Despite the growing popularity of social media and e-commerce, affiliate marketing remains one of the most effective ways to market online and make money. It also has several advantages over other money-making opportunities. Let Digital Marketing Panel guide you on how to join an affiliate program.
Affiliate Marketing For Beginners | A Handy Tutorial
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Before you get to the steps, you should know what affiliate marketing is. Affiliate marketing is an internet marketing strategy which involves the selling of products and services to your audience. When they buy, you earn a percentage of sales or commission from it.
This is different from a regular e-commerce business, since you don’t maintain any inventory. Consider yourself as a salesperson, offering other people’s goods. It may sound similar to dropshipping, but the biggest difference is you don’t take care of shipping or labels.
Affiliate marketing also offers the following benefits:
- Flexibility to choose what, when, and where to sell
- Ability to earn as much as you can
- Less stress than actual selling
- Cheaper cost of digital advertising
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies: How to Do It
Are you ready to become an affiliate marketer? Here are the steps to follow:
1. Choose Your Niche
A niche is not a product but the category of the products you wish to sell. While this may sound simple, it’s not. You have two concerns: your knowledge and the chances of conversion of these products.
For instance, many people buy apparel or accessories like handbags or shoes. However, because the market is already big, and they are easy to find, your conversion rate may be low. The highest-selling products are the ones that are more specific, like electronics, home improvement needs, and pet supplies. Still, they’re also more difficult to offer than clothes, because of the nature of their market and products.
You also have to consider your knowledge of your niche. Affiliate marketing doesn’t require you to know these products by heart, but a bit of know-how goes a long way. It gives you an idea what digital marketing strategies to implement and who your target market is. Most of all, you’ll enjoy the entire affiliate marketing process more.
How many niches should you pick? There’s no limit, although the fewer the better. In affiliate marketing, it’s not about how many products you’re selling. It’s all comes down to conversion, so you want to pay a lot of attention to your strategies. For beginners, start with one or two niches. From there, select your products.
2. Find Out the Best Products to Sell
Now you’ve chosen your niche, it’s time to know which of the millions of products in the market you should promote. There are many ways to do this:
- Use keyword suggestion tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner. If you already have a Google account, you can use this immediately, and it’s free.
- Just go to Google. A simpler way to look for products is going to major search engines like Google. If your niche is electronics, and you want to sell fitness bands, you can type “fitness bands,” then scroll all the way down to searches related to fitness bands. There, you’ll have more information on what online users are looking for.
- Research industry trends. Go to websites of industry associations or use these tools.
- Go to affiliate marketplaces and check out the top affiliate programs. You will know more of these later on.
3. Decide Where to Join
There are two ways to do this. One, you can sign up individually, or two, you can join a marketplace.
To sign up individually means to go to the website of the actual seller. For example, if you want to promote Apple products, you just need to go here. While not all companies have an affiliate marketing program, most do. The quickest way to check is to go to Google and type (name of company or brand) affiliate program. Make sure it’s the official website you’re looking at.
Then there’s the affiliate marketplace. These are the websites for dozens of affiliate programs. It saves you the hassle of signing up for each program. Some of the most popular ones are:
When you sign up for a marketplace, you can sort the list according to many parameters, including the top programs.
4. Pick Your Program
How do you select the right program among the hundreds? You can narrow your choices based on the following:
- Earnings – How much are you going to earn? There are two methods to earn a commission or money with affiliate marketing. One is a percentage of the sale, which means you earn only when you get to sell something through your website or blog. The other is the cost per action, which is when you earn based on the activities performed by your market, like clicking the ad.
- Tiers – The more tiers the better, since you have more ways to earn money. For instance, an affiliate program that has two tiers means you can get revenues from your efforts as well as from those you recommend to the program.
- Percentage – Most affiliate marketing programs pay by a percentage, which can range from 30 percent to as much as 100 percent upfront, although the latter usually happens on your first sale. The program may also have a range like 30 percent or up to $100 per sale, which implies the most you can get from the product is $100. Others like Amazon Associates can give you 10 percent advertising fee, but you can earn money even on qualifying purchases.
- Support – The best affiliate programs give you all the tools you need for promotion. These include banners, referral links, and text ads, which you can place on your website, blog, and other online marketing materials. You will have your dashboard, where you can monitor your earnings and even perform analytics. When you have questions or concerns, there’s someone who can address them as soon as possible.
- Competition – How many people are selling the same thing? The answer to this question is why you have to be as specific as possible with the kinds of products you’re offering. For example, if you’re offering pet supplies, narrow it down to dog accessories. From dog accessories, perhaps choose dog collars or dog training programs.
Although these affiliate marketing programs will give you a lot of marketing tools, 90 percent of the effort should still come from you. The good news is you have a lot of online marketing strategies to choose from:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media
- White Papers
- Guest Blog Posting
- Email Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Google Advertising
- Landing Pages
You can choose one or maximize as many of them as you can.
Right now, you should already be on your way to becoming an affiliate marketer. To further help you, here are a few more tips:
- Sign up for Google Analytics. This gives you a lot of information to help you understand your conversion.
- Strike a balance between organic and paid advertising. While the former is best for a long-term marketing campaign, paid advertising gives you the strong boost you need for your online presence.
- Monitor your affiliate marketing strategies regularly.
- Perform an A/B split testing to help you find out which marketing strategies will work.
- Focus on creating the best content.
You can do affiliate marketing without a website (as you can see on the list above). But how do you exactly do that? Here are good tips:
Learning how to do affiliate marketing is a long and usually a complex process. You’ll meet a lot of challenges along the way, and you may experience some failure. However, the bright side is that you now have the huge opportunity to earn money online.
How’s your affiliate marketing experience? Share your stories with us!