What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is one of the many ways you can earn money through commission online. It is a performance-based marketing program and is commonly used by bloggers, brands and social media influencers.
The official definition:
“a marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays a commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.”
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work
Brands provide their users (AKA: affiliates) with codes and/or links and reward them each time a purchase is made by a visitor/customer using that code or link. This type of marketing can be very confusing and convoluted when you first start out.
First, let’s review the four key players in the affiliate marketing industry:
- Merchant (aka brand or retailer)
- Network (aka the platform the merchant uses to determine and implement their affiliate program)
- Publisher (aka the affiliate)
- Customer (aka who makes purchases with the affiliate’s link or code)
Now that we have an understanding of the key players, how does a program like this work? There are a lot of options online, but here’s a simple breakdown of how affiliate marketing works:
- Find a product or service that you like and recommend this to your followers.
- A Follower purchases the product and/or service you recommend.
- You receive commission for the purchases your followers make.
Earnings from affiliate marketing come from sponsored posts, direct ad sales, etc. Pretty simple when you break it down like this.
Affiliate Marketing Takes Time
When I was first looking into affiliate marketing, I realized that it was going to take time to build an affiliate marketing program. Sure, you hear about how there was this one blogger that posted a few articles or blog posts and they all went viral … and now they’re making LOTS of money blogging. But that is not the case for everyone. In fact, for many bloggers it takes years of blogging and networking before they build up an audience and following on social media. Building a blog that has repeat visitors who come back regularly takes time and effort. Blogging takes a lot of time and dedication and it’s important to remember to post quality content for your niche on a consistent basis.
How to Decide if Affiliate Marketing is Right for my Blog
Once your blog starts to receive traffic on a consistent basis, you’ll want to start reaching out to the right affiliate marketing programs. It’s really important that you only work with brands, products and companies that you believe in, as your name and blog are tied to what you’re promoting. You’ll also want to make sure you select companies that make sense for your niche and followers because they will be the ones who will be making the purchases through your links and/or coupon codes.
I hope my blog post on affiliate marketing: 101 was helpful. Do you have any additional questions? If so, please feel free to ask me in the comments below and/or contact me!