As a publisher it is definitely a bit scary to start up and try to compete in a space where bigger and more established sites have been working for so long. Those sites have a lot of traffic and users, and take a big chunk out of the annual marketing spend.
However, smaller publishers have an important role to play in the affiliate marketing landscape and are definitely able to earn good commissions through clever and original campaigns. Here are a few tips:
Find your unique niche – and keep to it
Finding a niche market is one of the key elements by which smaller publishers can differentiate themselves from the crowd. Competing in a niche where thousands of sites are already trying to earn money and get traffic might prove difficult. Bigger sites are able to spend considerable amounts on SEO, AdWords and paid media in general and this kind of spend is often not an option for smaller publishers. However, if you can find a niche market with little competition, there is a bigger chance to build an audience without spending large amounts of money on getting traffic to your site.
It is also important to choose a niche that you will find interesting. If you are not interested in a specific subject, don’t go there. Your users will feel that your heart is not into it and will stop following you. Once you know your niche, it is also important to keep to it in order to keep and develop a base of loyal users.
Originality & Innovation
It is important to stay aware of what is happening in your industry in order to know what the other publishers are doing and what the latest technological developments are. In doing so, you might see a gap and find something that nobody else has done previously, like an app or a social media campaign. Bigger sites are sometimes a bit slow to change and be innovative. That is where smaller publishers can be quicker to react and beat the bigger sites to it.
Know your product and audience
Taking the time to learn the products and services you are offering on your site will help you create content and build credibility. If you are knowledgeable on the products you promote, you will be able to write articles about them in a credible manner, thus your audience will feel more comfortable asking questions and interacting with you, and more prone to click on the links and banners available on your site.
Knowing your audience is equally important as it will help you understand what type of products and articles you should offer. Building a base of active users takes time, but if you are consistent with the quality of content you are offering and keep analysing your audience to better understand their needs, you should be able to increase the traffic and conversion on your site.
Don’t give up!
Building an audience is not easy and it takes time. It is important to monitor your statistics and traffic to see what is working or not and make changes when it is needed. Nothing will happen overnight, but with persistence and patience it is possible to build a quality site that will generate a steady monthly income.
Caroline Pourteyon – Head of Operations