What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is an online sales technique where a company will pay others (usually website owners) who are called affiliates or publishers to promote their company’s products or services. An affiliate marketer is rewarded in a variety of ways but basically every time a visitor/customer buys something through an advertisement on your website you will receive a payment. These ways are called pay-per-action, pay-per-lead, pay-per-click.
An affiliate can also get paid according to the number of times an ad has been showed on your site. Any online business can affiliate themselves with website owners using affiliate programs. The price the customer pays purchasing the product or service through an affiliate is exactly the same as it would be if they would be buying directly from the manufacturer. Successful online companies like Amazon.com has hundreds of thousands of affiliate relationships and was one of the first to adopt affiliate marketing.
Today affiliate marketing is a huge online industry and if you can really understand how it works then there is really no limit on how much money you can make. Fortunately, affiliate programs are free to join and a great way to earn some extra money from the convenience of your home.
How to start affiliate marketing
Most people who want to earn an income online start with affiliate marketing. There is an endless list of affiliate programs you can join. Each program may have its own criteria for approval but usually, they have no prerequisites. All you have to do is to type your keyword + affiliate programs into Google. Let’s say you have a website about fitness and you want to promote some equipment to your audience you will simply perform a Google search for fitness equipment + affiliate programs. The more content and reviews you publish the greater the chances to increase your sales.
A) Create a website or blog
So the first thing you need to do to start your career as an affiliate marketer is to create a site where you will place links to the products or the services you recommend. Today it’s easy to start a website for free thanks to sites like WordPress.com and you don’t need to learn any computer code. WordPress.com is used by 70% of all websites in the world and that means you can get all the help you will ever need. Some companies might want to check the content of your site before signing you in so they ‘ll want the URL of the website you will use to sell their products. Create a useful site that provides interesting information to your readers and then recommends products related to the topic you chose. You can learn more about building a website by reading my post.
B) Decide your niche
Pick your favorite topic, it can really be anything like your hobby, a skill, your job or a business opportunity. Choose something you are familiar with and you would be interested in research and sell products about. It is always better to choose something relevant to your expertise that excites you and you would be willing to invest time to learn more about it. If you choose to promote something you don’t have a passion about in an effort to make money from it you will quickly give up. You will just get bored and run out of ideas. For more information about how to pick the right niche, you can read my previous post.
C) Create content
There is a term you hear often in the affiliate marketing industry and that is no other than Content is King. Creating content should be your number one priority and content marketing your primary affiliate marketing strategy. Writing content requires patience, writing good content needs a lot of experience. Finding a niche is considered relative easy but creating good quality posts takes a lot of time probably months.
Good content keeps visitors coming back and it’s a great way to include affiliate links in an effort to increase your sales without appearing to sell anything. You can write reviews for products related to your niche and rate them and/or publish posts about how to do certain things, offer advice etc. There is no easy way to create useful content packed with value for your readers but if you want some tips to help you learn the basics click here.
D) Research affiliate programs and join one
As mentioned above joining an affiliate program is almost always free of charge and relatively easy to find one that offers products in your niche. When you are researching affiliate programs don’t just choose the one that offers the higher commission. You should consider other factors as well. Ask yourself if you would buy this product or service and what this product has to offer to your audience. Does it stand out? Is it the best for your readers? Can you provide details for the products you promote? Research the latest products about your niche and find out which affiliate marketing program is performing great.
Don’t try to sell products irrelevant to your niche or products you know nothing about. When you sign up with a company you will receive a tracking link and after that, you will recommend that affiliate link to direct your audience to the company’s website. They will ask you to provide a bank account or PayPal in order to pay you the commission you earned from your sales. Some of the most popular affiliate programs are from Amazon that sells pretty much everything, Clickbank, E-junkie, Commission junction, Google AdSence.
Pro’s and Con’s of affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn income compared to other online jobs from home. You don’t have to worry about shipping or delivering the products because simply you are selling other merchant’s products. You don’t have to develop any products or even offer support to customers after purchasing the products. Affiliate marketing is a very transparent model for earning money online and has nothing to do with the get rich quick schemes that you often come across on the internet. It’s not a pyramid scheme where you basically have to recruit people and sell them random products and services.
There is no limit to how much money you can make and the income potentials are huge. It all depends on the quality of your content and the traffic your website generates. In affiliate marketing, there is no risk of loss from your end and you don’t have to invest any money to become an affiliate. All is required from you is your time and effort. Your affiliate blog is the best way to build up reputation and trust which will generate traffic and lead to more sales. The most successful affiliate blogs are honest and open with their readers providing them original and fresh content.
The disadvantages of affiliate marketing you have to take into consideration before signing up with a company to promote their products have to do with the time you have to spend to build your reputation. Affiliate is not a quick way to make money and it will take you a lot of time to build up your traffic levels before you see any significant results. Also, you have to keep in mind that some merchants may promise higher rates than what they are really willing to pay you.
Affiliate marketing may look simple and in a way it really is but it’s also a quick way to make money online. Implementing the steps mentioned above it can be more complicated than it looks but they are the fundamentals things you need to know in order to start your online business. Don’t forget that you should enjoy what you do, be dedicated and approach it like a legitimate business opportunity. Don’t believe people who claim they know a secret system that will make you rich in a week.
Finally, it’s always better to surround yourself with people who have already succeed in affiliate marketing and went through the same stages you are going through right now. By joining a community you can expand your network, build new relationships, learn from other people’s experiences and educate yourself about your chosen niche, internet marketing, and consumer behavior.
If you really want to create a successful business online you can take a look at the following 3 training programs below. They are very well respected and they teach you how to become an affiliate marketer.
You can leave me a comment below asking a question, sharing your experience with us or anything else you want to share with us.
I think affiliate marketing is the way to go for sure. And I’m positive that Wealthy Affiliate is the way to go. You’ll never find this much help anywhere on the internet, especially at no cost!
That’s true Grant. Wealthy affiliate offers you all the support you need to start a successful online business.
This is a good, detailed explanation of what affiliate marketing is; it tells the novice much of what he needs to know. I will be interested to follow your progress here in WA.
Thank you for your comment JohnV.
After trying so many times at other ways to do an online home business I chose affiliate marketing as well. I am still learning and correcting but also have found the best place to do all that just as you. WA is awesome for learning, encouragement and extra trainings that are available.
Great overview of what is affiliate marketing and how it all works!
You have outlined some simple steps that anyone can follow to start a business in affiliate marketing and online business!
Great post! 🙂
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