Scaling affiliate marketing: Top tips from Nord Security's Jonas Kupreščenkovas

Jonas Kupreščenkovas

March 28, 2024


Nord Security’s affiliate partnership manager, Jonas Kupreščenkovas, shares a few tips on how to scale affiliate marketing and what to keep in mind when venturing deeper into the affiliate marketing model.Strategic planning is of the essence here, not to mention a deep understanding of the product, the niche, and audience.

Jonas Kupres%CC%8Cc%CC%8Cenkovas blog

Affiliate marketing has been gaining traction in recent years as a digital marketing strategy and has become one of the more popular ways to generate passive income for affiliates. Affiliate marketing is growing at a 10% rate year over year. It’s important both for potential affiliates and businesses to understand affiliate marketing and the many ways to scale to fully utilize this advertising model. Quick definition: Affiliate marketing is when third-party publishers (affiliates) are compensated for promoting products and services from an advertiser (brand). For each sale or lead made via their channel, the affiliate receives a commission.

1. Narrow your focus on specific niche

A niche is a specialized market segment when it comes to a particular service or product. Keep in mind: Niches are not made equal. What is more general may be easier to market but also has bigger competition. What is more difficult to market has the challenge of being able to reach the target audience. However, choosing a less popular niche doesn’t mean you won’t be able to sell; it just means that you’ll have your work cut out for you.

It may sound redundant, but if you’re starting from scratch, pick something you’re interested in. Not only will you be able to add to your content from personal experience, it will also be easier to build the niche further on. Having specific knowledge on a topic is an advantage.

Moreover, if you choose products to promote based on your niche and interest, it will be more genuine and to the point rather than choosing everything that comes your way.

2. Understanding what your audience wants

One of the main key points when it comes to affiliate marketing is understanding your audience. While some may encourage covering many different topics, products, and services, it is highly important to understand what kind of audience you have. What are their needs and pain points? Also, what kind of platform you run and what your primary topic or field of expertise is.

If you’re selling cybersecurity products and talk only about that, would it make sense to your audience if you started selling socks? The ability to personalize and deepen your audience's preferences is the ability to effectively maintain their attention. Building an audience that wants to come back and considers you an authoritative source is the most important thing here.

3. Quality content is still king

A flashy thumbnail or ad might draw people to you but quality content is what makes them stay. Therefore, the previously mentioned niche selection and the knowledge of your audience are extremely important. Your audience knows when you understand the topic and provide valuable information rather than just trying to fill a gap. Expertise and genuine interest goes a long way here, and proving it in your content is the first step to gaining substantial visitorship and an audience that keeps coming back for more.

Don’t forget to mix and match when it comes to different content types – informational vs. sales-focused content . Informational content may not earn you millions, but it will strengthen your authority and give you a better chance to rank on SERPs, while various guides, “best” articles, keywords including “review”, “alternatives”, “X vs X” are also great to target those who already have buyer’s intent. SEO knowledge is a big advantage when it comes to driving an audience to your content as it improves the visibility of your website. Close to 80% of affiliate marketers use SEO to bring traffic to their website.

Anything content-related should be of high quality, engaging, and relevant to your niche and audience. Avoiding overly promotional content is recommended; Balance is key, as long as you’re not being spammy or providing empty and useless content, you should be fine.

4. Diversifying your traffic

Want to bring more people to your site and have more stability in your website traffic? Diversification of content is crucial here, not to mention that it will help with scaling your efforts. Paid advertising, social media, and newsletters can help you reach a wider audience. Over 65% of publishers use social media to reach their target audience. From personal experience, we at NordVPN saw recent success with sports teams like Atlético de Madrid, Hibernian FC, and Ipswich Town. Pushing a dedicated newsletter to fans saw significant growth in performance and partnership visibility. A similar situation played out on X, where a single post announcing a partnership drew in almost 200,000 views.

Tailoring your content across a variety of traffic sources works best; don’t forget to A/B test and experiment with content to find what works on certain channels and sources. Depending on your niche, you can find many opportunities, but do some research beforehand to find where your target audience spends time.

If you’re feeling brave, you can expand to new markets and adapt your content as well as affiliate marketing tactics based on the preferences of foreign audiences. However, it’s important to understand that you not only will need to localize your content but also research the buying habits of your target markets. Selling to different countries is not easy and requires an understanding of local market conditions and dynamics. For example, Facebook, X and other well known social networks may not be as popular in Asia, where WeChat and QQ are better known.

5. Tracking your performance

Don’t just slap everything together in the hope that it will work the first time around. Test and track, test and track. Try different promotional strategies, content layouts, and such to see what (or who) works best. Track main metrics like clicks, conversion rate, and impressions to have a better grasp on what works and what doesn’t. Maybe your new theme is confusing? Maybe the radical changes made in content tone put off the audience? Check data and make data-driven decisions to ensure long-term success.

It’s a continuous effort to find what works best, and it’s never set in stone. Constant campaign tracking, conversion rate and content optimization are a must. Why put so much effort into this? To about 30% of web publishers affiliate marketing is one of the top revenue sources. Affiliate marketing keeps you on your toes, and that is one of the most exciting things about it.

6. Working together with your affiliate partnership manager

A dedicated affiliate partnership manager can provide you with valuable information and insights when it comes to scaling. They can provide you with the unique selling points of products and services, come up with various strategies to elevate your marketing efforts, and more. Also, at NordVPN, being up to speed on key global events and time sensitive topics are key for any affiliate strategy. If you’re the first to work with partners on a topic that's starting to trend, you’re bound to see the best results and the largest chunk of the traffic compared to those that jump on the opportunity second or not at all. Therefore, it’s important both for the affiliate partnership manager and the publisher to always track and be on top of various news and trends.

Affiliate marketing managers are always ready to help you as they want you to succeed in your endeavors and can provide feedback, content opportunities, visuals, and more. Most will provide you with tips and guides that will help you build your content accordingly.

To conclude, scaling affiliate marketing demands a constant thirst for information on part of the content creator, as well as consistent improvement, optimization, and a deep understanding of your niche and audience. These tips can help you out to create a good income source though it all comes down to you and your ability to adapt to constantly shifting trends, new social media appearances, and changes in the marketing and consumer landscape.