A lot of people fail at affiliate marketing. I know that is a very depressing statement but it is also very realistic. The reason why people fail in the affiliate marketing game has little to do with the intelligence or willingness. Many of these individuals were actually very pumped up. They definitely put in the work, but the problem is you can only bark up the wrong tree for so long. Eventually, it will come back to haunt you. You will eventually realize that you're just wasting your time.
There are just so many ways to screw up in the affiliate marketing game. If you want to give yourself a head start, focus on reverse engineering your competitors. “Hacking” and “Spying” are the techniques, that you have to use frequently. This is a shortcut to affiliate marketing success. Best of all, you let your competitors do your homework for you. The bottom line is you build on their successes while avoiding their failed experiments. Here's how you do it.
Reverse engineer your competitors' online platform
If it turns out that in your affiliate niche, most of your competitors have put up blogs or review websites, then there's a high chance that you should do the same. There's a reason why their websites use the same conversion platform. The reason should be obvious: it works. Focus on what works. Come up with your own unique version, but focus on what works. If you ignore this lesson, then don't be surprised if your “hot idea” doesn't ignite the imagination of your target audience members. It may be too experimental. It may be too weird for them to take chances with.
Reverse engineer their backlink profile
Your competitors are actually an open book. If they put up any kind of website or they publish an article on their site, you can easily see their work. You can easily look at how successful their work is as far as the rest of the internet is concerned. How do you do this? Using tools like Majestic.com, you can see how many websites link to your competitors' content. More importantly, you would be able to see the identities of these websites and size them up in terms of quality.
Have you noticed that a lot of the big movers and shakers in your niche link to some of your competitors' content? You have all information you need to replicate that success. It all boils down to the willingness to reverse engineer what they're doing right as far as internet popularity is concerned.
Hack and “copy” their most viral content
A lot of marketers think that their target audience members are looking for new stuff. This is a serious mistake. If you pay attention to what your competitors are doing, you will realize that they only talk about a fairly narrow range of topics and themes. If you stick to these themes and you identify the very best content your competitors have regarding these topics and themes, you can come up with better content. This can give you a massive competitive advantage.
Reverse engineer their site layout
If it turns out that your competitors' websites tend to look similar to each other, pay attention. For some reason your niche audience tends to respond more favorably to a certain layout than others. You might want to copy that layout and then improve on it. By copying your competitors' most common layout elements, you get a priceless head start.
Keep the reverse engineering techniques above in mind if you want to get a solid head start in affiliate marketing. Otherwise, you might just be setting yourself up for failure.
“Hack” their sales funnel
A lot of marketers don't know how to sale the product they are promoting. They are taking hints for the sales funnel from the vendor or are using their own pages. This shouldn't be difficult and it isn't. Simply look what's working and copy (model) it. Analyze the angle and the sales pages other successful affiliates are using and make them your own. Try not to copy word for word but be inspired by the information and use it constructively.
“Spy” on their ad campaigns
To run a successful ad campaign is extremely difficult because you cannot guess. There are certain aspects you can know from experience, if you have the experience. For example what kind of image or headline is usually working for what kind of offer. But in the end, there is only one way to get a campaign successful and this way is testing. In order to be able to test sufficiently you need to have the budget, usually a couple of $100 to get the data you need. This can be difficult for marketers, who are new and do not have the budget. Spying on your competitors and seeing what images, copy and headlines they are successfully using not only gives you the edge in promoting your product, it' often also the only way to get relevant data for cheap.
Focus on their used social media platforms
If you notice that your competitors are all on YouTube but hardly anybody is on Twitter, this is a red flag. If anything, this should mean that you should stop wasting your time on Twitter and focus more time and energy on YouTube. There's a reason why your competitors are congregating on some social media platforms and not others. Again, it all comes back to results. Somehow, someway, they're getting results from some social media channels and not others. There's no need to be a hero. There's no need to chart unexplored waters. Focus on what works for them.