Affiliate marketing is a type of performance marketing where you promote someone else’s product or service to get a commission. You don’t have to create your own product to start an effective affiliate marketing campaign.
Someone else has done the hard work for you: There are manufacturers who are more than happy to let affiliates promote their products and services.
If you register as an affiliate with them, they will give you a special link that contains a tracking code. When someone clicks on your link and purchases the product or service, you get a commission.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance marketing where you promote someone else’s product or service to get a commission. For example, you could promote Amazon’s products through your blog or social media channels, and if one of your readers clicks through and makes a purchase, you’ll earn a commission on the sale.
You’re not employed by the company whose product you’re selling, but you’re still earning a commission for promoting their service. You’re an independent contractor for hire, in a way.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online because you can build a residual income, you can diversify your income streams, and you don’t have to invest a ton of money upfront to get started like you would with a start-up.
You can also do it while living outside the U.S., as most companies don’t require you to be a U.S. citizen or resident to work with them.
How does affiliate marketing work?
Affiliate marketing works when you promote products or services online with a goal of earning an income. You’ll create a website or marketing funnel that promotes a product, and then you’ll use social media or another type of online marketing to get people to click on your links and purchase the product.
When the customer clicks on your link, the customer is sent to the product purchase page or sales page for the product or service you’re promoting. If they purchase the product, you’ll get a percentage of that sale as a commission from the owner of the product or service.
This is usually a very small percentage of the overall sale, like 2-5%, but if you have a lot of affiliates promoting a product or service, it can add up.
Why should you use affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online because you can build a residual income. That means that once you create an initial investment (like building an online presence), your future sales will earn money for you even if you don’t do anything additional.
Affiliate marketing is also great if you’re looking to diversify your income streams. If you are solely relying on your blog to generate income, a drop in blog traffic could mean trouble. But if you’re promoting other products and services, you’re not as reliant on blog traffic.
If you’re just starting out, affiliate marketing is also a great way to get your feet wet in the world of online marketing without a huge upfront investment. You don’t have to come up with your own product and figure out how to sell it; you just have to promote someone else’s service or product through your marketing efforts, and get a commission on the sale.
The first step in your affiliate marketing journey
To start building an affiliate marketing business, you need to create an account with a network like ShareASale, ClickBank, or one of the many other affiliate marketing networks out there. You’ll be asked to provide information about your business, what type of products or services you’re promoting, and your financials.
If you’re in the U.S., you’ll need to provide your Social Security number, and if you’re outside the U.S., you’ll need to provide a taxpayer identification number. If you don’t have a website or blog yet, now is the time to start.
Your website or blog is the hub for all of your marketing efforts. It’s where you’ll build your brand and drive traffic to the products and services you’re promoting.
The second step: build your brand awareness
One of the key goals of affiliate marketing is to increase your brand awareness. You want your readers to know who you are, what you stand for, and that you are a trusted source of information.
You also want to build trust with potential customers by showing them that you aren’t just trying to sell them something. For example, if you’re promoting products in the health and fitness niche, you could create a series of blog posts that review popular fitness trackers and fitness apps.
You could also start posting your product recommendations on your social media channels, like Twitter and Facebook. One important thing to note is that your blog posts and social media channel posts don’t have to be strictly advertisements for product recommendations.
Instead, these posts should be helpful to your readers, and include links to the relevant product or service that you’re promoting. This can help minimize your readers’ resistance to your message, and help them trust you and your recommendations.
Step 3: Decide on a product or service to promote
If you’re new to affiliate marketing, the first step is finding a product or service to promote. It’s important to note that not every network is created equally. Some networks are better than others, and some networks are more appropriate for certain niches than others.
There are a few things to keep in mind as you decide which product or service to promote. First, you want to make sure your product or service is relevant to your niche. While you may make a lot of money promoting an obscure product that almost no one is searching for, you’ll also have a harder time building your brand. Second, you want to make sure that the product or service is high quality.
If you promote products or services that aren’t high quality, you’ll lose trust with your readers and brand.
Step 4: Create your online presence
You’ve chosen a great product or service to promote, and you’ve decided to promote it through your blog. Now it’s time to create your blog and build your online presence. There are lots of great blog platforms out there, like Squarespace and WordPress, so you have lots of options.
You can also choose from a variety of different themes and designs. Once you’ve selected a blog platform, you’ll want to start writing posts for your website. When you write your posts, keep your readers in mind, and don’t write with the goal of making a sale right away.
When you first start blogging, don’t go overboard. A couple of posts per week is plenty to start. And don’t just write posts that are sales pitches for your product recommendations. Instead, write posts that help your readers solve their problems.
Step 5: Track and measure your progress
As you’re building your brand and marketing your product recommendations, you’ll want to keep track of your progress. There are a few ways to do this. You can use social media analytics to track things like which posts perform best and how many people click on your posts.
You can also use Google Analytics to track website traffic and see which pages are getting the most views. These tools will help you determine which marketing efforts are most effective. They’ll also help you identify ways to improve your marketing strategies.
Tips for affiliate marketers
Find products that are different
If you are promoting the same product or service as everyone else, you are likely to have a really hard time breaking through the noise. Instead, look for products that have a unique value proposition that no one else is offering.
Some people think that they can launch a blog or social media account, immediately start promoting products and make tons of money. This is not how affiliate marketing works. You need to build relationships with your readers.
Test, track and adjust
As you begin to promote products, track the ones that are generating the most money. Don’t promote the products that are making you the most money right away. Instead, promote the products that aren’t making you much money so that you can accumulate more clicks. What are the benefits of affiliate marketing?