How to Become an Affiliate Marketer in 2021
In the ever-evolving world, marketing trends are changing at an epic pace. The advent of social media has substantially changed how people used to market their products. It has also given rise to new jobs, new careers, even new ventures. If you are a millennial, you might have a fair idea of how things used to be and how they are now.
Technology is shaping up an era where some people struggle to get a job, and others are making money while they are asleep. Isn’t it the dream for everybody to make money even when they sleep? Yes, that dream is now fulfilled by affiliate marketing and Geofencing Marketing. This new marketing technique is a performance-based reward/commission system with which you can earn thousands of dollars (depending on how effective your efforts are) by promoting other people/sellers’ products.
History and Definition of Affiliate Marketing
According to Wikipedia, affiliate marketing can is defined as follows.
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
Historically, affiliate marketing started in 1994 when William Tobin first launched the PC Flowers and Gifts. He patented affiliate marketing and had over 2600 affiliate marketing partners on the web globally. Then Amazon started its affiliate program in 1996 and encouraged users to add links to their products in texts or post banners on their sites. Even in those primitive days of the internet, PC Flowers and Gifts made $6 million-plus in sales.
Affiliate marketing has gained a lot of popularity, and affiliates make a reasonable sum of money from affiliate programs. Affiliate marketing programs are global, and anyone can start affiliate marketing and generate a reasonable sum of money. Blogs like Smart Passive Income and Globolstaff are inspiring next-gen affiliate marketers.
It sounds fantastic on paper that you can make money quickly by promoting others’ products, but it requires significant effort to get substantial results in practice.
The Two Sides of the Coin. The Merchant and the Affiliate
One can divide affiliate marketing into two portions. First, you have a product and want to sell via eCommerce platforms but do not have time to promote your products. So, you offer affiliates and promoters to promote your product to increase sales.
The second scenario is that you are associated with an affiliate program and share, promote, or publish content that refers to potential buyers to the product page. As a result, you get a commission on each sale.
The process seems quite simple. The idea seems quite lucrative to establish a revenue stream that can generate continuous revenue; however, to be a successful affiliate marketer, one has to invest focused efforts towards a specific product category to establish yourself as a desirable affiliate.
Starting Your Career as an Affiliate Marketer
If you ponder a little, you will understand that affiliate marketing is just like starting your own business. The best part is that you will have the flexibility to go solo or become a team; you won’t have to spend on procuring stock and won’t require a physical warehouse.
The method to approach affiliate marketing is totally up to you; start a blog, a YouTube channel, or run ad campaigns on social media platforms. No matter what you chose, there are certain factors that you should fulfill if you want to make a name for yourself as an affiliate marketer.
Prepare yourself for the future by laying the groundwork so that you may know what lies ahead and plan your resources accordingly. So, let’s go to the step-by-step guide on how to become an affiliate marketer.
Here’s How to Become an Affiliate Marketer
If you are a newbie and just looking to start your career as an affiliate marketer, this guide will help you get a head start. So, let us explore each step to have a good idea of how to achieve success.
- Select a platform
- Decide a niche
- Discover and join affiliate programs
- Create unique and trustworthy content
- Get traffic on your site
- Get clicks and conversions on your affiliate links.
1. Select as Platform
There is no universal rule on which platform to select for affiliate marketing. Virtually, you can use any forum that you want for promoting the content that you create. However, YouTube and blogs are the go-to choices if you’re going to post a large volume of content and market it on social media.
Initiating a blog and a YouTube channel are relatively easy and cheaper options. You can start a YouTube channel at minimal cost, start recording with your phone and polish your skill as you grow in the field.
Starting a blog is also an easy and fantastic idea; you can find multiple online tutorials on creating your blog. Get a domain. The right domain will not cost you more than a few bucks a month.
Once your website is entirely set up and ready, optimize it for the search engine so that you can quickly get free traffic from search engines. YouTube channels and videos are also optimizable for maximum views and ranking.
One key point that you will need to focus on while publishing content is to disclose that the content contains affiliate links in the content. You can add links in the description of YouTube videos. For blogs, you can mention that the article contains affiliate links ensuring transparency as per the Federal Trade Commission’s requirement.
2. Decide a Niche
This is the part where you have to be honest with yourself and decide what you want to promote. According to Statista, the number of bloggers in the US will exceed the 30 million mark by the end of 2020. So, you have a fair idea about how immense the competition is going to be.
So, select a more focused niche rather than a generic and broad term. For example, “sports” is a general term, and there will be millions of blogs in this category; you can instead choose “soccer in Ontario” to build a more focused audience.
Selecting specific and narrow topics can help you rank on search engines and attract people with a genuine interest in your blog. This will also be a great help to generate a loyal and recurrently visiting audience.
3. Discover and Join Affiliate Programs
Once you have set up the sites and decided, the next step is to choose the affiliate program. Here is how you can select the best referral program and what to consider while choosing such programs.
There are three types of affiliate programs.
- Low Volume, High Commission Affiliate Programs
- High Volume, High Commission Affiliate Programs
The choice of the affiliate programs depends on how much traffic you can gain and the level of your expertise. If you target a high traffic and consumer base volume, you can go for a low commission model. Business or high-end products might fall in one of the high commission categories.
You can search affiliate programs by a quick Google search or looking at the sites that successful affiliate marketers are frequently linking. By looking and analyzing their behavior, you can decide on an affiliate program that suits you best.
4. Create Unique and Trustworthy Content
Now that you are done with choosing the affiliate program, niche, and media. The next step is all about your creativity. Now you have to create amazing content that can convince your audience.
You should design high-quality content in which you can fit affiliate links seamlessly. You can find ideas that clicked for blogs before. Search for famous affiliate blogs like WireCutter and Affilorama. You will get unique inspirational ideas to help you understand what kind of content connects with people.
5. Get Traffic on Your Site
There are multiple ways that you can divert or attract traffic to your blog or channel. It is one of the most challenging parts as compared to the initiation phase.
Search Engine Optimization is a powerful yet effective tool to gain traffic from search engines like Google or Bing. SEO services are available online at freelance platforms, or you can optimize the site yourself by investing an extra effort.
From Social Media
Social media is a convenient platform to attract and gain traffic on your websites. You can design social media ad campaigns and lead traffic to your website.
6. Get Clicks and Conversions on Your Affiliate Links
This is the last step, and there are a few things that you need to consider. Link placement plays a vital role in getting clicks. Placing links towards the end might reduce your chances of getting clicks. You can see what strategies the best eCommerce resources and blogs are following.
The context and callouts matter a lot. You can add buttons, flags, broachers, and tables with effective linking that can lead to your traffic. The context is essential. For example, if you are writing an article on sports and placing links on tyres, this practice will only annoy your audience.
The final thoughts are that affiliate marketing is an excellent approach to earn money online, but it will require persistent efforts and good sense to identify the latest trends. You can also consider going through the tips from top marketing experts