Affiliate marketing isn’t just putting a bunch of links on your site or on social media and seeing what sticks.
Affiliate marketing is a great way for vendors to expand their product or brand reach inexpensively. Therefore, most vendors have affiliate programs. Even brick and mortar stores like Home Depot, Sears, Best Buy, Walmart and others offer affiliate programs.
Before you can become an efficient affiliate marketer you’ll need to have a clear understanding of what your role is, the numbers game and the revenue process.
How Affiliate Marketing Works
There are tens of thousands of affiliate programs on the web. In fact, chances are that if you can buy something online, you can also probably promote it as an affiliate.
When you join an affiliate program you’ll receive a special link that sends you to a site where you are given access to resources to promote their products/services. These resources can include banner ads, links to landing pages with or without videos, email drip campaigns and more.
These are all at your disposal to help you promote their products as an affiliate.
- Amazon pays 6-8%
- WA pays 50% commission on all referrals
- Others can pay 40% or more.
Essentially, affiliate marketing gives you the ability to promote thousands of products for free and without any inventory or shipping costs.
Affiliate marketing can be wrapped up in five basic steps:
- You promote your content
- Someone comes to your website
- They click your affiliate link
- They buy something
- You get the commission
In case your wondering, no one can steal your affiliate link. It’s unique to you. There are all kinds of product services that talk about masking your link to protect it but don’t fall for that stuff. It’s not true.
Independent Affiliate Programs
Unlike programs that are part of a large network such as Clickbank, ShareASale, and others, independent affiliate programs are not tied to or part of the network. Some of the best programs run independently.
Independent affiliate programs manage tracking, statistics, resources, and tools. There is no third party between you and the company.
Point is, there is a whole host of lucrative opportunities online. You don’t have to tie yourself to a network.
Choosing An Affiliate Marketing Program
You definitely should only include an affiliate program that is relevant to your niche marketing. You’ll get much better results if you only promote products/services that are already in line with your content.
Before you begin searching for affiliate programs to join, make sure that you have a website up and running with relevant content and steady traffic. The reason is that although affiliate programs are free, many of them, including Amazon, will check out your site. They will also want to see that your site’s focus is relevant to the product(s) you’ve chosen to promote.
I would encourage you to get specific within your niche. Look for higher ticket items and programs that pay higher commissions.
Finding affiliate programs is not complicated. You can search for something specific you can simply use Google or any other search engine. Don’t just stick with what’s on page one. So you either search by topic or by product + affiliate program in the search engine.
YOUR NICHE + affiliate programs
Whereas Amazon only pays approx 6% so a $10 item would only give you $0.60.
Keep in mind that some states in the US will not permit you to sign up for Amazon’s affiliate program. This is due to tax laws enforced on Amazon.
There are much better programs out there that will help you make more money through higher commissions. Two alternatives off the top of my head are Walmart.com Affiliate Program (offered through LinkShare.com) and Shopping.com Affiliate Program.
- Awin (link)
- Clickbank (link)
- Share A Sale (link)
- Commission Junction (link)
There’s more good news! Affiliate programs are free and there is an affiliate program for nearly every niche out there. There’s an affiliate program for just about everything, you just have to find it.
With Commission Junction, make sure you have steady traffic and plenty of web content in your site before applying because they will check out your site first, before approving you.
TIP: I avoid the Opportunities and Business categories though because
High Paying & Recurring Commissions
Many affiliate programs offer recurring commissions. So in addition to earning a commission on the sale of a product(s), you also earn monthly recurring commissions on-site memberships. These could be monthly billed memberships or yearly memberships. Any additional products sold are attributed to you as well. Pretty good deal, eh?
High paying programs are often referred to as “Top Tier” and their products and services are in the hundreds of dollars. Therefore, you only need to make a few sales to make a lot of money. Keep in mind, there’s a longer conversion period with these but they can be very lucrative.
For instance, I’m a premium member of Wealthy Affiliate. It’s an all in one platform that is crucial to anyone looking to build a successful online business.
Within Wealthy Affiliate Premium, you are going to be more than equipped for efficiency, accuracy, content quality and beautiful content design. It offers a writing environment where you can create, manage, organize, and publish your content within ONE amazing platform.
It also offers it’s members a recurring commission. The basic membership in WA is always free and gives you full access to two levels of training, Affiliate Bootcamp and Entrepreneur Certification. Free members also get free web hosting through SiteRubix and unlimited access to thousands of WordPress themes. As you can see below, for every referral that becomes a Premium member I start earning monthly and yearly commissions.
12% Conversion rate may sound high but it’s what’s typical within WA. The reason being is that the free membership doesn’t have a time limit on it. This gives you plenty of time to really look under the hood, finish the step-by-step training courses and set up your website(s) foundation, start building your content and start to monetize
By the time you’ve completed your basic training courses, you’ll have a website that is up and running and ranked on Google. Why would you stop there? You’ll definitely want to go Premium and gain full access to so much more including a huge library of advanced courses, weekly live webinar lessons, the 24/7 l
High Paying Affiliate Industries:
- Debt Consolidation – Google Debt settlement affiliate program
- Gold IRAs – Regal Assets
- Binary Options –
- Massage Chairs (approx $350/sale)
- Private Jet Charters
- Cruises & Luxury Travel
- Home Security Systems
- Personal Injury – $300 per lead
- Elderly Chair Lifts – cj.com ($500/chair)
- Industrial Supplies & Equipment (5.5% Commission)
The Low Down On Amazon
AMAZON has one of the lowest -aying commissions out there but they offer 1,000s of products. Visit Amazon.com/bestsellers which lists best selling products easily.
Amazon pays affiliates 6% as a base commission and offers performance incentives based on your volume.
Your best bet in this instance is to offer high ticket items. So, for instance, the price of a 25” HD smart TV could be $2,999. Your commission on each sale of this item would be $179.94.
What if they use my link but buy something else on Amazon?
The good news is that no matter what they buy if they are coming from your affiliate link, you will receive a commission on any product purchased. So, if they use your link and end up buying a pack of toothpicks instead of that nice HG smart TV, you’ll still receive a commission, albeit a much smaller one.
Note that not all states will let you register as an Amazon affiliate. This is due to taxes that are enforced upon Amazon. If your state is one of these, don’t worry, there are plenty of other similar sites out there to choose from.
Amazon adheres to a strict timeframe. I believe it’s 90 days. They require that you make three sales in your first 90 days. If not, they will automatically cancel your account.
TIP: To register and sell product go to sellercentral.amazon.com to set up an account.
Affiliate Marketing Earning Potential
Now, your level of success in affiliate marketing is directly tied to the amount of steady traffic you can generate to your website and its content.
Dropping a bunch of affiliate links on your site will be punished. Google will not rank your site if it labels it a “bridge site” meaning that the sole purpose of your site is to act as a bridge to another. Once your site is blacklisted, you’re dead in the water and will never rank.
For example, say your generating 1,000 site visitors every month on average. That’s 33 clicks a day.
From that, you get a 20% click-through rate on your affiliate links.
1,000 x 20% = 200 affiliate clicks per month
If only 1 out of every 50 that clicks on your affiliate links actually buy something, you’ll make 4 sales. That equates to a 2% conversion rate.
If 1 out of 20 people buys through your affiliate link, that means you’ll make 10 sales per month. That’s a 5% conversion rate.
Let’s say the product costs $30. A 2% conversion rate earns you $120. Whereas a 5% conversion rate earns you $300. Big difference!
As you continually work on building your website traffic you’ll get to a point where you are generating 100+ unique clicks/day from outside sources. That is, other websites or social media traffic that leading them straight to your website.
There are lots of programs out there that offer $100 or more per sale in commissions.
100 clicks/day = 3,000 clicks
Of the 3,000 clicks, let’s take 20% or 600 people every month clicking through your affiliate links. Not bad! Now let’s say that what you’re offering pays $100 per sale and your conversion rate is 5% (1 out of 20) or 30 sales.
That’s a tidy $3000 every month or $36,000 yearly.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Think if you had more than one product producing 2-5% conversion rates at $100/sale. I’m sure you’re starting to get a bigger picture of the unlimited potential here.
There are plenty of affiliate marketers who are earning $1000/day using this method. People are earning residual income all year long 24/7 online.
Ultimately, you’ll want to build a series of different products at different price points offered to all customers in order to make the numbers of your business work.
Keep This In Mind
Keep in mind that the second a visitor hits your website it takes less than 5 seconds for them to decide whether or not to stick around or move on to another. You entice them to stick around by offering quality content. So make sure your blog posts are not one big sales pitch after another.
You can still include affiliate links and promote a product or service. However, even if they do not click on your affiliate links, they should still come out with some new information, tips or techniques they didn’t have before.
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