Affiliate Marketing is a type of online marketing in which a business awards affiliates for each visitor or customer who; visits their site, buys a commodity advertised or requests for a certain service.
As an affiliate, you partner with a business or company to help promote their services or products by use of a link on your site. Each time a customer does an action with the particular link (for instance: clicks or purchases the commodity) a commission is awarded to you (the affiliate) having been the link between the buyer and the seller.
There are four main core players.
Merchant – the retailer or brand
Network – Contains offers for the affiliate and deals with the payment details
Publisher – The affiliate
Affiliate marketing has mutual benefits for the core players; as an affiliate you become happy after earning a commission, the merchant becomes happy having made a new sale and the customer becomes happy having learnt about a necessary product.
Methods used by affiliates
Regular advertising methods
Organic search engine optimization (SEO)
Paid search engine marketing (Pay per click)
Publishing reviews of products and services.
How Affiliate Marketing works.
1) You must have a website, blog or an online presence where you interact with your audience
2) Go ahead and choose a company for partnership wisely (merchant). You can search for “companies that offer affiliate programs”.
3) The company should have products and services that correspond with your site.
4) Join an affiliate program and you will automatically become an affiliate/associate/partner/internet market.
5) A unique affiliate code will be provided in the form of a text link, banner or other forms of creative copies to place on your website so as to refer traffic to their site.
6) You can also decide to market by; writing a post about the product or service, promote on social media or mention it in your email newsletter without forgetting to include the affiliate link.
7) When visitors click on this link from your website, they get redirected to the target site.
8) If the interested visitor buys a product, clicks on the link or requests for a service, a commission is given to the affiliate.
9) The sellers track your performance through your affiliate ID and the affiliate software
A payout of your accumulated earnings is rewarded after a specified period of time. This often happens when it reaches a certain amount (commonly 100$)
Apart from selling there are other forms used:-
Pay per click: You get paid for each redirect made to the target site from your affiliate site. A popular PPC program like Google AdSense just requires one to sign up and setup then you will be provided a snippet code to paste onto your site. Google will read your site and match the keywords in your posts with advertisers that want those target words and ads will automatically pop up on your site.
Pay per Lead/Cost per action: You get paid once your referred visitors provide their contact information on the target site after filling a simple contact form, participating in a survey, giving an email address or after subscribing.
Pay per sale: The merchant pays you a commission after a purchase is done.
Cost per pageview: You place the advertisement on your site and you earn a specified amount for every 1000 page views on your site. After each 1000 page views, you gain some amount thus the more the page views the more the amount you will get after the specified time.
Reasons to engage in affiliate marketing.
The seller takes care of the shipping and storage of products
The seller is the one who deals with customer support and settles the complaints.
Online marketing is cheap and you don’t have to worry about production cost, physical business or hire employees.
There are no charges needed so as to join affiliate programs.
Due to its diversity, it has a global market and you can reach many people all over the world.
You can work from anywhere, at home or at work.
As long as your marketing skills are good, you can earn income even in your absence (passive income).
Things to consider when engaging in affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing may seem easy but that’s not the case, you must have a plan and strategy. Forget about the myth that you will get rich overnight at the comfort of your sleep. In order to have a positive outcome, you must have good marketing skills and know ways to promote products.
1) Choose few relevant products
Do not register with too many different affiliate programs and try to promote all the products. Your site will look very messy and any visitor, who comes to your site and sees the general look, can easily get irritated and leave your site. Even if the main idea of your website is promotion don’t overlook the fact that the structure of your site also matters.
2) Use several ways to generate traffic to your site.
The more traffic you have, the more the chances of having your interested visitors visit the target site. You don’t have to settle for just having the ads on your site only; you can tap into other traffic sources and promote your products. Google Adwords can be used to drive targeted traffic to a sales page. This can be done by making an ad in your Adwords account and use your affiliate link in the target page URL of the ad.
3) Research on the demand of products
The product you choose impacts the sales you are going to make. Make sure your product of promotion will interest visitors who come to your site. For instance; promoting hotels on a school’s website is not appropriate, instead promote textbooks or tutorials. If you have a lot of traffic to your site, you can conduct a survey that will help you realize the interests of your audience.
4) Know new methods and techniques to use.
Every day new ideas are generated, new techniques are gotten. Stay current with the new market trends and techniques to stay on top and not to be left behind.
5) Be fond of using helpful tools.
You should research on helpful tools to use in your affiliate marketing.
6) Choose a suitable merchant
Be careful when choosing a company to promote products for. Do a background research to know how they handle customers, the validity of their products, if they are trustworthy partners, their credibility, customer support/service and their genuineness. In promoting a product you must give it good opinions that will entice a customer to buy the product in the target site. However, if the product doesn’t reach the expectations of the customer, he/she will not trust you again and may never come back to your site again.
Only promote products you are familiar with and you are confident about.
7) Establish good relationship with your audience
Establish trust with your audience or readers. In this case, you should make sure that you promote quality products. If you promote low-quality products, you will lose your audience and it will ruin your reputation and brand.
Don’t forget to:-
- Inform your readers when using affiliate links.
- Look for the best affiliate deal, that suite’s your niche.
- Be keen on the terms and conditions of the programs.
- Due to the diversity of affiliate marketing, you can become an affiliate of large companies and promote their products. For instance Amazon, E-bay
- Have the advertisement within a post and not alone on the sidebar.
- Use an image for your affiliate links.
- Create tools I use page.
Choosing affiliate products or services to promote
Take note of affiliate products others in your niche are using. Have a look at how they showcase the products, their posts, and their general outlook.
Think of a product or service that you like and go to the respective website and look for affiliate programs they offer (mostly in the footer section). They include; affiliates, affiliate programs, referral programs.
Search for general affiliate programs for your area of interest. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get one immediately.
Choose a product that will help people solve a problem and address a certain fear.
Using a blog to promote products
Affiliate marketing works best on a platform where there is a good relationship between the readers and the blogger. If a trustworthy relationship is formed, a reader may easily be confident about the product advertised and easily take an action.
In order to be successful in the usage of your blog, make sure the content of your site blends with the products and you can have a section specifically for reviews.
Regularly take surveys to see whether your visitors are fine with the advertisements or are getting irritated.
Not each kind of blog can engage in affiliate marketing because some blogs don’t attract audiences who are in a buying mood.
Establish a good relationship with other bloggers, share tips and hints and know what works and what doesn’t. In this way, you will get strategies to use.
You may be interested in learning about advantages and disadvantages of affiliate marketing.