Well, affiliate marketing is the act of promoting and selling products offered by another company.
If you succeed in making a sale, then you collect a commission.
Getting started is easy too.
Follow the five steps on how to start affiliate marketing outlined below, and you’ll be on your way to raking in that extra dough.
Step 1: Create a Blog
Blogs are the basis for how to start affiliate marketing.
They’re the fifth most trusted source of information on the Internet.
Your success depends on it.
Luckily, they’re a cinch to make.
Here are three ways to get started.
Are you passionate about a topic? Do you know everything there is to know about a particular product?
Before you do anything else, you must answer these questions.
Blogs are designed to share information.
Bloggers need to be authorities on that information to gain audience trust.
Let’s use the website KitchenFaucetDivas.com as an example.
This site is all about water faucets.
While that may seem odd, it’s specific both in content and to the intended audience, homeowners.
With reviews and guides, it’s an authority on water faucets, and users are more inclined to trust this site.
Once you’ve found your niche, then you need to choose a domain name.
Domain name generators such as Namemesh help craft a unique domain name to make your site stand out.
You can also throw in some keyword research to make it easier for Google to find you.
After you have your name, then you need a host.
WordPress is the industry standard.
It’s free, and you can augment it with plugins to track how your posts are doing.
It’s a well-worn SEO proverb that content is king.
Cliche as it may be, it’s true.
SEO isn’t dead just yet.
You need to memorize this adage to learn how to start affiliate marketing.
Filling a blog with nothing but sales pitches will turn an audience away instantly.
However, crafting posts that appeal to them will help you build a large following.
That large following is how to start affiliate marketing successfully.
Search FAQ boards and forums like Reddit to join your customer’s conversation.
Then, write posts that answer their questions or offer solutions to their problems.
For affiliate sites, you may want to design your content around one of two themes: the resource site and the review site.
The resource site focuses on how-to articles and tutorials where users can click affiliate links for more details.
The review site contains honest product reviews that inform users what to buy.
Affiliate links are provided here as well that lead directly to sales.
Step 2: Pick a Product
Ok, so your blog is running smoothly.
You have a substantial following.
Now the question becomes “what do I promote?”
While no simple answer exists, plenty of options do.
You can promote three different types of products via affiliate marketing.
Physical products are anything you can hold or touch.
It’s a simple concept that encompasses a broad spectrum of possibilities.
Physical products are easy to promote thanks to Amazon.
Amazon offers the largest affiliate program around, and once you sign up, you gain affiliate links to any product on their site.
That’s almost everything under the sun.
Unfortunately, commissions on physical products tend to be low.
They usually start out at about 4% and can go up to 10% with every sales increase.
Amazon is a great way to supplement an existing income, but as a long-term solution for how to start affiliate marketing, you may have to look elsewhere.
Information products are anything that educates, such as another blog, an online course, or a webinar.
Information products tend to be higher priced, which leads to higher commissions.
Higher commissions result in more money for you.
However, affiliates for information products are harder to come by.
You will often have to contact the author or find the member page on their website.
Services are how to start affiliate marketing on the right foot.
A service is any valuable action taken to meet demand.
You’ve probably already used a few when you built your blog.
Because you use these services so often, generating sales is easy.
Just write a review of your experience, join that service’s affiliate program, and watch the money roll in.
Commissions on services fall right in the middle of information and physical products.
Always remember: When choosing a product, make sure it fits your chosen niche.
If your blog content pertains to the best baseball bats, don’t promote Tupperware.
Step 3: Find an Affiliate Program
So you’ve got your product. Now your next task is to join an affiliate program to start making money.
Research is paramount here.
Make sure the affiliate program you join offers legitimate products to promote and the best chance for your success.
Networks are how to start affiliate marketing the fastest.
We already mentioned Amazon, but often that’s too general for more specialized marketplace corners.
Two other popular affiliate networks include:
ClickBank and affiliate marketing go together like peanut butter and jelly.
They’re the most popular affiliate network out there, servicing around 200 million customers over the last seventeen years.
They offer commissions as high as 75%, advanced analytics, and automatic upsell offers, to name a few things.
Using Clickbait isn’t complicated.
Create an account and go the marketplace.
Once inside, you can search through thousands of products and get commission data.
When you find the product you want, click the Promote button to receive an affiliate link.
Payments are given out every two weeks, either by check or direct deposit.
AdCombo is a CPA (cost per action) network that allows affiliates to create customizable campaigns to reach their target audience.
With this network, every time a user clicks a link fills out an online form or makes an online purchase, you get paid.
AdCombo boasts over 750 offers in its inventory from publishers all around the world.
Search and filter through this list to find the one that’s best for you.
You will have to work to get into this one.
A sign-up form and questionnaire must be filled out, and you will have to talk to someone on the phone to make sure you’re on the up and up.
Don’t be intimidated, however.
Acceptance doesn’t take long, usually as little as ten minutes.
Always remember: these networks aren’t the only two out there.
Hundreds exist, and just because you’ve never heard of them doesn’t mean they’re not helpful.
Step 4: Promote
Steps one through three were just prep; now comes the fun part.
You’ll be repeating this step of how to start affiliate marketing a lot.
But don’t worry. We’ve got some strategies you can employ to help.
This tactic is so effective you can build your entire site around it.
Surveys show that online reviews influence 90% of customer buying decisions.
That’s a lot of power, so use it responsibly.
Don’t write glowing reviews only for the sake of increased sales.
Customers will catch on to your bias quickly and leave your site.
Instead, be honest and transparent.
Let readers know up front your affiliation and post an accurate assessment.
Be yourself and share your experience with the products.
Your customers will love it and will return to your site even if they don’t buy anything.
You may have clipped a few out of the newspaper, but did you know that you can offer them online?
Most people love coupons because it inherently saves them money and makes them more inclined to buy.
Coupons also allow you, the advertiser, to place multiple affiliate links for relevant products.
Don’t go overboard, though.
While special deals are great, bombarding your readers with links and images will turn them off.
Limit coupons to an occasional blog post, or keep them in the sidebar.
How to start affiliate marketing isn’t limited to your blog.
While it may not be the norm around the world yet, social media dominates most marketing thought.
It should dictate yours as well.
Follow Google rep’s advice.
Get on Facebook or Twitter and spread the word.
Social media connects you with customers, both old and recent.
It increases your brand’s visibility and puts a human spin on your product.
Furthermore, studies indicate that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close ratio than traditional outbound marketing.
That’s proof positive that it pays to post on Facebook.
How to start affiliate marketing is easy.
Turning it into a sustainable business is harder.
But like any business, with the right amount of know-how and some hard work, you can make money even when you sleep.
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