You have heard about affiliate marketing programs, and how they are a great way to make passive income. You want to get started but have no idea where to begin. First, you need to understand what affiliate marketing is and the fundamentals of how it works.
The fundamentals start with knowing that you are an affiliate. You will use your platform (website, blog, social media, etc.) to link to your partners who are selling a product. For it to work best, the products are related to what you frequently blog about, or discuss on your social media platform. The simple steps to get started are:
- Find a product you want to promote.
- Search for the product affiliate program.
- If they have an established affiliate program, sign up. If you do not find an established program, you can send an email query regarding the proposed affiliation.
- Once accepted as an affiliate, you receive a unique link that allows the company to know that this particular customer came from your site.
- If they buy something, you get a commission.
At its core, the concept is pretty straight-forward and simple. The problem is that it only works if you have a significant following and if your followers shop through your links. If you do not yet have a broad audience, there are some steps you can take to increase your following. These same steps work whether it is a social media presence, blog, or website.
- Make sure you are offering unique and valuable content. Take a hard look at your online presence. Do you offer something that no one (or only a few) are offering? Or does your health and beauty blog look just like everyone else’s? Why should people follow you?
- Market your site. You may have the best social media page about white water rafting on the internet, but if no one can find it, then you do not see much traffic. Make sure your content is SEO (search engine optimization) friendly. You want to appear as high up in rank as possible on engines like Google.
- Build relationships, not just followers. Engage back with people who follow you. Respond to questions. Interact with them. Focus on building loyalty above just numbers. A loyal following of 500 is more powerful than five thousand followers who don’t even remember why you show up on their feed.
The more work you put into your social media presence, blog, or website, the more you can earn from affiliate programs. Research the products you want to affiliate with and remember, your followers are trusting you when they click that link.
Make sure you know and understand your audience. If you spend most of your time discussing backcountry hiking, but you also enjoy video-gaming, stick to hiking related affiliate links. It keeps your site looking more cohesive, and it will drive sales. Sticking in affiliate links that have nothing to do with your subject matter will only confuse your audience and result in few if any transactions.
Research the best affiliate programs. Stick with the most accessible and most popular affiliate programs if you are just getting started. As you build your following and learn more about how affiliate marketing works, you can branch out further. Some of the easiest to join, with good reputations, are:
- Amazon Associates—millions of products to choose from, so you can find products that match your area of expertise. The easy sign-up process makes it a simple process to add links.
- eBay Partner Program—sign-up is simple, and there are plenty of products to support. eBay affiliate links are easy to use across multiple platforms, so they work for social media to blog hosting sites.
- PartnerStack—if your following is in any way related to the tech industry, this is a great one to look into. PartnerStack is mainly software sales and focuses on building relationships between affiliate marketers and product owners. Having an affiliate link can drive traffic to your site, helping you to continue to grow your following.
- Fiverr Affiliates Program—Fiverr is one of the largest gig platforms on the internet. Their affiliate program offers generous commissions. They also provide an extensive portfolio of creative ways to promote Fiverr, making your job easier.
Remember, you do not have to limit yourself to one affiliate program. Start with a simple program, learn the process, and then add on from there.