Affiliate Marketing is the core of my day-to-day life. I love it when my wife tries to explain to people what I do. I have to come up with brief examples to help her give the 411 so people not familiar with our business can understand. One time about 3 years ago, we had a lady ask my wife if the company I had worked for at that time was “legitimate” because it had a funny sounding name. This is one of the few business sectors you can have a weird sounding name and it be “professionally acceptable”.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the foundation of what I do everyday. A good example of this would be Walmart (evil empire?). They work with thousands of advertisers looking to sell goods to the public at large… mass production type of items. Walmart agrees to purchase those goods. They essentially work out a “wholesale” price with the advertiser. Walmart then turns around and marks that item up to resale to us. That is called “retail”.
Walmart makes it’s money on the difference between what they purchased the product and what they sold it for. Another way they can make money with the items is on a Cost Per Sale (CPS) basis where they don’t purchase the product at wholesale but rather get paid when a consumer initiates a sale. The advertiser then agrees to pay a commission on a performance base, which is the root of Affiliate marketing.
There certainly isn’t enough time to go over every scenario but I thought I would share this info graph with you.
7 Steps for Affiliate Marketing Beginners
Every person online needs a website to either market or sell goods. Those goods could be digital or physical items. The quickest and easiest way is to set up a self hosted WordPress installation. There are many options of hosting companies but Fatcow(Affiliate Link) is one of them.
Choosing A Topic:
What a lovely chore to say the least. The gut answer is you have to pick something you TRULY are interested in. You’re only going to get about a month into it and find that if you aren’t working on something you love… you will hang it up on the coat rack. I would suggest choose ONE topic so you can add “content” to your website.
On a semi regular basis you want to add content to your website. A more generic term would be articles. Using a platform like WordPress makes your life a bit easier if you don’ t know all that fancy smancy stuff like HTML or PHP coding languages. You’re goal here is to make the content be unique and right in your own voice. People know when you are writing for Google and not them. I would say that you should aim for at least one article minimum a week.
Aww…the head scratcher step? Offers are advertisers that you can promote online. There are many networks that give you a platform to choose from. When you write your content you ideally want to offer your readers something related to what you’re talking about. Most major retailers will have an affiliate program online.
Add Your Ads & Links:
These sites will give you small snippets of HTML code to put on your site. You simply want to add them to your site strategically within your posts or content that you write and also in the “sidebar” areas.
Visitors Act on Ads:
When someone on your website clicks an ad or link and then buys, you earn a commission! Different advertisers don’t always require a visitor to “buy” something for you to get paid but a desired action. That could be signing up for a newsletter or a short survey. You will see terms like CPA (Cost Per Action), CPS (Cost Per Sale), or CPL (Cost Per Lead).
You Get Paid:
The fruit of your labor will be at this step. The advertiser will pay you for all the good desired actions that you referred to them. They each will have a reporting system that you can log into to look at performance and compare statistics.
Affiliate Marketing Conclusion
It all seems so simple huh? I like to tell people that when you venture down this type of business model that this isn’t like the Field of Dreams movie where the favorite line goes “If you build it, they will come”. That is totally false and misleading because your website is one of millions out there. You have to strategically get your website in front of as many people as possible. You can achieve this in many ways with Google Adwords, Facebook ads, and etc (There are many ways but this gives you an idea).
Affiliate marketing is a very broad term but overall I hope this information has given you a bit more information if you are not familiar with the industry.