Your Affiliate Program Strategy is Like Smoking a Brisket

Gotta love the spring and summer time. Which means it’s time to bust out my smoker! Although bar-be-que’n is fun, there is just something about smoking foods, that get’s me all giddy. The process is lengthy, and you have to have a well-thought out approach to ensure you achieve the right taste, texture, and smoke. What makes it so fun for me is the preparation: picking out meats, the research, the rub, the patience, tactics, and rest. All that hard work and wait is worth it, when you slice into a nicely smoked brisket, for the perfect taste, to remind you a little bit of Texas.

There are 2 things that I thoroughly enjoy, (outside of being a loving family man) that share common similarities with one another. One, smoking foods and building / creating an affiliate strategy for my clients. They both require extensive research, different strategies, execution, patience, testing, and optimization. There has been a few times when I smoked a brisket that completely failed. I either wasn’t patient enough, or my brisket dried out. Smoking the toughest piece of meat requires you to have a well thought-out strategy, similar to making an affiliate program successful.

Here’s a recipe to build the right affiliate strategy:

  • Picking out the meat! – There are tons of affiliate networks in the industry, and picking the right one, that fits your strategy, will be vital to the growth of the program.
  • Utilizing the right rub for your brisket – There are thousands of affiliates in the space. What’s important is the quality of publishers and having the right affiliate blend you need in order to achieve your goals.
  • Establishing the right temperature for the smoke – What type of affiliate strategy should you implement, ROI centric or New-To-File (NTF)?
  • Low and Slow – Affiliate channel is a marathon not a sprint (see blog post: Affiliate Marketing – A Marathon Not a Sprint), you must continually be exploring new optimization tactics to further grow your program which will take time.
  • Let your brisket rest after taking her out of the smoker – After you’ve tested your optimization tactics, now it’s time to maximize your peak selling seasons.

Affiliate programs take time, and executing on the right strategy is important. What is the right strategy? First, understanding what strategy you want in place will be the foundation to success in the channel. You have to be patient, in order to see the return on your time spent managing the affiliate program. Very similar to the prep work, time, marinating, and attention when smoking a brisket. But as you foster and nurture an affiliate program, you’ll start to reap the benefits when everything comes together, just like slicing a piece of Texas in your backyard.