Every time we log into our social media accounts and flip through the thousands of posts published, out of every hundred posts, you will most likely get an advert that says something like “earn while you sleep…” or “make money through brand marketing” or even “make money anytime, anywhere”. Sounds familiar? Then keep reading.
The Concept that defines Affiliate Marketing
Over the past few years, the concept of Affiliate marketing has grown and become quite well-known and not just within the digital marketing sectors but everyone else that works in various sectors like retail, manufacturing, engineering, communications to name a few. One can say, that it has almost started to replace traditional marketing tactics. Even though this concept has been around since 1994, we are only just tapping into its potential.
It used to be that when someone told you about the concept, you shrugged your shoulders and thought of it as some ‘pyramid scheme’ or a silly gimmick. But now, having seen the number of videos and adverts online relating to this, it is evident that this strategy has sky-rocketed and become immensely popular, so much so that people of all ages and backgrounds are fascinated by it. Videos of people rolling around in heaps of money, driving luxury cars like Lamborghinis and Ferraris, living in huge elaborate luxurious bungalows, all with the same strategy in mind – to create substantial revenue through promoting countless brands and affiliate marketing. Whether those videos are real or not, one has to admit that earning a side income or even a core income without any hard labour, is an appealing trajectory.
According to statistics, on average about 15% of brands and publishers, influence the authority of affiliate marketing revenue, and these numbers are only increasing more and more every year, especially in the United States.
Another source quotes that there is an increase of about 10% spend towards this type of marketing each year, and thus it is estimated that by the year 2020, brands and companies will have spent about $6.8 billion on just this type of marketing.
If you are a beginner to the world of Affiliate marketing and are asking yourself – Is this for me? Below is some material to help you make an informed decision.
In layman’s terms, affiliate marketing is defined as a process where an affiliate or ‘seller’, could be a person or company creates an ‘advert or promotion’ for a particular brand with a goal to sell it, and earns a commission for marketing these merchants’ brands, once sold. In a nutshell, the affiliate searches the web (or Amazon) for a product they like or frequently use themselves, it could be anything. They then create a page or an advert with information about this product, add some attractive images, a link and text to it, and then promote the product for said company or person.
Here is a hypothetical situation to elaborate on the above. Say for example person A finds a product they enjoy, and it ‘belongs’ to person B. You see this advert in your social media feed, and you want that product or service called C, so you click on the ‘Call to Action’ link or button that says ‘buy now’ or something similar. You enter your details and click the payment button to buy it. This then goes through the process of being tracked through a tracking link set up by the affiliate, they then procure the item, once it has been recorded on the side of the affiliate, he/she confirms this purchase and gets credit from this transaction i.e. you, the affiliate, get paid your commission.
The 3 entities involved in the process are the seller or creator of the product; they could be a single individual or a large company and shares its profits with the marketer. There is the affiliate who crates the promotion/advert for the product for the seller (also known as publishers). And lastly, there is the consumer or buyer; they drive the sales by purchasing the products or services.
A few of the many advantages
As a beginner, what are the advantages of affiliate marketing?
- It’s a means of Passive Income for you i.e. as mentioned above ‘you can literally earn money while you sleep’. It’s definitely the biggest reason to start an affiliate marketing business.
- There is no customer support to deal with. It’s a pretty straight forward process so you don’t need to deal with anyone’s phone calls or customer satisfaction etc
- Work from anywhere i.e. you have the option of working remotely, from home or anywhere else.
- There are no fees to worry about. This does not require to put in capital, perhaps a few dollars, but nothing significantly detrimental.
- You get to set your own goals. You become almost like a freelancer i.e. you are independent enough to direct your own path and regulate your own working hours. No to mention you can choose which campaigns to focus on and thus build a portfolio of a variety of niches.
- Performance is rewarded. In a normal day to day job, whether you work a 40-hour week or an 80-hour week, you still get the same salary at the end of the week or month. However, as an affiliate marketer, your efforts are rewarded accordingly. The more you put in, the more you get out.
Good tips for beginners
- Sell what you know a lot about: If you are knowledgeable about certain products or services, for example, Play Station Video Games, then sell Play Station Video Games only or mainly, let this be your known niche. You would do a lot better selling or promoting something you know more about than something you are not sure about. Consumers will pick up on this and merchants (the person or company whose products you are selling) will identify your expertise and use you more regularly. There’s nothing worse than a bad or confusing advertisement.
- Set up a personal website: You don’t need to hire an elaborate web developer to create it for you, you can do it yourself by buying a domain from any reputable company and use a user-friendly platform like word press to design a simple one-page website that will look more appealing to the audience. If this is too technical do some research on how to link your domain to your hosting.
- Do your homework: There are tons of affiliate programs online, all you have to do is some good research into finding a good affiliate program offered by a reputable company or individual. Some of the obvious examples are Amazon, FlipKart and EBay. That, partnered with the right niche for you, is a winning combination. And most of these programs are for free. However, it is important to research those companies offering the affiliate programs properly to check if it is a scam. Remember: If they ask you for bank details, its highly likely they are not legitimate. Another approach is to join an affiliate network. Look for popular ones like Amazon Associates, Click Bank etc Also don’t forget to find out how much commission each product will get you.
- Aesthetically pleasing wins the race: Some of the merchants (companies selling the product) provide you with images of their merchandise, use them! The more images you have the more appealing your website/advertisement will be. Try one or two videos, on for size. Visual appeal is what catches the majority of the consumers.
- Update, change…rinse and repeat: Updating your content constantly helps keep things fresh. It’s like a rotation system that supermarkets do – keep rotating your ‘products’. Add new ones, remove old ones, change the text and images. Keep things new and make sure you are aware of any new versions in the market. If you keep updating and adding to your website, it’s more likely people will come back to your website to buy other products then to go elsewhere…’ humans are creatures of comfort.
These are just a few ideas and tips to get you started. Once you’re up and running, it’s a breeze!