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What is affiliate marketing and how to start earning

Affiliate marketing can make you a lot of money quickly and easily. It’s a great marketing tactic that can drive sales and significantly increase your online revenue. So, what is affiliate marketing, is it worth it and how can you become an affiliate marketer yourself? 

 What is affiliate marketing?  

Affiliate marketing is a type of digital advertising whereby a publisher can earn a commission from a sale if someone clicks on their advertised link. It runs of a monetisation model where a publisher is rewarded for the results that they provide the advertiser. Typically, advertisers want publishers to provide a sale, however some advertisers may reward publishers for leads, trials, clicks etc. 

Is affiliate marketing worth it? 

The affiliate industry had proven itself to be an easy way to make money as a side hustle or even as a business. The UK affiliate industry was said to be worth £627M in 2020 up from £569M in 2019 Industry growth is a brilliant success indicator, however there are other great measures of the affiliates industry.  

Low risk 

Affiliate marketing has no sign-up costs, which means that you can capitalise on affiliate marketing without having to pay any upfront costs. It’s a good way of generating passive income via commission.  

 Easily executed 

Affiliate marketing is simply marketing other people’s products, which means you won’t be faced with the more difficult tasks of stock counts, fulfilling orders or product development. 

Scalable   

A successful affiliate marketing scheme is easy to scale to increase your earning potential, without having to hire more people. You will build an audience over time, so by introducing new products to your well-established audience you can maximise profits whilst maintaining existing campaigns. It’s important to remember that a lot of affiliate marketing runs on trust. So, keep the products you choose to onboard ones that you would personally recommend.  

How does affiliate marketing work? 

 Affiliate marketing works by an affiliate (you) marketing products on social media platforms, blogs, websites or even podcasts. The earning potential from commissions can become whatever you want it to be dependent on how much time you invest into marketing the products. The affiliate will earn commission every time a purchase is made by a consumer through a unique tracking link.  

Here is a breakdown of the process: 

  1. The affiliate sets up their marketing channel and advertises the product with a unique tracking link. 
  2. The consumer will click on the link and be redirected to the company website. 
  3. The consumer makes a purchase on the store from the diverted tracking link. 
  4. The company records the sale details. 
  5. The transaction is processed, confirmed, and credited. 
  6. The affiliate receives the commission. 

Commission rates will vary from company to company, for example, some companies may only offer 5% commission per sale, whereas some companies may offer a 50% commission per sale. The commission rate is agreed upfront to avoid future arguments, and some companies may pay a flat fee as opposed to a commission-based salary. 

 How to start affiliate marketing 

We have broken down how affiliate marketing works and highlighted the benefits that come with it; however, you may be wondering how you can get started. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how to start your affiliate marketing journey. 

Choose your preferred platform and marketing method: 

Your first step is to determine your audience. There are loads of different ways in which affiliate marketers set up their network and target their consumers. However, below are some ideas to help you choose a platform and method best suited to the products you are going to start selling. 

1. Content producers 

Content producers include people such as influencers, bloggers and youtubers. These people tend to have a niche market such as fashion, food, or beauty. These people create unique content to suit the needs of their target consumers and will introduce products to their followers based on their needs.  

2. Niche product sites & review websites 

These are websites where consumers can view products and compare them to competitor products. To market within this network, you need to create content that will make you stand out from competitors, attract consumers and it’s important to keep the page up to date. 

3. Events 

You can incorporate affiliate marketing into relevant events. For example, at a university open day event, you may choose to go to these events and market products which university students would be interested in. 

It’s vital to remember that within affiliate marketing you need to form a relationship with your audiences, and if you cannot create an authentic, reliable bond with them, you will have limited success as an affiliate marketer. You will also need to put some thought into which platform you feel most comfortable using.  

Choosing your affiliate niche  

Once you have decided which platform is best for you, you will need to decide what niche of products you want to be marketing. Choosing products which fall in line with what you feel passionate about will resonate in your content and to the audience and make you seem more authentic in the eyes of the consumer. For example, if you have an interest in gardening, you may choose to create a blog about gardening with a name that fits well to your niche such as ‘The Gardeners Club’. Here you can create content pieces that pique the interest of audiences that have the same hobby and will create a strong foundation for you to market products on the channel.  

As you grow, there are affiliate marketing tools which can help you truly understand your audiences needs and what products they are interested in. This will help you to choose your affiliate marketing products more easily with an increased chance of success.  

Find your products  

You have now come to the exciting stage of choosing which products to market. Once you have established a backbone of your audience’s needs, this should be relatively straight forward. However, bear in mind, choosing the wrong products can affect your chances of success and reduce your credibility. There are plenty of affiliate marketplaces available online, here are a few worth knowing about: 

  • Amazon Associates 
  • eBay Partner Network 
  • Awin 
  • CJ Affiliate 
  • Marketing land 
  • Affiliate Insider 
  • The Drum 

 Affiliate marketing is a brilliant solution for generating an income as either a side hustle or a full-time job. Although, your earning potential is entirely dependent on how well you know your audience. If you have any questions for our team of affiliate marketing specialists, drop us an email at [email protected]. 

Phoebe Scholtens - Modo25
Author
Phoebe Scholtens
Phoebe Scholtens - Modo25
Author
Phoebe Scholtens
 

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