Affiliate tips: how to increase your SlideDeck commissions

On July 30, 20122 Comments

Many of you have hopped onboard with our affiliate program, but we’ve heard some requests for advice on how to increase your sales. So I figured I’d take you straight to the source, and tapped a couple of our most active affiliates to share some tricks of the trade – not just for SlideDeck, but for affiliate marketing overall.

Luckily for you guys, we have some killer folks in our program that kindly took a few moments to chat with me about some of the major questions you had, as well as provide some tips to help boost your affiliate sales – everyone, meet Syed Balkhi of WPBeginner and Mike Jackness & Michael Scott of WPHub. (Guys, meet, uh…everyone!)

Affiliates Q&A

What one piece of advice do you wish you’d known when you were new to affiliate marketing?

  • Syed Balkhi (SB): “Everyone knows that email lists are crucial in affiliate marketing. All the affiliate marketing “gurus” will tell you that if they can go back and do it all over again, an email list would be the first thing they would build. That statement is pretty cliche now. The single most important thing most so called “gurus” will never tell you is that you need to segment out your email list by user interest group. For ex. Having a general email list for a site like WPBeginner makes no sense. It always help to group users, so you can send them the most targeted emails possible.”
  • Mike Jackness & Michael Scott (MJ-MS): “That’s a tough question to answer because looking back at it I now realize how much there was to learn.  I got started in affilate marketing back in 2004, so the landscape was quite different, especially in SEO.  I think if I could go back and tell myself one thing it would be “Just focus on building out great content sites that provide a lot of value to your visitors”.  When I first got started I was more concerned with how to rank higher or how to make money.  I realize now that all that comes naturally if you provide a great product.”

What approach have you seen work particularly well with driving SlideDeck sales?

  • SB: “I personally do NOT believe in reviewing products for affiliate sales. Rather, I’m very upfront with my audience. I show them how they can use SlideDeck. I show them how I’m using SlideDeck. Then I tell them why I’m using it. I think that seems to work best for me with almost all products.”
  • MJ-MS: “Well, we are a pretty new SlideDeck affiliate, so I don’t have a lot of track-record yet to make that determination.  However, great products seem to sell themselves and that certainly seems to be the case here!”

Where do you think the future of affiliate marketing lies? What are some of the major trends you see?

  • SB: “The future of affiliate marketing is very bright for some people and it’s very dark for a lot of others. Those who are promoting CRAP products specially in the “Make Money Online” niche are going to see their revenues decline because average consumers are getting smarter. However those who promote quality products will end up seeing a lot of benefits. I also see numerous affiliate marketers who only care about sales rather than giving back to their audience. I think the future of affiliate marketer is bright for people who genuinely care about their audience.”
  • MJ-MS: “I think the future is in solid content sites.  I think the days of “top 10 reviews” and other thin content sites are on their way out.  People want to read real material to help make better decisions from someone they trust.  That requires great content and lots of social followers to build trust.

Tips from the pros: how to increase affiliate sales

In addition to their answers above, our gurus helped us collect together some practical tips to help you nail the basics of affiliate marketing:

Building Your Audience
  • Grow your email subscriber list – Having the ability to reach out directly to your visitor is a powerful sales driver when used correctly – but first you have to get those coveted email addresses. Tools like Pippity, Popup Domination, and even the app Hello Bar (which we created) have proven popular ways to amp up your email collection. Once you’re at the point of sending out a few newsletter emails, you’ll likely also need some helpful email design tips
  • Assemble your social audiences – Give your readers the opportunity to follow you in the manner that suits them – whether that’s on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.
  • Don’t be a pest – No-one likes a nag. Resist the temptation to over-contact your audience with purely self-serving updates.
  • Curate useful resources – Collect together useful resources that can then funnel your visitors towards affiliate links – WPHub lists 645 WordPress Themes and plugins for download, and WPBeginner curates an extensive collection of tutorials
  • Calls-to-action – Make sure your call-to-action is clear & prominent – decide on the most important thing that your visitors should accomplish on each page, and structure the design and content accordingly
  • Go multimedia – While text and images are all well and good, richer multimedia content such as video screencasts, interactive slideshows, etc. can serve to be more engaging, and have more viral potential (i.e. are more likely to be shared)
  • Take your pick of ads – We provide a full suite of ad materials in the SlideDeck affiliate program dashboard on Impact Radius. Don’t see something that fits, or have an idea for a good ad? Let us know!

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Take a look through some of our top-performing ad units

  • Track the performance – Watch the ad unit performance & experiment with which one works best for you. Just go to Campaigns & Ads > My Campaigns > View Ads > View Performance History to get the lowdown on which ads have been having the most success across all our affiliates
  • Make it seamless – “Banner blindness” is a growing reality in online advertising, so consider using affiliate-tagged text links in the body of your content to drive traffic instead of only relying on banners

Many thanks to Syed Balkhi at WPBeginner, and Mike Jackness & Michael Scott at WPHub for sharing their knowledge with us! Have you seen any successes in promoting SlideDeck, or as an affiliate in general? Be sure to share your tips with us in the comments!

If you’re not yet an affiliate, you should sign up here – it’s free, takes 10 minutes to get up & running, and you’ll earn 25% or more on each sale of SlideDeck that you refer over!

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Comments (2) Responses


    Michael Jackness

    I’m a little bit biased, but I think this is a great article. Thanks very much for giving us the opportunity to be interviewed for it and to be working with Slidedeck. We think you have an amazing product and any affiliate not promoting it is losing out!