Looking to make sales from your affiliate program but not sure where to start?

You've come to the right place.

Making more sales through affiliate marketing isn't just about setting up a program and hoping the right people find you.

You need to intentionally create a vibrant program that draws in the right people and equips them with everything they need for affiliate marketing success.

A well-thought-out affiliate program can be your secret weapon for spreading the word about your products and seriously amplifying your sales — without spending money on other high-cost channels like influencer marketing.

But, for many, figuring out how to build that winning formula feels impossible. That’s where we come in.

This post is comes with eight proven tips you can easily implement to make your affiliate program profitable.

Ready to start learning? Let’s dive in.

Want to Create an Affiliate Program That Actually Brings in Sales?

Ever thought of starting an affiliate program?

Or, maybe you’ve launched one before and it didn’t go as planned – low conversion rates, unenthusiastic affiliates, and a lot of disappointment?

It’s a common story: you, a business owner, are passionate about your products and believe in the power of affiliate marketing, but the expected surge in sales just hasn't materialized. The frustration is real. You've seen others succeed with their affiliate programs, so why hasn't yours taken off?

Often, the difference between a successful affiliate marketing program and one that stagnates boils down to a few common missteps. Maybe you've cast too wide a net, signing on affiliates who don't genuinely resonate with your brand. 

Or maybe you've not provided the right affiliate marketing tools and support, leaving your influencers unsure about how to effectively promote your products. It's also possible that your commission structures aren't enticing enough to motivate serious promotion.

The good news? These hurdles are can be overcome — quite easily, too. With the right strategies, you can transform your affiliate program into a powerful sales engine that consistently drives revenue and expands your online business’s reach. 

Create a Profitable Affiliate Network with These Pro Tips — Make More Money

This list includes actionable tips you can implement today to achieve a good conversion rate — whether you run a blog, eCommerce website, or service-oriented business site.

1.  Get Clear on Your "Why" (And Set Tangible Goals)

Before diving in, take a step back. Why do you want to start an affiliate marketing platform? Is it to boost brand awareness? Drive more sales for a specific product or service? 

Write out the purpose of your affiliate program and how it will help grow your business. Once you’ve got your “why”, set realistic goals to measure this strategy’s performance.

The more specific you are the better. Instead of setting a goal like “Generate more sales from this program”, go into further detail – “Generate $10,000 in affiliate sales in year one”.

Make sure your goal is attainable, so work with numbers that make sense for your business.

2. Use the Right Tools to Build a Trustworthy Affiliate Program

Your affiliate site for your program is an extension of your brand, so you want to make sure it run smoothly and is professional. This is a key way to build trust.

New affiliates should feel excited about your platform, and not skeptical.

That's where a dedicated affiliate management solution like AffiliateWP comes in. This powerful WordPress plugin allows you to a high-quality affiliate area, share marketing materials, track clicks and sales, manage payments, and more – all from your WordPress dashboard.

Here’s what you get:

  • Spot-On Tracking: Say goodbye to guesswork. AffiliateWP keeps tabs on who's selling what, making sure every referral is tracked perfectly. Your affiliates will never miss out on their hard-earned cash.

  • Make It Your Own: From the moment your affiliates sign up, everything feels like it's part of your site. Customize sign-up pages, dashboards, and profiles to fit your brand.

  • Simplify Your Life: Who wants to spend all day manually managing affiliates? With AffiliateWP, you've got a straightforward way to oversee everything and automate those payouts.

  • Know What's Up: Receive regular real-time reports to know exactly how your program is performing.

  • Grow with Ease: Your affiliate program's going to get bigger. Good thing AffiliateWP's got a lot of add-ons to add whatever extra functionality you might need down the road.

In other words, AffiliateWP gives you all the tools you need to run a credible affiliate program that keeps your partners engaged and motivated.

3. Recruit the Right Affiliates from Day One – Create a Master Strategy

Be strategic about who you recruit, to make sure you're partnering with affiliates who are a natural fit for your brand.

Start by defining your ideal affiliate profile. What types of people, blogs, or businesses align best with your products/services? What does their audience look like?

For example, if you have a kids’ clothing line, you’ll want to target parent bloggers. Their audience is likely to need your products.

Once you have a clear picture of your ideal affiliate, map out a recruitment plan. Will you proactively reach out to potential partners? 

Will you create an enticing affiliate landing page to encourage sign-ups? Or will you rely on word-of-mouth and affiliates finding you? Get creative and don't be afraid to test different recruitment strategies to find the right one(s) for your program.

4. Give Your Affiliates Everything They Need to Promote Your Products Effectively

When it comes to running an affiliate program, success is a two-way street.

An affiliate’s marketing efforts depend on the resources they’re working with. So make sure you equip them with all the promo materials and training they need to effectively promote your products or services.

At a minimum, provide swipe copy, product review guidelines, FAQs, outlines for email lists and different social media platforms (e.g. LinkedIn post templates), banners, product photos, and more.

But don't stop there – create in-depth marketing kits, product training videos, and even live training sessions (e.g. webinars) to help your affiliates become true experts on your offerings.
That way, they can easily create affiliate marketing campaigns and quality content that land you conversions.

You can take things a step further and offer useful resources to help your affiliates improve their marketing strategies.

If you have the capacity for it, add tutorials on email marketing, content marketing, affiliate marketing tips, and search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. It helps your affiliates create better content for their target audience— which helps you at the end of the day.

More organic traffic for your affiliates could mean more people coming to your site to check out your products.

Product Tip: An AffiliateWP add-on like Affiliate Resource Bundles is perfect for housing and sharing all these materials.

5. Offer Your Affiliates Irresistible Incentives

While some affiliates are passionate about your brand, most are motivated by earnings potential. That's why you need attractive commission rates and incentives.

Research industry standards, then structure your program to be competitive. Offer higher commissions for higher-priced products or subscription plans – and think of giving bonuses for hitting milestones. 

Product Tip: You can even create product-specific programs with unique affiliate commission structures using AffiliateWP's powerful rules engine.

The key is to make it worth an affiliate's time to promote you over others. Ongoing training and personal support don't hurt either!

6. Optimize Your Sales Funnels for Conversions

Even if your affiliates are doing an amazing job driving traffic to your site, you won't see results if your sales funnel is leaky. 

You need to review your sales pages regularly and make them as optimized and frictionless as possible.

Run A/B tests to improve your sales pages, and create a smooth buyer journey from discovery to purchase. Think of adding upsell and cross-sell offers to your eCommerce pages to get the most out of every sale — and increase your average order value.

Don't forget mobile too – a huge percentage of potential new customers browse and buy on smartphones/tablets. Make sure your site is responsive and the sales process is thumb-friendly.

While you're at it, create dedicated affiliate landing pages and bonus offer pages to make it easy for affiliates to send customers your way. The more you can streamline the path to conversion, the more successful your affiliate program will be.

7. Stay Top-of-Mind With Affiliates

Don't let your affiliate partnerships fall by the wayside once they're up and running. 

Make an intentional effort to keep in touch with your affiliate partners often, so they remember to prioritize your business in their strategy.

Stay top-of-mind by:

• Sending a monthly newsletter with tips, promotions, new coupon codes, and hot product updates

• Sharing new digital marketing creatives, swipe copy, and other resources regularly for their affiliate marketing strategy

• Celebrating individual and group achievements

• Running contests and giveaways

• Hosting meetups or masterminds (virtual or in-person)

Consistent communication and recognition go a long way in keeping affiliates engaged and motivated.

8. Review, Analyze, and Refine Constantly

Speaking of refining, your work is never done when it comes to optimizing your affiliate program to make it more profitable.

You need to consistently review your metrics to understand what's working and what's not. 

Which products are your top affiliates promoting? What recruitment channels are most fruitful? How does your commission structure compare to competitors?

Don't be afraid to ask affiliates for feedback too. They're on the front lines and may have valuable points to share. Use that feedback to strengthen your program over time.

Use these insights to make data-driven decisions about where to double down your efforts and where you may need to pivot your strategy. Affiliate marketing is constantly changing, so you need to stay up to date.

Next Steps: Set Up Your Affiliate Program (the Right Way)

Now you have the key tips you need to create a profitable affiliate program. This is where the work begins.

With the right tools (and guidelines) you can easily create an affiliate program that attracts the right brand ambassadors and helps you grow your business.

Here are a few free step-by-step resources to help you get started:

Ready to Run Your Affiliate Program?

And there you go!

With this tutorial, you can easily set up an affiliate marketing program that brings in consistent sales— and help creators earn more income.

It really is a win-win situation. And low risk for you, too.

AffiliateWP makes it super simple to get started and manage this program with minimal hassle — allowing you to focus on the rest of your business. Making it the perfect tool for busy entrepreneurs.

All you need is to give this strategy one try and a bit of time to watch it work its magic.

So give it a try.

Get your AffiliateWP Plus or Pro plan today.

About the Author Chipo

Chipo is a content marketer, digital consultant, and seasoned freelancer with a keen interest in tech, marketing, and the future of work. She helps both graduates and solopreneurs set up their personal brands so they can thrive online. When she’s not working, she’s reading, dining out, and watching old seasons of Grey's Anatomy.

Get In Touch