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Affiliate Marketing 101: How to Be an Affiliate

How to Be an Affiliate

Everywhere you look entrepreneur “gurus” are claiming you can use affiliate marketing to make loads of cash online in just a few steps. Is all of this buzz around affiliate marketing worth the hype? In reality, yes. Affiliate marketing is a legitimate, effective way to make money online. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds to be successful.

If you have a website, blog, or online business, you might be thinking of becoming an affiliate for your favorite companies. This is a great way to generate more income, but you need to be strategic if you want to make your affiliate business work. In this guide, we’ll debunk what it means to be an affiliate marketer, how the process works, and how to get started.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is big business. So big, in fact, that one social media affiliate marketer alone generated $7 million in retailer sales in a single year with his strategy. While the average affiliate marketer probably won’t generate that much traction online, affiliate marketing is still a great way to share products and services you love while gaining some income from these efforts.

Affiliate marketing is based on a concept known as revenue sharing. In essence, you earn a commission by promoting another company’s products or services. You find something you like or use regularly, and you share it with your followers online.

Why is affiliate marketing so popular? Mainly, it’s passive. Affiliate marketing is something you can set up once or automate, and then you’re earning passive income. It doesn’t take ongoing effort like it does to promote your own products or services, and you can reap numerous rewards. Many companies offer their own affiliate programs, and it’s easy to find a way to earn some income promoting just about anything.

You can include affiliate links or discount codes in your blog posts, reviews, on social media, or even in email marketing. You win because you get a commission, the companies you’re supporting win because they get a sale, and the consumer wins for learning about a great product or service from someone they trust.

Where to Find Affiliate Opportunities?

Now that you understand what affiliate marketing is and how it works from all angles, it’s time to discuss how you can find these opportunities. There is no one-size-fits-all for the types of websites that can include affiliate links or codes. You’ll find affiliate products all across the web, from comparison websites to personal blogs.

There are two main options for discovering affiliate opportunities:

  1. Affiliate Networks – You can work through a network that connects product owners with affiliate marketers. Some well-known networks include Clickbank and Share a Sale.
  2. Company Programs – The second way is to look for companies that directly offer an affiliate or referral program to consumers. The activelyinvesting affiliate program is a prime example of this.

There’s no better choice. It will mostly come down to the products and services you want to support and the type of payout you’re expecting to receive.

Affiliate Marketing Best Practices

Finally, let’s touch on some of the best practices for being successful at affiliate marketing. First, you’ll want to choose products and services to promote that make sense for your publication. Promoting travel products as a fashion blog, for example, will leave users confused. The more natural and authentic the promotions, the better success you’ll have.

Additionally, you’ll need to work hard. Though the earning potential is high, don’t think of affiliate marketing as a get rich quick scheme. It takes time, effort, and consistency. There’s no guarantee of success, so don’t be afraid to learn from your mistakes to grow your skills.

Finally, affiliate links do need to be disclosed according to the FTC’s guidelines. You should include this disclosure on any page with affiliate links so you’re being transparent with your users. A simple explanation of what an affiliate link is and how you’re using it is all you need.

Final Thoughts

Are you planning on starting an affiliate marketing business? This can be a profitable path as long as you’re willing to partner with the right companies and learn as you go. With so many new affiliate opportunities popping up every day, it’s easy to find the right fit.

As you can see from the guide above, affiliate marketing takes ongoing work. It’s not always as “passive” as it seems. That being said, it’s a great opportunity to earn an income while sharing your love for your favorite products and services.

Published: April 24, 2019

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Hellen McAdams

Hellen McAdams is the chief strategist at Marketee.rs. She loves a good digital marketing and business development strategy, and isn’t afraid to ask questions every day to keep up with the industry’s trends. If you have any comments or questions, shoot her a question at @hellen_mcadams.

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