Things You Should Know To Succeed as a Publisher in Affiliate Marketing

Wade Sisson
April 1, 2013 — 1,784 views  
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It's Not a Get-Rick-Quick Scheme

Know this first and foremost: The vast majority of affiliate marketers earn less than $100 a month. That's not because of a lack of opportunity to earn more. It's more about the reality that success in affiliate marketing does not come without considerable work and effort.

To those people who might think this is an easy way to earn a lot of money, you've been misled.

There's a lot more to affiliate marketing than simply joining a merchant's program and putting a few banners or text links on your site.

Success as an affiliate publisher requires a lot of time and effort at the front end in order to achieve incremental and hard-earned success down the road. If you view affiliate marketing as an easy way to earn money, you should probably move on to something that requires less effort and time (because affiliate marketing requires both).

Be Passionate.
The most successful affiliate publishers are those who picked a niche they knew and cared a lot about - and there's correlation to be drawn from that. Passion is a key component of success in the affiliate space.

It makes sense, doesn't it? If you're going to be blogging about something, talking about something and encouraging people to buy something - you'd better like that something. Otherwise you'll grow tired of the something and your affiliate marketing efforts will suffer.

Therefore it is critical to your future success as an affiliate that you select a niche that matters to you and that you know backward and forward(becuase you're going to be fairly immersed in it for a long period of time).

It's Hard Work

Being an affiliate marketer isn't a hobby and it isn't a fly-by-night way to earn more money. It's a full-time job with lots of overtime. Mostly, it's just hard work.

To succeed, you need to work hard and know a lot about many things, including:
- how to built and maintain a site that effectively covers a niche
- how to drive targeted trafffic (requires knowledge of SEO, paid search, etc.)
- how to select the right merchants, whose products and services are relevant
- how to effectively promote the merchants' offers (and how to negotiate)
- how to leverage all marketing methods including social, mobile and paid search

If you don't know how to do any of these things, it's going to be even harder because you have a learning curve to address before you get started.

You're Going to Have Competition

In 2012, the percentage of new affiliate publishers continued to grow, outpacing all other types of affiliates by their sheer number. And it's not like the industry was short on publishers before last year.

The point is: you're going to have competition. There aren't many untapped niches left for you to uncover (unless you have some expertise in marketing to beings on other planets). It's therefore important that you do your homework and study the competitors within your niche. You can start with a simple Google or Bing search using some of the keywords for your niche. Who's there - what are they promoting? What is their message? Who are they targeting? Which merchants are they promoting - and which ones are they leaving out?

Once you begin to understand the competition - you can start looking for ways to differentiate your approach from theirs - and also ways to improve upon what they're doing.

Wade Sisson


Schaaf-PartnerCentric Named OPM/Agency of the Year at Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Awards 2013