Affiliate Marketing Basics 101: 7 Things You Need to Know

Passive income. Sounds like the absolute dream, doesn’t it?

But, once you master the affiliate marketing basics, you’ll still need to work relentlessly if you hope to earn heaps of money.

There’s more than meets the eye with affiliate marketing.

There are various components that can make or break your success. Factors related to your website itself. And outside factors that can affect how much you’ll earn.

It won’t happen overnight. But soak up all the knowledge you can and apply it to your business. Affiliate marketing can be a lucrative stream of income for your business when done right.

Keep reading to learn the 7 affiliate marketing basics you need to know so you can increase your sales!

1. What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is when you promote other people’s products or services. You earn a commission from every sale you make.

They provide you with a unique link which tracks each sale you make. You can place the affiliate links in blog posts, on social media, or various other places on the web. Most affiliate programs provide visuals to help you make sales, such as banners or images.

The first step in affiliate marketing basics is discovering that there are different types of affiliate marketing.

Various Types of Affiliate Marketing:

  • Affiliate programs
  • Affiliate networks
  • Creating your own affiliate programs

Affiliate Programs

An affiliate program is a private program. This means you don’t have to go through a third party. Affiliate programs tend to pay better commissions and offer better support.

Affiliate Networks

With affiliate networks, you go through a third party merchant. Generally, they have hundreds of merchants under one affiliate network.

An example is Share a Sale. With Share a Sale you can apply to individual merchants under the network. Then that particular merchant approves you.

You can also join as a merchant. This is if you have your own products/services to sell.

2. Affiliate Marketing Basics If You’re a Merchant

When you have your own products, you can partake in affiliate marketing as a merchant. It’s the opposite of promoting products for a merchant. The same rules will still apply.

You’d pay your affiliates a commission for every sale they make. The same as you’d be paid if you were the affiliate of a program.

It’s a gold-mine for making passive income.

You’ll hardly have to lift a finger as a merchant, other than the initial set up of your affiliate program.

3. Honing in on a Niche and Target Audience is Essential

Identifying a crystal-clear target audience is key to making affiliate sales. As is honing in on a particular niche.

Without a Target Audience:

  • You won’t know what affiliate programs to join
  • It’ll be challenging to create content
  • You won’t stand a chance of making sales

You want to attract a clear-cut group of people who share similar interests, struggles, and desires.

When you’ve focused in on the right people, you can conduct market research to get inside their heads.

The core of affiliate marketing basics should be knowing your target audience – inside and out. If you can accomplish that, everything else will fall into place.

4. Focus on Content and Boosting Traffic

Once you have an evident target audience, you can craft content tailored to them.

This can catapult your website traffic if done correctly. And more traffic means more affiliate sales.

What Type of Content Will Bring Traffic?

  • Quality content that provides value
  • Content that’s geared to your target audience
  • Informational content
  • Infographics
  • Case studies (a powerful type of content marketing)
  • Video content

It’s imperative to provide value to your target audience to keep them coming back.

This will mainly consist of actionable blog posts. But be sure to sprinkle in a variety of the content mentioned.

If they don’t find your content helpful or enjoyable, you can bet they won’t ever return.

5. Find the Right Programs

Selecting the right programs for your niche and target audience is adamant to your success as an affiliate marketer.

When you’re learning affiliate marketing basics, you’ll want to explore your options. It may take time to find affiliate programs best suited for your business.

When Applying to Affiliate Programs:

  • Explore your options to find the right ones for your business
  • Select them based on your niche
  • Tailor them to what your target audience desires
  • Look at commission rates
  • Check out reviews
  • Concentrate on a few programs

It may sound like the opposite of what you should do to earn money. But applying to too many programs can actually backfire.

Find a handful of programs that fit your business like a glove. And then concentrate on promoting only those few.

If you promote every affiliate program under the sun, it’ll come off as insincere and salesy. A major turn-off for your target audience.

How Do You Find Affiliate Programs or Networks?

  • Brainstorm companies you like and reach out
  • Search ”the product name + affiliate program” into Google
  • Consider Amazon Affiliates Program (They work for almost any niche)

Amazon is a first-rate choice, not only because they have thousands of items that are relevant to most niches. It’s become one of the most profitable affiliate programs. There are many books written about making money with The Amazon Affiliates Program.

80 million people have Amazon Prime. In fact, a staggering 64% of households have Amazon Prime. This proves how profitable their affiliate program can be.

Whichever affiliate programs you decide on, weigh your options. The integrity of your business hangs in the balance.

6. You Must Build Trust to Make Sales

Studies show that consumers are more likely to buy from you when you show that you care. Like any form of sales, people won’t swipe their credit cards unless they feel that they can trust you.

Clique as it may sound — trust is everything. This rings especially true for affiliate marketing.

Get comfortable with the affiliate marketing basics. And you’ll begin to pull in your target market.

Concentrate on compelling and informational content, and you’ll start to earn the trust of your target market.

But to ensure you’re disclosing properly, you must promote affiliate products. The same goes if you’re a merchant. There isn’t any wiggle room when it comes to the FTC disclosure laws for affiliate marketing.

Not only will you be legally liable, but you’ll look dishonest to your target audience.

7. Your Website Design and Functionality Matter

Affiliate marketing is more than just the act of promoting products. You won’t make a single sale if visitors land on your website to find an unappealing mess.

Think about it. You search Google for a particular item and click on the link ranking first on Google. You assume it must be an exceptional website to have the #1 position in Google.

But when you land on the website, you can’t find the menu. The design is all over the place. And you’re utterly confused.

What are you going to do?

You’re going to go to a competitor, of course.

Learning the affiliate marketing basics should always include website design and functionality. If you don’t know a thing about web design, no fear. You can purchase a fully equipped website that’s turnkey ready.

Final Thoughts on the Affiliate Marketing Basics

Affiliate marketing can maximize your income and alter your business forever.

It may seem complex at first. But once you peel back the layers of affiliate marketing, you’ll have a handle on it in no time.

If you have any questions or are looking to have a turnkey website done for you, contact us. We’re happy to help!

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