If you’ve heard of online marketing, chances are you’ve probably heard of affiliate marketing as well. It is one of the most well-established and lucrative advertising models on the Internet. Businesses spend billions on affiliate marketers who promote their products. What if we told you that you, too, could start an affiliate marketing business and make good money? Here’s everything you need to know about how to start an affiliate marketing business and become a successful affiliate marketer.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a type of advertising where affiliate marketers promote a company’s products or services in exchange for a commission. A commission is a portion of the sale price that normally varies from 5% to 10%. The most successful affiliates out there might earn as much as 50% commission. It’s a pay-for-performance system and both the company and the affiliate marketer benefit from it.
Why should anyone do affiliate marketing?
- There is low risk.
Starting a business usually requires a substantial financial investment, whether it’s in products, employees, equipment or something else. This is not the case with affiliate marketing, where the only thing you need is Internet access and a website. Affiliates handle the digital marketing side of building and selling a product or service.
- You can earn from cooperating with multiple companies.
Typical salespeople usually earn by selling products from just one company. Affiliates promote products from a variety of companies and receive commissions from each one. While one of their products is making money for them in the background, they can focus on offering additional products and improving their affiliate strategy.
How does affiliate marketing work?
A company selling products or services gives each affiliate marketer a unique link (affiliate link) so that they can track who is responsible for a sale. Affiliate marketers are usually website owners, bloggers, vloggers and social media influencers. They share affiliate links on their websites, blogs, vlogs and social media posts, and any purchases made through those links earn them a commission.
A typical affiliate link looks like this:
When a potential buyer clicks on an affiliate link, their device saves a little file known as a cookie. This cookie helps the merchant to attribute the sale to the correct affiliate marketer and the right person gets the commission.
How much can an affiliate marketer earn?
There is no simple answer to this question. Affiliate marketing can be lucrative, but it’s difficult to estimate how much money you will make. Your earnings could range from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds. Incomes vary and depend on:
- what is being marketed
- marketer’s influence
- marketer’s reach
- time invested in promoting products
However, one of the best things about affiliate marketing is that your affiliate links can generate passive income for you.
How can you become an affiliate marketer?
There’s a long road ahead of you if you decide to get into affiliate marketing. Here’s what you need to do.
Choose a platform
You can do affiliate marketing on different platforms, but studies have shown that blogs and YouTube channels are the most effective ones for growing an audience and increasing affiliate sales. Of course, if you post valuable content that draws attention. This is why the next steps are really important.
Select a niche
Choose a niche for your affiliate platform. It’s best to choose something you know a lot about. Maybe you are already an expert at something. This makes you appear genuine and a reliable source of information to your target audience.
Create engaging content
Make quality content that appeals to a specific audience and grow your audience. For example, if you are a huge cat enthusiast and have a cute feline at home, you could start a blog about cats and give advice to your followers about taking care of kitties. You can, of course, use more than one marketing channel. People love cute animals, so you could create a YouTube channel for your kittycat as well.
Research affiliate products
Find products in your niche that your audience might be interested in. This increases your chances of selling something to them and earning a commission. Always ask yourself whether your readers would benefit from your affiliate products. If you’re writing a blog about cats, for example, promoting lawn mowers might not be the best idea out there. Your target audience probably doesn’t care that much about them. Before recommending a product or service to others, give it a try. You want to be honest with your audience and be able to provide information if they ask any questions.
Research affiliate programs and join one
Affiliate programs, also known as affiliate networks, are platforms that connect companies and affiliates. They are mechanisms for companies to pay affiliates for referring customers. Affiliate programs are usually free to join, but there could be some requirements you have to meet. Find affiliate programs whose terms and conditions work for you. You can join more than one affiliate network to find more affiliate partners and increase your affiliate income.
Affiliate programs keep track of each and every action performed by the customers that a single affiliate brings in. For example, an affiliate program can assist in tracking:
- How many people see an ad
- How many people make a purchase
- The number of times an affiliate link is clicked on
- An affiliate’s earnings
These are some affiliate programs you could consider:
- Amazon Associates
- ClickBank Affiliate
- eBay Partner Network
- Shopify Affiliate
- CJ Affiliate
- Rakuten Affiliate Network
- Affiliate Future
There is usually a welcome guide on the affiliate program’s website, and some of these affiliate programs will even assign you an affiliate manager to help you get started. To find more affiliate programs, use a search engine like Google or Bing. You’ll be surprised to see how many are there!
You can also reach out to the company that owns a great product you come across and see if they offer an affiliate marketing program. If they don’t, they may be willing to make an arrangement, such as providing you with a special promo code to share with your followers.
Add affiliate links to your content
After you’ve chosen an affiliate marketing program and found some partner companies, include affiliate links in your content, whether it’s product reviews on YouTube, blog posts, Instagram posts, emails, etc. Don’t use affiliate links in every piece of content you create. It’s best to combine your educational or informative content with affiliate content so you don’t sound too salesy.
Optimise your site
Once your site or channel is up and running, optimise it for search engines to increase your chances of ranking. This will help attract users to your platform. Search engine optimisation might take some time to figure out, but you can hire a professional to help you out.
The affiliate marketing industry is a thriving one and it offers a fantastic opportunity for those with strong marketing skills to make money as affiliates. An affiliate finds an affiliate program, gets into an affiliate relationship with a company that fits his/her niche and promotes its products or services to generate traffic or leads for the company. The company only pays the affiliate for traffic converted to sales. Creating content that is interesting to your audience is crucial for the success of your affiliate marketing business. Great content builds trust and only reputable marketers will reap the benefits of affiliate marketing.