Hate following tedious routines? … Desired to be financially Self-sufficient? … Dislike getting stuck on the traffic gridlock every day?… No Work-Life balance? particularly for those who are bound by the 9-5 daily grind.
To sustain in the world, you have to sell something it can be a product or a service. If you are looking to make some extra bucks, my post affiliate marketing for beginners will guide you through the process.
Everyone in the globe sells something. The product you may be selling could belong to you are selling someone else’s product or services. In today’s world everyone is selling, but the selling may be in different arrangements. For Example A Doctor sells his consultations to patients, A Car Mechanic Sells his expertise to the car owner, A Investment Banker sells his financial advisory services to his/her clients, and so on…
The internet has introduced online selling and buying in our society at a new level, with more and more people going online to purchase a product or a service, it brings in a plethora of opportunities for affiliate marketers… who don’t own a product yet but know someone who is a seller and is looking to expand their sales, the buyer must be ready to part with some commission, and a buyer whose requirement matches the product/service the merchant is selling, and should be able to influence the buyer in making the purchase decision, the term for it is affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing has become a proven trick to drive online sales and generate income online. If you are connected to the internet, you have equal access to working as an affiliate. All you have to do is take action.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a means for an organization or sole entrepreneur to market their merchandise or services by engaging individuals or companies (“affiliates”), who sell the company’s products on their behalf for a fee, or a percentage commission of the sales that happen from the promotions.
There are various participants involved in the affiliate marketing process, the responsibilities are scattered across the parties. The 4 important people involved in the affiliate marketing process are as below.
1. The Merchant/Seller
2. The affiliate
3. Consumer or the buyer
4. The Network.
But technically there are only two most important parties involved are the product seller or the merchant and the affiliate marketer. We’ll deep delve into understanding all of them.
1. The Merchant/Seller.
The seller or the merchant can be a sole-entrepreneur or a large enterprise, can be a vendor or an individual product creator. The product can be a physical object, like a vacuum cleaner, or a service, like Online Digital Marketing Course.
The seller is not involved directly in the marketing process, though the profit out of the sale or an agreed percentage of commission is shared with the affiliate marketer.
For example a Yoga Mat company, who wants to leverage affiliates to reach out to new users and scale up, or an online accounting software company helping businesses manage their books.
2. Affiliate or the Marketer.
The affiliate can be an individual or a company that promotes the product on behalf of the merchant or the seller. They can also be called publishers because they own the website or blog through which the affiliate promotes the product.
In other words the affiliate marketer tries to convince the buyer by highlighting the features and benefits of the product along with making readers understand how buying the product is helping them through affiliate blogs or videos.
If he/she is able to convince the buyer into buying the product or service he receives a fixed amount of commission or a share of the revenue.
Affiliate marketers work in a predetermined niche, they work with sellers with a similar product niche. Visitors are drawn to them as per their personal brand and authority. If the visitors decide to buy the product the affiliate is promoting then the seller pays a commission to the affiliate.
3. Buyer or Consumer.
The consumer is one important key in the entire affiliate marketing process, they are responsible to keep the affiliates moving. Affiliates promote the seller’s product or services through Blogs, Websites, or any social media platform to the consumers.
The seller is obliged to share a part of the revenue with the affiliate when the buyer orders the product. The affiliate sometimes chooses to disclose that he is entitled to a commission when the buyers do a purchase, seldom the affiliate may not disclose that they will earn commission after every successful purchase done by the. buyer.
The Buyer does not have to pay any additional cost for buying through an affiliate marketing professional. The Seller usually observes all such commission before pricing and the pricing does not differ if compared with the offline prices.
4. The Network.
The affiliate networks or affiliate marketing websites work as an exchange. It acts as an intermediary between the affiliate marketer and the merchant. The affiliate network has a database of products and services from various merchants. The affiliate marketers can choose among the product database, as to which product to promote. The affiliate networks are also responsible for product delivery and payment.
There are a lot of brands that offer their products to affiliates directly through their websites and many choose to go through the affiliate network and list their products or services on various affiliate networks like Shareasale, CommisionJunction, etc. Amazon could be one of the biggest affiliate programs, they allow you to promote anything as an affiliate marketer which is listed to be sold on Amazon’s website.
The Popular affiliate marketing websites in India include Amazon Affiliate Program, Flipkart Affiliate Program, vCommission. The biggest affiliate marketing for beginners can begin through Amazon, the reason behind that they have a vast array of products from which you can choose to promote a single or multiple products.
Affiliate Marketing with Amazon
Amazon’s affiliate program is amongst one of the best affiliate programs globally. Amazon houses millions of products across categories under a single roof. As an affiliate marketing professional you can decide upon to choose the links which sync well with your website and your interest and start promoting it.
Joining the Amazon Affiliate program is easy, you’ll need a website or a mobile app to promote the chosen product, along with that you’ll also need engaged traffic on your website or app. Once your user buys any product through your link you get paid a percentage of commission for your promotion.
Commission% Earning Potential.
- Apparel & Accessories, Luggage & Bags, Watches, Shoes – 9%
- Toys & Baby Products, Home, Kitchen Appliances, Kitchen & Housewares – 9%
- Sports, Fitness & Outdoors, DIY & Tools – 9%
- Books, Grocery & Gourmet, Pantry, Office & Stationery – 8%
- Health, Beauty & Personal care, Personal Care Appliances – 8%
- Jewelry (Excluding silver & Gold coins), Car, Motorbike, Industrial & Scientific Products, Musical Instruments – 8%
- Large Appliances, Movies, Music, Software, Video Games – 5%
- Televisions, Computers, Consumer Electronics & Accessories (excl. Data Storage Devices), Mobile Accessories – 4%
- Mobile Phones*, Bicycles & Heavy Gym Equipment, Tyres & Rims – 2.5%
- Data Storage Devices – 2%
- Gold & Silver Coins – 0.2%
- All Other Categories (Furniture, Kindle devices & E-books, Fire TV stick & other Amazon devices, Others) – 10%
*Mobile Phones at 1% Fixed Advertising Fee for new phones like Oneplus8, etc.
Top Paying affiliate marketing programs.
Amazon Associates has been the bread and butter for a lot of affiliate marketers because one can find products across niches. The major problem is the low commissions. But there are many affiliate programs which pay much higher commissions in fact some have a recurring payment too.
The highest paying affiliate programs will of course have expensive products too, but as a affiliate marketer you need to wisely choose the affiliate program, the amount of effort required to earn $10 commission or a $100 commission is equivalent. Below are the top 6 high paying affiliate marketing programs.
- CJ Affiliate
- Rakuten Affiliate Network
- Amazon Affiliate Program
CJ or formerly known as commission junction, work well with the cost per performance model, it is one of the best affiliate programs globally. The minimum payment threshold is $100. CJ was particularly created for high paying affiliate programs in Cost per Lead, Cost per Action, Cost per sales.
CJ has the best reporting interface and has a listed premium product base on the network. Product category listed with them include retail, Technology & Services, Travel, and Finance.
ShareASale is a US-based affiliate marketing network and is one of the largest affiliate marketing networks in the US with 4000+ merchants. They have been in business for the last 20 years. They are known for the fair and honest business they do along with the best customer service in the market.
If you have selected a tech niche for your blogs then ShareAsale will be the best affiliate network to latch-up to. If you have a blog with decent traffic, then you can start the monetization with the ShareASale program, they have great physical products to market. The minimum payment threshold is $50.
The merchant types listed on ShareASale are fashion, home & garden, softwares, and travel etc.
Formerly known as Linkshare was started in 1996, it was acquired by Rakuten (Japanese Affiliate) in the year 2005 and was rebranded to Rakuten Advertising in the year August 2007. It is easy to sign up as an affiliate, but the requisites are to have your own blog through which you can promote or a customized Facebook product page.
The Category of products listed to promote from Rakuten are like Cosmetics & MakeUp, Apparel & Retail, Travel, Technology & Software, etc. The minimum payment threshold is $50.
Clickbank is another US-based affiliate network, it was started in the year 1998. Clickbank has more than 6 million clients worldwide. If your blog caters to a technology-related niche then Clickbank can be a good starting point for affiliate marketing for beginners.
The minimum payment threshold for clickbank is $10. The Product categories include Home & Garden, Parenting, E Marketing & E Business, Spirituality, self help, & arts and entertainment.
Revimedia has been rebranded to px.com in December 2019, it claims to be the world’s first transparent customer acquisition platform, providing a single marketplace for companies to acquire customers from hundreds of vetted and sought-after sources.
Revimedia specializes in Insurance, home services, and financial sectors globally. The minimum payment threshold is $50 and they pay you via Check, Wire Transfer, and PayPal.
Amazon is a globally known brand and it houses almost all the product categories you could think of except for Liquor (In India). As an affiliate marketing professional you can go ahead and select a product to be promoted basis the niche your website is talking about.
Amazon’s affiliate program is called Amazon Associates, amazon draws a lot of traffic because of the array of product it houses. The minimum payment threshold is $10. The payment can be collected in the form of Amazon Gift Cards or through electronic transfer.
How to promote your affiliate website?
Registering for an affiliate program is the easiest thing to do, but before you register with an affiliate network you will need to have a website. Your website should be of a specific niche. You can go ahead and select the product to promote the basis of your niche. Your niche can be for example weight loss for new moms, or mountain biking gears for the frequent mountain bikers.
Let me take you a stepback and help you understand where to start.
1. Start a Blog
To start an affiliate marketing website one needs to select a product niche that should be a combination of your niche and market demand. Buy a domain and host it through one of the hosting companies like HostGator, A2 hosting, etc.
Start writing content around your product, make sure that the product you are selecting to promote must be tried by you in the past or at least you should be knowing the product closely.
It is strongly recommended that you own a website to promote an affiliate marketing program but you still can promote it through a Facebook product page.
2. Social Media Promotion
After selecting the niche, set up a blog site & register on affiliate networks, the next thing to be done is to understand various ways of promoting the product. Social media promotions are the most viable way to begin.
Social Media Promotion involves the usage of social media platforms by creating content on the social media profiles to reach out to a broad audience base, to increase sales, to build a brand, and to build awareness. It also involves engaging your audience, listening to their requirements & complaints, and running social advertisement campaigns.
SEO or search engine optimisation is the most vital part of your promotion. Search engine optimisation is a process to enhance the user search experience by providing relevant, and fresh content. SEO helps in getting your website listed organically on search engine result page. There are various factors involved in helping your page range better than the competition.
On Page SEO is an important piece, researching the right keyword, understanding the user search intent, taking care of the Titles, Meta Descriptions, Using images. Ensuring a high page load speed, link building.
Among all your quality of content carries 45% weightage and the rest is dependent on how good and creative one can go before selecting the right keyword.
4. Pay Per Click Campaigns
While SEO is a technique to drive organic traffic and awareness, pay per click campaigns are a faster way of building traffic, driving sales, driving installs, registration, etc by setting up a PPC campaign on Google Ad Words or Content Discovery Platforms like Outbrain & Taboola.
The PPC campaigns are charged when a reader has clicked on the advertisement, the advertisement can be a Text Ad, Display Ad, or a Video Ad. Understanding the user search intent and selection of the right keywords is the core.
There are three types of keywords…
- Navigational Keyword.
- Informational Keyword.
- Transactional Keyword.
Navigational Keywords: The Navigational Keywords are the Keywords that a user uses to navigate to a specific website, content, or video. For Example, Someone searching using the keyword “Facebook.” The intent looks very clear the user simply wants to go the website and that is why he is using such keyword.
Informational Keywords: They are used to search for information about a topic, person, or service. The users use these type of keywords to find the background of the product, person. It helps the user in making the buy decision.
Transactional Keywords: Transactional keywords are used to search for a specific product or service, for example “Buy a 55″ Samsung LED Smart Television.” The user search intent is very clear in the search term used, the user has done all his homework about the product and now he searches for a specific search term.
5. Paid Advertising
It is a form of advertising where you pay for the campaign compared to owned media and earned media to drive traffic. The pricing is decided on bidding among all the other advertisers. The bidding method can be on a Cost per thousand(CPM) or cost per click(CPC).
it is important to know that affiliate marketing is NOT a get wealthy fast scheme for passive earnings. It is a marketing channel that, like any other business venture, needs time, preparation, effort, creativity, dedication, quality, sincerity and communication, and relationship-building with your advertiser associates and your buying members.
To sum up selecting a profitable niche and sticking to it, is of utmost importance. Creating authoritative, relevant, and fresh content is the fuel to keep your affiliate blog up and running. Have a detailed customer avatar with their likes and dislikes ready of your potential buyer and make the content keeping them in mind.
Having good content is the foundation of your blog, but that alone does not solve the purpose of creating an affiliate marketing website, you also need to have an audience to whom you would want to present the content. Engage and educate them and finally drive them to the lower funnel and have a return path ready for them.