Introduction to Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is now not a new concept, but it is still very fresh and rewarding way of marketing online. It is about a relationship between three main parties: the affiliate (publisher), the merchant (advertiser), and the customer. Furthermore, affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways of making money online.
It offers low-cost technique for traders and dealers to display their products and services and build brand awareness.
Geno Prussakov has mentioned in of his blogs that 38% of marketers call affiliate marketing one of the top customer acquisition methods.
What is affiliate marketing?
An affiliate marketing model is straightforward; it acts as a commission-based recommendation practice. A partner or affiliate promotes a trader or a dealer’s products for a slice of the pie. Affiliates are as good as extended sales and marketing departments of the merchants. They play a major role in your marketing campaign and assist the customers to choose products and buy them online.
According to a study, in most affiliate programs less than 10% of affiliates drive 90% of traffic and conversions.
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing. Despite affiliate marketing doesn’t require a fate and years of struggle to get started, you shouldn’t presume excellent results overnight. It is intensely competitive and you need to dedicate productive time for choosing products and ensuring that they meet market needs. Consequently, learn how to promote them and how to measure the success of an affiliate marketing program.
How to become an affiliate marketer?
Let us have a look at the traits of a successful affiliate marketer. Typically, an excellent affiliate possesses the following traits:
To become a successful affiliate marketer is not a tough job; it is a simple process as shown below:
1. Discover an exclusive niche
As a secret success formulae, do not try to straightaway offer anything at all. Rather, stay focused on a precise niche market. Figure out your audience, analyze their pain points, offer them solutions to solve their issues, and ultimately assist them to achieve their goals. To identify the service area which can work best for you and your audience, the best place is to visit forum and question answers’ websites of your industry.
2. Make powerful use of search engine marketing
Search engine marketing is a powerful mechanism for online businesses. After assembling affiliate storehouse, jump into its timely and logical promotion. The preferred option of most of the affiliates is pay-per-click. However, to reap long-term benefits use a proper blend of organic search and paid search. PPC can definitely give you instant results but if you rely only on PPC for longer time, all your profits might end up in the hands of Google Adwords.
3. Understand Your Product and Identify Your Audience
This is a complete analytical exercise. You need to devote your time in knowing your product and knowing your audience. Create a database, you will find it handy as and when required glancing through. Learn in-depth about the products and/or services. Think about the value you can provide to your customers along with your products / services offerings which can help you to build your credibility. This is because trust can be earned from credibility builds trust.
Have a psychological study of your audience. This will help you in developing and designing a web site that converts well, and ultimately boost your ROI.
4. Don’t ponder all your prospects or resources in one thing or place
This is the excellent tip to become a successful affiliate marketer. Promote products from diverse merchants. This way you will be able to balance the cash flows. Furthermore, out of multiple merchants, if one or two fails to promote your product, the overall impact on your business will be minimal. It is absolutely fine to opt for diversification and promote niche products from diverse merchants.
5. Gain excellence on internet marketing
Internet marketing is very dynamic field. On ongoing basis, trends keep changing. You need to act intelligent here to succeed. Keep yourself updated with the latest trends, tips, and tactics. In order to become an expert affiliate you must always dedicate your time in reading, learning, and embracing the dynamics of Internet marketing.
6. Monitor your efforts
As an affiliate, don’t give up if it doesn’t reach to the satisfaction levels. Try and try, again and again. Monitor your efforts and analyze your statistics, to figure out what is working well and what is going wrong. Accordingly, amend your affiliate marketing strategy.
How affiliate marketing works?
Affiliate marketing works on click; by clicking on a special hyperlink made available by the particular affiliate program. The most common type of tracking is tracking via a cookie. When a user clicks on the link, a cookie is stored on their computers. This cookie lets the merchant know that in case a sale transaction happens, it has come from you.
To get started with affiliate marketing, the first step is to sign up for a partner program. On getting login details, you will be assigned a link with a unique ID that makes it feasible to track all traffic sent by you to the advertiser’s site. If your visitor clicks on it and performs the qualified action, you will receive a commission. The qualified action depends on the compensation model. The most commonly used one is pay per sale model which is based on the revenue sharing when a merchant pays an affiliate the percentage of the sale.
Affiliate marketing works best in three types of products /services promotion where it has shown highest success till date:
|1. Information products||can make you earn commission up to 50% since they are cost-effective; production costs are lower as compared to prospects they offer|
|2. Physical products||easiest to sell but churns out lesser commission (not more than 5 to 10%) since most of the amounts get deducted in variables like shipping, wholesaling, and others|
|3. Services||based on trends, one can normally expects commission in the range of 10 to 30%|
Over 50% of topmost affiliate programs fall into these FOUR categories: Fashion, Sports, travel, and Health & Beauty.
Affiliate marketing can provide you with a stable stream of income. How much you can earn entirely depends on how successful you are in converting your browsers into buyers and service subscribers. Affiliate marketing is cost effective; place is not important, you can work from anywhere in the world and still earn handsome amounts.
How to make money as an affiliate marketer?
“Affiliate Marketing Has Made Businesses Millions And Ordinary People Millionaires. Affiliate Marketing may be Your Next Best Career Move.”
If anyone asks can you make money with affiliate marketing, the precise answer is “yes”. It is true that affiliate programs can earn extra money and even a full-time income from home. The long answer is a little more complicated. Like any home income venture, success comes not so much from what you choose to do to make money, but whether or not you do what needs to be done correctly and consistently.
Affiliate marketing is an ultimate home business since it has no dependence on finance to get started. Furthermore, neither you need to manufacture, stock, ship product inventory, nor you need to deliver a service on demand. Under affiliate marketing, you are fundamentally paid for referring new clients and customers to other businesses.
[A] Affiliate marketing WITH website
It is better to do affiliate marketing with website. Once you have figured out your niche and have zeroed down your research on affiliate marketing program, the immediate step is to build your site. For newbie in the realm of building sites, an easy option is to go for wordpress. Since the WordPress CMS provides ease in operation and coding skill required are zilch, you can set up your own site effortlessly.
Make sure that you go for authorized domain for better authenticity of your site. And, the content which you publish on your site should be of excellent quality. Your content plays a major role in your overall marketing strategy.
Content is not just king, its kingdom. Lee Odden
The type of content could consist of product reviews, banner ads, blog posts, common questions and its answers (FAQs), informational content, etc. In your blog posts, you can mention about your products, how it helps your target audience, why they should buy it, what are the common issues with the product and how to deal with it, etc. Coming to the informational content, you can have a tab of FREE resources wherein you can add some slideshow, presentation, tutorial, EBook, etc. all these tactics will bring traffic to your website. In case your product is admired enough and brings sufficient relevant traffic to your website, you could also monetize the traffic in other ways, such as AdSense.
Promotion of website and content
Once your website is ready with relevant content, the next step is promotion of your website and your content on various social media platforms. On the basis of your niche, you can choose from Facebook Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, and several other niche and location-specific networks.
Now, everything is ready for your affiliate marketing, starting from website to content and social media. Once all requirements are fulfilled, you can straightaway go ahead with the promotion of affiliate offers.
Remember, under affiliate marketing, merchants only pay for actual customers, not just visits. This gives affiliate marketing a major benefit over other promotional channels, such as PPC, where it’s trouble-free to spend a large chunk of money on clicks without producing any actual conversions. Successful affiliate programs use multi-channel acknowledgment to ensure the affiliates that create the most value get paid the most.
According to Bill Burnice, top affiliate networks for 2017 are:
- Amazon Associates
[B] Affiliate marketing WITHOUT having website
It might be sounding absurd, but yes, you can do affiliate marketing without having website also.
- You can start posting the products which you want to promote on blogs and forums with your affiliate link in your signature
- You can take help of EBook as a promotional scheme. Go for writing a ‘viral’ book and post on sites like eBay. An informative and useful book as compared to simply laden with affiliate ads might get quite better traction from your target.
- Video marketing is one of the most prominent content marketing strategies as per SEO Trends 2017. Hence, go for sites like YouTube and Vimeo and promote your video clips. You will surely convert a good amount of fan base into affiliate profits.
- Simple yet effective technique is to write classifieds for the products you want to promote and submit them on various sites. Classified submissions are regarded as one of the most favored marketing prompts for the affiliates who don’t use websites.
- Build your own social network and let your followers know about you and products you promote.
- Write guest posts for the website having high traffic.
- Little less recommended method is PPC. Because promotion through pay-per-click technique involves creating PPC campaigns through search engines like Google and Bing, and promoting the merchant website directly through your affiliate link.
Closing thoughts on affiliate marketing
The problem with affiliate marketing, like many other home business options, is the self-styled sages and get-rich-quick programs. These sages and programs hint that affiliate marketing can be done fast and with little or zero effort. So, the issue isn’t really whether or not affiliate marketing is a viable income option (it is), but whether or not you can make affiliate marketing work for you. Affiliate marketing isn’t hard, but it does require knowledge, planning, and consistent effort to make any significant income.