Affiliate marketing is a method of advertisement whereby a company pays a certain amount to a third party to generate traffic to the company’s products and/or services. The third party publishers are called affiliate marketers and the commission fee paid incentivizes them to find diverse ways to promote the company. In simple terms, affiliate marketing is an essential pay for performance marketing program where the work of selling a buyer on a particular product is outsourced to a vast network of online marketers whose job it is to send potential buyers to the offers provided and make a commission if their visitors buy the product or services offered.
Making money with affiliate marketing for beginners
Here’s an example of a company trying to sell physical products (ecommerce) using affiliates online. When an e-commerce merchant desires a wider reach to internet users and shoppers, they hire an online affiliate who promotes the products on the e-commerce platform on his/her websites or email marketing lists through the use of banner ads, text ads, and/or links. Someone clicks on one of these links and is automatically redirected to the e-commerce platform and if a purchase is made, the affiliate gets paid the agreed commission, which could be 5% to 10% of the sale price of the product.
As a beginner, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Choose your niche: Contrary to popular opinion, creating a website is the second and not the first step to becoming an affiliate marketer. Choosing your target niche should come first. If you don’t know what your site is going to be about or who you’re going to be targeting with it, you can’t actually build a site now, can you? This is a very difficult and overwhelming step and most people get stuck on the first step, so, here are some questions to ask yourself to help make the process an easier one:
- Am I passionate about this topic?
- Is there constant money in this niche?
- Can I write 25, 50 or even 100 blog posts on this topic?
- Is there still room in this niche for another affiliate marketer?
- Are there enough affiliate programs available for this niche?
Once you’ve settled on a good enough niche that checks all your boxes, carry out extensive research on affiliate programs for that niche – merchants that use the program, average commission, the integrity of products and services, etc.
- Build a Site: As a beginner, it is assumed you do not own a website and the advisable medium is WordPress because it is easy to use and does not require technical knowledge to set up.
- Produce Excellent Content: This is where the phrase “content is king” comes to life. Your contents should be a vast variety of product reviews, questions, problems and solutions relevant to your target market, evergreen and informational products to keep your audience interested in your blog.
- Build an Audience: If you have done step 3 properly, this should follow naturally. However, you can further grow your audience by promoting your content on social media, guest posting on high-traffic blogs, building an email list, and investing in paid marketing for your blog.
- Promote Affiliate Offers: Now that you have grown your website to a high-traffic blog, direct that traffic to your affiliate offers through product reviews, banner ads, etc. this can become quite lucrative if you stick with it and can match your messaging with the right audience and best affiliate programs.
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