Affiliate Marketing Guide: How to make money as an affiliate
Many bloggers make more money through affiliate marketing than through contextual ad networks like AdSense. Affiliate marketing gives you a steady stream of income. In this affiliate marketing guide, we explain how to get started as an affiliate marketer. We also explain how exactly how affiliate marketing works.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is an arrangement where a retailer, in this case, the advertiser pays a blogger or a site owner a monetary compensation or commission when users of your blog or website purchase a product or service through the referral link placed in your blog or website.
Affiliate marketing works on a Cost-Per-Lead (CPL) or Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) basis, unlike other display ad types that pay based on the number of clicks or page views. In affiliate marketing, you only earn a commission when someone buys a product or signs up for a service.
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Affiliate promoters usually pay out much higher commissions to bloggers and site owners. This is because advertising has little or no risks at all.
In affiliate marketing, you have to make research about products and services that will be useful for your users. It requires a lot of hands-on approaches. One thing is for you to see a useful product or service, and another thing is entirely for the product’s owner to offer an opportunity to partner with you, a publisher. After finding a useful product or service, you have from a company that has affiliate opportunities; you have to strategically add the affiliate products or services to your blog or website. You can do this through banners or text with your affiliate links. This is to ensure that users see the affiliate display, and possibly buy through your blog or website.
How Does Affiliate Marketing / Tracking Work?
To get started with affiliate marketing, first, you have to find a product, service, or company that you want to promote. If you do not have a blog topic or article that already covers the product or service, you need to write one. It is easier for users of your blog or website to buy a product or subscribe to a service after reading your article relating to that product or service.
Having seen the product or service that you want to promote, the next thing is for you to join the company’s affiliate, associate, or partner program.
Once you join the company’s partner or affiliate program, you will receive an affiliate ID. It is the affiliate ID that you will use in all affiliate links that you add to your blog or website. With this affiliate ID, you can promote the product or service. It is also this affiliate ID that helps in tracking all your affiliate link clicks.
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You can implement your affiliate links in your blog or website by writing a review in favor of the product or service. You can also recommend the product or service in your other articles that are related. Also, you can use display banners, mostly provided by the company you are partnering with. You can also send email newsletters to your subscribers promoting the product or service. All clicks or traffic from your blog or website to the merchant’s website will be tracked using your unique user ID.
Once users of your blog make a purchase through your affiliate link, you will be paid a financial commission. Companies with product return policies do withhold commission payment till a particular time. some up to 60 days before commissions are paid.
How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing
If you are using the correct blogging platform and you are allowed to promote affiliate products or services on it, then you are good to go.
If your website or blog is self-hosted, then you can promote any product or service the way you want. On a self-hosted blog or website, you can efficiently manage your affiliate campaigns.
With the knowledge of the company, product, or service that you want to promote and having a user-friendly blog or website, then you need to add a disclosure page to your website so that the users will know how you make money from your blog or website.
Finding Affiliate Products and Services to Promote
There are several ways to find products and services or companies to partner with as an affiliate. We have listed below some of the easiest ways to find products or companies to promote.
1: Become an affiliate for products you already use
Everyone has used one product or the other or one service or another that offers affiliate marketing opportunities at some point in their life. Consider some of the products or services you have already used that were very useful to you. It will become very easy for you to convince your users about these products or services have used yourself.
The next thing you should do is join the company’s affiliate program. Head to their website, and search for their affiliate program registration page. Then is available, enter all the required information and submit. Within days, if your application to join their affiliate network is successful, you will be contacted. This is done most time through an email that contains your affiliate login details and other credentials.
It will interest you to know that many companies are looking for partners and affiliate marketers to promote their products or services.
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2: Look for products other blogs are recommending
Another way to find products is by looking at other blogs in your niche. This way you will be able to see other blogs or websites using affiliate marketing to make money.
How to know that they are promoting affiliate products
Affiliate ads are most time very noticeable. Take your mouse over any banner ad in your target website or blog, and in your browser’s status bar, you will see an affiliate link. An affiliate link is usually long because it contains an affiliate ID. This affiliate ID is what helps merchants to track clicks and traffic coming from your website or blog.
When you click on an affiliate link, it takes you to the product or service website. Affiliate links are also embedded in other content on your target website.
3: Join Bigger Affiliate Networks
This is another great way to find a product or service to promote on your blog or website. Affiliate marketing networks act as a middleman between merchants and marketers.
From an affiliate network, you will notice that some companies and products that plan to partner with already use an affiliate network. Joining affiliate networks and seeing your choice of products and companies help you to get started with product promotions on your website or blog immediately.
4: Reach out to Companies
If however, you see a product or service that you would like to promote but can’t find any information about their affiliate or partnership program, you can reach out to the company via email. You can get their email from their contact page.
So many companies do not actively promote their affiliate or partner programs. However, when you reach out to them, if they have an affiliate program, they will invite you to join.
What are Affiliate Networks? Why You Should Join Them?
Affiliate networks act as a middleman between merchants (companies that want to sell their products) and you (the affiliate marketer).
Merchants provide their platform as a service to list their products, manage affiliates, track affiliate traffic, and send payments to an affiliate marketer.
Affiliate marketers on the other hand offer an easy-to-use platform to search for products, track your campaign performance, sign up as an affiliate, and earnings.
Below are some popular affiliate networks that you can join and start earning.
This is one of the largest affiliate networks. It has many high-paying affiliate products for so many categories. Some WordPress hosting company like WPEngine uses ShareASale to manage their affiliates.
CJ Affiliate –
This is another top affiliate network with a large number of products and merchants neatly organized in categories. They are also easily searchable. Companies like GoDaddy (a web host provider), Expedia, and many others use CJ affiliates.
This is also a large online marketplace. At ClickBank, digital products from different vendors are sold in various categories. ClickBank is easy to use. It also has tons of learning resources for new affiliate marketers.
Amazon Associates –
Amazon is one of the world’s largest e-commerce stores. It has millions of products. You can sign up for the Amazon affiliate program and start earning.
Affiliate networks to join
As much as it is possible, join affiliate networks that have products or services you would like to promote. You can join multiple affiliate networks offering different products and services.
Ensure that you check very well the program policies of the affiliate network. Also, review the affiliate program policies of individual merchants and products before joining their affiliate network. This will give you a clear idea of how much commission you will earn per successful referral and other additional incentives.
Affiliate Marketing Tips to Increase Earnings
As an affiliate marketer, your primary objective is to drive leads and make more money. Having selected the merchants and products you would like to promote, let dive into tips on how to make money from affiliate marketing.
1: Choose good products and companies to promote
As an affiliate marketer, you cannot control the features of the products and services you are promoting. For this reason, you need to promote only products and services you are sure are genuine. Promote products and services from merchants that have a good reputation and offer good quality services.
This is the only way as an affiliate marketer to keep your reputation and the users of your blog and blog. You build trust in the mind of the users of your blog or website when you recommend quality and reliable products and services to them.
The best way to go about the business of recommendation and promotion is experience. Recommend as much as possible products and services that you have used. You can contact a merchant you want to promote their product that you have not used before to learn more about the product.
Most companies can offer a free account, copy, or product that you can use to review or test the quality and reliability of the product or service.
2: Offer highly useful and valuable content
As an affiliate marketer, you can add affiliate banners or links anywhere on your blog or website. However, you need to also learn how to write great copies and content relating to the product or service you are recommending. Adding links and banners alone may not be enough in convincing your users to buy those products or services.
Most time, users want convincing write-ups or proof before they can buy a product or service. As an affiliate marketer, you need to offer convincing, useful, and valuable information about the service or product you are recommending. You can do this by writing in-depth product or service reviews. You can also write product comparisons, giving the pros and cons of each product or service.
Affiliate Marketing Plugins and Tools for WordPress
As the traffic of your blog or website grows, it may become difficult for you to manage all your affiliate links, ads, and banners that are spread all over your website or blog. Hence the need for you to install some affiliate marketing plugins that you can use to manage all your affiliate links, banners, and ads.
ThirstyAffiliates is an affiliate link management plugin that helps you easily add affiliate links to a WordPress blog or website.
It also lets you change lengthy affiliate links into more user-friendly cloaked pretty links.
ThirstyAffiliates also has the option to automatically replace keywords with affiliate links. This can significantly help you to boost your affiliate revenue.
This is also one of the best WordPress ad management plugins. It is a must-have for an affiliate marketer. AdSanity allows you to create banner ads from your blog or website and manage them from a single dashboard.
With AdSanity, it is easy to insert ads into your blog or website pages, posts, and sidebar widgets. You can also use it to manage your third-party ads like Google AdSense.
However, most premium WordPress themes have inbuilt ad management features. So check for these features first before going for an ad management plugin.