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Key factors to ensure your success in affiliate marketing

This post will handle 13 factors for success in affiliate marketing, such as your choice of affiliate programs and of product to promote, ads to use, the commission amount, honesty with your audience to build trust, your USP, making content captivating, getting clicks on your affiliate links, and others.

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That said, let’s delve in and see the first factor.

#1: What are the crucial elements of a successful affiliate program?

After building your website, or joining social media sites, or signing up to forums, your next step to work in affiliate working is to find affiliate programs to promote their products or services.

Generally, there are three types of affiliate programs.

Which one(s) should you become a member of?

Let’s consider them:

A. High-paying, low-volume affiliate programs

These types of affiliate programs provide marketers high commission payouts for promoting niche products like software and web hosting-related products.

An example is ConvertKit’s affiliate program.

They offer CRM software for small business owners. Consequently the number of buyers is limited.

ConvertKit affiliate commission of $696
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(Image source: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: 7 Steps to Success)

In view of that handsome amount, competition in such programs is fierce. As such, newbies would be better off staying away from them since it will be hard for them to rival seasoned marketers with huge advertising budgets.

B. Low-paying, high-volume affiliate programs

The affiliate programs available here offer low commission payouts but they sell tons of products having mass appeal. They also often pay commissions on the other products your customers buy rather than just the one you recommended for them.

An example is Amazon’s affiliate program. You earn up to 10 percent for some items, such as luxury beauty products, others, such as video game consoles, are as low as 1 percent. And they sell millions of just about any product.

Amazon associates' recommended products. Eran commission
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The high sales volume and the huge amounts of products attract a large number of affiliates. High volumes of traffic are therefore necessary to make these types of affiliate programs work.

C. High-paying, high-volume affiliate programs

These affiliate programs pay high commissions for products with mass appeal.

A very good example is credit cards.

These programs also attract expert affiliate marketers with lots of funds for advertising. However newbies may stand some chance here.

#2: Which type of affiliate programs can maximize your affiliate marketing?

Which affiliate program should you join to be successful in affiliate marketing?

As you can see from the point above, your level of expertise as well as your advertising budget will be a big determining factor.

A. High-paying, low-volume affiliate programs

Join these types of affiliate programs if you are a seasoned marketer who has huge advertising budgets at your disposal.

They are also indicated for affiliate marketers courting a business audience.

B. Low-paying, high-volume affiliate programs

All levels of affiliate marketers can make money here.

Generally, this type suit marketers targeting consumers.

C. High-paying, high-volume affiliate programs

Expert affiliate marketers with lots of funds for advertising as well as newbies can promote here.

Pro Tip: If you want to find these affiliate programs, all you need do is a Google search, as the screenshot below shows.

Google Search Engine Results Pages for search term 'best software affiliate programs'
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#3: Carefully choose the product or service to promote

Now that you have chosen an affiliate program to join it’s time to select the products or services to promote.

Just like with the programs, this step should not be done hurriedly nor taken lightly.

Therefore spend some time to carefully go through the different types of products or services available through the various affiliate marketing programs.

Put some good thought into developing the ability to determine the right product or service for yourself and for your audience.

For yourself, you must have passion about what you’re going to sell. For difficulties will crop up once you begin to promote. How do you summon enthusiasm to continue if you don’t have that strong and emotional attachment to the product?

And for the audience, you must offer them what they need to solve their problems.

How can you know their needs?

They talk about these in forums, Facebook groups, and especially on Quora, the question and answer site.

Your passion and the customer’s needs are the two determining factors in the success or failure of your affiliate marketing venture.

The affiliate programs offer physical and digital products.

I will urge you to strongly consider promoting digital information products.

The number one source for them is ClickBank.

Such products are generally cheap and the purchaser can download them immediately on completing the payment. So they have higher conversion rates.

Second, you make more profits with them since they typically offer much higher commission rates than physical products.

Clickbank for instance, gives up to 75% commission on certain products!

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#4: Promote different programs

Affiliate programs aren’t created all the same.

In effect, they offer different products, services, and payment structures. So depending on your level, some may advance your skillset, others just a little, and the rest not at all.

Some programs too will have better marketing and sales materials than others. The quantities will also differ.

While some programs will give you a 30-day payout on sales, others will offer 90 days and a few more will make it lifetime.

So you now appreciate the importance of constantly diversifying your business.

Don’t stop searching for new products and services that you can test and add to your affiliate marketing portfolio.

Through such continual testing of different products you’ll see which ones your audience loves the most and also which ones convert the best.

This will increase your overall conversions and sales.

And when you are making a consistent amount of sales with a given affiliate program, don’t hesitate to negotiate higher payouts with them.

Many affiliate managers are quite willing to grant productive affiliates higher commissions. They know it’s a motivation for the affiliate to work harder. The harder a successful affiliate works, the more results they produce.

#5: Promote higher priced and recurring commission products

We said at the beginner that such products are for experienced affiliate marketers.

So when you master the intricacies of the trade, consider promoting higher priced products to take in higher commissions.

Also search for products that renew each month to receive recurring monthly commissions.

A monthly recurring affiliate sales makes the income in your affiliate business more predictable, stable, and compounding.

There is not a better way to become a successful affiliate marketer.

#6: Ads and other creative materials to use

Some affiliate programs provide you some ads and other creative materials you can use on your website, on social media, and via email.

Nothing prevents you from considering creating your own except that some merchants don’t allow it. So check with each merchant you’re promoting before taking that step.

Some programs are much more flexible in the types of ad units they supply, as well as colors and design so that the ads fits snugly into your website’s layout.

When you get these different ad creative, test them to see which ones work best for you.

Testing is one of the best affiliate marketing strategies.

So try different ads, change their placements often, and use different graphics and text to see which ones resonate most effectively with your audience.

With testing, it may take some time before you figure out the best formula. But it is worth doing to make good money with affiliate marketing

Check integrate systematic ad testing into your strategy to maximize your profits.

#7: Commission amount

Your commission rate is fixed. So the amount of commission you receive certainly depends on the volume of sales you make.

Yet, high volume of sales might not necessarily bring you maximum commission. That is why most of the successful affiliate marketers go for programs like Wealthy Affiliate that offer initial commission on each signup you generate plus recurring commission on monthly and yearly basis.

#8: Be honest with your audience to build trust

Newbie affiliate marketers especially often exaggerate the merits of the product they are promoting. They even sprinkle the information with deceptive details. Both, with the view to making a quick sale.

There’s no better ingredient for failure in affiliate marketing.

Know that buyers are smart and savvy. Sooner rather than later, they will see through your ruse and leave you.

As the first impression lasts, you may never have the opportunity to make good again.

Online, your reputation, good or bad, could spread like wildfire. And, in life, first impression counts a lot.

A good one will be rewarded but ruin your reputation and you may not get a second chance to make things right.

In this wise, if the product you are promoting has some defaults, don’t hesitate to point them out! When you give also the cons of a product in a review, it shows your audience that you are being completely honest with them.

Also, always be transparent with your customers by disclosing any affiliate relationships you have with your merchants.

This shouldn’t be a problem for your business as most people are perfectly alright with that. Besides, that display of transparency can bond you further with your audience.

In any way, you are now legally required to disclose your affiliate relationships. So any time you share a content containing an affiliate link, you must let your readers know.

In fact, there’s no sense in trying to hide an affiliate link. Readers can smell one long before they even consult it.

So if you splash your content with way too many ads, or if you break your readers’ trust by promoting a product you yourself haven’t used or even don’t believe in, either they will scroll past it or they will leave your site and never come back.

So make sure you are following the latest FTC guidelines.

You did not build your business for readers to run away from you but rather flock to your site.

There’s no better awesome ingredient for failure than getting readers to shun you. For it is your repeat visitors that will build up your traffic. They will also spread the word about your business. You cannot ask for better if you know how powerful word-of-mouth advertising is!

Know that if your visitors suspect you’re not being honest or even feel that you are recommending products and services just to make money, they will cease believing what you have to say.

Besides, if you promote products and services that are low in value, your followers will find out when they begin to use them.

Then they will become dissatisfied with you. That will make them stop putting trust in your recommendations.

This will certainly cost you future sales and profits.

Therefore your bet should always be only to promote products that you know are relevant, helpful, and can truly be useful to your readers and add value to your website.

Do that and you will be making much more money in your affiliate career with repeat sales.

#9: Offer bonuses or other incentives as your USP*

*USP means Unique Selling Proposition.

Being transparent about your affiliate relationships alone may not be enough to let you make money in affiliate marketing.

You may have to get your readers to take action on your call to action by offering a bonus or some other type of incentive.

This incredibly simple but highly effective tactic can exponentially raise the amount of affiliate sales you make in addition to enabling you stand out from the competition.

Do you have a substantial list?

Merchants are often ready to offer you discounts or incentives that you can hand over to your subscribers during a promotion.

See Also: How to Brand Yourself as an Affiliate to Increase Sales

#10: Make your content captivating

Although you should use your content to educate your readers, remember to make it entertaining.

Engaging content results in better sales.

So write engaging articles or reviews on a regular basis about your affiliate products.

Always try to share why you personally approve a product. By enthralling your visitors, your content makes them keep coming back for more.

And in marketing there is this truism that a purchaser needs to see an advert at least seven times before deciding to take action on it.

What better way do you have to do that than talk about them regularly in a content your readers love?

Click to read How to write content that captivates readers

#11: How to get clicks on your affiliate links

Posting an awesome piece of content doesn’t guarantee that people will automatically click on the affiliate links in them.

Yet you need clicks on those links to make money.

Here are a few things you can do to call attention to your links and make your readers take action on them.

A. Link placement

If you are so hungry for sales that you embed your affiliate links in the top fold of your content, that will annoy people.

They came to your site to look for solutions to their problems and not to buy something outright.

On the other hand, if you make the newbie mistake of embedding your affiliate links at the end of your posts, you will rarely get clicks.

This is because people skim through content and hardly scroll to the end. Especially if the article is very long.

Furthermore, make every other word in your introduction a link, and people will disdainfully see your content as spammy.

Example: This is a review of the best email marketing using AWeber autoresponder.

The links look out of context and spammy, don’t you think so?

Now, where do you best place your affiliate links?

Use the factors below to place your links at the appropriate places.

B. Context

Let’s say you were writing a comparison review article on the best Email services providers.

This would make more sense:

This post is going to be a comparison of four of the best Email services providers. They are AWeber, ConstantContact, GetResponse, and MailChimp.

C. Callouts

These are buttons, tables, and boxes. They are eye-catching and make people want to click on the content.

Here is an example from the Wirecutter, with product links:

(Image source: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: 7 Steps to Success)

PC Mag however uses a comparison table with buttons:

(Image source: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: 7 Steps to Success)

Click to read How to get clicks on your affiliate links

#12: How to make sure clicks on your affiliate links convert to sales

When we talk of clicks, all that comes to the minds of many people is the affiliate link a visitor clicks on to take them to the product page. But what they ignore is the click the purchaser makes at the merchant’s site in order to buy the product.

The three tactics treated in the above point show that you can influence your own conversion rate (number of clicks you get on your affiliate link at your website or social media account).

When the prospect goes from your site, they land at the merchant’s platform who are in full control of the checkout.

Of course there isn’t anything at all you can do about the conversion rate there.

Is it all lost then?


You can avoid this problem by looking beforehand for merchants with programs that convert well.

Let’s see a few ways to do it:

A. Consult public income reports

Look for public income reports where affiliate marketers publish the amounts of money they’re making from their affiliate business.

If these people are making so much money from an affiliate program to publish them for public scrutiny, then the chances are good that the products convert very well.

To find such reports, just Google using keywords like, “income report amazon affiliate”.

It will return blog posts made by affiliate marketers showing the money they have made from Amazon Affiliates.

Here is the income reports of an affiliate program I know so well: Wealthy Affiliate.

Clicking the link will take you to their websites to check the articles.

Whilst there, you can take a look at where their other affiliate incomes are coming from to find other great products to add to your portfolio.

B. Ask questions

If you find an affiliate program that looks interesting to you, you may sign up and then ask questions about it.

This could be things like what their average conversion rates are, a ballpark figure of their top earners’ monthly commissions, etc. Just about anything which can positively impact your affiliate income.

Then, in consideration of what you want out of your affiliate marketing career, you would know if the affiliate program is good for you.

C. Use your intuition

If the two tactics about fail, then go with your gut feeling. That is, should the program or product feel “not that good,” then forget about it. But should you get the “I feel good” feeling, then you may have hit gold.

#13: Strive to be helpful

Do you consider your affiliate links and ads as an end in themselves?

If yes, you’re wrong.

Rather see them as assets that supplement your content.

And like spices, just enough is all you need. Put in too much and you spoil the meal.

So add value to your content by making it helpful, useful, and informative but not all laden with affiliate matters.

When I first started in affiliate marketing, I posted the raw affiliate content furnished by the merchant.

These included swipe emails, affiliate banners and links.

When people weren’t clicking on them, I thought I hadn’t added enough to make them eye-catching. So I added more!


Don’t go the same route as I and post lots of affiliate matters on your blog. That’s not what will make people click them, purchase the product, and make you grin all the way to the bank.

When you write about a product, your affiliate ad materials help to haul readers to the merchant’s site to find out more.

Do you want to make them act on your recommendations?

Then share a personal testimonial or a case study with your readers.

Definitely refrain from just tossing affiliate links and ads at your visitors. They’ll avoid them. Remember also that the main reason why you created your website was to provide valuable content that adds value to the visitor experience.

Do just that and the sales will invariably follow to make you write one of the affiliate marketing success stories people love to read.

For, those who give, receive. Because giving, mysteriously, even, mythically, works.

Giving helps others and changes us. It makes us better.

“Simply give others a bit of yourself;
a thoughtful act,
a helpful idea,

a word of appreciation,
a lift over a rough spot,
a sense of understanding,
a timely suggestion…”

Quote by Charles H. Burr


Affiliate marketing is the best way to make money online today! Check out our number one recommendation for starting your very own online affiliate marketing business for free!


You may want to read:

All About the Clickbank referral program

Summarily List of 85+ reasons to start a blog – Part C

Internet Marketing Test

The Must Use Page Builder for Marketers – Really!

Best WordPress Theme for Affiliate Marketers…


Your personal guide to securing your future online

2 thoughts on “Key factors to ensure your success in affiliate marketing”

  1. Hello, this is a very awesome piece and a very detailed one. I’m really happy I came across this as the information I’m getting from here is standard. After watching this YouTube video and going through this very elaborate key factors, I’m Not sure I’ll ever flop in affiliate marketing again. When going into affiliate marketing, you need to have an idea of these things and I’m happy you’ve offered it to us here for free, thank you 

    • Hello Lizzybean,

      I am happy you find my piece awesome and very detailed. Yes, the YouTube video I’ve incorporated is very powerful.

      Thank you  too for commenting.


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