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Affiliate Marketing a beginners guide

Here we share research for beginners looking to understand Affiliate Marketing and to find good resources to further explore the subject.

This article was written by my daughter during the early stages of setting up our Accidental Mentor website.  

Examples of affiliate marketing

https://www.bigcommerce.co.uk/blog/affiliate-marketing/#common-types-of-affiliate-marketing-channels  This post goes into detail about the different ways an affiliate will get paid after linking the seller to the consumer.

The first is pay per sale and is the standard affiliate marketing structure where a merchant pay the affiliate a percentage of the sale price of the product after the consumer purchases the product from the affiliate’s recommendation. The affiliate only gets money if the affiliate marketing leads to a sale.

One of the biggest users of this affiliate structure is Amazon which offer rates of 1-10% of product revenue for creators. Amazon sells such a large variety of products that all blog niches will be able to participate in amazon affiliate marketing because there will likely be a product that the blog audiences will have an interest in.

Another way is pay per lead in which the affiliate will be compensated based on the conversion of leads. The affiliate needs to persuade the consumer to visit the merchant website and complete the desired action which will not be a sale but something like filling out a contact form, signing up for a trial of a product, subscribing to a newsletter of downloading software files.

The next way is a program that incentives the affiliate to redirect consumers from their platform to the merchant’s website. The affiliate will be paid based on the result of an increase in web traffic, not getting the customer to commit an action or buy a product.

The post describes how bloggers incorporate affiliate marketing into their blog so that it is still useful, relevant and interest for their blog readers.

One way is that the blogger samples the product or service then writes a comprehensive review that promotes the brand and drives traffic back to the sellers site.

If a blog has a niche topic like cooking or parenting, then the products the blogger promotes will be products that appeal to that audience who have an active interest in that type of product.

https://millmentor.com/home/ This blog mentions ‘millionaire mentor’ Jason Stone who is an instagram influencer with over 3 million followers and was responsible for $7 million in retailer sales in just two months of June and July in 2017 which shows just how profitable affiliate can be at its most successful.     

https://www.adamenfroy.com/best-email-marketing-services The author of this post also wrote an article on the best email marketing services and this is a long list of reviews of different services that includes affiliate links throughout.  

In this post he lists 17 of what he thinks are the best email marketing services and software of 2019 and goes into great detail, showing lots of expertise on the products.

Each of the reviews has a link to the product at the end which he recommends you purchase and that he will get a percentage cut from.   

https://beautifuldawndesigns.net/earn-money-affiliate-programs-bloggers/   This site suggests using shareASale which is an affiliate network that offers all the different types of affiliate marketing (pay per sale, pay per lead and pay per click).

This particular affiliate program network is good for blogging because of its wide marketplace of over 3,900 merchants and it is also easy to use to is good for someone who does not have much experience with affiliate marketing.

Its large selection of merchants covers diverse product areas such as business, photography, computers and electronics, green living, travel, health and fitness and family so there will be possible affiliate products that match the topic of most blogs.

When you click on each affiliate program it tells you all the information about it such as the cookie duration and commission per sale which differs between each merchant. 

Some of the commission per sale are more generous such as creative live which offers online classes in photography, DIY, graphic design and business and this offers 10-25% per sale.

Others offer less commission like snake river farms which sells premier brands of American Wagyu beef, pork and this gives 7% per sale but this would still add up.

https://nichehacks.com/create-affiliate-review-sites/  This post looks at how to make money from being a blog that does reviews.

It discusses the difference between mini review sites and big authority sites.

A major authority site review a large amount of different products in a specific yet fairly broad category such as technology that will focus on cameras tablets and smartphones.

A mini product review site is much more focused and is based on one very specific product and often links to amazon products. For mini sites traffic primarily comes through ranking in search engines thanks to SEO and keyword research however these types of sites are very limited in terms of growth, traffic and income.  

Authority sites give reviews that are very in depth, high quality content and spans multiple pages and these are the most profitable so if you can successfully write expert reviews this method is most likely to bring results.

By having high quality content that readers of the blog really trust the writer and the writer will then be able to build a relationship with the audience and get lots of repeat visitors from previous readers who have had satisfactory advice on what products to purchase.

It cannot have poor content that simply has the aim to draw in traffic and force a click over to the retailer because if it is recommending a poor product, or written poorly the reader will not trust the blog writers opinion on products.  

This type of review blogging is a lot of work because it needs a lot of updating to keep up with the latest trends and lots of knowledge is needed to write to the level of expertise required. Also in the most popular niches such as technology these tend to be overcrowded, so it is difficult to establish yourself.

https://www.techradar.com/uk  Tech radar is an example of one of the biggest successful big authority sites that is monetised through affiliate marketing.

https://masterblogging.com/affiliate-marketing-tips/   This post gives some tips on affiliate marketing. One of these is to research your audience, if you provide affiliate links to products that your audience has not enough interest or desire for then your affiliate marketing will not create you or the merchant any profit.

By making sure your blog is in a focused category, and the readers of your blog are interested in this category then they are more likely to click on the link. If somebody finds your page from searching information about XBOX games they clearly have an interest in buying games rather than books. 

You need to have a blog with a particular niche but try not to select one that is far too niche and specific because even if this category does have a small number of keen followers it won’t lead to a lot of clicks. 

On the other hand also try not to use a blog niche that is far too overcrowded because then readers will most likely stumble upon another blog post before yours.

This post also emphasises how it takes time and dedication to earn money from affiliate marketing. Whilst you won’t have a thousand visitors on the day you started your blog, by marketing yourself, building an audience and generating traffic you can build up your blog.

Once you have more traffic this will lead to more people who have an interest in clicking on your affiliate link. Some people are making a five-figure income from affiliate marketing.

https://www.gamesradar.com/uk/best-xbox-one-games/ this games website is focused on the gaming niche and uses affiliate marketing to link to what it reviews as the best games.