How to Start Affiliate Marketing: Beginner’s Guide

Affiliate marketing has become one of the best ways to make money online. Since affiliate marketing is quite a flexible way you can make money, it’s no surprise that it’s so popular. But the fact is that not everyone knows how they can become an affiliate and start earning money.

However, in order to determine where to start, you must first learn what it means to become an affiliate. Here, we’ll explore ways you can join affiliate programs and start affiliate marketing to make some extra profit.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate MarketingSimply put, affiliate marketing is a type of referral, where one party promotes the other to an audience. The party that needs additional marketing will hire a party to do the promotion for them. In return, the hired party can expect a certain (usually) monetary reward for their efforts. The way affiliate marketing works is by tracking the CPA or CPL. CPA stands for cost-per-acquisition, while CPL stands for costs-per-leads. What this means is that you, as an affiliate, will be commissioned only when someone takes action, i.e. makes a purchase. 

How can you become an affiliate?

In order to become an affiliate, you’ll need to have some type of an online business. Aside from that, you’ll also need to have a blog. If you don’t already have one, you should learn how to start blogging first. Also, make sure that you’re using the right blogging platform. Not all blogging platforms allow affiliate links, so research this part well. On the other hand, if your website is self-hosting, you’ll have no restrictions regarding the type of products and services you can link to. 

What is tracking in affiliate marketing?

As mentioned earlier, the commission you’ll be able to earn will depend on your CPA and CPL. What this means is that you need to track this rate to determine how well you’re doing. To make things a bit clearer, we’ll call the party that’s looking for affiliates “merchants”. When you find a merchant and join their program you become an affiliate. As an affiliate, you’ll receive a unique link designed for you personally. By including this link in your content, you’ll be able to promote the merchant to your audience. Since this link is unique, both you and the merchant can easily track how many people used it. But as we also mentioned, simply clicking the link won’t be enough to secure a commission. Instead, your followers will also need to interact with the merchant. 

How to choose the best program to join?

If all of this still sounds too vague, we’ll try to give you a practical example. For instance, if you have a blog and a certain following, you should look for an affiliate program to join. Let’s say that the content you make is mostly focusing on the iGaming industry. In that instance, you can look for programs that will enable you to develop into a casino affiliate. Once you find something that works for you, you can start promoting it to your audience. If your audience decides to listen to your advice and actually does business with the company you’ve promoted, you’ll earn a commission. When looking for affiliate programs, make sure they make sense. If you’re a beauty blogger and you join an affiliate program offered by a car company, you probably won’t have too much success.

Why does compatibility matter?

You still may be wondering why it is important to choose the right affiliate program. Well, to put it simply, people perceive affiliate marketing as a form of a word-of-mouth recommendation. What this means is that they’ll trust your judgement when it comes to recommending products or services. However, if you’re trying to push something that simply doesn’t go with your brand, you can’t expect people to find you trustworthy. The less trustworthy you seem, the fewer the people who will acknowledge and listen to your recommendation. So, in order to ensure that your affiliate efforts actually bear fruit, keep computability in mind at all times. 

What are affiliate networks and how can you benefit from them?

Affiliate networks are a sort of a middleman between companies and affiliates. By signing up to an affiliate network, you can check out which merchants are looking for affiliates. If you find anything that suits your brand, you can easily apply for the program through the network. Some networks even offer track traffic, manage and send out payments to affiliates.

How to boost your earnings?

Now that you know how you can become an affiliate, it’s time to talk cash. There is a big difference between being an affiliate and being a successful affiliate. The first thing you need to do is keep your audience in mind. What this means is that you should promote only the products or services your audience will be interested in. Moreover, make sure that you’re being honest. If you market a product as high quality and it’s actually very poor in quality your audience will notice. Sure, you may fool them once, but you can forget about them listening to you the next time. You also want to ensure that the content you offer to your audience is highly useful. Otherwise, they won’t really get anything of value out of you which may cause them to leave. The fewer followers you have, the more futile your efforts will be.

Prepare for growth

Finally, as your business grows, you’ll be joining more programs and boosting your promotions. Soon, it may become quite challenging to stay on top of everything. That’s why you should look into different tools and plugins that will enable you to manage your affiliate links more seamlessly. Luckily, you can find some excellent options for WordPress that will improve your management efforts. 

So, if you were looking to join an affiliate program but you weren’t sure where to start, hopefully, this article helps. Before you start, make sure you research your options well. That way, you’ll ensure that you find something that suits you best. Once you do that, keep growing the list of your affiliate programs to secure a sound financial future.

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