What is Affiliate Marketing?
People all over the world (people who are just like you) are sitting down at their laptop today and making money through what is called affiliate marketing.
There are a few definitions of affiliate marketing around but I think the one that sums it up best for me is:
“Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting third party products and services which earns the seller (or affiliate) monetary payment for generating sales or leads”
There are several ways to receive compensation. Most affiliate programs use revenue sharing or cost per sale and we will concentrate on that model as we go through this article.
This is basically where an affiliate gets paid a percentage of the selling price if a customer buys the product.
As an affiliate of a product it is your job to send visitors through an “affiliate link” (which will be specially provided to you by the vendor with your unique affiliate code inbuilt into it) –
The affiliate link is your unique affiliate identifier which tells the vendor which affiliate to pay commissions to.
And often the affiliate link contains a cookie so that if the customer buys in the future (usually up to 60 days) the affiliate will still get paid their commission
The good news is that most affiliate programs and affiliate networks offer free participation when you fill out the required forms and get approval. They’ll sometimes want to see your website.
If you develop a website, blog or forum on something you know and love then it becomes much easier as people search the internet primarily for information and as they’re accessing that information, many will click through your affiliate link for additional data where the sales pitch is made.
The secret is to turn your knowledge into content and content will turn into income.
Affiliate marketing is rarely a get rich quick scheme, but you can start part-time requiring little money.
With proper planning, learning and a little work you could develop a respectable income.
Affiliate marketing is really exciting because there are so many possibilities.- in fact, you can promote digital or physical products in your niche. You can even promote services that others provide (for instance hosting services).
There are basically seven steps to affiliate marketing:
- Choose a niche with profit potential
- Find products to promote within the niche
- Make sure you have a web presence promoting that product and attach your affiliate link to that web-page
- Get people to your webpage
- Get paid
So let’s briefly cover each:
1: Choose a Niche With Profit Potential
Although there are hundreds of profitable niches out there to choose from – my recommendation is to pick one where people are actively looking to solve a problem. I don’t want you to pick a niche where people couldn’t give a damn if they bought a solution today, or next week. They must be actively searching for what you have to offer – and they must be willing to spend money to get it.
Consequently there are 2 schools of thought on this
- Find an untapped niche where there are loads of buyers but not much competition from other marketers (hint: there aren’t many of these left)
- Operate in a “popular” niche where there is lots of competition but lots of buyers. I would go for this option but keep an eye out for “hot trends” along the way
Consequently health, wealth and romance/relationships will always be profitable, as will specific hobbies and pets (especially dogs!)
Here’s a little graphic to get you going:
In addition checkout this article on finding a niche to operate in …..
2: Finding a Product to Promote
Affiliate marketing is exciting because there are so many possibilities.
You can promote digital or physical products in your niche.
You can even promote services.
That opens up a lot of opportunities to earn a fantastic income as an affiliate.
It also opens up the need to make some decisions.
If you had your way, you’d be able to promote anything and everything.
People would be buying from your links left and right.
Well, it just doesn’t work that way.
It’s important to be strategic about the things you promote.
You can’t and shouldn’t just promote anything and everything.
You should only promote the things you know your audience will need and want, are of high quality, and suit the way you want people to view your business.
You only want to align yourself with certain products and/or merchants.
It’s not a good idea to promote something that’s of low quality just because it will potentially earn you a good commission.
You might end up with a lot of refunds on your hands.
More importantly, people will have a lowered perception of you and might not put much (or any) stock into your future product recommendations.
Things are so different, so much better, when you apply a certain set of criteria to the things you choose to promote. Ask yourself:
1. Will this product solve a problem or delight my customers?
2. Is this product of high quality, so as to have a low refund rate?
3. Is this product priced fairly to the customer, even considering my affiliate commission?
4. Is this product, and the creator of the product, something and someone I’m proud to associate myself with?
Personally, I would also buy (and if appropriate also use) the product myself so you can give a fair recommendation.
In addition to those questions, you have to find the product in the first place.
There are so many out there. It’s hard to know where to look.
Here’s an article about finding a product to promote