Making money is the aim of the game, but how exactly do affiliate websites promote their affiliate links and earn commissions?
Affiliate marketing is the easiest way for you to start making money online. You get rewarded for the sales you generate from your marketing efforts. But affiliate marketing is a broad term that covers lots of different marketing techniques.
There are several different ways you can promote your affiliate products. Some require investment on your part, while others are entirely free.
According to a 2017 survey, 48% of affiliate marketers state that organic search promotion is the best source of website traffic:
If you want to know which affiliate marketing techniques provide the best opportunity for you, keep reading because we're about to break down the most effective methods of affiliate promotion.
Let’s take a look at the top promotional techniques and some real-world examples so you can see them in action.
If you have knowledge of paid search or you are willing to learn, pay-per-click can be a great way to scale your affiliate business and promote your affiliate products.
In plain terms, PPC advertising is a way to leverage search engines and social media to drive targeted web traffic to your affiliate content. With the PPC advertising model, you don’t pay for the placement of your ads in search results or social media feeds; you only pay when a user clicks on your ad.
To succeed with PPC advertising, you need to purchase and optimize the right ads for the keywords that are relevant to your affiliate offer. When a user types your targeted keywords into the search bar, your ad is displayed in the ad placements of the search results page.
Here's an example of PPC for affiliate marketing in action:
The affiliate website Top5 Website Builders utilizes PPC advertising to promote their affiliate content. When a searcher types “best website builders” into Google, an ad targeting these relevant keywords is displayed in the paid search ad placements.
This paid ad directs the user to the following landing page featuring affiliate links for website builders:
Exceptional research is essential for PPC advertising. An experienced affiliate marketer can still lose money on a campaign if they don’t base their paid ads on solid keyword research. Once your ads are up and running, you’ll need to continually test and optimize your ad copy, landing pages, and bidding strategy to make sure your paid traffic converts.
Coupons have been a key player in affiliate promotion for decades, but that doesn’t mean that you can't make a profitable affiliate business using them. You can help your audience get discounts on specific products and services and earn a decent commission.
Retail Me Not is an excellent example of a high-quality coupon website:
A successful coupon strategy relies on consistently delivering the best discounts to your audience. Even if you don’t earn a massive commission, you can build a loyal audience by always providing the best deals.
You need to think long-term and build an audience that keeps checking in and using your website when they purchase products.
Apart from the coupons, Retail Me Not does a great job of providing value to its website visitors through their blog content.
People love deals and discounts, so Coupon websites aren’t going to lose their popularity any time soon. They also don’t publish tons of content, so if you don’t enjoy writing long-form blog posts, this could be a great affiliate strategy for you.
The only downside of coupon websites worth mentioning is that you will generally rely on SEO to increase your website traffic, and it can get very competitive depending on your niche.
A product review-focused strategy is a great way to take your first steps into affiliate marketing. Think about all the different products you use on a daily basis in your personal and professional life. By sharing your opinions and recommendations with reviews and comparisons, you can help people make more informed purchasing decisions and earn yourself an affiliate income.
The Night Light is an excellent example of an affiliate review website:
Just like the detailed research you should conduct before you decide to join an affiliate program, you need to do thorough research on the companies you want to promote and the products that they offer.
The goal is to build a loyal audience by providing honest reviews about the products you promote. Keyword research is vital to gain traction in search results and drive traffic to your content and your affiliate links. The Night Light is focused on products that new parents would find interesting and appealing. They do a great job of providing detailed reviews about everything somebody would want to know about the products they promote. They also conduct comprehensive testing of products to offer the best recommendations to their audience:
You want people to click on your affiliate links and make a purchase, but it’s vital that you remain objective and transparent with your reviews. Focus on building a loyal audience with trustworthy content to create a sustainable and profitable affiliate review website.
Live streaming is becoming an increasingly effective way to build an audience online. You can host a webinar on YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, or any other live streaming platform and promote your affiliate links to your audience.
Webinars are a great way to interact and engage your viewers while educating them about the products that you promote. The YouTuber Jen Luvs Reviews does a great job of educating her audience about makeup products:
Her webinars help people to make more informed purchasing decisions on their makeup purchases. You need to focus on providing high-quality, informative, and entertaining content to build an audience of repeat viewers.
You can interactively promote your affiliate products by talking about them in your video and encouraging your audience to post live questions and comments. You can include your affiliate links in the description below your video.
You don’t have to limit yourself to live streaming alone. You can use your webinars as an additional promotional tool in your promotion arsenal.
If you’re going to try your hand at live streaming, you should take the time to practice being a host in front of the camera and prepare an outline of what you want to cover in the webinar. Even the top YouTubers and live streamers of today started somewhere, so don’t worry if you don’t have thousands of viewers for your first video. Focus on building an audience and check your analytics to see what's working.
Once your live stream is finished, you can upload it to your site so that people who missed it can catch up, and your income from your affiliate links can snowball over time.
Video is a powerful tool for promotion. In fact, almost 50% of consumers look for videos related to a product before they visit a store, and by 2022, video content will account for more than 82% of all internet traffic.
For your affiliate marketing strategy, you can use video content to discuss topics and products in your niche and promote your affiliate links at the same time.
The YouTube channel Vacuum Wars does a great job of creating informative and educational video content about all things related to vacuum cleaners.
The easiest way to promote your affiliate links is to include them in your video description. Make sure that your audience knows where to find them by directing their attention with a shoutout during the video. A lot of YouTubers use a phrase like “click on the link in the description”.
Another way to promote your affiliate products is to use YouTube annotations. You can pre-set times in the video for your transparent annotation box to pop up on the screen. Each annotation box can be hyperlinked, offering you an excellent opportunity to promote your affiliate links.
Use both these tactics and focus on providing educational and entertaining content to build an audience and drive sales of your promoted affiliate products.
Amazon affiliate websites earn commissions from the Amazon Associates program. Here’s how it works in four simple steps:
A person visits an Amazon affiliate website.
They check out the content, click on an affiliate link, and are directed to the product page on Amazon.
They purchase the product on Amazon.
Amazon pays the affiliate website owner a commission on the sale.
The Prepared is a great example of an Amazon affiliate website in action:
The Prepared is a survival and disaster preparation website that offers in-depth guides and product reviews for everything you need to prepare for emergency situations.
The key to a profitable Amazon affiliate website is to identify a niche that receives significant attention, isn’t swamped by a mass of competition, and is likely to be just as popular in 5 years as it is now.
The Prepared is focused on publishing evergreen content that is built on solid keyword research. Evergreen content is based on topics that will maintain interest and search volume in Google for a long time.
By basing content around targeted keywords like “best portable power bank,” The Prepared ensures their content will maintain relevance and consistently keep getting traffic from search engines.
Google Trends shows “best portable power bank” is a term that has increasing search volume:
By researching the interest and search volume of topics and keywords, you can make sure that the content you write will still be in demand years ahead.
However, it’s vital to keep your content fresh and updated if you are going to keep it evergreen. New products will always be released, so if you write content about the best available rechargeable power banks, you will need to keep it updated to maintain relevance and ranking in search engines.
With over 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram is an excellent platform to explore when it comes to social media promotion of your affiliate links. According to a survey published in AdWeek, 59% of micro-influencers believe Instagram is the best platform for engaging audiences:
Instagram affiliate promotion is all about building a loyal audience of followers. The more loyal your followers, the more likely they are to click on your affiliate links. You can create high-quality videos and images of yourself using your affiliate product and encourage users to click your link and purchase it from your affiliate partner.
Now, when it comes to affiliate links, there is a drawback with Instagram. You can’t put links directly into your posts and descriptions. You can only place a clickable link in your bio. So you need to direct people to your bio if you are going to drive traffic to your affiliate link. Here’s an example from Instagram user @luckytobeinfirst:
Another way to work around the issue is to include your affiliate link in Instagram Stories. If you can attract a following of more than 10k, you can add links to your Instagram Stories to drive traffic to your affiliate links.
While the Kardashians and other top influencers have millions of followers, there is no set amount you need to hit before you start promoting your affiliate links. You should aim to grow your following and increase the engagement of your posts if you are going to successfully utilize the platform and achieve a sustainable affiliate income.
The most crucial factor is to build an actively engaged audience that reacts to your posts. Even a smaller audience can bring a profitable affiliate income if they engage with your posts and click your affiliate links.
Travel aggregator websites save people time and money by scouring the internet for the price of flights and hotels. For example, if you wanted to find a cheap trip from London to Tokyo, you could check British Airways directly, or you could use a travel aggregator to check the prices for hundreds of different airlines in one place.
Hipmunk is an excellent example of a successful travel aggregator website:
Hipmunk aggregate the flight pricing data of thousands of different flight vendors to enable their website visitors and app users to compare ticket options.
A lot of their web traffic comes organically from Google, with their destination guides and blog content providing educational and informative advice about all things travel.
Hipmunk makes money by earning a commission on flight tickets and hotel reservations.
The key to travel aggregators is to solve the problem of your audience better than your competitors. By providing cheaper flights, even if they don’t have an affiliate partnership with the most low-cost airline, Hipmunk builds trust with their audience that causes them to come back every time they need to book a flight.
As you can see, there are lots of tactics you can use to promote your affiliate products and make money online with affiliate marketing. Every technique has its pros and cons, but they are all verified ways of earning commissions if utilized correctly.
You can generate immediate traffic to promote your affiliate products. But you need to know how to conduct keyword research, how to measure your results, and how to optimize your campaigns to achieve decent profitability.
You don’t need to write vast amounts of content, but it can take time to build an audience in a competitive niche.
You don’t need to invest any budget to get started, and you can write about what you know. You need to create quality content and drive organic traffic from search results to your promoted products.
Live streaming is great for interactivity and engagement, but you need to be patient and consistently educate and entertain to build a loyal audience.
Similar to webinars, you can build a loyal audience of viewers and drive traffic to your affiliate links. You’ll need to deliver entertaining videos and find a way to stand out if you operate in a competitive niche.
You can leverage the world's largest e-commerce store to earn commissions. Conduct solid keyword research and find a niche that is popular and likely to grow over the coming years for a sustainable affiliate income.
Instagram sees more engagement than other social media platforms and is a great way to start your affiliate marketing career. You need to be patient and build a loyal following before you start earning significant commissions.
Holidays and flights are some of the largest single purchases that most people make in a year. There’s lots of potential to earn significant affiliate income if you can find a unique selling point or gap in the market.
Affiliate marketing is a growing and ever evolving industry. With changes to Google algorithms and changes to the way people research and purchase products, it’s a good idea to maintain a flexible approach. If you keep up with new trends and search engine updates, you can consistently build an audience and grow your affiliate income streams.
The above types of affiliate marketing promotion are by no means an exhaustive list. When starting your affiliate career, keep an open mind and experiment to see which types of promotion work for you and identify new opportunities when they arise.
You don’t have to limit yourself to one method of promotion. If you decide to set up a product review website, you can experiment with webinars and YouTube to further grow your audience and increase your affiliate income. Try different promotional tactics and measure your results to optimize performance and keep growing your affiliate business.