, but tracking your program’s statistics is vital in order to spot affiliate theft. Keeping tabs on every aspect of your program lets you see if there are any sudden, unexplained surges in traffic. This could be an indicator of commission theft, especially if it’s centered around a small number of affiliates:

Affiliate Royale's affiliate reports page

You should pay particularly close attention to whenever your referrals spike out of nowhere, and instances when specific affiliates are suddenly performing much better than they previously were.

While this doesn’t have to signal theft for sure, it’s important to keep your eye out for these types of anomalies. If you do come across a series of referrals that seem suspicious, or you’ve noticed unusual behavior from specific affiliates, you may need to investigate further.

3. Remove Suspicious Affiliates From the Program

If you notice that an affiliate is exhibiting suspicious behavior, such as getting sudden surges of referrals over short amounts of time, you may want to look more closely at them. As we just mentioned, you can use Affiliate Royale’s statistics to see your program’s activity. However, you can go even deeper than that.

For example, if you use Pretty Links, you can track each affiliate’s links to see exactly where every click originated from:

Extended stats in Pretty Links.

This helps you figure out if the referral URLs are legitimate or not. You could even do a search on Google for the affiliate’s name, to see if you find that it’s related to producing or maintaining illicit software (such as toolbars).

If you do find that an affiliate is using dishonest practices to steal commissions, you can remove them from your program. To do this, navigate to Affiliate Royale > Affiliates:

A list of affiliates.

Click on the affiliate you want to remove, and open the Edit User screen. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and select the User is Blocked option:

The User is Blocked setting in WordPress.

You can now enter a message to inform them that they have been blocked and why. They will no longer be able to log in to access their links, or receive any more commissions.

Conclusion

Affiliate theft is an insidious way of subtly stealing revenue from your program. It involves using methods that manipulate your program and links, in order to earn money for certain affiliates while siphoning income away from your business. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent, especially if you’re using Affiliate Royale.

In this article, we’ve covered three ways you can stop affiliate theft from hurting your bottom line. These are:

  1. Cloak your affiliate links.
  2. Track your program’s analytics.
  3. Remove suspicious affiliates from your program.

Do you have any questions about how to deal with affiliate theft? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Run a Contest for Your Affiliates (And Why You Should)

Affiliate marketing doesn’t have to be all work for your affiliates. In fact, you should aim to mix things up from time to time. Otherwise, you might find that they become bored with your program, which can lead to a decrease in your profits.

One smart way of motivating your members is by periodically running a contest. By tracking their performances and setting an end goal to strive for, you can more effectively engage your affiliates and boost your conversions in the process.

In this article, we’ll show you how to run a contest using Affiliate Royale, and explain what you’ll need to consider in order to pull it off successfully. Finally, we’ll discuss how you can track the results in order to find your winner. Let’s go!

Why You Should Consider Running an Affiliate Contest

Running a contest for your affiliates isn’t just a fun side project. In fact, it can motivate your affiliates to perform better, which can in turn help to increase your conversions and income.

A contest is something fun and different from the usual way of making money using affiliate marketing. It can spur on all of your affiliates to work harder in order to win, and in particular can inspire affiliates who may not have been very invested in your program recently.

To achieve this, all you really need to do is provide your affiliates with an incentive. This could be in the form of prizes or other rewards, which you can give to those who perform the best in response to set criteria.

Of course, you’ll also want to make the contest and its current results visible to everybody. By showing the current standings, you’ll be spurring on the contestants to perform even better.

Fortunately, both of these things are pretty easy to set up. Let’s look at how you can create and run your affiliate contest.

How to Run a Contest for Your Affiliates (In 3 Steps)

If you want to start your own affiliate contest, Affiliate Royale is here to help. The following three steps are all you need in order to plan and execute a successful contest for your affiliates!

1. Specify Your Contest’s Goal and Prizes

Naturally, you first need to decide what the goal of the contest will be. The most obvious setup is to have affiliates compete for who can make the most sales within a given time frame. However, you could try something a little different instead, like seeing who can recruit the most new affiliates to your program.

You’ll also need to come up with some worthwhile prizes. You’ll need to find desirable rewards that make the contest worth the contestants’ time and effort. What you decide to use depends on your budget and business, but the easiest option is usually to use items from your own stock. However, you could also get a sponsor for your contest, and have them supply the prizes.

Finally, you’ll also want to consider the contest’s duration. This will depend a lot on your business and the number of affiliates you have, but a month is usually an ideal period. It’s also important that you make the start and end times very clear in advance and throughout the competition, so contestants can prepare sufficiently.

2. Provide Information and Resources to Your Affiliates

If you want your contest to be a success, you need to make people aware of it. This applies both before it starts, and all the way until the moment that winners are announced. Your dashboard in Affiliate Royale lets you communicate information about the contest:

The Affiliate Royale affiliate dashboard

Affiliate Royale also enables you to share links and banners that contestants can use during the competition. For example, if your contest revolves around selling particular products, you should make sure that you provide affiliates with resources to help them promote these products. This will ensure that they perform better, while also leveling the playing field.

Your dashboard is also the perfect place to share the current leaderboard during the contest. Here, you can show off the affiliates who are currently doing the best, which will motivate them and others to perform better and climb to the top. Just make sure that you update the standings often, so everyone will know how they stand.

3. Track Your Affiliates’ Performance Using Analytics

Of course, a crucial part of any contest is tracking the progress of the contestants. How you do this depends on the contest’s objective. For example, if you want to see who has made the most referrals during a certain period, you can use Affiliate Royale’s Top Referrers data:

A list of Top Referrers in Affiliate Royale.

However, if you’re gauging who can recruit the most new affiliates, you could add a field to the affiliate sign-up page, letting newcomers indicate who referred them to the program.

Most importantly, your dashboard enables you to easily see who has won when the contest is over. You can then reach out to them and deliver their prizes. It’s also a smart idea to feature the winners on your website in some manner. This will highlight their success, and motivate others to do better when the next contest rolls around!

Conclusion

Hosting a contest for your affiliates is not just a fun way of motivating them into performing better. It can also help increase your conversions, and bring new and old affiliates back into your roster. The key is to make sure your contest is set up correctly, and to track each affiliate’s performance throughout the process.

Fortunately, this is made simple with Affiliate Royale. Using our plugin, you can handle every aspect of your competition effortlessly. The following steps are all that’s required for creating a successful contest:

  1. Specify your contest’s goal and prizes.
  2. Provide information and resources to your affiliates.
  3. Track your affiliates’ performance using analytics.

Do you have any questions about running a contest for your affiliates? Let us know in the comments section below!

Why Being an Affiliate Marketer Doesn’t Have to Mean ‘Selling Out’

Affiliate marketing can be a lucrative prospect for any talented blogger. However, you may worry that using your blog to promote someone else’s products could be seen as ‘selling out’.

While it may seem like affiliate marketing and honest blogging are oil and water, the truth is quite the opposite. In fact, by sticking to your principles and staying open with your audience, you can see financial results from your hard work without harming your reputation.

In this article, we’ll explain how you can create a profitable and honest affiliate blog. Let’s get started!

A Brief Introduction to Affiliate Marketing

An affiliate link for the film Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Affiliate links, such as this one from the film blog BirthMoviesDeath, let you provide value to your users in an honest fashion.

If you want to monetize your blog, affiliate marketing is one of the easiest and best techniques. As an affiliate marketer, you’ll link to another business’ products on your site. When somebody clicks on one of those links and ends up making a purchase, you’ll be paid a commission that’s usually relative to the item’s total cost.

You can probably imagine how this technique could work well on a blog. You can include affiliate links in your posts, feature specific products, or even write product reviews. However, while becoming an affiliate can certainly be lucrative, a prevalent myth claims that doing so is akin to ‘selling out’. After all, if you’re making money by promoting products and services, surely that makes you untrustworthy?

However, this is far from the truth. In fact, you stand to gain a lot more by being honest, rather than blindly using affiliate marketing to make a quick buck. Let’s talk about how to approach this type of marketing with integrity.

3 Ways You Can Be an Affiliate Marketer Without Selling Out

Below, we’ll look at three ways you can use affiliate marketing without compromising your principles. Keep these recommendations in mind to create a trustworthy and profitable affiliate blog!

1. Create Honest and Informative Content

Your number-one priority should always be to produce the best content possible. The quality of your content is what encourages readers to come back to your blog. Plus, it helps to determine how highly your site is ranked by Google.

If your site doesn’t offer posts that people want to read, you won’t be able to find an audience in the first place. Many blogs make this mistake, churning out content just to spread affiliate links, and it’s rarely effective. Instead, you’ll want to focus on writing high-quality posts that offer value to your readers.

What’s more, being an affiliate marketer is not about simply praising every single product. You should always write honestly, especially if you create product reviews. Readers will want to hear your actual thoughts, so by being upfront about an item’s pros and cons, you can provide value while still driving traffic through your affiliate links.

Finally, it’s also important that you disclose your affiliate links clearly throughout your site. This is a key factor in whether or not visitors will find you trustworthy.

2. Feature Products That You Use Personally

One of the best things about affiliate marketing is how it enables you to pick and choose which products and programs you want to work with. Often, the smartest strategy is to focus on products that you use personally.

For example, let’s say you run a beauty blog. You could write about the beauty products you use, discussing them earnestly while including affiliate links where appropriate. This gives your readers an accurate appraisal, while also letting them easily purchase the items they find appealing.

Thanks to this technique, your blog posts will offer more quality to your readers due to your first-hand knowledge. Plus, you can remain honest in your reviews. People can usually tell when they’re being sold something the marketer doesn’t actually believe in, so this approach helps you avoid coming across as a mouthpiece for another brand.

3. Don’t Do It Just for the Money

While earning money is naturally the main reason to use any type of marketing, it’s not always the best strategy to focus solely on this aspect. First of all, affiliate marketing takes a lot of work, especially in the beginning. You will need to put in plenty of time and effort before you see significant financial rewards.

As such, it’s important that you enjoy creating your affiliate content. If you work in a niche that you don’t care about, or you resent the work involved, you probably won’t last long.

Many marketers make the mistake of only focusing on how much money they can make. This usually leads to half-baked sites that essentially serve as billboards for other brands, providing little real value to readers. This is the exact opposite of what you want your affiliate blog to become.

The most important thing to remember is that affiliate marketing shouldn’t change how you approach your content. Your greatest asset will always be your own skills, knowledge, and imagination. If you stick with what you’re already good at, affiliate marketing gives you the opportunity to turn your creativity into an honest and lucrative venture.

Conclusion

As a blogger, monetizing your work can be difficult without making compromises. However, implementing affiliate marketing on your blog doesn’t have to mean selling out. In fact, if you do it right, you can be both honest with your audience and make a tidy profit at the same time.

To get started with affiliate marketing in an effective and upfront way, you’ll want to:

  1. Create honest and informative content.
  2. Feature products that you use personally.
  3. Don’t do it just for the money.

Do you have any questions about how to get started with affiliate marketing? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Test Your Affiliate Royale Program (And Why You Should)

Once you’ve finished setting up a program with Affiliate Royale, you might be itching to launch it right away. However, there may still be unforeseen issues that you’ve missed. Having to deal with these problems when your program is already running can be disastrous to your bottom line.

For this reason, it’s very important to ensure that your program works exactly as you expect before you launch it. This means testing every element and step thoroughly. You need to make sure that nothing is left to chance, in order to have a frictionless launch.

In this article, we’ll show you how to test drive your Affiliate Royale program. Let’s get to work!

Why It’s Important to Test Your Affiliate Royale Program

The Affiliate Royale plugin.

If you’ve used Affiliate Royale to create your own affiliate program, you will doubtless be eager to get it off the ground. However, while we’re sure that you’ve spent a lot of time making sure to configure all aspects of the program correctly, it’s difficult to account for everything that might go wrong.

This is why testing is so important, especially when it comes to affiliate programs. If you don’t thoroughly evaluate your program, you may end up leaving in issues that could cause significant problems once affiliates start using it. For instance, you could find that the wrong commission rates are being applied, or that clicks are not registering properly.

Having to fix these issues later on can disrupt your program, frustrate your affiliates, and cost you both financially and professionally. Thankfully, testing doesn’t have to be complicated. Affiliate Royale makes the process relatively simple, so you can spot and deal with any unexpected issues well in advance of your launch date.

How to Test Your Affiliate Royale Program (In 4 Steps)

Now, let’s look at a simple but effective way that you can test your affiliate program. For this to work, you’ll obviously need to have a program set up using Affiliate Royale first.

As part of this test, you’ll be completing a test purchase to make sure that it registers correctly. We’ll be using a WooCommerce-powered site in our example, but keep in mind that Affiliate Royale also supports a number of other e-commerce platforms.

1. Set Up an Affiliate Link

First of all, you’ll need to create at least one affiliate link (or banner). To do this, access Affiliate Royale > Links & Banners in your admin dashboard:

Creating affiliate links in Affiliate Royale.

If you have no links yet, click on the plus button to add one. You can then enter the URL you want to use:

Adding a new affiliate link.

Once you’ve done that, click on Update Links & Banners to save your link. After that, it’s time to use this link to test your program!

2. Create a Dummy Affiliate Account

In order to test that your program works correctly, you’ll need to create a new user. This will be a dummy account that represents an affiliate, so you’ll want to set the user role to Subscriber:

Creating a new Subscriber account in WordPress.

Since this account is only for your benefit, you can set it up with fake details. You obviously don’t need to send an email notification either. Just remember to save the password!

Once you’ve added this user, sign out of your own admin account, and sign in using the test account. Then navigate to your affiliate dashboard, where you’ll see the link you just created:

An affiliate link as it appears in the Affiliate Royale dashboard.

Copy this link, and then sign out of your dummy account. It’s very important that you do this, as you cannot be logged in to the affiliate account when using the link.

3. Make a Purchase

Once you’ve logged out of all your WordPress accounts, open up a new browser window. Use it to access your site, by pasting the dummy account’s affiliate link into the browser bar.

Next, complete a purchase like normal. Naturally, you won’t need to honor this purchase, so you can use any payment method you want. Remember that if you select Cash on Delivery or a similar option, you’ll need to manually complete the order before it will be recorded properly:

Making a purchase in WooCommerce.

If everything is working so far, you’re on the right track. However, it’s now time to see if the affiliate link recorded the purchase properly.

4. Check to Ensure That the Purchase Was Recorded Correctly

Now, we’re going to see if the affiliate link worked as expected, for both the dummy affiliate and for the admin user (i.e. you). Let’s start with the affiliate, so sign in using your dummy account details once again. Then open your Stats, where you’ll see the amount of clicks and sales your links have accrued.

If everything has gone according to plan, you’ll see your purchase appear next to today’s date:

The stats for an affiliate, showing 2 clicks and 1 purchase.

If it doesn’t show up, the purchase may not have been properly completed. You can check this by signing in with your admin user account and examining the order. However, if it does appear, you’ll know that the link functioned perfectly.

Next up, you need to check to make sure the link is also working for program admins. Log out your affiliate account, and log in using your own credentials. Then, check your Reports to see if the transaction was recorded:

The statistics in Affiliate Royale, showing 2 clicks and 1 purchase.

Again, if the order does not appear, you may need to ensure that the link has been properly configured with the correct target URL. You should also make sure that you were definitely signed out of your accounts when you used the link.

If the report does show the transaction (which it should), then congratulations! Your affiliate program and links are working as expected, and you should be ready to launch.

Conclusion

Once you’ve created your Affiliate Royale program, you still have one step left to take. To avoid frustrating your affiliates and experiencing nasty surprises down the line, you’ll want to spend some time testing your program before launch. That way, you can rest assured that it is performing as you’d expect.

In this guide, we’ve covered the steps necessary to test a program created with Affiliate Royale. You’ll want to:

  1. Set up an affiliate link.
  2. Create a dummy affiliate account.
  3. Make a purchase.
  4. Check to ensure that the purchase was recorded correctly.

Do you have any questions about testing your affiliate program? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Ways to Find the Right Affiliates to Market Your Products

Once your affiliate program is ready to go, you need to find marketers who will spread the word about your products and services. Since your program stands or falls based on the performance of your affiliates, it’s important that they’re committed, hard-working, and able to leverage their audiences to support you.

Fortunately, finding quality affiliates doesn’t have to be challenging. All you need to do is be proactive, and know how and where to look. Especially if you’ve already settled on a profitable niche and prepared a customer profile, the process can be fairly simple.

In this article, we’ll talk about why finding and attracting the right affiliate marketers is important. We’ll also discuss how you can go about persuading them to join your program. Let’s get started!

What to Look for When Choosing Affiliates for Your Program

Did you know that 5% of affiliates bring in 95% of a program’s income? As such, finding quality affiliates who can pull their weight is a crucial element in running a successful affiliate program.

When looking for affiliates, you should aim to find experienced marketers, preferably those who already have established audiences. They need to be eager to work, and know the ins-and-outs of your industry or niche. This will make it much easier to slot them into your program and see results right away. Plus, it will all but guarantee that they’ll bring quality leads your way. Of course, finding affiliates like this may seem like a tall order – but it’s easier than you might think.

3 Ways to Find the Right Affiliates to Market Your Products

Throughout the next few sections, we’ll look at the best ways of finding ideal affiliates for your program. Bear in mind that this is by no means a comprehensive list, nor should you rely on only a few methods. Instead, consider these techniques a solid starting point for locating potential affiliate marketers, which you can branch out from over time.

1. Reach Out to Niche ‘Tastemakers’

A ‘tastemaker’ is a person with influence within a particular niche. While they could be a celebrity, a tastemaker can also be a regular person with a lot of authority in your industry, or with a large online following. They could even be someone with a well-read review blog, or a popular vlogging channel:

A post made by the Instagram account hudabeauty showing a makeup swatch.

What connects all tastemakers is that their audiences look to them for advice. One such example is Majestic Casual, a curator project that shares music on YouTube:

The Majestic Casual channel on YouTube.

The channel has over 1.5 billion views and nearly 4 million subscribers. The creators have also monetized their content for upwards of $1.2 million, by sharing links to the music they upload.

Working with such a tastemaker is also known as ‘influencer marketing’ and can offer you many benefits. For one, they already have a built-in audience that you can leverage by encouraging them to showcase your products. They can also lend credibility to your products and services, as their audience trusts them to only recommend high-quality items.

Approaching someone with this kind of platform is usually easier than you might expect. Many will already be affiliate marketers, and as such provide easy means of contacting them about potential new partnerships. To get them on board, what’s most important is to ensure that you offer them a good deal. For instance, you can use Affiliate Royale’s commission tiers to encourage them to join your program.

2. Leverage Social Media to Your Advantage

Social media is an invaluable tool for any affiliate program. For one, it’s where you have the chance to really get the word out about your program. If you’ve built up an audience for your business, you probably already have some followers who are invested in your brand, and could be encouraged to join your program right away.

You can also find potential affiliates yourself by searching through hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. Look for users who are already engaging in topics relevant to your business. You can then reach out personally to see if they’d be interested in joining your program. This process also makes it easy for you to vet candidates to make sure they match your requirements, since you can check out their content and online presence in advance.

Another option is to join an affiliate group on Facebook:

a Facebook group called Best Affiliate Marketing Programs.

Bear in mind that you should use these groups organically, and not just go in aiming to promote your own program. This is frowned upon, and will likely get you kicked out. Instead, network honestly and be clear about your goals. This will help you attract affiliates who are truly willing to collaborate.

3. Attend Affiliate Conferences

Last but not least, affiliate conferences are events where both program owners and marketers come to view speakers, take part in various activities, and network. That last aspect makes them a perfect opportunity for you to find willing and experienced affiliates. Plus, these conferences give both you and your potential collaborators the chance to meet face-to-face to create a genuine connection.

Two of the most popular conferences are Affiliate Summit and Affiliate World:

The Affiliate World conference's home page.

However, there are dozens of these events happening all over the world. Once you’ve found one you’d like to attend, the best way to proceed is by treating it as an opportunity to network. Focus on talks and meet-ups where you can chat with people in the same industry and niche. In addition, keep an open mind and be genuine with the people you meet. This will endear you and your program to potential affiliates and partners alike.

Conclusion

Your affiliate program can never have too many marketers. That’s why you shouldn’t get complacent in your search to find new affiliates. By using the right channels, you can ensure that you always have the means to expand your roster of talented affiliates when needed.

In this article, we’ve covered some of the ways you can find new, quality affiliates for your program. While these are certainly not the only methods, they’re a good place to start:

  1. Reach out to niche ‘tastemakers’.
  2. Leverage social media to your advantage.
  3. Attend affiliate conferences.

Do you have any questions about how to find new affiliates marketers for your program? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Reasons You Should Start an Affiliate Program for Your Photography Business

When you’re selling prints and digital photography online, it can be difficult to find customers. Even if you do manage to get your work seen, it’s not always easy to encourage people to pay for the actual product.

For that reason, you might want to consider starting an affiliate program. Fans of your work can showcase it on their blogs, and include affiliate links back to your own website. This will enable you to expand your audience, and will help you earn more money from your photography along the way.

In this article, we’ll discuss three reasons photographers in particular can benefit from running an affiliate program. We’ll also explain how you can get started with the use of Affiliate Royale!

An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a smart way for any business, big or small, to expand its potential audience and increase its income. So, how does this type of marketing work?

When you run an affiliate program, you offer a commission for referrals back to your products. People can sign up for your program and become your affiliate marketers, or just ‘affiliates’ for short. Whenever an affiliate gets a lead to click on a link to one of your products, and that lead ends up buying something from you, the affiliate receives a small cut of the profits (while you keep the rest).

For a photography business, an affiliate program can be helpful by turning exposure of your works into revenue. With the provided affiliate links, members can showcase your work on their blogs, social media profiles, or online galleries. They get to earn a small profit as a result, while you get your images seen by a larger audience that’s suitable for your niche.

3 Reasons You Should Start an Affiliate Program for Your Photography Business

Now that you’re caught up on the basics of affiliate marketing, let’s look more closely at how your photography business can benefit from one of these programs. While there are a lot of reasons an affiliate program is a smart move, these are three of the most compelling.

1. You Can Leverage Your Existing Audience to Increase Sales

If you’ve been in the business for a while, you probably already have some existing fans of your work. These might include prior customers you’ve done commissions for, collaborators, or simply people who enjoy your photography. What matters is that this audience is a well of potential affiliate marketers.

Your first port of call when setting up a new program will be to reach out to these people, and see if they are willing to join up. They can then showcase your work on their websites, along with affiliate links that navigate visitors to your online storefront. Some of them might even have their own blogs or affiliate marketing sites already set up, making this process even simpler.

Plus, you can make it easy for affiliates to sign up by using the right tool – such as our own Affiliate Royale plugin. This will help you create an affiliate dashboard, where you can provide affiliates with links and other useful resources.

2. You Can Expand Your Audience and Reduce Theft

Affiliates are encouraged to spread your works as much as possible, whether that’s on blogs, websites, or social media. This means your photography and business get more visibility.

What’s more, as someone who offers photography online, you may have already had your work being spread without proper credit, or even stolen. This is a common problem, but using an affiliate program can actually mitigate it. By providing affiliate links, you incentivize your audience to not only credit you for your work, but to do so in a way that actively supports you. In other words, you can have your photography seen by a larger audience, while also reaping better profits.

When you’re running your program using Affiliate Royale, you can even determine exactly what commission you want to pay your affiliates. If you want, you can also create commission tiers to support different levels of affiliates. This is a great way to incentivize them to get invested in your business, and to do their best to get your work out there.

3. You Can Become More Established in Your Niche

As a photography business, you probably already have a niche. To really focus your efforts, however, you can dig even deeper. For example, you can choose to work with art photography, wedding and events photography, photo-manipulation, or something else just as specific.

Getting clear about your ideal niche matters, because finding affiliates within the same narrow field enables you to target an audience that’s inherently receptive to your work. By creating an affiliate program and targeting it carefully, you stand to gain more prominence and become more established in your niche. You can even reach out directly to related bloggers and other influencers, and encourage them to join your program.

If you’re really dedicated, you could even form a partnership with another business and support each others’ affiliate programs. This kind of symbiotic partnership could help grow both of your brands in terms of visibility and credibility.

Conclusion

It may seem daunting to create an affiliate program for your photography business. However, the advantages are well worth the time investment. What’s more, Affiliate Royale makes the process easy, as it enables you to set up a program quickly and with minimal fuss. That gives you the chance to focus on your creative work, while still growing your audience and increasing sales.

In this article, we’ve discussed some of the reasons your photography business can benefit from an affiliate program. For example, affiliate marketing helps you:

  1. Leverage your existing fans to increase sales.
  2. Expand your audience and reduce theft.
  3. Become more established in your niche.

Do you have any questions about how to set up an affiliate program for your photography business? Let us know in the comments section below!

How Small Businesses Can Benefit from Affiliate Marketing

It’s easy to assume that affiliate programs are only useful for big companies and established businesses. However, the truth is that even a smaller company can benefit from getting into affiliate marketing.

As a small business, running your own affiliate program can provide several benefits. For example, it enables you to create cost-effective marketing that helps to grow your audience and build brand awareness. You also have control over the commissions you pay, and can develop a loyal base of affiliates who are excited to work for you.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the concept of affiliate marketing, and discuss why your small business might need an affiliate program. We’ll also talk about how to get started, with help from our Affiliate Royale plugin. Let’s begin at the top!

An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing

The Amazon Associates affiliate program.

Amazon Associates is one of the biggest and most successful affiliate programs out there.

In case you’re unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, let’s first cover the basics. When your business uses affiliate marketing, it offers a commission to people who are willing to market your products on their own sites. When one of your affiliates successfully refers a lead who ends up making a purchase, that affiliate earns a small percentage of the sale (while you keep the rest).

From your perspective as a business owner, the structure of an affiliate program looks something like this:

  • Affiliate merchant: This is you, the business running the affiliate program.
  • Affiliate network: The tool(s) you use to run the program.
  • Affiliate marketers: The people who are promoting your products or services.
  • Customers: Leads who click on affiliate links and ultimately make purchases.

Affiliate programs have become incredibly popular. They enable businesses to get cheap marketing for their products and expand their reach, while members appreciate the opportunity to make money in a largely passive way. Many large sites offer affiliate opportunities now, with one of the most popular being the Amazon Associates program. There are also plenty of general affiliate programs that bring multiple businesses together in one place, such as Rakuten.

All of this might make it seem like affiliate marketing is a game best suited to the big, established businesses out there. However, it turns out that smaller businesses can get just as much out of this strategy.

How Small Businesses Can Benefit from Affiliate Marketing

As we’ve made clear, affiliate marketing is not just a tool that can help large companies increase their profits. In fact, it can be particularly useful for smaller businesses, for a number of reasons. For example, affiliate marketing programs:

  • Are low-risk and low-cost. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get the word out about your business. That makes this type of marketing especially helpful for up-and-coming businesses that don’t have a large budget.
  • Boost growth and brand awareness. An affiliate program can help increase traffic and grow your online audience. It’s also a great way to create brand loyalty, as your affiliate marketers will have a vested interest in your success.
  • Put you fully in control. You can set your own commission levels, for instance, and supply whatever marketing materials you want to your affiliates.

While affiliate marketing can be immensely beneficial, it’s not without potential downsides. For example, because you’re relying on people outside your company, you don’t have total say in how your products or services are marketed. It may also take some time and work to oversee the program. However, by using the right tool, you can make the process of controlling and running the program much easier.

How Affiliate Royale Helps You Build an Affiliate Program

The Affiliate Royale plugin.

Affiliate Royale is a WordPress plugin that enables you to create and run an affiliate program directly through your admin dashboard. It slots in perfectly with your existing website, and is compatible with any WordPress theme. This means that your affiliates only need to access your site to get everything they need, and you have complete control over the look and feel of your program.

As a small business, Affiliate Royale makes it easy to run a program with minimal time and effort required. You’ll see exactly how many clicks every affiliate link generates, and how much you need to pay each affiliate at the end of the month (or whatever pay period you set). You can also use this plugin to monitor the performance of your affiliates, and supply them with helpful marketing materials, such as affiliate links and banners.

Some of the key features of Affiliate Royale include:

  • Seamless WordPress integration. The plugin runs straight from your site, and doesn’t require any additional software.
  • A customizable affiliate dashboard. You can set up the dashboard your affiliates will use exactly how you want.
  • Shopping cart functionality. Affiliate Royale is capable of tracking commissions from hundreds of payment gateways and shopping carts.
  • No subscription or recurring fee required. The one-time price means that you won’t have to deal with any unforeseen fees.

Best of all, Affiliate Royale is simple to set up and use. You can use it to create your affiliate program in just minutes. After that, we recommend that you check out our guide on how to generate new affiliate leads, and learn how you can use Affiliate Royale to track your program’s performance.

Conclusion

For a small business, an affiliate program might seem like a big step. However, the truth is that affiliate marketing offers a ton of benefits, and doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as you might expect. It lets you advertise your products or services in a cost-effective manner, driven by affiliate marketers who earn commissions based on how well they perform.

To actually build your affiliate program, you’ll need the right tool for the job. That’s where Affiliate Royale comes in, offering extensive features that make running your program much easier. It enables you to track your affiliates’ performance, provide marketing materials, control your commission tiers, and much more.

Do you have any questions about getting started with affiliate marketing as a small business? Let us know in the comments section below!