A Beginner's Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Growing up, making money online or having a passive stream of income was a highly treasured idea.

So I went on a deep research for a solution to my quest, and that brought me to affiliate marketing.

With affiliate marketing, I stood a chance to create a passive stream of income I always wanted.

This guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of becoming a successful affiliate marketer.

but first,

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a promotional form of marketing by which publishers get paid a commission by an online retailer/ advertiser for promoting their products using an affiliate link.

That is, the advertiser pays commissions to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.

In the simplest term, Mr. A has a store/product and wants more sales, so Mr. A contracts Mr.B (using an affiliate program) to bring customers. Mr. B promotes/ advertises Mr. A’s product on his website, blog, YouTube video, or any social network where he has an audience using a unique link(affiliate link). And every time someone clicks on this link and makes a purchase or desired conversion, Mr. B gets a commission.

It is also important to note that some affiliate marketing programs can reward you for generated leads, free-trial users, traffic, or getting downloads for an app.

Important Terms In Affiliate Marketing

Before you get started with affiliate marketing, there are a few things you need to get familiar with.

  • Affiliate Program: This is an automated electronic program in which an online merchant can track affiliate websites, and view conversion set commissions that send them traffic or sales.

The publishers or affiliates, place the company’s advertisements on their individually owned websites or social media pages.

  • Advertiser: This is the online merchant that pays publishers to draw them traffic or sales.
  • Publisher: They are also called affiliates. This is the person promoting the online merchant.
  • Affiliate Link:  This is a specific URL that contains the affiliate’s ID or username and it is used to track the traffic or sales generated.

How To Become An Affiliate Marketer

Every successful business needs a plan or a strategy and affiliate marketing is no different. Here are some key areas that must be checked to be a successful affiliate marketer.

Choose A Niche:

Simply speaking, a niche is an area of focus of a general market. So from everything online, that is available to promote, what do you want to focus on?

Sometimes creating content can be very stressful, but choosing a niche helps narrow down your energy on the types of content to create therefore making you come across as authentic and as a trusted source of information for potential customers.

It is important that you choose a niche that you’re passionate about because creating content can be stressful and not seeing immediate financial results can make you quit if you don’t have a passion for it.

For instance, you start a blog or YouTube channel that talks about cars and DIY car tricks, you create some content, and begin to draw some traffic, nice move

But some people won’t click on your link just because you said the solution is there, they most times want to trust that you have a good knowledge of what you talking about, so they check your profile or other of your content to see your consistency and if they trust you enough they don’t just buy once but they always search for your content every time they something on cars.

This might not be the same for every niche but choosing a niche does help with consistency and builds trust in your audience.

Find Your Products

In affiliate marketing, you don’t get paid for just posting content but for every sale or referral you generate, so choosing the products/ services to promote is an important step. Here are a few steps to finding products you can promote:

  • One of the easiest ways is to join an affiliate network and check the list of things available to promote.
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Some examples of affiliate networks:

  • Affiliate Future
  • AvantLink
  • CJ Affiliate
  • ClickBank
  • LinkConnector
  • ShareASale

You can Find a company that does what is in your niche see if they have an affiliate program.

Research the things people search for in a certain niche. Knowing what people already look for is an easy way to make a sale because there’s demand already.

You can uses google trends or semrush tool to accomplish this.

Choose A Platform

Now that you know your niche and the products to promote, another important thing to put in place is the platform where you build your audience.

While some may prefer Instagram, others may prefer a blog or TikTok, or YouTube.

Whichever your choice is, what matters most is your ability to organically build an audience. For instance, if someone creates a website that compares different brands of a product, with consistency and accuracy, his audience begins to trust his judgment then if he adds an affiliate link to any product, people find it easier to click on the link and buy, then he gets his commission.

You might also be an online educator, you can also promote products relating to the needs of your students on your educational platform. So no matter the platform you choose, consistency, authenticity, audience building, and your ability to connect with your audience give you a high chance of converting them into affiliate sales.

Choosing Your Affiliate Program.

Almost every International company has an affiliate program, and some local companies also do, that means there are lots of affiliate programs to choose from, but you don’t want to choose wrongly.

To choose an affiliate program that suits you, you’ll have to look at your choices in the previous steps; that is, your niche, products, and platforms. Don’t just focus on high-paying affiliate programs but find the affiliate offers that have the following criteria:

  • Does the program offer products that will be valuable to your audience? Does the offer relate to your niche?
  • Does the affiliate program have a reputation? If the company doesn’t have a reputation to build or protect, then they are not who you should be promoting.
  • What is the commission rate? You don’t want to work for a commission that doesn’t suit you, so be certain about the percentage you want before selecting a program.

How To Become A Successful Affiliate Marketer

Starting, affiliate marketing might be a side hustle, but it has the potential to become a source of full-time passive income. So, just as every business needs a plan to be successful, affiliate marketing needs some strategic planning and focused hard work.

Create Good Content:

These days people spend a lot of time on the internet consuming various contents. So to stand out amongst the crowd, you have to consistently create good content.

This way people begin to trust you and we can’t overemphasize the importance of trust in affiliate marketing. Whichever platform you are using to build your audience, always remember that high-quality and engaging contents draw traffic which in return brings the dividend.

Use Relevant Search Terms and Hashtags.

If you’re promoting an offer through a blog post, research keywords that solve specific problems related to your niche. You can use “Google Ads Keyword Planner” to search for keywords.

If you’re promoting through social media, using relevant hashtags makes it easier for your audience to see your content. Most times people use trending hashtags because it already has traffic.

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Build An Audience

As you begin to get visitors to your site or social media page, you want to keep them so they can always know when you release new content. To do this, you’ll need an email list.

An email list is a list of contacts you’ve gathered who would like to receive information from you. Creating email lists helps you to directly reach your audience.

You can send newsletters, updates on new content, and exciting offers directly to anyone who signs up to be a part of your email list For social media platforms like YouTube, you can have your audience subscribe to your channels so they always get notifications when you release new content.

Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing

With the steady growth recorded in this industry, there is something pulling everyone in. According to Google Trends, there has been an increase in interest in affiliate marketing of 142% from 2016 to the present (though interest peaked in the summer of 2021, with an increase of 426%).

Low ri]sk

Since there’s no registration fee or payment for rentals, you can go all in without the fear of losing. All you need to invest is your time and energy in creating content and doing research, after which you enjoy the results on autopilot if you set it up correctly.

You don’t need to own the products

As an affiliate marketer, you promote other people’s products, so you don’t need to own them to promote them. You simply join their affiliate program, grab your link, and post it on your page or website.

Passive income

After doing all the heavy lifting and setting up a strategy to keep the traffic coming, you begin to earn passively. More like waking up to profits. All you have to do is follow up to make sure your content is not outdated and you sign up with a good affiliate program that stays valuable to your audience. With affiliate marketing, the amount you make varies depending on the amount of traffic you draw and the rate at which your audience relates to the products you promote.

Challenges In Affiliate Marketing

Just like the saying goes, “No pain; no gain”, affiliate marketing also has some painful moments but they are very few.

It is commission-based

With affiliate marketing, you don’t get paid for trying, your earnings are strictly on the agreed commissions for sales made, signups, clicks, or downloads.

A temporary browser cookie to track people’s actions from your content. When the desired action is taken by someone, you receive the payout.

It requires patience

In affiliate marketing, your patience will be tested over and again, mostly at the beginning level, that’s why it is important to focus on a niche you are very interested in because building an audience takes time.

So until you build your audience and influence, you make little or no commissions. It’s important to note that at the beginning of your affiliate marketing journey, you’ll have to try different affiliate programs to see which products best suit your audience.

This is a normal process except you have a mentor in the same niche as you which is very rare.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is an online business that can become a passive stream of income but it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires patience, consistency, and lots of research in creating content, building an audience, and finding the right affiliate programs and products that are valuable to your audience.

Remember that your audience has to trust you to an extent to be able to purchase things using your link.

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