Do you want to know what is affiliate marketing? The short answer for this question is “passive income“.
You must have heard or seen ads like “Make money when you sleep“. This is the best slogan to describe what is affiliate marketing.
When you wake-up in the morning and you look something like below the moment you open your laptop!
Here is the definitive proof of affiliate marketing!
Passive income is nothing but earning money when you sleep or not working. Affiliate marketing has started using this strategy.
Simply saying that the idea behind affiliate marketing is to promote other products through your website or influence. You need to be an affiliate from a reputed affiliate network.
As an affiliate you will earn commission for selling others products. This is called affiliate marketing or affiliate commission.
Affiliate marketing is based on “Revenue Sharing“.
There are two simple ways to do affiliate marketing.
- If you’ve own products then you may offer promoters an incentive through affiliate marketing.
- If you don’t have any product and want to earn money, now you can promote others products and earn commission as an affiliate marketer.
Today, you’ll learn more about affiliate marketing, how to start affiliate marketing, affiliate marketing benefits from this beginner’s guide for affiliate marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing – Definition
Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income has given wonderful definitions about affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing method helps to promote product or service and earn commission out of it. You’ll get your favorite products from the best affiliate programs and earn a piece of the profit whenever a sale happens.
However, Wikipedia says that there are 4 different networks or processes involved in affiliate marketing.
- Affiliate Network
Few more definition talk about 3 parties like,
Based on the affiliate equation there are only 2 sides:
- Product creator or seller
- Affiliate marketer
So, affiliate marketing meant the process of spreading product creation and marketing across various parties. Here each party will receive based on their agreement and contribution.
What are all other parties involved in affiliate marketing?
Merchant sometimes referred to as the creator, the seller, the brand, vendor or the retailer. This is the party who creates the product. It can be any size of business.
There is no need to be actively involved. They at least have a product to sell. That’s it.
Affiliates sometimes known as Publisher. The affiliate can be an individual to entire companies.
An affiliate marketing business can produce countless earnings as commission. It can be a few hundred dollars per month or millions of dollars as affiliate commission.
This is where the affiliate marketing happens. There is no limitation for an affiliate. They can promote multiple products and earn commission for each sale.
The consumer or customer is the key who makes the affiliate system work. If there is no sales, then there is no talk about commission or business or sharing.
The affiliate has to find the best way to sell the products to the consumers. There are many channels that help the affiliates to do the business well.
Affiliates have to use the social networks, content marketing methods, search engine methods or billboards to promote the products.
Based on the affiliates approach, the consumer knows that they are part of an affiliate program.
Few affiliates let their customers know that the affiliates earn some commission when a sale happens. They are very transparent to the consumers.
Tracking system will run in the background and all activities will be monitored and registered in the affiliate program. It will end up with the commission when a sale is done.
It’s 100% true that the consumer will not typically pay any commission or higher price to the affiliate marketer. Affiliate network will pay the commission to the affiliates.
Affiliate network is the bridge between the affiliates and the consumer. The affiliate network programs loaded with all required products to sell.
As an affiliate, you need to register with the required details in order to promote the products. Most of the affiliate networks need you to own a site to promote their products.
If you don’t have your own blog then here is the best beginner’s guide to start a blog. You can complete your blog creation in just 15 minutes.
There are many popular affiliate networks that help the affiliate to earn regular affiliate commission. Those are, ShareASale, Amazon, CJ,etc,.
Anyone can sign up with these legit affiliate programs and earn a commission. Whenever a sale happens through your affiliate link then you will earn affiliate commission.
I hope you’re now cleared with the basic concept of affiliate marketing.
Let’s dive into an overview of how you get started with building affiliate marketing business.
Affiliate Marketing – Overview
As we discussed above, basically there are two parts of affiliate marketing equation which you can choose from.
In the initial stage, you are not going to build a big affiliate platform like amazon or ShareASale network.
You can become a merchant and let others promote your own products. For promoting your products, you will pay commission for them.
You can easily become an affiliate marketer for any legit affiliate network to promote one or more products.
It’s all in your hand to decide which products are good for you to promote and make money.
I’m not saying affiliate marketing is very difficult to do. But most of the people just choose the affiliate marketing path very easily. Yes, it’s very easy to start affiliate marketing.
But building a decent amount of traffic to your product page or blog is not easy or quick tasks.
You need to work hard in order to make some meaningful income from your affiliate products.
Don’t worry, I have given below the basic steps. These steps are common for any kind of affiliate marketing industry.
With this affiliate marketing guide for beginners, you will get all the details about:
- Affiliate marketing basics
- How affiliate marketing works
- How to get started with affiliate marketing
- Affiliate marketing benefits
- How to increase your affiliate sales
This is your step-by-step guide of affiliate marketing and you should bookmark this article. You’ll need this article until you see your first earnings from affiliate marketing.
This article will be updated periodically, so you need to follow this guide forever.
Alright, Let’s start now.
How affiliate marketing works?
We’ve already seen that affiliate marketing is one of the very oldest methods of digital marketing. Here you need to refer someone to the product and you’ll earn commission when that person buys the product.
Most of the big companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, Flipkart and more have their own affiliate program.
You can join with the affiliate program for free from anywhere in the world.
If you are not aware of this then pay close attention to this guide.
Friend, you are going to discover one of the most interesting ways of making money from home.
The affiliate commissions may vary based on the products you are promoting. The affiliate commission may be from $1 to $15,000. It’s all decided by the products.
4 simple steps to how affiliate marketing works.
- Join an affiliate program
- Pick a product to promote through your unique affiliate link
- Share the affiliate link via Social media, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube videos and all other forms.
- When anyone clicks on your affiliate link and purchases a product through your referral then you will get paid for this purchase.
So, it is very clear that companies which sell products online offer an affiliate program. This affiliate program is free to join like a Gmail creation.
Once you signed up with the affiliate program, you will get a unique tracking link to promote.
Now, you need to write content based on the product and use the affiliate link to promote those products.
If any visitor clicks on the affiliate link and buys the product then you will get affiliate commission.
Do you think it is very easy?
I could hear that someone says it’s very easy and few say it’s difficult to do.
For me, it’s super easy. The Advancement in digital marketing helps you to do the affiliate marketing very effectively.
The digital technologies help you with the payment modes like PayPal and payoneer to receive your earnings from anywhere in the world.
But the difficult part in affiliate marketing is, you cannot earn anything without knowing the subject in depth.
You need to do homework or like to do regular practice in order to learn affiliate marketing effectively.
You need to dedicate at least 1 to 2 hours per day. So that you can learn at least something in the next 5- 6 months to start making money from affiliate marketing.
However, it’s clear that affiliate marketing is a proven method which works for everyone.
Let’s move on…
How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Beginners?
There are many ways to start your affiliate marketing career. Below are few popular ways which you can pick from:
Start a blog for your favorite niche (product) and promote your product. Promoting the products through websites is one of the easiest and cheapest way to make money from affiliate marketing.
Another popular way is to buy traffic from the PPC sites like Google, Quora, Facebook and Twitter . These bring people to your affiliate products or services. This method of affiliate marketing is called “PPC Marketing“.
- Start a YouTube channel and promote the products
- Build email list and send your affiliate links to them
- Start a podcast to promote the products.
Below are the simple steps to start affiliate marketing via your blog.
- Start a blog
- Choose a profitable product industry and pick your product to promote through your blog
- Write content around the product which are you going to promote
- Drive traffic to the product page
- Send emails to the people to promote the product, send discounts and update details to them.
Blogging is one of the easiest ways of affiliate marketing as it requires minimum investment only. Also you can learn everything in a short period of time.
Although affiliate marketing strategies, terms and conditions are changing on a regular basis. So you need to be updated.
However, your dedication, patience is the key to growing your affiliate business. You may create a free blog on blogspot to promote the affiliate products.
Common Terms of Affiliate Marketing
Below are the common terms and tools associated with any type of affiliate marketing.
Affiliates: The publishers like me and you who are the members or associated with affiliate marketing to make sales.
The Affiliate Marketplace: Those are like central databases for affiliate programs for different products. They are Amazon, eBay, Clickbank and ShareASale.
Affiliate Software: This is the software used by the product companies or affiliate networks to create the affiliate program for their products.
Affiliate Link: A special tracking link provided by your affiliate network (affiliate program) to track the status and process of your affiliate promotion.
An Affiliate ID: It’s a unique ID which has your identity to track which is built with affiliate links.
Payment Modes: Product companies and affiliate network companies use different payment modes to pay to the affiliates.
Affiliate Managers: Help the publishers / affiliates to optimize the business. They will help you with the product banners and approval.
Affiliate Commission: It will be calculated whenever a sale is done. Your commission will be added in your account as per the commission agreement.
2 Tier Affiliate Marketing / Affiliate Referral:
2 tier or affiliate referral is one of the best ways to earn money from an affiliate program.
Here, you need to recommend others to join affiliate programs. For this, you’ll receive commission also you will earn whenever your sub-affiliate makes a sale. (It’s like recurring earnings or MLM marketing). This earning is called a sub-affiliate commission.
Landing Pages: It’s a unique products demo page or sales page which helps to increase the sales. Affiliate programs offer many landing pages; you need to run A/B testing to find the best landing page for you to promote products.
Link Clocking: We’ve seen that many affiliate tracking links are very difficult to read or very ugly. You may use the link clocking technique like Thirsty Affiliates, URL shortener tools to change your affiliate link to good looking and easy to read and understand.
Custom Coupons: The customer coupons are the best ways to increase affiliate sales. Also coupon codes are used to track the sales.
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
There are many benefits loaded with affiliate marketing for the affiliates like you and me. Your task is simply handling the “marketing” part of building and selling the products and educating the consumers.
You do not need to worry about developing, fulfilling and supporting the offers.
It’s 100% true that affiliate marketing is 100% low risk. Since you are not paying no cost to join with the affiliate programs.
you can easily join and start making money from any well-established affiliate product or service without paying any upfront investment.
Affiliate marketing generates passive income through affiliate commissions. This is the ideal money making scenario.
However, initially you need to spend time in creating a blog and getting traffic to your product blog. After that your affiliate links pay you money on a regular basis.
You do not need any extra help to become a successful affiliate marketer. When you start getting a decent amount of visitors, you may introduce many additional products to your current consumers which help to generate more revenue.
Keep in your mind that affiliate marketing is built on trust. There are an endless number of products and services available to produce.
We strongly suggest you promote the products where you have personal experience and then recommend those products.
You need to work hard to become a great marketer. So you need to be very careful in order to select the best products to promote.
How to Find Affiliate Programs
You need to find the best ways to find the best affiliate programs for bloggers to promote.
From our experiences, we have seen that some businesses own and run the affiliate programs. Also some others use affiliate networks to promote their products.
An easy way to find the best affiliate programs is, you need to visit the affiliate marketplaces or platforms.
Analyze more on your niche to find the top performing affiliate networks. Below are some popular affiliate networks to run on your blog.
- CJ by Conversant
Another popular way to find the best affiliate program is, visit the websites of the products which you use. In the bottom of the website, you may see that they have an affiliate program.
Larger companies like Amazon, Bluehost, ShareASale have their affiliate program sign up on their homepage itself.
Contact the Seller’s for Affiliate Programs
You can directly approach the owner of the product or website to get an affiliate marketing program from them.
If they don’t have affiliate programs, still they may offer you some special coupon code to share your consumers or followers. Also, you may teach them about the affiliate programs to sell their products. This will help them to set up affiliate programs for their products.
It’s very common that affiliate marketers who first inquire about the products owners will get good deals.
For an example, if you have a health and fitness blog then you can approach the sellers who have a new fitness product.
Make sure that you’ve read the terms and conditions of any product companies before you start promoting them.
For instance, few product companies allow you to sell the products through the cookies with the specific time-frame.
Some affiliate programs won’t allow you to buy any products through pay-per-click ads or brand name. So you need to read the TOS carefully before starting promoting them.
How to Choose your First Affiliate Program?
First of all, you need to brainstorm or browse and analyze all the affiliate platforms. Keep in mind that the product should be interesting with your audience or the audience which you are going to build.
You need to ask yourself these 2 questions.
- 1. Are your target audience find valuable?
- 2. Does the products or services fit with your area of expertise?
To be more clear, A food blogger never promotes beauty products. So the food blogger might be interested and fit to promote other wide range of products like meal kits, cookware, aprons or gourmet ingredients.
Also ensure that the products and services which you’re going to promote fits for the platform.
For example, clothes and home decor are well-suited to promote the platforms (image-heavy) like Instagram.
Draw a Plan to Promote your Affiliate Offer / Product
As we said earlier, affiliate marketing income is ultimately a form of passive income. Although, you do put some efforts front. The success of your product or affiliate program based on the quality of your review.
To get a better review, share your experience in social media, your blog and video.
If you write your own review then provide a candid review based on your experience and knowledge of the particular product.
As an affiliate, the more open you are, the more authentic person you will be.
You can earn more consumers and they will follow your advice if they are very comfortable with you and they can trust you.
Trust is the primary factor if you want to get succeeded in affiliate marketing. People need to trust you and your recommendations.
The level of trust on you, will decide the affiliate sales.
If you want to build strong trust then you should promote the product where you have knowledge and experience.
Talk to a Product Expert and Existing Customer
One of the best affiliate marketing strategies is interviewing other people who already use the product or service.
Even you can talk to the person who makes and sells the product. This helps you to write a strong review in-depth and create a narrative for the visitors.
Create a Product Tutorial for Good Sales
We know that affiliate earning is based on the consumers. If you offer a good tutorial for the offer then you can get good traffic which will increase the conversions.
If you help them with the tutorial which solves their problem, clearly show the value of the product.
It’s common that people always use the term “how to” on Google search.
Like, how to start a blog, how to make money online from home and how to earn money as a college student. These long tail keywords help you to get top ranking on Google search results.
Find Relevant (Keyword) Search Terms
If you would like to promote an offer through your blog post then you need to find out the best keyword to find your product page on the search engine result pages SERPs.
You need to analyze and find out what are the keywords people use to get the solution on the search engine.
There are many keyword research tools like SEMrush and Google Ads Keyword Planner helps you to find the best keywords to promote your products.
Google Keyword planner is free to use, whereas SEMrush is a paid keyword tool but you’ll get more ideas and easy to spy your competitors keyword.
Consider Your View
Based on your products, analyze and invest your energy in terms of tutorial content. This helps you get natural lead for a product sale.
If you’re promoting a physical product then you may create a YouTube video and explain the unboxing, benefits and features of the product.
Once your product page is ready, then share it on the social media platform, discussion forums, Facebook and Twitter as well.
If you have a huge email list then you send the web page to your email list through an email marketing campaign.
Offer a Bonus to the Consumers
Many affiliate marketers promote their affiliate products or programs by offering some tips like bonuses to the customer who purchases the product.
For example, you can give a free eBook, guides which you wrote to your visitors.
This method of promotions encourages the customers to buy by sweetening the deals. Consumers really like and persuasive if the bonus you give is something you normally promote or sell.
The buyers will treat its real dollar value added value right on your blog.
Do the things Legal and Above Board
It’s very important that you must disclose to your followers that your web page contains affiliate links. It’s required by the Federal Trade Commission – FTC.
This will explain the customer about your blog page and build a strong relationship with your audience.
Why to Become an Affiliate Marketer?
Read below what are the reasons to be an affiliate marketer.
1. Passive Income
All we know is that in the “regular” jobs you need to be at your workplace to make money.
Affiliate marketing offers you an option to make money when you sleep.
Just investing an initial amount of time into a campaign, you will get continuous returns as money whenever the consumers buy the products or renew the products.
You will receive money for a long time after you have finished it.
Even when you are not presented in front of the computer, still your marketing skills will be earning a steady income.
2. No Customer Support Needed from Your Side
Thanks to the digital marketing and technologies structure. In affiliate marketing method, as an affiliate marketer, you no need to worry about customer support or customer satisfaction.
You (affiliate) need to be a bridge between seller and the consumer. That’s it.
The seller deals with the customers if any complaints or support after you get your affiliate commission from the sale.
3. Work From Home
If you’re list of the people who hate going to day job or office, affiliate marketing is the perfect alternative for you.
You just set up the campaigns and earn affiliate commission from your home comfort. You can easily manage all your personal stuff by doing affiliate marketing.
Most businesses must need some startup fees and some investment like cash flow to sell the products. But affiliate marketing can be done with a low cost. Also you can start easily and quickly without much hassle.
You never think about affiliate program fees to join. Even if you do not need to create any product or service.
5. Flexible and Convenient
As you’ve essentially become an entrepreneur or a freelancer, you have ultimate freedom in setting up your own goals.
You can redirect your way when you feel so inclined.
You can choose your favorite and interesting products.
There is an option to determine your own hours.
You’re free from the company policies, rules and regulations.
You are 100% free from ill-performing teams.
6. Rewards Based on Performance
Even if you work more than 80 hours per week, you earn the same salary. But affiliate marketing is typically based on your performance.
You will get from what you put into it, meaning the more you work the more you earn from affiliate marketing.
Developing your review and writing skills help to increase the affiliate revenue. Finally, you’ll get more rewards for the outstanding job you do!
7. Power of SEO
If you do the SEO properly then it’s sure that you’ll get millions of organic traffic from the search engine.
Google search engine cleverer than everyone, so no one can cheat Google search engine to place top rank.
Today’s concept is based on the user’s experience only. So you need to make your website better for your visitors.
People like information naturally, not artificially. That’s what you should thoroughly learn all about and basics of On-Page SEO, link build, keyword research to place your top on Google search engine results page (SERPs).
How the Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?
Affiliate marketing method is a quick and inexpensive way to make money without any hassle. You sell more products to increase your online income.
But do you want to know how affiliate marketers get paid after they like the consumers with the sellers?
The consumers do not buy all the products recommended by the affiliates.
However, based on the affiliate program, the affiliate marketer’s contribution to the product seller’s will be validated and measured with different terms.
Affiliates will get paid through different ways.
1. Pay Per Sale
Pay-Per-Sale is the standard structure in affiliate marketing.
In this method, the merchant pays some percentage to the affiliates after the consumer buys the products through affiliate’s blog or any method.
2. Pay Per Lead
In this method, the consumer has to visit the seller’s product page and leave his / her details in the contact form.
Pay-per-lead programs let the consumers try a trial product, subscribing to a newsletter and also let them to download some guide, files or software.
3. Pay Per Click
Pay-per-click method focuses on incentive basis. As an affiliate, you need to redirect the consumers from their marketing platform to the seller’s website.
So the affiliate should engage with the consumer and be responsible to move from their website to the merchant’s website. The affiliates earnings based on the increase in traffic.
Types of Affiliate Marketing Channels
Affiliates are promoting their products through several channels. But all affiliates will not use the same advertisement method to promote the products.
Below are the several methods to promote the products.
An influencer is actively working on social media networks. Influencers hold the complete power of the purchasing decisions of a big population.
Influencers are in the top position to get benefited from affiliate marketing methods. They already have a strong fan base, so it’s very easy for them to direct more consumers to the seller’s product page through social media.
Apart from social media, they send the consumers through posts, product blogs and other ways of interactions with their fans and followers.
On a monthly basis they will receive their from the product companies based on the sales.
If you’re able to rank top on the search engine queries, then you as a blogger can make more money through more conversions.
The blogger writes a page around the product and gets visitors to their blog and makes more sales conversions.
Bloggers make more money by writing comprehensive reviews about the products. This helps to promote the brand in an enthralling way and directing more consumers to the seller’s website.
The bloggers get awards as money by spreading the products around the world which helps to increase the product sales.
3. Paid Search
Paid search websites are advertised within their partner website. Also they will promote through the sponsored listings of a search engine.
Paid micro sites are separate and distinct from the organization’s primary website.
Micro-sites offer more leads to increase the conversions through straightforward call to action strategies.
4. Bulk Email List
Email marketing is still a more valuable source of affiliate marketing income. Some affiliate marketers have a huge list of email and use it to send them the products and market them.
They always rely on the contact list which they have as a database. They send an email to the bulk email list where the email has everything related to the product with the affiliate link.
Email marketing delivers more conversions without spending money. There are many email marketing applications available to send bulk email to your consumers or followers.
You can use the email contact list from the email marketing tool to collect email and all details from the visitors of your website.
Later on, you may send emails along with product links and details.
5. Media Websites
Websites and blogs are the best way to gather many consumers under one umbrella.
You can easily build massive traffic through websites. You can use these websites to promote the products to the massive audiences through the affiliate banners and contextual links.
By using this method, you can improve the conversion rates and increase the revenue for both affiliates and sellers.
Best Ways To Become A Successful Affiliate
1. Develop rapport
When you start your affiliate marketer career, you like to cultivate the visitors that have very specific interests. This is the key to keep your campaign in the path of success.
Instead target on more products, just target on only one product where you have sound knowledge. This helps you do the marketing well to the people who most likely the products to get more sales.
2. Treat as Personal
Make sure that you have used or have complete knowledge about the products which you’re trying to promote.
Ensure that you’re promoting the valuable products from your blog so that your consumers will enjoy it. This helps you get more conversion rates and develop your personal brand.
3. Review Products and Services
Focus more on product reviews and services which you’re promoting. Develop your rapport you’ve created with your consumers and let them know that you are an expert on those products.
Explain to them how they get benefit from the products they promote.
All the products being sold online can be reviewed. This will help you to compare your niche with others in the same category.
4. Utilize More Sources
Don’t rely on a single source to promote your products. Make use of all channels to promote your affiliate product to get more sales.
You can reach more people through social media networks, email marketing, blogs, video and more.
Test all channels and find the best channel to promote your product.
Affiliate marketing in an ideal solution for the people who are really looking for the performance-based revenue options. As a perfect affiliate marketer, you will be able to achieve your goals.
Affiliate marketing is the best source of income to earn from the comfort of your home. As you do not need to produce your own product. So enjoy doing affiliate marketing and make passive income.