Just like everything else, affiliate marketing is one part of life that has evolved with time, and only prefers those who would like to grow with it. Now that we have gotten that out of the way,you must want to know all about affiliate marketing. Because, quite frankly, why else would you be here?
Let’s talk about some of the things, you need to know about getting started. To make things better, lets try to keep this simple too so you can grab all ideas as fast as they come.
In essence, you are about to find out that affiliate marketing is a fancy word for something that can make you tons of money, only if you are wiling to go through more than just the motions.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing has been around for as long as anyone could remember. You buy something, a friend compliments it and you tell them you got it from [inserts merchant here]. Such a friend would be glad to go buy from that store/ brand too since they have gotten a recommendation they can trust.
That is affiliate marketing, but this time around, you get paid for making such a recommendation.
You might not even have bought it, but made a recommendation when someone came to you for a piece of advice on what [inserts product here] is the best. You then launch into the review of each product in that category, telling the person why each one is a good option.
You have given them lots of options and information to guide them in choosing one that best suits their needs. When they do go ahead to make that purchase, the manufacturer of said product will ‘thank’ you for sending them a customer by giving you a compensation.
Terms used in Affiliate Marketing
If you must get involved in affiliate marketing, you should be familiar with the lingo. Due to the presence of various niches, it would be pointless to want to explain the terms in all of them when you could only be sticking with one. That is why I have chosen to expatiate on the general terms used in the market, regardless of what niche such market falls into.
- Affiliate Marketers:
- Choose a Niche
- Find Products
- Develop a Website
- Promote! Promote!! Promote!!!
- Ease of Management
- Zero Capital
- Ease of Joining
- Sales caps:
- Link management:
- Constant lead generation
The merchant is also the producer, manufacturer, seller, retailer or supplier. In short, they stand for anyone/ agency that is involved in the making available of a product or service which they aim to get out to the public (consumer). To better their chances of getting across to a larger number of people, such merchants would then reach out to affiliate marketers
This is the class you fall into. They are the people who promote the product and/ or service that the merchant has to different customers.
The affiliate marketer – or affiliate for short – takes on various campaigns, launches a number of ads and content marketing campaigns that aims to drive traffic and customers to the merchant’s product. For every sale they make, the merchant is bound to pay them a commission based on an initial profit-sharing agreement
When it comes to affiliate marketing, this is a very broad term. A consumer can be anyone who uses the goods or service promoted by the affiliate to satisfy their own needs.
By this definition, the merchants and affiliates can also be consumers to some other marketer/ affiliate/ merchant. The cycle keeps going that way to ensure a uniform distribution across niches so o one is left out of the loop. Speaking of loops…
Just because it might be herculean for the merchant and affiliate to keep track of one’s level of engagement with the other, an affiliate network (also called platform) steps in.
The network serves as a middleman between the affiliate and merchant, helping the former record its progress to the merchant and holding the latter accountable for fulfilling its pledges on redeemable objectives
Such redeemable objectives could be making a sale, driving traffic, occasioning an engagement or any other thing that has been agreed upon.
Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing
Once you have made up your mind to give affiliate marketing a try, you will also be making up your mind to significantly increase your residual income base. Nothing good comes easy, though.
Another thing is that there is always a process to things like this. Following such sequences (with variations to make your brand special, of course) is a key ingredient to your success. For the beginner, here are some things you would need to do.
It is tempting to want to promote everything from weight loss products, mobile appliances and cars to building materials, but that will not help your business. You will want your potential conversions to know you for something, not as a jack of all trades. Additionally, handling multiple niches at once is an easy way to lose focus and direction.
Rather, find something that interest you and make that your niche. If you are always excited about the next mobile phone coming out, go into the mobile technology niche. If its weight loss that interests you, there are a lot of affiliate programs working on that out there.
No matter what it is, chances are you will always find products to promote in that niche.
Now that you know what niche your market would be based in, it is time to find product to promote. You should look at some solid affiliate networks (Clickbank, ShareASale, Amazon, eBay, etc) to get a start on great products to promote.
You can almost always find tips on how to choose the best products on these websites too, so look for those pointers. Once you have spent time completing this task, you are ready for the next step
You don’t always need to use a website for your affiliate marketing programs, and I have written all about that here. However, it would be advisable to have one where you can keep everything organised, especially when you are just starting out. As time goes on, you can then priorities other avenues of affiliate marketing over the website.
For now, get a website created for your products, and start filling it up with content. Any content person worth their salt would tell you that content is king and you should treat it as such. Take time to craft your content beautifully. Make your content useful to people. Make it a one-stop point for them, not a means to another end.
When writing content, make sure you put keyword research in mind and do it well. If you are new to keywords, or have been taught to not believe in them, here is a resource that might help.
Great content would do well with your audience, but that is if you have an audience to begin with. Otherwise, you would just be writing really amazing content for no one in particular.
Leverage a lot of digital and social media marketing strategies to get your content out in the face of people. Don’t expect everyone that comes across your posts/ content to be interested, but aim for a fair percentage.
When marketing and promoting your content, make sure you target the right demographic. It would be largely counterproductive to promote men’s underpants in a Facebook group setup for women.
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
From what has been said thus far, you would have gleaned that affiliate marketing would make you money when done right. That is a prime benefit of this to bloggers but there is more to the program than meets the eye.
Taking a deeper look into the model of affiliate marketing programs, here are some other benefits you stand to gain.
When a marketing agency is contracted to promote a product, they usually have to start brainstorming how to create banners, campaigns and ads that would push such a product. More often than not, merchants would provide bloggers with materials they would be needing to make the marketing possible.
These materials would include banners, product guides and descriptions and such other necessary information. All that is left is just for you to come up with content and push the link successfully
You don’t need to buy anything. You just need to sell it, and you get paid. How awesome is that?
In many cases, the blogger would not have to invest anything into the products and still get paid their commission when targets are reached
Holding a fancy certificate from an Ivy League college is not one of the requirements to becoming an affiliate marketer. In fact, you don’t need any marketing experience at all. While having that could be a boost to your business, the learning curve with affiliate marketing is such that you can cross bridges as you reach them.
Negatives of Affiliate Marketing
I promised to shed the light on all you need to know about getting started, and I am not about to leave you thinking it is an ideal world out there. Like any other business model, there is tendency to get burnt as an affiliate.
These are things you will be able to bounce back from, but knowing about them beforehand would do well to prepare you better.
Aggregating some of the common problems faced by affiliates, you should look out for these
Before you commit to any program, learn about the presence of possible sales caps. You could make a thousand sales in a month and not have anything to show for it if the program had a sales cap of 50.
That means after the first 50 sales for every month, you stop getting commission. These are rare, but existent. Be on the watchout.
Putting up a link once does not guarantee you lifelong sales. You should be prepared to always revisit your links and update them accordingly.
Some merchants will have new products that are improvements on the old ones, and you won’t want to be caught still promoting the old versions.
Another thing is that the product link might have changed, leaving a broken link on your hand. Best believe a potential customer might have to go get it somewhere else, translating to someone else taking the credit for your recommendation.
A lot of things can make follow up with links necessary and I would be lying if I said it was not time consuming. But then, again, what good thing comes easy?
Every Other Thing
To have a successful affiliate marketing business, you will need to reinvent your trade and stand out. When reinventing, always remember the golden rule of affiliate marketing – honesty and integrity.
In the name of making a few sales, do not compromise any of these two. A good reputation is what will make people keep coming back to you for recommendations. A single poor one could ruin a business you have built for years.
You will also want to let your audience know that you are an affiliate, and that you could be getting rewarded for things they buy via your affiliate links. You can go all out to make that known or just include an affiliate disclaimer page on your website.
Asides that, there is not much left for the starter to know. Affiliate marketing has gone from ordinary word of mouth recommendations to what we know it as today. That should tell you the market is always growing, and I need not stress the importance of growing with it to stay relevant.
If you are interested in learning everything there is about affiliate marketing and smiling to the banks too, theWealthy Affiliate package does just that for you.
You can start with a free trial plan to know what you would be getting into, but I know the first couple of days are enough to get you to go all the way. Let me know if there is any other thing you need to get started.