The digital age has unlocked various doors for earning, with one of the most enticing being affiliate marketing. Especially for beginners, diving into this field might appear a tad overwhelming. This comprehensive guide aims to simplify the intricate web of affiliate marketing and elucidate its meaning, significance, and the steps to embark upon it.
At its core, affiliate marketing is a performance-driven marketing strategy where an individual earns a commission by promoting another company’s product or service. Think of it as being a middleman. You don’t need to create a product, handle sales, or manage customer service; you simply introduce potential customers to products or services and earn a fee when they make a purchase.
In simpler terms, the affiliate marketing meaning can be understood as the bridge between the consumer and the product, facilitated by a marketer who earns a commission.
Some statistics about affiliate marketing:
Affiliate marketing drives 15-30% of eCommerce sales.
Affiliate marketing has a market value of over $17 billion as of 2023.
Data from the Forrester Consulting showcases that 81% of brands leverage the power of affiliate marketing.
Especially for beginners, understanding this booming ecosystem is not just intriguing but potentially lucrative. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify the complex realm of affiliate marketing, offering insights into its meaning, significance, and the steps to get started.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing means, it is the process of earning money by driving sales and generating online revenue or commission by promoting other companies’ & Brands’ products. The affiliate finds a product they enjoy, promotes that product to others, and earns a piece of the profit from each sale they make.
Promoting affiliate products doesn’t mean that you are an employee of that company. You are just helping them to sell their product as a 3rd party seller.
It is extremely beneficial to both brands and affiliate marketers.
It’s important to remember that affiliate marketing works best when you’re sincere and confident about the product you’re promoting.
How Affiliate Marketing Works?
There are 4 people & terms that you will constantly hear in affiliate communities when you enter the market.
- Publisher / Partner
- Affiliate networks
- Self-served affiliate networks
Pillars of affiliate marketing
From your website – your audience learns about a product that may be useful to them, this is where you add your affiliate links.
Affiliate Programs – From where you as an affiliate will pick up a product that suits your audience’s interests.
Affiliate company – A company that owns products registers itself in affiliate networks, a network works as an intermediary between the affiliate and the affiliate company.
The customer, this is your audience who uses your affiliate link to purchase a product from the affiliate company.
Steps To Become Affiliate Marketer For Beginners
Step 1: Become an affiliate
To participate in an affiliate marketing program, you’ll need to take these simple steps:
- Search for a company and Product that you want to promote.
This is very important because what you choose here is going to be the topic of your website in the next step
- Signup as an affiliate marketer.
- Give your banking details (Paypal accounts preferred)
There you go! Now you are a registered affiliate.
Step 2: Earn money through affiliate marketing
- Go to your affiliate dashboard
- Get your unique affiliate link and add it to your websites.
- Attract visitors to your site (use SEO, Ads, Social media marketing)
- If the visitor makes a purchase, you receive a commission.
Whenever a visitor purchases through your link then you will receive a commission as per the decided percentage
To achieve this first you need to make a good relationship with your visitors, then identify a product that fits your visitor’s requirements and your niche.
NOTE: Before suggesting the product to your audience, use and test the product by yourself so that risk will be minimized. Show your audience actual proof that the product does what it promises, via a blog post on your website.
Without verifying the product don’t promote it because it may reduce your audience count. These efforts help you to earn good revenue from affiliate marketing.
How To Start Affiliate Marketing? (Step-by-Step guide)
I hope from the above information you will get at least a basic idea about affiliate marketing. Now let’s explore it step-by-step to understand it in detail.
As you know if you want more audience for more purchase you need to put your audience first then build a good relationship. It means you need to earn their trust.
Now definitely you are thinking about how to earn the trust of your audience?
It is very easy and very important as well. Recommend only those products with whom you are familiar and never say to buy a product without verifying it.
Every affiliate marketer must have to follow these basic guidelines to move forward towards success. Every affiliate marketer needs to understand the importance of building and maintaining trust with their audience before they get started with affiliate marketing.
Let’s discuss the steps to getting started as an affiliate marketer.
1) Decide a platform
2) Select a niche
3) Search for an affiliate program to join
4) Start blog or website
5) Create rich content
6) Navigate traffic to your affiliate site
1) Decide A Platform
You can do affiliate marketing on any platform. Blog, Instagram, YouTube channels are the types of platforms where you can easily build an audience and increase your affiliate sales.
Decide the platform very carefully because there you are going to promote a company product. So, you need to understand which platform is good and which type of platform will be more helpful to reach your targeted audience.
NOTE: A few affiliate programs have restrictions on what kind of platforms qualify for affiliate commission. I will suggest reading the terms & conditions carefully.
2) Select A Niche
This is the first and most important step of affiliate marketing is choosing your niche.
Before selecting your niche, you first consider a topic that interests you. As an affiliate marketer, you want to be a problem solver. Always remember you don’t create a business to help yourself. You create a business to help others. The more people you help the more successes you will get.
In affiliate marketing, narrowing down your niche gives you an advantage over competitors that create broader content. Having a niche means you are focusing on one segment of a larger audience and coming from a different perspective than other content creators.
For example, if you choose the topic of “shoes” it is a vast category. Rather than concentrating on all, go for something more specific, like sports shoes. Staying tighter on your topics can help you build a more focused audience and simultaneously help you rank higher in search engines.
Still, struggling with how to select your niche? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself.
1. What topics am I already passionate about?
2. Is there money in this niche?
3. Is there enough interest in/demand for products in this niche?
4. Are there affiliate programs available in this niche?
3) Search for an affiliate program to join
This totally depends on your niche. There are two ways to search for an affiliate program.
1) Finding the direct source
This one is a way of finding an affiliate program. You can directly search for the company with whom you would like to work as an affiliate marketer.
when you visit their website. If you find a relevant tool that you use inside your business, going directly to the source is a good idea.
2) Look at multiple affiliate companies
This is another way of finding affiliate programs that allow you to take advantage of several affiliate programs through their service.
Generally, influencers like fashion, design, beauty, and lifestyle use this type of method because it makes affiliate marketing very easy.
Always remember every brand offers you a different commission according to their program.
Whenever you are thinking about joining an affiliate program here are a few questions to ask yourself.
1) How will be my success with this affiliate program?
2) What percentage of each sale I will get as a commission?
3) Is it worth my time and effort?
Always think about all factors before joining any affiliate program. This will help you to get a better affiliate program.
4) Start blog or website
Nowadays many affiliate marketers start posting their affiliate links on different platforms like social media, blogs, or websites.
On social media affiliate marketing makes it easy to promote your business online. But in social media, you don’t have control over your platform because you don’t own these channels. You can’t make changes according to you. That’s why social media is not that recommended.
Building a separate blog or website for your brand allows you to create a base for your affiliate marketing content. here you will have more control over the look and feel of your blog or website.
If social media decides no one likes you, your business can disappear overnight. That’s why blogs or websites are very important to keep interaction with your audience. This is mandatory if you want to create a continuous income with affiliate marketing.
Here the role of the social media platform like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc is to push notifications and likes to your blog or website and more importantly attract visitors toward your blog.
5) Create rich content
If you’ve been wondering how influencers and content creators create a sustainable income from their blogs, it’s likely due to their affiliate marketing efforts. ( Kayla Hollatz)
If you are curious about making an income from your blogs, creating high-quality affiliate marketing content could be one of the best options to put in your blogs or website.
Creating content for a blog is not enough, we need to optimize it for your targeted audience. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the suggested method to attract your audience to your blog.
According to research most of the traffic to your website comes from organic search (Organic search is defined as the results of a search engine that cannot be affected by paid advertising). Nowadays Google is on top of search engines, which means you need to be visible to be on google. As a blogger, if you are not focusing on SEO then you will miss out on your audience.
You can also optimize the content with the help of keywords for better SEO to get free traffic to your website. It will help you to build a high level of trust in your target audience as a top expert.
Once you start making blogs or websites for your affiliate program, you will get experience about how to deal with different types of content.
6) Navigate traffic to your affiliate site
Why is traffic more important for affiliate marketing sites? Definitely, you are thinking about it.
In affiliate marketing, good quality traffic helps you to achieve your goals. If it converts the visitor into a sale then it’s good quality, it doesn’t convert it means you have to work on it.
Good quality traffic also helps you to improve your ranking on search engines. If your blog or website has good content then your target audience gives you backlinks which help you to increase traffic to your affiliate sites.
With a better understanding of good quality traffic, let’s explore some of the most effective ways to generate traffic for their affiliate sites.
1) Be Active on Social Media
Social media is one of the most powerful sources of highly targeted traffic. Any of the social media platforms can be good to get free traffic to your affiliate links. It is important to stay consistent and keep the posting schedule. Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc are the platforms of social media. Depending on your niche, some platforms may work better for you than others.
While using social media platform in affiliate marketing you need to keep some points in your mind as follows:
· Instead of focusing on all social media platforms try to put a limit on yourself. It means using only those platforms which will give you more results.
· Every platform has its own way to work so before selecting your platform keep your niche in your mind. According to your niche which one looks fit, select it.
· Stay consistent and keep the posting as per schedule. This will help you to show your presence to your target audience.
· Keep experimenting, it will help you to get the correct schedule for your targeted audience and also help you to improve the quality of social media strategy.
2) Guest Posting On your Blog
If you are looking for good quality traffic on your affiliate site then a guest posting strategy is a good option to achieve your targeted audience.
So, how can you use the profit of guest posting on your site to get traffic? Here are some tips which will help you:
Mainly there are two types of guest posting on a blog.
· Guest blog on a famous site which fulfills the requirement of your niche. If your content gets accepted then it will expose you to a whole new audience. Make sure that you add your profile and site links within your content.
· Accept guest bloggers on your own website. Let them Publish their blog on your affiliate site. They will share and link their article, which will help you expose your website to new audiences.
3) Use Feedback
Once you start getting traffic to your site and if you make sales, then utilize those customers to create future business. You can reach out to those customers through email or text who buy the product from your site and ask them to review the service received by you.
If customers get convinced to write a review about the product, they buy from your site. That’s a great thing. This review helps you to attract a new audience to your site. If a new audience sees former customers are happy with the product and services then they will get confidence to buy products from your sites.
4) Make a Referral Program
Think about creating a referral program for existing customers. Give them a cashback or discount offer for referring new customers to your site. This is one of the good strategies to get traffic to your site.
Companies like ola, uber use this type of technique to get a more new audience. If you give reference to someone and he/she sign up to their portal then you will get a 30-40% discount on your next ride.
You can take an example of e-commerce companies like Flipkart, Amazon. They also use these types of strategies to get more traffic on their site.
You can use multiple methods according to your business goals. But these methods must be effective to drive traffic to your affiliate site.
Affiliate marketing, when understood and executed well, can be a significant income stream. The key lies in grasping the clear affiliate marketing meaning, focusing on delivering genuine value to your audience, and staying updated with the latest market trends and strategies.
For beginners keen on delving into this domain, remember: while the journey might seem filled with jargons and challenges initially, persistence and continuous learning will pave the way to success. The digital realm is ever-evolving, and so is affiliate marketing. Stay curious, stay committed, and witness the growth unfold.