With the pandemic continuing to hit the high street and slowing down sales, more and more new businesses are choosing to start online. Affiliate marketing is proving to be a more attractive online business model than ever, it’s now a multi-billion pound industry and continuing to grow. It’s also one of the lowest risk methods of earning a living.
So, what is affiliate marketing? In a nutshell, affiliate marketers make money by recommending products and getting a commission fee for every sale made. So far so straightforward. But while you won’t necessarily be risking much or any money if you become an affiliate marketer, it’s also not an easy option.
Success in affiliate marketing does not happen overnight. You need to be prepared to build a loyal and trusting audience and that takes consistency and time. The most successful platforms for affiliate marketers are blogs and YouTube, but Instagram and Podcasting can also work well for the right products. Be prepared to build your audience for at least 6 months before you start to see a reasonable return from affiliate marketing.
A niche focus will always gain you a more loyal following, so don’t try to be everything to everyone. The best affiliate marketers are a ‘go to’ place for niche audiences.
When you have built your niche audience, by delivering consistent, quality content, over a sustained period, how much money can you expect to earn as an affiliate marketer?
Your Affiliate Marketing Earning Bracket
There are a range of earning brackets according to your level. If you are a complete novice, you should expect to earn little or nothing until you are established.
Right at the top end, Affiliate Marketing Guru Pat Flynn has documented the growth of his affiliate marketing business from earnings of $8,000 to $100,000 per month.
According to one survey of established affiliate marketers:
- Affiliate Apprentice – Losing money. You’re at the time investment stage.
- Beginner level– Up to $300 per day. You’re beginning to see a return and if you’re a one-person business you could be making a decent living at this stage.
- Intermediate level – up to $3,000 per day.
- High-Level Affiliate – over $3,000 per day. You’ll have a very popular site and may well be promoting very high-value products.
Know Your Market
Having a clear and good-value niche is essential for affiliate marketing success. You really need to understand your customers and market to make good money in this industry.
The list of programs considered as niches is vast. Some of the highest-value niches include software, travel, e-commerce, dating, fitness and nutrition, and loan affiliate programs. But of course, to become a ‘go to’ site or valued adviser you will need to either have deep knowledge or passion for the niche yourself or be prepared to invest in high-quality content from expert writers.
It also helps to find niches that are not crowded. Keep an eye on retail trends. If a new product is selling well their owners may want to find out all about it. For example, air fryers have been a growing trend in the last couple of years, and the number of searches for ‘air fryer recipes’ has risen alongside that. So if you set up a niche site for air fryer recipes you could include reviews of products with links through to affiliate sales.
Where to find affiliates
Start with your content. When you mention a product, try to find an appropriate affiliate link to connect to. If you search the name of the company with the word ‘affiliate’ it will often take you to information about their affiliate programme.
Most large companies are part of an affiliate network. Those are intermediary organisations that connect publishers like you with advertisers. The main affiliate networks, like CJ.com and Awin.com will give you clear statistics on the number of clicks and purchases users have made. Once you are accepted by an affiliate network you will be able to request to join a large nunber of appropriate affiliate programmes.
Amazon also offer their affiliate programme, Amazon Associates. With the vast range of products offered on the Amazon platform, their affiliate programme has been a mainstay for very many affiliate marketing sites. However the Amazon affiliate commission rate recently dropped substantially, putting many affiliates into a precarious position. It’s a lesson to keep a sharp eye on commission rates, and to diversify and include affiliates from a range of companies in your portfolio.
There are many stories of people who literally started with nothing and are earning up to £10,000 a day with persistence and consistency. If you are lucky enough to start with a good number of followers on your blog or social media then you may be able to move up through the earning brackets more quickly.
Affiliate marketing takes patience at first, yet it can be an easy way to make money if you understand your market and your target audience’s needs. As long as you don’t expect a miracle to happen overnight, there are plenty of opportunities to be had in affiliate marketing.
Now read our tips on how to make more money with affiliate marketing.