How To Start Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate Marketing Guide for Beginners

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Affiliate marketing – A simple eye opening explanation of successful affiliate marketing put into perspective, is that let’s say your friend just purchased a brand new car even though he works in part-time freelance jobs, and was barely able to make ends meet as a freelancer.

How the heck did he afford that brand new shiny vehicle? He then proceeds to tell you he has a successful affiliate marketing side business.

You think. “Oh, that is how you make your extra money!”

Well, teach me how to get started affiliate marketing you yell jokingly.

That new car is sweet!

I want to learn affiliate marketing so one day I could afford a shiny new vehicle for myself as well.

Your friend smiles and laughs, and agrees to take you under his wings, and teach you the ins and outs of running a  successful affiliate business.

Well, back to the basics of affiliate marketing.

Does affiliate marketing help in earning quick money? Heck, yes! How? Hold your horses; we’ll talk about that soon.

But before we talk about that, let’s take a moment to appreciate the world we’re in today. A previous couple of decades have seen severe changes regarding how our society perceives the word “Data”. The organizations have grown from owning hundreds of MBs of data to tens of terabytes of data. This growth has wholly overhauled every domain you can think of, and marketing is no different. With digitization gaining extreme momentum, marketing is seeing a drift with Digital Marketing paving the way forward. Affiliate marketing comes under the umbrella of Digital Marketing. You can refer to various digital marketing certifications and courses to understand the subtler points of Digital Marketing. However, in this article, we aim to walk you through the world of affiliate marketing and how you can get started.

Let’s get started learning all about affiliate marketing!

How To Start Affiliate Marketing - Affiliate Marketing Guide for Beginners affiliate marketing

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Before you start imagining yourself floating in a tub full of money, let’s first help you understand the basics of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing, in all essence, is about earning an income in the form of commissions by promoting other people’s products or services. Many companies offer affiliate programs which allow people like us to increase the reach of their products and gain commissions along the way. The commission you earn depends on many factors, including the number of buyers your affiliate links generate etc. It’s important to mention here, that affiliate marketing is not just for products. Many individuals use affiliate marketing as a way to redirect traffic to their website – in which case, the commission depends on the traffic you can provide. The commission offered differs depending on the structure of the organization’s affiliate programs.

You can earn commissions from affiliate marketing through traditional affiliate marketing when a person clicks on your affiliate link, and buys the referring product you get paid a commission.

CPA affiliate marketing differs in that you will get paid when someone clicks on your affiliate link and performs a certain action like filling out an email form, downloading something, etc.

For a full affiliate marketing training tutorial complete with videos you may want to check this out to really learn how to get started affiliate marketing and make your first sale online.

Many organizations from Flipkart to Amazon have realized the importance of affiliate marketing, and are paying quite handsomely to skilled affiliate marketers who can drive results. Each of these companies has an affiliate program in place. After joining an affiliate program, you’ll need to select your niche and you’ll get product links that you’ll need to promote.

The only job you have is to promote these affiliate links by getting them in the faces of potential buyers who would be interested in what it is that you are promoting as an affiliate.

When someone clicks on your affiliate link and buys the product you get paid a commission pretty cut @ dry.

How to promote your affiliate links?

Now, there are several ways to do that. Let’s look at the top five ways you can spread your affiliate links and earn money along the way:

Blogging:

Blogging is one of the easiest ways of promoting your affiliate links – but it takes some time to deliver the traction that you’d like.

Why?

Because you need to curate a blog, regularly update it with relevant content, and promote it far and wide. There’s no point of having affiliate links on your blog if it doesn’t have enough followers. You need to build yourself as an authoritative figure online in order to earn sufficient followers. For that, the best way is to pick a category of products ( niche ) you’d want to be an affiliate marketer of. Then, you can go ahead and create a blog in and around that domain of products. Suppose if you’re aiming at promoting your affiliate links to books, it’s a good idea to have a blog set-up where you regularly review new releases and talk about all things literature. Engage with your readers, educate them, and even entertain them – if needed. Give them enough reasons to bookmark your blog and re-visit it ever so frequently. That way, not only will you get traction, but you’ll get the right kind of traction.

You should also keep an eye on which blog post that’s generating the most traction for your links, and curate more similar content. However, it’s not recommended to stuff the blog content with affiliate links. There’s a thin line between promoting something and spamming people with it – make sure you’re on the right side of the coin.

Create a niche website:

Consider creating a website for your affiliate links an advanced version of blogging. Advanced, not only in the sense that it’s a bit difficult to accomplish than blogging, but also because it has a lot higher returns if you can get the right kind of traffic on your website.

The best way forward is to create a website around the niche of the products you chose. You can go ahead by reviewing the products of that category or educating your readers on new developments in that domain. That way, you’ll attract the right kind of traffic on your website. You can either create an extensive website or a simple one-pager aiming just to promote the affiliate links. In any case, there are various CMS available that have utterly simplified the process of website/blog creation.

The first option requires a lot more time and efforts, but the returns are far higher. Having an extensive website will build a lot more credibility than having a single pager – which, if not appropriately managed, might look like a swarm of click baits. Whichever option you choose, it’s for you to make the best out of it. Have beautiful and eye-catching call-to-action with your product link. Call to actions along with relevant, unique content is a combo that’s delivered results over the years. The ultimate goal is to educate and promote, give something to your readers if you expect something in return.

Youtube:

Youtube and other video streaming platforms are gaining a lot of momentum among affiliate marketers looking to promote their links. If you have relevant quality content, you can attract far more visitors from your Youtube channel than websites or blogs.

Creating a Youtube channel specifically for product reviews and educating your visitors can help you gain a lot of traction. Further, you can place the affiliate links in the description box. However, be sure to cloak your links using cloaking tools like Bitly, TinyURL, or Clickmagick.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that your content should not focus on just promoting the affiliate links. Make your content as high quality as possible, because chances are, many marketers are looking to market the same niche of products. Give people a reason to visit your channel. You should be honest and detailed in your product reviews. These two factors determine whether or not your viewers take you seriously enough to buy from your links.

Facebook:

If you have an established Facebook profile or a page with a lot of products, you can use that space to write informative review posts. Be careful with this, though, as Facebook has reduced the opportunity for owners of fan pages to generate organic reach in order to promote their products. You now need to pay to advertise to your followers as per Facebook’s recent algorithm update.

Another way you can utilize Facebook is by providing a snippet of your article and then redirecting the readers to your blog/website that contains the affiliate links. So, instead of posting a full-fledged review on Facebook, post an exciting caption and redirect your visitors to where you want to.

Be extremely careful while promoting your links/website/blog on Facebook because it is not a place for promoting your products. People don’t sign-in to Facebook to buy products but to socialize with people. So, you need to be subtle at what you’re doing. It’s easy to dismiss you as a spammer on Facebook.

You should use the cloaking tools discussed above while posting your affiliate links on Facebook. That way not only does it look neat, but also feels professional and users want to click that instead of a lengthy spammy looking URL.

Monthly emails or newsletters:

This is by far the best way if you want to maintain a clear one-on-one communication channel between you and your followers. Offer them the chance to subscribe to your mailing list. You can do this by first of all creating a mailing list. Subscription forms can be easily embedded on either a blog or a website. That way, people visiting your site are just a click away from subscribing to your mailing list.

Sending out monthly emails or newsletters will bring your visitors on the same page as you regarding the products you’re marketing. You can also easily and quickly keep them up-to-date if there are any changes in any of the products pricing or in case of a new product launch.

Further, you can offer your subscribers some freebies, promos, discounts, and offer a free reward of some sorts just for signing up. The goal, like always, is to give if you’re expecting something in return. These freebies and all won’t cost you much but will flood your mailing list with your prospects’ email addresses. This will not only make it easier for you to send out frequent emails, but also give you overall leverage in the long run – as you’ll already have set up an efficient and transparent communication channel that can start making you money for years to come when you learn how to do it properly .

However, like with everything else, it’s important to NOT SPAM. In fact, note these two words down somewhere and keep repeating them to yourself till you’ve established yourself as an affiliate marketer. Trust us; it’s easy to go with the flow and spam your visitors. But, as easy as it may seem, it’s a terrible practice if you’re looking to build credibility and legitimate traffic.

Now that you know the ways to generate traffic around your affiliate links, let’s look at some pros and cons of affiliate marketing to help you make a more informed decision before venturing into the field:

How To Start Affiliate Marketing - Affiliate Marketing Guide for Beginners affiliate marketing

Pros of Affiliate Marketing:

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest methods of earning a steady income in quick time. It has various other pros including:

• Meager initial investments. Most of the affiliate programs we mentioned are free for everyone, so the significant costs you’ll incur are related to the method you opt for. Things like setting up a basic website or a blog, or paying Facebook for advertisements.
• You don’t need to brainstorm on creating a new product or a service. You just need to promote what already exists.
• You’ll get a commission as and when people use your link to buy a product. The shipping/stocking of the product is not your headache.
Affiliate marketing allows you to work anytime and from anywhere just as long as you have steady internet access.
• Offers a huge potential to earn a handsome, steady income.
• Can be added to your current business to generate additional income. It’s ideal for full-time bloggers, coaches, entrepreneurs – basically anyone who has a website.

Cons of Affiliate Marketing

Not everything is rosy, though. Affiliate marketing, too, comes with a set of cons:

Generating significant income using affiliate marketing might take some time.
• Affiliate hijacking is a common phenomenon, which if occurs, stops you from receiving your due affiliate credit. URL Masking comes in handy to avoid these situations.
• A bad affiliate can completely ruin your value as a blogger or divert the traffic from your website. So, you need to be sure that you only choose quality business and products to avoid this.
• You have absolutely no control over the product you’re marketing.
• Some companies have been known to run fraudulent affiliate programs. It’s recommended to do due diligence before opting for a program. Some legitimate affiliate programs are Clickbank, the Amazon associates program, and Jvzoo for starters.
• There are a plethora of affiliate marketers in the world today, which has resulted in extremely high competition. You need to make your content cut through the noise.
• The customer you provide belongs to the merchant. You can track the traction your links are getting, but there’s no way for you to know who purchased which product, thereby making re-sales a fuss.

In Conclusion…

With so much said and done, the world of affiliate marketing is now open to you. Go through some affiliate programs and find your pick – and make sure you make the most of the opportunity to make some extra money from your computer!

 

 

 

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