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What affiliate marketers can do during the COVID-19 outbreak

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The Coronavirus outbreak has a big impact on the globe’s economy and politics. For instance, the travel industry is expected to lose $820B. Nonetheless there is no reason to be discouraged and give up on your affiliate business. It’s time to brace yourself and seek new opportunities in the changing environment and be prepared for the recovery and explosive growth of the travel industry.

In the “COVID-19 Survival Kit for Travel Bloggers”, we’ve outlined the current market conditions, explained the influence of COVID-19 on CPA/CPC revenues, and shared more tips on what can be done during this turbulent time.

1. Collect the leads

If it’s impossible to continue sales in the niche where you work, you can continue to collect leads to use them in the future. For example, start collecting subscribers who are interested in your niche or create a community. Remember that demand will return, so cold leads in the future will be worth its weight in gold. You must be ready for deferred demand, those who don’t buy now will buy in the future.

2. Seek new opportunities

“Search for new opportunities” is on everyone’s lips, and rightly so. In evolving circumstances, the best thing you can do is assess the situation and develop a new approach to minimize losses. 

As an affiliate, you might need to take a fresh look at your business. For instance, why not explore new ways to monetize your website or network with other bloggers? Here are some ideas to give you inspiration.

Monetization model

Now there are fewer buyers on the market than before, so the conversion rates may be lower. However, CPA commission rates have not been changed for the most part, unlike the fallen rates on the contextual advertising networks. [PIC] 

Consider switching to the CPA monetization model if you haven’t yet used it for your traffic monetization. CPA is a long-time fair model for advertisers and publishers.

Traffic types

If your traffic was mostly coming from search engines and through keywords that are no longer valid, it’s the perfect time to explore other sources. For example, increase your presence on social media and build a stronger relationship with your audience.

Affiliate programs

Given the current circumstances, advertisers are changing or even closing their affiliate programs. Review the offers that you’re currently promoting and consider joining new offers. Even more broadly, take a look at other niches that are thriving at the moment.  

Niches

Many affiliates rushed to other niches that are experiencing huge traffic and conversion growth. These include online entertainment, food delivery, healthcare, finances and e-commerce. Would your audience be interested in any of these services?

3. Optimize expenses

Even if your revenues might slow down for some time, it’s not a reason to cut back on things you like. Instead, audit your current expenses and try to find loopholes to minimize costs without losing the quality. 

For instance, if you’re hiring expensive writers, give a new, promising author with less experience a chance or even explore ways to get free content. Or, if you’re using a lot of premium online services such as hosting, email and website themes, explore free options—there are many. 

4. Switch to remote work

Working from the comfort of your home is advantageous in many ways. It minimizes time wasted on commuting, lowers office and dining expenses. It also protects against getting and spreading the virus and it allows you to keep up with the times. 

How to avoid workflow disruption due to the lack of face-to-face interaction

  1. Organize your workflow with tools like Trello or Asana.
  2. Stay in touch with the help of Slack, Acquire, Telegram and Chanty.
  3. Share documents through Google Docs, Google Drive, Dropbox, Hightail, etc.
  4. Manage design tasks on Mural, Mockplus, GoVisually and more.
  5. Track time with Time Doctor and Top Tracker
  6. Run online meetups with tools such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Skype, etc. 
  7. Manage company profiles on social media with Hootsuite, Buffers or Zoho Social.  

5. Keep content relevant

Readers will keep visiting your blog as long as you share valuable information. 

First, don’t waste time on publishing irrelevant content related to traveling and other things that are simply out of reach right now for most people. Posts like that won’t attract attention and could cause frustration instead.

Second, regularly post relevant news. Be the first to share information with readers, and they will follow. 

Third, focus on content that will drive traffic in the long term. It can be a new perspective, marketing channel or topic. For instance, instead of writing about cryptocurrency, you can blog about new ways to make money online or how to move your business to digital. 

Fourth, give more space to your readers. The current situation obviously provokes response, and you can find a win-win solution by giving your audience space to communicate and getting user-generated content at the same time.

6. Learn new things

When the crisis ends (and it will at some point), the market will change—and so should your approach. The best time to prepare for it is now, so why don’t you and/or your employees acquire skills that you previously lacked? 

From the affiliate marketing perspective, it is essential to have great writing. If you can do that yourself, you won’t need to pay other authors and could reduce costs of running your blog. For that matter, explore available writing courses

Another important thing about every blog is imagery. If you’ve been struggling to explain what kind of graphics you need and never found the right solution, maybe it’s time to learn graphic design

Or maybe you can go one step further and take great pics yourself with these online photography courses.  

7. Add trendy keywords

As usual, take advantage of trendy keywords. For instance, the Coronavirus topic has generated over 20,000,000 new search queries per month. 

You can explore ways to apply this trend to your niche. If it’s travel, you can write about safe tourism opportunities or limitations that the situation imposes on the relocation. If you write about lifestyle, it can be a good idea to present ideas to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the changing situation, etc. 

8. Promote refundable products

As many people are starting to cut back on their expenses, why not promote offers that can be reimbursed? In such cases, people feel safer as they know that they can reverse the payment. For example, it can be an online course with money-back guarantee or products with demo versions. 

It doesn’t matter what you offer your audience, just keep their safety in mind. If necessary, warn them about any risks or completely eliminate the risky offers altogether.

9. Be active on social media

Social media is getting extremely popular these days. People want the latest news to be delivered to them, and social media is the perfect way. You can publish news, announce your latest posts and more, so your subscribers will be able to follow the trends in the most comfortable way for them. 

To automate the process and make social media management quick and easy, take advantage of these free tools.

10. Build long-term strategies

Don’t get discouraged by the wave of cancellations everywhere in the travel market. Instead build a long-term strategy:

  • Make your website SEO-friendly
  • Explore new channels, traffic types and niches 
  • Promote refundable products
  • Get ready for the next season
  • Set priorities and optimize your expenses

How affiliates can survive a crisis

With everyone panicking, it’s hard to keep your spirits high. But, if you see this crisis as an opportunity to grow personally and professionally, the sky’s the limit!

Improve your website off-page and on-page SEO, optimize expenses, deliver relevant content, stay on top of the latest trends and keep in touch with your audience. With these simple tricks, your business will have a high chance of staying afloat and growing in the long term.

Travelpayouts team is doing our best to collect and share analytics data about the COVID-19 situation, which may be helpful for webmasters. You can find the data and some actionable tips on how to cope with the situation in our COVID-19 Survival Kit.