5 Tips to Rapidly Scale Your Affiliate Program

If you want to scale your affiliate program efficiently and quickly, implement these five tips from Connor Gillivan.

A guest blog post by Connor Gillivan, Chief Marketing Officer of Freeup.com

There are a ton of ways to earn money via the internet and one of them is through affiliate programs. Over the years, more and more online entrepreneurs have been trying their luck with this business model and it’s not surprising why. If you can earn by simply promoting a link and driving traffic to a product page, wouldn’t you be tempted to invest?

We’ve all heard about stories of people making money out of affiliate programs from those who earn a modest $100 per day to the more successful who have made thousands and thousands of dollars.

While earning huge profit from such programs is definitely possible, maintaining and scaling them is easier said than done. There’s a lot of work involved in scaling affiliate programs, and realistically speaking, you’ll be needing all the help you can get.

If you want to scale your affiliate program faster, hiring freelancers to take care of some of your other tasks is a great first step. There are so many ways virtual assistants can help.

1.   Find influencers to help spread the word.

Leveraging the power and reach of industry leaders and social media influencers is one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to increasing traffic.

By reaching out and building relationships with these people and businesses, you’ll be increasing your chances of getting them to promote your link in front of their massive audiences.  While this may sound simple, it actually does take time and effort.

Before reaching out, in-depth research needs to be done to determine who or which business is considered an “influencer” based on their following. You’ll need to have a list of these influencers (as many as you possibly can) so you can start browsing and sharing their blog posts and offers. Then you’ll need to reach out to each one of them via email to introduce yourself. Building a relationship can’t be done overnight, so constant and consistent communication is required.

This is something you don’t have time for as an entrepreneur because you have more important things to focus on. Hiring a virtual assistant to do all these for you makes better sense.  They can do the research, come up with the list, and initiate communication with these influencers on your behalf.

2.   Get involved in Facebook groups

With billions of people on Facebook every day, it would be a pity not to promote your affiliate program on the social media giant. While using Facebook Ads is an excellent way to drive traffic, there are alternative ways to promote without shelling out cash. One of them is through Facebook groups.

The beauty of Facebook groups is that members share a common interest, which makes it easier to promote content. By knowing which group to promote to, you will be able to leverage the group’s reach. And, depending on the group, this can go up to as high as hundreds of thousands of members.

If it’s an affiliate marketing program that you’re offering, it makes sense to join groups about affiliate or digital marketing, entrepreneurship, online business opportunities, or anything similar. Try to join several groups with a minimum of 50k members. This will allow you to definitely reach more people than you normally would.

Merely sharing a link won’t be enough to get the job done though.  You need to create posts that grab people’s attention immediately and that stand out to get more people to click on them.

This is where having freelancers who specialize in social media would come in handy. An experienced social researcher knows how to find these groups. A practiced social copywriter knows how to craft copy that sells. Social media freelancers also understand which kinds of posts are more likely to get clicked. If you can get those posts in front of thousands of members across several groups, your chances of getting more clicks and conversions will definitely go up.

3.   Mention it to everyone you speak with.

Long before social media started dominating the marketing arena, it was good old word of mouth that companies and marketers turned to when it came to growing their businesses. They would talk about the business with friends, relatives, family, and even with strangers they met in line for a coffee or on the bus. Disseminating information via word of mouth is an effective way of getting recognized. As word goes around, it also penetrates different networks of people.

It’s a simple game of pass the word, only this time, the information you pass has the potential to be communicated outwards to other people’s friends and business connections.

Spreading the word doesn’t have to be restricted to people you meet though. Social media can still play a big role in disseminating information. Only this time, instead of people talking about it over lunch or at the mall, they talk about it through their Facebook walls or Twitter feeds. This makes the word spread even faster, and it’s essentially free marketing for you.

A simple Facebook post can make a huge difference. Imagine how huge the possibilities are if information about your business can reach different circles you may not even be connected to.

Hiring a freelancer can easily double your efforts because this person can spend hours every day passing out information about your affiliate program to other people.

4.   Go on podcasts and share them with communities.  

Affiliate marketing is a numbers game. The more people know about your offer, the bigger your chances of getting more clicks and eventually, conversions. This is the reason why the tactics you employ in growing your affiliate marketing business are not much different than what you would use to grow any other online business.

It’s all about traffic and reach.

What better way to reach more people than to appear as a guest on several popular podcasts? Imagine the boost this will give your business if you could further leverage the audiences of these podcasts. But then again, like most online endeavors, getting onto one of these podcasts is not easy.

Like a job applicant coming to an interview, you have to set an appointment with the podcast owner and prepare certain requirements. There are some you can reach via email, some via a web form, and others via a Skype call. Some would even have you on a waiting list because they already have guests lined up for the next couple of months.

Before reaching out, though, you need to source which podcast would be suitable for your offer. You also have to make sure that the podcasts you get on have a decent number of followers so you can take full advantage of the time you’re gonna spend.

Between researching and contacting podcast owners, getting on these podcasts isn’t as simple as it sounds. It requires due diligence and time, something you don’t have a lot of as a business owner.

By hiring a virtual assistant, you’d have someone who can do the research for you and come up with a list of good podcasts to consider. This freelancer can compile the list and reach out to podcast owners on your behalf with informed pitches. They’d also be able to set appointments for you and prepare the requirements needed for you to be considered as a guest, and to promote your affiliate program.

The only thing left for you to do would be to appear on the podcast and talk about the program. Practicing will help you become more interesting, and you will find more and more people opting in to your offer.

5.   Make it simple with accurate tracking and easy payouts.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, tracking is crucial. This is how you monitor the leads you generate and the income you’re generating from those leads. You have to be aware at all times how much money is coming in and where it’s coming from. This is so you can take advantage of traffic sources that are giving you the bigger profits.

Knowing which channels generate the most income will help you take advantage of them and understand how you can make other channels perform similarly. This should be easy if you’re generating less than 10 leads a week, for example, but what about when you start getting leads by the hundreds?

Virtual assistants can help make things easier for you with consistent and accurate tracking and reporting. Having a dedicated person for this role can make a huge difference because tracking and analysis takes time and dedication.

Would you prefer to do all of this yourself and get stressed over having to download and process data without fail? Or would it be better to just have a well-written report delivered to your inbox complete with trend analysis and next steps?

Equally important are payout methods. You have to keep in mind that the primary reason affiliates are willing to promote your offer is because they earn in return. If they have to go through several hoops just to get their affiliate earnings, they will most likely look for an alternative and leave you hanging.

Making payouts easier for potential affiliates will make your affiliate program more attractive. Payout methods like Paypal or Payoneer, for instance, are great options because they are reputable and widely used.

How do you incorporate payments into your affiliate program?  The good news is there are freelancers skilled in programming who can make this possible. By hiring virtual assistants who know how to configure electronic payment methods, you are giving your business a boost. Potential leads will be more willing to join knowing that they won’t have a hard time withdrawing the money they worked hard for.

Time to Get People in Place

All in all, hiring freelancers to help you with each of these areas will help you scale faster and more efficiently. You can grow rapidly without hitting snags along the way because you will have skilled individuals taking care of each specialized task. That includes you, who will be focused on doing what you do best, and leaving the rest to experienced professionals.

About the Author: Connor Gillivan

Connor Gillivan is a serial eCommerce entrepreneur and an expert in online hiring, eCommerce, and bootstrapping businesses. With his first eCommerce business, he sold over $20 million worth of product and managed over 60 freelance workers. He is now the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of FreeeUp.com, the hands-on hiring marketplace connecting hundreds of online business owners with reliable, pre-vetted remote workers. He is an avid writer on his own site, ConnorGillivan.com, and his business advice can also be found in top publications such as WebRetailer.com. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado.