When you have an affiliate website, you’re a publisher who acts as a third party to generate traffic or leads to another company’s products or services. The third-party publisher is the affiliate. A commission fee is the incentive to promote a company.
Amazon has really made affiliate marketing mainstream. If you have a website or blog, you can easily add links to an Amazon page when you talk about a product. Then if a purchase is made, you receive an advertising fee.
The primary way to be successful in affiliate marketing is to drive traffic to your site or blog.
There is paid and unpaid traffic and affiliate publishers have to decide what’s right for them and what their budget allows for. Below, we talk more about using both unpaid and paid traffic sources. For example, does it make sense for an affiliate site to create video ads on paid traffic channels to get people to visit their site?
We cover these topics below.
Organic Search vs. Paid Search
Organic search traffic comes from people finding your site when they use a search engine. You influence organic search results with SEO.
Paid search, on the other hand, comes from visitors who click a link in an advertisement or sponsored listing that you pay for to appear at the top of search results.
Organic traffic is more valuable for a few reasons. First, Google directs the most traffic, and they’re the most trusted source when people want to make a purchase. When you rank in the top five results, it usually indicates you have high-quality content.
However, it’s difficult to move up in the rankings, and it takes a lot of time and effort. Most businesses and websites find what works for them is to focus on both organic and paid search.
When you’re an affiliate marketer, optimizing your content for free traffic is going to take potentially years before you start to see any real growth. There are so many other creators publishing content on similar topics.
The Benefits of Using Paid Traffic
When you spend your time making great affiliate content, you need to optimize it for more traffic and sales through paid marketing channels in many cases.
Then, you can use what you learn along the way to create other content. Eventually, you’ll have repeatable processes.
Again, we’ve touched on this, but paid marketing is going to give you faster growth.
You can start optimizing your content for nearly immediate growth. You also have the ability to get your content in front of a larger audience, and you can target a specific audience easily.
When you optimize only for SEO, you might be getting visitors that aren’t necessarily your target audience.
You could be getting free traffic through SEO, but the people clicking on your content aren’t taking the actions you want them to.
Just because you’re getting traffic doesn’t mean that you’re getting the right kind of visitors.
Some people shy away from paid advertising because they worry it will cost too much. The beauty of it is that you can start very small.
You can spend just a few dollars, start figuring out what works and what doesn’t, and then you can refine your techniques so that you’re eventually putting things on autopilot and turning visitors into leads.
How to Sell Affiliate Products Using Paid Ads
Using paid ads to sell affiliate products is a little different from selling your own products. When you’re directing people to your content, you’re only going to be making a percentage of the sale if someone decides to buy using your link.
That means you have to be strategic to ensure that it’s all worth it.
Some people try and send traffic directly to a page where they purchase an affiliate product, but this is problematic.
It’s much better to send traffic to your own content first. This content should be something that provides your audience with value, rather than only trying to sell a product. It can be your blog posts, YouTube videos you create, a webinar, or an eBook.
When you’re an affiliate, providing value first is what’s going to make you money over the long term.
When you’re paying for traffic to your content, you can also start to rank organically through your ads if users end up sharing your content, commenting, or engaging with it in any way. Then, even if you stop running the ads, you might still continue to get organic traffic from them.
If you’re going to use ads to drive traffic to your content, you should pixel your traffic so you can retarget previous visitors. Then, they’ll see more ads.
Retargeting visitors means that your traffic is more likely to trust you and be interested in what you have to offer. Most people don’t make a purchase the first time they’re exposed to anything.
If you’re paying to drive traffic to affiliate content, the higher your frequency gets, the more money you’re going to pay for each click. That means while there is an element of automation in using paid ads, you can’t just set them and entirely forget them.
You need to make sure you’re optimizing on a regular basis to get the most value from your paid ads.
If you’re spending money on ads, it’s also a good rule of thumb to try and get some emails in the process. When you gather email addresses, you can get in touch with people later, with other links to affiliate products and offers.
If you ever decide to sell your site, if you have a large email subscriber list, it’s going to give your site more overall value.
The most important thing to do is create content related to your affiliate products before you start paying for any traffic. This is where you’re going to put in the most work. From there, you can start taking the next steps more specifically related to ads like installing pixels and tracking codes and finally creating ads for your content.