How to live a Laptop Lifestyle using Affiliate Marketing
As a digital nomad, or location independent (depending on your preferred term) is it essential to find multiple ways to generate income.
Affiliate marketing is a way to create a passive style income using social media and your blog (if you have one).
Many influencers use their Instagram and Pinterest accounts to promote products using discount codes and affiliate links to generate income (or at the very least earn free products in return).
And of course, there is blogging. A well known source, if only because it is a legal requirement for bloggers to place a disclaimer on any page they are potentially promoting products on.
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission whenever a customer purchases a product or service through your link.
There is no additional cost to the customer, instead the creator shares their revenue with you (the promoter) in the form of a commission.
Affiliates are everywhere online, from social media, to personal blogs, educational sites and businesses. More than likely you’ve personally clicked on an affiliate link and not realised what it was.
Whether you already have a blog or not, anyone can use affiliate marketing to start on the path to passive income.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the most common way many people start on the path to creating a passive income, or a to add on to their existing income.
Whether it is to help monetise their blog or a business site extending their network, there are many ways to leverage this tool to build your business and create a passive income, with the only true cost being your time and effort.
When you search for something online what do you find? Choices. Endless choices. There are so many products and so much information online that it can be difficult to know where to start.
This is where the true power of an affiliate marketer comes in. By curating and reviewing products specific to your niche and audience, you provide the information (good or bad) for your potential customer to read, and hopefully purchase.
The key is to provide clear, easy to understand information with compelling reason for the customer to purchase.
Usually when someone is googling a topic, it is because they want to learn more about it before making a decision. Others already know what they want to buy, they just want to know which is the best before they hit the purchase button.
How to get started with Affiliate Marketing
Before most affiliate programs will consider you, your site needs to have relevant content and ideally some traffic.
If you already have a site with content, there are several tools you can use to check how your site health (traffic, key words etc) such as Google Analytics (there are others, but as a free starting point Google Analytics is perfect).
Don’t have a Google Analytics account? Then sign up straight away. Knowledge is power, and the more information you have, the more successful you will be.
If you don’t have a website, but are looking for a way to get started with affiliate marketing, then there are several programs you can sign up to that will guide you through the process of creating a successful blog. My recommendation is Wealthy Affiliate.
Some Examples of Affiliate Marketing
One thing I have found over my time as an affiliate marketer, is that passion and authenticity shows.
So if you are already writing about something you love, then it makes it easier for your readers to resonate with what you are writing and, therefore more likely to purchase through one of your links.
There are two ways to market a product or service through your site. Either weave it into your blog like you would a conversation, natural without a sell push. Or, write a dedicated review with pros and cons and a dedicated buy from here message.
Both methods do work, depending on what you are promoting and who your audience is.
For example, say your site was about hair care and products. You can do reviews on different hair dryers with pros and cons, using banners and ‘buy from here’ buttons. Then do a page on problems you have had with your hair and what happened when you started using a certain product, using a discreet link to the brand/product.
You can also just use banners, but make sure that they relate to the topic or niche of your site.
Things to avoid when promoting a product with affiliate marketing
We are constantly bombarded with advertising everywhere we look.
We can tell a hard (and fake) sell. It is a fine line between being overly pushy and being persistent.
The other main thing is to avoid heavy advertising, my biggest pet peeve is when I go a site and immediately am bombarded with pop ups, banners and ads that overwhelm the page. If I can’t easily read the information I searched for, then forget it, I’ve already closed the tab and gone to another site.
You might make a few cents from someone clicking on an ad, but you will miss the real sale due to all the noise on the page.
Ideally you also want to avoid selling what everyone else on social media is advertising. Why? Because that market is saturated, and trying to be heard when you are just new will be extremely difficult.
One of the best pieces of advice I was given when I started was to be patient, and treat marketing as though it were a real store front business. You want the same customers, and those customers have access to near limitless choices and information.
Making Money with Affiliate Marketing
I won’t lie and say it is easy. It takes time and effort to make a successful website and to gain traffic. Very, very few sites make money in the first 3 to 6 months.
Part of that is that it takes time to build regular and relevant content, the other part comes from customer engagement.
Social media is an amazing way to reach new audiences and drive traffic back to your site.
There is a caveat here… no social media format is the same and you should not burn yourself out by trying to promote across every platform.
Research and choose the ones that are most relevant to your niche. Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram are the most well known, but they each have their own unique audiences.
Just remember that the more content you have, that is personable, easy to read and engaging the more likely you will rank in search engines. The higher you rank, the bigger the audience, and the more conversions you will have.
How do Affiliate Marketers get paid?
Most companies use a third party provider to manage their affiliate program. Sites like Commission Junction and ClickBank (just two examples) manage dozens of business.
It certainly makes it easier to manage commissions, test products and receive one payment as opposed to multiple.
There are three ways to be paid as an affiliate. They are:
Pay per sale (most common method)
Pay per lead
Pay per click
It really depends on the product and the seller. Some programs will have a set $ fee they will pay, others work on a percentage. The terms will always be made clear when you sign up, so just make sure to read through and understand them. That will help you decide the best course of action to target your audience, and increase the chances of conversion.
Why should you become an affiliate marketer?
What are the reasons to become an affiliate marketer? Passive income is the main reason that comes to mind.
Freedom, flexibility, ability to set your own hours, minimal overheads and unlimited potential. These are some of the benefits of becoming a successful affiliate.
Like anything though, it takes time and effort to set up. If you treat it as a business and not as hobby, plan and prepare a strategy for yourself, then there is absolutely no reason why you can’t be a successful affiliate.