Are you wondering what affiliate marketing is all about? How do you earn money with affiliate marketing? What advantages does affiliate marketing have over other passive income sources? Then, you have landed on the right page. In this article, we will talk about how to take the first step as an affiliate marketer. This actionable guide will teach you how to succeed and earn money while you sleep.
So, sit tight, grab a cup of coffee or tea and read on. You are bound to find lots of useful information.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Patt Flynn of Smart Passive Income quoted a straightforward definition of affiliate marketing. It is the process where the publisher (that’s you) gets a commission for promoting other people’s products. As a publisher, you will get a commission every time you make a sale.
Affiliate marketing consists of two sides. The first is of the advertiser, where he earns revenue when their product sells. The other side is of the affiliates, where they get paid whenever they help make a sale on behalf of the advertiser.
Both of these parties can earn a profit through collaborative marketing efforts. In this case, its called affiliate marketing.
Generally, there are a total of 4 parties involved in affiliate marketing.
But you can also signup for an affiliate program of advertisers from their website. Then, in this case, there would be only three parties involved.
The parties involved in affiliate marketing are:
- The Advertiser: Also called as a merchant, seller, and brand
- The Network: They act as an intermediary between the advertiser and the publisher
- The Publisher: Also known as affiliates, they help publishers in promoting their products.
- The Customer / Consumer
They own the product. It could be anyone from a solo entrepreneur to a big company. The advertiser isn’t directly involved with the selling and promotion of the product. They leave it all to the publisher.
More often than not, the network acts as an intermediary between the advertiser and the affiliate.
There are many affiliate networks like Clickbank, Amazon associates, and Shareasale. Once you sign up to an affiliate network, you will be shown a list of products that you can promote. You can choose the product that is related to your niche and start promoting it.
These are the content creators, the ones who have taken upon themselves to promote and sell the advertiser’s product. They get a commission every time they make a sale through their blog or website.
The sales are tracked through a unique referral link that is provided by the advertiser or the network. Every time a user makes a sale through the referral link, the advertiser gets a commission.
Without them, there would be no sales to make and no revenue to share. The whole process of affiliate marketing would go up in smoke. Consumers make the affiliate marketing system go round.
How To Make Money Online With Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is all about making money while you sleep, but that’s easier said than done. To become a successful affiliate marketer, you need to start a blog or a website.
We will list down the steps you need to take to become a successful affiliate marketer.
- Find a niche that interests you
- Build a blog or a website
- Write amazing content
- Build your email list
- Sign up to an affiliate program or a network
- Place affiliate links in your content
- Set goals and track results
First things first, you need to find a niche that interests you. Something that you are passionate about. Or if you are looking to make money quickly, then look for a profitable niche that has low competition.
It’s always beneficial if you decide to go with your passion. But you also need to make sure that the niche you are choosing also has money-making potential. Because as it turns out, passion alone can’t earn you money.
Look for a niche that is trending. You can use Google trends for that or you can use a keyword tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush. Check to see if they have a high search volume this will give you a good idea about whether to choose that niche or not.
You need to make sure that the niche you choose shouldn’t be saturated. Ideally, it should have low competition and a low barrier to entry. Popular niches tend to have high competition and barriers to entry. You will have a hard time getting your site rank because of all the competition
Look for keywords with low difficulty, this will help you with ranking your content faster even if you are working on a competitive niche.
Now for the question, how do you find the best niche?
You will have to spend some time researching affiliate networks like click bank, and Amazon Associates in order to find a good niche.
There are a lot of factors that you need to consider when looking for a good niche. You need to look into its demand, its trend, the competition, and the barrier to entry.
Once you have picked out the niche you will be working on. You need to then build a website or a blog. If you are making a website for the first time, then we highly recommend checking this guide out on how to make a website.
You can choose any blogging platform you like, but we prefer WordPress.org. It’s free, easy to set up, and has thousands of plugins that can help you get started with your website.
While making a website you need to make sure that your website has a good structure, good design, and good load time. These factors will help you out in the long-run to build a reputable website.
Now that your website is ready, it’s time to create amazing content.
Start by doing comprehensive keyword research to figure out the type of content you need to write. I’d suggest that you go with keywords with low difficulty at first, as they will be easier to rank on.
The initial objective here is to create a few pieces of strong content so that your site can get approved for an affiliate program.
Create content that attracts not only your potential customers but also the affiliate networks. You will need to focus on content marketing to get this done.
Once you have enough content and traffic on your website, then you can proceed to the next step.
There are two main advantages of building an email list. The first reason is that with an email list you won’t solely have to rely on Google. Even if you get a hit from Google you will still be able to drive sales and traffic through your email list.
Building an email list is easy once you start getting traffic to your website. All you have to do is create a popup on your website or strategically place opt-in boxes on your website. There are a lot of WordPress plugins for creating popups but in our opinion, OptinMonster is the best.
Now that you have built your website and email list, it is time to sign up for an affiliate network and start earning money. Signing up is easy but first, you need to look for a few products to promote.
You need to keep in mind a few things before you choose an affiliate product.
1. Choose a product related to your niche
In order to stay relevant with the theme of your website, you need to make sure that the products you promote are related. For example, if you have built a website on health supplements you can also write about fitness programs. This won’t hurt the site’s authority or relevancy since both of these products are related to the health niche.
If you start reviewing products that aren’t related to the health niche then you will lose your connection with your audience. This will lower your site’s authority and relevancy and you will have a hard time making sales.
2. Choose a product that you already use
You might already be using a product that you love. Make a list of all the products that you use and search if they have an affiliate program. Chances are they probably do just sign up for their affiliate program and start recommending their products to your audience.
3. Conduct a need analysis in your niche
Conduct a survey on your website or do research by looking around the related communities. Find out the pain points of your audience, things that they are having trouble finding a solution for. Once you do that, you will automatically know which product to promote and make sales in the process.
4. Keep an eye out on the competition
You’ve probably heard of the saying, “keep your friends close and enemies closer.” This phrase also applies to your business. You would do well if you keep an eye out on your competition and the products that they are promoting on their website. You might find something that you didn’t know about. Something that might interest you and your audience.
Check out their social profiles like Instagram and Twitter, see what they are talking about. What type of ads are they running? You will get a good idea of the products they are promoting, and you might find a potential product to sell.
Now that you have a clear idea of the product that you are going to promote let’s get to the part where you sign up for the affiliate program.
There are two ways of becoming an affiliate. You can directly sign up for an affiliate program of the product that you are looking to promote, or you could sign up to an affiliate network and get a list of products to promote.
We are going to list a few popular affiliate networks that you can join:
Once you sign up, you will be assigned an affiliate manager. You can talk to them about new deals and products that you can promote. You can also negotiate your CPA (cost per action) once you have built enough trust by sending relevant traffic.
5. Strategically Place Your Affiliate Links In Your Content
You can’t get away just by placing affiliate links in your content. You need to work on your copywriting skills to influence your readers into making the desired action. Use power words to trigger an emotional and psychological response.
The study suggests that using power words can increase your conversion rate by 12.7%.
Use power words in your titles, content copy, social media, and where-ever you feel like. Check out this article on power words.
Use power words in your CTA (call to actions) buttons, or you can simply bold or italicize a line in your copy that inspires action.
6. Set Goals And Track Results
Set your goals before you set out on your quest to make money through affiliate marketing. This will give you a direction and the drive you need to succeed in the affiliate industry.
To track your results, you can use different affiliate marketing WordPress plugins. For tracking your performance, you can use MonsterInsights.
Once you start to track your affiliate links, you will be able to tell which products are resonating well with your audience and which aren’t. This can help you with conversion optimization, and you will be able to recommend better products in the future.
This will also, in turn, increase your trust and loyalty, and you will also be able to provide them with better content with the help of the data you have gathered.
Advantages of Affiliate Marketing
A lot of marketing gurus agree that affiliate marketing is the best source of passive income available. But in our opinion, if done right, affiliate marketing can help you earn millions in a year. If that’s not enough to convince you, then we are going to list a few affiliate marketing advantages below.
- Affiliate Marketing is a billion-dollar industry. This means that there is a lot of money lying around for you to collect. You need to find a profitable niche, build a good website, and create an audience.
- You can start with little investment. The biggest hurdle for anyone to start their affiliate gig is that they don’t have a lot of investment. But with affiliate marketing, they can easily start with whatever amount of money they have saved. The cost of starting your affiliate marketing site can be as low as $276. This includes the hosting and domain cost for the year. You don’t need to be a techie in order to build your site. There are hundreds of guides available on the internet that can help you build your website and manage your servers. Anyone can do it!
- Flexibility to work whenever you want. Come to think of it, that’s the whole point of having a passive income, to break out of the 9 to 5 cycle. Having your own website gives you complete control. You can take a risk and quit your job from the start and invest all of your time on your website. Or you can wait till your website earns enough profit to cover your day to day expenses.
WordPress Affiliate Marketing in 2020
In this article, we have talked about how you can earn money through affiliate marketing and its benefits at the present. But what about the future? What are the predictions? Where is affiliate marketing headed?
Affiliate marketing is going to be a $6.8 billion industry in the U.S alone. Judging by the sheer numbers, you can tell there is a lot of potential to earn a lot of money.
Influencer marketing is going to play a pivotal role in affiliate marketing. The number of influencers and their following has been growing rapidly with the help of social networks like Instagram. You can find an influencer for almost every niche.
Affiliate reporting will improve in the year 2020. In the past, affiliates were relying on the last-click attribution model, which means that the last click gets 100% sales commission. Now you can see the full funnel and cross channel view of how your marketing tactics are working.
GDPR (general data protection regulation) is going to have a huge impact on affiliate marketing in 2020. This law requires website owners to disclose everything they track about their visitors. The law also states that websites should give the right to the users to opt-out of keeping cookies. If the user opts out then you get your commission even if the user converts through your affiliate link.
Best WordPress Affiliate Marketing Strategies To Consider In 2020
In 2020, 50% of all searches will be through voice. This means that you need to optimize your content for voice searches. The best way to do this is to add LSI keywords and answer the questions that are being asked in the “people also ask” section on Google.
Recommend products that you are familiar with or products that have a good standing in the industry. If you start promoting something that has a bad rep in the market, then people are going to call you out for it. If you are in affiliate marketing for the long run, then choose your products wisely.
Don’t commit to a single advertiser, sign up to different affiliate networks and independent affiliate programs. This will give a fair amount of diversity in your product listings, which is always beneficial for the end-user.
Focus on conversion optimization, test different products, different styles of landing pages, and optimize the design of your website. The goal here is to increase the conversion rate of your website, and you can’t do that without sufficient data. For that, use a WordPress affiliate marketing tracking tool.
Well, there you have it, folks, this was the starter guide on how to start affiliate marketing in 2020. With affiliate marketing, you easily earn money while you sleep. We would advise that you look into content marketing, paid advertising, and SEO. Acquiring these skills will take you a long way. Acquiring these skills will enable you to compete with the growing competition.
If you have anything to share then do sound off in the comments below.