These affiliate income tips will show you how to earn commissions, increase affiliate marketing sales, and boost your affiliate marketing earnings.
Affiliate marketing is a popular and effective way to earn commissions from sales of products or services.
The pandemic-related increase in consumer time and money spent online caused a boom in the affiliate marketing industry, and according to the Performance Marketing Association (PMA) and PwC, US affiliate marketing grew from $6.2 billion in 2018 to $9.1 billion in 2021.
As an affiliate marketer, blogger, or influencer, you need to learn the best ways to promote your affiliate links to make money and earn commissions for each sale made through your link.
In a previous affiliate marketing post, I outlined the process of getting started with affiliate marketing step-by-step and included a list of the best affiliate marketing programs for bloggers.
In this article, you’ll get more advanced tips to make money with affiliate marketing for beginners and increase your affiliate marketing earnings.
- How much is the affiliate marketing average income?
- 10 steps to maximize your affiliate income
- #1. Build a large and engaged audience
- #2. Choose high-paying affiliate programs
- #3. Promote relevant affiliate products
- #4. Join multiple affiliate programs
- #5. Create highly useful, persuasive content
- #6. Use social media to expand your reach
- #7. Build an email list to maximize conversions
- #8. Promote affiliate offers with affiliate marketing ads
- #9. Use a link-cloaking plugin to cloak affiliate links
- #10. Test, measure & optimize your affiliate funnel
- Internet business tips & tools
How much is the affiliate marketing average income?
According to a survey conducted by the performance marketing association, the average annual earnings of affiliate marketers in the US were $44,000 in 2020.
However, it is important to note that this is just an average, and affiliate income can fluctuate greatly, with many affiliate marketers earning much less or much more than this.
Your average affiliate marketing income per month depends on various factors: your niche; your level of experience; and the amount of traffic and sales you can generate through your affiliate websites and promotions.
In affiliate marketing, incomes can vary widely from only a few hundred dollars per month to tens of thousands or even millions of dollars, as in the case of top affiliate marketers. Affiliate marketing profits can also fluctuate based on market conditions, competition, and other factors.
10 steps to maximize your affiliate income
Maximizing your affiliate marketing income can lead to significant revenue growth for your affiliate marketing business, help you diversify income streams, and mitigate the risk of relying on a single source of revenue.
Here are some ways to increase your affiliate marketing sales and earn commissions selling products online to eventually make a full-time income through affiliate marketing.
#1. Build a large and engaged audience
You can start affiliate marketing with no money, but affiliate marketing with no audience is an uphill task. It will be hard, if not impossible, to promote products via affiliate marketing and earn money if no one sees your content.
There are essentially two ways to start building a large and engaged audience that is willing and eager to buy what you’re selling.
- Become a social influencer & build a personal brand platform
The first affiliate marketing strategy is to build a large and engaged audience as a social influencer and to do that, you must learn how to create highly useful, engaging, and original content to attract the right audience.
Leverage social media platforms to promote your content and connect with your audience, and host webinars and events to provide valuable information and sell affiliate products.
You’ll also need to build relationships and collaborate with other social media influencers and other businesses that have a similar target audience to expand your reach and influence.
- Become a blogger & build niche blogs using SEO
The second affiliate marketing strategy is to become an affiliate blogger and build one or more niche affiliate blogs to build traffic from search engines. To do this, you must decide which affiliate niche(s) you’re targeting.
Choosing the best niche for affiliate marketing is probably the most important factor that will determine your affiliate marketing blog income. There are many considerations that go into this, but the most important is that it should align with your interests and expertise.
As an affiliate blogger, your affiliate marketing earning potential will depend on a number of factors, including your chosen blog niche, how much traffic your affiliate marketing websites receive, and the number of sales they’re able to generate.
You’ll need to become something of a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist and learn the skills you need to make your content more visible on search engines.
As you grow your affiliate income and make more money from blogging, you can outsource these SEO tasks and focus on earning multiple sources of income by selling courses or consulting.
#2. Choose high-paying affiliate programs
The Amazon affiliate program (known as the Amazon associate program) is a good way to start affiliate marketing for beginners because it is reputable and converts well.
However, the Amazon affiliate marketing commission is very low, and the average Amazon affiliate earnings vary greatly. Some Amazon affiliate websites make very little, while others rake in several thousand dollars per month.
This is not to say that you should not sign up for Amazon’s affiliate program, but that it should not be your first choice if you want to maximize your affiliate income.
After all, if you’re spending all that time creating content and sending traffic to a page, you should maximize your earnings by joining high-ticket affiliate programs and selling high-commission affiliate products.
Joining the biggest affiliate networks, like Impact, Shareasale, Rakuten, and Clickbank, is the easiest way to find the best affiliate marketing programs for bloggers.
Based on your niche, you can find many reputable high-commission affiliate programs that offer a variety of products and services in this list of the highest-paying affiliate programs.
For example, the personal growth niche can be the most profitable niche for affiliate marketing because many motivational affiliate programs offer high commissions and earning potential.
Another factor affecting your affiliate earnings is the cookie duration or the amount of time the affiliate link will be tracked. Look for programs that offer a longer cookie duration, as it will increase your chances of earning a commission.
To improve your affiliate marketing income potential, only promote affiliate brands that have a good reputation and offer the best affiliate programs. This will increase the chance of people buying the products through your affiliate link, boost your affiliate conversions and sales, and reduce refunds and chargebacks.
Another tip offered by the highest-earning affiliate marketers is to join recurring income affiliate programs that pay a residual commission on a monthly or yearly basis, as they can provide a steady, passive affiliate marketing income.
Some affiliate marketing programs offer exclusive deals and bonuses for their affiliates, so look for such offers and opportunities to increase your affiliate marketing earnings.
Also, check out the support and resources provided by the program, and look for programs that provide marketing materials, attractive creatives, analytics, and other resources to help you track sales and promote your products better.
#3. Promote relevant affiliate products
To succeed in affiliate marketing, you must understand your audience deeply and find products to sell that address the needs, wants, and pain points of your audience.
For example, trying to sell career courses to someone who wants to start a business is not going to work. You need to understand what your audience is looking for, research solutions to their problems, and find affiliate programs that sell those solutions.
Use keyword research tools to learn what products and services your audience is looking for online. Join online forums for your niche and check out what sort of products and services are being discussed there.
Use social media to find out what influencers and businesses in your niche are promoting. Try the products out for yourself, then write reviews, how-to articles, or product comparisons that can help your readers make a choice.
Read customer reviews and comments to find out which affiliate products you want to promote are the most well-liked and well-reviewed.
Check out what the competition is promoting and consider whether the products and services they feature are right for your audience. If possible, offer your audience special bonuses for using your affiliate link to make a purchase.
Remember that you’re legally required to disclose your affiliation with affiliate brands and the fact that you’ll receive a commission if your audience makes a purchase after clicking on your link.
So, always ensure that you have the appropriate legal disclaimers on your website, blog posts, and social media posts.
#4. Join multiple affiliate programs
Once you have chosen a niche and have joined the best affiliate networks, sign up with multiple affiliate programs to help you diversify your income streams.
Here are some of the benefits of using multiple affiliate programs to increase your affiliate income:
- Increased earning potential: You can increase your affiliate income potential by promoting a variety of products from several affiliate networks.
- Reduced risk: Your affiliate earnings may be dramatically impacted if you just use one affiliate network and goes through a slump. By using multiple affiliate programs, you can spread out the risk and lessen the impact of any one affiliate program’s performance.
- Diversifying revenue sources: By having multiple sources of affiliate income, you’re less dependent on any one of them, which can keep you afloat in the event that one of them disappears.
- More product choices: You can find the best fit for your audience by joining numerous affiliate programs, giving you access to a greater variety of goods and services to market.
- Keep your content fresh: You can produce a wider range of content to share with your audience and keep your content relevant and fresh by marketing multiple affiliate products.
- Adapt to changing market trends: Promoting multiple affiliate programs can help you quickly react and pivot based on shifting market trends and allow you to advertise highly sought-after products, to boost your affiliate income potential.
- Find the best-converting affiliate programs: By marketing several affiliate programs, you’ll be able to test and determine which ones work best for you and your audience.
#5. Create highly useful, persuasive content
Whether you’re an affiliate blogger or social influencer, you need to create an affiliate content strategy that aligns with the products you plan to promote. This can include blog posts, videos, social media posts, and more.
Start by researching the affiliate products you plan to promote. Understand the features, benefits, and target audience of each product.
Use affiliate SEO keyword research tools like RankIQ that provide a hand-picked library of the lowest-competition, high-traffic keywords that also have high traffic potential for every blog niche.
It will assist you in identifying the keywords that classify buyer intent and are searched for by your target audience so that you can write blog posts that rank on Google.
Create high-quality, engaging, and original content that provides value to your audience. This can include product reviews, tutorials, how-to guides, and other types of informative content.
Create SEO-optimized content by including keywords in the title, meta description, and copy. Add a call-to-action (CTA) to encourage readers to click through to the affiliate products you’re promoting.
In the Stories That Sell Course, you’ll learn how to write content that makes your audience nod their heads and open their wallets while staying true to your own voice.
In this copywriting course, you’ll learn all about perfecting your headlines, simplifying your writing, making an impact, and earning permission to pitch your offer or product with compelling written content.
If you want to create content that lights a fire in your customer and increases your sales and affiliate marketing commission, this course will show you exactly how it’s done.
Identify the social media platforms that your target audience is most active on and create profiles for your affiliate marketing business on those platforms.
Here are some ways to boost your social media reach and influence:
- Create a social content calendar that includes a mix of engaging and informative content that aligns with the affiliate products you are promoting.
- Use eye-catching and engaging visuals, such as images and videos, to grab the attention of your audience.
- Use relevant hashtags to increase the visibility of your posts and reach a larger audience.
- Use calls-to-action (CTAs) in your social media posts to encourage your followers to click through to your affiliate links.
- Use social media analytics tools to track the performance of your posts and identify which types of content are resonating most with your audience.
- Engage with your social media followers by responding to comments and messages, and use this engagement to build relationships and create brand loyalty.
- Collaborate with influencers or other businesses that have a similar target audience to expand your reach and promote your affiliate links.
Do not spam your followers with too many affiliate links, and make sure that you’re providing valuable information and content along with your affiliate promotions.
#7. Build an email list to maximize conversions
According to this article comparing social media vs email, while social media has an engagement rate of a little bit above 5%, email has an open rate of roughly 23% and reaches about 85% of its recipients.
The article also states that 20% of consumers follow brands on social media to get bargains, compared to 60% of consumers who subscribe to a brand’s email list to receive promotional messages.
In addition, 60% of consumers have made a purchase as the result of an email marketing message, while only 12.5% of them consider a buy button as a purchase driver on social media.
So, while social media is great for driving traffic to your affiliate websites, email marketing is awesome for generating leads, driving sales, and increasing customer retention.
As an affiliate marketer, it’s essential to build an affiliate marketing email list by capturing the emails of your website visitors, social media followers, and customers, then nurture that list to promote your affiliate products.
The best way to capture emails is to offer an attractive lead magnet that’s very specific to the needs of your target audience. You can find tools that offer a free autoresponder for affiliate marketing list-building campaigns.
Bestselling author, Nick Stephenson calls this a “Reader Magnet” in his free eBook, where he teaches the exact system he used to add tens of thousands of engaged readers to his mailing list.
Here are some email marketing best practices to capture affiliate marketing leads, nurture your email subscribers, and promote your affiliate products and services to them:
- Create a high-quality lead magnet or reader magnet to capture emails and add them to an email nurture sequence.
- Segment your email list into different groups based on the interests and behaviors of your subscribers.
- Personalize your emails by addressing your subscribers by name and using segmentation to send targeted content.
- Create an email content calendar that includes a mix of informative and promotional emails, with a focus on the affiliate products you are promoting.
- Use a catchy subject line and a clear and persuasive call-to-action (CTA) to encourage your subscribers to open and click on your emails.
- Use high-quality images and videos to enhance the visual appeal of your emails and increase engagement.
- Use A/B testing to optimize the subject lines, content, and layout of your emails to improve their performance.
- Use email automation to trigger targeted and timed emails based on the actions of your subscribers.
- Use email analytics to track the performance of your emails and identify what is working and what is not.
- Be compliant with laws and regulations regarding emails, such as the CAN-SPAM act and GDPR, and always provide an unsubscribe link.
Convertkit is one of the best list management tools. It provides all the bells and whistles you need to capture emails and nurture your affiliate leads to build a high-converting email list.
ConvertKit’s Free Grow Your Audience Challenge will help you create a free landing page for affiliate marketing list building, along with on-demand workshops to teach you list-building tips.
#8. Promote affiliate offers with affiliate marketing ads
Should you use affiliate marketing ads to sell affiliate products? Advertising is a very effective way to sell affiliate products, but it is not always necessary or the best option.
In fact, many affiliate brands don’t allow affiliate marketing ads, and you could get banned or suspended from their affiliate programs for using PPC for affiliate marketing.
However, if you’re working with a high-ticket affiliate marketing brand that allows PPC affiliate marketing campaigns, you can learn how to use Google and Facebook Ads to drive traffic to your content and grow your audience.
Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to use PPC advertising to sell affiliate products:
- The cost of advertising: Advertising can be expensive, and it may not be cost-effective for all affiliate products.
- The competition: If there are already a lot of affiliate marketers advertising the same products, it may be harder to stand out and generate sales.
- The product: Advertising may be more appropriate for products with high search volume or strong demand that have a higher chance of making sales through affiliate marketing ads.
- Your audience: If you have a large and engaged audience, you may find it more profitable to generate sales through organic affiliate promotion rather than advertising.
- Your goals: If your goals are to get quick results and a fast return on investment, affiliate marketing ads might be a good fit.
To create affiliate ad campaigns that are more likely to resonate with your audience, you need to choose the right advertising platform and use clear and compelling ad copy, and engaging visuals.
Affiliate marketing ad campaigns require some experimentation and testing to succeed. Use targeting options, such as demographic and interest-based targeting, to help you reach the right audience, and A/B testing to try different ad variations and identify which ones perform the best.
Analytics tools can help you track the performance of your ad campaigns and identify areas for improvement. Stay compliant with the policies and regulations of the advertising platform you’re using by becoming familiar with their legal and ethical guidelines.
In this course on Facebook Ads for Affiliate Marketers, you’ll learn how to set up an effective Facebook advertising campaign for just a few dollars a day.
Always be honest and transparent in your affiliate marketing ads. Always disclose that you’re promoting affiliate products and mention that you may receive affiliate commissions or incentives.
#9. Use a link-cloaking plugin to cloak affiliate links
The best way to promote affiliate links is to use an affiliate link cloaking plugin like ThirstyAffiliates to set up redirects. Because the link looks like it belongs on your website, it can make your affiliate links appear more professional and also help prevent commission theft.
ThirstyAffiliates is the best affiliate link promotion plugin for WordPress because it allows you to hide long, ugly affiliate links, protect your commissions from theft, and even integrate with Google Analytics to track link clicks.
When someone clicks on your affiliate link, they’ll be redirected to the merchant’s website through a shorter URL. The ThirstyAffiliates WordPress plugin also helps you auto-link keywords and insert affiliate links into blog posts easily.
Amazon affiliates will appreciate the feature that allows you to provide alternate destinations for international clicks via country targeting. Its Smart Uncloaking feature lets you optionally uncloak links for total compliance with Amazon’s terms of service.
One mistake that causes affiliate marketers to lose commissions is not auditing their website regularly to ensure that all their affiliate links are still live and don’t redirect to a 404 page.
This often happens when affiliate brands change the affiliate network they use for their affiliate program. If you’ve used naked affiliate links to promote a product throughout your website, you’ll have to manually change all of these links.
This is a problem you can easily solve by using ThirstyAffiliates to create a short link because you just have to change a single link in the backend to ensure that all the outdated affiliate links now redirect to the correct URL.
#10. Test, measure & optimize your affiliate funnel
If you want to boost your affiliate income, you need to use analytics tools to track the performance of your efforts and measure and analyze your results to see what is working and what isn’t.
Use this information to identify areas for improvement, make adjustments, and improve your affiliate strategy over time. Continuously testing and tracking can help boost affiliate conversions in several ways:
- Finding what works: Determine which tactics are most effective at boosting conversions by testing various promotions, landing pages, ad text, images, affiliate items, channels, and audience groups. Then tailor your affiliate campaigns to leverage these tactics.
- Identify problematic areas: Avoid wasting time and resources on unproductive techniques by identifying what doesn’t work with the use of testing and tracking.
- Enhancing a campaign: Optimize your conversions by keeping a close eye on your results and changing your tactics as necessary.
- Personalization: Observe user activity to learn about the interests and preferences of your target market and tailor your advertising efforts to them.
- Measure ROI: Determine the return on investment (ROI) of your affiliate marketing campaigns by monitoring traffic, conversions, and revenue. Then make data-driven judgments about which methods to keep using and which to drop.
- Targeting improvement: Pinpoint the most lucrative audience segments and enhance your targeting to reach more of them by monitoring and analyzing data about your audience.
- Finding leaks: Locate leaks in your affiliate marketing funnel and make necessary marketing optimizations by tracking data.
Data shows that marketers with knowledge of psychology get more A/B test winners, a higher conversion rate, and better insights about their website visitors.
In this course, you’ll learn how to apply Online Psychology and Persuasion for Conversion Optimization in a structured way to get better results in your conversion rate optimization campaigns.
Learn the science and art of successful conversion rate optimization in this course on How to Convert Visitors into Buyers. It includes over 50 real-world examples and will teach you how to turn your affiliate website into a click-driving, sales-generating conversion machine.
Finally, remember to stay current on industry trends and new technologies, such as AI content generator tools that can assist you in optimizing and scaling your affiliate marketing business.
Here’s hoping these super-affiliate secrets will help you increase your affiliate income and become a super-affiliate marketer.
Internet business tips & tools
- How to start an affiliate marketing business
- 10 steps to affiliate marketing success
- 10 common affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid
- How to build affiliate websites with super-affiliate Russell Lobo
- How do famous bloggers make money blogging?
- Earn money from blogs: 10 blog ideas that make money
- How to create a content audit report to update old blog posts
- Best skills to earn money from internet business ventures
- Best recession-proof businesses to start in an economic downturn
- How to increase website traffic without creating new content
© 2023, Priya Florence Shah. All rights reserved.
Priya Florence Shah is a bestselling author, an award-winning online publisher, and an online branding consultant. Download her free personal branding eBooks and check out Devi2Diva, her book on emotional self-care for women. In her spare time, Priya writes science-fiction novels and poetry and chills with her two-legged and four-legged kids.