Affiliate Marketing – Should You or Shouldn’t You?

You might think of being an affiliate and say to yourself  “Why would I ever want to get involved with selling other people’s stuff?” This can be especially true  if you have ever heard horror stories about affiliate marketing and instantly think the worst.  You might want to think twice, however if you get turned on to a reputable product and firm. Your product isn’t always going to be exactly what every visitor to your site is looking for, so why not stock a few more items for those picky customers who are tough to satisfy? A commission on someone else’s sale is better than a big, fat zip every single day of the week.

The way to find good affiliates for your site to partner with is to track some of your visitors. See where they come from, and where they end up. That is a big key to finding the right match for you. If you notice that most of your conversions come from one solitary source, while another source results in a bounce visitor almost all of the timne, perhaps those customers aren’t quite finding what they want during their visit. The same goes for demographic breakdowns – Do you need some more age specific deals or what?

Once you have successfully identified what your dissatisfied visitor market is, try to find out what they are really looking for, since your product isn’t hitting the mark with them. Then you can find some affiliates in a related field, and try to hook those customers back to the checkout line where you can convert them and make something on their visit – plus keep them happy!

A word of caution; you definitely don’t want to cut yourself out of the loop entirely. Make sure that your affiliate isn’t cooler than you and taking all of the business!  Look for something different, that your specifically targeted demographic won’t choose over your own product. The key is to reach a balance.

Affiliates can help you with traffic, SEO and user friendliness –  these are all good things to keep in mind before dismissing the idea of affiliates. While we won’t tell everyone to go shop another venue a la Miracle on 34th Street, we do want them to remember us fondly so they will come back. Using affiliates to make them happy does work when leveraged correctly.

If you are smart, and patient, you can even set up an affiliate site as a satellite site and work traffic specifically for your affiliates. If you link your affiliate sales to route through that site, even your conversions and profit tracking will be easier. Ease plus profits plus a good reputation equals winning!

Affiliates can help you, if you use them wisely. Be careful though and make up your mind and find the ones that complement your site the best. Do not overwhelm it with competitiveness. There is room for other products as long as you don’t end up playing second fiddle! The key is to use affiliates as a secondary source of conversions – not your primary!