Affiliate marketing is performance based. You market and promote products for a seller and they pay you a commission (varies) for every sale, click, or lead you bring. The more money you make for the seller the more money you make. Its mutually beneficial. The most common form is earning commission from each sale, which would be a certain percentage of the sale price.
My business is based around online affiliate marketing so that is what I’m going to be talking about. As you can see by the diagram below, the process is simple to understand.
How It Works
After you sign up for an affiliate program (free) you will be given a unique code that allows the company to track your referrals. When you promote a product, you attach your unique link to that product. The links are provided on the company’s website and are different for each product.
So when a customer clicks on your link. They are transferred to the company webpage where they purchase the item. This sale is tracked as going through your link and you are paid a commission.
The programming behind the whole thing is confusing to people like me, but hey. It works okay.
How to Promote/Market
1. Build a Website
This is achieved through the creation of your own website. You can create a website about damn near anything in the universe, and chances are there are products related to this “niche”. All you would have to do to get your website up and running is purchase a domain. you can do this from godaddy.com, namecheap.com, etc. Then you would need website hosting. You can choose to host your website at those mentioned above or you can transfer it for other hosting.
Simple right? All you have to do is buy a domain and hosting, sign up for affiliate programs, write articles and promote their products, and think about how awesome it is.
Well its not as easy as it sounds. You need to generate traffic to your website in order to get customers in order to turn a profit. How are you going to do this? Pray? You need to try to drive in traffic from all ends of the spectrum.
2. Provide Useful Information
This is important. If your information is not unique you will be much less likely to rank in Google and you may not be accepted by affiliate programs.
For this reason I suggest doing reviews as one of your main methods of promotion. But don’t just write about the details of the product. Write a personal review on how this product helped you, or something of that nature. You may not think that your opinion matters, but it does. The more personable the better.
You don’t want to make every post you do a review or another way to promote. Write about things that don’t have to do with promotion. These pages can be used to bring traffic in and they will keep your site from looking spammy, which is a turnoff.
3. Drive Traffic to Your Site
The first method is SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is when you use the way Google and other search engines “search” to your advantage. Your goal is to get your website to come up more often in searches, and at the beginning of the list. This is essential. What do you do when you are looking for a new product? Lets say a new LCD TV. You search online for “the best LCD TVs” or “cheapest LCD TVs” or just whatever it is you want. Then you scroll through the list of results and click on sites. The sites at the top of the list receive an overwhelming majority of the traffic. If you are on the second page you can forget about it.
Another important method is social networking. Its pretty simple. Create a facebook, twitter, google+, pinterest, etc. account for your website and gain followers. The more followers you have, the more people see your posts, the more people visit your site, the more people click on your affiliate links, the fatter your wallet gets, in theory. This method can be very rewarding once you build a nice social network. Its more simple than SEO.
Those are the two main ways of getting traffic to your website. There are other small ways such as getting people to sign up for a newsletter. That way when you post something new they receive an email about it and may pay you a visit.
Besides building a website, writing about and promoting products, and driving traffic to your website there isn’t that much too it really. Just make sure you don’t get money hungry and just promote like crazy. This will decrease website value and turn customers away. You want to provide helpful info for your customers to keep them coming back. Getting a customer to return is easier than getting a new customer.
If you want to learn the right way to do just about everything there is dealing with affiliate marketing check out Wealthy Affiliate. Its an online community of other affiliates. There is training provided from selecting a niche, to building your site, to using social media, to most importantly, monetizing your site. The help at wealthy affiliate is bar none. There are thousands of members and you can chat with, and get help any time of the day/night/ whenever. And these aren’t just people that work for them. They are people that affiliate market themselves and some are extremely successful at it.
I still use Wealthy Affiliate to learn new things all the time. There are always new ideas coming out and being shared. Maybe there is a new trick to drive traffic to your site. This happens when Google and other search engines go through updates such as the latest Penguin update. Or maybe your traffic isn’t converting to sales as much as you would like. I know there is training this subject because I have went through it.
Whatever you need help with, chances are there is already something posted about your question/problem, or if there isn’t you can live chat with someone right then and there.
Also, be sure to comment below if you have a question or just have something to add.