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Have you always wanted to have your own online business, but couldn’t pursue the dream because of a lack of money?
Well, have you considered affiliate marketing?
It doesn’t cost much to become an affiliate marketer, but it does take a lot of hard work to become a successful affiliate.
When you think of this, it can’t be any other way. Starting is easy. Succeeding takes effort and dedication.
Setting up affiliate marketing is reasonably cheap. All you require is a website and you’re good to go.
Also, it is not rocket science and the earning potential is quite enormous. The informative graphic below was created by Nick, Chief Technical Analyst of web hosting services at HostingTribunal.com.
He also operates in the affiliate marketing business model. And here, he reveals just how massive affiliate marketing is:
If a business doesn’t require much upfront investment and not difficult to grasp, obviously, there will be many people trying their luck at it.
With competition being stiff, you will need to put in long hours. So, forget about earning while you sleep in the first months
That happens much later.
But you can’t expect to reach the summit of the Mt. Everest, the moment you don on your mountaineering gear. Can you?
So unless you want to do affiliate marketing to earn enough money for your next year’s Europe trip, be prepared to work like a horse.
Having said that, you must understand hard work alone may not be enough to take you to your goal. You also need to work smartly.
And this is where we can help you. We’ve prepared a list of time-tested strategies that almost guarantee good results.
Provided you stay committed to the cause.
But before we begin, let’s look at how affiliate marketing works and common affiliate marketing terms.
An introduction to affiliate marketing
OK, so you know that, as an affiliate, you are going to earn money for every sale you generate on a seller’s site.
That pretty much sums up what affiliate marketing is.
That said, there are also some variations. Pay-per-sale is not the only affiliate marketing model. However, it is the most common.
There are others, too, like pay-per-click and pay-per-lead.
In pay-per-click, you earn a commission for every visitor you send to the seller’s site. Irrespective of whether that visitor buys something or not.
On the other hand, in pay-per-lead, you earn money when a referred visitor provides his or her contact information on the manufacturer’s website.
Becoming an affiliate is simple. Find and join a suitable affiliate program. Every affiliate is given a unique tracking link.
When someone clicks on your affiliate link and completes the desired action on the seller’s site, you get paid.
As an affiliate marketer, you will hear these terms quite often
- Affiliate marketplace – Example of popular affiliate marketplaces includes Clickbank, Shareasale, and CJ. You can think of them as central databases for all kinds of affiliate programs.
- Affiliate software – Every company uses software to create and manage their affiliate programs.
- Payment mode – This decides how you will be paid. It can vary from one seller to another. Some offer multiple payment modes, such as PayPal, wire transfer, and cheque.
- Affiliate link – This is a unique link which you’ll get from your seller, who uses this link to track the viewers redirected by you.
- Affiliate ID – This is a unique number you get when you enroll in an affiliate program. Your affiliate link will have your affiliate ID.
- Commission Amount – The amount of money you will earn for every sale.
- Affiliate managers – Affiliate marketing helps sellers boost sales without spending a lot of money on marketing. That’s why they want to help you bring more customers by offering you a helping hand through an affiliate manager. This professional will hand out pro tips to you to help you earn more.
- Two-tier affiliate marketing – Do you have friends who also want to become an affiliate? Get them to join the affiliate program and earn a commission for every sale they make. Affiliates referred by you are called sub-affiliates. The commission you earn through them is known as a sub-affiliate commission.
How to become a successful affiliate marketer
1. Choose a suitable affiliate program
As you can see in the infographic below, affiliate marketing is a $12 million industry. So, there’s no dearth of affiliate programs in any niche you can think of.
Some affiliate programs pay a higher commission than others. You obviously will want to join a program that pays well.
However, equally important is to pick a product or service that you can actually sell.
For instance, if you are a serious fitness enthusiast, you are likely to fare better at selling a fitness-related product than a cloud computing solution.
But what if you don’t have in-depth knowledge about anything in particular?
Select a niche you find interesting, learn the basic things about it, and only then shortlist an affiliate program.
2. Become familiar with the affiliate product
Unless you are going to have someone write content for you and manage your social media accounts, you must learn everything there’s to learn about your affiliate product.
If you don’t do that, it will show in your content. As a result, readers will trust your opinion less and buy even less.
3. Write quality content
If your website only has a landing page, you may as well not waste time and money in creating one.
For sure, you need a good affiliate landing page, but you also need a lot more than that.
If you want to set yourself up as an authority on your subject, you need an exhaustive blog. And on it, you need to provide valuable information that enhances customer engagement.
Remember, give your target customers a reason to listen to you by helping them resolve their actual problems and potential pain areas.
If you can do that with success, your readers are more likely to click the affiliate link when they have a need for the product you’re selling.
4. Make it a fast-loading site
You can invest as much time or money in content, but you’ll fail to get the desired benefits if your site takes forever to load.
Most of your potential visitors will leave your page if load time is more than a few seconds.
Reports show that sites that take more than 3 secs have high bounce rates.
That is, the percentage of all site visitors who don’t stick around long enough to check out more than one site page.
Also, Google, the best friend of every affiliate marketer has been publishing repeatedly how good loading speeds of a website is a positive factor for better Google rankings.
So, take the hint. Speed up your web page if it is slow.
If you are unaware of what host to choose for a fast loading website – visit Hosting tribunal, the curator of the graphic above.
They`ve tested all the top hosting providers to see which amongst them is the fastest.
5. Use social networking sites intelligently
Facebook and other popular social networking sites have millions of users. As an affiliate marketer, you can’t afford to not use them.
Sorry, let me rephrase: You can’t afford to not use social networking platforms intelligently.
Social media networking sites can help you reach out to thousands, if not more. However, they can destroy your online image as well.
In that sense, social networking sites are just as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
One wrong move and, figuratively speaking, you will be lying in a pool of blood.
The fastest way to push online users away and get branded as an outcast is spamming.
Do not use your social media handles to only put up your affiliate link.
Because, soon the only thing making your company will be the deafening digital silence.
Just like blogging, use social media sites to provide value to others through quality content.
Do that and others will not mind when you occasionally prod them to try your affiliate products.
Affiliate marketing is one of the few online business modules that allow people to become their own boss.
It can help to earn a handsome income every month without investing capital.
However, with the competition being stiff, you need to come up with a brilliant strategy–as outlined above–and follow it to the tee.