What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when you earn a commission by marketing other people’s or company’s products or services.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Case Study #1:
Jenny has a passion for creating inspirational signs for her friends. She turns her passion into a business by marketing and selling her signs online. She uses her Silhouette machine to make all her signs and she absolutely loves her machine. The company that sold her the machine offers to give her a percentage of the proceeds earned by her marketing of the machine on her website.
Case Study #2:
You’ve decided to start a website where you’ll write reviews of your favorite books. Through your research prior to starting your website, you learned that it’s imperative to use high-quality WordPress themes with proper coding. You decide to use a theme from a well-known company, StudioPress. You have such great results with your theme, that you’ve decided to share your amazing theme with others. So you send them the link to the theme online. Your friend and a devoted reader of your website decide to take your word for it and purchase the theme. StudioPress then agrees to give you a percentage of the proceeds from the sale.
To sum it up, affiliate marketing is a relationship between advertisers, publishers, and consumers. Advertisers market their product, you buy it and like it so you publish your opinion about the product, the consumer reads your opinion, trusts it, and purchases it. It’s a relationship where everybody wins!
Why Do People and Company’s Need Affiliates?
People and company’s don’t necessarily need affiliates, but by offering an affiliate program, advertisers are able to reach customers they wouldn’t have otherwise reached. Advertisers know that products sell because of relationships built on trust. Where is trust built? In smaller communities of people. In places such as blogging communities!
I may receive a small commission from the companies mentioned in this post at no cost to you. This commission allows me to continue keeping the lights on and bringing you quality content.
How Much Money Can You Earn Through Affiliate Marketing?
The sky is the limit as far as how much can be earned through affiliate marketing. There are thousands of companies that have affiliate marketing programs. In addition, many other bloggers and business owners have affiliate programs as well. Some of the most popular affiliate programs include:
Whether you blog about home decor, parenting, finances, or travel, there are affiliate programs that you can join.
How One Blogger Makes over $50,000 a Month Through Affiliates
Michelle owns the blog, Making Sense of Cents, a personal finance and lifestyle blog. She started the blog to help improve her finances and managed to pay off $38,000 in student loan debt within 7 months. Her blog has won dozens of awards and received dozens of mentions and she has built a business around her e-course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. She actually makes over $100,000 a month by diversifying her income. About half of her income, however, is earned through affiliates.
What is Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing?
As the name suggests, her course teaches entrepreneurs how to make money through affiliate marketing. There is a myth that affiliate marketing is simply:
- Signing up for a program
- Writing a post
- Slapping up a link
- Buying an R.V. and traveling the country while you roll in piles of money
Unfortunately, that isn’t how it works. If it were that easy, a lot more people would be doing it. Your success with affiliate income really comes down to four factors:
- Your dedication and stamina
- Your strategy
- Your ability to follow the advice of those who are successful at it
- The affiliate programs you sign up for
Let’s talk about those four factors in more detail.
Factor #1: Your dedication and stamina
To earn money through affiliates, you must be willing to put in some hard work creating a website that attracts readers. Not only does it take readers, but it takes readers who trust that you’re recommending a quality product or service that you honestly love. After you’ve built up a tribe of readers, it’s going to take some dedication on your part to write quality blog posts that help your readers understand how this product or service you’re recommending is going to help them. This is not a get-rich-quick-scheme. This is a system that rewards each person in the relationship through real, honest recommendations of products or services.
Factor #2: Your Strategy
Depending on the affiliate program, you have the opportunity to make a pretty good percentage of the sale. The income you make from a sale depends on the program’s payout. Some programs pay you only 5% of the sales you make while others pay 50%. Then there’s the cost of the product. If you’re making 50% from a $200 product, you’re obviously earning more than if you were to make 50% of a $25 product.
Factor #3: Following the Advice of Experts
Some people make $10 a month through affiliate sales and others make over $100,000 a month. The possibilities truly are endless. With that being said, there are experts in the field that have proven to know what they’re doing through the testimonials of others and through the reporting of their own income. As mentioned earlier, Michelle, from Making Sense of Cents has an e-course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. In her course, she provides clear, easy-to-understand instructions on how affiliate marketing works. Although it’s a somewhat hefty investment up front, the payout you will see from taking her training can be life-changing for you, as it has been for many bloggers.
Factor #4: Affiliate Programs
As I mentioned earlier, the payout you receive depends on the programs you join. Some offer a much larger percentage of the sale than others. Not only is it important to do your research regarding payout, it’s also important that you choose affiliates that relate to your blogging niche. Remember, choosing affiliates is about your readers. You want to give honest recommendations about products and services you, not only love but believe will help them.
6 Steps to Get You Started With Affiliate Marketing
So far, I’ve defined affiliate marketing, we’ve discussed how it works, why company’s offer affiliate programs, and how a blogger can find success through it. Now, we’re going to talk about how we can get you started on your own path to MAKIN’ THAT MONEY!
Step 1: Build Relationships with Your Readers
I know this isn’t what you want to hear. I know you want to get started as soon as possible. Honestly, depending on your niche, you may be able to. More than likely though, you’re not even going to know what your readers need until you take time getting to know them. What are their interests? What are they struggling with? What questions do they have? What problems do they need solving? Talk to them. Find out who they are.
Step 2: Take Notes
While you’re taking the time building relationships with your readers, write down the ideas you have. When readers ask questions, write them down. Another strategy is to join some Facebook groups where your target audience may be hanging out and hunt around for questions being asked. Why do people “Google” things in the first place? Sometimes it’s a form of entertainment, but many times, they’re searching for an answer to a problem! Be their answer.
Step 3: Find Products/Services
Spend time researching products and/or services that will help answer your readers’ questions, solve their problems, or make their lives easier.
Step 4: Research Affiliate Programs
Once you have found products and/or services, find out whether or not there is an affiliate program for that product/service. If there is, you have found the jewel. Chances are, there’s an affiliate program somewhere out there that will offer you a commission for the product or service you are searching for. If you’re having a difficult time finding one, join my Facebook community and start asking questions! Surely there is someone in a similar niche who can help guide you.
Step 5: Write Quality Blog Posts
Once you have identified and joined affiliate programs, you can now begin writing blog posts centered around the product or service you would like to share with your readers. In fact, this is just one way you can begin using affiliate links. Just to name a few, you can:
- Create a how-to post
- Share it on social media if applicable
- Share it on a resources page on your website
Making money through affiliates is just one way to earn money blogging. If you put in enough time, effort, and have patience, you will see the results of your hard work.
Want to learn more about affiliate marketing? Take Michelle’s course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. In it, she’ll teach you:
- How to find and apply for affiliate programs
- The legalities involved in affiliate marketing
- How to get your readers to convert
- Strategies and ways to promote
- And more!
What’s my favorite part about her training? Not only is her explanation simple enough for anyone to follow, but her strategies have been proven to work over and over again. What was one of the factors to affiliate marketing success that we mentioned earlier? That’s right, following the advice of the experts. $50,000/mo.+? Yeah, I’d say she has the credentials to help. Wouldn’t you?
After the completion of her training, you will have all a solid foundation on which to build your income.
Have questions? I wanna hear them!
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Kelly is a veteran, former teacher, and blogging business owner who left her career in the corporate world to start a blog. Her research and time invested in blogging have developed into a passion for helping others realize their potential and successfully follow their passion of building a successful blog.