A deep-dive into how top affiliate marketers make AppSumo’s affiliate program work for their online businesses and clients.
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We sat down with three AppSumo affiliate marketers to do a deep-dive into how they make AppSumo’s affiliate marketing program work for their online businesses and clients.
Sandeep Mallya, 99signals
Agency Owner, Blogger, & YouTuber
“To be a successful AppSumo affiliate, you need to be an AppSumo customer first…. Once you’ve tried the products out, start reviewing the ones that really helped you and publish in-depth how-to guides on your blog to showcase your expertise.”
For Sandeep Mallya, entrepreneur and digital marketing consultant from Bangalore, India, AppSumo has been a natural fit as an affiliate program.
Tell us a bit about you.
I started my digital marketing agency, Startup Cafe Digital, in 2015 to help small businesses and startups leverage SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing to grow their traffic and generate qualified leads for their business.
Then I launched 99signals in 2016 as a side project to document all the strategies, tools, and tactics that I was using to grow my small agency.
The goal was simple: to arm other solopreneurs with all the right information and tools they needed to launch a successful online business.
I joined a few affiliate programs and started publishing comprehensive reviews and comparison posts about the tools that I was familiar with. Over time, these posts started ranking well on Google and I observed a steady rise in my affiliate income. Fast forward to today, 99signals has grown significantly and generates over $5,000 in side income each month. The blog currently features 200+ in-depth articles, how-to guides, and actionable tips on a wide range of marketing topics — from SEO and content marketing to social media marketing and affiliate marketing.
How does affiliate marketing fit into your business?
I write in-depth reviews, comparisons, and how-to guides on almost all the affiliate products I promote on my blog. I believe in publishing long-form posts and always ensure my articles stay “evergreen” by updating them frequently with fresh information. I also publish video reviews and tutorials for the AppSumo tools I promote on my blog. I mostly rely on SEO techniques like keyword research and link building to generate traffic for my articles, but also experiment with PPC ads and Facebook ads from time to time. I’ve also steadily grown my email list to over 10,000 subscribers and I send email alerts to them each time I publish a new piece of content.
Can you tell us a bit about your audience?
My audience consists of early-stage entrepreneurs, online marketers, bloggers, and of course, aspiring entrepreneurs. It’s essentially the same audience that AppSumo caters to. Many of them are running their own business or managing a side hustle — a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel that is generating a consistent stream of income. As a result, the tools that AppSumo offers are right up their alley.
There are two advantages of buying AppSumo tools:
- You get cutting-edge online tools from some of the biggest names in the tech industry and promising startups
- You get lifetime access (in most cases) to these products – meaning you just need to pay a one-time fee towards a software that would otherwise cost you a monthly subscription fee
If you’re an entrepreneur, this is an incredible platform for you to buy your favorite business tools and save thousands of dollars at the same time.
Tips for being a great affiliate marketer
I follow two rules when it comes to affiliate marketing:
- Be 100% informed about the product you’re promoting.
- Create high-quality content that’s comprehensive, unique, and interesting. It has to solve a major problem or question a user has about the product they are about to buy.
I follow the same rules while creating content for AppSumo tools as well. When it comes to being an AppSumo affiliate, you need to understand the structure they follow and the type of deals they promote. You need to master the platform! In other words, to be a successful AppSumo affiliate, you need to be an AppSumo customer first. The first thing you should do is buy some of the deals and test them out. Once you’ve tried the products out, start reviewing the ones that really helped you and publish in-depth how-to guides on your blog to showcase your expertise. Do this consistently and in due time, you’ll establish yourself as an authority who people can trust.
What’s your advice for being an AppSumo affiliate?
When I signed up for the AppSumo affiliate program, I already had a ton of reviews and how-to guides for other affiliate products on my blog, so naturally, I thought the logical next move would be to essentially do the same thing for the AppSumo tools I was promoting. The reviews started ranking well on Google, but it took at least 2-3 weeks for them to reach the top 3 search results. 2-3 weeks is the average shelf life of an AppSumo deal. By the time my reviews started ranking, a majority of the deals would be sold out.
That’s when I realized I could be doing video tutorials and leveraging YouTube as a platform to reach out to a whole new audience. There’s much less competition on YouTube for the keywords you’re targeting, compared to the organic competition for the same keywords on Google. My first video review of an Instagram marketing tool called Shorty did quite well and boosted my affiliate income. Since then, I’ve consistently published video reviews and walkthroughs on my channel to help other AppSumo users and that’s positively impacted my AppSumo affiliate income as well.
I really enjoy the timely payouts and the approachable nature of the AppSumo team. The affiliate team at AppSumo is always eager to assist and provide the necessary resources to help you grow your affiliate income. Furthermore, the affiliate dashboard has all the information you need and the tracking is impeccable.
Carly Campbell, Mommy on Purpose
Mommy Blogger & Course Creator
“AppSumo has shown me numerous times that they value the work I do. They’ve reached out to me for my opinions on their program, and they’ve worked with me to make my sales even better.”
Source: Mommy on Purpose
Tell us a bit about you.
Mommy on Purpose was started in 2016 when I was pregnant with my first baby. There was NO WAY I was going to go back to work and leave him in daycare, so I was determined to make this whole blogging and internet marketing thing work for me.
I figured out Pinterest traffic, and within 9 months I had replaced my income (and then some). Today I am absolutely passionate about helping other moms find more work freedom so they can stay at home with their kids!
How would you define affiliate marketing for a beginner?
Affiliate marketing is just sharing products you love with other people—and earning a commission on the sale. Sure, you can sell things you don’t use + love yourself, but it’s a heck of a lot harder. People can often tell when you’re not being genuine!
Your affiliate commission is like an “advertising fee” paid by the brands you are promoting.
Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite income streams because I don’t have to do much long-term WORK. When you create and sell your own products, you are in charge of maintaining that product and customer support for it – it’s much harder than just selling someone else’s product!
How does affiliate marketing work for you?
I have two affiliate marketing “channels.” The first is on my blog, Mommy On Purpose. There, I sell affiliate products IN CONTENT. 99% of the things I sell are things I use and love myself.
I don’t use email or social media to make sales on my blog, so the content has to be problem-solving content, not just “chatty” type content. Creating problem-solving content is how you get people to find and click on your affiliate links! I tend to use mainly Amazon Associates there and digital products created by other internet marketers.
I have another business, Blogging Like You Mean It, where I sell affiliate products to my email list and in my Facebook group.
I only sell things I have used and enjoyed, but this is much more “active” sales. I need to write emails, have conversations, and answer questions about the products. These active sales generally make more money than passive sales.
What are your tips for being an AppSumo affiliate partner?
Because AppSumo deals are short term, you have to treat them a little differently than you would your evergreen affiliate promotions. It’s not as effective to just link out to AppSumo deals in content – this is a program that is better for an ACTIVE audience than a PASSIVE audience. (Although you certainly can link to AppSumo and collect cookies all over the internet!)
Also, I’ve learned that you can have more success and earn more money if you do not try to promote deals too often. If you know one particular product can do really well for you, focus all your energies on that promotion (e.g. 3 emails about the single promotion vs. 3 emails about 3 separate promotions).
Any parting advice?
It’s important to think about how affiliate marketing will play into your long-term plan for your business. Try to partner with companies that value their affiliates. We are paid members of a team and should be treated as such. Too often we see programs slashing commissions or shutting their programs down altogether with no notice. AppSumo has shown me numerous times that they value the work I do. They’ve reached out to me for my opinions on their program, and they’ve worked with me to make my sales even better.
Amy Lynn Andrews, The Useletter®
Blogger & Newsletter Author
“Operate with the highest integrity always.”
Source: Amy Lynn Andrews
Tell us a bit about you.
How do you share AppSumo products as an affiliate?
While I do share AppSumo affiliate links on my site, I get the best response when I share them in the Useletter®. The format of delivering highly-curated content to online business owners, bloggers, and those who want to work from home is perfect for AppSumo offers.
What’s your biggest piece of advice for affiliate marketers?
Trust is a form of currency with compounding returns. Make it your highest goal. Give way more than you take. Operate with the highest integrity always.
Making Affiliate Marketing Work For Yourself
Thanks so much to each of our partners for their valuable advice and insight about the AppSumo affiliate marketing program and how they make affiliate marketing work for them.
If you’re curious to learn more, sign up today to start earning 100%* commission on every new AppSumo customer you refer!
*Earn 100% on the first purchase by new AppSumo customers and 5% on sales to existing customers (up to $50 per order)