New to Affiliate Marketing? become master the art of affiliate marketing and learn how to make more money online.
Can you make money with affiliate marketing? The short answer is yes, affiliate programs can generate extra money and even a full-time income from home.
I don’t think you need any other book or guide for learning affiliate marketing once you have read this article till the end.
Why am I saying so? It is because we are giving you an ultimate guide to make money with affiliate marketing that covers all the important topics for affiliate marketing.
Whether you are a new or an experienced affiliate marketer, both of you can easily pick up from this article and understand basics of affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is the Holy Grail of making money online. If you become an expert at this, then you can make hell of money online.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
If you are a beginner then do read this paragraph, experienced marketer can just skip it. An affiliate marketer is the one who sells products to customer directly on behalf of someone else.
There are three entities that are involved in this process. They are vendors, customers and affiliate marketer.
A vendor wants to sell its products to customers. But they can’t do on their own so they need someone else to sell on their behalf. The “Someone else” is nothing but an affiliate marketer like you.
You will take products from vendors and sell on their behalf. In return a vendor will give you a commission on each product you sell.
2# Affiliate Marketer
Affiliate Marketer can be anyone who wants products to sell. You do not have to create a product on your own because you will get it from a vendor. So without creating a product you earn money because you get a commission on sales you make.
The commission that you make will depend upon your vendor. For example, some vendor gives 30% commission and some are ready to give even 50%. Hence, if you sell a product worth $10 then you keep it $3 with you and $7 goes to the vendor.
Customers are the people an affiliate marketer will be selling products to. You will reach out to customers through various ways like blogs, emails, etc. To put it simply, affiliate marketing is when you as an affiliate marketer sell products to customers on vendor’s behalf.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
New affiliate marketers need to know very small technical details about how affiliate marketing works. As you read in the last paragraph that there are 3 entities, Vendor/Company, Affiliate Marketer/You and the Customer.
So as a new affiliate marketer, you go to an affiliate network. Here you will find thousands of vendors who are looking for affiliate marketers like you who can sell products on their behalf. After going through each category you choose a product from a vendor for a particular niche.
While choosing a product to promote, the vendor will give you a piece of code. This piece of code is basically your affiliate link, also known as affiliate ID. This particular affiliate ID will distinguish you from other affiliate marketers who are also promoting the same product just like you.
Once you got the affiliate link of a product you want to promote, you need to place this link on the sales page of your blog/website. Visitors will come on to your blog and after reading the sales page they will click on this affiliate link.
Whenever a visitor of your blog clicks on this link he/she will be taken to the vendor’s website where the visitor can buy the product. If he buys the product through clicking your affiliate link then you earn a commission for the sale.
In simple words, you choose a product of a particular vendor; you get the affiliate link and add that link to your blog. If someone buys a product by clicking through your link then you get a commission.
Vendors track your performance through your affiliate ID. You don’t always need to sell products to get a commission because different affiliate programs use different payment terms.
Following are three different terms.
1# Pay Per Sale
You get paid whenever you sell a product. You get a percentage of the sales price of the product. Commission rates depend upon vendors to vendors. Usually it is 30% to 50%. You choose a product from the vendor which pays you highest commission.
2# Pay Per Click
In this program you get paid when visitors come on to your site and click ads. Each click can pay you anything between $.1 and $2. Here you don’t get paid for the sale.
3# Pay Per Lead
You get paid whenever visitors are referred to your site and they provide you with their contact information like name and email address. You get paid for generating leads.
Why be an Affiliate Marketer?
The simple answer is because it is the best. An affiliate has a great future and potential if he/she knows the art of selling. Here are 5 great reasons why you must be an affiliate marketer.
- Zero Startup Cost – There is almost zero cost to start up this business. If you compare to an offline business where you need brick and mortar to lay foundation, here you just need a computer with internet connection. You also don’t have to recruit and pay anybody. Moreover, there is no fee for joining an affiliate network, everything is free. Affiliate marketing is very cost effective business.
- Money, Money, Money – Affiliate marketing will earn you 6 to 8 times more than any other form of online marketing. If you compare affiliate marketing with Google Adsense earnings then difference is more than 4 times. Marketers, who earn over $20,000 per month or even more, depend upon affiliate marketing as their main source of income. If there is any chance of getting rich on the internet then it is through affiliate marketing.
- No Products, No Storage, No Shipping, No Customer Support – Third great reason why you must be an affiliate marketer is you don’t have to create any product. You can sell on behalf of a vendor.You also need not to worry about storage and shipping because these are downloadable products like eBooks, podcasts or software. You don’t have to deal with irate customer too.
- Global Marketplace – You can access global marketplace irrespective of the country you live in. You can live in Bangladesh and sell products to customers in USA. On the internet there is no boundary. If you get to sell in English speaking countries then you can earn even more profit.
- Work From Home – Last but not the least advantage is you can work from home. You don’t have to commute for long hours daily. You don’t have to listen to your boss or irritating co-workers.
Tips on Becoming a Successful Affiliate Marketer
There are great advantages of being a successful affiliate marketer but it is not that easy to become one. Here are few tips that you must follow if you want to excel as an affiliate marketer.
1. Art of Persuasion
Affiliate marketing is totally art of persuasion. A salesman man pitches his story to a customer, if his storytelling is good enough then he may convince the customer into buying his product.
If he fails to persuade then there is no sale. Similarly, here you sell products by writing sales page. Your sales page is what you are going to pitch to your customers.
If it is written convincingly then customers may end up buying products you are selling. So you have to learn writing exceptionally well.
You must know how to emotionally entice your readers so you can turn them into buyers. You can’t depend upon marketing alone.
2. Choosing a Product
Choosing a product is very important tactical decision. If you fail to choose a right product then you can’t sell even a single piece.
Keep following points in your mind before choosing a product from an affiliate network.
3. Choose a Product that Reflects Your Blogs’ Niche
Don’t choose a product just because the commission rate is high. Choose a product that matches your blog’s niche. Objectivity is very important while choosing products.
If your blog is about music and playing guitar then choose a product about guitar and not about music. Music is a vast subject so narrow down your choice. Be targeted while choosing products.
4. Always Try Products Yourself
Most of the products are junk. You have to choose a merchant having great products. People are not going to buy a product that you yourself don’t like.
So buy and use the product whether it is worth promoting or not. If you personally don’t like the product then don’t push it onto others.
5. A Product with Medium Gravity and Zero Return Rate
Products with less or medium competition is better than products with high competition. High competition products may be very popular but very difficult to sell because established affiliate marketers are already promoting.
You can’t beat them and sell the same product to customers. Similarly, choose a product with zero return rates. Recurring products can be good.
6. Leverage All Traffic Sources
If you are doing affiliate marketing through your blog then you will get most of your visitors from Google but don’t ignore other sources like social media, forums, email marketing, Google Adwords etc.
Focus on SEO by reading articles on top SEO sites, you will not succeed if you can’t rank your web page high on Google search result page. SEO is very important if you want to get traffic.
7. Keep Experimenting and Tracking Your Campaign
Test, measure and track your affiliate campaign. Do split testing and measure performance of every new campaign you launch. Examine the results and take appropriate actions accordingly.
Test with different kinds of ads, right placement of ads, experiment with sales page, try including new products, so take these actions for better results.
8. Content is the King
Finally content is the king. It really doesn’t matter how good your product is if you can’t sell it. And for selling you need a good story. So focus on writing great sales page.
So these were few tips and pointers for affiliate marketers. I have kept it very concise and to the point.
What Technical Set Up Will You Need?
For a new affiliate marketer like you affiliate marketing can be quite intimidating. From creating your first blog/website to selling your first ever product can be very difficult for new marketers.
There are many technical things involved that you may have no experience before. However, following are few technical details that you need to take care of.
1. A Blog/Website
You have to set up a new blog or website. Now setting up a blog is very easy. You can choose a platform like WordPress or Blogger and create your own blog. It is absolutely free.
However, if you are serious affiliate marketer then you might like to buy a domain name and hosting for at least a year. You also have to incorporate various WordPress themes into your website to make it look good.
If there is no one around to help you in setting up your website then you can go online and join forums to take help.
2. Little HTML and CSS Knowledge
You need to know little bit of coding. Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS is very important. If you want to create stylish web pages with special effects and great design then you must learn these two languages.
Look and feel of a website is very important if you want to engage your audience.
3. Attractive English Writing Skills
As I said earlier writing skill is very important. There is excuse for bad grammar. You can’t do such mistakes. Moreover, your English vocabulary must also be good.
In affiliate marketing, you have to convince your customer into buying something. For that you have to write great stories. Without great stories you can’t sell products. Hence learn to write good English.
4. A Short Report/E-Book
To get more visitors to your website you can give short reports or eBooks for free. Free giveaways are very important if you want to turn a visitor into a potential customer.
Always remember people love freebies. If they find your eBook interesting then they may also like to buy a product from you at later stage. Hence eBook or short report is just for pre selling.
5. An Email Auto Responder
If your website has started to receive huge traffic then you have to incorporate an email auto responder into your website. Auto Responder is a piece of software that collects visitor’s name and email address.
It will also send email automatically to visitors who had just subscribed your blog. However, you have to pay a fee for using this service. My favorite auto responder is MailerLite.
6. Targeted Traffic
Traffic is everything. Traffic means money. More the traffic you receive more the money you make. Hence leverage all mediums to get traffic.
However focus more on Google search engine. Your 80% of the traffic is going to come from search engine. So learn everything about SEO from the very beginning.
How to Make Money as an Affiliate Marketer
Here is easy step by step guide for earning your first ever affiliate income.
Step 1: Decide Niche of Your Website
- Niche You Can Write About – Choose a niche that you can write about. If your forte is music then choose a niche close to it. Don’t go for gadgets or finance just because they are lucrative.
- Keyword Search – Searches and Money -Keyword Research is one of the most important things as you will know whether keyword is popular or not and whether this keyword is easy or difficult to rank. You can use Google keyword tools to know keywords that people are searching. You can also check this Backlinko guide for becoming an expert in keyword research.
- Competition – Choose a niche which is popular but at the same time it is less competitive. You don’t want other affiliate marketers writing for the same niche.
Step 2: Choosing Between Affiliate Network and Individual Affiliate Programs
You want go for an affiliate network or an individual affiliate program?
- Affiliate Network – You have to choose a product from a database. The problem here is quality of products. They aren’t very good. For example, on ClickBank most of the products are junk.
- Individual Affiliate Program – Individual affiliate program can pay you more but here competition is very high. But if it suits you to go for individual affiliate programs then go ahead.
- Choose a Product Wisely – Whatever product you choose, you have to do it wisely. The golden rule is, don’t choose a product that you yourself would not like to buy.
Step 3: Build Your Website
- Buy a Domain and Hosting – Choose a domain name from Go Namecheap, Siteground, Go Daddy, Host Gator, Bluehost etc. Always choose a domain name that reflects your niche/website. Buy a good hosting that can withstand heavy traffic. If you want to do affiliate with WordPress blog then get the managed hosting from GoDaddy.
- Install WordPress – For CMS I would recommend WordPress. It is very easy to set up and get started if you are a new to building website. Then choose a theme of your choice. It must reflect the niche of your site closely.
Step 4: Content is King
Now create some great content.
- Answer Common Questions and Give Solutions – Create content where you answer questions asked by people. Your website must solve their problem. You need to engage your visitors by listening them.
- Product Reviews – Write honest reviews for various products. People love reading honest reviews. This is also the best way to sell your products.
- Quality and Quantity – Both Quality and quantity matters. Quantity is useless without quality. So focus on both.
Step 5: Promoting Your Product
- Start promoting your product by Choosing Ads – While promoting, choose ads carefully. You have to decide whether affiliate links are enough or you need to use banned ads.
- Running a Campaign – You have to run a campaign that will include many things like creating landing pages, creating a sales letter and then promoting it through various means.
- Right Platforms – Leverage all possible platforms like Google search engine, social media, email marketing, paid advertising etc. However, the most important is Google search engine. SEO is must.
Step 6: Build a Readership – Now you need to get audience for your new website.
- Social Media – Don’t ignore platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat etc.
- Build a Network – Build a network with other affiliate marketers who are also promoting same product. You can work with them and learn their marketing strategy.
- SEO – Finally, SEO is everything. You have to learn SEO if you want to get more traffic. Building quality backlinks is the most important thing.
Step 7: Rinse and Repeat – If you are successful then rinse and repeat. Sell more products and make even more money.
|Some Top Affiliate Networks
Top Affiliate Networks
Here few best affiliate Networks to choose from.
- Rakuten Affiliate Network : Currently one of the best affiliate networks on the Internet. It has left behind CJ and ClickBank because of excellent returns to affiliate marketers.
- CJ: I personally started with Commission Junction. It is one of the oldest networks in the market right now. Always pays you on time.
- Amazon: Amazon Associates is really great if you want to promote gadgets and accessories. You can earn good commission if you know how to promote.
- Avangate: It is great if you only want to promote digital products like eBooks, podcasts and software. The network is still growing.
- eBay Partner Network: eBay Partner Network is just like Amazon Associates. It is best for promoting physical products like Gadgets, Home Appliances and other accessories.
- ClickBank: ClickBank is great if you want to sell eBooks. You can find more than 10,000 merchants. However, choose a product carefully.
- ShareASale: ShareAsale offers you great commission rates. If you are a serious affiliate marketer then do join this network.
In concluding remarks I would say do not take affiliate marketing lightly. You have to work very hard to sell your first product.
From choosing a niche to creating a site to creating great content to SEO, you have to learn myriads of things. You have to be really good at both creating content and marketing.
If your content can’t persuade people buying into a product then you can’t be an affiliate marketer. Similarly, you have to learn to market it. Just good content is of no use if people don’t get to read it.
Hence, you have to market to get traffic. For getting traffic SEO is the only way. To put it in one simple sentence, affiliate marketers must focus on two areas Content and SEO.