What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is the process of earning a commission when promoting other people’s products or the company’s products.
In other words, you refer (through a link to the product) to someone any online product you like or you have used and found it good and when that person buys the product, you receive a commission.
Affiliate Marketing is known to be one of the oldest and best ways to create passive income. The commission can vary from $1 to $1,000 or even to $10,000 which depends on the product you are promoting.
You can be both the product owner and marketer as well if you have a great idea, you can validate it and create your own product. Create a link for other people to promote it and give them commissions on their sales. That is another topic which we will talk about it later on.
It is much easier to be an affiliate marketer than creating your own product!
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
It is not necessary to have a website and start a blog post to do affiliate marketing. You can as well do it through YouTube videos with tutorials, reviews, social media like Facebook and Pinterest.
However, if you can have a website, it is much easier to get affiliate links and you will have more opportunities.
Basically, affiliate marketing works in four simple steps:
- You sign up / join an affiliate program.
- Once you are approved, you will be given an affiliate link. Choose any product you want to promote.
- You started promoting the products (which is attached with your link) on your website, social media, YouTube videos, any ads or pay per click providers.
- When any purchase is made, you earn a commission.
Starting With Affiliate Marketing
1. Create An Email Address
The first thing you have to do is create an email id. You can create as many emails as you like. I used several Gmail ids. Gmail is the most used email address.
If you haven’t created any or want a new one for your business creates your Gmail account here.
However, I find that using your official website email id when applying for affiliate programs gave more approval.
I was twice not approved by two particular partners but when I re-applied again with my official website mail, I got the approval almost instantly. This is important for some specific products.
But, don’t lose heart if you didn’t have your own website mail yet because you will get approval in many big affiliate marketplaces like Clickbank, WorriorPlus, ShareAsale, Impact, Cuelinks, Amazon, etc. even if you use your Gmail address, okay?
2. Register Or Sign Up At Affiliate Marketplaces
Now, the next thing you have to do is applying one by one for an affiliate partnership.
Here is how to apply as an affiliate:
1. Go to the homepage of the website.
2. Search for the words “Affiliate, Affiliate Program, Affiliate Partnership, Partner or Share With Friends” in the Menu bar or Footer section of the website. You will find them mostly there.
3. If you couldn’t find it at both places, search in the FAQ or Help section and if you still couldn’t find it, you can do a Google search or directly send mail from the website’s contact form.
4. Click on the ‘Affiliate’ and Register yourself.
- You can use the same user name and passwords for different programs or use the same username with different passwords for more security if you want to. But, make sure it’s easy to remember. Otherwise, you will end up clicking the ‘Forget Password’ button more often than you could remember!
- Enter your correct information and fill the tax form.
- Read the affiliate terms and conditions before clicking the next button.
- Recheck your entered information once again and submit your application.
- While some affiliate platforms gave you instant approval, many also took 24 hours to a week to respond to your application.
Join these affiliate programs now!
4. Set Up Your Payment Method
The very next thing you have to do after you are approved is to log in to your affiliate account. Go to the setting and set up your payment method.
This way, you will know whether the payment method is supported in your country or not.
How would you feel if you have already spent your time and money in promoting their offers only to find out that the payout methods they used weren’t supported in your country?
You might have thought otherwise though. However, there are many affiliates around the world who have faced this kind of problem.
So, before you do anything else, set up your payout/payment method then only start promoting.
The most common payment methods used are:
As an affiliate, you must have Paypal and Payoneer accounts too. Setting up those accounts is simple. All you need to do is put in your correct information and valid documents like passport or driving license or any government IDs you have for your address and nationality proofs.
These payment systems never reject anyone who applies. So, I can very much assure you that you will get your very own working account with ease!
5. Selecting profitable products
Each affiliate marketplace like Clickbank has thousands of products and you can promote whatever you like.
You will get hop links/affiliate links for almost all products in Clickbank, Amazon, eBay, instantly.
However, with many affiliate marketplace like ShareASale, Awin, Impact, etc, you need to apply for different products again within the platform itself.
Select a niche in which you want to promote the products. You can have an idea of what is in demand and sells well from the frequent ads you see on Google.
That is, if you see someone running ads on particular products for quite some time, it also means that the product sells well.
6. Use Link Cloaker
Most of the time, the referral link you will get for promoting a particular product looks ugly and spammy.
Nobody would want to click on a link that kind of makes no sense with letters and numbers.
My referral link of Speechelo – Text To Human Voiceover looks like this :
It doesn’t look good and you can’t figure out what is it about.
However, with Pretty Links, after the link is cloaked and customized, it will look like below:
So, even if both the links will lead to the same product, people are more likely to click on those links which they can understand.
7. Start Promoting Your Offers
There are several ways to promote your offers. Let’s see them one by one.
#1. Using Sales Funnels
This is the most common way of promotion used by affiliate marketers and companies without the need for a website.
A Sales Funnel or a Landing Page is a path or funnel which your potential customers go through before they actually become your ‘Buyers’.
The sales funnel process literally is the same as that particular real funnel you have seen and known.
At the first contact, many of the potential customers may have heard of your product or service. Then, a smaller part of that group may want to learn more, and a smaller part of that group may actually want to contact you or buy your products.
The most popular sales funnel are Unbounce, LeadPages, OptimizePages, Clickfunnels (costly).
These systems help you create attractive sales funnels or landing pages before directly leading your readers to the products without the need for a website. They help you collect your potential customers’ emails.
However, some of this software cost more than setting up a simple website ( Setting up a website is another story though)!
But, with the sales funnel the conversion rates that is, people who actually buy the products are also higher.
#2. Buy Solo Ads
It is not necessary to buy traffic. You can very well post your links on any of your social media profiles.
However, with paid traffics, you will be able to get more eyeballs to see your product.
Remember, the conversions will depend on factors like your product relevancy with the need and demand in the market, getting it to the right audience, price and offer with the products, etc.
#3. Set Up Email Marketing Service
Register with an email marketing service or Autoresponder with any of these – Mail Chimp, Aweber, GetResponse, and many more to take emails of your visitors. They basically create email sequence services to automate emails that encourage them to buy. They also provide funnels.
The main difference between Aweber and GetResponse is that with Aweber, all your emails are sent with your address (no option for opting out) while with GetResponse you can opt-out of it. And GetResponse is cheaper than Aweber.
#4. Create Videos And Link Them With Affiliate Products
It’s not compulsory to make YouTube videos. However, videos are one of the fastest ways that bring more conversions and audience.
You can create tutorial videos or reviews of the products you want to promote by :
- Talking and showing product features, cost, etc.
- The different usage of the product – Steps on how to install/use the product and such.
- You can talk about the benefits the product provided as well as the drawbacks you found in the product.
- Talk about how you use the product and your experience with the product. Doing this will increase your reliability and as well as credibility.
- Give your honest views that will help other people to decide whether it is good for them or not.
- Upload your videos on YouTube, putting your link in the description. Also mention that you put have put a link in the description if they want to check it out. Videos are said to have better and higher conversion rates as it is easier to build a trust relationship with your audience as they see you.
#5. Start Promoting With In Your Blog
Many affiliates used this method in addition to all the following strategies we talked about. Having a blog website helps in convincing your audience that you are a pro and know what you are doing. It helps in building more trust.
If you don’t have any idea about starting a website blog, this guide will help you through it.
#6. Focus On Mastering One Means Of Driving Traffic To Your Offer First
Focus on mastering one means of driving more traffic to whatever platforms you are using be it Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. to promote your products and repeat the above processes again.
Then you can move on to the next social media platform you want to master. But, don’t just start doing all without proper planning and just for the sake of it because it will divide your attention which you result in you not able to scale or succeed.
NOTE: It is not compulsory to set up landing pages but collecting emails is necessary if you want to have good and better conversion rates because a marketing study reveals that, “It takes at least 7 times for your readers to see the product before they turn into buyers.”
How To Find Affiliate Partners
All companies do not offer affiliate programs. But, you can be an affiliate for many companies on any products you literally could imagine!
You can check any website and find the affiliate section – mostly at the footer area of the web pages. You can register yourself as an affiliate from there. They are free to join.
Another way is to search on Google. Type Your product name + affiliate program in the search option and you will find those sites which offer an affiliate program to the product you want to promote. Or you can check these Affiliate Partners.
How To Find Product To Promote As An Affiliate?
Choosing the right products to promote is very important to be a successful affiliate marketer.
At the same time, the medium you use to promote the product will also make a great impact on your success.
Focus on products that sell and are in demand. You can choose products that are used regularly or frequently.
You will find more affiliate partners here at Best Affiliate Programs For 2020
If your blog is about dogs, search for companies that provide affiliate programs relating to dog care, dog food, and accessories.
You can simply Google, “dog food + affiliate program” and you will find those companies which offer an affiliate program for dog food.
The benefit of using them is, not only they mask your links, you will be able to customize your links and also track the ‘click’ counts.
If you want more than that – like want to know the conversion rates and all, you can use ClickMagick which is one of the most useful and popular tools in the market to help you maximize your profits.
Most successful affiliate marketers vouched for Clickmagick as one of the most inseparable tools in their marketing business because of its easy-to-understand tracking methods
How To Promote Affiliate Products
Well, now you have a clear idea about affiliate marketing, how it works, how to find the best product, how to get your affiliate links, affiliate marketplaces.
Now the big question is, “How do you promote your offers?”
A decade ago, affiliate marketers just post their links on social media or Google and they’ve got good sales! But now, with the rise in more marketers, the competition is tough now and you need to be creative to be really successful.
Because, for you to earn money, You need people to see your products and buy them.
The more traffic you get, the more chances you have to make better commissions.
Or you started your blog, a very informative one that has great content but if there is no traffic what is the point, right?
So, the question is how do you actually promote the affiliate products that will become profitable to you?
You need to drive traffic to your products to make money a.k.a Without traffic, you make no money!
Like we said before, you can do so with YouTube videos. You need not show your face either if you don’t want to. You can talk about the product, benefits, and disadvantages, etc. Then post your YouTube video links in your social media profiles.
Share your affiliate links by using different platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Quora, Paid traffic like Udimi. It’s your choice!
Here are the 5 Ways To Increase Website Traffic.
Advantages Of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing has many benefits for both merchants and affiliate marketers. Let’s point out some of the main advantages :
- Merchant can gain more customers without spending more time and money on advertising.
- Merchants have more places to sell their products and services and acquire more customers and more sales.
- It makes it easy to create additional sources of income.
- It does not require any inventory of items or products.
- It does not require a huge investment on the part of the affiliates.
- The affiliate does not have to worry about customer support, taking orders, or any e-commerce related process regarding the products.
- The affiliate just has to promote the products.
- It has flexibility at work. An affiliate can work on his own time and space.
- The affiliate can work from any part of the world.
Disadvantages Of Affiliate Marketing
There are a few disadvantages to Affiliate Marketing.
- The merchants may charge a high commission for maintaining an affiliate account.
- Some affiliates may engage in false and misleading advertisements in order to get a sales commission. This leads to complaints and potential buyers will decrease.
- Merchant can promise high commissions for new affiliates and then drop the commission rate after some time.
- Link hijackers can hijack affiliate links and get your commissions. It’s not that common, though!
Conclusion On Starting with Affiliate Marketing
Does this make your head spinning? Though it sounds complicated and tough, it is not that difficult once you practically started to promote. In fact, it will be easier than you thought!
Affiliate Marketing is a good way to get started with an online business and it provides the potential to earn a good amount of passive income.
I hope this guide to affiliate marketing will help you get started. And If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask me at any time.
For effective and building a lasting passive income, I highly recommend you to have your own website to build more trust. In fact, affiliate marketing goes hand-in-hand with blogging.
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I will get a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. For more info, please read my Affiliate Disclaimer.
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MLian’s passion for writing is to help you understand that ‘All That Glitters Is Not Gold’. Her mission is to show you Practical and Actionable Ways To Earn Money online and offline to save your time and money – that you won’t get “SCAMMED” into buying something that promises Big but really doesn’t profit anyone except the owners.