In this affiliate marketing article for the novis or new marketer, I will explain how affiliate marketing works, marketing 101, and how to get started.
What is Affiliate Marketing 101?
By definition: “affiliate marketing is a referral arrangement in which an online retailer (advertiser) pays you a commission when users purchase their product from your referral link.”
Simply, find a company or product that you want to promote, which we will call your “niche.” You need to select a product or service that you believe will be relevant to your blog’s topic, a niche you have experience or your passionate about and a product you feel will be useful for your audience.
For example, you would like to promote “Running Shoes.”
You search for a company that has running shoes.
The company you choose is called a “Merchant.” I will use these two terms, “Company and Merchant within the article.”
Next, you partner up with the Merchant by joining their affiliate program. This makes you “their Affiliate.” Some companies also use the terms associates, partners, etc.
Once you have joined the Merchant affiliate program, you will get a unique affiliate ID. You will need to use this affiliate ID in all affiliate links that you add in your website or blog to promote their products.
You decide to promote the products by adding an in-depth product review.
In your review you will recommend the products by giving reasons why your customer should purchase. Within the article (review) add a link to the merchant with your unique ID.
Example: “The (Merchant) running shoes are the best you can find. Click here to purchase the best shoes available.” Highlight the Click Here and add your affiliate ID.
In your article, you will need to describe the benefits of the product, you may want to compare your recommended product with others, personal experience, the price of the product, how to order, and any other descriptions that will entice your customer to make a purchase.
It’s always best to include pictures of the product within your blog or website.
All traffic you send to the Merchant website with your unique Affiliate ID will be tracked to you.
Once a customer makes a purchase, you will earn a commission.
In some cases, your commission will be issued once your commissions reach a particular threshold this maybe $50.00…$100.00 dollars or more. Be sure to understand what the Merchant’s policy is regarding the commission threshold.
How To Find A Product or Merchant
For many new affiliates, this maybe a little difficult.
There are many ways to find products and merchants that you can partner up with as an affiliate.
Here are some easiest ways to find a product or merchant to promote:
1. Look for products and services that you already use and find useful. This makes it easy for you to convince your users about the product since you already know the pros and cons.
2. Next, Google the product(s) or merchant. This will get you to companies that offer the product or products. Once on a companies website search for terms like Affiliate program, Partners or Affiliates. This is typically located on the bottom of the website.
3. Read the Affiliate Agreement. This is useful in understanding the merchant requirements, use of logos, use of merchant name, commission structure and other pertinent information.
4. Agree to the Affiliate Agreement. After which you will receive a unique Affiliate ID. This is the ID you will be using.
Best part of affiliate marketing, is that many companies are actively looking for affiliate marketers to promote their products.
Another way to find products is by looking at other blogs similar to yours. You will be able to find many similar blogs that use affiliate marketing as a way to make money.
Finding A Merchant May Take Time
If you Google a product your interested in you may find a few or hundreds of companies. As you search these companies you may find that only a hand-full will offer affiliate programs.
If you do find a company you would like to work with but they don’t indicate they have an affiliate program, email or try to talk to them to indicate your interest. Some may yes and some may say no.
Never give up locating companies. When you do find a good company with in your niche…promote them. As you do you will become more acquitted with company, their products and their commission program.
The last section in this article is going to share what I believe is the number one thing you can do to start earning affiliate income. If you don’t read anything else, at least read that section.
Affiliate Marketing 100
This articles is a series of articles within Affiliate Marketing 100. You will find many more articles on Affiliate Marketing, some How To’s, Why Affiliate Marketing, How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing and many more useful articles plus my personal recommendation for Affiliate Marketing Success.
My goal when I started Affiliate Marketing 100 was to make the most comprehensive, useful and easy-to-implement beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing anywhere on the Internet.
As you look through the many articles, you will also find many articles on “Tips, Advice, Customer Avatar and various reviews.
You will also learn how, To Make Money From Home, How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing, How To Make Money Part-time and articles on Wealthy Affiliate.
Affiliate Marketing 100 will continue to add updated articles with the latest trends in affiliate marketing.
I will be breaking this article into several posts, which will be call chapters. If you are looking for a step-by-step guide on affiliate marketing for the novis as well as the more advanced marketer, I sure you will find what your looking for in Planning-4-Success.
Below I’ll add the links to each chapter as I publish them, but I encourage you to read at least the first section of this intro post before continuing.
Affiliate Marketing Is A Simple Concept
Affiliate marketing has been around for longer than you think.
It didn’t just start with the invention of the Internet, although that is where it really started to gain ground and take off as a way to make money through affiliate marketing.
Let’s take a look at the history of affiliate marketing – how it developed and how it is different today from when it originally started.
The patent for affiliate marketing as we know it today was granted to William J. Tobin in 1989. He is a pioneer in the history of affiliate marketing and kicked things off, especially in the online world. He set up the first affiliate marketing program ever for his company PC Flowers & Gifts.
Mr. Tobin started off with a lawn mowing business. The equipment was purchased by his mother. Mr. Tobin, later joined the Army and afterward got a business degree from Adelphi University. He went on to create several startup companies, which eventually led to PC Flowers & Gifts.
PC Flowers & Gifts gave way to FTD, (Florists’ Telegraph Delivery). FTD delivers a good chunk of flower orders across the country.
Mr. Tobin created the framework for what we know as “Affiliate Marketing.” It has changed a bit over the years, but the basic concept is still the same.
As I discussed above, it all begins with a basic transaction between a merchant and a customer. The merchant offers a product or service for sale, promotes their product to the public, and then the consumer or customer makes a purchase.
You as the affiliate promotes the product or service on behalf of the merchant. The consumer makes a purchase, either directly through the business or through the Affiliate ID link.
When you as the affiliate aids in a transaction, you earn a commission from the merchant. This commission is typically either a fixed amount per transaction or a percentage of the overall sale price.
In this way, an affiliate serves a function similar to that of a salesperson.
Unlike a salesperson, you are not bound to promoting a single type of product or the products from an individual company.
This explanation may be a bit technical. Don’t worry about it as it is a function of the computer. Cookies are important for your affiliate program so here is a brief explanation on Cookies.
A cookie is a small series of numbers and letters that get stored within your browser using a text file so that a website can keep track of things like traffic, referrals, logins, and what pages someone views.
Each affiliate for a business or product will receive a unique Affiliate ID that gets stored as the cookie. An affiliate cookie is usually inserted using a special link which is given to the affiliate by the business.
Each cookie is only valid for a specific duration which is set by the merchant. The most common cookie duration is 30-60 days, although they can be significantly longer or shorter.
If a purchase is made by someone who has an active cookie, you as the affiliate receives a commission. Each time that person comes back to the merchant and make a purchase you make a commission.
Keep in mind, cookies can expire and the browser can also be cleared by the consumer at any time.
I’ve found that the easiest way to help people wrap their heads around how affiliate marketing works is to just use actual, real-world examples of affiliate marketing in action.
If you look over to the right of this blog site you will see a Banner. The Banner contains my affiliate ID link. By clicking on the Banner you will be taken to the Affiliate Company. Should you decide to purchase a product from that Affiliate Company, I earn a commission.
Another way many Affiliate Marketers use the blog or website is to embed a “Click Here” instruction within the blog. For example, here is a simple Click Here instruction:
Again by clicking on the instruction, this will link to my Affiliate Company. Make a purchase, I make a commission.
It’s very simple and very easy for you to set-up.
You can also join popular affiliate programs like the Amazon Associates program.
Even though Amazon has relatively low commissions and a short cookie duration, it’s popular because it gives you access to a massive array of products.
It’s also a website that millions of people trust and use daily, plus you receive commissions on any items someone purchase after visiting from your link.
If you look at the Top of my Blog, you will see a Tab called TOOLS. These are affiliate links that I personally recommend. Again, by clicking on anyone I receive a commission.
I have no problem sharing any of this because I’m upfront about the fact that I use affiliate links and actually stand behind my recommendations.
Affiliate Marketing FAQ… How Much Money Can You Make As An Affiliate Marketer?
This is going to be highly variable and depend on things like your niche, how engaged is your audience, how dedicated your are in your affiliate business, time, and how much traffic you get.
If you choose a good niche, create great content, and are patient, learn all you can about affiliate marketing, a few thousand dollars a month is very achievable.
I personally know ordinary people making 5 figures or more every month.
Now this didn’t happen over night. They worked many hours in the beginning. It’s kinda like a steam engine: It take a lot of energy (steam) to get the engine to move even 1 inch. But by applying more energy and time the steam engine moves a little more and faster. After a while, less energy is required to keep it moving. Your affiliate business is the same.
How much money can you make as an Affiliate Marketer all depends on you. If you treat it as a hobby, you will make hobby money. Treat it as a business, you will make money as a business.
See how cleverly I added an affiliate link into this article! But seriously, that link will take you to an great resource for anyone who want to make money with affiliate marketing.
There’s a lot of information in the above. By now your head may be overwhelmed with ideas or “Let’s Stop For Now While I digest What I have Read.”
Here are additional articles
Today, the way that marketing works has changed, but the basic concept is the same. The Internet had grown and changed and will continue to do so. The only way to stay on top of this is to keep up to date with the latest trends and staying informed.
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Clicking on the BANNER will take you to a powerful Affiliate Marketing Training Program.