How affiliate marketing programs work
Like most people, I always wanted or needed more money to do things that I wanted to or sometimes just to pay the monthly bills. It was difficult at times, especially when an unexpected bill pops up. One of the kids got sick, so there was the cost of the doctor and prescriptions or something is wrong with the car again.
Some of us would get a second job to get through tough times, but that can get old really quick. I decided to start looking for something else that might make life a bit easier. During my search, I ran across this thing called affiliate marketing. Wasn’t sure what it was, but it sounded interesting.
What is affiliate marketing?
Has anyone ever asked you for your opinion on a product or service? Of course, people try to do some basic research before they purchase anything. We usually don’t walk into a random store and buy something. It might be the name of the store we know or one that was recommended to us.
Affiliate marketing is a way that we can get paid for our opinions and recommendations. Have you searched a product online and read someone’s reviews or watched a YouTube video explaining how to use it, its features, its benefits, or where to get the best deal on it? Yes, I do that all the time. This is affiliate marketing.
Who does affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing gives the manufacture and retailers a way to promote their products for a small advertising fee. This is cheaper than paying for expensive ads or marketing campaigns. Instead of paying $500,000 on TV commercials to promote your product, wouldn’t it be better to let everyday people post their opinions on your product and pay them?
People tend to trust people they know and are likely to buy based on their recommendations. A company that has been around for many years, has hopefully built up a reputation for quality and may be able to survive off that, for a while at least.
What about a new company? They don’t have that reputation or resources to pay for the expensive marketing campaigns. This is where we come in. If we try the product and like it, we write a good review and promote their product for them and get paid for anyone we recommend that purchases their products. The same goes if we don’t like it, we write a negative review and let people know to stay away from it.
These products or services can be in about every area. We will talk in a moment how to find them.
How much can I make doing affiliate marketing?
This is up to you. I will explain in detail a few of the more popular affiliate marketing programs in future articles, but I want to give you some information to get you started.
Affiliate programs may pay anywhere from 2-3% up to 70%, but most will pay 5-20% commissions on anyone that purchases through you.
The seller will know that the buyer came to them from you when they click on your affiliate link. This is the URL for the product with your personal ID in it. One nice thing is, if I send them to a site after recommending a specific product, but they buy something else, I still get paid since they clicked my link! Most links will have a life of about 30 days, depending on the program.
The more product reviews and articles you write, the more you potentially make!
How to find affiliate programs
It’s easier if you already have a site to get signed up with affiliate programs. Some programs will look at your site and make sure there is content that is related to their products. You can still get signed up with some before you have your site, but some better ones will look at your site.
The easiest way to find an affiliate program is to search the product name + affiliate. For example, if I search “dog food + affiliate”. I chose this because my dog is telling me it’s time to eat. It doesn’t matter what the product is, there will usually be an affiliate program somewhere.
Once you scroll past the ads, look at the list of affiliate programs that came up for our dog food search. This is something I never searched for before, but there are programs out there. Try a few others on products that you may be interested in promoting.
Programs can be that easy to find.
Popular affiliate programs
The first program that many people get into after they have their site up is Amazon Associates. This gives you access to every product that they sell. They pay a small commission and are in multiple countries, but there are restrictions in certain areas where they do not accept affiliates.
- shareasale.com is another good source. They have a wide range of affiliate programs under them.
- CJ.com lists many good affiliate programs.
- Clickbank.com has a lot of start-up companies and products to promote.
I will be writing separate articles on each of these in the future since there is a lot of information on them.
Don’t try to get into too many programs at the beginning. You have to reach a certain amount in commissions before they pay you. As you continue to build out your site with more content, you will get more visitors, which will mean more sales. This takes time, don’t try to rush things.
This should give you a better understanding of what affiliate marketing is, who does it, where to find affiliate programs, and even some ones I use.
With any business, you will get out of it what you put into it. The more effort you put into writing your articles and reviews for your site, the greater the return. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme and does require some effort and work.
If you want to start learning for free, read my review on Wealthy Affiliate. This is where I started and continue to learn. The lessons have been very helpful teaching me about being online and the community is an invaluable resource.
Please leave any questions or comments below.
Thank you for reading,