Learn how to make money with affiliate marketing.
Because it is the best way of monetizing a blog. You can make make a lot of money with affiliate marketing. The sky is the limit.
Most people have become affiliate markers and are working online to generate the income needed to meet their monthly needs.
The jobs are either full-time or side hustles. These jobs range from blogging and freelancing to affiliate marketing.
Let’s get started.
What is affiliate marketing?
In simple terms, affiliate marketing is the act of recommending services or goods that are offered by another person or company to potential buyers in exchange for an activity fee.
There are three parties involved in the affiliate marketing chain. These are:
- the merchant,
- the affiliate marketer and
- the consumer.
Who is a merchant?
The merchant is the owner of the goods or services. For example, Bluehost is a merchant. Bluehost is a web hosting company. They offer a web hosting service. Another example of a merchant is Namecheap. It is a domain registrar. It registers domain names.
Who is an affiliate marketer?
Just as the name suggests. An affiliate marketer is a person or an entity that recommends goods and services that are not theirs to others. The marketer links the merchant and the consumer. For example, bloggers who write reviews about Bluehost web hosting.
They recommend the best web hosting service provider to readers who want to start blogging. These bloggers are making money from affiliate marketing by recommending Bluehost Web hosting.
When people sign up for Bluehost hosting using a link given to the affiliate marketer by Bluehost, a small token of appreciation is given to the marketer. This is called commission.
Who is a consumer?
A consumer completes the chain. This is the user of the services or goods produced by a merchant that a marketer recommends. A consumer may either be an individual or a company. For example, am a consumer of Bluehost web hosting service. Because I host my blog on the Bluehost server.
How do bloggers make money from affiliate marketing?
Let me explain how bloggers make money through affiliate marketing. The merchant gives each affiliate marker an outstanding link known as an affiliate link. So when a person clicks that link, a small file called a cookie is stored on his device.
If the person purchases something before the cookie expires, the merchant uses affiliate links to track who was responsible for the sale. Thus the merchant will know the marketer whose affiliate link the buyer clicked.
The role of an affiliate cookie in affiliate marketing is twofold:
- The cookie helps the merchant find the affiliate marketer behind a sale;
- It doesn’t expire after a few hours, so you get paid even if the buyer delays their purchase. This should be, however, before the cookie expires and the expiration of cookies varies from one company to another.
A practical example of how to make money with affiliate marketing.
Here’s a practical example:
Let’s assume that a reader visits your blog post about the best web hosting services. They click on one of your affiliate links and it directs them to the Bluehost website.
However, he doesn’t sign up for Bluehost hosting right there. Because he doesn’t have money. So he looks for money and two weeks later visits the Bluehost website and signs up for hosting.
Do you know what will happen?
You will be paid a commission. When the reader clicked on your affiliate link two weeks ago, a cookie was stored on his computer or phone.
Because Bluehost has a 60-day cookie duration, you get compensated for the Bluehost hosting purchase even though two weeks elapsed.
That sounds incredible. Right? But this is how bloggers make money with affiliate marketing.
Benefits of becoming an affiliate marker.
So what are the benefits of becoming an affiliate marketer? Well, so far we have learned that affiliate markers make money from affiliate marketing, but what other benefits come along with affiliate marketing? Here are the other benefits:
1. It doesn’t require customer support.
Most businesses if not all of them require customer support in order to flourish. However, this is not the case with affiliate marketing.
It doesn’t require you to find out whether your customers are satisfied or not after buying a product. You’ll never have to be concerned with customer satisfaction.
The entire job of an affiliate marketer is to link the seller with the consumer. The seller deals with any consumer complaints after you receive your commission from the sale.
2. You will work from the comfort of your home.
If you detest working from an office, then affiliate marketing is the best job for you. It doesn’t require you to operate from an office. You can work from anywhere.
You’ll be able to launch campaigns and receive revenue from the products that sellers create while working from the comfort of your own home.
3. It does not require injection.
Most businesses require an injection of huge sums of money. You need money to start a successful and lucrative business.
However, affiliate marketing can be done at a low cost. There are no affiliate program fees to worry about and no need to create a product.
4. It’s flexible.
As an affiliate marketer, you are at liberty to work when you want. You have absolute freedom to set out goals for yourself and you can choose the products to promote. Of course, promoting quality products.
5. The income is based on performance.
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that your income is not fixed. Your income will be determined by the effort you put in. The more effort you put in, the more money you make.
So there is no income limit in affiliate marketing. Because the money you make with affiliate marketing depends on the effort you put in.
6 Steps to making your first money from affiliate marketing.
To start earning money through affiliate marketing, you need to take the following steps:
- Choose a niche and research profitable affiliate programs and products.
- Create a website.
- Create excellent content.
- Build an audience.
- Join an affiliate program or network to start making money from affiliate marketing.
- Promote your affiliate products.
Step #1. Choose a niche and research affiliate products and programs.
The first thing you need to do is to decide what niche you’re going to target. Choose a profitable niche. You need to do thorough research to find a profitable niche.
To come up with a profitable niche, ask yourself the following questions:
What topics do I like writing about or discussing?
Choose a topic that you are passionate about. You will not have difficulties in creating content.
Are there potential customers in this niche?
You need a niche that has an audience to buy the products you will be promoting.
Is there stiff competition?
Don’t enter a niche where competition is very stiff. It will be difficult for you to compete with the experts.
Are there affiliate programs in this niche?
Choose a niche that has affiliate programs.
Step #2. Create your website.
If you don’t have a website, read my guide on how to start a blog. Set up your website on WordPress. It is a content management system(CMS).
This is where you will be writing your content and storing it. WordPress is very easy to use.
Remember having a website is the first and most important step in making money from affiliate marketing.
So take the following steps to set up your blog:
Buy a domain.
This is the name of your website. For example, www.visionaryblogger.com.
Buy your domain at Namecheap.
Namecheap offers the cheapest domain names on the market. Their renewal prices are also fair.
Purchase and set up hosting.
Hosting is where your domain name will be housed. Choose a reputable, reliable, and powerful hosting provider because you need a website to start affiliate marketing.
The affordable and reliable hosting provider I recommend is Bluehost.
If you purchase your domain and hosting from different companies, you will need to sync the two.
- Install WordPress.
Install WordPress. It is an excellent content management system (CMS). It’s easy to use and it will only take you a couple of minutes and you will have WordPress installed on your website.
For details on how to install WordPress, themes, and how to write your first blog post, read my guide on how to start a blog.
- Install your theme.
A WordPress theme is what is responsible for the styling of a website that you see on the front end. There are thousands of themes available, so choosing one might seem challenging.
Don’t worry! I’ll help you to choose the best theme.
I recommend the Atra theme. It is completely customizable.
Step #3: Create excellent content.
It’s time to create content now. Create content that is relevant to your niche. Ensure also that your content is SEO-friendly and appealing to your audience. Focus on creating great content.
Your content should be in form of:
A product review is an article that discusses a particular product in detail. For example, a Bluehost web hosting review will explain what Bluehost is, its features, pros, and cons.
Focus on writing reviews of products to help your readers make the best decision about the products they want to buy.
After reading a review on your blog, if the reader clicks through to the product using your affiliate link, you will earn a commission.
Address the problems of your readers.
Before you write your blog posts, do keyword research to find out what topics people are searching for online.
This way you will know how to craft content to solve your audience’s problems. You will maintain existing subscribers and attract new subscribers and readers.
This is likely to maximize the money you realize from affiliate marketing. You will need sophisticated but user-friendly SEO software for your keyword research.
I recommend you use SEMrush for this. It does the job perfectly well.
It has rich features to enable you to do keyword research faster and more effectively.
A product tutorial is an article that explains in detail how to use a particular product. Make sure you research the products so that you write thorough product tutorials.
Step #4: Build an audience.
You need to build an audience. Because this audience is your potential buyer of the products you will promote. To be honest, making a lot of money from affiliate marketing requires an audience.
So how do you build an audience for a completely new site?
Here are some practical principles:
Build an email list.
The first thing you need to do is to build an email list. An email list is extremely important to all affiliate marketers. To get results faster, I recommend you use Constant Contact.
Constant Contact is one of the largest email marketing services in the world. It is an extremely easy-to-use and beginner-friendly email marketing service.
You can easily manage your email lists, contacts, email templates, and marketing calendar. With Constant Contact, you will get features like email automation, drip campaigns, surveys & polls, coupons, and online donations.
The secret is to use a lead magnet. A lead magnet is anything you use to compel your readers to sign up for your email list so that you get their email addresses.
For example, a list of profitable niches. This is an example of a lead magnet you can give out to your readers. When the time comes, this audience will buy products from you.
I rate Constant Contact as the best email marketing service for small businesses and startups.
Constant Contact has a 60-day free trial (no credit card required).
Promote your content on social media.
Choose the social media which is suitable for your niche. Use the platform to promote your content. Engage with your audience and once you have their trust, promote your products and services to them. And they are likely to buy from you.
Apart from focusing on writing great content on your blog, guest blogging is another crucial aspect that must be given special attention. By writing content for a higher-traffic website, people will see your expertise on the topic. This will eventually drive more traffic to your site.
Use basic SEO strategies.
Either learn SEO yourself or hire an SEO expert to help you with on-page and off-page optimization. This will help you start appearing in google search results.
Use paid advertising.
Invest in paid advertising to drive more traffic to your website to increase sales. Paid advertising on social media is often a good place to start as these networks tend to be more affordable.
Step #5: Join an affiliate program or network.
Some companies run their own affiliate programs while others join affiliate networks.
An affiliate network is a company that houses a number of merchants in one place. When you apply for an affiliate program via an affiliate network, you will have access to a number of affiliate products to promote.
The best affiliate networks for bloggers.
- ShareASale Affiliates [My Best Choice].
- Amazon Associates.
- Rakuten Marketing Affiliates.
- CJ Affiliate Publisher’s Program.
- Impact Radius.
Join one of the affiliate networks of your choice and start making money from affiliate marketing.
Step #6: Promote your affiliate products.
You can promote your affiliate products in a number of ways. The strategies depend on the type of your website and also what you’re selling.
Some of the strategies you can use are:
This is a great way to increase conversions and make a lot of money with affiliate marketing. Write honest, thorough, and appealing reviews about products and services. Incorporate eye-catching images.
Explain the useful features, specifications, pros, and cons as well as other details of the product. Then link the product review to your page where your affiliate ID is attached.
You will need a plugin to manage all your links effectively. There are so many plugins out there that claim can manage links carefully. But there is one software that is so far the best that can manage links properly.
The best plugin for affiliate marketing links.
I recommend you use Pretty Links.
Why I recommend Pretty Links.
Pretty Links is a powerful all-in-one WordPress links management plugin. It enables you to create clean, simple URLs on your WordPress site from which you can redirect to any other URL.
With Pretty Links, you can organize affiliate links, and shorten your posts and page URLs which you can share on social media platforms and in your email campaigns.
It has a link-tracking feature that tracks each click on your pretty URL and furnishes you with a full report on the traffic source, browser, and operating system. It will help you maximize the money you make from affiliate marketing.
Pretty Links is a simple and easy-to-use WordPress plugin.
When you sign up, you will be given banners. Make sure you insert your banners on pages that receive high traffic. Banner ads placed in the right places will increase sales.
If you have an email list and you have created a relationship with your audience, then some of the emails you send to them must contain your affiliate links so that when your audience clicks the product and makes a purchase, the sale is attributed to you.
How to succeed in making money from affiliate marketing.
Making money through affiliate marketing calls for hard work and using a variety of strategies. Here are some of the strategies that can help you succeed in affiliate marketing:
- Research. You need to carry out research about the products. Find out if it’s a good product worth your time promoting. It is also important to find out whether the product is loved by many people or not. Just promote good products that people love.
- Engagement. Often times engage with the owners of the products. These engagements will deepen your knowledge about the product to help you create great content about the product which will result in conversions.
- Good rapport. Create a good relationship with readers who buy products through your link. Create great content that will maintain the relationship.
- Social media. Continue attracting new followers using social media so that you generate more money. Keep on learning about search engine optimization (SEO) in a bid to drive more organic traffic to your website.
- Write product reviews. Focus on writing reviews about products and services that are in your niche. Use the rapport you have created with your audience and your expertise to explain to your readers how they will benefit from purchasing the product or service you are promoting. Compare one product to others in the same category.
- Use a variety of content promotion methods. Do not use one method of promotion. Instead, vary strategies. Give a variety of marketing strategies a try to see which one your audience responds to the most.
Affiliate marketing is a great way of making money online. If you applied for Google AdSense and the application was approved. Think of starting affiliate marketing on your blog. There are so many affiliate programs on affiliate networks. My #1 affiliate network is ShareASale. Sign up for an account with ShareASale and start marketing money from affiliate marketing.