In this article we will look at how to become an affiliate marketer.
What it costs to start and where you can learn the skills needed.
It is not as hard or anywhere near as costly to start as is the case with most businesses and the rewards can be immense.
With all the attention and hype surrounding the amount of money being made online, it is hardly surprising that a lot of people are becoming attracted to the prospect of earning a living online.
It really is a kind of a modern day gold rush and if the truth be told, the potential money that can be made online is staggering.
What Is An Affiliate Marketer?
So let’s begin with the basics.
An affiliate marketer is a person who promotes products or services online in exchange for a commission or bounty.
You could look at them as a sort of online salesperson, and of course a marketer that specializes in online promotion.
Let’s break this concept down a little further and describe the terms I used above.
Most companies now have an online presence in the form of a website and social media.
Some will have a marketing department that will specialize in advertising their brand and products to perspective customers.
This department often uses traditional methods such as magazine ads, but also will leverage the power of social media and internet traffic.
As you can imagine, this takes a lot of work and expertise, which in turn means paying skilled people a competitive wage in order to attract the best talent possible.
This is why you now have job titles such as “Social Media Specialist” and “Online Promotion Consultant”.
As you can imagine, these people are highly skilled and literally spend their day attempting to draw attention to the companies products online.
With the absolute saturation of smartphones in society today and the mass use of social media. The scope for reaching potential customers, and therefore revenue, is immense.
People with this skill set are not cheap to hire and also a team of such individuals is needed to handle the work load effectively.
Affiliate marketers on the other hand only get paid when they produce sales or actions that qualify for a bounty.
Compensation is typically commission or a bounty.
This type of compensation is a percentage of the sales the affiliate generates.
For example, an outdoor equipment company may pay 10% on all sales.
Jim has a blog and a social media following that focuses on outdoor pursuits.
He writes some articles on camping and hiking.
He adds the links to products from the outdoor equipment company into the content.
Anytime anyone reads his content and clicks through a link, they are classed as Jim’s referral for a period of time.
This amount of time can vary between programs, but can generally be anywhere from 24 hours and upwards.
Some affiliate programs have referral periods of a year and others for life.
So in other words if that referral customer buys anything within a year of being referred by Jim, he gets a commission each time.
If those referrals buy anything from the outdoor equipment company, Jim gets 10% of the sales total.
A referral spends $300 on the Outdoor equipment site, Jim gets 10% or $30.
As you can imagine, if Jim sends hundreds or even thousands of referrals to the outdoor site, he could make a LOT of money.
Bounties are very similar as far as being referrals, but instead of commission, Jim may earn a set fee each time.
For example, a credit card company may pay a bounty for every person that applies and qualifies for a credit card.
They pay $50 for every referral that ends up qualifying for the credit card.
Jenny, who has a financial blog, can earn a lot of money referring people to the credit card application.
If Jenny could refer 10 people a day who qualify for the credit card, she would be earning $500 a day.
$500 x 365 days a year = $182,500 a year.
Not bad I’m sure you would agree!
How companies benefit from affiliate marketers.
Obviously if a company can have an army of affiliates all promoting their website and driving perspective customers to their products, and only pay for results, it is extremely beneficial.
This why some of the biggest companies in the world have programs that offer generous commissions and bounties.
How much does it cost to start affiliate marketing?
The start up costs for affiliate marketing are actually extremely low in comparison to most other business models.
To actually start the initial outlay is primarily in the following
A domain name is the name of the site.
So, for example this site is called whatisaffiliatemarketing.com
The cost of a domain will vary according to the amount, and SEO value, of keywords in the domain.
Keywords are the words that people type in to find the information they are looking for.
So, someone who types in shoes is looking for a website that contains shoes.
Sounds obvious, right?
So logic would say that shoes.com would therefore get a lot of traffic.
That keyword is extremely competitive as you would imagine.
According to the keyword tool I use to assess traffic, the search term “shoes” gets an average of 733760 searches per month.
As you can imagine, such a domain name, if it were available for purchase, would be worth a lot of money.
Most marketers tend to go for domains that either have long tail keywords or simply use their own name as a brand.
A long tail keyword would be “Discount Leather Shoes For Kids”, just for examples sake.
If you get a regular domain you are typically looking at somewhere in the region of $15 per year.
Here is an article that goes into detail on how to choose a domain
Website and Hosting Software.
The next start up cost to consider is website and hosting costs.
Most people tend to find a platform where they can build and host their website in the same place.
This is not only for convenience, it is also usually a lot more cost effective in most cases.
There are many platforms available.
Personally I use the one that comes with the affiliate training community I am part of which I will discuss below.
It has WordPress and hosting built into the platform So I do not have to worry about multiple monthly payments and accounts.
Everything is all in one place.
Other platforms that marketers sometimes use are Wix and Weebly.
As I said I use the all in one platform I will describe at the bottom of this article.
OK, So How Do I Become An Affiliate Marketer?
Personally I always advise people to take the following steps.
1 Decide what niche you are going to be in.
A niche is the topic you are going to be promoting products from.
It is honestly the best policy to choose a niche that you are interested in and also have some knowledge about.
I suggest this first because some people will dash off looking for the niche that they think they can make the most money from.
Makes sense right?
Actually, not so much.
When you are doing online marketing you are going to be spending a lot of time writing and researching your niche.
I’m talking a considerable amount of time.
2 Get The Correct Training.
Affiliate marketing involves the utilization of a lot of different skills in order to be successful.
You will need to learn at least the following.
How To Build a Blog.
You will need to learn how to build a website/blog in the correct manner.
Although there are platforms now that make website building very easy, as an affiliate marketer you will have to know how to build it correctly.
Just putting together a blog and posting content is not enough to be successful.
You will need how to lay out your posts in the correct way in order to lead your readers to the products you are marketing.
Here is an article on how to start a blog
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As you are building your blog you will need to be conscious of, and implement, search engine optimization.
The whole point of building a blog of any kind is to get people to read it.
Without the correct SEO in place your blog will not reach the first page of search engines and therefore get traffic.
Quality Content + Traffic = Revenue, is the key.
No matter how great your content is, it’s of little use if no one reads it.
How To Leverage Social Media
In combination to SEO and search engine rankings, social media is a huge factor is drawing traffic to your blog.
Social media is not just a case of making posts and hoping people share it with their followers.
Leveraging social media correctly is an art form in itself.
Each platform has it’s own techniques that need to be mastered in order to be successful.
You can attempt to learn these skills yourself by researching on the internet.
This can be done.
However, it can take a lot of time to find the correct information.
Once you have found this information it can also lead to a lot of trial and error.
If you happen to learn some old or incorrect SEO techniques, it can actually lead to you getting removed from search engines altogether.
As you search for information you may encounter various packages that claim to be able to ensure huge success with minimal time and effort.
Take no notice of all these get rich quick programs.
It’s a myth used to sell “special technique” courses.
I can tell you from experience, nothing beats the basics combined with a little personal creative marketing.
There is no magic trick that will have you earning truck loads of money within weeks and allow you to work 2 hours a day.
It’s a load of nonsense.
Sure, there are flash in the pan techniques that can produce amazing results quickly and for a very short amount of time.
As soon as Google or any other search engine realizes what’s going on they will alter their algorithm to close the loophole.
It’s a fact and one that leaves a lot of people with a dead business model after a few weeks of it working.
Nothing beats putting in the work using the basics.
I advise you join an authentic affiliate training community such as Wealthy Affiliate
I have been a member for years and have learned a lot of what I know from their courses and ongoing education.
There is no fluff or wild promises.
They tell you exactly how it is.
If you learn and implement the basics and put in the time and hard work required…
You will succeed.
If you try to cut corners or use “special techniques” then you will not.
Do not forget, affiliate marketing is about building a long term sustainable business and income.
It is not a way to loot as much as you can, as quick as you can, before Google closes the loophole you are using.
As with anything, if you want to be great at something, get the correct training and put in the effort.
What is Wealthy Affiliate? – A full guide
Learn about the best affiliate marketing course
What is affiliate marketing and how to get started
Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Questions – Answered
5 Reasons Why You Should Learn Affiliate Marketing
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