Affiliate marketing has never been a better way to make a living online. It is a fairly low-risk marketing model that helps both the buyer and the seller, and can have a fairly high return if done properly.

Lately, a lot of services have started opening their own affiliate programs, giving you a large number of products and services to choose from and start marketing. This is especially pronounced in the WordPress community, where a lot of services like WPEngine (or even us) offer a commission for each sale. In fact, we have an affiliate program of our own, released a while ago.

Taking Part In An Affiliate Program

Affiliate marketing is based around a simple idea: selling someone else’s products. In most cases, an affiliate program will provide anyone who signs up with a referral link, which they can use to direct visitors to the provider’s website. If someone makes a purchase, then the sale can be credited to whoever brought him, and they earn a commision for it.

Affiliate programs have a number of advantages over other business models. For starters, you are selling a product that you don’t have to maintain, and you are free to focus only on bringing more visitors. It also lets you choose which product you wish to promote, since there are many different affiliate programs all around and you don’t have to stick to only one.

Overall, affiliate marketing is a nice way to generate a fair bit of revenue while also providing value both to the customer and to the seller. However, there are some things to take into account if you wish to increase your sales as an affiliate.

Affiliate Marketing Is About Providing Value

The first and most important thing to keep in mind when doing affiliate marketing, is that you need to provide some value on top of your affiliate links. Remember, you’re promoting someone else’s product, so you need to add your own personal twist to make it unique and above everyone else. People don’t like having links shoved in front of them without having any reason to actually click on them, and you’ll have to work so they find value in the services you’re selling them.

This can mean adding complementary information or providing content that can help a potential user of that product. For example, you can create a detailed tutorial on how to use the product, or giving insights into getting the most out of it.

If you were selling t-shirts, you might want to write about popular fashion trends so people know how to best match them up, or which color will suit its wearer the best. The key is to provide high-quality content that the visitor may be interested in, either as a complement of the product, or as a tool to use it more effectively. One brilliant example of this is Carrie Dils, who gives you a lot of insight into the genesis platform while having a few affiliate links.

Stay Relevant

You also need to account for the relevance of your content. Just posting any kind of content may not suffice, since you’re trying to capture the attention of your readers. No matter how many visitors you have, if the content you offer them is not relevant to their interests, they will most likely turn around and leave.

Before creating your next piece of content, stop for a second and think about what a user of your affiliate product would like to read. Does it help you accomplish something? What is its main purpose? You should question your content as much as you need to in order to ensure it’s appropriate enough, and that it adds upon the product or service that you’re marketing. One useful way to create good content is to have a clear idea of who your audience is, so you should interact with your visitors and get to know them as much as you can; once you learn about their needs, you will be able to find what they might find the most useful.

Don’t Overdo it

It’s important to balance the amount of affiliate marketing you do, though. Since your visitors will be coming looking for something of value, you need to provide that value first and foremost. People don’t like being assaulted by excessive advertising, so you need to avoid promoting your affiliate marketing left and right.

Providing your users with valuable content will eventually turn all that attention into loyalty. Great affiliate marketers know that the best way to get users to click their links is by creating a solid brand, so the audience will remain loyal and be more open to what he has to offer.

Do you practice affiliate marketing? What is your experience so far?