Affiliate Marketing Tips For 2021
If you are reading this, you are at the right place at the right time.
And in the right industry.
2020 was obviously a very challenging year for many people around the globe.
There were both winners and losers in the business world. Digital marketing was one of the winners.
The Coronavirus global pandemic increased eCommerce by a whopping 20% in the past year. That makes this the perfect time to be making money online.
eCommerce, including affiliate marketing, is poised to become a $8 Billion industry by the time we reach earth year 2022 and beyond.
The opportunity in front of us has never looked more exciting than it does now.
And there is plenty of room to accommodate beginners whom have yet to get started making money online.
But, as with everything else in this world, there will be some bumps along the way.
So let me share some actionable tips to help you steer your affiliate marketing vessel into the new year to maximize your income, minimize your risk and increase your chances for long-term online success.
I have assembled some of the best affiliate marketing tips to you help you maximize your success this year.
Section 1: Strategic Planning, Discipline & Momentum
The most successful affiliate marketers I know use strategic planning to get more done, identify opportunities and scale their businesses and income to higher and higher levels.
The people that don’t achieve online success are more likely to skip this important step.
- Make a list of everything you want to accomplish this year and complete your list in the next 24 hours from right now. If you don’t accomplish this first step, odds are that you’ll never make this list and thus have no plan to draw from. It’s like having a ship with no rudder. I know because I’ve been there. Start your list right now
- Take your newly completed list and assign goals and firm deadlines to complete each one. Now, and this is absolutely critical, make a detailed list of the tasks that you need to perform to complete your goals on or before your deadline. That’s right, this year focus on tasks, not just your goals. And enforce your deadlines ruthlessly
- Break down your newly created list of tasks into daily segments and work each one to completion. This will create unstoppable momentum and a new sense of accomplishment that you may have never experienced before
- Avoid procrastination by starting with your easiest tasks first followed by the 2nd easiest. It doesn’t matter what it is, just get started and start building momentum at the start of each day
- Analyze your strengths and weaknesses so you can focus only on your strengths. Try to outsource your weaknesses to those who are better at it. You would be amazed what people around the world will do for only $5-$25 at fiverr.com
- Eliminate or at least minimize negativity. Avoid news broadcasts which are absolutely poisonous to both your attitude and your success
- Work smarter by eliminating the things you’re spending time on that aren’t making you money
- Clean and organize your workspace and keep it that way. Be a filer and not a piler. This ushers in organization, efficiency, confidence, and a sense of positive change
- Remain flexible and recognize when you need to implement changes in your goals, plans and tasks. Then sit down and rewrite them
- Cut down on TV time. Fill that time by reading books on self-improvement and motivation. Try to read one book a week. Achieve this by dividing the total number of pages in each book by 7 and read one segment per day. If you do just this, you’ll be absolutely amazed by your own personal transformation this year
- Work extended periods of time without interruption. Try to do things in one sitting and don’t stop until each task is done to completion
- At every opportunity, try to create additional income streams to augment your present income. This is your insurance policy against anything outside of your control, which will inevitably occur, destroying your only income
- Plan your work and use time-blocking to make sure you commit to it. Have a start time and an end time for each task and use a timer to stay on track. You can find free timers online and on your smartphone. This will improve your discipline
- While were on that topic, become more disciplined this year. Discipline accelerates your rate of success and improves your morale
- Use lists to keep yourself organized. Have a separate list for each project you’re working on and make a checkmark when you finish each task for the project
- Avoid distractions by doing only one thing at a time. Silence your phones, close your email apps and focus only on the task at hand. Multitasking effectively is a myth and unless you’re a robot frankly impossible
- Work fast. Perfectionism is a curse, not a blessing; so good enough is good enough. Perfectionism also leads to increased stress, anxiety and other unwanted mental distractions
- Increase the number of offers you make to your prospects and customers. The number of offers you put into the marketplace is directly proportional to the amount of income you’ll make this year
- Determine what will make you money the fastest and prioritize that
- Track your income on a daily basis. With today’s automation tools this is so easy to do. I use a simple app on my phone called iXpenseIt
- Avoid fear of failure. Fear, stress, and worry all make you tired both mentally and physically. You cannot afford to be too tired to succeed
- Select only a few times a day to return email messages and phone calls. Don’t reply to them as they come in. Be proactive not reactive
- Plan your day the night before so you can get right to it each morning with a plan of action and a deadline
- Do not just ‘wing it’. Know what you need to do each step of the way. If you don’t know, learn it thru a book or online tutorial
- Be a giver. Your income will continue to increase every time you give first and ask second
- Have fun and enjoy the ride. After all; life is very short
Section 2: Pitfalls To Avoid In 2021
As the year 2020 proved to the world with the raging global pandemic, problems can occur at any time and through no fault of your own.
Problems and pitfalls will inevitably occur in your affiliate marketing business too.
Below are some tips to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes affiliate marketers make.
Here are some big mistakes to avoid in 2021:
- Ignoring Compliance: Right now many internet-heavy industries and companies (including Paypal) are cracking down on compliance, claims and disclosure. If you don’t know the laws and rules of selling online, you better make it your priority #1 going forward. A simple Google search can lead you to all of the legalize you need to make sure the hat you’re wearing is white instead of black this year. Be as transparent as you possibly can in all communication with your audience
- Ignoring Mobile: The mobile market continues to gain on the home computer crowd. If your websites aren’t mobile-friendly yet (yikes) this would be your second most important task in the first part of the new year
- Following The Herd. People online are looking for genuineness these days. They’ve seen just about every approach, pitch, tricky upsell and closing technique out there and can sniff BS from a mile away. Be real with people and show a genuine interest in their success, not just yours
- Not Building A Subscriber List. Email marketing continues to be one of the most lucrative methods of making money online and if you’re not doing it you’re literally self-sabotaging your success
Section 3: How To Maximize Your Affiliate Marketing Success
I’ve been in the affiliate marketing game now for over a decade.
When I first started, I had no idea what I was doing and had a hard time knowing who to trust for that information.
Below are some of the most important lessons I have learned that cost me the most money by doing them wrong.
- Utilize automation tools to increase your efficiency. All of the top performing affiliate marketers use affiliate tools to save time and effort. Especially when scaling their income. Simply put, if you’re not using these tools, you are working way too hard. I think its important enough that I recently created an entire website just on this topic located here
- Do what your competitors refuse to do for their customers. Perhaps making yourself available to them at all times like I do. Contact me personally any time here. I will continue to answer every email and inquiry until it becomes impossible to do so and be forced to enlist some help
- Become the go-to person in your niche and wonderful things will begin to happen to you
- Know your numbers. Like Marcus Lemonis (Host of CNBC’s The Profit) says “you don’t know your numbers; you don’t know your business”. Use these analytics to dial-in your marketing to improve your conversions and income
- If you fail, fail as fast as you can and keep moving to something else that you won’t fail in
- If you’re low on cash flow either get some working capital or bootstrap your way to success
- When you start to experience success, beware of the gravy-trainers who will inevitably try to steal your content and your ideas
- Always take care of your customers however painful and expensive it might be. Once you spoil your reputation online, its nearly impossible to regain
- If you’re in the game for the long haul, avoid get-rich-quick schemes and black hat strategies that can get you banned or banished from the interwebs forever
- Surround yourself with like-minded people who have similar goals to your own. Avoid anyone who questions what you do for a living. Make allies and do joint ventures to learn how other people work and think
- Don’t sell any products online that you haven’t used or believe in yourself. This is a fast way to burn trust
Section 4: Top Affiliate Marketing Tips For Beginners
1. Carefully Choose And Focus On Your First Niche:
A common mistake new affiliate marketers make is scattering their efforts across too many niches at once. Don’t do that. Choose one niche carefully, focus on it, and stick with it until you master it. Scattering your efforts will only delay your success while diluting your income.
I believe you should choose a niche that you’re either knowledgeable in or passionate about (hopefully both). Your goal should be to become the go-to-person in your niche and establish yourself as an authority on your topic.
What if you choose the wrong niche? That’s fine as long as you fail as fast a possible and move on to something else. Most of us in online marketing have pursued dead-end niches before so it’s no big deal. Just learn from it and keep moving.
2. Know Your Audience:
- Do you know who you’re talking to?
- Why are they coming to your site?
- Do you understand the needs of your readers?
- Are you helping to solve their problems
- Are you helping them find what they’re looking for?
- Do your offers neatly fit in with your message?
If you don’t know enough about your audience just ask them using an online survey app. Surveymonkey works great and is free to use.
3. Always Post High-Quality Original Content And Post Frequently
Posting content that is valuable and compelling is a high priority. Without it, people won’t stick around on your site long enough to click on your offers. Even if they did you’ll have zero credibility to recommend anything. Post content as often as you can since the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) love fresh content and will boost your search listings accordingly. Posting frequent, new, high-quality content is a key element to SEO to help get your site found.
4. Build An Email List Of Subscribers In Your Marketplace
List building should be your #1 priority. If you’re doing affiliate marketing right you’ll make more income from your list than any other single source. Plus, your list is the most important asset your business will own. If you fail to build a list in your market, you’ll be leaving a ton of money on the table. Please don’t do that.
5. Give Out Free Stuff
Give your readers ethical bribes such as freebies and complementary gifts. Create your own or buy them in the PLR market. Giving freely before asking for something in return will make your marketing efforts easier. Plus its a cool thing to do. People love free stuff and will remember you for your generosity.
6. Get To Know Your Affiliate Managers
They’re paid to make sure you succeed in selling their brand. Many will be glad to review your website and offer suggestions to better promote them. When you start kicking some ass for them you can often ask for an increase in your commission percentages.
Never rely solely on one affiliate company. Things can change in internet marketing lightning fast. Protect yourself from any shenanigans by selecting several different companies to work with just in case one goes sideways to avoid losing all your income overnight. This applies not only to affiliate products but affiliate networks as well.
8. Develop Relationships Before Selling
Affiliate marketing is all about trust so start by earning it. Be genuine, honest, helpful, and friendly. Then and only then should you recommend products and services to someone else. Never recommend a product or service that you don’t believe in and/or use yourself.
9. Look For Partner Resources
Choose an affiliate company that shares with you the tools and data you need to succeed. The best affiliate companies do mad research on creatives, conversion rates, and market trends. The companies that are worth doing business with will generally share that information with their valued affiliates which enables you to create the most effective campaigns possible.
10. Always Use A Call To Action
Once you hook your audience with compelling, original, engaging content make sure you help them make a decision on what to buy with a call to action. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re selling. Don’t be afraid to make offers.
11. Understand The Truth About Internet Marketing Forums
Join a good internet marketing forum such as Warrior Forum but beware. While these forums are essential for new ideas, collaborations, and news don’t spend too much time in there. Forums are the biggest time suck you’ll find. It’s easy to spend hours browsing the endless threads only to come away overwhelmed by information, ideas, and rants. Instead go in and search for something specific or one good idea to act on and get out. If you spend more that 30 minutes per day in forums you’re wasting valuable time.
12. Research The Demand For Your Products
Don’t make the mistake of pimping a product nobody wants. The best campaign in the world can’t overcome the lack of demand for it. Spend time in advance researching it’s demand and potential longevity. Also, it goes without saying but match your offers to topic. I often see marketers offering products that have zero correlation to their target market.
13. Become An Authority In Your Niche
Turn your site into the go-to place for your topic. As an authority you’ll become recognized as an expert in your field. Expertise increases credibility and trust and allows you to capitalize on branding and growing your site and boosting your sales. Plus, the cream always rises to the top so if you become one of the experts in your niche people will seek you out for interviews and collaborative ventures.
14. Use Transparency And Always Disclose Relationships
Openly and honestly disclose your affiliate relationships. It not only builds trust but it’s also required by the FTC. Oh, and that leads to another critical tip: never piss off the alphabet agencies. Nothing will sink your internet marketing business faster than getting on the wrong side of the feds.
15. If You’re Targeting Local Customers Look Offline Too
If you specialize in local marketing you can look for offline merchants to work with as well. Many brick & mortar businesses in your community offer discounts and incentives for personal referrals. Many will be thrilled to have another method of promotion and will work with you on a custom referral program.
16. Stick With What You Do Best And Outsource Everything Else
Early on you’ll probably have to do most of the tasks yourself. But as you experience success and earn money try to outsource everything that you’re not good at. Don’t become a jack-of-all-trades, master on none.
17. Use Fiverr Often
Speaking of outsourcing, Fiverr is an incredible resource for online marketers. If you get stuck on any issue that’s going to take you more than a half hour to solve delegate it an expert on that issue on Fivver for $5.00. It’s the best time management tool ever in my opinion. You’ll be amazed what people are willing to do for only five bucks. You can also offer your services on Fiverr as well.
18. Review And Improve
As you add new content to your site make sure to review your old posts to look for missed affiliate opportunities. As you expand your campaigns you’ll constantly have new products and services to recommend that will tie in nicely to your old content. If you run out of new post ideas just take an old post of yours and rewrite it with improved content.
19. Don’t Leave Out The Bad Stuff
If you’re doing product or service reviews make sure to mention not only the positives but the negatives as well. No product is perfect and pointing out the imperfections adds credibility to you as a reviewer and will lead to increased conversions and sales.
20. Cross Promote
Don’t forget to cross-promote your products and services using multiple social media platforms.
21. Test Your Links On A Regular Basis
Sounds logical right? But the reality is I see this error in affiliate marketing all the time. Make sure you click through to the page you are linking to make sure it matches your pre-selling copy and effectively sells the product or service being offered. Sometimes affiliate companies will change their links without telling anyone so it’s your job to stay up to date on your links to make sure they work and you’re getting credit.
22. Be Careful With Free WordPress Themes
WordPress is a great platform for affiliate websites but be cautious with free themes. Some carry not only out-of-date coding but malicious malware and other nastiness that can jack up both your website and your computer. Research free themes thoroughly or pay a few bucks for a solid theme from a reputable company to avoid these headaches.
23. Utilize The Bonus Pile-On
Add bonus products or services along with your core offer. There are tons of sites offering products with resale or giveaway rights or create your own bonus package. I’ve bought some products myself just to receive the valuable bonuses.
24. Have Patience
Affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick scheme. It’s a long-term business model that, if built right, will continue to pay you commissions every single day indefinitely. But you’re not going to set the world on fire in your first thirty days so hang in there.
25. Out Of Content Ideas For Your Blog?
We all run into writers block at some point. That’s when you should re-write and re-publish an old post on your website. Add more content and bring it up to date with newly relevant ideas, tactics, and strategies. Google likes longer authoritative posts so if you take a 500 word article and expand it into a much more comprehensive 1000 word article it will likely move up the search engine rankings – bringing you fresh traffic. Don’t forget to repost it on your social media channels as well!
Bonus Tip: Be Accountable:
You may be selling other people’s products but ultimately it’s your business and thus the buck stops only with you. Take personal responsibility when things go wrong and make them right.