The world of blogging has no shortage of opportunities to make money online, and one of these is through affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is often seen as an ideal way of earning passive income, and while this is somewhat true, it’s not as simple as letting your blog posts run free and expecting them to rake cash on their own. While it is not as easy to make money as people might let on, it certainly can be an efficient way to earn.
In this article, we’re going to go over the hows, giving you the step-by-step of how you can make money with affiliate marketing, and answering the question “how fast can you make money with affiliate marketing?”
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when an individual advertises a product or service with the goal of contributing to its sales, subscriptions, or traffic. Affiliate marketers then earn a commission for each time one of their referrals patronizes the client’s business.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
There are three major players in affiliate marketing:
- The affiliate. Affiliates or affiliate marketers are individuals or companies with a platform that publishes niche content useful for marketing products that are related to the said niche. In this case, the affiliate is you.
- The seller. The seller is a business, large or small, that has a product in need of marketing. This product can be a physical item, like electronics, or a service, like a dropshipping class by an expert. The seller wants to advertise their product on a platform whose niche overlaps with their target audience. As an aspiring affiliate, the seller is your client.
- The consumer. The consumer is the main driving force of affiliate marketing, as everything hinges on their transaction. The consumer can be found everywhere, and you can reach them with a blog or with social media.
Affiliate marketing is unlike the usual intrusive visual advertising that we see on the internet, where ads are strewn about the page, potentially taking away from the content.
Instead, affiliate links are inserted into the post in a more natural manner. These affiliate links redirect your visitors to the seller’s website.
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing goes like this:
- You make a recommendation for affiliate products or services by including a link. You can use email marketing or your blog as long as it reaches your audience.
- Some of your audience will interact with the link, taking them to your client’s website.
- They make a purchase or subscribe to your affiliate’s services.
- You earn a commission each time a referral completes a desired action with the affiliate link you provided.
Making Money With Affiliate Marketing
Sales aren’t the only way to make money in affiliate marketing. The seller usually has an affiliate program with specific conditions that need to be met so an affiliate can make money.
Depending on the affiliate program, these are:
- Pay per sale. This is the standard structure of the usual affiliate marketing program. The affiliate’s commission is based on the number of product sales that originate from their site.
- Pay per click. Affiliate programs where affiliate commissions are based on the client’s website traffic. The affiliate must create content to redirect their audience to the seller’s site.
- Pay per lead. A program where one can make money with affiliate marketing by persuading the consumer to fulfill the desired action on the client’s site. This can be anything, from filling out forms, subscribing to a trial, etc.
While this may make it seem like making money with affiliate marketing is a simple get-rich-quick scheme, there are a few things to keep in mind before you think about plastering affiliate links all over your site. Success stories don’t begin with putting in the least effort necessary and calling it a day, after all.
The first thing is, of course, how you can get started with affiliate marketing.
What Do I Need When Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing?
1.) Find a niche.
The first thing you need to get started is finding a niche. This will heavily influence not only the content that you will write but also your audience. Your niche will also dictate the kind of affiliate products you can look for when you use your blog to start earning.
2.) Create a blog
The next thing to do is create a site for your niche content. There are many platforms to choose from, but WordPress is one of the best choices. The self-hosted version of WordPress especially called WordPress.org.
This version of WordPress is an open-source website builder and content management system with thousands of options for plugins and themes for deep customization. Despite the learning curve, it has everything you need from search engine optimization to social media and eCommerce integration that can translate to a better user experience for your audience.
WordPress is also one of the best ways to monetize your website if you want to make money with affiliate marketing.
3.) Select an Affiliate Business to Promote
Now that you have a niche and a blog site with consistent traffic, you can finally look for affiliates with products that fit your niche.
One of the best ways to find affiliates is through affiliate networks. An affiliate network is like a matchmaking site in that it connects sellers with expert affiliate marketers.
Some notable ones are:
Now that you’re all set, you’re probably excited to earn. You might be wondering, “how fast can you make money with affiliate marketing?”
Before you can get into that, you first have to know how to do it.
How to Make Money From Affiliate Marketing
Step 1: Creating content that makes affiliate profit
Getting started as an affiliate marketer means focusing on your content. Start making great content to go with your affiliate links for posting on your website.
Your website needs to get traffic. High-quality blog posts ensure that your site gets visitors and retains their attention. Consistent return visits are a good traffic source, after all.
Google can also separate trash from treasure, and poor quality will be noted through the number of people who visit your site and leave right away.
A seller will be more likely to include you in affiliate programs if you produce high-quality content, as you need to entice people to click the affiliate link after all, which will be hard to do without taking it seriously.
Aside from keeping your content in the best quality possible, it’s also important to keep it up to date. Revisit old blog posts from time to time to keep them fresh and evergreen.
Step 2: Promoting your affiliate products in your content
Now it’s time to put affiliate links in your content.
But even something as simple as link placements have to be strategic and will depend on the type of content you are writing.
Some products are perfect fits, and some may need work. Sometimes you should avoid putting too many different links, especially if you’re only really advertising one of the products in the content. This might cause people to turn away from your site.
Keep in mind to:
- Make sure to only add links when it’s appropriate. Affiliates are supposed to help sell a product using their content, and this doesn’t work when you just shoehorn links whenever you can. Write content that fits the product you need to advertise, or vice versa.
- Add the links at the top of the article. Make sure to add the product link early in a post. Not every visitor will read your content from start to finish, and leaving the link near the end means readers might miss it entirely and no money for you.
- Maximize your website space. You can use formatting options to help pull people into seeing the affiliate link, such as widgets, floating bars, and inline banners. This can help emphasize your content and lead to more sales over time.
Consider using an affiliate link plugin. Expiring links can get in the way of making money online. Plugins are the answer to this problem as they can help you keep track of these links to easily replace any broken links on a post.
Step 3: Converting your audience into affiliate customers
As mentioned earlier, traffic alone doesn’t make sure you can turn your visitors into consumers. If you want to boost your earnings, it doesn’t mean you have to focus on only boosting visibility.
If you have a conversion rate of 5%, it means that for every 100 visits to your website, there are 5 people who interact with the affiliate link or make a purchase. You also have to address why the other 95% aren’t biting and how you can get them to.
How can you do this? Here are a few ways.
1.) Pop-up Campaigns.
While pop-ups aren’t exactly the most welcome thing to grace a person’s screen, there is no doubt that it works. It grabs the reader’s attention by getting in the way of the text, and while this can be annoying, it’s pretty easy for readers to close and continue on their merry way.
But what it does for some is to pull their focus for a quick skim, which can make all the difference.
Strategic timing of pop-ups can also help present the link at the appropriate time: whether it’s before they read or when they’re about to leave—whichever time they are more likely to engage the product.
2.) Targeted Campaigns
Whether it’s pop-ups or other means of advertising, targeting must always be kept in mind.
Pop-up tools and ads can be used to target a specific demographic, and because of this targeted nature, readers can be more likely to buy.
3.) Making use of your Email List
Take a good look at your email list—these are your most loyal readers. They trust your word enough to subscribe and will hear out your recommendations.
More than just updating them for new content, you can also market your affiliate products directly with your subscribers.
Step 4: Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of making your content more visible to search engines like Google so that it ranks higher in search results pages.
SEO is important not only because it can help pull in more traffic but also because it can help you learn what type of content pulls your target’s attention.
A potential consumer can be going online with a specific need addressed by your product. It’s your job to make your content easier to access, provide the information they need, and finally redirect them to the product.
That means your posts should be using keywords your target consumers use on Google, either to research the product they want right before purchasing or to find information on something within your niche.
You can then generate content using these posts, providing someone some much-needed assistance, and increasing the likelihood of a sale.
Keep in mind, though, that your priority should be quality first and foremost. SEO can help Google see you better, and this indeed means more potential visitors, but you want those visitors to be readers. Write for your readers, not search engines.
How Long Does It Take Before You See Results With Affiliate Marketing?
Like we said, affiliate marketing is ideal, but it’s not a quick-and-easy scheme. It’ll take a while, especially for those without a platform. It takes time to establish a website and get a loyal readership, after all.
But affiliate marketing is a venture well worth the time and effort.
So if you want to become an affiliate marketer, start early. Because you don’t just need a blog, you need traffic, you need to perfect your sales pitch and your content, and you need to balance those two in perfect harmony.
How Fast Can You Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?
Much like the many different money-making methods on the internet, affiliate marketing can take a while to pick up.
Once you have an established blog and an affiliate seller, it’s possible to see money trickle into your bank account within 6 months. It can take about 6 to 8 months to start making money consistently through affiliate marketing and more than a year to generate a full-time income.
Some advice? Start part-time. Not every business venture can be lucrative right at the beginning, so jumping the gun isn’t a good idea. Keep your hand, and if you play your cards right, you can be a success story yourself.
The Bottom Line
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money, especially with an established name and a popular blog. You need to make a plan for your content and the kind of products and services that you will promote. As an affiliate marketer, you can earn through sales, leads, or even just clicks, depending on the seller’s affiliate program.
To get those money-making engagements, you have to make sure to create reader-first, quality content that is optimized for SEO and entices your readers into patronizing the product. Supplementary methods include using pop-up ads, targeting strategies, and email marketing.
Aside from going the blog route, you can also go for starting a Youtube channel. It’s a good platform for creative content, especially for the niches that can benefit from visual and auditory design. Once you have consistent views, you can sign up for affiliate programs.
It’s going to take some time, but if you do things right and put in the work, you can expect profits to roll in just a few months.