What is affiliate marketing and why should you care? Because this knowledge has the potential to change your life! Read on.
Wikipedia defines affiliate marketing as “a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.” Hmmm… Sounds good. I like rewards, but I still don’t understand.
Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income says “Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting another person’s (or company’s) product.” Ok, better… I’m going to earn a commission by promoting another’s product. Does that mean I’m going to be selling it?
SmartBlogger says “it’s a modern interpretation of a very old idea — getting a commission on a sale. You introduce products or services from trusted companies or individuals and get a commission on any sales to customers you send their way.” Ah, now I’m getting it. I introduce and promote products to potential customers and get a commission if they buy from the seller.
Online retailers, like Amazon, will pay you a commission on sales to buyers that were referred from your website or social media postings. You need to set up an affiliate account and use what’s called an affiliate link, but it’s pretty straightforward. There are many online retailers such as Amazon, Target, Dillards, Macys, Cabelas, and Petco that have affiliate programs for their products. Siteground’s web hosting and Google’s productivity software suite are examples of services that have affiliate programs.
So basically, any person or company selling a product or a service via an online website can offer an affiliate marketing program that pays you for referring buyers. You introduce and promote the product or service on your website, blog, or social media and include an affiliate link to the sellers website. When someone clicks the link and buys, you earn a commission. The sales, checkout, and distribution is handled by the seller. Very nice!
Here’s a simple graphic to demonstrate the process:
Jake from LongTailPro demonstrates a popular way to use Amazon affiliate links in the following short video. He uses TheWirecutter.com to show how they promote the latest Android phones by reviewing their features and recommending the best phones. Then they provide an affiliate link to purchase the phone from Amazon’s website.
In a previous post about Blogging, I highlighted two blogs that I really like:
- For Growing Baby is a new blog about the safety and development of children featuring important information on car seats, high chairs, baby beds, and more.
- Spend With Pennies is a well developed food blog for easy home cooking with recipes.
Both of these blogs introduce and promote products sold on Amazon. Look at For Growing Baby to see how they do it with a blog, authoritative information, and product comparison.
This Sure Passive Income Now website uses affiliate marketing to generate revenue. Let me explain. I chose Siteground to host this website and blog. Siteground is by far the best web hosting service in my opinion. Hosting WordPress websites and blogs is their business. Easy to use, quality service, great prices, and super support. So, I whole-heartedly recommend them with an affiliate link on our Resources page. If you sign up with Siteground via our affiliate link, we earn a commission. You can read more about how we use affiliate marketing in The Internet Business Report.
Here is an example of an Amazon affiliate link that points to categories of products. If you click here, you will see the best selling products on Amazon. Since you were referred by our affiliate link, we will earn a commission on the first purchase you make on Amazon within the next 24 hours. Cool, huh?
Adam from BigCommerce ponders, “What if, instead of dealing with the monotony and stupor of the rat race to earn a few bucks, you could make money at any time, from anywhere — even while you sleep? He goes on to say, “That’s the concept behind affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a popular tactic to drive sales and generate significant online revenue. Extremely beneficial to both brands and affiliate marketers, the new push towards less traditional marketing tactics has paid off.” Here are some facts from BigCommerce:
- Over 80% of brands and publishers leverage the power of affiliate marketing, a statistic that will continue to increase as affiliate marketing spending increases every year in the United States.
- There is a 10.1% increase in affiliate marketing spending in the United States each year, meaning that by 2020, that number will reach $6.8 billion.
- In 2018, content marketing costs were gauged to be 62% of traditional marketing schemes while simultaneously generating three times the leads of traditional methods. In fact, 16% of all orders made online can be attributed to the impact of affiliate marketing.
- In March of 2017, Amazon’s affiliate structure changed, offering rates of 1-10% of product revenue for creators, providing the opportunity for affiliates to dramatically increase their passive income based on the vertical they’re selling on.
- The affiliate marketing of Jason Stone, otherwise known as Millionaire Mentor, was responsible for as much as $7 million in retailer sales just in the months of June and July in 2017.
Affiliate marketing is an ideal home business because it doesn’t require much money to get started, and you don’t have to produce, stock or ship product inventory, or deliver a service. You’re essentially paid for referring new clients and customers to other businesses. And, you can even work in your pajamas from your home office.
Affiliate marketing isn’t hard, but like any business venture, it requires knowledge, planning, and consistent effort to make any significant income. Here are some tips from The Balance SMB to insure your venture into affiliate marketing is successful:
- Start right by learning about affiliate marketing and the steps required to be a success.
- Choose only quality affiliate products and services. In fact, consider buying them yourself so you can attest to their quality. You’ll be judged by the product/services you promote, so don’t just focus on the income, but also on the quality.
- Research the programs so you understand how and when you’re paid, and other important money issues you need to know to ensure the program is a good fit.
- Start a blog. An information, how-to, or lifestyle blog offers lots of opportunities to promote affiliate products.
- Choose affiliate items that match your niche or the content on your home business website or blog. For example, if you write about figure skating, affiliate links to motorcycles or a new set of saddlebags won’t do well.
- Mix and match affiliate ads so you don’t overwhelm your visitors. In-content affiliate links usually have the best click through rates over image links.
- Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ads will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it’s required by the FTC’s endorsement rules.
- Market, market, market. Don’t rely on SEO or social media alone to drive people to your website or blog, and affiliate referrals. Understand who your target market is, where you can find it, and how you can entice it to your site. There are many low cost and free ways to market your affiliate business.
- Start an email list. The most successful affiliate marketers use email in their affiliate marketing. Don’t put this off. Email marketing can increase your affiliate profits significantly.
- Consider using a lead page and funnel system to market your affiliate business. Lure prospects to your email list with a great free offer, and from there you can send them to your affiliate product page. In your email system, you can offer more great free content and more affiliate offers.
- Monitor the success of your affiliate programs, particularly if you have several programs and/or are also using other ad types, such as Google AdSense for making money. Sometimes having too many ads dilutes the site or distracts readers, resulting in lower performance.
The Marketing Insider Group states the biggest “pro” for affiliate work is that you can make money while you sleep. Once you set up your website, get your content flowing, and schedule all relevant social media, your web traffic will begin to pick up. You can make good passive income money online with affiliate marketing. If you’ve done everything properly, you will find that money from purchases and click-throughs comes into your account when you aren’t even looking.
They go on to caution that the biggest “con” is that it takes a while to get started. Getting your feet off the ground and flying through the online affiliate marketing world may get a little frustrating at first. It takes time to build an online presence and really begin competing with other major websites. As long as you don’t give up and continually create helpful content, you will come out on top in the end.
It’s not a question of whether affiliate marketing works, it does. It’s a question of whether you’re going to make it work for you. So what are you waiting for? Dive in. For a complete view of how Sure Passive Income Now uses affiliate marketing, get The Internet Business Report today.