The market for affiliates has changed significantly over the past few years. Google cracking down on crappy affiliate content as well as increased competition on the internet means that affiliates need to rethink the way they market products online.

Despite all the changes that have happened, many affiliates are still generating millions of dollars a year in commissions by marketing products from some of the best affiliate programs.

Looking for a list of top affiliate programs? Check out this resource from Bengu Marketing.

What do affiliate need to succeed in 2017 and beyond?

Stay focused on one thing

Many affiliates try to master fifty different niches when they get started. They put their fingers in all the pies in the hope that one of them will work out. It can be hard to stay focused when you hear about other people doing so well in all sorts of niches.

The problem with trying to master so many niches in one go is that you don’t become an expert in any of them and your websites ultimately suck.

Don’t get me wrong, its okay to experiment with different niches but ideally you want to pick one niche that you really love and focus on that until it starts generating consistent sales for you.

Create Awesome Content

This is actually not that hard and it is something that will stand the test of time. One of the biggest problems affiliates have is proving their value as middle man between the customer and the merchant.

You can do this by providing awesome value to your visitors in the form of amazing content. Long-form content that’s packed with valueand easy on the eye tends to work best. You can include things like infographics, videos and lots of pictures to add depth to your piece.

Yes it’ll take you some time to produce pieces of content that is better than anything else out there but it’ll definitely pay off for you in the long run. Your content will become an asset for your business.

As an affiliate you have the advantage of speed and versatility. While big companies spend months holding meeting and approving their marketing strategies. You can create an insane piece of content that competitors won’t be able to compete with.

Build a Brand That Adds Value

Google is biased towards brands and this is only something that is getting stronger. This is a big problem for many affiliates because a lot of them aren’t concerned with building a brand at all.

If you look at some of the leading sites in industries like travel, insurance and property it may come as a surprise to you that the majority of these sites are actually affiliate sites.

Websites like Moneysupermarket, Which and Lastminute are all fully blown affiliate sites. They don’t own any products themselves. They just help you find the best deal for whatever you’re looking for.

But here’s the kicker:

They provide amazing value and are super successful because of the strength of their brands as well as the amount of value they provide to their customers.

Affiliate marketers will increasingly find it difficult to succeed without taking the time to build a brand.

Build a Solid Foundation

The success and longevity of your business will only be as strong as the foundations you build for it. Using shady techniques to generate traffic and gain rankings isn’t something that is going to work for you in the long term. On the same subject, the affiliate program you’re with could shut down or your advertising costs could suddenly go up.

The best thing for you to do is to build recurring revenue income streams in your business. This is so that even if you stop making sales, you’ll still have money coming in every month from your previous customers.

This approach depends on the niche and affiliate program you are in but you want to try and find something to promote that gives you the option to earn recurring affiliate commissions. This will give you an added piece of mind where if anything catastrophic happens in your business, you’ll still be earning an income.

Build Traffic Sources

Just like how we should all be building multiple streams of income and diversifying. Relying on a single traffic source can be very risky business. Thousands of people discovered this when the Google panda and penguin updates came out. Businesses wiped out overnight because people relied on one single strategy to generate sales.

Building up a social media following can help with you gaining additional sources of traffic, it doesn’t only have to be organic search. You can also employ pay-per-click marketing strategies to increase traffic and generate leads and sales for your business.