What is affiliate marketing about? Affiliate marketing is one of the many ways you can monetize your blog, social media account or YouTube channel. Many affiliate marketers make a full-time income from affiliate sales alone. Read on to learn more about how affiliate marketing works and how you can get started in this lucrative business.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
If you’ve ever been on a blog and seen the term, you may be wondering, “What is affiliate marketing about?” Affiliate marketing starts with a business that produces a product or service. They have many ways of marketing their product, such as ads, but these types of marketing can be costly and do not necessarily return a profit.
Affiliate marketing is a win-win-win for businesses, marketers, and customers/followers. The affiliate marketer usually runs a blog, YouTube channel, social media account, or another channel that gets him or her in front of a lot of people.
Affiliate marketers join up with various businesses that sell products their followers may want. The business gives the marketer a unique link, and the marketer shares that link with his or her audience.
The link sets a cookie on the user’s browser once it is clicked. The cookie creates a window of anywhere from 24 hours to 30 days or more for the user to make a purchase.
If a follower uses the link and makes a purchase, the affiliate marketer gets a percent. There is no additional charge for the customer.
Everyone benefits from affiliate marketing. The business does not have to pay for advertising upfront. There are no decisions to be made about where and how to run ads. Companies can have an unlimited number of affiliate marketers helping to spread the word about their product across the internet.
Businesses also do not have to research to figure out where their customers are. The affiliate marketer already knows and is able to curate products for an audience that is prepared to buy.
The business does have to give the affiliate a percentage of its profits, but that is only once a sale has been made. They only have to pay once money has been made. The business does not have to risk losing money on an ad campaign that may or may not work.
For the affiliate marketer, there is little cost to get started. You may have to buy products to review, but you often do not have to. Affiliate marketing can be a form of passive income. That isn’t to say you don’t have to work. It can take a lot of work to get your content to rank on the search engines. But if you create an epic piece of content, you can make money off it for years to come.
While the affiliate marketer is working with a business, he or she has a say in which products to promote.
Customers can also get a lot from affiliate marketing. Ads are not particularly helpful for someone wanting to choose between two items to buy. But a blog post or YouTube video can help a buyer understand the product better and choose the best object to fit his or her needs.
Now that you understand a little more about how affiliate marketing works let’s discuss how to get started in affiliate marketing.
How to Get Started in Affiliate Marketing
You will hear many stories about people who got into affiliate marketing and were making six figures after the first year. While this is possible, it is not representative of the entire population of affiliates. You can be successful as an affiliate marketer, but it takes time and hard work. It is rare to be successful overnight.
The first step to becoming an affiliate marketer is to choose a niche. A niche is an area where you specialize, a topic where you have knowledge. It could be something like clean eating, running or lawn care. The best niches for affiliate marketing are ones that have a lot of products associated. For example, lawn care requires lots of equipment, and people interested in this niche want to get the best equipment.
The next step is to create a channel by which to reach your audience. This can be a blog, a YouTube channel or a social media outlet like Instagram. Any area where you can reach an audience, gain followers and that will allow you to share affiliate links. You can also use a combination of channels to reach even more people. It’s best to think of where your audience already is and the types of content they consume. For example, skateboarders may be more likely to be on YouTube rather than reading blogs.
You then want to start creating content. The idea is to create useful content that will get you ranked in Google. Think about the people in your niche and the kind of content they want to consume.
Once you have a number of people following you, you can then start using affiliate links. Find different companies in your niche that offer affiliate commissions and sign up for their programs. Be sure to read the fine print. Some companies offer higher commissions than others. Software and digital products tend to offer good commissions.
Best Ways to Make Money As an Affiliate Marketer
There are many types of content you can create that will help you make money through affiliate marketing. One of the best ways is through product reviews. You simply pick a product and review it on your site or channel. People who are close to making a purchase often look up reviews.
There are a few types of product reviews you can do. You can review a single product, do a comparison review, or create a list of the top products for a specific need. It is best to do a mix of all three.
In addition to product reviews, you also want to create informational content. This builds trust with your readers, and Google will often rank sites higher with a mix of informational and affiliate content.
Affiliate Marketing Strategies
As your affiliate marketing business grows, you can implement more advanced strategies to keep making money. You can build an email list to keep driving traffic back to your channel.
Try to review a wide array of products. If you review big-ticket products, you only need to sell a few items to turn a decent product. Big-ticket items are a harder sell, though. Less expensive products are easier to sell, but you have to sell a lot to make a good profit. Selling a bit of both will give you your best chances.
As you get more traffic, companies may work with you to offer exclusive deals, making your links even more appealing.
You can also expand your niche as your content grows in popularity. For example, you may be in the hiking niche. You could expand to include camping or other outdoor activities, giving you a more extensive range of products to promote.
Affiliate marketing is still one of the best ways to make money online. It is especially suitable for those who are new to blogging, social media and video content. Affiliate marketing is also an excellent springboard to diversifying your income. As you track sales, you can get an idea of the type of products your audience wants. You can use this information to create your own products and turn even more of a profit.