In this episode of Affiliate Buzz, host James Martell, talks with special guest Karen Garcia, founder of GTO management. She has fourteen years’ experience in e-commerce and marketing, and to scrape just the tip of her iceberg of credentials, Karen has consulted on and profitably managed dozens of affiliate programs on many different network platforms.
Join us in this episode they discuss how to find affiliate programs that are not only profitable areas to focus your time and attention, but are also off the beaten path. In addition to sharing insight about what her top affiliates are doing to reach higher conversion rates and earn top commissions, Karen also explains how to organize an affiliate marketing calendar.
Venturing off the Beaten Path as an Affiliate Marketer
Karen explains that there are a plethora of sites on any topic online. She says unless you are targeting niche products for a niche audience, your site is likely going to get lost in the shuffle. Take for instance holidays or special days like Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. There are endless numbers of sites for any of these topics.
Giving concrete examples using real companies that are venturing off the beaten path to the tune of their own affiliate marketing drums, Karen explains what works and what to avoid. One example is a bowling shirt company that focuses the bulk of their marketing in August, around the time when bowling leagues are starting up for the season.
- Be passionate about what you do / the topic of your marketing program
- Find something different about it, something no one else is doing
- Focus on and research that different element and market around it
Karen and James also discuss problems with over saturation in regards to a different topic, such as many websites competing for the same website traffic. Ironically enough, a lot of common topics, such as bowling alleys, get overlooked because they are so commonplace. But sites related to bowling, such as bowling shirts, are few and far between when compared to an over saturated topic, like treadmills.
Another example Karen uses is a company that sells novelty items for office desks. The company has over 3,000 items that are essentially small, manipulative toys used for creative purposes. But one of Karen’s more successful affiliates targets schools, home schooling parents, and moms who work from home because the site also sells a lot of science-related toys, and toys appropriate for prize boxes.
The Affiliate Marketing Calendar
An affiliate marketing calendar works similar to any other calendar in that it follows the calendar year. However this calendar is targeted to events related to affiliate marketing, whether they are obvious things or “outside the box” events to help you target areas that have less competition for traffic. Here are some of the ways Karen suggests using a calendar:
- Creating banners for specific holidays or events
- Looking at holidays that are outside the box
- Use the calendar to anticipate your audience’s needs
- Using your program to solve problems for your customers
James brings up a good point about how far in advance affiliate marketers should set up their calendars. While most people might think a month is far enough in advance, Karen actually recommends taking notes as far as a year in advance. For example, she is currently working on her calendar for May 2014 while events from this year are fresh in her mind.
Tune in now to learn how to take your affiliate marketing efforts off the beaten path to tap into audiences that are otherwise overlooked. Learn how to set up your own affiliate marketing calendar. And learn more about the programs Karen has to offer at her site, www.gtomanagement.com.