Tips for making money using affiliate marketing
To many people, having a full time job is not in the books. I was actually one of those people until just recently. To me, living the good life meant that I could work from home and still have time to do my chores and hit the gym in time for my son to arrive from school. As a content writer, I was able to achieve that due to the nature of my work and my flexible hours. But content writing is not the only gig you can pull off from your laptop. Another great one is affiliate marketing.
So what is affiliate marketing? Does it actually work? Can you use it to make a living? We will answer these questions and more in this light and loaded read.
What is affiliate marketing?
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is a type of marketing that enables you to make money online through recommending products and/or services and earning a commission. It is based on the model of revenue sharing where revenues made are collected, measured and distributed. Moreover, it is a win-win situation for merchants and sellers since both sides can make money by increasing awareness, exposure, sales and thus profits.
There are 4 major players in most affiliate programs: 1) The merchant, 2) The publisher (affiliate), 3) The network and 4) The customer.
Below we demonstrate the role each of these players play in affiliate marketing game!
The merchant is the main player in the affiliate chain. He is someone who creates the product and/or service and puts it up for sale. Moroever, the merchant can be a blogger, entrepreneur or an individual representing a vendor, a brand or a retailer.
The affiliate is the person who promotes the merchant’s product or service for a specified commission. The main role the affiliate plays is using his marketing skills to convey the benefits and features of the merchant’s offerings in order to entice customers to buy them. The commission varies depending on the type of product/service sold as well as the parameters set by the merchants.
The network acts as an intermediary between the merchant and the affiliate. These include big names such as Google AdSense, Amazon, ClickBank and the likes. The main goal of using these networks is facilitating processes such as payments and delivery. Moreover, they can further help the affiliates plan, execute and measure their marketing efforts.
The consumer is the final link in the chain. When the consumer decides to click the affiliate’s product link and go to the merchant’s page to buy the product, this is when the cycle is completed. It is worth mentioning here that the affiliate usually has a ‘cookie duration‘ to earn a commission on the products/services he sells.
Why is affiliate marketing effective?
If executed properly, affiliate marketing can be a very lucrative online practice. It is both effective and inexpensive and a great way to generate traffic and sales. Actually, in some cases this type of marketing can prove to be more effective than traditional marketing as it offers the merchants the chance to pay when the sale is done rather than pay and pray for results. Moreover, it offers merchants, affiliates and marketers the chance to:
- Earn passive income.
- Make a good profession.
- Increase page rank and website traffic.
- New tools for enhancing marketing efforts.
Who can be an affiliate marketers?
In reality, just about anyone can get into the game and become an affiliate marketer. However, here is how different people can make the best out of it:
- Students: Offers them a quick and easy way to earn some extra cash while they are doing what they do best: spending most of their time online! All they need is an internet connection, a blog or a website, a Facebook page or group, an Instagram account and relevant content.
- Bloggers: For many bloggers and influencers, affiliate marketing is the life line they depend on. Moreover, with a significant number of followers, their work is already cut out for them.
- Entrepreneurs: For budding entrepreneurs, affiliate marketing could be the main source of income and also a part time gig as it is a cost-effective marketing tactic to promote products and increase exposure.
- Brands: An effective way to increase online presence and reach a wider and more global audience.
How to get the best results?
As a merchant, to get the best results out of affiliate marketing, you need to do an intensive research about winning products/services. Then you need to collect feedback about your choice. The next step is developing the product and finding affiliates to market it.
As an affiliate, you need to choose the type of product you will market. Create a blog or a website to use for your marketing efforts. Sign up for an affiliate program then create relevant content to back up your marketing efforts. Your content can include product reviews, unboxing videos, comparison videos, how-to tutorials as well as discounts and deals. Finally, you need to grow your business using email lists, PPC advertising, social media and webinars.
What do you think of affiliate marketing? Have you tried it before or do you believe it’s a scam? Let’s have a discussion about this topic in the comment section below!