Savvy eCommerce entrepreneurs who run a flourishing business understand that there is always more they can do to help their business expand.
Affiliate marketing allows companies to find an additional source of income and take earnings to the next level with literally zero investment.
Table of contents
- What exactly is affiliate marketing?
- Is it worthwhile to invest in affiliate marketing?
- How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing
- 1. Choose your platform and method.
- 2. Choose a niche and an audience.
- 3. Discover your products.
- 4. Choosing your first affiliate product
- 5. Promoting your affiliate offer
- Speak with a product specialist
- Make a product tutorial.
- Find relevant search phrases.
- Examine your perspective.
- Create a distribution strategy.
- Consider including a bonus.
- Keep things legal.
If you aren’t already involved in affiliate marketing, it’s time to think about joining this profitable money stream and make 2022 a success.
This blog post will show you how to start an affiliate marketing business and provide you with internet marketing ideas and tricks to help you develop.
What exactly is affiliate marketing?
Earning a commission by recommending a product or service made by another retailer or advertiser is what affiliate marketing is all about.
It is a monetization model in which an affiliate partner, in this case – you, is compensated for delivering a certain result to the shop or advertiser. Typically, the outcome is a sale.
However, some programs will pay you for leads, free trial users, website clicks, or app downloads.
You won’t have to worry about high initial costs because affiliate networks are usually free to join. If done correctly, this performance-based opportunity can transition from side hustle to a viable online business concept by providing you with a steady income.
Is it worthwhile to invest in affiliate marketing?
Given its growing popularity, there is no doubt that affiliate marketing is worthwhile.
According to Statista, the affiliate marketing sector will be worth $8.2 billion by 2022, up from $5.4 billion from 2017. It is also a low-to-no-cost business endeavor from which you may profit greatly.
While industry growth is a solid indicator of success, entrepreneurs use referral marketing for a variety of additional reasons.
- It is simple to carry out.
Your part of the equation consists only of handling the digital marketing aspects of creating and selling a product. You don’t have to be concerned about the more difficult tasks, such as developing, supporting, or fulfilling the offer.
- It’s low risk.
Because there is no fee to join affiliate networks, you may start making money with an established affiliate product or service right away. Affiliate marketing can also create relatively passive revenue in the form of commissions, which is the perfect money-making scenario. Though you will have to invest your time and effort in generating traffic at first, your affiliate links will continue to reward you consistently.
- It is simple to scale.
Successful affiliate marketing has the ability to increase your earnings without the need for additional staff. You can introduce new products to your existing audience or create campaigns for new products while your current venture generates cash in the background.
Before you get too excited, keep in mind that effective affiliate marketing is based on trust.
While there appear to be infinite products or services to promote, it is ideal for picking just those you personally use or would recommend.
Even if a product arouses your interest or fits into an existing hobby of yours, becoming a great marketer for that product requires a significant amount of effort.
Affiliate marketing means referring potential customers to a product or service by sharing it on a blog, social media platform, podcast, or website. Each time someone makes a purchase after clicking on the unique link linked with their referral, the affiliate earns a commission.
- You recommend or place an advertisement or a link to Store X on your website, blog, or social network.
- A buyer clicks on your individual affiliate link.
- While in Store X, the customer completes a purchase.
- The affiliate network records the transaction.
- Store X confirms the purchase.
- You are paid with a commission.
The commission rate varies depending on the company and the particular offer. You’ll can earn anywhere between pennies and up to hundreds of dollars per sale. There are also affiliate marketing programs that pay a flat rate per sale rather than a percentage.
How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing
Isn’t it difficult? Is it even doable in today’s tough competition? Becoming a successful affiliate marketer requires the same enthusiasm and discipline as running your own small business.
Start your affiliate marketing business in 2022 by following the step-by-step instructions below.
1. Choose your platform and method.
The first step is to determine the platform on which you wish to build your audience. Every affiliate marketer takes a different approach and uses a different platform. There are numerous affiliate marketing concepts based on various approaches from which to choose:
- Sites that specialize in a specific topic or provide reviews. These are affiliates that either review products for a specific audience or compare a product line to its competitors. To attract an audience, you must generate content linked to the review field and post on a regular basis.
- Content on the internet. Content creators include either bloggers, or YouTubers (vloggers), or social media influencers. They develop specialty material that appeals to a specific audience. The idea is to introduce specialized products that their target audience will appreciate organically. This raises the likelihood that they will purchase, and the person will earn an affiliate commission.
- Courses, events, and workshops. If you’re a teacher, you can incorporate affiliate partnership offers into your classes.
Regardless of which path you pick, the two most important aspects of affiliate marketing are authenticity and audience building.
If you can’t connect with your audience organically, you won’t be able to convert them into affiliate sales.
To choose a platform and method, consider the following:
- What platforms do you primarily use anyway?
- Which platforms are you most familiar with?
Starting with a marketing platform that you are familiar with allows you to develop high-quality content. This can lead to a larger, more engaged audience, which can convert better.
2. Choose a niche and an audience.
When it comes to choosing a niche, go with something you’re enthusiastic about and know a lot about already. This will make you seem genuine and be a reliable source of information to potential customers.
It’s called building authority.
It also helps you in determining which products and brands to promote.
The niche you’ll choose for your affiliate business determines how much time and effort you’ll need to put in to get it to the point where you can start seeing SEO benefits. Large blogging sites with even larger marketing budgets dominate SERPs for software, marketing, and healthcare. Finding untapped places where competition isn’t as fierce—and getting in there before others do—is the key.
Generally speaking, your safest bet is to target micro niches.
As you post more content, you can use various affiliate marketing tools to discover who your audience is and what they like.
It is critical that you know your audience well enough that you understand why they follow you in the first place.
Remember, you are not paid to post. Affiliate marketing is a pay-per-performance type of online business. If you know what your audience enjoys, you can recommend the best products for them and earn more affiliate income.
3. Discover your products.
To earn money as an affiliate marketer, your audience must relate to what you’re saying.
The products or services you promote must be a true need for them. If you get this wrong, it can hinder your success and undermine your credibility—as well as that of your audience.
Don’t worry if you’re unsure where to find products or brands to collaborate with. There are numerous affiliate networks to start, such as:
These are large affiliate networks where you can find a wide range of products, from hosting packages to beauty supplies.
Another alternative is to check the websites of the products and services you use (and enjoy) to see if they run an affiliate program.
Large brands often have affiliate programs directly on their websites.
You can also use a more direct approach. Contact the owner of an excellent product you come across to see if they have an affiliate marketing scheme. If they don’t, they could be willing to work with you to make an arrangement, such as providing you with a special promo code to share with your followers. The nicest prices are generally obtained when you are the first to inquire and have a suitable distribution channel, such as approaching a new fitness product vendor if you are a fitness or weight loss blogger.
Affiliate marketing programs will have TOS that you must meet, so read the tiny print carefully. For example, your link will typically have a cookie with a time limit, and some platforms will not enable you to purchase pay-per-click advertising containing the product or company’s name.
4. Choosing your first affiliate product
The most crucial criteria to bear in mind while you brainstorm products or browse through affiliate platforms is that the product should be aligned with your audience or the audience you wish to build.
- Is it something your audience would find useful?
- Is it relevant to your area of expertise?
A food blogger, for example, is unlikely to promote tech gadgets products. But products such as cookware, recipes, gourmet ingredients, or even aprons would make more sense and appeal to the target audience who is all about cooking.
Also, be sure the product or service you’re offering is appropriate for the platform you’re promoting it on.
Makeup and clothes, for example, are particularly suited to image-heavy platforms such as Instagram. However, suppose you’re pushing more in-depth purchases, such as affiliate software. In that case, your conversion rates may be greater on longer-form attention-retaining platforms, such as a blog or a YouTube channel.
5. Promoting your affiliate offer
As previously stated, affiliate marketing earnings can eventually become a sort of passive income, but you must do some hard lifting in the beginning. The quality of your products’ review will determine your success.
It’s best to go personal while writing a review. Share your experience. If you’re writing a review, give your honest opinion based on your personal experience with and knowledge of the product. The more candid and open you are, the more authentic you will appear to the audience. People will be more likely to regard your advice if they believe they can trust you.
People must trust in you enough to act on your recommendation. Therefore trust is essential in your affiliate marketing efforts. The level of trust required to make affiliate sales varies by business and product—for example, being an effective affiliate for a $1k course requires more trust than being an effective affiliate for a $5 phone case.
Aside from sharing your experiences, you can develop trust by limiting the number of affiliates offers you promote or by only being an affiliate for products you personally use and sticking to the area of your narrow expertise.
How to do it?
Speak with a product specialist
Interviewing other professionals in the field who use the product or service, or even the person who makes or sells it, is a good option. This can offer your review more substance and create a narrative for the reader.
Make a product tutorial.
While the amount of your following can affect your success with affiliate marketing, another strategy to create higher-converting visitors is to provide a tutorial for the offer.
People frequently conduct “how to” searches, such as “how to save money for retirement” or “how to design a bathroom.”
If you provide a tutorial that addresses a searcher’s problem while clearly demonstrating the value of the product you use in the process, your referrals will make more sense of the context. You’ll provide the potential buyer a bigger incentive to buy the product you’re suggesting.
Find relevant search phrases.
If you’re marketing an offer through a blog post, consider what keywords people would use in a search engine to locate an answer to a similar problem. Google Ads Keyword Planner is a useful free tool, to begin with.
Examine your perspective.
Calculate how much effort you should put into instructional or tutorial content, which is often a logical lead-in to someone trying a product for themselves, depending on your offer.
For example, you may shoot a video of yourself using and getting the most out of a physical product or demonstrating the benefits of a digital product, such as software. Unboxing posts are popular, so if you receive the product in the mail, document your experience while opening it.
Create a distribution strategy.
Once you’ve written your promotional content, share it on your website or social media platforms. You can launch an email marketing campaign if you have a subscriber list. And make sure your website has an affiliate marketing landing page or a resources page where you can offer a fast list of all the products (offers) you use and enjoy.
Consider including a bonus.
Marketers will sometimes promote their affiliate programs by offering bonuses to anyone who purchases the deal.
For example, you could offer a free ebook written by you to any follower who makes a purchase. Promotions like this one encourage customers to buy by sweetening the bargain. They’re especially powerful if the incentive you’re offering is something you otherwise sell because customers can see the actual money value right on your website.
Keep things legal.
Don’t forget to inform your followers that your content contains affiliate links. For starters, the FTC requires it. However, articulating the grounds for your association can also help you connect with your audience and be more transparent.
Earning money through affiliate marketing programs can be a lucrative method to establish a new revenue stream while avoiding unnecessary risk. It will only cost you your time with very little side expenses. If you play your cards right, you can continue to reap the benefits of your work for months or even years to come. So, why not start right away?