The world of Internet is immensely huge and so the scope of making money out of it is equally broad. Digital marketing is a big topic but that’s for some other article. Here we will learn about affiliate marketing.
In this Complete Guide, I have covered every nook and corner from:
- 1. What is affiliate marketing?
- 2. How does affiliate marketing work?
- 2.1. Seller and product creators
- 2.2. Affiliate or Publisher
- 2.3. Consumer
- 3. How do Affiliate Marketers make money?
- 3.1. Pay per sale (PPS)
- 3.2. Pay per lead (PPL)
- 3.3. Pay per click (PPC)
- 4. Why do affiliate marketing?
- 4.1. Passive income
- 4.2. Work from home
- 4.3. Hassle-free deals
- 4.4. Near-Zero Investment
- 4.5. Convenient and flexible
- 4.6. Performance-based Prizes
- 4.7. SEO and its impact
- 5. How to Start Affiliate Marketing? [Beginners’ Guide]
- 5.1. Terms related to Affiliate Marketing
- 6. Types of Affiliate Marketing Channels
- 6.1. Bloggers
- 6.2. Email lists
- 6.3. Paid search focused microsites
- 6.4. Influencers
- 6.5. Large media websites
- 7. How Can You Become A Successful Affiliate Marketer?
- 7.1. Develop a bond
- 7.2. Make it personal
- 7.3. Review products and services
- 7.4. Use multiple sources
- 7.5. Choose campaigns wisely
- 7.6. Stay updated with trends
- 8. Top Affiliate Marketing Trends of 2020
- 8.1. Improved affiliate reporting and attribution
- 8.2. Influencer niches are under hunt
- 8.3. GDPR and Data Collection Policy
- 8.4. Affiliate marketers have gotten smarter
- 9. Affiliate Marketing Strategies for 2020
- 9.1. Recommend Products You’re Familiar With
- 9.2. Promote Products From Various Merchants
- 9.3. Constantly Experiment and Optimize Your Conversions
- 9.4. Check Affiliate Traffic Sources
- 10. Over to you
Stay tuned till the end of this article, I bet you’ll learn a lot by the time you hit the bottom of this page!
Let’s get going then. Shall we?
Affiliate Marketing Guide
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is a type of digital marketing that involves earning a commission in return for selling an online product.
The earnings from commission vary from brand to brand, and on the number of sells you make. We’ll know about such products/websites and stuff that let you earn money as an affiliate marketer in a while.
Before that, it is important to know how affiliate marketing works. You wouldn’t simply step into the world of affiliate marketing without knowing the titbits of this marketing approach.
Also Read: Why prefer QUALITY over quantity while making backlinks in 2020?
How does affiliate marketing work?
Now that we’ve had a brief introduction about affiliate marketing, let’s dig deeper to know the working process of affiliate marketing.
To make this work, three different parties must be involved:
- Seller + Product creators
- Affiliate or Publisher
Let’s dig into the intermingled connection between these three parties:
Seller and product creators
The seller, (solo entrepreneur/large brand), is a vendor, merchant, product creator, or retailer with product/products to sell. The product can be a physical object, like household apparels, or a service, like SEO tutorials. Also referred to as a brand, it is not necessary for the seller to be actively involved in the marketing, but they may also be the advertiser and profit from the revenue share associated with affiliate marketing.
Affiliate or Publisher
And again, an affiliate can be either an individual or a company that markets the seller’s product in an attractive manner to targeted customers. Shortly putting, affiliates target potential consumers and showcase facts about why they should purchase any product. If a consumer purchases any product via the affiliate, the latter earns a share called commission.
Usually, such products are promoted by affiliates keeping in mind user intent. For example, you won’t go sell your pet food product to a sportsman. Instead, compelling a sportsman to buy sports goodies is reasonable. So you see, this is a niche-based marketing.
The entire process of Affiliate Marketing is dependent on consumers. When consumers buy any product, the seller and the affiliate share the profits.
Every time a consumer purchases a product, the retail price of the same has affiliate’s commission included in it.
Affiliate Marketing Cycle
How do Affiliate Marketers make money?
Like I already mentioned above, whenever a product is bought by any consumer via an affiliate link, the affiliate marketer earns a commission. But is that always true?
When I started studying about affiliate marketing I found out there are multiple modes of earning money. Not only just by earning a commission from a purchased product, but also show by the number of clicks your affiliate link receives. Let’s study different schemes:
Pay per sale (PPS)
Majority of Affiliate Marketing Channels follow this pattern. In this program, the merchant pays the affiliate a percentage of the sale price of the product after the consumer purchases the product. In other words, the affiliate must actually make a consumer become a customer before they are compensated.
Pay per lead (PPL)
A much lesser practised system, pay per lead affiliate programs compensates the affiliate based on the lead conversion. The affiliate must involve the consumer to visit the merchant’s website and complete any requested action — completing a survey or downloading files for FREE.
Anyhow, buying items is not the formal requirement, but involving customer into action/converting leads is important.
Pay per click (PPC)
The most rarely practised system, here affiliate marketer must convince the user to click on links on affiliate marketers website that redirects to the sellers website. The higher number of traffic to the seller, the more is commission.
Why do affiliate marketing?
If you are eager to make money online in the form of commission, just by selling a product, this is for you.
In order to earn money via AdSense, you need to own a blog or YouTube channel. But for Affiliate Marketing you only need a firm group of customers.
The more you are spreading the word, the better the chances you would be selling a product.
You make money for every sale, some are one time, others lifetime, but that’s kept aside for discussion in some other article.
What are the reasons to become an affiliate marketer?
Talk about any regular job, you’ll have to be physically present at an office.
Talk about affiliate marketing, you earn even when you are asleep.
Although that point is not so easy to get into. It needs continuous effort in the initial days. Once you leave a mark on the consumers, they would prefer buying from you only.
In fact, they would recommend others to buy products from your referral source.
You earn money for your work long after you’ve completed it. Even when near your PC, your marketing skills will be earning you a fluid income.
Work from home
Dislike travelling to the office?
Start Affiliate Marketing.
This job doesn’t want you in any formal attire. You can share your campaign links even while lurking below the blanket.
When it is affiliate marketing, and you are one of those affiliate marketers, you never need to deal with the products that you’ve sold to its customers
Once the product is sold, the seller of the product is the one who will deal with the customers. Thanks to the affiliate marketing structure.
I won’t claim as others do, Affiliate Marketing is FREE to do. You need zero investment.
That’s not completely true.
For making Affiliate Marketing possible, you must have running internet connectivity. Plus, a PC/Laptop/Android/iOS device.
If you have none items from above, you need to invest some capital. But that is near to zero when compared to other business in the market.
Convenient and flexible
The ultimate level of convenience is achieved in affiliate marketing. How?
When you have opted in for affiliate marketing you are already a freelancer. You have your own preset working hours, a target to fulfil, play in your comfort zone (home), choose any product at your will.
Even if your target for a specific day is no fulfilled, doesn’t count, you won’t be rebuked but your boss. You are a boss, all yourself. Plus, flexibility in choosing one particular niche of products or extending your universe to multiple products from different niche. It all depends on your CHOICE.
When you are engaged in any other job, you would be paid the same salary, even when you spike the company’s returns by multiple folds.
Not in case of affiliate marketing. Here your income will see a steady hike or fall based on how good you’re selling products.
SEO and its impact
This is the most evergreen topic in the world of digital marketing. Gone are those days when hacking the Google Search algorithm could easily rank your post on the first page.
After the Rankbrain update, the world of SEO has undergone a drastic change. Google Now matters user interest the most.
That’s why you should know the basics of on-page SEO, keyword research and link building. Most likely, everyone wants to rank #1 when ‘best product’, ‘best deals’ are searched online.
Over to you, are you willing to join such a program that pays you for selling products? One-to-one business?
Then keep reading the following part where I have written about how you can too start Affiliate Marketing (at your FREE time)
Also Read: Overcome Leverage Browser Caching (in 2 Minutes)
How to Start Affiliate Marketing? [Beginners’ Guide]
You can get started with Affiliate marketing in many ways.
Here are a few where you can begin with:
- Create a blog and write content in it to promote a product.
- Fetch traffic from Facebook pages/groups and drive it to the landing pages.
- Create a channel on YouTube and promote products.
- Create an email list by creating a micro-site.
- By Podcasts.
To get started with Affiliate Marketing, follow these steps:
- Select any profitable industry and then pick a niche for your blog.
- Choose those affiliate products which you can promote.
- Curate contents about those products.
- Share your posts to push traffic to your website/affiliate post.
- Make use of newsletters and subscribers.
- Formulate a step-by-step email marketing approach instead of a direct approach.
- Repeat the above steps to engage in more traffic.
I recommend BLOGGING as one of the most (if not the most) effective approaches to getting started with affiliate marketing as it requires a minimum investment.
If you know how to present things well verbally or on camera you should try hitting YouTube. In fact, today people are inclining to watch videos over reading about that same product.
Either way, you have to stick to your business with regularity and dedication.
I understand for an absolute beginner, Affiliate Marketing terms sound awkward. Worry not, I have got you covered.
I have noted down a few terminologies related to Affiliate Marketing. Go through them anytime you need to know about them.
Terms related to Affiliate Marketing
Here are some of the common terms associated with affiliate marketing:
- Affiliates: Publishers such as you and me who are sharing affiliate hyperlinks to promote product income and earn commissions..
- Affiliate marketplace: There are several marketplaces like Impact Radius, Shareasale, Commission Junction, and Clickbank. They work as core databases for affiliate programs in different niches.
- Affiliate software: Products (especially software) used by companies to make an affiliate program for their product.
- Affiliate link: Exclusive tracking link offered by your affiliate program to track the progress of your affiliate promotion.
- Affiliate ID: Similar to the affiliate link, but many affiliate programs offer a unique ID (affiliate-site.xyz/abc-prod?aff=pqr123) that you can add to any page of the product site.
- Payment mode: This is the mode by which an affiliate program payment is made to its publishers.
- Example: Cheque, wire transfer, PayPal, etc.
- Affiliate Manager: Few brands have dedicated affiliate managers to guide publishers to earn more by providing them optimization tips.
- Commission percentage/amount: The amount or percentage of commission you can earn when a sale is complete.
- Landing pages: Most vital page in Affiliate Marketing. When you are linking to any brand, it is bound to have a page where visitors will be redirected from your link. Usually, pricing/deals pages are made so.
- Custom affiliate income: Handful of marketers who make the most sales for a brand is selected by the company and given exclusive incentives.
- Link cloaking: Most of the affiliate tracking links are lengthy and ugly. Implementing link cloaking technique like URL shorteners, Thirsty Affiliates, etc., you can beautify those links by branding them.
- Custom coupons: As the phrase suggests, few brands allow its affiliates to create custom coupon and links. Example, wpbeginner is sponsored on many hosting provider companies.
Types of Affiliate Marketing Channels
Majority of affiliate marketers follow a similar pattern to promote their product links and convert consumers. If you fall into that crowd, it will take a long time to outcast others who are in that game already. To know your competition prior to stepping in is necessary. Here I list down different types of Affiliate Marketing Channels:
Bloggers have full authority to rank their blog posts in organic searches. So it is clear that any article they write about any product (in the form of product review) has a fair chance of perching in the first page at least on Google Search. The nature of the posts that they write involves an in-depth analysis/overview of any product. It definitely contains cloaked affiliate links (all pro bloggers do so) in the article.
Thus, bloggers can review multiple products from the same niche or expand their domain anywhere else. Every time a viewer is intimidated by the appealing presentation on the article and does a purchase via affiliate links, money is made.
Also Read: Submit Blogger Sitemap to Google Search Console (#1 Best Method)
This is the oldest form of marketing. That’s not important though.
This still nails other mediums. This is important.
It is always recommended to build email lists niche-based. That way you can try and mail your subscribers about products that attract them.
Obviously, a gymnast will be more interested in paleo diet than dog food.
You can start building connections from different shopping/eCommerce websites that have comments from different people. Also, forums are a huge source of connecting to people of varied interests.
Whenever you are emailing your subscribers, try to include affiliate links in the texts and also suggest to them why you recommend them! Plus, ask people to write you back about their thoughts. You see, ENGAGEMENT IS THE KEY.
I’ll keep that up for a different post altogether.
Paid search focused microsites
Huge e-commerce sites like Amazon has tons of products to choose from and it leaves the customers confused. Here is the real deal.
Imagine you have a microsite that talks of guitars. Guitar itself is a huge topic to cover. There are like so many of them available at a vivid price range.
If you design a microsite that provides its visitors in-depth analysis of the products and comparing two or more products. What else would the visitor need?
The link to purchase the product. Here is where you snip in your affiliate link that redirects the viewer to offer page or purchase page straightaway.
You have seen several celebrities who are popular faces on social media: Bhuvan Bam, Technical Guruji, Mumbiker Nikhil are to name a few.
What is common in all of them?
They are YouTubers. Yes. But they are rocking Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and the list never end. These people can put a statement in their respective platforms and that is spread to millions who are the followers, and there are fans who share these videos with their close ones.
Who do you think brands will approach for marketing their products?
You have the answer already.
Why do you think influencers are a big affiliate marketing medium?
Because they have a targeted audience.
Large media websites
Curated to create a huge amount of traffic at all times, these websites focus on building millions of visitors. These websites promote products to their massive audience via banners and contextual affiliate links. This way the affiliate product gets grand exposure and improves conversion rates, resulting in a top-notch commission for both the seller and the affiliate.
Also Read: 9 Actionable Blogspot SEO Tips To Try in 2020
How Can You Become A Successful Affiliate Marketer?
Develop a bond
When starting your affiliate marketing career, you’ll need to build an audience that has niche specific interests. This permits you to funnel your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the probability that you’ll convert.
By establishing yourself as experienced in one space rather than promoting an oversized array of products, you’ll be ready to market to the folks to shop for the merchandise.
Make it personal
There are plenty of products you’ll be ready to promote. You’ll have the power to choose a product that you simply in person believe, therefore certify that your campaigns centre around a really valuable product that customers can relish. You’ll come through an aggressive conversion rate whereas at the same time establishing the dependability of your personal complete.
You’ll additionally need to urge specific at email stretch to figure with different bloggers and influencers. Use a tool like ContactOut or Voila Norbert to assemble people’s contact data and send customized emails to garner guest blogging and affiliate opportunities.
Review products and services
Concentrate on reviewing product and services that come under your niche. Then, exploit the impression you’ve got created along with your audience your and keep firm opinions as a PRO, tell your readers why they might not regret getting the merchandise or service you’re promoting.
Almost anything sold online can be reviewed if there is an affiliate program – you can review physical products, digital software, or even online services, web-hosting, domain providers, ride-sharing or travel resort booking.
It is effective to compare one product to others in the same niche/price range/utility. Most importantly, make sure you are generating detailed, genuine content to improve conversions.
Use multiple sources
Are you only pondering on email marketing? Well, you’re missing out couple of things in this trendy world then. Browse social media and track down audience and their requests. Occasionally, try cross promotion with the likes of you on Facebook, Instagram, etc. Keep this process growing until you are an influencer with a support crowd.
Choose campaigns wisely
No matter how big master you’re when it comes to marketing skills, if you are not choosing your affiliate product wisely, you’re pushing your valuable time into nothingness. Study the demand of products and wisely choose the target audience. Keep track of what people are searching online and feed them their demands. Even if the commission from a brand is decently less, the huge number of buyers will return a high commission.
Stay updated with trends
The affiliate marketing space is not an easy one. If you want ever increasing sales, you’ll have to stick to updates and rank your site in trending searches. Imagine, if you are not promoting any product that is giving Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals on the required days, then how will your page rank in searches. It is recommended to stay updated with trends to ensure a hefty income.
Also Read: Blogger Advanced SEO Settings [2020 Update]
Top Affiliate Marketing Trends of 2020
Improved affiliate reporting and attribution
Several affiliate programs follow the last-click attribution, wherever the affiliate receiving the final click before the price is sold, gains 100% credit for the conversion.
This is often DYNAMICAL.
With affiliate platforms providing updated attribution models and reporting options, you’re able to see a full-funnel, cross-channel view of how individual selling tactics are playing along.
Influencer niches are under hunt
In the past, giant affiliates were the playground, as coupon and media sites redirected traffic to a whole bunch of advertisers. However, there is a change in the story.
With customers searching for long-tail keywords and finding out exactly specific product and services, influencers will leverage their hyper-focused niche for affiliate selling success.
Influencers might not send advertisers high amounts of traffic, however, the audience they redirect is massive, targeted, and has better conversion rates.
GDPR and Data Collection Policy
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), was set back in the early 2018. It is a set of rules governing the utility of private information across the European Union. This has compelled some affiliates to gain user information through opt-in consent (updated privacy policies and cookie notices), even though they are not situated in the EU.
This new regulation has made it a MUST to follow FTC guidelines and properly disclose that you receive affiliate commissions from your links/references.
Affiliate marketers have gotten smarter
Merchants receiving a huge proportion of their revenue from the affiliate channel will become dependent on their affiliate partners. This may cause affiliate marketers to leverage their vital standing to receive higher commissions and higher deals with their advertisers.
Whether it’s CPA, CPL, or CPC commission structures, there are tons of high paying affiliate programs and affiliate marketers are on the pilot’s seat.
Also Read: Google Search Console: Complete Guide [2020 Update]
Affiliate Marketing Strategies for 2020
Recommend Products You’re Familiar With
Building trust together with your audience is dominant in affiliate marketing, and therefore the fastest way to lose trust is to suggest products either you haven’t used before or that aren’t a decent fit for your audience.
Also, ensure you never tell anyone to directly purchase a product, you’re merely recommending the merchandise. The more helpful you are and the more you create quality recommendations, the more seemingly your web visitors can return for your expertise.
Promote Products From Various Merchants
Don’t stack all your bread in one basket. If you merely promote one merchant’s product, you’re blocked with their commissions, their landing pages, and ultimately, their conversion rates. It’s vital to work with many alternative merchants in your niche and promote a large variety of products.
This affiliate marketing strategy will magnify the number of commissions you make and build a gradual stream of revenue when building associate affiliate site.
Constantly Experiment and Optimize Your Conversions
Imagine you have a promotions page where you’re sharing a product via affiliate links. If you currently fetch 10,000 visits per month at a 1% conversion rate, you have 100 referrals. To get to 200 referrals, you can either focus on getting 10,000 more visitors or simply increasing the conversion rate to 2%.
Which once sounds simpler?
Instead of investing months to build domain authority by blogging, fetching backlinks and doing guest posts to get more organic traffic, you just have to hike the conversion rate by 1%. You can try out landing page optimization, testing your call-to-action button/banner, and tracking a conversion rate optimization strategy.
By running experiments and optimizing your site, you’ll achieve your target efficiently.
Check Affiliate Traffic Sources
It’s necessary to know where your traffic is driven from and the demographics of your audience. This will allow you to frame your messaging so that you can provide the best affiliate product suggestions.
You shouldn’t just focus on the niche you’re interested in, but on the traffic sources and visitors that’s landing on your site. Traffic sources can be organic, paid, social media, referral, display, email, or direct traffic.
You can look for traffic source data in Google Analytics to view things such as dwell time, bounce rate, geolocation, age, sex, time of day, platforms (Android vs. iOS), devices (mobile vs. desktop), etc. so that you can concentrate on the highest converting traffic.
This analytics data is crucial to curate decisions, increase your conversion rates, and make more affiliate sales.
Over to you
Affiliate marketing is an ideal solution for those looking to gain control of their own income by focusing on performance-based revenue options.
Working alongside the seller an affiliate marketer does not have to worry at all about maintaining his product. Instead, the only job he’s got to do is spread the words.
The amount of success you to make depends on the extent of the marketing skills you got.
This is a straightforward process where affiliate marketing via reviews, blogs, social media, and other platforms is a new frontier in marketing that’s left unexploited.
If you have read the entire article and want more information regarding the topic, come hang out with me on my private community.