How You Can Set Out Terms and Conditions for Your Affiliate Marketing Program

Creating clear terms and conditions for participation in your affiliate marketing program is no easy task. There are legal and behavioral standards to consider when designing them, which can be complicated for many business owners.

However, by following some practical tips, you can define your ground rules and ensure they meet certain legal requirements. In turn, this may help inform your affiliates of their responsibilities as well as mitigate risk to your business.

In this article, we’ll first explore the value of setting terms and conditions for your affiliate program. Next, we’ll offer tips on how to create them by using clear rules and procedures, outlining behavioral standards, and including clauses that cover intellectual property rights. Let’s get started!

Why Your Affiliate Marketing Program Needs Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions outline a set of rules users must follow in order to continue using a certain company's products or services. This is a popular practice for many types of websites and online platforms, not just affiliate programs.

You're probably familiar with the concept from using various online services yourself:

The Terms and Conditions for Apple Media.

In the context of your affiliate program, your terms and conditions outline guidelines your partners must follow to continue receiving compensation for promoting your brand.

One key reason to include these ground rules for your affiliate program is that they set expectations for your partners in advance. A common practice is to require them to agree to your guidelines before they begin promoting your products, which helps define their responsibilities and yours.

Another reason to create official terms and conditions is that they can limit your legal liability in certain situations. You can include a clause that states you are not responsible for your affiliates' actions or content, including whether it's accurate, complete, or suitable for any purpose.

Finally, you can enforce terms and conditions through termination clauses. If one of your affiliates is deliberately breaking your rules, you'll have the power to revoke their account.

How You Can Set Out Terms and Conditions for Your Affiliate Marketing Program (3 Key Tips)

If you find creating terms and conditions for your affiliate program overwhelming, don’t worry. Here are three key tips you can put into practice to help make it easier.

1. Specify Clear Rules and Procedures for Compliance with Government Regulations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an agency of the United States government that sets out regulations businesses must follow. To be compliant with FTC guidelines, you need to ensure your affiliates disclose that they receive compensation for promoting your products in an obvious way, such as tagging affiliate posts on social media with “#ad”.

Merchants are responsible for ensuring their affiliates follow these disclosure laws. Breaking them can lead to hefty fines for your business. To protect yourself, it's wise to include a clause in your terms and conditions requiring affiliates to adhere to FTC guidelines in order to continue participating in your program.

2. Outline Behavioral Standards to Uphold Your Brand's Image

Your terms and conditions can also enable you to set behavioral standards for your affiliates. This lets your partners know what’s acceptable when promoting your products and what will not be tolerated.

For example, you can include clauses that prohibit users from spamming third party blogs or social media with their affiliate links. You can also ban unethical marketing practices such as cookie stuffing, which is the practice of embedding affiliate cookies into web pages without visitors' knowledge.

This can help you maintain your brand's positive image and authority, and prevent the negative repercussions of these practices from falling back on you. Plus, your affiliates may be less likely to try underhanded activities if they know it will put their accounts at risk.

3. Protect Your Business Against Intellectual Property Claims

Finally, your terms and conditions should include a clause about intellectual property. This includes copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. Your contract should state that affiliates are responsible for all intellectual property right claims that may arise from their content.

By doing so, you can avoid potential lawsuits as a result of your affiliates using copyrighted images, logos, or other content when promoting your brand. This is also another chance to educate your partners on laws they should be aware of to legally market your products or services.

Conclusion

Creating the terms and conditions of your affiliate marketing program can be overwhelming due to the number of factors you must consider. However, by following a few key tips you can ensure you're on the right track to help protect you and your partners. 

In this post, we covered why your affiliate marketing program needs terms and conditions, and three important clauses to include:

  1. Specify clear rules and procedures for compliance with FTC regulations.
  2. Set behavioral standards of how you expect your affiliates to promote your products to uphold your brand's image.
  3. Protect your business against intellectual property claims.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about how to create terms and conditions for your affiliate marketing program? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Ways Your Affiliate Program Can Prepare New Recruits

Recruitment is a core aspect of an affiliate marketing program's success. However, without an effective onboarding program, new partners may struggle to make sales or even violate Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules.

That's why it's important for your affiliate program to prepare recruits. This process may include orientation, sharing comprehensive guidelines, and supplying partners with tools to help them flourish in their role.

In this post, we'll take a look at the importance of onboarding recruits. Then, we'll offer practical tips on how you can support your affiliates and prepare them to drive sales. Let's get started!

The Importance of Affiliate Onboarding

Successful onboarding is hugely important for affiliate programs. Just like any type of work, if a partner isn’t prepared well, they may struggle to make the impact you were both hoping for.

For instance, inadequate onboarding (or a complete lack thereof) may lead to poor productivity and gradual dissatisfaction. This could result in your new recruit not settling down or fulfilling the goals that they had set for themselves when they joined.

Even worse, this could result in retention issues and high turnover. After all, if your partners don’t feel engaged, they may perceive themselves as expendable. In the end, losing recruits will prevent you from building a stable affiliate program.

This isn’t just about welcoming them to your business, either. If new affiliates aren’t aware of legal requirements, such as displaying disclosures, they could incur fines from the FTC. This is bad for them, but could also reflect poorly on your program.

With onboarding, you can give your recruits a solid impression of your brand’s scope and values. When they understand your objectives, targets, and what their role will be, they’ll be prepared to effectively implement affiliate marketing to their own benefit and yours.

3 Ways Your Affiliate Program Can Prepare New Recruits

Fortunately, there are a number of options when it comes to methods for supporting your recruits. Here are three ways you can get your partners up and running from the get-go.

1. Have Orientation Training In Place

One method of getting recruits ready is providing a formal orientation. It’s easy to get lost in a new environment. Without the right support, your new partners could quickly become overwhelmed.

When you create your training process, it might be smart to cover topics such as how to create and share disclosures, navigate your affiliate dashboard, and track commissions. To help guide them through the process, you could assign mentors to each of your new partners.

This might be a generous affiliate with plenty of experience under their belt, or someone from your own marketing team. Mentoring can help develop a sense of community and nurture strong relationships that may help individuals feel valued in your program.

Ultimately, communication is important when it comes to orienting recruits. Regular email updates are a solid start, but there are other options. A solid welcome message is not only easy to create, but can direct recruits to further resources they may need.

To set one up using Affiliate Royale, navigate to Options > Dashboard. Here, you can write your custom welcome message:

Dashboard settings in Affiliate Royale.

Click on Update Options to save and publish it. 

2. Provide Affiliates With Clear Guidelines

Guidelines can help new recruits seamlessly integrate into your program. Your directives should cover your values and best practices, such as adding disclosures and maintaining your brand's voice.

Indeed, clear guidelines can be especially valuable to ensuring your program is in full compliance with the FTC. Such safeguards may be just what you need to protect your brand and against serious consequences if your affiliates violate disclosure laws. 

Of course, building up a series of guidelines is an on-going process, and it can be a lot of information for partners to digest at once. Given this, try to keep yours simple and remember to notify partners of any updates.

Also, look to break up text with media, such as screenshots, infographics, and videos. Consider using examples to illustrate key guidelines. You can also organize content in a resource hub on your website to centralize your materials.

Finally, you might want to use Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) as another means of directing new partners to your guidelines. An FAQ page can provide vital answers no matter when your affiliates find themselves needing information.

3. Supply Your Partners With Relevant Materials

When a recruit is fully equipped with relevant marketing tools, they’re more likely to hit the ground running. With that in mind, providing affiliates with helpful materials can ease their transitions into your program.

For instance, you might want to share lists of recommended resources – such as specific WordPress plugins – for your new partners to utilize. By gathering them together on a readily available page, you can ensure that your affiliates won’t waste time searching for tools to improve their marketing skills.

Similarly, your affiliates may not feel comfortable creating graphics to promote your products. To give them a leg up, you can share some visuals they can use through your resource hub.

With Affiliate Royale, the process of uploading banners and ads is easy. To do so, go to Affiliate Royale > Links & Banners. Next, click on the plus sign:

Add Links & Banners page on Affiliate Royale.

From the dropdown menu, select the Banner option. Then, it’s just a matter of uploading your file, adding explanatory info, and providing a target URL:

Option to upload a banner on Affiliate Royale.

Finally, click on the Update Links & Banners button. Once that's done, your affiliates can access your materials and incorporate them on their websites or in promotional content.

Conclusion

Attracting new recruits is an integral aspect of managing a thriving affiliate marketing program. However, once they've joined, you need to ensure they're fully prepared to succeed.

In this post, we shared three ways you can prepare your affiliate program's recruits:

  1. Create orientation training for your new members.
  2. Ensure you have clear guidelines to help direct your partners.
  3. Supply them with resources and materials they need for a solid head start.

Do you have questions about how you can ensure that your recruits are properly prepared for your affiliate program? Ask away in the comments section below!

4 Ways You Can Create Engaging Product Pages for Your Affiliate Program

Creating engaging product pages for your business is an essential but sometimes difficult step. There are many aspects of design and User Experience (UX) to consider which can make building them more complicated than you might expect.

Fortunately, there are some proven ways to make your listings stand out to visitors as well as potential affiliates. As a result, people will be more likely to sign up to become ambassadors for your brand and drive traffic to your product pages.

In this article, we’ll start by explaining why professional product pages matter to your affiliate program. We’ll then discuss four tips for optimizing yours. Let’s get started!

Why Engaging Product Pages Matter to Your Affiliate Program

At first glance, it may seem like your product pages and your affiliate program are two areas of your brand that have little to no overlap. However, the way you display your merchandise online is actually highly important from a recruiting standpoint.

When potential affiliates assess your site, they want to be assured that your listings have a reasonable chance of converting visitors into customers, as this is how they earn commissions. If your pages are lacking in this area, you may find it difficult to convince people to promote your products.

Similarly, affiliates who've already joined your program may grow frustrated if they're working hard to send customers your way but aren't getting paid. Optimized product pages can keep them happy so your retention rate stays high.

4 Ways You Can Create Engaging Product Pages for Your Affiliate Program

Optimizing your product pages requires a few key components. Here are four strategies you can utilize to make yours stand out to potential affiliates and customers.

1. Use Informative and Clear Descriptions

An informative description clearly defines what a product does and the benefits of using it, along with any pertinent details. This is a vital part of your pages, as 20 percent of shoppers will not purchase an item if they feel there's missing or unclear information.

On the other hand, comprehensive, well-written content can help customers make fully-informed purchasing decisions. Likewise, affiliates may use these details to promote your brand and improve your conversions.

When creating your product descriptions, clearly state the item’s intended use and how customers can benefit from owning it. It’s also important to list other relevant information such as dimensions, weight, and variations:

An example of an Amazon product description.

Depending on what types of products you sell, bullet points or subheadings may be useful for breaking up key details into readable chunks.

2. Include Calls to Action (CTAs)

A CTA prompts site visitors to act. Some examples can be seen on e-commerce pages that feature a Buy Now or Add to Cart button:

An example of an Amazon CTA.

CTAs for product pages are important because they guide customers towards making a purchase. Not only that, but 90 percent of visitors who read your page titles will also read your CTA copy, which underlines their importance.

For optimizing your CTAs, consider the following tips:

  • Apply text on your buttons that compels users to act such as “Try Our Free Demo,” or “Buy Now.”
  • Experiment with different color choices for your buttons. Choose one that matches your site's design but still stands out.
  • Use large and legible text. It should be big enough to read and capture users' attention right away.
  • Create a sense of urgency to improve click-through rates. You could try: “Sign up today and get 30 percent off!”
  • Place buttons above the fold so visitors can see them without having to scroll down.

Beyond e-commerce, you can also craft CTAs to encourage shoppers to sign up for your email newsletter, or even to prompt potential partners to sign up for your affiliate program.

3. Feature Excellent Photographs

High-quality product images are key to accurately depicting the items you're selling. Customers and affiliates should be able to clearly see visual details such as stitching up close. This replicates the experience of in-person shopping:

A product image showing an up-close look at a USB C cable.

Photos are important because they are often the first thing that people pay attention to when a page loads. When shopping, people want to be assured that your product matches what they're looking for. Assessing the item visually is a key step in that process.

In fact, shoppers cite product photography as the number one thing they want more of from online brands. Delivering on this front could help you stand out from your competition.

There are a number of factors that contribute to creating excellent product photographs, such as:

  • Using a consumer DSLR camera or modern smartphone
  • Showcasing multiple angles
  • Using a white background
  • Saving your images in the ideal dimensions specified by your WordPress theme

In some cases, it may be worth your while to hire a professional product photographer to create your store's images.

4. Ensure Your Pages Load Quickly

According to Google’s mobile page speed study, a site’s bounce rate increases every second it takes for a page to load. The same principle also applies to desktop versions of websites. Additionally, 47 percent of online shoppers expect webpages to load in two seconds or less.

Optimizing the performance of your product pages is therefore key to maximizing conversions and by extension keeping your affiliates satisfied. There are a number of steps you can take to improve your site's loading times, including:

  • Compressing your image files
  • Minifying your site's code
  • Implementing browser caching
  • Employing a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Removing unused WordPress plugins and themes

Platforms such as Google PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom Tools can help you test your current loading times to provide a baseline to work off of.

Conclusion

Creating engaging product pages for your brand is not an intuitive process for most website owners. There are many aspects to consider and experiment with, which can make the process feel overwhelming.

In this post, we covered four ways that you can create quality product pages to help your affiliate program succeed:

  1. Use informative and clear descriptions on each page.
  2. Include compelling CTAs to boost conversions.
  3. Feature excellent photographs to showcase your products.
  4. Ensure that your pages load quickly to reduce bounce rates and increase sales.

Do you have any questions about product pages and how they relate to your affiliate program? Let us know in the comments section below!

Why Industry Knowledge Is Vital for Affiliate Programs

Having industry knowledge is critical for an affiliate marketing program to stay competitive. Without it, you could struggle to stay on top of the latest trends and tactics. This can lead to a negative impact on sales and overall performance.

Taking steps to build your industry knowledge can give you access to information that could be leveraged by your program and your affiliates. With effort, it may turn into new strategies and techniques to drive sales and click-throughs. 

In this article, we’ll first take a look at what ‘industry knowledge’ means. Then, we’ll offer practical tips for you to build yours to benefit your affiliate program. Let's get started!

Why Industry Knowledge Is Vital for Affiliate Programs

Industry knowledge consists of information on trends, practices, and processes related to your field. To stay effective, affiliate programs need to stay up-to-date on developments not only in their brands' niches, but also in marketing.

Your partners rely on your expertise to help them show off your products in their best light. Knowing the ins and outs of your industry can provide you with key details you can share with your affiliates to pass along to customers and drive sales.

No matter what area your brand is focused on, industry knowledge can help your affiliate marketing strategy, too. Understanding the landscape of this growing field can help you stay competitive when it comes to commission rates and other benefits.

Ultimately, your affiliate program needs partners who are authoritative on your products, brand, and niche. Bolstered with more thorough knowledge, your affiliates can promote your business in a way that entices leads, resulting in higher sales rates.

How You Can Build Industry Knowledge as an Affiliate Marketer (3 Key Tips)

If you’re not familiar with the practice of building industry knowledge, it could seem overwhelming. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can make it easier.

1. Look to Leverage Networking

Networking can benefit your affiliate program in a number of ways. Firstly, it can be a productive means of making meaningful connections with other brands in your field, as well as other marketers. This may help you find opportunities for collaboration, or even introduce you to influencers you can recruit.

Similarly, networking could also be an opportunity to increase your industry knowledge. Specifically, it enables you to learn more about what others are doing to progress their brands, products, and marketing strategies.

Learning about the practices and principles of others in your field can tip you off to methods you can leverage to gain a competitive edge. For instance, if you discover that other businesses in your industry offer higher affiliate commission rates, you may be able to match them to attract new partners.

As we'll discuss later, conferences can be one way to network effectively. However, there are alternatives, such as social media and online business communities. These can be productive environments for exchanging ideas, tips, and advice to further your program.

2. Tap Into Industry News

No matter what field you're in, keeping tabs on industry news is important. It can provide you with valuable insights into a whole slew of trends, tactics, and insider tips that can broaden your knowledge and therefore improve your brand.

Of course, finding news sources that are relevant to you can be tricky. If that proves to be the case, consider platforms such as podcasts, trade journals, LinkedIn posts, and blogs. By varying where you find information, you can tune in to a wide range of perspectives to broaden your industry knowledge.

The latest advancements in your industry may also be useful to your affiliates. By pointing out key sources they should follow, you can provide key information your partners can mention in their promotions to drive sales.

You may want to centralize these references on a resource hub to help your affiliates stay ahead and up-to-date. One way to achieve this is by using our Affiliate Royale plugin: 

The Affiliate Royale plugin landing page.

When you share your favorite sources via a resource hub with your affiliates, you’ll be supporting their success. They can then use industry news to your mutual benefit.

3. Attend Affiliate and Industry Conferences

One of the best ways to stay on top of your affiliate marketing game is to attend conferences. There are dozens of these events held every year. They may provide you with access to some of the foremost figures in your sector, and information about changes in best practices.

Moreover, experts will be able to offer plenty of insights into future trends. Naturally, that may give your program a competitive edge since these conferences can provide you with knowledge you can adapt to meet your affiliates' needs.

If you become a sponsor at a conference, you could also use this as an opportunity to recruit new partners. Many affiliates attend these events looking for brand deals, so they're already open to listening to what you have to offer.

However, there are also industry conferences you may want to attend. They can be useful for staying up-to-date on trends and advancements in your field. Again, this can go on to help you develop and sell your products.

With all that information at your disposal, you can make the necessary preparations to maximize your short and long-term plans. By learning from authorities in your industry, you can formulate new strategies, onboard their tips, and make adjustments to your current tactics if necessary.

Through the knowledge and tips you gain from leaders in your niche as well as affiliates, you can incorporate new information and methods into your campaigns.

Conclusion

Industry knowledge can provide for your affiliate program with a much-needed boost to help it stay competitive and effective. By seeking it out, you can gain access to valuable information such as trends, tactics, and general advice you can use to strengthen your brand.

In this post, we covered three different ways you can build up your industry knowledge:

  1. Network to develop professional relationships.
  2. Tap into industry news for up-to-date information.
  3. Attend conferences to gain access to expert insights.

Do you have any questions about how you can build industry knowledge as an affiliate marketer? Tell us in the comments section below!

How to Create an Educational Guide for Your Affiliates

When an affiliate program has recruits that hit the ground running, they can quickly see the results in their sales and Click-Through Rate (CTR). Conversely, when your partners struggle, they may become overwhelmed and their productivity might slip significantly.

With that in mind, it's important for your program to give its affiliates all the resources they need to flourish. One solution is to provide them with an educational guide to inform their actions and help them when they need it.

In this article, we'll first take a look at the importance of creating affiliate educational guides. Then we'll offer some tips for developing one for your program. Let's get started!

The Importance of Educational Guides for Affiliates

Any line of work can see the benefits of providing access to educational guides. These resources can shape a person's understanding of what is expected of them at a new business, codify your company's values, styles, and goals, and quickly familiarize individuals with other basics they need to do their job well.

However, educational guides can be especially beneficial for affiliate programs. Consider how new recruits may not be familiar with the tools available to help them if they've never promoted products for a brand before.

A written guide could also give them the information they need to be up-to-date on important issues such as Federal Trade Commission (FTC) compliance. After all, breaching FTC regulations can reflect negatively not only on individual affiliates, but your business as well.

Moreover, guides are dynamic. As your company changes, they can be revised to meet your evolving requirements over time. This can make them a versatile asset for your program, ensuring your affiliates won’t be out of the loop.

Ultimately, your program's official affiliate guidelines can act as a form of communication to deliver critical information to your partners. Plus, it will always be available for influencers to reference if they're feeling stuck.

How to Create an Educational Guide for Your Affiliates (4 Key Tips)

Often, it’s prudent to make your guidelines comprehensive without overwhelming new recruits. Here are four key tips for producing an educational guide that won’t leave your partners scratching their heads. 

1. Include Affiliate Marketing Do's and Don'ts

One of the most important facets of an educational guide for affiliates is including industry ‘do's' and ‘don'ts'. Indeed, foundational knowledge of how your partners should promote your products is the most critical aspect of this resource. 

For instance, you could provide a summary of FTC requirements for affiliates. In particular, that might include information on link disclosures, wording disclaimers, and how to display them.

Ultimately, whenever you promote something on social media and stand to gain from it (even if you're not receiving money), your position needs to be disclosed to the public. This is one step to keep you and your affiliates safe:

Gal Gadot disclosing her paid partnership with Smartwater in an Instagram post.

Likewise, do's and don'ts could also encompass stylistic considerations, marketing techniques, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and more. Armed with the knowledge of what is and isn't the right approach, your affiliates may feel more emboldened to pursue sales and click-throughs. 

To that end, when creating your affiliate marketing guide, it’s often wise to create separate documents for each subject. This way, your affiliates can search for exactly what they want to know, and have a way to break down information into digestible portions.

2. Brand Your Program's Guide to Promote Your Identity

Throughout your educational guide, it's smart to make it clear that it belongs to your brand. After all, this resource will likely be a fundamental part of your onboarding process, and might be some affiliates' first exposure to your program.

By branding your guidelines, you establish in the eyes of your recruits a strong and explicit identity for your program from the get-go. They can then immediately start to absorb the tone, style, and overall feel you want to portray.

As an established brand, you likely already have all the materials necessary to stamp your identity on your affiliate guide. Namely, you could place your logo or relevant banners in your documents, and follow the stylistic requirements you use for other marketing content, such as blog posts or emails.

All that can go a long way to nurturing an appreciation of your brand's identity among your recruits. They can then fully process and internalize these features for their own future use.

3. Look to Other Guides for Inspiration 

If you haven't written an extensive online resource like an affiliate guide before, you may be at a loss as to where to start. Not only do you have to take into account the content you must create, but also how to present it. Above all, you want it to be easy to understand and visually appealing.

However, don't fret if you’re unsure where to start. There are plenty of guide templates online, some of which are freely accessible. You can also check out examples that are often included in showcase lists:

A style guide produced by Apple.

These can give you helpful pointers as to what may work best for you. By studying your competition and other successful programs, you can adapt your own content into an educational affiliate guide that makes sense for your brand.

4. Distribute Your Guide to Current and Incoming Affiliates

Once you have some informative resources ready to go, your next step is to get them into the hands of your affiliates. To get started, consider centralizing them onto a single, easy-to-access resource page.

By doing so, you can have a ready-to-share link to your complete affiliate educational guide. You could easily include it as part of your site's welcome message to new recruits.

One way to do this is through a plugin optimized to facilitate communication between your program and its partners. Affiliate Royale is one such tool.

To share your new guide with your partners, install and activate our Affiliate Royale plugin on your WordPress site. Then, navigate to Affiliate Royale > Options > Dashboard:

The Affiliate Royale Options page.

Here, you can create a welcome message. Then, scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for an option labeled Custom Nav Pages:

The Affiliate Royale Custom Nav Pages option.

This feature enables you to place custom navigation links in your affiliates’ online dashboards, providing them fast access to any educational guides you create. Remember to click on Update Options when you're done.

Conclusion

Your affiliate program needs partners who don't feel lost. By offering them clear guidelines, you can support them from the beginning so that they're confident enough to thrive in their role promoting your products.

To create your own affiliate educational guide, remember the four tips we shared in this post:

  1. Include important do's and don'ts of affiliate marketing.
  2. Incorporate your brand identity.
  3. Look to other guides for inspiration.
  4. Distribute your guide among your affiliates.

Do you have any questions about creating and using educational guides for your affiliate marketing program? Let us know in the comments section below!

An Introduction to Link Rot (And How It Can Affect Your Affiliate Program)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vital to most websites, and affiliate content is no different. When your partners don’t appear high on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), your marketing efforts may stagnate. Unfortunately, link rot can cause them to drop down the ranks.

However, even if your affiliates' content currently suffers from link rot, that doesn’t mean all is lost. With the right steps and precautions, you can treat the problem and help your partners restore their rankings.

In this article, we’ll define what link rot is, and how it can affect your affiliate program. Next, we’ll discuss how you can stop it from impacting you. Let’s get started!

An Introduction to Link Rot and How It Can Affect Your Affiliate Program

Link building is an important step in boosting your search engine rankings. If you want to get your affiliate program noticed, this practice can increase the visibility of your brand. The same applies to your partners' content.

Unfortunately, the more links you have, the higher your chances of eventually suffering link rot. Also called “link death” or “link breaking”, this is what happens when pages you've linked to in the past become unavailable over time due to moved or deleted content.

Link rot causes problems for websites of all kinds, even government websites and law firms. On average, over 20 years, more than 98 percent of links will become inactive or broken. Within just two years, almost a third of all links on social media will be dead.

This may seem innocuous at first, but link rot can negatively impact your affiliate program. After all, User Experience (UX) is key to keeping visitors engaged on your website.

Link rot can negatively affect UX, and create frustration for users. Enough broken links may prevent potential recruits from finding the information they need, or scare them off because your site doesn't seem trustworthy.

Link death can also cause you to slip down in SERP rankings. While a broken link here or there may not result in any consequences, too many can add significant time to the process of crawling your site, which can impact your ‘score', so to speak.

Finally, affiliate marketing relies on links to drive conversions. If you delete or move a landing page and don't inform your partners, their content will suffer link rot. Not only will this prevent them from earning commissions, but it will also keep customers from making their way to your site.

How You Can Stop Link Rot from Impacting Your Affiliate Program (3 Key Tips)

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent your site – and your affiliates' – from suffering from link rot. Let’s take a closer look at how you can protect your affiliate program.

1. Communicate With Your Affiliates

One of the best ways you can protect your affiliate program from dealing with large volumes of link rot is communicating clearly and effectively with your affiliates from the beginning. After all, it takes a lot of work to keep links up-to-date on every webpage and social media platform.

If you change your website's structure in some way, such as deleting outdated content or modifying your permalink structure to maximize SEO, it's going to cause a ripple effect. These situations can create dead links that your affiliates may continue to post if they are not told about changes.

Too much link rot, and your affiliate program may start to see negative sideeffects. A drop in conversions due to leads not being able to find your site is one. You'll also likely have some unhappy partners who've missed out on commissions.

Fortunately, you can keep your affiliates in the loop by using our Affiliate Royale plugin. If, for example, you change a URL or delete a page, you can communicate that through the plugin’s welcome message feature:

The welcome message on the Affiliate Royale dashboard.

Your message will appear on your affiliates' dashboards when they log in to inform them that they should remove or replace any links to your changed resources.

2. Use Broken Link Finder Tools

If there are dead links in your content, then your SEO could be adversely affected. Over time, broken links can accumulate and become challenging to manage.

Fortunately, you can utilize an automated tool, such as Broken Link Checker, that can help you easily locate any broken links on your site. All you have to do is download and activate the plugin, and it will automatically list any problematic links it finds. Simply navigate to Tools > Broken Links to view them:

The detected links page from the Broken Link Checker plugin.

Once you have identified the broken links on your site, your next step is to update, remove, or replace them as you see fit.

3. Implement URL Redirects to Prevent Broken Links

One way to prevent broken internal links is to produce 301 Redirects whenever you move or delete a page. Doing so will forward both for visitors and Google bots to a new page when they follow a broken link, thus restoring link equity for your website's pages.

Indeed, with a broken links tool, you can narrow down the specific landing pages that are causing problems as we described above, then introduce an appropriate redirect. If your dead links were caused by a domain change, then it will be best to edit your .htaccess file to add a 301 Redirect to your WordPress site.

However, if you are dealing with individual landing pages, you can instead use a plugin such as Redirection to quickly perform this essential administrative task. This plugin enables you to easily set up a 301 Redirection for any target URL.

Once you've downloaded and activated it, navigate to Tools > Redirection. You’ll have to set up your account, but it’s just a quick series of questions. Then you can enter your old (source) URL and the new page you want to send visitors to:

The Redirection plugin on the back end of WordPress.

Click on Add Redirect, and you’ll be done.

Conclusion

You don’t need to let link rot destroy your position on SERPs. By taking action, you can improve your standing, and ensure your links receive the repairs they may need.

Let’s recap some of the ways you can stop link rot from negatively impacting your affiliate program:

  1. Communicate with your affiliates to increase clarity.
  2. Use a broken link finder tool to locate dead links.
  3. Ensure you have URL redirects in place to prevent broken links.

Do you have any questions about link rot? Ask away in the comments section below!

3 Reasons to Solicit Podcasters for Your Affiliate Program

Expanding your affiliate marketing strategy into new mediums is a smart move. Otherwise, you could struggle to grow and extend your reach. If that happens, your program could stagnate and subsequently lose out on traffic and click-throughs.

One emerging market worth considering is podcasting, an increasingly popular form of audio entertainment. Like radio before it, it covers various genres and can appeal to a range of audiences.

In this article, we'll first give you a background on this medium and its popularity. Then we'll look into three reasons why you should recruit podcasters for your affiliate program. Let's get started!

An Introduction to Podcasting

Podcasts are digital recordings that can be streamed or downloaded. Most release regular episodes that feature the same host and are centered around a particular theme. The format is reminiscent of talk radio:

An example of a podcast.

Although it's a popular medium, podcasting is often overlooked. By nature, this type of content is versatile since it can be listened to on computers, mobile phones, or tablets. This gives audiences the option to access shows however they want, and whenever they want.

For instance, listeners could go directly to a podcaster's website, seek out a platform that aggregates episodes, or use an app such as Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Essentially, they can be adapted to anyone's schedule.

Podcasting has been growing in popularity, too. 51 percent of Americans have listened to one at some point, while 32 percent tune in to shows on a regular monthly basis. In fact, almost a quarter engage with at least one episode each week.

For affiliate programs, that's a sizeable audience. This is especially true when you consider listeners who tune in weekly are more likely to follow multiple shows.

3 Reasons to Solicit Podcasters for Your Affiliate Program

With the ever-growing popularity of podcasts, it makes sense to leverage this market for your brand. Here are three ways podcasters could benefit your affiliate program as partners.

1. You Could Gain Access to Niche Audiences

There are countless podcasts that cater to various topics and audiences. Whether it's lifestyle, education, relationships, careers, or even storytelling, there are likely to be dozens of shows with a general or nuanced focus related to your industry.

Fortunately for you, this means you can reach out to targeted audiences practically crafted for you. For example, if your brand sells eco-friendly cleaning products, you can find plenty of podcasts that focus on sustainable living or conservation. The possibilities are endless.

Plus, if someone is tuning into a particular podcast, you can rest assured that they are fairly invested in the topic it discusses. That means that they may already be looking for the types of products and services you offer.

Moreover, niche podcasters very well may have experience and knowledge in their specialization. This can enable your affiliate program to leverage their credibility in your industry and reap the benefits that come with having authentic, relatable partners.

2. Podcasts Offer Chances to Network in Your Industry

Similarly, podcasters can not only lend you their authority when you partner with them, but can also provide opportunities to make additional connections in your field. Indeed, many hosts actively seek to network themselves and may already be familiar with the importance of the practice.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, networking is valuable in a few ways. First, it's helpful for you to meet new potential partners who can help you extend your brand's reach.

However, it's also advantageous to have affiliates who do their own networking. For instance, when you work with a podcaster who hosts interviews or celebrity appearances, you may be able to connect with the guests and their audiences, too.

This is especially useful if your partners have regular contributors, but even more so if they bring in a new speaker every episode:

A podcast featuring a guest host.

By broadening your pool of potential leads, you're increasing your chances of driving more conversions for your brand. You may even be able to find new affiliates by connecting with your podcasting partners' former guests.

3. They Provide Promotional Opportunities

Podcasting is an interactive and personable medium. Statistically speaking, audio shows shape listeners' interests in products and services. This is also reflected in the continued rise of ad revenue for this type of content, which stood at $514 million in 2019.

Many podcasters actively seek opportunities for advertisements, sponsorships, and collaborations with businesses. This could mean recruiting new partners in this medium will be easier than you think.

Plus, consider that many podcasters often feature a review segment on their shows. Finding these creators is a prime opportunity to leverage this for your brand.

Furthermore, podcasters are likely to understand how their audience ticks. In a sense, they may know how to target their listeners without losing trust or credibility. That can benefit your program as they can focus on making your products and services sellable through their platform.

How to Recruit Podcasters to Your Affiliate Program

If you've made the decision to seek out podcasters for your affiliate program, you may be wondering what your next step should be. Of course, your first port of call will be to identify creators in your field.

Fortunately, there are numerous podcast repositories that you can sift through to identify prospects for your program. These sites let you filter shows by topic, location, and language.

You can then reach out to any podcasters who seem like they would fit in well with your program and brand image.

Conclusion

Podcasters are skilled when it comes to producing authentic content that could drive up your traffic, sales, and exposure. By recruiting some of these audio content creators for your affiliate program, you can tap into new audiences.

In this post, we explained how podcasters can benefit your affiliate program by:

  1. Helping you reach niche audiences in new markets.
  2. Providing plentiful chances for networking to grow your program.
  3. Offering promotional opportunities for your brand.

Do you have any questions about adding podcasters to your affiliate marketing program? Tell us in the comments section below!

3 Ways Your Affiliate Program Can Use Social Media to Attract New Recruits

Any thriving affiliate program will need to attract new recruits. Without them, your marketing strategy may not pan out as well as you had planned. Without new partners, expanding your brand's reach can be a challenge.

That’s where social media can have a powerful impact. Not only does it boast a huge user base and therefore a seemingly-unending reservoir of potential recruits, but it’s an excellent means of raising your program’s profile overall.

In this article, we’ll go over just why social media matters for affiliate program recruitment. Then we’ll discuss three ways you can begin utilizing it. Let’s get started!

Are you ready to start your own affiliate program? Try Affiliate Royale today!

Why Social Media Matters for Affiliate Program Recruitment

On the Internet today, social media reigns supreme. Many of these platforms boast large, active, and engaged user bases.

In fact, in 2019, there were some 3.5 billion users on social media, with 90.4 percent of millennials alone using it every single day. That’s a considerable audience and a reservoir that could potentially be tapped by affiliate programs for both marketing and recruitment purposes.

As a marketer, you're likely already aware of the practical benefits that come with a social media presence, such as increased traffic and click-throughs. Beyond that, you can also use it to enhance your credibility, and raise your brand's profile. 

However, there are specific reasons to utilize social media for affiliate recruitment. Namely, it could give you access to a new and wider audience. Plus, you may be able to find recruits who already possess many of the skills you might look for in an influencer.

3 Ways Your Affiliate Program Can Use Social Media for Recruitment

Knowing that social media could be an excellent tool to find new recruits and knowing how to use social media for that process are two distinct matters. Let’s take a look at three ways you can utilize social media to find new affiliates!

1. Utilize Hashtags for Exposure

Unfortunately, with so many users on social media, it can seem impossible to stand out from the crowd. Thankfully, hashtags are one way to deal with this.

Hashtags are a common technique across multiple social media platforms to categorize and promote your posts to increase your exposure. They're also an effective technique to stamp your identity on your creative process, whether in a tweet or an upload to Instagram:

An Instagram post in which a shoe company uses several recruitment hashtags.

Best of all, there are often specific hashtags you can leverage for recruitment. Of course, you'll likely have to do your research to identify which ones are relevant to you and your business.

At first glance, you may find that generic hashtags like ‘#recruiting' and ‘#hiring' are too competitive for you to gain traction; However, it isn't likely to hurt your chances of increasing engagement if you include them alongside other more specific hashtags.

If you're unsure which hashtags to utilize, don't fret. There are free tools such as RiteTag and Hashtagify that can guide your choices.

These tools enable you to enter specific details, such as a prospective hashtag. They then analyze its associated metrics and provide similar alternatives.

With this information, you can try to optimize your posts for maximum effectiveness. Ultimately, the more people you reach, the more likely it is you’ll find new recruits.

2. Interact with Followers to Boost Engagement

No matter the quality of your social media accounts, it's still important to be accessible. If your followers don't feel listened to, they may still be unconvinced that joining your program could benefit them.

That's why it's important to go into social media with two specific engagement strategies: reactive and proactive. Both have their benefits, and each can improve your profiles and recruitment levels in the short and long-term.

When it comes to reactive engagement, think along the lines of responding to messages or replying to comments on your posts. These interactions can help people feel valued, which may lead them to the conclusion that they would also be appreciated as part of your program.

With respect to proactive engagement, the goal is to take the initiative and put the ball squarely in your own court. For instance, you could search social media platforms for people referencing affiliate marketing, or looking to become an affiliate.

You can then directly answer them, lending authority to your brand while showing genuine interest in their services as influencers. Or you could utilize features such as Twitter's poll functionality to draw engagement.

By creating opportunities for engagement, your affiliate program may stand out and create a buzz in the eyes of prospective partners. After all, they may not fully understand what affiliate marketing entails. Your program can step in and provide the answers, and possibly inspire them to promote your brand.

3. Stay Active to Build Connections

Successful social media accounts thrive on connections. As we've discussed, that can be facilitated through hashtags and interactions with followers.

However, if you're not active, then you may still lose out on engagement and exposure. Unfortunately, if you aren't posting consistently, then you may undermine your own recruitment efforts.

Leaving sizeable gaps between posts could prevent you from making it to the top of followers' feeds. However, a successful schedule is all about balance. You want to be active enough that people don't forget about you, but not so much so that you start to overwhelm or annoy them.

Each social media platform may require a different level of commitment. For example, you may have to post multiple times a day on Twitter to improve your chances of being seen by followers, but be able to get away with weekly Facebook updates.

Of course, quantity shouldn't come at the expense of quality, so it's important that your contributions are crafted well and relevant to your targeted audience. If you're concerned that posting regularly could be time-consuming for you, don't worry.

There are plenty of tools that can help and some of them, such as TweetDeck, are free. They enable you to schedule posts well in advance. This can help ensure you stay active and post at the times you consider to be optimal without it detracting from your other priorities. 

Conclusion

As an affiliate program, you may already know that social media can be an excellent platform for driving sales and click-throughs. With a bit of effort, it might also become a source of new, capable affiliate recruits.

In this article, we looked at some techniques you can apply to turn your social media presence into a recruitment hub, including:

  1. Utilizing hashtags to maximize your social media profiles.
  2. Interacting with followers to boost your engagement levels.
  3. Staying active to nurture strong connections with your followers.

Do you have any questions about using social media for affiliate recruitment? Tell us in the comments section below!

3 Ways to Reward Your Affiliates

A thriving affiliate marketing program needs partners who are dedicated. Without motivated participants, conversions could stagnate or diminish over time.

Fortunately, there are several ways you can motivate your affiliates and make them feel appreciated. Doing small things like offering bonuses and higher commissions can organically encourage your partners to work harder.

In this article, we’ll take a look at why rewards matter. Then, we’ll walk you through several steps you can take to incentivize your affiliates. Let’s get started!

Why Rewarding Your Affiliates Matters

One of the most important aspects of running an affiliate marketing program is incentivizing your affiliates. They’re your partners, but they need motivation and acknowledgment just as if they were traditional employees working in your office.

Anyone who puts in time promoting products will anticipate that their efforts will translate into something tangible, whether that’s money or free items. When your affiliates don’t have a reason to drive more sales, there's always a chance they'll become demotivated, or have their heads turned by other programs.

Moreover, with a solid rewards scheme in place, you can also give yourself a strong foundation on which to build your marketing strategy. Remember, partners are the heartbeat of a thriving affiliate program. Recruiting influencers is key if you want to grow for the future. 

If you're struggling to attract new recruits, it may lead to stagnation over time. Worse, you run the risk of losing the partners you have if they don’t feel their work is paying off. Therefore, if you value your program, it’s prudent to appreciate your affiliates, too.

3 Ways to Reward Your Affiliates

Of course, it can be difficult to know what rewards to provide your affiliates. After all, if each contributes a different amount, it isn’t fair for everyone to receive the same bonus. That’s why it’s a smart idea to have a versatile strategy in place. Here are three techniques to consider. 

1. Create Tiered Commission Levels

One way to reward productivity is by creating tiered commission levels. While your program’s profit margins and running costs may ultimately be deciding factors in your approach, this structure can be a smart avenue to pursue. 

Commissions are a central part of affiliate marketing, and keeping yours competitive is key to your program’s vitality. With a tiered, level-based structure, you can provide payouts that not only reward success, but drive your partners to keep striving for more.

If affiliates know that their efforts may result in a ‘promotion' that delivers a higher commission rate, they are more likely to push themselves to land more sales. This benefits both your partners and your business.

If you’re unsure what rates to offer, you could research your competition. This can help you to gauge what typical commissions look like, either in your niche or among affiliate programs in general.

Once you have an idea of what others are offering, you can balance that information with your own overriding financial concerns. Then, you can easily create affiliate commission levels with our Affiliate Royale plugin:

Commission settings in Affiliate Royale.

Once you have Affiliate Royale installed, head over to Options > Commission Settings. You can then input whatever rates you like, either as a percentage or a static amount, by clicking on add level. Confirm your changes via Update Options, and your tiers will be applied and saved.

2. Provide Free Gifts or Merchandise

Does your program have exclusive branded merchandise, such as mugs or t-shirts with your logo? If the answer is no, you might consider creating some as a way to reward affiliates:

A branded yoga mat and matching water bottle.

Branded goodies can be an endearing way to invest partners in your program. In particular, it may demonstrate that you see them as an integral part of your business, rather than as just a source of conversions. 

Free samples may also be an appealing option for you. This way, affiliates receive a gift and have tools to promote your brand simultaneously.

Still, you might have reservations about offering program merchandise and swag. After all, giving products away for free can feel counterproductive, and starting a new line of branded items is an added expense to accommodate.

However, when you consider that these products will also work for you by promoting your brand, this strategy may be worth the investment. Rewards that benefit your company and your partners are ideal.

3. Offer Your Affiliates Competitive Bonuses

Just like commissions, bonuses are a prominent feature among affiliate marketing programs. They are also similarly adaptable, and can be an effective way to acknowledge your partners' success. 

If they have gone above and beyond, your affiliates certainly deserve recognition. Plus, when they see their hard work pay off, you could strengthen their ties to your program and embolden them for the future. After all, they may try to keep repeating their success to earn additional bonuses.

Your bonuses could be doled out monthly to partners who hit specific targets, or who otherwise demonstrate exceptional performance. A different timeframe may work better for your company, and it’s ultimately up to you to decide how often to reward your affiliates.

You can also notify your affiliates of any potential bonuses through your Affiliate Royale dashboard. This can be achieved by creating a welcome message, or by directing them to relevant pages through a Custom Nav Page link:

The Affiliate Royale Welcome Message and Custom Nav Page options.

To create a custom page, navigate to Affiliate Royale in your WordPress dashboard, then scroll down and click on add page. Here you can craft content dedicated solely to giving your affiliates information on how they can earn bonuses.

Conclusion

An affiliate marketing program needs motivated and loyal partners to be successful. That's why it's important to offer rewards whenever possible to sustain their drive and focus.

Let's take another look at the three ways you can do just that:

  1. Create tiered commission levels with varying rates.
  2. Provide free gifts or branded merchandise as tangible gestures.
  3. Offer competitive bonuses to show hard work pays off.

Do you have any questions about how your affiliate marketing program can reward its partners? Ask away in the comments section below!

3 Ways That Micro-Influencers Can Benefit You

When it comes to affiliate marketing, it's tempting to focus exclusively on recruiting content creators with large followings. However, these influencers can be expensive to hire, and the competition for their services is only growing.

That’s why you may want to consider turning to micro-influencers. These small-scale affiliates have significant enough followings to provide excellent marketing opportunities but are less likely to expect large commissions.

In this article, we'll introduce you to what a micro-influencer is. Then, we'll discuss some of the benefits of working with them and how you can recruit them. Let's get started!

An Introduction to Micro-Influencers

As you may already know, an influencer is someone who has a large following on social media and uses their ‘influence' to promote products for brands. They're one type of affiliate you might recruit for your program.

Micro-influencers have anywhere between 1,000 to 100,000 followers, compared with macro-influencers whose audiences tend to scale up into the millions:

A micro-influencer's social media page.

However, even a relatively small following can be leveraged to promote your brand. These accounts offer their own unique benefits over working with large-scale influencers.

In fact, the popularity of micro-influencers is on the rise. Even huge names such as Adobe have worked on campaigns with this type of affiliate. 

One of the advantages of working with micro-influencers is that they tend to have very niche audiences. Often, they have a specialized focus on subjects such as parenting, gaming, or fashion. As a result, they’ve established credibility amongst their followers as experts in their areas of specialty.

3 Ways Micro-Influencers Can Benefit You

They may not have the numbers of other potential affiliates, but micro-influencers have their own unique qualities. Here are three ways that working with them can help give your brand a boost.

1. Working With Micro-Influencers Can Be Cost Effective

Working with influencers requires paying them commissions for promoting your products. While this is fair and usually an approachable strategy for many brands, it is still an expense you have to factor into your budget.

The costs of working with influencers can be determined by a number of factors, including follower counts or average views on video platforms such as YouTube. Often, the larger these figures are, the more you can expect to pay for an endorsement. 

That’s where micro-influencers may come into play. Without serious expense on your part, they can maximize campaigns for your affiliate program. This could represent significant savings on your end and offer an excellent Return on Investment (ROI). 

2. You Can Tap Into Niche Audiences

We mentioned in passing that micro-influencers usually target niche audiences. This means they're able to act as a direct line to quality leads who are likely to be interested in your products.

While macro-influencers can put your name in front of a large number of people, chances are only a percentage of their followers will actually be interested in your products. Working with smaller scale partners whose audiences are already interested in your niche can sometimes result in more conversions.

By working with micro-influencers in your industry, you can leverage their existing credibility for your brand. However, this requires you to be intentional and attentive when seeking affiliates for your program. For instance, if your brand sells tools to manage stock options, a beauty blogger may not be the best fit.

3. Micro-Influencers May Encourage Higher Engagement Rates

Over the years, advertising has had to change drastically. Each generation is different, and neither Millennials nor members of Generation Z respond well to traditional broadcast marketing methods. Instead, they seem to crave authenticity.

Micro-influencers often provide this element. A strong indicator of a potential partner's success in this area is the level of engagement or interaction on their accounts. That means quality comments in addition to standard likes and shares.

It may seem counterintuitive, but larger accounts often don’t see the same meaningful engagement smaller ones do. Whether that’s because people feel they can relate more to creators with fewer followers, or because they appear more authentic, ultimately, micro-influencers can lead to more conversions than macro ones.

With that in mind, try not to be swayed by audience size alone when recruiting affiliates. After all, it’s easy to buy thousands of followers, but harder to elicit genuine responses. To ensure an influencer actually has sway over their viewers, consider checking their comments section to see if real people regularly reply to their content.

How to Recruit Micro-Influencers for Your Affiliate Marketing Program

Finding micro-influencers is quite similar to locating affiliates with larger followings. In particular, you could search hashtags on social media platforms such as on Twitter and Instagram, and use Google as well. These can be excellent starting points for finding prospective partners.

As an extra measure, you may also want to try utilizing an influencer research tool, such as Upfluence. It’s free and easy to use:

The homepage of the influencer research tool Upfluence.

To begin, click on the Get Started button. A popup will appear, and you’ll need to supply pertinent information that Upfluence will use to find relevant candidates:

The submission form used by Upfluence.

Most importantly, fill in your company type, industry, and the type of services you’re looking for. Once you finish setting up your account, you'll be able to search Upfluence's influencer database using advanced filters, including community size.

Of course, finding the right micro-influencers is only the first step. You’ll still need to offer attractive compensation to create viable partnerships.

You can set up commission tiers and rates through our Affiliate Royale plugin. Once you've installed and activated it, simply look for the Affiliate Royale menu in the left-hand menu of your dashboard.

Then go to Options > Commission Settings and create your commission rates. If you want multiple tiers, you can add them by clicking on the Add Levels button. Then, before you navigate away, click on Update Options to save your new rates:

The commission settings page of the Affiliate Royale plugin.

If you're hoping to work with macro and micro-influencers, this can be an easy way to set up different commission levels based on the number of followers your affiliates have.

Conclusion

Micro-influencers can benefit your affiliate marketing program in many ways. They represent a growing section of the internet that can invigorate your social media presence. Whether you want more clicks, an expanded audience, or greater engagement, working with these small-scale creators may be in your best interest.

In this article, we covered three ways micro-influencers can benefit your affiliate program:

  1. Working with micro-influencers can be cost-effective.
  2. You can tap into niche audiences.
  3. Micro-influencers may encourage higher engagement rates.

Do you have any questions about working with micro-influencers for your affiliate marketing program? Let us know in the comments section below!