Due to the increased desire to have more control over their schedule, many people are opting to work online, with some even doing it full-time. Earning an income online has become the norm today especially since there are so many opportunities available regardless of one’s specialty. One of the most popular ways you can make money from home is through affiliate marketing. However, just like with any other type of business, it is important to do extensive research before investing your time and money in it. Here is a look at how you can make money with affiliate marketing.
WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?
Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing where you receive a commission when you promote services and products that you don’t have ownership of. As an affiliate, you often have the option to find a service or product that you could see yourself using and recommend it to prospective customers. You are then paid a commission on every sale that you refer.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Affiliate marketing works in the following steps:
- Recommend a Service or Product to Prospective Customers.
There are various platforms where you can promote a product, whether it is on your social media account or website. The more customers you can convince to purchase a product, the more money you could potentially make.
- Customers Click on Your Affiliate Link
An affiliate link is a custom tracking link which is usually provided to all affiliates by the affiliate program to allow them to track conversions when it is used in product promotion. When customers click on the affiliate link, they can then view the product or service that you are promoting.
- Receive Commissions
When customers purchase a product through your affiliate link, you will receive a commission on the sales made.
Here is an in-depth article on affiliate marketing and how it works
GETTING STARTED AS AN AFFILIATE MARKETER
Here are some steps you might want to consider when it comes to getting started in affiliate marketing.
CHOOSE A BUSINESS MODEL
In affiliate marketing, there are two main business models that you can choose from depending on how familiar you are with the service or products you plan to promote:
- Niche Sites
These sites are hyper focused sites. They tackle a very narrow product, service or problem. This allows you to become an expert fairly quickly. You also gain a quicker understanding of your niche’s needs. Branding is also easier to achieve. These sites are usually smaller and depending on the niche, they could be easier to rank (not always).
- Authority Sites
These sites cover a larger topic. They are usually extensive in their content with hundreds of pages and reviews. They often cover subtopics going into different directions. These sites should provide an “all you need” resource to the audience. These sites take a while to get established. Once established, they will attract new visitors and return visitors alike.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A WEBSITE
To work as an affiliate marketer, it is important to have your platform, whether it is a blog or personal website, where you can advertise the products and services you select as well as post links. Here are some options to consider when it comes to having a website:
- Creating Your Website
If you opt to create your website from scratch, here are some of the pages you might want to include:
- About page: This makes your site more personable.
- Contact: This section should include all the contact information that your readers, potential partners, or advertisers may want to use to reach you.
- Disclaimer: This is important when it comes to liability.
- Terms of service: this page details user responsibilities and also limits your liability.
- Hosting Services
Sites such as Hostgator and GoDaddy provide you with website services that are not too expensive to operate. In some cases, the website might even come across as more professional than a personal blog.
FIND A NICHE THAT SUITS YOU
Selecting a niche will allow you to channel your focus in one particular area of business and help you come up with content. It will also make it easier for you to come up with targeted marketing campaigns. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when selecting a niche:
- What are you interested in?
You don’t necessarily need to have extensive knowledge on the niche that you intend to select. Instead, choose a specialized area that you are interested in and are keen on learning more about.
- Is the topic extensive enough?
It is important to choose a niche that has readily available information that you can find as you conduct your research.
- Is the niche too popular?
Is there an opportunity for yet another affiliate to find success in the niche? Before you dive into an oversaturated niche and attempt to compete with other affiliates who have already established themselves, you might want to consider giving another niche a try. Health and Make Money are two niches that you should not tackle as a beginner (in my humble opinion).
- Can you make money working in the niche?
Money may not be a priority for some, but if you are interested in working in a variety of niches and one allows you the opportunity to make more money than the other, consider going for the former.
UNDERSTAND YOUR DEMOGRAPHICS
As an affiliate, you want to understand and target the age, average income range, and interests (among other factors) of your demographic. This will allow you to tailor your reviews or articles in such a manner that will attract the attention of your audience.
CREATE QUALITY CONTENT
Once you have your website set up and decided on a niche that you want to focus on, you will need to create content. Some affiliate programs and networks will require that you already have established the site traffic, content, and monthly views at a specified level before you qualify as an affiliate, so ensure that you read the requirements for the programs or network that you are considering before submitting your application.
CHOOSE AFFILIATE PRODUCTS OR SERVICES TO PROMOTE
Before you can launch your affiliate business, you must find the products and services that you want to promote on your website. The services/products you opt to promote, as well as the amount of effort required, will vary depending on your selected niche.
Always ensure that you go for products or services that you use or could see yourself using. You also want to choose a product that fulfills the need of the people in your selected niche. Remember, people are always looking for solutions, and if you can find products and services that can help them out, they are what you want to promote. To find out what is popular with your prospective customers, you can even go as far as following what others in your niche are promoting so that you know where to start.
If you are interested in digital content such as software and e-books, you may want to consider working with companies such as Clickbank, Amazon, PayDotCom, and E-junkie. On the other hand, if you intend to promote more conventional products/services, consider working with a company such as Commission Junction.
FIND AFFILIATES YOU CAN WORK WITH
- Working with individual affiliates
It is important to work with other affiliates as they can help you expand your business especially when you are starting and help you tap into traffic. You can try reaching out to other online marketers in your niche to establish relationships that will be extremely important to your success. You can learn a lot from your peers. This is best done by joining an online community where you can communicate with like-minded affiliates.
- Working with affiliate marketing networks
Affiliate marketing networks are online marketplaces where products are listed by retailers and affiliate marketers can find products that they can sell. The network consequently serves as the middle-man between the retailer and the affiliate.
Working as an affiliate, you could advertise a course that was created by someone else in its entirety and come up with a direct income-sharing plan with them, or alternatively allow a network such as Clickbank or Commission Junction handle the payment aspect as well as the product delivery aspect. In many cases, the latter option is usually considered to be more genuine.
In some cases, an affiliate network may require that you deal with them directly to be able to promote a product/service. An affiliate network in such scenarios will have a wide range of products from which you can select one or more products to promote.
For example, Amazon is an affiliate network that promotes a wide array of products, and through the company’s affiliate program, you can promote what they sell and earn a commission if a customer buys something via your affiliate link.
DRIVING TRAFFIC TO YOUR AFFILIATE PLATFORM
Once you have a platform and affiliates/affiliate network to work with, you will need to find a way through which you can drive traffic to your site. There are several ways you can use to attract traffic, but one of the most popular is by writing articles or blog posts. This is called organic traffic and relies 100% on SEO (search engine optimization) to generate traffic. There are also paid methods like PPC (Pay per click).
ATTRACTING TARGETED TRAFFIC
Although it is beneficial to have people visit your website, it is even more crucial for them to click on your affiliate’s links for you to make money from your affiliate platform. Here are some of the ways to attract targeted traffic:
This method is the most passive of all methods. It is also free! It is simple and can be quite lucrative. Basically, you join ad companies and place code on your site that allows them to place ads throughout your content. Google AdSense is one of the most well-known such programs. There are many others that you can use (that pay better than AdSense). Just be aware of the requirements before applying to these ad networks. Some require that you have a substantial amount of traffic before they accept you.
- Paid Traffic
This method requires a certain amount of knowledge because it can result in a substantial financial loss. The strategy here is to bid on specific search terms and get ads placed at the top of the search engine results. This way, people searching for your term will see your ad first and click through to your site. This is a great way to overcome the lack of organic traffic. It requires a lot of tweaking and testing but if mastered, it can bring in a lot of money.
- Email Marketing
For this method, you need to embed an email subscription option that visitors to your site can access. Through this option, you will be able to get the name of the visitor as well as their email address, which will not only make it easier to communicate with the visitor but also make it easier to deliver content directly to their in-box.
JOIN AN ONLINE COMMUNITY
An easy way to become more familiar with the world of affiliate marketing and gain experience is by becoming part of an online forum or community made up of affiliates within your niche. These are online resources that are usually free to join and can provide useful advice to affiliates at all levels of experience. These communities also offer invaluable networking opportunities that allow you to connect with other affiliates.
I would like to recommend the online community that I have used for the last 10 years. It is where I get the training and support that I need to maintain and grow my own affiliate marketing business.
Click on the link above and I will see you on the other side. I would love to help you start your own affiliate marketing business!
Affiliate marketing is a great option that allows you to work from the comfort of your home and earn an income online in a legitimate way. You have the possibility of earning an unlimited amount of money. All you need is a little knowledge and some hard work.
My “why” was that I wanted to secure my family’s financial future and not rely on a 9 to 5 job that could be taken away from me at any time. Whatever your “why” is, I would love to show you the possibilities of affiliate marketing. You have nothing to lose and much to gain!
See you on the other side!
To your success,