What is affiliate marketing all about?
Affiliate marketing is an online sales tactics that lets a product owner increase sales by allowing others targeting that same audience –‘affiliates’- to earn a commission by recommending the product to others. At the same time, it makes it possible for affiliates to earn money on product sales without creating products of their own. Simply put affiliate marketing involves referring a product or service by sharing it on a blog, social media platform , or website . The affiliate earns a commission each time someone makes a purchase through the unique link associated with their recommendation . Done well this performance – based opportunity can become an important part of your business by netting you a healthy income.
To participate in an affiliate marketing program, you’ll need to take these five simple steps:
- Find and join affiliate program
- Choose which offers to promote
- Obtain a unique affiliate link for each offer
- Share those links on your ‘blog’ , social media platform or website
- Collect a commission anytime someone uses your links to make a purchase
Commission rates vary dramatically depending on the company and the offer . On the low end , you’ll earn about 5% of the sale but, with some arrangement , you can earn as much as 50%, usually when promoting a class or event . These are also affiliate marketing program that provide a flat rate per sale instead of a percentage.
Benefits of the affiliate marketing model?
Affiliate marketing offers several benefits to affiliates (i.e. you) , one of which is its ease. Your side of the question simply involves handling the ‘marketing’ side of building and selling a product- educating customers. You don’t have to worry about the hard tasks, like developing , supporting ,or fulfilling the offer. Affiliate marketing is low risk. Since there’s no cost to join affiliate program, you can start making money with an established affiliate product or service without any upfront investment . Affiliate marketing also can generate relatively passive income through commission – the deal money making scenario . Through initially you’ll have to invest time creating traffic sources, your affiliate links can continue to deliver a steady pay check. Finally , successful affiliate marketing offers the potential to significant scale your earning without hiring extra help. You can introduce new products to your current audience and build campaign for additional products while your existing work continues to general revenue in the background. Before you get too excited, know that great affiliate marketing is built on trust .While seemingly there are an endless number of products or service to promote , it’s best to only highlight those you personally use or would recommend . Even when a product interest you or fits within an existing hobby, becoming a great marketer for that product takes a lot of work.
How to find affiliate programs?
If you’re wondering how to get your feet wet in affiliate marketing, you’ve got a few options. Not every company offers affiliate programs- some businesses manage their own affiliate programs while others use in affiliate network. An easy way to find affiliate programs is to visit an affiliate marketplace or platform. Browse your niche to find top performing affiliate platform . Here are some of the most popular :
- Affiliate network
- C J by conversant
- Click bank
- Flex offer
- Link connector
- Revenue wire
- Share A sale
Another option is to visit the website of the products and service you use and like to see if they have an affiliate program. Large companies often have programs they promote on their site, such as Amazon Associates or the Shopif Affiliate Program. You also can take a more direct approach. Reach out to the owner of a great product you come across and see if they offer an affiliate marketing program. If they don’t they might be happy to set up an arrangement with you, such as offering you a special coupon code to share with your followers. The best deals often are found when you’re the first to inquire and have a relevant distribution channel, such as approaching the seller of a new fitness product if you’re health and wellness blogger. Affiliate marketing programs will have term of service you need to follow so read the fine print. For example, your link usually will have a cookie with a specified timeframe, and some program don’t allow you to purchase pay- per-click ads using the product or company ‘s name.
Choosing your first affiliate program?
As you brainstorm products or browse through affiliate platforms, the most important criteria to keep in mind is that the product should be aligned with your audience, or the audience you hope to build. Ask yourself, is it something your target audience would find valuable? Does it fit with your area of expertise? A food blogger probably wouldn’t promote beauty products for example a wide range of other products would make more sense, such as cookware, meal kits, gourmet ingredients, or even aprons. Also make sure the product or service you’re promoting is a fit for the platform you’re promoting it on. For example home décor and clothing are well suited to image- heavy platform like ‘Instagram’ . however if you’re promotion more in – depth purchases, like software, your review may convert better on longer- form platform, like a blog or youtube.
How can you create a plan to promote your affiliate offer?
As we mentioned earlier, affiliate marketing revenue eventually can become a form of passive income, but you still have to do some heavy lifting up front. The success of your program will depend on the quality of your review. To create a good review, it’s best to get personal. Share your experience in your blog , social media post, or video . If you’re writing a personal review, give a candid opinion based on your experience with and knowledge of the product. The more open
you are the more authentic you will be . People will be more comfortable following your advice if they feel they can trust you. Trust is key factor in your affiliate marketing efforts, because people need to trust you enough to act on your recommendations. The level of trust you’ll need to make affiliate sales depends on your industry and the products you’re recommending –for example , it takes more trust to be an effective affiliate for a $1,000 course than it does for a $20t- shirt. Beyond just sharing your experience , you can trust by limited the number of affiliate you promote, or by only becoming an affiliate for products you personally use, and sticking to your area of expertise. For example , people trust my recommendations for Canadian financial apps, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to have much luck as a Sephora affiliate.
Talk to product expert…..
Another options is interviewing other who use the product or service , or even interviewing the person who makes or sells it. This can give your review more depth, creating a narrative for the reader.
Create a product tutorial……
While your success with affiliate marketing can depend on the overall size of your following , another way to drive higher- converting traffic is by providing a tutorial on the offer . People often perform ‘how to’ searches on Google such as ‘ how to save money for college’ or ‘how to decorate a laundry room’. If you offer a tutorial that solve a searcher’s problems and clearly showcase the value of the product, your referrals will make sense in context and you’ll provide the customer with a stronger incentive to purchase the product you’re recommending.
Find relevant search terms…..
If you’re promoting an offer through a blog post, research which keyword someone might use in a search engine to find an answer to a related problem. Goggle Ads Keyword Planner is a good tool that can help. (it’s free to use ,but you’ll need to create an account.)
Consider your angle……
Depending on your offer, figure out how much energy you should invest in instructional or tutorial contest , which is often a natural lead-in to someone trying a product for themselves. For example , you could record a video of yourself using and getting the most out of a physical product, or showing off the benefit of a digital product, like software . Un boxing posts are popular , so if you receive the product in the mail, document your experience opening it up.
Set your distribution strategy…..
Once you’ve written your promotional contest, share it on your website or social media platforms. If you have an email list you can create an email marketing campaign. And be sure to have an affiliate marketing hub on your website with a resources page where you share a quick list of all of the tools you use and love.
Try offering a bonus…..
Sometimes marketers promote their affiliate programs by offering bonuses to anyone who purchase the offer. For example you could get a free ebook you wrote to any follower who makes a purchase . Promotions like this encourage customer to buy by sweetening the deal. They’re especially persuasive if the bonus you offer is something you normally sell, because then shopper can see its actual dollar value added value right on your site.
Keep things legal and above board….
Don’t forget to disclose to followers that your post contains affiliate links. For one thing , it’s required by the FTC. But explaining the reason for your affiliation also can help you connect with your audience. For example the financial independence bloggers at Frugalwoods offer this disclosure : ‘frugalwoods sometimes publishes affiliate endorsements and advertisements, which means that if you click on a link and but something ,Frugalwoods might receive a percentage of the sale , at no extra cost to you. We only write about and promotes, products that we believe in.
Example of business using affiliate marketing……
Looking at some of the companies that particular in affiliate marketing will provide you with inspiration –as well as proof that this is a legit and lucrative revenue stream.
Wirecutter a site promoting gear and gadgets – from kitchen tools to travel gear that was acquired by The New Times in 2016 says it only makes recommendations after ‘vigorous reporting, interviewing and testing by team of veteran journalists, scientists and researchers’.
Buzz feed reviews started out as a gift guide and expanded into review of various product categories . What makes the site unique is that it cover a variety of ordinary items, giving top picks at three different price points. Buzz feed’s reviews are quite thorough, which provides lot of value to the reader.