What is affiliate marketing? it’s a word that may be new to a beginner Blogger, one who just started blogging or is about to start but to veterans, it’s not a new word, In fact, its a word that means earning income for Bloggers.
Affiliate marketing is promoting other peoples products for a commission payment. Affiliate marketing can be a huge source of income for your blog if you have gained a following and people trust your advice or the services you offer. Just like you are likely to trust your medical doctor if he were to prescribe medication for you.
Bloggers use affiliate marketing for making income from their blogs because most times when you are writing a post where you are providing useful information you are likely to point people to products and sites that will help them to achieve their desired results.
By linking to that site via your post, you help your reader to achieve their goals of reading your Blog and you also make income from that referral, I will count affiliate marketing as a referral based business.
After you have learned what affiliate marketing is, the next thing will be how does it work.
In this post, I will be detailing to you, how it works, what affiliate options are open to you and how to choose the right ones.
How to choose the right Affiliate program
When you want to start affiliate marketing the first thing you need to do is to decide to choose the right affiliate link. This is because if you are careful to choose the right affiliate program, you increase your chances of spending your time promoting products that will pay you better and increase your income earning potentials.
The right affiliate link has the following attributes
It fits in with your audience type:
You use affiliate marketing links that tie into the overarching message or niche which your blog is all about or what your post is about. It will make no sense for you to choose an affiliate link whose products do not tie into your niche, this is because most affiliate links are tied to your original post while writing, so if you choose the wrong affiliate link which does not fit into your niche, you may find it difficult to slide it into your post.
For instance today I am writing about affiliate marketing, the easiest thing for me to do is to recommend affiliate products that you can sign up for that pays well. One of such affiliate program is Viglink, Viglink is an affiliate marketing program that is a marketplace for a great number of products covering a lot of niches. Signing up with Viglink will give you access to a whole lot of other products.
The good thing about using Viglink for affiliate marketing program is that once their code is inserted in your blog, they do the affiliate linking themselves. They are able to affiliate any word that ties into a link on their platform thereby saving you the stress of inputting their affiliate URL in your posts. To sign up for Viglink you can click on any of the banners shown below.
Note for instance how I used the affiliate link in the above post, I explained briefly how this affiliate link benefits you and pointed you to where you can sign up for it. This example above fits in with my overall post idea today.
Another example, For instance, my Blog that talks about starting home businesses so it will not be out of place for me to encourage you to use a Shopify store to start your online selling business, it ties into my overall niche.
But if I started selling to you a product that has to do with baby teething perhaps I saw a baby teething product which has a good commission and I decided to fit into my post write up today, I will struggle to find a place to fit it into because my post today is not about selling baby items.
Choose Affiliate links with a good commission percentage:
I always love affiliate products that give you up to 40% mark up, of course, it all depends on the final price of the product, for instance, I once made a sale via one of my affiliate links, that link paid me about 45 dollars. It had a 50% commission on it.
It was a service-based product. I have noticed that the service based product affiliate often pays more.
For instance, when you are promoting a course, the course owner is often willing to pay you 30- 50 % of each sale that you make.
I believe that intangible based products pay more commission s than tangible products. That’s why people who promote courses and software often make more money from affiliate marketing than those who promote physical goods.
This is where you need to make a decision, do I promote the products that pay me more? of course, you can as long as it fits into your niche. To know which affiliate networks that will accept you read this
Choose affiliates programs with a wide range of Products:
There are affiliates that gather a lot of products under them in that once you are signed up with them you have access to a wide range of products and services.
Signing up with one of such affiliates saves you the headache of signing up or applying to each of the products one by one.
These types of affiliate programs are called affiliate marketplace, this is because they have a lot of products within all kinds of niches signed up for them. Having access to that affiliate marketplace means you can easily apply to the ones you like and have them approve you. Examples of such affiliate programs include Viglink, Awin, and Shareasale
Choose affiliate Links that offer extended cookie period:
This is the time it takes for a customer to come back and make a final purchase. Sometimes a person might click through from your blog to a link but may not be ready to make a purchase immediately. Perhaps that person will come back say in two weeks time to make a purchase. If the cookie length is one week, even though that customer made a purchase finally, it may not be accredited to you so you won’t get paid. But if that cookie length was about 30 days, anytime that person comes back to make a purchase without necessarily going through your blog again, you will still get credit for that purchase.
Choose affiliate links that offer both CPC and CPA:
Most links on affiliate marketing are based on either CPC( Cost per click) or CPA( Cost per action). Cost per click means that as long as someone clicks on your link to the website even if they don’t make a purchase you get paid. Cost per action means that the person who clicked through has to do something, sometimes its a purchase or perhaps fill out a form. Whatever they get to do which was the desired intent of the advertiser, you get paid for such actions. Some advertisers pay for both actions while some will only pay for CPA.
What to consider before you sign up for an affiliate offer
Minimum Payout: Do they have a have threshold of payout such as requiring that you make up to 500 dollars or 1000 dollars before you are paid, you should pick affiliate programs that will pay you out for as low as 50 dollars. For a blogger starting out, every dollar counts.
Promotional Materials e.g banners, videos, links, affiliate panels are the affiliate program structured enough to provide you with the materials you will need to drive your promotions. This is important as it helps give you more options for promotions. For example, a text link may be great for some promotions perhaps through your Newsletter but the visual banners may be good for online social media channels or Blog posts.
Payment method: What type of payment method do they have? PayPal, check, transfer are they flexible with their payment methods? These are important parameters because it’s not enough to make money from the affiliate marketing efforts, getting the cash in your pocket is important too.
Tax forms: Do you need to fill out a tax form before you collect your payment
Are they popular? are people recommending that you join them? this is often an indication that people are being paid, beware of affiliate programs that people are not promoting. I will always advise that you search for a review of such programs before you join them.
How to attach affiliate Links to your Blog posts.
People often ask, how do I attach affiliate links to my Blog posts.
There are various ways to do this, you can do it manually, meaning that if you are writing your post and you get to the place where you need to use your affiliate links you can refer to it by highlighting and then adding your affiliate link.
Remember that for each affiliate Program you sign up for you are given a special link to your account, this special link is to enable the product owners to track your sales. If you link to just the normal website link provided on their website, you will not get paid because they cannot tell that the customer came from you. Therefore be sure that you obtain a product link before you can then link to that product.
Another way to manually add an affiliate link is to insert the code which often represents the advertiser’s banners on your website.
You can use a Plugin like Thirstyaffiliate, they help to cloak your links and protect the income you make from your affiliate links.
You can also use WordPress Auto links if you are using WordPress as your content management system.
WP auto link helps to list your links for web crawlers so that people can easily click on it.
How to Know which Affiliate Programs will accept you.
Various affiliate Programs require some conditions before you can be accepted into their network. There are however some affiliate programs that will accept you as a Newbie blogger as long as your content is not offensive.
Please read my post on affiliate networks that will accept you. By reading up that post you will get access to my curated list of affiliate networks that will accept you as a Newbie Blogger.
Do you have you other ideas on how to choose the right affiliate marketing program for a Newbie blogger? Leave your comment below