Working online has quickly become one of the most ideal ways to earn an income, and with good reason – not only does it give you more control over your schedule, but you also don’t have to worry about being stuck in traffic as you can work at home. Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways you can generate an income working online today, but like with any other moneymaking venture, there are some crucial steps you need to take to create an income stream with this strategy. Read on to find out how you can create an income with affiliate marketing.
WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?
Affiliate marketing can be described as a business model where a retailer or business pays you a commission when prospective customers purchase their products and services that you are promoting through your referral link. Another way to look at is like this. Your main job is to identify a major pain point for your customers/audience and provide a viable and effective solution to solve their problem. If they trust you and act on your recommendation by purchasing the product or service that you recommend, you get a commission on the sale!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Here is a breakdown of how affiliate marketing typically works:
- Recommend A Product
There are a variety of platforms that you can use to promote a product or service, including your website, email, and social media accounts. It is important to get the word out as much as possible as it will determine how much traffic you will direct to your site/offer and subsequently the amount you could potentially earn in commissions.
- Prospective Customers Click on Your Affiliate Link
An affiliate link can be defined as a unique tracking link that is given to you by the company whose products you are recommending to your audience. It is intended to keep track of the progress of conversions of the product that you are promoting. When a customer clicks on an affiliate link, they will be redirected to a page where they can view whatever you are promoting and potentially make a purchase.
- Earn Commissions
When a customer purchases a product using your affiliate link, you will earn a commission on the sales that are made.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GENERATING TRAFFIC
Once you successfully launch your affiliate marketing business, you might assume that visitors will automatically flock to your site and allow you to earn commissions in the process. However, generating a steady stream of traffic can take quite a while especially as a beginner, yet it is your main job as an affiliate marketer. As a result, it is of utmost importance to build your audience so that you have consistent traffic to your site. Here are some strategies you might want to use:
- Use Social Media Platforms to Your Advantage
One of the easiest ways to build an audience for your website is by using social media. Depending on your chosen niche, you can use platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest (or all of them together). Creating an interested and engaged following on your social media is a great way to gain the trust of prospective customers and eventually promote your services and products.
- Build An Email List
Email marketing has managed to persevere over the years, and today, it is still an efficient way to reach out to potential customers and consequently direct traffic to your site. Start by building your email list using a lead magnet such as a free e-book or even by simply urging prospective customers to sign up to receive updates. Once you have captured an audience, you can then start pushing your content through emails and also send them to your affiliate links.
- Rely on Bloggers
Another strategy you can use to increase your conversions involves working with bloggers. Experienced bloggers have a significant amount of influence on their readers especially if they post relatable, conversational content. Additionally, they can also tailor their blog content to improve their ranking on search engines and consequently increase the visibility of the products that they are promoting.
This is a great option especially since as a beginner, your platform will most likely not have as many visitors, which is why you might want to capitalize on someone else’s well-established audience. Continue to build your content, but also consider writing guest posts for well-known blogs in your chosen niche that have high traffic.
- Voucher Sites
Consumers on voucher sites are always looking to find deals and discounts. You can take advantage of these sites to increase your traffic and conversions by getting featured on these discount sites.
- Use Basic SEO Techniques
The absolute best and most effective way you can generate traffic and direct it to your site is by using basic SEO (search engine optimization) techniques. Organic searches are an important traffic source for any type of website, so you will want to ensure that your site is fully optimized for search engines. The strategies that you can employ to help improve your ranking on search engines fall into two categories:
- On-page factors
These are tactics you can employ to increase traffic on your site. They include strategies such as adding keywords on your pages by using headers in the right way and linking your pages correctly.
- Off-page factors
These are tactics that are meant to increase the relevance of your site but are not incorporated in your content. Some of these strategies include getting links to your site from related platforms that are popular and related to your content and ensuring links to your platform are written in certain ways.
- Paid Advertising
Many people in the affiliate marketing field use paid advertising to increase traffic to their sites and increase sales. As a beginner, you may want to start with paid advertising on social media platforms like Facebook as it is relatively more affordable than other options. Also, consider putting up inexpensive banner ads on smaller niche sites. Depending on your selected niche, Google AdWords is also a great option to generate and direct traffic to your site. Beware that this can be an absolute money pit if you don’t know what you are doing!
PROMOTING YOUR AFFILIATE OFFERS
To add value to your affiliate business, it is important to promote products that your targeted audience will find useful. Depending on the type of site that you have set up and the products you are selling, there are a variety of ways you can promote your offers:
- Banner Ads
One way you can promote your affiliate offers is by putting up banners on your platform. Most affiliate programs will typically provide their creatives as long as you sign up for their offers. You can then insert your banners on a page that receives a lot of traffic. Your affiliate tracking link will be embedded in the code so that when site visitors click on it, they will be redirected to the products you are selling. Banner ads that are strategically located can efficiently generate traffic to your site and increase sales.
- Product Reviews
To build trust with your audience, aim to write honest and unbiased reviews about products, and keep in mind that your opinion will also play a role in their point of view. Don’t focus on just the positives and fail to mention the negative aspects. You can then link your affiliate product to the page (remember to attach your affiliate ID) so that your site visitors can purchase if they choose to do so.
- In-Text Content Links
Using in-text content links is one of the more common ways that you can promote your affiliate offers. For instance, you will often find a blog post that has several links which direct you to certain products or services when clicked on. If a site visitor clicks on one of these links and buys a product, you will earn a commission. In-text links blend in well with the rest of the content on your site and allow you to promote your content at the same time.
- Discounts and Giveaways
A lot of affiliate programs tend to run promotions with giveaways or discounts that are meant to attract site visitors. You can also use this strategy to promote your affiliate offers and provide your audience with good value at the same time.
- Email Promotions
If you have created an email list, consider also promoting your affiliate offers through email promotions. Be careful to build a rapport with your targeted audience first before sending them multiple promotions which may be disregarded as spam. Ensure that your emails contain the relevant affiliate links to the products you are selling so that recipients can click them and make purchases.
WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER BECOMING AN AFFILIATE MARKETER?
There are several benefits to working as an affiliate marketer. Here are some of the reasons why you may want to consider this venture:
- It Provides a Source of Passive Income
While a normal job typically requires you to be at work for certain periods and days of the week to earn an income, you don’t necessarily have to be constantly present on your site to make money with affiliate marketing. By initially investing your time and effort into your affiliate marketing business, you will continue to see returns as your targeted audience purchases the products you are promoting over time.
You will keep making a steady stream of money from your platform even if you are not constantly in front of your computer, and all you have to do is occasionally check to see if everything is doing well and make the necessary tweaks to your system.
- Allows You to Work From Home
As an affiliate marketer, you have the privilege to work from the comfort of your home. Affiliate marketing allows you to launch your campaigns and earn money from the products that you sell without having to leave your home to package and deliver them.
- You Don’t Have to Worry About Providing Customer Support
Individual companies and sellers offering services or products typically have to deal with their customers daily and ensure that they are happy with their purchases. With the affiliate marketing model, you don’t have to concern yourself with customer support. Your only role is to link customers with the product you are promoting – the seller will have to deal with any complaints that the customers may raise regarding the product.
- It Allows For Flexibility
Since you are essentially a freelancer when you work as an affiliate marketer, you have more independence, allowing you to set your own goals and redirect your path as you see fit. You also get the opportunity to choose the products that you want to promote and even get to schedule when you want to work. This allows you to maintain your main job and source of income as well as involve yourself in other ventures.
- It Does Not Require a Lot of Investment To Get Started
Most businesses will usually require that you invest a significant amount of your hard-earned money so that you can launch and successfully grow it. On the other hand, you can get started as an affiliate marketer at a relatively low cost, and there isn’t too much hassle involved. Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about paying for the manufacture, packaging, and shipping aspect of the product you are selling.
Affiliate marketing is a great option for those who intend to increase their income stream. It is a tried and true moneymaking strategy that has been proven to work, with some affiliate marketers becoming especially successful. However, to find success, you will need to put in the time and effort by building a reliable customer base. It is an effective business model, but it requires work and patience. Unfortunately, many marketers give the impression of nearly instant riches with push button ease. That is simply not true. Like anything else, you will need to put in work.
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