As any other marketing channel, affiliate marketing has its tips and tricks, and it takes know-how and experience to be good at it. That is why Missy Ward and Shawn Collins have undertaken the difficult task of helping affiliates and merchants share knowledge and find new business opportunities by organizing the Affiliate Summit conference that happens twice a year – on the East and on the West coast of the USA. The most recent Affiliate Summit just happened in New York, from August 10th to August 12th, and our team was quite excited to attend it. This year in New York, the learning focus was on how to maintain an affiliate website and get traffic to it.

What is affiliate marketing?  

For those of you who don’t know what affiliate marketing is – that’s when you (acting as an affiliate) refer third-party products on your website and get paid for driving them sales. It looks easy to do it – place a banner on your website with a unique affiliate link that the merchant will provide for you and when some of your visitors click and buy from the merchant, you will get a commission. Pretty straightforward, right? Yet, if you want to be serious about it and actually make money from it, you may have to learn a thing or two and that’s why going to an Affiliate summit is really useful.

How to start and maintain an affiliate website?

It seems the most natural way to get started with the affiliate marketing is by starting a blog. Thus just as naturally one of the hottest keywords out there was “WordPress”. David Vogelpohl (Marketing Clique) and Jeremy Palmer made a speech about the ultimate “toolkit” of plugins and optimizations needed to be a successful affiliate using WordPress.

Adam Riemer on the other hand explained the ways to monetize your website going into specifics like where to place your ads and how to make more money out of them. 

How to get traffic?

All good, but if your site gets no visitors, there is no one you could send to buy the products you advertise. Rae Hoffman, Roger Montti, Scott Polk, and quite a few other experts will help you with that and show you how to do SEO and link building for more traffic. You will hear lots of advanced terms like “negative SEO” and “reverse content marketing”, which sound quite complicated, but all in all, it’s a lot about following Google’s best practices and building links to your website that are as natural as possible, meaning people have a good reason to link to you, other than being paid to do so.

The best of these reasons is that you are someone worth quoting and linking to. Thus the ultimate advice of the experts that already make a 6-digit revenue from affiliate marketing is to start building a brand for yourself. If you listen to John Chow it looks kinda easy, but if you hear John Rampton and how he wrote 6 articles a day, you may want to think twice. Point is, affiliate marketing is a continuous work.

Matthew Woodward, a British blogger with the authoritative website wrapped it up nicely by providing a more strategic view on the process and how all actions you need to take are related. Building trust with quality content and no-bullshit approach is his way to make visitors come over and over again and listen to your product recommendations.

Our advice for SiteGround affiliates

If you are serious about making money through affiliate marketing do not miss any opportunity to visit Affiliate Summits. There you will not only listen to people that are already successful, but you will be able to network and talk personally with them. Though affiliate marketing is largely an online activity, real face-to-face and personal relationships with the people that are the trend-setters in the community is the best shortcut to becoming successful on the affiliate market!