Affiliate marketing has been around for some time now. This marketing strategy is so successful because it works exceptionally well for both businesses and their affiliates. However, as you may already know, some companies have difficulties reaching out to specific consumer groups and niche markets.
If they cannot reach out to them directly, they’ll find someone who can do it more easily.
It might be hard to believe that some well-established brands or well-funded companies aren’t able to reach specific audiences, but it is what it is.
After all, the online market is filled with numerous challenges and obstacles. Affiliate marketing is able to bypass such obstacles and establish presence, awareness and visibility where conventional tactics cannot.
Of course, companies do rely on the success of their affiliate partners to do so. Therefore, consider affiliate marketing a symbiotic relationship between online businesses and individual web owners or bloggers.
You get to earn a passive income for endorsing someone else’s products or services while your partner benefits from the exposure you create. It’s a win-win situation, to be sure.
With that in mind, here’s an affiliate marketing guide for beginners.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a strategy to earn income by endorsing products or services that aren’t yours. You basically join an affiliate program or network offered by online businesses and receive the resources required to run a successful promotion.
After that, you use your website, blog or even social media pages to promote various products or services that a particular business has to offer. These promotions usually come in the form of banner ads, product reviews and so on.
Based on how much effort you put into these promotions determines how much you’ll get paid. You can earn a commission in three different ways. Here are the most common examples:
- Pay-Per-Click – You earn money every time one of your website visitors or blog followers clicks on the affiliate link.
- Pay-Per-Lead – The same as clicking on the link, only this time you get paid after the lead has converted in some way, such as subscribes to an email newsletter, fills out a form etc.
- Percentage of sales – The most common affiliate model comes down to earning a percentage of every sale made. For example, if you encourage leads to click on the link and make a purchase on your partner’s website or online store, you earn around 10% of every sale, depending on the affiliate program.
In essence, affiliate marketing allows you to focus on doing your own thing while generating income from your affiliate links and ads. However, the amount of income largely depends on how relevant affiliate products and services are to your own target audience.
Choosing the right affiliate program
Before you choose an affiliate marketing network or program, you’ll have to consider which one is best for you. As mentioned before, the products and services you endorse must be relevant to your target audience if you want to have any income at all.
Therefore, start by choosing a specific niche. That being said, you may already have that covered if you consider the audience you’re already targeting for your website or blog.
If you ask any of the top marketing companies about the importance of proper optimization, you’ll discover that everything you do must be highly relevant to your audience. That includes everything from creating content to maintaining a good relationship with your followers.
Therefore, it’s imperative that you find an ideal affiliate partner.
But what exactly is the difference between an affiliate program and an affiliate network?
Simply put, an affiliate network is an intermediary that puts business and affiliates together. These platforms allow businesses to choose from a wide variety of affiliates while also allowing affiliates to pick the offers that suit them the most.
The downside is that these intermediaries charge a fee for their services. On the other hand, an affiliate program is offered by businesses directly. Thus, there are no intermediaries, but you have to find an ideal business to partner up with yourself.
Improving your affiliate marketing efforts
As mentioned before, your incomes will vary based on the amount of effort you put into your affiliate marketing efforts. Some individuals actually make quite a hefty salary from such efforts alone.
Nowadays, with all the computers and technology available, it’s actually pretty seamless to make affiliate marketing work in your favor. After all, you do the same for your affiliate marketing as you would for promoting your website or blog. Here are a few examples:
Create awesome content
Content is king in the marketing world, and it can do wonders in terms of promoting your affiliate partner’s products or services. This is especially true when it comes to creating awesome product reviews.
Consumers prefer this type of content as it allows them to experience the product first-hand. When it comes to creating amazing content for your affiliate marketing, you have to make sure that your content is highly educational and informative.
Moreover, it should be entertaining to build more engagement with your audience. Here are a few ideas you should consider:
- Use high-quality images in your product reviews.
- Create a demo video.
- Use infographics to portray product instructions.
Use email marketing
Email is one of the most effective methods for driving affiliate marketing engagement. The main reason is that you can leverage email segmentation to engage leads based on their interest and willingness to convert.
A bit of personalization in your messages and offers can encourage leads to take the desired action and even make a purchase. In addition, an email newsletter can be a great medium for affiliate links if you don’t feel comfortable displaying banner ads on your website or blog
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a vital marketing strategy for individuals and businesses alike. This is well known in every website design and development company. SEO is an ever-growing market that’s becoming increasingly competitive, a way to truly stand out is more than necessary. SEO provides a solution to your difficulties.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, SEO can help you boost exposure, improve visibility and improve your credibility, among other things. This is essential in ensuring that your affiliate marketing is as effective as it can be. That said, here’s how to leverage SEO to improve your affiliate marketing efforts.
- Use the right keywords.
- Leverage on-page SEO to ensure your affiliate content is properly indexed and crawled by search engines.
- Use guest posting and link building tactics to build authority for your website and generate exposure for your content.
- Make your content sharable on social media so that your audience can further promote your content to their friends and family.
Leverage social media
Social media platforms are ideal for affiliate marketing. Since most of your target audience is present on one or more social media networks, you can create a lot of exposure for your endorsed products or services in a relatively short amount of time. Branding elements to create a static image-like website design and development company of what the web pages will look like to the user.
All you need is the right strategy. Since social media differs from other marketing channels, you have to choose your approach carefully. A mix of content marketing, paid advertisements, promotions and contests will certainly do the trick.
If your strategy is on point, your affiliate partner will favor a lot of organic traffic and more qualified leads coming from your social media pages.
One of the most important factors in affiliate marketing is getting paid. As mentioned before, you’ll be earning a commission every time you encourage a lead to click or convert. Of course, no one expects you to promote someone else’s products or services for free.
But how does it all work exactly? Your affiliate partner tracks and records every time someone clicks on their link located on your website, blog or social media page. If that consumer happens to make a purchase, your affiliate partner knows this consumer was referred by you.
A percentage of the sale is, therefore, reverted to your bank account, PayPal or any other payment method of your choosing. This is all automated, so you don’t have to worry too much about it. That’s why affiliate marketing is referred to as a passive income.
Once links, ads and content are in place and your promotional strategies are in motion, you no longer have to keep a close eye on everything.
Instead, you can focus on other tasks, such as further maintaining your blog, developing your own business or polishing up your website. Having such a passive income is always beneficial if you’re having financial difficulties.
Moreover, affiliate marketing can be your only source of income if you’re not planning on selling anything yourself.
Affiliate marketing can be quite a profitable venture if you’re willing to make it so.
Even with little effort, you can still generate some income that will come in handy later on. That’s why a lot of web owners and bloggers choose this type of marketing to support themselves and their future endeavors.
Affiliate marketing is also quite simple and doesn’t require any specific know-how, which is why it’s so popular these days.
Ellie Northcott is a long-time marketer, currently working as a freelancer in Miami, Florida.
She is also a passionate writer and loves to explore new, innovative and digital news.
In spare time she is an eco activist.