Stepping Stones to Affiliate Marketing – Chapter 1

It’s an evident fact that Affiliate Marketing has come out big with its highly innate and powerful potential to sell. That’s probably why you googled it and ended up here. Everybody who doesn’t shy away from earning some extra bucks is doing affiliate marketing today! So without wasting any time, let’s quickly sail through the nitty gritties of Affiliate Marketing and your first steps to it.

Ever since the the trend of internet marketing started, the savvy marketeers as well as the technologists have been profoundly indulging themselves into the phenomenon, discovering new, innovative and better ways to sell. With the advent of social media and internet advertising, sales soared to a level, that lured every single business to advertise on the internet.

In 2017, ecommerce was responsible for around $2.3 trillion in sales and is predicted to hit $4.5 trillion in 2021.

– Statista

Soon marketeers started picking a third form of advertising called Affiliate marketing. Following fictional scenario will let you understand the gist of Affiliate marketing and it’s origin:

A Healthcare IoT tech company, XYZ launched a new watch that rests on your wrists and monitors your heart rate. Now the marketing team of XYZ has set its pace to quickly market and sell the watch. In the parallel world, Ana is a gadget freak who buys new gadgets, writes down reviews on her website of the newly launched products in the market, her website get millions of page visits a day. Now XYZ approaches Ana with a deal. Ana writes a review of the watch on her website and also pins a link to buy it on the review post. In return for every sale that is made through Ana’s website, she earns a commission. Guess who are two very happy people now?

Here’s a diagrammatic representation of how it works:

Source

Hence, Affiliate marketing surfaced as a processed and polished process of writing raw reviews of the products or just simply putting a link to the product page on your website and thereby earning a commission on the sale. It is a way for websites and blog owners to earn a commission on the sales that are made through their websites and posts.

Already excited? Me too!

Now let’s quickly get to how you can get started with building your own affiliate network.

Starting your own affiliate marketing

Here’s a step by step process for how to start affiliate marketing:

First thing that you need to do is start your own blog or a website. If you already have a website, make sure it’s getting some form of traffic before you can start putting the affiliate links. Make sure to choose a niche that suits you, I recommend starting on with something that interests you. Let’s say you’re a hobbyist painter, you can start your website that sells paintings, or start a blog about paintings or a photo gallery.

The next thing you need to do is list some products that can entice your readers, for instance, people interested in paintings would potentially buy painting props, or paints or some new and unique paintings on the market. After you have decided on the products, search for the “product name” affiliate program. Here is a list programs that you’ll probably find: Top 15 Affiliate Marketing Websites & Programs For 2019.

After you find a suitable affiliate program for your product, Sign up for their affiliate program. After your account gets activated, go to the product links section of your account, and embed the HTML code or the the link into your website. Make sure you place the link according its relevancy. The most irrelevant products can increase your bounce rates and lower Click through rates(CTRs).

Incorporate as many products as you want on your blog posts, your products website, or your business or eCommerce websites, and watch out your analytics boom. And you’re all set. Merry around while your readers make you money!

Now how exactly the link is going to work and earn you money? Understanding the working will help you enable the technical correctness of using links on your website.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Your Affiliate Program Partner can employ a number of different ways to track the affiliate link that you use. It all starts when some website visitor on your page clicks a link on your post or page.

The most common and basic type of tracking is via a cookie. When your readers click an affiliate link, a small piece of data called a cookie is stored on the users computer. If the reader buys the product, the merchant will be notified that the sale was made through your referral.

There are also more advanced methods based on the email used or IP address – but we really don’t need to care about all those.

Commission rates vary from merchant to merchant. For the lower limit, you’ll earn atleast about 5% of the sale but, with some other merchants or products, you can also grab as high as 50%, typically when promoting some high end products or events. There are some affiliate programs that offer flat rate per sale rather than a percentage.

While this is only one simple aspect of Affiliate Marketing, it takes much more advanced, and intense set of mechanics, and practices that drive actual profit for the newbies.

After building one after the other affiliate networks for a number of start-ups and mid-scale industries from India and abroad, I have gained a holistic understanding of the concept ant it’s implementation. But there is still so much left unexplored given it humongous prevalence in almost every industry, and also with merchants having different terms and practices for their affiliates. I intend to post up every lesson that I learnt through my personal experience with affiliate marketing. I started with this book called “Affiliate: The Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing (How to Make Money Online Selling Other People’s Products)” by Anthony James. You can check out the book and buy one for yourself.

I know it’s exciting, but before you plunge in, it’s wise to do a plenty of research. Who all are doing Affiliate Marketing? Is Affiliate Marketing for you? What products to promote? What affiliate programs to choose? These are all the questions that you need to answer before you can start on with a plan.

In the upcoming blogs, I’m going to answer more questions linked to affiliate marketing along with the ones listed above with more detailed tutorials on how to build successful affiliate marketing websites. So stay tuned for more!

May happiness be yours today! 🙂

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Published by Jasmeet

A Marketing professional, hobbyist food blogger and a social media influencer. Loves to write and design.

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