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!

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!

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 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!