I think there are a couple main reasons why the research aspect is so overlooked in affiliate marketing. The first reason is, people are just lazy. Most new affiliate marketers are only thinking about making money in the shortest period of time, so they simply choose a niche and build a site in their first day. Then, months go by with little to no website traffic and they proclaim that affiliate marketing no longer works. Considering affiliate marketing is a multi-billion dollar per year industry driving about 20% of all online sales, that of course isn’t true. Most people just don’t do the research necessary to truly find a profitable niche that is in demand without too much competition.
If, today, you wake up and think of having a passive income through an affiliate channel, the first and most important step is to identify the area, domain, category and industry with which you can relate yourself to the most for being an affiliate. When I say relate, it means you firmly believe you have an at least minor inclination of interest and experience toward what you are getting into. There is another way as well. For those who are driven by just the motivation of earning loads of money, start by researching an area, domain, category and industry that is highly dependent on affiliates or having an extremely high rate of commission. Once done, the individual or company can narrow down based on his research. Why is this important?
There's a huge range of different methods for getting visitors to your website, including signaling to search engines like Google that your website is relevant to your topic, and spreading the word on social media. Because of the variety of strategies available to you, you'll be able to find something that suits your strengths to get the ball rolling for your own affiliate website.
Once you sign up for affiliate marketing with a site like CJ or Pepperjam or maybe even utilize an agency, you are supercharging your affiliate marketing. However, often coupon sites like RetailMeNot and Coupons.com will become part of your affiliate network and will likely drive the largest chunk of revenue. On paper, the numbers look great. They’re your top performers. The reality is a little different.
One of the pros of affiliate marketing is the low cost. Use a free or “freemium” email marketing tool such as MailChimp to allow you to build an email list and send out newsletters or offers. When looking to understand the quality of your affiliate partners, use a social media monitoring tool like Mention to track what their customers say about them. There are also free surveys or website pop-up tools to understand what kind of content your audience would be interested in. Lastly, you can track and analyze how your affiliate marketing initiatives compare to other types of advertising on your site with tools like Google AdWords.
In November 1994, CDNow launched its BuyWeb program. CDNow had the idea that music-oriented websites could review or list albums on their pages that their visitors might be interested in purchasing. These websites could also offer a link that would take visitors directly to CDNow to purchase the albums. The idea for remote purchasing originally arose from conversations with music label Geffen Records in the fall of 1994. The management at Geffen wanted to sell its artists' CD's directly from its website but did not want to implement this capability itself. Geffen asked CDNow if it could design a program where CDNow would handle the order fulfillment. Geffen realized that CDNow could link directly from the artist on its website to Geffen's website, bypassing the CDNow home page and going directly to an artist's music page.
User testing services e.g. WhatUsersDo - this platform allows you to test your website remotely with users in their own homes. Users record their screen and audio, so you can see the full experience. You give them tasks to focus the user test. You can then use their tagging tool to collect insights from the video outputs. It's fast, focused research that provides insights to help improve your website
If you are selling someone else’s product you can “sweeten the pot” by adding something that only your subscribers will get. For example, if they buy the affiliate course you are promoting, you’ll give them special access to a private Facebook group filled only with people who have purchased it through your link. If you are promoting some else’s retreat or weekend intensive, you can bundle a free hour or two of consulting after they attend the intensive or retreat. They are already on your list because they believe in you, so this makes them feel like they are getting special treatment for buying your affiliate product.
One last note. I’ve been asked what I think of other affiliate marketing resources, both free and paid. I’m familiar with some of them, not all. I’ve read ebooks, watch videos, bought courses and more. So far, the only paid-for course that has impressed me enough to recommend is Kayla Aimee’s Affiliate Acceleration: Impactful Strategies To Increase Your Passive Income.
This has been my go-to strategy for the last year or two. Making tables that summarize product features and ratings allows visitors to your website to compare reviewed products easily. In the product tables I make, I include product images, product rating, price, pros and cons, and a buy button with an affiliate link. Be sure that your table is mobile-friendly so that visitors on phones and tablets will be able to view your content. Some good WordPress plug-ins to use for creating tables include TablePress, TableLabs, GoPricing and Ninja Tables.
Yoast - a very useful and FREE (or freemium) WordPress plugin which analyses page copy in a traffic light signal basis for how SEO friendly the copy is based on keyword density, alt-attributes, SEO titles and Meta descriptions, slug etc. It cannot guarantee ranking, as it in no way affects search engine algorithms, but gives a great estimate of how well your copy is written based on your keyword. This is great to use as a guided SEO editor whilst you write and makes you aware of key on-page SEO techniques you should be utilizing.
Many tools now offer more than one service - you'll find that they each have their own USP but it'll get quite expensive if you have subscriptions to every tool available. We recommend having a good selection of free and premium tools to give you a full 360-degree insight into your target audiences search behaviour and making sure your site is fully search engine optimized.
Doesn't work. One guy. Defensive and evasive responses. Can't use email while traveling to respond? Really? No smart phone? Instead of a demonstration on his end to prove the program works, he kept suggesting OS updates, All of which slowed my computer down to LA rush hour traffic. I deleted the program. The links to the software disappeared with note saying your order has been reversed. Now he says he'll leave it up to pay pal.