What is affiliate marketing?
With the blogger boom, affiliate marketing has become increasingly like a part-time job, or even a full-time one for many. But the question is: what is affiliate marketing? ProBlogger recently conducted a study on its users, and interestingly they found that:
- 29% of their readers regularly do affiliate marketing
- 24% occasionally do it
- 27% have never used affiliate marketing on their blogs
- 6% used to do it but don’t any more
- 14% don’t actually know what affiliate marketing is
That 14% was a surprisingly large percentage. This gave me the inspiration necessary to write this short post. So, let’s answer the question for that 14% and find out the answer to:
What is affiliate marketing
Basically speaking affiliate marketing is the process of promoting other people’s products or services and in return receiving what’s known as a “commission”. The idea of affiliate marketing has been around for a very long time, it’s one of the oldest sales methods. Nowadays affiliate marketing has boomed predominantly because of the Internet.
It is an important part of most large companies’ marketing campaigns. It tends to be seen as a “win win” for all involved. The seller (the affiliate) is happy because he/she earned a commission, the advertiser is happy because it has made a sale to a customer that it may not have been able to reach with other marketing methods and the customer is happy because they found something they were interested in buying.
It is often considered to be one of the cheapest ways of acquiring new customers. Advertisers tend to use affiliate marketing a large part of their online marketing strategy because they know they will only have to pay when there is a conversion (normally advertisers pay on a CPA structure).
It is actually surprisingly easy to become an affiliate. In theory, all you would have to do to start selling other people’s products or services is get accepted on the affiliate program. From then on it’s up to you how you prefer to sell the affiliate product that you have chosen to promote. There are many different ways to promote affiliate products, you can read about some of the great ways to sell Clickbank products without a website.
In fact, I have a number products that I promote through affiliate links. I use many of these products every day but some of them are products that I have read great things about that can help my community. It’s important for me to find relevant tools that can help people grow their own passive income.
There are a few best practices that I would like to share with you if you are going to start your own affiliate promotions.
- Always recommend products, never try to openly sell. This is especially important if you are a blogger. Recommending products that are relevant to the content of the article and the site is always a better option than trying to sell randomly.
- Make sure you know the product or service that you are promoting inside out. There’s nothing worse than gaining a bad reputation of promoting dodgy products. You find it difficult to shake that off and people will stop trusting you.
- Be honest with people and make sure you are genuine with what you say. The last thing you want is for people to have too high expectations. It means that they are likely to be unhappy with the product and potentially unhappy with you for “tricking” them.
- Do not try to over-promote. Stuffing your article with banners and text links will not provide a great experience for your readers. Be subtle and you’ll see people coming back to you for more.
How to earn money with affiliate marketing?
There are a number of ways you can earn money in affiliate marketing, some more obvious than others. I want to walk you through some of the ways you can earn money as an affiliate marketer.
- Links – The most common way would be through someone clicking on your link and eventually buying something on the site you send them to.
- Banners – another way is through banners. This is pretty much the same as links, just with images (banners) instead of words
- Generating leads – sometimes advertisers will pay affiliates to send traffic to their site that eventually signs up to their list. This is commonly known as “lead generation”
How does affiliate marketing work?
Each affiliate has its own tracking ID. This ID is usually already placed in the link that you will copy from your advertiser’s network. If the network doesn’t do this automatically, it is very easy to do yourself; all you have to do is know how to read links properly, then just add your tracking ID to the correct part of the link.
Is affiliate marketing “easy money”?
For many, affiliate marketing is the backbone of their income. It can sometimes be the only form of income for many online companies. Huge coupon sites for example live off affiliate commission; it’s pretty much the only way they earn money.
The problem for most people is that there are a number of factors involved to being able to make a good amount of money online through affiliate marketing. Being a successful affiliate depends on a number of factors, a few being:
- Having relevant products is a must
- You don’t want to promote rubbish, you need quality
- Having a high amount of traffic definitely helps
- Your blog should be attracting people who are interested in buying
Good luck with your affiliate marketing ventures. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to leave them in the comments section. If you want to get set up on Clickbank, take a look at my tutorial.