Today I’m going to be writing about what exactly affiliate links are and how they work.
So, What the Heck Are Affiliate Links Anyway?
If you scroll to the bottom of just about any company website you’ll see an ‘Affiliates’ link. This is the Affiliate Program of that particular company. Some also have ‘Invitation Codes’ where you get rewarded for every person you get to sign up for their service. This is also a type of affiliate link.
Affiliate links are special links companies generate for an affiliate partner with to promote a certain product or service on their website, blog or social media pages. People come to your site via a search engine, word of mouth or various ads you place on the internet and, hopefully, they read your quality content and decide to click your special link to purchase said product or service.
This is a very simple explanation of the process, of course. There are varying types of affiliate programs, some with stringent requirements such as a certain number of sales in a month (Amazon) and some just want you to advertise for them so you sign up and you’re in (Ebay).
Always read your affiliate agreement. Your requirements can range from nothing but placing links to actually having to plan community events to promote a product (seriously).
How Much Do They Pay?
Again, read the agreement. You can get paid by the click (PPC) or only if someone actually purchases the product you’re advertising. Services pretty much always have requirements for your visitors to become members, some for a certain amount of time (6 months is fairly common). This only makes sense because otherwise the company is not making any money.
Again, be sure of what you’re getting and what is expected of you. Some companies offer really great incentives but it also depends on the cost of the product or service. You’re certainly not going to get as much for a 0.99 item vs a $2,000 item, however you may sell more of the more affordable items. This is the tricky part of affiliate marketing.
How Do I Choose Which Program to Promote?
This is where your niche comes in. It’s no good to have a website where you just promote whatever, you need to specialize. The search engines will love you more (better for your SEO or Search Engine Optimization), your customers will love you more and you’ll become an expert in your chosen niche. This also makes it easier to find the products and services you want to promote.
For example, my site focuses on how to make money online. It’s a fairly broad niche but I focus mainly on affiliate marketing and generating passive income through blogging and social media. Therefore, the products and services I promote are related to affiliate marketing and passive income.
There are still thousands of niche companies for me to choose from so I have to narrow it down to companies I know and trust as well as those I review, whether I like them or not.
I say I have to narrow it down because you should never fill your pages with affiliate links. Search engines don’t like it and your visitors won’t either. Can you imagine if you came to my page and there were dozens of ads constantly in your face? Very off-putting.
There’s also the possibility that a company will review my affiliate application and deny it since I’m not very well known yet. That’s a hurdle we all face at first and it’s fine. You can bet once I have readers and I’m ranked in the search engines I’ll apply again.
Also, if your blog is wildly successful and you get tons of traffic as well as a lot of conversions companies may start approaching you to become an ambassador for them. At that point, though, you will be in a position to either accept their proposal or reject it as you’ll already be a force on the ‘net.
How Long Until I Make Money?
This is the really difficult part: I don’t know, it depends.
This depends on your niche and whether you have traffic or not. To make money your need clicks and conversions (people purchasing the product/service you’re promoting). You have to build trust and credibility before anyone will buy what you recommend. That takes time and engagement from you. It takes commitment and tenacity.
If you give it time and commitment amazing things can happen. You’ll become an authority in your niche (so choose something you’re passionate about, it helps) and people will start to trust you. Then you’ll start seeing results.
It’s Not An Easy Road
Nowhere on this site will you see me say being an Affiliate Marketer is easy or that results are quick. That has never been my experience, unfortunately. However, with the right knowledge and training as well as effort and time results are inevitable.
There are people out there making six or seven figures yearly doing affiliate marketing, no joke. It took them years to get there but they made it happen and some of them are willing to help beginners like you and I to have success like they have.
Don’t you want to live your best life and become self reliant? I sure do.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in why not check out my Wealthy Affiliate review? They’re the real deal. Their training is top notch and the community is amazing. Also, you can try it for free for as long as you like.
Do you have any experience or thoughts on affiliate programs or marketing? Comment below!
Catharyn – The Rebel Entrepreneur