Testing the waters in affiliate marketing is both exciting and scary. You’ve probably heard stories from both ends of the profit continuum to know the road to earning multiple digits in this arena is paved with words like traffic, conversion, links, content and strategies. But then no work is very easy. As you venture out into the affiliate marketing industry, here are some advice you might want to heed.

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Choose a product or service that you like to promote.

By being an affiliate, you get commission only if you successfully sell a product or service. So you need to somehow convince your target market to buy it. Choose your niche wisely- not because a product or service is popular means it will sell like hotcakes in your hands.

It won’t do well to target several niches when starting out.  You’ll get stressed, and you can’t sell them all. It’s always better to start with what you know and enjoy. A good way to successfully sell a product is to try it yourself first, like what Pat Flynn does.

Market across channels.

It is advisable that in the long run, you build a website for your affiliate business, but while you’re starting out, you can utilize third party platforms.

Depending on your product niche, you can look into social media, forums, email blasting, guest blogging, and PPC as marketing channels. Amazon has an affiliate program where you earn 4-10% commission for each Amazon product you sell through your affiliate links.

It doesn’t mean you should populate every marketing venue you come across with your links. Find where your intended market is concentrated, or where they’re more responsive and build your following there.

Create relevant content and utilize SEO.

Content can make or break your success online. When doing a product review or putting a blog up on your website, make sure it’s engaging and clearly states its message.  Put calls to action to drive traffic home.  Remember, though, that a content’s function is not always to market, but most of the time to build awareness of your affiliate products or services.

Knowledge of SEO’s best practices will be of high advantage. Google algorithms constantly change to filter search engine results.  If you operate a website, for example, make sure it’s mobile-friendly.

Foster good relationships with your audience.

One of the keys to having loyal followers, who even go out of their ways to refer you to their friends, is by building mutual trust. You provide free and valuable information and remain transparent with your dealings- they start to trust you and whatever product or service you’re affiliated with.

Use tools to boost efficiency.

A lot of online tools and applications are available for marketers.  You’d like to get alerted with hot, trending topics within your niche, automate your marketing efforts on social media and email, as well as track your links.

Or if you’re in need of SEO help, there’s Google Keyword and Webmaster tools, and sites like SEMrush and Moz.

Have realistic goals and expectations.

Lastly, it’s important that don’t live in the thought of making piles of money in a few days as you start. You follow a process of attracting potential customers onto your referral pages, convincing them to click on the affiliate link and buy. Traffic doesn’t come automatically, you need to get it through marketing.