In the words of Pat Flynn (Owner of Flynndustries, LLC, and podcaster known for his website Smart Passive Income)
Definition: Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the cycle by which an affiliate procures a commission for marketing someone else’s items by using affiliate networks. The model is based on revenue sharing. The affiliate looks for an item they appreciate/like, then promotes that item, and procures a piece of the benefit from every deal they make.
Affiliate marketing is a system in which an affiliate promotes a product or service of another company, and earns a commission when buyers purchase any of those products/services via an affiliate link.
An affiliate marketer can be understood as a salesperson who generates sales for a company via some affiliate links, platforms, social media, or website and makes a passive income in the form of commissions for successful conversions. So, affiliate marketing can help make money while you sleep.
The deals are followed through affiliate links starting with one site then onto the next. In the process, merchants give each of the affiliates a unique link that helps them in tracking which affiliate was responsible for a conversion.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Working of affiliate marketing is associated with spreading product marketing and creation across parties. It also figures out how to share the revenues crosswise different members as per their contribution in converting a lead and generating sales.
An affiliate marketer helps a merchant to make a sale; and in return, the merchant rewards the affiliate marketer. 4 integral parts of an affiliate marketing system includes-
1. The Affiliate Merchant
An affiliate marketing merchant is someone who is the maker, creator, retailer, brand, or company that creates a product or service. It can be an entrepreneur pitching online management guides and courses. So, anyone who owns a product for selling via affiliate marketing is a merchant here.
2. The Affiliate Marketers
Affiliates or affiliate marketers are also known as distributors, publishers, or advertisers who can be one individual or an organization. They advertise one or more affiliate items on affiliate networks using an affiliate marketing program to generate leads and sales for merchants. Affiliates make money in the form of commission from a merchant for whom they generate sales.
3. The Consumer
In affiliate marketing, an affiliate would attempt to market to the target consumers of an affiliate marketing merchant. An affiliate marketer would use an affiliate link to take the consumer to the merchant’s site, so they can opt for purchase and let affiliates make money. When consumers purchase the product, the conversion rates of affiliate marketers get optioned and they earn money.
4. The Affiliate Network
A network comes into successful affiliate marketing as a link between the affiliate merchants and affiliate marketers. For instance, networks like Commission Junction or ClickBank manage the instalment and product delivery to support an Affiliate Marketing program. Amazon Associates affiliate program offered by Amazon a network is also one of the common examples that can be used for selling products and services to optimize affiliate sales.
7 Steps to get started with Affiliate Marketing
The following steps can be adapted to start selling an affiliate product to the target audience by utilizing best in class affiliate marketing efforts-
Step 1- Choose your affiliate platform
The very first step of the process revolves around choosing the best-suited affiliate platform for you. From Amazon to Instagram and Facebook, there are so many platforms for you. In any case, it’s a lot simpler to fabricate your audience and increment affiliate sales via a blog or a YouTube channel.
When you get started with a blog for affiliate marketing to make money by promoting products or services and using affiliate links, you can find a variety of ways to optimize your blog and boost your passive income. From Pay per Click to Search Engine Marketing to Social Media to SEO, you can use different tricks to optimize your blogs and get paid for the traffics and sales that you generate.
The other common platform is YouTube where you can make and upload videos, optimize them and promote your affiliate product.
Step 2 – Decide the niche or topic
Pick a topic or niche that focuses on a particular category. For instance, the subject of “clothes” is a huge section. Instead of going for that, go at something more explicit, such as Summer Clothes or wedding apparel, etc.
It would be beneficial to choose a more targeted niche that will help you have a more focused audience base which is key in ranking good in search engines and being a successful affiliate.
Step 3 – Join the right affiliate program
There are three sorts of affiliate marketing programs that you may try to promote a product and boost conversion rates-
- High-paying, low-volume affiliate programs- These are affiliate programs for niche products with high payouts for example ConvertKit.
- Low-paying, high-volume affiliate programs- These are affiliate programs for products with low payouts but mass appeals for instance PS4 games.
- High-paying, high-volume affiliate programs are affiliate programs for products with mass appeal, which also pay high commissions like credit cards.
Step 4 – Create appealing and engaging content that adds value
For running a successful affiliate site, one should make excellent content where the affiliate links can be organically added.
Using blogs is one of the most common strategies to get started with affiliate marketing, but your blogs must offer value addition and the affiliate links that you give are relevant to the information that you provide.
Step 5 – Drive traffic to your affiliate site
This step is dedicated to getting more individuals to read your blog, so they can click on your affiliate links and reach the affiliate merchant portal. Three common ways that can be tried for this are-
1. Paid traffic
This is the place where one can pay for traffic to their site. One can make sure to generate paid traffic via PPC advertisements. The benefit of paid traffic is Instant traffic. In any case, there are a few disadvantages. When the payment stops, so does the traffic.
SEO or search engine optimization is the act of optimizing site pages or blogs to rank high in SERPs. SEO practices make sure organic optimization of blogs and websites associated with an affiliate product. Making money becomes easier from an SEO-optimized affiliate blog or site that ranks well in search results.
3. Use an email list
You need to create an email list if you want to speak with your audience anytime. You can use email marketing to educate your subscribers concerning new content and keep them returning to the site for more details. This prompts more clicks and sales for an affiliate product.
Step 6- Generate clicks on your Affiliate links
Along with appealing content and traffic generation, your affiliate links must generate clicks to land upon the merchant sites. Key things that you need to pay heed to here are
- Link placement
- Callouts like buttons, boxes, and tables
Step 7- Convert Clicks to Sale
The primary conversion goal in affiliate marketing is clicking on the affiliate links to reach the product page, and the final conversion goal is converting visitors to purchase the product.
Affiliate marketers should try to find merchants with programs that enjoy high conversion rates. Affiliates can check public income reports, or ask questions, or use their instinct to choose the right merchant.
Popular Affiliate Marketing Programs
Using an affiliate program is one of the most effective ways of making money on the web. Some of the top-paying programs that are easy to join as well are-
- ClickFunnels Affiliate Program
- Wealthy Affiliate Program
- Constant Contact
- Fiverr Affiliate Program
- Kinsta WordPress Hosting
- Shopify Affiliate Program
- LiveChat Partner Program
- ShareASale Network
- Thrive Themes
- Long Tail Pro Affiliate Program
- Improved Referral Reward Program
These are the basics affiliate marketers should pay heed to while using affiliate programs to promote products or services and make money.
Just don’t expect life-changing sales overnight. Marketing for affiliates takes time. Focus first on making the first offer to the affiliate. Set new targets as the site expands and continue experimenting. This is how to build a platform that produces a respectable income eventually.
As per the recent stats, 40% of marketing professionals consider affiliate marketing as one of the most powerful digital marketing skills. So, learn and master it to get paid for promoting others’ products/services.
How effective do you find the affiliate world in making money and generating passive income?
Pinky is an MBA in Marketing from the University of Mumbai. She loves helping people out in learning Marketing and sharing latest ideas and tactics for growing businesses.