“The Queen of Affiliate Marketing” and author of “Make a Fortune Promoting Other People’s Stuff Online: How Affiliate Marketing Can Make You Rich”. Rosalind truly is one of the best in affiliate marketing. She was one of the first people to really make a living doing actual, legitimate content-driven affiliate marketing. She’s been teaching people how to follow in her footsteps even since. Rosalind was an air traffic controller before she went into affiliate marketing, so there’s no shrinking from the technical side of things. She explains everything very clearly.
I love working with Tasha! She came up with some great logo ideas for my virtual assistant business and patiently worked through my indecisiveness, offering multiple options and revisions until we decided on just the right design. Tasha also put together a beautiful branding board with my colors and style that I can reference any time. Now I’m having her work on graphics for my social media to go with my new brand. She does terrific work and I’m so glad I found her!
Affiliate marketing is about the here-and-now, and nothing is ever set in stone in an industry revolving around online advertising. For this reason, you shouldn't be afraid of using instantaneous communication tools like Twitter for the kinds of promotions that are only open for a short time. When you do, make sure you tweet the advertiser in your tweet. This way, you might get a retweet and increase your traffic!
If you’re running WordPress, I use a plugin called Thirsty Affiliates to cloak, manage, and track my affiliate links (you have to pay Thirsty Affiliates for their add-ons if you want extra features). The free version is still good… just install the plugin and find the “Affiliate Links” tab on the left of your dashboard. Add the link name and destination URL, save it, then copy the cloaked version of the URL so you can add it to your Youtube video annotations.
Not too hard, right? Aside from the equipment you need, which at the beginning will be pretty minimal anyway, you’re not going to need to invest any money. It will only take a little bit of time to make great videos and start growing your following. Heck, if you’re super shy and don’t want your face on camera, you can just use a PowerPoint presentation and narrate a presentation for your audience. The only one stopping you from promoting affiliate products on YouTube is YOU!
Your bio should be a very short description about who you are and what you do. Don’t try to attract everyone, rather, go after your target audience. Aside from Twitter being just a numbers game, it is also a game of attracting the RIGHT people. If you have a website you are promoting about dogs, you don’t care about people who have pet birds. So don’t make your bio about “pets”. Make it about dogs specifically (or even a specific breed of dog). It’s always better to start too narrow and broaden over time than to start too broad and have to narrow down later. You’ve got less than 1 minute for your bio to convince others to follow you, so make it good!
If you’ve ever been on Facebook and said to yourself, “hey, I almost want to click that,” then you know the power of advertisement via social media. It allows yout product to gain access to entirely new audiences. And oftentimes, these leads come more pre-qualified than most web traffic because sites like Facebook do a good job in showing its users only the ads that will interest them the most. Thanks to social media profiles, advertising has gotten easier and more-effective. And ultimately, more effective also means more cost-effective.
Of course, Twitter has its own peculiarities. I assume you are aware that Twitter limits you in the number of characters you can use – right now the limit is 280 characters. You have to find a way to be natural and genuine and fit in your affiliate link. That’s where URL shorteners come into play. Besides, more often than not, affiliate links are long and contain different numbers and random letters which makes them look less trustworthy. URL shorteners can make your link look more appealing. If you’re an Amazon affiliate, they have an inbuilt link shortener, so you’re good. If not, use TinyURL – it’s one of the few shorteners that allow affiliate links.
I’ve only just begun to use Twitter – never really understood it’s power in the affiliate marketing world until recently – but when Mashable can single handedly drive enough traffic to a site that it crashes, it’s application becomes obvious. I think developing enough credibility for people to click your links is one of the hardest things to do on there though.
For this reason, if you see a good story or idea on Twitter, retweet it (this copies the tweet into your own feed, meaning your followers can see it). On Facebook or Instagram, either share a post or draw attention to it, if you think being associated with the thought boosts your own brand. By giving exposure to things you like, you might just win an ally in the person who originally posted the content (assuming you give him or her the credit they deserve when linking to it). This might mean they do the same thing in return in the future. This will further grow your following.
SkimLinks is primarily for established content producers (bloggers) who want to monetize their content. With a powerful WordPress plugin and scripts for just about any website type, setting up SkimLinks is very easy. And because you have access to all offers on their platform after you’re approved, SkimLinks is very well designed for affiliates who don’t want to spend a lot of time fiddling around with settings and other fine-tuning.
To stray from the legalese for a moment and put a bow on all this, there are a couple other things that suggest that using affiliate links is acceptable. For one, highly successful channels have, and continue to, feature affiliate links. Secondly, everyone benefits from quality content that is enhanced by affiliate links. YouTube gains videos and viewers that they can monetize, Amazon (and other businesses with affiliate programs) gains a new inlet to their shopping site, the viewers get entertaining and informative content that offers them a way to buy what’s been discussed, and the content creators (you) are rewarded for hard work and creativity. In a situation where everyone wins, it is hard to see why anyone would want to fiddle with it.
In the past, bloggers could only promote affiliate products via Pinterest indirectly by linking to a blog post that contained affiliate links. But now, if you are a blogger who has already joined affiliate programs for your favorite retailers in your niche, you can now share your affiliate links directly on Pinterest. That means that instead of creating a post to drive readers to, you can now pin and image of a product you love with your affiliate link on Pinterest. You can see an example of one of my “affiliate pins” below.
Affiliate marketing on the other hand can be done with very little to no investment. The only investment is the domain name and auto-responder service like Aweber. You need to set up a opt-in page to collect email of prospects in return for a free gift and do your marketing in follow up emails that you set up in your auto-responder. If you want you can spend some money advertising your opt-in page or go the free route for promoting it. However, don't expect to make sales right away. It can take a while for sales to trickle in.
Once you’ve recruited your affiliates, you’ll want to keep tabs on them and the performance of your program. Regular communication is essential to establishing a strong affiliate program, and this can happen via email, as that’s the preferred method of communication for most affiliate marketers, per the AffStat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report.
The one thing to be cautious of here is taking other peoples meme’s and images without their permission. At the very least, you should ask or attribute the image to the owner in your post. However, there’s another neat trick you can use. Just go to Google Images and perform an image search. Once there, hit the little gear icon in the upper right corner of the search and click on “Advanced Search”. You can then scroll down to the “usage rights” drop down menu and only show images that are free to use or share. You should be able to find 100’s of free images that you can simply edit to create a meme with. If you are looking for a simple and free online photo editor that will enable you to do this, check out ipiccy.com. That’s the one I usually use.
No doubt, YouTube is one of the most popular online platforms for sharing, uploading and downloading videos. Hence you can take advantage of this popularity that YouTube enjoys and earn some money with your affiliate program. One of the easiest methods available to make money online is by creating videos about your affiliate product and uploading them on YouTube.
While there are many different affiliate programs out there, I've put together this list of programs that I'm currently approved for and use for Pinterest affiliate marketing. I do also have two blogs, but when I applied to most of these, I specifically listed Pinterest as my “website” and specified that Pinterest would be my primary marketing channel. A few of them declined me, however, I called/emailed to inquire why. Once they understood why I didn't list a blog, they went ahead and approved me. If you apply and get denied – don't get discouraged! Send them an email or call them and find out exactly why. Also, be sure to review the TOS (terms of service) to see if Pinterest is an allowable platform for promoting their content. And remember, what you pin isn't about what YOU like or want! You have to really keep tabs on your analytics to find out what your AUDIENCE is wanting more of and find affiliate programs for those products!
Affiliate marketing isn’t the only strategy to have evolved recently. Influencer marketing has undergone a makeover of its own, becoming more transparent, more streamlined and more effective. If you have felt in the past that influencers do not offer the same transparency or sales-driven results as affiliate publishers, you might be pleasantly surprised by recent updates and changes in the industry.