What is Affiliate Marketing?
Have you ever loved a product so much that you told everyone about it? Imagine getting paid for the products and services you like by referring it to others. Are you into technology and love testing out new gadgets? Play video games? Do you like books and love reviewing them? Whatever your passion is, there are probably products or services you can help market.
Affiliate marketing is simply getting paid to market other people's products. These products can range from services, software, physical products, to digital products. The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you don't need to create your own products. You can simply market the products of other companies without taking on the risk of holding inventory or creating unwanted products.
The reason why companies are willing to give you a percentage of the sale is that they want more exposure for their products and it's another marketing strategy without added risk. It's a great marketing option for companies because they only pay you when you get them a sale. There is little risk on their end and it incentivizes you, the marketer, to get as many sales as possible to increase your earnings.
There are many companies that have a direct affiliate program, many companies that you're probably already subscribing to or using. One of the biggest affiliate companies is Amazon. Did you know that Amazon will pay you a percentage of sale for any customer that buys through your recommendation? Amazon has millions of products that you can refer and get paid for. Most companies that sell anything usually have a referral or affiliate program.
Many companies that offer an affiliate program also partner with an affiliate network that provides the affiliate service for them. Affiliate networks provide thousands of affiliate programs aggregated into one place. By signing up with the affiliate network, you can easily choose companies that provide products or services within your niche. They will provide you links that will track sales generated by you, track revenue, and provide a dashboard to track all of your affiliate companies.
How Does it Work?
How Do You Make Money?
The thing that allows Affiliate Marketing to work is something called affiliate links. These links are unique URL's (basically a unique website address specifically for you) that will allow the company to track how many sales you made through your referrals. If companies have multiple products, they will provide you multiple unique URL's.
Clicks That Keep Giving
The beauty of affiliate links is that they last beyond the first click. Meaning, that even if a person clicked on your link but didn't buy right away, you can still get credit for the sale if they decide to buy later on. Without getting too technical, affiliate links carry with it a tracking id that is stored on the browser (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc) of the person who clicked on the link. If they use the same browser to buy the product you recommended, the affiliate company will give you credit for the sale. However, each company has their own window for giving you credit.
Amazon provides a 24-hour window for you to receive credit. If a person you referred buys it 2 days later, without clicking on your link again, you will not receive credit for the sale. Other affiliate programs will give you up to 30-90 days for your affiliate link. They understand for bigger purchases it takes time for people to finally make the purchase decision. If a customer purchases the item you recommended within the window that is allotted, you get credit for the purchase.
What Are The Pros & Cons?
- You don't have to create your own product.
- No inventory to store.
- You don't deal with shipping or customer service.
- You can build an affiliate business anywhere in the world with a computer and internet service.
- Inexpensive to start.
- Passive income.
- Affiliate sales are one time purchases.
- You need a sizable audience to make solid income if you're marketing small ticket items.
- You don't have control over the product or customer experience.
Estimated Startup Cost
Getting started with affiliate marketing doesn't need to cost a thing, but you do need an outlet to get your marketing across. That could be in the form of a Youtube channel, Facebook, or personal blog. We believe that having a website/personal blog, whether you do have a marketing channel like Youtube or Facebook, is important because you own that property. Youtube or Facebook could elect to ban you from their site and your business would come to a screeching halt. A website/personal blog is something that you own and no one but yourself can kick you off.
Key Activities in Affiliate Marketering
As an affiliate marketer, you'll spend most of your time creating content and getting your content seen. Content can be in the form of blogs, video, or podcasts. The type of content you'll be creating depends on the niche that you've decided to focus on and how you want to market it. Your key objective is getting the products you're marketing exposure.
The rest of your time is spent posting content on different marketing channels (social media sites, Google search, podcasts, etc.), finding and developing affiliate partnerships to promote, and maintaining your website.
Start Affiliate Marketing
Below are our recommended programs from trusted providers.
By Pat Flynn
With affiliate marketing, you can generate an income by recommending market-tested products you already trust and you know your audience will benefit from.
Affiliate marketing is a time-tested income-generation strategy with two powerful benefits: it allows you to maintain and strengthen your audience’s hard-won trust in your brand, with no need to invest time and energy creating products of your own.
Sadly, it’s easy to do affiliate marketing the wrong way—by putting money before your audience’s needs and trust, and damaging that relationship in the process.
That's why I created 1•2•3 Affiliate Marketing.
With 1•2•3 Affiliate Marketing, I’ll give you all the tools you need to win by promoting products that already exist in the market you're in—and I’ll show you how to do it the right way, so your audience wins, too.