First thing’s first – what exactly is affiliate marketing?
Let’s break it down.
An affiliate is:
“A person or organisation officially attached to a larger body”.
“The action or business of promoting and selling products or services”.
So it makes sense then, that affiliate marketing would be …
“Promoting or selling of products or services, by a person officially attached to a larger body”.
… Kind of thing.
In easier to understand terms, it basically means that:
- You promote a product or service on your website / Facebook / wherever
- Someone buys said product / service through your link
- The company pays you a commission
Pretty straightforward, yeah?
There are a few things to understand about affiliate marketing, though.
You Need a Website
Affiliate sales are made when someone buys a product or signs up for a service through a personalised link that allows the commission to come to you.
If you don’t have a website, you can still make sales, but it makes it muuuuch harder for you to do that efficiently.
Handing out business cards with your affiliate link on them is just not quite the same.
You Need To Select Affiliate Programs Appropriate for Your Site
If you’ve chosen technology as your niche, it would make sense to promote technological products, wouldn’t it?
Computers, cellphones, laptops, drones, and so on.
You’re not going to be promoting healthy meals, so why would you sign up for an affiliate program that sells healthy foods and recipes?
Well, you wouldn’t.
Do a Google search for “[your niche] affiliate program”, and see what pops up.
Check out the various opportunities, and decide on one or two. Not five or six, one or two.
You Need To Do The Work
Many people seem to think that this affiliate marketing thing is a way for you to sit back and do your own thing while cash just rolls in.
Well, this is entirely the wrong way to look at it.
If you’re serious about earning an income from affiliate marketing, you need to be willing to put in some effort.
After all, you are basically standing up and saying “Hey, I endorse this thing”.
You need to be prepared to actually promote the thing you’re endorsing.
Please understand, I don’t mean force-feeding your product or service to people. I don’t mean slapping a link on your Instagram / Twitter bio and leaving it at that.
I mean MARKETING.
You Need to Be Prepared To Learn
If you’re new to the world of affiliate marketing, there is a lotttt of information to take in.
It takes time to get into the swing of things, so be prepared to do a lot of reading, watching videos and asking for advice in the beginning.
Learning is always a good thing though, and the knowledge you gain will stand you in good stead for a successful future in affiliate marketing.
Your audience is going to buy this product or service at your recommendation.
Two things are crucial here:
- They need to trust your authority on the subject
- They need to feel like you aren’t trying to sell them something
Number one is fairly self-explanatory, which is why it makes no sense to sell tech products on a health food website.
Number two is slightly tougher. You need to PROMOTE, but not SELL.
How do we do that?
Offer your audience valuable content.
People don’t often respond to being told what they should do. Sure, they’ll listen, but instinct is to say “Who does this dude think he is, thinking I’m gonna just go for this right off the bat?”
You need to offer your audience something, and in the online world, that something is CONTENT.
Not just any old stuff either, but content with VALUE.
Content can be articles, videos, images, eBooks, audio files … Anything you can think of that brings value to the life of your reader.
If your audience isn’t learning something, thinking about what you said, and applying it, then you’re just waffling. And nobody enjoys a waffler.
If your audience isn't thinking about what you said and applying it, then you're just waffling. Click To Tweet
When you’re consistently providing thoughtful, valuable content that is engaging your audience, then you’re winning at gaining their trust and approval.
You’re giving them something real, to prove that you know your stuff and aren’t just some dude trying to make a quick buck.
If you’re just getting started, a good place to begin is with Wealthy Affiliate.
You can sign up for free, and have access to training that will guide you through the points above step by step, and set you firmly on your way to making your first affiliate sale!
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below!
*This article contains affiliate links.