The internet has opened up a vast number of ways to make money online.
Whether you want to make a few dollars on the side or become financially independent, there are many different ways to achieve your goal with an online business.
One of the most popular methods is affiliate marketing.
This form of making money online is quite popular because it’s inexpensive, doesn’t require carrying any inventory, and allows you to focus completely on the sales aspect.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Basically, affiliate marketing is selling products or services from another company and earning a commission.
An affiliate marketer is akin to a salesperson who works for a company on commission.
If you sell a product from another company online, you will automatically receive a commission or percentage of the sale.
You’ll find many companies online that offer affiliate marketing programs because it does not cost them any money out of pocket.
In a typical affiliate marketing situation, you sign up with a company that offers affiliate marketing.
Amazon Affiliates is arguably the most famous, but there are many thousands of companies large and small that also offer this service.
Almost all companies love affiliate marketing because it’s like hiring a sales team that only gets paid when they make a sale.
This means no money out of pocket for them and they get to greatly increase their sales as a result.
How Does It Work?
So, how exactly does affiliate marketing work?
The premise is simple:
You sign up with a company that offers affiliate marketing as part of their services.
In virtually all cases there is no fee or charge.
In return, you will receive a code that is embedded in a link that you post on your site.
If a visitor to your site clicks on the link and purchases the product, you will automatically receive a commission from the sale.
You sell items for a particular company and they handle everything else.
This means that you do not carry any product, handle the transaction, or deliver the item.
All you do is collect the commission once the sale has been made.
The commission is automatic as the money is placed into your account from the sale.
Keep in mind that there is no limit to how much you can sell with affiliate marketing products.
The commission itself may range from 1% up to 50% or more depending on the company.
This means that you can choose to sell a lot of products at a low commission.
Or, you can sell fewer products that garner a higher commission.
For example, if you sell a product that costs $10 and you have a 10% commission, you will receive $1 for the sale.
Generally speaking, more expensive items such as televisions, appliances, and furniture offer a higher commission compared to low-end products such as office supplies or costume jewelry.
Most companies will have a set commission across the board for the products or services they offer.
How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing
Getting started with affiliate marketing can seem daunting at first, but if you stick with these 3 simple steps then you’ll lay the proper foundation for your success.
1. Join an Affiliate Program
The simplest way to get started with affiliate marketing is to join an affiliate program for the products you want to promote.
Try to think of specific products that you use on a regular basis or know a lot about.
For example, if you use a specific type of cookware and would feel comfortable writing about the benefits of the product, pros and cons, etc., then try to see if they have an affiliate program to join on their company website.
After doing a quick Google search I found an affiliate program for Oneida, a company that sells dinnerware, cookware, etc.
This would be a great opportunity if you know a lot about these products or cookware in general.
If you want to take a more general approach for promoting products, Amazon Affiliates is a great place to start as you can promote virtually everything sold on their website.
2. Build a Website
While the cost of becoming an affiliate marketer is usually zero, you will need to have a site to place the link.
You can create your own business website and use it to sell products, write reviews, or provide valuable information that visitors will find of value.
Remember that you have a wide variety of choices with the type of site you can create.
3. Develop a Content Strategy
Many successful affiliate marketers create websites that do not directly sell a particular product.
Rather, they offer valuable information that is related to the product.
Visitors to the site will decide whether the products featured are what they want to purchase.
Keep in mind that affiliate links will also work on other types of sites like YouTube channels, social media sites, etc.
Your success will depend on how you can bring visitors to your site and entice them to purchase the product.
Being Successful with Affiliate Marketing
Creating a website and posting affiliate marketing links is not enough.
Those who are successful have created a website that people want to visit.
It’s not easy work to make a website successful, but for those who have the patience, persistence, and are willing to learn, it can be quite profitable with a relatively small investment.
Provide Solid Information
As mentioned already in this article, one of the most effective methods used for affiliate marketers is creating a website that offers solid, valuable information to visitors.
Review sites are quite common, where you provide details of products in the same industry as the ones you are affiliate marketing.
But there are other types of sites as well that provide solid information which draws people in.
Selling Your Own Products
Another effective method is combining affiliate marketing with selling your own physical products.
By offering a number of products in the same industry, you can increase your chances of making a good profit.
Another advantage of affiliate marketing is that you can be creative with how you present your information.
It doesn’t have to be just text and images. Many successful affiliate marketers employ video as well.
Creating unique, informative videos is a great way to bring in an audience which in turn will click on the affiliate marketing links.
Start Learning Affiliate Marketing the Right Way
Effective marketing takes more than just experience.
For those who want to be successful, finding the right help early on is essential.
You should look for companies that have a strong reputation for affiliate marketing training, so you can hit the ground running.
I recommend checking out BlackHatWorld as this forum has a phenomenal amount of information to learn affiliate marketing, SEO, etc.
An SEO expert, web designer, and writer, Thomas writes on topics he deems fun such as digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal development. Since 2014, he’s worked with countless business owners to help them improve their organic presence online. When he’s not writing about online business or geeking out about the latest Google algorithm update, he spends his free time playing the piano and working out with his wife.