Affiliate Marketing - Digital Markets Journal
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15 Quick Step-by-Step Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money online from your blog. Affiliate marketing adds a steady income stream to your blog’s monetization strategy. In this affiliate marketing tips for beginners – 15 quick step-by-step guide, I will explain how affiliate marketing works, and how to get started right away.

The challenge for many online marketers trying out affiliate marketing for the first time is or has always been how to get started with affiliate marketing. Hence, I will also show you quick ways to get started with your affiliate marketing business.

Also, I will show you a list of affiliate networks you can signup at to get started with your affiliate marketing business right away.

Finally, do not forget to let me know what you think of this article by leaving a comment for me in the comment section and/or share with your social media connections.

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What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing - Digital Markets Journal

According to Wikipedia, affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

In other words, affiliate marketing is an arrangement you have with an online vendor (merchant, brand or retailer) whereby you get paid for every referral you send their way that performs a certain action such as a simple registration/sign up, actual purchase, survey, etc.

Definition of Important Affiliate Terms

Affiliate Network

An affiliate network acts as an intermediary between publishers (affiliates) and merchant affiliate programs. Affiliate networks allow “affiliates” or publishers to easily find affiliate offerings suitable to their niche and likewise enable affiliate merchants to promote their programs to a larger audience.

Many affiliates and merchants prefer to use affiliate networks to find and promote affiliate programs because of its numerous merits some of which are:

  1. Maintenance – affiliate networks have massive network infrastructure and highly skilled technical personnel that helps maintain affiliate programs. The network manages tracking, sales, commissioning, and the entire affiliate process.
  2. Referral Links – affiliate networks also makes it easy for affiliates to easily create affiliate links for their preferred merchant.
  3. Comprehensive Analytics, Tracking and/or Reporting – analytics, tracking, and reporting is one of the biggest reasons many publishers and merchants use affiliate networks. This is because affiliate networks enable merchants and publishers to easily track their affiliate marketing efforts. For example, affiliates are able to see how much referral, sales and commission from their various efforts and merchants are also able to track the performance of each of their programs and also see their top performing affiliates.
  4. Customer Service/Support – most affiliate (if not all) provides their users (merchants and affiliates) 24/7 customer and/or technical support to quickly address any questions, issues, or concerns.

Affiliate Merchant

An affiliate merchant (also known as “retailer” or “brand”) is a business that increases sales, traffic and brand awareness through online advertising via a network of affiliate websites. Source The Reseller Network. In other words, an affiliate merchant owns the product(s) and/or service(s) promoted by affiliate publishers and is willing to part with some commission when the desired action is completed.

Affiliate merchants pay affiliates a commission for every visit to the website, sign up or every sales conversion meaning they only pay for results.

What makes a good affiliate network?

One of the major challenges of new affiliates is how to find a good affiliate network. Below is a list of the top factors to consider while choosing an affiliate network to join.

  1. Product Niche – the first step is to know if the affiliate network has offerings that are closely aligned to your blog/website.
  2. Reputation & Trust – reputation is everything when it comes to finding a network to be part of. You are not the first to use a network and will never be the last. Hence, previous or current users must have said some things (both positive and negative) about the network. Use Google to check what people are saying about an affiliate network before you join and “run” if it has more negative reviews than positive.
  3. Tools – does your affiliate network has automation tools that make it easy for you to generate referral links? If NOT, then do not join.
  4. Payment Structure – you want to get paid when you make sales hence it is important to check payment structure of a network and be sure it’s okay with you before joining
  5. Tracking & Analytics Dashboard – tracking and analytics is everything. You want to join a network that does the tracking and reporting of your affiliate marketing efforts. This way, you are able to easily see your marketing performance.

Affiliate Publisher (also referred to as the “Affiliate”)

An affiliate publisher is also known as the affiliate; it is the person who implements the available digital marketing strategies to promote the affiliate merchant’s products and services and gets a commission when the desired action such as sales, sign up, completed survey, etc are generated via his affiliate referral link.

Affiliate publishers are usually bloggers or website owners that are actively promoting a merchant’s products or services.

Customer

A customer refers to all individual customers who click on a certain referral link of an affiliate publisher and make a purchasing decision from a merchant.

15 Quick Tips for Affiliate Marketing Beginners

Ready to get started with affiliate marketing? Here are 15 quick tips to get you started with affiliate marketing.

  1. Define your market niche – Your affiliate marketing success starts from defining your market niche. A market niche is a subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. Your market niche defines the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs. Your market niche should revolve around your interests. For example, there is no point marketing health-related products if your interests lie in marketing and finance.
  2. Find a product – the next thing you want to do after defining your market niche is to find a suitable product(s) and/or service (s) within that niche. A few questions that need to be answered before choosing a product are:
    1. What are people saying about the product?
    2. Do the product(s) and/or service(s) work?
    3. What’s the product gravity score? Gravity is a measure of the number of affiliates that have made money from selling the product in 30 days or less. The higher the gravity, the better your chances of making money from marketing the efforts
    4. What’s the reputation of the affiliate merchant offering the product?
  3. Understand your user demographic – understanding your user demographics is key to your marketing tactics. For example, it makes sense to markets female lingerings to women and/or persons associated with the female gender and that are 15+ years of age. Having a clear understanding of your user demographics enable you to properly target your target audience via various means for good ROI.
  4. Check product reputation – product reputation plays a key role in your overall success mainly because a good product always sells itself. A good product will have a good reputation which in turn makes it easy for you to market but a bad product is very hard to sell.
  5. Sell what you are knowledgeable about – true and sustainable success comes from doing what you love. The same thing can be said of affiliate marketing. I have a general rule of thumb which only sell what you love.
  6. Design a website – the next phase in getting started with your affiliate marketing business is to design a website. There is a hard way and an easy way. The hard way is to design your website using some programming languages such as CSS, HTML, Javascript, PHP, etc but the easy way is by using free CMS applications such as WordPress, Joomla or Wix.
  7. Buy a web domain and host your website – the next phase would be to buy a website domain i.e. a website address for your website and a host to make your website accessible to everyone all over the internet. Many webs hosting companies also provide free domain name registration.
  8. Research and join an affiliate network – your affiliate network will determine your overall success in affiliate marketing. Below is a list of my top affiliate networks:
    1. ShareASale
    2. eBay Partner Network
    3. Amazon Associate
    4. Clickbank
    5. Commission Junction (CJ)
  9. Create a sales funnels landing page on your website – creating a website and hosting it on the internet with some kind of affiliate links on your web pages will not get you the much-needed success on the internet. The real success lies in creating an online landing page funnel with which you can capture emails of your website customers. A sales funnels enable you to easily automate your entire sales process that gets you repeated sales.
  10. Signup for email automation – an automated email campaign is set up once and then automatically sent to a particular individual when that person meets a certain trigger. There are a number of tools you can use on the internet but I recommend MailChimp, Aweber, and GetResponse.
  11. Get your affiliate referral link – affiliate networks provides an easy way to get your referral link. Grab your referral link and place it on your webpage and in your email automation.
  12. Market the affiliate referral link on your website via your landing page funnel
  13. Use multiple channels to promote your website – what gets you the much-needed sales and cash from affiliate marketing is targetted traffic. To get this targetted traffic then you need to market your affiliate link(s) via various channels such as Google Adwords, YouTube videos, social media, or other paid platforms.
  14. Keep on updating your website content – what makes people come back to your website is fresh valuable content. Keep creating valuable content to keep attracting website users that might be interested in your offers.
  15. Use analytical tools like Google on your website – Google analytics and other analytics software makes it possible for you to easily analyze your website visitors and measure performance.

Conclusion

In conclusion, affiliate marketing provides a real opportunity to make monies from selling other peoples products online.

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Omotayo Afolabi Olayinka
Omotayo Afolabi Olayinka is the founder of Digital Markets Journal, a top digital marketing blog. As a lead Digital Marketing/SEO Expert, he leads project development in SEO, SEM, PPC, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Web Audit, Web Analytics, Local SEO, and Web Development. He is married and lives with his wife in Winnipeg, Canada

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  1. Wow, wonderful weblog format! How long have you been blogging for? you made running a blog look easy. The full glance of your site is excellent, as smartly as the content!

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