Best Ways to Increase your Value as an Affiliate or Blogger

As we continue with our “Best Of” theme for June, take a look at these 3 best methods for increasing your overall value in the Affiliate Marketing Industry.

#1 Attend Conferences

The value of attending industry conferences can’t be overstated.   These are opportunities to:

  1. Show a potential retail partner that you are committed to your business enough to take time out of your life to show up.
  2. Show a potential retail partner that you are a real individual – as opposed to just an email address!
  3. Learn about a retailer, their products, and negotiate great terms going forward for yourself in the program.
  4. Mix it up with OTHER bloggers who are in the same position as you – and learn from each other.
Which Conferences are there to Attend?

Which Conferences are there to Attend?

Check out this large list of available conferences this Summer 2013 that you can attend.
1 Tip Per Day

1 Tip Per Day

A series of tips regarding how to choose, prepare, and follow up in #ConferenceSeason.

#2 Send New Customers

New customers are more valuable, typically, to a Merchant… than returning customers.   You may ask “How Do I Do This?  I can’t control new vs. old, can I?”

It is true that you can’t necessarily control this, but you can position yourself so that you begin to send more and more of these types of customers.

Here are some tips from an article I wrote previously…

A. Get off (redirected) search.

Search makes up an enormous percentage of traffic generated – and thus we all love it. However, as Merchants become more sophisticated in their own search efforts, they will likely de-value Affiliates who work in that arena.

This has already happened with Paid Search in the area of brand terms, trademarks, etc… and will continue into natural results. From what I hear, Merchants feel as though the majority of customers who have searched for their “Company Name” are repeat customers or those who would have ended up at their store without the assistance of an Affiliate.

As an Affiliate, a new source of traffic – one that belongs all to you – should be a goal.

Which brings me to….

B. Build a Community.

There is no greater source of traffic than the one that you build yourself. Going back my first point above, I think the better use of search would be to simply use search as a way to build up your own site.

Use your skills at search to bring traffic to your site, and then build a community around that traffic. Use small things like polls, questions, games, prizes, discussion, comments – all these things can bring people into your community. Communities feed on themselves – and bring the kind of organic growth to your Affiliate business that can’t be obtained thru search alone.

Be a traffic source, not solely a re-director of traffic.

Use your skills at search to bring traffic to your site, and then build a community around that traffic.

C. Go Smaller

This entails a few things…

  • I believe that working with emerging Merchants brings you greater odds in working with new customers and…
  • I believe some of you should be working with less Merchants. Less Merchants…more focus.

To fully focus on, and master a particular niche requires an obvious great investment in time. One of the common techniques in Affiliate Marketing today is to apply to as many programs as possible and see which one performs the best. A large number of Affiliates see success with this, which is great. However, if you were to focus specifically on bringing new customers to a Merchant, I don’t think this technique would work as well.

Pick a niche and master it. Within an individual niche there are likely several Merchants who are suitable, thus giving you the opportunity to test individual conversion. Newer (sometimes smaller) Merchants with less overall market reach will bring you the best opportunity – as the likelihood of bringing in a new customer (vs. a returning customer) will be much higher. One possible way to go smaller is to target local markets. This is something that requires a blog post of it’s own though so I’ll leave that till later. :)

Newer Merchants with less overall market reach will bring you the best opportunity – as the likelihood of bringing in a new customer will be much higher.

#3 READ!

There are dozens of blogs that teach you how to become an Affiliate Marketer, but there are very few that do it well.

Read the following, they are the cream of the crop and even if you are already a productive Affiliate yourself, you will learn.

Affiliate Marketing - From Sugarrae

Affiliate Marketing – From Sugarrae

Absolutely top notch advice across the board, and in a a lot of different ways. Read this one top to bottom.
Work at Home Mom Advice and Home Based Business Tips

Work at Home Mom Advice and Home Based Business Tips

Are you a work-at-home Mom? If so, you need to be a part of this community and read how others are utilizing Affiliate Marketing and Blogging.

New to shareasale?

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Brian,

    I have been very lazy when it comes to attending conferences, honestly, I have not attended one.

    With your peerless insight, I’d sure prepare myself for any upcoming Affiliate or blogger conference.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. says

    Hi Brain,
    I to was one of the affiliates that went gunho on getting multiple Merchants to put on my websites, then I got to thinking that if I just chose the best for my niche then I would do better. I use ShareAsale mainly on the site http://www.gadgets-unlimited.com and some with http://www.dmboutdoors.com, I really like the page idea that the network has got, enabling me to put out a full list of products that are updated from the merchants. I do think that I have way to many ads showing on my sites, including Adsense Ads, and I’m constantly are working to get more content about the products that are shown. This is always been a building process, thanks for the your comments it always helps.

  3. says

    Hello All,
    My affiliate marketing program is about 2 years old, however I know I am doing something wrong. I have had zero in sales. Recently, about 20 more Merchants have been added to the Made In America site and the hits show people are clicking. What does it take to get them to convert? How many hits do you get before you get a conversion? How long have you been using Affiliate ads? How do you generate your web traffic? What do you think I could do to improve? The unique selection of Merchants are those that make their products in America – hence my niche (or vice versa). Your reply is appreciated. Thanks.

  4. says

    Hello Brian,
    I just applied for a Shareasale affiliate account today and was looking for some good affiliate tips for an effective start. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  5. says

    Thanks for a great article, good point on the niche/community thing – it takes time, but you also get the advantage of having your own audience – instead of just redirecting traffic..

  6. says

    The point about attending conferences is my favorite one from this article. In my product review niche, attending some of the major shows and conferences makes it easier to establish the relationship needed to get early releases of products and also to have add a bit of information to a review that is not available in the public to stand out from the competition. Thanks!

  7. says

    Great tips Brian, for both newbies and seasoned AM.

    I always recommend building a list, that way you have a captive audience that you can direct to various offers and not just your article or review. Merchants love affiliates with a growing list.

  8. says

    I have also found it very true, that using smaller amount of merchants seems to get better results. At one time sites with a lot of different merchants did very well for me. As of now it is my more targeted sites that produce better. Guess we can thank Google for that.

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