You may be wondering if affiliate marketing is worth your time. Wonder no more!
In this comprehensive guide, you will learn all about the benefits of affiliate marketing and how it can work for you.
Being an affiliate marketer can be a very profitable venture if done correctly. Learn everything you need to know to get started today.
The Complete Guide To Benefits of Affiliate Marketing in 2022
TD; LR Summary
•Affiliate marketing is a performance-based advertising system in which affiliates are rewarded for sending leads or sales to the merchant.
• Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective and profitable online advertising systems available today.
• Affiliate merchants do not need to have any technical skills, they only need to develop a solution to a problem and package it so that their target audience can consume the information easily.
There have been changing affiliate marketing statistics in the past few years. Businesses are now investing more in affiliate marketing. There has been a steady growth in affiliate marketing spending in recent years. In 2022, it’s expected that affiliate marketing spending will be $8.2 billion (Statistica).
In the US alone, 81% of brands and 84% of publishers leverage the power of affiliate marketing to grow their businesses. Thus, this is the fastest growing business model that you as a business owner or affiliate need to leverage to grow your business or make affiliate commissions.
Start learning about the benefits of affiliate marketing now by reading this article till the end!
- What is Affiliate Marketing?
- Types of Affiliate Marketing
- How Do I Become an Affiliate Merchant?
- Benefits of Affiliate Marketing to The Merchants
- How Do I Become an Online Affiliate Marketer?
- Advantages of Affiliate Marketing to Affiliates
- What are The Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing?
- Questions and Answers
What is Affiliate Marketing?
This is the process by which affiliates – independent individuals with an audience – promote or market other people’s products or services and earn a commission whenever the leads they bring forth end up purchasing the offer.
That means they will only make a sale when the leads convert to sales. However, some affiliate merchants pay affiliates based on signup or click. Whichever the case, the principal still believes that the lead must perform some action before the affiliate earns a commission.
Affiliate marketing is all about smart companies running their businesses and understanding that they can do more to reach a wider audience and accelerate growth.
How can you make this process even better as a merchant? That means looking at ways to complement and increase your business to provide excellent value to your customers and followers.
There are three elements in the affiliate marketing model that you need to understand if you are to do better;
Let’s go through them one by one to make it easier for you to understand;
It is someone who creates the product or the offer to a defined audience. He is the creative behind the digital products you see on ClickBank, Commission Junction, and Amazon. The merchant conceptualizes the idea and creates the best offer to solve a particular problem.
That’s the point; the offer has to solve a problem to generate sales. Otherwise, what’s the essence of creating it in the first place? The more efficiently it solves a particular issue such as ‘Launching profitable Facebook ads,’ the easier the uptake by the customers.
These are people responsible for driving traffic via different channels, both paid and free. They can decide to create a website and blog about other affiliate products or launch ads and direct traffic to a landing page, after which it will convert to sales.
Since there are more than a thousand products to promote, affiliates will only promote products that add value to their audience and generate significant commission. Hence, it’s worth noting that as a merchant.
The customer is the consumer of the product or service. They are the real deal here because they have the purchasing power. Without the customer, affiliate marketing will not work. If you want to succeed as an affiliate marketer or merchant, you will need to study a great deal about the customers you are targeting.
You will also need to continuously update your offer to meet the customers’ changing needs. Study trends and optimize products to solve more problems.
This is how affiliate marketing works:
Types of Affiliate Marketing
There are different types of affiliate marketing. Let’s go through some of them to help you understand and make better affiliate marketing strategies.
Essentially, it’s all about promoting three types of products;
Products You Have Used
It is involved affiliate marketing. It is promoting products you already know and use to the people who already know and trust you or rather a hot audience. Do you know why people buy these products? Well, it’s because you will be promoting experiences and not features of the product. Since you are already using these products, promoting them to other people would be easier.
Have you ever talked about designing graphics and decided to include a link to Fiver to a graphic designer? Well, that’s a type of affiliate marketing. You have not ordered a service on Fiver, but you know it is a great place for graphic design and hence directed your readers there.
Products You Don’t Influence
This type of affiliate marketing is all about promoting offers you don’t have experience with to an audience you don’t understand pretty well. Most affiliates start off this way. Since they don’t have a budget to purchase and try out new products, they promote products they don’t have much information about. As a result, they don’t get as many sales.
How Do I Become an Affiliate Merchant?
Do you want to be an affiliate merchant and have a ton of affiliates promoting your product to help you make money on autopilot? There are a few steps to take since affiliates don’t just pick any products to promote; they need to offer their audience value.
Think of a Profitable Idea
The key to a wonderful product is not far away. It all springs from the ideas that keep flashing through your mind. Yes, what you see, use, and talk about every day.
So, rather than researching a lot and wasting time, look into the already available products and identify a method to increase their performance and efficiency to solve problems you and your target audience currently face.
Naturally, you can choose any subject that interests you. Do you know why? Well, it is because when you are working on an offer to solve that problem, it won’t feel like work; it would feel like a hobby that you enjoy and give your best.
Imagine you alone in the house. Possibly, your goal could be to make the house a little bit visually appealing. That means you might need to make some shelves or something. That’s when you go to YouTube and search ‘How to make wooden shelves’ before hitting the ‘enter’ button.
These will be the results of that keyphrase
As a result, after working on that shelf, you might start working on other woodworks and perfect in that art. After some time, you can decide to bundle up all the skills and information you have mastered in designing woodworks into a course.
Validate Your Idea Based on The Data You Have
Not everyone is interested in your idea. That’s why you need to understand your target market a great deal. Know what they talk about, what they think about, and what solutions they NEED.
Here is the catch. You see, customers do talk. They complain about services and products that they are not getting. And guess what? All that data is at your disposal.
Just key the phrase ‘How to make wooden shelves’ into Google Keyword Planner or any other keyword tool and wait for the results.
You will see results like these:
If there are a lot of search results, it means people want to know these skills. You will only need to deliver a unique product – different from your competitors.
The search volume in the SEO tools will also give you insights into how many people want to learn how to make wooden shelves in a month.
Create The Main Offer
Once you have validated your idea and mastered the unique needs of your audience, it’s time to create your main offer. It should fulfill customers’ needs. Otherwise, there will be no point in creating it.
There are several ways of creating your offer. You can decide to follow the traditional way, having people book a time to visit your place and explain to them in detail, or you can create digital products.
I would advise you to choose the latter because it will save you a lot of marketing resources and deliver twice the results. Digital products are easy to consume and can be learned by your audience at their pace and at any time they choose.
It will also be easy and effective for you to track customers in real-time, retarget them with more profitable offers, and build a thriving tribe.
Here are some products that you can come up with;
It will be easier for you to add affiliates and track down any sales process such as clicks, sign-ups, and sales with these digital products.
Choose an Affiliate Program
There are different affiliate networks to choose from. You can either decide to go with ClickBank, Commission junction, or even try out ShareAsale since it’s one of the oldest and most thriving affiliate marketing programs.
While these sites save the hurdle of creating a website and tracking affiliate sales yourself, they have policies and are also competitive.
That means you can also have products right there on your sites and invite affiliates to promote them. You will just need to hire a top-notch web developer from Fiverr to handle all that for you.
However, if you are starting, I advise you to go with the former options since it saves time.
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing to The Merchants
Even though it takes time to get results, there are a ton of affiliate marketing benefits to the affiliate merchant and the affiliates.
1. Performance-Based Advertising
Affiliate marketing’s performance-based nature is exceptionally different from other online advertising channels. Yes, how it produces results is different from how Google or Facebook ads give results.
You see, when you run ads, you will have to pay upfront before you even see the results. The ads will not start running until you input your credit card information. You should have already set your minimum daily spend and understood your reach by then.
Affiliate marketing is different from the fact that you don’t need to spend money before you begin seeing results. It’s like creating a product and letting other people do the marketing for you.
In the end, you will only be serving the customers sent your way by your affiliates. The more affiliates you have, the easier it is to get money and achieve your life goals.
However, that doesn’t mean you should abandon online advertising. No. As I had already told you, affiliate marketing takes time. The affiliates have to get their affiliate links, build traffic – which can sometimes take months if it is SEO – and generate leads.
2. Affiliate Marketing is Cost-Effective
Compared to other online advertising options such as PPC, affiliate marketing is really affordable to anyone starting their online business.
You don’t need a lot of skills and a huge marketing budget. Just package the information and the knowledge you want to pass to your audience into a course or e-book, and you are ready to source for affiliates.
You might start thinking about network costs, managing costs, marketing resources, and research tools as you grow.
These will come when you begin having several products and several customers. You can even hire a VA on Upwork to handle all the management for you. The VA will also handle the payment of affiliates in case the offers are on your website.
3. Affiliates Can Grow Your Business
Think about it; you are not paying for anything upfront to get sales. Your job is to create an offer and manage your customers.
Suppose you compare a business relying on ads with one that has adopted affiliate marketing. In that case, the former might generate fast results, but the latter generates passive income because once the traffic begins coming in, the sales seem to compound.
But suppose you choose to run both ads and affiliate marketing, isn’t that a great combination? Well, it is. You just need to learn how to do both. Running ads will require you to have adequate capital, though.
You can also engage other advertisement options such as email marketing and webinars. I know several sites running Solo ads for super-friendly budgets. If you want, you can try out Udimi. You can easily generate sales here.
4. Allows You to Beat Your Competitors
As more and more online businesses spring up, there is increased competition for customers’ attention and generate sales. As a business owner, that means you need to be smart to be ahead of the curve and beat competitors.
Think about it; your competitors may not know a great deal about affiliate marketing. They may have a more fabulous product than yours, but if they can’t leverage the power of affiliate marketing, they can’t generate as many sales as you can.
What you need to do is to have twice as many affiliates as your competitors have and hence generate twice as many sales. As a result, it will be easy to beat them rather than spending all money on advertising with a low ROI.
If you are in the health and wellness niche, there are hundreds of other products in the same niche. Just check out the category on Amazon or Clickbank to affirm this. They may be solving unique and specific problems, but the product with the most affiliates always wins.
5. Leverage on Influencers and Their Networks
You see, an affiliate marketer has to influence before anybody can buy the product they are promoting. Look at someone like Brian Dean; he has influence over on-page and off-page SEO. Thus, his readers take whatever he says seriously.
That means if you create a course on SEO secrets and want affiliates to promote, Brian could be the best since he influences that niche. There are others, though. Just search for SEO secrets and uncover plenty of other influencers.
Give them a free trial of your course and let them blog about it. You can even give them unlimited access and ask them to share the link with their readers. In the end, you are benefiting more.
Therefore, be a smart business owner and leverage the affiliates at your disposal. It won’t cost you anything to upload your products on sites such as Warrior Plus or ShareAsale and let affiliates direct leads to it.
6. It Is a Profitable Sales Channel
Affiliate marketing is an essential advertising tool for small to medium-scale businesses with limited budgets.
If done correctly, affiliate marketing can become the most critical and influential sales channel for increasing sales and undertaking brand awareness.
Even the most successful affiliate can generate more revenue and leads for an individual than a traditional campaign such as Television or Newspaper ads can.
That means you don’t have to rely on Facebook or Google ads alone. Sometimes, they may not just generate the results you want. The most important thing is to try out different marketing channels and see which one works for you.
And the great thing with affiliate marketing is once the money starts flowing in, you don’t need to do a lot. You can relax and let the system run on autopilot. Your work will only be to optimize and achieve better results and positive customer feedback.
7. Easy to Start & Manage
It’s easy to start being an affiliate marketer or an affiliate merchant. For a merchant, you don’t need a lot of technical skills. You only need to develop a solution to a problem and package it such that your target audience can consume the information easily.
Let’s walk through the simple steps to help you understand how the process is simple. After creating an offer, find a good affiliate system to upload your offers, upsells, and cross-sells. You can even develop a sales funnel to automate the whole process.
With sites such as ShareAsale, affiliates will sign up to promote your offer based on the niche that you choose. The good thing is most of them have an audience already. That means generating sales isn’t a tussle for them.
You will have already begun generating sales with affiliate marketing within a few days. That’s slightly different from other online marketing channels such as Facebook ads, which require you to be highly skilled in running ads to minimize your marketing budget and maximize your earnings.
How Do I Become an Online Affiliate Marketer?
It’s not a daunting task to become an affiliate marketer and promote a broad range of products. You just need to understand the right affiliate network to join, acquire your affiliate link, and the different strategies to earn money.
However, there is one question we need to answer, “How do affiliate marketers make money?” Well, affiliates’ revenues span a broad range. Some marketers earn hundreds of dollars a month, and some earn six figures a year. The bigger your followers base, the higher the profits.
There are three ways an affiliate can get rewarded based on the customers’ actions:
Not all affiliate networks employ these three ways. ClickBank recently introduced pay per click. ShareAsale had pay per sign up a long time ago. So, do your research and join an affiliate program that can suit your needs.
But how do you become an affiliate marketer?
Here are a few steps to follow:
The first thing you will need is to select an affiliate network from which you will be getting products. An affiliate network is a meeting point between affiliate marketers and affiliates merchants.
It provides an infrastructure to track leads and conversions. It also harbors all the products and provides storage services to the merchants.
There are several affiliate networks that you can join. The most popular ones are ShareAsale, Amazon, ClickBank, Commission Junction, Warrior Plus, and Digistore.
Each of these platforms has different requirements and payment processes. Amazon has a wide range of physical products and accounts for a huge chunk of most affiliates’ revenue. It has low commission rates, though.
ClickBank supports digital products only, just like Digistore. However, ClickBank doesn’t accept affiliates from certain countries. However, it has some of the highest commission rates of up to 70%.
That means you will need to do your research before delving into any network. If you want one with a wide range of products, choose Amazon. ClickBank and Commission Junction will favor those affiliates who want to promote digital products.
The money is in the niche you choose. Don’t just promote any other product. Niche down to a specific sub-domain and dominate there.
There are a lot of niches you can choose from. As you can see on the Amazon website, there are more than 10 categories.
That means you only need to choose one niche you are passionate about. If you are into health and wellness, promote the Keto diet and other health-related products.
You can also promote books on Amazon. I have seen affiliates making a kill here by simply creating a book blog and inserting the affiliate links in the blog posts.
Whichever the case, ensure you choose a niche that you are familiar with because you will easily promote such products.
One of the things smart affiliates are doing is building huge email lists of people interested in a particular line of products.
You can’t rely on SEO or Facebook ads alone. Use them to acquire leads, but an email list is one of the best ways to retarget and bring leads back to your site.
With a FREE lead magnet, it’s easy to build an email list. As long as it solves a particular problem, people will be willing to trade their email address to download it. And once you have them in your pipeline, they will keep on buying more offers from you.
You can grow your affiliate marketing business in several ways. One of them is PPC advertising.
Apart from email marketing, PPC advertising serves as a top-of-funnel marketing technique. It gives forth results almost instantly.
You can start with Facebook ads since most marketers recommend as friendly for beginners and go to Google ads as time passes.
If you combine PPC advertising and email marketing, you will soon reduce the overall marketing cost and optimize your marketing efforts for maximum results.
Advantages of Affiliate Marketing to Affiliates
Here are some of the advantages of affiliate marketing that you need to know before starting out:
It’s Easy to Start
It’s easy to begin an online affiliate marketing business. If you understand a bit of SEO, it won’t cost you anything to create a blog and target search engine traffic. It might take time, but it’s great for passive income and business growth.
With a small marketing budget, too, you can launch profitable Facebook ads, build an email list, and retarget people in your email list with more value-packed offers.
Has a Low Amount of Risks
There aren’t as many risks for merchants allowing affiliates to promote your product since you are not paying anything until you see results. For affiliates, you don’t have to pay to promote a product. If you already have an audience, share with them your affiliate links and see conversions after a few days.
Easy to Execute
With an excellent affiliate marketing strategy, it’s easy to launch a profitable affiliate marketing business. You don’t need many tools to execute it. With the skills and the know-how of generating defined traffic and converting them using emails or phone calls, you are good to go.
What are The Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing?
Even with the many advantages, affiliate marketing has some disadvantages. Let’s check out some of them:
The Merchant Dictates The Rules
One of the cons of affiliate marketing is that the product owner dictates the rules on how you will promote the product and how you will be paid. It can be paid per click, sign up, or a sale. These conditions make it challenging for affiliates since some merchants disqualify affiliates with little to no experience in marketing.
It Takes Time to Get Results
Unlike paid ads and email marketing, affiliate marketing doesn’t produce instant results. You will have to wait to garner enough leads, engage them, and finally convert them. Not all of them convert, but there are always those few who will end up purchasing your affiliate offers.
Some Have Low Commission Rates
Some products, such as those listed on Amazon, have low affiliate rates. That means you will have to bring in many leads if you are to make significant affiliate revenue. There are products with high affiliate rates, though. So, do your thorough research before settling on one.
Questions and Answers
Affiliate marketing has huge advantages for businesses, and most companies use it profitably. It is easy to start and cost-effective in the long run. It can improve your competitiveness and build your authority. It can also act as another revenue channel.
If you want to promote your products as an affiliate merchant, follow the steps outlined in this guide. In addition, if you are aspiring to be an affiliate marketer, there are a lot of benefits of affiliate marketing. Start today, and you won’t regret it.