What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing has been around since the dawn of time…or at least the dawn of the internet.  It’s championed and implemented by the largest online retailers in the world…Amazon and Walmart…to help boost their sales, and to grow their businesses.  The affiliate advertising program of Amazon is a means of generating what I call commissioned based advertising.  Or said another way, Amazon will not pay any advertising fees unless their is a converted sale.  Sounds pretty good?  Well it certainly does to Amazon.

What is an affiliate marketing program exactly?

The way that an affiliate program works is by having a relationship between you and a retailer.  So, you will need to be creating content, such as in the form of a webpage.  This webpage will hopefully attract visitors by having robust, complete, and compelling content on it.  Once a website visitor reads your content, they may decide to click on the nice link that you have contained inside your content.  When they click onto this link, they will be forwarded to a retailer such as Amazon.  Once they land at Amazon, a tracking code will get recorded and that potential customer will hopefully shop and buy something at Amazon.  If they do make a purchase, then you will share in a portion of the income generated from that sale.

It isn’t too difficult to start to become an affiliate as you can probably see in the paragraph above.   BUT, what is difficult is to create compelling content that will inspire your readers, viewers, listeners, to take action based on your recommendations.  So, you’ll have to focus on making your content something sticky and compelling.

Top 5 reasons why Amazon likes their affiliate marketing program:

  1. It helps Amazon to grow their business and boost their sales revenue.
  2. Amazon doesn’t have to pay for any advertising costs in advance, instead they are agreeing to share a portion of the profit generated by the sale with the affiliate marketer.
  3. Trusted influencers help to promote both Amazon and the products they sell.
  4. Potential for promoting certain categories over others to increase margins and lower per sale advertising costs.
  5. Extra boost to traffic and customer exposure.  This means that not all of your referrals will purchase that day, and may return later to buy after the affiliate link expires.

Why become an affiliate?

The reasons to become an affiliate are often simple and easy to understand.  Most people go after becoming an affiliate to earn more money, earn a side income, or for the passion of the niche or category that they are interested in.  A lot of hobby enthusiasts are effectively professionals or experts in their hobby’s, and isn’t this perfect.  If you have a topic or interest that you love, why not get involved into affiliate marketing or promoting services and products in the area that you love to be involved in?

Top 5 reasons to become an affiliate

    1. Earn money as a side income or part time worker.
    2. You can take advantage or information that you already know and you can make extra money by utilizing this knowledge.
    3. You can create an opportunity to learn more about a hobby or interest that you have an interest in, become an expert in a topic you already have an interest in.
    4. You have an opportunity to build an asset that can yield returns for years.  It can truly be a business that generates a good amount of recurring income for you.
    5. A very low cost way to create a business, and you can get started today.

What skills do you need to have a successful affiliate program?

  1. Technology – You will need a basic understanding of internet technology such as a basic understanding of links, website architecture, and basic design concepts.  These all aren’t necessary, but they may help you go farther and you can develop them over time.
  2. Your topic area – You will need to work towards become an expert in your area of interest.  The best affiliates will have a passion for their niche, product area, or category that they are marketing for.
  3. Ability to think like a marketer – When you get involved in affiliate marketing or publishing, you are essentially a cog in the chain of retail sales.  What does this mean?  It means that you will be assisting in the sales process for any customer who lands on your website, or content, and follows on to your affiliate partner to make a purchase.  Often, when the potential customer is on your website, they will be uncertain about whether they should make a purchase or not, or they may simply be conducting research.
  4. Ability to stay persistent – Most successful business owners will tell you that they achieved their successful due to having a will and determination to never give up.  This mindset is essential in creating a strong affiliate marketing effort.  The reason for this, is that you will most likely not see results for a little bit of time, but this is expected.  You will need to setup a business, create your content, list or publish your content, market your content, and get that content listed and promoted within the search engines.  WOW, does that sound like a lot?  We’ll I would argue that it isn’t a lot, but it will take some time, so be prepared to be persistent.


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