If you have a web site or blog and are looking for a way to earn some extra cash, you might want to consider affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is the term used to describe a revenue-sharing plan made between publishers (you) and an advertiser (whoever pays you to run their ads, or sell their products). Essentially, you recommend other people’s things, and you get paid a commission for each purchase that’s made from your recommendation.
Affiliate marketing can include banner ads, text links, product reviews, video testimonials, email campaigns or any other form of trackable marketing, and when done right, it can make publishers a lot of money.
In many cases, you don’t even have to actually sell anything to get paid, but will receive a commission for getting people to visit a specific site, fill out a form, sign up to receive a free newsletter or any other action that the advertiser has deemed to be valuable.
This is an especially important marketing tactic for anyone in lead generation or any sales field, where there’s big money to me made in pushing third party products.
How Affiliate Marketing Works
There are two ways to approach affiliate marketing. You can offer an affiliate program to others or you can sign up to be another business’s affiliate.
Become an Affiliate to Drive Sales
As an affiliate, you’ll promote products that you’ve picked out especially for your audience. It’s much better than advertising programs, because you will be able to choose the promotions that appear on your site. This will help you build a relationship with your audience by recommending products/services they’ll enjoy.
The benefit of being part of an affiliate program is that it will help you raise money quickly. Each time a visitor from your site clicks on one of your affiliate links, you can be awarded a percentage of commission on sales.
There are many reputable sites that are nothing but a storage of digital and physical products for affiliate marketing. Sign up for one and find the products that best match your site.
Hire Affiliates to Increase Sales
If you’re in the business of selling products or services, consider bringing on some affiliates to help you get more sales.
When you manage other affiliates, you’ll pay them a commission fee for every lead or sale they drive, so you’ll end up paying money to make money, and need to ensure that your leads or products profit you more than the cost it requires to generate them.
Your main goal should be to find affiliates who will reach untapped markets that you wouldn’t be able to approach yourself. For example, a company with an online magazine may make a good affiliate because its subscribers trust the writers opinions’.
Accordingly, introducing your offer through the magazine, “trusted” voice for its many readers, can help grab their attention and convince them that your product is worth purchasing.
Don’t let your affiliates compete with your traffic though, and ensure that they aren’t using the same marketing channels that you do, or it’s likely that your profits will decline.
Place restrictions on how your affiliates can market your products – if you see the need for it – and be sure to keep them in line.
Remember, it’s your products and services on offer, and your company’s reputation at stake – so set the rules, and enforce them rigorously.
Or, if you prefer the hands-off approach, simply hire affiliates to run all of your internet marketing, and let them do whatever they want.
Once the money starts rolling in, trim the fat from the bone and work according to the 80/20 rule – working with affiliates who bring in 80% of the revenue, and ignoring or removing those who aren’t major players.
Don’t forget – affiliates are an extension of your sales force, but to customers, they represent your brand (many customers won’t even be able to tell the difference between you and your affiliates), so choose partners carefully.
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