Welcome to this week’s episode of the online marketing series for beginners! So far, we’ve covered the main elements of an online marketing strategy, the importance of having a website and how to attract visitors to it thanks to content marketing and onsite and offsite SEO techniques, as well as how to start and maintain a conversation with your potential customers with social media marketing and email marketing. So what do you say if we talk about making money with online marketing? Sounds good? Let’s start with our affiliate marketing lesson, then!
Affiliate marketing is the quickest way to start earning money online. It’s ideal for bloggers and podcasters, for instance. Why? Because the only thing you have to do is recommend those products and services that you use and love. And that’s the key to use this kind of marketing – honestly. Please don’t recommend anything you wouldn’t recommend to your best friend. The more you use and love the product or service you want to promote, the better.
How does affiliate marketing work exactly?
Once you’ve found affiliate programs that appeal to you, you’ll get an affiliate link, which is a link that contains your personal affiliate code. Usually, the affiliate programs make some banners and images available for you, but it’s not always like that. The next thing you have to do is use that affiliate link of yours on your website. When someone purchases a product through your link, you get a commission. And that’s all!
Now, how do you find affiliate programs who would let you promote them? There are some options:
- Bloggers who need help to promote their digital products, courses or services. For example, Ruth Soukup’s Elite Blog Academy offers a commission of 40% of the purchase price.
- Business owners who sell products or offer services. For example, ConvertKit offers a commission of 30% of the purchase price.
- Amazon. It’s not my favorite affiliate program, but Amazon sells so many products that it is almost mandatory to mention it. So check it out and see if it would be a good fit for you.
- Affiliate networks, which are platforms with a group of companies that want to work with affiliates. You’ll just have to join a network once to be an affiliate to all of those companies.
- Although affiliate networks are very practical to work with (you just have one platform for all companies), you’ll find that you can make more money with bloggers or other business owners when working with them on a one-to-one basis.
- The network I most recommend is Skimlinks. It offers a Google Chrome extension that lets you know if the site you’re visiting is an affiliate. For instance, imagine you’re searching for a couch at the Ikea site… Well, you’ll see a banner telling you that you can make money with Ikea! Isn’t that awesome?
How do I get started with affiliate marketing?
- First, join the affiliate program(s) that offer products that could appeal to your audience. Make it as relevant to your own business as possible. It makes no sense to promote a travel service if your site is all about recipes, for instance. Now, if you have a blog about photography, that travel service would be a good fit for you!
- Second, copy your affiliate link and add it to your website. You can either insert the link to any word or phrase related to the product you’re promoting, or add the link to a banner or image on your site. Check my sidebar and you’ll see some affiliates of mine 😉
- Third, promote your affiliate partner in social media, in your emails, on your web or anywhere you have access to an audience that could be interested in the products or services you’re promoting.
How can I combine my affiliate marketing promotions with all other online marketing tools?
If you’ve been reading this online marketing series for beginners, you should know a couple of marketing resources by now. So the way to combine all of them together is adding your affiliate links in those places where it makes sense, and without being too intrusive.
In the last episode of this online marketing series, we’ll approach how to make an easy online marketing plan, but for now, let me give you a quick explanation. So let’s say that you’d like to promote a planner and you own a blog on time management. Well, in that case, it would make total sense to add an image of the planner with your affiliate link anywhere in your blog. What I wouldn’t do is disturbing your email subscribers with that planner every week. Just consider what you wouldn’t like – and don’t do it 😉
Stay tuned for next chapter, where we’ll talk about paid marketing, the last digital marketing tool that we’re going to cover in this series before we wrap up with the creation of an online marketing plan!
PS. Are you born to freelance?