Affiliate marketing has always been hailed as a way to make tons of money overnight with the least amount of effort.
That may be true to some extent. But what’s needed to become a successful affiliate marketer involves more than blind luck and surface-level basics. That is; if you have any hopes of seeing results + earning thousands per week!
So what’s the rage with affiliate marketing to begin with?
In its essence, an affiliate marketer is someone who earns a cut of $$$ from the total sale made or traffic gained based on recommending a certain online retailer.
This is probably one of the oldest known online marketing techniques in the book. All there is to affiliate marketing can be summed up as you play the role of the middle man -without needing your own service/product to earn a commission.
All brushed up? Once you’ve got the gist of the process, it’s handy to know the logic behind making money online this way. Those are: –
• Earning per sale made – Pay Per Sale (PPL) operates on a structure that gives you commission each time a successful purchase is made through your recommendation. **You earn the most here through this structure!
• Earning per click – Pay Per Click (PPC) is you making money from every visitor/click received to a retailer’s website from your referral link.
• Earning per lead – Pay Per Lead (PPL) gives you commission each time a visitor registers their contact info through a retailer’s site.
How much money can you make through affiliate marketing?
Although you’d technically be earning commission through each sale (and not actual profits from it) – there’s still a lot of money to be made here.
Intermediate bloggers can earn anywhere as high as $500/month through affiliate marketing sales alone. But then again, successful bloggers can also make that amount per sale.
The Pros of Becoming an Affiliate Marketer
• You don’t need your own service/product to start earning. Leveraging on the success of other retailers would do just the trick!
• Zero or minimal costs required to register with an affiliate program.
• High potential for passive income. If your traffic sources are organic, and you have campaigns in place to convert your organic traffic, you’d be making money entirely passively.
• Thousands of niches to earn from. Money can come from blogging about whatever you’re passionate about!
The Cons of Becoming an Affiliate Marketer
• It takes some time to establish your authority or dominance in a niche. It requires a ton of effort to get people to trust you and start ranking on Google before you can successfully recommend something they’re going to use.
• Bad referrals can ruin your reputation. Avoid this by vetting all of your retailers extensively!
• Competition can be high – depending on your niche. A decent affiliate program that makes a lot of sales online would probably be used by other bloggers as well.
With all that being said, a powerful affiliate program can earn enough to supplement a strong side part-time income.
But it’s faaaaarr from the “get rich quick scheme” some people would swear it is. We don’t want you to get the wrong idea about being promised thousands a week -and then giving up when you think you’re failing.
But there are plenty of ways to get you on the right track!
Here are 5 highly effective steps taken by successful affiliate marketers that deliver results:
1. Triple-checking the health of your niche
For sure, there are tens of thousands of niche choices you could blog about.
However, you definitely want to make sure that you opt for one that you know would account for significant demand.
Most of the time, influential affiliate marketing blogs are the ones that are laser specific to a particular aspect of their niche.
Let’s say, for instance; you’re big on fitness. Just running a “fitness blog” is going to place you in a wide ocean of competitors, proving very difficult for you to establish your authority.
However, running a fitness blog for women who want to gain weight, or solely for people who follow pilates is a better way of driving targeted and quality traffic.
See the difference?
Once that’s settled, go ahead and keyword research the hell out of your niche.
We honestly think that very few can compare to platforms like Ahrefs and SEMRush. Both of them are unbeatable at performing market analysis! Complete with showing you how densely populated your keywords are on the Internet, and potential competitors you might face.
You can also take a look at the products you’d be (again, potentially) having affiliate options for in your niche through ClickBank.
2. Creating your own website/blog
This is probably one of the most crucial steps to start making money online through affiliate marketing.
We’re not just talking about throwing a website together and hoping for the best.
To make it big as an affiliate marketer, your site has to be professional, user-friendly, optimized, and be able to handle the mounds of traffic to the best extent.
For any of this to happen, you need to first decide on a solid hosting platform. Since the aim of your blog relies on redirecting web traffic, it has to be able to have necessary bandwidth options to suit! Security, backup, and all of those other things have to be prioritized as well.
We give you the total breakdown of what we think are some of the best blogging platforms you can get started on in 2019.
3. Generating high-caliber, free resources
So your blog is up and ready to go live! Now what?
If you follow the HUSTLR blog closely, you’ll know that we’re big on providing high quality, 100% free content for anyone to access.
The logic behind this is simple.
We guarantee you that no one online is going to take one look at “budding” blogs and pay to unlock certain full-length articles or for the promise of downloadable guides.
A “skeleton blog” of only a few articles, broken pages, empty descriptions, and half-ass work is also most likely going to get you rejected from an affiliate program.
You don’t want to start an affiliate business JUST YET if this is the case.
Most affiliate marketing programs require you to have an already established and vetted framework of content that suits their niche. Some might even insist on you showing them your monthly traffic.
Duh, retailers don’t want their products and services splattered just across any website at all right?
So, focus on populating your new blog with excellent, unique, location-specific content that is for sure going to drive traffic to your site! You can do this with:-
• Free listicles, cornerstone articles, guides, etc
It’s cool if you don’t have the time to write them all yourself! Copywritematters is a fantastic platform for you to outsource talent to churn out your posts.
• Rich infographics, PDF guides
People are generally more visual-based in this modern age -so attract them with more graphics! You can create pie charts, infographics, and guides on online software like Canva.
• Use this eBook as your bible
To drive more blog traffic with solid content marketing.
4. Choosing the RIGHT affiliate products
Once you’re confident of the abilities of your blog -it’s time to think about which products you’re going to start listing for.
Of course, you’re going to want to choose the products that fit your niche to a tee.
Let’s say we’re still on the topic of a Pilates-based blog. You could advertise anything from an exercise guideline eBook, an online crash course in ‘getting started with Pilates’ or anything of the like!
Start with choosing products and services that you would use yourself. Your readers are people that embody your values, after all.
You can start sourcing for all of your products by browsing through affiliate marketing networks. These networks (most of them are 100% free to join) are essentially a way for you to get matched with online retailers that can offer affiliate programs.
Check out ones like Partner Stack, LeadDyno, Commission Junction and ShareaSale! These are our absolute favorites -and they’ve got a huge directory encompassing all niches you can think of.
Affiliate products can be marketed in several ways. The more famous ones are through:-
These can be done by including hyperlinks that lead to a retailer’s site throughout, a section dedicated to driving links and traffic at the bottom page of your article, etc.
• Email marketing
Leverage your email subscribers by including your referral links through your newsletter!
Some people prefer to listen rather than read – so consider starting your own podcast and gain thousands of followers this way.
• Here’s a more in-depth way of gaining traction and making more affiliate sales.
5. Measure what works for your blog!
This might be a little of a no-brainer, but we need to mention it!
Successfully earning big bucks from affiliate marketing requires you to have more than one program going on. That can be confusing to manage, especially if you’re a beginner to the game.
So that’s why you need a cohesive, easy to understand analytics platform that tracks your ALL of your income earned, along with other data that’s going to help you measure performance.
Partner Stack does this better than anyone we know. All of your stats are compiled in one gorgeous, smooth interface! You also get to narrow down the best selling affiliate products on your website; which allows you to gauge what your followers prefer to see from you in the future.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, understand that it’s one of those techniques that require you to get significantly busy before you get to relax. You’ll need to devote substantial resources in terms of building your online presence, online marketing, and content before you start to see sales.
Our two cents? With the right amount of consistency and focused efforts – you can start making a decent side income from affiliate marketing! We’ve even done the same with Shopify for the past 3 years – which you can take a look at here as a cheat sheet.
Jesslyn has been a senior content strategist and writer for personal finance and side hustles for the past 4 years. She believes in the power of an idea and breaking the rules whenever necessary. Above all, balance is everything. When she’s not writing up a mad scramble, she leans towards wine bars and yoga studios on the weekends.