What is Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing: Turning your contacts into cash
One of the greatest things about the new digital era is the ability to create a variety of income streams without trading your hours for dollars.
I’m sure you’ve had the thought at one point or another of earning passive income—waking up every morning and checking your bank account only to see your account balance go up instead of down.
Luckily, there are so many ways to create that coveted passive income these days. You could invest in real estate or be the owner of a business…but those can be costly and extremely time consuming. It tends to take a while to get to the passive part.
However, what if I told you that there is a way to receive large sums of passive income using only a list of contacts that you have and nothing else?
Well, if you’re interested, stick around because at its core, this is what affiliate marketing is.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a form of digital marketing that enables the owner of a product to boost their overall sales by allowing “Affiliates” to sell the product for them. Affiliates sell the product of discussion to their contact list or database of people and receive commission from each sale. The amount of commission typically varies but Affiliate Marketing allows an individual to earn money without having a product of their own.
Now, if this definition sounds complicated or confusing at all, take a look at this definition below from Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income:
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.
As an affiliate, you’re a broker. You don’t need to have products of your own or worry too much about some of the technical aspects of marketing like Landing pages, Behavioral campaigns, or some of the other phrases that comes up.
Now, let’s get into becoming an affiliate and what’s required to be an effective affiliate.
1. Locate an Affiliate Project and Join it
2. Find relevant products to promote and sell
3. Create a deal with the Product Owner
4. Share a link, landing page, etc. on your blog, website, social media platform, or to your email list
5. Collect a commission whenever someone makes a purchase using your link or page
As an affiliate marketer, you’re marketing someone else’s product for them in exchange for compensation. However, many affiliate marketers can make a relatively fast commission if they have a brand already built up or if they have an email list that they’ve already established a great relationship with.
If you’ve seen a celebrity or Influencer ask you to “swipe up”, go to a page using a Promo code, or post a product that they didn’t create in their feed or on a page in their website, they’re acting as an affiliate for that product.
Example of Affiliate Marketing
Before we dive into the steps outlined above, I’ll give you an example of a brand that has used Affiliate Marketing immensely to help with brand awareness and sales.
One of the most recognizable brands in the men’s health and men’s fashion niche is Tiege Hanley, a skin care company created by Aaron Marino. If you’re browsing through men’s health influencers, it won’t take long to hear about Tiege Hanley.
(Below is an example of Tiege Hanley actively seeking Affiliates).
Becoming an Affiliate
Now that we’ve touched on what an affiliate is, let’s get into what specific steps you can do to be an affiliate.
1. Locate an Affiliate Program
In order to be an affiliate, you need to find a business that is offering affiliate marketing.
It’s possible to use traditional methods of cold calling businesses and working out deals but these days, many businesses make it extremely simple.
In order to be an affiliate, it typically takes nothing more than a scroll to the bottom of a website:
As you can see from this screenshot, this is directly on Amazon’s Front page at the very bottom of the screen.
Many websites have a similar setting but there are also websites that require a little extra “work” to find their affiliate program.
These are just some of the simplest ways to become an affiliate. Beyond these methods, there are other websites that you can use to partner with businesses in order to become an affiliate.
These are a few websites that offer lists of potential affiliates based on various niches. Beyond looking for affiliates on individual company pages, you can also use the resources listed above to directly find companies that might be a good fit for you.
2. Find Products to Promote and Sell
Once you’ve found an affiliate that fits, the next step is to find products to sell.
Our suggestion: find products that are congruent to your brand or business. Don’t necessarily go to the extreme by selling everything.
Sure, you could have a page that lists every single product from a wide variety of different stores or constantly email blast your audience with offers that range from car parts to self-help books, but that might not be the most effective strategy.
Select products that fit your brand or solves the problems of your target audience. As an example, one of the Co-Founders of Affinity Agency, Lenny Richardson, is a big fan of books and reading.
His personal brand heavily involves education and advocates reading. It would make sense for him to be an Amazon Affiliate for books but it wouldn’t be as sensible to be an affiliate Vegan products since he’s not a Vegan.
3. Create a Deal with the Product Owner
Luckily, at the time of writing this article. Finding affiliates can be very simple and straightforward. For example, if you used one of the links above or if you were able to find affiliate on other websites, you might have discovered that affiliate deals are often built in. There’s no need to physically negotiate or think about how you’ll structure a deal.
However, you can be an affiliate with a company or brand even if they don’t always offer the option actively on their website or social media platforms.
You could potentially ask to be an affiliate.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that whoever you ask will accept your terms or even be open to your terms, but it doesn’t necessarily hurt to suggest being an affiliate if you think you can add value to their brand or business by increasing sales or fulfilling a potential desire that they have.
4. Share a Link, Landing Page, etc.
Ultimately, you’ll need to get your products in front of your audience somehow. Some affiliate marketers do this by already having a high-traffic website that simply lists products.
Others have built up a large email list with a variety of different potential consumers that they send various offers to.
Your objective is to get the product to a potential consumer as effectively as possible.
5. Collect a Commission
Once you’ve completed the above steps successfully, expect to see some of that sweet passive income roll in. As mentioned earlier, the overall commission you’ll receive depends heavily on the terms agreed upon (which is typically expressed on websites that offer affiliate deals).
In the end, depending on where your affiliate link is, this can be a relatively simple way of generating a lot of passive income with very little effort on your part and without the need to have a product or service that you’ve created. Did these tips help? If you're still curious about how to become an affiliate marketer and what specific strategies you can use to monetize your brand or build an email list, click this link to schedule a free call with us. We'd love to help you.