Affiliate marketing is a very profitable source of passive income — as long as you know how to do it right. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you build your platform up to successfully become a high-income affiliate.
In short, affiliate marketing is when you promote a company’s products and gain a small commission if someone makes a purchase using your link. You could think of this as being a salesperson to a larger entity. When you make a sale, you get paid.
Why Affiliate Marketing?
What makes affiliate programs a much better way to make money is its scalability. As your platform grows and becomes more desirable for companies, you can take bigger and better deals from multiple affiliate programs at once. This results in passively generating even more income from commissions.
Once you join an affiliate program, the merchant will provide you unique affiliate links that track purchases coming from your platform. This link will usually look similar to this:
How to Be a Great Affiliate
When someone clicks on your affiliate links and makes a purchase through them, you’ll earn your commission. To become a great affiliate, you need to make sure that lots of people are using your links and convert them into customers. Let’s see the 5 tips we have to help you on your way up there.
1. Manage your expectations
Yes, you can make a lot of money by joining and actively participating in affiliate programs. However, you need to manage your expectations to ensure you’re fit for this market. This will put you in an optimistic mindset, ready to create opportunities, and work hard for what you can earn if you become an affiliate.
In the beginning, you’ll most likely cash in a dollar or two. However, if you consistently follow our tips, you might even break into the thousands of dollars earnt just by simply having people click your links.
Just to show you an example: Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income made over $100,000 in affiliate commissions in the month of December during 2017. Yes, you can too, so don’t give up.
2. Decide on a platform
After your mindset is in the right place, you need to direct your efforts into a single platform you’ll build up. There really aren't any restrictions here, as long as you’re on an advertiser friendly website or app, you should be good. Even something like Instagram or the recently popular TikTok app can bring you a large audience of potential customers.
However, the best platforms to stick to are without a doubt your own blog, website, or YouTube channel. These platforms allow the most creativity and almost no restrictions as to what niche you pick — more on this in the next section.
Starting your own blog is relatively easy and cheap nowadays. All you need is a domain and a website host, then you’re set. There are even some free yet reputable solutions like WordPress or Medium. Once your blog is live, all you have to do is upload good quality content consistently. We suggest looking into SEO and other website optimization methods.
If you choose social media as your platform, consistency is even more of a key factor. Social media posts gain attention by providing great, consistent content for their niche. Focus on this to get started before asking for partnerships and other kinds of promotion, if your choice of platform allows it.
3. Focus on your niche
Judging by the rapid growth of social media use and online marketing, it doesn’t matter what your niche is: you will be facing plenty of competition. Our tip for choosing your niche is to focus on a specific category within a specific category.
For example, if you’d like to start a blog about makeup, you can try centering your niche around lipsticks. This will help you build your niche without requiring you to dedicate every waking moment on finding news that most likely every blog has already covered.
Later on, especially if you accommodate more resources, you can always branch out and cover a broader category. However, you can never scale down to just one topic without risking losing traffic and interest.
We’ve seen this happen with many creators on YouTube. For example, a considerable portion of gaming YouTubers started out only covering one specific video game, then later started creating content regarding other games, branching out with the help of their core following.
4. Find a great affiliate program to join
To have a better chance of clicks converting to buyers, the affiliate programs you join should allow you to advertise products catering to your niche. For example, if you run a technology blog, you could become affiliates with Bluehost or ConvertKit.
To bring up a perfect example, we can look at popular YouTube channels and their descriptions. The products advertised usually link to what the channel is about — technology, gaming, beauty, and more. This means that the audience has a higher chance of clicking on the link and actually making a purchase, earning you a commission.
5. Get clicks on your affiliate links
The last, arguably most important step is to drive traffic to your content in order to increase the likelihood of someone using your affiliate links. There are a few different strategies to consider when approaching this.
- Paid traffic. Many websites and social media apps allow you to promote your content on the site. This is a great and safe way to get the word out there, however, it’s not always super effective due to the broad audience that might not be interested in your niche.
- Shoutouts. Team up with other creators and support each other! Having friends in the same industry as you are often beneficial for both parties — healthy competition also tends to push people to do better.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Optimizing your content for search engines will give you a better chance to appear in the top results of Google, Bing, and so on. This brings more clicks and more potential revenue from affiliates.
- Build an email list. Communicate with your readers through an email subscription list. Promote new articles, videos, and products quickly to a large audience. If you want to learn more, check out our How to Start Your Own Email List article!
If you need any further help, don’t be afraid to reach out to our customer service team, available 24/7 to assist you. Return to us for more informative articles all related to productivity and modern day technology!
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