The affiliate marketing has become a solid way for many entrepreneurs, bloggers and content creators alike. The idea may seem like an attractive way to earn money online . However, you shouldn’t start without establishing a plan first.
In this article, we give you a crash course in the basics of affiliate marketing and a quick “get started” guide. Then let’s get started!
What is affiliate marketing?
Simply put, affiliate marketing is a method for you to earn money online by promoting products, services, websites or companies and earning commissions for each successful sale.
One of the most common examples of this is the referral link whereby you, as the publisher, place a link on your blog / site, which then takes the user to another website. If he buys something, you will get a commission for that purchase.
There are other variations on this: asking a user to take some action, such as registering, filling out forms, or obtaining email addresses. In general, you can expect to use a unique link of some kind for an affiliate product or service.
As for the amount of the commission, it depends on the affiliate program itself . Some give you a percentage of the sale, while others may offer a fixed amount for each conversion.
Conversion tracking can be done in a number of ways. Some use a link with a code that is unique so you can track where the conversion is coming from. Others may give you a unique “coupon code” that you can use to track conversions.
Examples of how to make money from affiliate marketing
You already have a basic understanding of what affiliate marketing is. But how exactly does it work?
Well, here are two examples of how affiliate marketing works:
This is the simplest and most direct example of promoting affiliate products. Whether you have a blog or a personal website, you can promote affiliate products using and placing banner ads.
Visitors who are interested in the product / service will click on the ad, which will then redirect them to the merchant page where they can purchase it. If the sale is successful, you will receive a commission.
Another method of promoting affiliate products or services is to include a link within your content. This works well, especially if you are a blogger or content creator.
One of the most common ways is to include a link to a relevant product in an article. Similarly, you can create content on a particular topic and include an affiliate link to products that are useful to the reader or user.
Knowing the affiliate terms
Before you know how you can get started with affiliate marketing, there are a few terms that you should be familiar with.
If you are considering affiliate marketing, knowing the key terms will help avoid any confusion. Some of the most essential terms are:
An affiliate comes in all shapes or sizes, but generally they tend to be bloggers, content sites, or creators related to the commerce industry.
Affiliates are those who introduce the merchant’s products, services, or brands to visitors.
As we have mentioned before, they can do this by writing or creating content related to the merchant’s product or service, using banner ads on their site, or by giving coupon codes.
Compared to other channels, affiliate marketing offers merchants a higher ROI as it is based on performance. That is, they only pay for real customers instead of just visits.
Because of this, when multiple affiliates are involved in the same transaction, it can be quite complicated. You might even have cases where other affiliates claim a commission for customers brought in by other affiliates at the last minute.
A good affiliate program will offer multi-channel attribution to ensure that affiliates who add the most value get the most pay.
Some of the most common types of payment method used by merchants are:
- CPS (Cost Per Sale – cost per sale): you will receive a fixed rate per sale or a percentage of the value of the product or service.
- CPL (Cost Per Lead – cost per lead): you will receive a payment for each validated lead.
- CPC (Cost Per Click – cost per click): You will get paid for driving traffic to the merchant’s site through ad clicks.
- CPA (Cost Per Action – cost per action): you will receive a payment when users complete the actions you advertise (filling in forms or surveys)
Most affiliate programs are managed and organized through an affiliate network. They are quite useful as they provide a central database with available merchants, making it easy for an affiliate to find opportunities.
It also gives merchants access to a large group of publishers (affiliates), and they will generally have access to tools such as payment processing, refund processing, tracking, reporting, and affiliate management.
Some of the most popular affiliate networks you can join are ShareASales , Clickbank , CJ, and even Amazon . Of course, if you prefer an individual affiliate program, companies like Hostinger offer an affiliate program that you can join.
The Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing
As with any other marketing program, there are several advantages and disadvantages to using them.
While affiliate programs may seem lucrative, especially to a blogger or an entrepreneur, it’s a good idea to find out what the pros and cons are before joining one.
Advantages of affiliate marketing
Let’s start with the professionals. If you are considering affiliate marketing, here are some of the benefits:
- Low cost / low investment . In general, you won’t have to pay to join an affiliate program. Most of the affiliated companies handle the service and the product, which means you won’t have to worry about inventory or supplies.
- It is easy to join . The difficulties to enter an affiliate program are very few. You just have to fill out a form and then you can start promoting the products immediately, although it may be more difficult to enter some programs than others.
- No need to deal with product shipments or returns . As an affiliate, all you need to focus on is promoting the merchant’s brand, product, or services. The product or service itself is completely managed by the merchant.
- You don’t need to create products or services . Again, your focus as an affiliate is to get customers and buyers. The merchant will take care of the rest, as starting your own online store can take quite a bit of effort.
- There are no special requirements . As long as you can effectively promote affiliate products or services, you don’t need any other training or licensing. (Although knowing how to configure your website can help !)
- You make money 24/7 . Like any other online business, you can make money from affiliate marketing at any time, even when you are asleep! That is why it is considered one of the best work from home .
Disadvantages of affiliate marketing
Of course, as great as affiliate marketing sounds, it’s not entirely perfect. There are a couple of downsides. Some of them are:
- Creating references takes time . For an affiliate to make a significant amount of money, it will take some time to generate enough referrals.
- You need to be good at internet marketing . Yes, no specialized training is required to become an affiliate. But if you want to be successful, you must be good at (or at least know) about internet marketing.
- There are advertising restrictions . Certain affiliate programs will impose advertising restrictions, such as not allowing email marketing or using PPC ads with certain keywords.
- There are payment requirements . Some affiliate programs will only pay you once you have made a certain amount of sales or money.
The first steps in an affiliate program
By now, you should have a good idea of what affiliate marketing is and what the pros and cons are. But how do you make money as an affiliate marketer ?
Compared to other types of online businesses, getting started with affiliate marketing is relatively simple, as it doesn’t take much. While having at least one blog or website is recommended, it is not a necessity.
To start your affiliate marketing journey, you must:
- Establish yourself in a market niche. You have a better chance of success if you focus on a specific topic.
- Look for affiliate products and services that are related to your niche: Research the reputation of the program and if they take care of their customers and affiliates.
- Find out how you are going to promote products or services by being an affiliate. The easiest way is definitely through a blog or a website. However, you can use other methods, such as email lists and promote affiliate products to your subscribers.
- Another way would be to use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
- Research and learn some internet marketing strategies to find effective ways to share your website, blog, or affiliate links.
- Since you will be making money from home , it may be a good idea to study your country’s business licenses and business laws to make sure your business is legal.
Some examples of great affiliate marketing websites
Affiliate marketing has been around for quite some time, and there are many successful affiliate websites. Here are three that we think are excellent examples:
Smart Passive Income (Pat Flynn)
Pat Flynn uses his popular blog ( Smart Passive Income ) and podcast (Smart Passive Podcast) to advertise his affiliate products and services.
The reason Flynn is so successful is that he only recommends products that he is passionate about and knows about. He believes that affiliate networks should: provide significant value, understand what users want and need, lead and lead by example, based on having gained considerable trust.
Web hosting secret revealed
Web Hosting Secret Revealed (WHSR) is an example of a niche affiliate website that primarily focuses on web hosting content. Conduct in-depth reviews, case studies, interviews, and articles on all things web hosting.
The website has established a reputation for providing detailed reviews and details on web hosting companies. Therefore, users trust your recommendations for products or services.
A pinch of Yum
Pinch of Yum is a food blog run by a husband and wife team, Lindsay and Bjorne Ostrom. Through their food blog, they managed to earn up to $ 802,144.55 in 12 months .
They managed to achieve such success through advertisements, sponsored content, and affiliate partnerships with Amazon. Of course, the key ingredient to your success is high-quality content on your blog.
Getting started in the world of affiliate marketing can be overwhelming if you are a newbie. But, like any other business, you will have to work hard if you want to be successful.
Remember that it is important to be passionate about the niche you are immersed in and to know enough about it. If reading has been your lifelong hobby, creating a book blog may be your way. Or maybe you like computer games, so creating a gaming website (or even a server) can be a solid starting point.
With this beginner’s guide, you should better understand what affiliate marketing is all about, how to get started, and how to hopefully become a pro!