For example, my audience is made up of people who want to start a blog and make money online but have limited time, budget and technical know-how. I can speak to this audience because that was me when I started 14 years ago!
Sometimes you find out an advertiser uses an affiliate network when you apply to an affiliate program directly. For example, if you want to become an affiliate for Genesis WordPress themes, you might go to the StudioPress website (StudioPress makes Genesis) and click the “Affiliates” link in the footer like so:
Hard to stand out. Some affiliate programs have LOTS of affiliates. If there’s a promotion going on, it can be hard to separate yourself from the other affiliates so people buy through you and not others.
I only recommend products as an affiliate that I’m extremely very familiar with—preferably products that I’ve used before and have helped me achieve something. If I’m not confident in the product and I don’t feel it will positively help people, I will not promote it.
There are many affiliate networks. Many are easy to join. Some require you to apply and wait for approval. Some are by invitation only. Different affiliate networks provide different products so you’ll want to hunt around to find the one(s) that are the best fit for you.
The cost of your product is a big factor. If you are selling computers and the average price is $1,500, many affiliates are okay accepting a lower commission rate because their potential earnings per sale is still relatively higher compared to selling $49 product for the same or even higher commission rate.
Do they have a good reputation among other affiliates? This is one reason why being involved with other affiliate marketers is valuable. If you haven’t heard of an affiliate program before, ask around.
Affiliate marketing is a common way people make money online. For me, affiliate marketing is my largest income stream. It’s also my favorite income stream because it gives me the most freedom and flexibility. I have written repeatedly about affiliate marketing in the past. This post puts it all in one place.
Mistake #2: Using the “They must not be my people” excuse to be spammy. I’m not a fan of this common tactic. Here’s how it works: people send a huge number of sales/promotional emails to their list with no warning and with no easy way to opt out. When people complain or unsubscribe, they put it on them (“Oh well, they aren’t my type of subscriber anyway…”), instead of taking responsibility for the spam (let’s call it what it is). What ever happened to “treat others the way you want to be treated”?
Limited hard selling. If you partner with the right advertisers, your job is to simply refer potential customers to them. They do the hard selling. This is great for those who don’t like to sell or want to minimize dings on your reputation for being pushy or sales-y.
CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction) is the leading global affiliate marketing network, specializing in pay-for-performance programs that drive results for businesses around the world. The CJ Network helps to reach and connect with millions of online consumers every day by facilitating productive partnerships between advertisers and publishers. Drive more sales and expand your reach – experience the Network Effect with CJ.
Promote products at various price points. Even the little products (like Amazon ebooks) add up. If there is a truly useful product on the pricier side, it can still be worth the promotion even if only a few people buy it. If you’ve used a product of exceptional quality and it’s a good investment, or if it’s a product that’s unique, specialized or one-of-a-kind, go for it.
Myth #3: Affiliate marketing is passive income. Affiliate marketing approaches passive income, but only once you’ve put in a great deal of work on the front end. If you take the time to build trust among your audience, there does come a point when affiliate marketing becomes almost passive.
Ask for VIP (sometimes called “tiered”) commissions. Many affiliate programs have different commission levels. Usually the standard commission level is made public, but higher commissions are offered to higher performing affiliates. Sometimes you may be bumped up to “VIP affiliate” status by the advertiser, but most times you have to ask if there’s a higher tier and how you can get there.
When I first started in affiliate marketing, all I wanted was to just make money. Off I ran in every direction, trying everything, with no real idea of the mistakes I was making that could very well affect my chances at long term success.
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting another person’s (or company’s) product. Products exist in your target market right now (that people are probably already buying) and if you can become the resource that recommends those products, you can generate a commission as a result.
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Is it necessary to have a blog website? What if I wanted to create a straight up e-commerce site selling products from major retail outlets. A website that rewards with discounts or other special promos just for buying through our affiliate site.
Choosing an affiliate program will take some work, but don’t be afraid to invest a significant amount of time into it because this is, of course, where your income will come from. Choosing the right program will make it well worth your while!
When recommending an affiliate product, everything hinges on your affiliate link. If you don’t use your affiliate link, or you use the wrong one, you won’t be properly credited for any resulting sales and therefore won’t get paid.
Do they work hard on their sales strategies? Look for companies with strong sales pages, funnels, incentives (like free, accompanying webinars) and launches. Elite Blog Academy does these things well.
The easiest and most common way to start building an audience for a website is via social media. Depending on your niche and industry, you can choose from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and several other niche and location-specific networks. Building up an engaged and interested following on social media is a great opportunity to build relationships and once you have their trust, promote your products and services to them.
If you partner with an advertiser who uses an affiliate network to run their affiliate program, your interactions will take place via the affiliate network, not with the advertiser directly. This includes applying for the program, finding your unique affiliate links, tracking your sales and getting paid.
Look around for the best affiliate deal. Many affiliate programs are offered in more than one place. For example, a while back, I realized one of my affiliates paid almost 30% more if I went through a different affiliate network. This doesn’t happen often, so I wouldn’t spend lots of time hunting, but keep your eyes peeled.
Google it. Search for terms like “(company) affiliate program.” For example, “Target affiliate program” or “Amazon affiliate program.” If your first search doesn’t turn up anything, try again. Don’t give up too easily. Sometimes there are slight variances in word usage or terms.
The wording of your disclosure matters. On Facebook, for example, people avoid using the word “affiliate” because it doesn’t get things seen. However, Amazon will kick you out if you use wording that isn’t clear.
Do they have a lot of products I could promote? Note that you can become an affiliate for large companies once, and then promote any of their products. For example, you can become an affiliate with Amazon (“Amazon Associate”) once and promote any of their products.
This is a very common way to promote offers. For example, you will often see a blog post with links to certain products or services. If the reader clicks through and makes a purchase, the blog owner will make a commission. These in-text links blend in with other content on your site and are a great way of promoting an offer within your content, without being over-the-top salesy with banners.
I absolutely love your post about Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: How to Make Your First Affiliate Marketing Sale in 7 Steps. Over the years I have found that people put too much emphasis on “how to make more sales” versus teaching techniques as to how a beginner can make their first sale . Understanding how to make that first sale is key.
Start with a blog, where your content is always available. By itself, an email list can be hard to start if there’s not a place (like your blog or website) where potential subscribers can get to know you first.
Great post and right on target. I found that if you blog and/or do videos that sharing little stories will help connect you to potential leads. I do how-to videos and posts and I always tell personal stories or my own experiences that relate to the subject. It works and I get personal messages from people about it. It makes you more real and down to earth in the viewer’s eyes. Once they like you and trust you they will become a lead and hopefully a sale. They may very well become a regular buyer because you will be their go to person. For best results it’s best to blog daily and do at least one video a day.
Very well written! Thanks for sharing these tips. Something as simple as adding your affiliate link to images is one I’ve overlooked sometimes lol. What has worked the best for me is adding bonuses to the affiliate offer.
I can partner with the company who sells that drill as an affiliate. They’ll give me a special link to the drill tagged with my own, unique affiliate ID. Every time I use that link in a blog post and someone clicks it, my affiliate ID follows them for a time. If they buy the drill in that time, I will earn a commission.
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The AffiloTheme is a great option. Completely customizable, and built specifically for affiliate marketers, you can use this WordPress theme to bypass much of the initial learning curve other affiliate marketers will experience. You can also search for themes on a site like Theme Forest.
Start out with finding your niche. Here are some suggestions: http://www.affilorama.com/blog/3-untapped-niches | http://www.affilorama.com/blog/grow-taller-affiliate-programs | http://www.affilorama.com/blog/stop-smoking-affiliate-programs |
Ignore the “butterflies” that are sure to fly by on a constant basis. They will just distract you from your project/campaign at hand. One completed and profitable campaign is worth so much more than 50 almost half-finished campaigns or projects.
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