How to Start Affiliate Marketing

The affiliate marketing industry is enormous – much larger than many people would imagine. There are an endless number of products, services, websites, and more that you can offer to promote. 

The key to making money is to find a niche that is in high demand and then promote products or services in that niche. 

In this article, I’ll show you how to find a profitable affiliate marketing niche and promote a product or service that you can sell on a website.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the practice of promoting products and services using links to get a commission when someone clicks through and buys the product or service. 

An affiliate link is a URL that is registered with an affiliate marketing program. The intention is for the person on the other end of the link to make a purchase. 

When you click through an affiliate link, you are sent to a website that may be related to the original product or service.

Why Affiliate Marketing

1. Low-Cost Startup:

Entrepreneurship is a risk-reward proposition. The risk is bearing the upfront costs for products, employees, and so on, while the reward is the ownership of a business and the ability to work with your own schedule and control your own destiny. 

This, combined with creative freedom and autonomy, is a major draw for many would-be entrepreneurs. But the reality is that starting a business means incurring a variety of costs, both immediately and over time.

2. Low ongoing Cost

Since most of your marketing activities are done by affiliates, they’ll also bear the chunk of the cost attached. And since it’s a commission-based program, it means that you’ll only pay affiliates when they bring in a sale or lead. 

This way, you don’t have to worry about burning through your budget on marketing activities. You can instead invest that money in other channels to generate more sales.

3. Low Risk

When you’re starting a small business, every dollar counts. That’s why it’s so important to find the right payment solution for your online business. 

Retailers need to be able to track inventory, processors need to be able to bill customers, and hosts need to be able to turn requests into payments. 

But when you’re just getting started, there’s a lot of costs involved with finding the right payment solution.

4. Targeted Traffic

On the other hand, when you outsource the conversion process to an affiliate network, you’re trusting that the traffic that arrives at your site is high quality. 

Outsource this process to an affiliate network and you can be sure that the traffic that comes to your site is from individuals that find your product or service useful. 

This can increase your conversion rate because you’re only targeting those interested in taking the next step in your sales funnel. 

You can also use this to test which affiliate networks work best for your business, which can help you optimize your marketing strategy.

5. High ROI

Having the keys to product innovation and the ability to manage effectively are two of the most important skills for a product manager. But they don’t guarantee a high return on investment. 

You’ll also need to get your marketing right. There are a number of ways to do this, but the most effective is to build a community around your product.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Works

Image showing How does affiliate marketing works.

You’ll need to follow these five simple actions to join an affiliate marketing program:

  1. Find an affiliate programme and join it.
  2. Select which deals to advertise.
  3. For each deal, obtain a unique affiliate link.
  4. Share the links on your website, blog, or social media channels.
  5. When someone clicks on one of your links and makes a purchase, you’ll get paid.

Depending on the company and the offer, commission rates vary substantially. On the low end, you’ll get roughly 5% of the sale, but depending on the arrangement, you could get up to 50%, which is common when marketing a class or event. 

There are also affiliate marketing programs that pay a fixed sum per sale rather than a percentage of the sale.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Free

1. Decide a Platform to Promote

The classic affiliate marketing model is built around a blog or website. You write articles or posts, embed affiliate links in them, and get a small percentage of sales when people click through and purchase the product. 

There are a variety of affiliate marketing platforms that make this process easier, but it can be done without any platform at all. 

You can build an audience on a budget by blogging about a topic that interests you, and then promoting affiliate products or services you believe in.

YouTube is another platform. Because creating and publishing material to YouTube is free, it appeals to a wide range of people. Make your films SEO-friendly by including affiliate links in the description.

2. Choose Your Niche

When you’re choosing a topic for your affiliate marketing blog, look at the categories that are related to the topic you want to write about. 

Maybe the topic of food is actually an enormous category, but if you narrow it down to grilling food, your blog topic is going to be a lot more specific and easier to build an audience around. 

Some of the most popular affiliate marketing blogs write about their own experiences, rather than general topics. 

The topic of “how-to” is a great one for this, as you can talk about your own experiences and add in a few affiliate links without being too sales.

A lack of consistency is the death knell for many affiliate sites. At the very least, if you’re enthusiastic about a subject, you’ll find it much easier to persevere when things got rough.

If you aren’t an expert in the field, don’t worry. “Document, not create,” as Gary Vaynerchuk puts it. Documenting what you’ve learned can help you create interesting material and attract individuals who want to follow your growth.

It’s best to deal with seasoned professionals in the niche if you’re outsourcing content. Experts can assist you in producing high-quality, reliable work, which can result in increased traffic, engaged visitors, and affiliate sales.

3. Find Best Affiliate Program to Join

Many of the best affiliate programs offer recurring monthly payments instead of one-time payments.  

This is the preferred method of making money with an affiliate program because it’s much easier to build a sustainable business when you have a consistent stream of income. 

Some of the best affiliate programs even offer ongoing payments or refunds on any fees you’ve paid to the affiliate network. 

This shows the affiliate program trusts you to do a good job and provides you with even more reason to make the affiliate program your own and learn all you can.

How to decide which affiliate programs to join

If you’re an expert within your niche, you can choose to join high-paying affiliate programs with low minimums and low sales thresholds. 

This gives you the ability to make a lot of money without selling any products or services. 

But it requires a lot of time spent learning about different products and companies in your niche so that you can recommend the right products to promote. 

Ultimately, it depends on what kind of income you want and how much time you want to invest in your business.

Read this ultimate guide about 105 types of best high-paying affiliate marketing programs to join and earn.

4. Create High-Quality Content

If you want your affiliate site to succeed, you need to create high-quality content where your affiliate links fit naturally. 

The most natural place to include affiliate links is in the body of the article after you’ve described the main point of the content. 

For example, you could write something like this:…and then provide a link to the product or service you’re promoting in the last sentence of the body of the article. 

You can also place the affiliate link in the first sentence or two of the article and then provide a brief description of the product or service in the body of the article.

5. Drive traffic to your Affiliate Site

1. Paid Ads

The advantage of organic search is that you’re not limited by the amount of traffic you can acquire. 

If you have a large following of people who are interested in the topic of your content, then your site will start to appear near the top of search results for queries that involve your topic. 

The disadvantage is that it’s difficult to know how much organic traffic you can expect to receive. 

Unlike with PPC ads, where you can test different ad variations to determine which is most effective, there’s no way to test organic search traffic estimates.

2. SEO

SEO is the practice of optimizing pages to rank high in search engines like Google. 

The idea is to get your website or blog found when a person performs a search on a common query or a related keyword. 

For as long as you can rank high in the search engines for your target keywords, you’ll have a better chance of getting found organically by visitors searching from Google. 

This not only helps you reach a larger audience but also increases your organic traffic (page views and sales).

3. Build an Email List

One of the best ways to keep your fans coming back to your site is to email them about new blog posts or content. 

This not only builds a relationship with your readers but also lets you communicate about upcoming content. 

This lets you build a list of people who are interested in what you have to write about, which helps you with future content ideas. 

You can also use email to let people know when a new post has been published to keep them coming back to your site.

4. Promote on Social Media

Promoting products on social media like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest is a great way to get the word out about your products and services. 

However, the best way to do this is to actually embed a link to the product or service in a Facebook Video, Instagram Reels, or Pinterest Image. 

This means that when someone clicks on the social media link, it takes them to a page on your site where they can purchase the product. 

This also means that you can promote other products on social media like you would promote a reel, image, or affiliate link.

6. Get clicks on your affiliate links

There are several reasons why people don’t click on your affiliate links. For one, it is a lot of work to go through all of the links to see if any have affiliate links and, if so, which ones look the most convincing. 

It is also a good idea to create a single webpage so that you can click on the link and get to the content with one click, rather than having to click on a link for each product.

Link Placement:

Instead, place your most important affiliate links near the top of the page where people will be more likely to click. 

This is especially important for large blocks of text or images that don’t have much action. 

You can also use these blocks to subtly promote other products or services within your blog content via calls to action. 

For example, if you have a paragraph of text about the benefits of a certain supplement, you could add the supplement as an affiliate link in that paragraph’s sidebar.

Context:

Assume you’re writing a piece about the greatest kitchen Microwave Oven under $100.

It’s unlikely that your introduction will look like this:

I’m going over the best microwave oven under $100 today.

The links appear to be spammy and out of context.

This would be more logical:

Today, I’m going over Ten different best Microwave ovens that you can get for about $100 on Amazon. Product name 1, product name 2, and product name 3 are the names of the products.

Action Callouts:

One way to help readers navigate your content is with callouts like buttons, tables, and boxes. 

These elements help draw readers’ attention to key parts of your post and make the content more skimmable. 

For example, you could place a callout box at the top of your post that contains a link to a blog post you’ve written about a particular topic. 

This callout box could include short, easy-to-read text that’s designed to pique your readers’ curiosity and get them to click the link to learn more.

Conclusion:

I hope you understand what affiliate marketing is and how to start. If you don’t know how to create a blog with WordPress you can read by clicking here.

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