Affiliate Marketing: 7 Steps to Success
Sounds utterly boring and horrible. Right? What if instead of dealing with monotony, you could make money at any time, from anywhere, and when you’re asleep?That is what Affiliate Marketing is all about.
Affiliate Marketing is a popular tactic in today’s digitalized world to drive sales and generate significant online revenue.
Wanna know more!
Dig into this article to learn about the perfect examples of Affiliate Marketing, Why should you consider doing it, and the 7 steps to starting Affiliate Marketing.
It is not only beneficial to you but also to different brands and marketers. It is a new push towards less traditional marketing strategies that have paid off in this century. Especially during recent years.
Almost 81% of the brands and 84% of the publishers use the power of affiliate marketing and is going to increase furthermore as the spending on marketing is growing more and more in the United States.
Moreover, there is a 10.1% increase in affiliate marketing spending in the US each year, which means that by 2020, the number was about $6.8 billion.
By 2018, almost 62% of the content marketing was from traditional marketing strategies, while also generating 3 times the leads to traditional methods.
In fact, 16% of all orders made online are due to the increasing impact of affiliate marketing.
In March 2017, Amazon’s affiliate structure changed, offering rates of 1 to 10% of product revenue for creators, thus providing opportunities for affiliates to increase their passive income that depends on the vertical they are selling on.
So what exactly is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a process of marketing another person’s or company’s products to earn a commission.
An affiliate simply searches for a product they enjoy the most, then promotes the product and earns a profit from each and every sale they make.
These sales are trackable through affiliate links from one website to another.
How Affiliate Marketing Works?
As Affiliate Marketing works by distributing the responsibilities of the product marketing and creation across different parties, it manages to use the abilities of different individuals.
Let us dig in and learn more about the roles which make Affiliate Marketing a Success.
As a result, with more effective marketing strategy, provides the contributors a fair share of profit.
Three different parties contribute to this process: Seller and product creators, affiliate or advertiser, and the consumer.
Sellers and Product Creators
A seller is an Entrepreneur or a large enterprise, is a merchant, a vendor, product creator, or a retailer with a product to market.
A product can be a physical object, like household items, or a service like gardening or makeup tutorials.
The seller, also known as the brand, does not need to be actively involved in the marketing process, however, they also are the advertiser and be able to generate profit from the revenue sharing with affiliate marketing.
For instance, a seller could start with the dropshipping business and wants to reach a new audience by paying affiliate websites to prime their products.
Or a seller could be a SaaS company, that uses affiliates to help sell their software.
The Affiliate or Publisher
An affiliate can either be an individual or a company, that market’s the products of a seller in an appealing way to potential customers.
In simple words, an affiliate promotes the product in such a way to consumers that they will purchase it. However, if the affiliate does not make a sale, they receive a portion of the revenue made.
Moreover, an affiliate markets the products to a target or specific audience, creating a defined niche, or a personal brands,
This helps to attract the consumers that are most likely to act on promotion.
Consumers and their purchases are the drovers of Affiliate Marketing, whether they know it or not.
When a consumer purchases a product, the seller and affiliate share the profits.
The Affiliate can either disclose their commission-based work to the consumer or not.
Either way, they have a share in the retail price of the product. Consumers will complete the process of purchase and receive the product as normal by not getting affected by the marketing system.
Affiliate Marketing Program Examples
Looking for inspiration to start affiliate marketing.
Here is a list of a few inspirational companies, legit proof with a high-paying revenue system to give you enough motivation.
Let’s look at these companies:
Its affiliate program is a network of entrepreneurs, educators, influencers, and creators who send referrals to Shopify.
Moreover, it is free to sign up for the program.
After approval, partners get a unique referral link to share with their audience.
As a result, they earn affiliate income every time someone signs up.
Interestingly, Shopify makes $5 for each referral who signs up for a paid Shopify plan.
BuzzFeed started out as a gift guide and expanded to giving reviews of different product categories.
What makes them unique is that they provide a review on the simplest of the products, thereby giving top picks.
These reviews are very thorough, which provides value to the readers.
It is a water bottle retailer using affiliate marketing to build a million-dollar brand.
Rather than using the traditional affiliate route, they are using Instagram influencers to build awareness for the launch of its key product: the WB-1 bottle.
Moreover, the brand continues to work with influencers account, ranging from 100K followers and up.
They work with around 300 creators per month in order to create content that markets and sells the bottle at scale.
Learn more about Instagram ads here.
7 Steps To Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing
Earning money with Affiliate Marketing Programs can be a very much rewarding way to add a new revenue stream without taking too much risk.
It will cost you time alone, however, by investing the hours, you will continue to reap the rewards.
The following are the 7 steps you can take as a beginner to start with Affiliate Marketing.
Let us dig right into them.
Step#1: Choose a Platform
You can do Affiliate marketing on any platform. Even Instagram.
However, the two most viable ways to increase your audience and increase your affiliates is through:
- A Blog
- YouTube Channel
Starting a blog or a YouTube channel is relatively cheap and easy, and there are different tutorials available online to teach you hoe get started.
The best part? It will most likely cost you a few dollars per month.
From there on, you are free to add affiliate links to your content.
The other platform is YOutube. Creating videos and uploading them is free on it and is ideal for many people.
You can optimize your videos for SEO, and include affiliate links in the description.
Learn more about YouTube Ads here.
Remember, you will have to disclose that you are including affiliate links
The Federal Trade Commission, FTC requires every user to be transparent when receiving income from any endorsement.
Since you are more likely to generate traffic from blogs, therefore, the most examples will be for a blog post in the later steps.
Step#2: Choose Your Niche
If you intend to start a blog, you will have to face a lot of competition.
According to estimates of Statista, the number of bloggers in only the US is 31.7 million in 2020.
To be competitive, choose your niche and narrow it down.
Then, choose a topic that will focus on a specific category.
For instance, if you choose food, then it a huge category. Rather than using a huge category, try something more specific, like sweets or confectioneries.
As you cover different topics of your category, you can further expand into other areas.
Choose something you are Interested In
Many affiliate sites die due to a lack of consistency, so if you are passionate about the topic, you will find it much easier to go on when it gets tough.
If you are not an expert in the field, do not worry.
Documenting what you are learning through the way is a great way to make content and attract people.
However, if you are outsourcing your work, then find people who can work best in the niche. They can help you create high-quality, trustworthy content which is able to generate more traffic, engage visitors, and more affiliate sales.
Learn more about killer content ideas here.
Step#3: Find Affiliate Programs you can Join
There are 3 different affiliate programs you can choose from:
High-paying and Low-volume Programs
These programs are for niche products with high payouts.
For Instance, ConvertKit’s affiliate program pays approx. $700 if you sell the program to 80 customers.
However, the competition is also high for programs.
As you are a beginner, it will be difficult for you to start in a high-end market, where there are marketers with an immense amount of experience.
Low Paying, High-Volume Programs
These are programs with mass appeal but low payouts.
For instance, a large number of people play PS games, and a single game costs $50.
For these types of volumes, commissions are usually single digits. This means that you will earn $2-3 per sale.
However, the great quality of these programs is they have different products to sell. For Instance, Amazon’s Affiliate program can let you earn upto10% of commission on anything they sell.
Another benefit is you can get a commission on the value of the package entirely than just a product.
For this, you will need a lot of traffic.
High Paying, High-Volume Programs
These are the products with mass appeal and also high commissions,
For Instance, Credit Cards.
Everyone needs a credit card and almost everyone stays with a company for years.
However, the pitfall is that they attract affiliate marketers with extensive experience and can sometimes use spammy methods you can not compete with.
And since this guide is for beginners, it is not a recommendation for you.
How to Decide on a Program to Join
Deciding on an affiliate program depends on your niche and level of expertise.
If you intend to target customers, then you can opt for the second model.
However, if you are after the business audience, you can opt for the first model.
If you are interested in a public affiliate program, you can reach out to a company and ask if they want to build an affiliate relationship with you.
Step#4: Creating Content
If you intend to actually work, then creating an affiliate site with high-quality content is very important.
Don’t just blindly curate products from best sellers. You will need to go the extra mile to make sure you are solving the problem of your audience.
Doing so, you will have to purchase the product and test it yourself.
For instance, using the above tactic, Wirecutter is a success.
However, if you do not have money, you can always start with things you have at home.
For instance, you can write reviews on the smartphone you are using.
Step#5: Driving Traffic to Your Site
Once you have created great content, the next step is to find people to read it, so they will click on your links.
The following are 3 traffic generation strategies.
This involves paying for traffic to your site. You can do this by using PPC ads.
The advantage of using this the moment you start paying, you will start getting traffic.
However, there are some pitfalls.
1# Running ads will dig into the profits and is very normal to lose money before making it.
You will have to be realistic about how long it will take to optimize such a campaign.
2# As you stop paying, the traffic will also stop.
Ads are a great way of generating traffic, generally, however, if you are not a part of a high-paying affiliate program, it will not work for you.
Search Engine Optimization, SEO
This practice allows you to rank higher in search engines like Google.
As long as you rank higher for your target keywords, you will get consistent and passive traffic.
Make an Email List
This will allow you to communicate with the readers.
You can use it to tells your fans about new content and keep them coming back. This moreover, less to more affiliate clicks and sales.
Moreover, you can send affiliate email promotions to them directly.
You will need to pursue your readers to sign up for your site.
This means offering them something of value
You can add a subscribe link on your website, or can offer a free eBook, an email course, etc.
Step#6: Getting Clicks
Just because your content is amazing, does not mean that people will click on your affiliate links.
There are a few things, you will have to consider.
1# Link Placement
If the link is placed on the part of the page, where people rarely scroll, then it will result in few clicks.
On the other hand, if every other word is a link then your content will look full of spam.
Let us say that you are writing on the best baking tools for under $50.
For this, your intro should look like this:
Today, I am reviewing the best baking tools.
If 3 or 4 words are linked, then it looks out of the contest and spammy.
However, if you write like this:
Today, I am going to revive the best baking tools you can buy from Amazon for under $50.
These are A, B, and C products.
Using buttons, tables and boxes can help you attract your consumer’s attention and make the most more skimmable.
For instance, PC Mag uses tables and comparison table with buttons like this:
Step#7: Converting Clicks to Sales
You need 2 conversions to take place in order to make money in affiliate marketing.
The first one is the click to the product page
You are completely in control of this action and can use the tactic above to improve the chances of getting that click.
The second one is the visitor making a purchase
In this case, the merchant or vendor controls the checkouts and their conversion rates are out of your control.
The trick here is to find merchants with programs that convert well.
You can find them using the following ways:
1# Public Income Reports
If a number of people are making a decent amount of money, then the product is likely to convert well.
You can look at public reports where different bloggers publicly reveal how much money they are making.
Moreover, you can find public reports on Google:
If you are unable to get enough information about a program, then you can sign up and ask questions.
For instance, you might want to know the amount of average commission.
This will help you figure out which program you can join and which one is worth trying.
Use Your Intuition
You can sometimes go with your intuitions.
If the program you are reviewing feels like ‘off’ or if you do not personally recommend it to a friend or a family member, then do not promote it.
In this article, we have not tried to reinvent something out of ordinary. rather these are the fundamentals and therefore, applying them can help you get on the right foot.
Don’t have very high expectations about the income or freedom to quit your 9-5 job overnight. This type of marketing strategy takes time, therefore, focus on the sales, as you grow, set new goals, and continue experimenting.
If you have questions, you can contact us here.