By Sharon Jones

If you’re running a business, you should always be looking for the ways to get more for less effort on your part. It’s one of the reasons that many people outsource work and use freelancers. When it comes to marketing, there’s one hugely popular method that uses those same principles. We’re talking about affiliate marketing. If you’re not using it yet, keep reading and figure out why you should.



Photo by RyanMcGuire


What exactly is an affiliates programme?

First, we should really introduce the concept of affiliates marketing, itself. Affiliates programmes run by pairing businesses with content producers online. Like bloggers, podcasters and more. You contract them to offer space, a link or content to your business. Usually through redirecting people towards your site with promotional material. Articles, advertisements, and deals. Then they get a cut for the redirected customer.


Becoming a goldmine for influencers

A big part of getting the right affiliates is by making it clear that you’re looking to partner up with them. To that end, your website is your most important tool. Leading them to the right areas means using conversation rate optimisation techniques. For example, using testing methods like AB split testing to see which versions of your site are most successful. These methods can also be taught to your affiliates as a method of helping them get more clicks to your links.


Identifying the best affiliates for you

Of course, you want to make sure that you have a strong base of reliable affiliates to start off with. Putting your efforts towards bad choices could just be a waste of time and money for you. So start by looking at their site. Look at how long it has been up for and what kind of traffic it sees. Be picky, to begin with.


Always keep growing

After you get a successful start, you can afford to be less picky. To look for new opportunities to grow in just about every way. For example, you don’t have to scout them one-by-one yourself. Instead, you can consider affiliates networks. This helps you pair up with those influencers who are already eager to take part in programmes like yours. The more choices you have, the more likely you are to find those that fit what your products and services are.


Mistakes you need to avoid

Like any marketing method, affiliates programmes can end in disaster. So there are some mistakes you need to avoid more than anything. If you’re spreading ads out, then make sure you have them in all the standard sizes, not just one. Don’t keep affiliates waiting weeks for approval to put up content. Make sure both you and affiliates are able to track the individual links. You need to avoid these mistakes to make it easier for both you and your affiliates.


Affiliate marketing can put you in contact with audiences you have never been able to reach before. It’s also a great way of really ingraining yourself in a community. When you’re thinking about your next marketing strategy, seriously consider using an affiliates programme.

Sharon Jones is a contributor to zenruption and has her B.A. in political science from UCLA. As a new mother, she is interested in helping shape the world her daughter will inherit. She likes pina coladas and taking walks in the rain.