Affiliate marketing has been a hot buzzword for some time, and that is because it is one of the most popular ways to generate passive income, or as others might put it, to make money while you sleep. It sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? That’s because it is!
In case you are wondering how to make money out of Affiliate Marketing and track all the sales you generate, read on.
But let’s start with the beginning.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
It works like this: you promote products or services, often through an affiliate network and earn money for each sale.
Let’s say you promote a product on your blog or Youtube channel through a promo code or link. Every time something sells based on your referral link or code, you get a commission.
If people buy thanks to your marketing, that means profit for the seller, and ultimately profit for you. It’s all about sharing the revenue. If you are good at promoting a product to others, you can earn a piece of the profit for each sale you make.
Why does it work? Here’s a straightforward explanation from Smart Passive Income:
“People want curation. When there is a choice, people need help organizing and understanding all of the options. They WANT someone with a voice and experience to filter the noise and find the best products for them, ultimately saving them time and getting them results, faster. That person, that curator, can be you, and everyone can win.”
And through affiliate marketing, you are the person doing the curation. You cut through the density of online offers and deals and identify the best products for your audience.
Who is Affiliate Marketing for?
There are two ways to be involved in affiliate marketing:
- as a product/ service owner
- as a marketer.
The point is that everyone can win from the sharing revenue formula.
Most affiliate marketing systems have 4 main elements:
- the Merchant: the brand, the seller, the vendor – call it what you may
- the Affiliate aka the publisher
- the Consumer: the person making this whole thing work. They have the $, doh! 🙂
- the Network, the match-making platform making it possible for the marketer and the merchant to be introduced.
As a marketer, you can be a blogger, an influencer, or just a regular stay-at-home mom that wants to grow and engage audiences, authentically. If you promote products that are actually helpful, you grow credibility for the brand and for yourself as a marketer.
If you are just starting as an affiliate marketer, then try to promote products that you believe in and that have the ability to help people or make their lives easier one way or another.
You work with people’s trust, and that is one of the keys to your success in affiliate marketing. If you keep your customer’s best interest at heart and they fully trust you, then everyone wins.
How to get started in affiliate marketing
You would be surprised to find that affiliate marketing can provide full time income and offer you the financial independency you always wanted. But first, you have to learn to master affiliate platforms and build strong connections with advertisers.
Also, you have to start getting good with numbers and data analysis, because that will be the key to your success in the long run.
Useful skills for an affiliate marketer are: graphic design, creativity, strategic thinking and copywriting. But you can develop them gradually or work with someone if you are just starting out.
You start by creating an offer. If you don’t have your own product or service, you find plenty on affiliate networks, where you can make a match with people that have products or services but don’t have the time or skills to promote them.
After you have the offer, you can display it on your own website, or you can buy Traffic from traffic sources (Facebook, Google etc)
Another important thing to keep in mind is that affiliate marketing is a 24/7 job. That doesn’t mean that you have to be working in this time, but you must be tracking everything all the time. So, you need the right tracker to monitor all of your offers, links, creatives, devices and so on.
The ad tracker offers you essential information about your visitors, their demographics, operating system, device and much more. You need to have data available at all times, in order to make informed decisions, optimize your campaigns and avoid wasting away your ad money.
>>> Learn more about our all-in-one affiliate tracker, CPV Lab PRO.
Affiliate Marketing Techniques & How Do Marketers Get Paid
Most regular marketing methods that you are already using could deliver just as well (or even better) for affiliate marketing.
For example: search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, content marketing, Google or social media ads and reviews are all great mediums to place your deal. Affiliate marketing is essentially about sharing links, so you can use any medium you like.
As long as your message gets heard and your link gets clicked on by the right audience, that’s affiliate marketing going well.
As for the payment, there are more options, depending on the affiliate program and the seller – they can be very different. Usually, you can get:
- Pay per sale
This structure is pretty standard. The seller pays the affiliate a percentage of the sale price after the consumer buys something as a result of the affiliate marketing campaign.
- Pay per click
A PPC program focuses on redirecting consumers to a website, app or platform. The affiliate gets paid based on the traffic he generates for the merchant.
- Pay per lead
This system is a bit more complex and it applies for high end or very niched products and services. Here, the affiliate’s work is to convince the consumer to actually do something like filling in a form, signing up for a trial, subscribing to a newsletter or downloading a paper.
Pros & Cons for Affiliate Marketing
Just like everything else in the world, affiliate marketing has ups and downs. Here are some insights from our experience that can help you make smarter decisions.
- It’s easy and cheap to get started in affiliate marketing. Most affiliate programs are free. It’s also a low-risk occupation, as you don’t have anything to lose. If a customer doesn’t buy from you, you can always rethink your strategy, optimize your campaign and try again.
However, done right it can be a great source of passive income, which brings a lot of freedom with it. You can do affiliate marketing from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet-connected device.
- Another pro is that it is data-driven and easy to track, given the available software on the market. For instance, if you are just getting into affiliate marketing you can try the CPV Lab Starter for free. The tool allows you to set up tracking campaigns and closely watch your performance. Once you have your hands on the data, you can use it to improve and optimize your campaigns at any time.
- Affiliate marketing is great for those looking to make some extra money. Call it a sidekick or side hustle, this could be that little something that rounds up your income quite nicely.
- Affiliate marketing is not something you can start overnight. In order to generate high traffic, you have to work on building and engaging audiences, constantly improve the website or social media experience, and build trust. If you’re trying to get rich fast, this is not for you. Like any passive income strategy, it takes time and effort to create a decent cash flow.
- Another downside is that you have to be aware of your competition. Audiences grow tired after hearing too much about a product, so you have to be the first to recommend a product and profit from their very short attention span by giving them short, concise, persuasive information.
- The risk of working with unethical companies. Some may not pay you what they said they will, so make sure you research the company before and check for any red flags. Better to start with trusted Affiliate Networks
- Also, be aware of link hijacking. Some competitors may try to hijack your affiliate links and steal your commission.
Affiliate forums are one of the best ways affiliates can develop their professional knowledge of the industry. They provide a plethora of information including guides, walk-throughs, directories (often with a nice bonus too), and, most of all, a community of affiliates that can help answer your questions.
To sum up…
If you are interested in becoming an entrepreneur and becoming financially independent, affiliate marketing might be a good idea for you. If you’re not so sure about that, just give it a try!
Affiliates get good with experience and you will learn a lot more by doing then by simply reading about it. Everyone has to starts somewhere, and this might be the place for you to do that. What are you waiting for? 😊