The 6 Most Common Mistakes When Starting an Affiliate Marketing Program (And How to Avoid Them)

man who just made a mistake

Affiliate marketing can be very profitable when done right. According to a Business Insider report, it accounts for about 15 percent of overall revenue in the digital media industry. However, there are some common mistakes business owners are prone to making when starting new programs, which can hamper long-term success.

By avoiding these stumbling blocks, you can maximize your income and build profitable relationships with your marketing partners or affiliates. Fortunately that isn't hard to do – in this case, a little foreknowledge goes a long way.

In this article, we’ll look at the top six mistakes commonly made when starting an affiliate marketing program, and talk about how to avoid them. Let’s get started!

1. Neglecting to Promote Your Affiliate Program

First on our list is neglecting to promote your affiliate marketing program. It’s nearly impossible to make your program a success if you haven’t generated any awareness about it.

Ideally, you'll want to begin advertising your program even before it’s launched. You can start by letting your existing audience know about it (for example, through an email blast), and by clarifying its benefits and how much they can earn.

In addition, it's a good idea to set up banners on your home page (or any other page with high visibility):

An affiliate program promotional banner.

Social media posts can also be an effective means for notifying both existing and new followers about your program. All of this content can lead interested parties to a dedicated page that explains all of the key details.

2. Forgetting to Vet Your Affiliate Partners

It’s tempting to indiscriminately accept anyone who applies to your affiliate program. This comes from a desire to grow it as quickly as possible. However, it’s smart to perform some due diligence and acquire basic background information for each applicant, since they'll be functioning as an advocate for your products or services.

Going into partnerships with people whose only goal is to make a quick buck can give your brand a bad reputation. Additionally, since these individuals may also be prone to spamming links and engaging in other less-than-stellar practices, your page rankings could be negatively affected.

Therefore, it's best to ensure that everyone you accept satisfies the following (at a minimum):

  • Has a quality content channel (blog, podcast, social profiles, etc.) that's regularly updated
  • Is a genuine business or has previous affiliate experience
  • Does not engage in spammy practices in their existing content
  • Is established within their niche and has the trust of their audience (as indicated by a highly-engaged following, a strong social media presence, etc.)

Overall, you'll want to focus on gathering a small but solid band of affiliates, rather than a sizable number who might do more harm than good.

3. Failing to Pay Enough Commission

The appeal of an affiliate marketing program is that anyone can earn money by promoting a brand’s products or services. While there’s certainly some work to be done, affiliates can bring in what's essentially passive income once the right structures are in place.

With that being said, the rewards will still need to be worthwhile in order to attract quality marketers. Since many businesses now have affiliate programs for promoting their offerings, it’s important to stand out or you risk losing to the competition. If your commission rates aren’t appealing enough, you may see few applicants.

An example of affiliate commission rates.

Admittedly, it may not be feasible to pay high rates for all of your products. However, it’s generally smart to have a list of high-commission items. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that payments are sent out as early as possible, and according to your affiliate agreement. Otherwise, your partners may lose their motivation for promoting your brand.

In the same vein, it’s important that you do not reduce commissions after sign-ups. This can cause your affiliates to stop promoting your products, or even leave your program entirely.

4. Not Tracking Affiliate Activities

Even your best efforts at vetting potential affiliates might be inadequate. You might find that you still have some marketing partners who overstep their bounds and engage in questionable or even unethical practices.

Therefore, you’ll want to set up a consistent schedule for reviewing affiliate traffic and sales for inconsistencies. Proactively monitoring your affiliates this way can ensure that they do not damage your reputation. It might even help you contain mishaps early on.

It's also very important to define the terms and conditions for your program before launching it:

An affiliate program's terms and conditions.

Then you'll just have to enforce them as needed, which can serve to deter further mischief.

5. Neglecting to Spell Out Acceptable and Unacceptable Marketing Strategies

We’ve established that some affiliates may engage in questionable marketing practices, regardless of your best efforts to vet them at the application stage. However, it’s also possible that you simply haven’t made your rules clear enough.

When starting your program, you'll want to create unambiguous standards about acceptable and unacceptable practices. For example, some companies forbid their affiliates from bidding on certain brand keywords in Google AdWords.

Consider including a list of allowed promotional activities in your affiliate terms, and forbidding everything else. This way, you can avoid the risk of your partners using techniques you’re unfamiliar with, and keep your reputation sparkling.

6. Failing to Treat Your Affiliates Like Business Partners

Affiliate partnerships are business relationships. Therefore, you’ll want to treat them as such. Although it’s your responsibility to lay down rules to ensure that affiliates do not damage your brand’s reputation, you'll also want to allow some flexibility and avoid treating them like employees.

To begin with, you should consider allowing flexible marketing techniques (within your established constraints, as discussed above). You'll also want to avoid creating too many rules, and generally being heavy-handed. The goal is to build and maintain solid working relationships with your affiliates.

Communication is a key factor in building such strong partnerships. Therefore, you’ll want to keep the lines of communication open, listening to affiliates' concerns and suggestions. This might require scheduling regular meetings, as well as sending newsletters and educational content.

Another advantage of communicating with your affiliates is that since they’re often in direct contact with your end users, you can gain more awareness about what products or services your audiences want and are willing to pay for. Therefore, it's best to be proactive about soliciting such feedback, as your affiliates may unintentionally gloss over it. 

Conclusion

Starting an affiliate marketing program can be an excellent way to increase your revenue. When done the right way, you can build long-term relationships with partners who will help create more awareness for your brand. You can also gain deeper insights into the needs of your target audiences.

Along the way, it's also vital to avoid these six common mistakes:

  1. Neglecting to promote your affiliate program.
  2. Forgetting to vet your affiliate partners.
  3. Failing to pay enough commissions.
  4. Not tracking affiliate activities.
  5. Neglecting to spell out acceptable and unacceptable marketing strategies.
  6. Failing to treat your affiliates like business partners.

Have you made any of these mistakes, and how have you fixed (or how do you plan to fix) them? Let us know in the comments below!

6 Vital Things To Add To Your Affiliate Registration Page

To build and expand your online business, you need to make it as easy as possible for individuals to sign up for your affiliate marketing program.

The most important part of the sign up process is the affiliate registration page. On this page, people will expect to learn all about and sign up for your program.

In this post, we’ll share with you a few vital pieces of information you want on your affiliate signup page to make your program as successful as possible.

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1.Affiliate Program Information

One of the most important components of the registration page is information about your affiliate program. Without this information, potential affiliates won’t have a clear understanding of what your affiliate program is all about and will be less likely to join.

First, be sure to include information about your business and what it promotes. List the different ways your affiliate program can be shared. For example, can a podcaster share on their show? Do you only offer affiliate links? Or do you also provide banners for websites? Also, include information on how affiliates will earn commissions.

2. Program Rules And Regulations

To maintain an organized affiliate program and to help potential affiliates understand what will be expected of them in the program, be sure to include a link to the rules and regulations of your program on the registration page.

Detailing what’s expected of your affiliates is a great way to passively filter applicants and ensure a higher rate of quality registrations for your program. It will also help to boost the credibility of your program.

3. Affiliate Eligibility

Speaking of rules and regulations, another important element on your affiliate registration page is a list of the requirements your potential affiliates must meet to join your program.

Eligibility requirements aren’t necessarily an element in every affiliate program, but if you’re trying to target a specific market, having such requirements can be beneficial.

Eligibility requirements might include having a minimum number of followers, being active on a particular social media platform, or being over age 18. However, be careful when setting up requirements so as to avoid engaging in discriminatory practices.

4. Testimonials

Want to encourage your website visitors to take the big leap and join your program? Give them a little taste of FOMO, or fear of missing out. Include testimonials on your affiliate registration page to give potential affiliates first-hand accounts of how great your program is and how much passive income they can earn by signing on the dotted line. 

You might also include product reviews and testimonials regarding what services your business offers to assure affiliates that your program is trustworthy and high quality.

Consider including a few quotes from affiliate partners or a video testimonial from a satisfied affiliate, or share statistics on how many affiliates successfully make money through your program. This is the prime time to show off how amazing your company is and how big a difference your program makes in people’s lives.

5. Example Promotions

Including example promotions on your registration page is a great way to encourage people to join your affiliate program, to provide a better understanding of what they can expect from the program, and to passively filter applicants.

Consider including things like social media photos, hashtags your affiliates use to promote the program, or even example blog promotions by some of your best affiliates. These samples will help potential partners understand the quality of work they’ll be expected to deliver as an effective part of the team.

6. Next Steps

Last, but definitely not least, be sure to include the next steps visitors should take to join your program. Will they need to email you? Obtain a referral link? Fill out a form? Undergo an interprocess? Detail what they’ll need to do to become a partner in your program and start promoting your small business.

Many companies ask potential affiliates to fill out a form or create an account to get started. Some require affiliates to undergo an approval process, while others allow new affiliates to start as soon as they sign up. There is no right or wrong way to go, and what you choose should depend on the needs and goals of your program.

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In Conclusion

Your affiliate registration page is one of the most important pieces of content in your arsenal for promoting your affiliate program. Therefore, it’s very important that you carefully curate what you put on this page — in addition to making it easy to find and user-friendly. 

Because it’s the final piece of the puzzle in the conversion process, you want this page to have all the information potential affiliates need to make a decision. Keep the tips above in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a high-converting registration page for your affiliate program.

To learn more about affiliate marketing, be sure to check out some of our other blog posts, such as places you can promote your affiliate programhow to know if an affiliate program is right for your small business, or what to look for in an ideal affiliate.

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How To Use Your Affiliate Program To Do Good

There are many online entrepreneurs who not only want to create a thriving and successful online business but also want to make a positive impact in the world by advocating for worthy causes. 

If you happen to be one of those people, how can you go about growing your business while including philanthropy in your efforts? In today’s post, we’ll share with you a few ways you can use your business to make your charitable dream a reality without breaking the bank.

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How To Do Good as a Team

Have you ever heard the saying, “Charity starts at home?” This phrase also applies to your small business. Actively creating a culture of philanthropy within your company not only makes your business look good, it keeps your employees engaged, makes them feel empowered, and keeps them focused on the purpose of your business’ core values. Here are a few ways you can cultivate a culture of charity and giving back.

Encourage Employee Donations

One excellent way to encourage employees to do good is by making it easy for them to donate to their favorite local causes. Using payroll software like Gusto, you can give your employees the option to send financial donations to the causes they love each pay period automatically.

You might even take these efforts one step further by highlighting in your company blog some of the causes your employees support.

Organize a Group Collection Drive

If your team works in-person or operates in a location where you can identify local causes, one way to do good is to run a group collection drive for one of these causes.

This can be something as simple as a food drive, where your company collects canned goods for a local food pantry, a clothing drive for The Salvation Army, or even an old electronics and software collection effort for up-and-coming businesses.

Pursue Volunteer Projects Together

If your team is in-house or located close to one another, why not tackle a volunteer project as a group? Volunteer to work on a project with Habitat for Humanity, help out at a local soup kitchen, go out and donate toiletries to the homeless, or take on a group speaking engagement.

These types of charitable efforts will help bring your team closer together, show the public another side of your business, and help your community at the same time!

Ask For Employee Input

To really get your employees involved with a philanthropic effort, ask them if there are any causes or charities they are passionate about. For example, if one of your employees is a breast cancer survivor, why not have a group charitable effort around raising money for breast cancer research?

Or if one of your team members has a loved one who suffers from multiple sclerosis, participate as a team in the National MS Society’s Run MS program. Involving your employees in the process keeps them excited about the effort and shows them that you care about the team and what they think.

How to Do Good Corporately

Once you’ve mastered building a culture of charity inside the workplace, how can you do good as a business entity? Following a few awesome ways.

Partner With A Charitable Organization

One great way to work on doing good outside of your online business is to partner with a charity and use your platform to promote and help that organization gain resources.

You could start a promotional campaign where, for every sale your business makes, it will donate a certain amount to your partner charity. Or, you might promote them through your blog, sharing with your online following the importance of the organization’s work and why it is necessary for a healthy community.

Offer Free or Discounted Services

Another generous move for your small business is to offer services at an extremely discounted rate or totally free to a charitable organization. There may be a local nonprofit that needs help setting up a certain program on their website, building a Facebook page, or even figuring out how to operate their computer system.

Attend Charitable Events

Attending charity events as a representative of your company is a great way to network, help a worthy cause, and learn about other causes you may want to support in the future.

Events like these are fun (and fruitful!) alternatives to simply dropping off donations or giving money. Such events give you a chance to see who’s being impacted by your efforts and how you and your small business can help out even more.

Participate In Online Challenges

Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that took social media by storm a few years back? Challenges like these are happening all the time. If you hear about a challenge that’s gaining momentum for a cause you can get behind, join in!

Then, be sure to tag people in your network to help build awareness and support. Or, even better, start your own challenge and encourage your network to get involved to support a worthy cause.

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In Conclusion

Using your company’s online and offline presence to support worthy causes doesn’t have to be a major and expensive hurdle. As you’ve seen, there are all kinds of ways you can implement philanthropy and use your business to promote the greater good. So get started today! 

Does your small business have a culture of charity? Tell us about it in the comments!

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5 Places You Can Promote Your Affiliate Program Right Now

Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective methods online business owners can use to make passive income. The more affiliates you add to your program and the more effective they are, the more money everyone makes!

So, how do you promote your affiliate marketing programs? Where on the internet can you go to promote your online business and recruit individuals?

In this post, we’ll share with you a few places you and your affiliates can promote your affiliate links to find more affiliates, earn more affiliate commissions, and expose your business to a greater number of potential customers.

Make your affiliate network a breeze to manage with Affiliate Royale today!

Affiliate Program/Link Promotion: How to Be Successful

There are many different methods you can use to promote your affiliate links or programs, but there are a few specific things you should keep in mind to ensure that your promotions are successful:

Don’t Overdo Your Promotion

There’s nothing wrong with a plug or promotion every so often on your platforms and website, but the last thing you want to do is become overly salesy. This will quickly turn off your customers and make them feel that you’re only in it for a sale. You want to provide value to your customers, not make it seem like you only need them for your selfish gains.

Spread Out Your Links

When you’re promoting links or your affiliate program, spread out your information on various platforms and in different formats. Don’t just use your links in blog posts — add them to videos, in comments, website banners, and more.

This rule is the same for your affiliate program. Don’t just limit this information to your website — include it in your emails, on social media, and in video descriptions.

Use Your Analytics

To understand whether or not your affiliate links or promotion efforts are working, you need to pay attention to your analytics. This will help you know where your viewers are interacting with your links, how they engage with your links, and how many conversions you’re making. This knowledge will tell you where to make changes to improve your program. 

5 Places to Promote Your Program and Links

Armed with a general idea of how to be successful with your promotions, you can move on to getting those promotions out there. Following are five effective channels you can use to get things rolling.

1.Email Campaigns

One of the most important means of promoting your online business is email marketing. Email marketing is an effective way to bring traffic to your website, share your content with customers, and engage with your audience.

When readers and potential customers subscribe to your email list, they’re seeking content to assist them and answer questions they may have. This is the prime time to include affiliate links or inform customers that you have an affiliate program.

The key to success here is to avoid posting your affiliate links all over the email. Focus on assisting your customers with solving their problem and then sprinkle in a few affiliate links from companies you know will help them.

Or, if you have an affiliate program, create a special announcement email to let your email list know, or simply include the information at the end of the email as a subtle reminder.

2.Video Content

Video content is all the rage in the digital marketing space right now, so it’s only expected that your online business should embrace this tactic. Your videos should be centered around topics relevant to your business. Video content can be created from information in blog posts, social media content, a customer question, or anything in between.

To promote your affiliate links or affiliate program in your video content, add the information in your video captions or descriptions. You can also post your links within your video, whether by using hyperlinks within the video or by putting the link text in the video’s footer. 

3.Product Review Websites

There are numerous places around the web where individuals can log on and share their experiences with different products, services, and companies. Did you know that this is also an excellent place for you to promote your affiliate program and links?

While writing your honest, unbiased review, be sure to include information on how to use the product, the pros and cons of using it, and your personal experience with the product in addition to your affiliate link or information on how to join your affiliate program.

4.Guest Posts

Guest blogging is a great way to build links to your website, build brand exposure, and network with other companies. But did you know that guest posting is also an excellent way to share your affiliate program with a broader audience?

Before you incorporate information about your affiliate program into your post, be sure to discuss it with the company you’ll be guest blogging for. The key to any great relationship is communication, so you want to make sure that incorporating that information is clearly stated and understood between both parties. Also be sure to find out whether it is okay to include affiliate links in your post.

5. Roundup Posts or Resource Pages

Many online companies create roundup posts every so often to allow website visitors to check out different tools that could help them in their businesses. Some companies also create resource pages on their websites that are dedicated to tools and resources their followers can take advantage of. This is prime real estate for affiliate links!

List and talk about products and services your company uses and would recommend to others. Be sure to include a brief description of the products, and maybe even the average prices of the products, and what you love about them.

You should also connect these services with your affiliate links and any discounts or free trials users of your links can get. This page or blog post should serve as evergreen content and should be continuously updated to provide visitors with accurate, up-to-date information.

In Conclusion

Affiliate marketing can be a lot of work, but there are all kinds of places and opportunities to promote your affiliate program and links, and many of these are available to you right now. We hope these tips will help you to better market your program so you can begin earning significant, passive income.

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 Promote Your Affiliate Program Using Twitter Chats

As an affiliate marketer, you’re probably familiar with Twitter and understand many of the ways it can help your online business succeed, but did you know that, outside of posts, the platform offers another way to connect with potential customers and boost visibility?

Enter Twitter chats!

Twitter chats are a fun, free way to promote your business, engage with customers, and build a community around your brand. The question is, how can you leverage Twitter chats to build your business effectively?

In this post, we’ll share with you how you can use the Twitter chats feature to promote your affiliate marketing program.

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What Is A Twitter Chat?

A Twitter Chat is a live conversation, typically hosted by one or a few Twitter accounts on a specific subject. These chats usually take place on a consistent weekly or monthly basis. They’re accessible by following a set hashtag, and other Twitter users can get in on the action by using that hashtag in their tweets. 

For example, the Content Marketing Institute has a Twitter chat called #CMWorld that happens every Tuesday. In the chat, participants discuss different topics related to marketing in the digital space. 

A Twitter chat can be about virtually any topic you choose, all you have to do is craft a hashtag, schedule a consistent day and time, and you’re good to go!

How Can Twitter Chats Help Your Business?

Now that you understand what a Twitter chat is, how exactly can they benefit your business?

Build Brand Awareness

If you create a hashtag around your business, and your Twitter chat begins to grow, any time someone searches that hashtag or even a topic your chat has covered, your business and tweets from your chats will show up.

Not only that, but as your chat grows, your brand is exposed to even more people who can turn into potential customers, affiliates, and business partners in the future.

Grow Your Following

If you create a solid chat that your Twitter followers and those who are interested in your topic enjoy, they’ll want to make sure they don’t miss the chat. This can mean more followers for your business.

People will want to be among the first to see upcoming topics, potential contests and giveaways, and whatever else your business has to offer outside the chat.

Increased Credibility

Customers and potential affiliates gravitate toward businesses and organizations they feel they can trust, both in character and in knowledge.

Using Twitter chats, you can demonstrate that you’re an authority when it comes to affiliate marketing and promotions, thus giving your fans more trust in your business. This trust can generate even more revenue and cause more influencers and organizations to want to participate in your affiliate program.

Elements Of A Good Twitter Chat

In order to run a successful Twitter chat, there are a few things you need to have first:

A Topic

Before you can start a Twitter chat, you need to have a topic that is both engaging to your followers and something you can talk about with authority. It can help to brainstorm and think about how far you can take a particular topic. 

You want to ensure that your audience is interested in the topic, that it’s relevant to your brand, and that it’s somewhat specific. For example, if you decided to create a chat around marketing, you might have a hard time covering all aspects of the topic. However, if your business specializes in affiliate marketing, you’d be wise to craft topics specific to that business model first.

A Hashtag

Once you’ve decided on a topic, you can start crafting a catchy and engaging hashtag. You want your hashtags to go along with your topic and, ideally, to go along with your brand. 

For example, if your Twitter chat is centered around affiliate marketing, it would be wise to use a hashtag that includes something with the term “affiliate marketing” in it, if possible. You want the hashtag to be relevant and easy for your audience to remember so they can join in.

A Consistent Day And Time

Next on your Twitter chat preparedness list is your day and time. Your team should agree on a day and time that works for everyone so there will always be someone available to facilitate the chat in the event the usual facilitator isn’t available.

When choosing a day and time, you also want to keep your audience in mind. Do a bit of research. What time zone are most of your followers in? What days are they most active? What times are your followers most likely to be on Twitter? Ensuring that your audience is around to interact with your small business is vital to the success of the chat.

A Facilitator

Speaking of facilitators, you’ll need to designate one for your Twitter chat. More than likely, your company’s Twitter account will be hosting the chat, but you’ll need to have someone in place to be the voice behind the company and monitor the chat as it’s happening. 

Be sure to pick someone who’s well-spoken and well-versed in your business. It would also be wise to pick someone who’s a strong writer or ask one of your writers to create a script for the facilitator to use during the chat. 

Effective And Consistent Promotion

If you’ve been working on your online business for a while now, you understand that marketing and promotion are everything. This is no different when it comes to your Twitter chat. Developing a plan for when you’ll start your Twitter chats and how you’ll promote them each time they take place can make or break your efforts. 

Create eye-catching images to get your followers to notice your chat promotions. Also, promote your chats on all social media platforms so all your followers can be aware, and, of course, share on Twitter so current users can set aside time to participate.

Participating In Rather Than Hosting Twitter Chats

Perhaps you aren’t ready to host your own Twitter chat, or you just don’t feel like a chat would be right for your small business at this point. That’s okay — there are plenty of Twitter chats you can participate in and still promote your affiliate program.

Search For Appropriate Chats

If you want to get the most out of your participation, make sure the chat is relevant to your business. There are incredibly interesting chats for every topic under the sun, but if you want to use your involvement to build your brand, make sure the chat topic goes along with your industry.

Craft A Nice Introduction

Most Twitter Chats begin with an introduction of the host and participants. Don’t miss out on this valuable networking opportunity. In advance, write up a short and sweet introduction to your business that will make other chat participants want to learn more about you.

Promote Your Participation

Twitter chats involve a lot of tweeting — so much, in fact, that some of your followers may be thrown off by the number of tweets you’re putting out.

In an effort to let them know what’s going on and to get in good graces with the Twitter chat you’re following, don’t hesitate to share the chat information and let your followers know that you’ll be participating. Doing so will keep your followers in the know, show that you’re active, and make a good impression on the chat host.

Ready to build your affiliate program? Start with Affiliate Royale!

In Conclusion

Twitter chats can be a major boost to your online marketing efforts. Whether you’re hosting or participating in a chat, these online events can help you gain new followers, network, build trust with customers, and boost the visibility of your business. We hope you’ll keep our tips in mind to help you make the best of this great marketing opportunity.

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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!

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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!

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