Affiliate marketing is today’s modern-day door to door selling of products and services. Well, that is if you take away the actual door to door selling and add in computers, the internet and an assortment of online marketing techniques. But the concept is virtually the same.
Door to door salesmen acted as a middle man that went around a neighbourhood selling a product, from which they would make a commission. Companies relied on these salesmen to get their products in front of new customers that they may not have been able to reach before, therefore boosting sales and adding to their bottom line.
Today, the door to door model is no longer applicable thanks to how easy it is to learn about new products and purchase online. And that’s where affiliate marketing is able to flourish as products and services are sold online through a middleman known as an affiliate. This affiliate promotes certain offers online and in turn receives a commission from a company when they are able to secure a purchase.
How it Works
An affiliate promotes offers of products and services online by creating marketing campaigns and driving traffic to certain websites or landing pages where a customer can see the offer. If the customer decides to buy that product or service, the affiliate will receive a pre-determined commission from the advertiser.
- Some affiliates have their own blog or website that they use to promote offers to their readers that align with their website topic of interest.
- Some affiliates work directly with companies, while others work through an affiliate network where they have access to a large range of offers.
Affiliate marketing is not restricted to certain hours of selling or a location like door to door sales was. The internet is operational 24/7 and companies are able to sell products at all times of day, thanks to the affiliate promoting them through various channels. If the affiliate doesn’t manage to sell anything, there is no loss to the company.
Who and What is Involved in Affiliate Marketing?
1. The Affiliate
The affiliate finds appropriate products and services to promote.
- The ‘middleman’ between the customer and the product or service.
- Creates marketing channels and materials by using landing pages, ads, and other referral techniques.
- Encourages customers to purchase.
- Tries different types of campaigns to reach as many customers as possible.
2. Affiliate Network
This is effectively a marketplace where an affiliate can find offers of products and services to promote.
- Acts as an intermediary between affiliates and the companies who own products and services.
- Affiliate networks have often hundreds or thousands of offers in all types of industries.
- An affiliate may be assigned an affiliate manager as a contact person for any campaign issues.
- Great for newbies starting out as an affiliate, with offers and marketing tools easily available.
3. The Advertiser
The advertiser is the company that owns the offer of a product or service.
- By having products promoted through affiliate marketing, there is minimal risk.
- Affiliate marketing is an extra way of getting products and series out to a new audience on top of traditional marketing techniques.
- Some advertisers with a marketing department rely solely on affiliate marketing.
- Advertisers pay their affiliates when a sale is made.
4. The Traffic Source
A traffic source is the tool which an affiliate uses to gain customers such as a website, blog or social media platform. Affiliate sales can be made by people clicking on banners or ads as well as links in blog posts. Affiliates can purchase ads to place on other websites or social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
5. The Customers
Customers purchase the products and services being promoted by the affiliate after seeing ads or links to products in web content.
The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
As well as the potential to earn a lot of money each month, people get into affiliate marketing for the many advantages that is has including:
- You can make money 24/7. You don’t need to be online or even awake to make sales.
- Only a small investment, a computer and internet access are needed to get started.
- You don’t have any long-term commitments or need to sign a contract. You’re in it for as long as you want to be.
- You can learn additional skills such as marketing, social media, website development and advertising that could help you for future endeavours.
How Does an Affiliate Get Paid?
For every offer that an affiliate promotes, they have a unique tracking number which is embedded in every ad, banner or link that they use. When someone buys a product or service after clicking on one of these links or ads, the tracking number gets logged by the advertiser or affiliate network so that the commission gets paid to the right person.
If the affiliate is dealing with an affiliate network for all of their offers, there will be a lump sum payment at the end of each month from that network.
How Much Can an Affiliate Get Paid?
The sky is the limit when it comes to how much you can get paid being an affiliate. You may see reports of people earning 5, 6, or even 7 figures a year doing just this alone. Those earning 7 figures have usually been doing this for years and have their fingers in a lot of pies.
Most people that start out may earn a few hundred or a few thousand dollars in their first few months, but this really depends on how much you put in to it and if you learn how to do things the right way with the right kind of products to promote.
If an affiliate sets things up right, then they can potentially be earning thousands of dollars in passive income every month – without having to barely lift a finger!
Many people rely on affiliate marketing as their only source of income, but it’s recommended that you start doing it on the side of your usual work until you can build up enough momentum to have some decent cash coming in.
Can an Affiliate Earn the Same Amount Every Month?
Unfortunately, with affiliate marketing, your income will never be consistent. This is due to a number of factors:
- Products and services may be more in demand at certain times of the year.
- Your offers may be no longer in demand or get taken off the market.
- Other affiliates are reaching your customer base to potentially ‘steal’ your sales.
- You don’t adapt your campaigns and referral methods from time to time to reach more people.
Important Things to Know
Before you get your hopes up about making millions of dollars as an affiliate, there are some important things that you should be aware of.
- It’s not a get rich quick scheme. It can take months or even years to find the right products or services to promote and build the right amount of traffic to make decent money.
- There is a huge learning curve if you’ve never done anything like this before. You need to understand about websites, landing pages, keywords funnels, ads and much more to be successful. Some people read books or take courses to learn as much as they can about the process.
- You’ll need to invest some of your own cash right from the start and throughout your time of being an affiliate marketer to be able to purchase traffic, ads and any website costs if you create your own website.
- Income is not consistent, and some months might be better than others depending on the type of products and services you promote. Some months you may make nothing.
- Even though you become successful as an affiliate marketer, you don’t own a business that you can later sell.
- Some affiliates will get involved with unethical campaigns just to be able to make as much money as they can. This can give affiliate marketing a bad reputation, but there are plenty of legitimate offers that can earn you a nice tidy sum.
Affiliate marketing is an exciting way for people to be able to build a passive income worth thousands of dollars every month. While there can be a hefty learning curve figuring everything out and knowing what the right offers are to promote, you have the potential to be very successful if you put the time and effort in to make it work.