Affiliate marketing is an ideal way to make money online and start a home-based business. Affiliate marketing is one of the biggest and legit ways to make money online. These platforms allow every user- bloggers, website owners to earn a certain amount of money by promoting products on their websites or blogs. It has become a major passive source of earning for many online bloggers, entrepreneurs, and webmasters. This post will let you know everything you need to know about affiliate marketing and how it has helped the society at large. So this will lead us to the first question.
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What is Affiliate Marketing?
Taking a cue from Wikipedia, Affiliate Marketing is a type of performance-based marketing done online. In this process, a business rewards one or more affiliates or associates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing (online marketing) efforts. In other words, affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission for marketing or promoting other people's or company's products.
This promotion is carried out online by an affiliate marketer whose job is to advertise products on social media, blogs, websites, etc. Affiliate marketing is simply a strategy to drive sales and generate online revenue. And it will be beneficial to both brands and affiliate marketers. This takes us to the next question.
Who is an Affiliate Marketer?
An affiliate marketer is that individual or company that markets or promotes the products of a seller in a pleasant way and tries to attract and persuade potential customers to buy the merchant's product. The job of an affiliate marketer is to promote a product to a certain audience and let them purchase the product of the affiliate company through them thereby bringing sales to the company while also earning a few bucks off the revenue made. As an affiliate marketer, you can promote products from many different companies and earn a commission from them all. All that an affiliate marketer has to do is to promote products on websites, social media, blogs, etc.
How does Affiliate Marketing Works?
Affiliate marketing works by first looking for an affiliate program to join. The merchant then gives each affiliate a unique link so they would be able to track who was responsible for a sale. So when you market a product online using your link and a potential customer sees the product and liked it then uses your link to try and purchase the product, a small file called a cookie gets stored on their device. This helps merchants such as Amazon, Commission Junction, and Clickbank, etc to attribute the sale back to the right person. These cookies usually hold an expiration date so you get paid even if the buyer delays their purchase.
Here is an example of how this works on Amazon. Think of a potential customer visiting one of your posts about the best Kayaking gear. They then click on one of your affiliate links, which leads them to a product on Amazon. But they realized they have to attend to something very urgent. So they leave their house to attend to that urgent matter, come back home, have dinner, and then finally go back to Amazon where they find the product again. Since they’re already shopping on Amazon, they decide to purchase a winter jacket too.
Here is something good about this. Earlier, they clicked on your affiliate link and a cookie was stored on their device. Because Amazon has a 24-hour cookie duration, you get compensated for both the Kayaking gear and the winter jacket—even though you didn’t market or promote the latter.
How to Become an Affiliate Marketer?
Gradually follow these four guidelines, then you are on your way to becoming an affiliate marketer.
1. Choose a Platform
In as much as it is possible to do affiliate marketing on any platform (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Youtube, etc). A more recommended platform is to build a website or a blog. Once you have your site ready, optimize it for search engine so you have a better chance of ranking. After which you can now add an affiliate link in your content.
2. Choose a Niche
After owning your site the next step is to choose a niche then carefully select a topic that focuses on a certain sector. For example, the topic of “sport” is a large category. So rather than tackling that you can go for something more specific like motorsports, tennis, kayaking, etc. Keeping your niche close can help build a more focused audience and can also increase your ranking in search engines.
3. Find Products in your Niche
The next action in line is to find products in your niche. The one advice I will offer here is to make sure you choose a niche that has a lot of product vendors as this will let you have a lot of products to offer your audience online. However, when you are just getting started don't have more products than you can handle try to limit yourself to two or three products at a time. Finding the product in your niche quite important because as a sports blogger you wouldn't want to promote food products.
4. Choose an Affiliate Program/Network
There are a lot of factors to consider before joining an affiliate network. You might want to join an affiliate network because of its popularity among the audience, or rather because of the kind of product in your niche. And you might want to join an affiliate network because of its high commission which will increase your earning. For whatever reason, you might have just make sure you choose the right affiliate network for your niche. There are a lot of affiliate networks to choose from today. Affiliate marketing networks such as Amazon Associates, Clickbank, CJ Affiliate, ShareASale, Skimlinks, etc is recommendable.
I know there are a whole lot of them and you are stuck on which one to choose. I will clear your doubts by discussing some of the aforementioned affiliate networks. Amazon is a very popular brand. So follow me as I take you into the world of Amazon affiliate network.
Amazon Affiliate Marketing
Amazon affiliate marketing is also known as Amazon Associates and is one of the most famous online platforms for affiliate marketing. The beautiful thing is because it's popular you know it a large percentage of your audience probably knows about it too. With that, you can easily get potential customers making use of your affiliate link because they are conversant with the merchant. Amazon Associate affiliate program allows you to promote or advertise any product that is sold on their platform.
Amazon Associates is a referral program that pays a commission to you if any of the referral comes through your link. So when a customer makes a visit to Amazon via a link on your website, you get a percentage of the sale of whatever they purchase over the next 24 hours.
Your commission varies though depending on what type of item a customer purchases. It’s important to keep in mind that the percentage of the sale you receive isn’t the only factor in your commission. Your conversion rate also matters because it reflects how many people are actually clicking an affiliate link and making a purchase after visiting your site.
If a customer arrives at Amazon through one of your affiliate links and adds a product to their shopping cart and leaves Amazon without completing their order, don't worry it’s still possible for you to earn a percentage of that sale. As long as the product was added to the customer's cart within that 24-hour window, you’ll receive the referral fee if the order is placed before the shopping cart expires, which is typically 90 days.
Amazon affiliate marketing program has a commission that ranges anywhere from 1% to 10% of the sale price for the product your readers purchase during the session they start after coming through a link from your website or post.
How to Become an Amazon Affiliate
Anybody can become an Amazon Affiliate so far you have a platform to display your affiliate links. Here is a detailed way of joining the Amazon Affiliate program. To get started with simply visit affiliate-program.amazon.com and click “Join Now for Free.”
- The next step is to submit your personal and website details. Filling your personal details is a very sensitive aspect as this will be your official profile, so please make sure all information is correct. Your personal details include your name, address, and phone number. After filling this information you will then be asked to enter the websites and mobile app URLs where you plan to display banners, ads, or affiliate links. You can enter up to 50 websites on the Amazon affiliate network.
- Next, you’ll select your preferred store ID and provide the necessary information about your websites or mobile apps and what kind of products you intend to market or promote. You’ll also choose the topics from a drop-down menu — such as apparel, books, gaming, or sport — that best describe your websites or mobile apps niche.
- You will then be asked to describe how you drive traffic to your sites, how you generate income from your sites and apps, how you typically build links, and how many total unique visitors you get on a monthly basis. Of course, most affiliate programs, if not all, are interested in how much traffic you get. Mind you if you have a low traffic turn up you might get kicked out of the network.
- The next step is to verify your identity. In order to verify your identity, Amazon asks for a phone number that they use to make an automated phone call. All you have to do is to simply enter your phone number. Then you click “Call Me Now” and answer when you receive a call from Amazon. A pin number appears on the screen. The automated call will ask you to verify the pin number. It’s that easy!
- Once verified the next thing is to choose how you want to get paid. Here Amazon welcomes you to their Associate's Program and at this point. You can choose to enter your payment and tax information now or later.
Once you complete the registration process, Amazon will give you access to their Associate's platform. Then you will be able to get the affiliate links for their products.
There are thousands of other affiliate programs that you will want to be part of, my other recommendation will be the Clickbank and CJ Affiliate.
Clickbank has a huge range of products available and covers all markets from health to digital services. There are thousands of products you can promote as soon as you’ve signed up. ClickBank sells digital and physical products that are created by passionate entrepreneurs.
One big benefit of digital products is that they often pay much higher commissions. ClickBank is placed among the top 100 internet retailers and leader in digital e-commerce, improving the lives of over 200 million customers, and working with more than 6 million entrepreneurs in over 200 countries around the world. So Clickbank is recommendable.
CJ Affiliate by Conversant
CJ Affiliate was previously known as Commission Junction. With over 20 years of experience, they are one of the oldest and most trusted and respected names in affiliate marketing. It has a very large database of programs and most merchants have a listing on this site. They often also pay a higher commission through CJ’s than their own in-house programs. It could potentially be the only affiliate network program you need to sign up with.