So you would like to get started with affiliate marketing? Do you already know what you would like to promote?
Affiliate marketing offers a great opportunity for people who do not have a lot of start-up capital or a lot of time to put together a giant campaign. There are more good advantages like, no product of your own, no inventory, no shipping or overhead and no real sales force.
On the other side, affiliate marketing can also be a cheap and effective marketing strategy for the merchant. In fact, the affiliates do the marketing and advertising for the merchant. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a merchant or an affiliate, it is probably the best way to start or grow your online business.
What Are Affiliate Marketing Programs?
Generally speaking, we can say that affiliate programs are marketing programs offered by online advertisers or merchants that recruit other website owners, bloggers, influencers etc.
The merchant will provide unique links, landing pages, banners, or even videos to their affiliates to place on their website or whatsoever to market the merchant’s products. In return, the affiliates will receive a referral fee or commission when a customer purchases a product that is delivered via an affiliate link.
When looking for an affiliate program, there are some things you need to consider before choosing which company you are going to take arms with. The product should be one of high quality and can also be a service, as long as it’s a viable service and it offers real value to the customer.
There are different types of compensation plans built into affiliate marketing programs, and one of them can be a residual program. Not all affiliate marketing programs have residual programs built into them, but if you can find one with residual commissions, then that would be the best way to go.
However, there are some that actually offer a significantly high commission rate that may make up for the loss of the residual income. Some other affiliate marketing programs offer a multi-level marketing structure of compensation. Now if you are familiar with multi-level marketing than that may be an avenue that you would choose to examine.
But before you jump into any multi-level marketing program, you should read up on it and do a thorough analysis. The last thing you want to do is jumping into an affiliate program that is going to be a serious waste of your time.
How To Choose An Affiliate Marketing Program
Back in the 90s there weren’t many affiliate programs to choose from and most of them were revolved around offensive content websites. Today, affiliate programs have a higher standard and it is a pretty good way of doing business.
No matter what you would like to promote, there is a big chance that there is a company that offers that product and you can promote it as an affiliate. Think about Amazon, Commission Junction, web hosting companies, companies related to health and beauty, but you can even start promoting Tesla cars if you want to.
Like a said, you can find an affiliate program for almost anything you want to sell. It’s a good idea to sell something that is related to your website, providing you have one.
Not everybody that signs up for an affiliate program has a webite to run it through, some of them write articles, some make youtube videos about the product, others have a large following on social media, and direct the URLs to their affiliate program.
How To Become An Affiliate
Becoming an affiliate is pretty simple to do. You simply go the website of choice and look for their affiliate program. Usually what will happen is you will sign up, usually free, and you will get a unique affiliate id along with some banners, videos and maybe some sales copy for a starting point.
Now you can place these banners in the sidebar of your website and in the content you make some hyperlinks with your unique affiliate link. Your audience can click on those links which if they purchase, you will receive a commission.
Just because you have signed up for an affiliate program doesn’t mean that you’re actually going to get traffic to your website. You still need to do something about driving traffic to your website or affiliate link.
What You Should Look For
When you go searching for an affiliate program, try to look for high affiliate commissions, long cookie duration and of course you would want to get a good conversion rate. Two-tier programs which have the same structure as a multi-level marketing organization and can be quite lucrative.
Residual affiliate programs are definitely the best way to go. You continue to make money on that one customer month after month. The advantage here is that eventually your sales start accumulating where you’re making more and more money as opposed to the individual sale where you have to continously make money to stay at the same level.
Where You Can Go
There are services that have a database of a lot of companies that have affiliate programs, so you do not have to run around and seek out each individual program yourself. Some examples are ClickBank, JVzoo, Commission Junction and Amazon, where you sign up and select the affiliate program you with to promote. Still, if you want to promote that new Tesla car, you won’t find it on these networks so you have to do your own research.
Sharing Your Link
Now let’s take a look at that affiliate link for a moment. Most affiliate links are extremely long, hideous and some of them have special characters in them like a “?” or “=” sign. These links will not rank on search engines like Google or Bing very well and definitely cannot be added to most PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns like Google Ads. What I would suggest is getting yourself a unique domain name and redirect it to your affiliate link.
Making money online as an affiliate can be a rewarding experience if you know where to go to find the right affiliate program, how to do the needed research, and how to promote and sell.
Just locating an affiliate program is not all you need to do, you need to weigh the gravity of that affiliate program. First figure out what it is you would like to sell, and do your research.
A great resource here is Four Percent. Four percent is the best place for online marketers and entrepreneurs in any niche to learn online marketing and business from a to z.
Promoting something that accents you and your website, something your are really passionate about, and where you know a lot about so you can position yourself as the go-to expert in your nich, is by far the best start for your affiliate marketing business.