I recently purchased 2 affiliate sites because of my love for digital marketing and I’ve really wanted to get into drop shipping business for some time now.  I am now the proud website owner of Wee Foot Childrens footwear and Shop Babies.  I am working on these sites with an awesome friend of mine who has been a big help and we are both learning a lot of things about affiliate marketing in the process. Here are the top 10 things I have learnt since I’ve been working on both sites.

1. Never Join an affiliate program that does not pay for returning customers:

I learned this the hard way after generating a particular selfish retailer over £300.00 in sales and not getting  a single commission off of it.  That really gets on my nerves. Believe me I am leaving their program and am in the process of removing all traces of their products from my affiliate site.

2. Always have a paid advertising campaign to drive some clicks and then sales: 

When I first started with both sites I thought I needed to grow the content and increase visits that way. Whilst that is very possible it would have taken me longer to do and so I am still doing that whilst focusing on paid advertising tactics to generate those clicks which could potentially lead to more sales.

3. Set up Google Analytics: 

Google analytics is a Godsend honestly,  it helps me understand what pages people are visiting the most on both affiliate sites. It also helps a great deal to know what marketing channels work best and the ones that don’t.   My favorite thing to do on there is open the real time report tab and track visitors as they on the site

4. Remove spam referrers on Google Analytics: 

When I first set up Google analytics I would check every day to see who had been visiting the site and where they had been referred from.  I noticed a lot of referrals from random spam sites ending with .xyz.  This data was so misleading as it gave me the impression that many people were being referred to the website and spending time reading specific pages. This article explained how I could exclude the spam sites from showing in Google analytics.

5. Facebook adverts do work despite what others think, you just have to target the right people:

Aside from blogging and adding some really useful content on both sites I really needed to find another way of getting some traffic over to both sites.  Since I’ve always known Facebook is a great place to get the word out, I hadn’t really made use of their adverts so I decided to give  it a shot.  After watching many useful YouTube videos from small businesses and sites that have used it  successfully,  it gave me the courage to post the first advert up. It took a lot of trial and error but I managed to get people clicking through to the products I wanted to promote.  I initially promoted products  that were already getting some clicks on the site. Later on,  I added in some more products based on search volume and popularity for the London region.  After a few days I started noticing some sales which was perfect. From no sale at all to some sales in a few days. I kept fine tuning the ad to target where most of the clicks where coming from.

Take a look at the advert below:

Facebook advert

6. Have a weekly segment running:  

It’s always important to have something that remains consistent on an affiliate site whether its weekly top picks, or a segment that will keep people engaged.  I added a ‘top weekly picks’  and directed the marketing towards this page. I noticed it generated a lot more visits  even after the promotions stopped.  I will add in a weekly content section too to get some engagement on the sites. So watch out for some competitions and giveaways.  These are the kind of things that really reels in the target audience.

 7Upload an automatic product feed – with allimport download by URL option: 

I have just figured out how to do this and I must say it the most I can do now is upload the updated price of existing products that are on the csv file. Right now I am using ‘allimport’  which I heard is not for beginner affiliates. Well no wonder I struggled to get it right! Now I have managed to download by URL and it is a lot more reliable than CSV option as it updates the product feed according to the retailers current product stock automatically.

8. Add in more information about products in addition to the ones the retailers provide:

I am dealing with all sorts of problems with this part of things. I am starting to manage it well though as I discovered an article about how to import   As the ones the retailers provide needed to be imported in a what that makes it user friendly, ?      

9. Check products that are no longer in stock and remove or replace them with reliable information: 

I’ve lost many a sale by not heeding to this rule.  When I saw the clicks that said product was generating I just had to replace this with another retailer link that sold the product and was fully stocked. I realise now that If I download the product feed automatically using all import I wouldn’t have even had to deal with this issue.

10. Keep on top of emails from the retailers you are working with: 

This is super important as retailers are constantly adjusting their affiliate programs according to their current situation.  Just today, I received an email from one of the retailers I have been working with informing me  that their commission rate has now changed to 0%.  Now imagine if I continued promoting their products what a loss that would be for me.  All that hard effort for nothing.

Learning about Affiliate marketing has been quite a journey and I am glad I am learning so much by doing this.  Hopefully it turns out to be a successful venture.