If on the off-chance you are not familiar with, or are unsure what an “affiliate” is, an affiliate, often referred to as an “affiliate marketer,” is anyone who acts as a middleman between a retailer or owner of a product and the end user or buyer. The affiliate would often facilitate or otherwise refer the buyer to the retailer to make a purchase of a product or service, for which the retailer rewards the individual, or affiliate, with a percentage of the revenue from that purchase.
There are undoubtedly a lot of ways to make money on the internet, and affiliate marketing is just one of them, perhaps even one of the easiest methods. However, as with any business, affiliate marketing carries its own share of risks. One of those risks being a loss or dip in affiliate revenue for whatever reason.
The very fact that you do not own the product you are selling or marketing means you do not have control over things like product development or update, customer service, product quality and more. Any of these things, if not properly handled by the owner of the product or service you are promoting can easily negatively affect your income.
Which is exactly why you must take steps early on to diversify your affiliate income as widely as possible. Think of this diversification as some sort of hedge against something going wrong with the product or service you are promoting.
What Can You Do To Diversify And Secure Your Affiliate Income?
So what exactly are some of the ways you can diversify and consequently protect your affiliate income?
Do your due diligence: Before you commit to or decide to start promoting any affiliate product on your website or blog, be sure to do your due diligence on that product and the people behind it. Make sure you research what experience other people might have had with promoting that company’s products. Find out what any past customers or users of their products might have said about the product in question. The last thing you want to do is to spend the time and energy in promoting something that ends up being a product that has a lot of “question marks” around it. Worse still, is for you to have spent the time and energy promoting it, see some revenue start to come in, only to have that revenue dip or disappear for no fault of yours. That is a situation that gives many an affiliate marketer sleepless nights.
Use the product: Where possible, use the product you intend on promoting. It is often said that you can only sell (or market) something that you know. Having first-hand knowledge of the product you intend on promoting will let you know if the product is something that a potential buyer might find value in and would be willing to pay for. Also, you would be speaking from a standpoint of someone who has actually used the product himself, therefore giving more weight to any marketing and/or review you might do. This is the reason why affiliate marketing centred around product reviews often do quite well. This is because a potential buyer has relied on the review of a previous user or someone more knowledgeable about the product, to let them know that the product does indeed do what it says, thereby increasing the possibility that they might be willing to buy the product. Granted, it might not always be possible to personally use the product yourself. In such situations, be sure to try and get at least the second-hand opinion of other people who have used the product, and if all checks out, feel free to begin promoting the product.
Promote several closely related products: Where possible, try and promote multiple related products. This is yet another “hedge” you can use to try and secure your affiliate income against the fluctuations that are well known in this business. Including multiple related products in your marketing material ensures that on the off-chance that a potential buyer decides not to proceed with buying one particular product you are marketing, for one reason or the other, a second (or third) related product just might do the trick and provide the user with perhaps the feature, cost saving or any other factor they are looking out for.
Don’t rely solely on an affiliate income: Recall that the title of this article is “How and why to diversify your affiliate income to maximize your revenue.” I believe I have spoken about the “why to diversify” part. One great way to do the “how” part is to not rely solely on affiliate revenue for your income. The “smartest” internet and/or affiliate marketers, and often those who earn the most, are those who have multiple sources and types of revenue. So including a mix of affiliate products, adverts, and owning your own products are generally the best ways to protect your income.
Increase the traffic to your website: One surefire way to secure your affiliate income that almost never fails, is to increase the amount of traffic to your website. As a matter of fact, this might even be the most important thing you can do in this list we have given. Increased visitor traffic leads to more conversions. Of course increasing traffic to one’s website is easier said than done. It is in fact arguably one of the most difficult part of affiliate marketing, or in fact any online business. So while there are ways to get instant and immediate traffic, such as with Google AdWords and other such paid traffic sources, this obviously can become quite expensive very quickly. This is why most affiliate marketers often look to getting free traffic via search engines, social media and other such methods. There is of course a whole subject matter on the topic of getting traffic to your website via search engine optimization (SEO) and this is something the affiliate marketer would do well to learn and master.
In conclusion, affiliate marketing is a very lucrative business that has provided either a full-time or part-time income for tens or hundreds of thousands of people. While many more people will slowly begin to look into earning some money via affiliate marketing in the coming years, there is nothing worse that quitting your job to becoming an affiliate marketer, only to have your sole source of income take a hit for no fault of yours. Either as a result of something that the vendor of the products you are promoting did (or didn’t do), or perhaps because of a sudden loss of website traffic via the search engines, which is something that search engines have been known to do occasionally.
Which is exactly why any affiliate marketer should be looking to diversify their affiliate income, not to mention their traffic sources.