How to become an affiliate marketer | The Ultimate Guide
The world is going digital when it comes to making money, and one of the big deals of this current age is affiliate marketing. A lot o young men and women are venturing into affiliate marketing; however, before you embark on the journey of being an affiliate marketer, you must understand what affiliate marketing is and every nook and cranny of it.
To make the journey easier, I have all you need to know about affiliate marketing in this article, with nothing left out. Although understanding fully requires your keen attention to read every bit of this article to avoid missing out on important things.
- 1 What is Affiliate Marketing?
- 2 Who is an Affiliate Marketer?
- 3 Is Affiliate Marketing Easy?
- 4 Why do affiliate marketing?
- 5 How does Affiliate Marketing work?
- 6 How do affiliate marketers make money?
- 7 How much does it cost to start affiliate marketing?
- 8 How to Get started With Affiliate marketing.
- 9 How to decide what Affiliate program to join
- 10 What are the top affiliate networks?
- 11 Here is a list of some other great affiliate marketing networks
What is Affiliate Marketing?
One of the most frequent asked questions is what exactly is affiliate marketing?. What does it entail? There are a lot of resources out there that could confuse you about what exactly affiliate marketing is, but worry less; I will hold your hands and explain what it is.
Firstly, for every product, know that there must be a seller and a buyer. However, do not forget that there is also a producer. Regardless, producers have no income without sellers( marketers).
Marketers are those who get products from either other marketers or end-users. Every product aims to get to the end-users(customers), and this is what marketers do. In some cases, producers are also marketers. On the contrary, producers are not always marketers.
When an individual sells a product to another man and receives a percentage of the product sold, it is known as affiliate marketing. It could be physical products or digital products. So, affiliate marketing is advertising other people’s products in return for a small commission for each sale made.
Who is an Affiliate Marketer?
The truth is, many individuals are into affiliate marketing, and they don’t even know. For instance, if you convince a student to enrol in a tutorial centre and receive a commission from the payment, you are simply an affiliate marketer.
An affiliate marketer is a person that advertises other people’s products in return for a commission on each sale made. The beautiful thing about affiliate marketing is that you can do it alongside other jobs, either a 9-5 or as a student, Youth corps member, or civil servant. It is flexible for all career paths.
Is Affiliate Marketing Easy?
A very important tool for doing anything is your mindset. Nothing is easy. However, your mindset towards what you do or want to do would determine if it will be easy for you or not. We say something is easy because we enjoy doing it and have a positive mindset towards its conversion. Affiliate marketing is one of the best sources of passive income, you can earn while you are asleep, but it is not an easy get-rich-quick income model. Some the of the tasks you would need to get done as an affiliate marketer include;
- Products, web traffic patterns, and follower interests research.
- Consistent engagement with the products and brand networks of interest.
- Hours of maintaining a relationship with readers or followers who purchase products through affiliate links.
- Understanding and using search engine optimisation and social media marketing to attract new followers and generate additional income consistently.
Why do affiliate marketing?
There are various reasons why you should consider doing affiliate marketing. Here is a list of some of the reasons.
1. Low cost and risks
Starting a business requires high costs for products, employees, space renting, etc. This makes a business risk because you are not certain of its conversion. On the other hand, affiliate marketing does not need huge capital. All you need is just your smartness and very little money for training. It is advisable to learn from professionals as it also lowers your rate. So, even if it doesn’t work, you have nothing to lose. Rather, you have added knowledge on different skills.
2. Excellent model for passive income.
Passive income requires minimum or no labour to earn and maintain. It is mostly referred to as the income you make while asleep. Affiliate marketing is a perfect model for passive income. With affiliate marketing, you can earn while you sleep. By investing an interest amount of time into advertisement and marketing, you would get returns on that time as customers purchase products over the following days and weeks. This is quite interesting because you receive money for your work long after you have concluded it. It also equips you with essential skills, such as marketing skills, interpersonal relationship skills, etc.
3. Easy to scale
You could advertise, promote products from different companies, and earn commissions from each sale made with affiliate marketing. It offers you the potential to scale your earnings without extra help significantly. You can introduce your audience to new products and, on the other hand, advertise additional products while you have your existing work still generating revenue in the background. You will sell no product as an affiliate marketer if you have not built trust with your audience so far. It is also advisable to sell or recommend products you have personally used. It is easier to be a better marketer of a product we have used because you would feel connected with the product more.
You can earn immensely from the comfort of your home through affiliate marketing, so if you are not the office type, you can certainly consider affiliate marketing. All it requires is to launch ads or campaigns, and you will receive revenue from the products that sellers create. You can do this without even getting out of your bed. It allows you to set your own goals, redirect your path when you feel so inclined, choose the products that interest you, and even determine your hours.
5. Time and Quality based reward
As a highly reputable organisation worker, you have to deliver quality, sometimes within a time frame, and you could even be summoned after office hours. Still, as an affiliate marketer, you get paid based on time and quality. You get all the energy you put into it. The more time you spend doing it, the more the reward you receive.
6. Earning while you Learn
With affiliate marketing, you will be exposed to many skills such as marketing, designs, selling, and Copywriting, every necessary skill you need to thrive in this age. Alongside all the skills mentioned above, affiliate marketing would also broaden your network.
You will get to meet some people that could be of great relevance to your career.
How does Affiliate Marketing work?
Affiliate marketing sells other people’s products and gets a payment percentage. This implies that the more you sell, the more you earn, and there can be numerous affiliate marketers for a product.
So, to make sales of each affiliate marketer traceable, there is a unique link for each affiliate marketer given by the merchant of each product to be sold.
So you get a commission on any sales made through your link. Here is how the link works, If you make a campaign for any product with your affiliate link, a small file called a cookie gets stored on your device when someone clicks that link.
The cookie helps the merchant attribute the sales to the right person. It also holds an expiry date, and you get paid even if the buyer delayed their purchase.
Here is how it works.
If you make a post, design or campaign about a Photo camera with your affiliate link included, a reader comes across your post, gets interested, and decides to purchase it. The reader clicks the link, and it directs the reader to the product on amazon. When the buyer was about to pay for the product, they got distracted. Then much later, he goes back to amazon to make the purchase. Since the person is already shopping on amazon, then decides to shop for other things. The good news is that when the buyer clicked on your link earlier, a cookie got stored on the buyer’s device, and beaches amazon has a 24h-hr cookie duration. You get compensated for all of the products shopped within 24-hrs, even though you promoted just one.
The commission rate depends on the company and the offer.
How do affiliate marketers make money?
Affiliate marketing has an undeniable draw for those looking to make additional income online. Affiliate Marketing income spans a long spectrum. Some could make six figures in a year, while some could make hundreds of bucks in a week: the larger your network, the more money you make. However, you must know how an affiliate marketer gets paid.
Different payment models depend on the affiliate program you choose to promote. It could be referred to as the price, payout, and others. Irrespective of what it is called, the payment model tells you what goals you will get paid for.
Five common ways affiliate marketers get paid.
1. Pay per sale.
This is the standard and well-known affiliate marketing structure. In this structure, the merchant pays the affiliate marketer a percentage of the sales price after the customer has purchased the product due to the strategies engaged by the affiliate marketer. This implies that promoted products must be purchased before receiving compensation from the sale.
2. Pay per lead.
This is a more complex structure compared to the former. In this structure, the affiliate gets compensated based on the conversion of leads. This could be bringing traffic to the merchant’s website to complete the desired action, such as signing up for a product trial, signing up for a newsletter, e.t.c.
3. Pay per click.
This system is very rare; you get paid on every click of your affiliate link with this payout structure. Big merchants mostly use this to build brand awareness. Here, customers do not need to buy or sign up for anything. You get paid based on the increase in Web traffic.
How much does it cost to start affiliate marketing?
To be an affiliate marketer, the first thing to do is build traffic. You need to know what to do and how much it costs. Now that you understand the basics of affiliate marketing, you will know how much money you need to start as an affiliate marketer.
The first thing you need to do is sign up to an affiliate network or program to choose an offer. However, this does not come with a cost but needs proper research and preparation. This sometimes comes with a delay as some traffic networks may have restrictive requirements for who they accept as marketers.
The next step is signing up to a traffic source, where you do your campaigns to reach more people. This also doesn’t come with any fees. Still, you might have to make a deposit and definitely, that’s the money that will go into your learning, building and developing your marketing strategy.
To start, all you need is an offer, a traffic source and an affiliate marketing budget for testing. These are the essential things you need to make your first campaign.
How to Get started With Affiliate marketing.
To get started as an affiliate, here is a step by step guide to follow.
1. Pick your platform and method
Affiliate Marketing, just like other business models, requires dedication, consistency, discipline and hard work. This first step includes the platform you want to build your audience around. There are various marketing ideas you can choose from based on different methods.
These methods include Niche topics and review sites, courses, events, workshops, digital content etc.
All you are doing here is to draw in an audience to your products, so you draw in the audience by creating content that will resonate with the target audience. Irrespective of which are going for authenticity and audience building, you should not neglect two critical steps. Some of the platforms used by marketers include Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Tilton, blogging and many more. Ensure you find out which of these platforms you use best and understand better to pick which to use. The conversion rate would be faster and easier if you use a more comfortable platform.
2. Decide your Niche and audience
When you want to choose a niche, go for something you are passionate about and well knowledgeable about. It makes you more connected with your audience and gives you a strong authority. Your potential customers would resonate better with your content and also helps you evaluate the product or brand you want to advertise.
Narrowing down yo choosing a particular niche makes it easier for potential customers to remember you, as you would be known for that thing, unlike when you do not have a niche. Know your audience, and understand why they stick with you so that you have a proper idea of how to maintain your audience. Some of the popular affiliate niches include:
- Personal finance
- Health and fitness
- Making money online.
3. Find your product
Here, you pitch the solution to the problem of your audience. This is why you must know your audience very well and know what they genuinely want so that you can pitch the right products to them. Not getting this right could hinder your success and diminish your credibility. Some affiliate marketplace includes affiliate future, Avantlink Clickbank, amazon, shopping e.t.c.
You could also reach out directly to a merchant of a great product.
4. Choose your affiliate marketing program/ Network.
The intermediary between the merchant and the marketer is the affiliate network. Merchants can sign up to create products on these platforms, which could be physical or digital products, and then marketers also sign up to advertise products of their choice.
Examples of affiliate networks include Amazon associates, ShareAsale, Clickbank, e.t.c.
5. Promote your affiliate links
With the above steps, use your content to promote your links. Here are some tips to promote your links faster
- Pay for sponsored ads.
- Make use of deals, sales, and coupons to attract customers
- Make use of video content.
- Review products and services
How to decide what Affiliate program to join
Working with an affiliate program depends on what works best for you.
Here are some tips to consider when choosing an affiliate program to work with.
1. Choose programs that fit best into our Niche
Finding products that are related to your content is essential for success. However, choose networks with enough credibility for the products you want to advertise.
This is such that when your audience needs products in your niche, they trust the network only to sell an outstanding product. Choosing the wrong network might be a disaster for your affiliate marketing journey. Also, be creative. For instance, if you write content on car care, you should not just limit yourself to selling car products. You could also promote car insurance, care race vacations and so on.
2. Choose an affiliate network that is preferred by your target audience.
Whatever affiliate program you promote, your target audience must desire it. So, you have to extensively study and understand your target audience to know what platform they prefer and are more comfortable with.
3. Commissions and earnings per click.
Now that you know the kind of products you want to promote, you need to search for networks that will give you good returns. Products with a high commission rate might have low sales, while products with high sales may have little commission. You have to be careful about the networks you choose to work with.
4. Choose a network/product with high credibility
Merchants all have to start their businesses, but it is preferable to work with long-established vendors with a good reputation and high traffic. Please do your research and make sure they do tick all the above requirements.
5. Network/ Merchant support
Working with merchants/ Networks that give outstanding support can distinguish between a good or poor experience. Problems can occur, and knowing you have support from the network would keep your mind at rest, keeping you less worried. Support can be offered in several ways depending on the size of the vendor, from a dedicated account manager to live chat or email support.
What are the top affiliate networks?
1. Amazon associates
Amazon is one of the most popular online shopping platforms, and you are likely to get anything you want to shop for there.
They have a cookie life of 24hrs. Amazon associates get a commission between 1-10%, depending on the category of the product. One of the advantages of affiliating with amazon is that people are already shopping there and love it. They also have a high conversion rate, and because the product selection is so vast, it fits most kinds of businesses.
Elementor is a dynamic drag-and-drop website builder used to create more than 7% of all the world’s websites with a cookie life of 45 days and 50% commission. With hundreds of widgets, integrations, website templates, and design tools, Elementor users can customise and scale their WordPress website-building process without writing a single line of code, which makes it one of the best to consider.
AWeber has a commission rate of 30% recurring and a cookie life of one year. This affiliate network has been the autoresponder of choice for over one million businesses and entrepreneurs since 1998. It’s a great tool for newsletter and email drip campaigns.
Fiverr has a few products you might promote on your website or blog. Some of those products are;
- Fiverr (the freelance marketplace with digital services for everything from marketing to tech)
- The Fiverr Pro (access to hand-vetted talent trusted by major brands)
- Fiverr Learn (courses for freelancers and businesses looking to expand their skills).
Here are the commission rates of $15-50 for Fiverr CPA, $10 CPA + 10% RevShare for Fiverr Hybrid or 30% of every Fiverr Learn course order. It also has a cookie life of 30days.
HubSpot’s mission is to help millions of organisations grow better. HubSpot’s award-winning CRM platform consists of Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, CMS Hub, and Operations Hub, and a powerful free CRM.
Hubspot gives thousands of companies the tools they need to manage the customer experience, from awareness to advocacy.
Hubspot has a commission rate of 15% recurring or 100% of the first month’s revenue and a cookie life of 90days.
When you affiliate with HubSpot, you have the choice to choose between a 15% regular rate for up to one year or a flat rate corresponding to 100% of the first month’s revenue.
Here is a list of some other great affiliate marketing networks
1. Sage Financials
9. WP Engine
15. Hammacher Schlemmer
17 eBay Partner Network
21. BH Cosmetics
Affiliate marketing is a long-term game of content promotions. And you can choose to do it passively or actively, but one thing is for certain it generates a form of passive income if you do it right. However, Learning how to become an affiliate marketer is a straightforward way to monetise your content and earn passive income. With the right partnerships, marketing tools, and strategy, you can make money while sharing the products you love with an engaged audience. I hope this post will get you started with your affiliate marketing venture.