Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular online money making strategies.
It is the process of earning a commission by promoting another company’s products and/or services. You find a product, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that originated from you.
Straight from the definition above it’s clear why this online money making strategy is so popular.
You can get into affiliate marketing with a very low initial costs, there’s no need for handling any of the products, no need for customer service, you just need a platform to promote the affiliate products / services and an audience to promote them to.
Platform can be any or the combination of all or some of the options below:
- Web site / blog
- Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,…)
Which means you can literally start with your affiliate marketing adventure in 5 minutes by signing up for affiliate program and sharing your unique URL through a forum post. Without spending a dime, just investing your time.
But don’t be fooled, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Fact is, there are affiliate marketers out there earning millions of dollars per year, but it takes time and effort to get there.
Here are some proven affiliate marketing programs, techniques and ideas
Amazon associates is one of the most popular affiliate programs because it’s easy to join and get access to millions of different products to promote. Amazon is a trusted brand so potential buyers you refer to Amazon probably already have account with Amazon and are very likely to make the purchase and earn you commission.
Commissions did take a hit again recently, but it’s still possible to find interesting niches and if you have a huge audience that trusts you, you will still be able to make money.
One of the most popular strategies used with Amazon is to review the products through your blog or YouTube channel.
ClickBank is one of the leading affiliate marketplaces, you can sign up with them and start promoting various different products they have on offer. You can browse through multiple categories to find a niche you’re familiar with.
There is a bunch of data and affiliate resources available to help you choose the best offer. You’re likely have to spend some time experimenting until you find a good product that sells well.
Other Affiliate Programs
Whatever niche you’re interested in, chances are that you can find plenty of affiliate programs. For example I’m writing articles on WordPress development and there’s plenty of affiliate potential in that niche.
SiteGround and Shortpixel image optimizer are just a few examples of products/services I personally use and gladly endorse. Finding the affiliate programs among the products and services you personally use and believe in is a good example of ethical affiliate marketing.
I wrote an article where I objectively rate free WP image optimization plugins and give valuable insights to people about that subject, so it feels really natural. Choosing this path as your affiliate marketing strategy yields best results because people are more likely to believe you if you’re showing passion about the products you’re endorsing.
How to start with affiliate marketing
As mentioned above, you can use affiliate links on various platforms, but having your own website or blog is always a good idea.
Starting a blog is easy with WordPress, if you don’t have hosting account already, I recommend SiteGround as getting started with them is a joy, they have great support and fantastic WP optimized service. You can register a domain as well with them and install WordPress via built in app in SiteGround dashboard so it’s a one stop shop for all your needs. SiteGround is usually top of the list on many hosting companies reviews sites and there is a reason for it.
One of their biggest selling points in my opinion is a staging functionality that allows you to easily create a copy of your current blog, play with it, try out plugins or themes without changing anything on live version. Once you are happy with changes, you can easily push it live.
If you’re not comfortable with installing WP on your own or you want more of a professional looking website, you can order it for a small amount of money on fiverr.
You can also buy already built website on Flippa which usually comes with established content and audience, but it could also be much more expensive. It’s up to you to do a due diligence.
When you got your platform(s) sorted out, you need to figure out how to get get visitors to it. If you’ve got established social media profile/YouTube account or a popular blog, you might start getting commissions right away. If you’re getting started you’ll have to invest in social media ads, Google or Bing search engine ads or do some guerilla marketing.
One major point that is often overlooked or not talked enough in regards to affiliate marketing is email marketing. Email marketing is a very powerful tool in affiliate marketers toolbox and can yield fantastic results if used appropriately.
The main idea is to setup automation emails to remind people on your mailing list of the offers you have for them. GetResponse is the best email marketing solution in the business and you can’t afford to start your affiliate marketing career without it.
If you’re posting affiliate links on your blog or website, you definitely want to know if the links are getting clicked. The idea is to analyze the traffic the comes to your site and the user behavior through web analytics tool.
Based on the data, you can draw some actionable insights. You can test different link placements, button colors, creatives used and stuff like that. You can also analyze traffic channels and based on that decide to focus on one channel more than the other.
Whether that means investing more time or money into a certain traffic channel or set of channels, the ultimate goal is to make the optimizations to maximize your affiliate profits. None of that would be possible without proper tracking solution. If you have a WordPress powered web site, you can follow my guide on affiliate click tracking with Google Analytics to set it up.