What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is an increasingly popular way for retailers and webmasters to have their products promoted by entrepreneurs, businesses, and websites. They pay a referring affiliate a fixed percentage of the sale price as a reward for bringing them the sale.
The percentage is usually low for physical products, anywhere from 3%-20%. However for digital products, such as subscriptions and software purchases, the rate can be much higher, around 35%-70%.
Traditionally, over the last decade or so at least, affiliate marketing has mainly been conducted via building website’s and directing traffic towards it. Through both content marketing and PPC (pay-per-click). More commonly, however, people are turning to social media.
You would ideally specialise in a “niche”, and focus on a particular subject. Not every niche is profitable, but good research will help you determine where to focus your efforts.
You would then build content around that niche, such as blog posts, information articles, news, etc, and fit your affiliate links in where appropriate. A common example would be a site that compares and review products. This is an example of a successful shaving affiliate website – PickMyShaver.
Content marketing can be very fun if you enjoy writing, but painful if not. When an affiliate niche site is earning, which can be within a few months if done right, then it can be sold for about 12 times it’s monthly profit.
More people are taking up affiliate marketing by the day. Either as an additional income, such as adding They offer a commission of the sale price for Anyone can do this and there is a multitude of different ways you can promote.
What Do I Need To Start Affiliate Marketing?
There are no set specifics as each program you promote will expect different things from you. Some of them won’t expect anything but a lot of them will require you to have a website with sufficient original content on. To promote Affiliate Marketing programs, we recommend you have the following:
- At least one website you can link for applications. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the one you will promote from, but many want to see you’re not just a fraudster using dodgy black hat techniques to gain commissions. The hardest to enter programs will want to see high quality content too though, that’s less of a fraud-detecting method and more of a “we’re very picky about who we let promote us” method.
- A professional e-mail address. In other words, firstname.lastname@example.org, such as email@example.com. This is especially important for reasons stated above, but you’ll find these are essentially free to own when you have web hosting.
- A Marketing plan. Affiliate marketing isn’t easy by a long shot. You need to decide what you’re going to sell and how otherwise you won’t find yourself making any money. Most people choose to have a “Landing page” which is a page on your own site you can send people to which sells the product you’re promoting to them. This page will usually have some sort of ‘lead capture’ system. In other words, you’ll ask for their e-mail address. This allows you to follow up with them if they don’t initially buy into your offer.Even better, it allows you to contact buyers again when you have a similar product they are likely to be interested in. You might have heard this referred to as ‘list building’, or quite simply, ’email marketing’. If you’d like to read more about email marketing then click here. It is probably the most powerful marketing tool around and has been for over a decade.
- A Budget. Unless you’re simply going to post your link around on social media (which isn’t always allowed depending on the affiliate program), then you’re going to need some sort of marketing budget for this. On top of the hosting cost, you should consider Facebook PPC ads and other paid marketing methods.
How Do I Find Affiliate Programs?
You can affiliate almost anything. If you can buy it online then there’s a good chance it has an affiliate program attached.
But how to find them? Your best friend Google of course!
“[Product] Affiliate program”.
For example, “canvas art affiliate program” or “furniture affiliate program”.
This should help you get on the right track. If you can’t find one for your niche, then the next thing to do is to contact the suppliers and wholesalers and ask if they have an affiliate program. They may be able to point you in a direction no one else has bothered to ask about, and that could give you an edge over similar sites.