Affiliate marketing is the best way to earn passive income with little experience. It’s a great way to step way into entrepreneurship as it teaches you the fundamentals of marketing and sales without owning a product.
A poll was held on the STM Forum on “How much do you earn in a year?”:
Over 70% of these users make $40K+ a year with affiliate marketing. You can easily make a living out of this, but the question is, how do you differentiate with all the competition?
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting or selling other people’s (or company’s) products. You don’t need to necessary complete the sell. There are companies who will pay you just to promote their product.
- The Merchant: Person (or company) in charge of fulfillment
- The Marketer (You): Person in charge of sales
- The Network: Person who are likely to buy the product
Here are the top 10 most popular affiliate programs and their average commission per sale.
- Amazon Affiliates, >2% commission for most products
- eBay Partner Network, Up to 70% of the auction fee charged by eBay
- Jet, up to 2.5%
- Target Affiliate, Up to 8% commission
- Walmart Affiliate, Up to 4% commission
- ClickBank, Varies by product
- JVZOO, Up to 50% commission
- Warrior Plus, Varies by product
- VigLink, Varies by product
- SkimLinks, Varies by product
Building a Network
This is the hardest part about affiliate marketing. You need a dedicated base of customers who trust you opinion and which you have influence over their buying behavior. Here are some ways to build a network.
Pick a Niche
You can’t be an expert on everything. My recommendation here is to choose a category you have interest in. Being interested in the products you’re selling is key because if you don’t use the products yourself, you won’t be able to write compelling content to sell the products in the next step.
The Content Strategy
This part is a must. You need to create content, whether it be a review site where you review products to recommend or a blog dedicated to opening new products. Content marketing is free, and you won’t survive in affiliate marketing unless you can build leads for free. If you’re looking to build website traffic for free, here’s an article that can help you out.
Partner with Influencers
The rise of influencer marketing is evident from the fact that it was used by 86% of marketers in 2017. There’s such a huge supply of influencers, you can easily take advantage of this. Lot’s of influencers are looking for extra cash. By connecting a network of influencers, you can marketing to a base that has been built up for years and split the profits. This way, everyone wins.
The wrong way to do this is to run advertising against the product you’re selling. If you can do this, so can the merchant, except the difference is that you won’t make enough money on the sale to make it worth it. Instead, you should create squeeze pages such as a long-form article of you reviewing the product in depth and run an ad on that. This way, you’re promoting your site while selling the product at the same time.
There are many reviewers or articles about the product you’re selling or lists that shows the best products of a certain category. You can take advantage of this by working with the author and sponsoring the post. What you want is your product and a link to purchase it (your referral link) added to the article. The price may vary and most authors won’t know what to charge. Do your research and see how many impressions the page gets. The average cost per thousand impression is about $2.80, but each industry will vary.