Affiliate marketing pretty much exploded overnight when it was introduced. After all, passive income is everyone’s dream, and it’s something that many people want to get involved with.
That being said, most people have never even heard of affiliate marketing, and it’s not exactly a completely self-explanatory term. In this article, I will explain a bit about what affiliate marketing actually is and how to do it.
What is affiliate marketing?
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing refers to the practice of generating a sale for other companies by recommending them and their products to potential customers. By generating sales, you earn commission, which can actually be pretty high! Here you can see some benefits of affiliate marketing from the affiliate point of view.
It’s a concept based on revenue sharing. Companies offer promoters a financial incentive through an affiliate program. Let’s take a look at all the parties involved in an effective affiliate marketing system:
The merchant/creator: Basically, this refers to the company, the brand, or the retailer. This may be a huge, recognisable brand, or it might be an individual who sells their own products.
The affiliate: Sometimes called the publisher, the affiliate can also range from an individual to a full company. The amount of commission earnt also varies drastically from affiliate to affiliate. An affiliate promotes one or more products to try and attract potential customers, converting this interest into sales. There are many ways to do this, but I’ll talk about this later.
The consumer/customer: Nothing in this system could work without the customers. When the customer purchases an affiliate product, it allows the revenue to be shared. Customers can be reached through a variety of networks. Sometimes, customers are unaware that they are being targeted or that they are a part of the system, whereas sometimes they are completely aware.
The network: The network refers to an intermediary between the affiliate and the merchant. Sometimes, affiliates have to go through an affiliate network before they can even promote the products. The affiliate network serves as a database of lots of products, where the affiliate marketer can choose which ones to promote.
Becoming an affiliate marketer
If you want to become an affiliate marketer and start earning a passive income through commissions, then you can follow a simple four-step process to achieve this. It’s pretty easy to get into, once you understand the process.
Step 0: Choose something you know about and that has not a big competition
You will need to show why something is good and you need to know this product and its competitors well.
You also need to know the importance of audience size and the types of conversion rates that you may expect. Of course it is crucial to know the quality of visitors and the type of marketing you use, but numbers are important. If 100 people spend 1$, then 500 readers might bring 500 $. Easy to calculate, the more readers you attract, the more money you will make.
Step 1: Review products in your field
Think about the kind of products you use in your life and what products you enjoy. This might be books, clothes, hiking equipment, cooking utensils – whatever you are interested in.
To get started, simply start to post public reviews of the products you enjoy online. This could be via a variety of media. If you like clothes, try sites like Twitter, Instagram, and 21Buttons (which allows you to earn commission in itself), where you can review products by posting photos and writing a little about them.
Other budding affiliate marketers start their own blogs and YouTube channels to review products in their niche. It’s really that simple to take this first step: Just take the plunge and set up an account!
Involved affiliate marketing, in which you promote products you really like and believe in, is by far most effective, which is why I suggest only reviewing products in your niche.
Now, as for getting hold of affiliate links that make you commission, you need to look for links that contain a “/ref…” tail at the end of a regular link. Of course, having links is only half the issue – you have to generate enough traffic to get people to use the links. Alternatively, you could reach out to people directly, which is where step 2 comes in.
Step 2: Build an e-mail list
E-mailing is not dead, believe us! You need to build up a list of potential clients by using your website visitors. You can do this through call to action (CTA) phrases on your blog or site, such as “Subscribe for amazing discounts in your inbox!” (that is, if you’re well-known enough to get discounts for your followers from brands).
By using a CTA, clients can opt-in to your e-mail list to receive the latest content from you. The CTA can feature in a header, a sidebar, the comments section, or in a pop-up.
You’d be surprised how much you can get out of e-mail lists, even if you’ve got less than 500 people on that list. Send your subscribers regular updates about content, and every now in then throw in a more specific CTA to ask them to buy a product.
Step 3: Use videos
While writing will get you so far, people often like to have visual cues to use. By creating videos of you using the product in action, people will be able to engage more with the product and understand more about it than they would through writing and videos.
You don’t have to use videos all the time, but I can promise you that it’s very useful. Simply throw in your affiliate link in the comments section or promote it at the end of the video so that people are still encouraged to use it.
Step 4: Promote yourself with PPC advertising
In addition to this, you can become very skilled in search engine optimization (SEO) so that your reviews show up in search engine results. This costs a lot less than paying for advertising, and you might find it pays off more.
How to write affiliate marketing reviews
One of the most common ways to do affiliate marketing is by writing reviews about products and services and adding your affiliate links in the page. You can learn more about how to do affiliate marketing reviews here.
Some common mistakes to avoid when doing affiliate marketing:
Joining too many affiliate programs
This applies to any freelance or online work. You can have multiple clients and multiple streams of income, but don’t overload yourself. As a result, you should choose your affiliate programs wisely and pick ones that work for you.
Make sure you use unique tracking affiliate links on each page or even better Google Analytics. This allows you to know where the sales are coming from so that you know which pages are converting well – this way, you can understand what areas of your campaign are working the best.
It’s often a good idea to compare the product you are reviewing with two other similar products. This encourages people to buy the “main” product because they have a handy comparison between other products.
On your site, you can write an article titled something like, ‘The Three Best Products for…’, which gives you an opportunity to include not one but three affiliate links in one post. It helps your readers, and it also helps you!
When it comes to comparison, I also recommend being honest even if the “good one” pays you less than the “bad one”.
Final thoughts on affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a great step into the world of passive income. It’s also a cheap step to make, since all you need to do is establish a website or social media account on which you review products.
Look for market segments with low competition. Do not think that you will earn the big businesses, because they invest a lot of money on SEO.
Do not get dissapointing if you fail the first time. As everything in life, you need to learn from your own mistakes. Keep reading and learning and you will master it.
If you need someone to help you with your affiliate reviews in Spanish, contact me!