Affiliate Marketing on a Small Budget: 5 Strategies to Stretch Your Dollar

Affiliate Marketing on a Small Budget: 5 Strategies to Stretch Your Dollar

Having an endless budget to spend on testing campaigns and traffic sources is every affiliate’s dream.

However, as a beginner, you’re likely to have a small budget with a specific number in mind that you don’t want to go over.

Even if you’re an experienced veteran, there’s several factors that could put you in a position where you don’t want to pump a ton of your money into campaigns at the moment.

To make small budget affiliate marketing work, you simply need to alter your promotion strategies.

We’ve determined five ways to do just that.

You’ll notice that most of our below recommended strategies follow a trend of attempting to reduce competition with other affiliates. That’s because this is a tried and true way to make affiliate marketing work with a reduced budget.

If you’re trying to buy traffic or target users that large, big-budget affiliates are already buying and targeting, you’re naturally going to have to spend a lot of money to compete.

The following strategies will allow you to avoid that competition while still reaching users who are hungry for the product or service you’re promoting.

1. Narrow Your Niche 

Finding a niche and then shrinking its appeal is one way to combat over-saturation. It increases the cost efficiency of your budget by decreasing competition with other affiliates, many with larger budgets than yourself.

Where there is less competition, there’s usually less spending on keywords, ad space, etc.

To accomplish this, choose a popular niche and start thinking of how you can break it down into sub-niches.

Here’s an example.

Fitness: This is a long-standing lucrative vertical but one that’s saturated and highly competitive. There are already countless active ads focusing on weight-loss or a general active lifestyle backed by significant spending.  

To stretch your budget, create ads that focus on smaller fitness communities like bodybuilding, cross-fitters and even users following particular diets like paleo or intermittent fasting.

The product or service you’re promoting doesn’t need to be specific to those sub-niches as long it still relates to fitness. Just make sure your campaign angle, ad copy, and landing page fill in any gaps that exist between the content of the offer and the sub-niche. (Eg. Why people on a paleo diet should purchase this fitness program.)

2. Target Smaller demographics

The goal here is to discover users that are being missed by broad, large-budget targeting.

It’s similar to the sub-niche strategy we discussed above except you’re applying it specifically to demographics.

To do this, you’ll need to spend some time brainstorming creative angles for a campaign. In doing so, it will lead you to more unique users and hopefully untapped leads.      

Let’s say you’ve found a credit score campaign at MaxBounty that you’d like to promote.  

Just advertising to female credit card users will stretch you too thin.

Instead, you could target younger users in their 20s who are shopping for their first new vehicle. They may be so caught up in finding their dream car that they’ve forgotten how they’ll need a great credit score to finance. You can be the one to refresh their memory.

Dead set on a diet campaign? You could think outside the box by targeting middle-aged grooms who don’t want to look out-of-shape in comparison to their beautiful brides on their wedding day.

By narrowing your demographic, you can reach people who have the same level of interest in what you’re promoting but at a lower cost than a wider audience.

3. Select the Right Campaigns

When working with a small budget, it’s important to choose campaigns that are likely to cost you less to test and promote.

It’s also wise to choose campaigns that have a broad appeal. This usually means avoiding cost-per-sale campaigns with high rates.

CPS campaigns are more likely to be high risk/high reward. They also tend to require more budget for testing to determine what’s working and what isn’t.

With a cost-per-lead campaign with a lower rate, you have a greater chance of capturing leads which you can then use to assess your strategy, traffic source, creatives, etc.

Surveys, sweepstakes, and email submit campaigns are just a few great options for smaller budget affiliates for the reasons mentioned above.

We’ll discuss later how you can narrow the niche during your promotion, but the campaigns itself should appeal to a wide range of users.

4. Promote Campaigns in Less Popular Countries 

One of the most common ways to stretch a small budget in affiliate marketing is to avoid promoting campaigns in the most popular English-speaking countries.

Highly populated English-speaking countries like the US and the UK are the top choice for many affiliates. That’s because they offer wide reach while eliminating the need to translate creatives to another language.   

By putting in some extra work, you can find less competitive leads in countries like Sweden, Norway, Brazil, and South Africa to name a few.

However, we don’t recommend just using a service to translate your campaign (ad copy, LP, etc.) to another language and promoting the campaign. This strategy can yield poor results.

Different countries simply have different preferences.

You won’t find the same potato chip flavours in the UK as you will in North America. Residents in those countries prefer tastes that are ingrained in the culture of that region.  

You need to take the same approach when shifting campaign angles to different countries.

Take some time and think of ways you can alter your creatives to be more appealing in other geos. This could be as simple as changing your ad image and landing page headline to something that represents the culture of that country.

5. Utilize Less Competitive Traffic Sources 

In 2020 there are more traffic sources available to affiliates than ever before. From dozens of social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat to countless traffic networks like Taboola and Propeller Ads.

A simple way to save some cash is to avoid the top-tier premium traffic sources that cost the most money.

For example, let’s say you’re planning on using search traffic for your campaign.

You likely view Google Ads as the search alpha dog, and for good reason. Their platform simply offers unprecedented volume and reach.

However, their biggest competitor, Bing Ads shouldn’t just be viewed as a runner-up. In fact, they’re actually superior to Google Ads in several ways:

  • Easier to target an older demographic
  • Reaches users with a higher average household income
  • Cheaper cost-per-click

That last one is likely the most important if you’re on a tight budget.

Where Bing lacks in overall reach compared to Google it makes up for it in cost.

Bing’s average cost-per-click is 60% lower than Google’s.

Bing Ads is not just a substitute. It’s an alternative that can provide great results at a fraction of the cost.

With traffic platforms, you can save a lot of money by choosing the proverbial Pepsi over Coke. Most of the time the conversions will taste just as sweet.  

12 Ways to Increase Website Traffic Without Blowing Your Budget

12 Ways to Increase Website Traffic Without Blowing Your Budget

When starting a new website, blog or business on the internet, it’s not just about the content you create. Sure, it’s going to be one of the most important aspects of it — but at the end of the day, it really comes down to your content promotion and getting traffic to your site.

In short, this is just a big numbers game. With over a billion active websites on the internet today, how are you ever going to complete?

The answer is simple — create better content than your competition, provide more value, and then put in the marketing effort to make sure your audiences finds it. At this point in the game, focusing solely on “great content” will likely get you nowhere.

However, not everyone has a massive budget that they can blow through each month, just to get traffic flowing to the site. On the flip side, there are plenty of “free” methods for increasing exposure, backlinks, and traffic to your site as well. To further stress this point, I thought it would be a great idea to ask 12 different entrepreneurs and business owners from the YEC community this same question — “What is the best way to increase website traffic without blowing through your budget?

1. Create Social Media Content

There’s no cost to generate a solid social following, outside of time and creativity. When done correctly, you can then push that captive audience to any website you want. Focus on being genuine and authentic, pull in followers that truly want to engage with your brand and don’t be overly promotional. Share information that will be helpful and useful, mixed in with some calls-to-action

– Jonathan LongMarket Domination Media

2. Contribute Guest Posts to High Traffic Sites

Even if you don’t have much money for marketing, you are rich with knowledge. Identify a few different websites that have a lot of traffic and contribute your knowledge to those sites. Give away the farm and create something immensely valuable for that site. Link back to your site, use a popup to collect emails from the inbound traffic influx and begin creating your audience.

– Brett FarmiloeMarkitors

3. Build One Incredible Piece of Content

Great content is the path to more traffic. Don’t just write filler two-paragraph blog posts. Put all of your energy into creating one incredible piece of content like a piece of software, in-depth video lesson or webinar series.

– John RoodNext Step Test Preparation

4. Email a Link to Your Site

Find out who your ideal target person is and email them a link to your site, and a brief explanation of why they would be interested. Qualified traffic is more valuable than lots of junk from a funny social post.

– James McDonoughSEE Forge

5. Hit the Streets

In today’s digital era, hitting the streets means roaming the web looking for interactions. Engaging in other’s work will draw attention to your work as well (make sure your content presentation is on lock). The web isn’t a one-way street. By posting on other’s threads, you’re not only visible to them, but to other people that are in their social media circles.

– Andrew NammingaAndesign

6. Leverage Industry Influencers

In marketing, one of the easiest ways to reach new customers without paying a fortune is by tapping influencers who already have a captive audience of fans and followers. Find influencers who would appreciate your product or service and partner with them to promote your brand. Many will be willing to do it for free, while others would be happy to take an affiliate commission.

– Firas KittanehAmerisleep

7. Manage Your Online Reputation

It doesn’t cost a penny to be on Angie’s List, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Facebook, Google+ and Yellow Pages. Survey your customers first to make sure you can stop negative reviews in their tracks. Then, syndicate the positive ones all over the internet by asking for feedback on sites your customers belong to.

– Tommy MelloA1 Garage Door Service

8. Feature Trending Topics

Using buzzwords or writing about trending topics is the best way to generate website traffic and rise up in search engine results without paying a penny. At my agency, we make sure to pay attention to trending topics in the media and write about them ASAP. Whether it’s a new Instagram update or the latest video game, quick turnaround time is crucial because you want to strike while searches for these topics are at their highest.

– Bryanne LawlessBLND Public Relations

9. Take Advantage of Word of Mouth

Get others talking about you to do the legwork for you. This includes telling friends, family, colleagues and others who, in turn, can share it with others. They can pass around your website address or share it on their own social media sites and emails.

– Drew HendricksButtercup

10. Participate in Forum Discussions

We participate in several LinkedIn forums and other online forums where we know our clients come for help. If we make good contributions, users click on our profile and visit our website. It doesn’t cost us anything, and it also improves our digital reputation because it shows our clients that we are very dynamic in the community. Try it.

– Piyush JainSIMpalm

11. Produce Video Content

Create interesting content about your product, service or industry with an engaging video. Everyone has access to video on their phone, laptop or tablet. Whether on-the-go or at home, video is accessible and more engaging than text. As long as your content is captivating, people will share it and become more interested in your brand, which will bring them to your website.

– Stanley MeytinTrue Film Production

12. Blog Often

You need to have a blog. Blogs are very cheap, and often free! They’re also super easy to use and are a great way to start generating website traffic. Get a content director working on it right away and make sure to blog often. Your content should be relevant to your product, and at the same time interesting to read. Happy blogging!

– Manick BhanRukkus

5 Proven Lead Generation Strategies that Won’t Ruin Your Budget

5 Proven Lead Generation Strategies that Won’t Ruin Your Budget

Written by Zac Johnson

Every business has to secure new customers, but finding ways to do this on a tight budget can be tricky. Thanks to the internet, this is now easier and more effective than ever before.

In the past, if you were to buy billboard advertising or even place ads in flyers or magazines, it’s always a guess on the type of ROI you were going to see. In fact, it was more like playing the casino and the odds usually weren’t in your favor. For the most part, this type of advertising would usually fall under branding‘.

On the internet, it’s a whole different ball game, and everything is trackable, down to the finest penny, click, or impression!

Whether it’s online or offline, acquiring a new customer isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s reported that acquiring a new buyer is five to 25 times pricier than retaining an existing one, but you can generate leads successfully with limited resources if you approach it the right way.

What does this involve? Well, for every business it’s different — but there are clearly winning strategies that continue to work across all platforms and markets.

If you are willing to put in the time, work, and effort… here are five powerful strategies you have to try.

1. Automating Your Marketing Process

An effective marketing process puts your brand in front of new customers and makes it appear so utterly tantalizing they just can’t say no.

But, as you probably know by now, achieving such amazing results takes time, money and energy — and having enough of all three to go around isn’t always easy.

Automating your marketing process is a valuable solution.

Multiple tools (some free, some not) are designed for this: you’ll send a marketing email the prospect signed up for and, if they choose to act on it, they’ll end up directed to the relevant landing page. Follow-up emails can be sent according to specific criteria as well, such as if the recipient has read a preceding message (ideal for consistency).

Automating your marketing is a real time-saver, won’t break the bank and frees your employees up for additional lead generation, so give it some thought.

2. Growing Your Email Subscriber List

Actually building a list of prospects to contact via email is crucial, though — after all, who’s going to receive your marketing messages if your subscriber list is blank?

You have to make enough of an impact on visitors to your site that signing up for emails feels like a natural next step. Make sure your website’s visually-impressive, easy to use and offers real value — why should anyone want to hear more from you if you seem to have nothing to say?

Offer the opportunity to subscribe on each page of your site and give a good incentive to submit their email address. A discount on an upcoming purchase or a freebie (such as an ebook or podcast) can help to sweeten the deal.

3. Up Your Content Marketing Game — Blog Often and Create Videos

Blogging is still a solid part of a great marketing game. First and foremost, you’ll add fresh content and more keywords to your website on a regular basis — both key for a good SEO campaign.

Secondly, you can share these across social media to increase engagement and target different demographics within your audience. Blogging is cost-effective too, especially if you build a good relationship with a quality freelancer: the more work you put their way, the better their deal is likely to be.

Videos can be useful in generating leads as well. 90 percent of users cite product videos as major aids to their purchase decisions and 64 percent are more likely to order an item online. Watching videos is more convenient than reading a blog post, more visually stimulating and actually give you a chance to show your products or services off in motion.

Again, producing videos doesn’t have to be expensive: once you have a dedicated ‘studio’ set up and the necessary equipment, you can use them as often as you need.

4. Be Accessible and Organized

When people receive your marketing emails, read your blogs or watch your videos, what will they do if they have questions?

While some will head to your site in search of an FAQ, others will come to you directly. You need to offer multiple communication channels that are convenient and accessible to customers, including live chat, telephone and social media (which we’ll touch on more below).

Live chat software has become one of the most popular interaction methods for businesses, enabling website visitors to engage with support agents in real-time via mobile or computer. They can get the assistance they need in-browser without having to dial a number or draft an email.

The best live chat software makes staying organized and responsive easy, while providing you with helpful data to understand your audience better.

Best of all: it’s free for the customer — making it a risk-free choice on their part.  

Give your prospects multiple ways to reach you, ideally 24/7, when working to generate leads.

5. Fully Embrace Social Media to Drive Sales

Sixty-six percent of marketers using social media for lead generation see real benefits, even on just six hours per week.

Social media has given brands a free, simple, direct way to engage customers at any time, any place. They can reach out to you through their browser or an app in a matter of moments, and an organized company will respond just as fast.

Being accessible is crucial for businesses of all sizes: customers want to feel valued and respected — and letting messages go unresponded to for weeks certainly doesn’t help. A good social-media strategy lets you demonstrate your expertise, build a rapport, show your human side and ultimately convey why prospects need your products in their life.

You can invest in ads on social media too if you can afford it, which make a great complement to organic lead-generation techniques.  

Networks offer various tools for targeting people similar to existing and ideal customers, based on interests etc.

Either monitor social media activity yourself if you’re particularly low on resources, or hire someone to do it for you.

You also might want to consider affiliate software for your social media outreach, as this incentivizes sharing on social networks.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Lead Generation Efforts in 2019

Lead generation is crucial for brands of all sizes, across all industries. The five strategies explored above will help you capture leads in a budget-friendly way, expanding your reach without devouring too much of your finances. Focus on efficiency and productivity to streamline the entire process, leaving your team the time they need for other essential tasks.