Affiliate marketing is the art of earning a commission by promoting someone else’s products. There are many paid affiliate programs you can promote.
The only limit is your imagination. In this guide, we’re going to talk about what affiliate marketing is, how to make money with it, and how to get started (including bonus tips from our very own experts).
Affiliate Marketing Is a Way to Earn Money Online
Although I’ve been in the industry for a while now, I still find affiliate marketing fascinating.
It’s quite different from “traditional” online advertising because it does away with the need to have your own website or product.
Instead, you can promote other people’s products or services on your site/blog and earn income from each sale you make.
For example, if you review digital cameras on your blog and include an affiliate link that takes readers to Amazon, you will earn a commission every time someone buys a camera through your link (at no extra cost to them).
This means you can make money online by promoting other people’s products! You don’t even need to produce any of your own content or products.
How Affiliate Marketing Works
Affiliate marketing is a way to earn money online. You can make money by recommending your favorite products and services to others, but you’ll need to get started in the right way.
As an affiliate marketer, you promote the products or services of another company. Let’s say you’re promoting a brilliant new vacuum cleaner called The Sweeper 3000.
You promote it through your website and via social media posts on Facebook and Twitter, write blog posts about it, record YouTube videos reviewing the product, etc.
When someone buys The Sweeper 3000 after following your recommendation (or clicking on one of your links), you get a percentage of the sale as a commission from the company that made The Sweeper 3000.
That’s how affiliate marketing works: A business rewards its affiliates for each customer brought in by their marketing efforts.
The Affiliate Marketing Mindset
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to monetize online content.
While there are many true stories of Internet entrepreneurs amassing small fortunes by delivering high-converting referral leads to affiliate businesses, this relatively straightforward concept isn’t always as simple to execute as it seems.
The affiliate marketing mindset is actually a fairly simple concept: I find something I like and recommend it to my readers.
If they buy it because of my recommendation, I earn a commission from the vendor. The process goes something like this:
Find a product you want to promote. Some networks make this easy, such as ClickBank or Commission Junction, which has large databases of available products. You can also reach out directly to vendors if you already have products in mind.
Find out how much commission you’ll get for each sale. This information should be listed somewhere on the product’s webpage, but if not, contact the vendor for more details.
Compare these numbers against similar products that may offer higher commissions so that you can make the best choice for your audience.
Write an article or create a video endorsement and include your affiliate link using a tracking URL (this will look something like http://yoursite/recommends/product).
Share your article on social media and your mailing list
How to Get Started in Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an easy way to monetize your blog or website.
Affiliate marketing is essentially a form of performance-based advertising in which you receive a commission for promoting someone else’s product or service on your website or blog.
You receive a unique referral URL that tracks each sale back to you.
For example, if we had a blog about website development and we wanted to promote our hosting services, we could create a new “Hosting” page on the blog, and then send out an email to everyone who reads our posts about website development.
If someone clicks on the link and buys our hosting services, we get paid a commission. The more people you refer who buy our services, the more you earn!
If you have an audience of people interested in making money online, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to do it. Here’s why:
You get paid for every sale you refer: For example, if you refer 5 sales of a course that costs $100 each, you’ll earn $500 in commission.
It’s easy to start: There are no inventory requirements or upfront costs. You simply refer traffic and let the affiliate program handle the rest.
Decide On A Niche
The second step is to decide on a niche. Find a topic that you’re passionate about and that there is an audience for. There are many ways to go about finding your niche:
- Research your interests or hobbies and think about how you could apply them to affiliate marketing
- Do keyword research using an SEO tool like SEMRush or Google Keyword Planner
- Some niches lend themselves naturally to affiliate marketing, such as travel, personal finance, health and wellness, technology, gaming and many more (A quick google search of “affiliate networks” will give you plenty of ideas).
Find Products To Promote
To do this, you’ll need to look for products that have a high commission rate, have a high conversion rate, are relevant to your niche, of good quality, and have a low refund rate.
Although these criteria may seem like common sense, it’s important to follow them so you don’t waste time promoting products that won’t make much money.
It’s worth noting that while most affiliate programs will only pay out on final sales (and not on leads), some do pay commissions on leads such as email newsletter sign-ups or contact form submissions.
It’s also worth taking note of the fact that some products and services allow for recurring payments (such as SaaS platforms). If this is the case with any product you’re selling, then any recurring payments would give you ongoing residual income!
Create Content (In Your Niche)
- If you’re in the market for a new hobby, affiliate marketing is an excellent choice. You can use it to earn a substantial income without most of the work involved with a traditional job.
- While some people have concerns about affiliate marketing and are apprehensive about trying it, I’m excited by this idea because it opens up so many possibilities. We urge you to have an open mind and give affiliate marketing a try!
Reach Out to Affiliate Programs and Apply
You’ve already done the research. You know which affiliate programs are best for you and your blog. Now it’s time to reach out to these companies and apply as an affiliate. When submitting your application, answer the questions that you can honestly, but don’t be afraid to communicate your needs.
By going in with a specific plan of what you want from each program, things should be more likely to go smoothly for both parties.
Most companies will approve or deny your application within 48 hours, so keep an eye on your email during this time.
If all goes well, you’ll have new products or service offers that are going to line up really well with the content on your blog!
Use Your Content to Promote the Product
An affiliate program is only as good as the content that promotes it. For each product, you should use your content to drive traffic and users to your merchant’s website.
You can use blog posts and social media posts for this purpose; however, there are some additional ways to use your content to promote products or services that offer affiliate programs.
Directly promoting a product via a blog post or social media post is easy: just include a link to purchase the product in your post! However, there are other things you can do with your content that is more subtle but still effective at driving home an endorsement of the product.
Including screenshots of the product in action takes visibility one step further than just linking directly to the merchant’s landing page. In addition, screenshots give readers visual proof of how they can benefit from using the recommended product or service.
Email marketing is an immensely powerful tool for affiliate marketers.
It’s a great way to reach new audiences, build trust with your audience and grow revenue, all at a relatively low cost.
In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the basics of email marketing and show you how you can use it as an affiliate marketer.
What are the benefits for affiliate marketers?
Email as a channel has proven remarkably effective at building long-term relationships with your customers and converting them into paying buyers. Here are some of the benefits that make email marketing so attractive:
It’s inexpensive to set up and get started compared to other advertising channels like paid ads or social media marketing.
You can use it to reach new audiences and build your customer base.
With the right tactics, you can convert more of your existing subscribers into paying customers through email offers and promotions.
You have complete control over your emails — unlike social media networks where they can change algorithms and rules without warning.
The Affiliate Marketing Industry
According to a recent study by Rakuten Marketing, the affiliate marketing industry is expected to hit $6.8 billion by 2020. That’s a lot of dough.
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. You can think of it as a commission-based referral system.
Affiliates are most likely to succeed when the products they promote match the interests of their followers and subscribers. In addition, many successful affiliate marketers advise recommending and promoting only products that the affiliate is personally familiar with.
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is an online ad scheme that rewards you for generating sales. You typically do this through an affiliate website where you promote products from one or more different companies.
Each time a sale is made, you are paid a set percentage of the sale price. Depending on the company and specific program, the cost of joining can range from nothing to hundreds of dollars. There are also programs that let you sign up for free and charge no recurring fees. However, some programs won’t let you earn commissions without paying a fee (it’s worth it).
How did you learn about affiliate marketing?