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Make Your Affiliate Links Work Harder (So You Don’t Have To!)

Being a content creator is a constant balance between making quality, helpful content while also making money. Advertising and sponsorships are an easy, straightforward way to accomplish this, so in comparison, affiliate links can be so much trickier. If you have the right data and habits to follow up, they don’t have to be! 

But let’s face it—you might have a head for finances, but you also might be more of an artist than a banker. Your audience appreciates you either way, but you owe it to yourself and your business to pay attention to those numbers. Like a general going into battle, you’ll need to know your strategy. 

Here’s what you need to know to get your troops marching!

Key Metrics

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First things first: what pieces of information do you actually need to pay attention to? Each product will perform differently, on different platforms, on different days—and you need to know these variations! Let’s break it down.

  • Number of Purchases: First, we’ll get the most obvious out of the way: how many people actually bought this product? Cha-ching!
  • Number of Clicks: How many people have clicked on the link to view the product? Some brands might even offer money per clicks instead of just for purchases. Strategically, it’s important too. Not only is this metric useful to see your positive traffic, but it might expose a problem area for you, too. If you notice a sudden drop in the number of clicks on a product, it might be because the post was removed or another issue occurred.
  • Commission for that Product: This is where your high school math classes start to kick in. Yes, you should know which products are selling, but just as crucial is knowing how much you make from that sale. Keep track of your commission to know where to focus your energy. You might be able to sell one mattress for $250, or 1,000 pens for 50 cents each with the same amount of effort. (Did you already do the math on which of those is more profitable?)
  • Churn: “Churn” refers to the number of people that click on your product, but do not end up purchasing. If you have a lot of people look at a particular product but decide not to purchase, you can look into why that would be. Is the price too high? Is the link working? Is it wrong for your audience? Can you provide any information before they click that might help them decide whether it’s right for them?
  • Best Channels: Depending on the type of content you create, you might be posting across a multitude of channels. You’ll need to know which of these to focus on for your affiliate links. For example, you might have a much larger audience on Tik Tok with more people clicking the links, so it would seem that you should focus there. But consider that your loyal YouTube followers, while fewer in number, might be much more reliable when it comes to taking your advice and buying those recommended products. Know where to send your troops and win the war!

Okay, so now you have this information. What do you do with it?

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Quality, Not Quantity

As with most things in life, eighty percent of your affiliate revenue will be generated from twenty percent of your products. Let’s refer to these as your “Hero” products, because you’ll want to give them a medal. Hopefully you’ll already know what these are because you love them yourself, but make sure it’s confirmed in the data! 

Maybe a particular rug that wasn’t necessarily to your taste is actually a dupe for a popular one from an expensive home store. Once you know what products are doing the best, you’ll be able to keep them in regular rotation. 

You can do a monthly “My Top Five Products for This Month!” as an easy way to generate content and to increase your audience’s exposure to your hero products. You’ll be able to see your heroes at a glance if you use Shared Vision’s metrics dashboard.

Fix Your Broken Links

While you will likely make the most revenue with a newer piece of content, consider that most most of your “old” content will probably remain available as long as you have a channel. Don’t abandon those other posts because they can still work for you! You might have a years-old post that exactly answers someone’s search engine question, and they find it first. 

Or, if you are doing your job (and we know you are!) you will constantly be enticing new followers who will absorb all of your knowledge by going through your older content. Don’t lose out on potential revenue from all those “old” clicks! And remember that it helps your SEO and the professionalism of your brand. 

Keep in mind that Shared Vision can do most of this work for you!

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Testing, Testing

You might be completely lost, or you might think you’ve got it all figured out. But everyone, and we mean everyone, should regularly test their tactics. It might seem like affiliate marketing is old news at this point, but really, we’re still in its infancy. 

Check in with your audience on what’s working and what’s not by tweaking your products, link placement, follow up, platforms, and language. If it doesn’t work, no sweat—you can always change it back. But the internet is nothing if not surprising, so stay on your toes!

I’m a Regular

As a general with an affiliate link army, you need to make sure you’re disciplined. Don’t just check your metrics when you feel like it—stay vigilant! Like brushing your teeth or eating your veggies, it might not be the most exciting, but you’ll be glad it’s part of your routine. 

Make Shared Vision part of this routine to cut down on the time and effort analyzing your metrics takes — sign up here.

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