Who wants to wake up in the small hours of the morning, drive to your office in terrible traffic, and read through dozens of email messages before you get released back to gridlock traffic at 5 pm (if you're lucky)? Instead of going through the work grind Monday through Friday, for at least 40 hours a week, why not make money at all hours of the day?
You could do this if you start a passive income stream called affiliate marketing. This particular tactic propels sales to the next level and generates a lot of revenue online. Both affiliate marketers and brands find the marketing method to be really effective. As a result, the push away from less traditional marketing campaigns has definitely paid off in the long run. For example:
- Over 80 percent of brands and 80 percent of publishers use some sort of affiliate marketing. These high percentages will increase as spending on this type of marketing tactic will continue
- Every year, spending on affiliate marketing increases by more than 10 percent. By 2020, affiliate marketers will spend over 6 billion dollars
- 62 percent of content marketing costs went towards traditional marketing tactics. However, it gets three times the results of regular marketing methods
- Amazon offers its affiliates up to 10 percent of their product revenue. Depending on the circumstances, Amazon affiliates can increase their passive income by a large margin
- An affiliate marketer known as the “Millionaire Mentor” made over $7 million in retailer sales in just two months
- What Exactly Is Affiliate Marketing?
- How Exactly Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
- How Exactly Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?
- Why Should I Be An Affiliate Marketer?
- Affiliate Marketing Channels
- How To Become a Successful Affiliate Marketer
- What Are The Top Trends in Affiliate Marketing?
- What Strategies Should I Use In An Affiliate Marketing Campaign?
What Exactly Is Affiliate Marketing?
It's a process by which you, the affiliate, earns money for marketing the products of a company or person. First, you'll look for a product that you like. You will then promote this same product on your website, blog, or through other means. From every sale that you make, you will receive a percentage of the profits. Affiliate links on your website or blog track the sales from one site to another.
How Exactly Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
The reason that affiliate marketing works is that it spreads the job of product marketing between the seller and the affiliate. Affiliate marketing uses the abilities of different parties to create a great marketing strategy. At the same time, it provides all involved parties with some of the profits. To make this particular method work, you must involve three people or groups:
- The product creators
- The affiliate
- The customer
We will now explain how these three parties combine their roles in order to make a successful affiliate marketing campaign.
The Product Creators
The product creator acts as a merchant, vendor, or retailer that has a product that they want to sell. The products you can sell can be anything from physical objects to services like hair care tutorials. One of the upsides that the seller can experience from getting affiliates to sell their products or services is that they don't have to be actively involved in the advertising. However, they could involve themselves in this process if they want and get a larger share of the profits as a result.
Either individuals or companies can act as the affiliate. Affiliates market the products or services of a seller in a way that will get potential customers to pay attention. The aim of affiliates is to promote the product that persuades people of its value, which could convince them to make a purchase. If you do turn a website or blog visitor into a customer, you will receive a percentage of the profits.
Much of the time, affiliates will only need to market to a very specific market. Your advertising will reflect the interests of your audience. Doing this creates a brand that helps attract people to what you're selling. These potential customers will be more likely to buy what you're selling.
The customer may or may not be aware of this, but they have an important role to play in affiliate marketing. That's because affiliates introduce products to them through their social media profiles as well as their blogs and websites.
When you buy a product, both the seller and the affiliate make money. You may have seen affiliates be upfront about the fact that they may get compensation if you click on certain links. You might have also bought a product or service through an affiliate link without even knowing it.
However you come across affiliate links, you usually won't pay more for a product than you would if you bought it through other means. That's because the money that the affiliate will earn through a purchase will be reflected in the product's final price. Most people buy products through an affiliate link without having any idea about the sales mechanism behind it.
How Exactly Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?
As a fast and inexpensive way to earn extra income, affiliate marketing can act as an easy way to succeed online without selling anything. But if you become an affiliate, how do you get paid after you link a customer to a seller's product? This is where things get complicated. Customers don't always need to buy something in order for you to make money.
Depending on the affiliate program that you choose, the contribution that you make to a sale could be measured a bit differently than most programs. As an affiliate, you can get paid in one of a few ways:
Pay-Per-Sale – This acts as a structure that most affiliates will find online. The seller pays you a percentage of a sale that a customer makes when they purchase a product. In other words, you don't get paid unless a customer actually buys something from your blog or website or social media profile.
Pay-Per-Lead – This operates as a more complicated system than the pay-per-sale method. Under this setting, you as the affiliate gets paid based on lead conversion. You have to convince consumers to not only visit your website or blog but complete a certain task or action. This task could be anything from completing a form, signing up to receive a newsletter, or downloading free software.
Pay-Per-Click – In this marketing method, you actually lead people away from your website or blog to that of the seller. You actually have to use different marketing methods to convince potential consumers to go to the website of the merchant. You get paid by the amount of increased traffic that you send to the merchant's site.
Why Should I Be An Affiliate Marketer?
The ability to earn passive income: When you do affiliate marketing, you can make money at all hours of the day, even in the middle of the night. After you invest a considerable amount of time into a marketing campaign, you can see good returns as more and more people discover your website over time. You can receive payments long after you've stopped updating your site. Your marketing skills could make you money while you sleep.
You won't have to deal with customer support: Sellers and companies have to work really hard to ensure that every customer is happy with their products. But if you become an affiliate marketer, you never have to concern yourself with customer contact. All you have to do is send your potential consumer to the seller. In other words, you're the middleman in this transaction. It's the seller that has to deal with an unsatisfied customer.
Working from home: If you're not a fan of the morning and evening commute, affiliate marketing can be the way to get out of the 9 to 5 grind. You can launch new products and receive a percentage of profits, all from your kitchen table. You don't even have to get dressed in the morning.
Affiliate marketing is cost-effective: If you start a business, you will probably have to deal with startup costs. You will also need cash flow to deal with different types of expenses. Luckily, you can start affiliate marketing for a very low cost. You won't have to pay any money to participate in an affiliate program.
Affiliate marketing is flexible and convenient: Because you work from home, you can set your own professional goals. You can also change said goals if you feel like it. Some other upsides of affiliate marketing include the ability to choose the products you feature on your site, as well as the hours that you work. This level of convenience lets you determine the intensity of your marketing campaigns. You also won't have to deal with office politics or gossip.
Rewards based on performance: With most jobs, you receive the same amount of money whether you work 40 hours or 80+ hours. With affiliate marketing, you only get paid when you make money for the seller. By writing effective campaigns and getting the help of mentors, you should see an increase in performance over time.
Affiliate Marketing Channels
Many affiliates engage in the same practices to ensure that consumers get the products they want. But the practices could be different depending on the affiliate. Here are some of the marketing channels that the average affiliate uses in their campaigns:
Social Media Influencers: An influencer, whether on social media or elsewhere, has the ability to convince a large group to make certain buying decisions. This type of person can gain a lot of benefits from affiliate marketing. Since influencers have a large following, they can get more eyes on the seller's products fairly easily. In exchange for their time and generosity, the influencer gets a percentage of the earnings from the sale.
Bloggers: Because successful bloggers know how to rank high in search engines, they can be a good bet for increasing your conversions. Try and get a blogger to write a review of the seller's product that leads web traffic to the seller's website. The blogger then gets a slice of the pie in return for their time and influence.
Microsites: You can also get a lot of sales through building microsites. Advertise these types of sites on the paid search listings of search engines or with a partner website. Microsites are different from your main site. On a microsite, your content is more focused and concise. Because of this method, you could experience increased sales.
Email Lists: Email lists can still act as a viable way to get more customers to your site. Some affiliates use these lists to introduce their customers to their seller's new products. Some use email newsletters as a place for links that go to the seller's website. Once the seller gets a sale, the owner of the list gets a cut of the profits. Some marketers build up an email list over time, asking new customers to sign up after they made a purchase.
Larger websites: These websites aim to gain an audience that numbers in the millions. The owner of these sites uses banners and links to promote products. As a result, they get higher conversion rates for both the affiliate and the seller.
How To Become a Successful Affiliate Marketer
- Connect with your audience: When you begin affiliate marketing, look for an audience that has a really specific audience. This way, you can create effective campaigns that cater to this particular niche. When you do this, it makes it more likely that you convert more customers. By becoming an expert in a certain area, you can create a viable market for your products.
- Create a successful personal brand: Whatever niche you decide to enter, you should have no shortage of products that you can promote. Only promote products that will bring value to you and your customers. By promoting services and products that you truly enjoy, you can get a higher conversion rate. This establishes your personal brand.
- Review products: Review products in your niche. Then take the rapport that you built with your audience and your expert status. Let your readers know how they will benefit from the product or service you're promoting. One thing you can do is compare the product to others in its niche. Just make sure that the content that you're putting out there provides a lot of value to the reader.
- Market with different methods: Don't just focus on one email campaign. Try to earn money with a blog, look at cross-channel promotions, and reaching out through your different social media profiles. Test a few marketing campaign strategies to see which ones resonate with your audience. Test your campaigns often.
- Choose Your Campaigns Carefully: Your marketing skills will not save you from a bad product. Never promote a product before doing your due diligence on it. Is there a demand for what you want to sell? What does your competition look like? Research any seller before you work with them. Your time is valuable. Don't waste it with poor products, shoddy sellers, and a disengaged audience.
- Keep up with trends: If you decide to enter the affiliate marketing sphere, know that you'll encounter a lot of competition. To remain competitive, keep current on trends in the industry. Learn about any new marketing techniques that come your way. Know what's going on in your space to keep the sales coming.
What Are The Top Trends in Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate programs have what's called “last-click attribution”. This is where the affiliate who gains the very last click before the point of conversion gets credit for the sale. However, this is starting to change. Now affiliate platforms have new models and reporting methods, so you can see how the different marketing tactics you use work together. With this mechanism in place, you can make sure that all affiliates that were involved in the sale get a percentage of it.
Influencer niches are becoming more targeted
Larger affiliates used to be a large part of the affiliate marketing space. However, things are starting to change. Now that consumers are using more long-tail keywords and performing online searches that are hyper-specific, influencers can use their power and celebrity in their niche for higher conversion rates. While influencers may not give you a whole lot of web traffic, the audience you do get from an influencer is extremely legitimate. As a result, you can get more conversions that turn into sales.
The GDPR and Personal Data
In May of 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation operate as regulations that govern a website's use of personal data in the European Union. As a result, some affiliates have resorted to using the personal data of website visitors through new privacy policies and notices about cookies. This affects website visitors from all over the world, including those who live outside of the European Union. Make sure you're aware of any and all guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission. You will also need to inform all visitors that you're receiving a commission from a purchase they may make from a link on your website.
Affiliate Marketers Are Getting Savvier
Sellers who receive a large percentage of sales from their affiliates could become overly dependent on them if they're not careful. As a result, affiliate marketers can use their success to get better deals and higher percentages from the merchant. Affiliates can use CPL, CPA, or CPC commission methods to put themselves in the drivers' seat when it comes to increasing their income.
What Strategies Should I Use In An Affiliate Marketing Campaign?
Only promote products that you like: To be successful in affiliate marketer, you need to build a lot of trust with your audience. To lose trust quickly, just promote shoddy products or those that provide no value to their lives. When you make excellent recommendations on a regular basis, your site visitors will keep coming back.
Promote products from different sellers: Never work with just one merchant. Doing so gets you stuck with one commission structure, the seller's landing pages, and their rates of conversion. Promote a wide variety of products from different sellers. You can diversify your income structures, which will benefit your bottom line.
Put all the focus on your web traffic sources: As an affiliate, you need to know all your sources of traffic. Another thing you'll have to keep track of is your audience's demographics. By doing this, you can customize your content so that you can give your audience the very best recommendations. Put the focus on your web traffic sources and your actual audience. Some types of traffic sources include organic and paid search, display, referral, social media, or even direct traffic.
To view your traffic data, sign up for a free Google Analytics account to see some of the following things:
- Bounce rate
- Desktop and mobile devices
- Time of day
Once you gather all of this information, you can now put your attention on the traffic sources that give you the biggest return on investment. This important data allows you to make better decisions that increase your conversion rates, which can then lead to even more sales.
While we said that affiliate marketing can allow you to make money while you sleep, it's not exactly the easiest method of income generation. There's often a steep learning curve as well as a lot of competition in most niches. But if you decide to take this journey seriously, you can often find that you'll learn such valuable skills as marketing, copywriting, reading data, and sales.