Why do I have to write about a subject almost beaten to death on the internet?
Your assumption is right, I guess you ask?
What is affiliate marketing and how does it work is a topic that has been treated a million times on several authority websites on the worldwide-web. Most especially – super affiliate marketers in the field.
But from experience, there is never an ending to learning. Especially when it comes to the internet and technology. Everything seems to be changing too fast here that we are at a point in our life-time where we need updates to almost everything regularly.
The way things were done a year ago may not be exactly how it is done today. And definitely, there will be a need to find better ways of doing the same thing in a newer style in the future.
While I was researching the same topic using the search engines. I noticed most web pages that treated this subject were published four, five years ago. Some were too advance and didn’t approach it from a real beginner’s level.
So I decided to bring something of freshness, uniqueness, and quality of this topic. Hopefully, someone out there will benefits immensely from reading it.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
In a simple term.
Affiliate marketing is an online business model where you promotes other people’s product/services in return for a commission. Or percentage of the total sales purchased through a unique affiliate code or URL given to you.
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based business. You only earn when sale(s) is made or leads generated for the merchant. This is very different from contextual advertising programs such as Google Adsense which allows you to earn a small commission on each qualified clicks on banner/text ads on your blog.
In affiliate marketing, you only get rewarded for results like when a sale is made or leads generated.
In the affiliate marketing definition above, I use the word “online” for a purpose. Even in the physical world of brick and mortar, the business of affiliate marketing does exist too.
I once fully participated in it.
Yes, I do affiliate marketing in the physical world for a period of about five years or more before dabbling into this online of a thing. In the real world, affiliate marketing exists in many forms and deals.
Here you don’t need an affiliate code, tracking ID or link to direct a prospect to the merchant product/offer page. What you need to do is to find a potential buyer. Someone who already is in buying mode but doesn’t know exactly where to purchase the goods or is skeptical of his buying decision.
Find this person, convince him or her to buy from your partner (the merchant). Once the deal is closed, you earn from the actual product or service sales.
How the commission is calculated in the physical world of affiliate marketing is a bit different from online affiliate marketing.
In the physical world, you are allowed to negotiate with the merchant on your terms and condition before the commencement of the business. In some types of a deal like in real estate, your earnings may be determined by a predefined percentage of the actual sales. %10 for an asset above a million bucks, and %5 for asset below a million.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Works?
Affiliate marketing involves four (4) parties to make for smooth transactions of the program:
- The merchant.
- Affiliate marketing network company.
- The affiliate (you – sometimes referred to as the publisher).
- And the consumer (the paying customer).
Here is how these four interconnected links work together to ensure transparency, accountability, and profits oriented business – win-win for everyone.
The first step is for you (the affiliate) to find relevant, high in-demand affiliate products/services through an affiliate network company or directly on the merchant website.
Affiliate network company is responsible for managing the merchant affiliate program in order to free these merchants from handling risk associate task that comes along with affiliates managements:
- Tracking affiliate ID.
- Marketing tools.
- Affiliate report, etc.
These affiliate network companies in most cases don’t get involved in product delivery. Their primary duty is the management of affiliates. Such as affiliate registration, tracking URL, promotional tools, traffic reports, clicks reports, payment options, etc.
If a potential buyer clicks on your affiliate URL, it gets redirected to the merchant website where he gains access to the product sales page, shopping cart, payment options, etc.
How to Find Relevant Affiliate Products to Promotes?
The success of your affiliate marketing campaign largely depends on the relevancy of the product/services you’re promoting to your target audience.
It doesn’t bring any good promoting weight loss product on a search engine optimization blog expects for ads program like Adsense where the number of clicks is what matters and anyone can just click out of curiosity.
The best I can tell you in regard to finding reliable affiliate products/services to promotes on your blog is to sign up with an affiliate network program company. An affiliate network company that has hundreds or even thousands of merchants running their affiliate programs through this affiliate network company.
Let’s take Shareasale Affiliate Network Company for a case study.
You sign up with Shareasale – which is an affiliate network program company. Shareasale has over hundreds of merchants with over 4,000 plus products/services accessible to affiliates marketer upon merchant approval.
Since Shareasale is an affiliate network company, you will need to sign up individually for every merchant you wish to promotes his/her products/services. This can be done right there on the Shareasale website. In most cases, you won’t need to navigate to the merchant website to do this.
After submitting your affiliate sign up form. The merchant may approve your application automatically. But in some cases, it might need a bit of your marketing plan and website URL to see if your website fits in with their affiliate program.
One of the advantages of registering with affiliate network companies such as Shareasale is that you receive all your affiliate earnings from merchants you’ve joined through ShareaSale and made profits from in one central affiliate dashboard.
This makes it super easy to quickly reach the payout threshold in a quick time. Since you have the opportunity to join several affiliate programs and promote many products and services with your affiliate earnings being paid into one account.
What this means is that you can promote Wp Engine Affiliate program which earns you $200 on every affiliate sale you made. Also, you can promote the TOP10 Ware affiliate product which can earn you $109.90 in affiliate commission from a single sale. And have both commissions paid through your ShareaSale affiliate account.
You don’t have to go through to Wp Engine on their website to receive your affiliate earning, or visit the Link-Assistant website to request for your affiliate commission.
Just right there on your Shareasale affiliate payment dashboard. Every of your affiliate commissions will be displayed irrespective of the number of affiliate programs you’ve joined through the ShareASale affiliate network.
Now, one of the most frequent and disturbing question I always receive from newbie or beginners’ attempting to try their luck with affiliate marketing is…
How do I get Credited For a Sale – How Does Merchant Knows The Sale is From My Website?
This is a very interesting question and one that needs a bit of explanation.
I wasn’t so sure myself when I first started with affiliate marketing that this whole thing is real. That people are not just deceived believing in something that doesn’t exist.
My fear was that how on earth will this merchant know the sale is from my website? I might just be sending customers that buy from the merchant and never get rewarded for my hard work?
Don’t worry, and thanks to your affiliate ID.
When you register with an affiliate program, you get a unique code, URL or let’s call it “ID” that represents you as an affiliate for that particular merchant’s product/services.
When users click on this affiliate code, URL or ID, your affiliate ID is stored on the user’s browser in a text file known as “cookie”. This cookie stayed in the browser for a period of time such as 30 days, 45 days, 60 days, 120 days, etc. This makes it possible to track a sale to your affiliate ID even if the customer didn’t buy the moment he clicked your affiliate link.
Although, the cookie can be cleared manually from the browser. Such as when the user reformats his computer, cleared all cookies manually, etc.
In such a case, it will be impossible to track the sale to your affiliate ID if the user later buys from the merchant.
The lifetime of a cookie depends on the merchant cookie terms. This is not something you control on your part.
These cookies help track the sales to you. This is because it has your unique affiliate ID and tells the merchant where the sales traffic originated from.
Joining an affiliate program is one thing, getting the code or URL for promoting a particular product/services of that merchant is another thing. This set of code, URL or ID is unique and exclusive for you only. No two affiliate marketers shared the same affiliate codes or ID.
This has never happened!
It is through your affiliate code, URL or ID you start promoting the affiliate product/services. Take a look at the TOP10 ware affiliate cookie lifetime below. It lasted for 90 days.
How to Make Money From Affiliate Marketing.
Affiliate marketing can become a real business. A business that makes you significant money annually if approached with the mindset of a businessman. The more you put into making it work for you. The more your chances of making decent money from it.
It is like any real business, if you don’t give it the required attention needed, you won’t make much out of it.
Apart from offline blog coaching to local audiences that find me through this blog and make the decision of coming down for the one-on-one blog coaching. Affiliate marketing has been the #1 source of income for this blog since inception. I have made some good money from it and still doing it.
One of the best strategies that have helped me make some money from affiliate marketing is review posts. These are posts published to promote the launch of discount sales. Especially during specific times like black Friday, Summer sales, Xmas sales, etc.
This strategy has worked well backed with targeted paid content marketing. I have great success each time I do this and better return on investment.
Facebook paid advertising has worked really well for promoting the content to a target audience. And Reddit paid advertising hasn’t done badly too.
Asides from these marketing channels, search engine traffic has been better. It seems to be the overall leader in the percentage of traffic that ended up buying through my affiliate links on this blog.
Also, I like to promote products or services that commissions are in a range of $100 and above. This is because it’s easier and quicker to reach $500 and above in affiliate commission with less than five sales than it is with products that earn you $27 affiliate commissions.
Well, you may think it will be easier to sell products under $50 vs selling products that sell $500 and above.
But I tell you the truth, it is the same for selling a product that goes for $50 and a product that sells for $1000.
It’s all about knowing what you’re supposed to do and making sure you’re doing it right. If you can’t get buyers for a product that sells for $1000. I bet if you can achieve anything meaningful with a product that sells for $50.
Though, it will take more investment on your part to look good selling high-ticket offers than it is to sell low-ticket offers. But it is all about making sure you’re doing the right thing.
Here are other ways you can make money from affiliate marketing.
- Join a reliable affiliate program.
- Promotes quality high in-demand Product.
- Build a niche-specific website – this is huge if done right.
- Build a list of active Subscribers – this is very important.
- Write quality honest product review – be honest.
- Take advantage of sales promo, discount codes, summer sales, etc.
- Offer extra freebies to your readers.
- Give away a bonus to intending buyers.
- Give away flyers with your affiliate signature on it.
Why you Should Consider Affiliate Marketing to Other Forms of Blog Monetizing Strategies.
#1. Doesn’t Require Huge Traffic.
You don’t need a gazillion volume of traffic to make money from affiliate marketing. What you need most is high-quality targeted traffic.
The kind of traffic that is looking for what you’re promoting.
With regular 500 unique daily visitors, you can make good money from affiliate marketing compared to other known monetization methods like Google Adsense. With AdSense, it requires thousands of unique visitors to earn significant income from it.
#2. You don’t Need Specialized Knowledge.
To start marketing other people’s products online as an affiliate, you don’t need to own any qualified degree in marketing. If you so desire to start promoting health-related products. You don’t need to be a qualified Doctor, nutritionist or whatever.
What you need most with affiliate marketing is the readiness to give in what it takes to make things happen. The right strategies and tactics to discover the right affiliate product. And effective marketing tactics to get this product in front of targeted buyers.
#3. Zero Startup Cost.
Affiliate marketing is the reality of starting with zero or empty pocket business on the internet. You can even start without a website or blog.
Yes, you can.
Many smart marketers have recorded tremendous success with forum marketing, social media promotions and other content marketing channels besides having a blog.
Having a website for your affiliate marketing business is going professionally on building a long-term business. An online portal where people can easily locate you for business transactions at any time of the day.
In our next blog update, I will discuss ways you can start affiliate marketing without a website and still make good money from it.
#4. Better Than Sponsored Post.
Yes, affiliate marketing is better than publishing sponsored posts on your blog. Unlike sponsored posts where you get paid once for your work, affiliate marketing provides the opportunity to earn continuously from your one-time publishing effort.
Here is an example of what am talking about.
In the image above, the content that brought in that commission still has the potentials of making more money now and in the future. This is because the product discussed in the post is an evergreen product. An essential product required to start an online business.
If I had considered taking $50 for a sponsored post back then to publish the same post. That would have been the end of it. Only the advertiser will keep enjoying the long-term benefits.
#5. You’re Not Selling Your Readers For a Penny.
Unlike contextual advertising, where the number of clicks determines your earnings. Affiliate marketing doesn’t work like that.
In affiliate marketing, you offer quality content product review/recommendation that’s beneficial to your readers. Also giving them an opportunity to access the product features. The benefits, and vital information that could better enhance their buying decision.
#6. You Earn Passive Income.
If done right, affiliate marketing can consistently earn you passive income on a regular basis from your one-time effort. A review post you publish today has the potential to earn your referral commission for as long as that post remains relevant and attracts the targeted audience.
And if you’re promoting recurring affiliate products, you keep earning commission for as long as the customer remains subscribed.
#7. You Don’t Need to Create a Product.
Creating products/services that sell is not an easy task, affiliate marketing saves you from this. All you need to do is to find other people’s products/services that are already gaining attention. Then you promote it as an affiliate.
You’re not involved in product creation, management, delivery, handling customer complaints, etc.
All you need to do is to presell the affiliate product by publishing a review post. A blog post that best explains the benefits of purchasing the product to your audience.
Affiliate marketing is a serious business and one that can earn you a lifetime opportunity to live your dream life. But like any other real business. It requires your utmost attention and readiness to give it what it takes to make it worked.
Let’s call it a day here.
Stay around for our next updates on this same topic where I discuss how to run a successful affiliate marketing business without a website.