Written by: Marilda Cutrone, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
In this article, I will explain what affiliate marketing is and how you can start earning money with it.
Get ready because you are about to discover a whole new world that you have probably never considered before. By the end of this article, you will have all the information you need to get started.
Just twenty years ago, companies spent thousands of dollars a year on radio, television, or print advertising in the hopes of growing their brand.
Worse still, their marketing efforts had to contend with giant corporations with multi-million-dollar advertising budgets, and small business owners had great difficulty gaining visibility.
Nowadays, anyone with an internet connection and the necessary knowledge can earn money online, helping brands grow and sell through affiliate marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing or Performance Marketing is one of the rising disciplines of digital marketing.
Of all the channels available, the affiliate marketing stands out because it is the best-known performance channel, and affiliate marketing is a new and very successful form of digital marketing that has emerged online.
It is a powerful method. Affiliate marketing allows you to earn a commission by promoting other companies' products.
There are three parties involved in this market.
The merchant, i.e., the person/company who makes the product available.
The affiliate, i.e., the one who promotes the product.
The consumer, i.e., the user who buys the product.
The great thing about affiliations is that everyone wins in the end. The affiliate relationship is a so-called “win-win”:
You are happy because you earned your commission.
The company is happy because it made a sale or received a new contact.
The user is happy because thanks to you, he/she has found what he was looking for.
Affiliate marketing is not only about promoting and selling products created by others, but you can also put your own product up for affiliation.
If, for example, you have created a digital product, such as a video course (make-up, drama, photography, sewing, etc.), or a coaching program, you can decide to share it on an affiliate network and allow others to sell it in exchange for a commission. This is also affiliate marketing.
10 Reasons to Start Affiliate Marketing
To better understand what affiliate marketing is and how it works, let's look at all the advantages of this exciting world.
Affiliations are a great way to earn money online, whether you are just starting or are already an expert in the field.
Here is a shortlist of the main reasons why you should start with affiliate marketing.
1. Getting started is easy.
As an affiliate, you don't need to create anything. You sell an existing product, which will save you a lot of time and money.
Getting started as an affiliate is extremely easy: sign up for the affiliate program of the product you want to promote and get your account ID link, which will track all your movements via cookies.
2. You don't have to buy anything.
If you decide to become an affiliate (affiliate marketer), you do not have to buy any products to promote them, as is the case of Network Marketing.
Once you become an affiliate, you can promote products or services without having bought them yourself. You will be paid a commission every time someone buys through your affiliate link.
You will not have to deal with inventory, sales, shipping, payment, or after-sales service.
You only have to focus on creating quality content and attracting traffic to your website and social profiles. The manufacturer and the affiliate network will take care of the rest.
3. Affiliations create passive income.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to generate passive income 24/7 wherever you are in the world.
There are billions of users online, continually looking for information or products to buy on the Internet. This means that your affiliate business will generate sales and income even when you are not at your computer working. In a nutshell, you can make money even while you're sleeping, or playing with your children, or enjoying your time at the SPA.
4. Minimal start-up costs.
One of the most significant benefits of affiliate marketing is start-up costs. You do not need a large amount of money to get started.
Although you will incur some necessary expenses (such as buying a domain name and hosting for your website or signing up for an email marketing service), the costs will be very minimal compared to other types of online business, such as network marketing or e-commerce.
Paradoxically, you could also do affiliate marketing without a website/blog, only using social or email marketing. Still, nowadays, it is not easy to earn significant amounts of money in the long-term using only these tools.
5. Affiliations are a high-profit method of earning money online.
Some affiliate programs offer up to 70% commissions, and with a little experience, you can work out which manufacturers pay the best and which products are in high demand on the market.
It is also possible to sell so-called 'high ticket' products, which offer high-profit margins. This system gives you the freedom to choose which products you want to promote and how much you want to earn.
6. The affiliate business works for almost every market niche.
If you decide to become an affiliate, you will have the opportunity to turn your passion and interests into a real profitable business. Whatever your passion in life, interests, or hobbies, you will find suitable affiliate programs and products or services to promote.
Affiliations are a business solution that works, no matter what your niche of interest is.
7. You can set your own working hours.
As an affiliate marketer, you are your own boss. You can work as many hours a day as you can or want. You can freely set your own goals and deadlines. You are absolutely free to decide how much time you want to dedicate to affiliate marketing.
And this makes it possible to achieve a whole new level of work and life balance.
8. You can work wherever you are
If you decide to start with memberships, you won't need to rent an office. You can work from the comfort of your home or while traveling around the world.
All you need is a computer and an Internet connection.
9. There is no age limit to start working as an affiliate.
Anyone, regardless of age, can become an affiliate. It doesn't matter if you are 20 or 80, as long as you have a strong passion and are ready to work hard to achieve your goals.
10. No experience needed
No previous experience or skills are required to start working in this field.
Of course, specific technical skills will benefit you. Still, I can assure you that many successful affiliate marketers have started from scratch; all it takes is a lot of commitment and perseverance.
You will learn new skills through the affiliate marketing program and then learn how to optimize your skills.
You will definitively make mistakes (we all do), but you will become more aware of the right path to follow with every mistake/learning opportunity.
The only skills required to get started are:
Determination and perseverance
Willingness to learn
Patience, lots of patience
How to succeed in affiliate marketing
To better understand how to get started in affiliate marketing, we need to clarify a few points.
There are many small but essential steps during the sales process, which we can sum-up in four basic steps.
1. Choose a niche
The absolute first thing to do is to choose your niche.
A niche is a small part of a larger market, don't choose topics that are too broad or varied; it will drastically decrease your chances of success. Try to be as specific as possible; people like specialized sites find them more reliable and worthy of attention.
The more specific the niche, the better, and avoid transient or limited-effect trends.
2. Market analysis
Once the niche has been chosen, the second thing to do is find the product to be promoted and assess through market analysis (Google searches) whether the product you have selected is sought after by people and generate earnings.
3. Building a website
Once the product has been chosen, you will have to build a site around it or a landing page, i.e., a sales page.
Built the website (I use the WordPress CMS) and then optimized it as much as possible to offer the user a good browsing experience.
4. Attract visitors to your site
No visitors = no sales.
You need to generate constant traffic to your site. There are four primary sources of traffic.
Search engine optimization (SEO): Using advanced SEO techniques, you will optimize your website so that search engines will notice you and show your site on the first search pages for specific keywords.
Social Network: Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram have become a constant in everyone's life. Establishing a strong presence on social networks can bring many advantages.
Email Marketing: Email marketing is one of the most functional strategies today; if you can generate a relevant and quality contact list, you will achieve great results.
Paid traffic: This is the preferred source of traffic for the vast majority of marketers. It is a fast and effective method.
It consists of creating paid advertisements via social media, search engines, or banners, which entice the user to click through and access your offer. You will typically receive a charge every time a user clicks on your link.
There are many tools for generating paid traffic; the most popular are Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
Affiliate Marketing Program
If you are serious about this business, I recommend the SFM Online Course, one of the most advanced and successful online courses available on the web.
Why a digital marketing course? Because the course is a selection of tested and approved techniques, tools, and strategies, and a practical application of them.
The course speeds up your learning curve and saves you from wasting time and money on market research and various tutorials to build your website or Facebook page, YouTube channel etc.
Through the program, you will grow quickly and find yourself within a supportive community that will support you both technically and personally.
Basically, the program takes you step-by-step through all the stages and saves you from having to go through all the steps on your own without guidance (see all the steps listed in the paragraph: How to succeed in affiliate marketing).
In this article, you have understood in detail what affiliate marketing is and how it works. It is undoubtedly a fascinating path that can bring you huge profits without large investments.
Obviously, you will encounter obstacles along the way, but with the right determination and, above all, you can reach your goal with the right program. Are you ready to start?
Marilda Cutrone, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Marilda walked away from a successful 20-year career as Senior Project Manager, as, for many years, she felt unfulfilled: she was continuously struggling to juggle career and family. And eventually found herself drained and depressed. Marilda massively changed her life in 2019 when she realized that developing a new set of skills in the current economy is a must. And here is why: over $2.5 trillion per year is being spent on retail purchases online and, over the last few months, there's been a 25% increase in online sales. By leveraging the digital skills, Marilda created her own business - Living My Digital Life - and reached a whole new work-life balance level. This shift would not have been possible for Marilda if she had not discovered the power of affiliate marketing. She is now the owner of her time and can build her career around the family (not a life arranged around the job as it used to be). Her mission is to empower other women to stand up for themselves and make the same shift. Hence Marilda offers a program that walks you through specific steps to learn the skills you need to create a profitable online business from scratch.