Affiliate marketing is the type of marketing when you receive a commission for recommending a product or service to your audience using an affiliate link or an individual coupon code.
Affiliate marketing is a very common way to make money online as passive income. The amount of money you can earn depends on the type of affiliate program you choose, the product you sell, your audience and many other factors.
Let’s dive deeper into affiliate marketing, learn how you can start earning with it and what you need to do from scratch.
Can You Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
But to do so, you need to work hard at the beginning, even before you actually become an affiliate marketer. This investment of time and effort at the start will pay off soon enough even allowing you to quit your main job.
There are many profitable niches to choose from, and you can get started with little investment. But note this: affiliate marketing is not a way to earn money swiftly. It takes a lot of time, patience, and effort before creating an actual effective strategy and earning solid amounts of money.
Affiliate Marketing: Getting Started
One of the good things about affiliate marketing is that anyone can earn from it. This is an affordable way to start making money online. Most affiliate programs or networks have fairly low bars to entry, so you can get started right away.
The biggest investment required to get started as an affiliate marketer is time. If you're really starting from scratch, you need to spend lots of time doing competitor analysis, building your audience, and creating quality content.
Is Marketing Experience Required to Become an Affiliate Marketer?
If you have never worked as a marketer before, don’t be afraid. When you just start, there’s no need to focus on this. All the skills and knowledge you need will come as you start your work.
What you need to concentrate on is how you can grow your audience to who you will sell products, what platforms you will use and which content to create to keep the audience engaged.
So don't be discouraged if you don't know anything about marketing. Affiliate marketing is very accessible and you don't need to hire specialists to understand how it works
If you strive for development, you are on the right track.
Affiliate Marketing in a Nutshell
When you just start getting acquainted with affiliate marketing, there might be terms that will be unfamiliar to you. Here are some of them for you to know.
Advertiser. In affiliate marketing, the advertiser is the creator of the product or service. This is typically a brand or company that you will work with as a partner to promote their products. They will pay you a commission every time your link or a coupon code is used for a sale.
Publisher or Affiliate. This term refers to an affiliate marketer (you). The publisher is someone who creates content and links to affiliate products on various marketing channels and platforms and gets paid if their links are used by consumers to buy advertiser’s products.
Consumer. This is your target audience. You need to give some effort to realise who your consumers are and what content they like. This knowledge will help you turn them into buyers more effectively.
How Affiliates Get Paid
When choosing an affiliate program, it is important to keep in mind how exactly you will be paid. There are several payment methods you may come across, so let's take a look at each one so you can understand how it works.
PPS (Pay Per Sale)
Payments are made for the sale. This model is quite simple and is often used in affiliate programs. Pay per sale means that the advertiser pays the publisher a commission for every sale made using your affiliate link or a coupon code.
The amount you receive from each sale will vary depending on the type of product you are promoting.
PPL (Pay Per Lead)
Pay per lead is similar to pay per sale, but with a different purpose. Publishers are paid by the PPL model every time they convince their audience to perform a certain action, such as a newsletter subscription, leaving a phone number or an email address, etc.
So PPL is the payment for the contact details of a potential buyer.
PPV (Pay Per View)
Blogs owners and webmasters receive money for the number of displays of advertising they place on their sites. It is usually considered as payment for 1000 impressions (CPM - Cost Per Mile). In this case, the number of clicks or purchases is not counted.
PPC (Pay Per Click)
Pay per click. The advertisers pay for the click made by a user on their site. If your affiliate link is correlated with increased traffic on the advertiser’s site, you get paid.
Revshare (revenue share)
The Revshare model is very similar to PPC, but you get a certain percentage from the sale for the entire duration of the customer's activity. Thus, you get a percentage of the total sales of a qualified referral. For example, an affiliate program guarantees 15% of every repeated sale made with your affiliate link for the entire lifetime of a customer.
Affiliate Links and Cookies
Affiliate links are unique links that you get as an affiliate from a company or brand. When a customer who visits your site, blog or YouTube channel clicks on your link and makes a purchase or any action as agreed in the affiliate program, the program tracks it and you get paid.
If the link you get from the merchant is too long, you can use services like bit.ly to shorten it and insert it in your Instagram bio, YouTube video description or blog article.
Once you become an affiliate, choose products that are relevant to your target audience and your content.
Another important part of affiliate marketing, apart from programs, niches and commissions, is cookies. When you choose an affiliate product, you should check how long the cookies last.
Cookies are stored on visitors' computers every time they use your link to go to a product page. And if they come back to the site within a certain period of time and make a purchase, you will receive a commission.
Cookies lifetime differs from program to program and might last 180 days, 7 days, 30 days and so on.
6 Steps to Become an Affiliate Marketer
The first thing you need to do as an affiliate is to build your earning strategy. Here's how to get started with a few steps:
- Choose a niche
You should be thinking about the niches that interest you most, though there are some high-competition niches that are quite profitable.
Once you identify a niche, you should narrow it down even further if there’s high competition. This is an effective way to gain expertise in the niche and get quality traffic.
We’ll name some of the most popular niches below.
- Select a platform
The platform where you will attract your audience is important. This might be a YouTube channel if you feel comfortable in front of a camera. Or a blog on Medium or WordPress if you like writing. If you love social media, then Instagram or TikTok blogs will also be fine.
Each platform has different requirements and algorithms, so it is important to determine what you want to spend your time on. And don't forget you’re not limited to one platform only. Creating a YouTube channel along with a blog on Medium is a great strategy to reach a wider audience.
- Research the market, competitors and your target audience
Understanding the market and an advertiser’s competitors is key to successfully selling a product and earning more. It will also be useful for your content creation process and reaching your target audience.
- Find which type of content you want to create
Now that you know your target audience, decide what kind of content you’d like to share. Product or service reviews, tutorials and how-tos, long reads, Instagram posts or TikTok short videos - choose something you’d love to do on a regular basis and what your target audience is expecting to see.
- Find an affiliate program or network
Today, there’s hardly a big company or even a startup that doesn’t have its own affiliate program. Businesses need more customers and sales, that’s why they turn to affiliate marketing and seek affiliates among blog owners, social media influencers, YouTube creators and webmasters.
You can find an affiliate program by surfing the website of your favourite brand or company or just googling some highest paying programs.
4K Download is not an exception, either. We do have an affiliate program you might be interested in. Becoming our affiliate, you will get 50% of the revenue per sale as a commission from orders placed through an affiliate link.
If you want to apply for our affiliate program, just use the link above.
- Promote your affiliate links
As soon as you’ve found a perfect affiliate program, you need to start promoting affiliate links given to you by a merchant. At this stage, you need to know which content to produce to give the advertiser maximum exposure and traffic.
Product reviews work great for the purpose. Some other content that will work is comparison articles and videos, how-tos and tutorials, and lists of products.
Top 4 Niches in Affiliate Marketing
There are countless niches you can choose from if you want to become an affiliate marketer. Just as many as there are businesses. But some of them offer you more opportunities than others. This list is not exhaustive and you don’t have to jump into the niche if you’re not interested in it.
Like we said above, it’s better to choose a niche that you love and have some knowledge about.
Gaming, Gambling & Betting
Casinos’, bookmakers’ and online gaming affiliate programs will help you earn solid revenues because they constantly attract new players to their sites. There is no income ceiling in such affiliates, your task here is to find high-quality traffic.
Besides, this niche is usually regulated by the authorities of almost all countries or states and is of great competition.
Cryptocurrency affiliates make money by attracting customers to crypto exchanges, mining services, exchangers, and ICO projects. Today, cryptocurrencies are at their peak of popularity providing their affiliates with high income.
Dating sites are growing these dates just like crypto, so making money from dating affiliate marketing is something you should try.
Dating affiliates usually pay for registering a user on a dating site.
Financial affiliate programs include banking products, microcredits, binary options and other financial services. They pay for applying for a loan, receiving a card or registering in the system.
Platforms to Use for Affiliate Marketing
Here are some options you can choose from when deciding which platform to use for affiliate marketing. Remember, that the more platforms you use, the more people you will reach and thus, you’ll earn more money.
If you’re an expert in some niche, have something to share with people and love writing, a blog is your ideal choice.
Besides, blogging is one of the best ways to reach your target audience with organic search traffic because it allows you to use SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
There are many factors that determine an article's search ranking, some of which are keywords, blog hosting or website authority, number of backlinks, and more.
The good news is that there are many free and easy-to-use blogging solutions where you can publish articles that will be indexed by search engines, for example, Medium, WordPress, and Ghost.
If you’re an avid Instagram, TikTok or Twitter user who has large followership, you can use your hobby as a source of income. To monetize your social media presence, you can become an affiliate and sell products right on your social pages.
YouTube is another great platform for affiliates.
Video content gives you the opportunity to actually showcase a product you sell. Sometimes it is easier to make sales using video content because users can see with their own eyes the advantages of certain products.
Email is the most underrated channel for affiliate marketing. To get the most out of it, you should connect it with another platform you use, such as a blog, and convert leads into buyers.
If you listen to podcasts, you’ve probably noticed these short ad breaks when a speaker talks about some product. Often, the podcast host gets a commission if you use their affiliate link or a coupon code used in the podcast. So if you love podcasting, consider affiliate marketing as monetization of your expertise.
If you're new to affiliate marketing, learning the ins and outs at the start can be a little tricky. So if you’re just starting out, we recommend you focusing on your content and choose an affiliate program thoroughly.