Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money online from your blog. It allows you to add a steady income stream to your blog monetization strategy.
In this affiliate marketing article we will explain how affiliate marketing works, and how to get started right away.
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What is Affiliate Marketing?
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.”
First, you have to find a company or product that you want to promote. You need to select a product or service that you believe will be relevant to your blog’s topic and useful for your audience. The product or company you choose is called a “Merchant.”
Next, you have to partner up with the company by joining their affiliate program. This makes you their Affiliate. Some companies also use the terms associates, partners, etc.
Once you have joined their 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 can promote the products by adding an in-depth product review. In your review you will want to recommend the products by giving reasons why your customer should purchase. This can be done by showing how to use, benefits of the product, how to order, purchase price and any other descriptions you want to make. Your blog or website should have a display banner or an ad.
All traffic you send to the merchant website with your unique ID will be tracked.
Once a user makes a purchase, you will earn a commission. Your payment is issued once your earnings reach a particular threshold typically 45 to 60 days.
Commission payout is something you will want to research. Some companies will pay anywhere from 2% to 50% of the sale. While the percentage is important, choose the company that you can get involved with. The worst thing you can do is to promote a product or company that does not meet your goals, requirement or likes.
As a for instance: Let’s say you like children’s toys. Locate a children’s toy company that offers an affiliate program. It meets your goals, likes and requirements.
When you promote something you like you will be passionate about it and it Does Show Through on Your Blog.
Finding A Product or Company
There are many ways to find products and companies that you can partner up with as an affiliate. Here are some of the easiest ways to find the products you can promote.
1st… you need to look at the 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. Remember the example about about the children’s toys.
2nd… you need to Google the product or products. This will get you to companies that offer the product or products. Once on a companies website search for terms, Affiliate program, Partners or Affiliates. This is typically located on the bottom of the website.
3rd… don’t be disappointed if you can’t find a company. This is where many affiliate marketers make their mistakes. Keep looking! This will take time. Keep searching, you will soon find a company. Again, this is your business, do your research until you locate the company you want to work with.
TIP: Go to Amazon and look for your ideal product. You will be amazed in the number of products in your search. Then, go to each company to see if they offer an affiliate program. It took me over two weeks to find the company that I wanted.
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.
A word of note: 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. Believe me, this will take time. When you do find a good company promote them. As you do you will become more acquitted with them, 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 helpful articles on Affiliate Marketing.
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.
Affiliate Marketing 100 will show the DO’s and the DON’t of affiliate marketing. You will find hints, suggestions, help and advice. You will also find reviews of Affiliate Companies. I will identify the Pros and Cons. My goal here is to allow you the most information possible to make an intelligent decision. I have made many mistakes, I don’t want you to do the same.
As you look through the many articles, you may find articles on Network Marketing. Since Affiliate Marketing and Network Marketing share common goals for anyone interested in making money from home or making money part-time, Affiliate Marketing 100 will continue to add updated articles and “What’s Happing Now” in both of these programs.
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 beginner as well as the more advanced marketer, I sure you will find what your looking for in Affiliate Marketing 100.
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. Let’s take a look at how 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 his life running his own lawn mowing business with equipment purchased for him by his mother. He 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.
They are known for setting up affiliate marketing for today’s floral company FTD, who delivers a good chunk of flower orders across the country. Mr. Tobin created the framework for what we have come to know as the history of affiliate marketing as well as modern day affiliate marketing. It has changed a bit over the years, but the basic concept is still the same.
Quick Review of What Is Affiliate Marketing?
It all begins with a basic transaction between a business and a consumer, the business offers a product or service for sale, promotes their product to the consumer, and then the consumer makes a purchase.
You as the affiliate promotes the product or service on behalf of the business. The consumer makes a purchase, either directly through the business or through the affiliate.
When you as the affiliate aids in a transaction, you earn a commission from the business. 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 business. You are also free to share your real experiences with whatever you are sharing, instead of repeating a fact sheet and the marketing claims submitted by the business.
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 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 business. 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 affiliate company 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.
Other ways that affiliate referrals can be tracked is by using special landing pages for each affiliate or by giving affiliates unique coupon codes. In those situations, the affiliate is credited with purchases that come from the landing page or when the coupon code is used.
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 several Banners. The Banner contains my affiliate 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 am upfront about the fact that I use affiliate links and actually stand behind my recommendations.
You don’t have to actively use every product that you link to, but you should only recommend a product if you have good reason to believe that it would help the people you are sharing it with.
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 your audience is, 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, dedicated, 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 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 money as a hobby. 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.”
Very good. Let’s stop this section.
In Section 2, we’ll will deal with:
- How Long Will It Take To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?
- Choosing KeyWords
- Can I Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money?
Today, the way that marketing works have changed slightly, 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. Staying informed will help you stay ahead of your game and allow you to get a jump on business. Pay attention and you’ll stay on top of the game.
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