e-Book: How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
You want to earn money with your website? But so far affiliate marketing is not really going well?
Don’t panic, that’s how it happened to me a few years ago. In the meantime, I earn a good four-figure income per month with affiliate marketing and here in the blog I explain to you how you can increase your affiliate marketing income as well.
You will learn everything about the basics of affiliate marketing, how to create an affiliate website step by step, how to get optimal income with the Amazon affiliate program and much more.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Simply put, affiliate marketing is an internet-based commission system. Companies that sell products online in a store, for example, pay commissions to website owners who “send” visitors to their online store, who then buy something.
For example, Amazon offers its own and very lucrative affiliate program, but so do thousands of other online stores and other Internet providers.
In contrast to e.g. normal banner advertising, the remuneration for affiliate marketing is success-dependent. As a website operator (also called affiliate, partner or publisher), you only receive a commission if the referred Internet user does something specific on the company website. For example, they make a purchase.
For example, I can get 1,000 visitors to my website to click on an affiliate link (which can of course also be an advertising banner with a corresponding affiliate link). If they don’t buy anything in the online store they got to through the click, I earn 0,- Euro.
But if I manage to get 10 people to click on an affiliate link and 5 of them buy something in the store, then I get 5 x commission. Affiliate marketing is not only about quantity, but also about quality. But more about that in another article.
The idea behind affiliate marketing
The idea of affiliate marketing is said to have originated in 1997 at a party where the Amazon founder was talking to a young lady about her website. The woman offered him to market books on the website in exchange for commission. Gradually, more and more partners joined in, wanting to advertise other people’s offers on their websites in return for a commission. Today, Amazon is still one of the big players in affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is playing an increasingly central role in the marketing mix. In 2019, 74 percent of affiliates, 61 percent of merchants, and 90 percent of agencies and networks enjoyed rising sales, despite various hurdles associated with the issue of e-privacy.
Advantages for advertisers
The goal of advertisers is to lead potential customers to their website, for example, so that they make a purchase there. By including their content on suitable publisher pages, advertisers have the chance of more prospective customers coming to their website and can thus increase their sales. Affiliate marketing is a favorable advertising opportunity for advertisers, because they only receive payment if they are successful. With this form of performance marketing, advertisers therefore have a fairly low risk. In addition to the possibility of higher revenues, advertisers benefit from branding effects through the integration of their content on third-party websites.
Advantages for publishers
Publishers can earn money by marketing third-party products on their website. To do this, they integrate an advertising medium (e.g., a banner) on their website that promotes a third-party offer. The publishers act as partners (affiliates). Depending on the agreed remuneration model, the partners receive a commission for clicks, leads or sales, for example.
HOW AFFILIATE MARKETING WORKS IN PRACTICE
To make the whole thing easier to understand, let’s take a look at an example of affiliate marketing. First of all, six steps are relevant, which are also shown on our infographic.
Incorporate advertising: Let’s say you’re passionate about gardening and share your knowledge about it on a blog. If you write an article about pruning roses, you could also recommend appropriate products in your text as part of that. For example, it could say, “XY’s rose shears have been my favorite to use for years.”
Click on advertising: Then, when you say “Rose shears from XY,” you put a link to the product page of the advertiser you want to promote in this case. Once a user reads your blog post and their interest in the rose shears is piqued, they will click on your link to take a closer look at the product.
Refer visitors: By clicking on the affiliate link, your blog reader becomes a user on your distributor’s website and you have successfully generated traffic for the advertiser. In most cases, you won’t receive any compensation for this yet.
Visitor buys: In order for you to make money with affiliate marketing, the visitor usually has to purchase something. So only when the customer buys the rose scissors through your link, you get a commission for it. Which requirements for a payout exist, especially with the Amazon Partner Program, you will learn further down in the article.
Pay for the purchase: The next important step is the payment of the customer. Via an ID in the redirect, the purchase can be tracked.
Receive payment: Last but not least, you will receive your commission. Provided the application was made through an independent affiliate program, such as Amazon PartnerNet, you settle the payment issues directly with the advertiser. This is different if there is an affiliate network between you and the advertiser.
THE MOST COMMON PAYMENT MODELS IN AFFILIATE MARKETING
Now we have established that there is a commission on a successful sale. This is also the norm in affiliate marketing. However, as is generally the case in performance marketing, there are other cases where compensation is possible.
PPS: Pay per Sale (also CPS: Cost per Sale): With this form of remuneration, the affiliate only receives a commission if a customer has actually purchased a product via his affiliate link.
PPL: Pay per Lead (also CPL: Cost per Lead): With this billing method, the advertiser only incurs costs if a previously defined action has been successfully performed. This action can be, for example, registering for the newsletter, ordering a catalog or filling out a form. Unlike PPS remuneration, this billing model does not require a sale to take place.
PPC: Pay per Click (also CPC: Cost per Click): With the PPC billing model, the affiliate already receives remuneration as soon as even one prospective customer clicks on his affiliate link or on his advertisement. This form of compensation is often calculated as a thousand-contact price.
Affiliate Marketing Business Models
Content marketing is about subtly marketing a company’s products and services through the creation and distribution of profitable online content. Affiliate marketing is where publishers monetize their platforms by receiving a commission from companies when a sales process or other pre-defined actions are triggered through their sites.
Looking at these two definitions, it quickly becomes clear how content marketing can contribute to affiliate publishers’ success – which is seen in no small part in practice: Much of the content we see online is due to affiliate publishers doing good content marketing and also distributing their affiliate content via various social media platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram, for example.
A look at Google’s search results also illustrates the connection between content marketing and affiliate marketing. From dog food recommendations to a search for the best lipsticks – in the search engine rankings, you will find numerous pages from affiliate publishers on the first pages, which were produced specifically to generate corresponding commissions. The bottom line is that the success of affiliate publishers depends on their ability to build an audience for their blogs and websites that trusts them. Only then will they be in a position to act credibly and not offend users with affiliate links.
Content marketing based on SEO-optimized content is a very effective tool to develop such a readership or audience and generate traffic. If you spread content that helps people, you build trust. Or to put it very simply, if you don’t offer something first, you can’t ask for anything. Affiliate publishers sometimes make the mistake of trying to start monetization too early without a sufficient content base behind them. However, those who invest in creating a range of good content suited to their target audience will find that more profitable affiliate marketing success often follows.
Price comparison affiliate marketing
Many customers already know what product they want to buy. Online, they search for the best price, for example, for a Nintendo Switch. Many retailers claim to offer a good price, but the customer would have to compare all retailers individually to have certainty.
This is a typical task for an affiliate who offers a website with a price comparison. An example of this is billiger.de. Here one types in the name of the product and numerous dealers are displayed who have this product on offer. The customer can now pick out the cheapest one. If he subsequently places an order via the affiliate link, billiger.de has earned a commission.
Test affiliate web page
Many customers are not yet sure which product they want to buy and inform themselves about the offer. When spring is slowly approaching, for example, the season of gardening begins. Many people are then interested in which garden rake is the best and how a specific model compares to another.
As an affiliate, you have the opportunity to present different garden rakes, test them and compare them with each other. Often a test winner is chosen afterwards, which can be purchased via an affiliate link.
Such test sites exist in every industry. If you are interested in seeing an example, here is a site that tests body fat carts.
YouTube Product Presentations
On YouTube, there are numerous affiliates dedicated to different topics. Especially products in need of explanation are presented here and examined more closely. The advantages and disadvantages are listed, one can observe the product in use and gets some background information.
If the potential customer is interested in a purchase afterwards, he will find an affiliate link in the video description.
On Facebook there are numerous groups dedicated to almost any thankful topic. Some affiliates are founders or members of these groups. Interesting, for example, are groups that revolve around the topic of weight loss. Here you can recommend weight loss courses, cookbooks and fitness products from various retailers to members and earn a commission this way.
Many potential customers have a problem and are looking for a solution. However, they do not know which products and services can help them. Often they google for solutions, ask in forums, or on question & answer portals.
If someone feels depressed and listless, they can find numerous guides on the Internet that offer useful advice. In this way, you can reach a perfect target group to recommend products that help eliminate the problem.
A good example can be found in this guide on the topic of listlessness.
Cashback sites work – similar to loyalty programs – on the principle of membership. This means that users must first register with the respective cashback site. As soon as registration is complete, the user has access to various online stores on the publisher website with which the cashback operator cooperates.
If the user now clicks from the cashback page to one of these merchant pages, this is tracked in the background by the affiliate network. This means that it is possible to record exactly which cashback publisher referred the customer to the online store. If the customer makes a valid purchase, the publisher receives a commission for this from the advertiser – the basic principle of affiliate marketing comes into play. However, instead of retaining the entire commission, the publisher credits a fixed percentage of this commission to the end customer. Example: If the publisher receives 10% commission from the advertiser and distributes 7% of it to the end customer, he himself retains 3%. The customer thus receives “cash back”.
This money is booked to the customer’s cashback account. Members of the cashback portal can therefore always see transparently how much money they have saved with their purchases. Depending on the cashback site, there are various options for how the customer can use the savings, giving him a high degree of flexibility. For example, they can use the amount on their next online purchase, buy value vouchers for selected partner stores, transfer the money to their own bank or PayPal account, or have the amount paid out in bitcoins. Another option is to donate the savings directly to selected organizations.
The focus of the Cashback Vertical is on customer loyalty. This loyalty is achieved on the one hand through membership in a cashback program and on the other hand through the incentive of receiving money back for every purchase. These two factors mean that customers are less likely to leave, which is what makes the model so promising. Cashback partners thus offer advertisers the opportunity to regularly address a loyal customer base.
The high number of members on cashback portals also increases advertisers’ reach and enables them to acquire new customers. This is supported by the Splendid Research study, in which a full 53% of respondents said they participate in a cashback program to learn about new stores. According to the study, customers’ willingness to try something new is particularly high.
Another feature that makes working with cashback partners particularly attractive is the increased AOVs. This is because the higher the shopping cart, the higher the cashback for the end customer. In addition, a positive association with the advertiser brand is already created during the first transaction, as the customer is rewarded for his purchase.
Based on the purchasing behavior of the members, cashback partners can also introduce them to suitable online stores or promote the advertiser brand to the target group via dedicated newsletters. The open rate for these newsletters is comparatively high, as subscribers expect new cashback offers.
Vouchers Affiliate Marketing
Vouchers offer a win-win-win situation. By this I mean that all 3 parties involved (affiliate, customer and online store) benefit.
The recruited customer saves money when shopping. So he has a financial advantage.
The Affiliate has an advertising medium, which he does not have to “sell”. By this I mean that you test and/or advertise an affiliate product, for example, and then hope that someone is willing to spend money on it. With a voucher, this “spend money” threshold drops significantly, even if you then have to spend money again when redeeming the voucher. Nevertheless, the number of sales usually increases significantly.
The merchant (online store) earns a little less, but sales take place that would otherwise probably not have happened. Especially since the costs for the voucher are only incurred if the customer then buys something. And then it will usually be more than the voucher is worth, because, for example, a minimum order quantity is often associated with a voucher.
All in all, vouchers are like gifts and they can be marketed very well and earn money with it.
Namely, if you post your affiliate link on social networks or even through viral mailers, then you can earn a commission though – by chance. However, the person who clicked on your link then disappears without a trace for you and you have to keep attracting new people to your affiliate products so that you earn more commissions. This is called hope marketing, as I have also practiced for far too long. If you’re lucky, the prospect will at least end up as a lead with the vendor, where you can then earn through their email marketing.
But you increase your chances of making money enormously if you do email marketing yourself – right from the start! Because only through email marketing can you keep writing to your leads (those whose email addresses you have collected) and send them new useful information and, of course, other suitable affiliate offers. You earn money from this, and it’s completely automatic. Because you set up these e-mails once and they are then automatically sent to your leads at certain intervals. You can always expand this email tunnel or even exchange individual sequences later on.
But in order to send emails, you need to have collected your prospect’s email address. And exactly the missing puzzle to success in affiliate marketing is hidden. Without an email address – no email marketing, clearly.
Search engine marketing
Search engine marketing is no longer new territory. More and more entrepreneurs discover in it an interesting channel to show online presence. With increasing competition, the cost of each click is also rising. Andreas Graap recently showed the extent to which this can occur by researching the most expensive keywords. This trend of rising costs naturally entails falling margins. Meanwhile, there are areas where SEA is not worthwhile even for smaller advertisers.
Covering costs therefore becomes a particular challenge for the publisher. He receives a defined commission as remuneration, which must be sufficient to cover the advertising costs and his time expenditure. For this purpose, niches must be found that are not yet served by the masses. These can be found in long-tail search queries and in keyword combinations that pick up potential customers quite early in their buying process. Publishers also have an advantage with the BingAds platform, which is less popular and thus offers more profitable niches due to lower click prices.
Even once a niche has been found, there are further hurdles for publishers to overcome.
The publisher makes upfront payments and has to pay for clicks on ads before getting paid commissions for successes.
In the upfront payments, the account setup for search advertising should not be forgotten. A well-controlled account needs a good structure, which consumes some time resources in the beginning.
The publisher bears a high risk, because it is difficult to estimate in advance whether the traffic in the store will convert well enough.
Because of the many risks for the publisher, it must be well weighed whether ads are linked directly or the traffic is directed to a separate affiliate page. The advantage of direct linking is that the visitor can be directed directly to where he should ultimately buy without an additional click. However, most affiliates direct the purchased traffic to their own affiliate page, as there are benefits to be gained in many ways.
On an intermediary affiliate page, several products or services from different affiliate programs can be advertised. Thus, a purchased click is not immediately lost if a visitor does not want to buy in the first store. He may return and follow up on further store recommendations.
An ad click that initially leads to an affiliate page also has a positive effect on branding. Even if the visitor doesn’t buy from an affiliate store right away, he may get excited about the affiliate site itself. He may come back later and then become a customer.
The own affiliate page can be optimized for ad placement. Google & Co. have long relied on a quality factor when determining the ad position. The better the expected target page experience, the lower the click price that has to be paid for a good ad position. Particularly for SEA, dynamic landing pages are ideal here, which generate many individual pages in a simple way. We have already described how the system works in principle in our blog. There are also tips on how to check the profitability regularly without SEA conversion tracking.
A company or brand becomes aware of a popular public figure who already has a large number of followers and engagement in social networks.
The influencer then recommends the company’s products to their followers in the next step, who in turn are open to product recommendations from the influencer in question.
As a blogger, it is very important that you are present in the social networks. Here you are not only accessible for your followers and can expand your community, but you also become visible for companies as a potential influencer.
Similar to how celebrities act as brand ambassadors for fashion labels, for example, influencers also lend their name to certain products. Unlike celebrity brand ambassadors, however, influencers often lead by example. This is where the main benefits of working with an influencer for a brand become clear:
Our everyday use of social media content ensures that an influencer’s followers are live or notified when an influencer introduces a product or service to their followers. Instead of just speaking positively about a brand in public, professional influencers showcase the relevant products in action.
While influencers promote shout-outs for individual products, there is of course also the possibility for corresponding companies to work with an influencer over a longer period of time. Acting as a brand for an influencer is also of interest to companies, as trust in the brand grows via the influencer’s path and, in addition, acceptance for the respective brand message also increases.
Although many followers were initially surprised when new social media regulations highlighted posts as “sponsored” or paid content, this practice has long since become the everyday norm. Content that is labeled as sponsored or paid generally does not negatively impact influencers’ credibility, which is why they continue to successfully recommend relevant products.
An additional advantage is the versatility of influencers. When it comes to funding the partnership, companies are not limited to payments in the form of money. Many influencers also accept gift certificates and free products as payment for their support.
Should affiliates specialize in products or services?
The affiliate can promote both products and services. In doing so, a decision must first be made by the affiliate as to which products fit their website/blog/social media channel while promising revenue.
Unfortunately, many start in the supposed belief in the big profit and choose any affiliate programs that pay out the highest commissions. But then success usually fails to materialize. For some sites, leads are more profitable than sales and vice versa. The right strategy and choice of affiliate programs is something that an affiliate must try out.
The acute needs of the user are the be-all and end-all when choosing the individual affiliate program. It must be aligned with the content of the particular website/blog article/social media posting and must not work like an egg-laying willy-nilly.
Indirectly, however, the publisher can also create a need through the website / blog article or posting. For example, a YouTuber can introduce a product to his community that is still quite unknown on the market, but could be interesting for many followers. I know of cases where products were completely sold out within an hour because of a YouTube video or an Instagram post. But of course, this requires a lot of reputation and trust.
Earn money with affiliate marketing on niche sites
A niche site is a website whose content is focused on a narrowly defined topic that is only of interest to a small audience and is outside the mainstream. Blogs where the operator writes exclusively about a specific topic can be considered a niche site. Such topic specific niche sites, provide an interesting opportunity to earn money via affiliate links.
This is because a niche site is the equivalent of a market niche, which companies can use for themselves to make lucrative business with very specialized products in the face of little competition. Transferred to affiliate marketing, these are websites such as advice platforms for products or services needed only by a few consumers. An example would be a website or blog about dehydrators for home cooking. Dehydrators are not a product in mass demand, but a high-priced niche product for health-conscious consumers with a correspondingly narrowly defined market.
The advantage of a niche site for affiliates, as with a market niche for companies, is low competition. In particular, competition for the top spots in Google search results is far less than for websites advertising popular products. Conversion rates and commissions earned can be correspondingly high.
As with other affiliate marketing websites, the content and information offered to visitors is crucial to the success of the niche site.
Are niche sites still worth it?
Since I mainly deal with niche sites and earn my money through them, I would like to explicitly address this topic.
In fact, I regularly get this question, “Are niche sites still worth it? Aren’t they dead?”
Short answer: niche sites are not dead. And yes, you can still make money online with them.
Long answer: it’s not as easy as it was a few years ago to make money online with affiliate marketing. True. You should be aware that you have to invest time and energy to create a good niche site. For that, you also have to acquire some skills and be willing to put in the work.
To create a niche site, which is really profitable, you have to deal with many topics, for example:
search engine optimization
Many beginners in affiliate marketing are impressed by the income of other affiliates and then realize very quickly that it is relatively costly to achieve such income.
On the other hand, in my coaching sessions I often find that participants say that creating a niche site is actually not that difficult. My participant Toni said to me the other day during the second week of coaching: “And that’s all? Then I’m actually already done.”
Toni found the creation and everything that went with it totally easy and after 2 weeks he is already thinking about which website he will implement next.
I can at least also report from my current niche site projects that it still works and is lucrative.
Whereby of course many different factors are responsible for a successful niche site project.
Affiliate marketing and credibility
When your favorite ecology-focused Youtuber suddenly spends two minutes talking about an oh-so-great airline, it can be irritating. So if you want to make money with affiliate marketing, you should be aware that credibility is hugely important.
How subtly can you advertise, how aggressively do you want to advertise to make more money with affiliate marketing? Good advertising stands out on the internet because it’s organic to the blog or video. The audience should not see it as a distracting addition, but as content.
Good affiliate marketing should therefore be subtle, fit you and your audience, and not seem out of place. And if the product has little to do with your homepage or video, it should at least be explained. A call to action to buy fabric covers will likely be ignored – as long as you don’t casually mention why the fabric covers are worth it.
A call-to-action (CTA) is essential. This can take many forms, but should always trigger an action from the user or visitor. The CTA should arouse curiosity and entice them to click. And again, what you can’t represent yourself, you shouldn’t advertise with a CTA, and it’s best not to mention it at all.
How affiliate tracking and affiliate marketing work
Traditionally, affiliate marketing works with cookies. Under the GDPR, a cookie information window should appear by now on every website you visit. But what exactly are cookies? Cookies are part of a technology that interacts with web browsers to store information such as user preferences, login or registration information, and shopping cart content. If you’ve “accepted” cookies to read content or if you’ve opted to have a website “remember” your password and username, then you’ve encountered cookies before.
You’ve probably experienced searching online for phone deals, for example, and suddenly display banners on other websites advertising phone specials. This is the result of a cookie that was stored in your browser when you first searched. Your search data was categorized as something you were interested in and can be used by brands to target you again at a later time. However, in affiliate marketing, cookies are only used to store information related to the sale – not personal data.
In affiliate marketing, cookies store the link or ad that a website visitor clicks on. But cookies can also store a variety of other data associated with that click, such as the time and date of the click and the type of website visited. Cookies usually remain active for 30 days, although this period can vary depending on the brand.
There are also different types as well as uses of cookies. The most commonly used cookie type in affiliate marketing is the so-called first-party cookie. When a visitor reads content from a publisher’s website and clicks through to make a purchase (for example, by clicking on an advertiser’s banner, ad, or text link), a cookie is placed in the browser and the user’s journey is tracked. This cookie allows to identify the advertiser, publisher and the agreed commission amount. All this data is stored in the cookie’s link information, called custom “parameters.” With them, for example, companies can get insights about specific products (including details such as color or sub-brand), as well as details about the different payment methods or supplier type. Depending on which aspects are useful to the brand in attribution, the parameters can provide information on all sorts of details.
Fingerprint tracking is still comparatively new in affiliate marketing. In this method, a digital signature, a so-called “fingerprint”, of the end device is created, which contains specific information. Fingerprint tracking also takes place across websites. This tracking method has the decisive advantage that no sensitive data about the user is collected. For a long time, fingerprint tracking was only successful if the user used the same terminal device and the same Internet browser. Now, however, fingerprinting also allows cross-browser tracking.
Postview tracking becomes active whenever a user has viewed a specific ad on a website. With this method, the commission is paid even if an ad is not clicked on directly. The whole thing is realized by means of cookies, which remember which advertisements are displayed to the user. If the same user then visits the merchant’s website after supposedly viewing the ad, the affiliate receives a commission. Postview tracking thus offers affiliates in particular a lot of advantages. Merchants criticize the ease with which this method can be manipulated.
Session tracking briefly tracks all of a user’s activities on a website or within a web portal. For this purpose, each user is assigned a unique session ID for identification. The affiliate receives his commission as soon as the user has reached the merchant’s website via an advertising medium and has made a purchase there. This form of tracking has the advantage that it works without storing cookies and data cannot be deleted during the process. A definite disadvantage of session tracking is that when the Internet browser is closed, the session is terminated and the user can no longer be clearly identified.
Is it possible to earn money with affiliate marketing?
First of all, I should clarify that you can actually make money with affiliate marketing. I publish my earnings from some projects on this website every now and then – I make no secret of it.
However, I don’t want to make the mistake that many others who show their earnings on the Internet make: taunting the prospective affiliate with high three- to four-figure earnings, which usually leads to the affiliate expecting too much from affiliate marketing and starting out with expectations that are too high.
Until an affiliate can earn the first $1000 per month, it is not uncommon for the affiliate to have to put in many months of hard work, a few hours of time every day, and of course, a lot of perseverance as the most important requirements. This is a price most people are not willing to pay.
When people ask me what a successful affiliate is, I answer:
A successful affiliate is the one who could already earn the first dollar with affiliate marketing and knows how to increase his income further.
1 dollar and already successful?
If you can earn one dollar with affiliate marketing, you can also earn 10, 100 and even 1000 dollars – you can scale the result indefinitely. If you increase the amount of time and work, your earnings will increase automatically.
Provided you work with the right strategy that produces results.
For example, if you have $10,000 per month in affiliate income, you can’t blow $10,000 by a long shot. If the income comes from Germany, first 19% sales tax has to be paid. Then come the expenses, server costs, advertising expenses (for some affiliates these are also amounts in the range of over 1,000 dollars), tax advisor, insurance, software and office supplies. From the amount that is left over, income tax and business tax have to be paid at the end of the year, which should halve the amount again. Of the 10,000, perhaps 2,000-3,000 remain below the line.
Then you should also consider that if you work as a full time affiliate, there is still money to be deducted for pension and health insurance, these are all expenses that an employee gets half of from the employer.
The exemplary 10,000 dollars is also a high value, which probably only a small percentage of all affiliates earns. Especially in the beginning, little to no money flows into one’s own account. And it’s a long way to becoming an Internet millionaire.
Tips for your affiliate marketing
As is often the case in life, the best efforts are of no use if it remains unclear whether the measures taken have been successful. For this reason, it is always worth setting goals. It is helpful to define an overriding goal, which in most cases is a certain turnover or number of leads. This goal should be realistic, but also motivating. The overall goal can be split into several sub-goals. Here the following are suitable:
Acquire at least one active partner per month, which delivers sustainable revenue.
Get in touch with at least two existing publishers per month with whom there has been no communication so far
Run at least two publisher promotions per year
Respond to publisher emails within 24 hours
Once defined, stick to achieving the goals. If these are adjusted downwards bit by bit, it resembles self-deception and the program will not move forward.
Go to conferences and networking events
No arrangement or contact by mail or phone is a substitute for meeting in person with existing or prospective partners at events. Even if only one partner is exchanged with in an evening, but this intensively, in 99 percent of the cases ideas arise that can make the cooperation even more successful. Last but not least, at such events there is always the opportunity to exchange ideas with like-minded people and to learn from the experiences of other partner program operators.
It wasn’t too long ago that users didn’t give any thought to how owners of blogs or other content sites could make a living. However, with the increasing demands for more transparency and consumer protection on the Internet, users have gradually been educated about data storage and tracking of user behavior in exchange for “free” content consumption. In particular, the Advertising Standards Agency’s (ASA) decision to legally disclose advertising content has contributed to increased awareness. This makes it transparent to consumers that the author of a blog who writes about a product receives compensation for this type of advertising. On the one hand, this leads consumers to gradually get used to the concept of affiliate marketing as well as online partnerships. On the other hand, it also leads to readers consuming more content from trusted sources and, as a result, making purchases through the links to retailers. Building trust in affiliate marketing is therefore more important than ever.
According to leading affiliate experts, the basic concepts of affiliate marketing will remain. However, the technologies and media that publishers use to promote products are changing.
For example, existing tools, such as email automation and bots that chat online using artificial intelligence, will continue to play an important role in the marketing mix. But 2020 has shown us that video, in particular, has its advantages. The pandemic and the lockdown have made the format hugely important. Not only did people prefer to connect with each other via video this year, but the use of virtual events also increased. Brands and affiliate managers should quickly adapt to this development. After all, customers are quickly getting used to Facebook Live, Zoom and Google Hangouts – use this to your advantage.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning will also play their part in affiliate marketing – for example, in customer acquisition. Google and Facebook have developed learning mechanisms that can be used to determine target groups more precisely in order to achieve a clearer ROI. In addition, Instagram and Facebook have introduced new features, such as the “Shop Local” sign for Stories, the Instagram Shop, and Live Shopping. By connecting with Shopify, BigCommerce, Woo, Channel Advisor, CedComerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics, this feature could be used by savvy affiliate managers to push brands.
Passion and enthusiasm for the world of the internet is an important prerequisite to enter the affiliate industry. Here, one’s own hobbies and interests are a good first port of call to find out if there is potential for niche sites . This is the only way to find a topic that you would like to spend hours on as an affiliate in order to generate valuable content for your users. After all, you need a lot of perseverance and patience to build up a large reach and to constantly inspire new users for your content. A high degree of discipline and self-motivation is necessary to effectively drive a project forward.
An exchange between like-minded people in the industry can be very helpful to get new impulses and fresh ideas for your own website. At the end of the day, affiliate marketing is referral marketing and referrals will only turn into sales if the necessary trust is built up in the users.
Start a mailing list
Build your community with email marketing. Not only can you use it to reach new audiences, but it’s also another way to get more eyes on your valuable content and as a result, more affiliate sales.
While it may be tempting to just include affiliate links in your emails, this is a quick way to lose the trust of your audience and be seen as spam. Instead, offer value. Encourage your audience to click on different articles and guide them to convert from there with your affiliate links.
Choose your niche
It is important to find a profitable niche for your affiliate marketing campaigns. This niche should be small enough to directly target interested customers, but large enough to ensure that you make an impact with your affiliate marketing ads. Your niche should also overlap with your affiliate’s audience so that both parties can reap profits from the partnership.
Let’s say your business is in the real estate industry. Now try to go deeper into that niche and target single-family home buyers, investment property owners or short-term renters.
Be prepared for slow progress
In affiliate marketing, it matters a lot how many visitors your blog has in the first place. Generally, it depends on what income your blog will generate in the future – 500 monthly visitors, for example, can bring in 10 euros, but also significantly more (depending on the affiliate network used).
Financially, it will be worthwhile for you only with a much higher number of visitors. To achieve this is demanding. Your content simply has to be better than your competitors’ and always strike a chord with your readers.
It is of utmost importance that you continue to offer high quality and free content. In fact, it should be much easier for you now, knowing that your time will ultimately be paid for.
Beware: there is a risk that you overdo your affiliate business, perhaps writing about irrelevant products and your primary focus shifts to making money.
In this case, it’s possible that you’ll scare away loyal readers who will feel betrayed and no longer believe your content. However, to make money in the long run, you must learn to find the right balance: Between as many affiliate links as possible, even placed several times, and your “non-monetary” content. As a guideline:
Only include deals on your site that you really like and can represent.
Repetition, repetition, repetition
A simple but very effective trick is to repeat affiliate links and other affiliate ads over and over again. Many affiliate beginners are too cautious about this and only incorporate them once. But this is not enough.
By including multiple affiliate links in an article, displaying current offers multiple times, linking important pages (e.g. bestsellers) not only once in the main navigation, but also e.g. in the sidebar and repeatedly posting current important reviews and offer news on Facebook and Co. you simply get more traffic to this content and thus more revenue.
Your own newsletter is also a good way to bring certain content, offers or affiliate links to users again.
Users want to be sure they are not making a mistake before making a purchase. Social proof can be very helpful here. For example, by describing and showing your own experiences with the product, including recommendations from other users and the like, you can increase trust.
Listing the bestsellers of a product category also falls under this trick.