What Is Affiliate Marketing?
If you’re not familiar with affiliate marketing, here’s how it works:
- Use your blog to promote products and services.
- In your article, include specific connections to those products/services.
- You get a portion of the income from the merchant when your readers click those links (or buy things after hitting those links).
- To put it another way, affiliate marketing is similar to commission sales. The distinction is that you’re using your blog entries to drive traffic and leads to the merchant’s or advertiser’s website.
If this sounds too good to be true, keep in mind that this is not a get-rich-quick scam, and making money with this technique WILL require effort. Our book “How to Succeed in Affiliate Marketing” showcases the most important steps in the affiliate marketing process, and goes more into depth from this blog.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Just like with any digital marketing platform, everything is not perfect and clean like we would like it to be.
It’s a fantastic method to earn money while you sleep.
Your affiliate links and blog entries will be working in the background while you’re at your full-time job. You could be looking at a passive income cash cow if you use the proper blend of SEO and compelling, honest content.
You don’t need to have any prior marketing experience.
To become an affiliate, you don’t need any prior marketing expertise, however some SEO understanding and writing skills never hurt.
It’s something you can do in your spare time.
You can start making money with just a little effort and money up front (building up a website, getting set up with affiliate programs, and creating content with your affiliate links).
You have little to no control over the offers, products, or services that are made available to you.
You don’t have to deal with items (creation, distribution, and sales), but you also don’t have control over what you’re promoting.
It has the potential to be competitive.
Because affiliate marketing is very simple, there will be a slew of other affiliates vying for clicks and leads, some of whom will have years of experience.
Scams do exist.
Scams and fraudulent affiliate schemes should be avoided by affiliate marketers. These are hard to spot, but you need to ensure you get a payout for all your hard effort.
Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: How to Get Started
Here’s a little-known affiliate marketing secret: if you can become the link between your growing audience and the items and services they require to thrive, you may supplement your income or even make a full-time living from your recommendations.
All you have to do is ask yourself, “How can I serve my audience?”
The real reason this works is as follows:
People are looking for coordination. When faced with a choice, people require assistance in organizing and comprehending all of the possibilities.
They WANT someone with a voice and experience to cut through the clutter and identify the best goods for them, saving them time and allowing them to obtain results faster.
Choose a Niche
The start to most digital marketing, is knowing what you want to promote. Choosing a niche that you are comfortable with may lead to better results, since you know the topic inside and out. You may not get good results from something you are necessarily comfortable with, so break out of your comfort zone. These zone outside of your comfort offer the greatest chances at success. In our book “The Road to Niches” we talk about discovering profitable niches and stratagem to keep your niche profitable. Knowing your niche inside and out will assist you in creating masterful content. Choose niches that provide value, earn trust, and only promote products you wholeheartedly stand behind.
Find an Affiliate Program That Works For You
There are many different places you could go to find affiliate marketing opportunities. If you Google search “company name affiliate marketing program,” you will see that most companies have an affiliate program. Many large named companies such as Amazon, Google Workspace, and Microsoft 365 offer affiliate marketing programs. Most of these companies require you to have a minimum number of social media followers or a certain flow of website traffic for them to consider you as a potential marketer. So it is very important to note the requirements the company sets, before setting your desires on a specific company.
Going back the one of the drawbacks of affiliate marketing, I want to mention sites whose purpose is solely generating affiliate links. These sites can be misleading. You may yield hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars affiliate marketing for companies through these third-party site, but you may not see one cent of it. You really need to do your marketing research to market for reputable companies.
Many articles on how to get started with affiliate marketing recommend a similar set of steps:
- Choose a company and a product that you’d like to advertise.
- Become an affiliate by filling out the form below.
- Get your one-of-a-kind affiliate link and paste it into your website.
- When a visitor to your website clicks on the link, they are taken to a third-party website.
- If the visitor makes a purchase, you will be paid a commission based on the item’s value.
These methods work—you can’t make money with affiliate marketing unless you first locate a product to promote!
But, more significantly, you should not engage in affiliate marketing without first earning your audience’s confidence. Always put the audience first.
As a result, here’s how I approach effective online affiliate marketing:
- To begin, establish a rapport with your target audience.
- Then, find a product that would be a good fit for your target market.
- Next, use and test the product to confirm that it is actually something worth suggesting to your audience—you don’t wind up exploiting their trust.
- Use a blog article or case study on your website or YouTube channel to show your audience that the product delivers on its promises.
- Then—and only then!—you can begin promoting the product to your audience and, presumably, begin earning affiliate commissions when they buy it.
This strategy puts your audience’s needs first, putting you on the road to affiliate marketing success.
Put Your Audience First & Build Trust
Each month, affiliate marketing helps me earn over $10,000 in affiliate commissions. Because I follow two main rules, my affiliate income has increased:
- I only recommend goods that I am well-versed in. Ideally, these are goods that I’ve used before and that have assisted me in achieving a goal. I will not advocate a product if I am not confident in it or believe it would benefit others.
- I never tell somebody to buy a thing directly. I always make recommendations based on my personal experience and what I’ve done or am doing with the product.
What are the benefits of obeying these two rules?
My audience understands that I only want them to buy the tools they need, when they need them, by doing these two things. They are aware that I have used and trust the products I promote.
They also understand that there is no pressure because I am simply interested in their best interests.
In our book “Build Your Audience: The Simple Blueprint to Building a Raving Audience in Your Niche,” we discuss how to relate your content to your audience. It is all about trust, as stated before. Within this publication, we go through the many different facets involved in creating and growing your audience.
Many affiliate marketers choose to ignore these principles, which I believe is why affiliate marketing has such a terrible connotation. We can do better, therefore I’m hoping you’ll join me in adhering to these guidelines.
Before beginning affiliate marketing, every affiliate marketer must grasp the value of building and retaining trust with their audience.
Thankfully, trust is built into every step of my strategy for getting started.
Five Building Blocks of Successful Affiliate Marketing
In my experience, there are five main building blocks that make up a successful affiliate marketer. There are five components that make up your brand’s overall experience:
- The connections you make with your audience
- Products that you choose to promote
- Your personal experience with those products
- The evidence you provide that these goods operate
- Pitch or “sell” such products to your target market.
Much like baking a cake, if one of these ingredients are missing, it will completely change the end results. It takes time. This process will not happen over night, but it will guarantee you success if you are consistent.
Check Out our New e-Book: The Affiliate Marketing Blueprint – How to Get Rich Selling Other People’s Products