Tips to Up Your Affiliate Marketing Game in 2018

Featured image for affiliate marketing tips article

It’s a new year and if you’re like most, you already have some resolutions you’re not making good on. Don’t feel bad, though. Nearly half of those who make resolutions rarely succeed. But if your resolution is to make more money with affiliate marketing, then this post is just for you.

If it’s simply just to make more money (Over 40% of resolutions are money related!), then this can help do that by getting started with affiliate marketing.


Choosing which Affiliate Program to Use

If you’re just getting started, the first thing you’ll have to do is find something you want to be an affiliate for.

Do you already have a website or blog? If so, think about what products would fit in with what you already write about. Don’t just throw up ads for things you assume everyone wants or needs. Don’t litter your site with ads for phones just because everyone uses them if your site isn’t about phones or at least tech-related. (And if it is, you should check out our affiliate program that rewards you with up to $135 per sale!)

If your visitors feel you’re bombarding them with ads or you aren’t genuine in the things you recommend, they won’t be back.

If you have a dog-sitting service, you might add an affiliate program for dog obedience courses. Your furry-friend lover audience very well may be interested in something like that. Or you could consider something like Amazon where ads for dog-related items show on your site.


Image for choosing the right affiliate program for your audience


Ditch Programs that aren’t a Good Fit

If you’re already into affiliate marketing, then now’s a good time to evaluate what you’re promoting and consider new programs.

What other brands are out there that fit within your niche and have affiliate programs? Are their products as good as or better than ones you currently promote? Have you tried any of them? Are they willing to let you test drive or sample them? What are the terms for their affiliate program? What do they offer?

At the same time, you might find during your evaluation that you’re an affiliate for some things that just aren’t a good fit. Maybe it’s not clicking with your readers. Maybe the company just isn’t offering enough to make it worth your time. Or maybe they’re not adjusting and improving and there are just other brands beating them at their game. Whatever the reason is, it might just be time to say goodbye and move on.

Bottom line? Don’t get stuck in a rut with a stale product or keep beating the bush with a product that doesn’t fit your audience. Use the new year as a time for making sure you’re part of the best programs for your situation and your audience.


Image showing it's fine to leave an affiliate program that's not a good fit!


Know Your Readers/Followers

Do you know who’s following you? You have to know who your readers are before you can choose an affiliate program that fits. Are they young? Old? How much money do they make on average? Do they prefer reading instructions or videos? Men? Women? Married? Single? Are they stay-at-home moms or tech entrepreneurs? Do they prefer cooking their own meals or eating out?

It all matters. The more you know, the more you can make sure that your affiliate offers are something that would interest them. If you don’t know anything about them then you’re just shooting in the dark and you probably aren’t going to get many sales.

So before you go any farther, take some time to figure out exactly who you’re writing for. This might be in the form of polls and surveys, digging into detailed software/analytics/services or simply talking with them over social media.


How important it is to know your target audience


Update Your Website or Blog

Your site is the focus point of your affiliate marketing (most of the time). It’s important to make sure that it loads fast, sends the right message and connects with your audience. From your content to your ads to looking at your overall SEO, this is a good time to take a fresh look at your site. Just a few of the things you might want to check are:


  • – Broken links (or links to old content onsite or off that may not be accurate anymore)
  • – Mobile optimization
  • – Slow loading times
  • – Titles and alt tags
  • – Overall copy, looking for typos, incorrect info or even info that may be misleading


Plan and Optimize Content

Content is the bread and butter of any site. Tossing in affiliate links here and there might get some sales trickling in if you have enough traffic and you’re lucky. But if you’re serious about affiliate marketing, then you should have a content plan in place.

Think about what type of content you’re providing. Is it as effective as it could be? A few types of content that can do very well for affiliate marketing are reviews and how-to guides.

Using the dog-sitting service as an example again, you might do an article or even an infographic for “How to Get your Pup Ready for the First Day at the Dog Sitter”, including mention (and links) to things that could help. A certain type of pet carrier? Special treats?

Figure out what you’ll create, how you’ll creat it and make a calendar to stick to.


Making a plan for what types of content to use in your affiliate marketing


Start or Grow Your Email List

Your email list can be an incredibly valuable part of your marketing plan. This year (and at least yearly from here on out), start by scrubbing and segmenting your list. It’s important to make sure you have only correct emails and that they belong to people interested in your content.

Over time, people change their email addresses, get locked out of their inbox, etc. In fact, your list can “decay” by more than 20% each year, according to this Hubspot report.

And you don’t want to be emailing addresses where your emails are dead in the water before they even arrive. The bounces and/or unopen rates can lead to trouble for your email marketing. You risk developing a bad reputation for your IP, which can make getting your emails into the inbox extremely difficult.


It's important to scrub and keep your email list clean


Respect and Reward Subscribers

These people obviously like and trust in what you have to say, so don’t ruin it. Bombarding them with widespread emails or constant advertisements is only going to lead to them losing respect for you.



New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be all about losing weight! Use this as a time to take a fresh look at your affiliate marketing business and how you can be more successful in the coming year. What are your plans? Do you have any other tips for affiliate marketers that might be helpful?


Image for Hostwinds affiliate program


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