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So you’ve started making money with affiliate marketing? You are seeing some income every month but now you want to scale your affiliate marketing strategy? It’s time to learn some advanced affiliate marketing strategies.
In this article I’m going to give you some advanced affiliate marketing tips to help take your blog monetisation strategy to the next level.
It’s a little sneak peek into the advanced content in my course – Affiliate Marketing Superstars. Check out the full course curriculum here.
If you’re in the right place then let’s go!
10 Advanced affiliate marketing Tips and Strategies
1. Cloak your affiliate links
Cloaking affiliate links is a form of redirection. When you join an affiliate programme they will give you a personalised affiliate link that likely has a long string of letters and numbers to identify you.
These are usually difficult to remember and kinda ugly looking. What’s more, is that they are easily identifiable as an affiliate link and therefore are vulnerable to link poachers.
Link poachers scan websites for affiliate links and subtly alter the code redirecting commissions to their own account. In other words, there are people out there who can steal your hard-earned affiliate income without you even realising!
Cloaking your links makes them unidentifiable as affiliate links so you are less likely to become victim to affiliate theft.
It also means your links will look neater on social media and will be easier to recall next time someone asks you if you have an affiliate link to share.
So for example, all cloaked affiliate links look like this;
I use a tool called Thirsty Affiliates to cloak my links. It’s a brilliant tool which also allows you to create a library of affiliate links which you can access directly whilst in edit mode.
If you need to change a link, you can change it across your entire site at the click of a single button. No more painstakingly trawling through old posts to switch up your links when they expire!
Better yet, it is FREE!
They do have a premium version which I also highly recommend for anyone who is really serious about affiliate marketing.
You can turn pre-defined keywords into affiliate links automatically, get access to detailed analytics and automatically add a disclosure notification to every article.
2. Geo-tag your links
Geo-tagging your links can increase your income significantly. Say you have a programme which only operates in the US, you are losing potential income from your other audiences who live outside of the US. (It’s also super frustrating for those readers in other countries who were hoping you had a solution for them.)
By geotagging your links, you are defining alternative URLs for different locations. Therefore if someone from the UK reads your blog, the same link will direct them to a UK store where they can purchase the item.
Geo-tagging affiliate links is one of the pro features of Thirsty Affiliates. You are likely to earn back your money many times over by not losing out on so many sales.
3. Keep track of your results and keep tweaking
You wouldn’t believe the difference subtle changes can make to your conversion rates. For example, where affiliate links are placed or whether you use deep links, widgets, call to action buttons or call to action statements.
Using heat maps to analyse your affiliate links can be really helpful so that you learn where you are losing people’s attention.
Or if you find a link which has a high conversion rate but isn’t being seen often enough (eg its at the end of an article) you can place it higher up or swap it with another link which doesn’t convert as well.
The image below shows a heat map where the larger circle highlights where most clicks occur.
The tool I recommend for monitoring all of your click-throughs and sales is Affilimate. There are heat maps as well as plenty of crystal clear stats and data that help you optimise your content for sales.
Every time you update your article, a new copy is made in your Affilimate dashboard. You can then use these versions to compare stats so that you can A/B test your affiliate strategy and decide which version converts better.
Did your RPM improve after you made changes?
You can get a 30% discount off Affilimate by using this link which also allows you to have a free trial with no credit card details required.
4. Understand affiliate marketing psychology
Affiliate marketers who earn the big bucks are all really good at one thing – understanding people.
It is not enough anymore to scatter your article with affiliate links and hope someone clicks on them. Here are just a few psychological strategies which help encourage someone to buy something.
- Reciprocity – where one good deed is rewarded with another eg you provide value, they use your links.
- Conditioning – asking your audience for tiny favours (eg follow me on Facebook) so they are more likely to later sign up for your webinar or purchase a high-ticket product through you.
- Priming the subconscious with branding – colours, fonts and images all make us feel certain emotions which can encourage us to make a purchase
- Creating urgency/scarcity – like early bird offers or flash sales
- Greed – people love to feel like they are getting a great deal so offering a 2nd product for free can encourage them to purchase even if they didn’t really need the 2nd item.
- Authority – endorsements by authority figures
- Fear of missing out – paint a picture of life without the product vs life with the product.
5. Use power words
Power words have the ability to evoke emotions which influence our behaviour, including our buying behaviours.
Here are 7 emotions you may want to evoke
- Greed – bargain, guilt-free
- Curiosity – little-known, myths
- Fear (of missing out) – pitfall, fail
- Trust – authority, endorsed, money-back guarantee
- Vanity – prosperity, genius
- Desire – captivating, fascinating
- Laziness – quick-win, easy
Think about these power words when you are writing your pitch for why someone should invest in your affiliate product.
6. Create affiliate clusters
In an ideal world, you want your affiliate product review to rank number one on Google. That way everyone sitting on the fence about a product arrives at the sale page via your review article.
In order to let Google know you are an authority on the product, you need to create lots of content around the product. One review is unlikely to be enough in our competitive blogosphere.
So create clusters of content around the product. Reviews, comparisons, tutorials, demo’s, how-to-guides, mentions in other articles, mentions on important pages like your homepage or category pages…
7. Use comparison tables
As well written as your article may be, not everyone wants to read every word. Some people are there for quick answers and if they don’t get them quickly they will leave.
So why not create tables which compare products directly? Conversion rates can be really high for tables, especially if they feature high on the page.
You can construct very basic tables from within WordPress. However, if you want a more sophisticated table with ‘buy now’ buttons then I recommend Amalinks Pro for all of your Amazon products. Below is a table I created for my other website;
Amalinks Pro has other cool features like being able to add highlight and feature boxes and customised buy now buttons. But the tables feature is my favourite and the most lucrative tool!
8. Try open-close-cart sale affiliate programmes
Open-close-cart sales are sales for short periods of time where the product is only available throughout the sale. After the sale period, the product ‘closes its doors’ and you may not be able to access the product for another 6-12 months.
This creates scarcity and urgency and makes us want to act fast – before we miss out!
Therefore you will likely sell a lot of products in a short period of time.
It’s not uncommon for affiliates to generate 3, 4 and even 5 figure commissions in just a few days.
The short duration means that it can be fairly intense work and you’ll need to be available to answer any questions your audience may have.
Your most effective affiliate strategy for open-close-cart sales involves a pre-planned email sequence building anticipation and then breaking down objections alongside a social media campaign which does the same.
Throughout my email sequence I tell stories, show case studies, address FAQs and I will always send a reminder before the sale ends.
If you are looking for a good programme to start with open-close-cart sales, I recommend Ultimate Bundles which promotes heavily discounted bundles of digital products in almost every niche from gardening to health to travel and business.
9. Create some affiliate email funnels
Email marketing is sometimes even more lucrative than basic affiliate marketing.
You have time to nurture your audience and earn their trust. You can showcase your products as and when they are ready for them. You can carry out surveys and add them to groups based on their experience and needs within your niche which allows you to send emails to only those who will find them useful.
If they are not ready to buy yet, you can continue providing value, building trust and then discuss the product again when they might be more open to it.
You can even set up automated email affiliate funnels triggered when they show interest in a certain topic.
If you need some help with your email marketing then read my guide to starting an email list for bloggers.
I recommend using Convertkit for your email platform. Ive used several including Mailchimp, Mailerlite and Convertkit and Convertkit is head and shoulders above the rest.
If you need some help creating your lead magnets, I have created 50+ templates which you can use to create your freebies with ease.
10. Use ads for your affiliate offers
If you have an article which is doing well and converting affiliate sales, you may wish to put ad spend behind it via Pinterest promoted campaigns, Facebook or Instagram ads.
It’s important to know that not every article is worth spending money to promote and you can end up bleeding money. So its important you closely examine your articles stats prior to investing in ads.
You need to work out the articles’ RPM. That’s how much the article makes you on average based on 1000 views.
The articles worth paying to promote will be those with higher RPMs. You can use this to work out what each click is worth to you and therefore what you can afford to pay per visitor.
If you’re not a fan of maths then an easy way to know your articles worth is by using Affilimate which will rank your articles based on their RPM values.
Some affiliate programs will also tell you what your EPC or earning per click is for that affiliate program. Some programs use this to indicate you are earning per 100 clicks others per 1 click so make sure you check with your affiliate network before interpreting this!
Also, EPC tends to be calculated over 7 or 30 days so sometimes your RPM will be higher for programs with a long cookie period.
It’s worth letting your article mature a bit first so that you can see the trend over a few months. If you only have a few sales, it can skew the results.
In the meantime, whilst you are waiting, get a Facebook pixel installed on your website so it can be collecting data about your visitors which you will need when choosing an audience to deliver your ad to in the future.
The more information you have, the more successful your ad will be.
I use the Facebook pixel plugin for this.
Did you enjoy these advanced affiliate marketing tips? Which will you try first?
If you want more advanced affiliate marketing strategies, make sure you check out my course Affiliate Marketing Superstars launching in the next couple of weeks.
I will be covering many more advanced strategies there including Pinterest funnels, bringing urgency into evergreen affiliate funnels, using retargeting ads to target only those who have already shown interest in your product and ways to get someone to use your link rather than someone else’s. Sign up here to be first to know when the course launches. You can also sign up to my free 5-day affiliate marketing challenge to kickstart your new strategy in the meantime…
Also, any questions, pop them in the comments. I may also be doing a Facebook live advanced affiliate Q&A session if I get enough questions so join my Facebook group to be kept up to date!
Tools recommended in this article…
- Thirsty Affiliates – for cloaking, organising and geo-tagging your affiliate links.
- Affilimate – for tracking and improving your affiliate strategy. Get your article RPMs, see heat maps and find out which links and pages are you most lucrative and how you can improve them.
- Amalinks Pro – An Amazon plugin which allows you to develop tables and other cool features for displaying your Amazon links. (Plus it has a feature allowing you to add Amazon products direct to someone’s cart giving you an extra 89 days to convert the sale…)
- Affiliate Marketing Superstars Course – a super deep dive into affiliate strategy covering the basics right up to advanced strategies for super affiliates. Launching SOON!
- How to geotag affiliate links to direct readers to different locations
- 27 places to promote your affiliate links
- How to make money with open-close-cart sales with the Ultimate Bundles programme
- How to make BIG money with a SMALL blog
- A complete beginners guide to affiliate marketing
Pin me for later!