It’s perfectly possible that you could be well schooled in the ways of the internet and digital marketing and yet not be familiar with the term ‘Affiliate Marketing’, it’s possible, but not likely. Affiliate marketing has changed the way many of us make a living online, and it’s only picking up traction as the years wear on. Here we’ll give you quick, idiot proof guide explaining exactly what it is, why you should be using it and how you can get involved.

What is it?

In the mot basically possible terms, affiliate marketing is making money by referring people to purchase products or services online. More companies than ever before are using affiliates as a means of driving traffic to their sites as affiliates are only paid when they get results. This means affiliate marketing is an incredibly cost-effective tool for the companies and a potential goldmine for savvy blogger and website owners.

The seeds of affiliate marketing were sewn decades ago, when shop keeper would hire members of the public to stand outside their stores convincing passers by to come in. They were paid a commission for every person who entered the store through them and walked out with a purchase. The same basic principle rings true for affiliate marketers, only there is no physical store.

Commissions can range from as little as 1% on big ticket items to as much as 75% on digital products and affiliates will either be paid on a ‘pay per click’ or ‘pay per sale’ basis.  Affiliates will generally demand a larger percentage for a ‘PPS’ contract, for obvious reasons.

What Exactly Is Affiliate Marketing And How Can You Get Involved?

Why should I get involved?

For both individuals hoping to make a living online and small businesses looking for an avenue through which to increase their trade, affiliate marketing can be incredibly lucrative if it’s used to its full potential. If you’re already an established blogger with your own niche carved out for example, becoming an affiliate could net you a significant secondary source of income. On the other side of the coin, if you’re a small, struggling business with a fledgling online presence, hiring an affiliate to help boost your web traffic is an obvious solution, especially if you’re paying on a pay per sale basis. As an affiliate, it’s generally free to sign up and you can effectively earn limitless amounts through on-site ads and content designed to promote your partners products. As a merchant, you get free ad space and the ability to promote to a potentially huge audience.

How can I get involved?

Becoming an affiliate is as simple as joining an affiliate program, hundreds of which you’ll be able to discover with a simple search online. Some companies (such as Amazon, with their ‘Associates’ program) have their own in-house affiliate programs, but most companies will outsource to affiliate networks, who will have spent years building a base of affiliates. A simple way to start would be to think of a brand or product you have a great deal of experience with, or that fits into your sites ‘niche’ and type its name into a search engine followed by the phrase ‘affiliate program’.

Once you’re signed up, you’ll need to start generating regular content that relates to the product or service in question. The more content you create, and the better quality it is, the more chance you’ll have of generating decent sales.

Top Tips

Once you’ve got your affiliate program up and running, you’ll want to start thinking about how to make the most of it. Below are a few tips you should take seriously if you want to go far in the world of affiliate marketing.

  • Choose the right niche that is right for you and reflects your own interests and areas of expertise.
  • Compare all the affiliate programs you can, but don’t just consider the commission. A program could be offering a great commission, but the product might be terrible or the lines of communication might be non-existent. In short; do your research.
  • Get a blog from a free blogging platform such as WordPress or Blogger. These sites can be set up in mere minutes and are incredibly easy to use.
  • Join a community where you can talk to other affiliates and get helpful feedback and encouragement.
  • CONTENT IS KING – This is the mantra of affiliate marketing that you should never forget. Keep publishing content (the better the quality the better the results) and be sure to add a new page to your site at least every couple of days.

This article was written and sourced with the help of Clicksure – experts in affiliate marketing

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