Affiliate marketing is an arrangement where two parties, in this case, you and a merchant, share revenue from the sale of a product. You make money as an affiliate marketer by directing potential customers to merchants' online stores by posting advertisements or links on your website, blog, and newsletter. Depending on the agreement between you and the merchant, you are paid based on the sales or traffic you generate.
How It Works
There are two ways you earn money:
Through this arrangement, a commission is deposited to your account each time a sale is made as a result of an ad or link you post. The amount depends on the product and the percentage of the commission; it can be anything from a few pennies to hundreds of dollars.
Want to work from home? Consider starting a career in affiliate marketing! The majority of affiliates already do!
As a pay-per-sale affiliate, you will be able to choose whether you focus on low-value high-volume items, such as the book or video game mentioned previously, or high-value low-volume items. Affiliates who focus on high-value items make fewer sales, but earn a lot more income with each sale. Examples of popular high-value, also known as top-tier, programs include education and training programs, computer software, web hosting and related services, mortgage loans, and high-value electronics.
It’s easier to sell a $3 ebook than a $500 marketing training program. However, you’ll make about $0.20 on the ebook, and possibly more than $100 on the training program. As you consider which products make the most sense for the traffic you generate, keep this in mind.
You are paid a pre-set amount each time a potential customer signs up at the merchant website as a result of your ad or link. Again, pay-per-lead rates tend to be less than pay-per-sale, and are popular among affiliates who are able to drive large amounts of traffic.
Before getting started with affiliate marketing, understand one thing: this is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes analysis, effort and patience to succeed. But you can generate decent money by following these tips:
Work in Categories You Love
Choose products that belong to categories you are passionate about. It will inspire you to market them and register greater exposure and sales. If you love outdoor activities like hiking, biking and mountain climbing, then you might become an affiliate marketer for sports gear and adventure destinations, and not for accounting software. On the other hand, if you’re an MBA who blogs about regulatory changes to the tax code, accounting software might be the perfect fit.
Select Products You Believe In
While the majority of affiliates are earning less than $20,000 per year from affiliate marketing, nearly ten percent earn in excess of $100,000 per year.
Create a Website
While almost every affiliate marketing training says that you do not need a website to be an affiliate marketer, the truth is that most successful affiliates use their own websites to promote and market products.
Master a Niche
The internet is too vast a marketplace, and there are too many competing affiliates for you to be successful without being focused. Most successful affiliates develop expertise in a specific product niche, and a specific traffic generating strategy. You will be successful more quickly if you avoid dabbling in a lot of different products and strategies. Pick a product and strategy you believe can be successful, and continue to work on it until you make it profitable
Learn Keyword Research
You need to learn at least basic search engine optimization (SEO) since most people will use search engines to locate your site. Effective SEO drives traffic to your site. A good set of keywords is the foundation of a successful affiliate marketing campaign.
You are Not Selling, Only Helping People Locate Products
Focus your energy on promoting and marketing a product. Leave the actual selling to the merchant. Concentrate on helping merchants get their products seen by potential customers. While it’s fine to point out the benefits of a product, and give customers a reason to want to learn more, avoid turning into a salesperson. You want to be the trusted advisor shining a light on good products, not the slick salesperson trying to make a quick buck.
Sites to Consider
This is the largest affiliate program provider (APP). It manages affiliate marketing for hundreds of companies. After signing up with CJ, you can assess the companies, their product offerings, and the commission structure. All the commissions you earn from merchants are pooled together in one payment made on a monthly basis.
This affiliate marketing program, founded in 1998, has been around for close to two decades, selling digital products in more than 200 countries. As an affiliate, you can promote tens fo thousands of products with the potential of earning up to a 75% commission.
Rakuten Affiliate Network, formerly known as Linkshare, works with hundreds of brand name merchants, including AT&T, iTunes, and Walmart. The site also offers educational information to help increase sales.
Affiliate marketing is not easy, but it can be done successfully with the right mix of products. You need to work hard because there is a lot of competition out there. With diligence, though, you may be happily surprised by the size of your monthly earnings.