What is Affiliate Marketing? A Step-by-Step Guide

It is the most common way to make online money.

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based advertising where you receive the commission for promoting someone else’s products or services on your website. This is commonly used marketing.

How to really make money online?

There are essentially two ways to make money online:

  • Sell your own stuff.
  • Sell or promote someone else’s stuff and get paid for doing it.

The 3 basic steps in affiliate marketing

  1. You can recommend a product or service to people or to your followers and fan following on social media network or people you know.
  2. Some of those people purchase the product or service based on your recommendation.
  3. You get paid a commission for those purchases.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Suppose you own a website or a blog and there is your another friend who has some great products that you can put up on your website alongside with your own content.

You partner with the company that sells a product or service you’d like to recommend. As their partner, you are their affiliate (sometimes referred to as an associate, partner, internet marketer or affiliate marketer).

You might promote his or her product on your website and to your fan following. You might do this by writing a post about it, placing a button or banner ad somewhere on your site, mentioning it in your email newsletter or talking about it on social media. You include a special link to the product or service so followers can check it out for themselves. But you don’t just use any link; you use your affiliate link. It contains a special number, your affiliate ID, which is unique to you.

Your follower will make use of this affiliate link to check out the product or service and they decide to purchase it.

When their purchase is complete, you earn a commission.

What is AN affiliate network?

An affiliate network works like this:

  1. AN affiliate network is sort of a middleman. they supply an area wherever advertisers (i.e. firms that have product or services to sell, typically referred to as “vendors”) area unit matched up with publishers (i.e. you, the blogger or website owner; conjointly brought up as “affiliates”).
  2. Advertisers will approach an affiliate network and say, “We can reward any of your publishers some amount of money to promote the Product X and it leads to a buying deal.”
  3. If in agreement, the network lists that campaign (or offer) on their website.
  4. Once you, the publisher, be a part of an affiliate network you’ll log in and see the offered “Campaigns,” “Offers,” or “Marketplace” to market. Typically you have got to use to be a part of the precise campaign for that product, typically you don’t; it depends on the affiliate network and publicizer.
  5. Once you’re cleared to market a selected product and you perceive the terms of that campaign, you look at the list of obtainable buttons, banners, text links, etc. for that product. You decide on the one that you just like most and replica the code they supply for you. This code has your distinctive ID in it. Use this link once promoting the merchandise.

Affiliate networks area unit is nice for advertisers as a result of the advertisers don’t have to be compelled to run the affiliate program themselves. Affiliate networks area unit are niche even for publishers as a result of it’s like one-stop searching and that they don’t have to be compelled to search for individual programs. Of course, affiliate networks area unit is a niche for the affiliate networks as a result of they will be acting as middlemen and obtain a chunk of the profit pie.

Here I’m sharing 6 things which I would love to see in any affiliate program.

Payment Option

Especially in India, where the best possible way to get money from offshore companies is via PayPal.

With current PayPal limitations for Indians, users might not be very happy with PayPal, but agree with me or not, this is still the best method to get money in your account instantly as compared to all other payment methods.

Discount Coupon code

Discount coupon codes are one of the best ways to promote any product.Obviously, this will encourage your sales and also attract more traffic to your website and also increase the number of followers and followings.

Most of the affiliate programs offer discount coupons to their affiliates. How about an option to create your own brandable discount coupon. Apart from offering the discount, such coupon codes help in branding.

Email Promotion

So now you are a part of one of the top selling product as an affiliate promoter and they are running a great deal of offer which one can’t refuse. But they don’t send Email updates and being an affiliate, you get to know about this offer when 10 other bloggers have already written about it or by the time when offers are coming to an end. Every product which offers affiliate program should consider sending an Email newsletter and other subscription options so that one can keep up with the updates.

Affiliate Statistics and banners

So you just joined an affiliate program and when you logged into affiliate console area, you realize that there is nothing apart from your affiliate link and edit profile option. You can’t track how much hits you are sending to them and which page or promotional method is working for you.

That’s not all, custom tracking link, affiliate manager and a couple of more things are essential elements of any successful affiliate program. A well optimized and crafted for affiliate-marketer programs ensure better earning.

What are some affiliate networks you can join?

There are many affiliate networks. Many are easy to join. Some require you to apply. Some are by invitation only. Different affiliate networks provide different products so you’ll want to hunt around to find the one(s) that are the best fit for you.

Here are some affiliate networks I am a part of, along with a sampling of the types of products, services or campaigns they offer:

ShareASale – A large network offering such things like Genesis Theme for WordPress (my favorite!! and if you use Genesis, you might as well make that link in your footer an affiliate link, right?). Sign up for ShareASale here. Use the Product Discovery Bookmarklet Tool to make linking to products easier.

Commission Junction – This is a HUGE affiliate network with a bazillion affiliate programs such as Moo Cards (super cute business cards) and Bluehost & HostGator (web hosting). Sign up as an affiliate with Commission Junction here.

Amazon Associates – Who doesn’t love Amazon and the fact that you can get almost anything there? (Plus, it’s a handy place to spend all those Swagbucks gift cards!) Of course, they have much more than books like a Kindle, or even computers like Macs (be still my heart), Pirate’s Booty (we’ve been known to buy these by the case) and textbooks (stop here before the college bookstore!). Sign up with Amazon Associates here.

Affiliate marketing can prove to be a great start buster for your company and also help in increasing your sales, fan following and the profit in a very less amount of time. Keep these tricks and tips in the mind and start out affiliate marketing once a plan is ready.

Ashfaq Ahmad

I Ashfaq Ahmad Founder of BloggeRoundup. A blog that helps you to learn blogging, SEO, affiliate marketing and make money online tips. Join my Facebook Group and stay connected with other pro bloggers.

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