Affiliate marketing is one of the most efficient ways of making money online, but very few people know completely about it. Even the minds who are aware of the potential of affiliate marketing, do not take the plunge to try it for their own.
“Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing. In this, you refer people to buy an online product, and if anyone makes a purchase using your recommendation link, you receive a commission in return.”
All the giant companies, including Amazon, Flipkart, Google, Apple, etc. have an affiliate program; which can be joined by anyone across the globe. The commission amount may vary from $1 to $10000, all depending upon the kind of product you are recommending and promoting.
Joining an affiliate program is as simple as creating an online social media profile! You simply need to pick up a program and sign up for it, after which you will get a unique tracking link. Now, whenever you write about the product or recommend it to anyone, just use this link to redirect to the company’s website. When your readers buy the product by clicking on the affiliate link, you get the commission!
Thus, breaking it into 4 steps, this is how affiliate marketing works:
- Joining an affiliate program
- Picking up a product to promote
- Promoting it through Facebook ads, Instagram, YouTube videos, Blogs, or any other platform.
- Earning commission when someone makes a purchase.
The players in the scene can also be divided into 4 categories:
- The merchant (The retailer or the brand who is selling the products)
- The network (Sites on which the products are promoted and the payment gateway)
- The publisher (The affiliate – the person who is recommending the products)
- The customer (One who buys the product through affiliate links)
Types of payouts in Affiliate marketing
The companies always track your performance through your ID and other softwares. While making a commission, it is not always necessary that a purchase is made by people, there are other cases too.
1. Pay per click (PPC):
In this, you will receive a commission according to the number of people that visit the merchant’s website by clicking on the link you provide. It doesn’t matter whether they purchase something or not.
2. Pay per sale (PPS):
This is when making a sale is mandatory. You will be entitled to a commission when the purchase is completed by the customer. It is generally a percentage of the price of the product sold.
3. Pay per lead (PPL):
Many times, the purpose of the merchant sites is to collect information from people. Thus, once a visitor goes to the merchant’s website and provides contact information, you get paid for it.
Benefits of Affiliate marketing
There are a lot of reasons why you should consider to start affiliating products. Along with being the fastest growing businesses on the internet, it also has the following benefits:
1. No cost:
In general, there is no cost associated with affiliate marketing. It requires zero investment and you don’t require any kind of office or special equipment.
2. Work from home:
The major benefit is that you can promote products from the comfort of your couch. You do not require to go out anywhere to market the products.
3. Passive income:
Even if you are having a full-time job and do not have much time to invest in affiliate marketing, it can be used to earn a passive income. Investing 1-2 hours a day would also be enough to achieve results in the long term. It can bring you commission even when you are not online.
4. No customer support:
Obviously, you do not need to provide any kind of customer support from your end. As you are not the one who is making the products, only the merchant has to take care of providing customer services to the consumers.
5. No storage or shipping facilities:
Your role here is only to promote and market the products. You will only be responsible for making people aware of the products. All the storage and shipping needs are handled by the merchant itself.
6. Global market:
There is no limitation on the geographical area where you can promote the products. You can reach people from all over the globe and sell products.
7. No targets:
Affiliate marketing allows you to work, whenever you want to. There are no targets or deadlines to be achieved. You can work at your own pace and in an environment of your own choice.
8. Use your own techniques:
There is no compulsion on the strategies that you can use to promote the products online. You can market them on your blog site, use affiliate emails, or even create a website dedicated to affiliate marketing. Social media is also a great way to promote products and get sales.
Tips for affiliate marketing
1. Decide on a business model:
Basically, there are two types of business models that affiliate marketers can choose from. One is a resource site and another is a review site. According to your familiarity with the product, you can choose between the two of them.
Resources sites normally insert the merchant’s website in an affiliate link and consist of how-to articles and posts. It requires regular content updates and fresh posts to make people visit the merchant’s site on a continuous basis.
Review sites include the feedback and reviews of the products that the marketer has tried and tested. Each review contains a link that will take the visitor to the merchant’s site. The benefit here is that review sites do not require frequent updates and you have to only make little tweaks on the websites so that the search engines continue to show your website in the search results.
2. Select your niche:
Do not start writing about random products in order to make money. Selecting a niche will help you attain a focus for your affiliate business. It will aid in curating out specific content and also in creating targeted marketing campaigns.
If you are into gaming, review online games or whatever you play. If you like reading, review the books that you have read. And, if you are into makeup, you can review makeup products. Thus, choosing the thing that you like is actually the key to creating good content effortlessly.
You are already using and liking a lot of products in your daily life, so all you have to do is to start talking and reviewing them publicly. Also, keep in mind that the niche you are selecting should be broad enough for you to create about 100 blog posts. If not, it can be difficult to get ranked in the search engines.
3. Create a website for affiliate marketing:
A personal website or a blog is required to kick start your work as an affiliate marketer. Using that website only, you will write blogs and reviews about your chosen products and services. If you already have a blog, just optimize it to meet the needs of affiliate marketing and you are good to go.
There are many blogging sites that allow you to create a free blog, such as Blogger.com, while some of them require you to pay a fee. Websites like GoDaddy.com offer websites that are comparatively cheaper and look way more professional as compared to a personal blog.
When you create a website for affiliate marketing, make sure that includes the following:
- An “About” section, where people can get to know about you.
- Basic contact information that you want to share with readers or advertisers.
- In case your site is monetized, let people know about it.
- Mention the terms of services, copyrights, and trademarks, if any.
- If you are planning to have on-site advertisements, include a page for the advertisers and let them know about the slots available.
- A contact form.
4. Choose products and services to promote:
When you are clear with your niche, choosing products will be very easy! Choose products wisely to fit into your niche. There are a lot of companies like Amazon, Clickbank, E-junkie, etc., if you are interested in promoting digital content.
- Promote the products that you have already used. Search on the affiliate programs related to them. You can even write about the softwares that you use and love. For example, WordPress has an affiliate program available where you can earn up to 20% commission on every sale made.
- Promote the products that provide a solution to your audience’s problems. Find out the products that can help people in making their daily life easy. If the products are good enough to promote, start affiliating!
- If you have the funds, you can even ask people about the product they would like to know about. Purchase it, try it on your own and then let your audience know how it is.
5. Focus on creating quality content:
In today’s times, whatever business you want to do, content is the king. Good content can drive insane traffic to your website and goes a long way. When you want to promote any product, you need content to present to your readers.
Some affiliate programs need to have established content beforehand, so make sure that you go through the requirements, terms, and conditions before you apply. Now, this also does not mean that you need to have a lot of posts on your website, a few quality posts will also work.
Further, to drive traffic to your website, make sure to learn the basics of SEO, so that you can write optimized content. Include everything about the product that you are reviewing, the pros and cons, the price, variants available, insert photos and videos, and add a personal touch while writing about it. This will hook the readers to your content till the end.
6. Build an email list:
Do you think email communication is outdated? Well, not at all. It is still one of the best ways to promote products. You can easily build up your email marketing list by adding a pop-up on your website. Even with around 500 people on your list, you can make a significant amount of sales.
Ideally, you should send at least one email per week, so that people are constantly engaged. When you craft an email, don’t talk about sales, just let people know that you have a new product review for them. Once in a while, you can send specific call to actions and ask people to buy products.
7. Grow your community:
Affiliate marketing takes a lot of work and time to produce results. As a marketer, along with sending traffic to the merchant’s site, you should also build long-lasting relationships with them. Making better partnerships with other affiliate marketers is also important.
For building relations with your readers;
- Respond to the comments that people make on your articles. If they have any queries, make sure to solve them. It builds a trust factor and encourages people to leave more comments.
- Don’t recommend or review anything that you personally don’t believe in.
- Keep a simple sidebar widget on your blog so that your loyal readers can subscribe to your emails and newsletters.
Don’t expect instant results when you dive into the world of affiliate marketing. It takes a lot of time and patience to achieve your desired result. Be consistent with your work and deliver quality content, and you will generate a good passive income from your blog in the long term! It has a good future because many organizations are going to adopt it soon, so why not grab the opportunity as early as possible?