In my experience, people know the concept but not the term Affiliate Marketing. So let’s take a moment and define it. Before I do I just want to say that, for me, this is the best job ever. This perfectly fits my skill set and personality. Plus, affiliate marketing lets me work my own hours, gives me the freedom to travel, puts money into my bank account while I sleep and gives me personal time. Affiliate marketing continues to gain popularity with Digital Nomads.
Affiliate Marketing is marketing another company’s product on your website and receiving a commission for that sale. Businesses pay money for your marketing their product on your website. This is how it works. You sign up for an affiliate program and receive a special link with your number. When a visitor visits your website, they click on that product link, this takes them to the seller’s website with your affiliate number. When the customer buys, you get credit for that sale. That company pays you for making that referral sale.
This is a great option you should consider if you have a site that recommends a lot of products for people. For example, I have websites that help people understand a subject or compare products. This is a great place to use affiliate marketing. This works extremely well after you have built trust with your visitors.
You build trust by answering their questions, explaining how things work and answering their next questions. You also build trust with transparency. If you don’t know something, say so, then go ask someone who does know. People can relate to you more when you are genuine and sincere. They don’t know things and sometimes they are shy. When you do or say what you are feeling, that resonates with how they feel. This builds trust.
This is not a get-rich-quick business. People have sales-resistence. They will not buy, or even stay, on a website that is pushy. In my case, the more you push, the faster I leave. It will not open the flood gates to be instantly making more money every month. Amazon generally pays at 4% of the sale price on a product you referred. You’ll have to sell a lot of product through Amazon with your affiliate links to make this worthwhile. The more you become a trusted voice on the Internet, the more people will be willing to take your recommendation and click on your links.
Work from home. This is stated elsewhere but still true. This is a great job if you have young children. You get to spend time with them and compose a new post away from the keyboard. When you come back you have a new perspective. There are probably challenges that are new to you. Maybe these are new to someone else, too. If you researched the subject, did you find the answer?
Complete freedom. You can do this job any hour, with any device, from anywhere in the world. You can do as much as you like or as little as you can. You can learn more about anything you are interested in. You can set your hours, set your rules, decide how your website looks, choose what products you will review and demonstrate, and you get to decide if and when you will recommend a product to your visitors.
Not hire-able. Maybe you retired early without enough money like Col. Sanders. Maybe you are a creative and didn’t put anything in to retirement. Maybe you have a low paying job or maybe you can’t work full-time. Maybe you got a surprise bill that came with zeros behind it? Maybe you were injured or disabled or too old or too young or in an accident. Now is a good time. No one is going to say you cannot do this job except the voice inside your head.
No boss. Do I need to elaborate?
Start now. You can start at any time with what you have. Even if you don’t own a smartphone or laptop, you must know a friend who does. Ask them to record you doing something with the product. Make a beginning, add content, make it better, keep going, expand and learn from your experience.
Little to no learning curve. You probably already know the subject. You may already know the product you are recommending. You simply have to demonstrate what you know about it in a way that hasn’t been done before. (Do your research first to make sure you aren’t reinventing the wheel.) Get out your smartphone and start writing, or make an image or video and show what you know. Sometimes just an unwrapping video is all it takes. People want to know what that experience was like.
Expand your market. Maybe you already have a business. If so, would adding affiliate marketing improve your bottom line? There are ways to add affiliate products to your busines. You can also set up an affiliate marketing program for affiliates to sell for you. When you have a WordPress website, the software is available in a plugin. Once it is set up, you don’t have to do much besides fulfill the orders.
Create your own products. Affiliate marketing is probably the best way to start. After a while you will gain experience. You can offer your own products on your website. These can be eBooks, digital downloads, videos, or how-to PDF’s. It takes time to create these products and protect them. The reward can be very good because your only cost is your time. This means 100% pure profit when you make a sale.
Your own website. This may seem obvious, but Google lists all the web pages. If you are on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, etc. you are on someone else’s website. By owning your own website, you have more choices. You can compete with the big companies on a more-or-less equal footing. No matter how much money the big-box stores have, they cannot deliver to your neighbor faster than you can.
Little to no investment. You can start with what you have. Really. Any laptop or smartphone will work. You are writing very small files of text. You can take the photos and videos from your smartphone. Sometimes people even prefer the raw authenticness of these handheld productions. We see so much overly commercialized perfected productions that seeing the first-hand view is refreshing.
Creative business. People can invent endless ways to test products, use them in new ways and solve new problems. When you are doing something you love, people will see and resonate with that. This is why entertaining videos work well for this business. Find something new to say or in a new and crazy way. If you are genuine, real, funny, watchable, sincere, honest and even odd, it can work for you. Many YouTube channels work on this principle.
Green business. Affiliate marketing itself is a green business. You are recommending products based on your personal experience. All you need is a laptop or a smartphone and a WiFi connection. This business is clean, renewable, doesn’t pollute, not tested on animals. OK, you get the idea.
Continued growth. There are many ways that you can expand your business organically. Add an email list. Send emails when you really have something to say. Keep them short and offer ways for people to interact with you. Polls are another way to create a dialogue with your visitors. They will tell you what they were looking for if they didn’t find it. This gives you new products to research and recommend.
Control over your business. If a seller or manufacturer changes their product, you can change your recommendations. when this happens, be transparent with your readers. Say: I used to recommend this product, but now I find this one is better for this reason. (Be careful you don’t defame anyone.)
Also, it’s a good idea to contact your supplier to get more information and to say why you don’t feel you can recommend them any more. They may not always agree, but everyone who wants to succeed will want to hear your valid feedback.
Pulling rather than pushing. Most ads are annoying things that get in the way of what you want to see. We have all had that experience of pop-ups or intrusive, inappropriate sales ads. Affiliate marketing is based on attracting visitors, not pushing advertising to them. Search Engines have changed that landscape, hopefully forever.
Instead of visiting a webpage and getting hammered with ads, people go to Google and ask a question. Now they are looking for specific information. The web page that answers those questions best, ranks near the top of the SERPS (Search engine results pages). Now they WANT to read what you have to say. Of course, sometimes related Posts are interesting.
Big returns. The more you establish your voice online and gain the trust of your audience, the more likely they will click on your links. They eventually will reward you for providing a great resource. The more trust you have, the more people will share your content, which means more people and more business. Essentially your happy customers are doing your marketing for you, by referring you to their friends, for free. Affiliate marketing has an amazing potential for very large incomes.
Passive income. It takes time to set up and make sure you have the links right, but after that, it becomes passive income. It works while you sleep, everywhere in the world, all the time and puts the money into your bank account for you. When you have done your job right, your job is done. You’re a passive income earner. This means your income is location independent and you can travel, spend time with your family and do the things you want.
Many opportunities. Many big companies offer rewarding affiliate programs. This can be great news for you. There is probably an affiliate program for any product you want to recommend, no matter what that is. This gives you control over your business and your products. which is the best way to approach this business. Answer the question for the visitor first. If you don’t have a product to offer right away, say so. And say what you did find. Your visitors will appreciate your candor and honesty. Many will remember your service. This is also a great opportunity to ask for their email and send them a message when you do find a product!
Supplement your income. Maybe you really like your current job, but it just doesn’t pay enough. This is a great way to keep your day job and use affiliate marketing as a supplimental income. You can work on this an hour or two per day while you work your day job. Affiliate income takes a while to produce an income. When you blend the two jobs, you have less stress about what product to recommend and how many visitors you have. Besides, “work” is good for humans because it keeps your mind sharp and senses alert.
Make the world a better place. You have the benefit of your own experience. this is a good way to get paid for providing this advice. Not to mention, sharing such experience with the world only adds to the trust you need. When you recommend a product, it’s not going to be because you want to have one more link on your site, but because you know from experience that the product you’re recommending is going make a difference for the person who buys it.
When you do Affiliate Marketing for the right reasons, you’ll find greater success in the long run through the life of your site.