When it comes to affiliate marketing, lots of people think it’s a process of earning commissions by promoting other people’s or company’s products.
While affiliate marketing can seem easy — just find a product you love, promote it, and earn a piece of profit off each sale you make — there are actually a few moving parts you need to a monitor which I will be segmenting to seven (7) parts.
How To Start Affiliate Marketing
- Select a platform and niche.
- Build an active audience.
- Sign up for an affiliate program.
- Select products to promote.
- Create remarkable content that promotes your affiliate products.
- Optimize and track.
- Optimize and track.
1. Select a platform and niche.
To be an affiliate, you need to have influence. Modify a website or blog that focuses on a specific niche and that is the best way to establish influence. Whether you focus on finance, personal health, business, or even cats, a niched blog or website will help you gain influence and build an active audience.
Affiliate marketers build audiences through blogs (on WordPress or HubSpot),via newsletters, or even on YouTube or other social media channels.
2. Build an active audience.
A large, engaged active audience is a highly valuable asset for any blog or website. Having people who read, view, and engage with your content can help you make quite much of affiliate income.
The best way to build an audience is to first establish who your target audience is, and you can find your target audience by researching competitors, monitoring your traffic, and conducting first-hand research by talking to subscribers and customers.
Once you establish this group, grow and cultivate your loyal online audience through targeted content and emails. Give your audience a reason to read and engage with your content, and they’ll find a reason to purchase your recommended products, too.
3. Sign up for an affiliate program.
The finest way to get started with affiliate marketing is by signing up for an affiliate program like the Amazon Associates. After signing up, you will get an affiliate link that contains a unique ID. You can then use this link on your web pages or contents.
Generally, there are no upfront costs when it comes to joining an affiliate program, but your variable ongoing costs will depend on your method of promoting the products. Maybe you choose to outsource content or run ads, those are costs that will come out of your pocket.
4. Select products to promote.
Selecting the right product to promote, working with the right company, fostering relationships, and keeping your contents up to date are all necessary criteria of excelling at affiliate marketing.
According to Pat Flynn, one of the pioneers of creating passive income through providing value to his audience, there are two important rules when it comes to affiliate marketing:
- Only recommend products as an affiliate that you are strongly familiar with. If there are doubts in the product and you do not feel it will help people, do not promote it.
- Do not tell anyone to directly buy a product. Always recommend products based on your experience and in the context of what you have done.
When it comes to selecting the right products, David Gonzalez — founder of an affiliate management agency, suggests that you should think about these three components when choosing a product to promote:
Your audience: Will the product resonate with them and make them grateful you promoted it?
Product quality & value: Would you advocate your best friend buying it?
Profitability: Does the offer have highly competitive conversions & payouts?
After reading these recommendations, do any products come to mind?
5. Create remarkable content that promotes your affiliate products.
To get the best success with affiliate marketing, you need to create genuine and remarkable contents that relatedly can promotes your chosen products. Write a roundup blog post of your favorite products. Create comparison charts that discuss the merits of similar products. Interview other users and fans of the products to showcase different opinions.
Regardless of what kind of content you create, ensure it features authentic reviews and mentions of your affiliate products. Avoid discussing and promoting products you haven’t used yourself.
6. Optimize and track.
Whenever your website visitor clicks on your unique affiliate link, a cookie is inserted in their browser to track actions.
When they make a transaction that is a qualified action (could be a sale or lead form submission, depending on the terms of the program), the merchant is able to record this action and attribute it to you as an affiliate so they can make a payout.
You should track your own affiliate content, too, to see what has performed well and what you can improve and promote. Understanding what content resonates best with your audience will show you what to focus on for future affiliate marketing opportunities.
7. Get paid.
There are varieties of structures when it comes to payout, which varies based on affiliate program terms.
Commission payouts by the company are usually given on a monthly basis, but this varies depending on the affiliate program terms.
It could be a weekly payout or a monthly payment for all the leads or sales you’ve made.
You’ll want to pay attention to the payout methods when selecting an affiliate program to join, which ultimately depends on the goals you have.
You might want to understand the commission method of the company, merchant or product creator. Are you searching for a commission per sale or commission per lead generated? Are you searching for a recurring commission or a one-off payment?
Base on your goals, this will affect which product you will opt in for, how you plan to promote the product as well as how much time and resources you want to invest.
For example, if you choose to promote your content via paid ads, then that’s a cost you have to account for. You will have to compare how much you’ve spent to promote each piece of content or to generate each purchase against how much commission you’re getting for each referred sale.
Or, if you have a blog and website, then you will have to pay for hosting. In this case, this should be a flat fee spread out across all your referred sale.
Use this marketing plan generator to calculate how much you need to invest to get a basic marketing plan up and running.