Since its inception in the early 90s, Affiliate Marketing has witnessed a gradual increase in the volume and amount of income flow through people's participation. However, in recent years, this volume has increased manifold, with more and more people opting for affiliate marketing to make money.
How To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing?
Although so many people are out there already rolling vast amounts of money through affiliate marketing, one fundamental question remains to be answered for the newbies, 'How to Get Started With Affiliate Marketing?'
◊ Find a Market: The first step is to find a potential market. Know your potential customers, as this will allow you to target your audience much better. Once you have a basic idea about the requirements of the people, you can target more specific groups. As a preliminary step, you can start with the search engines, as this is the best place to find what people are searching for. Additional resources include forum search, keyword search, blog search, etc.
◊ Sell the Required Product or Service: Once you have an insight into the most sought-after things by people, you can plan to sell your respective products and services accordingly. One of the most straightforward sources to start with is ClickBank, which is the source of digital affiliate products for almost any niche. Other sources include Commission Junction and PayDotCom.
◊ Build up an Infrastructure: Since you already have a product and a potential market, the next big step is to build an infrastructure that allows you to promote and profit from your products. The three essential things for any such business are a domain name, a hosting account, and an auto-responder.
◊ Try to Compel the Visitors to Respond: You cannot consider your work done just by attracting customers to your site. Instead, you need to convince most of these customers to part with their names and email addresses for your information.
◊ Make an Offer: Traffic can be diverted towards your site in two primary ways. They are Free Traffic and Paid Traffic. While free traffic is an excellent way to start, paid traffic yields more profitable results. Some paid forms of traffic include Pay-Per-Click, Joint Ventures, etc.
◊ Follow-Up: Affiliate Marketing may be considered incomplete without a proper follow-up. You would never like to lose a potential customer. For this, you must try to build good relations with your worthy customers to convert them into lifelong customers.
Basic Strategies Of Affiliate Marketing
To get the best results from your affiliate program, you must be innovative and always try to engage your readers. You must compel your readers to either purchase or sign up or do some specific action, as you will be paid for that. To learn more about success as an affiliate, go through the following essential strategies.
As goes the saying, 'Jack of all, master of none.' This also holds for affiliate marketing when selecting a product or service to promote. It would be best to be product-sensitive and always try to sell products, keeping the visitor's choice in mind.
If you are new to affiliate marketing, try to avoid pay-per-click engines to attract visitors, as you might not be successful in them. Try to hire a search engine marketing company and promote your site.
It would be best if you worked hard to get the trust of your visitors. To do so, gain a piece of thorough knowledge about your products or services and always be honest about whatever information you are putting into your products or services.
Since it is your website where you promote merchant's products, there is no wrong if you promote niche products of various merchants. In fact, you will have the cushion of promoting other merchants' products.
There are frequent changes in the market trends, therefore you must try to adopt these changes and stay ahead of other affiliates. Always be patient with your work and keep an eye on the statistics. Monitor your progress and, if necessary, make the changes as required. These are some essential strategies to remember to succeed as an affiliate.
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
- Numerous benefits give affiliate marketing a reason to have the upper hand over other affiliate marketing programs. Some of these benefits are listed below:
- Companies having affiliates can cut down on their overall marketing costs as they can now sell their products and services through their affiliates.
- Affiliate marketing has provided several individuals, with an opportunity to earn handsome amounts of money by joining in as affiliates.
- The ones who most benefit from the introduction of affiliate marketing are those who prefer to work and earn while enjoying the luxury of their home.
- Another group of people benefited by the affiliate marketing programs are the retired people, who now have the option of earning from their homes.
- Affiliate marketing has successfully created job opportunities for the numerous computer-savvy housewives, students, and older people.
- Affiliate marketing is a scalable marketing network that allows you the freedom to build your affiliate program as you wish it to be.
- Since the affiliates can secure high search engine listings, you can have free brand exposure to your products on the affiliate's site.
- The most significant advantage of affiliate marketing is transparency, meaning you can see exactly where and when sales are being made.
- Since several affiliates are experts in search engine marketing, these provide you with a cost-effective way of getting to the top of Google without spending fortunes on SEO or PPC.
Disadvantages Of Affiliate Marketing
Like any other program, an affiliate marketing program has its pros and cons, which causes one to reconsider before going in for any affiliate marketing program.
Some significant disadvantages that people need to consider before going for an affiliate marketing program are:
- Because of illegal or misleading practices by affiliates, merchants often face heavy potential customer loss due to customer complaints. Also, many affiliate facilitators can cause the merchants to suffer due to high commission and maintenance costs.
- It is not always the affiliates who are at a disadvantage. Some unscrupulous merchants often close down without informing their affiliates and without paying them their due commissions.
- Some other forms of illegal practises which the advertisers indulge into are, false advertising, unlawful use of trade names, false branding, spamming, etc.
- One of the significant disadvantages most affiliates face is that, the commission they are entitled to receive may often take a longer time to reach them.
- Another commonly faced disadvantage is that you cannot totally rely on a commission as a stable source of income as it varies frequently.
- Another disadvantage that can crop up is that the hijackers may hijack the affiliate links and get paid for the commission instead of genuine recipients.
Money-Making Tips For Affiliate Marketing
Recent years have seen a large-scale increase in the number of affiliate marketing programs, and the funny part is that all of these claim to be the best. Most of these give the impression that you just need to implement their banners and links and expect large amounts to roll in.
However, this holds true only for large sites having massive web traffic.
For most others, this requires a lot more effort on the part of the affiliate. Enlisted are some essential tips that affiliates may follow for a successful affiliate program.
◊ Selecting the Right Banners: Before putting up any banner on your site, you must know which banners are best to put up. The graphically rich sites are considered less successful than their simpler counterparts, as they take longer to download. As a result, if your banner is the last thing to get downloaded, it might be possible that the users just miss it, and you may lose some potential customers.
◊ Pop-Ups and Pop-Unders: Though many merchants now give their affiliates the option of using pop-ups and pop-unders, it is advisable to avoid pop-ups as far as possible. This is because pop-ups can often be quite annoying for the viewers, and they may just close it without even glancing at it. Instead, one should go for a pop-under ad, and that too for those displayed only once per visit.
◊ Text Link Ads: This is one of the most successful forms of advertising since they take up very little space and can be implemented into almost any page layout. It is advisable to have short text links from the merchants so that you can put them with the content of relevant articles and reviews.
◊ Approach Advertising Agencies: The advertisers can present thousands of advertising agencies to help you get better involved with affiliate programs and allow you to have a consolidated payment. Though it is often difficult to keep track of individual advertisers, you should not fail to consider them.
◊ Developing Blogs: A blog can be considered a great marketing tool to sell your products. This is because, on a blog, you can mention everything about your products, from a product review to promotional articles, etc.
Making A Career With Affiliate Marketing
People are inclined towards marketing business because it offers the perfect opportunity to work from home full-time or part-time. The potential involved in affiliate marketing is tremendous; all you have to do is decide whether you want to do it as a career objective or as a hobby.
People usually tend to earn some extra income doing their existing job, so in that case, they can choose affiliate marketing as they can start earning by giving 2-3 hours daily. All they have to do is make some effort along with a lot of creativity and become a successful affiliate.
For this, they have to plan their strategy of giving time, getting the basic knowledge about affiliate marketing, setting their own websites, adding content to their websites, choosing the best affiliate program, and promoting their products or services through such programs. With minimal effort, lots of dedication, some patience, and luck, you can start earning extra income as an affiliate.
Those who want to select affiliate marketing as a career must give time, make efforts, and, with lots of dedication, become a thriving affiliate marketer and leave their day jobs. The transition from a day job to an affiliate marketer might look easy, but specific points are to be kept in mind before you make your decision.
- Try to balance your work and give your best shot on your day job and on affiliate marketing. If you do well in affiliate marketing and decide to leave your job, you must perform well in your career and then leave so that in case you ever intend to return to your day job, they must accept you willingly.
- Try to take advice from those who have left their day jobs and have become successful affiliates.
- Also tell your friends about your future plans and get advice from them.
- Go through all the permutations and combinations and then decide on leaving your job and choosing affiliate marketing.
Lastly, don't be complacent when you start receiving affiliate commissions. You must work hard and maintain a leading edge over other affiliates to succeed and reap benefits as an affiliate marketer.
How To Select Genuine Affiliate Programs
One of the most essential ingredients of successful affiliate marketing is selecting the best genuine affiliate programs to join. Once you can get your hands on the top genuine affiliate programs, the rest of the things automatically fall into place.
Though finding such genuine programs may seem like a tough job, it actually requires just some intelligent decisions on your part. With a significant boom in the affiliate marketing domain, endless affiliate programs are desperately trying to prove themselves as the best program available that can help you earn dollars within no time. Most of these may even have a complete list of impressive testimonials supporting their claim.
The product acts as the strongest indicator of a good affiliate program. A genuine affiliate has a thorough knowledge of the sponsor's product & its market importance to use it in a way that will generate maximum demand for it.
Not only is the product of prime importance, but it is also essential to check the affiliate company by reviewing its credibility through its failures & achievements. Carefully browse through the terms & conditions of the company & make sure that the commission extended by the company is a decent percentage.
Though affiliate marketing is a risky affair where you may not always be assured success but still keep trying, it is foolish to take deliberate risks. Instead of aiming for high-priced products, it is better to start with the average market of $10 – $500 initially & then aim for the higher ones.
Remember that your success lies in the success of your affiliate program. To ensure this, the company must have practical tools, a well-trained customer support system & some system to prevent your ID theft.
Besides these, one of the most important identifiers of a genuine affiliate is that it should possess a well-developed tracking system that can aid you in keeping track of your profits & losses.