What Is Affiliate Marketing and How You Can Start Affiliate Marketing In 2020?
Updated: May 15, 2021
When it comes to making money online or making money while working from anywhere in the world, affiliate marketing is an interesting skill-based approach which can be learned practically by anyone, all you need to have is patience, hard work, and consistency. It is one of those kinds of work, that doesn’t require you to have a degree or any kind of formal education.
According to Statista, the total market cap for the affiliate marketing sector will hit $8.2 billion in the U.S by 2022, which gives a good enough reason to think about the area of affiliate marketing and jump into it to generate income while working from home or anywhere in the world.
So, what is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a popular online sales tactic to drive sales and generate online revenue. It allows a product owner to increase sales by allowing others targeting the audience "affiliate" to earn a commission by recommending the product to others.
In simple words, affiliate marketing requires referring a product or service by sharing it on a blog, social media platform, or any kind of internet resource. The affiliate earns a commission each time someone makes a purchase through the unique link associated with their recommendation.
How does affiliate marketing work?
Here we will not get into the technical aspects of the affiliate market rather we will talk about how it works for you as an affiliate marketer. To start earning as an affiliate marketer, you need to participate in the affiliate marketing programs, you need to follow these five simple steps:
1. Find and join the affiliate program which is of your interest.
2. Choose offers that you want to promote.
3. Get the unique affiliate link for the offers you selected.
4. Share those links on your blog, website, social media, or any other kind of web resource.
5. Get paid anytime someone uses your links to make a successful purchase.
Since we have already learned what is affiliate marketing and how exactly it works for you as an affiliate marketer, now it's time to deep dive and learn how to get started with affiliate marketing.
How to get started with affiliate marketing?
Many affiliate marketers don’t take the time to plan and instead sign up for every affiliate marketing network or affiliate marketing program they can find on the internet which leads to mismanagement and getting overloaded. So don't be like them, take your time to understand, strategize, and work through toward your goal step by step. Here are 5 simple steps to go through the process :
1. Decide the platform you want to use
Theoretically, you can do affiliate marketing on any kind of platform whether it's Snapchat, Instagram, Youtube, or any kind of web resource. However, every platform comes with its own set of challenges while building the audience and increasing affiliate income.
2. Choose your niche
Competition is the part of life and affiliate marketing is no different. Statista estimates that the number of bloggers in the U.S alone will reach 31.7 million by 2020 this simply means if you’re starting a blog today, you’re facing a ton of competition. So to stand any kind of chance in the sea of affiliate marketers, you need to be different than the crowd.
Choose a topic that focuses on a specific niche. For example, the topic of “food” is an enormous category. Rather than tackling that, try something more specific, like vegan food. Keeping your topics specific will help you in building a more focused audience and which will potentially help you rank higher in search engines.
3. Finding affiliate programs to join
Currently, there are mainly three types of affiliate programs in the market right now and these are :
1. High-paying, low-volume affiliate programs: These are affiliate programs for niche products with decently high payouts. There is usually more competition for these kinds of programs. Since you’re new to the game, it’ll be quite challenging to make a meaningful amount of money competing against seasoned affiliate marketers.
2. Low-paying, high-volume affiliate programs: These are affiliate programs for products with low payouts but mass appeal. The good quality of these programs is that they usually offer a large volume of products to sell. For example. You can earn up to 12% commissions on almost anything Amazon sells. But to make these types of affiliate programs work for you, you’ll need to have good traffic.
3. High-paying, high-volume affiliate programs: These are affiliate programs for products with mass appeal with high payouts. For example. Credit cards, most people need a credit card, and many people stay with the same company for years. The disadvantage of these kinds of products is that they attract expert affiliate marketers and it will be very difficult for you to compete with them.
Now we are aware of the different kinds of options available in the market, so let's figure out how to choose the ones that will work for you.
The selection for affiliate programs that will work for you depends on your niche and level of expertise. For example. If you’re targeting a huge pool of consumers, you’ll likely go with the second model of low commissions and higher sales volume. So it boils down to niche and context around that niche.
4. Create awesome and engaging content
Content is king and will always remain king. If you want to succeed as an affiliate marketer, you need to create high-quality content where your affiliate links fit organically. The best criteria to understand the quality of your content is to understand your audience's engagement on your content and learn from the audience's feedback.
So in short, don’t just blindly create content and always try to go the extra mile to make sure your content solves the visitor’s problem and adds value to them in some ways.
5. Generate traffic to your platform
Since you have already understood the importance of awesome content. The next step is to get more people to consume your content, so they will engage and eventually click on your affiliate links. Some of the common strategies to generate traffic are :
Search Engine Optimization(SEO): SEO is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines like google, bing, etc. As long as you are able to rank high in the search result of search engines, you’ll generate consistent traffic to your platform. We suggest you read more about SEO here in order to master the art of traffic generation organically.
Building Email List: Email list is one of the most reliable ways to communicate with your core audience and generate targeted traffic to your platform. The simple way to build an email list is by providing an option to subscribe to the viewer of your content. Use your email list to tell subscribers about new content and keep bringing them back to your site for more. This leads to more affiliate clicks and sales. You can also try to send affiliate email promotions to your subscribers which might result in better conversions for you.
Paid Traffic Generation: Well this is not usually the way we enjoy most, but still it works for many people. In this process, you need to pay for traffic to your platform. The most common way to do it is by using PPC ads from google ads and other kinds of PPC platforms.
Until now, we have discussed various points which will help you in your journey of being an affiliate marketer but let us make this clear, this is just the beginning, there is much more to unwrap and learn about the world of affiliate marketing. Just consider this article as your starting point and keep on learning as you move along.
We hope, we have given good enough reasons for you to start thinking about affiliate marketing. So what are you waiting for?. Go out and conquer the world of affiliate marketing. We promise you will not regret it.
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