One of the oldest yet still one of the best ways to make money online is through affiliate marketing. This is where you share links to other peoples products or services and make a commission when people click in your links and make a purchase.
Sounds simple enough right? Well, it’s both harder and easier than you might think. In today’s article we will answer the question: What is affiliate marketing and how to get started.
So let’s start with the basics. How do you get people to pay you to advertise their products?
There’s a few ways to do that. If you have a specific product you’re looking to promote, you can try going directly to the vendors website and look for a link (usually in the footer area) that says “Become an affiliate” or something similar. They will likely have a contact form to fill out to register, then they’ll get back to you with more information and your specific links to share. If you don’t see anything on their site, you could try to contact them directly and see what they offer.
If you want to advertise whole categories of products, maybe automotive parts or women’s shoes…who knows but whatever you choose should be a somewhat popular item and in a best case scenario it is a niche that you are already somewhat known for and have a following of potential buyers. That’s best case but not a necessity…just less work.
There are several online affiliate marketing sites you can sign up for to promote various digital products which there is a HUGE number of. Digital products are the best because typically there is a much higher margin on them so you get paid more. A few off the top of my head are ClickBank, JVZoo, CJ Affiliate and of course Amazon.
Let’s look at the one your likely most familiar with but maybe didn’t realize you could make money as an affiliate with them…
Amazon has a program called Amazon Associates. It’s free to join and you can get started by clicking here. Once you’ve got that setup you’ll be able to create specific links to products as shown in the video below. You can create a text link and use it in a blog post just like the one you’re reading now. You can also create image links or a combination of both…
Here is an example of a the text link: Check out the Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation today! When people click your text links and purchase products, you’ll earn a commission.
Here is an example of the clickable image link. Click it and you’ll be taken directly to the Amazon page to purchase:
I’m sure the ideas are now flooding into your head. Think of the possibilities. Instead of recommending products to your friends and family and getting nothing out of it, you can now share your affiliate links and make commissions.
Fist step is to pick a niche as mentioned earlier. If it’s a topic you’re already known for, ie if you’re a techie like me and have people that follow you for technical advice, then you can promote tech related products. This strategy will make the process a lot easier because you don’t have to build an entirely new group of followers.
To promote your products, make subtle recommendations or do reviews of products you purchase and post on your social media accounts. Position yourself as an expert on the subject. Create a blog and make articles like the one you’re reading now. They’ll get indexed in Google and you can earn commission from random people searching for your niche.
One of the best things about affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to create your own product, hold any inventory, ship anything, or manage customers. Literally you can sit on your couch and promote products by email, blogging, social media and collect checks in the mail.
Another perk is that you can even get paid for items you aren’t promoting. For example if someone clicks one of your affiliate links, then decides to purchase a bunch of other items at the same time, you’ll get commission on ALL the items they buy! Amazing.
Here’s the base list of commissions for the various item categories as of the writing of this post:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. Now it’s time to get started with your own online affiliate business. Create your Amazon Associates account today and check out the other digital product sites I mentioned. It’s a simple and fun way to earn some extra income online.
Thanks for reading What is affiliate marketing and how to get started. Share this article using your favorite social media account below.