Affiliate marketing can be tricky to navigate. It isn’t a new concept, but it is definitely still unexplored and untapped.
Many have tried, and many have failed. And yet, there are a few who have managed to succeed and establish themselves as experts in the field. But before we go on about the challenges and the experts of affiliate marketing, let’s have you test the waters.
What is affiliate marketing in the first place?
Affiliate marketing is a mutual agreement through which an online retailer pays commission to an external party for generating sales and traffic for them. In other terms, it is a brilliant way to earn money if you cannot stand the 9-5 drill. An affiliate marketer uses their network, influence, and skills to find qualified customers for other companies and get a piece of the cake.
It is a great revenue-generating tactic used by companies to drive sales and increase their audience. A good affiliate marketing strategy can complement and boost a good digital marketing strategy by a lot.
Now that you’ve gotten your feet wet, let’s dive a little deeper.
Why should bloggers opt for affiliate marketing?
How do you become an affiliate marketer?
And once that, what does the affiliate marketing process even look like?
Suppose you become an affiliate marketer for XYZ Ltd. Now the company will give you a link to their target page. It could be a link to their sign-up page, newsletter, product purchasing page, etc. The link will have trackers added to it.
Now you share this link through your platforms to your audience and people you feel can benefit from XYZ Ltd. Every time someone clicks on your link and completes the target CTA, the company keeps counting the people you get through the tracking parameters on the link. Once their purchase is confirmed, the transaction gets credited to your account. And you get paid your commission 💰!
There are many ways to make money online, and affiliate marketing is one of the good ones.
As an individual, there are plenty of reasons why you should become an affiliate marketer. These reasons include, but are not limited to, quick cash and flexibility of time. Plus, you get to leverage that network of professionals you’ve been building up on LinkedIn!
Next question, where do you find affiliate programs to join?
For a business, affiliate marketing can be a great go-to strategy. And there are multiple reasons for that.
You target the right audience.
When you partner with affiliates who understand your industry, you ensure that you’re reaching the right audience. Their network will comprise people who will understand the value of your product or service. This will ensure that they have a greater potential of turning into paid customers and making the best use of your product or service.
Cost-effective strategies are a blessing for any marketer. But affiliate marketing takes the cake! The best part about affiliate marketing is that you pay only when you actually earn a paying customer. This ends up giving you a cost-effective strategy with a high ROI.
Affiliate marketing isn’t a long commitment, unlike your membership to the gym. You can scale your affiliate program up or down as your marketing strategy and your budget allow. This gives you much more flexibility and the time to focus on other marketing efforts.
Affiliate branding can be a twisted way of leveraging influencer marketing. If an expert in your field swears by your product and sells it to other people in your industry, you will develop trust in the minds of your audience. This will not only increase your sales and revenue but help direct your brand in a more positive direction.
These are only some of the amazing benefits that you gain with affiliate marketing as a business.
Before we introduce you to the affiliate marketing experts we initially discussed, we have a few tips of our own about affiliate marketing!
Affiliate Marketing Strategies
Leverage the industry experts – When looking for affiliates, the experts in your industry should be your first preference. Why? Well, they already have a built network of professionals who would understand the utility of your product. They have an authentic relationship with their audience and would perform better as an expert.
Offer a good commission rate – Study your industry averages before you create your affiliate marketing program. You don’t want to be offering way higher or lower commission rates than what’s prevalent in the market. Your affiliates should get paid worth their effort.
Explore your platforms – Look into all platforms when you try to find an affiliate. You may only be present on Instagram, but your affiliate may find a better audience for you on Facebook. So don’t restrict yourself!
Smoothen the process – Ensure that the affiliate process is seamless for your affiliate and the people they bring in. Optimize your conversion process and ensure that there are no technical hassles on the way. Make sure there are no problems with your landing pages or your payment processes.
Choose the right product – Commissions are definitely a priority when it comes to choosing a product. But make sure that you don’t go after a product you can’t see value in. Your network will see right through you. Your audience trusts you and your word is their only testimony. Make sure you use it well.
Know the product – Before you decide to promote a product, make sure you know it in and out. When you’re an affiliate, you are the most authentic source of information of the product for your audience. Treat it like you made it. Brush up on the features, the workings, the pricing, and everything else.
Do not overwhelm – You need to promote the product to your audience without coming off as too ‘salesy’. Do not overwhelm your audience with affiliate links in all your emails, posts, and content. Try to bring out the product’s value to your audience and maintain a balance. And you’ll see that you won’t even have to try to sell it.
Maintain your brand – The company chose you to be their affiliate for a reason. You need to maintain your own brand and voice while promoting the product to your audience. That’s what they trust and like you for. Companies will often ask you to use their language, but make sure you don’t use it 100% verbatim. Infuse it with your own craft!
Well, you’re halfway ready to become an affiliate marketer already!
It seems easy, right? If only it were.
Affiliate marketing may not work all the time. But we have brought you some of the top experts who have danced and learned the tunes of affiliate marketing. Read on to know more about them!
Some of the top-earning affiliate marketers.
Got any favorite affiliate marketers? See if they made it to our list!
We cannot talk about affiliate marketing and not begin with Pat Flynn! He was forced into the online business from architecture because of the economic collapse of 2008.
Pat had no experience of a business, content marketing, or even copywriting! He started writing his own blog when he decided to track and publish his study notes for the LEED exam in 2007. He cleared his exam and got promoted. Everything was great until he got laid off in 2008. That’s when he decided to take a few courses and learn about online business.
He realized that thousands of people were visiting his blog every day, and he didn’t even know about it. His content was SEO-friendly and was receiving backlinks. He soon started earning a little using Good Adsense and private advertising. But it was his e-book on his LEED notes that actually changed the game for him. This eventually led to the SmartPassiveIncome domain that we all know about today.
Pat Flynn first grew a community of his own via his content and then entered into the affiliate marketing world.
Now Neil Patel is not someone you usually know as an affiliate marketer. But with the standing he has in the digital marketing world, would you be surprised?
Neil Patel has not only done his own share of affiliate marketing but also shares important insights that can help you shoot your own business. He has built and helped many growing businesses; he has his own blog that gains traffic like crazy.
Neil Patel gives these tips in his guide to affiliate marketing that we feel will really help you out.
Neil Patel should be your go-to person for everything affiliate marketing (only after this guide, lol)
You won’t find him easily under the name Martin Osborn. But Finch Sells, instead.
How amazing do you have to be actually to make your brand your identity! Well, it’s in his name! This guy sells, and that is what has made him the youngest successful affiliate marketer. Finch quit his 9-5 job, like most affiliate marketers, and started working on his job full time.
Today he owns a company called Finch Media Ltd. His main website is finchsells.com, and his estimated earnings are close to $25000 per month. Earlier, he used to make most of his money selling his Ultimate Premium Package and Premium Posts. But recently, he has released his complete guide on affiliate marketing that you can check out in stores.
Martin started promoting his forums at the young age of 12, had his own forum by 14, and had learned to monetize it by 16. He was then introduced to affiliate marketing with Clickbank – an affiliate marketplace. There, he was selling learning kits for next to nothing.
CPA marketing was what gave him that much-needed boost, and that increased his earnings. His blog today is a great place to learn everything you want to know about affiliate marketing. He talks about his personal life, professional experience, and digital marketing tips on optimizing your affiliate marketing network.
Shawn Collins is one of the most experienced affiliate marketers out there, with over 2 decades of experience in the field. He started affiliate marketing in 1997 and soon co-founded the Affiliate Summit in 2003 along with Missy Ward. Affiliate Summit is the leading global conference and tradeshow for the affiliate marketing industry. He has also authored the book Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants.
His shift into the affiliate marketing world from the publishing industry began with the Amazon affiliate marketing program. Today his book, ‘Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants‘ is the best-selling book in the space, and it is considered to be required reading by affiliate managers.
He wrote the Amazon best-selling book – Extra Money Answer and Affiliate Manager Boot Camp: Recruiting, Educating, and Retaining Affiliates.
Another big name that you cannot miss out on when it comes to affiliate marketing is John Chow.
He started from nothing and earned handsome money! John Chow was the 2012 Affiliate Marketing Awards winner for Best Marketing Affiliate Blog and is the subject of a social media and blogging documentary for CBC television.
He took his blog from zero to $40000 a month in just two years. He talks about affiliate marketing, some great tips on digital marketing, and how you can boost your blog to monetize it like him!
Well, above are some of the good affiliate marketers to follow if you’re trying to boost your business as an affiliate marketer.
Before we put things to bed, here are some of the common mistakes you should make sure to avoid when you dive into affiliate marketing.
Common mistakes made by affiliate marketers
Here are some things to look out for.
Don’t choose too many products – As an affiliate marketer, you should be careful not to choose too many products. It helps to build trust when you invest only in a few specific products of your choice.
Designing a poor-quality website – Your website is your face. If your website isn’t appealing to your audience, they are less likely to trust your word about the products you promote. Design a website that resonates with your brand.
Not being regular – Consistency is crucial for audience engagement. If you do not post frequently or post dull content on your social media, your graph will go down faster than an introvert’s interest in a conversation (sorry, we like to try our hand with bad jokes)
Only relying on organic traffic – Like any other marketer, you cannot simply rely only on organic traffic. If you want people to come to your website and subscribe to the products you market, you need to dance. Invest in paid ad campaigns and target the right audience to bring to your website.
Some parting words
Well, that was it from our end on this brief guide to affiliate marketing! I hope you have great success in affiliate marketing.
Antara is an MBA graduate with a focus on marketing and strategy, prior to which she worked at a digital marketing firm. She’s always looking forward to write about trends and businesses of the future with a focus on SaaS and social media. As a… read more
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