Both Grayson and I have written on affiliate marketing in the past and I thought now would be a good time to revisit the topic. I have a confession to make first; I love affiliate marketing. I don’t know why I do.
Well, let me take that back. I know why I do. I’m analytical by nature and love being able to help people. When I get to do both of those things, I’m doing all I can in order to do more of it. However, I know that not every blogger feels that way. Many view it as selling out or simply don’t know how to make money with affiliate marketing. If you’re the former, I believe it can be done without selling out, as to the latter – today’s post is for you!
Making Money With Affiliate Marketing Demands You Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is something we talk a lot about in our home. A day doesn’t go by without the topic coming up at some level. No, my wife and I don’t have some sort of illness, but we run our own marketing firm and thus it is our job to help our clients meet their goals and key in that is knowing their audience.
Why is this so vital with regards to making money through affiliate marketing? It’s simple really. If you’re trying to write for readers who are only interested in ways to invest in the stock market then they’re likely not going to care much about ads or companies that have to do with debt consolidation and vice versa. Effectively, your attempts are going to fall on deaf ears.
Until you realize who your audience is then it’s only going to lead to frustration as you’ll see decreased conversions and thus less income from your blog. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many bloggers out there who make a killing with affiliate advertising and I can tell you that most, if not all of them, know one piece of information…who their audience is.
Finding Out Who Your Audience Is
This is a great question and one I covered somewhat in my tricks to making money with affiliate marketing post. If you didn’t read that post, shame on you ;-), but I’ll give you the nitty gritty of it below using one of the best tools you have available as a blogger – Google Analytics. Here they are:
- Select “Visits” in Analytics and then set the time frame you’re interested in
- Scroll down the left side bar area and select “Acquisition”
- From Acquisition you’ll want to select “All Traffic” and click on the first option – “Channels”
- This will bring up a list of all your traffic sources and you want to select “Organic Search” from there
- The final, and most important step, is to select “Landing Page” as this will tell you what pages your search traffic is landing on
Going through these steps, which takes maybe three seconds, yields the information you want by who is landing on your site, where they’re landing and how long they’re staying. I won’t wade into the weeds of what all that means, save for this information is telling you who your search audience is. That, by and large, is the audience you’re going to derive a major chunk of your affiliate marketing income from. You can also find out very similar information if you use a newsletter service, like AWeber as they provide free analytics which shows you what readers are clicking on so you can see over time what they find most applicable to them.
The Sweet Spot For Affiliate Marketing
The sweet spot, as I like to call it, is knowing who your audience is and having the best content available to help them make decisions. Of course, this all entails things like providing good calls to action, not overwhelming them, and showing them how your affiliate products solve their problems.
Key in all of this as well is knowing why you run a blog in the first place – which is a topic I plan on covering in the near future. If the main purpose for blogging is to have a digital journal or connect with others, which is more than fine, then there needs to be a realization that making money with affiliate marketing is going to be more of a struggle as most bloggers aren’t going to click on affiliate links.
However, if it’s to provide tools and solutions to readers then you’re more likely to see some semblance of affiliate marketing success, though that is by no means a guarantee. I guess the ultimate point is you need to know who your audience is when it comes to affiliate marketing because without that knowledge you’re just shooting in the breeze.
Do you know the audience of your blog? What have you done in order to have success with affiliate marketing? What questions do you have about affiliate marketing?
Photo courtesy of: NHS Confederation