The affiliate marketing is a very lucrative branch of the digital marketing that focuses on working the affiliation between brands for reaching new potential audiences.
Whether you are a company looking to increase your online sales or a content creator or influencer who wants to monetize your presence on the internet, affiliate marketing has a lot to offer you. Let’s see what affiliate marketing is and how to make money with it step by step .
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What’s affiliates marketing?
Affiliate marketing consists of promoting products on different channels (for example, blogs, YouTube videos, recommendation websites, etc.) in exchange for a commission from the brand .
For example, let’s say we have a blog where we post work-at-home product reviews. A user visits the blog, takes an interest in a desktop, and clicks a link posted in the article to go to the product page on the company’s website. If the sale is closed, the blogger will receive a commission for it.
The affiliate marketing is strictly based on the results . The company that makes the affiliate campaign will only pay if it gets a direct and measurable result (later we will explain the different results that can be paid with affiliate marketing). On the other hand, the owner of the website or blog or content creator will only charge if this result occurs.
Affiliate marketing has been around for a long time, in fact, it existed long before the internet. For example, we can think of a restaurant that has an agreement with a nearby hotel, so that it pays you a commission for sending customers.
However, the popularity of affiliate marketing skyrocketed with the popularity of the internet, mostly thanks to Amazon , which has the largest affiliate program in the world.
Amazon’s history with affiliate marketing began in the 90s, when there were still few options to promote itself online. There was no Google Ads or social media yet, and email marketing was very new. The main option was to insert paid advertising in newspapers or high traffic portals, but instead Amazon chose to promote itself through the thousands and thousands of “personal pages” (predecessors of blogs) of private users in exchange for a commission. (which was around 8% at the time). The program exploded and as a result affiliate pages began to appear, until it became the great sector that it is today.
It should be noted that some brands perceive affiliation as something negative and refuse to use it because it can lead to fraud, since some affiliates use poor techniques to generate conversions. But if we are able to properly filter the conversions , this type of program can be very profitable. Today, the affiliate software needed to manage affiliate marketing is affordable and affordable for almost all companies.
Pay-for-results models in affiliate marketing
- Cost per sale (CPV): the affiliate receives a commission when their links generate sales. In some programs, it is not necessary for the sale to be immediate, but it can take up to 24 hours between when the user clicks on the affiliate link and the final conversion. In addition, if the user adds other products to their cart, the affiliate will also charge a commission for them.
- Cost per action (CPA): the affiliate receives a commission when the user takes a certain action after clicking on their links, for example, filling in a form.
- Cost per click (CPC): the affiliate receives a commission each time a user clicks on one of their links to the company’s website.
- Cost per thousand impressions (CPM): the affiliate receives a fixed amount each time the content that links to the company (for example, a banner) is viewed a thousand times.
Most frequent channels to generate affiliate traffic
- Blogs and websites: a very popular affiliate marketing channel, which allows the affiliate to write in detail about the products they promote. For example, there are many websites dedicated to publishing reviews and comparisons of a specific product category in order to generate affiliate traffic.
- Google Ads : This channel can be very relevant for high-value products, where the amount of the commission compensates for the advertising spend.
- Social networks: many influencers turn to affiliate marketing as a way to supplement their income.
- Email marketing : affiliates who have developed a good database can take advantage of it to include affiliate links in their emails and get more conversions.
How to implement an affiliate marketing strategy in 7 steps
1) Choose a platform
As we have seen before, it is possible to do affiliate marketing through multiple channels, and some of them are as simple as putting a link to the company’s website in your Instagram bio. But most affiliates rely on one of these two channels:
- A blog. If you have a well-optimized blog for the search engines, you can generate organic traffic that ends up becoming affiliate commissions.
- YouTube . Affiliate campaigns on YouTube allow you to show the product and its operation in a very detailed way, so they have great potential to generate sales and commissions.
2) Choose a niche
When Amazon started launching affiliate marketing campaigns in the 1990s, it was relatively easy to stand out with your personal page. But today the world of blogging and content marketing is very saturated, so the smartest strategy is to focus on very specific niches . For example, instead of blogging about cooking in general, you can focus on cooking utensils for Asian food.
3) Find affiliate programs to join
Today many brands have their own affiliate programs, which cover very different sectors. These are some examples:
- Amazon – One of the largest affiliate marketing programs in the world, with endless product categories to choose from. The commissions vary depending on the chosen product, but can reach up to 12%.
- Semrush : This software has a program that rewards its affiliates with $ 200 for each subscription sold, $ 10 for each trial period and $ 0.01 for each registration.
- Sephora – A cosmetic brand whose affiliate program puts the emphasis on brand image and offers 7% commissions for every qualifying sale.
- eDreams : the affiliate program of this travel brand offers commissions of up to $ 25 in exchange for promoting their offers through banners, text links and special promotions.
- Adsense : Although it is not an affiliate marketing program in the strict sense, the monetization of websites and blogs using Google Adsense has many similarities with these types of campaigns. The big difference is that Adsense affiliates do not choose which advertisers appear on their websites or blogs, although they can decide that a specific advertisement does not appear on their website if they do not consider it appropriate.
4) Create quality content
For your affiliate marketing to work, you will need to create high-quality content that your affiliate links fit naturally into. For example, if you dedicate yourself to product reviews, it is highly recommended that you test them yourself before writing about them, and even record a video using them to reflect your experience in the first person. It is also important that you think about the doubts and objections of users about that product and that you try to answer them in your content.
5) Generate traffic
To get users to click on your affiliate links, you first need to take them to your website or your social media channels. These are three sources of traffic to consider:
- Paid traffic: through pay-per-click campaigns, such as Google Ads or social media ads.
- Organic traffic: you can optimize both your website and your YouTube channel to improve its positioning and attract visitors.
- Email marketing: investing in creating a good email database pays off in the long run.
6) Generate clicks
You have already managed to get users to enter your channels, now you have to get them to click on the affiliate links. To do this, you must optimize these three aspects:
- The location of the links: they must be clearly visible, but without falling into spam.
- The context in which they appear: consistently framed within quality content.
- Calls to Action: Again, we’ll have to balance visibility with avoiding spam.
7) Generate sales
The last step in generating income with affiliate marketing is to convert visitors to your company website into customers. Logically, there are many aspects here that are beyond your control, but to maximize your possibilities, we recommend that you collaborate with quality companies and make a realistic presentation of their products in your channels, so that they correspond to the expectations that you have created in the users.