Affiliate marketing is the first and most popular way to generate an income online. The affiliate model is very simple, but if you don’t know what it is, you might end up overcomplicating it.
Basically, affiliate marketing allows you to promote products or services online for companies. To do so, all you need to do is sign up to affiliate programs. And the good news is they’re free to join ! =)
You should know that there are affiliate programs for EVERYTHING… One of the most famous one is probably Amazon but you can become an affiliate for literally thousands of other companies, for approximately ANYTHING that you are interested in or want to make money with! You can join wallmart, google, sephora… Can you see the potential?
How Does It Work?
Simply put, affiliate marketing is a type of marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. The industry has four core players :
1) the merchant (also known as ‘retailer’ or ‘brand‘)
2) the network (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments)
2) the publisher (also known as ‘the affiliate’)
3) the customer.
What Does An Affiliate Marketer Do?
When you join an affiliate program, you become an affiliate marketer for that brand. If you decide to promote a given product, they will give you a unique special link that you will insert on your website/blog. It really is this simple.
Then when someone is on your site and clicks your “affiliate link”, you will get full credit for the sale if this person goes on to buy something. The more clicks, the more revenue, obviously.
So, for simply referring traffic as an affiliate to a site where people can buy the product, you earn a good deal of money. I repeat, this can be done within absolutely EVERY NICHE (group of people, interest, passion) that you can think of. I can not stress enough that there is an affiliate program for everything!
Note that you don’t just copy paste an affiliate link, you want to write content that is relevant and helpful for your readers ^^
Is It A Legit Business?
Absolutely. It is 100% legit! Affiliate marketing is very regulated and pays every time.
I believe part of the reason why Affiliate Marketing is sometimes regarded suspiciously is simply that there’s a lot of confusion about what affiliate marketing really is. A lot of people think that related to “earning money online” is a scam and they have good reasons to think so… =)
I’ve seen some people say that affiliate marketing and pyramid schemes are one and the same thing. But, they’re not. Some people really don’t know what they’re talking about lol. It is actually very easy to know if you are dealing with a pyramid scheme or a legal firm that relies on affiliate marketing.
Another reason I think some people don’t trust the affiliate marketing world is that they go in with unrealistic goals. They feel that they can get rich overnight. I don’t blame some people for thinking that either, I was one of them myself for a while. If you look around you see time and time again ads stating that you can make instant riches and quit your job today…
But let me get back to the subject : affiliate marketing is a perfectly legitimate business model. Not perfect, but definitely safe and lucrative if you know how to take advantage of it!
Don’t Sell At All Costs
Now, not all products in affiliate marketing are good quality of course and it is my personal choice to never sell anything that would feel like a scam to my visitors. You shouldn’t promote products for the sole purpose of earning as much money as possible. But not everybody thinks like me, which is maybe why they are millionaires already and I’m not (yet!)
With this in mind, I recommend before you join any affiliate program to :
- Do some research on the internet and on reliable websites, not just forums where you will read one thing and its opposite. Read reviews even try the products yourself and get a refund (if you can)
- Ask around (family, friends, colleagues…)
- Take the time to gather information, don’t rush
- Make sure a valuable product is being offered
- Watch out for “Get Rich Quick” Ads. If you really want to build a business that will hold in to the long term and eventually make you rich, mark my words, you will not get rich overnight!
- Please check out the company’s record. Do they have a clean record? Has there been many complaints about them? It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to starting your own business!
- Make sure the company that you’re interested in has been in business for a least a few years and has established a good reputation. It doesn’t mean that a startup is automatically going to be a scam, but just do some research, write the founders of the company, gather information…. =)
- Choose a company that produces products that you would use yourself. If you have used the product and enjoy it, it will be that much easier for you to sell! I speak from experience and can take the example of the ItWorks products that I sell. I would never be able to talk about the products if I didn’t love them and used them.
The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
- it’s free to join, all you need is a website (and you can build one for free as well. Click here if you want to have your very own website up and running in no time!)
- it’s a good way to make ends meet or even to build a full time income
- you get to promote tons of products, even products that are competitors… which you can not do when you do MLM for instance. Yuk I hate MLM ^^
- you don’t have to sell anything or massively recruit people to earn money… All you do is talk about a subject you are interested in, just as if you were talking to a friend or family… and you’re helping people online in the process =) how cool is that?
Where Should You Start?
Well, first of all it depends on your interests! I don’t think you want to sign up to affiliate programs that sell diapers if you have no interest in kids, do you? Or in how to train your dog if you like cats better lol. So before choosing your affiliate programs, make a list of all the things you love.
My #1 recommendation to anyone willing to become an affiliate marketer and earn money online is Wealthy Affiliate. In short, it is the best place on the internet to learn how to earn money online. You can sign up for free and get 2 free websites, trainings, tools and instant help.
Now here are, to me, the best affiliate programs that I am currently a partner of and making money with ! Of course there are many many more options. If you type “affiliate program” on google, you’ll get the picture! =)
- Wealthy Affiliate : online training program to build your business and very active community of like-minded people. Through the program you will learn to build a website and earn money from it. You can also build a great residual income by making referrals ($22,5 per referral monthly recurring if you’re a premium member and $$11,25 per referral monthly recurring for free members). You also earn commissions when you create trainings on the platform.
- Jaaxy : keyword research tool
- Commission junction : online advertising and internet marketing company that specializes in affiliate, media and tracking services
- Clickshare : same as commission junction
- ShareASales : same as commission junction
- Clickbank : the #1 online retailer for affiliate marketers and product creators
and many more! (amazon, sephora, apple…)
Possibilities with affiliate marketing are almost endless !
Top 10 Benefits Of Affiliate marketing – by Mike-Writes
10 Most Common Newbie Mistakes In Affiliate Marketing – by MisterWailor
Introduction to Affiliate Marketing – by HansenLin
What Is Affiliate Marketing? How Does It Work? – by EricSeiler
Important Factors For Success In Affiliate Marketing – by HansenLin
Affiliate Marketing Glossary – by Blas-Antonio
The good thing about affiliate marketing is that it’s free to get started and you can promote a wide variety or products!
If you get into affiliate marketing with real goals and a strategy, then it can truly be an incredible source of income. Having an affiliate marketing business means you are in control.
Another of my favorite pro about affiliate marketing is that you meet the most motivated and passionate people. It’s always a good thing when successful, rich mentors, who have gone through the entire process to get where they are, give amazing advice to help you reach your own goals.
Also a benefit of Affiliate marketing is that you are rewarded by what you put in ; if you’re willing to work hard, you have the ability to reach your goals of financial success in just a few years. Being your own boss is another big plus because you control how much time and effort you want to put in, meaning you control how much you make.
Click here if you would like to learn more about affiliate marketing and start earning money from home!
If you have a question or want to share your own experience with affiliate programs, please feel free to leave a comment below, I will be more than happy to connect! You can also email me directly at email@example.com
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Good luck in all your futur endeavors!