Affiliate Marketing For Beginners 2021

E-commerce is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries and has serious potential to become the new global norm when it comes to buying and selling products and services. In 2017, global e-commerce transactions generated about $29.27 trillion.

As expected this huge industry has given birth to other industries and sub-sectors. One of the most popular and rapidly-growing sub-sectors is affiliate marketing. Let’s take a look at what affiliate marketing is, how it works, and how you can successfully set up an affiliate marketing business.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

In simple terms, affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing system in which a company pays you a fixed or flexible commission based on the number of customers who purchase their product or service through your platform. Affiliate marketing in 2021 is not much different from when it began back in 1989. It is also one of the most popular methods for individuals to earn passive income online. It is a relatively simple concept, effectively you are promoting another company’s product or service. 

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate sales are tracked through a useful bit of internet technology commonly known as “cookies.” Whenever a customer clicks on the unique links provided to you by an affiliate program, the data tells the merchant who is responsible for the sale and calculates his commission based on several factors. This allows the merchant to attribute the sale to the right affiliate partner and pay commission.

Most of the time there are three parties in the affiliate marketing process.

  1. Merchant: The business looking to sell their product or service (e.g Amazon Associates (learn more here) or Plus500
  2. The Affiliate: The person with content, whether it be a blog or a large Instagram following. 
  3.  Consumer: The person who links the “affiliate link” and purchases via the affiliate.

In effect, the merchant gives the affiliate a link, which is placed on the affiliate’s content. When a consumer clicks and buys via the link a commission is given to the affiliate.One thing that has changed over the years with affiliate marketing, is where you now find affiliate links. In the early 2000’s the most common place for affiliate links was in bloggs but with emergence of the influencers market many influencers have started to monetize their following through affiliate marketing and you can often see the links in the influences bio.

Steps to Setting Up a Successful Affiliate Program for Beginners 

The world of affiliate marketing can at times seem confusing and vast. Here are seven basic steps to setting up a successful affiliate program as a beginner: 

Find Your Platform

There are so many different ways to advertise your affiliate programs these days. The most popular platforms are through blogs, social media platforms like Instagram, and YouTube channels. These allow you to reach out to a wider audience at once and advertise your affiliate’s products and services.

Choose the platform which best fits your unique set of skills and brings out your strengths. Note that no matter which platform you choose you are legally required to inform your audience that you are being paid to advertise your merchant’s goods and services.

Choose a Niche

With over an estimated 600 million blogs on the internet and over 37 million YouTube channels currently registered on the platform seems almost impossible to attract a loyal following of readers or viewers. One of the tricks, however, is finding a highly specialized niche and providing your audience with quality content concerning the topic.

Try to narrow down your scope. Don’t let your platform seem myopic or monotonous but have a strong identity that will allow you to attract a dedicated audience. For instance, instead of just being a healthcare blog, why not focus on health supplements. Further, narrow your idea down to providing content surrounding natural herbal supplements.

In summary there are a few steps you need to take when starting affiliate marketing in 2021.

  1. Create your content
  2. Find the best affiliate program for your content
  3. Register for affiliate program
  4. Place affiliate link into your content

Create Engaging Content

Once you have your niche you must create exciting yet informative content to attract readers and keep them on your platform. The rules for creating engaging content on a blog differs significantly from that of a YouTube channel or Instagram page. Yet there are a few common tips to keep in mind:

  • Know your audience. Always do audience research and know which particular demographic your content caters to. Then adjust your content to better connect with your audience. This is much easier than before to do. With many people monetizing their social media, Facebook offer service such as Facebook for Business that give you a quick and clear insight into your audience. 
  • Catch their attention early on. It is very important to catch the attention of your reader or viewers early on. Give them a taste of the great content you have in store for them in the first few sentences of your post or 30 seconds of your video.
  • Show passion. Informative doesn’t mean boring. There are ways to deliver quality content to your audience and still keep things exciting. Mastering this art is one of the most important skills in affiliate marketing. A good tip is to pick the affiliate program depending on your content, rather than creating content around a specific affiliate program. This way readers can see genuine interest and will generate a much higher engagement. 
  • Pay attention to headlines and keyword research. SEO, keyword research, and engaging headlines are a vital part of any marketing campaign. Not only does this increase your Google ranking, but it also helps you target the right audience. 
  • Diversify your content. Creating an identity is very important, but be careful not to make your platform seem too narrow-minded. Create content on topics related to your niche and attract an even wider audience.

Choose the Right Affiliate Program to Partner With

Now you have a platform, a niche, and the know-how to create engaging content. The next step is finding the right affiliate program to partner with. The affiliate program you partner with depends on your niche and your target audience. Almost all industries offer affiliate programs including Trading, Gambling, Fashion, Travel and even Cryptocurrency.  

If you wish to cater to mainly businesses, then a high-paying but low-volume affiliate program is probably your best bet. However, if your aim is to create content for consumers, find low-paying but high-volume programs to partner with. There is a third option, high-paying, high-volume affiliate programs, but these are usually for expert affiliate marketers and are usually out of the range of beginners.

Drive Traffic to Your Platform

This means increasing your average number of unique and regular visitors or viewers. There are several ways you can drive traffic to your platform, here are a few of the more popular options:

  • Generate paid traffic using PPC ads.
  • Invest in interesting headlines, SEO, and keyword research.
  • Build an email list.
  • Promote your posts on social media.

Maximize Your Clicks and Conversions

The first conversion is a customer clicking on your link. The second conversion is them buying the product from the merchant’s platform. The second conversion is mostly out of your control, but you can directly influence the first conversion.

There are several important things you have to pay attention to if you want to maximize the number of clicks and conversions your affiliate link receives:

  • Space your link placements throughout the post.
  • Make sure your link fits the context of the sentence.
  • Use callouts like buttons, tables, and boxes to catch the attention of your audience quickly.
  • Tailor your content to mobile devices.
  • Minimize distracting content.

Affiliate Pricing Models

The biggest question on everyone’s mind is ‘how do I get paid’? There are only three methods within the affiliate world. Those are Cost per Acquisition (CPA), Revenue Share (Rev Share), Pay Per Click (PPC), and Pay Per Lead (PPL).

Common Mistakes Affiliates Make

The first step in running a successful affiliate campaign is picking with the product or service you would like to promote. A big mistake many affiliates make is simply picking the program with the highest CPA. Other important factors should be considered when picking which affiliate program to promote are cookie lifespan (This is the time frame in which the sale will count as yours)

Another common mistake beginners are not picking a niche. It is extremely important to understand your audience and pick the affiliate program that will best suit them.

In Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make passive income online. Even beginners who are relatively new to e-commerce and affiliate marketing can quickly pick up the tricks of the trade and build a loyal following through hard work, patience, and following the right strategy. The internet is a global marketplace, are you ready to dive in?

For more tips, visit our homepage and compare hundreds of affiliate programs and see which affiliate program fits you best.

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