Beginner’s Guide To Affiliate Marketing

Are you having a hard time making sales? Consider adding an affiliate program or find an affiliate program and start promoting products. 

In other words, through affiliate marketing, you earn an extra income when a recommendation converts to a sale. 

Affiliate is known to be one of the best passive incomes to mankind.

Products/services can be promoted with: 

  • Email
  • Social Media 
  • Website Links 

Indefinite amount. It ranges from $1 to ten thousand a month. Everyone is different but if you keep at it, you can make as much as Michelle from Making Sense of Cents. Michelle makes over $50,000 a month in affiliate marketing. 

Affiliate Marketing Structure

In every affiliate transaction, there are three parties involved; merchant, publisher, and customer.

  • The merchant is someone who offers products or services to the online market.  
  • The publisher/affiliate is someone who promotes the product or service to their specific audience. 
  • The customer is someone who is being advertised the product or service.

If you decide to go the merchant route, you’ll have to pay the publishers a percentage of the sales they make. In order to become a merchant you first need to have a product to sell. That’s where CustomCat comes in play. Sign up today and to get started with Print On Demand business. 

If you decide to go the publisher route, you will be compensated for the number of sales that were made through your promotion. Before you even start thinking about getting compensated, start reviewing products in your niche. There are a number of ways you can do so. A blog or youtube channel. Start publically talking about your favorite products. 

For example; take someone who enjoys the great outdoors and bouldering. That person is likely to be an all-things outdoor junkie. He may have favorite equipment, snacks or clothing. All of those things can be reviewed and recommended for monetary purposes. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert in your field. However you shouldn’t jump topics.  

Here is an example of an affiliate advertisement with a link and a description. 

How do I find affiliate programs?

Before you do so, you need to know the content and audience of your website before you start applying. 

To start off, here are the Top 14 Affiliate Marketing Website & Programs for 2019 or you can simply do a google search. Type in “Company Name + Affiliate Program”.

To join an affiliate program you have to go through the basic application process (information about your website, location, and traffic). 

Following are some of the most popular affiliate networks that you can join.

ShareaSale – One of the largest affiliate networks with many high-paying affiliate products for almost every category imaginable. 

Amazon Associates – Amazon is the world’s largest ecommerce store with millions of products. 

Which affiliate program should I join?

Join an affiliate program that is closely related to your niche. You don’t want to be partnering with irrelevant companies. You should join affiliate networks that have the products you want to promote.

During the application keep track of all your affiliates (accepted, rejected, pending). Simple Google Sheet will suffice. 

Keep a running sheet of how much money you have made to this date from affiliate programs. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Commission percentage – how much are you going to make from each sale?
  • Recurring commissions – can you earn commissions from repeat customers?
  • Geolocation the affiliate company operates in – does it match your audience’s location? Some programs have specific terms and conditions that vary from country to country.
  • How do you get paid – is it PayPal (one of the most common payment tools) or something else, like cash to your bank, or credit on a store or website?
  • How often you’re paid – weekly, monthly, etc.?
  • Promotional materials – what resources do they offer to help you promote their products or services?
  • Check a minimum threshold payment – that needs to be reached before getting paid. 

How to market your affiliate program?

  • Make Your Affiliate Program More Visible – include a link to your affiliate program on your website. 
  • Invite Influencers to Review Your Products – build long term relationships by letting them test your products first.  
  • Write Clear Terms of Your Program – offer clear and easy to understand commission structure and payout options.
  • Offer Attractive Commissions – Avoid offering low commissions as 5-10% unless your products are very costly, aim for 25-30%. 
  • Provide Marketing Materials – banners, articles and emails for the use of your affiliates.

Things you should keep in mind?

  • Always Disclose – Always disclose that you are using affiliate links. Consider adding a disclosure + privacy policy on your blog too. This percussion saves you from running into trouble.
  • Make Sure You Try the Product –  Do not try to sell products that you have never used! Your audience will see right through that.  
  • Add affiliate links to your TOP performing blog posts – Improve and monetize your top performing blog posts because they are likely bringing the majority of traffic to your website.
  • Include multiple links – Make sure to include links in at least 3 different places (beginning, middle, and the end of your blog post) for easy access.
  • Content is king – Aim to be helpful and compelling. Create timeless content.
  • Keep your audience in mind – keep the interests of your audience in mind when choosing a company.
  • Big Things Don’t Happen Overnight  – Use many different strategies to promote your affiliate links. 

Affiliate Marketing Don'ts

  • Don’t Spam  – Make sure your content is relevant to your audience. Publishing irrevalant content will give your brand a bad reputation and companies will become hesitant to work with you. 
  • Play By The Rules – Agree to terms of service and obey by their rules. You can always refer back to the playbook when you are unsure whether not to do something.
  • Avoid Being Sleazy Salesman  –  Educate, inspire and motivate your audience. Show them the value of the particular/product or service. 
  •  Don’t focus too much on profits – value always comes first! 

I hope this blog helped you to understand affiliate marketing in little more detail. If y you have any further questions, post them in comments below. I would be more than happy to discuss affiliate marketing in further details   

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