What is Affiliate Marketing?

What is Affiliate Marketing?

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What is Affiliate Marketing

An affiliate marketing program is one of the easiest ways to generate passive income for writers. You can generate revenue in the comfort of your own home. First, you need to find the programs that will be beneficial to you.

Choosing the right affiliate marketing program involves three steps: finding the right product, working as a manager, and maintaining income. In the best-case scenario, you’ll choose the perfect affiliate marketing program from the beginning and get a lot of money. However, if you’re not careful enough, your audience might lose their trust in your recommendations, and you lose some followers.

Here’s a quick and thorough guide on starting by choosing an affiliate marketing program that will work for you.

Find the Right Product

The Man Uses A Laptop Computer And Mobile Phone To Send DigitalHaving a lot of choices for an affiliate marketing program is both a blessing and a curse. It’s certainly lovely to advertise a product that you genuinely believe in. But what if there are just too many choices that you’re afraid you might make the wrong one?

This anxiety is not unique to you. However, you can quickly solve this problem by following a series of steps that can guide you to finding the perfect affiliate program to choose.

Create Your Target Customer Profile

If you already have a blog or influencer social media account setup, you should have a general idea of your audience. Since they’ll be the ones mainly reading your blog, it’s a smart move to tailor your target customer after them.

  • What is your target customer’s demographic?
  • How much is their average salary?
  • Where are they located?
  • What are their purchase habits?

You can even go as specific as you want, such as adding their goals and aspirations. This will undoubtedly help affiliate marketers of particular industries, especially those focused on selling services that offer peace and wellness.

Create a target customer profile based on who they are. Think about what products they want, how much they’re willing to spend, and if they have enough money to purchase expensive products. Remember to be realistic. It’s alright if your target customer can only spend less than a hundred dollars in a month. There will always be an affiliate marketing program that can cater to them.

Quality Products

Selling an item just because it can generate high income is the wrong way to approach things. While this can boost your payment for a bit, people might start losing their trust once they realize that the products you link are not high quality.

Remember that some affiliate marketing programs might be offering a huge load of money simply because their products are not selling. Therefore, you need to ensure the quality of the products you’re about to advertise.

A quick Google search can give you the general consensus of how other people review the products. You can also buy a sample of the product yourself and test if it’s worth advertising. Aside from you’re assuring quality, you might also gain more insight into how you can encourage your audience to buy it.

Listen to your Audience

Group Of Business People Meeting In A Seminar ConferenceIf you have comments enabled on your blog or you’re using social media where people can freely comment, you should certainly ask them what their favorite products are. By hearing what people think, you’ll get a general idea of what they are already willing to pay for.

All you need is a gentle nudge and a reminder of how great that product is. You can also introduce them to other products by the same company that you think they’ll love. Treat this as some sort of customer feedback as well as market research. You might get an insight or idea on what your next step should be.

Work Like a Business Manager

Just like anything else in the gig industry, you have to treat affiliate marketing as a business. Choosing the right product from a reputable vendor can improve your audience’s trust, but what about the income you’ll generate? First, you have to ensure that you’re getting enough money for your advertisements. That means you have to work as a manager of your own business.

It might get technical, but this is definitely something you should do. People who get on to the affiliate marketing hype without actually doing the work that needs to be done for it to be successful will not earn as much money.

Vendor Reputation

Based on what kind of product you want to sell, you can narrow down your list of potential affiliate marketing programs. Then, it’s time to look for a reputable vendor with a great program that can help you earn more.

It’s no secret that it’s easier to sell a product from a vendor people already love. Besides, you don’t want to promote a product from a shady seller who people know nothing about. You also don’t want to lose your loyal audience.

It costs five times more to get a new customer than to retain an existing customer. So, you might want to build audience trust while generating an income through affiliate marketing. Avoid those shady vendors as much as possible, even if they offer high commissions for selling their products.

High-Priced Products

Selling high-priced products can generate more income. However, a reasonable conversion rate is typically around 2-5%. This means that not everyone who views your content will buy the product. Based on this, you need to find ways to maximize your income. One of the obvious ones is advertising expensive products.

It might take some more encouragement, but it also means that you need to sell fewer products to hit your mark. On the other hand, cheaper products are easier to sell. Still, it would be best if you encouraged way more people into buying using your links.

In any case, you need to strike a balance. Considering your target customer profile, you have to assume how much they’re willing to spend. You can still sprinkle some high-priced products here and there if you think they are not ready to buy expensive ones.


This is one of the terms you need to familiarize yourself with if you’re getting into affiliate marketing. As a marketing strategy, companies usually offer lower-priced products when the buyer is ready to checkout.

Apple makes use of upsells to sell accessories to their gadget. For example, if you buy the new MacBook, they will discount the Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard. People don’t usually want to pay hefty amounts of money in shipping for small products that are priced lower. But they would undoubtedly add that to their purchase if it goes along with another more expensive product, especially if they can get a discount.

So, when deciding what affiliate marketing programs to choose from, you should pay more attention to those who upsell their products. Aside from showing the vendor’s experience, you also get more money if people buy the upsells.

Vendor Support

Focused young and mature customers meeting with agentYou want to stick to a vendor who can offer you more. People don’t usually buy on their first visit, which means a loss of potential income if your vendor only allows you to earn once you visit. However, some vendors with good support will still give you money if the customer has bought the product within a specified time.

Furthermore, some vendors offer recurring commissions. So if a customer who clicks your link buys from them again, you can still earn money later on even if they do not use any link from you. While this income is not usually high, it is undoubtedly a nice thing to have from a vendor.

Maintain Income

Choosing the first affiliate program to market is not where it all ends. First, you need to ensure that the product and vendor you chose can generate an income for you.

Affiliate Program Competitors

Just like you, the vendor you chose can also have competitors. You might want to see if they offer affiliate programs that you can qualify for. This can give your audience variety and more options to choose from.

This is certainly one way to earn more while giving your audience more options to choose from. If they didn’t like anything from the first affiliate program you chose, you might be able to encourage them to consider another one.

Think Outside the Box

People will quickly get bored if you keep recommending the same products to them over and over again. Besides, it’s unlikely that your most loyal followers will buy the same thing twice in a short period. So when you see your income hitting a plateau, it’s time to think outside the box.

For example, you’re a makeup blogger. Naturally, you’ll be selling makeup products, but you can also get into skincare products over time. You can even segue into electronic products that you think might look aesthetic for your audience. Since electronic products are more expensive, you might quickly generate more income.

While sticking to your niche is essential, so is adding variety to what you offer your audience. But, of course, it all depends on what type of influencer you are. So, you’ll have to be creative with your content.

It’s Time to Start Now

Back view of business woman talking to her colleagues about plan in video conferencYou’ll have a higher chance of getting into the right affiliate marketing program with the guide above. The rest is up to you. Don’t dwell too much on the choices and instead act. Remember that every minute you don’t make up your mind might be a dollar wasted.

People have been exciting passive income in recent years. The idea that you can earn extra money without sacrificing too much time and effort to hold a part-time job on top of your day job is a dream come true. You can use the extra money to save up for that new phone or be smart about your money and put it in your retirement funds.

No matter what your reason is, you have the option to choose from different methods to generate a passive income. For example, you can put all your savings in a high-interest savings account. Or, you can invest your money in stocks. But if you don’t have any capital to start with, maybe you should do other side gigs such as affiliate marketing.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

If you have a blog, website, or even just a public social media, you can use links that work as a referral to a company. You aim to encourage people to buy the products through your links. You’ll earn money based on how the affiliate program works.

The wonderful thing about affiliate marketing is that you only need to do work initially, and you can wait for the money to come in. Of course, you might want to maximize your income by posting more or promoting your products further.

Program Compatibility

What is your target customer’s profile?
Arguably the most crucial step in any business is creating your target customer profile. You must understand who you’re selling to strategize correctly. Knowing your audience and who you want to sell to can help you choose the right programs to join. You can also optimize your marketing campaigns if you know your target customer’s likes and dislikes.

What products or vendors fit your niche?
You can join hundreds of affiliate programs, but you should stick to those guaranteed your audience will like. You want to give them high-quality recommendations and build their trust in what you say.

Who you are as an affiliate will matter to what you’re selling. You should present yourself as an expert in the industry. This means you need to find your niche and stick with it.

Vendor and Affiliate Program

Does the affiliate program have a good market reputation?
Multiethnic Business Team Brainstorming On Project During StartAffiliate marketing can become a lucrative business. But if you’re not careful enough, you might lose your audience’s trust and loyalty if you promote a product from a shady vendor. A good market reputation is a must, and you should stay away from affiliate programs with any issue.

You can Google the company with the keyword “issue” or “scandal” to see if anything in their history might cause people to avoid using the product.

Aside from staying away from companies with past issues, it would be best to differentiate those with a good market reputation. Cruelty-Free and Fair-Trade brands are the best ones to collaborate with since people prefer ethical products.

Are valuable tools and resources included in the program?
This is a quality-of-life upgrade that is not necessary for earning but can help you in multiple ways. First, you should efficiently track sales that can help you check your performance and adjust your marketing efforts. It should also be easier to communicate with the vendors when you have particular questions about the products.

Does the affiliate program have a good cookie life?
It’s known that people don’t buy on their first visit. Instead, they might only want to check out the product and ensure that it’s what they want and are currently browsing different options. Either way, the affiliate program you’re going to join should have a good cookie life.

Usually, cookie life is set between 1 to 30 days, depending on the affiliate program. If anyone who clicked the link didn’t buy until past the cookie life, you wouldn’t earn money. A cookie life of more than 30 days is favorable, but you need to see if the company has a good reputation.

Do they host frequent sales?

Since you need to make a sell within the set cookie life, promoting any product that is on sale can prevent your audience from buying at a later date. Since there is a sense of urgency, they’re more incentivized to buy now. They might even possibly only require one visit before doing so.

While this is unnecessary, it is good to check how many sales and discounts the vendor has hosted in the past year.

Market Research

Is the affiliate program in a highly saturated niche?
Joining an affiliate program with a saturated niche is a double-edged sword. Yes, people will likely trust your brand, but chances are they’ve already bought the products from someone else’s affiliate links.

Does this mean you should avoid affiliate programs with too much competition? Not necessarily. But you can still join and earn, but you have to understand that you won’t generate the same amount of income compared to joining one where it’s less crowded.

It’s advisable to use these popular affiliate programs to buffer your other ones with a higher potential to generate more income.

Does the affiliate program have a reasonable conversion rate?
Personal income tax return form under US law placed on deskYou have to familiarize yourself with conversion rates by now. In affiliate marketing, it’s the number of people who bought through your link over the number of people who saw the link and did nothing. A 2-5% conversion rate is ideal, but it depends on the industry. The higher it is, the better.

If the conversion rate is too low, it simply means the product is not selling. And if the product is not selling, it means you won’t be getting enough money for your efforts.

How well do the products sell compared to its competitors?
It’s also worthwhile to check the competitors of the affiliate program you’re trying to join. They might be offering a program that fits you more, or they might have a higher conversion rate. Since you can enter as many affiliate programs as possible, joining the competitor’s affiliate program can also provide variety for your audience.


Contrary to popular belief, you still have to work and strategize when doing an affiliate program. But as time passes by, your workload will slowly decrease as your customer trusts you more.

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How To Start Affiliate Marketing For Beginners

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