If you have a blog and want to monetize it, try affiliate marketing. If want to make money online and you don’t have a product, then try affiliate marketing.
With affiliate marketing you don’t need your own products and in most cases you don’t even need a website or blog. But doing it this way,
especially in today’s digital world, will make your efforts look very unprofessional. In today’s world, you need to convince a world of digital shoppers to buy your affiliate product offers. To convince them requires giving them enough information. And you need a blog or website to do that.
You can start with a simple wordpress blog. And you can create your site in minutes
This blog will focus on the one thing you need to do if you want to succeed with affiliate market, or with any other product promotion efforts you might have.
And to do that requires understanding
a) what affiliate marketing is
b) the purpose and
c) how to approach it
d) how not to do it
So what is Affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is simply a marketing method which merchants use to promote their products and get sales. They do so by offering a program called an Affiliate program.
An affiliate program is a program that allows anyone interested in promoting a merchant’s products a chance to do so, by joining the merchant’s affiliate program.
In a nutshell, this is what the whole affiliate marketing concept is all about;
a) Merchant: This is the seller or owner of a particular product.
b) Product: The product can be any item the merchant is selling-digital or physical products.
c) Affiliate Program: The merchant wants his products to reach more people-traffic to his website. So he sets up an affiliate program. The aim is to get people to join and promote his products.
d) Commission: This is the reward incentive-usually monetary, that the merchant is willing to give the affiliate once the affiliate’s promotion efforts brings in sales.
e) The Affiliate: This can be an individual, a company, small businesses,etc who could be interested in the merchant’s products and want to promote it by participating in the affiliate program.
f) The buyer: The buyer or referral is traffic that the affiliate promotes or refers the merchant’s products to, who eventually buys the merchant’s product and earn a sales commission forthe affiliate.
There are two ways of joining an affiliate program and that is to
a) Apply directly through a merchant’s website
You can apply directly through a merchant’s website, but this requires you to fill out an affiliate membership application form directly from the merchant’s website. Most merchants make this option available on their website or blog .
They may also list requirements needed to join the program. Once you apply, your acceptance into the program means you have satisfied all the necessary requirements needed to participate in the program.
In most cases,
some merchants register their programs on affiliate networking sites. This means that even if you want to join the program from their site, you must go to the affiliate networking site they are a part of.
To do this they place a link on their website that you must click on, to go directly to the network site and sign up.
b) Join any of the various affiliate network sites and apply
Applying through an affiliate networking site means joining an affiliate network site by becoming a member of that site. To do this requires
signing up with a valid email address and a password, to gain access and use the site. These sites host lots of merchant programs that are available to be promoted they are known to connect merchants with potential would-be affiliates
. Well known examples are Shareasale.com, CJ.com, tradedoubler.com, Awin.com and lots more.
Once you login, you can scroll through the many programs that are available for promotion and choose the programs that you want to promote. Once you choose a program you can click directly on a link to participate in the program and promote it.
Take for example the ShareAsale network. It hosts a lot of merchant programs you can join and promote. Once you sign up, you can login to your affiliate dashboard using your email address and password.
To search for a program to join, scroll down to the rectangular Merchant Search box as shown below, and click on the go button. The icons to the right represent the various categories. You can also click on them to go to a particular category.
On clicking the go button, you will be taken to the merchant search page. This is the page that lists the various categories, and trending merchants you can choose to promote. Below are the different categories. By clicking the arrows back and forth you can see all available categories.
Once you’ve decided on a category, you can click on the icon and you will be taken to the page showing all the merchant programs in that category. Let’s say, for example, you choose the clothing category.
Click on the clothing icon and this will open up the clothing category page. Once you are on this page,
you can choose from among the different programs to join. When you find a program you like, click on the Join Program button. If you want to get additional details before you join, click the plus button. it works like a drop down menu.
Once you click the Join Program button the image below will appear as a pop-up on your screen. You can see that you application is under review and an email to this effect will be sent to you.
A waiting period is necessary before your request to join a program is approved. This means that once you apply, approval may take from 24-48 hours. There are however programs that offer instant approval.
Once you click the Join Program button, a pop-up screen will appears like the one below.
For both methods of joining an affiliate program,whether directly from the merchant’s site or the networking sites, If your application is accepted you can then start promoting the merchant’s products through promotional materials and marketing aids provided by the merchant
such as banners, html codes, text link and your own personalized affiliate link.
This in most cases requires you to have your own blog or website where you can post banners and html codes.
And so having a blog is essential if you want to start affiliate marketing. Most people would agree it is not necessary
because once you are accepted into an affiliate program, you are given your own personal affiliate link. To promote the merchant’s product requires you to post your affiliate link
on social media and where ever it is allowed to post affiliate links online..
So What is the purpose of affiliate marketing?
The purpose of affiliate marketing is to get product sales through the promotion efforts of individuals and companies. In simple terms, it means that a merchant wants to get more traffic to their website so people can buy more of his products. He needs to do so
by expanding his outreach through every available channel . By offering an affiliate program, he can achieve that with the help of affiliates, who can be individuals, companies and even small businesses.
Individuals and companies who promote a merchant’s product do so by referring the product to their own traffic, if they have any.
This is effective in getting exposure of the product to so many people across the web because all the merchant does is to get people interested in joining the program and promote his products.
To this end, a reward incentive in the form of a sales commission or what is commonly refered to as an affiliate commission, is paid out to the affiliate for every sales the affiliate make through their own referral traffic.
Commisions are set by the merchant and can start as low as 4% to as high as 50% and a little more. And so by launch an affiliate program, a merchant can market their product by leverage on the efforts of affiliate traffic.
How to approach it
Affiliate marketing hasn’t changed. it is still a performanced-based marketing strategy employed by merchants. If you are new to affiliate marketing, or you want to start an online business, you might be told that affiliate marketing is dead.
But this is far from the truth. Affiliate marketing is still alive because it s the easiest way to start an online business without an
a) Initial investment
b) or website. Although as mentioned earlier, having a site could be helpful.
Also to understand if it is truly dead or not, here are a few statistics to put into consideration.
Affiliate marketing is a global industry worth well over $12 billion.
81% of brands rely on affiliate programs.
PeerFly boasts over a quarter of a million publisher accounts.
Awin affiliates earned over $700 million last year. source
These are just some of the few statistics to boost your knowledge of the nature of affiliate marketing and where it is heading to.
Considering that you want to make money online through affiliate marketing, you need to approach it with seriousness. And this means you need to approach it as a business where you are going to invest your time and efforts at promoting a product and eventually getting sales. Just remember affiliate marketing is a business.
As a business you need to employ marketing strategies that will help drive traffic and get conversions that will generate sales. After all it is the sales that matters the mostand you are in it to make as much money as you can.
How not do it
It would be hard for you to make any breakthrough in affliate marketing if you do not treat it as a business. Many people still have the impression that posting a link somewhere is enough to generate interest and sales.
If that was the case then it wouldn’t be necessary to employ any marketing strategy to get sales. Just posting an affiliate link will do the trick. While generating sales and earning commissions is what the affiliate needs,
doing it in the following ways may get you the affiliate, asking yourself why others are getting it right, and you are still where you are.
1) Trying to promote too many products
With all probability, you’ve seen those headlines that tell you how Mr. XYZ made 6-figures with affiliate marketing. This overwhelms you to the point of making you want to emulate Mr. XYZ. Making 6-figures will not happen overnight.
While this maybe your goal, if you are going to achieve it by joining too many programs and trying to promote them all, then you may end up abandoning some or even all of the programs along the way.
The best approach may just be to choose a few programs and dedicate your time and effort in fully promoting them.
2) Joining a program without the necessary knowledge
When you join a program you are going to share valuable information that will be helpful to others. So you may have joined a program because it has a high commission payout or because it is popular or because it is trending.
While this is not bad, without some prior knowledge of the product you are going to promote, you will not help the people you are going to serve the products to as with time they may detect your inexperience and consider your efforts a scam.
3) Going into a niche because it is highly lucrative
The health and fitness niche is considered a highly lucrative niche. While this may be true, it is also highly competitive and that means there is stiff competition. If you want to go into it because it pays well,
you will need to stand up against the competition with a good enough promotion strategy that will make you stand out from the crowd and get you traffic that will convert to sales.
4) Not doing research on the product you want to promote.
There is demand for products at all times, But depending on the product,that demand may be high or may be low. If you want to promote a product without doing research, you may never know if it has a high or low demand for it.
Picking a random product and promoting it, you might just end up with a product that is in low demand.
5) Only promoting without building an audience
Having a product you are promoting because you have an affiliate link might be helpful if you know what you are doing. But even then, with your promotion efforts especially on social media, you are constantly going to provide value.
Once people identify with the value you offer, they become interested and would want to follow you. This requires building an audience of interested people who would want to gain access to contents, content updates and other useful informations. Some may even want to become affiliates themselves.
6) Having no first-hand knowledge of the product you are promoting.
To effectively promote a product and raise awareness to your audience, you have to try the product itself to understand all of its functionalities. This way you are able to a give more precise user-guided information to help spark interest in the product you are promoting..
Your experience using a product before you promote it to others means you can effectively talk about it without much difficulties.
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