Affiliate Marketing: A Guide to the What, Who, How & Why

By Kim Yoong E-commerce No Comments on Affiliate Marketing: A Guide to the What, Who, How & Why

Earning passive income is becoming the dream of every modern businessman/woman out there. But is any of the effort in affiliating marketing actually passive? If you were to answer yes to that, I’m afraid you’re in for a shock. To succeed in affiliate marketing, there is definitely some groundwork that you would need to complete in order to yield profits. More importantly, it is significantly crucial to first be knowledgeable and aware of the fundamentals of affiliate marketing.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process of receiving revenue by promoting other brands. You seek out a product of monetary value, promote it to others and earn a commission.

Who Is Involved?

Affiliate marketing functions by the collective efforts of different responsibilities in product marketing across parties, leveraging on the abilities of these individuals for a more effective marketing strategy. Mainly, these are the three parties involved:
  1. Merchant or seller
  2. The affiliate
  3. Consumers and the public

1. Merchant Or Seller

The seller, who is commonly known to be a solo entrepreneur or sizable enterprise, provides a marketable product. They are the vendor, merchant, product creator, and retailer that is responsible for placing a product or a professional service on the market. They are not required to be actively involved in all its’ marketing efforts, but they may also be the advertiser and a part of the profit gained from revenue sharing in affiliate marketing.

2. The Affiliate

The affiliate can be either an individual or an organization that markets the seller’s product or services in an attractive manner to consumers. Their objective is centered on promoting the product and persuading their audience that it is highly useful, convincing them to make a purchase. If the consumer does decide to buy the product, the affiliate will then receive a fair portion of the revenue generated. Often, these affiliates have a specific audience to whom they market, mostly complying with that audience’s preference. This creates a niche or singular brand that helps affiliate grab the attention of customers who will likely partake in the promotion.

3. The Consumer

The main drive of affiliate marketing as we know it, are the consumers. These products or services are shared with them on social media, blogs, and websites. When the product has been bought a consumer, the seller and affiliate will share the profits. The affiliate’s share of profit is usually included in the retail price presented. The purchase process underwent by consumers remains completely unaffected and proceeds as normal.

How to be an Affiliate?

affiliate marketing steps

1. Picking Your Niche

To construct your first site, you would need to decide which niche you would like to target. You would have to narrow down what your site will be about and who exactly you’re going to target with it. Before that, there are some key questions to ask yourself when determining what your niche would be. Questions like: What topics am I passionate about? Is there profit in this niche? What topic could I see myself easily writing multiple posts for? Is there still room for an affiliate marketer in this segment? It is essential to understand what you are able to contribute within the niche of your choice and know if there are sufficient demands and interests by the target audience.

2. Research Affiliate Programs

Once you’ve settled on a preferred niche, it’s time to figure out what would be a suitable affiliate program and products to promote. You might have to invest a significant amount of time into this as it could be quite tedious. But as your source of income, it is definitely worth your while. You would need to study the affiliate programs and make sure other similar sellers are also using the network, as this will assist you to determine the likelihood of success. From there, you would need to calculate how much commission you are likely to make from these products. Make sure the products you picked to promote to your audience are relevant and have good quality. You must believe in them and know everything about them in order to deliver a good sales pitch. You need to build trust with your audience and the best way to do so is to ensure your products or services are trustworthy.

3. Building A Site

Fortunately, we currently live in a digital age where every aspect of our work has been made easy with technology, data, and the almighty internet. This, of course, includes building a site for your affiliate marketing efforts. The first thing you would need to do while setting up your site is to create a distinctive domain, which will be the address for your website. Next, get a reliable host for your site. Hosting is very affordable these days, so go with a reputable provider that would guarantee your site to be up 24/7 without any issues. Other than that, you would need to install a theme and style for your site. There are thousands of themes available on prominent site creators. If this seems a little too overwhelming as a starting point, it would be advisable to go with something simple and easy to customize. Then, you can always change and do different things later. Once your site is up and ready, it’s time to create content relevant to your niche. The content made also needs to be interesting and engaging for your audience as well as being search engine friendly.

4. Produce Excellent Content

After you have set up your site and joined an affiliate program, you have to maintain and keep up with quality content creation. Blog content is a very useful and impactful method of building content on a site consistently. Simply, it would be encouraged to do keyword research to understand what it is that your audience is interested in and searching for online. Additionally, you could gain information on your competitors, social media and form to come up with topics for your blog. A great tactic practiced by many affiliate marketers is giving away free online informational product such as an e-book, email series or a mini-course. Often, your readers will provide their email addresses to receive the product. With this, you can then pitch your product to them via email marketing. If your product or services are highly popular and generate great traffic to your site, you could also monetize the traffic in other ways.

5. Building Your Audience

With excellent content, the build-up of your audience will naturally come along. Having an audience who is interested in what you bring up will not only provide you consistent traffic but also result in consistent sales. The easiest and fastest way to begin gathering an audience for a website is through social media. Depending on your niche and market, you can pick from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and etc. Building up an engaged and organic following on social sites is a great way to establish relationships and once their confidence has been earned, promote your products and services to them. While your site is still new, it’s a good idea to start capitalizing on someone else’s audience. Continue focusing on building your own content, but also considering writing content for a few big, high-traffic blogs that are relevant for your niche. By writing content for a bigger site, you are able to get in front of another¬†audience and showcase your expertise on a particular topic. This will eventually lead to more traffic to your site, as well. Since your site is still quite new, it would be a great idea to start capitalizing on someone else’s audience. Bear in mind, continue on building your own content, but do consider writing for big, high-traffic blogs that would provide you a platform to speak in front of another audience and present your what you would know best. Organic search remains an important source of traffic for any website, so it’s crucial that you optimize your website for search engines as well. When creating your content, you must always do so keeping the reader in mind first, but don’t forget to follow a few basic SEO principles as well. For any website, organic search stays as the primary source of traffic. It is vital that you optimize your site for search engines. You can always learn basic SEO yourself or hire a good SEO marketer to help you maximize potential SEO opportunities for your site. If your site starts to appear in search results for keywords relevant to your particular niche, it becomes a magnificent boost towards building your audience.

6. Promote Affiliate Offers

This is probably what you’ve been waiting for the entire time. But trust us, completing the initial steps will definitely make this a quick breeze. After you’ve proven that you can offer something of good value in your chosen niche, it’s time to keep adding value by promoting products that will be helpful for your audience. These are some ideas of how you can possibly promote your offers:
  • Product reviews.
  • In-text content links
  • Discounts and giveaways
  • Banner ads
  • Emails and promotions.

How Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?

For those looking to increase their income online, affiliate marketing is definitely a quick and effective method. But where does the money go into the pocket of fellow affiliates? The answer is rather, complex. Depending on the program or strategy, the affiliate’s contribution to sellers is measured differently. The following are some of the affiliates are paid:
  • Pay per click
  • Pay per sale
  • Pay per lead
affiliate marketing

Why Affiliate Marketing?

Now, you must be thinking, is it really worth it going through all that effort just to earn a few bucks? The answer is simple, no. It is, however, definitely worth it going through all that effort to earn a steady income of a couple of hundreds to thousands. Affiliate marketing is a big investment of your time, effort and marketing skills that promises even bigger returns. It is convenient, flexible and allows you to work from home anytime, any day. Also, do not underestimate SEO, as proper usage of this basic knowledge can easily bring in traffic and help you achieve your goals. If you have a product or service that you truly stand by and believe in, a niche that you are passionate about, what you have there might just one day make you into a very rich, very successful businessman/woman.
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