If you are thinking of picking up affiliate marketing or you have just started, this article is for you. This article will guide you through your journey as an affiliate marketer, and give you the best tips on being successful.
Many people think making money online is very easy, that all you need to have is a laptop and internet connection. Well, that is partially incorrect. It only becomes easy if you are smart and you put in all the hard work at the beginning. If you just jump in without a plan or guidance, you will find affiliate marketing very difficult, and that is why many people are not successful.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing did not start today. It is actually an old practice. It has just evolved because of the introduction of new technology, the internet, and ideas. Have you ever wondered how newsletters or TV programs make money? Of course, it is mostly through promoting products. This is one of the most important steps in modern affiliate marketing. Here, companies give you a commission for promoting a product and when the customers you bring in make a purchase.
Nowadays, affiliate marketing is the standard way that bloggers or YouTubers earn their money. This may sound easy, but you need to be smart about it, and be ready to put in work.
If you are thinking of starting affiliate marketing, here are some pros to it:
- You can actually start from zero to making hundreds of thousands of dollars a month; this should be motivation enough.
- With affiliate marketing, you will learn the things that are trending in our society today. You need to make it your business to know most of them. That is because your income depends on it.
- Also, you have noticed that most large or small companies that are selling a product need to have a support team onboard. With affiliate marketing, you do not need any of that. You can do this alone with no supporting members.
- Also, you do not need any specialized expertise to start affiliate marketing — all you need is the will to start and learn from others who are already doing it.
For starters, let us break done the affiliate marketing process so that you understand all the parties involved, and some basic terminology.
Affiliate – Affiliate or Publisher (Webmaster) is the person who promotes the products or services of the merchant and receives a commission from the sales
Advertiser – This is the owner of the products or services that need to be sold to the general public. Can also be called the retailer.
Affiliate network – this provides a platform where advertisers can present their products or services for affiliates to choose from.
Customer – this is the general public that buys the goods or services.
Affiliate program – this is a program put up by the retailer to pay the commissions when the publisher promotes their goods or services.
Payout – this is the percentage paid to the affiliate for the services rendered.
Affiliate link – this is a trackable URL that shows that the traffic is coming from the affiliate.
Cookies – Cookies in affiliate marketing are used to give the customers a unique ID so that their purchases can be traced back to you. This makes sure that if a customer you referred does not make a purchase immediately but comes back later, the purchase can still be linked to you and you will receive a commission for it.
How does affiliate marketing work
The advertiser’s affiliate program software keeps the mechanics of affiliate marketing working in the background.
Check out what happens in the background:
- The affiliates are given a unique ID and URL when they join the advertiser’s program. They are to use the ID and URL when advertising the products or services of the merchant.
- This link is placed on the affiliates website, blog, or any other platform they are using. Here, visitors can click on the link and be directed to the advertiser’s site.
- When the customer clicks on the affiliate’s link and is taken to the merchant’s site, a cookie is placed on the device they are using to browse the internet. This makes sure that the affiliate is credited for their services.
- When the customer makes a purchase, the merchant can trace the source of the traffic using the cookie. If it linked to an affiliate’s ID, a commission is granted to that affiliate.
How to start affiliate marketing
You need to understand that people will make purchases whether you give them advice or not. But your goal as an affiliate marketer is to make sure that the purchase is made through you. So, you need to provide visitors with quality information to help make the correct choice. By doing this, you are giving yourself value and ending a commission for it.
You can also get more information from here: Jitendra Vaswani - advices about how to earn first $1000
Here is step-by-step guidance
Step 1: choose your platform
First, you need to decide on the platform you will be using as an affiliate marketer. Today, there are many options to choose from. You could decide to create a website or blog, or other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Tweeter, YouTube, Quora, Reddit, etc. You can also be present on multiple platforms.
Step 2: identify your audience and what they are purchasing
Here, you need to make sure that what you are promoting is what people are buying, i.e., if you want to see a faster turnover. For example, if you decide that you want to be promoting makeup products, your audience will be mostly women. Also, try to choose products that are not restricted to any geolocation.
Step 3: select the product or service you want to promote
This is actually a tough decision for many starters. Choosing a product to promote can be very confusing because there are tons of options to choose from. Once you have done your research in step 2, it will be easier to choose a product. We always advise beginners to choose products that they have used and had experience with or similar to that. In this case, you will not lack content, and you will be able to provide others with honest reviews. Once you have selected the product, you can search for affiliate programs for that product. For example, if your product is herbal tea, go to Google and search for “affiliate programs for herbal tea”. You can now apply for the affiliate program and start promoting the product.
Alternatively, you can search for the product via an affiliate network. On the affiliate network, you will find millions of products to promote, but the problem is that you do not have any prior experience with most of these products. You will not have enough information to provide to your readers about the product. And if it turns out to be a scam, you will lose the trust of your readers.
You can check our article on the Top verticals in affiliate marketing in 2019 for more information. There, you are going to get information on the best niches to choose in 2019.
Step 4: Set yourself up as an affiliate
For you to start earning your commissions, you need to apply, get approved, and provide the methods you will receive the payments. Once this is done, the merchant will give the affiliate link so that you can begin promoting.
Step 5. Start promoting the product you have chosen
Since you have already chosen the platform you want to use as an affiliate marketer, you need to start promoting the products.
Setting up your ad campaign
Now that everything is put in place, you need to make sure that lots of visitors come to your site. This will expose them to your affiliate links. All your efforts will pay off only when someone clicks on your affiliate link or makes a purchase through you.
The content you put out needs to be trustworthy and knowledgeable. That is the key to your success as an affiliate marketer. But first, you need to make yourself known. To do this, you need the following:
1. Create and promote your unique content
Many people are looking for information about lots of things. They look for information they can’t find in other places, and also information to add to what they already have. So, if you could give them a platform where they know they will get unique content, then lots of people will visit your site, blog, or social media.
- Write reviews
Providing reviews to products or services that you are promoting is a great start as an affiliate marketer. Not just any reviews but honest reviews. The review could be comparing the product you are promoting to another competing product. It will be able to help people decide thereby give you value.
- Create knowledgeable content
This method is usually termed “soft selling”. In this case, you need to do research and educate your readers. For example, if you are promoting a product that helps with weight loss, you can create an article on “how to lose belly fats” or “disadvantages of overweight”. In the article or your YouTube channel, insert the affiliate link for the product you are promoting. Most often, readers will not see it as you trying to sell them something, but as a recommendation from someone who genuinely cares about their well being and will take your advice.
- Use interviews
Interviewing people who have used a particular product you are promoting is also a great way to get reviews. This will increase the trust of your audience, and they will see you as not biased.
If the owner of the product or service you are promoting is an individual, you can invite them for an interview to talk about the product. That is a very effective way to build the trust of the viewers or readers.
2. Create promotional emails for those who are subscribed to your channel or blog
Sending promotional emails to your subscribers is a great asset to the affiliate marketer provided he or she does not abuse it. You can send one or two emails per weak with links to your content which contains the affiliate link. You can also send your subscribers free content once in a while to engage and keep them interested in the mails.
3. Organize live events
Live events can be used to present the products you are promoting to your audience. Nowadays, Webinars are the most popular methods. The webinars can be used to show the customers a step-by-step method on how to use the product. It can also be used to explain some doubts about the products.
More specifically, the webinars should concentrate on the outcome the users want to achieve by using the product.
Remember to track your progress
Tracking your progress will give you the ability to know which campaigns are producing the best results so that you can invest more time and money in them. Pat Flynn recommended the use of Pretty Link for this. Also, analytics will show you where your visitors are coming from and what strategies give the best results.
Remember that patience is also an important vector to your success. Note that everything will not always be smooth and you will hit bumpy roads.
Stick to the best practices
Some countries like the US require that you let visitors know that you earn a commission from the affiliate links. Even if it is not required, it is a good practice. You also need to assure them that your advice and recommendations are not biased.
Note that you have already taken the first step to becoming a successful affiliate marketer by having the will to start. All you need to do is follow through. You need to be dedicated and put in lots of work at the beginning. You can also check our article on Top affiliate marketing blogs in 2019 for more advice. Once you have begun gaining the trust of many, only then will you see that making money online can be easy.
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