The challenges of running an affiliate marketing business

For those who see challenges as something to overcome and want to establish a good start-up business in the UK, affiliate marketing is a great opportunity.

Whether you are looking for a bit of extra cash in your pocket or you have bigger ambitions, the challenges presented, and the potential rewards, make the affiliate sector of any industry an exciting place to be. But this kind of business doesn’t come without its challenges, and if you are considering taking the plunge, here are some important considerations to keep in mind when you begin your journey.

affiliate marketing challengesChoose a good industry

The first question you’ll need to answer is which industry do you want to join. Affiliate marketeers can pick from niche concerns like tech or cryptocurrency, to mass market products like insurance or mobile phones. Do your research and know what you are getting into before you knuckle down.

Many of the most popular industries for affiliates are already saturated and very tough to get into, so alternative niches and ones you have a personal interest in are usually a good starting point. If a particular type of health product or exercise is your thing, try to find an avenue there. And plan for the long term too. Look at up-coming changes in the market or regulation that might challenge your long-term goals. For example, the success of affiliate sites in the lucrative slots industry is now under threat from new regulation in the UK.

Development and design

Once you’ve chosen your industry, start thinking about how you want your website to look, what it needs to do, and how it should cater to the brands you promote and the visitors who land on your pages. Setting up your own site is easy enough using a simple Word Press theme with a few plug ins but having a designer on hand to produce a more polished layout will help to attract more visitors and negotiate better rates with your partners.

Consider investing some funds into development too. Having compelling content, as well as a few bells and whistles on the site that can engage your users, and ensuring all your links are properly tracked and reported is vital to achieving success. A little spend now is worth it and can go a long way to getting your new business of the ground.

Long hours and multiple jobs

Whatever you think of our advice, one thing is for sure, you should be prepared to put in long hours. Affiliate marketing is a tough nut to crack and you will be up against some pretty stiff competition. If you are taking this challenge on as a start-up on your own or just two of you then you will need to be ready to set up and take on board multiple roles. As a small business owner, you will likely need to switch between commercial, technical, copywriting, design and tea-making roles at the drop of a hat!

Negotiating deals

A key part of succeeding in a competitive affiliate niche is being able to negotiate good deals with your partners. Don’t just accept the company line that they can’t go above the standard cost per sale. Insist that you get more and be prepared to fight your corner with all the information you need at your fingertips to push for a better commission. The quality and quantity of your traffic, and reports that show the high levels of conversion, are all vital data to get a better deal over the line. So come prepared!

Preparing to scale up

Finally, although you might be starting out small, remember that the goal is to grow your business from that standing start to a much bigger concern, so factor that into all your decisions. In particular, your website build must be scalable to enable you to add more content and more categories, and your business must be able to easily widen its reach to potentially further opportunities in similar niches or industries. And always think about the opportunities to diversify your traffic sources, including SEO, data leads and Pay Per Click where appropriate, targeting higher value and better converting keywords all the time.

Take on board all these potential challenges and you have a good chance of making a success of your new affiliate marketing business. Whatever industry you choose, we wish you luck!