Up until recently, starting your own business required you to have your own product or to provide your own service. But with the rapid evolution of the Internet, business models have changed dramatically. Today, you don’t have to provide a product of your own to have an online business.
That’s all thanks to the conception of Affiliate Marketing and the opportunities that come from it. This is a business model that allows you to generate passive income by promoting other people’s products or services.
It is one of the easiest and quickest business models you could establish and launch the same day. But it has its requirements and you have to put in time and efforts to make the affiliate marketing machine work for you.
With the right affiliate tools and software at your side, you can quickly scale your business and increase your returns. Some people make a decent living out of affiliate marketing alone. Some have become millionaires.
But let’s discuss some essentials and important aspects of preparing and launching your affiliate marketing business.
Understanding Affiliate Marketing
When getting started with this, you need to be well aware of what affiliate marketing is. There’s lots of general free information online but there are some vital insights you can find only from people who know what they’ve been through.
Of course, this business model works differently for the different people. But one thing never changes. You, as an affiliate, meet with advertisers (the owners of products or services) on affiliate networks.
There, you can submit requests for affiliate approval and if you’re lucky, the advertisers will allow you to promote their goods on his behalf. Don’t worry. You’ll usually be lucky. Only really wary advertiser will deny your request for affiliate approval on the basis that you’re new to the industry and don’t have a solid reputation. Most will be fine with you.
The approval usually happens quickly and with no hassle. That way, you can get your affiliate link. It will contain your affiliate ID. You must use this link on your blogs and websites to direct people to the offers you’ve chosen to represent.
Only through your affiliate link can the advertiser know that a purchase has come through you. In exchange, you will receive a commission that can go up to 70% and even 100% of the value of the purchase you’ve secured.
Why Do People Choose Affiliate Marketing?
It’s quite possible you know at least one person in your extended circle who’s dealt with Affiliate Marketing. Whether it would be amateur bloggers hoping for the best or serious entrepreneurs dedicated to becoming marketers, the fact of the matter is that people from all walks of life take up Affiliate Marketing, regardless of their background. There are a few very convincing reasons why:
1. No actual product or service is required of you;
2. You don’t deal with shipping, handling, or digital product delivery;
3. There’s no direct client communication or product support;
4. You don’t need to bother with after-purchase services.
Why? Because your job ends with redirecting visitors from your site to the vendors’ offers. You just have to make sure your advertising efforts and conversion methods would be enough to make people purchase the thing you’re affiliating for.
And then you get to receive your commission.
Sounds easy, right? Then why isn’t everyone involved in affiliate marketing? Many people underestimate the field and often crash and burn upon liftoff. I do hope you’re not one of these people.
How to Sell as an Affiliate?
This is one of the trickiest parts. You need to choose your niche before diving head-first into the industry.
You have limitless choices:
- Affiliate for goods from Amazon or other marketplaces with affiliate programs;
- Advocate for brands or retail stores with affiliate programs;
- Get on an affiliate network and become an affiliate for individual vendors.
All of these options require you to choose your niche so that you are clear and coherent about what you’re going to offer on your website or blog.
Advertising is your responsibility, but practice has shown that advertising niche products and services is more efficient than keeping up with a broader market.
If you have an interest in traveling, health & wellness, and Lego toys, for example, it’s better to separate those into different websites to give yourself a more professional appearance. As a specialist in one field, rather than a Jack of All Trades.
5 Key Elements of Affiliate Marketing
Even if you’ve managed to quickly determine your preferred niche, there are stills some basics you need to cover in order to have a strong start. And all revolve around one thing – putting yourself out there and establishing trust and connections with both advertisers and potential customers.
1. CREATE YOUR BLOG
To be an affiliate marketer you will need a website, a blog, or some sort of online presence for you to put your links on. Blogs and websites have proven most efficient in that department. Get a domain name, build a persona around yourself, even a brand, and create content that will convert people.
This is the part with most heavy-lifting. You will need a lot and compelling content to add regularly to your blog. That’s why most affiliate marketers become professional reviewers. It’s the most sought-after type of content when it comes to product promotions.
But do keep in mind that many people have tried to push scams for sale. That’s why people are quite careful when approaching review websites. Be as truthful as possible and don’t make outrageous claims and promises about any type of product or service.
If you let down visitors who’ve trusted you and purchased because of your recommendations, they might ask for a refund or even worse – a chargeback. That is something quite harmful to your reputation as an affiliate and it might make advertisers quite their relationship for you. Because you will be harming their reputation as well.
2. CREATE A COMPELLING NEWSLETTER
Create a lead magnet or offer another incentive for your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. Building an email list and using it to engage with your visitors, potential and current customers, will greatly improve your performance.
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate sales. It is also one of the best ways to engage with your target audience. That’s why you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of having an email strategy and different lists to target in different ways.
Email marketing and newsletters can be used for creating trust, providing useful information about your business and products, email sales, and much more. This is a versatile way to stay in touch and convert people.
3. SELECTING A WINNING PRODUCT
Choosing that will make a huge difference for you and your business. You need to carefully consider the niche you’re about to enter, what opportunities it provides, is it lucrative enough, and how strong is the competition.
If you enter a saturated niche, you will need a truly unique product. If there is no competition whatsoever, this means there’s no real demand for your products and it will be hard to find clients. You need to consider these aspects when choosing a good or service to offer, and then build your content around it.
4. SELECTING A RELIABLE PRODUCT
Correctly position yourself in a niche would not be enough. As an affiliate marketer, you will be promoting the products of other people, be it software, eBooks, or any other type of digital products.
If you cannot guarantee quality for you these products, it is quite likely you’ll fail. That’s why, as an affiliate, communicate constantly with the affiliate managers of the products. You can ask them for promotional materials, for samples of their products, for solutions to test yourself before introducing them to your audience.
5. CHOOSE THE BESTSELLERS
When it comes to affiliate marketing, there is an unlimited number of products you could promote. It can be hard to choose the top ones even if you’re clear about your niche. Here are some ideas about how you can do that:
1. Trust Your Affiliate Network – affiliate networks provide metrics that can help you discover the bestsellers, the most sought-after products, and their average performance.
2. Support the Newest – as an affiliate, you can choose whether to promote established products or new ones. Choosing the newest in your niche gives you the chance to present them to the public before others, scooping up the first sales.
3. Monitor Competitors – if your competitors are pushing certain products, there must be a reason for that. Don’t turn into a copycat, but keep a close eye on their work.
Becoming an affiliate marketer is not difficult. What is difficult is building your reputation and establishing a trustworthy business. You cannot achieve that without efforts. There are numerous tools and software solutions for affiliate marketing you can use. But if you go into that half-heartedly and think things will happen overnight, think again. This is one of the best ways to start an online business and set up a side income stream. But you have to work for it to start seeing the results.