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 Tips for Picking the Right Social Media Platform for Your Affiliate Business

A solid social media presence can provide many valuable benefits. However, a lot of businesses fail to harness the power of social media, or waste time using the ‘wrong’ platform for their needs.

Fortunately, it is possible to choose the ‘right’ social media platform. The right choice is the one that works best for your business, and it can result in increased audience engagement, expanded reach, and even improved sales.

In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of picking the best social platform for your business. We’ll give you three tips for doing so, and show you how to implement each tip immediately. Let’s get started!

Why Picking the Best Social Media Platform Is Important

The best social media platform will depend upon your business and your goals. Choosing your platform carefully is important for two main reasons:

  1. It enables you to expand your reach. The right platform will have the right people: those who are interested in your business. You can drive more traffic, as well as expand your reach through shares, follows, and likes.
  2. It ensures the best use of your resources. The right platform will enable you to use your resources (time and money) wisely. This will translate to better results, such as increased web traffic and improved sales.

Often, businesses use as many social media platforms as possible. However, this approach can result in a poor return on your investment. It also requires greater resources, and makes consistency in terms of publishing content more challenging.

3 Tips for Picking the Right Social Media Platform for Your Affiliate Business

This task can seem daunting, but if you use these three tips to determine the best social media platform for your marketing business, you’ll be well on your way.

1. Use Audience Demographics to Refine Your Goals

Audience demographics are characteristics that describe the majority of your website visitors. They include age and gender, for example, and also more specific information such as job, income, family life, personality, location, and more.

Demographics are helpful when picking the best social media platform for two main reasons: they can tell you where your audience is most likely to hang out, and can give you insight into the type of content your audience prefers.

There are two key steps to using audience demographics when searching for the best social media platform:

  1. Collect user data with Google Analytics. In this situation, the most helpful information will be ‘acquisition’ (where your website visitors are coming from) and ‘behavior’ (how your visitors act on your site). For example, if many visitors come from or share content to a specific platform, you can use this information to narrow down your search.
  2. Apply this data to known social media demographics. Compare the user data you’ve collected with the demographics of social media platforms to find out which best matches your audience. You can also use general demographics (such as age, location, and gender) to refine your platform search.

Selecting the best platform isn’t exactly a science. Using statistically-obtained data to direct your search, however, will help you improve your campaign’s returns.

2. Align Your Choice With Your Business Goals

Your choices and actions should align with your business’ goals. Choosing a social media platform is no different. The right choice is the one that enables you to complete your goals, so it’s smart to incorporate your business goals into your social media search.

How you do so will depend on the goals you’ve set out for your business. However, there are three general steps you can follow to select the best platform for your business:

  1. Select a main goal. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve with your social media account (e.g. build traffic or expand your reach), and go from there.
  2. Set an action plan for achieving the goal. For example, building traffic would mean creating ‘clickable’ content that leads to your site, while expanding your reach would mean creating shareable content.
  3. Find where your actions will best fit. If shareable content is your goal, Facebook and Pinterest are solid choices. However, Twitter is great for driving traffic, and Instagram can expand your reach.

With a main goal and action plan now laid out, it’s time to consider one last element of your search: resource limitations. Let’s take a closer look.

3. Lay Out and Understand Your Resource Limits

Unlimited resources would be great, but that’s not a reality for most business owners. It’s beneficial to have a clear understanding of your time, money, and commitment limitations when selecting your platform.

Of course, you want to spend your time and money wisely. With defined limits, you can do so by ensuring that you’ve chosen the best platform for your business goals and available resources.

To get started, here are two steps to take:

  1. Uncover your limits. This means understanding how much time and money you can spend, and how much effort you can put into your social media campaign.
  2. Find the platform that best aligns. For example, Facebook may work well with 1–2 posts per day, while Twitter responds best with 10–15 and Pinterest with 5–10. Consider your time budget as well as your spending limits; choose the platform with best Return on Investment (ROI) if money is limited.

Remember – you don’t have to sacrifice a strong social media presence if your resources are limited. Instead, make smart decisions based upon the reality of your business’ limitations. By focusing your resources on the best social media platform, you’ll get the best results.

Conclusion

To expand your reach and improve your brand presence, you need to look beyond your own website and engage your audience on social media. For best results, take the time to choose the best social media platform for your affiliate business.

In the above post, we’ve outlined the three best tips for picking the ‘right’ platform for your business. To quickly recap, they are:

  1. Use audience demographics to refine your goals.
  2. Align your choice with your business goals.
  3. Lay out and understand your resource limits.

Do you have any questions about how to pick the best social media platform for your affiliate marketing business? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Ways to Drive High-Quality Traffic to Your Affiliate Marketing Site

Generating high-quality site traffic is critical if you want your business to succeed – after all, you can’t make sales without visitors. Unfortunately, building traffic can be a slow uphill battle, especially for a fledgling affiliate marketing site.

Fortunately, there are a number of techniques you can utilize to drive traffic to your website. When used correctly, they’ll bring you the audience you seek and enable you to achieve your marketing goals.

In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of high-quality traffic and why it is beneficial for your affiliate website. We’ll then offer three ways you can drive targeted visitors to your site, and suggest how you can implement them effectively. Let’s get started!

Why High-Quality Traffic Is Important for Your Affiliate Marketing Site

In affiliate marketing, high-quality traffic refers to visitors that engage – and in some instances, convert (i.e. make purchases). This is different than general traffic, as quality traffic is more likely to have a purpose (such as purchasing a product you promote) for visiting your site.

Quality traffic is important for the growth of your affiliate marketing site (and for reaching your goals). In fact, there are two specific benefits your site may experience as a direct result of increased high-quality traffic:

  1. An improvement in sales: As more targeted traffic gets driven to your site, it could likely result in more sales.
  2. An increase in brand exposure: With more traffic coming to your site, you can further publicize your brand to a wider audience – this is key to targeting even more quality traffic.

However, it’s not enough to understand the importance of high-quality traffic. You must also know how to bring it to your site.

3 Ways to Drive High-Quality Traffic to Your Affiliate Marketing Site

Driving traffic to your website isn’t difficult, especially when you consider the following three ways to do so. Let’s take a look!

1. Offer Top-Notch Content

HubSpot blog post headline

HubSpot utilizes strong and informative headlines, as well as bright and catching images, to engage readers.

As a marketer, quality content should be the cornerstone of your website. This is the kind of content that provides your site visitors with value, and simultaneously boosts your credibility – establishing you as an industry authority.

The importance of quality content for driving traffic cannot be overstated. That’s because its presence could set your site apart from your competitors. With this in mind, it’s important to create top-notch content consistently. Here are a few tips to remember:

  1. Use eye-catching headlines. There are a number of elements to include, and the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer provides you with a great start.
  2. Make it valuable. This means incorporating actionable advice, and answering the questions your audience is asking.
  3. Make it engaging. You can do this by incorporating different forms of media (such as images, infographics, and videos) and making sure it’s relatable with your target audience.

Overall, the best way to ensure you’re creating top-notch content is to focus on your audience. This ensures you’re writing with their needs (and wants) in mind, and will further improve engagement and credibility.

2. Become (And Stay) Active on Social Media

Wendy's Twitter marketing post

Wendy’s is a brand with an active social media page. This keeps customers engaged and likely plays a role in driving sales.

Social media enables you to engage with both current and potential customers, and this means an active social media presence can be beneficial for your business’s growth. What’s more, it can drive site traffic by improving your business’ authority (by showing customers you care about their satisfaction) and by strengthening your brand and image.

The important thing (other than being active) is to stay active on social media. This can be difficult when you’re in the midst of running a business, but here are a few tips to keep you on target:

  1. Find the right platform for audience engagement: To find the right platform for your audience, analyze the demographics of your target reader, then apply your results to known social media demographics. You should find some crossover that helps you choose a suitable platform or two.
  2. Stick to a clear posting schedule: Of course, you should aim to engage with your customers on a regular basis. However, a solid posting schedule serves as a good base to start from.

Consistency is key when it comes to engaging your customers on social media. This is why it’s vital that you not only become active on social media, but stay active, too.

3. Use Search Engine Optimization

Google search engine results page

With so many results to compete with, it’s important that you utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on your business’ site.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process that improves your ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) – this makes you more visible to potential traffic. In addition, a higher SERP ranking also makes it more likely for your site to be clicked on by search engine users.

While there are an abundance of SEO techniques, there are a few techniques that have more of an impact on ranking factors than others. These include:

  1. Long-tail keywords: Due to less competition, keywords that range from two to five words in length can help you to rank higher.
  2. Quality backlinks: The more websites that have links pointing to your site, the higher you’ll rank in terms of authority and credibility.
  3. Comprehensive content: Lengthier content tends to rank higher on Google’s SERPs, with the average first page result containing 1,890 words.

If you’re a WordPress user, you can also use a suitable SEO plugin, such as Yoast SEO, to further improve your ranking efforts.

Conclusion

As a new affiliate, you may find yourself struggling to attract the desired type of traffic to your website. Fortunately, driving quality traffic isn’t difficult with the right techniques in place.

In this post, we’ve showed you three ways you can drive high-quality web traffic to your marketing site. To quickly recap:

  1. Offer top-notch content.
  2. Become (and stay) active on social media.
  3. Use search engine optimization.

Do you have any questions about how you can drive quality traffic to your affiliate marketing website? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Problems You May Face as an Affiliate Manager (And How to Overcome Them)

Much like any other business, running a successful affiliate program can be overwhelming. Unexpected problems can crop up any time, and a delay in addressing these issues can hinder your plans. As an affiliate manager this can be stressful, especially if you don’t know how to overcome them.

Fortunately, the use of a stellar affiliate management plugin can help you deal with these problems easily. Plugins such as Affiliate Royale enable you to take full control of your program, and will provide you with practically all of the tools you’ll require to meet the needs of both your program and your affiliates.

In this post, we’ll highlight three common problems faced by affiliate managers, and provide advice on how to overcome each one using Affiliate Royale’s comprehensive feature set. Let’s get started!

1. Poor Communication With Your Affiliates

As a program manager, your affiliates are your most important asset. This means you need to stay in contact with them, both to inform them of program updates and changes, and to stay on top of their concerns and questions.

Unfortunately, poor communication is a common occurrence in affiliate programs. This happens when managers withhold information – such as sales numbers and upcoming updates – and it can lead to a lack of trust at best.

Given that affiliates are responsible for promoting your products, poor communication with them can mean fewer sales for you, potentially resulting in less affiliates joining your program. The solution is simple: start communicating with your affiliates! Let’s take a closer look at how Affiliate Royale can help you do just that.

The Affiliate Dashboard is the place to start. Navigate to Affiliate Royale > Options, then open the Dashboard Settings, where you can enter a personalized message to your affiliates:

Affiliate Royale affiliate dashboard settings

You can also add further pages via Dashboard Settings > Additional Nav Pages. Here, you can link to a Contact page, add a Policy page, and even create an FAQ page to keep your affiliates in the loop.

2. Theft of Your Affiliates Links

Link stealing is the action of copying an affiliate link URL, then replacing the information at the end of the link (such as an affiliate ID) with your own. This is a direct form of stealing – taking potential earnings away from other affiliates – and while you aim to only work with trustworthy associates, sometimes it happens.

Of course, link stealing doesn’t always happen among affiliates. Essentially, anyone could look to score a discount on a linked product by signing up for it as an affiliate, then purchasing the item with their own link. In the majority of cases they get caught; however, it’s still a nuisance to deal with.

The problems caused by link stealing vary based on the culprit. When it happens among affiliates, it can create feelings of hostility. This is because affiliates may feel as if their links aren’t protected, and other less-honest affiliates are benefiting from their work. In short, it can flood your program with affiliates who are stealing from you.

The only real way to reduce the risk of links being stolen is to cloak them. This makes it impossible for others (either inside or outside the program) to replace the affiliate information at the end of the URL with their own. To get started, we recommend a link shortener plugin, such as Pretty Link Pro.

Pretty Link Pro add link page

Cloaking your links is a simple process. Once the plugin is installed, navigate to Pretty Link > Add New Link on the left side of the WordPress dashboard. From here, select a redirection type (cloaking, in this case), enter the target URL, then add a slug to the end of the link. Now, your affiliate links are safeguarded against theft!

Finally, an additional tool – offered by Affiliate Royale – is link tracking. This enables you to keep an eye on link clicks in real-time so you can catch on to shady behavior quickly.

3. Failure to Empower Your Affiliates

As a manager, you (of course) have a lot on your plate. This means you may not always have the time to empower your affiliates, which can lead to poor performance.

Empowering your affiliates simply means providing them with the tools and resources they need to make smart and effective decisions. Failure to do so can lead to a number of issues. For you, it means giving up some control and trusting your affiliates as marketing professionals to make their own decisions. You can overcome this problem in a few ways, including with the help of Affiliate Royale.

While you could offer empowerment in a number of ways, creating an affiliate resource hub is a stellar idea you should consider first. This is a page (or collection of pages) that contains tools, guides, tutorials, and more on how to use your products, the intricacies of your affiliate program, and anything else you think they need to do their jobs effectively.

Affiliate Royale affiliate dashboard navigation links

As for creating your hub, the details of this will be down to you. However, once you’re ready to rock and roll, you can simply add it as a navigation page via your affiliate dashboard, and you’re all set!

Conclusion

Whether you’ve just started your affiliate business, or it’s been going for a while, problems can occur that can make running your business difficult. However, with an affiliate management plugin such as Affiliate Royale, you can implement measures that can help you overcome these problems.

In the above post, we’ve highlighted three common problems faced by affiliate managers and how they can overcome them with Affiliate Royale. To quickly recap:

  1. Poor communication with your affiliates.
  2. Theft of your affiliates’ links.
  3. Failure to empower your affiliates.

What kinds of affiliate management problems have you faced? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Determine Commission Rates for Your Affiliate Marketing Program (in 3 Steps)

As the head of an affiliate program, one of the most difficult decisions you’ll make is how to determine suitable commission rates. For some, this may be an overwhelming experience, especially if you are not familiar with the steps involved.

Fortunately, this can be a straightforward process. All it requires is a few simple calculations, and you’ll be able to set rates that will benefit both you and your affiliates.

In this post, we’ll touch on the importance of competitive commission rates. Then, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide to help you determine suitable commission rates for your program. Finally, you’ll learn how to set commission rates in Affiliate Royale, enabling you to implement your program immediately. Let’s get started!

Why Your Affiliate Business Needs Competitive Commission Rates

Simply put, commission rates are reward-based payments that your affiliates will receive upon the completion of a sale. These rates typically include two separate elements: a base rate and bonuses.

When setting your business’ commission rates, it can be tempting to keep them low to maximize your own profits. However, there are two major benefits of providing more lucrative rates:

  1. They can attract high-performing affiliates.
  2. They can lead to increased conversions, as affiliates will have an incentive (i.e. higher pay) to do well.

While you may be paying each affiliate more per sale, you could end up seeing more sales overall. Of course, this increase your business’ revenue and will be better for your affiliate program in the long run.

How to Determine Commission Rates for Your Affiliate Marketing Program (in 3 Steps)

As we mentioned, determining your commission rates doesn’t have to be difficult. The three steps below will allow you to accurately determine commission rates for your affiliate program. Let’s jump right in!

Step 1. Determine the Maximum Rate You Can Afford to Pay Out

Shopify's profit margin calculator

The Shopify profit margin calculator can help you to determine your maximum rate.

In short, the maximum rate is the most you can afford to pay out to your affiliates without cutting into your profit margins or raising prices. With this figured out, you then have a boundary to work with, which will also help you when pricing your product.

Determining maximum rate isn’t difficult. Just grab a calculator, and perform these three simple steps:

  1. Determine your profit margin. This shows what you’re actually making on each sale when your cost of doing business is factored in.
  2. Consider how much you need to run your business. This includes your own paycheck, as well as any business operations (such as expenses and investments) and taxes.
  3. Subtract step 2 from step 1. The result of subtracting one from the other is your maximum rate.

Keep in mind that your maximum rate is not your base commission. To determine that, let’s first take a look at bonuses and incentives.

Step 2. Factor In Any Bonuses and Incentives

LeadPages sign-up incentive for affiliates

LeadPages uses a sign-up offer to incentivize affiliates to join.

Bonuses and incentives are payments above base rate, and they’re awarded to affiliates who have performed above expectations. As such, they’re vital for a motivated and happy team.

Allowing for bonuses and incentives will provide you with wiggle room in your regular rates (i.e. you can set them a little lower depending on how generous you are). This means you can offer bonuses while ultimately protecting your profits.

This step isn’t difficult. To get you started, here are two ways to factor bonuses and incentives into your commission rates:

  1. Consider the bonuses or incentives you’ll use. You can offer performance-based bonuses, or those based on affiliate recruitment.
  2. Set commission tiers. This enables you to restrict the payouts you make, while still rewarding your affiliate appropriately.

If you’re looking for an easy way to keep your affiliates on-board, then bonuses and incentives are one element to include in your program.

Step 3. Compare Your Commission Rates to Your Competitors’

Monitor Backlinks Free Backlink Checker SEO Tool

Free tools, such as the Monitor Backlinks Free Backlink Checker SEO Tool, can help you to learn the unpublished rates of your competitors’ affiliate programs.

Comparing your rates to your competitors’ helps you to get an idea of industry standards. With these in mind, you can then set more competitive rates, or set lower base rates with higher bonuses or incentives to entice affiliates to join your program.

The vast majority of affiliate programs have commission rates stated clearly on their sites, which makes comparing rates simple:

  1. Utilize Google. Entering “‘Competitor name’ + ‘affiliate program’”  into your browser’s search bar will typically bring up the competitor’s affiliate page, which could list their current commission rates.
  2. Keep records of your findings. This doesn’t have to be complex. You could use a simple spreadsheet to record competitors’ names, affiliate page links, commission rates, and any other data you think to be relevant. Once you’ve collected the data, it’ll be easy to make comparisons.

If you’re having trouble finding your competitors’ rates, you can also reach out to their affiliates. Use a competitor backlink tool to find affiliates who link to your competitors on their websites, then send a short note inquiring about current commission rates.  While not foolproof, this method may get you the information you seek.

How to Set Commission Rates in Affiliate Royale

Affiliate Royale is an affiliate program management plugin, and the only one you’ll likely ever need. Its list of extensive features includes link tracking, a link and banner creator, and even the ability to set up to 100 commission levels:

Affiliate Royale's commission settings

Setting commission levels in Affiliate Royale is a breeze. Once you purchase a plan and install the plugin, locate the Affiliate Royale menu on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard. Next, navigate to Options > Commission Settings and enter your commission rates. You can add more commission levels by clicking add level. Of course, remember to click Update Options when you’re finished in order to save your changes.

Conclusion

Determining commission rates is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make as an affiliate program manager. Fortunately, the process can be straightforward, and there are a number of things you can do to ensure you offer competitive rates to your affiliates.

In this post, we’ve highlighted the importance of competitive affiliate program rates. In addition, we’ve provided you with a breakdown of steps for determining affiliate commission rates. To quickly recap:

  1. Determine the maximum rate you can afford to pay out.
  2. Factor in any bonuses and incentives.
  3. Compare your commission rates to your competitors’.

Do you have any questions about determining commission rates, or how to set them up within Affiliate Royale? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Tips for Increasing Transparency in Your Affiliate Marketing

As an affiliate marketer, it’s important to be transparent regarding your program. From a business perspective, transparency could help you to yield greater conversion rates and sales. More importantly, it will promote trust between you and your affiliates. Unfortunately, understanding what constitutes transparency – and how to achieve it – can be difficult.

Fortunately, there are a few practices – such as the disclosure of affiliate links and the sharing of statistics – that add transparency to your affiliate program. When implemented, these practices will benefit you, your audience, and your affiliates.

In this post, we’ll first offer an introduction to affiliate program transparency. You’ll learn how transparency can benefit your business, before we offer three tips you can use to implement transparency in your own affiliate program. Let’s get started!

What Transparency Is (And How It Benefits Your Affiliate Program)

TextbookRush transparent affiliate program example

TextbookRush has a transparent affiliate program, providing affiliates with real-time data and encouraging contact.

Transparency is a concept that implies openness, communication, and accountability – all important concepts within affiliate marketing. After all, for affiliate marketing to succeed, strong relationships have to be formed, and that’s only possible when transparency is achieved.

To get an idea of what transparency looks like in marketing, here are three tell-tale signs that an affiliate business practices transparency:

  1. It follows Federal Trade Commission (FTC) practices, especially as it pertains to link and advertising disclosures.
  2. The manager isn’t afraid to answer questions or concerns, and speaks openly with affiliates.
  3. What’s more, they’re open with affiliates about the program’s status and policies.

Transparency has a variety of benefits, although the overarching positive is that by employing it you’ll likely attract high-quality affiliates. This is because they’ll be more willing to work with open and communicative affiliate companies. What’s more, customers trust companies that treat them respectfully, and this includes disclosing when and where affiliate links are being used.

Overall, there’s a lot to gain by implementing transparency, so let’s take a look at how to do so.

3 Tips for Increasing the Transparency in Your Affiliate Marketing

Increasing your program’s transparency is quite simple. Here are three tips to get you started on the right path.

1. Disclose Affiliate Links

affiliate link disclosure example

A Squirrel in the Kitchen follows proper affiliate link disclosure guidelines.

Perhaps one of the most important things you’ll learn as a marketer is how to properly disclose affiliate links. Doing this indicates you’ll earn commission upon clicking the link. This is an essential technique, especially as your affiliates will be looking to you to learn fair and best practices. In addition, you’ll also build trust with your visitors.

With the above in mind, here are a few tips for disclosing affiliate links properly:

  1. Follow FTC guidelines. Essentially, you want to focus on clear and conspicuous disclosures. This means disclosures placed near affiliate links and repeated when necessary.
  2. Use clear language. Use obvious words, such as ‘commission’ and ‘paid’ to let your readers know that you do receive payments from affiliate links.
  3. Be consistent. Use the same disclosure message throughout your site. This will make it easier for consumers to recognize, and generally avoids confusion.

As a marketer, affiliate links are at the heart of your business. This requires you use them wisely (i.e. practice proper disclosure), so you’ll build trust with your readers while also showing your affiliates how it’s done.

2. Create Clear Affiliate Policies

Etsy affiilate policy page

Etsy’s affiliate policy is thorough and clear – yours should be too.

Affiliate policies are simply guidelines that clearly outline expectations. They tell your affiliates what you expect from them, and when presented correctly, can help your program to appear cohesive and professional.

In order to create clear affiliate policies, include these three steps in your process:

  1. Be consistent and use direct language. Use obvious language that cannot be misinterpreted, and provide further explanation for more elusive concepts.
  2. Provide examples. Include screenshots, videos, or other visual aids on your affiliate policy page if possible. This enables you to clearly show your affiliates exactly how you’d like things to be done.
  3. Be open to (and invite) communication. Your affiliates should always feel free to come to you with any questions, and this has the benefit of strengthening your new open and transparent policy.

In short, a clear affiliate policy will cut down on poor business practices (such as improperly disclosing links) and provide your affiliates with a go-to guide for common questions and misunderstandings  – so it pays to spend some time on this.

3. Share Relevant Affiliate Reports

Affiliate Royale affiliate dashboard stats

With Affiliate Royale, affiliates can track their own stats within the Affiliate Dashboard.

Good reporting enables you to see your affiliate sales, earnings, and link clicks all from a central location. While some managers will monitor these privately, it’s a good idea to give affiliates access to this information too. This is because firstly, your affiliates are likely see this data as ‘belonging’ to them. However, a greater benefit is that having clear statistics can help them to improve in the future.

Fortunately, Affiliate Royale makes sharing relevant reports with your affiliates simple. To set up the affiliate dashboard, find the Affiliate Royale menu on the left side of the WordPress dashboard. Then, navigate to Options > Dashboard Settings. Here, you can add a personalized welcome message, and also adjust the page width to your liking:

Affiliate Royale affiliate dashboard settings

The dashboard will include a number of default pages, such as Stats, Links & Banners, and Payment History. The Stats page is where each affiliate’s reports are displayed, and in addition, each affiliate receives their own personal dashboard (with accompanying login details) once they’ve signed up.

Conclusion

One of the best things you can do for your affiliate program is to implement transparent marketing practices. This leads to trust among your audience and your affiliates, and ultimately leads to high-quality affiliate recruits and more sales. It’s a win-win all around!

In this post, we’ve offered three tips for increasing the transparency in your affiliate marketing. Let’s quickly recap:

  1. Disclose your affiliate links.
  2. Create clear and thorough affiliate policies.
  3. Share any relevant reports and statistics with your affiliates.

Do you have any questions about transparency in affiliate marketing, or how you can go about introducing it into your program? Let us know in the comments section below!