Affiliate marketing involves having your own site and sending your traffic to someone else's site to buy their products or services. For every sale initiated by a link from your site, you earn a percentage--an affiliate sales commission.
Affiliate marketing can be done on a part-time basis, and many are so successful that they've made it their full-time job. Equally exciting, you can get in the game in just a few hours. But how successful you are is based on the amount of time and effort you devote. Here is how you can make money online with these five and six tips :
5 Steps Ways Affiliate marketing
1. Choosing the Right Affiliate Network
The fit must be right between you and the merchant who is going to benefit from your promotional efforts, or it simply won’t work. The easiest way to begin with affiliate marketing is to select an affiliate network.
Many affiliate networks exist, some which are tied to well-known companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple, while others specialize in specific types of products and services.
You may have heard of ClickBank, one of the oldest and most popular affiliate networks. A billion-dollar company, ClickBank specializes in digital products like e-books and software, as well as membership sites.
If you are comfortable selling information and don’t want the management and administration hassles of “real” businesses, this may be a good starting point. Its commissions can be anywhere from 10% all the way to 75%.
Sometimes, individual entrepreneurs with great products are worth a look, although you should check them out first and do some research.
2. Research and Select the Right Affiliate Products
A sound product strategy is a must for new affiliate marketers. Ideally, you should choose a niche that you can make money online with and has a lot of product vendors. This will give you a wide selection of products to offer your online community. However, limit yourself to two or three products at a time, so that you become the expert others turn to and trust when reaching for their wallet.
As you become comfortable with the affiliate marketing process, you can consider both specialized (e.g. fly fishing) and broad (e.g. weight loss) niches. Don’t forget to track your marketing metrics! They are usually provided by your merchant and/or affiliate network. This way you'll be able to know which products your audience are responding to and which ones aren't generating any profits for your business.
You'll want to continually monitor the marketplace for new products, review and test promoting those products to your audience.
3. Consider Buying the Product before Promoting It
As a new affiliate marketer, you are not obligated to purchase every product you want to promote. However, it goes without saying that actually owning and using the products is huge for establishing credibility and trust. Intimate knowledge of the product can mean the difference between making the sale and having prospects move elsewhere.
Writing product reviews are an excellent way to enhance your credibility as an affiliate marketer. This is especially easy with information products like e-books which are relatively inexpensive. After establishing some steady income it may even be worth buying higher-end products, provided you get in touch with the product creator to work out a strategic marketing plan that takes you to the next level.
If you actually use the product and get results with it, then sharing a case study or your personal experience can be one of the most effective ways of selling that products to your audience.
As you build a more responsive list of email subscribers and buyers and your reputation, merchants may offer you “free” samples of e-books or other products.
Note: in many cases merchants will be happy to offer you a free copy / sample of the product even if you don't have an established business -- it never hurts to ask!
4. Utilize Social Media Marketing to Get More Traffic
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and other social media marketing methods are great vehicles for “word of mouth” or viral marketing. Video marketing in particular is a great way to demonstrate your expertise via commentary, screenshots, and live demonstrations if necessary.
While at first you may be focused on using social media as a free way to get traffic, keep in mind that there are powerful ways to use paid advertising on social media to reach your targeted audience and drive that traffic back to your site or your affiliate offers.
5. Consider Using Redirect / "Pretty" Links
Cloaking or using anchor links was a controversial issue in internet marketing circles, with some affiliate marketers swearing by it and others who feel it is unnecessary.
On one hand, long and ugly affiliate tracking links are a straight giveaway to people that you want to sell them a product (and people may be uncomfortable clicking on them). Therefore, making your link shorter and "nicer" looking will it give a more professional appearance. One of my favorite plugins for making links look "pretty" is the Pretty Links WordPress plugin.
6 Easy Ways Affiliate marketing
1. Create a website or blog
To start as an affiliate marketer, you must have a site on which to place links to the products or services you recommend. There are many inexpensive website services such as Hostgator and GoDaddy. It's also easy to set up a free blog through services such as Google's Blogger blog network. I also use Namecheap for domains and Hostnine (get a reseller account) for hosting.
2. Decide your product/service niche
Affiliate marketers help companies and entrepreneurs sell everything from jewelry and cell phones to website services and how-to e-books. Choose an area you're familiar with or one you're enthusiastic about learning. You'll be more likely to do the work and less likely to get bored before the money starts rolling in.
3. Find products and services to promote
Many affiliate networks exist to connect merchants with affiliate site publishers who can help sell their goods. Companies such as:
Clickbank, E-junkie and PayDotCom lead the pack in connecting the creators of e-books and software with affiliates to help sell their digital download products.
Commission Junction is popular for those who want to sell more traditional wares ranging from travel services to janitorial franchises.
Google AdSense, which doesn't require your involvement to result in a sale. Your income is realized on a pay-per-click basis, just for leading your traffic to click to a merchant's site. PPC affiliate programs pay a lot less than programs where your referral must result in a sale. Keep in mind that a site peppered with ads and no authority or trust can look and feel like spam, and you won't get good results.
4. Affiliate site content
There are two main approaches or business models to choose from when setting up an affiliate marketing site:
Resource Sites These sites are focused on offering lots of how-to articles and posts, and then provide affiliate links or banner ads to click for more details. Frequently adding fresh related content is vital because it gives people a reason to return to your site--and click some of your money-making links.
Review Sites You've tried the products in your niche, now you write them up and rate them to help your site visitors decide what to buy. For each product you review, you provide a link or banner ad that clicks through for sales on your merchant partner's site. Less frequent content updates are necessary--just tweak your site about once a week to let the search engines know your site's still alive, and always try to build links.
5. Affiliate sites must attract lots of targeted traffic to succeed
Most people visiting your website or blog won't click your affiliate links. That's why it's crucial to employ a mix of marketing tactics to increase traffic--highly targeted traffic--to your site.
There are four main ways to get more site exposure and attract more potential customers:
Paid Advertising This is most effective when your ad copy headline, call-to-action message and graphics come together just right to compel people to click through and buy.
Free Advertising Sites like Craigslist and US Free Ads are but two of many popular places that accept links and banner ads for free. These tend to be affiliate marketing sites themselves, earning the owner money whenever you click their ads.
Article Marketing This popular marketing method offers several benefits. You're building credibility as a reliable source in your niche, gaining a higher search engine ranking by increasing the number of links leading to your site, and pulling traffic to your site. Work in an organic manner and don't spam using software engines. Ezinearticles is a great place to begin.
E-mail Marketing Every visitor to your site is valuable, so capturing their names and e-mail addresses to stay in touch is important. Many people might not buy your affiliate products until the third or fourth time they hear from you. So it's crucial to place an opt-in subscription box on your site for people to start receiving a weekly or monthly newsletter from you. My personal favorite is aweber, but many quality ones exist.
6. Learn the ropes in forums
These are online communities of likeminded people who exchange insights and ideas. Join at least one of these free affiliate marketing forums to benefit from advice shared by other newbies, intermediates and gurus alike:
Digital Point Huge, with about 25,000 active members. An excellent place to learn affiliate marketing tips, plus other techniques that impact your success such as link building and SEO.
aBestWeb One of the largest affiliate marketing forums, with nearly 100 sub-forums. Covers the broadest range of affiliate marketing-specific subjects, with heavy participation by numerous go-getter merchants and serious affiliates.
Warrior Forum A killer networking forum for beginners and advanced alike. Set up a profile, start participating, ask questions and promote as well.
To do well, read all you can about the opinions, tool and strategies of both experts and peers. But before you even start, choose a niche about which you're passionate. The more you truly enjoy what you're immersed in, the more likely you are to transform your affiliate marketing and money-making venture into a huge success.