Affiliate marketing is a suitable idea for those who have tried and tested products and/or online services and want to promote them to their audience.
If you've recently bought a product online from a popular E-Commerce website such as Amazon, or have signed up to a service, chances are they have what's called an Affiliate Programme.
A programme that'll give you a commission for everyone that signs up to that service, or purchases a product through a special link. But what is affiliate marketing and how do you get started?
In this blog post, I'm going to teach you what you need to know about affiliate marketing as a beginner and just how to get started!
Affiliate marketing is a type of promotional system that encourages website traffic generation by offering some commission of the product or service to you as the affiliate marketer by promoting someone else's product or service.
Really, you've probably done some affiliate marketing in person recently, but without realising it.
To simplify things, let's take a popular product such as a smartwatch. You really like the particular watch and have been a fan of the company selling the watch for a long time.
Every time you mention the company and product to someone, and that someone ends up going to buy that smartwatch because of your recommendation, you've successfully promoted a product.
Imagine if you could do this with almost any product or service and earn a bit of cash on the side right?
You might've heard of the terms: "affiliate" or "affiliate publisher" floating around in this space not knowing what they even mean, and what they mean for you.
The simplest way to explain them is this...
The affiliate is the company with the main responsibility of promotion and delivering sales for the company in return for a small commission.
The affiliate publisher is just another way of describing what an affiliate is. Affiliate marketing allows you to start small, and over time as you become more familiar you can venture into different affiliate products.
When you're starting out with affiliate marketing, you're going to need to find an affiliate merchant to partner with and promote their product.
An affiliate merchant is typically an online retailer or brand that uses affiliate marketing methods and campaigns to drive more search traffic to their site.
Affiliate merchants are responsible for setting up the systems that allow you as the affiliate to take one of their links, add it to your site and start seeing some commissions being generated off of the back of clicks.
If the merchant hasn't got a programme or system set up, it's unlikely that you're going to be able to partner with them to promote their product or service.
As an affiliate, after receiving a special link or banner, it's your job to put it on your site in places where targeted traffic is going to come across and click on the banner or link.
If you've got a blog, this is likely the best place to put affiliate links as you can share your knowledge as a website owner and business and then insert relevant links which would be the affiliate links.
Too many times on the internet do I see sites that simply insert irrelevant links that are clearly affiliate links promoting products or services that they've done very little research on, and it's dead obvious to identity.
One of the best ways that you can promote these products is to create blog articles and product reviews about the products or services.
This way, you're driving targeted traffic since the people clicking through to these product reviews and articles are people that are likely to be interested in them.
Don't go writing content and stuffing links into the content if it isn't relevant.
Okay, so making money through an affiliate program isn't likely to make you rich any time soon, in fact, you're going to need to build up a lot of trust and have thousands of blog readers every month on your website in order to see any money coming in here.
With that being said,** I must stress, ensuring that you're creating relevant and high quality content** should be at the top of your priority list - not, making money.
If you're coming at this from the "get rich quick" angle, you're likely going to fail pretty quickly.
As the affiliate, promoting a product or service you're going to get what's called an affiliate commission.
This is often referred to as the CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) and is often given for every completed sale.
It's usually a one-off payment, so don't expect recurring monthly payments for this, although some merchants will offer monthly commission depending on what it is you're promoting.
You're likely to find monthly commission rates on subscription based products or services rather than one-off ones.
An important consideration when you're looking to make money with an affiliate program is the commission frequency offered by the merchant.
This will typically determine when the product or service offers the one-off payment, it might be a fixed amount on the sale, or could even be a percentage of the sale but only paid once.
On the other hand, a recurrent model allows you as the affiliate to be comfortable knowing that once you've referred someone to the product or service, so long as they keep coming back, you'll keep getting a percentage.
This is incredibly helpful and useful, it's usually offered by SaaS (Software as a Service) companies.
No I'm not talking about the cookies that you eat, I'm talking about the web based cookies.
When somebody clicks on an affiliate link, such as an Amazon affiliate link, a small piece of data called a cookie is placed in their browser on the device that they're using for a certain amount of time.
This means that if someone clicks on your affiliate link and doesn't purchase a product or service for a period of time, when they return to purchase that product 3 days later you'll still be eligible for a commission.
Some companies will expire the cookie after just a few hours, whilst others such as Amazon expire the cookie after 30 days - giving you as the affiliate, a 30 day timeframe to earn a commission from someone that's clicked your affiliate link.
If you're a website that has recently seen a spike in website traffic or are growing an online business, then why not recommend other people's products and/or services and earn a little bit of a side commission at the same time?
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