Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn additional income on the side. It’s a method of generating sales and revenue for a website or company through other people and companies.
Sales and revenue are generated by paying a commission to the affiliate, and many people and companies will pay you to use their products and services.
But, it is not straightforward to get started.
To be able to make a full-time income online, you need to have a plan of action that enables you to produce traffic and then convert visitors into a trade.
There are many affiliate marketing courses you can check out to help, but we will give an overview here.
The key to a thriving affiliate business is selecting the right niche. A niche is one area where you concentrate on a specific market. Picking something too broad will leave you with an overly long list of competitors.
Many people try to market on the web by using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques that are meant to draw in customers, but it is not easy being the only one who can do that.
You may have all the right tools, but you will not be getting many new customers if your niche selection is not on point.
It is also imperative that the niche you choose has enough products to be able to promote. There are many kinds of niches such as:
The list goes on, and some niches go well together, while some do not. To make money with a niche, you have to identify it first and be very specific about your product.
Keyword research is one of the most time-intensive aspects of creating and developing a successful affiliate website.
It would help if you choose a niche you are knowledgeable in and can write about with authority.
If you choose a topic that you aren’t familiar with, you will be unable to develop content around it, and your website will lack the value that readers are looking for.
Keywords, or key phrases, are the terms you search on Google to see which kind of websites come up.
You may be wondering why you should care about keywords. Why would you want to use the same terms that other people use to find information on the web?
The answer is that using the right keyword will help your website outrank the other websites that are targeting the same keyword.
This is called SEO, and it’s the bread and butter of affiliate marketing.
SEO is the method of influencing your website’s online visibility or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results. These are often referred to as “organic” results. The search engine in question is usually Google and sometimes Bing.
SEO is the method of improving the quantity and quality of visitors to your website or a particular web page. It aims to get you more site visitors than your competitors to increase revenue.
SEO works on several levels and is implemented through different strategies such as on-site, off-site and even social media SEO.
Commonly known as on-page SEO, this includes on-site elements like internal links (the links you create in a post that point to another related post on your site).
Other factors, such as meta tags, keyword density and other web coding techniques for the sole purpose of boosting organic search engine rankings, are also essential.
This could also extend to improving conversion metrics on your landing pages.
For example, if you are receiving 100 visitors a day to a post but it is not converting well, you can attempt what is known as A/B testing. This is where you test various ad iterations against each other to see which ends up converting the best.
Remember, lots of traffic is worthless unless you are earning money from it!
Off-page SEO involves content marketing, creating inbound links from relevant websites in various ways and general website promotion (e.g., social media forums, etc.).
These are usually referred to as off-site factors and are crucial for an effective SEO campaign.
Social media marketing (SMM), on the other hand, is a form of off-page SEO that seeks to increase web traffic by networking through sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
Popular SMM strategies include:
An affiliate network is a website where you can sign up and join affiliate offers relevant to your niche.
An affiliate network works as a go-between, connecting publishers to various affiliate programs. It enables website publishers to more readily come across and join affiliate programs appropriate to their websites.
Publishers can opt to promote any number of merchants on their website.
For example, if your chosen niche is insurance, you can join various affiliate network companies and find products or services related to insurance. You often need to be approved before you can start earning, and many networks will need to see a high-quality website with some traffic.
While you can sometimes find these offers yourself, a network lists several offers and provides a single location to check on your statistics.
It’s a win-win situation, where the merchant wins by getting more customers, and the affiliate wins by getting a commission.
1. ShareASale: Lots of great offers to choose from, including a mixture of physical and digital goods
2. Awin: An extensive range of niches to start your affiliate website with
3. Amazon Associates: The main one that everyone has heard of – although they have recently reduced commission rates, it is still a great place to promote
4. CJ Affiliate: Similar to ShareASale, but with a more extensive selection
5. Rakuten Marketing: Connects several large stores to affiliate marketers to promote their products
6. Avangate Affiliate Network: Mainly aimed at digital products such as antivirus software and VPNs
7. ClickBank: Every digital product under the sun exists here! Even with its declining popularity, it is still a formidable marketplace and one worth checking out.
8. PeerFly: Very much online software and digital product orientated – this would be useful for our insurance example earlier
9. Walmart Affiliates: Similar to Amazon but without the conversion clout that Amazon is famous for
10. eBay Partner Network: Great for promoting physical products – eBay usually has merchandise for any niche
Email marketing is a massive part of the affiliate marketing community. While it may not be the most glamorous way to make money, it’s still an essential part of any affiliate program.
But what, exactly, is email marketing? Well, in short, it’s the practice of collecting an email address from your visitors and then using that address to send them newsletters and other marketing materials several times over the course of many months.
It is a cost-effective way to reach your target audience that is cheaper than print advertising, and you can always send a message to your subscribers.
Affiliate marketing is not as simple as building a website and then considering the job is done. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
Nevertheless, if done correctly, the rewards are often massive and very worthwhile.