If you are new to online marketing or blogging you may have already heard of affiliate marketing. But what is affiliate marketing and how can you use it to monetize your website?
What is affiliate marketing?
In affiliate marketing, you earn money by promoting and selling products from merchants. Usually, you get a link from the merchant referring to the sales page or checkout page of a product. If a user clicks on your link and purchases the product you’ll receive a commission.
That means the more people are purchasing a product over your link the more money you can make. There are many different affiliate programs with different commissions and products.
Why is it so effective?
Let’s say you are searching for a new book to read and you ask your friend for a recommendation. Your friend recommends you a book and says that it was very exciting and well written. What’s the possibility that you’ll buy this book?
I’m sure the answer is: really high. That’s one of the reasons why affiliate marketing is so effective. Because when you already build a connection to your audience and gained trust it will be very likely that they will buy your recommendation.
And for the process of building a relationship/acquiring new customers, your merchant is giving you a commission. Because they don’t need to do anything for marketing they are willing to give a part of their profit.
The second reason why affiliate marketing is so effective is that you can start right away. As you don’t need to create a product you can start selling right away. If you don’t have a website yet (create one in 30 seconds) you can post a picture of yourself with the product on Facebook.
Add the affiliate link and you have your first affiliate business. Very easy and fast, right?
Of course, on this way, you can’t get rich but you can start earning some money. However, there are other ways to sell your affiliate product.
How can you sell an affiliate product?
There are different ways to sell your affiliate product. I’ll show you the in my eyes the two most effective ones.
Write blog review
An effective way to promote an affiliate product is to write a review about it in your blog. You should write an honest article about that product. Say why that product excited you and to whom you would recommend it.
When people read your review and they liked it the possibility of a sale is high. Important is that the product fits into the interest of your audience. If you have a blog about losing weight and you write a review about a book that helps people earning money online you’ll not make a lot of sales.
If you can solve a problem if your audience with your product the conversion can be very good.
If you have an email list you can promote affiliate products to your subscribers. Here is again the rule that the products should fit the interests of your audience.
You can either write the review within the email text or you can refer them to your blog article. Both ways are good and effective.
Of course, you shouldn’t spam your email list. Try to alternate content emails and promotional emails.
With these two methods, I’m sure you’ll sell your first product soon. But where can you find affiliate products for your audience?
Where can you find affiliate programs?
Almost every bigger merchant/online shop has an affiliate program. Just search Google for a product and add “+ affiliate program”.
It is incredible how much affiliate programs out there: Amazon, Apple, Nike, Adidas, NBA and much much more. Just search around a little bit and you’ll find an affiliate program soon.
There are also affiliate networks. They have many affiliate products in one program. That makes it easier to keep track of your referrals and sales. Here are some examples:
And as I said there are many affiliate programs for online shops.
How much commission can you get?
The commission depends on the affiliate program and type of product. Digital products have usually a higher commission than physical products because they don’t have production costs. Also, the storage and the shipping costs fall upon.
If you look around a little bit you can see that Amazon is giving you very small commissions (between 1% and 10%). However, I still recommend you to join the Amazon affiliate program. Why?
At first, Amazon has almost every type of product. I believe they have products in every niche you can be. That means you’ll always find products for your audience in Amazon.
Secondly, Amazon is one of the most trusted online shops worldwide. I believe that everyone trusts Amazon. That means the conversion will be much higher than with an unknown online shop.
Lastly, Amazon is giving you the commission for the whole shopping cart and not only your product. Let’s say you recommended a book to your visitor. He’s now visiting Amazon and purchasing a new TV (why not) and not your book.
But you get the commission! And for an expensive TV, the commission can be really high. That means a single sale can get you hundreds of dollars of commission. Of course, it is not very likely that they’ll buy an expensive TV but they could also take a second book and your commission is doubled.
That is why I think you should use the Amazon affiliate program.
I hope you can see now why so many people do affiliate marketing and why it is so effective. You can start selling products within minutes.
However, sometimes it is not that easy as it sounds. The principle of affiliate marketing is very simple but to really make good money you need to invest a lot more time and effort.
You need to learn how to build an online business, how to market to people, how to get traffic and so on…
If you need help with that I have written a free ebook where you’ll learn all the basics to build a successful online business (sign in here).
Now I want to hear something from you. What has been your biggest problem with affiliate marketing? What experiences have you made?