Affiliate marketing is an arrangement in which an online retailer pays you a commission for traffic or sales generated from your referrals.
For example, let’s say you’re an affiliate for the XYZ product. You recommend to me, your reader or subscriber, that I purchase XYZ and I do. You earn a commission on that sale because you are the one who referred me.
You’re promoting other people’s products – often through an affiliate network – to earn a commission when the people you refer buy the product.
And once you have your own products, you can offer promoters a financial incentive through an affiliate program to promote your products, too. We’ll cover this in the next section.
In affiliate marketing, it generally takes four parties to make a sale:
- The product owner, or merchant
- The affiliate who promotes the product (that’s you)
- The customer who buys the product, thanks to your referral
- The affiliate network, which acts as an intermediary between you (the affiliate) and the merchant.
Tip: Affiliate networks can also serve as databases of products you can promote. Clickbank.com is an excellent example of an affiliate network.
There are many ways to market affiliate products, but for our purposes here, we’ll talk about one of the easiest and most common methods to get started:
Reviewing Affiliate Products In Your Niche
By writing reviews, you can come across as an impartial third-party person who is helping the reader to decide between different options.
Well written reviews are not only helpful, but they can also rank high in the search engines, earning you free traffic.
Get the products in your hand and use them before writing your reviews, so that you know what you’re talking about.
Write about what you like and dislike concerning the product. Talk about how you personally used it, what you used it for, and how well it did its job. And be sure to include your affiliate link for those who want to purchase it.
On your website, be sure to collect email addresses of your visitors. You can do this with a Hello Bar across the top of the page, or an Exit Popup when someone leaves the page, and of course by adding a sidebar widget to every page.
In all of these locations, offer something for free such as a free report or video in exchange for your visitor’s email address.
Then keep your list apprised of all your latest product reviews. Even with a few hundred people on your list, you can create significant sales by sending them regular updates.
There are many more ways to sell affiliate products, but this will give you a good start.
Affiliate Marketing Tips
Paid Advertising – If you get good at using paid advertising, you can earn money on tap anytime you like. The key is to spend less getting a customer than you earn from that customer. And to do this, you’ll want to test, test and test some more. Ideally you want to spend as little on advertising as possible while getting the biggest return.
Life Time Customer Value – It’s important to realize that the lifetime value of a customer is almost always more than you initially earn from the first sale. Once a customer knows you and trusts you, they may buy from you numerous times. Which means you can sell them not just one product, but many products over the course of weeks, months or years.
There is No Ceiling on Income – You can promote as many products as you have time and traffic for. Naturally, some products will be more lucrative than others. If a product has already been promoted to death, consider choosing something newer.
However, It will Take Time to Make Serious Money – There is a learning curve to affiliate marketing. Plus, the real money is found in your email list, which takes time to build. Be patient and keep working at it. Your first goal? Is to simply make that first $1. It’s a learning process and takes time. Most people who fail in affiliate marketing simply quit too soon, before they have a chance to learn what they’re doing.
Learn from Others. Many, MANY affiliate marketers have gone before you and become hugely successful. Fortunately, some of them have created courses on how to duplicate their success. There is no need to make the same mistakes they made or try to invent new systems when you can simply copy what they do.