Do you want to start affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a fantastic way to monetize your blog. Maybe you do not have a blog yet but have heard about affiliate marketing. I can show you where to start building your blog too. And yes, I am part of their affiliate program.
In this post, I will walk you through all the elements of affiliate marketing. There is a lot to cover for you to be a successful affiliate.
So, Let’s dive in and get you closer to making your first sale online.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
First, let’s cover what affiliate marketing is.
Affiliate marketing is a way for you, “the affiliate” to earn a commission on a sale of a product or service via your readers on your website.
This is the 5 basic steps to affiliate marketing
- You first build your website.
- You find a product or service to promote on your website.
- You sign up for that companies affiliate program.
- You add a special link from the merchant to track clicks from your website to that product.
- You receive a commission when your reader buys that product.
Not very complex to become an affiliate online.
Being an affiliate can become very advanced, but I want to cover the core fundamentals of affiliating products online.
How does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Affiliate marketing works in many different ways but the most common ways are someone clicking the special link that was assigned to you.
The most common method for tracking affiliate sales is via a “cookie”.
When someone clicks your link to that product a “cookie” will be added to their browser history. The “cookie” file will let the merchandiser know if the sale came from you.
There are other advanced types of tracking with email addresses and IP addresses, but I will only cover the basics to get you started and making a commission on sales.
How do you find products to promote?
If a product is being sold online, there most likely is an affiliate program for that product. Companies love having other promote their products online and it’s not costing them any money to advertise. Companies only pay when an affiliate makes a referral sale.
Just because you can promote anything online does not mean you should.
You need to consider which products to promote on your website. Is that product going to be relevant to your audience online?
When you come to this blog you will not see me promoting Knives.
Although, you can click and find some pretty sweet knives there.
For me, I would pick something more relevant to my content. WP Engine is a hosting site for WordPress. As for my readers either have a website or have considered building a website.
When you decide which products to promote you should ask yourself…
- Do I use this product?
- Will my readers benefit from this product?
- Is the buying process simple?
- Is there a high commission on this product? (not always necessary)
If you answered yes to all these questions, then that product would be a good fit on your blog.
You should start to write down products that would benefit your readers on your blog. Try to come up with at least 10-15 different items your viewers would benefit from.
Physical Products – Information – Services
As you have begun to build your blog, you should have an idea of products to promote. Now, there are 3 types of products to affiliate market online.
You need to decide which products your viewers will like the most.
- Physical Products
- Information Products
- Service Products
You can promote 1 of these products or all 3. That decision is entirely up to you.
All 3 products have pros and cons.
Affiliate Marketing Physical Products
Amazon is a retail super giant online. Amazon will make affiliate marketing physical products incredibly easy. Once, you have signed up for the affiliate program, you will receive a link to promote any product on Amazon.
Here is the bad.
Commission on physical products off Amazon are low. There are a lot of costs that go into physical products such as manufacturing, wholesaling, shipping, etc.
You will start with a base commission rate of 4% with amazon. Once you have made 7 referral sales in a month you will be bumped up to 6%, then 6.5%, all the way to the max commission of 8.5%.
If you receiving a commission off of thousands of products a month, you are still receiving less than 10%. Most people do not make a ton of money affiliate marketing with Amazon, but some people make thousands of dollars a month with Amazon.
If you can find commission rates over 10% on physical products those are very excellent products to promote.
How to start:
Amazon is an excellent affiliate program, to begin with. You are familiar with Amazon and very likely your readers will be familiar with amazon.
Click here to join Amazon’s Affiliate Program.
You can also find other companies to affiliate market with. Most companies offer an affiliate program on their website. If there is no indication of an affiliate program, I would just send an email asking.
Amazon is a great place to begin affiliate marketing with. But, it is not always the best option.
Amazon only provides your views with a 24-hour cookie when they click through. If you viewers do not click through and buy right away you will not receive a commission.
There are other affiliate programs that will offer 30-90 day cookies.
That means if your viewer clicks through your link but doesn’t buy it is okay. Your viewer decides to spend time researching those products for the next week that is okay. You will still receive a commission when they finally do decide to buy.
If you know your niche, I would recommend doing a Google search for affiliate programs.
“Product name affiliate program.” “Your niche affiliate program.” This way you will have an idea of what products and programs you can begin affiliate marketing with.
Affiliate Marketing Information Products
Information products are usually something that teaches you how to do something. These can be information products that are accessed online, downloaded, or purchased and shipped.
Information products are great to affiliate market.
- Usually higher priced, you will earn a higher commission.
- Easier to build trust with customers making them easier to sell.
- There usually is marketing funnels behind them leading to more sales.
- They solve a problem that your readers are having.
These products are harder to become an affiliate for. The creator of the information product is more selective of who they let promote their product.
The best way to find out if you can affiliate market their products is by going to their website and checking for an affiliate program. If there is no affiliate program then next thing you should do is contact the owner of that information product. Explain to the owner who you are and what you want to do to help sell more of their product.
Commissions on Information products are much higher than physical products. Commissions can range from 30-50% per sale.
Makes sense considering there is less work in the production of these products.
A lot of the times there is not going to be an affiliate program for information products, but do not let that stop you. If you are going to be promoting these on your blog make sure to contact the owner of that intellectual property.
You can make a lot of money from information products.
Affiliate Marketing Services
The last type of product to affiliate market is services. I affiliate market services a lot on my blog. The nature of becoming an entrepreneur tends to need services to launch a business online.
Websites, hosting, and all the teaching to building a business online.
I do not promote services I do not use. The biggest service I promote for people online is Wealthy Affiliate. They offer all the services needed to build a blog and business online.
The good thing about service affiliate marketing is the recurring sales. Services usually have a subscription fee per month. That means you would make a commission every month after you have referred some to that service.
This makes it incredibly easy to build up your income online.
The commission rates for services are between 15-30% per sale. But, you will be receiving that every month your sale stays a member for that service.
Why Affiliate Marketing is the best method of monetization of your blog
Beginner bloggers always think ads or banners is the best way to make money off their blogs.
They are wrong.
People like to start using ads from Adsense. This is very easy to get started with Adsense, but there are ad blockers to extend your browser. Some people will never see those ads.
Plus those Adsense banners are going to make your web page ugly.
Selling ad space to companies is almost just as bad.
A good idea of how much you can make off selling ad space is like this:
Daily visitors divided by 10, is close to the amount you will make per month off selling ad space.
Let’s say you get 1,000 visitors per day.
You divide that by 10.
You will be looking at $100 per month off that ad.
That might seem great for a new blogger, but generating 1,000 visitors a day is no easy task.
If you build your blog to the point of 1,000 visitors a day you would be better off affiliate marketing products.
You could potential be making quite a bit more money. See my example of Wealthy Affiliate referrals.
If you have a larger traffic flow to your website, you could potential earn quite a bit more than just $100.
This is Wealthy Affiliates affiliate program ratios.
Successful Affiliate Strategies
This is the most important part of making money as an affiliate.
You have selected all the products you want to promote on your blog.
If you are not promoting your products correctly on your blog you will never make money as an affiliate.
Do you want to make money as an affiliate?
Here are the best ways to promote your affiliate links
One of the easiest things you can do for your blog is to build a resource page of tools you use.
These can be tools you use for your own blog that you recommend others use too.
One of my resource pages is:
Tools for Entrepreneurs – People will be able to find which tools I use on a daily base for my own blog.
This will bring you some sales as well as provide your viewers with useful information for their own blog.
When you are building an audience product reviews related to your niche will also result in sales. This will work for all 3 types of products online.
You will have a lot of success with product views if you are honest.
You might want to start with reviewing products you already enjoy. People understand no product is perfect but if you are honest and open with some of the drawbacks, people will still buy.
When you create your product review here are some of the elements to include:
- Clear headlines about your review. (Product Name Review)
- Links to buy the product at the top and bottom of the page.
- Your clear recommendation.
- A personal story about the product and how it benefits you.
You will have a lot of success if you build your reviews with those 4 elements.
Here is my review about a platform that teaches SEO marketing online. Source Wave Review. This review helps people decide if they think it is still worth paying for, even with my honest review.
Creating a post that is a tutorial is a very effective method for driving affiliate sales. These posts may take more time, but you will end up with more sales.
How would you make a tutorial post?
You build a post that is a step by step task. Then, your tool (product) is going to be the factor that they need to have to accomplish this task.
I created a post walking viewers through building a website for free. My end goal was to have people sign up for Wealthy Affiliate. That is where they need to be to build their website for free.
This is another very effective affiliate sales tactic.
This is a perfect tool when people are considering buying two products that are similar.
Example – iPhone vs Droid.
Another great option is to create a comparison post when there are too many options for people to buy.
If you can build a post about all the similar products, that will really help people make a decision.
Do not forget to join an affiliate program where all the products are being sold so you can receive a commission when they decide which one is right for them.
This is the most advanced form of affiliate marketing and I decided to save it for last. This is going to take time to build your email list. Once you have your email list, this will be a very effect method of sales.
When you have a sizeable list, you will begin an email series about new products. You want to make sure the products you are emailing to people will be relevant and have a high commission. (Information or Service)
You will need these following elements.
- At least 1,000 people who have joined your email list.
- A product you use or have had success with. Or a very good reason to promote.
- A product that converts well.
When you are running your email series, if you have all these elements you will be a very effective affiliate marketer.
This has been a lot of information for you to consume at one time. If I were you I would double back through here to make sure you are following all the steps correctly.
All these tactics are how I make money online and I have just given them all to you!
If you have any questions on the above information, then leave them in the comment box below. If you have concerns about affiliate marketing I can answer those too.