3 Maintenance Tasks to Keep Your Affiliate Program Running Smoothly

Once you have control of your day-to-day affiliate site management, it’s time to perform some routine site maintenance to enhance its impact. Having a healthy affiliate site enables your partnerships to thrive, and keeps your daily operations running smoothly.

By taking care of a few regular tasks relating to your affiliates’ recruitment and performance, you can improve the quality of your program and keep it legally compliant. This will improve program credibility and effectiveness, both of which are beneficial to your business.

In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of affiliate program maintenance. Then we’ll look at three maintenance tasks you should be performing to keep it running smoothly (some with the help of Affiliate Royale). Let’s get started!

Why You Should Perform Regular Affiliate Program Maintenance

Maintenance – the task of monitoring and tweaking various aspects of your affiliate program on a regular basis – is of vital importance to the health of your program. It also offers various benefits, including:

  • The ability to spend less time caring for your program.
  • The assurance that your program remains of high quality.
  • The lowered risk of fines associated with breaking compliance laws.

At the very least, you’re getting hands-on with your program – and that’s a good indicator of someone who’s passionate about its growth. At this point, you need a better idea of what maintenance tasks you should be performing. Let’s take a look at that now!

3 Maintenance Tasks to Keep Your Affiliate Program Running Smoothly

The general maintenance you’ll need to perform for your program will vary. However, the three basic tasks below will give you a solid start. Let’s dive in!

1. Perform Ongoing Affiliate Recruitment to Boost Your Program’s Credibility

The Coursera affiliate landing page

An affiliate landing page – such as Coursera’s – can assist in your affiliate recruitment efforts.

Affiliate recruitment is an important part of your program’s creation, and it should be incorporated into your usual affiliate program management tasks rather than on an ad hoc basis.

Having a constant recruitment cycle ensures your affiliate pool never runs low. In addition, the more affiliates you recruit, the more varied your pool. This can help to expand your reach and boost your program’s credibility.

Here are two recommendations on how to perform ongoing affiliate recruitment without spending too much time on the task:

  1. Set up an affiliate landing page. With Affiliate Royale, you can personalize the affiliate signup page to create an effective landing page for your program.
  2. Offer recruitment bonuses to current affiliates. With the ability to set commission levels within Affiliate Royale, you can offer bonuses to referring affiliates by giving them a cut of each of their recruits’ sales.

Implementing both of these recommendations means you can almost set your recruitment efforts on autopilot. You can then turn your attention to more pressing concerns, such as affiliate performance reviews.

2. Consistently Review Affiliate Performance to Promote an Effective Program

Affiliate Royale's affiliate reports page

Tracking progress with Affiliate Royale’s reporting can give you an idea of your affiliates’ performance.

How your affiliates perform impacts your business’s success, and consistently reviewing their performance provides you with numerous benefits. Foremost, your reviews and feedback offer the opportunity to improve performance and work on specific issues. This should give your affiliates confidence and help promote an effective program. A review process also warns you about affiliates who aren’t performing well, giving you a chance to put things right.

There are two major areas you’ll want to focus on here – activity and promotion. For example:

  • Keep a tab on your affiliates’ status. You can offer special deals to inactive affiliates to try and jumpstart their participation, or send an ‘account removal’ warning if they don’t participate within a certain time frame.
  • Know how your affiliates are promoting you. Visiting the pages of your affiliates and seeing how they’re performing their work is a great way to keep an eye on compliance (more on that below). Additionally, you can offer helpful suggestions for boosting their efforts.

As an extra step, you can even offer affiliates a ‘heads-up’ by posting a warning message on their affiliate dashboard. This may get them moving without too much input from you, saving time. Fortunately, Affiliate Royale makes adding personalized dashboard messages simple!

3. Regularly Monitor Affiliate Program Compliance to Avoid Legal Liability

The StudioPress affiliate guidelines page

Affiliate guidelines – such as StudioPress’s example – are made to be followed. However, not all affiliates will stay compliant.

Regular compliance monitoring is perhaps the most underrated task on this list. However, it’s crucial to avoid legal liability (and to keep your program from appearing shady).

The most obvious reason to monitor compliance is to ensure you and your affiliates aren’t breaking any laws. This is especially important as these rules tend to change over time. You can also ensures your program guidelines are crystal clear. If certain guidelines are consistently broken by your affiliates, you’ll know to clarify them in the future.

By using a solution such as Affiliate Royale, you can easily monitor and maintain program compliance. Here’s how:

One of the last things you want to deal with is noncompliance with the Federal Trade Commission. That’s why following the actions outlined above are important for your program’s health and your business’s wellbeing.

Conclusion

Program maintenance is an underrated aspect of a successful program. After all, failure to maintain your program can lead to a loss of credibility, increasing ineffectiveness, and legal liability. Fortunately, carrying out maintenance is easy, especially with the help of a plugin such as Affiliate Royale.

In this post, we’ve discussed the importance of affiliate site program maintenance. We’ve also outlined three tasks you can perform to keep things running without a hitch. To quickly recap, you should:

  1. Perform ongoing recruitment to boost your program’s credibility.
  2. Consistently review your affiliates’ performance to promote an effective program.
  3. Regularly monitor program compliance to avoid legal liability.

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

3 Key Components of a Conversion-Driving Affiliate Landing Page

When recruiting affiliates to your program, it’s important that you pull out all the stops. One way to do that is by using an affiliate-focused landing page for registrations. Unfortunately, this aspect is commonly overlooked, which could impact signups.

Fortunately, adding an affiliate landing page to your program’s website is simple and effective. Going forward, you can even optimize your landing page for conversions.

In this post, we’ll discuss why you should consider adding a landing page to your affiliate website. We’ll also explore the three key components of a conversion-driving affiliate landing page. Then, we’ll show you how to set up your landing page using Affiliate Royale. Let’s get started!

Why You Should Add a Landing Page to Your Affiliate Website

ClickBank affiliate network landing page

The ClickBank affiliate network landing page is an example of a simple design with an effective and affiliate-focused message.

Much like its product-centric sibling, an affiliate landing page aims to attract readers and potential affiliates. A dedicated and optimized page on your website can have numerous benefits for your program, such as:

What’s more, you’ll also have a place to send any possible recruits for more information about your program, which makes it appear more professional (among other positives).

3 Key Components of a Conversion-Driving Affiliate Landing Page

While there are many important aspects to include in any landing page, an affiliate-focused one has its own additional goals – specifically attracting quality affiliates. Let’s take a closer look at three key components for a conversion-driving affiliate landing page.

1. An Affiliate-Focused Message

AvantLink affiliate message

By focusing on the affiliate and what they’ll get from the program, AvantLink increases their chances of getting signups.

Just as you write directly to your customers, you can also do so to your affiliates with the same benefits (i.e. improved conversions). By focusing on the affiliate and what they have to gain, you help them visualize what it would be like working with your program. With this in mind, we recommend you:

  • Speak to them directly. It’s important to know who your target demographic is. Knowing your demographic allows you to speak to potential affiliates in a way that grabs their attention.
  • Outline the benefits. In short, explain how becoming an affiliate for your program will provide a benefit. Keep this in mind as you write the landing page copy – remember that your focus should be on them rather than your program.

Overall, it helps to think of your affiliate landing page as a sales pitch. You want to ‘sell’ the idea of becoming your affiliate to any potential recruits, and you can do this by focusing heavily on how your program can meet their wants and needs.

2. A Powerful Call To Action (CTA)

ClickBank affiliate landing page call to action

A descriptive CTA that outlines the benefits of clicking through is a good way to improve signup conversions.

A Call To Action is a marketing device that’s used to spur readers into action. Using the right CTA on your page can create a sense of urgency for your readers, which can also offer a reason to push the potential affiliate from “Maybe” to “Yes!” when it comes to signing up for your program.

Try these two tips to make your CTA as effective as possible:

  1. Speak to your audience. Just as with your affiliate message, it’s important to speak to your target audience within your CTAs.
  2. Emphasize the offer. Instead of a generic term (such as “Sign Up”), use a phrase that includes a benefit such as, “Start earning today!” This slight tweak focuses on what your affiliate will get, not the action they have to take.

You should also be sure your CTA is visible. You can do this through clever design choices – changing the font element, adding it to a button or graphic, or otherwise contrasting it from the rest of the page’s content, for example.

3. Website Elements That Build Credibility

Avantgate clients list

A client list – such as Avantgate’s – is a good way to build credibility for your program and give potential recruits faith.

Another good step to take is to create an area of your site that showcases your program’s achievements and experience. Potential recruits will only want to work with credible programs that can prove their expertise.

Trust is one of the most important aspects of your affiliate program, so it’s essential to include elements on your landing page that build your credibility, and give potential recruits a reason to trust you.

Here are a few recommendations that can help you bolster credibility on your landing page:

  1. Collect testimonials from past and current affiliates.
  2. Create graphics showing companies you’ve worked with.
  3. Offer a breakdown of possible affiliate earnings.

While it’s important to build your credibility as a program, you want to be sure this area also focuses on the affiliate – meaning you’ll need to frame the section as another benefit to the potential recruit.

How to Set Up an Affiliate Landing Page With Affiliate Royale

If you’re ready to create your affiliate landing page, but don’t know where to start, Affiliate Royale makes the process simple. In addition to its various other program-boosting features, it includes a built-in affiliate page for signups:

The Affiliate Royale affiliate signup page

The process for doing so is simple. Essentially, you can create your landing page within the WordPress editor, or you can select the pre-built one included with Affiliate Royale.

Finally, you’ll still want to incorporate a personalized message to your affiliates, and add in the other key components we’ve discussed, just as you would with any other page on your website.

Conclusion

Adding an affiliate landing page to your website is one of the easiest things you can do to increase signups for your program and give out tailored information to potential recruits. What’s more, implementing one is a piece of cake with the right tools to hand.

In this post, we’ve discussed the importance of an affiliate landing page and highlighted three key components you should look to incorporate. These include:

  1. An affiliate-focused message.
  2. A powerful CTA.
  3. Elements that build credibility and trust.

Do you have any questions about how to set up an affiliate landing page, or how Affiliate Royale can help? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Create Successful Affiliate Partnerships

As an affiliate program manager, you may think your job is a solitary one. While this can be true in the beginning, as your program grows, you may find yourself wanting to expand your reach by partnering with others to boost conversions.

Fortunately, you have a lot of opportunities to grow through affiliate partnerships. This is a mutually beneficial solution that can offer you significant results. With a partnership in place, not only can you grow your audience but you can also improve your brand’s credibility.

In this post, we’ll introduce you to the idea of affiliate partnerships, including the benefits of establishing your own. Then you’ll learn three key tips for creating successful affiliate partnerships with like-minded affiliate programs. Let’s get started!

What An Affiliate Partnership Is (And Why You Should Establish One)

In short, an affiliate partnership is an agreement between your affiliate program and either another affiliate program, an individual, or a business to jointly promote each others’ products. There are many benefits to this tactic:

  • You can expand your brand’s reach. When you work with others, you can expand your audience reach with very little effort on your part.
  • Both brands can gain credibility. As more businesses and brands work with you, you’ll be able to further establish your brand’s credibility and become a more trustworthy option for consumers.
  • You leverage an opportunity for growth. As you work alongside your partners, you’ll learn things you can then use to grow your business in the future.

As you can see, a strong partnership can provide you with innumerable returns. As a result, you can grow your business naturally and with minimal effort (aside from setting up the partnership and maintaining that relationship).

How to Create Successful Affiliate Partnerships (3 Key Tips)

Understanding the importance of an affiliate partnership is one thing – how to do so is a whole different ball game. Let’s look at three great ways to implement one.

1. Participate in Industry Events

Content marketing conference event page

Industry events are great ways to network with affiliates, influencers, and businesses.

Whether online or in-person, industry events (such as conferences, webinars, and social gatherings) can help you network and find those with similar interests. In turn, this can provide you with two partnership-related benefits. Firstly, events enable you to meet influencers within your industry (i.e. people who may be interested in being an ambassador or affiliate). Secondly, you can meet program managers who are also looking to partner with other affiliates.

There are many websites and tools you can use to find both in-person and online events, such as Red Stag Fulfillment. Of course, attending events is only the beginning. You’ll also need to know how to network your program successfully. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Prepare for the event. Know who’s going to be there, and what you can offer them. The chances of building a successful partnership will increase if you plan ahead.
  • Be genuine. An affiliate partnership requires trust. The more genuine you are when networking, the more trust you’ll build with potential leads.
  • Follow up with your leads. Chasing potential partners after an event will keep you fresh in their minds, which can improve the odds of a future partnership.

If industry events are difficult (either due to location or lack of suitable industry events), another option is to get involved in community groups online. Facebook and Google+ are two great places to find online communities, and they can help you make meaningful connections with others.

2. Reach Out to Compatible Programs

The Nike and iPod partnership

Partnering with a compatible and relevant program can expand your reach and improve your business.

Compatible programs are those that have a similar audience and goals to you, but have complementary differences that will benefit both brands. Working with them can have two main benefits. Firstly, you can clearly expand your reach through your partner’s audience. Also, a program with established authority can extend that authority to you through association. If you’re unsure how to find a program to work with, take a look at these three tips:

  1. Use social listening. You can find mentions of other programs in your niche that may be beneficial partners, by searching product-related hashtags and following niche influencers.
  2. Find programs with strong followings. To ensure the partnership is worthwhile, look for programs with strong followings (both social and brand). You’ll need to at least consider social media followers and website traffic.
  3. Highlight the benefits of implementing a partnership. This means understanding what you can offer to potential partners, then highlighting those positives when approaching them.

With a compatible program on your side, you can now work to expand your reach even further and grow your own affiliate program.

3. Start a Brand Ambassador Program

Kendall Jenner instagram post as a brand ambassador

Joining forces with a brand ambassador (especially a high-profile one) can do wonders for your conversions.

A brand ambassador program involves recruiting social media influencers and paying them to market your brand to their audience. Starting an ambassador program can have numerous benefits for your business. For example, ambassadors can expand your brand’s reach by leveraging their own audience. Additionally, they can boost your brand’s authority (if you choose them wisely).

Achieving this is very similar to recruiting affiliates. However, there are a few slight differences. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Understand your target demographic. Who do you want to recruit as ambassadors? Create a target persona, and build a program that caters to them.
  • Find social influencers that fit your demographic. With platforms such as Experticity, you can easily find social influencers to recruit to your ambassador program.
  • Offer irresistible benefits. What can your ambassadors expect to get from this partnership? Aside from monetary compensation, consider free ‘bling’ and other such incentives.

When looking for influencers, you’ll want to look past follower numbers. Engagement can be more important than how many followers they have, and an influencer with high engagement can be worth their weight in gold.

Conclusion

Establishing strong partnerships should be at the forefront of your mind as your business grows. By extension, the same could be said for your affiliate partnerships, so taking the time to nurture them is crucial.

In this post, we’ve introduced you to the importance of affiliate partnerships, and offered three key tips for creating successful affiliate partnerships. Let’s recap them:

  1. Participate in industry events.
  2. Reach out to compatible programs.
  3. Start a brand ambassador program.

Do you have any questions about how to create successful affiliate partnerships? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Reasons Your Affiliate Site May Need an Overhaul (And How to Get It Done)

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for marketers to experience a poorly performing affiliate program at some point in their venture. Perhaps you experience a downturn in traffic, or you face a lack of interested affiliate recruits. Whatever the issue, it can be enough to make you want to throw in the towel.

Fortunately, a site overhaul can help you overcome these issues and many more. Plus, it will enable you to tweak your trouble areas and see a boost in business. Of course, this will also extend to your affiliate program, where you may even see an uptick in signups.

In this post, we’ll discuss three reasons your affiliate site may need an overhaul. Then we’ll show you how to perform it by addressing each issue individually, some with the help of Affiliate Royale. Let’s get started!

1. You’ve Noticed a Diminished Return On Investment (ROI)

The Affiliate Royale transactions report

A decrease in sales is normal from time to time. However, a prolonged loss of profits can signal danger for your program.

When you began your affiliate site, you did so with the hopes of making money. However, things may not always go according to plan, and you may have noticed a downturn in profit. As a result, your Return On Investment (the gains you see in comparison to costs) will diminish. As a marketer, these downturns in profits may be caused in part by a deeper issue with your website.

Fortunately, you can improve your ROI with some work and a few adjustments. Here are just a few tips to get you started:

  • Use A/B testing to determine which content performs best. By implementing A/B testing on your site (and encouraging your affiliates to do the same), you can see what changes to make, which could improve audience reactions and may bolster conversions.
  • Equip your affiliates with improved marketing tools. Alongside A/B testing tools, your affiliates may benefit from a marketing resource hub. This can include links and guides to effective marketing tools, as well as how-to videos.
  • Refresh your commission structure. The simple truth is, your affiliates will work harder when there’s more incentive (i.e. money) to do so. This means you should consider increasing your rates according to industry standards, or offer incentives based upon sales and other targets.

Essentially, you get out of your program what you put into it. Given this, you may need to make a higher initial investment (such as in the case with purchasing improved tools and increasing commission rates).

2. You’re Experiencing Decreased Affiliate Recruitment Numbers

The Affiliate Royale affiliate signup page

A decrease in affiliate signups can be a serious indicator that your affiliate site is in need of an overhaul.

As mentioned in the previous section, your affiliates are the backbone of your program. With a decrease in affiliate recruitment numbers, you’ll need to act quickly to boost your signups.

A decrease in recruitment comes down to two main issues. Firstly, your site may not be optimized to target your ideal affiliate demographic. Secondly, your site may initially attract recruits, but there’s another reason why they’re not signing up.

While affiliate recruitment may seem like something out of your control, there is much you can do to improve your numbers and attract affiliates. For example:

  • Understand your target demographic. Knowing your target will enable you to attract them to your program, and offer the benefits they’re seeking.
  • Study rival affiliate programs. This will give you an understanding of typical affiliate program rates and incentives, and help you to see whether your program lines up with theirs.

With this information in hand, it’s now time to focus on what you can offer to your affiliates, both to attract and to keep them. This may mean affiliate signup incentives, increases in program rates, or other offers that sweeten the deal.

3. You’re Struggling With Poor Affiliate Communication

The Affiliate Royale Affiliate Dashboard

The affiliate dashboard offered by Affiliate Royale is an excellent tool for bolstering communication.

Poor communication with your affiliates can have disastrous results. These include the incorrect use of affiliate tools, a loss in profit, and an eventual decrease in affiliate recruitment numbers.

When it comes to poor communication, the issue typically comes down to how you run the program. If your affiliates aren’t communicating with you, there’s a fundamental flaw in its set up. A quality program will always promote communication between affiliates and manager.

As a program issue, this means the problem can be solved. Here are a few tips we recommend to improve affiliate communication and bolster your program:

  • Overhaul the affiliate dashboard with Affiliate Royale. You can add a Contact page to the navigation menu, or offer an easy way for your affiliates to get in contact by adding a chat feature (with tools such as LiveChat).
  • Create an affiliate newsletter. As an easy way to stay in touch with your affiliates, a newsletter can encourage open communication and keep your affiliates in the loop.
  • Encourage affiliate feedback. With the use of anonymous surveys (using tools such as SurveyMonkey) or regularly-scheduled program reviews, you can obtain feedback from your affiliates and then put that feedback into use.

As the program manager, the responsibility to ensure regular and productive communication lies solely on your shoulders. The tips above will get you started, but it’s your job to keep the conversation going.

Conclusion

Even if you put a lot of initial work into your affiliate site, you may still find your site in need of an overhaul. This enables you to better tailor your site to your readers and affiliates, and will go a long way towards helping you improve your business.

In this post, we’ve outlined three common reasons your affiliate site may need an overhaul and how to get it done. To quickly recap:

  1. You’ve noticed a diminished return on investment.
  2. You’re experiencing decreased affiliate recruit numbers.
  3. You’re struggling with poor affiliate communication.

Do you have any questions about how you can overhaul your affiliate site or how Affiliate Royale can help? Let us know in the comments sections below!

How to Provide a Welcoming Affiliate Dashboard for Your Recruits

Your affiliates are your most precious resource. As such, you want to ensure they feel welcome when participating in your program. However, with many programs having countless affiliates, it can be difficult to reach out to everyone and make them feel like part of the team.

The use of an ‘affiliate dashboard’ enables you to provide your affiliates with a welcoming environment, while also giving you a place to share important information. This can improve your affiliate program significantly, mainly through bolstering the relationships with your affiliates.

In this post, we’ll discuss why you should consider using an affiliate dashboard in your program. Then, we’ll highlight three ways you can create a welcoming dashboard for your recruits with the help of Affiliate Royale. Let’s get started!

Why You Should Use An Affiliate Dashboard for Your Program

The Affiliate Royale Affiliate Dashboard

An affiliate dashboard is an excellent addition to any marketing program.

An affiliate dashboard is a platform that will serve as a home base of sorts for your affiliate recruits. There are a variety of benefits to adding one to your program. For example, it can:

  • Enable you to add a professional touch to your affiliate program. This can be a great way to retain affiliates, as it shows you’re invested in your program.
  • Provide recruits with a sense of belonging. As a place for your affiliates to access important information and resources, a dashboard gives your affiliates a place to call their own.
  • Offer you an easy way to stay in touch with your recruits. This can improve affiliate performance and boost feelings of respect.

Of course, we understand that setting up an affiliate dashboard can seem a daunting task. Fortunately, Affiliate Royale makes the process a breeze. Let’s take a look!

How to Provide a Welcoming Affiliate Dashboard for Your Recruits

Once you’ve purchased a plan and activated the Affiliate Royale plugin, it’s time to personalize the dashboard. As the first thing your affiliates will see, this is an essential step. Here are three things we recommend you consider while setting up your dashboard.

1. Add a Personalized Welcome Message

A welcome message is just as it sounds: an upbeat or otherwise welcoming message that greets your affiliates upon signing in. It’s a great way to set the tone for the entire program, and it can provide affiliates the encouragement boost they need. With Affiliate Royale, setting up a personalized welcome message for your affiliates is simple. It only takes a few minutes. Here’s how you do it:

Navigate to Affiliate Royale > Options on your WordPress dashboard, then click Dashboard Settings, which will display a text editor:

Affiliate Royale affiliate dashboard settings

Simply edit the Welcome Message as you’d like, such as by adding a simple “Hello!” or a more involved “We’re glad to have you here!”. If you’d like, you can even give your affiliates a quick tour around the Dashboard by explaining each page and what it has to offer.

2. Incorporate Helpful Navigation Links

There’s much more you can do to make your affiliates feel right at home. One simple way to do so is by incorporating helpful navigation links into the Affiliate Dashboard. For example, you can include links to affiliate resources, program policies, affiliate statistics, and even payment history.

By adding useful links, your affiliates will see that you care about their success. Of course, this also makes it possible for them to adhere to your guidelines, and get straight to the task of earning affiliate income.

To implement this strategy, navigate to the Dashboard Settings by selecting Affiliate Royale > Options. Below Welcome Message and Dashboard Style, you’ll see a bolded section entitled Additional Nav Pages:

The Affiliate Royale Affiliate Dashboard settings with Additional Nav Pages highlighted

From here, click add page, where you can add practically any page to the navigation menu that you can think of. Of course, you can also remove pages by selecting them from the drop-down and clicking remove page.

3. Provide Clear Contact Information

As the program manager, it’s important to be available to your recruits. One way to do so is by providing them with the information they need to contact you. For obvious reasons, this is a great way to promote a welcoming environment. With an easy way to contact you, your affiliates will feel as if they’re part of a larger team. They’re also more likely to approach you with questions and concerns, and this makes it easy to keep your program running smoothly.

If you’d like to give your affiliates access to your contact information, you have two methods of doing so with Affiliate Royale – and both involve the ways we’ve already discussed. First, you can add a Contact page to the navigation menu by navigating to Affiliate Royale > Options > Dashboard Settings from your WordPress dashboard. Next, scroll down to Additional Nav Pages and select add page.

Second, you could also add your contact information to the Welcome Message. Your affiliates will see it immediately upon logging in, and this is perhaps the most direct way of doing so.

Conclusion

An affiliate dashboard can be a welcoming environment for your recruits, and this can have many benefits. In addition to providing you with a place to share important program information, you can also make your affiliates feel valuable. All in all, this feature is useful for increasing your affiliate income.

In this post, we’ve discussed why you may want to add an affiliate dashboard to your program, as well as how to make it welcoming with the help of Affiliate Royale. To recap, you can:

  1. Add a personalized welcome message.
  2. Incorporate helpful navigation links.
  3. Provide clear contact information.

Do you have any questions about how to make your affiliate dashboard more welcoming? Let us know in the comments section below!

4 Handy Shopping Cart Solutions for Your Affiliate Website

As you work to put your affiliate program in place, there’s one major thing you’ll need to consider before launch – the payment solution you’ll use. With so many options available – both free and premium – this can be an overwhelming task.

After all, you want to choose a solution that’s both secure and reliable, and also integrates well with your affiliate plugins. Fortunately, Affiliate Royale offers an array of supported shopping cart integrations. This means you have the ability to choose the right solution for you, knowing that it will seamlessly integrate with your affiliate platform.

In this post, we’ll explain why you need a shopping cart for your affiliate business, then outline four handy shopping cart solutions. Finally, we’ll show you how to integrate each of the options with Affiliate Royale, so you can begin accepting payments right away. Let’s get started!

Why Your Affiliate Business Needs a Shopping Cart Solution

An example of an online shopping cart

Shopping carts enable you to seamlessly display products on your website.

A shopping cart is an obvious need for any site that accepts payments. However, they can also be beneficial for affiliate websites. Unlike an integrated payment button from PayPal or Google Wallet, a shopping cart puts you in full control. You can customize how your products are displayed throughout the payment process.

In addition, your visitors won’t be redirected to another payment portal during the checkout process. Keeping customers on your site throughout the entire transaction helps prevent customer loss and ensure they completely convert. Of course, each shopping cart solution has its own benefits, and some may be better suited to your needs than others.

4 Handy Shopping Cart Solutions for Your Affiliate Website

Let’s introduce four of the top shopping cart solutions for your website. All of the chosen four have one major benefit in common: they integrate well with Affiliate Royale. Let’s take a closer look!

1. WooCommerce

The WooCommerce plugin

WooCommerce is one of the more popular shopping cart plugins – it’s currently installed on more than 3,000,000 WordPress websites – and offers arguably the most flexibility of any solution.

For starters, you can sell physical and digital goods, in various sizes and configurations.

As for price, the base plugin is completely free. However, there are plenty of premium add-ons you can use to further customize the solution to your needs.

2. Easy Digital Downloads

The Easy Digital Downloads plugin

Easy Digital Downloads is a shopping cart solution that enables you to sell mainly digital products on your WordPress website or blog. You can display and sell any type of digital affiliate product, and it also integrates with important tools for affiliate marketers, such as some popular email marketing services. You’ll also be able to handle software licensing, manage discount codes and recurring payments, and track important information for each of your customers.

The plugin is completely free, and there are also plenty of free and premium extensions to expand the plugin’s functionality – including Simple Shipping, which enables the sale of physical products!

3. WP eCommerce

The WP eCommerce plugin

WP eCommerce has over 30,000 active installs and, while it may have had some issues a while ago, things have improved in recent months. In short, we’re excited to see how this plugin continues to develop into a solid shopping cart solution!

With the ability to make CSS and HTML customizations, as well as compatibility with dozens of payment gateways, WP eCommerce is a strong solution. The plugin also incorporates important marketing tools, such as share buttons and related products.

Similarly to the other plugins in our list, WP eCommerce is free to use. However, if you want to get more from the plugin, you can purchase and download a myriad of add-ons.

4. Cart66 Cloud

The Cart66 Cloud plugin

Cart66 Cloud is an underrated but powerful shopping cart solution for your affiliate site. Similar to WooCommerce, this plugin enables the sale of physical and digital products. However, it also incorporates security features (including SSL certificates and security scans) right into the base plugin. You can automate after-sale emails, set up payment plans, and even sell products on Facebook, Twitter, and through email.

The Cart66 Cloud plugin is free. However, you’ll need to purchase a plan (starting at $9.99 per month) to use the solution on your site. Fortunately, there’s a 14-day free trial for new users, enabling you to test the solution without risk.

How to Integrate a Shopping Cart Solution with Affiliate Royale

The Affiliate Royale plugin.

As an affiliate manager, you may feel that a shopping cart solution isn’t entirely necessary. However, it can make the purchase and follow-up process easier for you, your affiliates, and your customers. With your own integrated shopping cart solution, you don’t have to worry about different processes for your various payment options. You can simply choose the solution that’s right for you, set it up, and refocus on building your business.

For the four solutions mentioned above, integrating them is a quick process. In short, install and activate both Affiliate Royale and your chosen shopping cart solution, and that’s it!

There are also other integration options, including those that are partially supported or not supported at all, which will require manual integration. Check out our User Manual if you need comprehensive instructions on how to integrate your chosen solution with Affiliate Royale.

Conclusion

With so many shopping cart solutions available, it can be difficult to narrow your choice to one. However, as long as you select from a number of secure and reliable options, you can’t lose.

In this post, we’ve discussed the importance of shopping cart solutions, as well as outlined four solutions for you to consider. To quickly recap, they are:

  1. WooCommerce: A popular shopping cart solution with dozens of free and premium extensions.
  2. Easy Digital DownloadsA solution that’s perfect for the sale of digital goods.
  3. WP eCommerceA shopping cart solution focused on accessibility, flexibility, and marketability.
  4. Cart66 CloudAn underrated solution with a variety of features and an affordable monthly price tag.

Do you have any questions about choosing a shopping cart solution for your affiliate website, or how to integrate your selection with Affiliate Royale? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Key Methods for Communicating Effectively With Your Affiliates

In order to build a successful affiliate program, it’s important you have a strong relationship with your affiliates. However, it’s difficult to know how to build that relationship. With so many options for digital communication, it can be overwhelming to choose the best ones and know how to implement them.

Fortunately, regular communication doesn’t need to be difficult. It takes effort, but the benefits – including an increase in affiliate trust – will be worth it in the long run.

In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of regular communication with your affiliates. Then we’ll share three key methods for effective communication and the tools you can use to implement them. Let’s get started!

Why Regular Communication With Your Affiliates Is Important

As an affiliate manager, you need to relay important information (and share helpful tools and resources) with your team on a regular basis. Doing so can help you to develop a strong manager-affiliate relationship. This builds trust, which could increase loyalty and motivates affiliates to promote your program.

Additionally, regular communication can ensure your program runs smoothly and can even improve sales. As you show your affiliates that you care – and keep them updated with pertinent information – they’ll be motivated and well-prepared.

3 Key Methods for Communicating Effectively With Your Affiliates

Now you know why you should communicate regularly, it’s vital that you know how to communicate effectively. The three methods below help you do so.

1. Use an Affiliate Dashboard

The Affiliate Royale affiliate dashboard

An affiliate dashboard, such as the one offered by Affiliate Royale, makes it easy to communicate with your affiliates.

Fortunately, you can easily set up an affiliate dashboard with Affiliate Royale. After you’ve purchased a plan and installed and activated the plugin, setting up your dashboard is simple. Navigate to the Affiliate Royale panel on your WordPress dashboard, and head to Options > Dashboard Settings. Here, you can add a welcome message, select the page width, and even add navigation pages to the dashboard:

Affiliate Royale affiliate dashboard settings

To maximize your efforts, you can also add a resource hub and a contact page. You can even include a link within the welcome message to your latest webinar or other program-related event.

2. Create an Email Newsletter

The MailChimp homepage

There are an abundance of newsletter tools to choose from, such as MailChimp.

An email newsletter is a great way to communicate with your affiliates directly. It offers a number of benefits, making it popular among online marketers for both customer and team communication.

An email newsletter enables you to share important program-related news to each affiliate’s inbox. Additionally, regular emails can help you to communicate with those who aren’t regularly logging into the affiliate dashboard.

To get started on your first email newsletter, we recommend using a dedicated newsletter tool, such as MailChimp, which also integrates with Affiliate Royale. After you’ve signed up for your account and chosen the plan that’s best for you, take these steps to create your first email newsletter:

  1. Set your template. MailChimp will guide you through the process of selecting a layout for your first campaign from a myriad of professional-looking templates.
  2. Create your headline. Add a Text content box to the very top of your newsletter, and use a headline optimization tool – such as CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer – to create an enticing headline for your affiliate readers.
  3. Write your content. Add another Text box to your newsletter, this time below the headline. Now, add in your body content, and save your changes when complete.
  4. Add images: Find images that align with your content, then insert them into your newsletter by dragging and dropping the Image content box where you’d like.
  5. Include a Call To Action (CTA): With the Button content box, add in a powerful CTA to tie your newsletter together. For example, “Visit the Resource Hub!” or “Sign Up For the Webinar!”

That’s it – your first email newsletter is now set and ready to go! For ease of use, you can even save the template and use later in your future newsletters.

3. Host a Monthly ‘Webinar’

YouTube Live homepage

You can host webinars for free with live broadcasting tools, such as YouTube Live.

Webinars are web-based conferences that can connect you with your audience, either live or at a later time. For affiliate communication, webinars can play a key role, providing effective, informative, and positive interactions.

One of the best things about webinars is their direct and personal nature, which can create stronger connections and build trust. You can also receive and answer questions from your team during the live stream. What’s more, affiliates unable to attend live can view the recording anytime.

For hosting webinars, we recommend YouTube Live. This free webinar hosting tool includes live chat and recording capability, and can be embedded into your WordPress website.

The New Event page in YouTube Live

It takes just a few minutes to set up your first live event:

  1. Navigate to your YouTube profile, then click on your profile picture.
  2. Click the Creator Studio button, which will take you to a dashboard.
  3. Navigate to the Live Streaming tab in the sidebar, then choose Events and enter your webinar’s details, before saving your changes.

During your webinars, look to encourage affiliate engagement. Since webinar platforms enable you to answer questions live, use this ability to get help from your affiliates in identifying common problems they face, and gaining ideas for future communication.

Conclusion

When you take the time to communicate with your affiliates regularly, you build trust and loyalty with them. Effective communication shows your affiliates that you care. It also equips them to be more effective in promoting and gaining sales for your program.

In this post, we’ve outlined three ways you can communicate with your affiliates effectively. Here’s a quick recap of our recommendations:

  1. Use an affiliate dashboard.
  2. Create an email newsletter.
  3. Host a monthly webinar.

Do you have any questions about how to communicate with your affiliates? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Create an Effective Affiliate Program for Your Membership Site

While membership sites often grow into a lucrative source of income, you may find that yours has gotten off to a slow start. This can be frustrating – especially considering the time and effort you’ve put in – but it’s not impossible to fix.

In short, creating an affiliate program may help to speed up your site’s growth. It can encourage interest in your membership site and motivate others to promote it to their own networks. This increased reach and interest can lead to improved conversions and increased memberships.

In this post, we’ll talk about why you should consider creating an affiliate program for your membership site. Then we’ll offer you three tips for creating one, and explain how to implement each tip seamlessly. Let’s get started!

Why You Should Consider Creating an Affiliate Program for Your Membership Site

Affiliate programs exist to promote and sell products or services. In this case, you’ll use one to promote and sell subscriptions to your membership site. Affiliate programs have many potential benefits, including:

  • Expanded brand reach: With dedicated individuals promoting your membership site, your brand (and service offerings) can reach new audiences.
  • Improved subscription sales: The more eyes on your program, the higher your potential sales. A dedicated affiliate program can promote your membership site, and this can result in an income boost.
  • Increased website visibility and brand credibilityThe greater the number of affiliates promoting your program, the more your website visibility and brand credibility can increase.

Fortunately, creating an affiliate program doesn’t have to be difficult. Let’s look at how to create your own and start benefiting.

How to Create an Effective Affiliate Program for Your Membership Site (3 Tips)

These three tips will help you create streamlined management, find great recruits, and see higher conversions for your effective affiliate program. Let’s take a look!

1. Combine Your Membership Site and Affiliate Program Activities

Running a membership site takes time and money, and the same is true for running an affiliate program. To make your job easier, combine your activities. Doing so lets you spend less time managing the details, and more time recruiting quality affiliates. You’ll also ensure that changes in your membership site are communicated to your affiliate site automatically (and vice versa), helping you avoid mistakes due to overlooked information.

With the right tools, combining your site and program isn’t difficult. MemberPress is a membership site management plugin for creating a simple and user-friendly membership site with a variety of add-ons:

The MemberPress home page.

You also get a version of Affiliate Royale, our popular affiliate management plugin, which provides you with an all-in-one solution to create a seamless affiliate program for your membership site.

Of course, there’s more than just the tools you choose – the affiliates you pick are also important. Let’s take a look at that aspect now.

2. Look to Site Members for Potential Affiliate Recruits

If you have enough members (more on this later), you can look to your membership as a bank of potential affiliates. There are numerous benefits to doing this. For a start, affiliates will already be knowledgeable about the program, and you’ll save time on scouting and training, which can be spent working on other aspects of your program.

Affiliates, of course, don’t work for free. To recruit site members you should offer competitive commission rates. Make the offer even more enticing by providing a membership site discount in addition to commission.

If your program is so new that you don’t have many members to recruit, try these two tactics:

  1. Work out partnerships with other membership or affiliate sites. By creating combined offers or discounts, you multiply the benefits for your new affiliates. Partnerships also help you reach a wider network of potential affiliates.
  2. Use guest posting to gain exposure. If you can, include a link to a targeted landing page (see the next tip) as a great way to gain members and affiliate recruits. Even without a landing page link, guest posting will expand your reach and increase site traffic.

Additionally, you can offer a membership discount to site members who may not want to be marketers themselves, but who can recruit some of their friends or family to the program. This will further expand the scope of your recruitment efforts.

3. Build a High-Conversion Landing Page for Affiliate Signups

A landing page is one built with a primary goal in mind. In this case, it’s recruiting affiliates for your new program. Your page has to be more than just a placeholder, though – it needs to engage visitors and encourage signups.

Building a landing page gives your affiliate program a ‘home’ that is easy for others to share. More sharing can lead to additional signups. To build a landing page that converts:

  1. Focus on the benefits of your affiliate program: Highlight your competitive commission rates, membership site discounts (for those interested), and other benefits.
  2. Use a strong Call To Action (CTA): Direct, specific CTAs create a sense of urgency and promote signups.
  3. Use the Affiliate Royale plugin to create a dedicated signup page: Setup is simple, and you can configure the page as you would any other WordPress page (with the addition of a signup form).

Overall, it’s most important to focus on quality. Take the time to build a high-quality landing page for your affiliate program, and you’ll be off to an excellent start!

Conclusion

It can be disheartening when your membership site doesn’t take off immediately. The creation of an affiliate program can help promote interest in your site, expand your reach, and increase conversions.

In this post, we’ve offered you three tips for creating an affiliate program for your membership site. To quickly recap, they are:

  1. Combine your membership site and affiliate program operations.
  2. Look to site members for potential affiliate recruits.
  3. Build a high-conversion landing page for affiliate signups.

Do you have questions about how to start an affiliate program for your membership site? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Important Search Engine Optimization Techniques for Your Affiliate Site

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is commonly touted as vital for your website’s success. By increasing your site’s visibility, SEO can boost your site traffic and establish you as an industry authority. However, SEO techniques can seem difficult and complicated, which may prevent you from using them on your website.

In reality, many SEO techniques are easy to use. You just need to know which ones are most effective, and how to use them on your affiliate site. Taking a common sense approach and thinking of your readers first will likely net you the highest gains.

In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of SEO for affiliate websites, before introducing three SEO techniques and teaching you how to use them effectively. Let’s get started!

How Search Engine Optimization Can Benefit Your Affiliate Business

SEO is a discipline used to improve website visibility on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This is particularly valuable for affiliate websites, which need targeted traffic and conversions. SEO can:

  1. Drive targeted traffic. Not all traffic is created equally. You must drive targeted traffic to your website, especially if you wish to increase leads and boost sales.
  2. Build credibility and trust. A website that ranks highly on SERPs will be more trusted, and this will improve your brand’s credibility.
  3. Improve conversions. With the use of certain SEO techniques, your target audience will be able to find you more easily. Improved connections with your target audience means a potential increase in leads and conversions.

SEO requires patience and consistency, but the results are worth the effort. By using the most important SEO techniques, you can maximize those efforts.

3 Important Search Engine Optimization Techniques for Your Affiliate Site

With at least 200 factors involved in SEO ranking, narrowing down the most vital is tough. However, the three below are some of the most important. Let’s take a look!

1. Create Quality, Targeted Content

Quality content with 2 million shares

When your content is high-quality and targeted, you’ll garner more social media shares and boost reader engagement.

In this context, ‘targeted’ simply means creating content for a specific subset of your audience. Doing this will attract more qualified readers and will likely be more effective in converting them to customers. Quality content keeps your site credible and trustworthy (as you’ll be seen as an industry resource).

While there are a number of tips for creating quality, targeted content, these will serve you well:

  • Perform keyword research. Use a mixture of commercial intent keywords (those you intend to monetize) and information keywords to narrow your focus in each piece of content. Incorporate the keywords in a natural way and read your writing aloud. If it sounds contrived, reword it.
  • Make it original. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to avoid copying content. In short, avoid copying ideas without adding your own unique spin. By including your own concepts and connections, readers will find your content more engaging and helpful.
  • Make it readable. There are many well-proven techniques – such as optimizing headlines and strategically structuring your copy  – that makes content highly readable. Scannable content is important, so use headings, bullets, and white space to make your content more engaging.

In short, to serve your readers is to create content that answers their questions and addresses their needs. Making sure you offer quality targeted content is the key.

2. Use On-Page Optimization

A meta description seen on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

Meta descriptions are a powerful on-page optimization technique, and one you should use consistently.

On-page optimization is an SEO technique to increase your site’s user-friendliness. A user-friendly site can increase the visit time on your site and boost your conversion rate. On-page optimization also makes it easier for Googlebots to crawl your site.

As with targeted content, there are many on-page optimization techniques, but these three are key:

  1. Add keyword-infused meta descriptions. Meta descriptions are snippets of content viewable in SERPs. Including targeted keywords in them can improve your search engine rankings, making it easier for target readers to find you.
  2. Use short, branded URLs. These help boost your brand, and they can also be shared easily – which can improve your rankings as your reach expands.
  3. Incorporate outbound and on-site links into your content. Both types of links can improve your website’s credibility. In addition, they add depth to your content, increasing its usefulness and quality.

On-page optimization is one of the easier techniques to implement, and doing so will contribute a great deal to boosting your search engine rankings.

3. Increase Backlinks to Your Site

A byline linking to an author's website.

Backlinking to your website (for example, in a byline) will help to boost your search engine ranking.

Simply put, backlinks are links to your website from other sources on the web, and they offer two powerful benefits by passing link juice onto your site, and expanding your site’s reach. More backlinks lead to a wider audience, which offers you more opportunity to attract your target audience.

To build backlinks, there are a number of tips that offer good results quickly, among which are:

  1. Guest post on industry blogs. Seek out high-traffic and relevant blogs in your niche, and aim to write for blogs you would recommend to your own readers.
  2. Get active on niche forums. They can build backlinks, expand your reach, and establish you as a credible industry resource.
  3. Find and fix broken linksRegularly seek out and correct broken links to your site to ensure that backlinks are effective.

Building backlinks is arguably more effort than other SEO techniques. However, it can greatly increase your affiliate site’s reach and influence if you focus on quality backlinks over quantity.

Conclusion

Presenting your affiliate website in the best light builds trust and helps to improve conversions through user-friendliness. Fortunately, you can gain the above benefits (and more) with the right SEO techniques.

In this post, we’ve offered three of the most important search engine optimization techniques. Let’s recap them quickly:

  1. Create quality, targeted content.
  2. Use on-page optimization.
  3. Increase backlinks to your site.

Do you have any questions about how to implement the above techniques on your website? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Ways a Social Media Presence Can Benefit Your Affiliate Business

When promoting your affiliate business, it’s important to use every channel that can benefit your brand. Many marketers find social media to be time-consuming; they struggle to justify the time and effort required. A strong social media presence, however, can help your business grow by boosting site traffic and increasing interest in your brand. It’s essential that you make time for social media on your weekly to-do list.

In this post, we’ll discuss three ways that a strong social media presence can benefit your affiliate business. In addition, we’ll show you how Affiliate Royale can help – especially when it comes to creating social media-friendly affiliate content. Let’s get started!

1. It Can Drive Quality, Targeted Traffic to Your Website

A Google Analytics graph showing traffic growth

A strong presence on social media can grow your site’s traffic numbers.

Driving traffic to your website is essential for business growth. However, there’s a major difference between ‘regular’ traffic and quality, targeted traffic: targeted traffic is the type more likely to convert.

A strong social media presence helps you connect with your target audience, thus increasing targeted traffic to your website. In addition, social media gives you a platform for promoting on-site content (and attracting readers to said content).

Follow these two steps to use your social media presence to drive quality, targeted traffic to your site:

  1. Find the ‘right’ platforms for your audience. How ‘right’ a platform is will vary according to your business. In a nutshell, you want to find the platforms where your target audience hangs out most.
  2. Create ‘clickable’ content. Content that is compelling and that speaks directly to your target audience leads to more clicks.

Remember that not all traffic is created equal. To drive the ‘right’ traffic to your site, you need to ensure you’re following the steps above, and posting on your social media profiles consistently.

2. It Can Expand Your Industry Reach

Industry reach example as shown by number of Twitter followers

A social media presence enables you to use your followers to expand your industry reach.

Your ‘reach’ simply means how far your brand extends beyond your immediate audience. A strong social media presence can expand your brand’s reach. Your followers will share your content, delivering it to their own followers and so on.

With the proper techniques in place, expanding your reach with the help of social media is a breeze. Here are two particular techniques we think will be most beneficial:

  1. Include industry leaders by using hashtags and mentions. This is a simple way to increase the number of eyes on your posts, and maybe even make some vital business connections.
  2. Create ‘shareable’ content. Incorporate trending topics and audience engagement into your social media campaign to ensure that your content is shareable.

Aside from the obvious benefits of an expanded reach (such as more social media followers and potential leads), social media can also boost your credibility.

3. It Can Boost Your Credibility

An example of brand credibility on Twitter

Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income hosts live chats (and includes special guests) to boost his brand’s credibility.

As an affiliate marketer, you know that credibility can lend itself to improved sales. A social media presence can lead to such credibility. Your reach on social media can build trust among your followers and establish you as an industry leader.

Of course, presence alone won’t boost your credibility. There are two habits you can adopt to ensure you’re making the most of your platform:

  1. Use your platform to discuss industry-related news. This will show your followers that you’re well informed, and will also help to build your reputation as an industry expert.
  2. Engage with your audience, asking them questions and leading the conversation. Acting as a moderator can help you appear more knowledgeable. It also gives you the chance to see how your audience feels about certain topics.

These two techniques can go a long way in establishing you as an industry expert. A solid industry reputation is important if you want to continue to increase your brand and your website’s credibility.

How Affiliate Royale Helps You Create Stellar Affiliate Content for Social Media

Affiliate Royale is an affiliate program management plugin. Its array of features can help you create a strong affiliate program and establish a strong social media presence through the use of the link and banner creation tool.

To use the tool, just head to Affiliate Royale > Links & Banners, located on the left side of your WordPress dashboard. You’ll be brought to the Links & Banners settings page:

The Affiliate Royale Links and Banners tool options page

Once on the page, you can select either Text or Banner from the Link Type drop-down menu. You can then add the target URL, create a unique slug, and even upload the background image you’d like to use.

Once you’re all done, you just need to copy the code or URL provided by the tool. Now, paste it to your social media profile or posts. It’s really that simple!

Conclusion

With a strong social media presence, you can do more than just gain followers; you can also build lasting relationships with your audience and business contacts. You can broaden your reach and build your reputation. With these benefits, social media marketing is worth the time and effort you spend on it.

In this post, we’ve highlighted the benefits that an active social media presence can bring to your affiliate business. To recap, you can:

  1. Drive quality, targeted traffic to your website.
  2. Expand your industry reach.
  3. Boost your credibility.

Do you have any questions about how a strong social media presence can benefit your affiliate business, or how Affiliate Royale can help? Let us know in the comments section below!