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Being your own boss and making money independently sounds nice sometimes. Individuals and groups who have mastered the art of affiliate marketing have got the golden ticket, haven't they? How does one do that effectively, though? Are you curious when the questions are going to stop? Alright, alright, it's time to get to the point: a brief list of protips for the Hostwinds Affiliate.
The staff here at Hostwinds have been reflecting a lot on who and what constitutes 'The Hostwinds Team.' After some thought, it has become abundantly clear that you, Hostwinds Affiliates, are an integral part of the Hostwinds team. (Last questions coming up:) Why? Well, you make it possible for our company to continue doing what we do with all of the hard work you put into promoting our dependable hosting services!
This blog post is intended to 1. Provide you with a few tricks of the trade to put in your back pocket as an Affiliate, 2. Ensure you as a Hostwinds Affiliate know you are promoting good hosting and an ethical company with staff members who care about you, and 3. Ensure you know that you are supported by our team always, meaning 24/7/365.
Before disclosing the affiliate marketing tips, a little bit of context couldn't hurt.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing entails an exchange between a marketer and a company. The company pays a commission to the individual or individuals promoting the company's products or services.
More information about Affiliate Marketing can be found by clicking the link below:
"As an affiliate, you will be provided with several ways to generate new leads and drive customers in our direction. You will be provided with an assortment of marketing materials, such as banner ads of your choosing, as well as email links. Hostwinds even provides training materials to help get you started as a bonus."
That was an excerpt from the following Hostwinds guide:
Moving right along. Here is how the affiliate program works here at Hostwinds:
How Does Hostwinds Track Affiliate Referrals?
The 'What Counts as a Valid Affiliate Referral' Knowledge Base guide has got this one covered:
"To keep track of every potential client you send to our website, we use an affiliate pixel and link tracking software. Each time someone clicks on your affiliate link and is redirected to our website, a cookie is placed that lets us know you're the one who referred them."
What Counts as a Valid Affiliate Referral?
6. Once per month, Hostwinds issues you all the commission payments you've received for the sales you made the previous month
More Affiliate Marketing Context:
Where can you market Hostwinds' hosting services as an affiliate?
1. Your website
2. Other websites
4. Your blog
5. Those are just a few examples, but the short answer is anywhere and everywhere you (and U.S. Law ?) find appropriate!
What are the Benefits of Affiliate Marketing?
The main points we outline on our site in terms of affiliate marketing perks are:
1. You receive outstanding payments for commissions
2. Commissions are tiered, so you earn more significant commissions if you have more sales per month!
3. It is free to sign up, even if you aren't a Hostwinds client!
4. Anyone and everyone can become an affiliate, even those who aren't Hostwinds clients
5. You can earn up to $135 per signup because of the tiered commission system
6. Premade press packets are available to you if you would like to use them to promote Hostwinds' hosting services
That seems like ample context to get you ready for the impending affiliate marketing advice. Here we go!
The most important part of being an affiliate is authenticity. Hence, tip #1:
1. Be honest, be thoughtful, be considerate, be helpful, be yourself, and be transparent.
Be Honest: Consumers are more intuitive than you may presume. Often people can see right through fake marketing. Be yourself and promote products or services that you like. Even better, review the products and services yourself and show proof you've found that they are fantastic. Speaking of evidence, finding data from the company or companies you are promoting that supports the quality of the product will help you out a lot in the long run.
Be Transparent: Always make sure your affiliate link disclosures are visible where you promote. It creates an honest relationship with your clients and because you have to abide by FTC (Federal Trade Commission) rules.
Question: What is an Affiliate Disclosure?
Answer Detailed in Affiliate-Themed Hostwinds Guide: "An affiliate disclosure is a statement of some kind that lets your readers know you are paid a commission when they purchase through the affiliate links you provide. The FTC requires that this disclosure is made, so it's essential to include this. It doesn't matter if it's a blog post on your site or a tweet you send on Twitter (yep, you'd have to fit it into the tweet if you're using an affiliate link in it)."
More Specifics About Affiliate Disclosures: "They don't provide an exact statement that must be used. You have to make sure they know you're in a position to be paid if they purchase. How you convey that message is up to you. Just make sure it's obvious and not hidden away somewhere so subtle that it never gets noticed. It could be a note at the beginning or end of every blog post. It could be a popup or a message in the sidebar that moves along with the page as they scroll."
2. Use educational content to help you sell. Inform your clients as you market to them.
3. Promote often and create long-lasting relationships with your audience(s). Nurture those relationships.
4. Try to diversify your promotions. Don't just promote via emails. Don't just promote via a blog. Don't just promote via a website. Mix it up and document where and when you are making the most sales.
5. Research the market for the industry in which you promote. See what other promoters are doing to get clarity on what your competition looks like. Research general trends and news so you are in the loop and can adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.
6. Design your promotions to be applicable not just now but in the future as well.
7. Think about expanding your team if it makes financial sense. It might be worth it if you develop a plan to push out a certain number of ads per week collectively.
8. Go with your gut. Your gut instinct regarding what services and products you sell and how you feel it is best to promote them is likely correct. If you think you would appreciate certain information as a consumer, there is a good chance other consumers feel similarly.
9. Tip From Our 'How to Add Affiliate Links to WordPress' Guide:
"Before you start adding affiliate links, we recommend that your blog or website has a decent amount of content in it already. Ideally, you'll already have some readers visiting and traffic coming in.
So if you're starting a site, take some time to create solid, helpful, or fun content (depending on your site's purpose and focus) for your future readers and work on building a presence online. If you're immediately plastering affiliate links everywhere, new readers may easily dismiss your content. They may think you're only there to make affiliate money, not to provide the content they're looking for."
10. Don't give up!
11. Get caught up on SEO and get familiar with SEO-related strategies. Apply what you've learned.
12. Use this Knowledge Base guide as a resource if you need help navigating your Affiliate General Statistics page: https://www.hostwinds.com/guide/hostwinds-affiliate-program/
13. Keep learning, and keep testing your results! "Are certain links getting a lot more clicks than the others? If so, why? […] Monitor your links, creatives, traffic, and conversions and always be ready to make adjustments and optimize your campaigns."
Getting Started After Signing Up For Hostwinds Affiliate Program
14. Got a new whiteboard laying around? Use it to come up with a strategy. There is a profuse amount of data to support that simply mapping out a plan is far more effective than creating no system at all. That may seem obvious to you, but you'd be surprised how few people implement it.
Outline your goals and define the various ways you can continue to grow as a business because you are a part of our business! You are a part of our team. That brings us to our concluding statements.
Are you ready for the much-anticipated note from the Hostwinds Team to you, dear Affiliates? Our staff wants you to know that we truly do consider you a part of our team, and we are here to support you.
You are greatly appreciated by all of us here at Hostwinds. As such, "We want to help you succeed as an affiliate and make the biggest commission possible in our program."
What Counts as a Valid Affiliate Referral?
We are very much here for you, and we want you to reach out to us if you need help at any point. You can also leave us a comment below!
One More Affiliate Tip for the Road: Belief in the quality of the service you sell, but more importantly, really believe in yourself. Be well, folks!
Written by Hostwinds Team / June 13, 2020