Get started with affiliate marketing in 8 basic steps
If you are someone who likes talking about products that you normally use, affiliate marketing is a fantastic way for you to earn some side income. How does it work? Let’s say you are passionate about technology and write a lot about wearable devices. You can become an affiliate with companies that sell such devices. Write about the features of the product in detail, focused towards people who might not be able to necessarily understand the technical nuances of the product, and for each sale that you make when you refer people to the affiliate’s website, you will get a commission. The same is replicated across all industries.
Why should you be an affiliate marketer?
A lot of people enter the world of online earning through affiliate marketing as it is easy to start with. Here are some of the reasons why you should get into affiliate marketing:
You don’t have to store any inventory: Although you get your commissions from an e-commerce site, the onus of the product, packaging, and support is entirely upon the store and not on you.
Easy to start: The investment required to get into affiliate marketing is not much. Apart from the costs associated with buying a domain and hosting it, there is no other cost involved except for maybe a tool or two (such as benchmarking tools to test product performance, and the like) which would still not put a dent in your wallet. You can write the articles by yourself; if you think writing is not something up your alley, you can outsource the content to freelance writers.
Work from the comfort of home: You don’t need to have any special degree or skill set to do affiliate marketing, so you can work from anywhere. All you need is a laptop and the Internet.
So how do you get into the world of affiliate marketing? Say you’ve done your research well and have decided that affiliate marketing is definitely the stream of income you want to pursue. How then does one get started building a stable income source using affiliate marketing? The steps below are a great place to begin:
Decide what kind of business model you want
Affiliate marketers usually choose between a resource site and a review site for the type of content they intend to provide for their readers. A resource site contains all the information about products related to the industry and needs to be updated regularly so that it is top-of-mind for the customers. You post articles that generally talk about the industry, give overviews of new launches, talks about the changes in the industries, post how-to articles, and more.
A review site, on the other hand, focuses more on reviews of products and services related to the industry. The advantage of these review sites is that people usually check out these websites when they intend to make a purchase, so the possibility of someone using your link to make a purchase is much higher. One more advantage of review websites is that you don’t have to post updates regularly, instead of waiting for product launches in your sector to be able to truly capture readers with reviews for a product they might want.
Choose your niche
Before you get into the thick of things, you need to select a niche that you are comfortable with. It is best if you have some formal learning in it, but it is perfectly all right to be a newbie to the sector, as long as it is a topic that you like researching on and writing about. To be an affiliate marketer, you need your own platform – a website or a blog where you can post links and advertise your chosen products.
Choose the products & services in your niche
When you have finalized your niche, it is time for you to find products and services that you want to promote on your affiliate website. The kind of effort that you need to put on your website is directly proportional to the niche you choose.
Find affiliates to work with
The best way to engage and tie-up with affiliates is to build up a reputation by providing good content. Connect with bloggers in the same niche as yours, cross-promote your products, and build a relationship with them. You can find successful affiliates through forums and online platforms. Some of the most popular affiliate networks are Clickbank, Commission Junction, Amazon Affiliate Programme, and Linkshare, to name a few.
Bring visitors to your site
There is no use of having the best content on the planet if people don’t visit your affiliate website. You need to drive traffic to your affiliate website if you need to make commissions by recommending products. Give away free content on your website, offer a free consultation, add subscribers to your newsletter, and produce videos that offer a lot of value to visitors to encourage people to visit your website.
You can use paid advertising like Google AdWords, FB Ads, or Instagram ads to bring in traffic to the website as well or indulge in free advertising by using techniques like SEO, Email Marketing, and creating backlinks.
Build relationships with affiliates
One important thing about affiliate marketing – or doing any business on the Internet for that matter – is to have patience. This is why you need to be affiliated with other affiliate marketers as well on a personal basis as the journey can sometimes be lonely. Being a part of a community gives you courage and the confidence to face difficulties. Also, you can learn a lot when you interact with other marketers. Join forums like Digital Point and Warrior Forum where you get to interact with the best of the affiliate marketing community.
Write a PPC ad
PPC (pay-per-click) ads are an important tool for an affiliate marketer. You need to create a good ad to generate sales and increase your revenue. A good PPC ad should have the following:
- A clear problem statement that your product will solve.
- Keywords that will drive traffic
- A CTA (call-to-action) that will force users to click the button because they should feel that their problems are being solved with the help of your product
Be ready to work hard
Creating a passive source of income is not something that can be done easily. Learn everything that needs to be learnt to grow your business, and allocate your time wisely to creating good content. The monetary benefits will surely follow.
To learn from affiliate marketing, the first rule is to be patient. Without this virtue, it is going to be difficult to stay the path till you start seeing profits, as the learning curve can be quite steep in the initial days. However, make sure you have chosen the right product, built the correct website for such a product, and have a good lead generation strategy, and these things will propel you towards success.