Discover more from Second Income Strategies
How to Get Initial Traction for Your E-Com Affiliate Program
Go from 0 to 1
Most of my content is geared for affiliates who are building Authority Sites.
But what if you’re on the other side of that equation? What’s the best way to gain traction for your new affiliate program?
Luckily I have a sure-fire way to attract high quality affiliates right out of the gate. As always, it involves doing what you don’t want to do.
An affiliate program isn’t passive
Most e-com business owners treat their affiliate program like an afterthought. They think it should be “passive” (lol).
If you’ve launched your affiliate program then you already know that “build it and they will come” isn’t a valid strategy.
You’re going to be overwhelmed with applications from spammy coupon sites that won’t actually drive any traffic (most of them are just siphoning off your traffic i.e. people already are on your site and ready to buy then search for “[x product] coupon”).
How can you attract real, high quality Authority Sites when you’re just starting out?
This is a free article. If you’re not already a paid subscriber, upgrade to get access to full-length SEO guides, Q&A sessions, and premium business content not found anywhere else.
Pay for placements
You need to be prepared to open up your wallet and start paying for placements.
Yes, it’s really that simple.
I understand that no one likes spending money.
Many e-com businesses treat their affiliates with contempt. They resent the fact that they have to pay out big commissions that cut into their profit margins.
The last thing you want to do is give them direct payments on top of that.
But if you want to really succeed in this game then you’re going to have to transcend your instincts and realize that your affiliates and you are on the same team. You’re not enemies.
If you want to start getting high-quality placements on affiliate sites then you should straight-up offer to pay them to be listed #1 on one or more of their best-of lists.
No one else is doing this. Yes, many companies are willing to pay if the affiliate asks for it, but their goal is still to freeload.
That’s why many will even counter an affiliates pay-to-play offer by saying something stupid like “we don’t have the budget for placements but we can increase your commission to [x] percent!!!!!🤡”
Trust me, no one cares. That’s not why they aren’t giving you placements (if you’re new).
You need to understand the basics of how affiliate SEO works if you want to understand why.
The affiliate’s POV
The Google search results are a warzone.
If you want to rank a page highly, you need to cover the same topics that the other top-ranking pages are covering but do it much better (it’s obviously more complicated than that but for the specific issue I’m talking about that’s how it works).
That’s why if you type in a search query and click on all of the top results it feels like you’re reading the same article over and over again. They all list the same top products and have similar subheadings.
Don’t hate the player, it’s just how the game is played.
If you want to break through this brick wall of conformity you need to find a way to sweeten the deal.
An affiliate is taking a BIG risk by including an unknown brand in their best-of roundups.
Not only are they taking an SEO risk, but they’re also risking the possibility that the brand won’t convert or will go out of business in a year.
Most e-com owners think that affiliates have it easy, but it’s actually a massive pain in the ass to keep a large quantity of articles updated. If a company goes out of business then you have to assign one of your writers to do a rewrite of that article, which takes away from creating new content.
It’s not easy.
That’s why you should straight up offer them an upfront payment (in addition to the commissions they’ll earn on the backend) for premium placements.
I promise you that NO ONE else is doing this. You’ll stand out considerably and will get much quicker results compared to your resentful competitors who think that they “shouldn’t have to do that”.
The good news is that the SEO bottleneck that works against you in the early days of your affiliate program will actually start to work for you once you have placements in high-ranking articles.
Affiliates who write new articles targeting the same keyword will copy products from the article that you paid for, meaning that you’ll start to get “free” exposure.
If you do it right this can snowball to the point where you’re “one of those brands” that’s in all of the best-of lists for a given keyword.
Then you can stop paying for placements and sit back and collect the “passive” traffic that you initially dreamed about.
Do what other people are unwilling to do and you’ll get much better results.
Yes, it sucks feeling like a beggar.
It is what it is.
Do you want to make money or not?
If so, you need to get over yourself and do what gets results. And I promise that straight-up offering cash will get you what you want.