Affiliate marketing is practically the promotion of someone else’s products, in which each sale earns a commission. This is one of the most popular ways of promoting and selling products on the Internet. With this method, a large sum of money is being made in the global market. Many websites make excellent money in this way, leading to a huge market development, which is worth billions of dollars. This is a very popular way to increase sales of a product. And, while in classic stores you resell products, in this type of sale you aren’t actually selling anything but directing customers to the store.
What Exactly Is Affiliate Marketing?
The affiliate marketing definition will explain the process of this type of promotion in more detail. This is a digital marketing area where, by promoting products or services on your website, you refer a prospective customer to the website of the manufacturer or service provider. If a purchase is made based on your recommendation, you get a percentage of sales from the manufacturer.
Unlike running an e-commerce website (online store), in this case, you don’t take care of direct sales, product storage, warranty, and similar things. Your job is to persuade the reader, the potential customer, to click on the product link. It will then take it to a website where specific product sales are made. This way, you are able to monetize products that are of interest to your audience without physically owning them.
Simply put, you are making money from other people’s products that you promote on your website. When you promote a product, all you have to do is wait for the conversion of visitors into customers. In doing so, you have no liability in the event of a product failure or poor service. You’re simply someone who connects the two parties.
An added benefit is working from home, more accurately from anywhere on the planet. This specific form of marketing doesn’t require any meetings or even getting to know the end customer. The only thing you need to know is how much you can earn and how reliable the seller is. Of course, the question is how do sellers know that you were the one who recommended that someone visit their online store and buy the product, and how to make sure that you’ll be paid for it?
Basic Elements of Affiliate Marketing
In this promotion and sales process, everyone’s doing what they are good at. The marketer promotes the product for a commission, and sellers earn from the extra sales, which they probably wouldn’t have without the marketer. This way everyone focuses on their business – there are many successful companies that do full promotion through the affiliate program.
Thanks to this form of marketing, different types of promotion can be obtained because the manufacturer doesn’t care in what way you write about the product. Namely, an affiliate isn’t an official representative of the company and, therefore, has greater freedom to communicate with consumers. This allows promotion by using a different “language“ (less corporate) than the way the product is usually promoted. Affiliate marketing practically has three important parts, namely: the seller or manufacturer of the product/service, the partner (affiliate), and the consumer. We’ll discuss the second one.
The backbone of this form of marketing is the partner of the seller who promotes the product or service. Also known as a publisher, it’s a person or company that promotes a manufacturer’s products and services to his/her audience in exchange for a percentage of sales. Although it’s often a website that’s interesting to a particular population, this job can also be done through social networks. The main limiting factor is whether it’s possible to post an affiliate link to the product.
Take the case in which your Instagram travel profile is extremely visited. You want to monetize this by promoting products such as the camera you use, clothing, travel gear, travel agency … In this case, you rely on your popularity to recommend products to your followers. Given that Instagram doesn’t allow linking of the website within the post, you’ll insert a link to your website where the “catalog“ is located in the “Bio“ section.
This is where we get to the point where abuses often occur. Specifically, certain publishers try to mislead customers. This is done by clicking on a purchase to go to the seller’s website without the buyer being aware of it. This is used by affiliate companies or individuals who want to present themselves as “first hand“. In this way, they sell the products as if it were their brand, while in reality, it’s a no-name brand that has nothing to do with the publishers (except that they recommend their products).
Abuses like this are possible because no signed representation agreement is signed, but affiliates are allowed to do whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t directly compromise the brand itself. If something bad happens, sellers can always say that it’s not the viewpoint of their company but only of a person or company that promoted them. Due to these and similar activities of individual content publishers, affiliate marketing often has a bad reputation.
Although it’s a reliable and results-driven promotion, it’s sometimes enough to have a malicious website that promises “100% healing with pills“ or “losing 60 pounds in just 10 days“, so that the entire industry is notorious. Even so, if done in the right way, this type of marketing can bring exceptional profit to all participants in the process, as well as benefits to the end customer.
How Does the Affiliate Program Look in Practice?
To make money this way, you need to sign up directly with sellers to get your code through which they recognize you. There’s also an option when you get second-hand promotional items, ie. through the affiliate network.
In this business, beginners often decide to partner up with companies that have a product base that they can promote. They take a percentage of every sale they make, and in turn, offer additional benefits to the publishers. The case that a company protects the publishers it collaborates with by paying them profits even in the event of a problem with the manufacturer (such as bankruptcy) is very common. In this way, they invest in their promoter’s network, especially when it comes to those who have proven to be extremely capable.
Regardless of the way you reach affiliate links, it’s up to you to promote the services or products of the seller in order to convert as many visitors as possible to your customers. The good thing is that a potential customer doesn’t have to buy the product right away to earn a commission. The seller keeps track of “your“ customers through cookies over the next few months, so every time they make a purchase, you get a commission. This is done primarily because many don’t immediately decide to buy, but are looking for the best option.
Sometimes you can make money even if the buyer doesn’t make the purchase. This is possible through an affiliate marketing system called Pay per lead. You get your commission when a visitor to your website clicks on a link and performs a specific action: filling out a questionnaire, signing up for a newsletter, downloading a demo program, etc.
The third option is Pay per click, where earnings are measured by the number of visitors a website redirected to a seller. In this case, it’s the job of the publishers to explain to visitors why it’s a good decision to visit the website in question. In order to make money in this way, you must have really high traffic, since in this way the profit is certainly lower per user who clicks on the link compared to the case that something was purchased.
How Can Products Be Promoted?
You need to properly communicate with your website’s visitors or followers on social media. Namely, without them and their trust, even the best-designed website or developed business will be in vain. There are several ways to reach potential customers.
Media Portals That Are Visited
Given that these websites have millions of visits both on the national and international markets, it’s possible to make great money through any type of conversion. Websites like these have many visits, but the question is how much loyal audience that they can get to buy something, these media portals have. Just because someone came to read some news doesn’t mean that they trust the portal so much that they will spend their money because of their words. It all depends on the approach, the reputation, and the product itself. In this case, even Pay per click earnings would be great.
Email marketing is still a very cost-effective way to reach potential customers. The good thing is that in this case, you’re directly contacting consumers, directing them to your website or manufacturer’s website. Many companies still make great money this way, skipping their own website completely. If you have a loyal audience subscribed to the mailing list, sending an email with a well-packed “unique, time-limited offer“ will often do the job.
Websites Focused on a Specific Niche
If your website specializes in a particular thing, it will be easier for you to get conversions from visitors, even if you don’t have heavy traffic. If you have 100 visitors interested in computers and you promote a laptop, that’s much better than, for example, 10,000 cat lovers (unless you sell cat food).
Speaking of success and performance of your affiliate marketing website, choosing the best platform for building one as well as choosing reliable hosting both have an important role. Did you know that MySQL hosting can really suit affiliate marketing websites? Services of these providers are affordable and, if you choose a hosting plan wisely, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of quality hosting. If you build your affiliate website with WordPress, searching for a good MySQL hosting will be much easier knowing that MySQL is a database management system that’s used by WordPress.
Influencers are the people who make a big impact on their followers, whether they are YouTubers, Twitter influencers or a celebrity. Their main task is to use their fan base to draw their attention to the products they promote. Since it’s usually about followers listening to their idols, the conversion is usually extremely high.
An important factor for a successful business is the conversion rate. This data shows how many potential customers who clicked on the link actually bought something. While this information somewhat doesn’t depend on you (because you were able to persuade them to click on the link), your earnings depend on it. That’s why it’s wise to work with multiple sellers so that you don’t become too attached to one company.
Affiliate marketing works as an ideal business that, when set up properly, brings in profits on its own. However, for real success, it’s necessary to apply the knowledge in the field of online sales and e-commerce in the right way in order to reach the stage that this kind of work brings you profit as soon as possible.