What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is defined as making money through commissions paid after promoting products from other businesses or people. It involves finding a product you like, promoting it to other people, and earning a part of the profit for every sale you make.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways for people who don’t have enough capital or time or knowledge to create their own products for selling online. It’s a lucrative business because it only requires basic input for you to start and get going. In this article, we’ll talk everything about affiliate marketing, and what you need to become a successful affiliate marketer.
Advantages of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing has a few advantages which make it very attractive to new online marketers and those with low startup capital.
Advantages include the following:
- Don’t need a product. You do not need to have your own product to promote, you can simply promote products belonging to other product owners or merchants.
- You do not NEED a website to get started. Many so-called gurus will tell you that you MUST have a website to get started in Affiliate Marketing. This is not strictly true. Getting started without a website is possible, but it is highly recommended that you have one.
- No overhead costs associated with product shipping, warehousing, staffing etc. Since you are simply promoting someone else’s product, they will be responsible for shipping and storing as well as dealing with the customers.
- Can make 50-80% commission Many Affiliate Programs will pay you high commissions, in some cases as much as 100%. It should be noted though that some affiliate platforms such as Amazon pays low commissions ranging from maybe 2% to a maximum of 10%.
- Make money while on holidays. Once you set up your affiliate business correctly, it can run itself, thereby generating for you, passive income, even if you are on vacation • Work from any location. Affiliate Marketing is not location dependent; you can run a successful business from anywhere in the world, all you require is decent access to the internet.
Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing
- Can take a while to get established It is said that people will not buy from you unless they “Know, Like and Trust you”. If you are new you may need to brand yourself, this is a process and can sometimes take a while
- Requires a lot of self-discipline. Building a business, any business will require you to be dedicated and have a strong positive mindset.
- Lots of competition depending on the Niche you select. Nowadays, people look for freedom; Time, Financial and Location freedom and if done correctly, Affiliate Marketing can offer all three, hence a lot of people get into affiliate marketing. A huge percentage will fail, however.
- No control over pricing and commissions. You must abide by the pricing and commission set by the product owner.
Is Affiliate Marketing for Everyone?
While everyone can get into affiliate marketing, it should not be confused for a get-rich-quick scheme. Just like any other business venture, affiliate marketing requires hard work, the right strategies, patience, dedication, and constant self-development and learning. Many people try affiliate marketing unsuccessfully, but the rewards are great for those who create a winning strategy for their affiliate marketing business.
Do Not expect to make huge amounts in your first year or so, even though it is quite possible with the correct strategy.
What is needed to start an Affiliate Marketing Business
Affiliate marketing requires a few key elements to get started.
You will need to:
- Decide on your audience
- Select a Niche
- A registered account on Affiliate Network
- Select Product in your chosen Niche
- Start promoting a product to your audience Let’s look at each element in a little more detail.
Decide on your audience
Who are you looking to promote to, do you have a special demographic that you would like to target, or do you want to target anyone and everyone (not really recommended)? Where will you get traffic, will you use Organic Traffic or Paid Traffic?
Organic traffic is free traffic which can be had from social media or blogs etc. Paid traffic can be Google ads, Bing ads, Solo ads or any other paid traffic networks.
Select a Niche
A Niche is simply a category of products from which you can choose. Some Niches are more popular than others and may have a high level of competition. When selecting your Niche, try to pick something that you are knowledgeable and passionate about. This will make promoting it much easier and enjoyable. Also, some Niches may do better with certain types of traffic and demographics so do take that into consideration also.
Four of the top Niches currently available: Health/Fitness, Wealth, Relationships, Self-help. Picking the wrong niche for your business will make it hard for you to make sales, while the right niche will be fun for you.
To help find the correct Niche for you, you may need to do a little self-assessment and find out the following things:
- What do you love talking about the most? (Topics that you can discuss all day long)
- Are people looking for solutions or products on the topics you are most passionate about?
- Is the demand for what they are looking for going to be consistent over a long period?
- Is there stiff competition for the niche that I’m thinking about?
- Are there affiliate programs that are within the niche I have chosen?
Register account on Affiliate Network
Once you have decided on a Niche, you need to select a product inside that Niche. To find a product you will require access to Affiliate Networks. Affiliate Networks provide a list of products from product owners and merchants, in one place and you will need to register with them.
Most are free to join, but while some may be free, they require you to have some experience in affiliate marketing and will ask a number of questions as well as follow up with a phone call, they may also require that you be recommended by one of their existing affiliates.
Some popular ones that are free to join and don’t require prior experience include Amazon, Click-Bank, JvZoo, Warrior Plus, Offer-Vault.
Products on Amazon tend to not have high commissions so you may wish to take that into consideration when choosing an affiliate network to join. I would recommend Click-Bank as they have a huge product list in all Niches and usually vet their Products before offering it for sale.
Select Product in your chosen Niche
Now that you know your Niche, and have registered with an Affiliate Network, you need to decide which product you want to promote. A common mistake made by a lot of newbies is to promote many products at the same time, fight the temptation to do this and select one product. When you become a little more experienced you can start promoting multiple products.
Research the chosen product by reading blogs and articles in your niche. Check out how they are promoting and learn from it.
Always promote products that you are happy to recommend. Products that your target audience will benefit from are the best as they have an appeal already. Sometimes it may be good for you to purchase the product yourself and use it so that you can give a personal review to your audience, this is not always necessary as it can become expensive especially if you are on a low budget.
Be sure that what you are promoting is worth your visitor’s hard-earned cash.
Here are some tips for Choosing Products to Promote in Affiliate Marketing
- Look for a product or service that you understand or whose benefits are clear
- Select a product that is not being offered by many other affiliate marketers (be careful here, sometimes competition shows that the product is selling well)
- Pick evergreen products that will always be needed by buyers- unlike products that people only buy once and then forget.
- Go for products whose demographic is obvious and you are confident that you will find online and target easily.
Start promoting the product to your audience
This is where the fun begins as well as the work. You have a few options here, you can promote on social media, you can create a blog/website, or you can use paid traffic.
Using Organic or free traffic
You can post on social media, for example, create a Facebook group for your product and invite people to join, post valuable articles about your niche that people will enjoy and engage with others in your group. Introduce your affiliate offers in the group but be aware that Facebook does not like raw affiliate links so you will need to disguise it somehow.
You can post on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram etc. Created a YouTube channel and make videos about your product, do product reviews. These will all drive free traffic to your offer and get you sales. But be aware that it will take time.
You can also register a domain and build a Blog or Website; these are not needed to get you started but it can be very useful and is needed if you intend to do Affiliate Marketing for any extended time. Domains and Hosting can be had on 5cloud hosting for a very reasonable price, also if you need assistance with building and monetizing a blog, I highly recommend WP Affiliate Suite, where you will get a free Premium WordPress theme as well as step by step instructions for setting up your Blog.
Using paid traffic
Using paid traffic, it gets a little more involved and you will need to be careful as it can get expensive with very little to no returns. Paid Traffic includes Google ads, Bing ads, Facebook ads etc. Solo Ads is another way of driving traffic to your offers.
As a beginner affiliate marketer, using paid traffic can be expensive and it is advisable to start with organic traffic. You must, however, be aware that organic traffic takes longer to realize.
With Affiliate Marketing you will also want to be building an email list, this is a list of people who have expressed an interest in what you are promoting and who have given permission for you to send them emails with your offers. Build your list by using organic or paid traffic.
You will need an Autoresponder for this. An autoresponder allows you to automatically send out emails to a group or list of people. It also allows you to collect emails from people who opt-in to your list via a squeeze page. Collecting emails are very important in any Affiliate Marketing Business. You will promote your offers to this list of people, and you must continue to build this list daily. Examples of autoresponders will be Aweber, Moosend, Sendgrid, GetResponse…
Affiliate Marketing can be done by anyone, no special skills or training is needed to get started, although there are some things which you will have to learn. Copywriting for email campaigns, and content writing for your blogs and reviews are two skills you need. Of course, if you don’t yet have the skills, you can outsource many of these things on sites like fiverr.com or Upwork.com.
Once you start building your own skillset you can do it yourself and save some money. Affiliate Marketing can be very rewarding and fun, it does not require much capital and can be run from anywhere in the world. There are many people who make a comfortable living from their Affiliate marketing business.
Do not try to reinvent the wheel, find a successful marketer and get mentorship, leverage their success and you too will be successful.
I hope this has been useful and informative for you. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to assist you further.