Affiliate Marketing: The In’s and Out’s

Affiliate Marketing

Passive income. It’s a means of making money without selling anything yourself. You could be getting paid while you’re watching TV, while you’re in the shower, while you’re sleeping, or while you’re playing golf. Sounds like living the dream. Well, this is the premise of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing enables website owners to earn a commission from products that have been purchased via a link on their site. All you need to do is get your users to click that link. Sounds pretty simple, because it is. But don’t quit your day job just yet…

The site Swim University made its owner Matt Giovanisci $162,730 in 2020, just from affiliate marketing. However, the majority of affiliate marketing websites make less than $10k per year. Many sites won’t ever succeed. It takes a lot of time and effort to get a site to a point where it can make a decent amount of money, but once you reach that point, you’re golden.

Want to know more?

Let’s dive in.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy where a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s marketing efforts. In English?

It’s a way for a website to earn commission by driving traffic to another website, where a user purchases a product or service.

For example, you might have a blog about gardening, where you give tips and advice, and share how-to guides with visitors about the best way to grow their plants or keep garden pests at bay. It could make sense for you to include links to relevant products you recommend, such as an organic bug spray, or a fertiliser for flowers.

If one of your visitors were to click your link to the bug spray and subsequently buy it, you would get paid a commission for driving that user towards the sale.

Is Affiliate Marketing a Good Revenue Stream?

That depends on your expectations. Many websites with affiliate marketing deals earn only a handful of change in their first few months, and for some, this will never increase.

However, for those with the knowledge and willingness to scale their business, it can be a great way to make money. Consider affiliate marketing if you are looking for a low-risk or low-cost business to startup.

Low-Risk Money Maker

Want to start up a business but don’t want to risk your family home or life savings?

Affiliate marketing could be a good choice.

This is a business model that requires very little input in terms of startup cash, which means you can get it going without putting your livelihood in jeopardy. You won’t need to lease an office, hire staff, or buy products. What you will need to do is build a website. If it never takes off, you’ve only wasted a small amount of money, and time.

Affiliate Marketing: How It Works

After setting up your account with an affiliate marketing programme, you will get a unique link containing a tracking ID.

This is the link you will set up on your website, that visitors can click on to get to your affiliate’s products. The tracking ID in the link allows your affiliate to see whenever a visitor has arrived at their website via your website.

This is known as a referral.

Unfortunately, a referral is not enough.

That visitor now needs to purchase the product in order for you to earn a commission. Most affiliate marketing programmes will give a little elbowroom in terms of time, so that if a visitor doesn’t initially make a purchase, but returns the next day and does make a purchase, you will still get the commission. Cookies are used to make this work, which get stored on the visitor’s device so the affiliate knows the customer came from your website, even if not directly.

Affiliate Marketing Commission Rates:

The commission rates associated with affiliate marketing vary depending on which programme you sign up to.

Amazon is one of the most common affiliate programmes, and it offers the benefit of a commission on a visitors whole purchase, not just the product that was recommended on your site.

For example, a visitor clicks on the affiliate link on your gardening blog for bug spray, and lands at Amazon. Next, they add the bug spray to their basket and also pick up some weed killer while they are there. The customer completes check out, and you will get a percentage of commission for everything they purchased, not just the bug spray.

Using the Amazon Affiliate Programme, you can earn anywhere from 1% to 20% in commission, depending on the product category. Other affiliate marketing programmes include Shopify, and the eBay Partner Network.

Building a Successful Affiliate Marketing Website

You’ve decided to take the plunge and get involved in affiliate marketing. You’ve built a website, chosen your niche, and signed up for an affiliate programme. Now what?

SEO for Affiliate Marketing

To make money in affiliate marketing you need visitors, and lots of them.

Only a small percentage of visitors will convert to customers who click your affiliate link and make a purchase, so it’s a numbers game.

You need a solid stream of traffic, and that’s where SEO comes in.

Optimise your website for search engines so that you rank well on Google and your organic traffic will spike.

SEO practices you should employ include:

Content is Crucial

To attract and maintain your audience, your content needs to be consistently on point.

You need to find out what your audience wants, and give it to them. Write for the user, not for search engines, since it is the user that determines whether or not a sale is made and you get paid. Salesy content will send visitors running in the opposite directing.

You should focus on creating content that adds value to the users life.

Final Words

Affiliate marketing isn’t for everyone, but if you have a knack for attracting visitors to your site and you want your blog to bring in some additional cash, it can be a good source of revenue.

Research is essential before you jump in with both feet, so get to know your audience and ensure you have a deep understanding of what type of products they’re likely to be interested in buying.

Selecting the right affiliate scheme is also crucial because this is going to directly impact how much you get paid in terms of percentage.

Need help navigating the world of affiliate marketing? Get in touch.

Karli Edmondson-Matthews
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