Affiliate marketing is no doubt, one of the best ways to monetize your blog and generate passive income.
But, as a blogger or affiliate marketer, you cannot deny the fact that you have a lot of competition and it gets really difficult to make affiliate sales.
When you’re an affiliate, you have two kinds of competition:
- Competition from those selling similar products. So if you’re promoting some email marketing platform, you’re competing against other email marketing platforms.
- Competition from other affiliates. Naturally, there are others selling the EXACT same product to the same market
In this post, I’m going to show you how can whip your competition and increase your affiliate income…
Create a USP (unique selling proposition).
Your readers or prospects have plenty of choices when it comes to merchants. They can buy direct from the product creator.
Or they can choose from among dozens or perhaps even hundreds of affiliates. And that’s why you need to create your USP.
In short, your USP is the “reason why” your prospects should buy from you and not your competitors.
Example: You can provide an additional guarantee (in addition to the vendor’s guarantee), such as a conditional “double your money back” guarantee.
Add value to your offers
Another way to beat your competition and get your prospects to choose to buy through your affiliate link is by offering a bonus.
There are two ways by which you can add value to your offers:
– with products
Think about it…
If you were buying a pair of shoes and saw them at the exact same price, but one came with a bonus set of laces, which one would you choose? All else being equal, you’d probably choose the better offer (the one with the free laces).
And so would your prospects…
Here are three examples of adding value to an affiliate offer with products:
Example #1: You promote a diet book. You provide a free recipe book to anyone who buys through your link.
Example #2: You promote “headline generator” copywriting software. You throw in a headline “swipe file” to anyone who buys through your link.
Example #3: You promote a marketing product. You offer access to a private forum to those who buy through your link.
– with services
Products are easy to deliver, which makes it easy for you to add value with products.
But certain services have a higher perceived value, which can help further boost your conversion rate.
Here are a few examples of how to add value to an affiliate offer using services:
Example #1: You promote some software. You can offer free installation and support.
Example #2: You’re promoting a copywriting product. You offer a free headline critique to those who buy through your link.
Example #3: You promote a weight loss product. You offer a free consultation session to help customers design a personalized diet plan.
It’s not that difficult if you think about it.
Adding value to your offers sets you apart from your competition and can increase your affiliate income by driving more sales.
Develop relationships with your prospects.
I can’t stress enough on this. To repeat: People do business with those they know, like and trust.
And that means you’ll make more money if you develop relationships with your prospects.
Here’s how to build relationships with your prospects:
- Get your readers to comment on your blog and respond to those comments.
- Start building an email list and send out weekly newsletters.
- Ask your readers for feedback (either publicly or privately) – and then implement it when possible.
- Get your readers to take surveys and polls on your blog.
- Interact with your prospects on social media sites
- Visit niche forums and interact with your prospects.
The more you interact with your prospects, the more you’ll gain their trust and the better the chances of them buying through your affiliate links.
Create and market your brand.
You want your prospects to feel a certain way when they do business with you. And your brand is just one of the tools you can use to convey that feeling.
Example: If you’re selling baby products then you probably don’t want your prospects to feel powerful, sexy or wealthy.
Instead, you want them to have a feeling of love and security. As such, your logo, slogan, blog design and everything else about your business should be designed to convey the feeling.
And your goal is to get your prospects to recognize and trust your brand as an industry leader.
Do you think that developing a brand doesn’t matter?
In a study, Kids who were given chicken nuggets in McDonald’s wrapping liked the nuggets better than those who were given the SAME food without the packaging. In other words, the kids were influenced by the brand!
So, Yeah! Branding matters and I’m hungry now.
Imagine this: Your car mechanic tells you to start taking fish oil supplements. Are you going to do it?
But the moment your doctor tells you the same thing, you’ll probably rush right off to pick up a bottle of fish oil.
And that’s because we tend to listen to and trust experts and authority figures more than anyone else.
You can see where I’m going with this. If you position yourself as an expert (and perhaps an authority figure), you can boost your sales.
For example, creating a content-filled blog, participating in niche forums and getting endorsements from other experts will all help you position yourself as an expert.
Extra Tip: If you hold a degree in a related field or have some other unique qualification, flaunt it as a way of establishing your authority.
For example, if you’re a registered nurse and you sell health books, let everyone know you’re a nurse! People are more likely to listen to your recommendations over the average affiliates.
Positioning yourself as an expert not only boosts your credibility but can also increase your affiliate income.
Sell your own products on the front end.
You just learned that one way to boost your sales is by establishing yourself as an expert.
And one of the best ways to get others to see you as an expert is by creating your own product.
That way, you can build a big list of buyers by selling your own product on the front end… and then make a big bundle of money on the backend by recommending affiliate products.
Borrow credibility from the “big dogs” in your market.
You already know that you need to build relationships and establish trust in order to sell more products to your subscribers and visitors. But that takes time.
So how can you get a good reputation if you’re new to the niche?
Simple: Joint venture with well-known experts and marketers in your niche.
In doing so, you’ll “borrow” their credibility, meaning others will see you as a niche expert too.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to get others to associate you with the existing niche experts is to create a product with them.
For example, you can get half a dozen or more of these experts to agree to an audio interview. Then you can freely distribute the recordings to get as much exposure as possible.
End result: You’ll become a trusted name in the niche virtually overnight!
Offer customer rebates.
Earlier in this post, you found out that you can beat your competition by “adding value” to an offer. Another way to do it is to offer a cash rebate to anyone who buys through your link.
Here’s how it works…
Let’s take the example of a $100 downloadable product with a 50% commission.
Instead of pocketing the entire $50 commission, you can instead split your commission with your customer (e.g., each of you gets $25).
Of course, you don’t tell your customer you’re splitting a commission. Instead, you just offer a “cash rebate” (payable after the refund deadline has expired).
Extra Tip: Ask for permission from the product vendor before using this tactic, as some vendors disapprove of customers getting a product at an unauthorized lower price.
Offer superior customer service.
Even though you’re not the product vendor, there’s a good chance that you get plenty of both pre-sale and post-sale questions about the products you promote or sell.
If you want to beat your competition, answer these questions quickly (in 1 business day or less), professionally and honestly.
Now imagine this…
Your potential customer is shopping around and is thinking about buying a product. He emails a competing affiliate question. Three days later, no answer. So now the prospect emails you the same question, which you answer within two hours.
Whose affiliate link is the prospect going to use? That’s right – yours!
Leave no advertising venue untouched.
Finally, one of the most effective ways to beat the competition is through full market penetration.
That means you blanket the niche with your content and ads.
Your name should appear in article directories, on forums, on other peoples’ blogs as a guest author, on social media sites… everywhere.
As familiarity grows, so will your sales and your affiliate income.
You don’t have to be scared of your competition. All you have to do is focus on yourself and your content.
Do not promote any product just for the sake of making money.
Only promote products that you’ve used yourself and trust.
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