Affiliate Marketing Explained

  • JekoWrites 
  • 8 min read

Have you been thinking about building an online business that gives you financial freedom and the good lifestyle? Freedom from the 9 to 5 grind. Freedom to work from wherever you want, and the freedom to spend time with the ones you love.Well, affiliate marketing is the thing for you.

How to Build a Successful Affiliate Marketing Business

When it comes to building a business that you own and not a business that OWNS you, turning you into a glorified employee that’s chained to your business, affiliate marketing fits the bill.

In this post, I’ll be covering affiliate marketing and how you can build your own affiliate marketing business that can generate six figures or even seven figures income.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a process that allows an affiliate of a business to earn a commission from every purchase that is made by their referral- people that made purchases based on their recommendation.

The merchant is the creator or seller of the product and affiliate is the person who refers people to do business with the merchant and earns a commission on the sale.

So the merchant pays the affiliate for every purchase made by their referrals. It is a revenue-sharing model in which the merchant gives the affiliate a certain percentage of the revenue from sales through their marketing effort.

It’s a win-win for all.

An affiliate marketer is a connector,  ( Th person between the buyer and the merchant) that links the prospective buyer to the merchant by providing useful insights that enable the buyer to make a smart buying decision.

For instance, if you were trying to set up your first website, you won’t likely know much about hosting services. So you get on your trusty assistant- Google. You begin searching for hosting services but you don’t know which one to choose. Then you find a post that’s comparing two hosting services you’ve read about earlier, you decide to read the post and, voila, you are able to decide finally.

Now the author of that blog post might plug a link to the hosting service’s website. And you might notice that the author writes that it’s an affiliate link, so they will earn a commission if you purchase through their link but it’s at no extra cost to you. Well, that’s affiliate marketing at work. 

And the affiliate marketer’s effort is well rewarded especially if you’re strategic about it, which you’ll also learn about later.

It’s important to note that affiliate marketing is not a pyramid scheme or a multi-level marketing program. You’re simply connecting a potential buyer to a seller and helping buyers make smart buying decisions by giving them useful information that’ll guide their purchase.

The key players involved in affiliate marketing are;

Merchant: This is the person or organization selling the product or service.

Affiliate (Publisher): This is an affiliate marketer. They get a commission based on sales generated through their marketing effort.

Affiliate Network: These include ClickBank, JVZoo, CJ Affiliates, Amazon Associate Program amongst others. They can manage affiliate recruitment, payment and product delivery for the merchant.

4 Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

Why is affiliate marketing such a great business model?

  1. It’s relatively easy to start: You don’t have to go through the hassle of getting product ideas, validating your ideas, creating products and product delivery. The merchant is doing all that heavy lifting already. You simply find a winning product and promote it to generate sales and commission.
  2. It’s scalable: You can scale your affiliate marketing business and earn more money over time. As you strategically ramp up your marketing effort, your business will also grow. Your commissions will begin to add up especially when you’re promoting high ticket offers or products with big commissions.
  3. It can be used as a springboard into other online ventures: Success with affiliate marketing will enable you to gain skills and deep knowledge of your niche based on which you can create your own product or service.
  4. It can be integrated with other online business models: Whether you own a blog, YouTube channel, podcast, or you’ve created an online course or coaching program, you can integrate affiliate marketing into existing business and make more money.
 

How to Start Affiliate Marketing

 

There are five steps you should take to build a successful affiliate marketing business.

You start by choosing a niche, then you identify quality products you can promote to solve the challenges of people in your niche. Next, you join an affiliate program so you can promote their products and earn commissions. Then you move on to creating content for the products you are promoting and finally, build your email list.

Let’s consider these steps in detail;

  1. Choose a Niche: Since affiliate marketing involves connecting people with a solution, pick a niche or target audience whose problem you’re interested in solving. Whatever niche you pick should have an abundance of products you can promote. And a market that’s large enough to make it profitable. Examples of niches include fitness and bodybuilding, weight loss, web hosting, and domain name, etc. Choosing a niche makes your marketing effort targeted.
  2. Identify Quality Products to Promote: When people choose to buy through your link, they’re trusting your recommendation is good and it will help them achieve their goals. You don’t want to breach their trust by promoting crappy products. So, you need to identify good products for your audience. Products can be e-books, software, masterminds, coaching programs, online courses, etc.
  3. Join an Affiliate Program: You need to sign up as an affiliate for the products you intend to promote, so you can get your affiliate link and a unique ID. It’s this link you’ll insert in the content you will be creating to promote your affiliate offer. The prospective buyer clicks on the link which takes them to the merchant’s website. The unique ID enables the merchant to track the source of referral and reward the affiliate marketer. You can join an affiliate program directly through the merchant or through an affiliate network. If you’re not certain if a product has an affiliate program attached to it, you can check the merchant’s website for information on the affiliate program or shoot them an email to ask if they have an affiliate program.
  4. Create Content About the Product You’re Promoting: You can create useful content on your blog, YouTube channel, email, etc. Then you publish your affiliate link in the content, giving your readers an opportunity to buy through your link. The content can be product reviews or comparison between similar products from different brands- XYZ Hosting vs ASD Hosting. Informative content that can give a buyer insight into making smarter purchasing decisions will attract your target audience.
  5. Build Your Email List: Let me repeat that, build your email list. Capture emails from visitors to your blog, YouTube channel or whatever media you’re using to promote your affiliate products. This will give you the opportunity to maintain further communication with prospective buyers. “And to promote more offers to old customers, which means more money for you“. This is a strategic way to do affiliate marketing. To capture your prospect’s email address you have to create a lead magnet which is a free offer that’s so valuable to your prospect that they’re willing to give you their email address in order to get it.
 

What is the Best Affiliate Program to Start With?

 

There are diverse affiliate programs and networks out there, so what’s best will depend on the market you want to serve and the products you intend to promote to them. But there are some factors that you’ll find useful in determining a good program;

  • Quality Product: This is very important for the success of your business
  • Great Customer Service: You don’t want to leave your referrals stranded. You want to be sure they will have a pleasant buying experience
  • Honest Return Policy: If something goes wrong, you want to be certain the customers you referred will not be left with the bitter taste of keeping a product that is not satisfactory
All these factors will play a huge role in the success of your business, so it's a good idea to ensure they are in place when you're looking to join an affiliate program.

Affiliate Marketing For Beginners - Explained

Conclusion

If you’re just dipping your toes into the world of building online businesses, affiliate marketing is a good place to start. It takes a whole lot of pressure off your neck while you acquire relevant skills and make money.

And if you’re already in the game, it’s a good way to create multiple streams of income.

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Author: Austin Obijeko

Austin Obijeko is a freelance copywriter in the digital marketing niche. He helps SMBs create engaging content and persuasive copy at JekoWrites.com