Affiliate marketing can become a reliable source of income. It’s an enormous industry that grows every year and is valued at $6.8 billion in the US alone as of 2020. It’s popular amongst sellers and publishers alike, more than 81% of brands have affiliate programs and about 94% of publishers use affiliate marketing networks.
In this open space, there are endless opportunities to make money with affiliate marketing. Here is an ultimate guide for everyone, no matter you’re a beginner or lost somewhere in between, it will help you.
4 Steps to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing:
Step 1: Build an Audience
The success of your affiliate marketing campaign is driven by the content you produce. High-quality content leads to revenue. And the only way you can produce good content is if it’s within an area that interests you. Finding your passion is the first aspect of building an audience.
First, identify the area or field that you are competent in and that you can produce content for that will ultimately add value to the people who see it. This is the niche that you will focus your affiliate marketing campaign around. The more specific your niche better, whether it’s within the world of woodworking or home décor.
Secondly, you need to put in the research. Once you have an idea of your niche, you need to figure out what people want in that area. Research product demand, this will give you a good idea of the products to promote in your affiliate program. Use every opportunity you can to learn more about your niche and stay updated with the news.
So now that you’ve got the knowledge in the area you want to focus on, how specifically can you go about building an audience?
1. Create a Website
A great way to find and build an audience online is through your website. The purpose of your website is really up to you but here are some ideas to consider.
SaaS (Software as a Service) has limitless potential. And people are always on the lookout for services on the internet instead of installing heavy software on their computers. Your website can offer SaaS tools from educational tools to SEO tools to healthcare tools.
Regardless, a SaaS site provides something useful for your audience that they’re likely to recommend to others. Once you’ve built an audience on the site, you can directly promote your affiliate products through links and banners or through emails to your visitors.
Building a coupon site can also help you engage with a larger audience. People are always willing to spend less, in fact in the use 88% of shoppers use coupons in some way, so there’s huge demand. Moreover, through coupon sites, each time a visitor clicks through and makes a purchase you earn a commission. With enough attractive offers on your site, you can quickly be making a decent income.
Online forums are incredibly popular, 15% of internet users read and engage with online forums making it a great platform to build your audience. If your niche is within technology, for example, a forum dedicated to technical discussions will help you create a community of users within your area of interest.
2. Start a Blog
A blog is a great medium to express your knowledge within your niche while also engaging with an audience interested in your content. No doubt, the majority of marketers believe blogging is the best medium to make money with affiliate marketing.
Having your own blog allows you to experiment with a variety of content styles from product reviews, comparisons, lists, tutorials, and even videos. Creating high-quality content for your blog will help you build an audience if your content is unique, useful, and entertaining.
Must Watch: How to Build a $1000+/Month Affiliate Marketing Website (Make Passive Income)
3. Social Media
Perhaps the easiest way to build an audience is through social media. After blogging, social media is one of the most popular ways to make money with affiliate marketing.
You can boost your social presence within your niche by being as active as you can in social communities within that area. Whether that is creating engaging Facebook posts, tweeting, or interacting with subreddits relevant to your niche. If you already have a strong social media following use that to your advantage by sharing content with your followers.
4. Email Newsletters
Email newsletters can be a more direct way to build your audience. After all, they land upright in their inbox. You can use newsletters to direct your audience to your website, blog and it’s also a great way to inform your audience of updates and promotions. Apart from placing affiliate links within emails that lead to a product page, email newsletters encourage your audience to return to your content.
However, it’s important to ensure your emails never become spam. The content you send to your audience must be relevant, sweet, short, and high-quality. Choose a fixed schedule to send your emails. If your audience is barraged with emails every day, they’re likely to unsubscribe. Ensure you have enabled double opt-in to reduce the risk of being marked as spam.
YouTube is a go-to platform for video content creators to make money with affiliate marketing.
A lot of people would rather watch a quick video than scroll through pages. YouTube, with 2.3 billion users globally and a daily watch time of over a billion hours, is the ideal platform to create video content and build an audience. It’s often a lot easier to share a link to your videos than have people read through pages of your content.
Whether you create content reviews, comparisons, tutorials, or demo videos, YouTube is the perfect place to reach an enormous audience. What’s more, you can place affiliate links in the descriptions of videos as well as in a pinned comment allowing you to earn revenue from here too.
6. Tik Tok
YouTube, however, no longer monopolizes the video platform. Tik Tok has about 80 million active users in the US and is becoming increasingly popular especially amongst the younger demographic. The shorter video format ensures you to create snappy videos but also allows you to produce a lot more content than if you restricted yourself to YouTube. Tik Tok also allows you to use affiliate links in your profile description so you can earn a portion of your revenue directly from the platform.
7. Telegram Channels
Telegram allows you to build your audience by communicating with them directly. Use this platform to create contact groups that would be interested in your niche. The platform then allows you to share affiliate links, news, updates, and promotions with your audience and for affiliate marketers. Telegram has proven to lead to more conversions than even Facebook groups; one of the promising platforms to make money with affiliate marketing.
Regardless of how you build your audience the key to being successful in this step is to produce content people will want to engage with. Whether it is an article, video, or email, your content must be unique, interesting and should add value to the topic it focuses on.
Step 2: Join Affiliate Programs
Once you’ve built your audience and you’re confident that you have a large enough network it’s time to join an affiliate program. There are hundreds of affiliate programs available out there. And in an industry this big it’s no surprise. However, it can be a challenge to identify the program that’s right for you but with a few points in mind, you can make the best decision possible.
Firstly, you must know your audience. Depending on the niche you have chosen you to have to consider every aspect of your audience. What are the products that would likely impress your target group? What age range do they fall into? Which part of the world does the majority of your audience come from? Answering questions like these will help you narrow down your search for an affiliate program.
For example, if your niche is within the field of food and your target audience is primarily resides in the US you can focus on the affiliate programs that promote food-related products exclusively to the US.
It’s important to know the details of the affiliate program you choose. The payout system is vital to understand. Do you get paid your commission per click or on each purchase? What is your commission percentage? Make sure you also know the cookie duration. It’s also a good idea to check out a few reviews of the affiliate programs you’re considering to compare their features such as commission rates, EPC, cookie duration, and their catalog of products.
Step 3: Promote Your Affiliate Products and Make Money
With everything set up, it’s time to start promoting your affiliate products to earn your revenue. It’s no easy task, however. It may be a passive income, but you still need to work for it.
There isn’t a set formula to it but working consistently, adding value to people’s lives, and staying positive right through will give you the best chances to earn the money you want.
So how do you promote affiliate products?
There is no definite answer and as the industry grows, the avenues you could choose also expand, however here are a few proven methods that will surely help you make money with affiliate marketing :
- Social Media
- Ad campaigns
- YouTube, Tik Tok and Other Streaming Platforms
- Email Marketing
We have discussed these methods and more in detail here: How to Promote Affiliate Products (Link).
Step 4: Test, Measure, and Track
Once you’ve got the ball rolling it’s crucial that you keep track of your progress. This will allow you to evaluate your performance and make changes to your campaign regularly.
Smart marketers love analytics and data is one of the crucial factors to make money with affiliate marketing. Some of the key metrics to follow include:
CTR (Click Through Rate): This measures how often your links or advertisements are clicked. It’s represented as a percentage of clicks to views and will give you a good idea of what works and what doesn’t on your site.
CR (Conversion Rate): This metric tells you how often clicks are converted to sales. Again, represented as a percentage but this time as sales to clicks.
ROI (Return on Investment): This tells you how effective your affiliate campaign has been by comparing how much you’ve spent against what you’ve earned.
These are some of the metrics that can help you follow the progress of your campaign and depending on the data you collect you can evaluate your performance. And based on these insights you can adjust your strategies and test new methods to optimize your campaign.
Set yourself clear goals and use the tools at your disposal to meet them, if you’re falling short, use the data to identify the weaknesses in your campaign and change your strategy accordingly. This should become a consistent and regular process for it to make any difference to your affiliate marketing strategy.
1. Become an Expert in Your Niche
Becoming a successful affiliate marketer involves trusting the products you promote. You must know every detail about your products and should be comfortable discussing any aspect of it. Obviously, this involves research, but it’s work worth putting in. Your audience can sniff out shallow praise or unresearched claims so it’s certainly vital to know everything you can about the products.
This also involves staying up to date with the news in your niche and understanding how demands and interests in that field change. This will in turn establish your credibility and reputation in that niche drawing a greater audience to you.
2. Focus on Relationships and Your Audience
Although your objective in this business is to make sales, your priority when creating your content is always your audience.
High-quality content goes a long way and if you’re committed to consistently producing quality work your audience is immediately engaged. Not only will they enjoy your content regardless of whether it’s a written review or a tutorial video, but they are also more likely to recommend it to others.
But there’s more to it. You must interact with your audience as well and create opportunities to do so. For example, enable comments on your blog posts and reply to as many comments as you can. Find social media groups within your niche and interact with the audience there as well.
The better your relationship with your audience, the more successful you’ll become as an affiliate marketer.
3. Look for Knowledge from Others
An advantage of an industry this large is that there are always opportunities to learn from others. There are affiliate marketers out there who have been in the game for years, interacting with them could drastically benefit your campaign. Get feedback on the content you create and ask experts in the field to give you their advice. Sometimes this could cost you, especially if you’re looking for professional mentors, however, it could be an investment worth making.
4. Focus on the Long term
Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme and a lot of failed affiliate marketers out there have made that assumption. A successful affiliate campaign can earn you a great passive income, but it takes a significant amount of time to set everything up. If you don’t see immediate success don’t get disheartened.
Success here is built on the trust, relationship, and reach you have with your audience. The more time you spend expanding and interacting with your network the better your results will be. Overnight successes are rare in the affiliate marketing business but given the time your campaign can still be very profitable.
5. Play by the rules
Being honest in your campaign is the easiest strategy to follow. Don’t oversell products, don’t make false claims, and be respectful of your audience. If you’re promoting products on social media or on blogs you do not own, make sure you abide by the rules of the platform.
Playing fair and being honest establishes your reputation and lets your audience know that you’re a reliable and honest source of information. This is especially important in an industry affected by fraud in the billions each year. In just 2020 affiliate marketing fraud was at $1.4 billion.
Now is the Right Time
You’ve probably heard of the many success stories of people who earn thousands a day through just affiliate marketing. It seems like an ambitious target but it’s certainly possible. To make money with affiliate marketing is not a fairytale dream. Through consistent efforts, time, research, and a strong commitment to your content and audience, you can indeed make money and a lot of it too.