How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing: Your Monthly Guide
As the internet continues to grow and more people spend time online, marketers have found new ways to monetize sites. Affiliate marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways for website owners to make money from their site.
That’s not just good news for marketers; it’s great news for anyone looking to monetize their blog, website or social media following.
Affiliate marketing enables you to partner with brands and advertisers you trust, so they will recommend your products or services to your audience in exchange for a commission on any sales they drive. In this guide, we’ll explain exactly what affiliate marketing is and how you can get started today.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a form of performance marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's marketing efforts. The industry has four main types of players: merchant affiliates, merchant aggregators, direct merchants, and end consumers.
Merchant affiliates are people who promote a merchant's products on their own sites. Merchant aggregators review offers from multiple merchants and distribute them on multiple affiliate sites. Direct merchants work with individual affiliates to provide them with offers. Consumers sign up to be affiliates and are sent offers from merchants.
Affiliate marketing is a way to make money with a blog or website where you promote products and services offered by others. To earn money from the process, you have to refer traffic to the company and they have to take an action (purchase, sign up, etc.) Similar to blogging, you have to have a plan and know what you're doing.
Why Start an Affiliate Marketing Program?
As an online marketer, your role is to provide value to your audience. By promoting products that are useful and relevant to your readers, you show them that you care about their interests. In turn, they’ll be more engaged with your content, which makes it more likely that they’ll click on your affiliate links.
If you’re just starting out with your blog or business, you may be tempted to focus on building traffic. After all, if you don’t have any visitors to your site, you don’t have anyone to make an affiliate sale. But there are other, less obvious ways to make money from your site, even before you have a significant audience.
With affiliate marketing, you can make money from day one. You don’t have to build up a huge audience before you’re making money. You can get results quickly by partnering with companies that offer affiliate programs.
How to Create an Affiliate Marketing Program
Affiliate marketing can be a great way to supplement your income and build trust and subscribers with your audience. However, starting an affiliate program can be a bit overwhelming. Where do you start? What should you look for in a company? How do you make sure that your brand is represented authentically?
These are all great questions. When it comes to affiliate marketing, it’s important to choose the right partners. If you sign up for every affiliate program under the sun, you’ll dilute your message and confuse your readers.
There are two main things to consider when creating an affiliate program:
- What are you trying to achieve with your affiliate program? - This can be as simple as want to make extra money from your blog or as complex as growing your email list by incentivizing people to join and then sending them helpful content.
- How will you represent your brand? - You want to make sure that you’re signing up affiliates who are a good fit for your site, and that they’ll represent your brand authentically.
The 4 Step Checklist for Launching an Affiliate Program
Affiliate marketing can be a great source of income, but before you jump into bed with the first company you find online, there are some important things to consider. You’ll want to make sure that you’re signing up with trustworthy companies, with an affiliate program that works for your site and that fits your niche.
To make sure that you get off to a good start, we’ve put together a five-step checklist for launching your affiliate program.
- Select your niche: The first step, of course, is to decide which niche you want to focus on. Whether you want to focus on a specific vertical like pets, parenting or technology or branch out into more general topics like lifestyle, entertainment and sports, is up to you.
- Find affiliate programs that fit your niche: Once you know what niche you want to focus on, the next step is to find affiliate programs that will match well with your site. There are tons of affiliate directories out there that you can search, like ShareASale, Commission Junction, and Clickbank. You can also conduct a Google search for your niche and “affiliate program.”
- Find the best affiliate offer for your audience: Once you’ve found a few affiliate programs that might be a good fit for your site, the next step is to sign up for their affiliate program and review the available offers. This can be as simple as signing up for a program, clicking on the “offers” tab and searching for your niche or it can be more complicated and involve sending emails to potential affiliates and negotiating terms.
- Decide how you’ll track affiliate sales: The next step is to decide how you’ll track sales and payments. You’ll have to sign up for an account with an affiliate tracking software or service, like Clickbank, Commission Junction or ShareASale. These are the accounts that your affiliates will use to deposit payments.
Ways to Find Partners for your Affiliate Marketing Program
Once you’ve identified the companies that you want to partner with, the next step is to contact them and pitch your program. Depending on the company, the process can be quick and easy or it can take some time.
In most cases, the company will have an application process for you to complete. If you don’t see anything about affiliate marketing on their site, don’t be afraid to email the general contact email address and ask if they have an affiliate program.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize your site and build relationships with other brands. If you’re just starting out, it’s important to choose the right affiliate partners and create a program that works for you.
Affiliate marketing can be a great way to supplement your income, but it’s not for everyone. To be successful, you’ll need to be organized, patient and focused on providing value to your audience.