Affiliate marketing is one of the most successful ways to make passive income from home without having to deal with any of the hassle and headache of running your own business. With affiliate marketing, you are basically promoting other products, services and goods online, earning a small commission for each sale that generates through your work. And while there are many different ways to go about affiliate marketing-as well as countless affiliate marketing networks and products to choose from-the basis of affiliate marketing doesn’t change too much, regardless of the avenue you take.
Affiliate Marketing Explained
Essentially, what affiliate marketing means is that you are the promotional and marketing department for somebody else’s website. When you become their affiliate partner, you agree to promote their product in exchange for a commission of each sale that you are responsible for. The more traffic you send over to the site that converts (makes a purchase, signs up for their email list, etc., depending on what that site considers a conversion as per your affiliate partner agreement), the more money you make.
To become an affiliate marketing partner, all you have to do is go to virtually any website that is selling a good, product or service and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the home page. There will be a clickable link that says something very similar to, “Become an Affiliate Partner” or a link related to affiliate marketing. Click this link and follow the instructions provided, filling out all necessary information. Then, you will be provided with a personalized link that will allow the affiliate network to recognize all incoming leads that you provide.
This link will be the way that the leads you send over to the website will be noted and thus, provide information regarding your pay. Depending on what the qualifier is for your affiliate marketing payment, the website will track anyone that comes into the site from your personalized link, giving you credit for them. If all it takes is you sending traffic over, then every click on that link will generate you a commission payment. If the conditions of your affiliate partnership agreement stipulate that a sale must be made for you to earn a commission payment, when the sale is made by the lead you sent over, you will receive credit and thus, compensation.
Your affiliate marketing partnership goal can be any number of things, from having the lead sign up for an email mailing list, having them get to a certain page in their site, having them watch an informational video, having them download an eBook, etc. Whatever the goal of that particular website is, you can make a commission by sending them leads that convert, helping the website to reach its goals. Ultimately, this is the goal of affiliate marketer’s goal since this is what directly leads to higher frequency and percentage rates of commission payments.
How do I Drive Traffic to my Affiliate Marketing Sites?
Of course, affiliate marketing is all much easier said than done. One of the main obstacles of affiliate marketing is creating enough traffic to your link to generate traffic for your affiliate’s homesite. There are many ways to do this, but the main and most successful way is to create a website based around driving conversions to your link. This website can be dedicated to the link itself or just have a few landing pages with the link on it (with possible other landing pages on the site going to your other affiliate pages since it’s more lucrative to have multiple affiliate marketing streams at once.
The best way to drive traffic to these sites is through SEO marketing and viral sharing. With SEO marketing, your goal is to create keyword-rich content that will provide teasers for the product, good or service, building it up enough so that the reader will click your affiliate link. The keywords should be picked around the product and if possible, should be high-search, low-competition keywords. For example, you aren’t going to get much traffic to your affiliate site if you are using the same keywords your affiliate has optimized for already. What you want to do is pick up the alternative traffic that they are missing out of, most times with long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are typically phrases rather than words such as “best dog groomer in Boise” or “where can I find a poodle groomer?” and they are usually more specific than general in nature.
The other method of generating traffic to your landing pages is by creating viral content. This is typically done through blogging or reviews. By blogging, you are able to tackle and incorporate more keywords, especially long-tail, specific keywords and phrases. Plus, since blogs create fresh content, they are also SEO-smart in that they raise the ranking of your page on search engine result pages (SERPs). But most importantly, blogs have the ability to go viral. All it takes is a few shares on social media pages and a newsletter or email blast with your blog (containing your affiliate link in it), and if it’s exciting, informational and valuable enough, it can go viral in a heartbeat. When you have content containing your affiliate link go viral, you can expect your commission payments to jump exponentially.
Choosing Wisely for Affiliate Marketing
Of course, the first step in affiliate marketing is picking what product, good or service you want to work for. This step has three major steps itself:
- Choose a product, good or service you can get behind. First, be sure that you would use the product, good or service yourself. If you don’t believe in it, your marketing efforts won’t come off as believable. Plus, if you get discouraged by poor initial results, it’s much easier to give up on a project you don’t believe in.
- Choose an affiliate partner that can sell. If the site itself can’t sell its own product, it won’t make any difference how many leads you send its way. In fact, it will actually hurt your credibility in the long run. Make sure you their site would at least convince you to buy, but consider sending it to some friends and family to get their opinions as well.
- Make sure the commission is worth it. This should go without saying, but make sure what you’re earning from your affiliate marketing is worth the work you’re putting in. In the end, only you can determine this number.
When done correctly, affiliate marketing is a great way to earn residual income that can supplement your current revenue, or generate enough passive income for it to serve as your sole source of money.