What is affiliate marketing and how to get started

Rui Correia

Do you enjoy making money? Then you must learn about affiliate marketing to start earning even more.

Everybody likes making money, especially if it is done in an easy way, this is where affiliate marketing comes into play. 

Affiliate marketing is a mechanism in which an affiliate or a partner earns a monetary commission from promoting/marketing products from other companies or from individuals. The affiliate’s job is to find the right products to promote and whenever they succeed in making a sale, they will be paid a part of the resulting profit. 

Affiliate marketing is a great way of diversifying your online revenue, having valuable affiliate partners can result in a significant rise in a company’s financial success. 

Both parties can benefit from an affiliate partnership, the advertiser (or merchant) will benefit from having good publishers who can give their products more exposure and drive sales, the publisher will benefit from having a solid stock of products from well-known brands to advertise and eventually profit from the sale of those same products. 


How does affiliate marketing work?


For affiliate marketing to work there are 3 mandatory things: a merchant, a publisher, and a consumer. These are the 3 foundations of a good affiliate marketing system. The merchant is the entity that creates the product, these can be either big name brands that create products in bulk or small entrepreneurs/startup companies. If you have a product to sell, you can be a merchant. 

The publishers (aka affiliate marketers) are the individuals or companies involved in the promotion of products from their affiliate partners, for publishers to succeed they must entice and captivate a large audience for those products and look to turn that large audience into a solid percentage of sales. One of the most usual ways in which this promotion happens is by publishers owning product review pages in which they highlight the many advantages of a certain product as you can see from this example by topcontent reviewing Nespresso coffee:

Review example

Lastly, we have the consumer, this is the ultimate target of all affiliate marketers, without reaching the consumer there won’t be any money to be made either by the merchant or the publisher. 


How to get started

If you wish to get started with affiliate marketing you will need two things: creating a website, blog or social media influence strategy and find affiliate products you can promote. The products you choose to promote must be ones that make sense and fit the theme of your online content. 

An effective way of choosing the products to promote is by joining an affiliate network, this would facilitate the process of picking the products that would make the most sense for you and your digital content. 

Affiliate networks exist to associate the merchants to the publishers, there are many affiliate networks and many of them have been mentioned by us in previous blog posts, networks such as Amazon, CJ, Awin, Rakuten and Impact are some of the biggest names that could assist you in forging great affiliate relationships with advertisers. Having partners such as these will give you a wider array of products to choose from as well as provide you with data about those same products so you can make more informed decisions about your featured item choices. 

Now that you have created a website and joined forces with some of the world’s leading affiliate networks it’s time to start working on your online content so you can begin monetizing it. If you want to grow your revenue stream you must create content that captivates your audience, to be a successful affiliate marketer you have to direct your readers/viewers to make a purchasing decision and guide them to the products website to complete the sale. To achieve this, it helps if you do some research on the right keywords to use for your specific audience. 

Once you decide which content to create you will then be able to start implementing the affiliate links onto your website’s content, placing the links in spots where they make the most sense and ensuring that they are visually pleasing is of great importance, for example, if you’ve written an article about the “top 10 products from a certain category” it would make sense for you to place various affiliate links in that specific page, in a case such as this the new Squirrel Playlists would be great way to start promoting your affiliate products in an aesthetically pleasing look as you can see below. 

Squirrel playlist 


Another step to take in order to maximize your online revenue is to make use of your email list, many people tend to forget to use this tool when it comes to promoting their content, it is simple but very effective, when targeting your email list, you already know that the audience has somewhat of an interest in what you are promoting so making use of that advantage is a sensible idea. You can grow an email list by creating extra content on your website that drives people to give you their email (such as popups and floating bars), once you’ve done that you can then start sending emails with your affiliate links inserted in them so you can start making money from your target audience.

One of the secrets to staying successful as an affiliate marketer is to carefully pick which campaigns you are going to promote, before selecting a product you should first research the demand it might or might not have and see if it would be a good addition to your content, otherwise it can damage your brand to be associated with products that are low quality and don’t turn into sales. It’s also very important to always stay up to date on what is trending, there is stiff competition in the affiliate marketing field, if you fail to stay in touch with all the new strategies and marketing techniques that are being used you run the risk of lowering your website’s conversion rates.

Being such a simple and transparent process, affiliate marketing is a surefire way of improving your online gains without too much trouble, finding the right partners and working the right methods will see you earn money in no time.

We hope that by reading the tips written in this article it will enable you to absorb your audience and convert them into costumers that will increase your online revenue.

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