On July 29, 2018, I again had the privilege of joining Jeannine Crooks of Awin and John LoBrutto of Liquid Web for an Expert Q&A panel at Affiliate Summit East (ASE18) in New York, NY. There we shared what we felt were seven key areas one must address to be successful in affiliate marketing. This panel was designed to be introductory level and affiliate/publisher-focused.
Within the presentation, the following external resources and/or examples were referenced:
- FMTC’s “super lists” of great affiliate resources (Key #2):
- Merchant Hub (with approx. 10K affiliate programs)
- Affiliate Networks
- OPM Directory
- Create compelling reasons to use your site (Key #3)
- Cornerstone content* how-to article by Brian Clark: “How to Create Cornerstone Content That Google Loves“
- Problem-solving article example with a helpful set of “naturally” embedded affiliate links at How-To Geek: “10 Ways To Free Up Disk Space on Your Mac Hard Drive“
*Cornerstone content is content that is so good that your readers are excited to link to you. It is thorough, well-sourced, relevant, and better than that which is available from your competition. It can (and probably should) reference related information on a variety of sites as well as other articles within your site (great source of internal links).
Bonus suggestions for publishers:
- Create with WordPress — it’s the world’s most popular content management system (CMS) and is open-source software:
- Helpful WordPress plugins for affiliate marketing link management: Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates.
- Create a “storefront look and feel” with WooCommerce and datafeedr (using product catalog data feeds).
- Use Skimlinks or VigLink to automatically monetize non-affiliate links.
- Keep track of all that data (it can be challenging):
- Consider using Affluent Analytics to track affiliate transactions across multiple affiliate networks.
- Google Analytics is good but confusing to many. Check out Clicky [affiliate link] for site tracking (they have a free option too).
- Don’t forget the money (and taxes). Keep records! Tip: Track earnings and expenses with Wave — free financial software for small businesses.
With my fellow panelists permission I’m sharing our presentation slides below. We covered the following “7 keys” to affiliate marketing success:
- Choosing a network
- Picking the best merchants
- Finding the right traffic
- Creating profitable campaigns
- Understanding the metrics
- Using the latest technology
- Optimization, conversions and commissions