You are watching a video of your favorite YouTuber. The fitness expert you adore recommends you to buy a product online by clicking the URL link given in the description that accelerates the process of burning fat or building muscles. Awed by his/her physic, you don’t think for a second before buying that product as your favourite fitness expert vouched for that product who uses it personally. You are happy that you have taken the right action to be fit by buying that product. The YouTuber is happy that you helped him earn some money not only by increasing his views but also for the commission he gets by your purchase.
That sounds wow! Doesn’t that?
This is where affiliate marketing comes into the picture. According to the definition of Wikipedia, “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 own marketing effort.”
The job of an affiliate is to attract the potential customer by promoting one or multiple affiliate products of the merchant so that they actually end up buying it. To make it simple, an affiliate is a sales executive. The only difference is that he is free to promote any affiliate product or service via online media.
If you are a blogger, when you are writing about a specific product, the URL shared by you leads the customer to an e-commerce site where they can make a purchase if they liked it. Once they purchase the product, you get the commission as agreed upon earlier. And the good news is, if they purchase any other product along with the product you recommended, you get the commission of that product purchase too, even if you didn’t recommend it by sharing the URL.
If you know how to leverage social media and YouTube, you don’t even need a website to be an affiliate.
There are advantages for both the merchant and the affiliate in this business. The merchant or the product manufacturer doesn’t need to spend time and money on advertising as he is not sure if his advertisement works. Also, it becomes tedious to track the result of his advertisements. Therefore, paying commission only after the sale is made sounds to be a pretty great deal for the merchant.
The affiliates have many advantages. They need not think about producing any product or services. The product is readily available for them. Their job is just to market the product. Any affiliate can start this without any previous experience. The good thing about affiliate marketing is that you can work from any part of the world, where you have freedom of time and place. This offers you a flexible work life balance, and of course a good source of supplementary income source as well.
How do I become a Affiliate Marketer? Here you go…
In order to be an affiliate marketer, just follow the 3 steps mentioned below:
- Choose Your Platform: Decide on the platform you are using to market the affiliate products. If you already have a blog, you can start promoting the products in your blog posts. You can also think of promoting on social media such as Facebook, YouTube, etc. Having more than one platform is definitely a bonus. However, you should be realistic about getting enough traffic to your blog. Even if your blog or YouTube channel is SEO driven, it takes a minimum of 6 months to reward you for all your hard work, creativity, planning, consistency and discipline.
- Choose Your Niche: There are many categories of products available in the affiliate market. Health and Wellness, Wealth, Love, Gaming, and Hobby are some of the popular categories. If you are writing blogs on Health and Wellness, you can make sales through affiliate marketing only if you promote health-related products. You are less likely to sell a laptop by sharing URL after writing a blog post on health supplements.
However, be sure of the products you are going to promote as your reputation is at stake. Your purpose should not be a temporary gain, where the clients aren’t satisfied by the products and they buy through your URL link. If you make your readers/viewers visit your blog or channel repeatedly to get recommendations from you, only then you can earn passive income on a continuous basis.
For that, you should promote only those products which you personally like and use. If you are not using it, at least you should learn about the product by buying it yourself or by getting complementary products. As you might already know, some popular YouTubers who have large followers, review the products which they receive as a complement from the manufacturers.
- Join the Merchant’s Program: By now, you already have a suitable channel and product in mind. The next step is to find the affiliate products directly with a merchant or through an affiliate network. There are many affiliate networks. However, ClickBank, eBay Partner Network, CJ Affiliate, Amazon Affiliate program, ShareASale are some of the most trustworthy affiliate networks.
You will have to apply for an affiliate program by providing your personal/business contact information for tax and reporting purposes and your bank account details where the commission will be credited to. In turn, the merchant will provide you with an affiliate link. At the end of each link includes your affiliate ID.
Whenever a buyer completes the sales process clicking the URL, the merchant finds a cookie with an affiliate ID that shows the source of the referral. After this process, the affiliate is credited with the sale. The merchant pays the affiliate commission at the end of each payment period.
To conclude, a lot of planning and creativity is required to be successful as an affiliate. However, all your hard work will pay you back if you follow the required process consistently.
– Written By Vikram Nayak