The internet has completely changed our lives. Besides offering us entertainment, it has also become a major source of income for many people. Blogging has become a full-time profession rather than just a hobby anymore, thanks to the internet. If you are also one of the people who are thinking of starting a blog, then there is nothing to stop you.
But everything comes with a struggle. Blogging might be very popular right now and also generate a decent income, but reaching that point is hard. Every blogger has to start from the bottom to build up their followers and carve a niche for themselves before they can generate any kind of income. That’s exactly where the concept of affiliate marketing comes in.
A little extra income on the side is very beneficial when you are starting your blog. That is so because it supports you financially and also lets you make the necessary changes to the blog for progress. A majority of bloggers are involved in affiliate marketing. The bloggers gain most of their income from affiliate marketing rather than the blog itself.
This article will list all the steps that will guide you in building your affiliate marketing skills. You can start your affiliate marketing to gain some extra passive income. This post will solve all your questions about what affiliate marketing is and how to get started with it.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a little different for different sellers and their products. But the simple definition of affiliate marketing is that you would be promoting other companies’ or people’s products and earn a commission for each sale made.
Many bloggers have started using these types of affiliate marketing tactics since they are very simple to use and can generate more than enough income when used skillfully. The procedure is really simple. You just need to get authorized for affiliate marketing of a product and then create attractive content to promote it.
Use the link or URL given by the merchant in your content. You can then start earning by the number of clicks made on the content and the number of products sold with your link.
Shown below are the processes involved to get started with affiliate marketing.
- The first step is to sign up for an affiliate program. There are numerous affiliate programs for different products available on the internet. It is better to choose a product that is related to your content or something your target audience would be interested in. This is important as you are going to promote that product, so it is better to make it feel as natural as possible for more interest from the consumers. You cannot just select random products; you need to cater to your readers’ needs and audience because there is no point in promoting useless products that will not sell and that you won’t get a commission for. The first and most important step is to choose a product related to your content domain and get signed up for its affiliate program.
- After you have signed up, the merchant or the seller will provide you with a link that you need to use whenever you mention or promote the product in your content. This is a trackable link as it helps them know whenever a purchase or sale is made through it. You can choose any platform for promoting the content, and then clicks on the link would be the main source of your income.
- The key to affiliate marketing is to create high-quality content for promoting the product. Your audience is there for your content, so be sure to make it as engaging as possible. Also, naturally inserting the product promotion in your content will make the customers more interested in it, thereby increasing the number of clicks on them and generating your income. The content you create is entirely up to you; it can be blogs or videos or anything. Just let your creative juices flow.
- The paying scheme is different for different sellers and affiliate programs. Some are based on the number of clicks made on the link, and some are a percentage of the products sold. You start earning from them according to their program. Some are very simple programs like the ones mentioned. You get a commission on the number of products sold through your link while there are other complex programs where the payment is based on your content’s performance over a certain period.
What is the paying mechanism for affiliate marketers?
Different affiliate programs have different payment plans. There are different paying schemes being practiced by different companies, and it depends on the plan you have opted for as to what will be your paying scheme. However, the most commonly used payment plans by affiliate marketers are given below.
- The basic plan and the most common one is Pay Per Sale (PPS). This is the simplest affiliate program and is used by most of the companies. In this plan, you will receive a percentage of the sales made through your link as a commission. The percentage can be different for different affiliate programs and products. If you can provide quite a steady and regular business, then some of the plans also offer a monthly commission that you gain from the plan.
- Another plan is the Pay Per Click (PPC). This is a simpler plan than the previous one and is just as the name suggests. According to this affiliate plan, you get an income per click on the link that you mentioned in the content. So, this means that the income will be directly proportional to the traffic you get on your channel. If you are getting a lot of traffic already, then the number of clicks is bound to be high, and you can gain a significant amount of money.
- The Pay Per Lead (PPL) plan is a little more complex. This plan is only meant for really seasoned affiliate marketers and is not for beginners. According to this plan, you get a commission only when the consumer clicks on your link, which directs them to the seller’s website and if they perform a certain task like click on the product description or place an order. In simple terms, this plan pays you only if the consumer performs a certain task after clicking on your link. As mentioned earlier, this plan is only beneficial for people who already have a huge following and create engaging content daily.
These are the payment schemes, but there are different payment schedules or frequencies as well. This means that there are different modes of payment plans. The payment plans differ for each affiliate program, but the most commonly used ones are the two shown below:
- There is a one-time commission plan. According to this plan, you, as an affiliate marketer, will get paid every time a sale is made through the link. This means there is no fixed schedule for payments.
- Another commonly used program is the recurring program. This plan is generally used by the experienced affiliate marketers who have already developed a relationship with the merchants. According to this plan, you will get paid a fee every month to bring back customers regularly. In short, you get paid a monthly commission for providing regular business.
Reasons for choosing affiliate marketing
Before we elaborate further on the steps to setting up your affiliate marketing, you need to know the reasons for choosing it. Affiliate marketing may be a passive way of earning money, but it also needs dedication and hard work to excel. In simpler terms, despite being part-time, you need to provide some effort behind your affiliate marketing ventures. So, you need to know the best reasons why you should partake in it.
The reasons why you should choose affiliate marketing are given below:
- Anyone can do this. This is the simplest and the best reason for choosing affiliate marketing. There are many ways to earn money, but you also need to have a working knowledge. There are no boundaries because anyone can do it. All you need to do is just naturally promote some of the products through your online content. This is the simplest money-making process there is and is accessible to everyone. Moreover, you can do this from the comfort of your home. It doesn’t matter what you do and your skills; if you are ready to put in a little work, you are good to go.
- It can be done from anywhere. The internet has completely changed our lives as we know it. It has also made it possible for us to work from anywhere in the world. This comes in very handy, especially in the case of affiliate marketing. As the work is completely online, you can complete it from anywhere. So, what can be a better reason to start affiliate marketing than to earn money from the comfort of your home and just an internet connection. Also, there is no fixed schedule, so you work at your comfort and leisure, and you earn money from it. There lies the reason to start affiliate marketing.
- The biggest advantage of affiliate marketing is that the starting costs are minimal, unlike any other scheme. Even before getting to your niche and growing your business, the starting cost is minimal, and it doesn’t increase with your business. So, it’s a one-time cost. You do not need to spend much on getting started. The necessary cost that you will incur is website hosting, which has become cheaper now. You might need some analytics software to gauge the performance of your website. There are no other costs than these. You might have to invest a little into the websites once your business expands, but you get more returns than you spend.
- This is a passive way of making money. Passive does not mean that you won’t need to do hard work because you need to put in quite a considerable effort to become a successful affiliate marketer. Being passive means that you can do the work at your convenience, and there is no pressure on you. You will earn money from affiliate marketing even when you are sleeping. This is the best reason since you can be as creative you want to be, and there will not be any boundaries to restrict you. But you will need to put in the required efforts to get the desired results.
Now that you have seen the benefits and reasons for choosing affiliate marketing, one thing is clear that you could have invested some of your free time to become an affiliate marketer easily. Do not worry about it since it is never too late. You can start today with your business to earn easy money from the comfort of your home.
Here are the basic steps to set up your affiliate marketing business and start earning money from it.
1st step – Choose the right niche for yourself
You have read before that the most important thing is to choose the right niche for your content. You cannot just randomly pick a topic and start working on it. You need to be invested in your content so that your followers find it genuine and immersive. Only then would they be interested in clicking on the links that you provide them through your content.
The best way to find your niche is to make a list of your hobbies and interests. That way, you can come up with some topics that interest you. When you are invested in the topic, you can quickly come up with creative ideas and content to produce for it, thereby naturally attracting the audience.
Once you choose a topic, the next thing you need to do is find the best keywords to apply to your content. This improves the SEO factor, and you will get more of an audience. Also, keep an eye on the competitors as their conduct can tell you what mistakes to avoid. Some of the most popular niches are:
- Health and fitness
- Investment and finance
There is a lot of software available on the internet that can help you to find the best keywords suited for your content.
2nd step – Pick the right platform to publish your content
Now that you have finalized your niche, the next step is to choose your platform. There are numerous mediums for promoting your content among the audience. The most popular platforms are YouTube, Instagram, blogging, and E-mail marketing, among many others. But it is a fatal mistake to think that you can try all of them. No one has that amount of time or skill. So, judge your skills and determine what is the best medium for you. For example, if you are a decent video maker and editor, then YouTube is the platform for you. But if you are good at writing content, then blogs are going to be a better choice. So, question yourself, which is the best platform for you.
Some of the most used platforms are as follows:
- Blogging – This is the simplest platform for starting affiliate marketing. You can also integrate other mediums like e-mail marketing and reach out to a wider audience. Starting a blog is easy and is the most beneficial way for you to start affiliate marketing if you are a beginner.
- Website – If you are confident with your web development skills, then creating a niche website is another very popular option. This is another way of producing your blogs; the difference is that in this case, you are targeting a very specific audience. The reach might be less, but it will be a more effective engaging option.
- YouTube – This platform needs no introduction, as everyone you look at nowadays is probably already on this platform. If you are a good video maker and can make it interesting with your edits, this is the best option for reaching a wide audience.
- Instagram – This is also a popular option, but building up the followers takes quite a bit of time as compared to other platforms. It is very time-consuming on this platform since it is meant for pictures and videos only, so there is little you can add to make the content more interesting. If you are confident enough that your niche can be promoted using Instagram, then it is advised to use it.
3rd step – Choose the relevant affiliate programs
Now there are numerous affiliate programs available that you can become a part of. So, it is important to choose the affiliate program that is best for you. There are different ones based on their monetary plans like high paying-high selling, low paying-high selling, and high paying-low selling. You need to choose the correct plan according to your needs and capabilities.
But the most important thing is to choose the affiliate marketing for a product that is somewhat related to your content. For example, if you are a content creator for fashion, it is not advisable to become an affiliate marketer for energy drinks. You need to pick a relevant affiliate marketing scheme so that your followers are genuinely interested in the product you are promoting and help you earn money from it.
4th step – Create content for your platform
This is a very important step. Remember that your affiliate marketing’s performance is based on the performance of your content on the platform. So do not compromise on the quality of content you produce on your platform of choice. Your followers and subscribers are there to see your content and not your affiliate marketing products. So, it is important to create relevant content for them so that they keep on returning.
There are multiple platforms for your content based on your niche. YouTube and blogging are the most commonly used platforms; your target should always be to reach a large audience. It’s advised to start with multiple contents that you have already created. This is advised so that people spend some time on your platform after going through your content. This is the simplest way for consumer retention. Therefore, put your effort into creating quality content, and affiliate marketing will appear organically.
5th step – Try to drive more traffic to your content
The most important factor for driving your content to success is traffic. You need to try to drive as much traffic to your content as possible. For blogs, this is done by the SEO factor which you might be familiar with. Try to optimize your content using SEO factors that are popular in your niche. The same goes for YouTube videos but in a slightly different way. In the case of videos, make sure to use relevant tags and optimize the descriptions according to the SEO factor.
The key to starting successful affiliate marketing is to build up a foundation of followers of your content. On any online platform, this is done by driving as much traffic as possible to your content. So put some research into how to optimize your content to make it more SEO-friendly and drive more traffic towards it.
6th step – Promote the affiliate marketing content
After following the previous steps, you have created a niche for yourself and have also built up a decent follower count. Now you are ready to promote your affiliate marketing links in your content. This is easier said than done. You cannot just mention the link in your content and hope that the consumer will click on it. You need to make them interested in the product. To do that, the content should be relevant to the product you are promoting, and the mention of the link should be organic. This builds up the curiosity in their minds, leading them to click on your link. So, decide your tactics to promote affiliate marketing links according to the type of content.
7th step – Earn money from your home
We have gone through all the basic steps that will guide you to start your affiliate marketing. Though it involves a lot of effort, you cannot deny that this is the easiest way to make money from home. So, what are you waiting for?
Start creating your content and become an affiliate marketer. Let your creative juices flow and start earning money from the comfort of your homes.
If you’re looking to learn more and get some guidance from a professional affiliate marketer, look no further and check out my friend Mohamed Ali’s course on affiliate marketing here.