Pat Flynn, the founder of the Smart Passive Income blog defines affiliate marketing as: “The process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products”.
The affiliate marketing process simply entails finding a product you like, promoting it to your audience, and then earning a piece of the profit made from each sale that you refer to.
- Affiliate marketing is the best way to start earning for any new entrepreneur, and also a good marketing strategy for companies selling the product or service.
- As an affiliate marketer, you will benefit through the commissions you earn from the sales you make.
- The company benefits through the new clients you send them, who may turn out to be recurring clients.
- The customer benefits by learning about a product or service he/she needs from you.
Most internet entrepreneurs make their first money online through affiliate marketing. The method has been ranked as the easiest and fastest way to start an online business.
“The best thing about affiliate marketing is the fact that you don’t need to have, or to create a product to make money. As soon as you have a platform to sell on, you can go ahead and start selling something.”
Almost every blogger today has affiliate marketing as one of the income streams incorporated into their websites or blogs. And in case you are wondering….Yes! You can have more than one income stream with your blog.
Even in this blog, affiliate marketing has been used as a form of revenue stream. The products and services I have recommended in this blog are the tools and services I personally use for my online business or are used by clients I consult for.
Some of the products and services contain affiliate links, which means that if you or anyone else makes a purchase through my affiliate links, I earn a commission. This ofcourse comes at no extra cost to you.
If you have ever purchased through my links before, thank you very much! The commissions I earn helps in maintaining this site and offering you high-quality service. Your support is appreciated!
Rules of Affiliate Marketing
If you are an aspiring affiliate marketer, there are two important rules you will have to adhere to, for your business to be successful.
- Only recommend products that you are very familiar with. These may include products that you have used before and discovered their unique benefits.
- Never directly tell your readers to buy a product. It is best to recommend products or services in the context of what you are doing, or the type of your website.
How to Become a Successful Affiliate Marketer Today
Step 1. Find a niche
In order to build a successful online business, you will need to build a website. However, before you even start building the site, you have to choose a niche.
Choosing a niche will allow you to have a target audience for your site. A niche defines your audience or target market. Finding the right niche for your business is crucial for the success of the business. If you have already identified a niche, Congratulations! Most people find this step to be very challenging
If you do not have a niche, here are some few questions that can help you decide the perfect niche for your business:
- What topics are you passionate about?
I would recommend choosing something that you are really passionate about. For example, nutrition, fitness, technology, health, politics, sports, makeup and beauty, cooking, among others. Starting up with something you are passionate about will work to your advantage.
- Is there money in this particular niche?
Although following your passion is the first recommended option, it is advisable to investigate whether your chosen niche is profitable.
- Is this topic easy for you, such that you can easily write 50 or 100 blog posts on?
Ensure to settle on a topic that you feel you can create a lot of content on. Content is the key driver for your site, as it will help in building and establishing your brand.
The content will also help in search engine optimization, and most importantly in gaining your audience’s trust. Gaining trust is of great importance as your audience will recognize you as an authority on the topic, and it will also be easy for you to make sales.
- Is there enough demand in this particular niche?
Before you decide to settle on a topic, make sure to investigate the demand for products in the niche. You might choose a topic that attracts many readers, but without the demand for the relevant products or services, your site will not make you much money.
- What affiliate programs are available in the niche?
You might have chosen the perfect niche, but without any affiliate programs available in the niche, you will simply make no money.
Getting the right affiliate program for your niche guarantees unending profits in the long run. Go for affiliate programs that have been proven to be effective and profitable by other affiliates in your niche.
You should also consider the difference in commissions among the available affiliate networks. For example, some affiliates earn up to 80% in commissions on Clickbank.
Look for products and services that will not only benefit you but most importantly your clients.
There are many networks to choose from, therefore, take time to find out what affiliate programs are available for your niche and settle on the best.
- Does the niche have room for another affiliate marketer?
The more popular a niche is, the more overcrowded it might be. A good example is the Weight Loss niche. Look for a niche that is not that highly competitive; one that will allow you room to compete with other established affiliate marketers.
Finding the niche is just the beginning, successful affiliate marketers make it their business to understand the niche inside out. This includes understanding the needs, wants, and desires of the audience.
According to Nichehacks.com, there are 6 easy steps involved in finding and dominating profitable niches.
These steps include:
- Finding a specific audience.
- Identifying problems facing the audience.
- Examining the size of the niche market.
- Calculate the demand for products and services.
- Analyze competition.
- Find a unique angle and defeat competition.
Step 2. Choose your business model
Choosing the right business model will help you to grow your business exponentially. The business model will determine what kind of an authority website you will create. Find out which is the best way to meet the needs of your readers and continue from there.
Some of the most models adopted by bloggers include:
- Affiliate Blogs
- Product Review Websites
- Epic Blogs
- Coupon & Discount Sites
- Price Comparison Sites
- Unusual Product Sites
Creating an authority site does not include knowing everything there is to know about a specific niche. It requires understanding the needs of your readers and potential clients and becoming the “go-to” person in the niche.
With whichever business model you choose for your online business, ensure that you help your potential readers to solve their problems.
Step 3. Build a website
Unlike in the past, building a website nowadays is easy.
Although some technical knowledge and coding might come in handy, any newbie with no tech knowledge or coding skills can set up a website in under 5 minutes.
Five Minutes…It’s that easy!
Follow the following steps to create your first affiliate marketing website:
1) Get a domain
Getting a domain is the first step in setting up your new site. This will be the name or address for your website (for example, https://skartecedu.in).
I would advise you to have several options as the name you want may be already taken by somebody else. (You can get a free domain if you choose Bluehost for your hosting services, see below)
2) Set up hosting
Just as the domain is your address on the web, hosting can be perceived as the actual housing for your business on the web. This is where your site will be live.
Over the years, hosting has grown to become very cheap, with hundreds of hosting service providers offering attractive hosting services. The success of your business depends on the reliability of your hosting service provider.
I would recommend choosing the most reputable and reliable web hosting service providers such as Bluehost. The reason I like using Bluehost is that you get a free domain when you purchase the hosting service.
3) Install WordPress
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that helps you to easily customize and manage your site. You will need to install a content management system after you finish setting up your hosting.
I recommend WordPress as it is easy to learn and use, especially for beginners. Most of the reputable hosting service providers offer a one-click install option for WordPress.
4) Choose your theme
A theme will help you to style your site and give it a professional and presentable look as seen on the front end by your audience.
There are several free themes available on WordPress that you can choose from. There are also thousands of paid themes if you are looking for something unique.
I recommend choosing a simple and easy to customize a theme.
5) Create content
Content is the key ingredient in driving traffic to your site, which later converts to sales. You have to create content that is relevant to your niche and that which is engaging to your audience.
The content should also be search engine-friendly so that your site can be ranked and easily found by your potential audience.
Step 4. Choose affiliate networks
Choosing an affiliate marketing program is also an important part of ensuring success for your online business.
Some of the most common affiliate marketing programs include JVZoo, Jumia, Amazon associates, Commission Junction, iTunes, among others.
Some of the things to take into consideration at this step include:
- Your business model
- The reputation of the company
- The available affiliate networks in your niche
- Security measures are taken by the company to minimize cases of fraud
- Support offered by the company
- The type of affiliates that are most successful in your niche
Step 5. Get traffic using SEO & Lead generation techniques
After setting up your affiliate website, the next and most important step is getting traffic. Generating good quality traffic will guarantee conversions and profits for you. There are several ways to get traffic to your website. However, all these strategies are categorized into free and paid traffic.
For now, I recommend sticking to free methods.
Step 6. Email Marketing
Email marketing has been ranked as the number one affiliate marketing strategy. Although social media has become very popular over the past few years, people still check their emails. You should start collecting emails and connecting with people as soon as you can.
Emails give you a chance to connect and communicate with your readers on a personal level. You can offer solutions to their problems by leading them to the relevant products and services.
Affiliate marketing should not be viewed as a get-rich-quick scheme. It will take time before you start getting any revenue.
It all depends on your hard work. It is possible to get your first affiliate commission within a few days or weeks. On the other hand, it may take up to six months and above before making any sales.
The secret to being successful with affiliate marketing is satisfying the needs and wants of your readers and visitors. This can be achieved through high-quality content, effective engagements, smart marketing strategies.
Planning to do affiliate marketing? Then do check the top affiliate marketing course.