Sadly, a lot of people fail at affiliate marketing. I know that is a very depressing statement but it is also very realistic. The reason why people fail in the affiliate marketing game has little to do with intelligence or willingness. Many of these individuals definitely put in the work, but the problem is there are just so many ways to go in the wrong direction when it comes to affiliate marketing.

If you want to give yourself a head start, focus on reverse engineering your competitors. This is a shortcut to affiliate marketing success. Best of all, you let your competitors do your homework for you. The bottom line is you build on their successes while avoiding their failed experiments. Here’s how you do it.

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Reverse Engineer Your Competitors’ Conversion Platform

If it turns out that in your affiliate niche, most of your competitors have put up blogs or search engines, then there’s a high chance that you should do the same. There’s a reason why their websites use the same conversion platform. The reason should be obvious: it works. Focus on what works. Come up with your own unique version, but focus on what works. If you ignore this lesson, then don’t be surprised if your “hot idea” doesn’t ignite the imagination of your target audience members. It may be too experimental. It may be too weird for them to take chances with.

Reverse Engineer Their Backlink Profile

Your competitors are actually an open book. If they put up any kind of website or they publish an article on their site, you can easily see their work. You can easily look at how successful their work is as far as the rest of the internet is concerned. How do you do this? Using tools like, you can see how many websites link to your competitors’ content. More importantly, you would be able to see the identities of these websites and size them up in terms of quality.

Have you noticed that a lot of the big movers and shakers in your niche link to some of your competitors’ content? You have all information you need to replicate that success. It all boils down to the willingness to reverse engineer what they’re doing right as far as internet popularity is concerned.

Identify And Improve On Their Very Best Content

A lot of marketers think that their target audience members are looking for new stuff. This is a serious mistake. If you pay attention to what your competitors are doing, you will realize that they only talk about a fairly narrow range of topics and themes. If you stick to these themes and you identify the very best content your competitors have regarding these topics and themes, you can come up with better content. This can give you a massive competitive advantage.

Focus On Their Most Common Social Media Platforms

If you notice that your competitors are all on YouTube but hardly anybody is on Twitter, this is a red flag. If anything, this should mean that you should stop wasting your time on Twitter and focus more time and energy on YouTube. There’s a reason why your competitors are congregating on some social media platforms and not others. Again, it all comes back to results. Somehow, someway, they’re getting results from some social media channels and not others. There’s no need to be a hero. There’s no need to chart unexplored waters. Focus on what works for them.

Reverse Engineer Their Site Layout

If it turns out that your competitors’ websites tend to look similar to each other, pay attention. For some reason, your niche audience tends to respond more favorably to a certain layout than others. You might want to copy that layout and then improve on it. By copying your competitors’ most common layout elements, you get a priceless head start.

Keep the reverse engineering techniques above in mind if you want to get a solid head start in affiliate marketing. Otherwise, you might just be setting yourself up for failure.

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Barry Macdonald

Born and raised in Kingston Ontario Canada, I have an extensive background in online marketing including social media marketing, content marketing, affiliate marketing and ecommerce. I created this blog to help other online entrepreneurs find the best tools, services, and latest business opportunities and trends in digital marketing. The father of three boys, I'm also an amateur photographer and local history buff and I enjoy sharing my photos on Instagram.


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