Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest, easiest and affordable ways to start earning an income online. However there is much more to affiliate marketing than signing up and posting your affiliate link. Just like any other work-at-home venture, starting and running an affiliate marketing business requires research and planning.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing involves promoting other companies’ product and services and receiving a commission when one of your referrals buys. One of the first online affiliate programs was Amazon’s Associates program. Amazon understood that people talk about books they like. It also understood that paying someone a small percentage of the sale after a sale is made lowered upfront marketing costs and reduced the overall marketing budget. Other businesses saw the genius of this strategy and decided to use it too.
What are the Pros and Cons of Being an Affiliate Marketer?
For the beginning home-based income wannabe, affiliate marketing offers many perks including:
- Zero start up costs. While the methods you use to promote your affiliate products may (or may not) cost money, signing up to promote other companies’ products and services is nearly always free.
- You don’t have to create, inventory, or deliver any product or service. You sell it and get paid, while the company does the work of producing the product/service and getting it to your referral.
- Quick start up. Many affiliate programs will approve you right away, which means you can be promoting products and services within minutes.
- It can be a passive income source. Depending on how you promote your affiliate products, it’s possible to create your offer and it can continue to sell for you 24/7.
Like many work-at-home options, there can be some cons to affiliate marketing as well, such as:
- Depending on the size of your network and level of influence, it can take time to build affiliate marketing income.
- You need to understand marketing and find ways to find the people who will want and be able to buy your affiliate products.
- Some affiliate programs require that you meet specific requirements, such as blog traffic size, before they accept you.
- Many affiliate programs only pay after you meet an earnings threshold. For example, it might not pay until you’ve earned $25.
- You have to know how to copy and paste code to use affiliate marketing on your website, blog, or funnel.
- Some affiliate programs have strict rules on how you can promote them. For example, some don’t allow you to use certain keywords in pay-per-click advertising.
How are Affiliate Marketers Paid?
There are a variety of ways affiliate programs pay their affiliates.
- Pay-per-sale: You earn an affiliate commission when someone you refer buys the product or service you recommended. This may be a percentage of the sale or a flat fee.
- Pay-per-referral (or lead): You earn a commission when your referral submits their info the company. Many rebate programs, such as Ebates, use this type of program.
- Pay-per-click: This isn’t seen as much in affiliate market anymore, although contextual add programs such as Google AdSense and Media.net use this method. In pay-per-click, you earn a small amount of money each time some one clicks on your affiliate link.
- Pay-per-impression: I don’t see this anymore in affiliate marketing, although some advertisers still pay this way. In this method, you earn income each time your link is viewed. You usually earn income based on each 1000 impressions, such as $5 per 1000.
The larger affiliate programs (i.e. Amazon) usually pay through direct deposit or check. Most other affiliate programs pay through PayPal.
When you get paid will depend on the program. Most pay monthly if you meet the threshold. If you don’t meet the threshold, it will continue to calculate your earning and pay you the month following the month you meet the threshold. For example, if you need to earn $100 to get paid and you earn $25 in month one and $75 in month two, you’ll be paid your $100 in month three. Not all programs have a 30 day pay period, but many, if not most, do to cover the cost of any cancellations or returns.
How to Get Started in Affiliate Marketing
- Choose quality affiliate products or service to promote. You’ll be judged by the products you offer, so make sure you only offer products and services you feel good about and would buy yourself.
- Become an expert on the topic your affiliate products relate to. For people to buy your recommendations, they need to believe and trust that you’re knowledgeable and credible. You can do this website or blog, social media or other forums.
- Create a marketing plan. Affiliate marketing is a business, and businesses need to be marketed in order to make money.
Places to Sign Up for Affiliate Programs
Here are some places to check out for affiliate products or services related to your topic or niche:
There are many affiliate programs.
- Company Websites: If you have a product or service you recommend, visit the company’s website and look for links that say “affiliate” or “partner with us.”
- Amazon Associates – You can promote products from the Amazon store.
- ClickBank – Lots of great digital products, but buy the item first to insure it’s good.
- Conversant (formally Commission Junction) – Many big-name companies use Conversant to manage their affiliate programs.
- eBay Partner Network – Promote products on eBay
- LinkShare – Lots of great affiliate products and services.
- Shareasale – Lots of great affiliate products and services.
How to Get People to Buy Affiliate Products
Although you don’t need a website or blog to make money through affiliate marketing, most people who make the big bucks have a web presence usually in a specific topic or area. For example, if you’re interest is in cooking, you can have a cooking blog on which you promote cooking utensils, recipe books and other stuff related to cooking.
Here are some ideas to promote your affiliate products:
- Email marketing
- Funnel with Email
- Social media
To get more details on building affiliate income, check out:
See all posts at Work-At-Home Success Related to Affiliate Marketing.