Technical Skills for Affiliate Marketing
In this series, we'll be exploring some of the skills I believe a beginner to novice level affiliate should be focusing on in order to really dominate once momentum builds. As I've mentioned before in several posts, money is a byproduct, and in affiliate marketing, this couldn't be more true now than ever.
Skills pay the bills, true indeed. Affiliate analytics covers many topics, we'll dive in and see exactly what that means.
Let's get into it, feel free to reach me with questions
Using Google Analytics can be tricky early on. To spare you the 6months of dabbling before finding the appropriate course, I decided to make this very post you are reading. To understand a bit more about why you should use Google Analytics as an affiliate check this post out.
More than anything just taking the time to set-up GA and Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a huge win. As far as Google Tag Manager goes, I use the WP plugin by Thomas Geiger. Don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, just know that the GA code can/should be added to your site through GTM to keep everything neat and organized.
Google Data Studio
I took a MeasurementMarketing.io course on GDS and applied it. Later I abandoned the whole idea. I just didn't understand a use case so I left it on the cutting room floor.
I'm ashamed to not spend more time on the blog. Julius has a ton of knowledge and I'll make it a point to pay more attention to how he's using GTM. I need to set cookies and pull that data easily, but I've been putting it off because I know it can easily turn into a project that takes all week to complete. Then again, this is that edge that people talk about.
I'm always going to be bias towards the sources that taught me. I'm glad to have learned so much from Chris Mercer over at measurementmarketing.io and vouch for their W.I.N. pass as it taught me the basics for setting up GA and GTM from scratch.
Although I love the tool, the people, and the resources. The set-up was an absolute nightmare as a newbie. I was coming in off of Colin Dijs University and just wanted to test out some CPA offers and track them thoroughly. I knew that doing it the right way would be difficult, but I wasn't aware at how difficult it would be to just understand what the hell a Postback URL was and why I couldn't seem to configure it right after an entire week of my best efforts.
Qualifier: I did figure of GA and GTM fairly quickly and got them functional on all my sites. Nowdays I can format a basic GA/GTM set-up in about 30-45mins.
In other words, it shouldn't be THAT difficult to just get the basics, especially when there are tools that are cheaper and easier for beginners.
Ultimately, I'll be giving Voluum another try, but only for paid traffic offers in the future. For now I'll go with the following companies geared toward supercharging Google Data Studio's free platform.
Not sure if it's better than the alternative I've found but Supermetrics was the first I found with this business model. Basically you get access to templates for a trial period. Get used to them, then pay to keep them.
I'm not mad at that, I think it's kind of genius. The cool thing about Supermetrics is they supercharge your data that you're already gathering from Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Google Search Console.
Hopefully, you set these up at conception. If so you can link up Google Data Studio and viola, you have a way to visualize your data that makes it much more palatable and offers you insight into what you need to do next for your site.
Just as I suspected, I could find a better way to know what was going on within my SEO Affiliate Marketing efforts through having the correct set-up. 2 things stood out for me when I decided to download a free template from them.
- They had a kickass template for SEO that really opened my mind for this blog.
- They sent me a personal email asking me if I would be interested in being an affiliate. (my first time getting an email like this)
I'll continue to experiment with the SEO template as I am getting more value from one simple dashboard than I was able to with a $150/month Moz pro subscription trial I experimented with over the past 20 days or so.
Pretty Links is the best link management tool for bloggers. It's not a true tracker though.
Using WordPress you can grab a free version and start your journey.
The best way to get started in this journey is by installing Pretty Links plugin and getting a hang for what the value of having your links branded and organized. Later you can upgrade to Pretty Links pro version like I did.
It's definitely one of those things that you won't think you need until you have it. Just like that first time I used my Airpods. It's worth it, it's free, don't miss out on getting crucial data that will allow you to make better decisions, naturally.
This seems to be a pretty hot topic that beginners flock to. I get it, I used the ga dev URL builder just like everyone. It seems like a great idea to get this data. But is anyone going to interpret that data? What about presenting that data?
Google Search Console
I spend time in Google Search Console almost anytime I want to get into flow and just write without too much direction.
I use and swear by the Project 24 methods, but I'm also creative and sometimes the best way to get my word count up is by writing impromptu.
Case and point.
Google Search Console allows me to track my progress and compare my rankings for keywords. I use the performance tab and filter by impressions to better understand where I am at any given time. Lately I've begun to rank for many more keywords, so I guess this whole keyword research approach is working.
In case you didn't already know. I wrote 105 blog posts within the first 12months of having Blue Highlighted Text up and running. I found Project 24 toward the tail-end of that period and adjusted my approach and put together a plan for new content about 1.5yr later.
I go pretty deep into Google Analytics and how I use them as an affiliate it's something that is often avoided and overlooked, but I strongly recommend spending some time understanding how to set-up Google Analytics and how to use it to make your affiliate marketing campaigns tighter.
The place I learned from scratch was Measurement Marketing's W.I.N. course curriculum. I don't know much about other courses as I haven't used them.
Although the difference is in how well you execute the learned technical skills, you're lightyears ahead of most affiliates for even approaching the affiliate marketing game in this way. If you want to consider learning SEO in order to fuel organic traffic, check out the free SEO Affiliate Domination course and tackle one of the biggest obstacles you'll have early on, traffic.
I didn't really understand how or why I should structure my blog posts until I got into authority blogging. Now, I use the Rank Math plugin religiously.
Additionally, the guys over at SEO AD are promoting Page Optimizer Pro which does the same thing essentially (I have a subscription of POP but use Rank Math because it's a free WP plug-in)
At the time of me writing this, I haven't explored backlinks and PBNs. I have read Get Me Links highly addictive blog to get some pretty good ideas and starting points for when it's time to go that route. There's even some suggestions that Greg provides in the Six-Figure Society, one of the add-ons available to SEO AD members.