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!

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!

Why You Need Affiliate Royale for Your Affiliate Marketing Program

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

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

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

The Aspects of a Successful Affiliate Marketing Program

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Affiliate Royale plugin.

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

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

1. You Get to Leverage a Powerful Admin Screen

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

The Affiliate Royale plugin menu

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

Affiliate Royale Options menu

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

Affiliate Royale add commission levels

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

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

2. It Offers a Personalized Affiliate Dashboard

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

Affiliate dashboard affiliate stats

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

Affiliate Dashboard settings

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

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

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

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

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

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

Payment Integration

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

4 Key Tips for Affiliate Marketing Beginners

As a new affiliate marketer, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed. After all, the affiliate marketing industry is vast, and the amount of information you need to absorb on the topic to get started can be mind-boggling.

Fortunately, getting started doesn’t need to be difficult or time-consuming. Once you have a solid plan in place, you can effortlessly build a strong foundation your affiliate marketing business can grow on.

In this post, we’ll offer up four beginner affiliate marketing tips you need to know. You’ll learn why each tip is important to success, and how you can go about implementing them within your own business. We’ll also give you a glimpse into Affiliate Royale and how it can help you achieve your marketing goals.

Let’s get started!

1. Choose a Profitable (Yet Fun) Niche

The niche you choose is perhaps one of the most important elements of your affiliate marketing site. It’s essentially the focus your site (and business) will take. Simply put, without a niche you don’t have a target audience. While marketing to everyone can impact your sales negatively, ‘niching down’ enables you to focus on gaining a steady following who will likely become customers.

While profitability is something to keep in mind, your interests should also play a key role in niche selection. To choose a niche that you love, and has a high chance of turning a profit, follow these three steps:

  1. Narrow down niche ideas by researching niche marketing keywords. Start with a large list of ideas, and whittle it down as you go along.
  2. Use Google to compare the competitiveness of chosen keywords. The less competitive the chosen keywords, the easier it will be for you to turn a profit.
  3. Decide whether the niche market is what you’re looking for. It’s okay not to pick the first niche you come to. Let the results of your keyword research guide you, and don’t settle.

Once you’ve chosen your niche, it’s time to narrow down your audience.

2. Know Your Audience

Your website’s audience can make or break your business, so it’s important you know who your audience is from the get-go – including what they want and need. By delivering the content they’re looking for, you build relationships, which is an important concept in affiliate marketing.

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

  1. Conduct user surveys. Approaching your audience directly is the best way to learn more about them.
  2. Use Google Analytics. This will help you narrow down your target audience’s demographics and interests, enabling you to create relevant content.
  3. Partake in social listening. On social media you can monitor competition, track down customer ‘pain points’, and even identify business-building opportunities.
  4. Look to your competitors. What are your competitors doing to engage their target audience (which is likely aligned very closely with yours)? Take a few tips from their playbook, and add them to your own business plan.

Some of these may seem time-consuming. However, the investment is well worth it, as your audience relationships are everything.

3. Stick With Products You Know

The products you promote will (of course) vary by niche. However, one thing holds true no matter what niche you’re in: you should only promote products you’ve personally used.

As an affiliate marketer, trust is your most important asset. When you erode that trust by lying to your readers, it’s difficult – if not downright impossible – to gain it back.

Of course, the temptation to write content without using a product is tantalizing. However, you’re better off putting the work in to find quality products. For starters, you can:

  1. Promote products you already use. This is the simplest method by far – you can approach the companies of products you love to see if they have an affiliate program you can join.
  2. See what your competitors are using. If your main competitors swear by a particular product, why not give it a try yourself? Whether it’s a good product or not, you can provide the ins-and-outs to your own audience, and expand upon your competitors’ reviews.
  3. Ask your audience for suggestions. By testing products your audience swears by, you can directly target their needs.

Of course, each of the above options will still require you to extensively test out the products prior to promotion. However, that should be the fun part!

4. Track Your Affiliate Stats and Results

Simply put, affiliate stats can help you see which of your marketing efforts are working or not. This aspect of affiliate marketing can be overwhelming to beginners. However, when you break it down into simple steps, the process becomes a lot more manageable. Here are just two simple ways to begin tracking your affiliate stats:

  1. Track outbound links. Find out which of your affiliate links are performing best, and optimize those that aren’t for better click-through rates.
  2. Keep an eye on site traffic. Simply put, know where your traffic is coming from. Whether that’s search engines, social media, or another site’s outbound links, you should leverage the information to better target your site’s actual visitors.

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

The Affiliate Royale home page.

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

Affiliate Royale Reports menu

This provides you with detailed information on your affiliates, such as link clicks, top referrers, and the number of affiliate transactions completed. With this, you can effectively track your site’s affiliate program and make improvements where necessary.

Conclusion

There’s an abundance of information out there that beginning affiliate marketers can use to get started. However, it’s important to walk before you can run by focusing on the basics, then branching out as your business improves.

In this post, we’ve provided you with four key tips that you should focus on as a beginning affiliate marketer. To recap, we recommend you:

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

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