I'm sure this has happened to you, especially if you have kids older than 5. Mine walked into the house and complained that they didn't have what their friends across the street had.
It's a game that starts early in life and I know adults still playing it.
Whether it's a razor scooter, a skateboard, a nerf dart gun, or a particular Lego kit, they want what the other kids have.
And you know why it's compelling? Because the other kids tell them how awesome the products are. They're natural evangelists.
Adults don't lose that skill.
We're all pretty good evangelists
Ask my what I like about my car (Audi A8) and I'll just invite you to sit in the passenger seat and click and turn a knob, and soon you'll enjoy a back massage while we take a drive.
Now, that didn't lead them to buy my car, but the same isn't true for other recommendations I make.
When I tell people about iThemes Exchange (eCommerce), WP Courseware (LMS on WordPress), BeaverBuilder (Page Builder), or WP Engine (hosting) for example, the price points are pretty different from an Audi A8 and people actually do make those purchases.
Because I believe in these products. I have bought these products. I have tested and used these products. And I can recommend these products.
So folks can make a choice to take my recommendations or not. Based on how much I like something – just like my kids rush into the house wanting the next thing that our neighbor's kids have.
Affiliate links create a win win
The difference between my kids and their friends, and what happens on this site (and many others), is that when I link to products I recommend, I use affiliate links.
These are links that let the seller know where visitors came from. And because they can track that, and know someone came from me, they'll credit that sale to me.
It doesn't cost my readers anything but it's a nice return for me, and the seller of those products rewards me for the leads. I make a little percentage of what they make.
It's a win win.
Except when you're using the wrong affiliate software…
…Unless you're using the wrong affiliate software
Yes, I repeated that.
See, if you are selling products, and I'm assuming you are, and you set up a cruddy affiliate system (which I'm hoping you won't), the problem isn't your affiliate system per se.
The problem is your lack of data.
See if you can't tell me, the person who is recommending you and your products, what pages are doing best and which links are converting better, then I can't do anything to help you.
I'm normally excited to recommend a product I like. But if I can't get any details about how things are going, or what my conversion rate is, or which posts are converting effectively, then what's the point.
I don't really care if my payout is 10%, 25%, or 200% if there's no conversions, right?
And while this sounds like it's all a big rant and complaint, it's not.
My goal is to encourage you to do something about it. Because if you can give your evangelists better data, they can tweak things to help you close more deals (sometimes without even writing more posts).
And more sales for you means more revenue. So why would you keep some cruddy system that gives you no data?
That's why I recommend AffiliateWP
When you use a system like AffiliateWP, you're using a system that will help your evangelists know a lot more about what's working and what's not working.
And it comes with all sorts of cool enhancements that let you do additional things like lifetime commissions (which is so amazing).
So yes, as a person who uses affiliate links, I would prefer that everyone who isn't using an affiliate system, using an old system, or a cruddy system, or an outdated system, or one with really poor data – that you all make a quick change and start using AffiliateWP.
Trust me, you'll sell more products.