Last Updated: April 26, 2019
What Affiliate Marketing Is and How to Start?
In this age of e-commerce and the internet, many have probably heard the term “affiliate marketing,” but do you know what affiliate marketing is and how to start? Starting an affiliate business online opportunity and earning extra income home can improve your financial circumstances. In the purest form affiliate marketing is the connection of the advertiser, the affiliate marketer, and the consumer.
Quite plainly, advertisers think that it cost a lot less to let affiliate marketers promote the advertisers’ products or services because the affiliate marketers will advertise for them to earn commissions. For promoting the advertisers’ products, the advertisers agree to pay the affiliate marketer a commission for driving traffic and consumers to the advertisers’ website.
The advertiser will provide the affiliate marketer with links, text ads, and banners that the marketer will incorporate into their websites. It is an excellent way to make passive income at home. What affiliate marketing is and how to start? I hope that by the end of this article I have answered that question for you.
Most marketers don’t think about affiliate networks as being an integral part of the affiliate marketing connection. I believe that is because not all affiliate marketing gets completed through an affiliate network.
However, there are times when an affiliate will sign up with an affiliate network to promote a bevy of products that it has for sale. When that happens, the affiliate network acts as an intermediary between the merchants and the affiliate marketers.
There are some advertisers (merchants) who will create a network purposely to manage their affiliate marketing program. If an affiliate wants to promote any of the merchant’s products, they must join the affiliate program under that network.
Once an affiliate is a member of the network, the marketer has the option of promoting some or all of the products in that particular affiliate network, unless otherwise indicated by the merchant.
The last and probably the most vital part of this relationship is the consumer. The consumer is the person who must take action so that it is a win-win for all parties. The consumer sees the ads on the affiliate marketer’s website.
The desired action for the consumer to take is to click on the advertiser’s link or complete their contact information via a form input. After the consumer makes that necessary action, they are automatically moved from the marketer’s website to the advertiser’s site to complete the act that results in the purchase of a product or service by the consumer.
Completion of the desired action by the consumer is called a conversion. At this point, all parties get what they wanted. The consumer receives the product or service. The affiliate marketer earns a commission, and the advertiser makes the sale of the product or service. That, my friend, is what affiliate marketing is in a nutshell!
The Growth of Affiliate Marketing
Over the years affiliate marketing programs have become a well-built marketing tool as more and more businesses are becoming established online. Enterprises use affiliate marketers to advertise their products because it is less expensive than the standard ways of advertising.
Some research will be required to locate the best affiliate marketing training program. There are many, many programs out there, but they are not equal.
Also, you have to be very careful of those programs that claim to be cheap, but do nothing but upsell you on the tools you need to get started.
Then, there are some that are out and out dishonest scams. Do your due diligence first. I reviewed several affiliate training programs and found one that in my opinion was above all others (see my review recommendation here).
The affiliate marketer is paid a commission for their efforts to drive traffic to the business’ website, so a “conversion” can result. The affiliate will be trying to catch the attention of people who stop at their site for only a few seconds to click on the business ad.
Create a Great Website
The first move toward an affiliate marketing business is to join up with a “real” affiliate marketing training platform. The second most crucial action is to create a content-rich website that is very enlightening and educational but at the same time easy to read. Visitors will continue to return to your site because they can count on being able to find useful information when they need it.
Earning a passive income from affiliate marketing does not happen overnight. But, it is a deliberate and steady process and will result in a decent profit.
Whatever you do, don’t just slap a bunch of ads on a page because that sure as “shootin’” won’t please advertisers or bring traffic. You will have to consider your niche seriously. Choose something that you have an interest in to motivate you to want to work on your site every day, if only for a couple of hours.
Take creating your website seriously. Don’t just throw everything together even when you have suitable content. The main thrust is to attract people to your site, realizing they are probably only going to be there for a few seconds! Therefore, the design of your website will have to be eye-catching, and the content must be attractive.
Building a “great” website is only the first tactic toward becoming a great affiliate marketer. As you will later learn, a great site is more than just a great design. But, you are on your way if your website is content-rich with appropriate keywords.
Just becoming an affiliate marketer doesn’t assure that you will create a marketing kingdom. There are a lot of aspects that can determine your success in the affiliate marketing competition. However, there are some things that you can do to put you on the right track toward becoming a successful affiliate marketer.
Not everyone using affiliate marketing programs is generating real income. Whether you make income, is dependent on several different aspects such as content-rich sites, how you get traffic to your website, and if you use first-rate affiliate marketing programs. Selecting the best affiliate program to work with is a significant factor to help in the success of an online affiliate marketing business.
There are various ways to build links for your site, but not all of them are good ones. There was a time when all you had to do was trade links with another site. If you did that enough times, you would build a strong link network.
However, Google began to take a look at these links and considered many of the traded links were not genuine. When you exchange links, it should be another site that is relevant to your website.
For instance, if my website is about hair products and I agreed to exchange links with someone who had a website about horses; Google would likely discount the association because the sites don’t relate in any way to each other. Google would consider this not to be an accepted link.
Search engines analyze links to determine the popularity of websites and pages based on how many and the popularity of the pages linking to them. They also look at spam and trust metrics. Trusted sites are inclined to link to other trusted websites.
Search engines such as Google and Bing look for specific signals to measure the value of links. The following list is not necessarily all-inclusive.
• Worldwide Recognition – The more well-liked and significant a website is, the more importance placed on links from that site. To gain trust and authority with the search engines, it will probably require assistance from other well-liked link associates.
• Anchor Text – This is one of the most important signals that search engines use to rank. When several to many links point to a page that contains the precise keywords, that page has a very high likelihood of ranking well for the phrase in that anchor text.
An example is with searches that use “click here.” The results will rank exclusively because of the anchor text of inbound links.
• Trust Rank – There is no disbelief that the internet has enormous amounts of spam. As a method to weed out spam, search engines use a system to measure “trust.” Websites that earn links from very high trusted domains could end up with a considerable increase in this scoring system. Examples of top trusted backlinks are government, universities and non-profit organization website.
• Freshness—Links can lose their value after a while because websites that may have once been popular have gotten stale. The sites are no longer obtaining any new links. The search engines term this as “FreshRank.” The more recent links allow search engines to determine current relevance and popularity.
• Social Sharing – Facebook, Google+ and Twitter have exploded during these last few years with the amount of content that we share through these avenues. Google has started to include a large number of social indicators into its search outcomes. Although they treat socially shared links different from others, they are still taking note of them.
Building links are about one of the most challenging parts of SEO’s job and are one of the most important. These are some examples of link building strategies:
• Get customers to link to your website.
• Build a business blog and make it valuable, informative and an entertaining resource.
• Build content that encourages viral sharing and natural linking.
• Be newsworthy.
Build an Email List
Email is another great marketing tool that you should not overlook. I will admit though, that building an email list takes some effort, time, and can be overwhelming. Here are some actions that are a must for you to get your email marketing strategies underway:
- Build a website or a squeeze page (preferably a site).
- Create a bonus (lead magnet) to obtain email addresses.
- Determine topics for the email messages.
- Write the original messages.
- Write follow up messages.
Without building an email list, you will be leaving tons of money on the table!
Some people seem to think that building an email list is the responsibility of the merchant because the product belongs to them and the affiliate is only promoting their product.
What those people have forgotten is that as an affiliate marketer, your job is to promote the merchant’s products to obtain a conversion! If you build an email list, you can take the bull by the horn and control your business destiny.
Having a lucrative email list is one of the most priceless assets an affiliate marketer can have. Here’s why:
- Your email marketing could be better than what the merchant uses.
- You can promote any of your affiliate products whenever you want, and it won’t cost you anything extra.
- In addition to the product they are initially searching for, people may purchase other products they see you are promoting.
Email marketing can be a continuous income-producing tool for an affiliate marketer. Don’t bypass this effort!
Don’t make the mistake of only selling to your email list. Give your audience 80% of useful content that is a help to your potential customers and 20% about your product sales. That would be about four valuable content emails and then only one sales email.
Remember that your readers like to receive free content information that is helpful and it prompts them to look at your emails and not treat them as spam. Using this method can also encourage more communication with your email subscribers.
Never Give Up
Completing affiliate marketing tasks are purposeful as well as a steady process. It takes time. If you create a grand content-rich website, choose the right affiliate programs, and get good page rank, but you’re still not driving enough traffic to the site right away, don’t give up.
Don’t be impatient Double check everything in your affiliate resources toolbox that may be able to help you make corrections or improve your site. Believe in yourself and maintain your confidence in what you are doing.
Remember that this is not a “get rich overnight” gig. It is a real business, a real job. Some hard work will go into an online company just as any other business has a period in the beginning when there is no income, but it slowly increases until there is a steady stream of income. Patience will be needed.
Where Do You Go From Here?
An excellent marketing training program can help you build a successful affiliate business online opportunity. I found a great affiliate marketing training platform that actually did what it claimed it could do. I learned exactly what affiliate marketing is and how to start!
There are many different techniques used in affiliate marketing that you can apply to make a significant income. Check out my #1 training recommendation for learning how to become a successful affiliate marketer.
The best thing about it is that affiliate marketing start-up funds are low. You can do it part-time or full-time, you don’t need a lot of computer experience, and you can work from home! I call it a “learn as you grow experience”!
You too can learn to make passive income at home. From here you should take the next step to get started.
Please feel free to drop me a comment below, or you can always get me at wealthyaffiliate.com (here is a link to my profile).
Founder of Mom’s Trusted Affiliate