Thanks to the internet, there are now numerous ways of earning passive income. And one of the most popular ones is affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a form of outsourced selling, where brands look for people who are willing to promote their products and pay them a small commission for each sale they make.
The simplest affiliate marketing definition is the process through which you earn money by promoting other companies products.
The affiliate – the person promoting the products, only earns money in the form of a commission after a sale.
An affiliate marketer is very much like a commission sales representative. However, the difference is that the former promotes products on online platforms using affiliate links.
If you’re new to online affiliate marketing, this detailed guide will walk you through how to start a successful affiliate marketing business.
Table of Contents
What Is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work?
Online affiliate marketing is a business model where the affiliate is paid a commission for promoting another company’s products or services. For the affiliate marketing model to work, there must be:
The brand or merchant – This is the creator of the product and the owner of the product or service that needs to be sold
The affiliate – This is the person or company that promotes the product to the buyers. The affiliate marketer must come up with unique ways of convincing the buyers of the value of the product so that they can make a sale. They must also disclose to the buyer that they’ll receive a commission if the buyer buys a product through their recommended affiliate link.
The consumer or buyer – Affiliate marketing isn’t complete without the buyer or the consumer of the product. The affiliate markets the product or service to the consumer through online channels such as blogs, websites, or social media. If the consumer is convinced that the product is valuable, they will buy it by clicking the affiliate link recommended by the marketer.
Affiliate network – The affiliate network acts as the link between the product creator and the affiliate marketer. Examples of popular affiliate networks include ClickBank, Amazon Associate, and Commission Junction among others. If a creator uses an affiliate network to manage their affiliate program, then the marketer has to use the network to sell the products.
Now let’s look at how affiliate marketing works.
- The affiliate marketer joins an affiliate program
- The affiliate marketer promotes the merchant’s products on their social media page, website, or blog through an affiliate link
- An interested customer clicks on the link
- The link sends the customer to an affiliate network like Amazon or the merchant’s store
- The customer buys the product from the store or affiliate network
- The affiliate network confirms and records the purchase
- The merchant also confirms that the purchase was done through the affiliate’s unique link
- The affiliate is paid a commission for the sale
What Is High-Ticket Affiliate Marketing?
As mentioned earlier, most affiliate marketing programs pay their affiliate marketers a commission, which is often a small percentage of the sale. However, the commission rate varies depending on the merchant or the affiliate network.
Most affiliate marketers earn using the traditional form of affiliate marketing also referred to as low ticket affiliate marketing. The commission earned in this form of affiliate marketing is after the sale of low-ticket items, and it also depends on the number of customers visiting the marketer’s website. Thus, if your site has low traffic, you make little commission.
However, top affiliate marketers who earn good affiliate marketing salaries use high-ticket affiliate marketing.
So, what is high-ticket affiliate marketing?
High ticket affiliate marketing is the promotion of products that have high payouts on low sales.
These products that are referred to as high ticket items can earn you a commission of between $100 and $1000 or more per sale. This way, if you promote such items, you earn good money even when you make low sales. Examples of high ticket items include software, electronic items, and jewelry.
If you want to be a high-ticket affiliate, you should have a high influence in your industry such that you can convince buyers to purchase expensive products and services. Having a credible online presence can also help. For instance, if you are enjoying good Instagram growth in the form of many followers, likes, and comments, you’ll have an easier time convincing your followers to buy a high-ticket product.
Some examples of high ticket affiliate networks worth checking out include Fiverr, Authority Hacker, SEMrush, Kinsta, WP Engine, and Liquid Web.
How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing?
If you’re just starting as an affiliate marketer, you may not earn a lot of money right away.
However, don’t be discouraged, as it takes time to build a successful online marketing business.
Also, with the right knowledge, you can avoid some of the common challenges faced by newbie affiliate marketers.
The good news is that we have the perfect tips that can help you start making money from your affiliate marketing business.
1. Choose the Right Promotion Platform
As some affiliate marketers will tell you, it’s important to decide on the platform you’re going to use to promote your affiliate products. Some digital marketing platforms work better than others when it comes to affiliate marketing.
For instance, most affiliates have a website or a blog where they promote their products.
If you choose to use a website, ensure the site is appealing and easy to navigate. Also, ensure you share valuable, interesting, and SEO-optimized content on your site to increase conversions.
Some affiliates choose to try out a cross-channel promotional approach where they use multiple marketing channels. After some time, the affiliate will then decide which of the promotional platforms works best for their audience and concentrate on it.
If you decide to use this method, other platforms you can try out include:
- YouTube – YouTube is a great promotional platform if you know how to create compelling videos. Remember to optimize your YouTube videos for SEO if you want to drive traffic to your channel
- Email marketing – Email is a powerful tool for affiliate marketing, especially if you have an email subscription list.
- Social media – Many influencers are using social media to drive conversions for their affiliate products. Similarly, you can recommend your affiliate products to your audience if you have a large following on Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media channel.
2. Choose a Niche
Don’t be a jack of all trades. Select a specific category of products that you’re interested in as your affiliate niche.
An advantage of choosing something you’re interested in as a niche is that you’ll be consistent when it comes to producing content for your site. Even when sales are low, you won’t stop promoting your product. A niche can also help you attract a loyal customer base and also enable your content to rank higher on search engines.
Additionally, when choosing your niche, go for one that is less competitive but more specialized. Picking a niche will also require you to do a lot of research on products that people are buying online and what they’re saying about them.
3. Choose an Affiliate Network
As a beginner, it’s easier to join an affiliate network other than to collaborate directly with a merchant to promote their products. An affiliate network will connect you with product creators.
Also, most affiliate networks have numerous products you can choose from.
There are three types of affiliate programs.
- High paying with low sales volume – These programs are for high payout products that often have few buyers. For a beginner, it may be challenging to make good money in such a program, as you’ll be competing against experienced affiliates. Examples of high-paying low volume affiliate programs include ConvertKit, HubSpot, and AWeber.
- High paying with high sales volume – These affiliate programs have products that are in high demand, which also give high payouts. A good example of such a product is credit cards. Again, this is not the best program for beginners, as they attract highly experienced affiliate marketers.
- Low paying with high sales volume – These affiliate marketing programs have products that are in high demand but with low payouts. These programs are great for affiliates that are just starting out as they have lots of products and also give you payouts for the total value of the customer purchase and not just for the product you’ve promoted. Examples of low paying high volume sales affiliate programs include Amazon Associates and Commission Junction
4. Develop Quality Content for Your Site
Sharing quality content has many benefits. For instance, if you’re trying to gain real Instagram followers, sharing quality photos on the app will do the trick. This is also true for other social media sites.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, if the content you create doesn’t give value to your audience, then you’re likely to get very minimal traffic for your site, which translates to low sales.
Ensure your content solves a problem for your audience. Also, develop a rapport with your audience using engaging content.
If you’re writing reviews, be honest and only write reviews of products you have tested. This way, your followers will trust you, and you’ll build credibility for your site.
If you’re stuck on how to write valuable content for your audience, perform keyword research on Google. This will help you discover what your target market is talking about and give you topics you can use for your content.
5. Drive Traffic to Your Site
The main function of affiliate marketing is to make money. After developing quality content, the next thing you need to do is to drive traffic to your site. Some of the ways you can use to achieve this include:
- Paid ads – This involves using paid advertising to attract traffic. Although this method is costly, you are guaranteed that you’ll get traffic once you start using the paid ads
- Email marketing – You can build email lists that you can use to recommend products to your readers. You can also send them emails notifying them of product promotions you might have on your site.
- SEO – Search Engine Optimization involves optimizing your content so that it ranks high on search engine results. One way to rank high on search engines such as Google and YouTube is to use target keywords. Other methods you can use to improve your ranking include crafting quality content and link building.
6. Link Appropriately
In addition to having quality content and promoting your site, you also need to insert your affiliate links strategically. For instance, placing your link at the bottom of your blog post will earn you very few clicks. Also, you can’t put multiple links on the introduction part of your content, as readers will see this as spammy.
To help you link appropriately, here are a few tips you can use:
- Add links at the top of the content when possible
- Ensure the links are added in a way that makes sense in the content
- Combine links with callouts such as boxes, tables, and buttons to attract readers
How to Start Affiliate Marketing with No Money?
You shouldn’t let a lack of money stop you from starting an affiliate marketing business. If you’re prepared to work hard, it’s possible to make it as an affiliate even when you’re short of cash.
Here are tips that can get you started.
Join an Affiliate Network – There are hundreds of affiliate marketing networks you can join for free as a beginner. Examples of such networks include ClickBank, CJ Affiliate, Amazon associates, ShareASale, Rakuten, and Shopify.
Before joining any of these networks, ensure you:
- Have a good portfolio
- Understand the commission system of the network
- Understand the rules
- Get to know the program’s terms and conditions
Get Noticed – If you want to earn a high affiliate marketing salary, you’ve got to come up with ways for people to know and trust you. You can start by creating quality content around a niche that you’re passionate about. Consistently create valuable and engaging content, so you can establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
Also, build an online presence by being active on social media. Posting relevant content on social sites such as TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram will enable you to build a valuable audience. Remember to also contribute to online discussions and to be active in groups related to your niche. For instance, you can build your audience by posting interesting commentaries and thoughts on sites such as Reddit and Quora.
Try blogging – Having a blog makes it easier for you to earn affiliate income. With a blog, you’re at liberty to add affiliate links to your content, and you’ll also have a place where visitors can find you. You can set up a blog on free sites such as WordPress and Blogger. You can also start by writing a blog post on established free blogging sites such as Medium, Quora, Steemit, and Hubpages. Ensure you create great content if you want to attract good traffic.
Use review platforms – Writing honest reviews is another great way to promote your affiliate products. If you write quality, unbiased reviews on sites such as Medium, readers will notice and trust you. Ensure you give honest feedback about the product. The review should also have enough information to help the reader make an informed purchase decision.
Be consistent – Even if your content is great, people may not start buying from you immediately. You have to build trust with your target audience first. To gain the trust of your followers, be consistent with your content. Whether it’s posting review YouTube videos or answering questions on Quora, ensure you’re consistent.
Hopefully, you now know how you can start your online affiliate marketing business. Even if you don’t have money, it’s possible to be a successful affiliate marketer if you put in the time and work.
So, now that you have the knowledge you need to get started, it’s time for action.