Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money online, and when done right, can also create a passive income. Affiliate marketing basically involves advertising somebody else's products or services, usually on your own blog or website. Within the advertisements you publish, you will link to the product or service in question using an affiliate referral link. If anyone who visits your website clicks on one of these links, and goes on to buy the product, you will receive a percentage of the sale.
But how do you get started with affiliate marketing? Let's take a look.
1. Choose an Affiliate Program
The first thing that you need to do is choose an affiliate program. The best thing to do here is choose a product category or brand that you are passionate about, as this will show through in your articles. For example, a techie should probably consider becoming an ExpressVPN affiliate and not a Nike shoes affiliate.Alternatively, consider a program like the Amazon Associates program, where there are millions of products you can choose to advertise. There are also affiliate networks like Sharesale that you can join. These offer over 4000 different programs so you should find something that interests you.
When choosing an affiliate program, make sure that you take a look at the commission rate, and any other terms and conditions the program has. Some are much better than others!
2. Apply to the Program
The application process for each affiliate program varies. Some will require you to already have a website online, while others will require very little. Depending on whether you are approved automatically or not, you should soon gain access to an affiliate dashboard. This will provide you with all the materials you need to start advertising.
3. Create Articles That Contain Your Affiliate Links
The next thing you'll want to do is start creating articles that contain your affiliate links. You can either do this yourself, or hire a professional to do it for you. Consider whether a standard product review is the route you want to take, or whether you want to be more personal and create a video of yourself trying out the product in question. Which is best will usually depend on the products you are promoting. Whichever you do, make sure to include the product name at least three or four times so that it is indexed correctly in the search engines.
4. Market Your Website
Once your website is set up and has a number of articles published, you'll want to begin marketing it. Create social media profiles for your website, and share any articles you publish on them, making sure to add relevant hashtags. You might also want to consider creating an SEO campaign to draw even more traffic for your site. This can be a demanding job, so consider hiring a company like SEOClerks to help you with a content marketing campaign. The more marketing you do, the more traffic your site will receive so keep this in mind.
5. Track Your Referrals
Finally, once you have all of the above in place, you'll want to track your referrals. You can do this via your affiliate dashboard. Most dashboards let you see how many clicks each post is getting, and how well those clicks are converting. With this information at hand, you can tailor your future posts to what you know is working.
Because blog posts and website articles are live for the lifetime of the website, it is possible to make affiliate sales while doing relatively little work in the long term.
Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author. He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.