Online Business: 7 Steps To Understanding Affiliate Marketing
- Know What It Is.
- Understand How It Works.
- Know The Types.
- Weigh The Pros and Cons.
- Understand How Money I Made.
- Review What It Takes.
- Have Skin In The Game.
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Believe it or not, understanding affiliate marketing as an online business is truly a job within itself. Although starting online business are fairly inexpensive, the learning process is never ending.
Nevertheless, the constant upgrade to algorithms, software packages, and processes are required for better efficiency.
As an affiliate marketer, it is necessary to stay unto date on the tools that you use. Consequently, this article provide an understating of what is required for affiliate marketing.
So, let’s dive in!
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Behind the scenes, affiliate marketing is the process were manufacturers, distributors, merchants, and creditors utilize affiliates to market their products or services.
Automatically, the affiliate then gets a commission for products or services purchased through a special link provided to the affiliate.
Consequently, this arrangement is beneficial to the manufacturers, distributors, merchants, and creditors, and affiliate.
Effortlessly, this advertising model for affiliate marketers is often manage through affiliate networks.
In addition, some manufacturers, distributors, merchants, and creditors offer their own programs as well.
Take Amazon for example, they were the largest drop-shipper in the world. Over time, they began buying the same merchandise and selling it themselves.
Now to help bring additional attention to their inventory, they utilize the services of affiliates to advertise their products for a commission.
At this rate, their products will then be advertised to markets that may not use the Amazon website.
“Take a risk and keep testing, because what works today won’t work tomorrow, but what worked yesterday may work again.” – Amrita Sahasrabudhe
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
However, choosing the right niche, product, and pitch makes all the difference in the world when it come to making money.
Needless to say, there are seven steps for a effective program to work both properly and efficiently.
Seemingly, the affiliate marketing process is not very complicated to operate in the grand scheme of things.
Tactically, the first step in the process is to build an engaging website, blog, or social network post, then include ads or special links.
The next step provides that the audience reads an engaging article and selects a link or ad for an interesting product or service.
In the third step, the reader has now become a shopper and is then directed to the online store or website of the manufacturers, distributors, merchants, or creditors through the ad or special link.
At step four, the shopper then becomes a customer after making a purchase from the manufacturers, distributors, merchants, and creditors online store or website.
The fifth step is when the affiliate network or manufacturers, distributors, merchants, and creditors records the transaction to complete the sale.
At the sixth step, the transaction is credited to the manufacturers, distributors, merchants, and creditors.
Finally at step seven, the affiliate gets his commission payment credited to his account.
The 3 Main Types of Affiliate Marketing
The affiliate marketing profession is not a one size fits all type of arena. Painlessly, activities can be broken down into sub-types.
On one hand, as an affiliate marketer, the job is to sell something in order to earn an income.
Moreover, there are different ways by which an affiliate can earn money.
According to Pat Flynn, the upcoming terms represent how we are associated with the products or services may may be an affiliate for.
The 3 main types are:
When considering the Unattached method, there is no expectations of building any type of rapport with an end user.
This type is not required to deal with web development or content creation with the exception of ad copy.
A prime example of this type is Pay Per Click ads. Here, the affiliate is simply acting as a middleman leading the end user to a business.
Enthusiastically, this business is where the end user can then purchase a product or service. In this instance, the affiliate is paid for the click whether a purchase is made or not.
Unfortunately, this type requires a high volume of traffic in order to generate a substantial income.
Therefore, they must create highly targeted ad campaigns to drive traffic to affiliate landing pages.
Interestingly, the related type is the most common type deployed by many online marketing businesses.
An online presence, such as blogging, producing podcasts, videos or other web content, is required for this type.
For this type, quality content creation is the most important aspect for an affiliate to achieve sales.
Brazenly, the affiliate directs traffic to seller’s website for products or services via affiliate offers.
With this method, affiliates earn commission by adding offers in the form of links or banner ads related to their audience.
Cleverly, the third an final type is involved. Under this type, the affiliate is a user of the product or service they promote.
This type of affiliate only promote those affiliate offers which they strongly believe in and recommend.
They generally have close relationships with their audiences since they look for resources and authorities in that field.
This is the difference between an involved affiliate marketer and a related affiliate marketer who does not necessarily use the products or services they promote.
In addition, involved affiliate marketer use their content to promote offers to their audience.
Efficiently, this type writes features about individual products or services to entice their audience.
Positive Affirmation“I release all resistance to attracting money. I am worthy of a positive cashflow.” – (Source: Girl Boss)
Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing
The pros and cons of affiliate marketing are very distinct. Therefore, it is easy to weigh the difference.
The pros of affiliate marketing:
- Easy to establish
- Easy to scale
Once an affiliate find the right fit for them, they too can be a part of a billion dollars industry.
The startup costs for an affiliate marketing business is rather low depending on the options chosen.
No experience is required to become an affiliate marketer. However, all beginners should look for a platform that offers sufficient training.
While at another hosting service, I was once thrown out into the deep end of building a WordPress website.
Regrettably, to say that I was out of my depth is an understatement. Seemingly, it did not matter that I am an IT professional by trade.
When you do not know something, you just do not know a damn thing!
Fortunately, online business are also fairly easy to scale. You have the potential to expand your products or reduce your product offerings at any given time.
For example, during football season, you may increase football related merchandise to meet demand.
On the other hand, in the off-season, you can reduce the amount of offerings to place focus elsewhere.
It is easier than it sounds!
The cons of affiliate marketing:
- No control
- Requires persistence and patience
For many, the cons of affiliate marketing could be a deal breaker. And that is okay, there are literally thousands of other online business opportunities out there.
Revenue is not guaranteed as an affiliate marketer, the pay is equivalent to the work you put in, regardless of the niche.
Remember, popular niches have greater competition.
Reluctantly, others drawback are the fact that you have no control over the affiliate marketing programs nor the competitors.
Never the less, You can only control that which you produce.
On top of all that, you have to deal with a great many unscrupulous people. Many marketers have no problem being deceitful.
For some, tricking their readers is perhaps the only reason they are making any money.
Nevertheless, this is not sustainable!
Do not chance it, the result would be devastating to your brand and take you years to rebuild.
Straightforward, be an honest broker and you can grow with time.
Time, that is a major part of the final con. Even with popular products, it takes time to build an audience.
It take time to convert them to shoppers, then buyers. You must exercise patience and allow for things to develop.
In addition to that, you must be persistent with your efforts. A post a day or a week, but one a month will not work.
Consistently generate valuable content for your audience. It is estimated to take 18 – 36 months to get a new online business off the ground.
It could be less or it could be more. I depends on you, your niche, and the competition.
How Does Affiliate Marketers Make Money?
How does affiliate make money tends to be one of the most asked questions across the internet, in chat rooms, bulletin boards, and on social media.
There is no easy answer to that question though. The are numerous avenues for an affiliate marketer to make money online.
The most common five methods are listed here:
- #1 Pay Per Action
- #2 Pay Per Click.
- #3 Pay Per Install.
- #4 Pay Per Lead.
- #5 Pay Per Sale.
Pay Per Action (PPA) is an online advertising measurement and pricing model referring to a specified action.
The affiliate will only receives pay if a desired result as prescribed by the merchant.
Pay Per Click (PPC) works best if you have a large following. This is not ideal for new businesses without an adequate sized audience.
Pay Per Install (PPI) is for every App install generated by an affiliate’s website, blog, or social media traffic.
An affiliate is paid once the App have been installed and opened by the end-user.
Pay Per Lead (PPL) is when the affiliate is paid when personal details are collected.
Common examples of details are:
Pay Per Sale (PPS) is based on actual product or service purchases. The affiliate is paid based on the complete purchase of a qualified product or service.
How To Become An Affiliate Marketer?
Becoming an affiliate marketer is not rocket science. It can be as simple as color-by-numbers image.
Well, simple does not mean easy!
Although a great many Guru and book sellers would have you believing differently to get a sale, you can make it without wasting money.
If you use do diligence in conducting your research, build a awesome foundation, and be persistent in your efforts, you can make it in this arena.
Below are the areas that require the most focus.
Choosing A Platform
A platform is generally where you make your home. It is often where your training is rooted.
This is where you learn to build the foundation of your online business. An environment the allows you to focus with as much support as needed.
Regardless of your level, a platform that provides support is a great asset.
All-in-one solutions can be great too. Especially because the platform provides website hosting, affiliate training, a supportive community, and more.
Finding An Affiliate Program
Affiliate programs allows an affiliate to offer products or services to an audience without inventory, shipping, or refunding concerns.
These programs are easily found by joining affiliate networks (ie ClickBank, CJ, ShareASale, or Rakuten).
More or less, these affiliate networks are the warehouses (Databases) for your products. There are thousands of products and services to choose from.
Some affiliate programs are also held through the manufacturers, distributors, merchants, or creditors directly.
In addition, they handle the logistics between the manufacturers, distributors, merchants, creditors, and the affiliate.
Choosing A Niche
A niche is a segment of a segment of the market. Meaning that when you choose a niche it should not be too broad.
For example, if I were to sell photograph art. It would not benefit me to sell all type of art. I would be painting with too broad a brush.
Hand paintings are preferred over printed copies; Wooden frames are preferred over metal; or paint is preferred over glass-etching.
My point is pick a lane and stay in it!
It is often recommended that you choose something that you are passionate about or that you have specific knowledge of as your niche.
It is often easier to build on things that you have some feeling about.
Building A Website
Building a website is the first part of you online business’ presence that faces the public.
Therefore, when building your website several factors must be held to a higher standard.
Several such factors are:
- Domain name – should be simple and easy to remember.
- Website name – should be of good taste and also simple to remember.
- Theme – should be conducive to the message you are trying to send.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – your pages should meet the requirements set by search engines.
- Speed – pages should able load extremely fast.
The web hosting service that you select can play a major role in helping with the majority of the factors that should be addressed.
If you platform and website hosting service are not under the same umbrella, then you must ensure that they are 100 % compatible.
Otherwise, you will spend more downtime than uptime.
Prior to joining any platform or hosting service, you should inquire about your ability to migrate to another service if you are not satisfied with the service.
The last thing that you want is to need to start completely over should you decide to move.
While a customized domain name can easily be transferred, certain websites are not (examples: Wix, Shopify, and more).
I cannot stress enough how important it is to do your research before jumping in head first.
Restarting from scratch wastes your time, money, and efforts.
“Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content and enthusiasm and ideas about how to solve that problem.” – Laura Fitton
Creating Content With Value
Learning to create content with value takes time. A good portion of the training that you receive should focus on writing content to helps your audience.
Remember, you will not be writing for yourself. Therefore, it is important that you know how to appeal to your audience.
You can get it right nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of a thousand, but that one time that you get it wrong could ruin your brand forever.
Be mindful of that fact!
Honestly, be original in all that you attempt. It is okay to cite the work of other as long as you give the other creator/source credit.
Driving Traffic To Your Website
Respectfully, driving traffic to your website is perhaps the most tedious thing in the entire process to do.
Dreadfully, driving traffic to your website is an aggressive process, especially if you are a beginner.
Nevertheless, here are a few tactics to help:
- Social media post, pages, and communities
- Paid ads
- Community forums
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Email campaigns
Regardless of how beautiful you website is, how fast it is, or how rich the content is, you may as well give up if you are not driving traffic to your website.
Once again, this is were time, patience, and persistence come in handy. We will talk on more detail about these friends in the next section.
In fact, the whole section has been dedicated to these amigos.
Conversions sounds like a strange word to end this section on, but watch what you learn.
We discussed you building an audience and driving traffic to your website a lot. Nevertheless, it was for good reason.
It was for the conversions!
That is still not telling you anything? Well wait.
The audience are readers that once they click on your specialized link(s) are teleported to the link’s destination.
Here lies the difference between the clicks:
- PPA, PPI, and PPL, they must complete some type of form or action.
- No purchase is required for PPC. The act of clicking the link get the affiliate paid. Stands to reason why the audience must be huge.
- For a PPS, they have become shoppers at that point. The shopper finds a product and decides to purchase it. At this stage, they have become a buyer.
By this logic, conversions occur by each click; seemingly, at varying levels.
Interestingly, the most talked about conversions are for the PPS click. The reader has to go through a multiple of actions to get to the end.
Moreover, PPS is the only type that requires an actual purchase of a product or service.
The Value of the 3-Ps (Preparedness, Patience, and Persistence)
Okay, all of the easy work has been covered. It is time to look at the things that will give you the most grief.
Preparedness deal with a whole host of things ranging from mindset to training to lifestyle.
If you are not ready mentally, you will hinder your progress. If the platform you choose’s training is lacking in any way, you will hinder your progress.
Finally, if you are not prepared to give up certain social and recreational activities, you will hinder your progress.
That is not saying that you will have to give up everything forever, but until you are drawing an income it may be wise.
Patience, on the other hand, is all about you. Several important questions:
- #1 Do you have a financial deadline?
- #2 Do you have a time-range deadline?
- #3 Do you have exaggerated expectation?
Go ahead be honest!
To even start in affiliate marketing, the answer to all three questions should be NO.
Hold on, do not get your knickers in a wad. Let me at least explain why first.
As mentioned early, it generally takes about 18 – 36 months to really see movement no matter where you set up your online shop.
The most unexplained reason is new website have difficulties competing with aged websites.
The search engines sometimes consider age of the content for validating authority.
To start establishing authority, you must have anywhere from forty to sixty well thought out posts on your website to start gaining notoriety.
Understand, that is not in all cases; however, it is the norm (at the time of this article).
Finally, we have persistence to content with. You must be willing to fight tooth and nail to earn authority and recognition for your website.
You will not be expected to write a 5,000 word article everyday; however, 1,000 words is better than nothing.
I suggest you go with whatever the current standard is. Right now, the average expected word count is at between 1,500 – 3,000 words.
That could change tomorrow if Google so chooses.
I said all that to say, if you want success, you are going to have to work for it.
Or unethically speaking, you can be like some of the others by creating a sham program and robbing others.
Until you get caught!
Always exercise good ethical practices, be trustworthy to your audience, and give as well as you receive.
The market needs honest people to do good for the people they serve.
There is no good way to end a heart-felt talk; however, if I have not put you to sleep, you have several options:
- Click over and read another post
- Call a friend and discuss this article
- Email family and friends the link
- Post it to all of your social media accounts
But for real, that fact that you have taken the time to read this, you must be considering affiliate marketing as viable option.
Trust me it is! You can look at the age of my posts to get a picture of how long I have been at this.
It has only been a short while and I am still learning more and more every day.
Remember, you will get out of it what you put into it.
We have covered a binder full today! Pat yourself on the back because I am exhausted. In all actuality, this is my longest article to date.
We have defined affiliate marketing as he process were manufacturers, distributors, merchants, and creditors utilize affiliates to market their products or services.
En lieu of the affiliate receiving a commission.
We took a look into how affiliate marketing work. The overall process sound simple, but do not let the smooth taste fool you.
Remember, that the conversion rate is everything for the commissioned affiliate. A large audience is needed for all other types.
We looked a the three types of affiliate marketing: unattached, related, and involved.
In addition, we discussed the pros and cons of affiliate marketing. A measure tool to determine your willingness to commit.
We went in to detail about how affiliate marketers make money. More importantly, we discussed how to become an affiliate marketer.
Finally, we covered how preparedness, patience, and persistence were key element to succeed in this arena.
Tomorrow gets here too soon, commit for the long-haul.
And I close out by saying, we need what we need!
If we keep our minds right, we can keep our bodies tight!
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To your success and growth,
Founder of The Canty Effect
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