This is a guest post by Jason Acidre, a marketing consultant for Affilorama, an affiliate marketing portal. Affilorama provides affiliate marketing education and advanced affiliate marketing tools  for beginning and advance affiliates.
There are a lot of challenges to face in affiliate marketing, just like with any other business. There are pitfalls you need to avoid and certain things you need to do to keep your affiliate marketing strategies working and bringing in consistent ROI. So what’s the best way to do it and how do you stay on the right path to maintaining and growing your business? Here are 10 key tips you should know and remember for making your affiliate marketing business a successful one.
Tip #1. Don’t skimp on SEO. Just because you’re ranking well and bringing in traffic from other sources doesn’t mean you should disregard SEO. Search engine optimization is a long-term strategy that will bring you residual traffic for years to come. Investing weekly or monthly in backlinking or press releases is a great way to keep your site relevant and climbing up the search engine results. Even if you’re ranking well right now for your top keywords, going lax on your SEO will result in someone else outranking you – it’s just a matter of time.
Tip #2. Split-test your landing pages. Whether you’re sending traffic via PPC or article marketing, you’re leaving a significant amount of dough on the table if you don’t split-test what landing pages convert better. For most people, changing things as simple as punctuation or background colors can make the difference between a few sales and a dozen sales. Spending the few minutes it takes to set up a script for testing and providing variations of your current site is all it takes to optimize for better conversions.
Tip #3. Diversify your traffic, right now. Putting all your eggs in one basket is a recipe for disaster, even if you pay for traffic. With Google slaps that can devastate entire campaigns, it’s a poor idea to depend on traffic from just one channel. Having organic and passive traffic that comes through articles or video marketing is a great way to provide some passive traffic that keeps coming no matter what. Even if you can get additional sources of traffic that trickle in a few clicks a day you’re still that much better off when your other traffic sources dry up or go stale.
Tip #4. Outsource the tough stuff. If you aren’t already outsourcing the majority of your work, now’s the time to get started. Outsourcing landing page creation, video creation, social media marketing and other tedious tasks is a great way to free up time to manage your overall marketing strategy. Utilizing sites like RentACoder.com or GetaFreeLancer.com is a great way to find people who will do your work for you, and you can stay protected via escrowing the payment.
Tip #5. Diversify your income streams. If you’ve been promoting one product for a while now and are earning a steady income, it may be time to branch out to new opportunities. What would you do tomorrow if the product you’re promoting gets buried in a legal battle and is forced to shut down? Believe it or not, this does happen, and promoting at least two to three products or services is a good way to protect your affiliate marketing income and scale up your business.
Tip #6. Optimize your load time. If you’re sending traffic to your landing pages and trying to make sales, optimizing your load time and your page’s general performance is key to higher conversions. The faster your site loads, the more money you’ll make. This isn’t just important for customers visiting your page – it also plays an important role in SEO and getting more organic traffic. If you use WordPress, look into using Wp-Cache, a plug-in that speeds up load times dramatically for visitors.
Tip #7. Start using Web 2.0/social media. If you’re not currently using any kind of social media or Web 2.0 services to promote your site, now might be the time to do it. While Web 2.0 and social networking has been a staple of affiliate marketing for quite some time, there are still a few people who aren’t using them to increase traffic and sales. Start leveraging sites like Twitter and Facebook to find people in your niche to sell to.
Tip #8. Find higher-paying products to promote. If you’re already an affiliate of a top weight loss product, try to track down a program that converts just as well but pays a few bucks more than your current one. This goes for any niche or type of product, and promoting something that pays just a few dollars more can make a huge difference in your income. Another way to get more out of an affiliate product is to simply speak to your affiliate manager or the product owner and ask about earning more per sale. Depending on the volume and sales you do, they might allow you to earn more commissions.
Tip #9. Get laser-targeted traffic. If your sales are currently poor or your landing pages aren’t converting as well as they should, it’s probably a good idea to increase the quality of the traffic you’re using. If you’re getting broad or general visitors who aren’t necessarily interested in what you’re promoting, you’re just spinning your wheels and getting no traction. Focus in on more targeted visitors by switching up the keywords you target and making sure they’ll attract the right visitors.
Tip #10. Offer more than one product on your landing pages. A good way to increase conversions across the board is to offer more than one product on your landing pages. This works particularly well on review blogs but can work in other formats as well. For example, if you’re promoting a weight loss supplement, offer two other competing weight loss supplements and rate them individually. Believe it or not some people will purchase the competing products, which will generate money you would have otherwise left on the table.