What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular and easiest ways to monetize a website. The affiliate program allows you to promote another company’s product or service in return for a commission on the sales you generate.
In other words, affiliate marketing is when you promote other people’s products and services for commission. You can sell anything — from clothes, shoes, handbags, sunglasses, watches, and jewelry to guidebooks (e- or paper), textbooks, and travel discount packages.
This means that there’s no limit on what you can sell and the sky’s truly the limit on what you might earn!
How does affiliate marketing work?
Affiliate marketing means that visitors to your site can click your affiliate links, which will take them directly to the product page or checkout.
When a sale is made, you receive a commission on the sale (usually between 1%-50%). Affiliate tracking cookies help monitor customer conversion rates, and pay you accordingly. This commission can be a percentage of the sale price, but it can also be a fixed amount like $5 per sale.
A cookie is used in online transactions when affiliates refer their customers to products or services online. Website owners can track their sales via these cookies and their commissions through them. Cookies are often small text files stored by web browsers that keep the information as users browse online sites.
Why affiliate marketing?
#1 Low cost & Low risk
Starting a business can be risky. You have a lot of costs upfront that you need to pay before the business even begins turning a profit. It’s understandable to be hesitant to jump in and go all-in on what could be a sinking ship.
Affiliate marketing cuts through risk and uncertainty because affiliate marketers don’t have to buy any stock, rent any space, or hire any workers — they just get kickbacks after sales happen, without having to invest anything in the actual transaction.
#2 Easy to scale
Affiliate marketing lets you promote products and services of a third-party seller, which means you don’t have to procure or manufacture your own inventory.
With affiliate marketing, there’s no equipment to set up and stock, no minimums to meet, and no overhead — so you can keep all of the profit with only a few commission fees. This means you can sell products of multiple merchants and grow your own profit or commission.
How to get started with affiliate marketing
Below are some of the important steps that you need to take in order to get started with affiliate marketing:
#1 Choose a niche
To start with, you need to choose a niche and a target audience. You don’t want to market something that no one cares about, after all! After you’ve figured out what product(s) you want your business to sell, do the research: look up competitors and current prices for products similar to yours and evaluate if the products are viable in this market (based on price comparisons and data from other sellers). After you’ve made sure your products fit within a competitive environment, it’s time to get started.
#2 Build a website
Making an affiliate website is the first step of starting an affiliate business, as it provides a virtual storefront that promotes your products and services. It’s crucial to look into hiring a professional web developer who can help you create attractive landing pages, effective calls-to-action, and distinctive product pages. Without such websites, your affiliate marketing platform will have little chance of attracting visitors or converting them into leads.
If you are on a budget and still want to build a professional affiliate website, hire Indian website builders.
Why should you hire a website developer in India to create your affiliate website?
- Indian website developers are affordable. You can save more than 30% when you hire an Indian developer.
- Indian website developers are experienced in creating affiliate websites. So, they can work with you as your web partners, not just developers.
- Most Indian website developers can work according to your timezone.
Other than deciding on a website developer, you also need to consider an appropriate development platform for your website. To build your affiliate website, you must choose WordPress. It’s one of the most popular CMSs available on the planet today.
Recommended post: Why should you hire Indian website developers to build your site?
Below are some of the major reasons to use WordPress for your affiliate website:
- WordPress is open-source and it’s free to use. This means you don’t have to pay for any licenses.
- WordPress is easy to use. Even if you are a newbie, you can still manage your WordPress website without having any technical know-how.
- WordPress developers are easily available in the market. This means you can hire the best among hundreds of lending hands.
- WordPress is SEO-friendly and is loved by search engines.
Recommended post: 6 Reasons to use WordPress for website development
#3 Start searching best affiliate programs
While you are building your website, you can start searching for the best affiliate programs to join. You can either join an affiliate program that has a high payout but less volume or join a program that has a high volume but less payout. It’s up to you.
There are many affiliate networks that you can consider joining and find your preferred affiliate programs. Some of these renowned affiliate networks are CJ.com, ShareASale.com. On these platforms, you can find hundreds of affiliates from different niches that you can work with, sell their products or services, and earn commission on each sale.
#4 Create useful content
After you have developed your website and chosen a few affiliate programs, the next step is to start creating nice content for your website. The primary objective of content writing should be to educate your audience about the benefits & features of the products or services that you are selling on your website.
You must also insert your affiliate link within the content so that your users can click and go to the respective merchant’s website and buy their products. If you don’t want to insert the affiliate links within the content of your website, you can consider using images or banners that your affiliate networks will provide to promote your merchant’s products.
It’s important to note here that you must add a disclaimer on your website to let your audience know that you are an affiliate, promoting products or services from other merchants and you will be getting some commission on each sale.
#5 Start marketing
The next step is to start marketing your affiliate website. You may have a great website with nice content and you may be promoting the high-commission affiliate programs, but if there is no traffic to your website, it’s of no use.
To get the targeted traffic to your affiliate website, you need effective marketing strategies.
Below are some of the common yet effective ways to get traffic to your website:
- Search engine optimization
- Social media marketing (Facebook marketing, Instagram marketing, etc. )
- Google Ads/Search engine marketing (Paid ads).