Adding a new income stream through affiliate marketing is one of the hottest topics over the internet. This article will discuss how to start a successful affiliate marketing business, its realities, myths, and more.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a process of earning commissions by driving a sale through promoting a company’s services or products. As an affiliate, you’re just like a salesperson for a company. You help to make a sale, and the company gives you a commission.
Unlike a typical salesperson who usually sells products for one company, an affiliate marketer can promote products and services from multiple companies and earn commissions from all of them.
How does affiliate marketing work?
The company gives an affiliate a unique link to its product or service. The affiliate uses this link in an article, story, or review to convince customers to purchase that product/service. If the affiliate successfully drives sales, the company can track the affiliate responsible for that sale through that unique link.
How to Start a Successful Affiliate Marketing Business
We consulted Aisha Noreen, a successful SEO & content marketing expert, about how she sees an affiliate marketing business and her secret of success. She replied;
“Unfortunately, many consider affiliate marketing a passive income source. Though it is an Aladdin’s Lamp, but you can’t sit idle once you have it. You need to rub it continuously to get what you desire from it.”
The following are the 7 easy steps that Aisha Noreen recommends to start a thriving affiliate business.
1. Decide on a Platform
Technically, you can do affiliate marketing on any social medial or other online platforms. However, building an audience and increasing affiliate sales through a blog or YouTube channel are the easiest and most recommended ways. An affiliate link can be inserted anywhere in the content in a blog, while on YouTube, you include it in your description.
The chances are high to get more clicks from a blog than a YouTube video. For this reason, many affiliates choose this platform.
2. Choose a Specific and Low Competition Niche
Honestly, nowadays, affiliates are facing cutthroat competition. Statista estimates that the number of bloggers in the U.S will reach 31.7 million by 2020. Moreover, in 2020, there were more than 37 million YouTube channels, and this number is increasing rapidly: in 2020, it grew more than 23%.
To stand the best chance of success, narrow down the niche and select a topic focusing on a specific category. For instance, the topic of “kitchen” is a generalized and vast category. So instead, try something more tight and precise, like non-stick cookware.
This will help you rank higher in search engines and build a more focused audience.
After covering the bulk of a specific category and building traffic to your platform, you can expand into other areas.
3. Secure Your Business
In every business, there are risks, and affiliate marketing is no different. Hence, make every possible move to reduce the risks and increase the potential to grow your business. One of the best ways to secure your business as an entrepreneur is to register your affiliate business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC).
Registering an LLC will protect your personal assets in case of lawsuits, business liabilities, and other such situations. Moreover, most companies prefer to work with registered entities, and registering as an LLC makes you credible to do business with.
Registering as an LLC is not rocket science. You can easily start an LLC yourself. However, suppose you want to focus on your business; in that case, you can hire a reliable LLC formation services like Zenbusiness and Legalzoom, that take care of registration and other formation aspects at a fraction of the cost.
4. Find Affiliate Programs to Join
There are three types of affiliate programs to choose from.
- High-paying, low-volume affiliate programs
- Low-paying, high-volume affiliate programs
- High-paying, high-volume affiliate programs
Now you will ask how to decide which affiliate programs to join. Well, this depends on your niche and level of expertise. For instance, for targeting consumers, low commissions and higher sales volume work the best, while for a business audience, you will go for high-paying and low volume.
5. Create great content
This is the most critical step that can make or break your affiliate site journey. You did everything to attract potential customers to your platform, but you had ambiguous, bogus, or dull content, then customers will leave your site right away.
You need to create high-quality content on your blog where your affiliate links fit naturally or exciting information on your youtube channel that itch customers to click on the link in the description.
6. Drive Traffic to Your Affiliate Site
Well, you have done everything to produce unique, high-quality, and exciting content on your platform, but what is the point if no one reads your blog or visits your youtube channel? It is just like you have never created it as nobody sees it.
So put effort to get more people to visit your channel or read your blog and keep them coming back to your site for more content so that they will click on your affiliate links.
The following are some traffic strategies to consider:
- Paid traffic: eg., PPC ads
- Search engine optimization (SEO): Optimizing blog pages or youtube channel to rank high in search engines
- Asking Fans to subscribe to your Channel: Fans get an update, and they go through every new video you post on your channel
- Build an email list: Communicating with your fans to subscribe to your blog and get an email about new content
7. Get Clicks on Your Affiliate Links Convert Clicks to Sales
Having colossal traffic and a fantastic piece of content doesn’t necessarily mean potential customers will click on your affiliate links. So ask questions and use your intuition and other marketing strategies to get conversions.
Here are some tips;
While placing links in a blog, choose an appropriate place that also fits the context.
- Do not insert the link at the bottom of the page where people rarely scroll.
- Do not insert links in every other sentence will make your look spammy.
- Use callouts like tables, buttons, and boxes that make the post more skimmable and help attract the readers’ attention.
On the youtube channel,
- Do not talk too much about the product
- Do not ask again and again to click on the link.
This makes the audience suspicious that they are seeing an advertisement rather than watching interesting content.
Affiliate marketing business is not a one-time investment and sitting idle for the rest of the life in a continuous shower of money. To stay in a highly competitive digital world, successful entrepreneurs continuously rub this Alladin’s lamp and make their wishes wisely.