What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is basically helping to sell products for someone else and receive a commission on the sale. You are “affiliating” yourself with an online merchant who sells a product or service and will promote that product online on your website or blogsite. This is called an affiliate marketing website or more typically a blog site, where you write an article about a product and then link to it in your content. These links are called “affiliate links” and they contain a unique affiliate ID that is given by the merchant to you as a member of their affiliate program.
When these links are clicked on by a visitor to your blog site, they send the visitor to the merchant’s website and they also set a “cookie” on the visitor’s computer or device which lasts a certain period of time. If during that period of time, the visitor purchases a product from the merchant’s website, you get credit for that sale and will receive a small commission. The purchaser pays no more for the product because of your commission.
Does Affiliate Marketing work?
The short answer is YES, it does work and YES, it is profitable. But the longer answer is that while some affiliate marketers become millionaires, most who choose to enter affiliate marketing fail to make money and quit before they reach success.
While it is true that only a few will make a lot of money with affiliate marketing. There is definitely a way to become one of those successful ones. You can help yourself become a winner by
- learning what to do
- implementing the correct steps to build a good affiliate website
- putting in the time and effort necessary and
- by not giving up before you achieve success.
Affiliate marketing is not for the weak
To be a success at affiliate marketing, you need certain things to be working for you. You also need to be the type of person who can learn what is needed and implement it. Every year, thousands of people get into affiliate marketing, but only a very small percentage will make enough money to quit their jobs or upgrade their lifestyle. Yet there are those who do succeed and become millionaires because they have the desire, and dedication to do what it takes to create success.
Affiliate marketing means you must be your own boss. Not everyone has the discipline to be their own boss. There are pros and cons of becoming an entrepreneur and having your own business.
- You are your own boss, you have total control.
- You have the ultimate in flexibility. You create your own schedule, your own tasks, and make your own hours.
- You are the one to make decisions without anyone else arguing with you. You only have to please yourself and your customers.
- You set your own salary. Once you start making money.
- You are totally responsible for everything, all decisions, and all errors.
- You must adhere to a schedule so you can get all the work done. Flexibility is great unless you lack the discipline to get the work done when it needs to be done.
- You may let the business control your entire life and leave no time for your family or yourself.
- It can get lonely with no one to share the decisions or the workload.
- You have to be willing to keep some money back in the business and not use it all yourself.
- You get no salary unless the business is profitable.
What does it take to succeed in Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing requires the creation of an affiliate website.
You need to build or purchase a website that you can create and edit the content. This typically a blog site where you will create many, many blog articles or “posts” about the product(s) you are promoting.
A good affiliate program or network.
You must create partnerships and become an “affiliate” with online merchants who offer agreements to people like yourself who will promote their products on their own blogs and websites in order to get “commissions” from sales of those products. Most major online merchants have their own affiliate program or are a part of an “affiliate network” which manages the affiliate programs for large numbers of merchants.
You will need to create your partnership (become an affiliate) with merchants who offer affiliate programs for their products which fit into your websites niche or subject. You apply to become one of their “affiliates” in order to be able to promote their products and receive a commission when you help your blog visitors purchase that product through one of your affiliate links. The commission you receive varies from merchant to merchant; with some offering only 3 or 4% of the sale and some offering 50% or more of the sale, depending on the products and the affiliate program you join.
The Ability to Create Interesting Blog Posts.
Writing/creating your blog articles or posts requires skill in the creation of entertaining and interesting content to attract visitors and keep them on your blog site until they click on one of your affiliate links.
The most important thing to remember as you create your content is that you should be creating information that “helps” or “answers questions” that your target audience might have about the subject. When you help people over and over, they begin to trust you and turn to you for answers. They will be returning to your website again and again. This builds trust and with trust, your visitors will begin to purchase products you recommend.
Knowledge of SEO and Keywords
Mastering the skills of search engine optimization (SEO) and selecting and using keywords is of the utmost importance. SEO and Keywords are what bring visitors to your site through the various search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. You need large numbers of visitors (website traffic) who will read your optimized content and purchase products through your affiliate links in order to make money. You can certainly learn how to choose great keywords and implement good SEO. You can read my blog post on “Become a keyword expert” for training available to learn this.
Hard work is required.
Creating your affiliate blog site and learning all the skills you need is not easy at all. It is definitely not something that pays off quickly – you will NOT get rich quick. In fact, you will not make any money until you learn how to create your blog site, pick good affiliate programs, create lots and lots of helpful, entertaining and interesting content, find and promote products that people want to purchase and learn how to drive a large amount of traffic to your site using SEO, keywords, social media and other means of promotion such as email marketing.
Persistence is also required
The successful affiliate marketer will not give up but stick with the work necessary to achieve success. Persistence and determination to stick with the business of creating good content and implementing proper SEO, over and over again will eventually allow him/her to achieve success. This is if you learn the proper methods to create your content and optimize it for search engines. Giving up should not become an option.
How to be a success?
- Successful people invest much time and money into their business, educating themselves on it and spend hours and hours every week on it.
- Successful people learn from their failures – yes they do fail some but they learn from it.
- A failure doesn’t stop the successful person, not one or even many failures stop them, they keep at it until they achieve success.
Only those who are willing to work hard to learn the necessary skills and implement those skills by creating a great affiliate blog site with significant and keyword rich content, over and over will succeed.
Some affiliate marketers start making commissions in 3 months, some take much longer than that. In every case, it takes a while before your website is full of great content and draws lots of traffic. The more traffic you draw, the more affiliate sales you will have. Depending on the products you offer and the commissions you receive, you may start to make a decent monthly income in a year or it may take multiple years.
The important thing is that you don’t give up before you achieve success. Too many affiliate marketers have a “get rich quick” attitude and give up before they achieve success. Only those who stick with it, keep working on their blog sites and keep learning how to create better and more keyword rich and SEO optimized content will ever see success.
Basically, you are the “Master of your own Success” through hard work, persistence and gaining the proper knowledge.
Learning the Right Skills is Important!
Hard work is great and necessary to become successful, but your work must be implemented in the correct way.
You might say “I’m not knowledgeable, I do not know enough”. But you can always learn.
One of the best places I’ve found to learn how to create a great affiliate marketing business online is the Wealthy Affiliate University (WA). WA is a training program, a support community, a hosting platform and more. A Premium Membership at WA will teach you everything that is necessary to become a successful affiliate marketer. WA Starter Membership is free with a 7-day trial, so you can check out all its great offerings and training. You can learn more about Wealthy Affiliate University by reading my detailed review or you can simply signup for the week trial right now and find out for yourself.
I welcome questions and comments from site visitors. You can leave yours below. -shirley
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which when clicked on and a product is purchased, I receive a small commission (with no extra cost to you).