So what is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is perhaps easier to understand when you call it by its alternative name, referral marketing.
In its modern, online form, this business model is where you point your audience to another company’s product or service using a link tagged with a unique code in it. If the customer makes a purchase, you receive a commission for the sale.
Online, this is taking new and exciting forms, but earning a commission for referring a sale is an old and established business model. People have been selling makeup through companies like Avon and Mary Kay for years. The internet has stepped up the career opportunity available for enterprising people. All you need is an audience to sell to and an understanding of how that works.
A Career Opportunity For Those Who Can Build Trust With An Audience
How well do you understand digital marketing? Do you know how to drive an audience to your website, deliver content they want, build a relationship with that audience so they trust you, and then sell to them with a product that solves a pain point for them?
These are the things you need to learn for successful affiliate marketing. Luckily, they are all things anyone dedicated to making a career opportunity for themselves can learn how to do. Few people are willing to believe in themselves enough to put that time in though, and that leaves more money on the table for those willing to put that effort forward.
How it Works
- Build an audience – Find a successful affiliate marketing program that you trust, and apply to become an affiliate.
- Get your affiliate link – Intelligently use that link on content that has a healthy flow of traffic and where it makes sense.
- See how it does – Analyze the data and either continue driving traffic to that link, or change your strategy by changing the placement of that link or choosing a new product, service, or program.
Of course, there is a lot more to becoming successful at this career opportunity.
What Successful Affiliate Marketers Do
Successful affiliate marketers understand their audience. They bring in targeted traffic to the quality content that they want. This teaches your audience right from the start that you are trustworthy. Your blog is a source they can come to when they want this specific kind of content.
It may sound simple to target an audience, bring in traffic, and deliver exactly what they want, but the best marketers know this is something you need to learn how to do, test, and continue to improve upon. The most successful people are confident, but humble. They know they always need to keep learning.
They also understand their audiences. You are not shouting into the abyss; you are talking to real people. Learning about them helps you sell things to them they want.
It’s been mentioned a few times, but it’s worth saying again that successful referral marketing is about testing. Successful marketers take what they know about their audience and use that information to choose the best affiliate marketing programs they can. Then, they see how that product sells to their audience. If it does well, they use the same tactics to find similar programs. If it does poorly, that also teaches them something about what to look for.
Benefits of An Affiliate Marketing Business Model
Profitability – If you’ve always wanted to be a blogger, this is one of the most profitable ways to monetize your website.
Passive Income – Once you establish a regular traffic stream to your content, you move into a stage where you build passive income. This means you can step away from the computer and still be earning income that day. The work you’ve already done will continue paying you for the foreseeable future. Passive income makes it easier to predict your income month to month and makes your business more scalable. While your passive income streams are continuing to bring in earnings without you having to pay attention, you can be focused on working on other projects, stacking up more income all the time. Or, you can relax on a beach and congratulate yourself on all the hard work you’ve previously done to get yourself to a career opportunity that lets you make that decision for yourself.
Just a Laptop – It’s rare to find a career opportunity where you can earn passive income, and it’s even rarer for that opportunity to mean you only need a laptop. You don’t need to buy physical products. You never need to ship something to a customer yourself. You have no involvement in that at all. You refer sales, you earn a commission, your job is done.
Work From Anywhere – Yes, by only needing a laptop, you can work from anywhere in the world. Beach in Fiji? Apartment in New York City? Wherever you have WiFi, you can work from there.
Work When You Want – Do you need a job that lets you work around your family’s schedule? Have you always preferred working at 2 am? Do you like to work hard for two weeks but then binge watch Netflix for the next two? You are in charge of your own life.
Warm Up Your Audience – Affiliate marketing is the perfect way to train your audience to buy from you. It’s low risk, because you have invested nothing in this monetization method. If down the road, you want to sell them your own products, this is a way to start learning what products your audience respond to and gathering data that will help you better understand them later.
This business model may not be for everyone. Not everyone wants to work from anywhere, anytime. Not everyone is willing to be a self starter and learn how to market on the internet or sell to an audience. But for those willing to take these steps, this business model provides a change to live a life that aligns with their dreams.