Affiliate Marketer Must-Have Skills in 2023

22 November 2023
Reading: 8 min

Do you know how to drive traffic? Most likely you do or have read a lot about it, why would you be here otherwise? However, do you know that there are many approaches to generating traffic. It’s not only about using different ad formats, ad networks, and designs of creatives; there are many skills involved. You can’t excel at all of them, but depending on how you mix the skills, you can have a certain specialization.

Some skills we will talk about below are a must, others are desirable, the rest might be optional, etc. Knowing which might be beneficial for your role in affiliate marketing or media buying is good for retaining your competitive edge. Let’s dive into those skills.

Core skills of affiliate marketing

Whether you work solo or in a team, the skills mentioned here are non-negotiable if you want to be good at media buying. Soft & hard skills can be taught and learned, but discipline, motivation, and creativity are the characteristics you need to cultivate in yourself voluntary. What do we mean exactly:

Split-testing, a.k.a., A/B testing. We are beginning with a boring part, but A/B chore is a must if you want to make data-driven decisions, cut the costs, and improve your ROI. No gut feeling can deny field-tested data, and this is what split-testing is about. Pick two variables, e.g., customer testimonials on/off, colors of creatives soothing/agitating, message tone formal/informal; then compare them head-on. Do your best for the conditions to be identical, i.e., test just a single variable at a time, to avoid side factors messing up your results.

Affiliate Marketer Must-Have Skills in 2023

Traffic generation. How to target the best audience? Which ad and CPA networks to pick? Where to find converting creatives (or how to make them) and fast? How much should you pay for CPC or CPM to stay profitable? Those are the basic questions you want to answer before starting a successful campaign. But there can be never too much knowledge. Thankfully, ZorbasMedia is here to provide you with the reviews, articles, blogs, case studies, and the latest insights of the industry.

Building webpages. A combination of technical understanding and designing creativity. Definitely, you are required to know HTML and CSS to optimize the layout of your landers. It’s not only about visuals, but about speeding up your landing page. It’s also handy to know how to test this speed, using, for example, Google PageSpeed Insights. But the range of useful tools goes beyond just that…

Copywriting. You don’t have to aspire to the level of Shakespeare, but you gotta be able to carve out all the irrelevant elements from your ad descriptions and headers. Treat your text as if it was your sculpture, which you try to perfect. In the world of advertising, emotions prevail. And there are few things more boring than a piece of long reading. Start off by removing adverbs and unwarranted flattery. Save the time of your user and do your best to get them to the point ASAP — this is the ultimate form of respect.

Data-analysis. A complement to A/B testing, which is crucial for extracting the right insights from the raw data. It starts even before data-gathering itself, when you think over about statistical significance of your A/B tests. Long story short, for the results to be significant, the tests are to be run many-many times. You need to ask the right questions and extract the right answers, otherwise you’re risking ending up with a mess of data you can’t even comprehend. Sometimes the less is better, but you need to know exactly which kind of data is to be ignored freely, depending on your marketing goals.

Resilience. Rome was not built in a single day. If you find yourself with a campaign that ended up as a total disaster, treat it as a point of experience of how not to do the next time. Learn from it and try again, using the freshly obtained experience. Persistence is a must to push forward and achieve new heights.

Desirable competences

These skills are good to have, but not a must-have. However, if you want to become something more than an average affiliate marketer, you should think about developing them (or at least some of them), in order to stand out from the crowd.

Creativity. It is generally about motivation to go the extra mile. All the hard & soft skills mentioned below can be taught and aced, but creativity is something unique — it’s like a cherry on top of your career cake. Creativity concerns every aspect of your campaign: doing your research, designing your creatives, finding good sources, planning your funnels, and analyzing the feedback.

Decision-making. The ability to make, execute, and take responsibility for a decision is a very rare and highly respected commodity in every line of work. You might come up with dozens of great funnels and plans, but you ought to be bold enough to focus on just one. Great battles are won not by strategists who developed a plan, but by commanders who dared to implement and follow the plan.

Affiliate Marketer Must-Have Skills in 2023

Video creation. Video ads are very engaging, when done right: texts, visuals, and audio — they all synergize like nowhere else. Being able to create a captivating pre-roll and fast can be your competitive advantage, when it comes to employment. Videos are often shared, making them great for viral marketing and word-of-mouth — some of the most budget-friendly forms of advertising. Plus, often shareable ads also facilitate brand awareness and build trust.

SEO proficiency. Organic traffic fits any funnel like a glove. Knowing how to win the sweetest spots in Google top-10 is the key to saving on costs. Good SEO specialists are rare and sought after. While the optimization takes time to deliver results, once it is up and running, traffic will pour in technically for free (the optimization still takes time and money).

Content creation. This point usually goes in tandem with SEO. Being able to create your own content, i.e., videos, podcasts, unboxing, reviews, and walkthroughs, is the key to stand out. Only unique pieces of content have a chance of becoming masterpieces. The word-of-mouth will do the rest.

Email marketing. Another solid option to SEO or Videos, which is not only about writing compelling letters. You need to choose your delivery time wisely, in order to get to the targeted user at the right time. You don’t think you’re the only one they are reading every day, do you?

Design experience. Web designing, drawing, calligraphy — anything goes. When you foresee not only the technical aspects of your campaign, but visuals too — you are a power to be reckoned with. Being able to plan the layout of the page and visualize the colors is incredibly helpful for seamless pages, which contributes toward UX.

Software usage. Being able to set up and use tracker is not necessary, but very desirable. This helps to organize all the campaigns and manage them efficiently. Moreover, you will be able to detect shaving and counter it, if necessary.

Marketing. As the name suggests, affiliate marketing is based on… marketing. Knowing traditional marketing tricks, user’s psychology, field-tested frameworks to establish your enterprise — they all can help, and no one knows when.

Adaptivity. Being able to work solo is good. Being able to work in a team is better. Being able to do both is the best. When your profit generation depends on no one — you are invulnerable. And if you are able to also communicate your ideas, suggestions, and results to other team members — you are the best specialist the market can wish for.

Willingness to learn. There is no such thing as useless knowledge. Greek mythology can help you to come up with a fascinating creative for your campaigns. A biological fact can serve as a hook to lure in your user down the funnel, e.g., an adult skin weighs around 3 to 4 kg. Lose weight by peeling it off with our peeling gel! Cryptology is at the foundation of a whole vertical — VPNs. Don’t forget that there are myriad of conferences worldwide, where the marketing experts get together and share their ideas — attend them to get crash courses on some of the most crucial subjects nowadays.

Affiliate Marketer Must-Have Skills in 2023


While the foundations of affiliate marketing like campaign creation basics, estimating potential ROI, analyzing the data are essential for success — there is more to media buying than just that. It’s good to have a sort of specialization. For instance, besides being a webmaster, you can be a SEO master. Or, you might excel at designing stuff, which can deliver eye-pleasing results and conversions. Or you might be the wizard of headers & descriptions and pick every word precisely, thus saving space and saying everything with few words.

Being able to work in a team is equally important as working solo. Miscommunication in a media buying team is a conversion killer. But being fully dependent on other people will do you no good as well. Learn as much as possible, from every sphere possible, and try to apply it to your daily line of work. This way, you might be able to discover some groundbreaking approaches you will tutor the others later on.

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