8 New Year’s Resolutions for Affiliate Marketers
The beginning of a new year is always a good time to think about ways to improve. As affiliate marketing continues to grow in popularity each year, affiliate marketers have to do more to stay competitive and keep your content relevant and profitable.
As we move into 2018, here are a few good New Year’s resolutions to consider to make your affiliate marketing even more successful in the year to come.
1. Revisit and update your business strategy.
Every type of business needs a business strategy. Even if affiliate marketing is something you currently do on the side in addition to another job, you can benefit from sitting down to really work out a plan for how to approach it so you get the most out of the time you put in.
As part of this process, review your earnings data for the last year. Figure out which types of products and brands you work with that bring the most money in. See if there are certain topics or types of content that perform the best in terms of driving sales, as well as which perform well in terms of driving traffic – both goals are valuable, and the content that’s best for each may vary.
Use your analysis to guide your plan for the coming year. Consider if you should shift more toward covering a certain topic area or work more with brands offering different types of products. Include in your plan specifics on things like how often to produce new content and how to promote it. Having a general schedule to stick to and idea of how to approach your marketing efforts can help you more consistently stay on top of things in the next year.
2. Research and consider new affiliate partnerships.
This is also a good time of year to consider branching into new partnerships. Take some time to research brands in your space and identify which ones offer affiliate programs. Figure out which sell products you’re confident are a good fit for your audience (and that you’d feel good about recommending), and measure the terms of the various affiliate programs against each other.
Once you’ve weighed the value of the products and the affiliate relationships against each other, make a move toward working with the brands that you’ve decided are your top picks. They offer the promise of new revenue in the coming year, as well as new products for your audience to learn about and try.
3. Evaluate and consider if you want to keep all current affiliate partnerships.
It’s always awkward ending a professional relationship, but sometimes it’s the right thing to do. In your analysis of which products and brands are helping you make the most money, were there some clear losers? If there’s a brand that just isn’t a good fit for your audience, or that you’ve come to feel less enthused about yourself, then cut the ties.
Affiliate marketing works better if you’re genuinely excited about every brand you work with and know your audience is likely to feel the same. If dropping a partnership makes your brand stronger, use the beginning of the new year to make that hard choice.
4. Do a website review.
As an affiliate marketer, your website is the main place you interact with your audience. You want to make sure everything about it (not just your content) is designed to make it a good experience for your users. This is a good time of year to commit to going through the whole website to look for potential issues that could be causing a bad experience for your users or making you look bad. This includes:
- Anything that makes you look spammy, such as typos, grammatical errors, keyword stuffing, or hidden links.
- A slow load time – this is annoying for users and bad for SEO.
- Broken links
- Unintuitive navigation – can users easily find what they’re looking for? Do your pages have CTAs to lead visitors to other useful pages or content?
- A bad mobile experience
It takes time, but go through your website page by page to do proofreading, check links, and look for any issues on the page that could be causing problems. While you’re there, look for opportunities to make the page better – maybe you can add a CTA to sign up for your email list or add in some links to relevant content. Some tweaks to your old content can make it start doing more for you.
5. Consider new strategies for growing your email list.
Your email list is one of the most powerful tools you have to grow and maintain your community. Anyone that takes the step of signing up is saying that they trust you enough to want to continually hear what you have to say moving forward (for as long as you continue to earn that trust).
The larger your email list is, the more people will consistently see your content and click through on the links included in it. That’s why if building your email list wasn’t already a top priority for you, then 2018 should be the the year you really focus on it. Promote it heavily on your website with hard-to-miss signup forms and CTAs. Promote it on social media to your followers. Consider producing gated content or putting on webinars to increase signups.
And whatever you do, make sure once you’ve gained those subscribers you reward them with quality content that makes them want to stick around.
6. Get to know your audience.
Affiliate marketing only works if your audience feels like they can know and trust you. That works better if you make the effort to know them too. Commit in 2018 to interacting more with your audience so you can get to know them better. Do a survey (or a few) to better understand what they want from your content and community. Engage with them on social media – ask questions, do polls, and provide responses when they communicate with you.
The better you understand the people coming to your website and consuming your content, the better you can provide them with what they want and keep your relationships with them strong.
7. Figure out something you need to learn more about and create a reading list.
Everybody always has more to learn. No matter what you write about now or what kind of research you’ve done already to strengthen your affiliate marketing business, you will benefit from doing more research. What are some things you’ve been meaning to learn more about? SEO? Being a better writer? Finding work-life balance?
Research some of the best articles and books to read on the subject you’ve chosen. Make yourself a reading list and set deadlines to make you more likely to stick with it. You can bring what you learn to your business to make it consistently better over the next year and into the years to come.
8. Branch into new content types.
It can be easy to fall into doing the same kind of thing over and over, but you can bring some freshness to your content by branching into something new. If you mostly do how-to tutorials, consider trying out some review posts. If you’ve mostly stuck to video so far, try out podcasting or writing.
Get creative with your content ideas. If your audience doesn’t respond well to the change, well at least you tried and got some new data points on what works and doesn’t. If they do though, then you may gain more engagement or new followers because of your experimentation. And you’ll learn how to do something new in the process.
You know how much work goes into affiliate marketing. But creating content is just one small part of the job. Use the beginning of the New Year to do some of the other tasks that can help your affiliate marketing business be more successful. The time you put into your content will go that much further if everything around it is working better.
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Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.