How to Know if an Affiliate Program is Right for Your Business

Affiliate marketing has gradually gained significant momentum in the past few years and shows no signs of slowing down. But, while tons of businesses are beginning to embrace this form of marketing, affiliate marketing isn’t for everyone.

Is affiliate marketing really the right thing for your online business? In this post, we’ll go over a few tell-tale signs you can look for to determine whether an affiliate program is the right move for you!

Easily manage and maintain your affiliates – use Affiliate Royale today!

Common Businesses That Use Affiliate Marketing

The first question to ask is whether your business falls within an industry where affiliate marketing is a standard practice. Following are a few of the most common businesses that achieve success with this type of marketing.

Ecommerce/Retail

Online shopping businesses are making a killing from affiliate marketing. Amazon is one of the originators of affiliate programs to promote products, but now most online stores have some sort of affiliate or referral program. For example, one large business, FashionNova, works with celebrities and influencers to promote their products to the masses.

Membership Websites

If you’re subscribed to a subscription-based business, such as a subscription box service, small business group, or educational subscription program, you know that these companies are continually seeking new clients, members, or customers. As a result, most of these programs offer affiliate programs to their current subscribers, allowing subscribers to receive rewards and perks when they refer customers.

Printing Companies

Companies that mass-produce products such as shirts, business cards, and product boxes target smaller printing companies and businesses to expand their affiliate programs. For example, Vistaprint offers the Vistaprint ProAdvantage program where smaller companies can offer printing for customers at a discounted rate. The more customers each business brings in, the more money both businesses make.

Software Companies/App Companies

If your business uses email marketing tools, social media management tools, or anything in between, chances are those companies have affiliate programs. These companies offer rewards or even discounts or free upgrades on their software for referrals.

Is An Affiliate Program Right For You? Other Questions to Ask Yourself

Still wondering if an affiliate program is right for your business? Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to help determine whether an affiliate program could benefit you.

Can You Afford An Affiliate Program? Although an affiliate program can be a cheaper way to market your business, there are still costs involved. Whether it’s giving away free products and services, paying influencers, or offering affiliate commissions and perks to affiliates to provide referrals who convert, you have to make sure your small business can afford the associated costs.

If it’s not in your best interest to spend the money or sacrifice products or services, it may be a good idea to wait and reevaluate before starting an affiliate program.

Are Your Competitors Doing It? One of the best ways to judge whether or not an affiliate marketing program, or any marketing tactic for that matter, will work for you is to find out if your competition is doing it. If you notice that a competitor is operating a successful program, it’s definitely something you want to explore.

Will You Be Able To Handle It? Determining whether your budget will allow you to have an affiliate program is one thing, but deciding if you have the organizational skills and the staff to run the program are equally essential factors to consider. 

If you don’t think you’ll be able to handle a sudden influx of customers or if you don’t yet have systems in place, such as Affiliate Royale, to manage affiliates and customers, you may want to take a step back and work on some preparation before you launch your program.

Are You Confident In What You Offer? Before you can share what you have to offer with the public, you need to be confident in your product or service. If you don’t believe in your product or service, no one else will. It’s tough to sell something you don’t care about. Be sure that you are proud of what you do and confident in the value you can bring to customers.

Do You Believe It’s Worth It? At the end of the day, you know your business and what you have to offer a potential customer. If you feel that people are going to benefit from what you provide and that they will be likely to tell a friend or associate about it, then definitely go for it!

However, if you don’t believe that an affiliate program is right for you, or you aren’t willing to put in the work required to run a successful one, that’s okay. You always want to do what works best for you and your business.

Manage your affiliate program without hassle with Affiliate Royale. Get started today!

In Conclusion

An affiliate program can be a significant asset to your business. However, it is a considerable task, and the work it requires isn’t for everyone. We hope that the questions and information we’ve provided above will help you figure out whether an affiliate program is a good move for you.

Ready to turn your online business idea into a thriving affiliate program? Be sure to read our blog posts on how to convert your customers into affiliates, ways micro-influencers can help your affiliate program, how to use swipe copy to help your affiliate succeed, and how to tell if your affiliate program is doing well.

Do you feel ready to start an affiliate program? What factors have gone into determining your readiness? Let us know in the comments!

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to check out our blog for more great content! You can also keep up with us on Twitter.

How To Perform Proper Keyword Research For Your Affiliate Promotions

If you’re seeking new content ideas or need a fresh way to connect with your audience, why not try keyword research? Keyword research is a way to figure out what your website visitors are searching for, so you can better interact with them. 

In this post, we’ll explain what keyword research is, how it can benefit your affiliate business, and how to go about performing it. Let’s get started!

Ready to take your affiliate program to the next level? Get Affiliate Royale!

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is a tactic you can use to help determine what words users are typing into search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to find specific products and services.

When researching these keywords, you look for words and phrases that match your industry or user interests and incorporate them in your content to boost your search traffic, engagement, and conversions. 

When performed properly, keyword research makes it so you don’t have to play the guessing game when it comes to knowing what your users are seeking. You can immediately get in front of them with content they’re interested in.

Keyword Research Tips For Your Affiliate Marketing Business

Evaluate Your Current Keyword Performance

The best way to start your keyword research is to evaluate what keywords your website is currently ranking for. By doing this you’ll be able to see where your online business currently stands and understand your position in relation to your competitors. 

Ensure Your Keywords Are Benefitting The Customer

When performing your keyword research, you want to search for keywords and phrases that are going to help your customers find answers and solve their problems. If you’re able to tap into the questions a customer has and how to answer them, you’ve immediately created a new lead and a potential new sale.

Watch What Your Competitors Rank For

Analyzing your competition is one of the best ways to figure out where to start or move forward in your keyword research. Using tools like Google Ads, you can type in certain phrases or words along with your competitor’s URL to see what keywords they’re ranking for. Then you can use those keywords as you develop your own strategy.

Ask Your Customers Questions

Another great way to perform keyword research is to talk to your customers and ask them questions. Go directly to the source by putting together a short survey, or check with your support team to learn what are the most common questions they receive. Within this body of information, you’ll find countless keywords to build up your existing strategy.

Keyword Research Tools

When it comes to keyword research, you don’t have to go it alone. There are a slew of great tools out there that make the job much, much easier. Below, we’ve put together a list of a few of our favorites.

SEMrush

SEMrush is a robust SEO suite that includes every tool you need to successfully perform keyword research for your online business.

With their Keyword Overview tool, you can type in a keyword you’re interested in and learn everything there is to know about that keyword, such as how many people are actively searching for it, how popular it is, and it’s gradual popularity over time. The tool also provides lists of keywords related to the one you’re researching, significantly extending the return on your efforts.

SEMrush also includes a content analyzer tool to help you better craft blog posts and other online content, helping to ensure that you’re properly using your keywords to rank in search engines.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is similar to SEMrush in that it is a complete SEO suite and includes a robust set of tools for keyword research. 

With Ahrefs, you can also type a keyword into their search bar and learn all there is to know about it. Like SEMrush, this tool provides lists of suggested keywords related to the one you’re researching.

Ahrefs can also be used to examine what keywords your competitors are ranking for that you are not, helping you to better compete in the online marketplace.

In addition to those tools, Ahrefs features reports on your progress and can even help you understand how to improve your website to rank better in search.

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a tool for online business owners who want to advertise on Google, but it actually includes a lot of great SEO tools you can use for free.

To access Google Keyword Planner, all you have to do is create or log in to your Google Ads account and enter your payment details (don’t worry, you won’t have to run or activate a campaign).

Once you’re in, you can type in any keyword you’re interested in and learn how many monthly searches that keyword gets, its related keywords, how much people pay to advertise with the keyword, and more.

Ubersuggest

Neil Patel is a well-known authority in SEO and marketing; however, you might not know that he also offers a free tool for keyword research.

Ubersuggest is a tool that gives users everything they need when it comes to performing keyword research for their business, such as keyword suggestions, search volume, competitor keyword ranking, and more.

Also with this tool, you can type in a keyword and see the top Google search results for that keyword, along with its domain score, number of backlinks, social shares, and more.

AnswerThePublic

AnswerThePublic is the perfect tool for those seeking to hear directly from their customers in their research.

With this free tool, users can go to the website, type in a keyword, and discover what users all over the world are searching for or asking about on search engines in relation to that keyword.

This tool also stands out because, unlike the other tools mentioned above, the results from AnswerThePublic are presented in a tidy, visual format.

How to Use Your Keyword Research

Once you’ve put in the hard work of figuring out great keywords to use for your online business, you can start to implement your research into your marketing efforts. The following tips will help you get started.

Create Custom Content Around Keywords

Creating content, such as videos, blog posts, infographics, and podcast episodes around your keywords is a great way to boost your rank and help customers more easily find you. Just be sure to avoid the black hat practice of keyword stuffing. You want to use your keywords enough to rank in search but not so much that your content is low quality and difficult to read.

Build Your Support Base Around Keywords

You can also build your support content around keywords you discover in your research. For example, if your customers are seeking answers on how to navigate certain tools with your software, make sure to create support docs and FAQs about the specific tool to target keywords related to it.

Include Keywords In Product Descriptions

If your affiliate marketing business sells merchandise or has varied product plan tiers, always use the keywords discovered in your research in the product or tier descriptions. Just remember that, when it comes to keyword stuffing, the same goes here as with blog posts and other content.

Take your affiliate program to new heights with Affiliate Royale!

In Conclusion

Sometimes it can seem like connecting and engaging with your online customers is a huge challenge, but great keywords can make the process a whole lot easier. Using proper keyword research to connect with your audience is a great way to keep your business relevant and active. We hope the tips and tools we’ve provided above will help you begin using keyword research to take your online affiliate marketing business to the next level!

To learn more about keyword research and SEO for your affiliate business, please check out our posts about choosing keywords to optimize your content, how to use long-tail keywords, and effective SEO techniques.

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to check out our blog for more great content! You can also keep up with us on Twitter.

Qualities of an Excellent Affiliate: What to Look For

In the world of affiliate marketing, there’s a lot of information about what a good affiliate marketing program looks like from the perspective of the affiliate. But what about your perspective — the perspective of the one running the program? There just aren’t as many resources out there to help you choose the right long-term affiliates (and avoid the wrong ones) for your program.

That’s why in this post we’re going to share several qualities you should look for when you’re figuring out which affiliates you want to invest in for the long-term. We’ll also talk a bit about why affiliates are such an important part of your online business. 

So let’s get started!

Are you ready to create your own affiliate program? Get started with Affiliate Royale today!

Why Are Affiliates So Important?

There are a number of reasons it’s important to have affiliates in your online business arsenal:

  • Targeted Traffic. Having affiliates in a specific niche or industry will help you pinpoint and target your audience. That way, you can make sure that those seeing what you have to offer are truly interested.
  • Less Costly. Depending on your affiliate compensation plan, affiliate marketing can be less costly than spending money on social media and Google ads. Paying affiliates a commission only when a sale is made or compensating them with free product helps you save money and still effectively promote your business.
  • Brand Awareness. Having affiliates on your team is not only great for conversions, but it’s an awesome way to build brand awareness and visibility among potential and current customers. 
  • Saves Time. Crafting and implementing campaigns can be a huge task. However, when you work with a group of affiliates, you just let them know what you’re looking to promote, when you’d like to promote it — with a few additional guidelines — and you’re done! You don’t have to spend time coming up with grand promotions or complicated ad campaigns. Your affiliates handle their individual marketing efforts themselves.
  • Valuable Networking Opportunities. Having an affiliate program is a great way to network with other businesses and individuals you might want to work with in the future, whether that be on more of your own projects or theirs.

Further Reading: 3 Ways That Micro-Influencers Can Benefit You

6 Qualities To Look For In Long-term Affiliates

So, you know that incorporating affiliates in your marketing strategy is an excellent idea, now check out a few qualities to look for in those you choose to work with long-term.

1.Consistency

Consistency is one of the most important qualities in a good affiliate. If you lay out a campaign where you want your affiliates to post once a week, create a YouTube video once a month, and create a blog post every two weeks, the success of that campaign will hinge on your affiliates holding up their end of the deal.

2. Organization and Knowledge

Organization and knowledge are closely related to consistency. You want to have people on your affiliate team who are able to properly organize the different promotions you throw their way, who understand the value of scheduling those promotions strategically, and who know how to manage different types of content for your promotions.

3. Team-Oriented

Good affiliates always have a team player attitude. They’re concerned about how their participation in a promotion can help not only them but the business as a whole. If an affiliate is shortsighted and only concerned with their own quick gain, they’ll be less likely to participate in campaigns as actively as they should and may not be as consistent in the promotion process.

4. Willingness to Learn

In your long-term affiliates, look for an openness and willingness to learn. To help your business thrive (and help themselves earn money) affiliates should be open to new ideas and methods you propose. They should also be actively learning about and implementing new methods on their own to make themselves better affiliate marketers.

Further Reading: Why Industry Knowledge Is Vital for Affiliate Programs

5. Patience

In any marketing effort, patience is a required virtue. Some campaigns may not immediately show results — it can take a week, a month, or even a few months to really see campaigns start working. If an affiliate participating in your campaign is too quick to give up or become frustrated, they’re not someone you want to work with in the long-term.

6. Creativity

Creative affiliates are extremely valuable because they know how to share your promotions in original ways that really stand out. A creative affiliate knows their audience well and can craft high quality content that keeps potential customers engaged and interested in what you have to offer. If you find a highly creative affiliate, take good care of them so they stick around.

Further Reading: Why Affiliate Marketers Should Focus on Quality Over Quantity

Create the affiliate program of your dreams with Affiliate Royale!

In Conclusion

It’s great to have affiliates and influencers who are willing to sign up and help you promote your online business. However, it’s important to seek out a few key characteristics to ensure that the affiliates you invest your time in are the kind you’ll want to keep around. 

If you keep the characteristics listed above in mind, you’ll be sure to find valuable affiliates who you can trust to have your best interest in mind and help you build your business over the long haul.

Want to learn more? Check out our posts on the importance of building an affiliate community, how to tell if your program is performing well, and how to turn your customers into affiliates

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to check out our blog for more great content! You can also keep up with us on Twitter.

How to Work Successfully with In-Demand Affiliates

Creating and cultivating an affiliate program takes a ton of energy and dedication. Thankfully, influencer marketing has gained significant momentum and prominence, allowing you to build your brand and customer base in a fraction of the time it may have taken you to promote and market on your own.

But, influencers — especially high quality, popular influencers — can be tough to secure. How do you persuade influencers to join your affiliate marketing program? How do you approach them? 

In this post, we’ll show you how you can connect with the right influencers and build a rock-solid relationship with them so that your business can rise above the rest!

Ready to create a stellar affiliate program? Get started with Affiliate Royale!

What Is An Influencer?

An influencer is an individual with a large, engaged following on their blog and social media profiles. As the name suggests, an influencer has significant influence over the purchasing decisions of their audience.

An influencer has the power to persuade because their following is in a specific niche, and because they’ve built a relationship of trust with their audience. This relationship makes an influencer’s fans willing to trust them when the influencer endorses a product, service, or business. 

Influencers can be a substantial asset to you because they make their fans aware of your online business and encourage them to work with you. 

What To Do Before You Start Working With Influencers

Before you can successfully approach influencers, you need to have a few things in order. Taking care of some preliminary footwork will make the process easier for both you and your influencers. And it will assure influencers that you’re professional and ready to work with them to promote your business (a major key when it comes to sealing the deal with in-demand influencers). 

  1. Understand your goals. Without a clear goal, your influencer campaign has no purpose. Are you seeking exposure and a more substantial following? Are you trying to promote an upcoming sale? Do you want to promote a new product or service? These are questions you need to ask yourself in order to set goals for your influencer project. 
  2. Determine your budget. Remember, many influencers promote products for a living. That means they may require some form of payment. Some influencers, depending on their expertise and number of followers, will accept free or discounted products. However, other influencers will require some form of monetary compensation. Be sure to consider both options and be prepared to discuss them with the influencers you want to work with.
  3. Determine your target market. To make sure you approach the right influencers for your online business, do your research and determine your target market. You can check out our step-by-step guide to determine your target market for your affiliate program for helpful information to get you started.
  4. Research your ideal influencers. As we stated previously, different influencers have different niches and areas in which they specialize. Once you’ve determined your goals and target audience, you can use this information to find the influencers that fit your brand. Doing so will greatly increase the chances that the influencers you approach will be willing to work with you. Check out this post to learn a few ways you can find your ideal affiliates.  

Note: Once you're ready to start reaching out to influencers, check out this awesome guide for step-by-step instructions and a couple of great email templates.

Qualities Of A Great Influencer

Not all influencers are created equal. Many different factors go into determining whether a particular influencer is right for your online business. Following are a few standout qualities you should look for when searching for an ideal influencer to work with.

  • Authenticity – Look for an influencer who comes across as a real, genuine person online. You want to avoid those who seem to post sponsored content and nothing else. Look for engagement in particular. Authentic influencers are more connected with their audience, engage with them regularly, and are more likely to help your influencer campaign achieve success.
  • Consistency – Consistency is an essential characteristic of any influencer worth their salt. You don’t want to deal with someone who never posts on social media or never writes a blog post unless they have a campaign. Look for regular posting and, as mentioned, regular engagement.
  • Trustworthiness – It’s vital that an influencer’s audience trusts them and engages with them. There are many people on social media with tons of followers who don’t trust them. Here, again, engagement is the key. Thousands and thousands of followers will do you no good if there’s no interaction between them and the influencer.
  • Reliability – Does the influencer have a reputation for taking money or free products and disappearing? Are their promotions inconsistent? Before you fully jump on board with a potential affiliate partner, be sure that you can rely on them. An investigation of the influencer’s profile should give you a good idea of their commitment to the promotions they run.
  • Similar Values – Anyone you work with should have goals and values similar to your own. Again, take a careful look at an influencer’s posts and other content to be sure their value system is in line with yours.

Engaging With Influencers During The Campaign

Once you’ve chosen your influencers and launched your affiliate marketing campaign, your work isn’t done! Here are a few things you can do while your campaign is running to keep things on track with your influencers and keep them engaged.

  • Never stop communicating. Throughout the campaign, it’s crucial to contact your influencers to make sure everything is going smoothly. Be open to questions, send regular emails to check in with influencers, and give them feedback on their work. This helps your influencers and your business improve.
  • Don’t stop researching. Even while your campaign is going, you still need to research how people are interacting with your content, how current and potential customers are interacting with your influencers, and what aspects of your website and promotion need to be improved. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Track your progress. Don’t wait until the campaign is over to see how you did. There are many things you can track while the affiliate campaign is still running! Monitor your social media following and website numbers, and track conversions and referrals. Staying on top of these minor details will keep you involved in the campaign and give you immediate feedback on what’s going well and what you can improve.

What To Do After The Campaign Is Over

The way you handle things after the campaign is over is just as important as how you start. Your actions afterward can determine whether you get to work with the same influencers in the future.

  • Say “thank you.” Above all, be sure to thank your influencers for joining your campaign. Whether the campaign went well or just so-so, they still participated in the campaign and deserve to be recognized.
  • Keep their contact information. Be sure to keep your influencers’ contact information, especially if they were excellent participants. You may also want to ask for a secondary way to reach out to them.
  • Ask to work with them again. Do you have another promotion already planned? Hopefully, the influencers you worked with will want to work with you again! Before you end the conversation about your current campaign, ask them if they’d be willing to work on your next campaign.

Start the online business of your dreams with Affiliate Royale now!

Creating an online campaign with influencers takes a lot of hard work, but it’s well worth it. If you do your due diligence and seek genuine, high-quality influencers, your campaign will be set up to succeed. We hope the tips above will help you create a great campaign and establish great relationships with influential affiliates.

Have you ever worked with influencers? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to check out our blog for more great content! You can also keep up with us on Twitter.

How to Create a Chatbot for WordPress (In 4 Steps)

You can have a well-structured website with plenty of useful information. However, your customer and website visitors will still inevitably have questions or need help using your site.

Chatbots are a powerful automation tool WordPress users can implement to provide better customer service through their websites or social channels. As an alternative to live chats, chatbots let you quickly answer common questions as well as add a bit of personality to your site.

In this article, we’ll explain what chatbots are and why they’re beneficial for your website. Then, we’ll walk you through the four steps of creating a chatbot for your WordPress site. Let’s get started!

Are you ready to start your own online business? Get started with Affiliate Royale!

The Benefits of Creating a Chatbot for Your WordPress Site

A chatbot is essentially a robot you can use on your website to carry out text conversations with visitors. Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa are examples of sophisticated chatbots.

There are different kinds of chatbots. A popular type is social media bots. For example, businesses can use Facebook Messenger as a chatbot on their business profile pages.

These automated chat systems take the place of a live customer service representative. The chat interface can help deliver better user experience, drive calls to action (CTA), and collect data from site visitors.

Adding a chatbot to your website can save you time by answering repetitive questions for you. It can also help infuse your site with a bit of personality.

Amtrak virtual assistant chatbot.

Chatbots can be particularly beneficial for affiliate marketing programs. In addition to being a useful lead generation tool, they can also display affiliate links.

While the artificial intelligence technologies behind chatbots are impressively capable of mimicking human speech and conversation, there's no actual human on the other end. Chatbots are effective for answerings FAQs, but they can't handle all tasks. You'll still need a support team to handle some visitor requests.

How to Create a Chatbot for WordPress (In 4 Steps)

Adding a chatbot to your WordPress site doesn't require a lot of technical knowledge. In fact, you can do it by following the four steps below.

Step 1: Sign Up for a Chatbot Tool Such as Botsify

There are many plugins and tools you can use to create a chatbot. We recommend Botsify because it's easy to use and it doesn't require a plugin (though there is one available if needed):

Botsify website.

This chatbot tool integrates well with WordPress and includes a lot of customization options. Thanks to its drag-and-drop feature, there's no coding required.

You can choose from two different pricing plans. However, you may consider signing up for a 14-day free trial so you can test the tool, see how it works, and whether you like it before committing. Once you sign up for your account, you'll be emailed instructions on getting started.

Most chatbot tools are similar. So, if you decide to go with an alternative, such as WP Chatbot, the following instructions will be similar.

Step 2: Choose a Template for Your Chatbot

After you log into your account, you'll be prompted to fill out a series of questions. The first is to choose a template for the chatbot. You can choose an existing template or create your own (which is what you'll want to do if you're creating one for your site).

When it asks what you plan to use Botsify for, click on Generate Leads for your Business from Website:

Botsify template options.

After you select Proceed to Next Step, you'll be asked to answer additional questions about what information you want your chatbot to collect. Then, you can name your bot, customize the greeting message, and choose an avatar:

Botsify chatbot name and avatar settings.

A preview of your chatbot will appear in the right-hand corner. Once you're satisfied, you can click on Save & Continue. Remember, you can always come back to change these settings later.

Step 3: Customize Your Chatbot's Messages

To change what the messages will say, you can go to the Botsify dashboard. On the left-hand side, under the Chatbot AI drop-down menu, click on Basic Messages:

There's a lot of information and many options in this section. To keep it simple, you may consider starting with the Greeting Message and Default Message sections. Under the Default Message section, you'll find generic responses you can use. Under Common User Questions, you can input your answers for some of the most frequently asked questions for chatbots.

After you spend some time familiarizing yourself with the messaging options, you can move on to “teaching” your chatbot what to say. The options for doing this are located under Chatbot AI > Story:

Botsify Story settings on dashboard.

This is one of the more in-depth steps of the process. However, Botsify offers a comprehensive guide on how to train your chatbot that you can use as a reference.

Step 4: Add the Chatbot Code to Your WordPress Footer File

When you're done customizing the messaging, you're ready to add the chatbot to your WordPress site! You can do this by embedding a snippet of code to the footer.php file of your WordPress site.

There are a couple of ways to go about this. On the left-hand side of the dashboard, click on Publish Bot > Connect to Website:

Botsify publish bot settings.

If you want to manually add the code to your site, you can do so by clicking on Install the Code yourself. You can then copy the embed code that appears to paste into the footer.php file of your site.

However, if this is something you're uncomfortable or unfamiliar with doing yourself, you may consider using the Botsify Chatbot Widget plugin instead:

After you install and activate the plugin on your WordPress dashboard, click on Botsify. It will bring you to a page where you can simply paste the API Key provided under the Publish Bot options:

API Key field for Botsify Chatbot Widget.

Once you paste the API Key, click on Save Changes. That's it! Now, if you preview your website, you'll see the chatbot appear in the lower right-hand corner.

Conclusion

You want your website to be a valuable resource for your business. However, you’re not always available to answer visitor questions or inquiries. Chatbots are virtual assistants that serve as an effective alternative to live chats.

As we discussed in this article, there are four steps to creating a chatbot for WordPress:

  1. Sign up for a Botsify account (or similar chatbot tool).
  2. Choose a template for your chatbot.
  3. Customize your chatbot’s messages and stories.
  4. Add the chatbot code to your WordPress site.

Help your affiliate program reach new heights with Affiliate Royale. Get started today!

Do you have any questions about creating a chatbot for WordPress? Let us know in the comments section below!

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to check out our blog for more great content! You can also keep up with us on Twitter.

16 Amazing Sample CTA Phrases For Your Affiliate Business

In the world of online business, the content you add to your website and social media platforms is significant. This content can make the difference between a potential affiliate joining your program or leaving your site altogether.

Thankfully, there are a few tricks you can include in your arsenal to keep your site visitors engaged and encouraged to become paying customers. And the call to action, or CTA, is among the most important.

In this post, we’re going to share with you sixteen example phrases you can use for inspiration when creating CTAs for your website, social media platforms, and anywhere else you choose. 

These phrases will help you write CTAs that will bring more traffic and increase click-through rates for your online affiliate marketing business, based on your specific goals.

Ready to start your own online business? Begin with Affiliate Royale now!

What is a Call To Action?

A call to action, or CTA, is a phrase intended to encourage an immediate response or action from current and potential customers. Marketers use CTAs to encourage engagement or conversions. They can appear on a website, on social media platforms, in ads, or any place where a business owner wants to inspire customers to take action.

What Makes a Good CTA?

There are a few key components that make a call to action effective:

  • Crystal Clear. Your website visitors should NEVER have to question what they’re supposed to do next. Your CTA should be completely clear, no questions asked.
  • Straight To The Point. A CTA should NOT be long and drawn out. Keep it short and sweet, and make sure it fits neatly into your blog post, website, pop up ad, or wherever else you choose to use it.
  • Persuasive. Your CTA isn’t intended to be a suggestion — you want to encourage your visitors to take specific, decisive action. Make visitors feel as if they’re missing out by not clicking, subscribing, or otherwise following through with what you have in mind.
  • Bold and Bright. For maximum effectiveness, make your CTA stand out. Using bold colors, capitalizing the words, and even highlighting the text or placing it in a button will help to make your CTA more prominent.

That said, following are a few CTA phrase examples based on various goals you may have. 

Goal: Building Your Email List

Email marketing is a great way to stay engaged with your customers and increase conversion rates. However, a healthy email list is key to maintaining a solid email marketing strategy. Adding CTAs to your website and social media pages to encourage visitors to subscribe to your email list is a great way to get started. The following phrases are designed to get people to sign up:

  • For valuable tips and tricks for your business, subscribe to our email list.
  • Sign up for our email list today for exclusive deals, offers, and discounts!
  • Join our email list for weekly deals and discounts!
  • Get resources and tools delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up today.

Goal: Brand Exposure

If your affiliate marketing program is designed to garner overall brand exposure and website, blog post, social media page, or landing page visits, there are several CTA formats you can use to encourage click-throughs. Following are a few examples:

  • Did you know that 35% of affiliates earn over $20,000 a year? Click here to learn how you can get started as an affiliate marketer right now!
  • Affiliate Royale can help start your affiliate program, no matter what stage you’re at in your small business. Click to learn how to get started!
  • How do we help companies create thriving affiliate programs? Check out our work here!
  • Click here to find out how you can get Affiliate Royale for 50% off!

Goal: Social Media Shares

If you’re seeking social media shares, there are CTAs for that too! Social media is an excellent format for engaging with your customers, capturing leads, and building brand recognition. Here are a few phrase examples that encourage readers to share a blog posts or content on social media, or encourage social media followers to share:

  • Think this post would be useful to another online business owner? Click here to Tweet!
  • Spread the love around! Share this coupon with your friends on Facebook!
  • Enjoyed this video? Share with your network on LinkedIn!
  • Pin this infographic on Pinterest to help others learn these valuable affiliate marketing tips!

Goal: Promote an Upcoming Event

You may engage with your audience by hosting events, such as webinars, live sessions, or online tutorials. To ensure there are attendees, you need to promote the event and find ways to encourage your fans and followers to come. Here are a few sample phrases to promote an event and encourage attendance:

  • Click here to secure your early bird discount!
  • Register today — spots are filling up quickly!
  • RSVP to our FREE affiliate business roundtable now!
  • Sign up for our affiliate marketing summit now — only three days left to claim your seat!

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In Conclusion

No matter what your goals for your online business, carefully crafted CTA phrases are vital to your success. We hope these sixteen phrases will give you some inspiration to create your own compelling and persuasive CTAs, so you can start building your brand and increasing conversions for your business!

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3 Black Hat SEO Tactics You Need To Avoid

Search engine optimization (SEO) can help boost your site’s page ranking and garner more viewers. However, search engines are designed to punish sites using “black hat,” or spammy, SEO tactics. You can get caught in these filters unintentionally, even if you’re not spamming on purpose.

Luckily, there are clear guidelines you can follow to avoid inadvertently using black hat SEO. Following these guidelines will ensure your site is not being pushed down in the rankings by factors within your control.

And understanding how search engines operate can help you to get more viewers for your affiliate website.

This article will go over what black hat SEO is, the factors search engines use to decide whether content is spammy, and how you can fix three black hat tactics you might be using unintentionally. Let’s get started!

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A Primer on Black Hat SEO

It’s important to understand black hat SEO before you can learn how to avoid it. First off, you might be wondering what it is, and why it’s called that. The term originated with reference to the black hats that villains often wore in old movies, especially Westerns.

One example of a black hat SEO tactic might be intentionally overloading your text with highly searched keywords in an attempt to game the system, a practice known as “keyword stuffing.” This tactic generally creates hard-to-read, unnatural sounding articles.

In contrast, the positive use of SEO techniques is referred to as “white hat.” The white hat alternative to keyword stuffing would be to write text focused on what’s important to your readers, working keywords in when it is natural to do so. However, how do search engines differentiate between the two? We’ll discuss that in the next section.

How Search Engines Judge Your Content

You might be wondering where and how search engines draw the line between black hat and white hat SEO. The primary difference between the two is in the value you’re adding for your visitors. Search engines favor fresh, original content. They penalize tactics that may be scamming the system, trying to boost a page’s ranking without necessarily offering additional value.

That isn’t to say that black hat SEO is always malicious. You may be using some of these techniques without being aware of it. However, search engines use an algorithm to determine rankings – so whatever your motives, you should make sure to avoid black hat tactics, as they will likely lower your ranking.

Lower rankings mean that viewers will be less likely to find your site via organic search, which can cause your page views to tank. In turn, this may hurt your affiliate sales.

In the next section, we’ll go over what some of these methods are and how you can avoid them.

3 Black Hat Tactics You Might Be Using (And How to Avoid Them)

Now that we know why black hat SEO is undesirable, we’ll go over three of the tactics you might be unintentionally using on your affiliate site, and how you can replace them.

In general, to avoid black hat SEO, you should focus as much on quality as you do on optimization. However, following are three of the most common SEO mistakes to avoid:

1. Keyword Stuffing

We briefly touched on keyword stuffing, the practice of overusing keywords, especially when they’re not relevant to your content. Keywords are commonly searched words or phrases, kind of like internet buzzwords.

When you abuse keywords, it creates bloated text that’s hard to read. Worse, if you use keywords that aren’t related to your text, you may be leading your visitors down a hole toward content they aren't looking for.

Search engines detect keyword stuffing by finding frequently repeated words or phrases or lists of keywords without any context at all. This practice harms your site because, aside from lowering your search rankings, it makes your site harder to read.

If your site is hard to read, visitors may flee, increasing your bounce rate and negatively affecting your page views and your profit as an affiliate site.

You can avoid keyword stuffing by focusing on writing natural-sounding text and mentioning keywords only when necessary. You also want to be providing valuable content.

For example, if you were selling a 100% silk sweater, it’s not enough to repeat the phrase “100% silk sweater” over and over again. You might want to write a description about the organic, eco-friendly conditions the silkworms were raised in, or a blog post about 12 outfit pairings that are cute for spring, and work in mentions of the sweater as you can.

2. Abusing Anchor Text Links

Another spammy tactic is overusing anchor text links. Anchor text links are any links attached to text – like the red text pictured in the above screenshot.

Text links can be beneficial in link building, the process of increasing external links to your site to improve SEO. If you're writing an article, and it touches on the content you’ve already written on your site, it’s fair game to post a select number of links to that content.

However, text links can also be used for advertisements, such as when another company has paid you for links to their site. It's fine to post high quality paid links in moderation, but it constitutes abuse if you're overdoing it.

Behavior that’s interpreted as spammy includes having many links containing the exact same text or having many sites link back to your website using the exact same anchor text.

Stuffing text with links can tank your site’s SEO. As an affiliate site, your reputation is important. If your site looks spammy, businesses may not want to be associated with your brand.

Having an overabundance of links to low-quality content (especially the oft-hated pop-up ads) can lower your brand’s reputation and its overall influence.

You can avoid this tactic by only including links where relevant. Even if you want to link to your affiliate content, you should make sure to work these links in naturally. It helps to only choose affiliates that match your niche as closely as possible.

For example, if you’re trying to sell a power drill on a makeup site, you might have a problem naturally working in links! But you shouldn’t have a problem working in one or two links to a new blush or mascara on the same site.

3. Copied Content

Copied content is another SEO killer. Remember back in college when you were required to produce original work or risk expulsion? SEO is similar to that. Duplicate content can lower your rankings.

Some website owners will copy text point-blank from other sites. That’s a definite no-no. However, even if you’re not doing that, the algorithm might still pick up your site as copied content.

For example, if your site has multiple links for the same content, it may show up as a duplicate. This can happen if you have one copy of your website with the www. extension and one without, or if you have a mobile version of your site and another version for desktop.

To avoid this, one solution is to use canonical links to tell search engines when you have multiple versions of the same content on your website. This way, you can tell search engines when you have intentionally created duplicate versions of pages, as for a mobile and desktop site.

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Conclusion

Using the best SEO practices is vital to the success of your affiliate program. The lower your SEO, the less likely it will be that anyone sees your affiliate site’s content – including the ads for your business.

However, you can easily implement strong SEO practices. Make sure you avoid these three tactics, which mirror black hat SEO:

  1. Keyword stuffing
  2. Repeated or overused Anchor Text Links
  3. Copied content

Do you have any other questions about the best SEO practices? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Why Building An Affiliate Community Is So Powerful

In today’s world of online entrepreneurship, owners understand that promoting their business alone isn’t the key to success with digital consumers. Modern companies recognize the importance of building a brand and a community both inside and outside their digital office spaces.

Many companies emphasize the importance of building an audience and community around their potential customers, but what about the current affiliates in the roster? Is this type of community building as significant, effective, or easy as building community with customers?

In this post, we’ll explore these questions and provide effective tools and tips to help you build an affiliate community that will benefit both your business and your affiliate partners.

Ready to create your own thriving community of affiliates? Start with Affiliate Royale!

Why Is Building Community With Affiliates Significant?

There are several reasons why an affiliate community can easily become an asset to your affiliate marketing program:

  • A positive affiliate community helps build a positive customer community. Let’s face it, customers love a business they can connect with. Not to mention that people are naturally inclined to try out a new product if they see lots of positive engagement around that product. 
  • An affiliate community is the gift that keeps on giving. If you’re trying to recruit affiliates, all you have to do is show them a glimpse of your thriving community to help them make the decision to join your program.
  • Your community also gives you valuable insight into what your customers are looking for and how best to approach them. Your affiliates are on the front lines, directly interacting and engaging with your customers, so they’re able to help you in ways you may have never expected.
  • Two heads are better than one. Your affiliate community can offer you useful ideas and feedback by looking at things from the perspective of a consumer, helping to make your program even stronger.

Ways to Build a Thriving Affiliate Community

Building a successful affiliate community requires some elbow grease, but it’s a very realistic goal. Following are a few tips that will help you build the community you’re looking for with ease.

  • Communicate Consistently. One of the most important things you can do to build community with your affiliate partners is to communicate with them consistently. Always be sure to keep them in the loop on the latest happenings, and offer tools and information to help them improve their promotions.
  • Remain Transparent. Another excellent way to strengthen community is to be totally transparent with your affiliates. You can maintain transparency through the regular sharing of financial reports, announcements on bug issues, answering common questions and concerns, and just being open with your affiliates in general. Your partners will appreciate your willingness to be open and will be more likely to want to help you grow.
  • Offer Tools and Resources. An affiliate program is only as good as its affiliates, so it’s important that you’re giving your partners access to the things they need to succeed. This can include premium graphics, swipe copy, power words, and blogging and social media tips and tools they can utilize.
  • Involve Your Partners In Your Growth. Another excellent way to build community and give your affiliates a sense of ownership within your growing affiliate program is to involve them in some of the decisions around the growth of your business. For example, if you’re in the process of redesigning your affiliate website, shoot an email to your affiliates for their feedback on the design. Or, ask them for feedback and ideas for future business promotions.
  • Network With Your Affiliates. Your affiliates are multifaceted individuals with many different interests and talents. Take the time to get to know them and what they do—you never know, they may have a product or service that can benefit your business!

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Final Tips

Now that you have a few tools in your arsenal, you can get started crafting the affiliate community you’ve always dreamed of. However, before you go, check out the following additional things to think about when creating your community and affiliate program.

Offer an Affiliate Introduction

Hosting an affiliate introduction or orientation is a great way to get your partners acclimated to what it’s like to be a part of your program. It can also help them learn how to get started performing as successful affiliates.

Another great idea is to introduce your affiliates to one another, so they’ll know who they’re working with and how they can support each other.

Offer Clear Rules, Guidelines, and Training

Ensuring that your team understands important information about FTC guidelines, GDPR, and more will make your affiliates and your program stronger. Offer training and written materials discussing these topics to help the individuals in your business. Doing so will build a sense of trust among your affiliates and your customers, which could mean more sales in the long run for your online business.

Keep The Lines of Communication Open

All customers prefer businesses that are accessible. They want to be able to call, chat, or email and have a conversation with you if needed. The same rule applies to affiliates in your program. 

Ensure that you have an affiliate support line open, so your affiliates can reach out to you whenever they have a question, comment, or concern. Your affiliates are working for YOU—they should never have to jump through hoops to get in touch with you.

We hope this post has helped you create a game plan toward cultivating a flourishing community of affiliates for your program. To learn more about how you can improve your affiliate program, check out our posts on creating educational guides and rewarding affiliates and how your affiliate program can recruit new members

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How To Utilize Split Testing In Your Affiliate Program

When it comes to affiliate promotions, you might assume you know how your customers will respond to your ads based on the basic research you’ve done for your business. However, to really understand your customers’ behavior, you’ll have to do a bit more digging. That’s why testing out different promotional methods is critical.

Split testing offers a unique opportunity to understand your customers’ behavior and how they respond to different advertising and promotional methods. Not only does this method allow you the opportunity to increase your viewership, but it teaches you how to better approach potential affiliate partners and customers, resulting in increased engagement and conversions.

In this post, we’ll explain what split testing is, how to implement the method in your affiliate marketing efforts, and just how effective it is for recruiting new members to your affiliate program.

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What Exactly is Split Testing?

Split testing is the process of testing different versions of a website, copy, ad, or piece of content to see which one works best for your audience.

For example, let’s say that you’re testing out different ways to collect feedback from your customers. One method may be to create a popup form asking for feedback on your website. Another method may be to simply add a call-to-action (CTA) button on your website linking to a survey form. 

As time goes on, you track both methods so you can see which one gets more clicks and/or engagement. Based on the results of your test, you know which method your audience is more responsive to, so you know how to approach your promotions in the future.

Why Is Split Testing So Important?

Although it may seem like enough to just research and take tips and methods from other online businesses, it’s important to understand that every business is different, and each one has its own specific audience. So, rather than just copying and pasting other methods, it’s wise to take the time to test out different methods and tweak them so that they work best for your brand.

How To Start Split Testing In Your Affiliate Marketing Program 

Ready to start implementing split testing into your affiliate marketing efforts, but aren’t sure how to get started? Here are a few things you can do to hit the ground running:

  • Find out how customers are interacting with your website. Before you start split testing, you need to know what to test, right? So take some time and analyze your website data to learn how your customers are currently engaging with your site and what pages or CTAs could use tweaking. Tools like MonsterInsights and Google Analytics are great resources to help you tease out this information.
  • Determine how long to perform the test. Based on your goals and the data you gathered, decide how long the split test should last. Depending on the type of activity you’re analyzing, you can experiment for anywhere from seven days to three months. If you’re looking to track engagement, you may be able to opt for a shorter time span. However, if conversions are what you’re looking for, extend your test for a month or longer.
  • Let the test run its course. As your split test is running, you may notice a few adjustments that can be made before the trial is over, however, do NOT change right away! To ensure you get accurate results and a fair split test, you don’t want to suddenly switch things up. Let the test run through completely, and take notes so you can make changes afterward.
  • Focus on one or just a few larger elements at a time. You never want to overwhelm yourself with too many test items at once. By focusing on one or just a few large elements at a time, you’ll save yourself time and frustration in the long run. Focus on things such as headline format, images, or colors one at a time, and build on each element from there. Then, once you have the foundation of your content created, you can start performing multivariate testing and analyzing multiple smaller elements at once.
  • Be open to future split testing. Once you’ve completed your first split test, you’re not finished! The great thing about marketing is that there’s always something new to learn from your customers, so never stop testing and experimenting for the success of your online business.

Split Testing Tools For WordPress Websites

Gone are the days of having to manually track links, clicks, and customer engagement on your website. Now, there are several tools built specifically to help WordPress users split test and accurately and effectively track progress.

Nelio AB Testing 

This is a freemium WordPress plugin that prides itself on being “the most powerful and versatile conversion optimization service for WordPress.” Using the tool, you can split test landing pages, website themes, contact forms, and more. If you’re not ready to pay for this plugin, there is a free version for lower traffic websites. 

Divi Leads 

If you’re at all familiar with website themes and page builders, you’ve probably heard of Divi. Divi is a powerful visual page builder that allows users to create custom WordPress websites using a drag and drop interface. What many people may not realize is that Divi includes Divi Leads, which allows you to create and showcase different versions of your web pages to customers for split testing. Divi Leads tracks the progress of both versions and shows you which one performed best. Then, you simply pick the higher-performing option to use on your website. 

Pretty Links

Pretty Links is mainly known as a link shortening tool, however, this WordPress plugin also offers a split testing option. It allows you to create shortened links for the website pages or content that you would like to test, then gives you access to the data using the Split Test Report option under the links in your Pretty Links section in WordPress.

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The Takeaway

Your affiliate website’s content is a key component of your online business’ overall marketing strategy and success, which is why it’s so important to know what works best for your customers. 

Rather than depending solely on guesswork or taking tips and copying methods from other businesses, why not take some time to use split testing, and see what your audience really gravitates toward? Keep our tips in mind, and you’ll be able to successfully split test content for your business and bring in more affiliates and customers for your business!

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Is My Affiliate Program Performing Well? How To Tell

You have your affiliate program up and ready to go, your affiliates are working hard, and things are going great—or are they?

How can you know for sure that your affiliate program is really performing at its best? How do you determine whether or not you need to change your onboarding strategy or seek new affiliates?

In this post, we’ll help you figure out if your affiliate program is really as successful as you think by cluing you in on a few key things to look for and offering up a handful of tips on how to improve.

Managing your affiliate program is easy with Affiliate Royale. Try it out for yourself today!

Why Is Tracking Affiliate Program Performance Important?

Measuring performance is a vital part of your success as a business owner. Setting goals in your business is a great way to track your progress and highlight key places where your small business can grow and develop. 

After all, the last thing you want to do is waste valuable time, energy, and money on campaigns and other marketing efforts without any sort of strategic goal or benchmark to reference.

Accurate, Updated Website

Is your website accurate and up-to-date? There’s nothing worse than an affiliate program website that features outdated information. If visitors go to your website and notice that your information hasn’t been updated in a long time, or your site seems neglected in any way, potential affiliates will be turned off and not want to work with you.

Read More: How to Choose the Right Keywords for Optimizing Your Website’s Content

Affiliate Program Quality

An affiliate program is only as good as the entities supporting it. This is not to say that you’ve got to have a program full of top-tier affiliates, but are those affiliates you do have in your program performing to the best of their ability? 

Be sure to pay attention to your affiliates and monitor their behaviors. Do you notice a number of inactive affiliates? How much traffic is each affiliate generating? These are important questions to ask and analyze on a regular basis. 

Read More: 3 Ways That Micro-Influencers Can Benefit You

Promotion Performance

To achieve success, affiliate programs require time to plan, schedule, and implement promotions together with affiliates. By tracking click-throughs to your website and measuring online sales, you’ll be able to determine how well your promotions are working.

You’ll also begin to understand what percentage of each promotion’s progress can be attributed to your affiliates. This information will give you important insight into the value each affiliate is bringing to the table. 

Read More: 10 Ways to Prepare Affiliates for Online Promotions

Affiliate Communication

Another excellent way to ensure your affiliate program is performing at its best is to pay special attention to how you’re communicating with the individuals in your program. How often do you reach out to your affiliates? Do you offer personalized communication? How is your support team performing? Do you give your affiliates an adequate amount of information to properly promote your online business?

Read More: 4 Strategies for Keeping Your Affiliates Happy

Continuing Education

There’s nothing more powerful than a company whose culture is based on a desire to constantly try and learn new things. Combine that with affiliate partners who seek to do the same, and you have a recipe for success. 

How often are your company and its affiliates taking time to learn about the latest news and trends in the field? Are you helping your affiliates continue to grow in their knowledge of your business and industry? Addressing these areas of education will go a long way toward strengthening your business over time.

Read More: Why Industry Knowledge Is Vital for Affiliate Programs

KPIs to Keep In Your Back Pocket

KPIs, or Key performance indicators, are measures of performance that can help you evaluate the success of a specific campaign or your business as a whole. Carefully tracking KPIs allows you to determine how healthy your company is and how your efforts are helping or hurting its progress.

Here are a few KPIs to keep in mind as you grow your affiliate program:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR). Your CTR is the number of clicks on links or ads generated by affiliates on your website. This KPI helps you see which affiliates are actively working and how effective they actually are.
  • Conversion Rate. The conversion rate refers to the sales your business is achieving from affiliate-generated traffic. This metric helps you track the success of your promotions.
  • Cost Per Click/Lead. The cost per click is the average amount of money you spend each time your affiliate generates click-throughs to your site or each time affiliate traffic generates a lead.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). This KPI helps you understand how valuable your long-term customer relationships are and how effective your affiliates are at generating these types of relationships. 
  • Churn Rate. Your business’ churn rate measures the number of customers who visit your online business’ website but don’t wind up becoming repeat customers or who cancel services or memberships. An easy way to calculate churn rate is by using this formula: Customers Lost in a Given Period / Original Number of Customers at the Start of the Period = Customer Churn Rate.

The Takeaway

Your affiliate program depends on the success of your affiliates. That is, for your business to do well, your affiliates need to do well. Two of the best ways you can help them succeed is by paying attention to key performance indicators and doing your part to make sure that they have what they need to be successful at their part.

Tracking your affiliates’ performance, keeping up your end of the bargain by staying in contact with them, offering plenty of resources, and giving your affiliates a great product to promote are all simple but powerful ways you can keep your business moving forward.

Create your own affiliate marketing program quickly and easily with Affiliate Royale – get started today!

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