What is affiliate marketing?

The internet has provided several different ways to make money online. One of the most popular and profitable ways to make money online is through affiliate marketing. It is a great source of passive income. In very simple terms, affiliate marketing is like a referral service. You sell goods or services from another company or person through your platform. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the online marketplace for buyers and sellers is growing at an unprecedented rate. For affiliate marketing professionals, this is a great opportunity to make money online.

In affiliate marketing, your platform can be a website or blog, on which you can have referral links to products or services. Every time a visitor from your website or blog goes on to make a purchase, using the link provided on your platform, you make a commission on that sale. The possibilities to earn are limitless. It all depends on how much traffic are you able to direct towards making a purchase. According to Statista, the affiliate marketing industry is expected to reach $8.2 Billion by 2022. Keep in mind that although affiliate marketing can be started without any investment or experience, it does take a lot of hard work and patient to reach a level where you will consistently make money from it.

During the early stages of setting up your affiliate marketing platform, you will need to make a strategy on how to create quality content that will engage your audience. The more effort you put into your content, the greater the chance of you engaging your audience. Creating content is not going to be a one-time endeavor, you are going to need to make engaging content regularly to keep making money. However, if your website or blog becomes popular, getting traffic to your website will get easier. 

What is so great about affiliate marketing?

  • Easy to start: You can get started in affiliate marketing without any major up-front costs. You don’t need an office or buy any goods. You can create your blog or website and start your affiliate marketing program. If you have an internet connection, you can get started right away. There will be some costs for web hosting but they will not be significant for most people.
  • The satisfaction of creating value: For most successful affiliate marketing professionals, there is a high level of satisfaction in creating content that adds some value to the lives of people.
  • Professional independence: When you start making money from affiliate marketing, you become your boss. You have no one to report to and no one gets to fire you. You make your schedule and you can work from anywhere that has an internet connection. You can invest in yourself by learning skills such as website development, online marketing, photography, and more.
  • Passion: You can pick your choice of topic or industry. With affiliate marketing, you have the choice of making the content of about you what you like or whatever you are good at. You also have the option of choosing the products or services you would to sell. No one is going to force you to pitch for a product you don’t believe in.  
  • Passive income: Once you have a steady flow of traffic to your website and you start making regular sales, you will set up a stream of passive income. That means you can be making money 24/7.  

How to make money from affiliate marketing?

Now that we have established why affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online. Let us dig into how to money from affiliate marketing. We already know that you will need a platform to share content. One of the first things you need to do is to pick a topic that you would enjoy to make content on. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your greatest passion but it should at least something that interests you. For example, if you are a fitness enthusiast, you might want to create content about an exercise program, diet plans, supplement reviews, etc. If you are a housewife, you might like to write about home improvement, making food, etc. So try to pick a topic that involves your daily life. This way you won’t have to go out of the way to create content.

The next step is to create a website or blog where you can share content about this topic. The content can in the form of videos, text, photos, online courses, live streaming, e-book, etc. Once you are set up, look for affiliate programs related to the topic. For example, if you created content on fitness, fitness.com has an affiliate program.  Similarly, amazon.com or ebay.com offer affiliate programs. Each type of program is going to have its own set of rules and structures for commission. You will need to apply to sign up with an affiliate program. Once you are all set up, you will have product links that you can share on your platform. These links are tracked by cookies, so the merchant can track which link leads to a sale. Each affiliate program offers different durations of how long these links or cookies are tracked. That means you will only get a commission if these links lead to a sale within a specified time.

You are not limited to the number of affiliate programs you join. Although it is recommended you stick to one or two topics so can become an authority in those specific niches. You need to be extremely familiar with the products or services you recommend. If there is a discontent between your content and the products or services you are trying to sell, the visitors might find your platform as a desperate attempt to make sales.

The key to successful affiliate marketing is to add some value for the readers and then relate that value to the product or services you are selling. Your content needs to be honest and not appear like a desperate attempt to make money. As you get into affiliate marketing, it will get more complex. To keep things simple, start with the above-mentioned steps to build a strong foundation for your affiliate marketing income. Once you have seen enough organic growth, you can look into optimizing your conversion rates, partnering with influencers in your niche, using Google Analytics to focus on affiliate traffic sources, hiring a dedicatee account manager, and many more advanced affiliate marketing strategies. For a start, don’t think about money, think about creating content. Following the tips in this article, you should be able to get started with affiliate marketing, converting passive visitors to active buyers, one click at a time.


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