by Juan Robin II
If you’re a website owner who has yet to learn affiliate marketing, you could be missing a significant revenue stream.
Bloggers and businesses alike use affiliate marketing to monetize their website. The practice has been around for years and remains one of the most effective ways to make money online.
This guide to affiliate marketing for beginners will give you the rundown on how you can employ this strategy to generate a healthy income:
What Exactly Is Affiliate Marketing?
The concept is simple: affiliate partners sell products on a company’s behalf and take a small commission for every conversion.
Think of it like this: if you write an ebook but don’t have the time or resources to market it yourself, you can rely on affiliates to drive traffic on your behalf. When someone purchases the ebook, your affiliate gets a portion of the sale.
Affiliate marketing is a symbiotic practice between product or content creators and influencers or promoters. Think of it as having your very own outside sales team that works on commission and requires no benefits.
Every affiliate program is different. Some programs offer a percentage of each sale, while others offer a flat rate regardless of purchase amount.
Some programs offer additional incentives if the buyer makes additional purchases. Other programs will use tracking methods and credit you if a buyer converts within an extended time frame rather than on the spot.
The best part about affiliate marketing is that anyone can do it. It doesn’t take long to master, and you could start seeing results within days.
But first, you’ll have to overcome the most challenging part: knowing where to start.
Creating an Affiliate Marketing Program
There are two perspectives to affiliate marketing: the seller side and the reseller side.
If you’re selling a product or service, you can rely on resellers, or affiliates, to market your offerings.
To do this, resellers receive a unique link attached to an account. They can use their affiliate links to drive traffic to your products.
When someone buys the product through that link, you make a sale and the affiliate receives a commission. It’s a win/win.
Before you commit to a program, there are a few details you’ll need to hash out:
First, consider what you’re selling. If you have multiple products, will you offer a commission on each one or just a select few?
Also, you must determine your payout scale. You might not offer the same incentive for each product or even each seller.
Some affiliate programs tier their payouts. The more units sold each month, the higher the percentage.
You’ll also need to decide how to administer the program. You can partner with a major affiliate marketing platform like ClickBank or Rakuten, that can connect you to influencers in your niche.
Using a platform has its benefits. They handle all the digital upkeep, sales tracking, and payouts to give you turnkey operation. It also means you have access to influencers who will be most likely to get you results.
The other option is to create your own in-house affiliate marketing program. This is a standout option if you have a hot product and can rely on your own customers to promote it for you. In turn, you may offer them a coupon or credit to their account.
In either case, you must also put into place certain stipulations that qualify each sale. For example, what happens if the buyer returns the product or requests a refund? How soon after each sale will the affiliate receive payment?
Keep in mind your affiliate marketing program can evolve over time. You’re never locked into your initial decisions. Experiment a little to find what gives you the best results.
Learn Affiliate Marketing as a Reseller
Any website owner or blogger can become an affiliate marketer to earn extra income, and it’s fairly simple.
You’ve probably seen websites with banner ads or promotions in the sidebar. These are most likely affiliate advertisements that generate revenue for the website displaying the ads.
When a user clicks an ad, the website may receive a kickback. This is known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and will result in payment even if a purchase is not made.
Another option is to receive a portion of the sale if the user clicks the ad AND makes a purchase. This is called pay-per-acquisition (PPA) advertising and can generate higher amounts of revenue for the website displaying the ads.
You’ll need to do a little coding to get ads on your website, as well as find affiliate partners that will pay you for ad space. If you’re just beginning to code, you can usually find a wealth of resources available for free online that can help you.
One of the most common methods of affiliate marketing is by dropping affiliate links to products and services in your blog content.
For example, you might reference an affiliate product or service in a blog article and link directly to it.
Customers who click on affiliate links might or might not recognize that it’s an affiliate link. Purchasing from an affiliate link does not affect the price or buying process for the consumer. Rather, transactions are carried out like normal.
Some marketers are more transparent about their affiliate status than others. There are no hard and fast rules to disclosing your status as an affiliate, and the jury is still out on if being transparent is more or less effective.
To make either of these methods effective, you should choose to promote products that fit your target niche and resonate with your brand. Becoming an affiliate to every product you can find won’t do you any favors, so choose carefully to get the best chance of success.
How Much Could Affiliate Marketing Be Worth to Your Business?
Affiliate marketing works differently for different people, so there’s no guarantee how much money you can generate. All the more reason to learn affiliate marketing.
But the truth remains: people do make money with affiliate marketing, and it can be a lucrative source of income for businesses and marketers alike.
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