If you are interested in passive income, which is basically money that you earn while you sleep or while you are on vacation, you may want to start affiliate marketing.
**This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and purchase something I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps to fund my blog, so thank you! Full disclosure at the bottom of the page**
If you ask many successful affiliate marketers what the most important element is for success, they will likely tell you “marketing, marketing, marketing.” No one will buy if they do not know you are selling! Makes sense right?
Of course, having a unique and valuable product or service, a reputation based on integrity, and a good sense for building relationships are still foremost when it comes to running a successful business.
Once you have established a product or service that speaks for itself, and a reputation of integrity, it’s now time to step forward and market those goods or services. With more and more businesses moving online, the need for online marketing is expanding.
This can be seen by the sheer volume of online courses teaching various ways to freelance, as well as by the number of products available for promotion by affiliate programs like Clickbank and ShareAsale. People are needed to promote these products. Marketers are needed.
If you want to try affiliate marketing with a free WordPress.org website, check this out. You will also get instructions for set up, how to install plugins, and all the information you need to get started.
Online marketing stands to be one of the most lucrative ways for businesses to reach optimal success and increase their bottom line. Affiliate marketing is one of those ways.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
At its most basic, affiliate marketing is a way for an affiliate/promoter (you) to market/advertise a product provided by the seller and receive a commission if the customer purchases.
How do I start affiliate marketing?
It is important to start at the beginning. Even if you are just starting out online and plan to monetize your website in various ways, it is imperative that you treat your business like an actual business.
It is easy to get caught up in writing content and filling out your website, but it is also important to have an end game in mind and know what steps that you need to take that will get you where you want to go.
If you have not already done this, consider drilling down into your why so that you can help people with their why.
What are Your Passions, Hobbies or Interests? – Take some time to put pen to paper and discover what your passions and interests are, as well as your hobbies.
Why is this important? Well, for the most part, anything you do in business – whether it is a brick and mortar or an online business – needs one crucial ingredient. That ingredient is your passion.
Remember, in marketing no one likes to be sold anything, but people do love to buy. If you are not passionate about what you are creating, it will show. When it comes time to associate yourself with similar goods or services to sell through affiliate marketing, you want to have a successful money making website from the onset.
Make a List and Check it twice – Make a list and take a good look at your passions, desires, hobbies, and interests. Do any of these look appealing to you? Ask your family members, friends, and co-workers if this is a subject that is appealing to them as well. Dig a little deeper. Are you interested in gardening, for example?
There are hundreds if not thousands of sites on that subject. Why not dig a little deeper and create a sub-topic on eco-friendly gardening or roof top gardening or gardening for baby boomers? By creating a sub-topic you are now able to hone in on your target audience.
One of the most basic tools necessary in marketing is to know your target audience. In order to effectively market your website, there has to be a need and desire for it from potential viewers. If your website teaches something or offers help in some area, then there is a better chance to market and monetize your site in the first place.
Check out the Competition
Once you have honed in on your target audience and chosen your subject for your website, take some time to check out the competition. In this way, you can see what works for that competitor, what doesn’t work, and what you can do to make your site more unique and engaging.
A great way to do this is using Pinterest. You can type any niche or hobby into the search bar and hit enter. Then when the search results come up, look to the right of the search bar for the down arrow and in this sub-menu choose “people”.
The results will be people associated with this niche and they will be your competition.
Go to their websites, see what they are doing. Are they promoting products in their blog posts? Do they have ads on their site? What subjects do they talk about? How is their site set up? Is it easy to navigate?
If you already have a website established, there are a few things you want to make certain of before you look into affiliate marketing:
• Are you highly interested in this topic? Are you being authentic in your enthusiasm for the subject matter?
• Is it a site that has a lot of value and interest for others?
• Do you have the opportunity to write quite often on the subject?
• Is there a continuing need for information on this subject?
• Is there a growing interest in this subject?
• Do you keenly know your target audience in order to market to them?
• Will you have the possibility of developing many fans?
If any of these components are missing from your already existing site, you may wish to revisit your site and enhance it a bit more.
Once you have an established website with a fan base, you can then move onto monetizing your site. Monetizing generally means to make money from your website.
How to Earn Money Monetizing Your Website with Affiliate Marketing
Now that you have some basic information and have a valuable website, it’s now time to get some information about how to earn money with affiliate marketing.
As a promoter, when you send a visitor from your site to another company’s site as an affiliate, and that visitor makes a purchase, you will earn a commission. It’s like virtual networking, where you introduce a potential buyer to the product of the seller.
Is Affiliate Marketing Easy to Learn?
Affiliate marketing is fairly straightforward. You join an affiliate program and pick your products of choice. The merchant will provide the necessary code for your website. This will direct the potential buyer to the merchant’s web site.
The affiliate program will provide the links, banners, or ads, and once you copy and paste the code on your website you can begin the referral process. Once that potential buyer converts into a consumer by making a purchase, you earn your commission.
Different Forms of Affiliate Marketing
This is simply a brief overview of some of the different forms of affiliate marketing:
Pay per Purchase – You get a commission in the form of a percentage of the sale upon completed purchase. This is the favored way to earn from affiliate sales.
Pay per Click – Regardless of outcome, you get paid for referral traffic when a user clicks on an advertisement. This is how Google AdSense and Media.net work. You put their ads on your website and they pay you after an earning threshold has been met.
Pay per Lead – You will receive pay once contact information is provided by a potential customer through a contact form. If a potential consumer follows an affiliate link to a merchant’s web site and completes an action, such as signing up for a monthly newsletter or giving contact information, you’ll receive a commission.
What are the Benefits of Affiliate Marketing?
There are numerous benefits to learning all you can about affiliate marketing. While it may sound like a quick and easy way to make money, you do have to put in some time and effort and learn as much as you can about affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing can be just one of many passive income streams that you have in your toolkit of ways to earn online.
And once you get good at it, it may turn into your main stream!
These are the basics about getting started with affiliate marketing, but the benefits might inspire you to go for it.
There are No Out-of-Pocket Expenses – One of the great benefits of affiliate marketing is there is no startup fee necessary. Moreover, you do not have to pay a marketer to market your goods and services, nor do you have to pay to create, store, advertise or sell your own goods and services.
Get started today with a free website that will let you put affiliate ads on your website. Not all free websites will do that because you will be competing with the website company who will be putting their ads on your website – which is why it is free.
Unlike many other ways to earn money from home, you do not need to expend any money at the outset.
Work from Home – When the work from home idea first hit society, it was mostly a scheme to make money trying to sell ideas that simply did not or would not work. Today, however, with remote and telecommuting positions all over, and the Internet ablaze, working from home has not only become legitimate, but lucrative as well.
Many companies are looking for people to promote their products for them and the cost of the commissions is easier than hiring advertising companies depending on how niche-specific the products are. Since it is in your best interests to promote the products to get a commission, your blog posts are sure to be exactly what shoppers need to read to encourage the sale.
You can start your affiliate marketing endeavors during the nights or on weekends. Once you decide if it is just a form of passive income or if it is suitable to devote more time to, you can then recognize even deeper benefits:
• Saving money on clothing
• Saving money on fuel and traveling back and forth to work
• Saving wear and tear on your vehicle
• Less money spent on lunch, coffee runs in the morning and mid-day and even dry cleaning
This, of course, is dependent upon whether or not you choose to pursue affiliate marketing a bit more than part time. That is the best part of passive income…how much you earn and how much time you put into it is entirely up to you.
Make Your Own Hours – Of course you would start out learning the basics and see if this is right for you on a more steady scale. You, and only you, can make that decision. However, if you do choose to dive in further, you can reap the benefits of setting your own hours as an affiliate marketer.
Flexibility – No need to constantly babysit your marketing efforts with affiliate marketing. You can earn passive income while you are at work, while you are away, or even while you sleep.
There is also no need to worry about answering any customer questions or issues, as all you are doing is referring business. It really is a win-win way to earn money.
This is the first half of a much larger post. Next week I will be following up with more information on choosing affiliate marketing programs as well as building relationships with your readers.
If you do not have a website, or are just considering getting into the world of online marketing, consider a free 7 day trial of Wealthy Affiliate and see if blogging meets your needs. There is no credit card required and if you need a bit more time to decide by the time your free 7 days is up, you can get your first month for $19. I am sure that once you see how easy it is to get set up with your own affiliate website, you will see why this is one of the fastest growing side hustles available.
I hope that I have encouraged you to dip your toe into the world of affiliate marketing. If you have found this post valuable and I ask you to please share this with others that you think will benefit from the information. Remember, sharing is caring!
Until next week, happy blogging and follow me on Pinterest!