Starting an Online Business Using Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is promoting and selling other people’s products, and taking a commission. It is a great way for Bloggers and Influencers to add another income-stream to their business, and to also add some credibility with promoting products that you genuinely LOVE!
Affiliate Marketing is like a rolling stone gathering moss, the more you incorporate it into your business, the more it will make. It does, however, take a bit of thought and time to get it up and running!
What exactly is Affiliate Marketing and how is it done?
You make money with Affiliate Marketing by promoting and selling other people’s products or services online. In it’s most basic form, you:
- Choose a product that you love and fits your brand to promote/sell;
- Join the seller’s affiliate program and grab the unique affiliate url.
- Send targeted visitors/traffic to that affiliate link using free and/or paid methods; and
- Get paid a commission if any of those visitors buy through your link.
You don’t have to pick up the phone, speak to customers or get involved in the actual selling of the product (unless you want to of course), as a well-designed website or system should do that for you. Online shoppers who are looking for what you’re promoting can visit your website link anytime and if they buy the product through you, you get paid for every single sale!
There is a bit more strategy involved to really maximise the profit-making part of the process, but without hyping it up – you really can earn a passive autopilot income with it. And you don’t need to have any special or technical skills to do it!
Different Forms of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing comes in many forms such as:
Coupon Code Websites
Websites that sign up to an affiliate platform and then promote the coupons or discount codes for those online stores.
Blogging websites that use affiliate links to promote a product they may be writing about.
Speciality websites that offer their shoppers cash back on purchases made, or points towards a future purchase.
Single Link Promotion on Social Media
For beginners just dipping their toe in the water of affiliate marketing, they use a single link on their social pages and they get a commission through any sales that come through the link.
The Quickest and Easiest Way to Start
The very quickest and easiest way to get started in Affiliate Marketing is to start a basic website and start blogging regularly to build up traffic. Once you have traffic, you can start signing up to affiliate platforms and populate links into your blog.
These days you can even do a shop just with affiliated products!
Serious home Affiliate Marketers build a basic website and populate it with affiliated products and then they use SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and Social Media to push traffic over to their website. As the website traffic grows, as do the commissions earned through the website.
BUT: This does incur costs including:
- A domain name – a domain name can cost as little as $20 per two years.
- Hosting – Hosting can cost as little as $10 per month for a basic package.
- Website Building – If you can design a website yourself, fantastic. If not – you could be looking at anywhere from $500 onwards. One thing – Wix is a free website builder BUT it doesn’t rank well in Google. The whole point in affiliate marketing is to rank well on Google so you get more traffic and therefore more sales. So weigh this up when choosing a website platform.
However, these costs are small when you compare them to other businesses.
Read our FREE guide on ‘The Beginners Guide to Successful Blogging’
How much money could I earn?
This is a very FAQ but tricky to answer. So many affiliate marketers struggle to earn $100 a month, while I personally know some who earn five figures per day! It really does depend on a number of things, including your motivation, how much time you can put into it, the type of product you promote and how you go about promoting it.
So while I can’t really give you a one-word answer, what I can share with you are a couple of tips that have been proven to maximise earning potential.
- Provide a solution to a common but ‘critical’ problem. Products and services that provide genuine relief to a serious issue will not only be helpful to others but will usually be more sought after than a ‘nice to have’ product. They also tend to be in demand regardless of the economic climate.
- Promote ‘high-ticket’ digital products. High ticket products are those that pay a commission of over $500 per sale and ‘digital’ products are valuable intangibles such as e-books and on-line courses. These types of products tend to pay out higher as production costs for merchants are lower and usually one off.
So hypothetically, let’s say you decide to promote something paying $500 per sale and your monthly income goal is $3000 per month. You would then need six on-line sales per month to earn what you need. There are about a billion people on the internet every day from all over the globe so just imagine the possibilities.
I’m not saying it’s always easy – what I’m saying is that it’s simple. Learn the right way to do it, do it every day and it can be a real way for you to earn a stable income.
While affiliate marketing can work for just about anybody, its important to know that it is not for everybody. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help determine if it’s right for you.
Can you dedicate a solid amount of time to work every single day?
Proper affiliate marketing is not a push button, magic money system that just produces cash at will. Nothing is that easy. There are tools you can use to automate a lot of it, but you will still need to run the show! Whether you work eight hours a day or thirty minutes, it is important that you can work on your business every single day. The key is to leverage, leverage, leverage and work ‘smarter not harder’.
Where do I grab the codes and URLs from?
The very easiest way to start selling other people’s products is to join an affiliate platform. This does not cost you a cent. These companies run the affiliate side for a multitude of businesses. They are reputable businesses that will even give you tools to help you sell the products.
Stay at Home Mum’s favourite affiliate platforms to work with include:
Commission Factory is Australian (in fact they are on the Sunshine Coast). I love their platform as it is very user-friendly for internet gumbies (like me) to work out how to find products, and how to get the codes to embed on my Facebook Page, Website or even Instagram. They are easy to work with and if you have any problems, they are quick to respond to questions.
Some of the businesses that use Commission Factory as an affiliate platform include:
- Adult Shop
- Nourished Life
For a comprehensive list of Affiliate Platforms, check out our article ‘Top 14 Australian Affiliate Programs to Monetise Your Website’.
How Do You Get Paid?
When you sign up to an affiliate program, you will need to submit either your bank details or your Paypal account. The platform will keep a track of the amount of clicks to the site, when sales are made and how much you made from each sale.
Payments are usually made when the balance reaches a milestone eg $50.
How Long Does it Take to Make Money?
Well I’ve been doing Affiliate Marketing for about eight years now. It is a terrific source of income – but it did take time. Affiliate Marketing is the sort of thing you need to spend time on regularly. By doing it consistently, you will build up an audience and then commissions.
If you want it to be your only source of income, you will need to spend a significant amount of time building links and checking your stats to ensure you are promoting the right products to the right demographic. It is the perfect way to monetize a blog or popular Facebook Group or Page. You can even use it on Pinterest (just check the terms and conditions, sometimes they say it is acceptable, other times they change their minds).
There is no such thing as a ‘get rich quick’ job online. Like any business, you need to spend time and energy on it to be successful.
Of course, like any business, you need to find what products what the most money.
Check out our article on ‘Where to Buy Wholesale Vibrators to Sell at a Profit’.
Will you be disciplined enough to treat it like a real job/business?
This means, working from home amidst the millions of distractions like children, housework and partners. It will also mean reinvesting some of the earnings back into the business and sometimes be having to take some calculated business risks. You’ll need to treat it like a real business because it is a real business – An online business.
How to get started?
If you feel that affiliate marketing might be the right path for you, the first and most important step is to educate yourself and learn as much as you possibly can. Learn about what sells online, what demographic you will be selling to and where is the best places to promote links to ensure commissions.
Where Can I Learn More?
Surprisingly, it is hard to find some decent and reputable online courses for Affiliate Marketing. There are a few in Udemy which I’ve included below. When I find some good ones, I shall add them here for you!