6 Things Successful Influencer Affiliate Marketers Do

Influencer affiliate marketing is a multibillion-dollar industry. Influencer marketing increased to an estimated $9.7 billion in 2020, from Oprah’s Favorite Things to Kylie Jenner’s Instagram account, and it is predicted to reach nearly $14 billion in 2021.

Working as the founder of an influencer monetization platform, I’ve discovered that many of today’s savvy brands recognize the potential of influencers and compensate them with a percentage of every sale generated by their online promotional attempts. This is affiliate marketing, and it is helping to increase worldwide e-commerce sales – it also provides a significant source of income for anyone who can effectively enter this industry.

Of course, fortune does not come to those who wait. To be a rich affiliate marketer, you must first build your influence, then drive traffic to the affiliate links you share and turn these clicks into sales.

Here are 6 ways to make sure affiliate marketing success if you perceive yourself as an influencer with a future and want to monetize your influence.

1. Prioritize quality leads over quantity.

One of the most common mistakes new affiliate marketers make is neglecting the quality of their clicks or “leads” in favor of quantity. One approach I frequently see to generate thousands of clicks and a potential commission is the employment of automated bots (available from traffic-buying providers) to inflate the number of clicks to their links.

Keep in mind that brands pay affiliates based on conversions (the percentage of traffic a brand receives that converts to a sale). A bot will never make you money since it never buys anything. Instead, focus on acquiring high-quality, focused clicks. This leads me to my next point.

2. Prioritize your audience.

If you’re new to affiliate marketing, concentrate on focused outreach to communities that are most likely to convert. Engage with audiences who share your interests or have challenges that your knowledge can solve.

Take note of conversations on Twitter, Facebook, Quora, Nextdoor, Reddit, and other social media platforms and forums. What are people asking, and how are they responding?

When you’re ready to react, share your point of view and include an affiliate link to a solution that will save them time and money.

For example, if you love the outdoors, you undoubtedly spend time online with other outdoor enthusiasts, exchanging experiences and answering questions. People pay attention to you because you have an influencer! When someone searches for new camping gear, you can monetize that status by sharing what worked for you and attaching an affiliate link to an Orvis or Cabela’s deal page with the brand’s current discount codes and promotions.

Consider your actions to be word-of-mouth marketing: “You’ve got a problem. This is what worked for me!”

3. Conversion rates, not commissions, are essential.

The most effective affiliate marketers do not seek huge commission rates; instead, they promote brands with high conversion rates. For example, an affiliate scheme that pays $1,000 per sale may sound enticing, but if the conversion rate is only 0.02 percent, a large number of clicks would be required to make any money.

Choosing an affiliate scheme that pays $1 per conversion but converts at 20% increases your chances of generating a consistent money stream. When you combine this method with regular attempts to expand your circle of followers, you have the potential for large payments.

4. build a mailing list.

Look for ways to build your own brand and a dedicated following once you’ve gained traction. Share a website and a blog where you can post bargains (in a 2018 report, affiliate sites with content and bloggers ranked highest in terms of ad spend by affiliate type, at 39 percent). By sending out a weekly or daily email, you can stay in touch with your followers while also increasing your earnings. Give people a reason to join. Send out “deal of the day” emails, for example, and add value by providing suggestions on how you or others are using the things you sell.

5. Keep track of your progress.

To be effective, as with any marketing effort, you must understand what is and is not working.

Use the tools provided by your affiliate network or influencer monetization platform to see what your followers are responding to analyze your affiliate links’ performance. In addition, your website, email marketing platform, social media channels, and site analytics may all provide information into how effective your other influencer actions areas you get more advanced.

6. Obey the rules.

Make careful to follow the rules. The businesses you advertise have worked hard to build their brands and are concerned about how their affiliates promote them online. 

Don’t make false claims about a brand, and don’t register domain names or build social media landing sites using their trademark names. The use of paid search advertising to promote your affiliate links is another red flag. This is a traffic-generating strategy to avoid unless you have a direct relationship with a brand and permission to run advertising in its name.

When posting affiliate links, you must also follow the rules of the forum or website. Stick to the terms and conditions if you operate with an affiliate network or an influencer monetization platform.


Commit to the long haul – it will be worthwhile.

Affiliate marketing is not a quick money scheme. To develop trust and build an affiliate business, you must be committed and consistent. The benefit of joining an affiliate is that the incentives are cumulative. An affiliate link that has been shared can continue to function and generate commissions over time. In addition, as search engines index your content and your links are shared, their worth grows, particularly if the link does not expire.

The key is to begin slowly. Then, as you get to know your audience and provide value to the conversation, you’ll gain trust and followers – and your capacity to produce cash will increase.

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Elizabeth Sramek
Elizabeth is a Senior Content Manager at Scaleo. Currently enjoying the life in Prague and sharing professional affiliate marketing tips. She's been in the online marketing business since 2006 and gladly shares all her insights and ideas on this blog.
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