Well we have come to the final part of this series of posts – Working From Home – hope you got some golden nuggets from them. In this the final post we are going to look at Making Money From An Affiliate Website which is what this website – www.tutormixer.com – is all about
Making Money With An Affiliate Website!
If you would like to make passive income with affiliate marketing, this post outlines everything for you. First of all let’s have a brief look at what Affiliate Marketing is all about. If you are a Newbie to Affiliate Marketing, you may want to check this post out – Affiliate Marketing For The Newbie!
Affiliate marketing can get technical, even for those well-versed in digital marketing.
Fortunately, you do not need to know all the details to get started. The actual mechanics run in the background, thanks to the merchant’s affiliate program software.
- But here is a quick look behind the scenes:
1. When an affiliate joins the merchant’s program, he or she is given a unique ID and a specific URL to use when promoting the company’s product.
2. The affiliate includes the link in their blog content and/or via their email marketing efforts and invites readers to click it to find out more.
3. When a potential buyer clicks on the link to visit the affiliate partners’ site, a cookie identifying the affiliate is placed on their computer. The cookie ensures that the publisher is credited with the referral sale even if it occurs days or even weeks later.
4. Whenever a buyer completes the sale process, the merchant checks the sales record for a cookie identifying the source of the referral.
5. If the merchant finds a cookie with an affiliate ID, the affiliate is credited with the sale.
6. The merchant makes reports available so that the affiliate can see their referrals (clicks) and sales.
7. The merchant pays the affiliate commission at the end of each payment period (i.e. revenue sharing).
How to Start Affiliate Marketing in 4 Steps
Here is the key point you need to understand if you want to become an affiliate marketer: You are earning a commission in exchange for giving readers valuable insights on products or services they were already thinking about purchasing.
Here is a step-by-step process for doing exactly that:
Step 1: Choose a Product to Promote as an Affiliate
Here are your two main options (with your best option listed first).
OPTION #1: PROMOTE PRODUCTS YOU ALREADY KNOW AND LOVE
This is the most common way to get started with affiliate offers.You become an affiliate for something that you have used yourself, had a good experience with, thoroughly tested and feel good recommending.
Do an inventory of the products, services, and courses you already have experience with? You might have a list of a dozen or more.
Which of these would you be thrilled to promote? Cross out any that do not fit the bill.Now simply check to see if the merchant has an affiliate program. Using a search engine like Google, search for “affiliate program” + [product name], or simply email the merchant and ask.
- Then run your remaining options through this Good Affiliate Product checklist:
- You have previewed the product, so you know its quality (given, in this case).
- They have a solid refund policy that you trust they will honour
- They provide good customer support (and you have tested it).
- You have a good story to share about your experience with the product.
- The offer fits your audience’s needs and will not abuse the trust you have built with them.
- The products that tick all the checkboxes are your best opportunities for affiliate income.
- As time goes on, add as many of these products to your mix as you like.
You have found your first product! Apply using the merchant’s process and start promoting.
Option #2: Find Products Via an Affiliate Network
If you do not have any direct experience with or knowledge of products in your niche that
could help your readers, you can often find good affiliate products on affiliate networks.
The list of popular and reliable affiliate networks include ClickBank, CJ Affiliate, the eBay
Partner Network, ShareaSale, and the Amazon Associates program.
Some networks will even assign you an affiliate manager to lend a hand and show you the ropes.
Amazon products, in particular, are an easy way to get started. Many newbies begin by becoming an Amazon affiliate and then scaling to other types of more profitable affiliate offers.
Step 2: Get Yourself Set Up as an Affiliate
Whether you work directly with a merchant or through a network, you’ll have to apply,
be approved and provide certain information so that you can be paid.
At a minimum you’ll need to provide:
Your personal/business contact information for tax and reporting purposes.
Your bank account where commissions will be sent.
In turn, the merchant must provide you with:
An affiliate link. Whenever you post about the product, you’ll use this trackable link. It will have a long tag at the end of each link that includes your affiliate ID
Here’s what some typical affiliate text links look like:
EXAMPLE LINK THAT DIRECTS TO THE MERCHANT’S HOME PAGE
EXAMPLE LINK TO ANOTHER PAGE ON THE MERCHANT’S SITE
- You’ll also usually get some tips and useful assets for marketing the product (often found
in a welcome guide or on the affiliate website).
These could include:
- An affiliate guide as well as instructions on how to use the platform and summary
of policies such as payouts.
- Online marketing tools like banners and sidebar graphics.
- Sample email/webpage swipe copy.
- Ongoing communications from the merchant about promotions, new products, etc.
If you use a network like Amazon, you’ll get your own link for each of the specific products
Step 3: Start Promoting Your Chosen Affiliate Offers
Ultimately, all your hard work finding and evaluating products only pays off if somebody
takes your advice and make the purchase, right? For that to happen, you need to put your
recommendation in front of your audience.
Even more importantly, you need to make your recommendation trustworthy.
So what to do (and what marketing channels to use):
Option #1: Create a Resource Page on Your Blog
Smart Blogger’s resource page is a good example
Chances are, you can put together a landing page like this within a few hours. Your
readers will also appreciate you putting all of your recommendations in one place for easy
Option #2: Create and Promote Custom Content
This content marketing strategy will be the backbone of your affiliate promotional efforts.
Use as many of the following different techniques as make sense for your blog and audience.
Note: All of these strategies assume that you are already sending traffic to the latest content you’re creating by emailing your list on a regular basis (at least two to four times per month) to let them know what’s new.
A) Write Reviews
You can write detailed reviews of products, courses, books or software products you promote as an affiliate. Your reviews can focus on a single product or compare competing products side-by-side.B)
B) Write Definitive Content on a Related Topic
You can write a definitive, comprehensive post on your site to educate your readers and “soft sell” your products and then work to get it ranking in the search engines.
Whatever the topic, make sure that it’s evergreen content — information that’s likely to be useful and valuable for years to come.
C) Create Valuable Bonus Content
People love bonuses! You can create many types of bonuses quickly and easily while still giving your readers excellent value. By the way, this is a fantastic way to differentiate yourself from other bloggers representing the same products.
Here are some example bonuses you could offer:
Video overviews or demos
Complementary or discounted services (e.g., coaching calls)
Step 4: Comply with Legal Requirements (and Best Practices)
In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that you let people know you’ll earn a commission. But even if it isn’t required by law where you’re located, we recommend it. It’s just good business.
So wherever you share an affiliate link, whether it’s in blog posts, web pages, or emails, let your readers know that you stand to earn a small commission if they buy through you — and if they choose not to use your link, no worries.
Types of Affiliate Products to Promote
So, we have walked through the process of becoming a successful affiliate marketer. Now
let us step through some real-world affiliate marketing program examples, walking through four different types of products you can promote and make a tidy profit.
Option #1: Digital Downloads
Digital downloads are online resources that your readers can access instantly, without having to wait for a package to come in the mail (as is true for physical products). They could be audio or video files, PDFs, ebooks or even links to webpages where the content lives online.
Option #2: Online, Hosted, and Professional Services
Your best bet is to represent online, hosted, or professional service providers/influencers you have worked with in the past and have full confidence in.
- Examples of professional services:
- Designers (99 Designs, Zazzle, Designmodo)
- Media or creative businesses (Media Content Advantage, John Melley Voice Overs &
- Production, Music Radio Creative)
- Content marketing services (Sprout Social, Hootsuite)
- Masterminds and membership sites (Serious Bloggers Only, Freelance Writer’s Den, Digital Marketer)
- Research or consulting services (Questia, Touchstone Research Store, Snow Consulting)
Examples of online/hosted services:
- Website platforms (Wix, Squarespace)
- Lead generation services (Thrive, Elementor [affiliate link])
- Email service providers (AWeber, Constant Contact)
- Website services (e.g., hosting, anti-spam, security, etc.)
- Media (Wistia, Vimeo, Telestream, various WordPress plugins)
Option #3: Online Courses
Online courses are an important subset of digital products, especially for bloggers, and
the market is huge. They’re so popular that they deserve their own category on this list
- My Garden School
- Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids – How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting
- Suze Orman’s Personal Finance Online Course
Option #4: Ecommerce Stores
If you decide to promote physical products on your blog, your best bet is to choose highquality, distinctive products that that will appeal strongly to your specific audience.
Commissions on ecommerce products are usually fairly low because of the overhead of
production costs, storage costs, shipping, etc. So unless you are planning to build a large
review or shopping site, physical products will probably be a very small portion of your
blogging affiliate income.
That dream you’ve had of making passive income isn’t just a silly fantasy. It’s a completely achievable reality.
Sure, it’s not as easy as pushing a magic button or throwing Google Adsense all over your
site, but with a little knowledge and persistence you can definitely do it and even turn it
into an online business.
Once you’ve gained a respectable following, affiliate marketing is one of the best business
models for making money (and from the comfort of your own home too).
And the best news is that it’s so easy to get started. All the steps for starting an affiliate marketing business are spelled out in this post.