Do you want to make a little extra money on the side? Or maybe you’re looking for a way to replace your current income altogether. Affiliate marketing might be just what you’re looking for! It’s a great way to earn a passive income without breaking a sweat, and you can do it from the comfort of your home. In this blog post, we’ll give you a complete overview of what affiliate marketing is, how it works, and share some helpful tips for getting started.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing in which an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products. Affiliate marketing started in the late 1990s and quickly grew into a multi-billion dollar industry. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, global affiliate marketing spending is expected to reach $13B in 2022.
The two most popular ways to earn money from affiliate marketing are blogging and social media marketing. For example, imagine you have a blog about fashion. In that case, you can sign up for affiliate programs with fashion retailers and earn a commission on every purchase your readers make through your referral links. Or, if you have a social media account documenting your favorite recipes, you can share a discount code for cooking utensils or a chosen brand’s produce. That way, you can earn a percentage of the profits, your followers can get a discount, and the brand will increase its sales.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
As mentioned before, the affiliate marketer can promote products to potential customers using various marketing techniques, such as email marketing, social media, search engine optimization, and paid search. Affiliate marketing works by having affiliates promote a product or service on their channels. When a potential customer clicks on one of these affiliate links and makes a purchase, the affiliate earns a commission from the merchant. The commission amount depends on the affiliate marketing program and the terms of the agreement between the affiliate and the merchant.
Let’s break it down even further by checking out what the different roles do in affiliate marketing.
There are four key players in affiliate marketing:
- The Merchant: also known as the retailer, brand, or vendor. This is the company that creates the product or service promoted. It can be anything from a big company like Nike that sells sporting goods to small personal brands that want to sell their online courses or products – there are no limits on who can act as the merchant.
- The Network: affiliate networks are third-party intermediaries that connect merchants and affiliates. They allow merchants to run their affiliate programs while also providing affiliates with the tools they need to promote the merchant’s products or services. The network acts as the “middleman” so brands can find and contract affiliates quickly to promote their products. You can do affiliate marketing without using an affiliate network, but as the scale gets more significant, they provide a clear view for both parties on their earnings and make sharing information more accessible. Some of the most popular networks include ShareASale, Rakuten, CJ Affiliate, ClickBank, FlexOffers, and many more.
- The Affiliate Marketer: also known as the publisher, is the person or company promoting the merchant’s products or services in exchange for a commission. The potential earnings of an affiliate marketing company can range from a few hundred dollars each month to tens of millions of dollars each year. An affiliate marketer’s job is to promote one or more affiliate items to attract and convert interested consumers into buyers. They can try to reach the consumer on whatever channel they see fit, most frequently through social media and blog posts or reviews of products and services.
- The Consumer: also known as the customer, is the person who ultimately buys the merchant’s products or services and makes the affiliate marketing wheel go around. Consumers must be aware that they are participating in an affiliate marketing network. A simple statement such as “I may get a small commission on purchases made through links in this post” is usually used to let people know they are clicking on affiliate links. Surely you too have gotten lost in one of those Buzzfeed blog posts that lists 50 things that make your life easier? By clicking on a product link and making a purchase, Buzzfeed gets a commission on the profits.
How to find the best affiliate programs?
There are many different types of affiliate programs out there, so finding one that fits your needs should be easy. And since most affiliate programs are free to join, you don’t have to worry about upfront costs.
When looking for affiliate programs, consider the following:
- The affiliate program’s commission structure
- The affiliate program’s popularity
- The affiliate program’s reputation
- The affiliate program’s tracking and payment system
- The affiliate program’s support network
- The type of product or service offered
It’s essential that before working with any brands, you have a clear overview of your potential earnings and what actions reflect as dollars on your bank account. It’s also good to know whether the merchant is willing to provide you with any extra discounts, information or marketing materials that can help make your job promoting the product or service easier.
The four best ways to find an affiliate program are:
- Google search – It won’t probably come as a surprise that using Google is at the top of this list. Affiliate opportunities are easy to find by simply searching for “affiliate marketing program” + “your niche” or searching for “affiliate marketing program” + “a specific product you want to find.” Google will come up with thousands of pages with affiliate programs you could consider signing up for.
- Looking up similar products – If you’ve already successfully promoted a product you love, you can look up similar products and check if they have an affiliate program. You can create a comparison blog post, double your earnings, and ultimately discover new great products or services.
- Look up affiliate directories – Affiliate directories are listings of affiliate programs. These are the places where managers of affiliate programs come to get visibility for their programs, and affiliates can find the best affiliate programs in their niche. Simply use any search engine to find an “affiliate directory” and start picking out your next program!
- Check if the products you use have an affiliate program – Last but not least, check if the products you are using today offer any affiliate marketing opportunities. What could be better than promoting something you already love and getting paid for it.
Head over to mediamodifier.com to read how to find the best affiliate programs and how much money you can make with affiliate marketing.
This blog post was written for Mediamodifier by Saskia. If you need help creating SEO-friendly texts for your blog, get in touch, and let’s write!