Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.
You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.
- You’re happy because you earned a commission,
- The company is happy because they have a new sale from a customer that they might not have normally been able to reach,
- And the customer is happy because they learned about a product from you that will hopefully fulfill a need or desire.
As you are probably aware, what is called an “affiliate program” or associate program” is a relationship in which a merchant pays you (the “affiliate”) for links from your site to his site. Usually, the affiliate is paid only when an actual sale is made by the merchant as a result of your link.
How to Make Money as an Affiliate Marketer
The lure of affiliate marketing is undeniable; who can resist passive income? But to make that passive income happen, you have got to put in some work first. To succeed in affiliate marketing, there are a number of crucial steps you must take before you earn that first affiliate profits. And these steps are, well … not passive. The good news is that if you’re determined to make this work and are willing to put in the time and effort, you’re already well on your way to affiliate marketing success.
Decide on a business model. There are two primary business models that prospective affiliate marketers choose between. The first is a resource site, and the second is a review site. Which model you choose will depend on your familiarity with the products or services you advertise
Create a website. In order to work as an affiliate marketer, you’ll need your own platform (a personal website or blog) on which to post links and advertise for your chosen products or services. If you already have a website or blog, you can use that platform to begin earning additional income as an affiliate marketer. If you do not yet have a website or blog, you will need to create one.
Select a niche. Most affiliate marketers choose a niche, or area of specialization. Before you begin marketing products or services, you’ll need to find an area you can easily work within to advertise.
Choose products and services. Once you’ve chosen a niche in which to work, you’re ready to start finding products and services to promote on your platform. The products/services you choose to promote, as well as how much work you’ll have to put in, will vary depending on your chosen niche.
Find and work with affiliates. Affiliates will help grow your business and help you tap into web traffic. There are many ways to meet and engage with affiliates, but the best way to access desirable affiliates is by building a reputation for yourself. You can do this by developing a popular blog or otherwise earning a large online following, or by becoming a published author of a book or article. There are other ways of meeting affiliates, of course, and each method will vary in its success and required effort.
Drive traffic to your affiliate program. Once you’ve built a popular platform and secured affiliates to work with, you’ll need to drive traffic to your affiliate program. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, but one of the easiest and most successful methods involves writing a blog post or web article and using your email newsletter to invite your subscribers to join the affiliate program of your choosing.
Study and learn from other affiliates. A quick and easy way to gain experience and familiarity as an affiliate marketer is by joining an online community or forum. These online resources are free to join and can offer invaluable advice to marketers at all experience levels.
Build relationships. Affiliate marketing takes a lot of work and patience before any real money is made. Affiliate marketing programs drive traffic to the affiliate marketer’s website, but the marketer is responsible for building lasting professional relationships with the affiliate partners out of that web traffic. The marketer must also continually seek out better partnerships with other affiliates.
Attract targeted traffic. It’s not enough to get people to visit your website or blog. In order to generate money from your marketing platform, you’ll need to get people to click your affiliates’ links. There are four primary methods of attracting potential customers:
- Paid advertising — this method requires an effective combination of ad copy, graphics, and a highly-clickable link.
- Free advertising — this method involves placing links and advertisements on free websites, like Craigslist or US Free Ads.
- Article marketing — this method seeks to gain a higher ranking in search engine results by establishing the marketer as a credible source that won’t use spam software.
- Email marketing — in this method, marketers embed an email subscription option for website visitors. This allows the marketer to acquire a site visitor’s name and email address.
Write a pay-per-click ad. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements are the bread and butter of affiliate marketing, but how well you craft your ad could be the difference between success and failure.
Aim for quality over quantity. Having a vast network of affiliates will not necessarily help you earn more money. According to some experts, the key to successful affiliate marketing is to find the right affiliates that will drive the most results for your platform. Those affiliates may be big sites, small sites, or a combination of the two, but the most important thing is to build and maintain strong relationships with your chosen affiliates.
Expect a lot of hard work. Many people breaking into affiliate marketing expect to get rich quick. However, it takes a lot of work to get your affiliate marketing business off the ground, especially in the early stages. Some marketers work 12 hours each day, seven days a week as they try to launch and develop their platforms.
Learn how it works. An affiliate marketer embeds her own unique affiliate link in her web page or blog. This link does not have any impact on customers, and it does not alter the price of any products/services being offered by affiliates. However, any time the customer makes a purchase after clicking an affiliate link within a specified time frame, the marketer gets a commission from that sale.
Understand your demographics. Every affiliate will have their own target demographic. As the affiliate marketer, it’s your job to understand your affiliates’ demographics, and tailor your advertisements or reviews in such a way that that target demographic will be reached through your platform.