What Is Affiliate Marketing
People worldwide are now turning to affiliate marketing in the hopes of making an additional income. You might be wondering; what is affiliate marketing and is it really possible to make decent money?
We’ll take you through everything you should know before you set sail as an affiliate marketer.
What is affiliate marketing:
- What is affiliate marketing?
- How does it work?
- How do affiliate marketers make money?
- Tips to become a successful affiliate marketer.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
The basics of affiliate marketing are actually quite simple. An affiliate earns a certain commission by marketing a seller’s product (it could be a person or a big company).
So, what affiliate marketing is doing is basically spreading the responsibility of selling a certain product. By spreading the responsibility to several individuals, the seller is creating a stronger marketing strategy.
How Does It Work?
In short, this is how affiliate marketing works:
- The affiliate promotes a product or service through social media or on their site.
- A curious consumer clicks on the promotion via the affiliate’s link.
- The consumer is then redirected to the brand’s website or seller’s site.
- After a bit of thought (or none at all) the consumer purchases the product or service.
- The affiliate network or platform will then automatically pay out a commission to the affiliate once the sale is verified.
There are different parties needed to make affiliate marketing work, these include:
- Product creator, seller or both.
- An affiliate.
- A consumer.
Let’s take a closer look at the required parties:
1. Product Creator or Seller
The seller of a product can be a solo entrepreneur or even a large company. Regardless, the seller becomes a vendor, merchant, retailer or product creator with a product in need of promotion or marketing.
Keep in mind, the product can be either physical, such as a vacuum, or a service, such as car insurance.
The affiliate is often referred to as a publisher or partner. Similar to the seller, the affiliate can also be an individual or even a company that markets different products.
Affiliates have to promote their products in an appealing way to “lure” in customers. They have to help the consumer figure out whether the product is for them—if so, they also have to convince the consumer to purchase the product.
Affiliates are often very specific as to which audience they market in order to adhere to the audience’s interests. For example, a home baker might create a niche site all about baking where they’ll promote things like cake tins and stand mixers.
By being as specific as possible, the affiliate is able to attract the audience that is most likely to click on their links.
3. The Consumer
The entire drive of affiliate marketing is the consumer—if there is no consumer to click your links, you won’t get paid.
When consumers buy a product, the affiliate and seller will share the profits. It’s important that the affiliate discloses the fact that their website includes affiliate links so the consumer is aware of it.
The perk of affiliate marketing is that rarely will it affect the price of the product. The commission the affiliate earns is generally included in the retail price.
In saying that, it’s still important that the consumer is aware of the affiliate links—otherwise, it could leave them feeling tricked. Additionally, affiliates should disclose their use of affiliate links according to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
How Do Affiliate Marketers Make Money?
Affiliate marketing is a relatively quick and easy way to earn money online without all the hassle of selling and distributing products. But how do you get paid?
There are multiple ways an affiliate marketer can earn their share depending on the program they’re in. In some instances, the consumer doesn’t even have to buy a product for the affiliate to earn a small commission—let’s take a closer look:
1. Pay Per Sale Program
The standard affiliate marketing structure is the pay per sale program. In this program, the affiliate is paid a percentage of the sale price by the merchant. In short, the affiliate has to get the consumer to buy the product before they earn their commission.
2. Pay Per Click Program
This program is slightly more complex compared to others as it requires the affiliate to redirect the consumer to the merchant’s website.
In short, this means the affiliate has to engage the consumer enough to make them want to move to the merchant’s website. The affiliate is paid per the increase in traffic—on the merchant’s website—they create.
3. Pay Per Lead Program
The pay per lead program is probably the most complex system. It compensates affiliates based on their conversion of leads. In other words, the affiliate must convince the consumer to visit the seller’s website and complete some form of action—it could be subscribing to a newsletter or signing up for a program.
Tips to Become a Successful Affiliate Marketer
Here are a few quick tips to help you get a good start in affiliate marketing:
- Create a rapport: As you begin, it’s important to create an audience that has very specific needs. This enables you to create a niche that they can follow and trust, which you can hopefully convert into sales.
- Be personal: There’s endless of products out there for you to promote, so consider what means the most to you. If you’re promoting products that you’re passionate about, the audience is likely to feel that and be more engaged.
- Review products: Don’t just list different products in the hopes of someone clicking through to purchase. Instead, begin to research the products or services you’re promoting to help your audience decide whether or not the product is for them.
- Stay on top of trends: The affiliate marketing sphere is changing all the time, so it’s essential that you stay up to date on new trends and strategies.
Last but Not Least
The universe of affiliate marketing is vast and filled with opportunities for affiliates and sellers. Although it might seem simple enough, affiliate marketing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme—it requires hard work, product and marketing research.
Don’t be afraid to use all available sources—create a blog, share promotions on your social media accounts and more.