Affiliate marketing is based on revenue sharing. The affiliate marketer links to the merchant and earns a commission whenever the visitor he sent through his link purchases the referred product.
An affiliate link is a specific URL that identifies you as an affiliate. The traffic you generate to the merchant’s site flows through your affiliate link. Affiliate links direct the visitor to the correct web page on the merchant’s site while at the same time sets a tracking cookie that contains your affiliate information.
For example, XYZ Company sells a product for $50. In this case, the XYZ Company known as a merchant has made a direct sale and earns $50. Let’s say the XYZ Company wants more traffic and more sales, and decides to set up an affiliate program that pays affiliates 50 percent of every sale they refer.
You decide to join the program and start promoting XYZ Company’s products through your website. Your visitors will read your article or see a banner display and decides to check it out by clicking a link on your site that’s linked to XYZ Company’s website. If visitor purchases the same $50 product, you will make $25, and XYZ Company keeps the other $25. That’s a win-win situation for both you and the merchant, depending on your marketing costs.
As an affiliate, you have to market and advertise in order to generate traffic to your own website. You will keep profiting as long as the money you spend generating those referrals does not exceed what you earn back in commissions.
The merchant must pay the commissions, deliver the product to the customer, issue refunds if requested, answer customer’s questions, and other related fees for setting up an affiliate program.
It is the easiest to go into business online as an affiliate first. This is because you don’t need to have your own product, you don’t have to get and pay for merchant account, shopping cart, and other costly issues of starting e-commerce website. You earn commissions selling someone else’s product while learning online marketing techniques.
If you own an e-commerce website selling your own products, you can also locate products similar to yours and sell it as your backend products to make additional sales. Once you have a successful e-commerce site with adequate traffic, have tested all your sales copy, you can start your own affiliate program letting other affiliates help you sell your products for a commission you decide to pay. That’s why affiliate program is such a hot money-making plan when done correctly.
However, it is much easier and cheaper to start your first business as an affiliate. You don’t have to create the product and you don’t have to deliver it. Majority of your work involves being an effective information provider and online marketer.
Information is the number-one product on the Internet. If you want to become successful online, disregard of what product you plan to eventually handle, you must become an information provider.
The information has to be relevant to the product you plan to sell. Your product could be a physical product, an information product, or a service.
Simply think about the type of information you tend to search for online. You are usually looking for a solution to a problem, question, or concern. It might be something like:
And the list can go on. For example, if you plan to sell fly rods, providing information on fly casting, choosing the right flies for trout, and so on can improve your site with valuable and relevant content for both search engines and your visitors.
The best way to succeed as an affiliate marketer is to create and provide unique and valuable information related to your offer. This approach is far better than acting as a salesperson because people value good information and solutions over products. If you focus on helping people and provide real value, you can’t fail.
Once you build good reputation as an expert, you will get more referrals and repeat customers. Offering quality information rather than just trying to be a salesperson is what separates average affiliates from super affiliates.
In order to attract potential customer as an affiliate, you need to:
1. Build a website and set up an opt-in landing page where you present your information and your offer.
2. Drive your traffic to your landing page through online marketing.
3. Have an opt-in subscription form offering free newsletter, or have a small e-book for free download in return for subscribing to your email list.
4. Follow up with subscribers by providing more valuable information. Provide at least 80 percent information and less than 20 percent sales talk with a link to the merchant’s site.
You need to make sure the information you include on your website or landing page is unique and doesn’t exist on any other site. Search engine spiders can easily detect duplicate content and penalize your site with duplicate content. Some affiliates start with a blog rather than building a website. However, you still have to refer people to merchant’s site in order to make money as an affiliate marketer.
By John Stanford – 2019
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