Building another stream of income can be difficult for a lot of people. Does it mean that you need additional working hours on top of your already busy schedule? Or perhaps, should you start a business and risk giving up a capital? What if you can start something that won’t require putting too much skin in the game? Is there a safe, low-risk way to generate additional income?
Affiliate marketing might be the answer for you. Also called referral marketing, this way of marketing is growing in popularity because it allows individuals to earn passively using their network, promoting products and services that can give them a commission for every sale.
Getting started in affiliate marketing isn’t exactly rocket science. From bloggers to owners of high traffic YouTube channels, virtually anyone can earn via affiliate marketing businesses. If you are curious to learn affiliate marketing but don’t exactly know how to get started, here’s a complete guide that can help you every step of the way.
Affiliate Marketing A Quick Introduction
So what is affiliate marketing? What makes it one of the best digital marketing strategies today? For starters, you can consider affiliate marketing as modern-day word of mouth marketing. Companies love to engage in affiliate marketing programs to broaden their network. It allows them to get influencers, bloggers, and even YouTube channels to promote their products and services.
Unlike engaging in your usual advertising campaign, affiliate marketing is a cost-effective option. Conventional advertising campaigns require a lot of investment up front, with or without results. Affiliate marketing allows companies to pay for conversions, and no initial investment is needed.
People who have a medium to a large social network have started to favor this way of making an extra income since it’s an opportunity to diversify. Compared to Google Adsense and other online revenues typically made by advertisers, most affiliate programs pay higher fees.
And also, there is no solid strategy in affiliate marketing. The sky is the limit when it comes to selling a product or service. You can try conventional methods and also innovative ways. As long as you can make the person click on your affiliate link and buy from there, you can earn money.
YouTube publishers use the description box to promote products, while some individuals even use messenger to push the product or services to people they know. Some influencers use their social media marketing strategies to reach their network.
Unfortunately, it isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Though you get paid a 10% or even 20% commission of the product’s total price, getting people to buy from your link can be challenging, especially if you haven’t figured out the right approach for your niche.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Help You Make Money?
As an affiliate or partner for a company, you first need to sign up for an affiliate marketing program. After signing up, you receive a unique referral or affiliate link, which will track customers that come from your network.
You’re able to share the referral link in different ways. You can come up with display banner ads, or even send email newsletters containing the link. You can provide the link discreetly in your social media content, or you can be transparent to your audience and ask them to support you through the link. Ultimately, it all depends on what you prefer.
If someone purchased a product or service using your link, you would receive the agreed commission. It can be as small as 5%, or it can be 20%.
Some products are in high demand but might have a lower percentage, and others might work the opposite way. To maximize your earning potential, you will have to do the math.
You know now how affiliate marketing works. Remember that not all affiliate programs are the same. Some allow you to generate a substantial income, while others simply give you some credits that you can use within their platform. For example, Airbnb’s affiliate program doesn’t reward their affiliates with money. Airbnb pays with credits for rooms or homes instead.
It’s also essential that you don’t overdo this type of product digital marketing. Think about it, would you still visit a website that keeps on promoting products without offering value in their content? As a publisher, you’ll need to find a balance between non-promotional content and those that have the intention to earn an extra dollar.
Step by Step Guide on How to Become an Affiliate Marketer
Choosing Your Niche
If you are trying to figure out how to become an affiliate marketer, it all starts by selecting the right niche. Choosing the right niche allows having an easier time crafting the right content; this is how you make a selection.
What topics am I knowledgeable about, and do I have a passion for?
It’s an important question that can help identify which brands fit your profile. Do you like to do outdoor activities? Or perhaps, you love to travel? You might as well find products that fit this interest. Try to promote outdoor gear such as travel bags and hiking shoes?
You also want to assess your knowledge of specific niches. For example, if you have a medical degree, why not start discussing related topics and promote medical-related products? Your knowledge of this niche could quickly get the attention of readers.
What kind of audience fits with my brand?
Apart from your interest and topics that you are well versed in, one should also pay close attention to your audience and your brand. What type of audience usually gravitates towards your content? Are they the professional type? Or are they the young and hip?
Why is it so important to know your audience well? The only way to get them to click on your link is for you to understand what they need or want. You’ll be able to convert better if you have the right approach with your content.
Another crucial step for those trying to learn affiliate marketing is to know how to select the right affiliate program. Not all affiliate programs offer a good deal for their partners. There are affiliate programs that might not provide enough incentives worth your time and effort.
A lot of new affiliates think that a higher percentage immediately equates to a good deal; this isn’t always the case. Let’s say that you have two affiliate programs. One is offering a 10% commission for a $100 product while the other provides a 5% commission for a $1,000 product. Despite the latter’s lower commission rate, you still get more for every sale than the former.
Another consideration is the saleability of a particular product. To earn more, you want to recommend something that is going to sell. It is crucial to do extensive research. Always make sure you know what markets and products you’re attaching your name on. An excellent way to know which product sells is to take a closer look at the trends. Is there a recent spike in the number of times consumers searched for a particular product on Google?
Next, you need to know the usual budget of your audience. Is your audience willing to spend on products above $200? Or do they stick around the $100 range? Don’t promote products over budget, as this will just get your audience frustrated and won’t make you any sales.
Make sure that you have a platform on which you can recommend your products. Setting up a website is the most straightforward option; it gives you the ability to communicate with your audience. Here are some things you’ll need to consider.
- Design – when it comes to your site, it should have a responsive, aesthetically appealing design. We recommend using a mobile-first approach to designing the website, so you anticipate the fact that your audience is using different devices to view the site.
- Hosting – your website should have minimal downtime, the website should be up 99.5% of the time. Be sure to select the right host carefully because hosting affects your website’s loading time and other aspects of your site’s performance.
- SEO-Friendly – In recent years, Google’s algorithm focuses on user experience and relevant, valuable informational and brand content. You should build a website that’s useful for your audience, that’s fast and easy to use. You might need an SEO expert to help to optimize your site.
Once you have your website, you’ll need to create your content. Content is what drives traffic on your website. Think of a theme that relates to the interests of your target audience. Should you write product reviews, or simply write about your own experience and subtly promote products within the content?
Useful and highly informative content can provide relevant traffic. It’s a proven-effective formula used by some of the most successful websites on the web. When you introduce entries that promote products, keep in mind that a lot of readers are turned off by an abundance of content promoting different products.
There are different ways to avoid alienating your audience. Always prioritize highly informative content, regardless of if you are creating reviews on various products or create a subtle advertisement. Use the 80/20 rule to keep the content ratio tilted towards articles that don’t intend to promote anything. If you keep promotions to a minimum, you help to build a trustworthy reputation for yourself.
You also want to schedule your content, no matter if you’re planning on posting once a week or twice per month. A regular posting schedule will also help being noticed by Google spiders to rank your website. Daily posts are suitable for both your ranking and your readership; it builds your audience’s habit of visiting your site regularly. Also, Google’s algorithm favors websites that are updated continuously.
Don’t forget the keywords; you’ll need to have the right tools to know the best keywords for your content. Plus, you want to take a closer look at long-tail keywords to maximize opportunities missed by other content creators.
Building An Audience
The ideal method to increase your website’s traffic is by organically growing. It takes a while to attract a decent number of visitors; that’s why you need a strategy that expands your horizon.
Building an audience isn’t the same for everybody. Different niches will require different approaches. Some affiliates use social media marketing to promote their content while others rely on the power of word of mouth marketing outside the realm of the World Wide Web. For those using social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, you can use paid methods to target your specific audience.
If you connect with other content creators that have the same niche as your website, you can expand your network and your audience by guest blogging. You’ll attract more traffic from their website, while the website’s owner enjoys free content, a win-win situation.
Reevaluate your strategies regularly; for most affiliate marketers, this is a trial-and-error process. But it is an essential part of building an engaged, interested audience for your content.
Writing good content is one thing, but successfully selling products and services offered by other companies can be considered a completely different skill. How do you get people to click and buy the products or services that you are trying to promote?
Before you dive into the world of affiliate marketing, understand that there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to convincing people to buy products that you endorse. However, there are a lot of ways to increase your chances of securing that commission.
Once you have a product or service you plan to promote; you are still not guaranteed to have a payday. Even if you convinced your readers to buy the product, what makes you think that they are going to click on the link?
In today’s’ online world, it helps to be completely transparent. Most affiliates with a good reputation in their niche, tell their audience directly that they’ll receive an income from the link. When you’ve built a loyal audience, they are likely willing to support you.
Don’t engage in hard-selling products to your audience. Pushing a product too hard can do more harm than good for your long term reputation. Instead, only focus on promoting products you like and include things that clients might not like about the product beforehand.
Reviewing The Steps
A commission-based digital marketing strategy allows companies to pay for sales simply. It’s a cost-effective strategy that incentivizes affiliates who can push products to their network. Unfortunately, affiliate marketing isn’t exactly straightforward. It takes lots of effort, research, modifications, and time to become successful in this field. It requires you to find the right niche and audience, who can relate to your content. On top of that, you’ll need to find an affiliate program that gives you a worthwhile revenue.
Once those steps are covered, build your website, write engaging content, and create a strategy to turn readers into customers. If done correctly, with time and effort, you’ll be able to enjoy an additional passive income.
Though it is a low-risk approach in generating extra income since you don’t have to come up with startup capital, this doesn’t always guarantee success.