Apart from ad networks, another good way to monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing, an aspect of digital marketing. Although affiliate marketing can be done without having a blog. But having a blog gives you more advantage. Search engines will help you locate real buyers, even while you sleep. So you make more money. You will learn all about affiliate marketing in this guide.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a marketing model designed so that individuals can help companies sell more of their products and services both online and offline. As an affiliate marketer (also known as publisher), you will work within a referral based system that allows you to earn a cut of the money that companies make from sales made to people that you refer.
Affiliate marketing is the arrangement whereby an affiliate earns a commission for completing an agreed-upon marketing objective. Commonly, the affiliate markets products and services belonging to a third party, and they earn a commission for each customer they bring on board.
This economic arrangement has existed for as long as businesses have been around, but it became much more pronounced in the age of the internet. There are many affiliate marketers who earn six and seven figures. The beauty of affiliate marketing is that there are almost no barriers, and all you need is an internet connection, and you are good to go.
More About Affiliate Marketing
Most people who are stuck in a boring corporate job and would like to escape the rat race would do really well by crossing over to the world of affiliate marketing. As an affiliate marketer, you could even choose to work from the comfort of your home, and your earning potential will be governed by your depth of hunger for success.
There’s considerable work to be done, especially in the early stages, and then you can put up systems that will make your work all the easier. Also, the world of affiliate marketing is ever-changing, and an affiliate marketer must keep reinventing themselves so that they don’t lose to their competition.
Advertising is a common theme in the world of affiliate marketing. Besides picking a profitable product, your advertising methods will play a critical role in determining your overall success. Some of the popular advertising methods include display advertisement, social media advertisement, email marketing, video advertisement, and blogging.
Most businesses have embraced affiliate marketers, as that’s one of the best ways to increase business revenue and brand visibility. As an affiliate marketer, there are key things you must pay attention to, or else you are at risk of sabotaging your efforts. The two main things you must carefully select are the product and the merchants. Working with transparent merchants ensures that your hard work doesn’t go down the drain.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to escape the rat race, create time for the things (and people) you care about, and, most importantly, attain financial freedom.
In summary, here are the steps involved in affiliate marketing:
- You partner with a company to help them promote a product or service.
- You market and send traffic to these products using your own resources.
- Some of those people purchase the product based on your recommendation.
- You get paid a commission for those purchases. Simple right?
How Much Can You Make With Affiliate Marketing?
The amount of money that you can earn with affiliate marketing will depend on the product that you choose to promote. Often times, this amount can be up to 100% of the total price of the product.
The hungrier you are, the more work you put in, and thus the more money that flows to your side, but if you are lazy, then expect to make little money and in some cases, no money at all. Just because affiliate marketing offers freedom doesn’t mean that money will automatically flow into your bank account.
You can promote both high and low ticket products as an affiliate. Low ticket products range in price from $1 to $99 and high ticket from $100 upwards. Generally, affiliate marketers classify low cost products as low-ticket affiliate products and those that are more expensive to be high-ticket affiliate products. As you start in the affiliate marketing business, you need to decide whether you want to promote cheap or expensive items. Most affiliate marketers choose to promote low-ticket affiliate products because they think that it is easier to convince people to buy cheap items. However, this also means that you need to sell more items to earn more money.
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
There has never been a better time to start an affiliate marketing business than today, and the opportunity continues to grow every day as millions of people turn to the internet to purchase new products and services. In the next 10 years, more than 80% of all business transactions will be through the internet.
Experienced marketers know this, and they know that affiliate marketing is not going anywhere anytime soon. Therefore, if you want to make money online, it is very important that you take this information seriously and follow these instructions as close as possible so that you also take your cut from this pie.
Here are a few more reasons to start an affiliate marketing business today:
1. Very Easy to Get Started
Affiliate marketing is one of the best and easiest ways for anyone to make money online. It is a billion dollar a year industry with a very low barrier of entry. You don’t need any special degrees or high technical knowledge to make it work. The door is pretty much open to anyone willing to step inside.
2. You can Start with Very Little or No Investment
Affiliate marketing does not require a big initial investment. If you are strapped on cash, there are plenty of free strategies that you can use in order to find people on the internet who are interested in buying whatever you promote.
3. You can Make Money Selling Products that Fall within your Passion
Another lovely aspect of affiliate marketing is that you can earn good money while promoting products or services within your passion. Amazon.com alone has one of the biggest affiliate programs, and if you have ever shopped on their site, you can attest that they pretty much sell everything. So you can earn commissions promoting whatever items fall within your passion, without getting bored.
4. You can Work from the Comfort of your Room
All you need is a computer and an internet connection. Also, you work at your own convenience. All you need is to plan your working hours.
Can Anyone Make Money from Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is for people willing to create a new source of income through the internet. When done right, affiliate marketing is an excellent way to make cool money online. If you dedicate your time enough to master the affiliate marketing game, you can earn incredible amounts of money right from the comfort of your home, as long as you have a computer and an internet connection at hand.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
In order to understand how affiliate marketing works, you first have to become aware of the key players. The more understanding you have about these key players, the more your capacity to achieve your goals.
These are firms or individuals that own the product or service. The sectors are as diverse as you can imagine; retail, industry, financial services, travel, e-commerce, etc. Affiliate marketers that make the most money are affiliated with brands. They have been around for quite a while, and they understand the ins and outs of the market, and the brands can trust them for a great ROI. However, if you are starting out in affiliate marketing, best to stay away from brands, and work with affiliate networks.
The affiliate is the marketing partner of various brands. As an affiliate marketer, it is your job to win more customers for the product you are promoting and get compensated as per the agreement. The great thing about affiliate marketing is that you can still get started despite having little resources. For instance, if you have a blog, that’s enough, and you can write reviews, post on social media, and direct your target audience to your affiliate links.
Affiliate marketing can also be an expensive job, as you may need a considerable budget in order to buy ad spaces and traffic. If you have the budget, and you are good at optimizing the campaigns, this combination would net you tremendous profits.
3. Affiliate Networks
An affiliate network pools together all brands that are looking to have their products and services promoted. And then affiliate marketers may sign up to these affiliate networks so they may promote the program that they feel they are sufficiently equipped to promote. Newbie affiliate marketers ought to sign up to affiliate networks so that they may have access to the numerous affiliate programs and thus get a chance to decide what they are best at promoting.
Affiliate networks also handle the tracking, reporting, and payments, meaning that the affiliate marketer won’t have trouble claiming their earnings, as there is an established method of doing things. The affiliate marketer promotes the products or services of a brand with the primary aim of increasing business, and they get compensated as per their agreement with the affiliate network or brand.
The image below summarizes how affiliate marketing works.
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Getting Started – Basic Things you will Need for Successful Affiliate Marketing
Here are the things you will need to start affiliate marketing business:
1. A Website
Most affiliate programs require that you have a website before you will be accepted. Advertisers check the website to see what types of content you have. Some advertisers are extremely picky when choosing affiliates. They only accept those whose websites can bring in huge amounts of traffic. Don’t worry though, because there are also beginner level affiliate marketing programs that will accept even publishers with new websites.
2. A Profitable Niche
You cannot just create any type of website if you want to become a successful affiliate marketer. In particular, you need to be careful in choosing the niche market. Always remember that the types of affiliate marketing products that you can sell will depend on the niche market you choose to participate in.
If you want to sell only high ticket items for instance, you need to make sure that the niche market you have chosen have high-ticket affiliate marketing programs.
3. An Organic Source of Traffic
As far as internet marketing is concerned, there are two ways for you to get traffic, organic and paid. While some affiliate marketers do use paid methods to earn through affiliate marketing, these methods expose you to a higher financial risk. Those who use these methods have developed their skill over years of trial and error.
For now, you should focus on building assets that will help you gather organic visitors. This includes social media accounts and pages, forum memberships, accounts in niche specific online communities, offline traffic sources and other similar assets. You will need to think about where you will get your traffic for your website if you want to be successful from day one.
4. A Membership to an Affiliate Marketing Program
There are tons of affiliate marketing programs in the web. However, not all of them will be suitable to offer to the type of traffic that you can get. You will need to choose an affiliate program that fits the needs of the audience. We will discuss how to choose the best affiliate marketing programs for your audience in the following chapters. The four factors above are the minimum requirements for becoming a successful affiliate marketer.
After choosing an affiliate marketing program, you can apply directly from the web. Most of the application processes just require you to fill up a form with your personal details. In addition, the application form may also ask how you plan to generate traffic for your affiliate offers and what types of products you wish to promote.
The form may also ask you how much traffic your own website gets a day and what other monetization methods you use in the said website.
In addition, you may be asked to fill up a tax form. This part will depend on the requirements of the country of origin of the affiliate program. When signing up for Amazon Associates for Amazon.com for instance, US citizens will be asked to fill up a US tax form. A different form will be required if you are applying for Amazon.ca (Canada) Associates program.
How Hard is the Application Process?
For some affiliate programs, getting in is easy. Some may even automatically approve your application. There are more specialized programs though, that will ask for more requirements after you apply. The most demanding programs will have their employees scan your website for the quality of the content. If they are not satisfied with the design or the quality of the content of your website, they may reject your application. These extremely selective programs usually do this for different reasons.
The majority of them do it because they want to protect their brand. Big brands only want to be associated with websites that have good quality content. Some of them will only accept websites that have been around for a long time with hundreds of archived content. Some brands will also reject your application if they see that your website or your contents are not aligned with their target consumers. If your website is in English, for example and your and you apply with an affiliate program for Spanish people, you are likely to be rejected.
How Do You Get Paid as an Affiliate Marketer?
Considering there are diverse products and services being promoted, there are bound to be diverse metrics of paying the affiliate marketers. What is important is for the affiliate marketer to understand what’s asked of them and align themselves with the program that promises the greatest rewards. For instance, if you run a real estate website, it would make more financial sense to sign up to an affiliate program that seeks emails belonging to potential real estate customers as opposed to signing up for an affiliate program that seeks web-hosting customers.
The following are the common metrics upon which an affiliate marketer is compensated.
1. Pay per Sale
In this case, an affiliate marketer receives a commission for every person they get to purchase a product. Affiliate networks are chock full of brands that are looking to grow their sales volume. If you have an established blog, you have a head start, and you may recommend products that are aligned to your audience, and you will see your commissions accumulating. You may also engage in media buying and target your traffic so that they will convert into customers. Ensure that you are slow and deliberate as opposed to being unpractical. Careless mistakes can cost you a fortune.
2. Pay per Click
Not every merchant is merely looking to make a sale. There are some merchants who are looking to expand their visibility. And they are ready to pay an affiliate marketer to bring targeted audience to their website. Thus, for every click you send to their website, the merchant happily pays you a commission.
For some reason, affiliate marketers, especially newbies, might feel the need to take advantage of the situation and send illegitimate clicks so they may inflate their commissions, which almost always ends badly for them. Ensure that you are transparent in your efforts to earn a commission. As an affiliate marketer, you only succeed when the merchant/brand succeeds, and if you are a fraud, you are contributing to the brand’s demise, and should you be successful, that’s one less employer off the market. It never ends well.
3. Pay per Lead
Data is one of the most valuable elements of successful businesses, and merchants and firms are well aware of this fact. They are willing to pay affiliate marketers to collect data on their target clients. The most valuable datum is the email address. There are many affiliate programs that compensate marketers for every email belonging to a target audience that they bring aboard. Most merchants and affiliate networks pay out commissions weekly and monthly.
There might be restrictions on newbies, but once they earn a considerable amount, the restrictions are lifted. Depending on your location and the affiliate network or merchant in question, there are many ways that the affiliate marketer receives their commissions, including bank transfers, checks, and e-payment platforms like PayPal and Paxum.
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Affiliate marketing is simply about signing up to become a marketing partner for a merchant or an affiliate network. A merchant is the creator of the product or service, while an affiliate network is usually contracted by many merchants in order to pool together various programs and get affiliate marketers to promote them. Newbie affiliate marketers ought to stick with affiliate networks because the networks provide many programs and a structure that makes it easy to access their funds. The established affiliate marketers may work directly with merchants because they have a great understanding of the market. In as much as affiliate marketing could very well help you attain financial and personal freedom, it doesn’t mean that achieving success as an affiliate marketer is akin to snapping your finger. It requires hard work, patience, dedication and access to the right guide. Feel free to drop your questions in the comment section below. Enjoy!
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