Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn some extra cash, and if you choose the right niche and put enough work into it, you could end up with a highly profitable business. The challenge is choosing the right niche, and creating a website that attracts enough targeted visitors to help you turn a profit.
Experienced affiliate marketers have turned building profitable websites into a science. They understand that there are a few key ingredients that every successful website has. Those ingredients are:
• Useful and interesting content
• Effective SEO
• Attractive, fast loading designs
• Powerful engagement tools (social media, opt in forms, etc)
• Efficient customer service
You need to have all of the above elements sorted out if you want your website to be successful in the long term.
Content Comes First
Without good content, your visitors have no reason to keep coming back to your site. Don’t make the mistake of designing content around your affiliate links. Start with the content, and add the links later. If you can’t include links in all of your posts naturally, don’t try to squeeze them in. As long as those posts are relevant to your target audience, upload them anyway. Your visitors will appreciate the fact that you aren’t always trying to sell them something.
Think About SEO Early
Changing your SEO strategy once your website is already running and has a lot of content can be incredibly time consuming. Avoid problems by thinking about SEO from launch. If you use WordPress, take advantage of plugins such as the All In One SEO Pack to improve the SEO features built-in to WordPress. You can get SEO plugins for most content management systems. At a bare minimum, be sure to figure out how to enable permalinks, set up a sitemap script, and make sure that every page on your site has unique meta tags.
Design and Speed
You have only a few seconds to impress each visitor when they land on your page. If your site takes a long time to load, has broken links or images, or is simply ugly, you will lose visitors. The more time a visitor spends on your site, reading your content, the more likely they are to be receptive to your sales pitch. Make sure that your site loads quickly, that the layout is error free, and that the style of your site is consistent and professional looking. If you’re not an experienced designer, hire one, or purchase a premium theme for your CMS. Never use a free theme on a commercial website. If a user has seen your theme in use somewhere else, they will not think highly of your website.
Put The Visitor First
Every decision you make should be done with your visitors in mind. If you want to convert your visitors into paying customers, you have to give them a reason to subscribe to your mailing list, sing up for a free trial, or do whatever it is that will earn you your commission.
Good customer service and after sales support will help you to retain customers once you have them, but before you even think about that you have to acquire those first few conversions. To do that, you should think like a prospective customer. As an affiliate, you know that the three month subscription to your merchant’s product for just twenty dollars is a brilliant deal, but your customers don’t. Explain why the deal is awesome, and give your customers enough information to allow them to trust you, and appreciate what it is you have to offer.