What are affiliate links?
Affiliate links are specific URLs that contain the ID or username of the affiliate. They are used to track traffic sent from an affiliate’s website to a merchant’s website. Each affiliate has its own unique affiliate link which, when clicked, creates a cookie in the visitor’s browser, allowing the merchant to track all clicks and purchases that come from that particular link.While most programs only pay you for conversions, click data is a useful metric for tracking traffic and conversion rates. Sometimes it also helps affiliate managers to evaluate how promising an affiliate partner might be.
How to use affiliate links?
When choosing affiliate products that are right for your audience, pay attention to the following factors:
• adapting the product to the audience
• market demands
• product price
• commission type and rate
• the length of the sales cycle
• other incentives
While there will be a lot of inevitable trial and error, it is helpful to minimize it as much as possible at this stage. Good content is always a big time investment. So choose your products carefully to avoid wasting the most valuable resource in life – time.
After joining the affiliate program, you get access to your personal affiliate dashboard. In addition to data such as your current earnings and unique visitors, you will also find your link code here.
How to get started with affiliate marketing?
Step 1: Choose your niche
Your niche is the category you want to talk about and promote.
If you want to stand out among the countless other websites today, my advice is to be specific. Instead of tackling a broad niche like food, go for something narrower like barbecue. This will help you build a more targeted audience and can also help with SEO.
Here are four questions to ask yourself to find a good place:
1. What am I good at?
2. What do I like to do?
3. What am I curious about?
4. What do other people tell me I’m good at?
It’s hard to overstate the importance of choosing something you enjoy. To succeed with affiliate marketing, you will need to create a lot of content. If you choose something you hate, it will be hard for you to continue when the going gets tough.
Step 2: Decide on a content platform
You can do affiliate marketing on any platform. It includes:
• Social media (e.g. Instagram, TikTok)
The way you choose will depend on your preferences and occasionally your niche preferences. For example, people learning to breakdance will prefer videos. So even if you prefer writing, running a YouTube channel might be a better option.
Step 3: Find the affiliate programs you want to join
There are three main types of affiliate programs to choose from:
1. High paying, low volume – niche products with fewer buyers. For example, HubSpot only sells to businesses, but their affiliate program pays well (100% first month and 15% monthly recurring commission.)
2. Low-paying, high-volume — Products with mass appeal, e.g. PS5 games. For example, Amazononly pays a 10% commission. But the good thing is that they offer commissions on the entire value of the purchase (and not just the product you recommended.)
3. High-paying, high-volume — expensive products with mass appeal, such as credit cards. The problem is that these programs tend to attract affiliate marketers with deep knowledge and pockets and a willingness to use black-hat tactics.
Step 4: Create great content
If you want your affiliate site to succeed, you need to create high quality content where your affiliate links will naturally fit. Don’t just blindly choose products from Amazon bestsellers. Go the extra mile and make sure your content solves your readers’ problems.
For example, if you do reviews, you should buy and try the product. Use it for a period of time and report your findings.
Types of Affiliate Marketing
It’s often not clear whether the affiliate marketer has actually used the product they’re promoting or if they’re just doing it for the money – sometimes the customer might not care.
But other times, such as with diet services or skin care products, a customer may not trust an affiliate unless they know they have tested and approved the product themselves.
Here we break down each category to help you decide which way to go.
In an unaffiliated business model, the affiliate marketer has no connection to the product or service they are promoting. They have no expertise or authority in the product, nor can they claim to use it.
An unaffiliated affiliate will typically run PPC (pay-per-click) marketing campaigns) using the affiliate link in the hope that customers will click on it and make a purchase themselves.
The happy medium between independent and affiliated affiliate marketing is for those who don’t necessarily use a product or service, but are connected in some way to a niche audience. These affiliates often have some influence in a niche and an established following and therefore can offer some authority.
For example, maybe you’re promoting a clothing brand you’ve never used before, but you have an audience through a fashion blog or YouTube channel. In this case, you would be considered an affiliate marketer.
As the name suggests, involved affiliate marketing describes those who are closely associated with the product or service they are promoting. The affiliate has personally tried the product, believes it will provide a good experience and has the authority to make claims about its use.
Rather than relying on pay-per-click, engaged affiliate marketers use their personal experience with the product in their marketing efforts and can be trusted by customers as reliable sources of information.
Of course, this type of affiliate marketing requires more work and time to build credibility, but it will likely result in greater returns.
How do affiliate marketers get paid?
A quick and cheap method of making money without the hassle of selling a product, affiliate marketing has an undeniable allure for those looking to increase their income online. But how does an affiliate get paid after connecting a seller with a consumer?
The answer can get complicated.
A consumer does not always have to purchase a product for an affiliate to earn a commission. Depending on the program, the affiliate’s contribution to the seller’s sales will be measured differently.
An affiliate can get paid in different ways:
Payment for sales
This is the standard affiliate marketing structure. In this program, the merchant pays the affiliate partner a percentage of the sale price of the product after the consumer purchases the product as a result of affiliate marketing strategies. In other words, the affiliate must actually get the investor to invest in the affiliate product before they get compensated.
Pay Per Lead
A more complex system, pay per lead affiliate marketing programs compensate the affiliate based on the conversion of leads. The affiliate must convince the consumer to visit the merchant’s website and take the desired action – whether it’s filling out a contact form, signing up for a product trial, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading software or files.
Pay Per Click
Affiliate marketing is largely about generating website traffic and trying to get customers to click and take action. So the myth that affiliate marketing is all about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes as no surprise.
While organic traffic is free, SEO simply cannot sustain affiliate marketers in such a saturated market – which is why some affiliate marketers use PPC.
PPC (pay per click) programs focus on incentivizing affiliates to redirect consumers from their marketing platform to the merchant’s website. This means that the affiliate must engage the consumer to the extent that they move from the affiliate’s site to the merchant’s site. The partner is paid based on the increase in website traffic.
There are two common concepts in PPC:
- CPA (cost-per-acquisition): In this model, the affiliate partner gets paid every time the seller or retailer acquires a lead, which is when the affiliate link takes the customer to the merchant’s online store and the customer takes an action, such as signing up for an e – mailing list or filling out the “Contact Us” form.
- EPC (earnings-per-click): This is the rate of average earnings per 100 clicks for all affiliates in the seller’s affiliate program.
Pay to install
In this payout system, an affiliate gets paid every time they refer a user to a merchant’s website and install a product, usually a mobile app or software.
So, if the seller expects to bid $0.10 for each install generated through the affiliate program and the campaign results in 1,000 installs, the seller will pay ($0.10 x 1,000) = $100.
Why be an affiliate marketer?
While any “regular” job requires you to be at work to make money, affiliate marketing offers you the opportunity to make money while you sleep. By investing an initial amount of time into a campaign, you’ll see an ongoing return on that time as consumers buy the product in the days and weeks that follow. You get paid for your work long after it’s done. Even when you’re away from your computer, your marketing skills will earn you a steady stream of income.
No Customer Support
Individual sellers and companies offering products or services must deal with their consumers and ensure that they are satisfied with what they have purchased.
With the affiliate marketing structure, you will never have to worry about customer support or customer satisfaction again. The job of affiliate marketing is to connect the seller with the consumer. The seller deals with any consumer complaints after you receive the sales commission.
Work from home
If you are someone who hates going to the office, affiliate marketing is the perfect solution. You’ll be able to run campaigns and earn revenue from the products sellers create, all while working from the comfort of your home. This is a job you can do without getting out of your pajamas.