The Internet has opened up the world in many ways – some good, some bad, some indifferent. However, when it comes to marketing and making cold, hard cash, there are more ways than ever before to link your bank account, thanks to the good, old Word Wide Web.
Have you heard of affiliate marketing?
The chances are you have, given its popularity over the last few years. However, the chances are you’re not quite sure what it is, or how to get started. It’s certainly time to change that picture because affiliate marketing could end up being a great money spinning method for your business, whilst allowing you to build up customer confidence with your own brand.
If not understanding affiliate marketing right now applies to you, this article is going to help.
First things first, let’s explain what it is.
Affiliate marketing is a form of digital marketing and if you have a blog or any website, you can utilize this type of marketing to make extra cash. You simply recommend a particular company’s products or services via your website, usually through a blog post or a general recommendation and you would place a link to that product or service on your site. For every person who clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you earn commission.
Of course, this means you need to have arrangements in place with companies and programs to allow you to link to their products and be paid as a result. To do that, you need to join an affiliate program.
There are countless programs such as this, with Amazon Affiliate one of the most popular. Of course, most sites are only going to be interested in using your website for this purpose if you have a high amount of traffic or followers. Once you’ve joined a program, you will receive a code which you use to embed in your site and create the link.
So, if you want to try affiliate marketing and your traffic level at the moment isn’t the best, focus on building it up and then give it a go. If you already have a high traffic level or you have a lot of followers, this is something you can try right now.
A Step by Step Guide to Affiliate Marketing
If you’re interested in giving affiliate marketing a go, the good news is that it’s not hard to get started. Let’s check out a step by step guide to help you on your way.
- Choose a particular business niche you want to specialize in. It’s no good opting for a niche which is totally different to the one you’re currently in. You can’t market kitchen utensils if your blog is about pet care! You should also be mindful that you can create a good amount of cash from the chosen niche you’ve opted for. This means doing some research and looking into the most profitable niches but also looking for one which isn’t already drowning in other bloggers and website owners marketing their goods.
- Choose an affiliate marketing program. It’s best to opt for one which is good for beginners and one which is rich in your particular niche. There are countless out there and it’s simply a case of whittling down your options. We’ve already mentioned that Amazon is a very popular affiliate program to opt for, but this is literally swimming in previous users. If you want to stand out, you might like to go direct and choose a different program, however, there is a lot of authenticity to be had when using the Amazon Affiliate Program, so that’s something you may still like to go for. There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer here, simply go with what you feel is best.
- Register with the program of your choice and give your details – Most programs will ask for general details, and they will want to know about the number of followers and amount of traffic you regularly have. You will also be asked to give payment details, to allow you to be paid when someone clicks on the link and purchases the product, thanks to your marketing efforts.
- Get started! – Once you’ve registered, you’re free to begin. Start with just one link for the time being and be careful never to overload your site with constant affiliate marketing links. By doing this you’re just going to annoy anyone who chooses to click on your site and they’ll move to someone who doesn’t throw endless marketing methods at them! You’re also responsible for mentioning to your readers that any content you give includes links to affiliate marketing and failure to do so could lead to difficult situations; Instagram may block your account, as one example.
We should also mention that there are two main types of programs you can choose to sign up to – affiliate networks and individual programs.
Networks allow you a greater scope of products and you can sign up to several different individual programs within them. However, they can be difficult to juggle as a beginner. Individual programs are individual companies who give you the chance to sign up to their specific program, so you will be marketing their products only. You will need to apply to each company separately if you want to market their products and they can accept you or decline, depending upon the popularity of your site and whether or not they’re likely to receive many clicks as a result of using your site.
Affiliate marketing sounds confusing, but once you begin you’ll see that it’s actually far easier than you think. The main thing to remember is that you need to tell your readers that you’re using affiliate marketing, so if you’re a blogger and you decide to market something on your blog, you will need to highlight at the beginning of that particular blog post that the content includes affiliate marketing links. You can do this by a quick sentence before you delve into the main content and most readers won’t be put off by this
If you want to make extra cash from your website and monetize your way to online success, affiliate marketing is certainly one of the most popular ways to do it.