If you’re looking for an easy way to make money from home, you’ve probably considered exploring the lucrative world of online marketing. Chances are, you’ve heard of Amazon, eBay, and other big-name brands that offer online storefronts where you can sell your products. But have you ever considered the potentially lucrative world of affiliate marketing?
What is affiliate marketing?
Put simply, affiliate marketing is the practice of earning a commission from a company (often referred to as a ‘sponsor’) when someone clicks a purchase link or action (i.e., completes a purchase, makes an inquiry, submits a form, or downloads a brochure) that leads to a sale.
In exchange for earning this commission, you’ll often be required to promote a product or service (i.e., a ‘brand’) that is directly associated with the merchant. When you promote a product or service (a ‘product pitch’) that a customer ultimately purchases, you earn a commission.
But if you’re new to the field, how does affiliate marketing differ from traditional online marketing?
Traditional marketing, as you may know, entails creating ads that people actually want to click on. For example, if you’re an attorney specializing in family law, you might create an ad that shows a sad family sitting in a restaurant with their luggage as a judge looks on with a dissatisfied expression. Someone might click on that ad and, if they’re in the mood to purchase legal services, they might visit your site.
With affiliate marketing, you’re not necessarily trying to get people to interact with your content per se. Instead, you’re using content to drive people to a particular brand or merchant’s site. When they visit that site, they often have to make a purchase (or take some sort of action) before they can leave. In some cases, the sale happens even if the person never reads your content.
Why should you consider affiliate marketing?
Well, for one thing, it’s relatively easy to get started. In fact, you don’t even need any prior web development experience to make money online. Even if you’re comfortable writing in text form, you can find affiliate marketing training programs that can fit even the most inexperienced business owner.
Also, in almost all cases, you won’t have to spend too much money to get started. The overwhelming majority of affiliate marketing offers involve products that are low to mid-priced (between $3 and $100). That means you don’t have to invest tons of money in expensive ad campaigns or pricey tools to make money online.
Find Your Niche
When you first decide to get into the affiliate marketing game, it’s important to identify a profitable niche. This is similar to the advice that you would receive from a personal trainer or nutritionist. If you’re not sure what a profitable niche is, consider searching for ‘earn money from home’ or ‘earn money online’ on Google. You’ll get a variety of relevant results that you can review.
A profitable niche is one that is easy to enter, provides ample opportunity for growth, and is a lucrative market for the merchant. In other words, it’s a field that you can really ‘get into’ and make some money from. If you’re able to secure a profitable niche, you’ll have an easy-to-follow path to financial success.
Make A Business Name
Next, you’ll want to make a brand name for yourself. When someone visits your site, they will likely have no idea what your site is about unless you tell them. In most cases, this will entail creating a small blurb on your site that briefly describes what you do. Your brand will also be featured in all of your marketing materials (e.g., ads, social media posts, etc.)
Along with your brand name, you’ll also want to choose a short name for your site. This is similar to the method Netflix uses to identify themselves on social media. If you’re not sure what to include in your short site name, brainstorm with your team. You want to choose something that is easy to type and doesn’t have any restrictions. For example, if you’re an attorney specializing in family law, you might choose ‘FamLaw’ or ‘ShawnO.’
The above examples are just some ways to choose a business name. You don’t necessarily have to choose anything related to law, but it’s a great place to start. Once you have your business name, you can register it with your state and/or national association. Doing this will also ensure that your business is legally protected.
Start Building Your Brand
Now that you have a business name and you’re starting to build a following on social media, it’s a good time to start branding. Branded content, as you may know, is content that is related to your niche or field of expertise. When someone interacts with your content, you’ll have a clear indication that they are interacting with content that is tailored to their specific interests. This is also known as ‘audience segmentation.’
For example, if you’re an attorney specializing in family law, you might start a blog that focuses on issues facing divorced and/or single-parent families. If you identify yourself as a trainer who specializes in kickboxing, you could potentially write a blog post about the various benefits of training in a martial art. You could also create a flowchart that shows how to tie a shoe lace or how to fold a shirt.
One of the best things about branded content is that it often is not difficult to write. In most cases, you’ll just need to do some research into your specific niche and then create content that is either useful or entertaining.
For example, if you’re a single parent who wants to improve your family’s financial situation, you might consider writing a guide on how to become debt-free. Or, if you’re a business owner who wants to grow your company, you might create a how-to guide on the different ways to gain valuable customer insight.
There are many different ways to make money online. While some are more suitable for beginners, others demand more experience. Regardless, once you have a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve, you’ll be able to choose the correct path.