Maybe sometimes, browsing through your blogs or favorite sites, you have seen different bloggers talking about affiliate marketing and the best strategies to implement it. But for most people who are just starting in this Internet world, these words are a total mystery.
What is affiliate marketing, what is it for, and how can you benefit from it and put it to work? Here I will explain everything you need to know about affiliate marketing and how to get the most out of it.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing generates income online through, for example, a website or blog by recommending products from other people or companies.
How it works:
- You have a blog or a website where you talk about a specific topic, and you want to generate income with it.
- You look for affiliate programs with products related to your topic.
- You register in one or more of these programs, where they provide you with a unique link that you must use to place on your website or blog.
- You place your affiliate link on your website or blog (banners in the columns of your website or links with text in an article where you recommend that product).
- Visitors come to your site and, when they click on your affiliate link, they are redirected to the merchant’s website.
- After clicking on your link, if a visitor views the merchant’s site and makes a purchase, the merchant will be notified, and you will receive a commission on the total amount of that purchase.
- At any time, you will be able to enter the seller’s page and see a report about the customer’s actions.
- At the end of the month, the merchant will tally the purchases made with your link and pay you commissions on those sales.
It is a win-win system: the merchant gets to sell his product, the visitor to your website or blog buys an item that interests him, and you get a commission for recommending a good product to your readers.
The significant advantages of affiliate marketing:
Affiliate marketing has several advantages, but one of the main ones is that you will not have to invest time and money in creating a product that can be very successful, or it can be a failure, and nobody buys it.
That will be done by the company that markets the item itself, and you won’t have to worry about taking care of customers if they have any problems with the product.
So, there are zero risks: if you promote and recommend something, but nobody buys it, you will just have to find another product to recommend, and you won’t have spent money or time creating an item that your readers don’t like.
Besides, you will be able to sell the products you want – you are the one who chooses what to promote – you won’t need to have stock of those products, nor a warehouse to store them, and the commissions can be perfect if you know how to do it.
What do you need to be an affiliate marketer?
After reading the basics of this method of making money online, you probably wonder what things you need to get started.
First of all, you will need to have a website or an updated blog where you can somehow recommend those affiliate products by placing your link.
Then, you should create appropriate content for your affiliate product: to write a review, an article, a guide. You can create an article about the product you recommend and place your affiliate link there for your readers to buy it on a blog. Your opinion must be honest, or you will lose credibility with your audience. If it’s challenging for you to write articles yourself, you can find a high-quality copywriter or an essay helper and ask him for help. You can also place ads in the sidebars with your links.
The next step is to find affiliate programs:
Through Google: A simple way to search for these types of programs is to go to Google and type into the search engine this:
“Affiliates + the product or theme of your blog “
That way, you will get results from different companies that have affiliate networks.
Searching for a known company: The other method is to look for a company or brand you already have in mind and visit their website to see if they have an affiliate program.
The best thing to do is define your blog or website’s theme and think about what products you could recommend related to it. What brands are the first ones that come to your mind?
Whatever they are, write them down and go to their websites to see affiliate groups. This section is usually at the bottom of each company’s page (if they have an affiliate program) under the name “Affiliates” or “Affiliate Program”.
Process of registration on a chosen platform:
- You sign up on your chosen platform: fill out the form with the data they ask for and submit it.
- Some affiliate programs will approve your application immediately, and in others, you will have to wait a couple of days for them to contact you by email.
- Once registered, they will usually provide you with the resources you need to promote their products, such as the affiliate link, a code to put on your website, images…
- You place those resources on your page or blog (image with a link in a bar of your site, the affiliate link in an article where you recommend that product) so that your visitors click on them and, if they want, buy the item.
- On that company’s or program’s website, you will have a section where you can see how many clicks your link or links have received and how many people have purchased the product. In most cases, this data does not appear right away but is displayed after a couple of weeks.
- Once you have earned commissions, you can collect them by requesting payment.
Real affiliate programs do not ask for money. If you are asked to pay for registration to join an affiliate program, or you are asked to pay a monthly fee, it is a scam. The registration to join as an affiliate of a company or brand is always free, and you are the only one who should be paid if you make a sale; you don’t have to pay anyone. There is also no membership fee that you have to pay to sign up for legitimate affiliate programs. Also, don’t trust those systems that tell you that you have to buy a pre-designed web page that they will sell you to promote their products.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, stay away because they are scams to get your money.
Tips to succeed with affiliate marketing
1. Recommend only products related to your subject matter
You should only recommend products that are related to your website or blog. If you talk about cooking, recommend utensils, courses, and ingredients related to food. If you talk about cars, recommend online stores for car accessories or courses related to motoring.
2. Your credibility is the key
If you don’t want to lose the trust of your readers and new visitors, the best thing to do is to promote only products that you have tried or that you know and know that have good quality.
You cannot promote products that you know nothing about and write articles saying how wonderful they are because, with that, all you will be doing is misleading people to get money.
Your reputation is the most valuable thing you have. So I guess you don’t want to lose it and ruin it forever, right?
3. Your own experience is the key to success
Affiliate marketing is, after all, just like any other business. And what’s the best way to sell a product to a customer? By showing them that you know the item well because you use it yourself.
Who would you be more willing to buy something from someone who only recommends a product to you or someone who tells you the benefits of that item because he or she uses it regularly and knows that it has a good quality?