Affiliate Marketing 101
Over the years, affiliate marketing has got a bad rep. I agree the fast cars and private jets did not go hand in hand with the empty promises but to be honest, affiliate marketing is still one of the best ways to earn online, even today.
Let me show you how.
In the most basic terms an affiliate fulfills a very important function for the market: connect buyers and suppliers.
So, to be an affiliate marketer, you need to find yourself a supplier, and reach buyers.
Here are some suppliers:
Now, if you look into marketing text books, you will find that they differentiate affiliate marketing from referral marketing by one very important criteria: trust.
In affiliate marketing, as the literature goes, the motivation is mainly financial while in referral marketing the relationship is more important.
This fundamental difference is what has caused the bad rep to affiliate marketing over the years. People have promoted products which have given them the highest commission instead of promoting offers which are a better fit for the customer.
Here is where you can shine if you are starting as an affiliate marketing today. Focus on the relationship and establish trust early, so that you become the go to resource for your niche. That is the true path to affiliate marketing success.
Once, you have decided on a product to promote, you need to find out where the interested people are lurking.
Noah Kagan famously founded AppSumo in a weekend by connecting the Reddit audience to Imgur Pro accounts at a discounted price. Now AppSumo is a 7-figure per annum business.
The more focused your niche gets, the easier it will be for you to move products and make sales.
You can then start communicating with your niche through their lingo, earning their trust in the process.
Forums are a place where you can promote your offer. Warrior Forums for example is the oldest forum for internet marketers.
Another way of making sales is by creating a webpage either by buying a domain and hosting or through free websites like Squidoo, Blogger and WordPress.
Then, you need to drive traffic (which gets easier the more focused you get) to your page and then ‘pre-sell’ them the product which you are promoting. One common way of doing this is by writing honest reviews about the product so that your visitor can make an informed choice.
The key here is honesty and integrity. You should tell them both the pro and cons of the product so that they do not refund after buying and keep coming back to you for more information.
Many newbie affiliate marketers give up because generating traffic is difficult for them.
Next is sharing through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. When it comes to social media, a mistake many people make is just putting up the link. You need to interact with your niche remember? This means, asking quality questions, providing tips and becoming the go-to resource in their Facebook or Twitter circles.
Finally you have to go out and start making friends with other affiliate marketers. Building a good solid community is extremely important. Later on, your community will help you out when you make your own product launches.
Affiliate marketing is definitely a great way to start earning money online. You just have to be smart and play “the game”.
About the author:
Ishan Raychaudhuri is an affiliate marketer and orange juice lover. He writes on Get Clickbank and spends the rest of his time playing with his dog.