Affiliate is a term slowly taking over the marketing industry. The problem is a lot of people aren’t well-grounded on what affiliate marketing really is and how to go about it.
In this affiliate marketing guide, I’ll be introducing the basics of affiliate marketing to beginners with guides on how to go about it.
What Exactly Is Affiliate Marketing?
The idea behind affiliate marketing is to promote products belonging to a brand or company and get a commission for any product that is purchased through you, that is, through your affiliate link. This marketing is usually done on a website or blog.
In other words, affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
The affiliate recommends a company’s product or service to potential customers, generating sales and earning a commission in return. Unlike other ad types which pay based on clicks or views, affiliate marketing works on a CPA (cost-per-acquisition) or CPL (cost-per-lead) basis. Meaning, you only earn a commission when someone performs a specific action such as buying a product or signing up for a free trial through you.
The affiliate system consists of four essential parties that go around creating a smooth affiliate marketing experience, they are;
- The affiliate
- The consumer
- The network
- The seller/merchant
This is the person who has an affiliate link and receives a commission on each purchase made by visitors who found a product by clicking on one of their links.
Say for instance you own a blog; you register with an affiliate program to sell products of companies in the same niche as your blog. You advertise these products and get paid for any purchase made through the link on your blog. You are in this case, the affiliate.
The consumers are the prospects who you hope to sell to as an affiliate. This is a visitor on your site that clicks on your affiliate link and completes a purchase.
This is a third-party platform that the affiliate program is operated on. The network works as an intermediary between the affiliate and the merchant.
In some cases, the merchant manages the affiliate program on a network and the affiliate would have to go through this network to be able to promote the products.
The network services are the ones that provide the links an affiliate uses and pay the affiliate their commission. Not all affiliate system requires a network but letting a network handle the payment and product delivery puts a more serious tone to your affiliate marketing. A good example of such a network is ClickBank.
This is the seller of the product an affiliate promotes. They could be producers, a brand, a company, or a retailer. They sell the products being marketed by the affiliate.
Benefits Of Being An Affiliate Marketer
- It is a high-income paying business. There is no limit placed on the amount of commission you get.
- It is a low-risk business as you do not have to invest any amount of money to be an affiliate. What you basically need is an established blog, website, or social media profile.
- You choose what you promote as an affiliate. This allows you to handpick products you feel more comfortable with, you are more familiar and with, and products you feel you are best at marketing.
- You do not have to worry about producing content to market the products such as photographs of the products since these contents are already created visually by the merchants.
After going through the
Affiliate Marketing Guide: Becoming An Affiliate Marketer
To kick-start your journey as an affiliate marketer, you need to understand certain requirements. In this Affiliate marketing guide, I’ve culled out the requirements and relayed them as steps to get you started immediately. The steps include:
Build Your Website And Choose Your Niche
If you haven’t built and established a website/blog, then you should. This is the platform you use to display and market your affiliate products. The most popular ways affiliates work include using websites, blogs, or marketplaces and running ads. So in essence, you need to get yourself a website.
When doing so, you should choose the niche you are looking to target. If you are confused on what niche to pick, think of the things you are most passionate about and wouldn’t get bored creating content for.
Not just passion, you should also consider if the niche is financially viable. There should be good money in the niche you pick.
If you already have an established website or blog, then you should choose to market products that fall within the same niche as them.
You have to be very specific with the niche of products you would market. Your niche determines the audience you are going to target for both your blog/social media and your affiliate marketing. You wouldn’t want to show a very nice product to the wrong audience.
Get The Right Affiliate Program For You
You should carry out extensive research and find out the affiliate programs that favor your niche. Consider the merchants using the affiliate programs you find, are there merchants that sell the same kind of products you want to market?
Consider the features and supports as well as the commission the program offers you and make sure they fall in line with your goals. Put all these into consideration then sign up for the affiliate program/platform you feel works best for you.
After signing up, you get to pick the products you’ll be advertising and your unique affiliate link will be generated for you, which you can place on your website for referrals.
After signing up with an affiliate program, the next step would be putting in promotional efforts to boost traffic to your website, so that prospects find you, see the products and make purchases.
The following tips are all promotional strategies.
Run An Email Marketing Campaign
With an email list, you can market your affiliate products directly to your subscribers communicate with them on a personal level, and make the sale experience warmer for them.
You don’t exactly need a large number of emails to run an email campaign, just a few that would be effective in driving sales.
You can get the emails of your visitors by putting up pop-up subscription forms and offering incentives such as free downloads or access to exclusive content in exchange for subscribing to your mailing list.
You should keep your newsletter subscribers engaged by sending them regular updates at least once a week. But avoid overcrowding and overwhelming them. You should also avoid sending them too many sales emails. Mix them up a little, offer tips and solutions to some common problems and frequently asked questions in your niche, and then some sales emails. People like it and builder closer relationships more with you if you add value to them.
Create Top Contents That Add Value
It shouldn’t be all about marketing. What are you using to drag the attention of prospects to your site? You should create contents that attract people to your website, it could be something as simple as a blog post or a live webinar. The content you create should add value to your readers and viewers.
You should establish your website as an authority in your niche and you do this by consistently producing unique high-quality content.
Some content ideas include product reviews, posts that address problems and questions relevant to your target market, original passionate content you choose, and informational content. Ensure they are relevant to your niche, avoid generic content.
Paid advertising helps you generate additional traffic to your site and drive sales. You can run paid advertising on social media platforms like Facebook or get ad placements on Google, that is, pay-per-click ads.
This is another way to bring new visitors to your website and also retarget old visitors. PPC ads are displayed along with search results and entice users to click on them to find what they are looking for. They are usually placed at the very top of the results page.
Every time someone searches, advertisers compete for the opportunity to display their ads. So how do search engines determine who wins? Through the primary components which are bid and quality.
- The bid is the maximum amount an advertiser is willing to pay for a click on his/her ad. You only pay for an ad when someone clicks on it. You are charged an equal amount or sometimes lesser than the bid. If your ad shows, but no one clicks on it, you don’t get charged at all.
- Quality is basic. It is possible that ads that match a specific search query can win higher spots on the search result page even with lower bids. No matter how high a bid is, search engines will not display the ad if it is irrelevant, that is, if it doesn’t match the search query.
Search Engine Optimization
To generate traffic to your website, it is important to get your website fully optimized for search engines. Here’s an article that gives more insight on how to drive traffic to your website. This involves making adjustments that make your site more suitable to what search engine algorithms like Google, Yahoo, and Bing require.
Studies show that pages web pages found at the top of the first page of search results can earn 50% of traffic. Searchers barely move to the second page to check for more results. So if your page isn’t showing up on the first page, you’re likely to get no visitors through search engines.
Below are tips for good SEO;
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly/responsive. This means the site should be able to automatically resize all its components to fit and look good on all device screens as most people use mobile phones these days to surf the web.
- Set up good internal linking and backlinking structures.
- Optimize your images and site for speed loading.
- Do extensive keywords research for your content and pages.
- Make your site search engine friendly by paying attention to meta titles, meta tags, the heading, and the copy of your pages. Your keywords or phrases should be found in each of them.
- Use analytic tools to manage the traffic on your site.
- Use an SEO plugin to guide and help you get SEO ready, my favorite being the Yoast SEO plugin.
- The contents on your page should be user-friendly. Pay attention to your text structure and writings style.