Affiliate marketing is one of the most lucrative ways of making money online. Many people who had a dream of working from home with cash rolling into their bank accounts overnight have found affiliate marketing as a legitimate and effective way of achieving financial independence but at great sacrifice in time, financial resources and efforts. You can do the same, but first, you need to know how to navigate the murky waters of internet marketing.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
In simple terms, affiliate marketing is a marketing practice in which you promote the products of another person or company, and receive a percentage of the sales as a reward for your promotional efforts. As an affiliate, you help other people or companies sell their products and services and receive a commission whenever you send customers to buy the product or services.
Affiliate marketing is appealing to most people because you don’t need to have any products or services of your own. You only need to have the right skills and platform to promote products and services and then look for vendors and companies that need your services.
Many people get the wrong impression of affiliate marketing. They think it’s a quick way to make stupendous money online. But this is far from the truth. If you ask any super affiliate making five to six figures monthly today, they all have stories of failure and disappointments to share.
To get to the top, they’ve had to sweat, spend cash they didn’t have, learned new skills, developed new capabilities, and forged alliances across the digital landscape. You should be willing to toe in their footstep as well. You don’t have the time to learn it all by yourself, but you can set yourself up for success by learning from the experts.
How To Do Affiliate Marketing
When you want to start affiliate marketing, the first thing to do is find a niche. Perhaps, the choice you make when choosing your niche is the most important factor in your success as an affiliate.
Your niche should be something you are knowledgeable and passionate about. It’s essential that you choose a niche that you are knowledgeable in to make it easy for you to establish yourself as an authority on the subject matter when you start promoting products and services in the niche. That way, you quickly gain credibility among your audience, and in no time, they will trust you and buy the products and services that you recommend.
It’s important that your niche has high demand and low supply as well as lucrative affiliate opportunities that pay excellent commissions. The rest is for you to put in the effort and have the patience to see your work translate into financial gains.
Types Of Affiliate Marketing Programs
After choosing a niche, it’s time to choose your affiliate programs. There are different types of affiliate programs including:
One Tier: This type of affiliate program pays you a commission whenever people buy products or services through your affiliate link.
Two Tier: Here, you receive a commission when the affiliate you referred to the program start making sales.
Climbing Tiers: Your commissions increase as your sales increases.
Sitewide Commissions: You receive a commission irrespective of what people buy, as long as they landed on the website through your affiliate link. The best example of this is the Amazon Associates Affiliate program.
Recurring Commissions: You continue to get commissions so long as the customer is signed up to the product. You can find these in subscription services.
Pay Per Lead: You receive commissions based on the number of leads you send to a business; such as contact form fill-outs. You need a well-thought-out written agreement with your affiliate for this, and make sure to configure your analytics to track your performance correctly.
Additionally, affiliate programs can be individual or marketplace programs. Individual affiliate programs are those that you signup through the company’s website, such as Amazon’s Affiliate Program. Affiliate marketplaces are platforms such as ClickBank or WarriorForum where you can choose to promote products and services from thousands of vendors and companies.
Affiliate marketplaces help keep all your affiliates in one portal, making it easier to manage. However, there are thousands of lucrative affiliate programs that are not part of a marketplace. Make sure to do your research before selecting the programs to promote.
What To Look For In An Affiliate Program
The best affiliate programs are those that pay high commissions, have high conversions, and low reversal rates. A program that pays high commissions but has low conversion and high reversal rates will burn you as the refund rates will be high.
You can usually see these performance metrics on marketplaces such as Click Bank and Share Sale. However, you need to monitor the performance of your affiliate links if you are dealing with an individual affiliate program.
One of the most popular affiliate programs is Amazon Associates. It offers up to 15 per cent commission on each sale as well as sitewide commissions. The program also enjoys exceptionally high conversions, and you can create a custom link to any product. Research your niche for the top performing programs, but make sure it’s not saturated to increase your chances of success.
Now that you’ve chosen your program, what next?
The next step is to formulate a content strategy to promote your products. Depending on the industry, your content may be delivered through blog posts and articles, videos, or courses such as on Udemy or Linda.
However, written content offers the highest flexibility as you can update them easily as new information becomes available.
Next is to build your affiliate website or blog. You will have to spend some cash on domain name and hosting, and if you think you can’t design the site yourself, think again! Nowadays it is so easy for anyone to create a professional looking website in minutes without any technical skills.
The biggest obstacle to making sales in affiliate marketing is traffic. While you can get traffic through a robust content strategy, sometimes, you may have to explore other traffic sources. And in fact, you should. Ads, social media campaigns, and networking are different ways of boosting traffic to your website. The more traffic you get, the higher your chances of making more profits.
One way of passively boosting your traffic is through SEO. SEO helps to put your content and affiliate links at the top of the search engine using niche-specific keywords. You may have to learn one or two things about keyword research and content optimization, but it will pay off in the long run. If you can’t handle your SEO, make sure to get an expert to craft an SEO strategy for you.
Valuable content is important to excel in affiliate marketing. But more than anything else, buyers want proof that what you are recommending works. Try as much as possible to provide external evidence from testimonials, reviews, social proof and others to convince your readers beyond doubt.
One important aspect of winning the trust of your audience and boosting traffic is to engage them actively. First, be open and give factual information always. Respond to comments on time and try to settle any complaints as fast as possible. Whatever you do, be sure to build a community around your affiliate marketing business and it will serve you for many years to come.
Track Your Progress
Keep tabs on your performance. Identify what’s working, and release any program that’s drawing you back. Keep your eyes on the ball always, and continue to learn and update your knowledge as you grow.
I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions about making money as an affiliate marketer or you just want to leave your own personal experience, leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!