You are wondering why do few successful marketers generate a ton of affiliate sales while others struggle to generate even one sale? Let me give you a hint: Is about following affiliate marketing rules.
Well, these HIGHLY successful affiliate marketers know some secrets that most beginners don’t know. That’s why they earn huge profits from affiliate marketing every month.
- Top 12 Affiliate Marketing Rules
- Rule #1: Follow a PROVEN Process
- Rule #2: Give it Time, Be Patient
- Rule #3: Go BIG or Go Home
- Rule #4: Be Consistent or You’ll Fail!
- Rule #5: Follow The Magic 80/20 Rule
- Rule #6: Find And Promote Recurring Affiliate Programs
- Rule #7: Show your own results
- Rule #8: Become the best source of information
- Rule #9: Build relationships with the affiliate managers
- Rule #10: Offer EXCLUSIVE deals
- Rule #11: The money is in the list
- Rule #12: Stay compliant with agreements and FTC
- Conclusion on Affiliate Marketing Rules
Top 12 Affiliate Marketing Rules
The fastest way to affiliate marketing is this: learn the RULES.
There are some rules in every field. Be it cricket or soccer, you need to learn those rules. Once you know the rules, you can even break them (later).
I’ve learned a lot along my journey. I’ve discovered, through trial and error, that there are core affiliate marketing rules that you need to follow if you want to be successful.
If you don’t, you end up getting yourself into trouble. I don’t want you to fall into this trap, so here are the top 12 rules you need to learn and understand to succeed in affiliate marketing.
If you follow these, you’re setting yourself up to win.
Rule #1: Follow a PROVEN Process
Most of the bloggers that just started are making money from AdSense and selling banner ads.
They quickly realize such a process wouldn’t work after a decade. I was right. I barely see bloggers making a living from AdSense paychecks.
Below you can see the balance of one of my Adsense account that was abandoned several years ago when I discovered Affiliate marketing. I didn’t even cash out the earnings 🙂
So I came up with a simple process that anyone can use even now to build an authority site that makes a lot of money.
Here’s how it works.
- I found a profitable niche (I’m into a super competitive SEO niche but I know it’s profitable and evergreen)
- I established myself as an authority in that niche (not entirely though as I still have a long way to go and it took me so much time but at least I didn’t give up)
- I gave a TON of in-depth and useful content to my audience (for free)
- I invested in content marketing (in the initial years, whatever I made from my blog, I reinvested into content and SEO and I still do the same as it generates excellent returns)
- I didn’t rush. I knew it’s a long journey. But I made sure to pick the RIGHT products that helped me generate more sales every single month.
See, how simple the whole process is?
It looks so simple but it works in the real world. You can also reciprocate the same.
My suggestion is to follow someone who is already making a living from affiliate marketing. Analyze how they are making money.
Follow their approach. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Follow a proven process that works.
It works because most people are not consistent (and ready to do all the hard work). So go ahead and find a proven process.
Rule #2: Give it Time, Be Patient
Most beginners fail in affiliate marketing because they give up very soon. They find a niche, create some blog posts, do random SEO, throw up affiliate links, and hope to get commissions.
They don’t give any time to build trust, find better products to promote, learn what it takes to sell online.
That’s why so many beginners fail to make even $100 a month from affiliate marketing. Just like any other serious business, affiliate marketing takes time.
Your affiliate marketing success depends on your selling skills. If you already know how to sell online, you’ll find it extremely easy to make a ton of money.
But if you’re just getting started, it might take 6 to 8 months (or 1 year) to start generating decent sales from affiliate marketing.
So give it some time. Be patient and don’t give up within 3 months.
Rule #3: Go BIG or Go Home
Don’t treat affiliate marketing as a hobby or side hustle. If you REALLY want to make a living from affiliate marketing, you should commit fully.
Yes, you can consider affiliate marketing as a side hustle. But don’t expect a ton of sales if you’re not spending enough time.
What if you already have a job? What if you’re still studying?
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Always remember “what you do after 9 to 5 decides your future!”. So decide what you want from affiliate marketing.
Are you planning to make a living by earning several thousands of dollars every month from affiliate marketing?
Would you be rather happy making a couple of sales each month (as a side hustle)?
Depending on your commitment, you can scale your affiliate marketing success.
Rule #4: Be Consistent or You’ll Fail!
Consistency beats talent.
I’ve been blogging for more than 15 years now and I’ve seen thousands of emerging bloggers every single year. Most of them are not even blogging now. Yes, they were all talented. They had some amazing skills when they started out.
But they were NOT consistent. I still don’t consider myself a talented affiliate marketer but I’m consistent. I strongly believe consistency is the primary reason for my affiliate marketing success. Consistency ALWAYS beats talent.
Do you know the #1 reason most bloggers fail to make any money online?
It’s not the content. Not even SEO or marketing skills. It’s a lack of consistency.
If you want to succeed in affiliate marketing, learn to be consistent. You can’t work on your affiliate marketing website once in a while (or blog whenever you feel like). That will certainly not get you any results.
Make sure to keep small goals when getting started (such as 1 sale a week). Reward yourself every time you achieve those small goals. Keep the momentum going. That’s how you’ll be consistent.
Rule #5: Follow The Magic 80/20 Rule
You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule. It is also known as the Pareto Principle, this rule suggests that 80% of your outcomes come from 20% of your inputs.
According to the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule:
- 80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customers
- 80% of road traffic accidents are caused by 20% of drivers
- 80% of wealth is owned by 20% of people
- 80% of traffic to a blog comes to 20% of the articles
- 80% of web hosting usage is by 20% of users
- And the list goes on and on
But how can you exactly use that 80/20 rule in affiliate marketing?
5.1 Identify Your Pillar Products
Yes, you need to find a few products (one or two products) which you can use as “pillar products”. Pillar products are those products that can be used to promote again and again on your site. For me, SEMrush is a good example of a pillar product.
5.2 Promote them smartly.
Here are some smart ways you can try;
- Host a webinar to create awareness: Webinars often generate the highest results. That’s the reason why almost every top affiliate marketer is building their email lists through webinars. So why not give them a try?
- Host a social media contest: Contests or giveaways can work like a charm on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc.
- Offer coupons: You can get in touch with product vendors or affiliate product managers to offer an exclusive coupon to be shared with your audience. Coupons, discount codes, special offers always attract more people to sign up for your affiliate products.
- Create an email autoresponder series: Always remember, an email list is extremely helpful in building trust and creating awareness about your pillar products.
- Create a video tutorial: You can launch a video tutorial series around your pillar products and explain each feature of your pillar products to generate more sales.
- Share case studies: People love case studies as they show them the in-depth features and benefits of a tool or product. If you’re getting great results from your pillar products, you should definitely create content and turn them into real case studies!
Rule #6: Find And Promote Recurring Affiliate Programs
A recurring commission affiliate program is something that pays you every time your referral pays for the subscription (not just once). That means every referred user who registers and subscribes through your affiliate link brings you commission for a lifetime.
6.1 Why should you choose recurring affiliate programs to promote?
The #1 reason is you will earn recurring commission not just once. That means, even if you generate fewer sales from a recurring affiliate program, you still generate consistent income each month.
But when you’re promoting a non-recurring product, you generate commission only for once. So you’ll have to work hard every single time in order to make a commission from that product.
Let’s take two affiliate products for comparison: Bluehost and SEMrush.
- If you generate a successful sale from Bluehost through your affiliate link, you make $65 on each sale (commission is paid just once)
- If you generate a successful sale from SEMrush through your links, you earn 40% recurring commission every month (not just once, your commission is paid until the referred user ends his subscription).
So which one is better to promote among Bluehost and SEMrush?
Obviously promoting SEMrush is a smart choice, right? After all, the SEMrush affiliate program helps you generate commission for a lifetime and not just once.
That’s why you should always prefer promoting recurring affiliate programs over general affiliate programs.
That being said, here’s a list of some of the best recurring affiliate programs for bloggers, SEOs, and affiliate marketers.
Rule #7: Show your own results
Social proof is the MOST powerful factor in affiliate marketing. Show your own results if you want to increase your affiliate product sales.
For example, I use an SEO tool called SEMrush which helps me run site audits, find better keywords, analyze my competitors, and so on. I then use these results as proof when I’m promoting the SEMrush SEO tool to my audience.
In fact, I created multiple case studies on SEMrush and talked about how this tool actually helped me increase my overall search traffic.
By showing that I’ve actually used and succeeded with a product like SEMrush, I can easily build trust with my audience.
If someone knows the TRUE potential of a product, they would be keen to get their hands on it.
That’s why showing your own results always works. It not only helps you build instant trust but it also increases your overall sales.
Create case studies and video tutorials showing your own results to promote a product. Make sure to use the product first, get some results, and then show those results.
Rule #8: Become the best source of information
You should either have a blog or YouTube channel to promote your affiliate products. One good thing about using a blog or YouTube channel for affiliate marketing is that you can create useful content around the products you promote.
You can create ULTIMATE posts such as detailed tutorials, reviews, how-to posts around the affiliate products you promote. I created a ton of articles and detailed tutorials around one of my pillar products i.e SEMrush on my blog. From comparison posts to how-to guides to discount codes to reviews – I became the ULTIMATE source of information for SEMrush.
That’s the reason why I succeeded with their affiliate program. The point I want to convey here is you should become the ULTIMATE source of information for your pillar products if you want to generate more commission.
You should be ranking on top of Google search results (or YouTube search results) for those products. Until then, you start creating epic content, use proper keywords, build more backlinks etc to boost your search visibility.
Rule #9: Build relationships with the affiliate managers
Cultivate relationships with affiliate managers or product owners. This is a less-known strategy used by almost all the super successful affiliate marketers.
Why should you spend your time on building relationships with the affiliate managers of the products you promote?
Here’s where affiliate managers come into play. I have a great relationship with affiliate managers. I get in touch with their affiliate managers personally and we talk about some insider strategies to grow product sales.
They also often give me insights on what I can do to promote their tool to my audience. When you have such good rapport and frequent communication with affiliate managers of any product, it becomes so much easier for you to find new deals (special discounts, insider tips) etc.
Above all, one other BIGGEST advantage of developing a relationship with the product owners or affiliate managers of a product is that you might be able to negotiate higher commission rates.
That’s why you should always focus on building relationships with the affiliate managers of any product you promote so you will have higher chances to improve sales.
Rule #10: Offer EXCLUSIVE deals
If you’re reading my blog you may already know that I offer 14-day free trials on the SEMrush Pro account. See, you can’t find 14 day free trials on SEMrush Pro account often on the internet (it’s exclusive for only a few people as they often offer 7 day free trials to most of their affiliates).
When I offer an exclusive deal like a 14-day free trial for SEMrush, obviously more people will be interested in trying 14 day free trials (over 7 day free trials).
Whoever likes using SEMrush within that 14 days will become a customer and that’s what helps me generate recurring commission every single month!
So offer exclusive deals for people who are purchasing through our affiliate links.
Rule #11: The money is in the list
An email list is the most powerful asset you can have as an affiliate marketer. Did you know that average expected ROI is $42 for every $1 you spend on email marketing?
If you’re not building an email list, you should do it from today.
Your email list should become an integral part of your affiliate marketing strategy.
If you’re still wondering about why you should build an email list, here are some interesting email stats you should know.
- There are over 3.9 billion active email users (that means, almost everyone who has access to the Internet has an email account)
- Email subscribers are 3x more likely to share content on social media than leads who came through another channel
- 73% of millennials identify email as their preferred means of business communication
- When a customer opens an email on a mobile device opens that same email again on another device, they are 65% more likely to click-through to your site or product offering.
We use our email list to provide huge value upfront instead of direct selling any product. That should be your goal too – to provide immense value to your audience before pitching any product.
Rule #12: Stay compliant with agreements and FTC
Every affiliate program has its own terms, rules, and regulations. Make sure that you follow them or else you will get into trouble. Make sure that you read and understand what you can and cannot do.
Also, when it comes to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), make sure that you include a disclaimer in your content that clearly delineates that you are an affiliate for the product that you are promoting.
Conclusion on Affiliate Marketing Rules
So there you have them: Top 12 affiliate marketing rules that you should understand and follow if you want to make decent money through affiliate marketing.
Have questions about affiliate marketing rules? Let us know in the comments form below.