Imagine this: you roll out of bed one morning, open your laptop, and you’re pleasantly surprised by an influx of cash to your bank account. You’re an entrepreneur who just started a side hustle, and you’re finally achieving success.
At last, you’ve earned the profit you’ve worked so hard for. All it took was a few clicks on your laptop from the comfort of your home. Sounds pretty great, right? But how do you turn that imagined scenario into reality? With affiliate marketing.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, or an aspiring blogger, you can benefit from the revenue-generating potential of affiliate marketing.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is “the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products,” according to Pat Flynn and his guide on ethical affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is the promotion of a company’s product, in which you share the revenue of all sales you help generate The percentage of money you can make from promoting another company’s product can be as low as 4% or as high as 75%.
It usually depends on the type of product you promote (digital products often offer a higher commission than physical products) and your relationship with the vendor.
Affiliate marketing is like a two-way street that benefits both parties involved. The companies selling the product get willing individuals, like you, to market their products, and you earn a commission if someone buys that product through you. It’s also free to sign up for most platforms, and the process takes no more than a few minutes.
Take social media influencers for example, who make a large part of their profit from affiliate marketing. Influencers will promote a company’s product by including links on their social media accounts. If their audience clicks on that link and then buys that product, that influencer would earn a commission.
As an entrepreneur, you can promote a company’s product on your website or social media channels.
The most effective affiliate marketers will usually provide a review of a product in which they themselves use it and get great value.
In this review, they will talk about the pros and the cons of the product, an overview of how it works, the pricing, and much more. Check out our review of Fiverr to see how we write our reviews.
How Can I Start Affiliate Marketing?
Now that you know what affiliate marketing is, I’m sure you’re eager to get started. Luckily for you, it’s now easier than ever to become an affiliate marketer.
The easiest way to become an affiliate marketer is to sign up for affiliate marketing programs with companies or people who are trying to sell products.
Amazon’s affiliate marketing program is currently the biggest program as of now, and it’s free to sign up. In addition to Amazon, here’s a list of other great affiliate marketing companies.
The Affiliate Program Management has a post where they talk about where you can go to find other affiliate marketing programs as well.
Once you become an affiliate, you’ll need to start marketing the products. Here are 5 ways you can get started.
1. Social Media Marketing
One effective way to promote affiliate products is through social media marketing. You should have a presence outside of your website either on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or any of the others. Your goal should be to build up a following of people who enjoy your content and derive value from it.
If you’re wondering how to build up a following, you can check out our podcast episode with Trevor Oldham, where he talks about how he gained over 600k followers on his social media platforms in just one year.
Once you start amassing a following on your social media platforms, you can start posting about the various affiliate offers you have. Your followers may choose to buy those products if it’s in alignment with their needs.
You can also use your social media platforms to do paid advertising if you want to get quicker results.
This is our recommended method of affiliate promotion. In blog posts, you can write about all of the products you promote in review posts, how-to posts, and tutorials. If you have the means to, you can record yourself using the product and explain the features of your product and embed it into your post.
Infographics are another great way to promote your affiliate products, and infographics are much more likely than blog posts to be shared and engaged with.
Just make sure all of your posts are SEO-compliant. By making sure you are following the best SEO practices you give yourself the best odds of showing up on the first page of Google when people search up terms relating to your product.
3. Email Marketing
The money is in the list. This is a common phrase said by many affiliate marketers. An email list is one of the most powerful assets you can have as an affiliate marketer. An email list allows you to send tailored messages to a group of people who have already expressed interest in hearing what you have to say.
Through your email list, you can establish trust with your customers, and therefore when you offer them products, they are more likely to buy it than if a random person tried to sell it to them. You may be wondering, “How do I create an email list?”
4. Use Lead Generation Software
So if we know that an email list is essential as an affiliate marketer we need to know how to build one. One of the best methods to start building an email list is by using lead generation software. Software like OptinMonster allows you to add pop-ups, floating bars, inlines, and many other lead-generation tools that allow visitors to your website to sign up to your mailing list.
5. Offer Incentives
Not every person who sees a pop will be willing to just hand over their email address. Sometimes you need to offer someone an incentive to give you their email.
Some great methods of incentivizing your viewers to give you their email are by offering them discount coupons when they eventually buy your product. If your affiliate partner doesn’t offer discounts, then you can record an in-depth video of you using the product that they can only get if they join your mailing list.
These strategies allow you to not only incentivize someone to give you their email but also establish trust with your viewers, which Pat Flynn says is the most important part of affiliate marketing.
An Affiliate Marketing Success Story: Pat Flynn
Flynn is an expert affiliate marketer and was able to grow his business substantially through affiliate marketing initiatives.
Flynn stumbled into the world of entrepreneurship when he was laid off from his dream architect job in 2008. He was devastated. However, soon after getting laid off, he discovered the world of affiliate marketing and he was able to achieve more than he had ever dreamt of.
He didn’t know it at the time, but getting laid off and starting back at square one was the best thing to happen to his career. From there he began his own online business and is now highly successful.
With his online business, he was able to learn the ropes of “passive income,” income that requires little effort, like affiliate marketing, when starting his online business.
He started the Smart Passive Income blog to teach other entrepreneurs how they can also earn passive income. His blog goes over affiliate marketing and other types of marketing, as well as beneficial business development tips. If you’re an entrepreneur, this is definitely worth a look.
Why You Should Do Affiliate Marketing
If a fellow entrepreneur like Flynn can do it, so can you. Flynn is just one of many entrepreneurs who were able to escape the dreaded 9-5 through affiliate marketing.
So if you are just starting to monetize your business, or looking for an added source of income, you should definitely look into implementing affiliate marketing strategies.
Also, according to Neil Patel, 99 percent of people get their start from affiliate marketing.
It’s an easy, quick way to make money and earn a profit. There’s no downside to giving it a shot if you’re starting out and looking to make money fast.
Even if you’re not successful right away, you have absolutely nothing to lose from at least trying it.
Helpful Affiliate Marketing Resources
- Affiliate Marketing For Beginners by Pat Flynn
- How to Make Passive Income with Affiliate Marketing by Pat Flynn
- Smart Passive Income Podcast by Pat Flynn
- How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Beginners by John Crestani
- Affiliate Marketing Strategy for Bloggers by Cathrin Manning
- Definitive Guide to Affiliate Marketing by Forbes
Affiliate marketing is a process that allows you to market products for other companies and earn a commission while doing so. It’s a great way for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and aspiring bloggers to get their start.
You can earn a profit and achieve success, all with just a few clicks. In total, affiliate marketing is a simple and effective way to earn passive income that requires little effort.