Do you want to learn affiliate marketing? If yes, then read to the end. In this post, I’m going to show you what it is, how it works, tools of the trade, and how to get started the right way. Affiliate marketing is the simplest business model to make money online. Yes, super simple, but only if you do it the right way, and with the right mindset. So, stay tuned on this page to learn more. Affiliate Marketing For Beginners. What It Is, and How to Get Started The Right Way. Click To Tweet
What It Is
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting another company’s (or person’s) product or service and earning a commission from it. In other words, you help another company or person to generate sales, and you get compensation (commission). The commission could be a certain percentage of the sale or a specific amount for each successful sale.
The beauty of affiliate marketing, you don’t have to invest a lot of time and money in creating the product or service. As an affiliate, your focus is directed towards marketing, generating leads, and closing sales. Shipping and customer support all handled by the owner of the product. The best part, there are tons of resources and tools across the internet to help you generate sales and leads on autopilot.
Who Is The Best Fit for Affiliate Marketing?
A noble question, right? Affiliate marketing is the best fit for bloggers, online entrepreneurs, and anyone willing to make money online. And, without sourcing, or creating the product to sell. So, if that sounds like you, then this model is for you.
How Affiliate Marketing Works
As a quick refresher, affiliate marketing is the process of earning commissions by selling a product created or owned by someone else. The business model involves three major players:
- The affiliate -you and your website or funnel (platform)
- The merchant -the affiliate company or network (Product owner)
- The customer -members of your audience
To easily understand how the model works, think about the last time you bought your best pair of shoes, a friend loved the shoes and requested to know where you bought them. The same day or later, you directed your friend to the same store to buy a pair as well, and maybe with a few more pieces of stuff. That is affiliate marketing because you helped the shop to generate a sale from a customer they could never find. And without advertising.
Today almost every brand online has an affiliate program. Why? Because Affiliate marketing is the only advertising model where a company gets a 100% Return On Investment (ROI). Meaning, a company only pays the affiliate (advertising fee) on a successful sale, which is called Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
The affiliate program uses a unique tracking link called an affiliate link. The affiliate link tracks and attributes every sale to the individual affiliates. And, the link tracking technology utilizes browser cookies.
Ideally, a cookie is a small piece of data generated from a website and stored on the browser. Different affiliate programs have different cookie storage duration. Always look out for that when choosing an affiliate program.
Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing
Like any other business model out there, affiliate marketing is no different. It has both ups and downs.
- Low entry barrier. It requires a very tiny initial investment. Most affiliate programs are free to sign up.
- Low risk. Involves little or no capital to get started.
- More freedom. Book-keeping, inventories, and customer support entirely handled by the product owner.
- Passive income potential. Some companies with subscription services offer recurring income to its affiliates.
- More flexible. You can work from anywhere and anytime you want, as long as you have internet access.
- Unlimited earning potential. Once you build a good relationship with your audience, you have no limits unless you abuse the trust
- It is a win-win-win model. The affiliate gets a commission, the buyer gets the best product, and the company generates sales with less marketing hassles.
- High market competition. As an affiliate marketer, you might be competing with the company (product owner) and other affiliates to attract the same customers.
- Not a quick fix. Affiliate marketing may take you a bit more time to generate qualified leads and sales. And, some companies may require a minimum withdrawal threshold as well.
- Little or no control. You don’t have control over the products or services you promote.
- The potential risk of link hijacking. Some fraudulent people may hijack your affiliate link, and potentially get paid for your commissions.
How to Become An Affiliate
There are several ways of becoming an affiliate. At this point, I’m going to highlight a few crucial steps you should take before launching your first marketing campaign:
- Find a profitable niche,
- Create a platform and build an audience,
- Find a product and sign up as an affiliate,
- Promote and earn commissions on successful sales
Affiliate marketing is not about spamming links. But, it’s all about building good relationships with your audience and providing lots of value. The right mindset is the number one tool to affiliate marketing success. And the right mindset is about authentically serving people in your niche. The four essential steps to affiliate marketing. Click To Tweet
Step 1: Find a Profitable Niche
A niche is a narrow market in the general market. And, choosing a niche is a crucial step in affiliate marketing. I can compare picking a niche with something like deciding where to live (building your house), or choosing who to date. I mean something that makes you happy or something you can freely talk about without feeling ashamed.
Learning how to do keyword research will save you tons of time picking a profitable niche and determining the market size.
Step 2: Create a Platform (and Build An Audience)
Every successful marketer knows building a platform is not an option. You will need a platform to connect and build relationships with your audience. Start your blog, or create a social media channel like YouTube, Facebook page, or group and start building an audience around your niche.
Relationships are crucial in affiliate marketing because people only take recommendations from those they know and trust. Trust results from providing value and positioning yourself as an authority or a resource in your niche market.
Use your platform to ask what people are struggling with, the limiting believes, desires, and many more. That will help you to figure out the best way to introduce your affiliate product.
Creating a platform, building an audience, and cultivating trust will play a higher role in your success or failure. So, don’t overlook it.
Step 3: Find a Product and Sign Up As an Affiliate
Once you have a platform and you’ve built a good relationship with your audience, now it’s time you look for a quality product to promote.
Join affiliate networks, or check out your best brands in the market. Pick one or two products that resonate with the needs of your audience. Research about the product, even go ahead, buy, and test it. Using the product yourself first is an essential step because it will help you understand if the product is worth promoting or not. Promoting random and crappy products will hurt your audience’s trust.
If you go the networks way, I recommend starting with popular affiliate networks like Amazon Associates, ShareASale, Commission Junction, Rakuten, and Warrior plus. The advantage with affiliate networks, you get access to a wide range of merchants and products to promote. I'm learning how to start affiliate marketing business the right way. Click To Tweet
Step 4: Promote and Earn Commissions On Successful Sales
The promotion part should not be hard if you followed the primary initial steps. With a healthy relationship, it’s more comfortable to offer the product to your audience. The safest way to introduce is by sharing your experience with the product.
Talk about the results, not features. And be honest with your audience. Only testify the results if you have used and tested the product. Sharing your experience and the results will hook your audience to wanting to know more.
Once your prospects are hooked, help them learn more about the product, and finally present them with your offer and affiliate link to buy the product. And boom! Your affiliate commission.
At this level, you notice affiliate marketing is not a new thing. And at some point, you’ve been involved on or offline. For instance, in the online world, think about the time you wanted to buy a new phone. You searched on google and landed on a blog reviewing mobile phones. If you purchased the phone through the embedded link, chances are blog owner earned a commission from it.
5 Tools of the Trade
Successful marketers invest in tools and resources that help them scale quickly, which could be software or courses. Some include the following:
1. Your website (blog)
Starting a WordPress blog will get you unlimited buyers and leads on autopilot. Optimize your content for SEO, and let google send you visitors day and night. It could be as simple as publishing a review of the product that people are looking for in your niche.
Choose a blog hosting company with reliable customer support. And I highly recommend Bluehost. The alternative is HostPinnacle. As a beginner, a blog will help build an audience organically (from free traffic). Use your website to build a brand in your niche by publishing epic posts that get shares. Use my simple guide to launch your blog in less than 20 minutes without coding.
2. Autoresponder (Email marketing software)
Use an autoresponder to collect blog subscribers and build a mailing list. An email list is useful for sending marketing campaigns and monetizing your audience any time you want. I highly recommend GetResponse, because of the superior automation features. Try it 30 days free. The alternative is MailerLite.
3. Sales funnel builder
A funnel builder is a software that helps build highly converting squeeze pages, collect leads, host digital assets for promotional purposes as well sell your stuff alongside the affiliate products.
Ideally, a funnel builder is a marketing automation platform that integrates with an autoresponder and other platforms allowing for the creation of landing/squeeze pages and building more effective marketing campaign flows. I highly recommend ClickFunnels. It’s the best in the market. Learn how to create your first funnel here.
The above three tools play a higher role in creating and managing marketing campaigns. For instance, you integrated a sales funnel with an autoresponder to capture leads from your blog. Capturing leads helps generate more sales with email follow up campaigns.
SEMRush is a keyword research tool. It helps write well SEO optimized content for the generation of organic traffic to your blog or funnel. It reveals useful google keywords and useful insights for marketing purposes.
Bitly is a link shortener. It helps clean long and ugly affiliate links and helps track your clicks by location as well.
Find more useful tools on the resource page here.
Affiliate marketing is the simplest business model for anyone willing to venture into business with a low initial investment. Like any other business out there, affiliate marketing demands the right mindset.
The beauty of it, you earn profits almost equal with the product owner. However, it’s not a get-rich-quick model. It requires learning marketing fundamentals and acquiring skills like copyrighting and closing sales. I hope the information highlighted in this post gives you a clear view of where to start.
Meanwhile, invest in the tools and resources that matter most. Those that help you build an audience scale your affiliate business. Good luck!
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