Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to earn money online. More and more entrepreneurs are now leaning towards this approach of building a business, which became popular in 2016. And according to Statista, businesses spending on affiliate marketing will pass $8.2 billion in the United States by 2022.
So you may have already guessed, affiliate marketing is a business trend that you really should be utilising. In this guide, you will find out the basics of affiliate marketing and get a few actionable tips to help you succeed.
Basics of Affiliate Marketing
If you know nothing about affiliate marketing, it would be fair to start by defining it. Affiliate marketing is a direct promotion of third-party companies’ services or products for a reward. In other words – you help different companies to sell their goods and get money for your activity.
A big advantage of being an affiliate marketer is that you can promote a huge variety of products and at the same time earn solid money.
What is the actual process of affiliate marketing?
When you as an affiliate marketer make a deal with a product owner, you get given a specific link that to place on your website. This link is used to tracks sales coming from your site.
For example, a person browses a piece of your content about music instruments and stumbles upon one of your affiliate links. After clicking the link this person is redirected to your affiliate partner’s online store to buy a music instrument. Finally, if the person buys from this online store, you will get a commission for the purchase.
How much money do affiliate marketers earn?
Frankly speaking, there are no upper limits when it comes to affiliate marketing. It simply depends on how you are devoted to this business and the level of experience you have.
However, don’t expect a large income right from the jump. You need experience, and to do things right in order to make a lot of money (as with any type of business).
How to Get Involved in Affiliate Marketing
To start with affiliate marketing you should follow these seven steps:
1) Choose the platform to work with
You can run an affiliate program on any platform you like, but it makes the most sense to work with a blog or YouTube channel.
YouTube allows you to simply upload videos for free. This is the best option a platform can offer you. However, you will need to do video optimization as well to make sure your YouTube channel succeeds.
As an affiliate marketer, this includes adding affiliate links to the video description:
Hosting a blog requires you to create high-quality and relevant content, optimize it, and include affiliate links along the way. It can be a very powerful yet simple way to run a website. Please note: when you add affiliate links to your blog, you must legally include a disclaimer saying you are using affiliate links:
The next step you must take is to choose the niche you want to work in to move your affiliate marketing ahead.
2) Pick a Niche
First of all, keep in mind that when you first start affiliate marketing on your blog, you might face huge competition and see a low level of income.
Therefore, it makes sense for you to choose a less competitive niche focusing on a specific product or service.
For example, if you feel confident in a martial art niche, you can promote sports equipment like a gi or punch pads. This specific product approach will help you attract a more focused audience and also to rank well on Google (or in YouTube’s algorithms).
It will also be a great benefit to you if you are passionate about the niche you want to build your affiliate marketing efforts in. It’s always easier to write about something you are interested in. However, that doesn’t mean that you should shy away from working with less familiar niches as well. Just keep experimenting, and documenting what you learn by exploring brand-new niches on your blog. If you keep at it in a persistent and logical way, your efforts will be rewarded.
3) Explore Affiliate Programs and Join
Before choosing an affiliate program, you should get familiar with the types of programs.
High-volume program + high commissions
This type of affiliate program uses expensive products that have a mass appeal. Hence, it is not a good option for beginners. If a product or service sells like hotcakes, it will attract dozens of other professional and skilful affiliate marketers you won’t be able to compete with (at least to begin with).
Yes, if you are lucky you might earn lots of money, however, don’t delude yourself with needlessly high hopes.
High-volume program + low commissions
This type of program would work for you if you get lots of traffic to your blog or YouTube channel.
Let’s say you decided to do affiliate marketing in the computer games niche. You know that a huge amount of people like to spend their free time playing some cool games. Also, you know that these games are not so cheap and so not everyone can afford to purchase it.
Likely, due to the mass appeal of this specific niche, you can earn extra money by doing affiliate marketing… if your blog or channel gains enough traffic. The products in this type of program are popular – you just need to make sure that you are popular too!
These products are easy to sell – but you need to have a lot of sales go through you to make it worthwhile. So remember, if you don’t get enough traffic, this option won’t pay off.
Low-volume affiliate program + high commissions
This type of programme sells expensive items to relatively few people. It could include things like machinery or software for specific industries.
As this type of programme is highly specialised, the competition is also too strong here. It’s not that there are many other websites or channels that you are competing with, it’s that it is very likely that the market has already been cornered for most of these products.
Unless you are an expert, your efforts to attract this narrow-downed audience might not work out so well.
What type of programme should you choose?
It all depends on the niche you want to do affiliate marketing and your expertise.
The third type of program works if you are focused on a business audience. It is good for promoting software stuff. While the second type of program is related to targeting consumers mostly.
In the end – it is entirely up to you what type to choose for making money. To find affiliate programs you can go to Google and type something like “best sports equipment affiliate programs”:
Otherwise, you can reach out to your potential business partner and ask about the affiliate program directly.
4) Produce High-Quality Content
You will need to create and publish great content that will allow you to add affiliate links within it organically.
Here is the example of how it should look:
There are several options on how you can use content for affiliate marketing. The best one is to start writing reviews for niche-related products by testing these products yourself or by exploring what other people say about them.
Remember, you should always help your target audience resolve the problems it has. You should make it so that clicking on your link should be the solution to their problems!
5) Generate Consistent Traffic on Your Site
The first rule of content marketing is to that you need to create awareness for your brand for it to work. Put simply, the more people that read your content, the more affiliate link clicks you will get.
To get more traffic to your website, you can use the following strategies:
Search engine optimization helps you rank your pages on Google organically. The process of optimization is time-consuming but it gives you the last long results.
Do proper keyword research, understand what your target audience needs, produce content based on these observations, and power it up with technical strategies like link building.
Build an email list
It is very important to build an email list of people who like your site or channel. It will allow you to get back to these people and tell them about new content or updates from your website. Email marketing is still the most powerful form of marketing in many ways.
The most straightforward way to build an email list is to collect emails via a “subscribe” form on your website.
You can get paid traffic by running PPC ads or Paid Social ads. The advantage of this practice is that you get traffic immediately once you use the ads. The disadvantage is that it’s not as simple as it seems, and you stop getting the same level of traffic when you stop running ads.
6) Attract Clicks on Your Affiliate Links
Two things must happen to make your affiliate links bring you income: a click on your link taking someone to the product page, and then that person making a purchase.
The first requirement depends solely on you and your affiliate marketing skills. The second depends on the merchant of the product you promote.
Your purpose is to find those merchants that offer affiliate programs with a high conversion rate.
So, how to find these merchants? You should review income reports. Did you know that you can get public income reports on Google easily? Type something like “income report Shopify affiliate”:
These reports will help you identify the most promising affiliate programs.
7) Reach out to potential affiliate targets directly
This final tip is the most simple: outreach.
Once you have your blog or channel set up, simply contact businesses related to your chosen niche and find out if they offer an affiliate program. This cuts out the middle-man and means you are essentially offering free marketing to those you get in touch with.
You should wait until your blog or Channel has a decent amount of traffic before you do this to make it worth their while. Once it does though, this can truly be a win-win situation!
Affiliate marketing is an income machine if you know how to use it correctly. You have just got to become familiar with all the necessary steps that will help you move your online business ahead.
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