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12 Powerful Keys for Beginners to Become Successful in Affiliate Marketing. Affiliates are getting paid for promoting other people’s products. They receive a commission for generating sales, leads or clicks to the merchant’s website.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a business model where brands share revenue with publishers and content creators in exchange for leads and sales. It works similarly to a salesperson being paid a commission for a successful sale.
The more sales you make, the more money you earn. Affiliate commissions can range from cents on the dollar to hundreds of dollars per referral. Done right, affiliate marketing could help you earn more than your current job or diversify the revenue of an existing content business.
Here’s an overview of how affiliate marketing works:
- You share an affiliate link on your website, blog, or in a social media post
- A customer clicks your affiliate link
- Customer is redirected to the advertiser website
- Customer is tracked as being referred by you through a cookie
- Customer makes a purchase
- An affiliate network attributes the purchase to you and issues a commission
- Commissions appear in your affiliate dashboard
- You get paid (!) by the affiliate network
There is no single profile for a successful affiliate marketer. They range from independent entrepreneurs to teams at well-known news outlets and online publications.
And since you aren’t responsible for the delivery of a product or service, affiliate marketing is low risk. You don’t need a degree in marketing or any specific qualifications to be a successful affiliate marketer. With the right resources, almost anyone can generate affiliate revenue.
In today’s world, the success of an affiliate depends heavily on their ability to capture an audience and attract the right kind of traffic. To do that yourself, you need to craft quality content and optimize it for conversion.
And it all starts with understanding and creating affiliate links.
What is an affiliate link?
Affiliate links are the primary means of operation for affiliate marketing. Affiliate links are trackable links with a special URL that is assigned to you. They aid advertisers in knowing which customers you specifically referred to them so they can give you a commission if those customers make purchases.
There’s the way you earn your commissions. For the most part, there are two main models for earning affiliate revenue:
- CPA (Cost Per Action): You earn every time someone from your audience completes an action. Depending on the program, the action could be making a purchase, starting a free trial, or filling out a form with contact information.
- CPC (Cost Per Click): You get paid for clicks the advertiser considers to be quality visitors, even if they don’t complete a specific action.
Different affiliate programs will offer different payment models, and some may even pay you for both leads and conversions. We’ll cover how to pick good affiliate programs later in this guide.
While you’re here, here are a couple more key affiliate marketing terms you should get familiar with. These will also help you pick affiliate programs with a high earning potential:
- Cookies: Cookies are small files that are stored on a customer’s device when they click an affiliate link. They help businesses and affiliate networks remember that you referred the customer to them, so they can give you a commission later on.
- Cookie duration: Cookies typically have expiration dates. Affiliate links tend to have expiration dates between 15 to 30 days, but they can run for as little as 24 hours up to a year or more. Cookie duration matters to affiliate marketers because customers may come back to a purchase days or weeks after a customer first clicks on an affiliate link.
- Affiliate networks: Brands typically set up their affiliate programs on third party platforms called Affiliate Networks. These platforms bring brands and affiliate marketers together. There are dozens of affiliate networks, with the most popular including Impact, Flexoffers, Clickbank, PartnerStack and Rakuten.
Below are some tips to become successful in affiliate marketing.
To become a successful affiliate, you must treat affiliate marketing as a business. If you’re doing this, affiliate marketing can change your life and replace your 9-5 job.
1. Select great affiliate products.
Select great affiliate products.
One of the first and most important steps to become successful in affiliate marketing is to find quality affiliate products to promote that are targeted and useful to your audience.
If you promote bad products, you’ll lose credibility and sales.
Here are several ways to find affiliate products:
One way to find great affiliate programs is by using affiliate networks and directories.
To find affiliate programs in your niche, go to your favorite search engine and search for “your keyword “+ affiliate programs” or “your niche” + affiliate program.”
If you’re looking for niche ideas, there are plenty of free niche research tools that will help you get the ball rolling. Just quickly, here are three popular tools for niche research:
- Google Trends – Trending topics and searches, organized by geography
- Answer Socrates – Find out which questions people type into Google
- Exploding Topics – A Google Trends alternative with curated results
That said, if you’re starting affiliate marketing with no money or a small budget, I recommend picking a topic you’re passionate about. That way, you won’t get bored or hate your niche when you’re writing 50+ articles on the topic.
Again, tools like Google Trends are good for vetting niches that you discover and making sure they’re not just passing trends. In all likelihood, you’re going to want to choose an evergreen niche which generates income all year, every year.
Finally, it’s also important to understand the competition to find your entry point into the market.
2. Focus on a niche market.
Don’t market every affiliate program you see. It’s better to focus on one market. Only promote products that cater to the needs and wants of your niche market. This is called niche marketing.
It’s important to know what your audience wants and give them what they want. What are their problems? What are their goals? Solve their problems and help them achieve their goals with the products you’re promoting.
3. Choose the right platform
With a niche in mind, it’s time to decide where to host your affiliate content and what type of content you want to create.
There are two main choices for affiliates starting out: a website or a YouTube channel.
YouTube can be an excellent place to grow an audience, build a brand, and promote affiliate products to an audience that trusts your recommendations.
But there are some downsides to starting with only a YouTube channel:
- Video takes longer to produce than written content. Which limits the amount of content you can create when starting your project.
- Videos are harder to outsource. Especially if you’re the face of the channel, it means you’ll need to be involved with every video.
- Harder to grow your email list. YouTube doesn’t have a built-in way to collect email subscribers. Yet email is one of the most effective channels for affiliate marketing.
- YouTube channels tend to make less affiliate money. There’s simply more friction to getting clicks on your affiliate links from a video compared to a well-optimized blog post.
Ultimately, it’s great to have both a website and YouTube. Embedding videos on an affiliate website is also an excellent way to boost conversion. But if you’re a total beginner, you’ll probably find it easier to start affiliate marketing with a blog.
4. Choose the right products for your audience.
Selecting the right products for your audience is the first step to becoming successful with affiliate marketing. This topic could cover a course in itself. But here are a few tips.
- Choose products that fit your niche and benefit them.
- Choose only quality products.
- Choose products you understand and are familiar with so you can write about them and better recommend them.
Also check those criteria when selecting affiliate programs:
- Affiliate commissions. Check how much the program pays. Keep in mind that it takes just as much time and effort to promote a product that will pay you $7 as it takes to promote a product that will pay you $1,000 in commission.
- Affiliate tools. Check what marketing tools they provide. Do they provide text links, banners, email messages, articles? Also very important is to check to see if they provide good statistics that will tell you what works and what doesn’t.
- Cookies: Choose programs with long cookie time (You won’t get paid after cookies expire).
5. Build a website or blog.
I’m sure that you’ve read that you don’t need a website to promote affiliate programs. And that is true. There are several ways that you can promote affiliate programs without having a website.
- You can send people directly to the merchant’s web site through your affiliate link.
- You can promote affiliate programs through email and social networking.
- You can put your affiliate links in your tweets, Pinterest pins and other social media.
- However, you can be a lot more successful with affiliate marketing and do much more if you have a website or blog.
Here’s why: Potential customers go to websites to find items they are looking for but they usually don’t purchase right away.
When you have a website, you can capture your visitors’ email addresses so you can stay in touch with them, remind them of the affiliate product and promote additional products.
Your job as an affiliate is to build trust, educate and presell your visitors, and then send them to the merchant’s website through your affiliate link. You can’t do that without a website.
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After getting a domain name and hosting, you’ll need to build a web site or blog. I recommend using WordPress to build your site.
6. Provide valuable content.
Don’t only put ads in your website’s sidebar. Those are the least converting ads so don’t expect many sales from those.
Instead, provide valuable, related content that informs your audience about the product or topic.
It’s important to understand that people go online to look for information – and not necessarily to buy something right away. You want to build good content around your affiliate offers.
Provide valuable information that informs your audience about the product or topic. For example, write a product review, explain how to use the product, or compare it with other products to help people make a good buying decision.
Display your knowledge by providing original, relevant and useful content. This builds credibility and makes you a more trustworthy endorser of the product or service you are promoting.
7. Create your own ads and promotional images to stand out from other affiliates.
Affiliate marketers are often using the ads and promotional images that are provided by the merchants. But many people are using the same ads. You will get more attention when creating your own ads. Your ads should attract people and make them curious enough to click through to your website.
Use unique images to stand out. You want your images be unique. If you’re using free images, many people will have the same images and you won’t stand out. Initially, I was using mostly free stock photo sites for my website and social media images.
I found good free images but other people are using the same images in the same niche on Pinterest and other social media sites. Now, in addition to using paid images from DepositPhotos, I’m still using some free stock images but I’m modifying them a bit so they’re different from anyone else’s. I love the images from DepositPhotos and they are very affordable at about $1 per photo.
8. Build a list.
Building a targeted list is the key to being successful with affiliate marketing. Capturing people’s email enables you to contact your visitors. Building a list will enable you to market to your list over and over again. An email list helps you turn prospects into buyers and customers into repeat customers.
9. Develop a strong relationship with prospects and buyers.
Your job as an affiliate marketer is to increase awareness for the merchant’s products that provide a solution to potential customers and build trust with potential customers. This is called “pre-selling.”
Getting loyal customers and developing good customer relationships is the secret of successful affiliates. That involves providing quality content.
Some great ways to promote an affiliate product is by sharing your own experience with the product or providing a tutorial or steps on how to use the product based on your personal experience. When you buy, try, and use the product you’re promoting, you’ll be able to better answer your potential customers’ questions and it will be easier to pre-sell the product.
Be totally honest about the products you are marketing. If you find out that the program you were promoting is a scam, stop promoting it and inform your readers about it. This will help you build credibility. Everyone makes mistakes at times and admitting your mistakes will boost your reader’s confidence in you.
10. Build traffic to your site.
One of the most crucial aspects of affiliate marketing is traffic generation. See here for 35 free traffic-generating ideas.
Earning money with affiliate marketing can be a terrific way to make a living. However, for the majority of people, success as an affiliate takes time. You must put effort into it, just like you would with any other business or employment. Affiliate marketing has the potential to be incredibly successful, and if you master it, it’s simple to grow and repeat the process repeatedly.
11. Be patient and persevere.
Contrary to what some want you to believe, affiliate success typically doesn’t happen overnight. There will be a learning curve to become successful in affiliate marketing.
To get great results, you’ll have to learn affiliate marketing basics and be persistent to become good at it. You’ll have to learn. To gain a deeper understanding, get this eBook.
But if you stick with affiliate marketing, you can make more money than you ever could imagine. If you get discouraged along the way, motive yourself by reading income reports from other bloggers.
12. Learn from successful affiliates.
Stop wasting time making mistakes. The greatest method to learn is through seeing someone who is successful at affiliate marketing. Taking a course from a successful affiliate will shorten your learning curve and make you more successful whether you are ready to start making money with affiliate marketing or have tried affiliate marketing but are not getting enough sales.
Click here to get this eBook, Affiliate Marketing for Newbie and find out how you can be making $50,000 per month in affiliate marketing.
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Disclaimer: If you use a referral link to make a purchase, I may receive a fee at no additional cost to you. This commission allows me to continue offering you high-quality content.