Research indicates that we are most likely to believe the endorsements of others when we believe that they have nothing to gain from their endorsements. This can make affiliate marketing somewhat challenging, but with just a little bit of thoughtfulness on your part, you can profit from affiliate marketing without sacrificing your reputation to your customers! What this means for affiliate marketing is that you must think intentionally about building a good relationship with your customers, one in which you convey to them that you are a trustworthy, reputable source. How can you do this?
One way to increase your reputation as a trustworthy source is to only promote products or companies that you genuinely believe in. If you promote products that are not good, or you associate yourself with companies that have poor customer service or sell merchandise that is of a poor quality, how can you expect your customers to trust you?
Another way you can convey to your customers that the links and companies you promote are worthy of their time and consideration is to be very honest. If you like most — but not all – aspects of a product or a company, let your readers know. If a particular product wouldn’t be suited for some people, be up front about that. Make sure you have used the products yourself and can confidently recommend them. Your customers will come to see that they can count on you for honest feedback, and this will help build your relationship with them.
This goes hand in hand with being honest – you will also want to be as transparent as possible about your affiliate relationship. If you use affiliate links, you will need to be very clear about this to your readers. How do you do this? There are several options — you can create a page, if you don’t have one already, that discusses your affiliate relationships. You can also write a sentence or two disclosing your relationships in any post with links to your affiliates. You don’t necessarily need to go into much detail or make a big deal out of it, but it will help your customers from feeling like they’ve been tricked if you are up front about your affiliate relationships.
Make sure that you select companies that your readership base is likely to be interested in. If your target audience tends to be mothers who stay at home with their children, you will want to build relationships with the types of companies that make products that this type of audience is likely to be interested in. You want your readers to feel a natural connection to the types of products and services that they see advertised on your website.
Affiliate marketing can be a very profitable endeavor for a variety of businesses, and it is indeed possible to use it as a tool to increase your revenue. Make sure your reputation is one of trustworthiness and be transparent about your affiliate links, and you will be well on your way to success!