Affiliate marketing means making money from commissions by selling products or services that other businesses have to offer. You can make money online quickly and easily if you get into affiliate marketing business. Affiliate marketing presents a wonderful opportunity for you to make a decent income from internet no matter what your professional or educational background is. If you want to have that additional passive internet income you must start affiliate marketing business.
So how to start affiliate marketing business?
Are you wondering how to become an affiliate marketer? To start affiliate marketing business is very easy and quick. You can join the affiliate programs of famous brands like Amazon, eBay etc. or affiliate networks like Clickbank or Commission junction and run your affiliate marketing business from the comfort of your home. You do not even need to work regular hours and can choose when you want to work and for how many hours. It is very flexible.
You can learn more about affiliate marketing definition from here before you get started in affiliate marketing. The following steps can help you start affiliate marketing business.
Select your affiliate products or services
The first step in setting up an affiliate marketing business is to decide on what products or services you want to sell. The basic rule is that at least in your initial days as an affiliate, you must select products or services that you are familiar with. You will it easy to become an affiliate marketer if you stick to products and services in an area you are familiar with.
When you sell products or services that you are familiar with, you are likely to be more successful in affiliate marketing. Your knowledge and interest in your affiliate products means you can easily establish yourself as an authority in your niche. When people accept you as an authority in your niche, they trust you more. This boosts your sales as an affiliate.
Before choosing your niche, products or services you must make sure there are sellers or merchants that can accept you as an affiliate. Make sure such affiliate programs have a good reputation and provide you with easy to use tools and reports to monitor your sales. You must also make sure there are enough potential buyers out there willing to pay for your affiliate products and services before you get into affiliate marketing business.
You may have to do some research online to figure out which affiliate products or services to select. There are many tools available online to do such research. You can start affiliate marketing business with the products, services, apps or tools that you like and use regularly. Find out if those brands have any affiliate programs that can join. If you want to get into affiliate marketing business, continue with more research around their sales and demand.
Establish yourself as an authority in your niche
To make money with affiliate marketing, you must geenerate as many sales as you can. Once you have selected your affiliate products you must start to think of how best you can create campaigns to sell them. You must also study the market around your affiliate products and understand who your competitors are and how they work. At this stage your aim must be to establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
Affiliate marketing strategies and tactics are more or less same whatever your niche is. Once you start affiliate marketing business, driving traffic to your affiliate links is the most important thing to do. The more traffic you drive, more sales you are likely to make. More sales mean more commissions and earnings for you.
You can start by testing out few campaigns and understand which campaigns work better. You must scale up your business to make more money. This means you must select the campaigns that make you more money and scale these campaigns up. This will boost your sales and increase your revenue.
You can drive paid traffic to your links after you have made enough money from affiliate marketing. However, when you first get into affiliate marketing business, you must focus on how to drive free traffic to your affiliate links or affiliate website.
Buy and try
If at all possible, you must buy and try the products and services that you want to promote. Though you are not obliged in any way to buy everything before you can promote it and make money with affiliate marketing, it makes sense to buy and try. Buying and trying a product or service before promoting goes a long way in helping you to establish your authority in your niche once you start affiliate marketing business.
When you buy and try something, you will gain deeper knowledge of the product or service. Such strong knowledge and familiarity with your affiliate products or services will help you in gaining your prospective buyers’ trust. When people trust you and your knowledge more, they are more likely to buy from you. That’s how you become an affiliate marketer that people can trust.
Posting a review about your affiliate products and services is one of the best ways to gain your readers’ trust. When you buy and try your affiliate products and services, you will gain the ability to write genuine reviews and come across as an authority in your niche. You can produce informative posts and videos as case studies from your experience of using your affiliate products and services.
Request for free samples to try
Once you establish yourself as an authority in your niche, many merchants and sellers will come forward to offer you free samples. They expect you to post reviews about their products and services and sell for them. When you get free samples, your expenses would naturally come down too.
Some merchants may give away free products even for a beginner affiliate marketer. So you can always ask for a free sample before you promote a product or service as soon as you start affiliate marketing business.
Develop a website in your niche
Promoting your affiliate products and services on your own website is by far the most practical way to do affiliate marketing business. As you build traffic to your own website and get more and more email subscribers to your blog, you establish your authority in your niche. Also no matter what, all contacts, traffic and subscribers you get on your website remain yours for ever. You can sell to them again and again.
There are other ways that people do affiliate marketing business like social media marketing, email marketing etc. But with social media, you own the traffic as along as your account on the social media exists. If you lose your social media account for any reason, you lose all your business. Similar problems exist with email marketing and others. So ideally you must develop your own website in your niche and start building traffic and subscriber list as soon as you start affiliate marketing business.
Many affiliate networks and branded companies also ask for your website URL before they can process your affiliate application. They want to make sure the website is genuine and it complies with their policy and law of the land. This is another reason why you must develop your niche website before applying to become an affiliate.
When you start affiliate marketing business, you must develop your own website. To develop your niche website, you need a domain name and hosting. You can get these from GoDaddy or Fasthosts etc. Many affiliate marketers find it very easy to develop niche websites using WordPress.
Create great content for your affiliate website
It is important that you aim to make your website an authority in your niche. You must also make sure that the posts on your website do not appear like complete sales letters. When you have helpful, original and genuine content on your niche website, people will naturally trust you. When people trust you, they do buy from your affiliate links.
So you must make sure that your niche website delivers highest quality content. You can achieve this by following the best practices in web design, user experience, and SEO. Avoiding direct promotional content on your website at all times is also vital for success in affiliate marketing. This will eventually win you the trust of your visitors and boost your conversions.
Join a good affiliate program
Look at all the affiliate programs that offer products or services in your niche. Then join the best affiliate program in your niche. When you are accepted into a affiliate program, you become an affiliate. This technically is when you start affiliate marketing business.
To get started in affiliate marketing, you must be generous in investing time and effort in researching affiliate networks and merchant’s in your field. Your choice of affiliate network, affiliate product and merchant could mean making lots of money online or just a few pennies. Finding affiliate network that suits you need not be overly complicated.
The best and simplest way to research affiliate networks is to search on search engines like google, Yahoo or Bing. For example, you can type in “your keyword + affiliate” in google search bar and browse through the search results to find a suitable affiliate program. It is important that you select only lucrative affiliate programs to work with.
Look for branded affiliate networks and merchants
If you want to make your search for affiliate product or affiliate network easier, you can also choose from one of branded affiliate networks and merchants. Examples include Amazon, eBay, Commission Junction, Click Bank, Linkshare, Shareasale, e-Junkie, Avangate, White Paper Source.
Amazon is by far the most popular website for affiliate marketing. As they sell just about anything, you are very likely to find a range of products from your niche on Amazon. So amazon is a good place to start and thrive in your affiliate marketing business. The amazon code, also known as the AZ code is great help for starting an affiliate business with amazon. We have written a review of the AZ code and you can find it here.
Commission Junction is also very popular for affiliate marketing. CJ is an affiliate network with many big brands on the merchant list. When a brand does not offer an affiliate program on their website, they generally do their affiliate engagement through Commission Junction.
Click Bank is also a very popular affiliate network that provides a very lucrative affiliate marketing business for you. They primarily offer a range of digital products and their affiliate program is very easy to use. Many top affiliates say Clickbank is the one to start affiliate marketing business with especially if you have no previous experience and you want to get into affiliate marketing business.
In case you have a branded product or service in your mind that you want to sell as an affiliate, you can also checkout their official website. If they run an affiliate program, they provide full detail of their affiliate policy and useful links for affiliates on their website. Such websites generally have a link for affiliates in their website’s footer.
Choosing a branded product or service to sell as an affiliate is a smart thing to do. When you chose a top brand and become their affiliate, the reputation of the brand works in your favour and makes your affiliate marketing more lucrative.
Do not pay to become an affiliate to start affiliate marketing business
Please note that good and reputed companies, affiliate networks and brands offer affiliate programs with no cost to affiliates. So you should never pay or provide credit card information on a website that promises to offer you an affiliate program.
Thus it is always free to join a good affiliate program and so you can start affiliate marketing business for free. However, affiliate networks or brands may sometimes ask for your bank details or PayPal account detail or even your mailing address when you enrol for their affiliate programs. They need this information to pay you your earnings as an affiliate.
Affiliate networks and merchants may need your website’s URL to establish you are genuine and comply with their policy.
Place affiliate links on your website
Once you start affiliate marketing business, the way you make money in affiliate marketing is by sending as many visitors as possible to the merchant’s website via your affiliate links. When they purchase something, you get paid a commission and that’s how you make money with affiliate marketing. You need to place your affiliate links on your website to send visitors from your website to the merchant’s website. When visitors click on the affiliate links on your website they are taken to the merchant’s website.
You must place affiliate links with meaningful anchor text in your content on your website where they naturally fit. To make it more user friendly you must make sure you place affiliate links where the visitors are likely to find helpful. When you place affiliate links in your content it is important that you do not appear like a salesman.
Getting affiliate links is very straight forward. All affiliate networks and brands with affiliate programs have provision on their websites for affiliate links. You can generate perfect affiliate links to a variety of pages on the merchant site.
Some affiliate networks also provide training programs and tips on how to be a successful affiliate. You can learn everything about affiliate marketing from these websites including how to start affiliate marketing business.
A content that looks more like sales pitch may put off potential buyers. So please try to keep the content on your website less like a sales letter and more like a helpful article. Being helpful to people will get more visitors to click on your affiliate links and generates more sales on your merchant site than writing like salesman.
Use widgets in side bar to place visual ads
Side bar is very natural for placing great visual content that draws the visitors’ attention. So pickup nice visual adverts from your affiliate network and place them in the side bar of your website. Your affiliate network offers great visual adverts HTML code, so you may choose some relevant to your niche.
You can choose from a variety of images from the affiliate network and link them to your affiliate products. Many affiliate networks provide you tools to generate code for such image links for affiliates that are easy to generate and use. You can just copy the code and paste in your side bar HTML widget.
Drive more traffic to your website
To make a success out of your affiliate marketing business, you must continue to drive more and more traffic to your website. When you drive more traffic to your website, more people click on your affiliate links and this generates more sales. More sales means more commissions for you.
So once you start affiliate marketing business, to grow your sales and commissions, you must continue to create great content on your website. When you keep on adding original, fresh and helpful content on your niche website, you get more traffic.
Also when you have more content on your website, it means you also have more affiliate links on there. By the law of averages, we can conclude this eventually increases your affiliate sales and your revenues.
Start with free traffic and then go for paid traffic
When you start affiliate marketing business and develop your affiliate website, you must focus on ranking your website high in search engines for your keywords. As you grow content on your website, your website begins to rank higher in search engine rankings. This means you get more and more organic traffic that’s totally free.
Free organic traffic is a great thing for generate affiliate sales and great revenues from affiliate commissions. You can also use some paid traffic methods to generate targeted traffic and increase the number of clicks on your affiliate links.
Generating original content related to your niche for your website that visitors find helpful is by far the best way to grow traffic to your website. However, sometimes, you may find great content available for your use on your affiliate merchant’s website too.
When you have good, valuable, original and helpful content on your website people are more likely to subscribe and come back to visit your website. This significantly increases the probability that they will eventually click on some of your affiliate links and make purchases earning you commissions.
Drive even more traffic to your website from Social Media Marketing
You can create your affiliate business accounts on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest etc. These social media platforms may help you to generate some free traffic when you post meaningful content on them and place links to your website over there. Promoting your affiliate marketing website on social media is one of the best affiliate marketing strategies.
When people visit your social media pages and click on your links they arrive on your website. When they click on affiliate links on your website, they go to your affiliate merchant’s website. They earn you commission when they make purchases once on the affiliate merchant’s website.
On top of free traffic, you can also generate some serious targeted paid traffic from social media accounts. All social media platforms offer paid advertising for your affiliate marketing business. They also provide you various tools to target your audience that suits your niche who may be more interested in buying your affiliate products.
It is a good idea to keep posting helpful and relevant content on your social media pages just like you do with your website. As you build a follower or fan base for your social media page, you become an authority in your niche. As your authority in the niche builds up, your sales will do so too.
Posting content in different formats like text, images, videos etc. is important in building up a social media profile when you start affiliate marketing business.
Some affiliate networks and merchants offer you links, images and tools that you can post directly on your social media pages like Facebook and Twitter. For example, amazon associate program offers tools that can post affiliate links directly on your Facebook or Twitter accounts. In such cases, you do not even need a website to do affiliate marketing business.
Measure your success and scale your business
Once you start affiliate marketing business, develop your affiliate website and social media accounts, you must start tracking the performance of your affiliate marketing business. It is important that you monitor your business performance accurately to make more money from affiliate marketing.
To begin with, you must set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts for your website. Google provides these for free and they are great tools that help you monitor, analyse users’ behaviour on your website. Armed with such knowledge, you can do few things to drive traffic and their behaviour to suit your business goals.
All affiliate marketing networks and affiliate merchants provide you with some tools to measure your affiliate marketing business’ success. They provide helpful reports and analytics which can tell you how well you are doing in affiliate marketing business.
These reports and analytics give you specific information about your affiliate sales. These include what you sold, when you sold and to whom you sold something to. These analytics help you understand what’s working for your affiliate marketing business and what is not.
Understand what’s working and what’s not
When you know that something is working, say you are selling more of a certain affiliate product, you can drive more affiliate traffic in that direction. The secret to making large sums of money in affiliate marketing is to scale your success rapidly.
For example if your analytics show that a specific product or service sells well on your website, you must create more content related to that product. This will drive even more traffic to that product and generate even more sales and revenue for you.
Also if your analytics show that something is not working, you can look for ways to improve it. Many affiliate network websites provide you with intelligent suggestions to improve your affiliate sales’ performance.
Google analytics is another great tool to understand your traffic. Once you know the demographics of people that are more likely to make a purchase on your website, you can target more in that demographic. This will increase your traffic and boost your affiliate sales even more. You must get an account with Google Analytics when you start affiliate marketing business.
You can figure out from your analytics which of your posts are generating more traffic and sales. Once you identify the most popular posts that convert the best, you can add even more affiliate links to that post. This increases traffic to your affiliate links and boosts your affiliate sales.
So the fundamental idea of using analytics to improve your affiliate marketing business is that first you separate what’s working from what’s not working. Then put in more effort and invest more into things that are working and improve things that are no working. So focus on what is working and stay away from what’s not working.
When you use paid advertising to drive more targeted traffic to your affiliate links, you can use analytics to figure out which adverts are working for you and which are not. You can then invest more money in adverts that are working and get rid of the adverts that are not working.
Use your creativity as a strategy to build on success
Most important thing to remember when you get into affiliate marketing business is that you may not see satisfactory results as soon as you start. It takes time to gain traction and see solid results. But if you never give up and constantly and strategically fine tune your approach to affiliate marketing business, you must soon see consistent revenues.
You can use a mix of strategies and tactics to drive traffic to your affiliate links.
For example, you can
- publish original, valuable and helpful content on a blog
- review some products that you have purchased
- provide comparison of few similar products
- make informative YouTube videos etc.
It is critical that you produce high quality genuine, original and helpful content that your visitors love to see.
One of the best affiliate marketing tips is that you must sprinkle your affiliate links throughout your content. This will increase the chances of someone clicking on them.
Once you have such affiliate marketing tactics in place, you can measure their performance and scale the business to make more money online. With experience you notice a pattern of what works better for you and you can just keep doing more of it.
Aim for rapid growth in traffic and conversions and soon you will be very successful in affiliate marketing. Keep resolving problems and issues as soon as you see them. Continue to look out for new products and new affiliate strategies from your affiliate networks and merchants. This will help you to be on top of your affiliate marketing business.
Identify the patterns of your buyers’ behaviours and tailor your affiliate marketing strategy to meet their needs closely. Promote your business in every possible way online including social media, webinars, emails etc.
Automate affiliate marketing tasks
As you gain more experience in affiliate marketing, it is very helpful to automate what you can. You can also delegate some functions of the business when you can afford it. You can do this when you have made some money from affiliate marketing business and can comfortably afford. There are many tools out there in the market that help you automate many routine tasks. Also, you can find plenty of people online whom you can delegate some time consuming tasks like writing. This will free up more of your time. As a result, you can focus on expanding your business into new areas and new products etc.
Last but not least, do not forget to pay the taxes on your earnings. If you are new to business, you may want to appoint an accountant to manage your finances. You may need more employees as you continue to grow your online affiliate marketing business.
Hope you will start affiliate marketing business soon if you have not done so yet. Good Luck with your online affiliate marketing business!