A way to communicate with people (like a blog, not social media). Sometimes this is called a platform. It might be a blog, a website, an email list or some other online presence where people listen to what you have to say.
Do I have legitimate experience with this product? If you don’t, pass. Being unfamiliar with a product you promote is risky for two reasons. First, if it turns out to be a dud, the trust you’ve built with your audience is damaged. Second, if your audience has questions about it, you won’t know how to answer.
Once your hosting is set up, you need to install a content management system (CMS) for your site. We recommend WordPress because it is easy to use and a beginner (like you!) can quite quickly figure out how it works. Most good hosting providers will have a one-click install option for WordPress, which means it will only take you a couple of minutes and you will have WordPress installed on your site.
Pay per action. Sometimes affiliates are paid when a customer completes a specific action. For example, maybe a company will pay you for every time someone signs up to their email list. Or maybe you get paid every time someone prints a coupon via your link.
Focus on benefits not features. Don’t simply list the features of a product (“You’ll get this and this and this…). How will this product change their life? How has the product changed your life? What will their life look like if they use this product?
Hi Abdul! As you say, it’s really hard to figure out what to budget at first. It really depends on your niche and choice of keywords, and can range from five dollars per day to virtually any number you can imagine. It’s best to start researching your keywords or ad packages with the ad networks you’re interested in and see firsthand.
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”?
Always fill out the comment box to “sell” your platform. If you are given the opportunity to explain why you are interested in a program, do it! Use the space to highlight why you would be an asset to the program. Talk about how your audience is their audience. Talk about the size of your mailing list (if it’s significant). Talk about your success with similar programs. Talk about where and how you will promote (hopefully you’ve done a bit of research so you know what they’re hoping for). Don’t sound desperate and certainly don’t lie about anything, but be upfront and honest about how this will be a win for them.
Affiliate networks are good for publishers because publishers can find, sign up for and manage several affiliate programs under one umbrella (the affiliate network). Also, companies typically are monitored by the network which gives affiliates peace of mind.
Restrictions & consequences. Many affiliate programs have notoriously vague terms and conditions (I’m looking at you Amazon) and yet publishers are always responsible for knowing & following them. If you don’t, you can get kicked out of a program without warning which can obviously hurt your bottom line.
Win-win-win. The advertiser wins because they only pay when a purchase is made (as opposed to the shotgun approach of paying to advertise to the masses and waiting for a small percentage to actually buy). The affiliate wins because they make money while providing helpful advice. The customer wins because they get a trusted recommendation for something they might not otherwise have known about.
Do they value and help their affiliates? Some affiliate programs do an exceptional job of communicating with their affiliates, notifying them of upcoming sales, offering marketing advice or tools, offering contents and prizes during promotions and more. These types of affiliate programs are a pleasure to be a part of. Ultimate Bundles is an excellent example.
If you purchase your domain and hosting from different companies, you will need to link the two together. Don’t panic, it’s a simple process. Check out our lesson: Linking your Domain with Your Hosting.
Low hassle / responsibility. As an affiliate marketer, you don’t have to deal with inventory, customer service, infrastructure, shipping, returns, follow up, etc. These are all the responsibility of the advertiser.
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.
Know when to wait. Some affiliate programs require a certain level of traffic, subscribers, etc. If that’s the case, I say it’s better to wait to apply for that program instead of applying and hoping for the best. You risk being labelled the person who can’t follow guidelines and you might also risk not be allowed into the program when you do meet the qualifications.
For example, the content on Super Weddings is useful whether you’re organizing a wedding today or next year. All the content on the site is created accordingly. To make things easier for the audience, it is separated into categories to make it very convenient for the reader to find what they’re looking for. This, of course, is also very good for SEO.
Understand where people are at in the buying cycle and promote accordingly. Spend the most time sharing affiliate links where people are ready to buy. For example, you can share affiliate links on Pinterest, but most people are not on Pinterest to buy but to look. As such, focusing your affiliate marketing strategy on Pinterest might not be the best use of your time. Review posts, for example, might be better at tipping people over the line into buying.
However, Google doesn’t want compensated relationships and ads to influence search results. That’s why they want those pages to be tagged nofollow. A nofollow tag tells the bots to not follow that link.
A company’s website. Think of a product or service you want to promote. Go to the website of said product. Look for a link (often in the footer) that says “Affiliates,” “Affiliate Program,” “Referral Program” or something similar. Follow the links to sign up.
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 |
Once you are cleared to promote a particular product and you understand the terms for that campaign, look through the list of available graphic and text links for that product. Copy the HTML code provided. This code has your unique ID in it. Use this link whenever you link to the product.
While your site is still new, it’s a good idea to start capitalizing on someone else’s audience. Continue focusing on building your own content, but also considering writing content for a few big, high-traffic blogs that are relevant for your niche. By writing content for a bigger site, you are able to get in front of another audience and showcase your expertise on a particular topic. This will eventually lead to more traffic to your site, as well.
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to invest the time and effort to create a product to sell. You can begin selling something as an affiliate as soon as you have a platform to sell it on.
Yes, the word “marketing” is part of the phrase affiliate marketing, but for the most part, our job as an affiliate is not to sell — that is the job of the sales page our affiliate links lead the reader to.
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