Affiliate Marketing For Beginners 101. An easy way to understand Affiliate Marketing.
Affiliate marketing has opened a lot of money-making opportunities for aspiring online entrepreneurs. There are tons of offers you can promote. You can literally choose from thousands of products, from physical to digital across hundreds of niches. And network marketers are all too familiar with the concept since it involves commission payouts.
When it comes to promoting an affiliate site, article marketing is still a great way to drive traffic. An article marketing campaign doesn’t come at a high cost. It can be totally free if you can write articles yourself. If you can write articles for a few hours a day, you can have a successful affiliate marketing business.
As an affiliate marketer, you are not burdened with keeping track of inventory, overhead costs, handling shipping or returns, and human resource management. The model works for both affiliate marketers and merchants and it’s an effective strategy to drive up sales.
What exactly is an affiliate program?
An affiliate program is essentially a method for merchants to pay affiliates whenever they refer a customer or client that results in a sale. Amazon is one example of a big company running an affiliate program through its Amazon Associates Program.
Depending on the merchant or vendor, affiliates are provided with banners, ads, buttons, images and web copy to promote an affiliate program. Some merchants keep regular contact with their affiliates through newsletters – to update them on promotions and coupons they could offer customers to increase sales.
Affiliate marketers will earn a referral fee or commission each time their affiliate link turns into sales for the merchant. The amount can vary depending on the product, merchant or affiliate network. Generally, physical products have a lower commission percentage than digital goods.
Text links or pay per click links are commonly used with affiliate marketing, but there are email and content marketing campaigns that integrate with affiliate marketing as well.
Choosing the right products to promote
Since you can promote almost anything, you should be careful and take the time to consider your options. Take a look at a company’s background and review their history with other affiliates. A good merchant will have a good track record of paying affiliates on time and also handle inquiries promptly.
You should only work with a product or service that you believe in. Because if it turns out to be a bad product or terrible service, people would be reluctant to trust your recommendations in the future.
Affiliate marketing programs can have different commission structures and compensation plans. For some companies, they offer residual income once a referral turns into a customer. This usually occurs with merchants that offer recurring payments for their customers – such as a membership site or hosting packages.
If your affiliate site revolves around topics that include customers making recurring payments, then there is a high chance you can find an affiliate program with residual commissions.
The alternative to earning recurring affiliate commissions is to promote programs with a high affiliate payout. Some affiliate programs even offer 100% commission on the front-end. For those who are familiar with multi-level marketing, some affiliate programs might operate in a similar structure if you are interested in that route.
Remember to do your due diligence and research the right program before your dive-in. You could be wasting months of your time promoting the wrong program if you skip this step.
Other things you should be looking out for
On top of affiliate programs with higher commissions, you want to look out for commission programs that will convert well as well. Programs with longer duration cookies will have a better chance to convert, along with programs that have a good sales funnel.
Big companies like Amway, Nu Skin and Nature’s Sunshine have been around for decades and with good reason. It’s because people earn residual and multi-level income with them. So when you want to do the same, then pick similar types of programs. Your income will start to accumulate monthly instead of you just getting one-time sales.
What affiliate programs are available?
Back in the ’90s, affiliate programs were sorely lacking. And many of them weren’t actually family-friendly content.
Today, affiliate programs are big business. As mentioned before, notable names like Amazon have a popular affiliate program. Along with Google with their Adsense program, Apple iTunes, pc software companies, registrars and hosting companies, security software, and eBay’s partner network.
Big affiliate networks like Commission Junction, ShareASale and MaxBounty are a few more examples of how big the affiliate marketing space is. With thousands of affiliate programs under one network alone.
Choosing an affiliate program that compliments the theme of your site is a no brainer. But if you don’t have one, writing articles and linking to an affiliate link directly from the article is another way to go about it.
How to become an affiliate?
Signing up to be an affiliate is easy. It’s just a matter of going to a site or network and entering your details such as your website and niche. Once approved, you’ll get a unique affiliate ID that you can use to promote your affiliate links. To drive traffic to these affiliate links, you can include it in articles and submit it to article directories or databases.
Some affiliate networks like ClickBank deal only in digital goods. Once you become an affiliate, you can get a unique hop link for each digital good you intend to promote. Making it easy to promote multiple products in one marketing campaign.
Affiliate links tend to contain odd characters or numbers and a bunch of random strings. It’s not advisable to advertise these links as it is. What you should do instead is get a domain name that is niche-related to the product you intend to promote—and afterward redirecting that link to your affiliate offer.
This way, people trust in what you offer. Since you don’t blatantly look like you’re an affiliate. Later on down the road, you can build a full-fledged website promoting various offers on your site, with multiple affiliate links.
Getting affiliate sales without a website
Building a website can be daunting if you’re not ready to do that, then as mentioned above, you can drive traffic writing and promoting your affiliate link through article directories. By spending the time to publish lots of quality articles, you can have lots of clicks to your affiliate link.
The key is to publish consistently and to multiple article directories. However, to avoid being seen as spammy, only post unique articles to each list. Some popular ones are E zine Articles, Go articles, Technorati and Examiner, to name a few.
One tip for writing compelling and engaging articles is to research the topic thoroughly. Don’t just rewrite sentences and rehash old information. Add in new statistics or new bits of information to make your article stand out. People are more likely to click your link if they enjoy reading it.
Affiliate programs can be very lucrative; that’s without a doubt. The critical thing to remember is to choose the right one. Research on the commission structure, product quality, and how to present it to your audience. Only then will you be able to reap the rewards when you promote your affiliate program or when you write your product reviews.