Affiliate marketing is nothing new to the world of E-Commerce, but you may be new to the world of affiliate marketing. You may be overwhelmed by the myriad of different options you have to share services that people would like, through many different platforms such as social media, blogs, and paid advertisements. But which way is best?
The best platform to share through will depend on the product you’re recommending and your audience, but the most powerful way to refer someone to a product or service is through personal recommendations.
(This article contains affiliate links, and if you sign up after clicking on them, I get a cut of the sale)
I wrote a blog post on how to get started referring people to buy (my) products on Society6 and RageOn, and another one reviewing several Print on Demand services including Printful and RageOn, which you can refer people to both of. And I also just wrote a review of my new favorite business cards from MOO!
As you can see, I’ve written several blog posts to share various services I am an affiliate with. This can be a good way to bring in people you have never interacted with before, and share with them the awesome products you use!
You can also refer people to use the products and service you love best, or do your own research and find some stand out-services with excellent referral rewards. Most sites that have an affiliate program put a link for it at the bottom of their web pages, or in your account settings. Usually you’ll have to do a quick activation to get your account set up as an affiliate, and then you’re ready to go!
Do your research on the affiliate programs you are interested in. How are referral links generated? How are earnings determined? Are there certain limitations to when or how much you can withdraw? What is the quality and service like? What are the key product features, and what are the price points? These are all factors that will play into how successful you can be with any given program.
Quality of the service you are recommending is one of, if not the most important factors in finding an affiliate program that works for you. You will hurt your own credibility endorsing inferior products, and you will waste much of your time and efforts. Do not try and trick people just to make a buck.
There are many ways to share your affiliate links, the most popular being through social media or as a blog post. But a particularly effective and underutilized method can be direct messaging. You can either craft a custom message to send to them, or link a blog post or product feature you wrote that includes your affiliate link.
This method requires you to carefully consider your target. No one likes unwanted sales pitches, especially when the pitch vastly misunderstands what they are looking for. For example, recommending a web hosting service to someone who provides web hosting, or a diaper delivery service to someone without children, is not a good idea, and is not likely to generate a sale.
Two services I have successfully referred a number of people to are Printful and MOO. These are two services that are really good to recommend to designers and small business owners. I think these types of services are easy to recommend because your customer stands to gain something more than just the product or service itself and whatever discount that can be offered.
Printful is a Print-on-Demand & Drop Shipping service that I have reviewed here, comparing it to several other similar services. I periodically share this post on my Facebook page, LinkedIn, and Twitter, but I also reach out directly to other designers I know, especially those who are already selling their designs. I give them a quick overview of why I think they’ll love the service, and how it compares with or enhances a service they already use. This is effective because Printful improves upon the experiences of other print on demand services that are currently popular with designers.
A popular new print service that I love to recommend is MOO. They specialize in high quality business cards and other products such as postcards and stickers. Almost every person doing business needs business cards, which are something that frequently need to be restocked and refreshed. MOO can be compared to several other print services, and will truly stand out in terms or quality and features. Check out this blog post I made about MOO’s business cards, complete with pictures!
On my Facebook page and Twitter, I often pin a post featuring an image of my business cards from MOO, which feature not only my social media contact info, but a unique feature offered by MOO: Printfinity, which allows you to print a different image on the back of each card. The posts contain my referral link, but the Facebook post also contains a review of the service, and tells a little bit about some other cool features they offer. It serves as a showcase of my art, and a showcase of the quality and service that MOO offers.
Be sure to make yourself available to answer questions about the products and services you are recommending. People will undoubtedly want to know about YOUR experience with the thing you are telling them about.
Sometimes people just don’t want what you’re selling, and that’s OK. It’s important to be polite, because you have just been given the opportunity to do some competitive market research, and find out more about what your customers are looking for!
Feel free to share an affiliate program you have found success with, and what strategies have been successful!