If you’re wondering what it takes to become an affiliate marketer, you’ve come to the right place. But how do I become an affiliate marketer Superhero, you ask? Well… let me show you!
Below is an awesome infographic, then I’ll be explaining things like what affiliate marketing is, how it works, and its wonderful benefits. I’ll then describe ten keys to help you become successful.
This can be a very lucrative industry when you know what you’re doing.
And if you’d like to know where I learned all about it, CLICK HERE
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is all about the promotion of products and services. When you build a business around something you enjoy talking about, you’ll want to promote different products or services that your audience would need. And if they buy it, you’re rewarded with a commission.
This involves three parties:
#1. The Advertiser or Merchant – this is the company that produces the product.
#2. You, the Publisher – you promote the product on your website, to your readers.
#3. The Customer – that’s your visitor who decides to buy the product.
I’ve written more articles on affiliate marketing, that you might really enjoy reading.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Basically, it’s when you promote a product to your visitor who then wants to purchase it. They click on your affiliate link (usually on a “buy now” button), and they’re sent to the Merchant’s site.
When the sale is complete, the Merchant pays you part of the profit for sending them a new customer. And some Merchants might even pay you for simply sending your visitor there, without even buying anything.
Isn’t that great! And it’s all free to do. Here are the steps you’d take:
#1. What kind of product or service do you want to promote?
You would start by looking for a product that you wish to promote to your readers. For instance, your blog is about mental health. And you’ve been writing about natural remedies, and this is what you’d like to offer.
#2. Apply to the merchant’s affiliate program.
As you look into what’s available online, you find relaxation services, herbal supplements or CBD oils and the like. Your next step is to apply to the affiliate programs with these companies. Almost all merchants of these products offer affiliate programs.
#3. Get your affiliate link to use on your promotional article or ad.
Once you’ve been accepted as an affiliate, the company will provide you with an affiliate link. This link is used to track whoever sends them the customers.
#4. Ways to promote your products or services.
There are so many ways you can use to attract visitors to your promotions. The free way is to write blog posts about the products, sharing why it would help your reader and the benefits of using it. Then follow up by sharing your posts on social media sites.
You can add pop-up forms on your blog, create videos about it, or send out information to your email list.
There are also paid methods such as paid advertising on search engines (Google Ads), social media paid ads, PPC (pay per click), etc. And many more ways, but these come along once you’re more experienced and already making money, lol.
Would you like to read if affiliate marketing is hard? It really isn’t. It just takes the three P’s – patience, persistence, and perseverance. And it’s so worth it!
A Brief History of Affiliate Marketing
Did you know that the first affiliate program ever launched was in 1989? How many of us even used the internet then?
William J. Tobin of PC Flowers and Gifts launched the first program on the Prodigy Network, an online services company. And by 1998, he had over 2,700 affiliate marketing partners.
Amazon, whose platform helps online businesses sell millions of dollars worth of products through affiliate marketing, first launched their Associates Program in 1996.
Getresponse was the first email service provider to use an affiliate marketing program. They started with 30% and now pay even more at 33% commissions.
The first Affiliate Summit was organized and held in New York. They had 200 attendees. They now host four summits around the globe, that attracts 12,000 digital marketers.
ClickBank was founded in 1998, and by 2011 they had attracted over 1.5 million affiliate marketers. They now have 276 categories, and 20+ thousand products for promotion.
Google decides to shut down its affiliate network, which affected big companies like Netflix, Target, and Citibank. Due to a long list of reasons, I have to wonder why they ever started one. With their own algorithm changes, they’ve been hard on the first affiliate sites. It’s always been a love-hate relationship, lol.
Affiliate marketing spending, in the U.S. alone, was $5.94 billion and is forecasted to be about $6.82 billion by 2020. Can you imagine what global spending is? Wow!
Wouldn’t you love to have a piece of that pie?
The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
#1. It’s Cost Effective
It’s cost effective for both the merchant and the marketer. Let me explain…
The merchant saves a lot of money not having to invest in advertising fees because they only pay the affiliate IF they send a customer. And the affiliates themselves can start a business with very low to no upfront costs. So it’s a win-win.
#2. It’s A Popular Business Style
Most online merchant companies have their own affiliate programs because they recognize the benefit of having affiliates promote their products.
And entrepreneurs who wish to create an online income see the benefits for themselves as well. In fact, about 43% of affiliate marketers own 2 to 5 websites to create multiple streams of income.
#3. It’s A Low-Risk Business Venture
Again, this is a win-win for both the merchant and the affiliate.
The merchant doesn’t have to lay down any money prior to the customer sale and agrees to only pay a percentage of the profits to the affiliate. And the affiliate has only to promote the product or service. They don’t have to invest in creating it.
#4. It’s Easy To Track Your Campaigns
Most affiliate programs provide tracking statistics so that you can determine which campaigns are effective. There are also outside services’ that offer in-depth statistics. Google does this for you, for free! It’s called Google Analytics.
#5. Create a Passive Income
Unlike regular jobs that require you to put in your time for pay, affiliate marketing can create a passive income. For instance, if you write an article to promote a product, it can attract customers over and over again. So you put in the work of writing once, and it can bring you customers many times over in the future. Even while your sleeping!
Now that’s passive income! Something we all work towards.
#6. You Don’t Need To Sell Anything?
What I mean by this is you don’t have to create the item, store an inventory, or worry about customer service. All you have to do is write an appealing article about the product explaining how it will help your reader. Your own experience with the product is the best way to promote it. And when your reader decides to buy, you get paid!
The Beginners Guide to Affiliate Marketing talks about more benefits.
10 Keys To Becoming An Affiliate Superhero
OK, this is what you were waiting for, right? LOL
#1. Research Your Product Demand
No matter what niche you choose for your business, you want to find relevant products that are in high demand. The higher the demand, the higher the opportunity for sales.
It’s always a good idea to validate your products before using them. You certainly don’t want to put in a lot of time, and possibly money, for promotions if they aren’t popular. There are different ways you can determine if they’re in demand:
- Check out Pinterest – does this product or “topic” come up on Pinterest? How many pins are there? And how many times have specific pins been shared or liked? This can give you a good indication if it’s a popular product.
- Look at Google Trends – type in the name of your product and see if it has an upward trend. If Google trends show a steady decline over the past year, you may want to choose something else, lol. Google trends will also allow you to narrow it down to country and city, in case you are a local business.
- Go to Amazon Best Sellers list – Does your product make the list? lol. Amazon is also one of the best ways to read product reviews. Here you can find out what real customers have to say about the product.
- Keyword research – these handy tools will show you how many people search for this specific product, and tell you how much competition you have, online. If there are too many websites using the same keyword, your chances of competing with them are low.
- Check out your competition – check to see who your competition is by looking for your product online. If there are many “big” businesses who have a lot of authority in that market, you may struggle to out-compete them. It can be done though! You just have to find an angle they aren’t using!
- Use Google Adwords – this is a much more advanced technique, and not for the ordinary newbie, lol. If you’re interested, I found an article by Eric Ries, who can lead you through the process, step by step.
- Use Brand24 – this is a social media listening ap that has many features to see what’s being said about…anything! You get a 14-day free trial, so make your two weeks count if you want to cancel before the fees start.
#2. Choose The Right Merchant
This can make or break your reputation. When looking for merchants who provide the product or service you wish to promote, always check out their reputation. Do they provide quality products? Do they have satisfied customers?
This can be found out by visiting their websites. You should be able to read testimonials and reviews on the products. Sometimes the best reviews can be found on Amazon too.
This is especially important if you wish to promote digital products. There are so many scammy products out there promising to deliver something but fail to do so. Many of these are found on networks such as Clickbank or JVZoo. Make sure you research these products thoroughly before recommending them to your customers.
“If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they will do business with you” – Zig Ziglar
#3. Choose Only Relevant Products
Make sure your products and services’ match up with your niche, lol. The success behind your business depends on how well you help your readers. They are looking for solutions to their problems, and it’s up to you to deliver those solutions.
If you try to make extra money promoting irrelevant products, your visitors will see right through you, and move on to someone else.
If you’re not sure what to recommend, just take a look at your competition to see what they’re offering. It’s OK to copy ideas, just don’t copy the article.
#4. Put Your Audience First
This comes back to relevance. But I believe it’s also in the way you communicate with them. You want to offer valuable information. Free information. Not everything should be for sale.
If you put your audience first and making money second, they will notice this and stick around. They want to know you care about them, and not only their pocketbooks, lol.
#5. Create Good Content
Writing great articles is vital to your business. At least if you’re relying on content marketing. This is an awesome way to attract free traffic.
When you’re new to online marketing, this can be a little daunting. But believe me when I say it gets easier with practice. The important thing is to sound like yourself. Write as if you’re talking to your best friend.
And add images, videos, graphs, and infographics (wink wink). Make your content easy to read and enjoyable.
#6. Engage Your Readers
I’m sure you hate boring websites as much as anyone else. So what does yours look like? Is it easy for your visitor to find what they’re looking for? Do you have a search bar? A great menu?
And what about your content? Do you make it easy for them to find your call to action? If it’s hard to find, or written in small fonts, you could be passing up on potential business. Keep it interesting with big buttons and bold colours.
#7. Build Solid Relationships
Building relationships with your readers are what gets them to return. So make a great first impression. Offer a lot of valuable information and helps for free. Nurture them. No one wants products pushed in their faces all the time. That comes along after you’ve gained their trust.
This is also important if you have an email list. This is one of your biggest assets and you need to take care of it. So make sure the value you offer is substantial before you recommend buying something.
#8. Use Several Traffic Sources
It’s always smart to get revenue from different sources. This way when one source hits a rough spot and declines, you can always depend on your other income streams. So besides your website, you might also use:
- PPC (pay per click) campaigns on Google or Bing
- Display advertising like Adsense or Mediavine
- Guest blogging (on other people’s sites)
- Promotions on social media
- Youtube channel
- Email marketing
- Creating courses and webinars
#9. Test, Measure, and Track
Everything can be tracked these days, lol. The most common way is to use Google Analytics as I mentioned above. This handy tool has a good deal of metrics that you can use to your benefit.
And you’ll find that any other services’ you use, like an autoresponder for your email list, has many tracking reports as well. With all this information, you can tweak your campaigns to your heart’s desire. Find out what works and replicate it.
#10. Stay Current with New Trends
There are always new strategies and techniques developed within the affiliate marketing industry. So staying on top of the current news and developments is important.
You’ll also notice that what worked 10 years ago doesn’t work anymore. Google, in particular, is always updating their algorithms. So if you’re not following the trends, the way you currently do things could be hurting your business.
The 10 tips above are only some of the many ways to succeed with affiliate marketing. There are many more, but this article would go on forever, haha.
The best thing I can suggest for you is to be part of a like-minded community. This way you can bounce ideas around, hear about the latest news, and seek advice when you’re struggling.
Every successful online marketer I know is surrounded by a strong community.
So whether you are just starting out (which is when you definitely need strong community support) or you’ve been working in this industry for years now, a community of like-minded people could make all the difference to your business.
The platform I run by business on has such a community, and I depend on them often.
Not only do they support me, but this platform also has all the training and tools to help me adapt to any changes. The training videos and tutorials are constantly updated to reflect the current state of affairs, and what the most effective strategies are.
I highly recommend them if you wish to start affiliate marketing and are in a state of confusion, lol.
Remember when I said that online marketing can have little to no upfront costs? Well, this is how you can do that. You can create a free membership account and have enough training to get you up and running. They’ll give you two free websites as well.
There’s no risk to you because you sign up with only your name and email address. No credit card needed. And if you seriously want to grow your business, you can choose to join the premium membership at an incredibly affordable price. No upsells, and no pressure!
Click on the picture below to read all about it. When you join, I’ll personally greet you on the inside.
Let me help you start your own successful online business, or help you scale the one you already have!
Do you already have an online business and are struggling? Or maybe you’re just researching the idea because you’d like to start. Either way, I’d love to help you. I remember being new at this and needing a lot of support, lol. Let me support you!
Please leave any comments or questions below and I’ll get right back to you.