I wonder if some of you have noticed, when you go to a website and a box pops up asking you to key in your email, or if you click a link on a website that redirects you somewhere, you notice something like an ID number in the URL which wouldn’t be there if you directly went to that website. These are all examples of affiliate marketing. I believe affiliate marketing has become quite popular lately as a way to earn money online but what exactly is affiliate marketing about?
Where you stand in the system
There are a few “entities” involved in the process of selling a product online.
- Merchants – These are the people who make the actual physical or digital product.
- Affiliate Network – These are the guys that affiliate marketers go to to find products to promote. An Affiliate Network is like a collection of affiliate offers.
- Affiliate – The people who help promote the products and earn a commision when they manage to make a sale.
Some terms you should be familiar with
Traffic – Refers to the amount of visits your website gets.
Conversion rate – The percentage of visits to your website that do what you want them to, like clicking on an affiliate link or clicking on an advertisement
Commission – How much an affiliate marketer gets paid when he makes a sale.
Bounce rate – The percentage of people who come to your website and leave after viewing only 1 page.
Affiliate Link – The link provided to affiliates to put up on their website, sales are made when a buyer makes a purchase using this link.
Click Through Rate – The percentage of visits who click on an affiliate’s link.
Two-Tier Affiliate Program – Refers to an affiliate being able to make a commission from the sales of affiliates that he or she recruited.
How does affiliate marketing work?
Based on all the terms above you should be able to put 2 and 2 together. Basically, affiliate networks are like the middle man, they give out affiliate links to people to sell the merchant’s products. Then affiliates will use those links to help promote these products. This isn’t always the case though, sometimes a product owner will have their own affiliate programs.
In summary, affiliate marketing is like a product owner hiring salesmen or saleswomen, and paying them a commission when they make a sale.
Should you become an affiliate?
Now that you’ve heard that affiliates are like salesmen or saleswomen, why would you want to become one? I mean, if you don’t plan on making sales offline why would you do it offline right. I’m here to tell you that it is very different.
Although the process is somewhat similar, as we all know the internet is a great place to promote products and this can make an affiliate’s life easier. Also do take note, as an affiliate you will need to use online marketing techniques, and the good point is usually these marketing schemes won’t stop.
What I mean is if you create a facebook page to promote a product for example, the facebook page doesn’t disappear and stays there forever, whereas if you were to go around asking people to buy your product in person you would have to keep doing it to keep making sales. This is the beauty of affiliate marketing and why I would recommend anyone who wants to have a second source of income to try it.
The benefits of becoming an affiliate
1. You can make money by doing something that you truly care about.
I’m fairly certain about this guys. I’ve seen many different niches around and there will definitely be affiliate programs for you regardless of whatever website you choose to create. This is where you get to express yourself and show your interest and knowledge to the world.
2. You work hard to make yourself rich.
How well your website performs really depends on how much effort you put into it. If you work on it everyday you will definitely see results sooner. In the case of your regular day job, you would be working hard and making your boss rich.
3. You can do this part time.
Even if I did say you need to work hard, it really is up to you. You can go slow or go fast there is no one to stop you. You are your own boss and you get to call the shots here. If you decide to take a break then go take a break. Want to work overtime? you will get rewarded for it.
4. Your website will help you make money.
This is for when you’ve established your website and have been working on it for awhile. All your hardwork will pay off because you will get tons of visitors everyday, and this means more sales ! You don’t even have to be online, you could be sleeping and still make a sale.
Where do I start?
Step 1 – Choose a niche
Well if you’re going to become an affiliate, you need to narrow it down and think which part of the market you want to target. A niche is a specific segment of the market. For example, your niche could be dog training or organic foods. You should choose something specific because if you’re too general there will be more competition, making it harder for you. Also, when choosing your niche, be sure to choose something you like and have decent knowledge on.
When choosing your niche you should ask yourself, will I be able to keep working on this topic, even if I don’t get paid? This is important because in most cases when you first start your website, you won’t see earnings straight away.
Step 2 – Build a website
There are other ways to be an affiliate, but I recommend you build your website. I honestly think your website is by far the best way to promote your products and interact with your audience. Your website will also open up opportunities for other marketing methods like social media or email marketing. This brings me back to my point stated above, your website will always be here, helping you get customers even while you’re not around. Of course this is when your website has become more established.
Step 3 – Get traffic
Without traffic you would have no sales, so this part is important. You will not see a huge amount of traffic immidietely thats for sure, but this is something you build up as you keep going.
Step 4 – Choose a program
Of course without any affiliate links how do you get your commission. You should always choose an affiliate program that’s related to your niche and website, not something that just pays a high commission. I would suggest choosing Amazon Associates, which is Amazon’s own affiliate program. Although the commission is considered low, but for someone starting out it may be easier to make a sale because Amazon is a trusted retailer. Also, if a visitor clicks on your Amazon link you will get paid for whatever that visitor buys within 24 hours, even if it’s not the product that you were originally promoting.
I may sound like I think highly of being an affiliate, but the reason is because I truly believe the ability to make money from something that you love is an amazing experience. I do want to share this with all of you as well. I know a lot of us have our own interests but are always told to go the safer route, maybe be a doctor or lawyer. I don’t want you to give up on doing what you like and enjoy which is why I’m sharing this post with you.
At the end of the day, it is your choice. If you do decide to go down this path, check out Wealthy Affiliate, I’m personally part of this program and this was the program that got me started. It is free to sign up and you get to create 2 free websites. You guys can test it out for yourself and see if affiliate marketing is for you.
I wish everyone reading this post all the best in chasing your dreams