Affiliate marketing: the basics and how to get started

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In recent years, the term ‘affiliate marketing’ has been gaining more and more traction. If you own a business or you’re trying to build one, you might have come across the term more than once.

Affiliate marketing is a digital marketing tactic that’s used to generate online revenue by driving sales through simple ‘clicks’. Statistics on affiliate marketing show that almost 81% of brands and 84% of publishers make use of affiliate marketing and in the last year, sales through affiliate marketing have increased by about 10%.

As its relevance grows in today’s market, it’s now more important than ever to understand what affiliate marketing is, how it works and how to use it to gain an advantage over your competitors.

So, what is affiliate marketing exactly?

As we mentioned above, affiliate marketing is an online or digital marketing technique through which a brand can earn commission by sponsoring or promoting a product.

Before you promote a product, it’s quite important that you like the product or trust the brand yourself. Affiliate marketing depends on your audiences or followers and your reputation can depend on the products you’re marketing.

If a consumer uses the link provided by the affiliate and makes a purchase, only then can the affiliate earn commission.

How does it work?

Affiliate marketing is quite straight-forward. Let’s say you have a website, a blog or a social network. You can show an advertisement or add a link to a product on one of your posts.

As soon as a customer clicks on the link, they’ll be sent to the product through a tracking link. The customer then makes a purchase and the affiliate network registers the details of the transaction and records it.

The company then confirms that a valid sale took place and the affiliate marketer is eligible for a commission or a margin of profit.

Affiliate marketing is just one way you can earn money online. If you want to learn more, check out Kellymarketingcpa where you can find tips and tutorials.

What are the ways to use affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is most commonly implemented through advertising, emails, blog, SEO, and web traffic.

Now that we’ve established the simple elements of affiliate marketing, let’s get down to the complicated aspect of it - the ways you can earn money through it.

There are three main ways you can earn money through affiliate marketing.

1.  Pay per sale

This is the most common form of affiliate marketing. The structure is clear-cut: if you make a sale through a links or ad you’ve promoted, you’re paid a percentage of the sale price.

The sale depends on your marketing strategy. And as you might have already guessed, there’s no compensation until a sale is made.

2.  Pay per click

This method is used to redirect consumers to the merchant or the brand’s website. This is done to increase the web traffic and the affiliate is paid based on how many page views they get.

For pay per clicks, an affiliate must be engaging enough to tempt the consumers to check out the brand’s website and learn more.

3.   Pay per lead

This is the most complex method of the three. The aim is not just to redirect the consumer to visit the brand’s website but also to perform one of several desired actions.

For e.g. to sign up for a subscription or tutorial, trial a product or fill out a survey, or submit a contract form. The affiliate is paid based on the conversion of leads.

How does affiliate marketing help a brand?

For merchants, brands and companies or whoever is trying to sell a product, affiliate marketing is a cost-effective and efficient way to promote and sell their products.

In contrast to online paid advertisements or buying online ad-space, affiliate marketing does not incur costs when there aren’t any sales. You only incur charges when the mediators have been able to sell your product, therefore you have no initial marketing costs.

Affiliate marketing is not limited to just a few methods of traditional marketing. Some ways you can take advantage of affiliate marketing include displaying your product on an affiliate’s website, having blogs and reviews written about it, making videos, and so much more.

It also saves time so that a business or brand can focus on the much-needed research it needs to do to enhance its products.

Affiliate marketing lets a business dip into the mediator’s own audience and creates a larger customer base. You can reach different targeted customers based on the affiliate’s own audience base. And, over a period of time, your customer base can only grow and boost your sales.

Why should you become an affiliate marketer?

There are many great reasons to become an affiliate marketer but the main one has to be flexibility, convenience and the freedom of working for yourself and in your own time.

You can set your own goals and choose any product that you like or are interested in. You don’t have to answer to any company regulations and you’re not held back by lazy teammates.

You can create a diverse portfolio or focus on just one niche, it’s your call!

Another great reason to become an affiliate marketer is that you don't need a huge amount of start-up capital to begin working. You can start anytime you like.

Apart from independence and the ability to work from anywhere, affiliate marketing also allows you to make money even while you’re sleeping. This is a form of passive income and you can expect returns from your work long after you’ve finished it. As long as people are clicking on your affiliate links, you’re good to go.

There’s no limit to how much you can earn through affiliate marketing. It’s performance-based, so you’ll earn from how much effort you put into it.

That’s it!

If you’re looking to become financially independent and work on your own terms, affiliate marketing might be right for you. The success of affiliate marketing depends on your marketing skills, so it’s important to hone your writing and reviewing skills before you start. It can also be your second job if you’re already employed full-time.

Affiliate marketing is the new frontier of marketing and, if utilized correctly, it can be your path to financial freedom - your savior from a monotonous 9 to 5 job. Take the first step and start earning one click at a time!