We all know what marketing is. It is essentially promoting your products and services. The basic concept is surprisingly simple. However, the deeper you dive into this field, the more vast it gets. Among this vastness of marketing, affiliate marketing is buzz marketing and affiliate marketing are of the most efficient and effective forms.
In affiliate marketing, a business works with another business/ affiliate and rewards them for every visitor or customer brought.
The business industry has four leading core players: merchants, networks, publishers, and customers. Affiliates act as the publisher in the network chain of marketing. Because of this, they play a crucial role in connecting the business people with the customers.
Besides these four, the market has grown complexity and brought more players like affiliate management agencies, super-affiliates, and specialized third-party vendors. Affiliates use traditional advertising methods like Internet marketing, including organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine marketing (PPC - Pay per click), email marketing, content marketing, and display marketing. Besides that, sometimes they also use less orthodox techniques such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by the partner.
Affiliate marketing or referral marketing?
While the common goal of both marketing strategies is to drive up the sales and number of customers, affiliate marketing-driven purely on the profit one makes through their affiliate networks.
On the other hand, referral marketing is more based on trust and personal relationships. Affiliate marketers play a significant role in retailers marketing strategies because search engines, email, and website syndication capture the attention of many online retailers.
How does affiliate marketing work?
As we hinted earlier, business owners or merchants provide a unique link to every affiliate from which they can know from whose connection the customer came to them. When a customer clicks on that link, a small file is stored on their device, called a cookie. A cookie helps the merchant attribute the sale back to the right person, and it also has an expiration date, so an affiliate can get paid even if the consumer or buyer delays their purchase.
Following is a beginner's guide to start affiliate marketing.
Choose a platform
You can start affiliate marketing on any platform, but blogs and YouTube are the easier places to build an audience and increase your affiliate sales. With only a few dollars, you can set up your website. After setting it up, optimize it for search engines to generate the top results. While uploading videos on YouTube, you need to optimize them for SEO and put affiliate links in the description.
However, it would help if you remembered that you must disclose that you have included an affiliate link. While not disclosing this will not technically affect your affiliate link, you might lose the audience. This is a great way to generate passive income from your content and affiliate networks.
Find a topic that you are interested in or good at
Randomly writing blogs or making videos about mostly searched questions isn't the right way. Instead, you should find something you think you are genuinely good at and work on it. You'll build a more focused audience and rank higher in search results.
Here is a simple tip for affiliated marketing for beginners - you cannot generate good content without being interested or being extremely good at content creation. So focus on what you know and like to generate good content after finding your preferable platform.
Keep looking for affiliate programs to join.
Once you find a topic you find interest in or are good at; find the correct affiliate programs.
There are three types of affiliate programs;
Unattached Affiliate Marketing
Here, you have no relation to the affiliated product or service you are promoting. You have no background or skill regarding the affiliated product you are marketing and are doing it just to earn additional income using buzz words.
Related Affiliate Marketing
In this type of affiliate marketing, the skill and genre of content created are in the same field of the affiliated product/ service. At the same time, they also have some type of influence over their viewers and can pursue them to buy the affiliated products and services they are marketing.
Involved Affiliate Marketing
This is the deeper type of affiliate marketing as the marketer, and the affiliate network has a deeper form of connection. The marketer uses the product/service, is informed about the product, and is satisfied enough to recommend the product/ service to others.
Create unique content
You need high-quality content to be a successful affiliate marketer. Review reviews and write after purchasing or using a customer's products or services. Don't just write blatantly.
Drive traffic to your Affiliate website
After creating good content, you must make people read it and click on the affiliate links. You can do so with the help of Paid traffic, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and by building an email list.
How good is your career as an affiliate marketer?
Affiliate marketing is uncertain at best. But if you put a lot of work into it, there are examples of successful affiliate marketers that make hundreds of thousands in a month.
There are a few examples of some employees who made a lot of cash through affiliate marketing. A guy, Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income, made around $100,000 only in affiliate commissions in December 2017. The Wirecutter, a successful affiliate website, made an estimated revenue of $10 million. It was later sold to the New York Times for $30 million. But you should know that you do not become a successful affiliate marketer overnight; it takes years of hard work and dedication to reach that point. In the beginning, you might just be making a few dollars, so don't put your expectations high. There is no shortcut to a successful career without hard work so keep working hard. Here are a few tips if you are considering getting into affiliate marketing.
In other words, this is a high-risk, high-reward career with the risk factor depending on your marketing skill level. You can reduce risks if you have decent marketing and networking skills. On the flip side, if you are a newbie to marketing and directly jump to affiliate marketing, you can easily lose a lot of time and effort for virtually nothing during this process.
That said, affiliate marketing doesn't need to be limited to content creation. You start your affiliate marketing as an influence through your social media.