What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate program: a system where a company/merchant pays you a percentage commission for purchasing customers you direct to their site.
Are you looking for extra income or would you like to replace your main income?
Affiliate marketing is a great way to start earning an income from home, without the stress of developing your own products and dealing with customers.
It’s very low cost to start and the rewards with a little work can be considerable.
You don’t need any premises, stock, staff, transport, equipment, resources, or capital. You don’t deal with staff, customers, returns, complaints, or refunds.
- You build a site around a ‘niche’. Weight loss, football, dog training, internet marketing, software… the list is endless
- You find products relevant and beneficial to your niche, which have an affiliate program
- You join the affiliate programs
- Get your personalised link or banners etc
- Use them in your blog and reviews to direct your visitors to them
- When they buy . . . you earn.
What you put into the business you will get out! It's not an overnight 'get rich' scheme. You will need to be willing to learn new skills and it may take a little time.
Patience and perseverance will be essential.
Saying that affiliate marketing is one of the fastest, safest, and most scalable ways to make money online.
Fastest: by using tools like WordPress you can set up in a couple of hours rather than days!
Safest: Your website is your own product.
Scalable: Once you have chosen your niche, you'll find many affiliate products in your area. You'll be able to add more products as you expand. When you are ready you can then branch out into other niches.
How does it work?
- You create a website. The cost for hosting is around£10 a month and a domain name is around £10 a year. WordPress is perfect for this because you don't need any HTML or programming skills. It also has lots of themes and tutorials on how to do everything!
- You choose the product or products, relevant to your content, which have an 'affiliate program'.
- You use a simple link on your website, which when clicked identifies you as the one who sent a visitor to the merchant's site.
- If the visitor then buys, you will earn a commission. The amount will depend on the product but typically commissions are around 4-75% of the sale.
- You will normally be paid fortnightly or monthly in arrears.
Ultimately how much you will earn depends on how much effort you put in. There are affiliates earning £50 a month and others earning millions in a year.
Helen Southgate, senior online marketing manager at BSkyB and the Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) affiliate marketing council chair, is keen to reduce the fears of those skeptical of web-based income schemes: ‘Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to generate an income from online advertising, regardless of the size of your business,’ she says. ‘It has been growing in stature and is highly regarded by key advertisers from large blue-chip companies to SMEs.’
5 mistakes to avoid:
Thinking you can get rich quickly.
It will not make you rich overnight but with perseverance, learning, and work the sky is the limit.
Giving up too easily.
It can take weeks or months to see any success. Focus on your dreams make a plan and learn as you move forward. Promote only those products you feel are right and legitimate.
Neglecting the Niche.
Choose a niche and stick to it until you are successful. Smaller markets are easier to build a site around. They are very targeted which makes choosing products to promote is easier.
Underestimating the importance of content.
Fill your site with quality articles and information that relates to your niche. This will help you rank higher on Google and will also show your visitors that you know what you are talking about.
Make sure your content is in-depth, is high-quality, and pre-sells the products.
Don't be an affiliate who sets up their site, puts some content on and adds affiliate links, and then sits back waiting for the affiliates to and money to pour in.
Keep adding content- the more you have the more visitors and search engines you can attract. The more visitors you get, the more your income will increase. Think of your content as an investment.
Finally keep up with the trends in your niche, new products, and new sources of traffic.
Help with your affiliate marketing?
There are a number of ways to begin affiliate marketing. You can go it alone or you can join an affiliate marketing training course.
There are a number of courses out there for varying price brackets. They each basically explain their system and give you the tools to use it for yourself.
Which course you choose depends on what you want. Below are some of the most well-known systems to get you on your way with affiliate marketing, some are better than others in my opinion. However, it is important you get the one that is the right fit for you, what you want, and how you work:
Sites that teach you to promote any product.
- The Authority Site System: For beginners and Intermediates. A complete, step-by-step system for how to start, build and grow your own profitable affiliate/authority sites. (Price: $997)
- Authority Hacker Pro: Aimed towards more advanced users who already have a well-established website which they are looking to progress further. It provides detailed blueprints on how to grow revenue and take your site to the next level.
- Affiliate Lab: For beginners and intermediates. This is a serious marketing course- it focuses on building your site quickly and then 'flipping' (selling) it. (Price: $997)
- Rankxl authority SEO: For beginners and Intermediates. This course is mainly text-based rather than video. It is all well-written and relatively easy to follow. (Price: $599)
- Income school: For beginners and intermediates. This site seems to get some bad press but it is worth a look- as it might fit what you are looking for. (Price: Year 1 $449, $199 per year thereafter).
- Commission Hero: For beginners and intermediates. Set up by Clickbank's top affiliate this course teaches you about using sites like Facebook and Youtube to maximize your affiliate sales. (Price: One payment of $997 OR two payments of $597).
- 1-2-3 Affiliate Marketing: For those with an online presence. This course makes it very clear that unless you have an online presence and some traffic -the course is not right for you. ($599)
Sites that teach you to promote their products, and as an aside, other products
- Wealthy Affiliate: For beginners and intermediates. Some lessons are free, the training on the fundamentals is good but some of the information is outdated. (Price: $19 first month Premium. $30-49/month thereafter).
- SFM (Six Figure Mentors): When looking into this there are mixed reviews. Again, it is important to find a program that fits your needs. The first couple of modules are great for beginners to learn the basics of online business. (Price: Basic training $297 entry fee and $97 per month).
- Affilorama: For beginners and intermediates. This could be the one for you it is not as in-depth as some of the others mentioned above but for a limited budget, it will help you with all the basics. This is one of the longest-running affiliate systems and is written in an uncomplicated and to-the-point manner. It is essentially a guide not a step-by-step course but it has a lot of excellent pointers and tips to help you create your business. (Price: $37)
- Passive Income Geek: For beginners and intermediates. This is another budget system but unlike Affilorama this is a step-by-step course. (Price: $299, $99 per additional year).
If you are unable to afford to pay for any training right now, have a look at the Authority Hacker Blog. It is packed with great information and it is all free!
How you can find affiliate programs/networks?
There are literally tens of thousands of affiliate programs that you can get involved in.
Affiliate Programs Vs. Affiliate Networks
An affiliate program is a direct agreement between you and an online advertiser, an affiliate network is basically a directory filled with thousands of affiliate programs.
An affiliate network manages the affiliate programs for a range of businesses. Most popular affiliate networks include: Shareasale, Commission Junction, Clickbank, Flexoffers and Rakuten Linkshare.
How Do I Get Approved For Affiliate Programs?
For most, you have to fill in an application form and then wait to see if you will be accepted. There are some things that may help to get you accepted below:
- Your website should be active
- Ideally, your site would have at least a few thousand unique visitors per month
- Your content should relate to the products you want to promote
- Your content doesn’t include material of a graphic, questionable, or downright illegal nature
What Should I Look For In An Affiliate Program?
Most affiliates look for offers with the highest payout, but it’s just as important to consider the following:
- Conversion rate
- Cookie duration
- EPC (Earnings per 100 clicks)
- Payment schedule
Just going for the highest payout may not be the best-paying deal. You should consider the other metrics especially their conversion rate and their EPC.
I am not going to go through all the different affiliate programs that are out there. I haven't enough time or space.
- Enter your niche area into Google e.g. 'gardening' add the word 'affiliate' and see what comes up.
- Visit The Authority Hacker's site. The website is a mecca for all things affiliate and has loads of other useful content too!