If you have ever searched any term related to “make money online” on Google or any other search engine, you must have seen bloggers and internet marketing gurus showing their five, six or even seven figure income proof. And you must have had thought: how the hell these people make so much money online. The answer is affiliate marketing, a major portion of a blogger’s income come from this method only.
Today, I am going to discuss affiliate marketing in detail, how it all works.
Affiliate marketing is an online medium of marketing wherein you promote other people’s products and services. When someone buys a product on your recommendation or through your marketing efforts, you get a certain percentage of the sale price of the product (which is usually called commission). The commission value depends on the price of the product you are promoting; it could be anywhere between $1 to a few thousand dollars.
Affiliate marketing basically works on the revenue sharing model. Suppose, if you offer a great product and want to increase total number of sales, you can offer online marketers a financial incentive whenever they generate a sale.
So, affiliate marketing gives an opportunity to everyone to earn some money online even if they don’t have their own product to sell. It’s a win-win situation for both seller as well as the marketer.
Affiliate Marketing Frequently Asked Questions
How companies track online sales generated by different affiliate marketers?
This is probably the most common question comes into the mind of someone not familiar with the whole process.
It is extremely simple; every marketer is given a unique URL, and in order to earn commissions, he must promote this particular URL only. That way the product owner can track the number of product sales generated by an affiliate marketer.
These special links generally have 30, 60 or 90 days cookie expiration period. It means once a visitor clicks on your affiliate link, you will remain eligible for sale’s commission even if the visitor doesn’t buy immediately or but make a purchase anytime later within the cookie expiration period.
How to find affiliate links for the products you want to promote?
First, you must understand that every company doesn’t offer an affiliate program, but those who do offer generally have a dedicated affiliate page on their official website. Here you can apply for their affiliate program—and after approval—can easily get your affiliate link. Companies either use their own affiliate marketing system or they use an affiliate network.
The other way is to search Google with search term “company name + affiliate program”. For example, if you want to search for Amazon, you will Google search “Amazon affiliate program”.
Does it cost anything to join an affiliate program?
Absolutely no! It’s completely free of charge to join almost all the affiliate programs available online. However, to sell a product, you may have to spend on some form of marketing such as Pay Per Click (PPC), Social Media Marketing or email marketing.
How much money can you make with affiliate marketing?
It totally depends on how much efforts you put and how much you invest in marketing. Internet marketing gurus and entrepreneurs make anywhere between $10,000 to millions of dollars.
Do you need a website or blog for affiliate products promotion?
A website or blog is not mandatory, but it is certainly an advantage to have one. Of course, you can directly drive traffic to your affiliate links through PPC, Social Media or Solo ads—but the conversion rate remains very low with above mentioned techniques because people generally don’t make a purchase in their very first visit.
Here are a few most common terms people associate with Affiliate Marketing.
- Advertiser: Also known as merchant, the owner of the product who wants others to promote it.
- Publisher: Also called as affiliate, the person who promotes the products of an advertiser and gets paid.
- Affiliate Network: This is the place where publishers can find advertisers, contact them, or apply to promote their products and services. Some of the most popular affiliate networks or marketplaces are CJ Affiliate (formerly known as Commission Junction), ClickBank, Maxbounty, ShareaSale and CPALead.
- Affiliate Link: Your special link provided by the advertiser to track leads and sales coming through your promotion.
- Payment Transfer Mode: This is how an affiliate network or individual affiliate program transfers your earned commission to you. The most popular one’s are Direct transfer, Cheque, PayPal, Payoneer etc.
- Recurring Commission: Here a publisher gets commission not only for the initial sale but every month until the referred customer keeps renewing his membership.
- Affiliate Manager: Some affiliate networks provide a dedicate affiliate manager to make things easy for the publishers.
- Niche Sites: These are the small websites specifically created to promote affiliate products. Generally, such websites have content written around a small topic or niche.
- Link Cloaking: Most affiliate links are way too long and doesn’t look good. The process of converting these long and ugly URLs into short and readable URLs is called link cloaking. This is done either with the use of link shortners (bitly, goo.gl, tinyurl etc.) or third-party link cloaking softwares.
- Landing Page: The actual product sales page where the merchant tries to convert a visitor into a customer.
- Opt-in Pages: These pages are designed to create an email list by capturing the personal information of the visitor. Such pages contain a little information about the product and a sigh-up form.
I hope—after reading this tutorial—now you have a good understanding of what affiliate marketing is and how affiliate marketing works. If you still have some questions or doubts, leave them in the comment section. I will try to answer as many as possible with whatever knowledge I have.
If you like it please share this affiliate marketing guide with your friends, family and colleagues.