Can affiliate marketing be a viable source of income? Definitely! Affiliate marketing can actually earn you a livable income. However, here’s the thing; it is not that simple. Most people get into affiliate marketing with the belief that it is a get rich quick scheme and a way to make some easy cash online. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When venturing into affiliate marketing, you have to do it right for you to be guaranteed a stable, regular income. Doing things the right way is the only way to be a successful affiliate marketer.
So how can you do things the right way? How can you create an income with affiliate marketing? Well, it is for this very reason that I have written this article. Here is everything you need to know to find success in this business.
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AFFILIATE MARKETING FAST FACTS
– Affiliate marketing is a diverse field spanning practically every industry in the world
– It can be undertaken by people from all walks of life, regardless of their experience and background
– Like all online businesses, it is a vast and rapidly changing field
– Many companies now use affiliate marketing as a sales strategy to push their products through online channels as a result of increased preference and use of online channels for shopping around the world.
THE REALITY OF AFFILIATE MARKETING
Like many home business ventures, affiliate marketing is plagued by people looking to make easy money off other people’s desperation and to take advantage of beginners. This field is also rife with get-rich-quick misconceptions.
In truth, nothing good comes easy. If you get into this business with this mindset you will not have a problem being successful. Expect to work hard and to put in a lot of time and effort. If anyone tells you that you can make hundreds of dollars overnight, they are probably lying to you. Affiliate marketing requires a considerable amount of effort for it to be successful. Just remember, when the deal is too good, you need to think twice.
Also, like all businesses, there are those that have cracked the code and are filthy rich as a result. There are also the intermediates who make a good living, and there are those (many) that have failed badly at it and make nothing.
The question you have to ask is whether or not you can make it work for you. Only you can decide that. But to help, here are some tips.
PROS OF AFFILIATE MARKETING
There are quite a number of things about affiliate marketing that make it a convenient source of income. Here are a few of them:
– Low initial financial input to get started. Most affiliate programs are free to join, so your only costs are usually related to your referral/marketing methods.
– Often, there is no need to create a brand for any product.
– There is no need to store, package or ship products. With affiliate marketing, the physical aspect of your business is completely removed.
– Affiliate marketing gives you the convenience of working from anywhere, anytime, provided you have internet access.
– It gives you the opportunity to have a passive source of income, depending on how you market your affiliates programs.
– It can also be a great side hustle especially if you still want to keep your day job and simply have an additional income stream.
CONS OF AFFILIATE MARKETING
I’ll be completely honest with you here. Like everything in life, there is the good side and the bad side. This is no different when it comes to affiliate marketing. There are some challenges to it, such as:
– Just like all business ventures, it takes some time to build a large enough customer base to start generating dependable income and profits.
– Competition. Let’s face it. Because it is such an awesome business venture, a growing number of people are trying their hand at affiliate marketing. Be sure to bring your A game in order to stand out among the rest.
– Some people are in the business of affiliate hijacking, where you’re not given credit for your referral. URL masking can help.
– Negative affiliate referrals ruin your credibility. Make sure to avoid these kinds of referrals by carefully choosing the businesses you work with.
– With affiliate marketing, since it takes such a hands off approach to things, you have no control over the product, service, or how it does business.
– Some companies have been known not to pay their affiliate marketers. Be on the lookout for such businesses that seek to exploit newbies.
– The customer belongs only to the merchant. In most cases, you’ll have no information about who made the purchase, which makes it difficult to market for re-sales.
TIPS TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL AFFILIATE MARKETER
So, just to recap, affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online. It is “easy” in that you get paid for referring new clients to businesses, getting paid on commission. This essentially means, the more clients you have, the more your income stream increases.
Your success is therefore directly proportional to the traffic you generate. If you want to do even better in this venture, here are excellent some tips:
1. Start right by learning about affiliate marketing and the steps required to be a success. Having a plan for your work will go a long way in building a strong foundation for your business.
2. Always make sure you are dealing in quality products and brands. As a middleman, you will be judged by the products you push in the market so make sure you have some information about the products associated with you. In fact, go the extra mile by actually buying the products and testing them out to make sure you know exactly what you are recommending.
3. Before selecting a specific program, do some research into it and make sure you know about their percentage rates, conversion rates, and payment plans. Make sure you only get one that is a good fit for you.
4. Start a website or blog. This is a great way to attract customers to the products you want to sell. Get a niche you can relate to and choose to market items that are closest to your online niche.
5. Try to be innovative and find quick and cost effective ways to reach your target audience.
6. Start an email list. Do not underestimate the power of email. The most successful affiliate marketers use email in their businesses. Email marketing cuts through the online noise, enabling you to directly reach your customers.
7. Once you have a website, consider using a lead page and funnel system to market your affiliate business. Attract prospects to your email list with a great free offer, and from there you can send them to your affiliate product page. In your email system, you can offer more great free content and more affiliate offers.
8. Try to offer value to your audience instead of just selling to them. Make them look up to you as an authority in your niche and they will be happy to buy the products you recommend.
9. Lastly, although this should be fairly obvious, I still feel like I have to mention it. Try to limit the number of ads you have on your site. Having too many ads dilutes your site or distracts readers, resulting in lower performance.
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WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL?
In its simplest, most straightforward form, online affiliate marketing for bloggers involves this:
– You write about a product or service you would like to sell on your blog post.
– You link to it using a unique affiliate tracking link.
– You get a commission on every sale that is made through your link.
Here is a great example: Imagine you just read the perfect how-to book on, say, bass fishing. You like it so much that you decide you want to recommend it to your online audience. So what do you do? Well, you write a blog post or email newsletter reviewing the book, and link to the book with your Amazon Associates link. If your review convinces a reader to buy, you’ll get a piece of that sale!
The best part is that affiliate marketing can be done at a personal level through simple blog posts and at mass publication level through the use of social media sites. The most important thing is to work on constantly coming up with creative ways to improve your affiliate marketing and you will be well on your way to success.
Of the countless ways there are to make money online these days, affiliate marketing is my absolute favorite. This is because it is simple (not easy) when done just right. I have found that it is way easier to sell someone else’s product than my own. Self-promotion can prove difficult for the person doing it — and it’s not too palatable for the customers it is intended to please.
HOW TO DO IT RIGHT
A decade ago, writing an article on the internet and littering it with affiliate links would guarantee you a steady flow of income. Many people were looking for information online but the content available was not enough to satisfy the demand. Therefore, making money was easy because anything went. However, times have changed. It’s 2019! Everything and everyone is online these days. The online business community has grown in volumes. This means steep competition, and making money is not as easy as it once was.
What does this mean for you? Well, you need a plan to navigate the online business environment if you want to maintain efficiency and constant profits. You have to build a fan base for yourself that will remain true to your products. And this right here is the key to successful affiliate marketing.
So how do you do that? Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help anyone do just that.
1. Gain Subscribers through Guest Blogging
Growing an email list can be done in numerous ways. Of these, one of the most effective is through a combination of guest blogging and offering an enticing freebie. Here’s the simple formula:
- – Design and create a freebie your desired audience will love. It could be a short PDF, e-book, e-guide or worksheet.
- – Set up a free email list. The easiest way to start an email list is through Mailchimp, because it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers.
- – Pitch and write guest blog posts to other sites in your niche.
- – Link to your email sign-up from guest posts. For this promotional step, focus on blogs that give you a bio with a link from your guest post. Use a line of that bio to promote your freebie and link to your email sign-up page.
You can even do this for a while before starting your blog/website. Focus on building your email list, so that when you start blogging, you will already have an audience already built in. Having said that, I am a firm believer that you need a website to do affiliate marketing the right way!
Before launching your blog, set a target number you want for your foundation audience. You need at least 500 subscribers to make affiliate marketing worth your while. Guest posting and email marketing are great methods you can use to hit these numbers early. Once you hit your targets, you will now be guaranteed a new stream of income.
2. Create an Email List
The beauty of an email list is that it is direct and focused. We receive countless notifications throughout the day on our phones or computers, most of which we do not even bother to look at. An email list cuts through all that noise. Readers subscribe to hear specifically from you, and your emails land directly in their inboxes.
3. Join an Affiliate Network
The next step in your journey is to join an affiliate network. There are several of these out there. All you have to do is Google “product name + affiliate” and you will be presented with many choices. You should also consider signing up for the Amazon Associate program. It will be suitable regardless of your field of interest because Amazon deals in a wide variety of products.
4. Promote the Products and Services You Use
I cannot stress this enough. It is best to promote products that you actually use or services that you have had the opportunity of experiencing. This will help you know exactly what to tell your readers as you promote to them, which in turn will help you figure out what they like and would prefer.
This deeper level of understanding goes a long way in making your venture more successful than most others out there. It also saves you the trouble of having to apologize to your customers when the products you push do not meet the advertised standards.
5. Find Affiliate Opportunities in Your Network
When you gain some traction and experience, other opportunities for affiliate jobs could start to find you. Remember, you built your email list through guest blogging. You also got a chance to form connections with influential bloggers. You just have to remain in touch and stay on their radar, and next time they’re preparing for a launch, they may come to you.
For higher-priced offers like member programs or online courses, the creators will often reach out to recruit affiliate partners directly, rather than make their program open to anyone. This helps ensure higher payouts for each affiliate.
After years of experimenting, I now look back and wish I could have started affiliate marketing much sooner than I did. It has proven to be my best bet to make extra money without directly trading hours to earn it like a freelancer would. In affiliate marketing, you exert yourself much less compared to other jobs. That may not be completely true. Let me clarify. You put in a lot of effort at the beginning, but the benefits manifest themselves many times over for a long period of time. As an example, a review I wrote months ago is giving me steady sales each week and I see no reason why it would not continue to do so in the future. This is very different from getting paid X dollars per hour at a regular job.
Here are a couple of pro tips for you:
– Build trust with your audience by clearly emphasizing that you receive a commission.
– Affiliate marketing links include cookies that tag referral sales. Companies can track these cookies for days or weeks, so even if your reader doesn’t buy right away, you still get credit in time. A little bit of patience goes a long way.
Affiliate marketing has been in existence for quite some time now. It continues to evolve as time goes by, and it will only keep doing so. To be successful in it, you need to go the extra mile and do everything right. Like every business, it requires planning, hard work, lots of time input, and some skill that can only be gotten through experience. The best part is that the more you sell the more money you stand to make, so the sky is the limit!
I can help you shortcut the learning curve! Don’t get me wrong! You still need to work hard. But you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. You don’t have to make the many mistakes I made. This alone will save you untold amount of time and money. It could speed your way to success with making money online.
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I hope you take me up on my offer. You have nothing to lose and much to gain. If nothing else, I think you should take the program for a test drive and make a decision after you have seen the possibilities that will open up to you.
To your Affiliate success,
4 thoughts on “Can You Create An Income With Affiliate Marketing? The Short Answer is “YES””
It’s interesting that you mentioned competition as a con. You can deal with it by making your niche more specific until
you can compete with the bigger brands. Basically what you said, making yourself stand out. Though, I think competition can also be an advantage. I once read something which really stood out to me. Everyone fears the competition, and it’s because of that that the majority won’t try or gives up. So a huge part of your competition has already forfeited. On the other hand those who do try, and stick to it, they are the ones who become succesful. They were the only ones who weren’t scared by too much competition.
You are the competition.
I cannot agree with you more. My intent was not to discourage folks from entering competitive niches. If that is what came through my article, it was not what I wanted to convey. I believe that it is important to be mindful of how competitive your niche is and make a decision knowing what you are getting into. I do not advocate shying away from popular and competitive niches. After all, If I did advocate staying away from “tough” niches, I would never have a blog about MMO 🙂
AS long as you know how competitive your niche is and you make a conscious decision to dive in, then by all means…..Go forth and conquer. As you state above, competition can be an advantage because people shy away from it….I know I did not.
To your success,
Thank you for this very informative post on Affiliate Marketing. I really like your pro and cons of affiliate marketing. And, i agree with the fact that the competition is high and that can push us on a longer term for the success we are seeking.
You mention that to be successful is very important the traffic we generate. Do you have any tips on how to generate traffic?
Yes!!!!! I have tips on how to generate traffic. Produce amazing, in-depth content that helps your audience…. That is the secret 🙂 My content is written and in the form of blog posts. But this is not the only way to put content out there. You can use video and Youtube as a way to create helpful and meaningful content for your viewers.
Social Media is another way to provide excellent content to your customers but unfortunately, I cannot advise you on Social media because I suck at it. I am learning (with different degrees of success) but I am not qualified to give advice on that platform.
Bottom line, give your readers the best content and you will succeed. Whether it is written, via videos, podcasts or social media, help them solve problems and give them amazing value!
To your success,