Affiliate Programs

Since the rise of the internet, the topic of affiliate marketing is quite fascinating for most internet users. Most of the people earning from the internet medium are traveling, partying, enjoying, and still earning a decent amount of money and yet to cross their 30s.

Average office goers, keep on dwelling on 9 to 5 jobs but they are yet to make the leap of faith. This article allows them to test the waters just by investing 1 hour per day. All you require is a laptop with an internet connection.

Almost 90% of internet influencers are generating money from a concept called Affiliate marketing, It is the process of referring a product or service and you get commissions based on the value you generated for the offer.

You just need to promote the offer of the advertiser and on every successful action, you will get a certain reward.

Participants in Affiliate Marketing

1)      Advertiser

2)      Offer

3)      Affiliate Network

4)      Affiliate Program

5)      Publisher

An advertiser is essentially a business who wants to increase their business, the product or services the advertiser is willing to sell is called offer.

This advertiser with its offer registers themselves on an affiliate network that acts as a mediator between advertiser and publisher and charges a certain fee for this operational management.

A Publisher is essentially the content creator or promoter who owns certain authority on the internet in terms of followers. A publisher looks for a suitable affiliate program available on affiliate networks. Affiliate programs are designed in a way to suits the needs of the advertiser and also suits the inventory offered by  Publisher.

Generating commissions through every successful value-based referral is called Affiliate marketing.

Types of Affiliate marketing

1)      Involved  affiliate marketing

2)      Uninvolved/Unattached affiliate marketing

3)      Related affiliate marketing

Whenever you use or experience any product or services first then recommend it to someone like in the form of review, feedback, or any other kind of commentary. Such affiliate marketing s called Involved affiliate marketing, usually, it generates better conversions and you have the 100% control over the content and the link you are promoting.

There are affiliate programs like dynamic text links, URL shorteners, dynamic ad spaces, pop up and pop-under networks, wherein you register with them and then affiliate networks decide which ads to be promoted, these are called Uninvolved or Unattached affiliate marketing. Most of the time, such affiliate networks make use of cookies of users to show the most relevant ads that often convert into a sale.

Related Affiliate marketing is when you use the power of your influence, you use the power of your followers and you recommend a product or service through an affiliate link. Many explanation based content works like this way only, for example.  You chose a topic say “web hosting”, you explained the concept and at the end you suggested best hosting providers get started, if anyone completes the purchase web hosting from your affiliate link, you will earn a commission.

What kind of commissions do we get from affiliate networks?

Usually, affiliate commissions are based on sales generated but due to internet consumption varying requirements of advertisers there are different models that work in commission generation and most common are

  1. Pay Per Sale (PPS)
  2. Pay Per Click(PPC)
  3. Pay Per View or Impression(PPV)
  4. Pay Per Install(PPI)
  5. Pay Per Lead(PPL)

Pay Per Sales is the most popular one wherein you will earn your commission rewards when a sale is completed for an advertiser. 

Pay Per click is when the advertiser is willing to pay a certain amount for a link click  irrespective of sales, most suited when you want to gather the interest or promote brands

Pay Per View or Impression is when an advertiser is willing to pay just for the impression of their ads, usually, it is measured in CPM i.e. Cost Per Thousand Impression. So an advertiser will pay a fixed amount for every 1000 impressions of ads.

Pay per install is essentially focused on software and applications, as the current ecosystem is mobile-focused, the installation of apps is coming as an important action. You will get paid whenever someone installs the application from your affiliate links.

Pay per lead is also a very lucrative way of earning referral commissions wherein your job is to drive sign-ups, form fill up, and lead generation. A lead can be a call, message, chat, inquiry, or subscription. You will get a commission of every successful lead.

Why you should choose affiliate marketing to earn money online?

There are many reasons to start with affiliate marketing for working from home and earning money online 

  1. Low Entry Barrier
  2. Single Person Operations
  3. No need to own any product
  4. No need to be expert on the product
  5. Recurring Passive Income
  6. No work timing commitments

Low Entry Barrier:-  You can start with your mobile phone and a single social media account, this is the cheapest investment one can make to get them started into affiliate marketing space. For eg,  say you sign up on amazon affiliate network, you identify a product say mosquito repellant, you create an affiliate link and share a post on a social media say “ this is the best mosquito repellant I have used in last 5 years”, people will click on your link and some will buy it and here you go, you will get your first affiliate commission earning.

Single Person Operations: – You don’t require any staff to get you started or managing your affiliate business. You can perform the signups, content preparation, and promotion by yourself. 

No Need to Own the product:-  Those businesses are best wherein you need not take care of production, designing,  inventory, packaging, delivery, etc. Just need to promote the product earn a revenue share on each sale, all the hassles will be managed by advertisers.

No need to be an expert on the product:- You build your audience and followers, you act as an influencer. Since you gain authority and trust on this audience you can just recommend the product without even knowing the use or functionality of it and still generate some income for you

Recurring Passive Income:-  This is the single most reason people enjoy the benefits of affiliate marketing, you create the content once and people keep on clicking on your affiliate links even while you sleep. True passive income.

No Work Timing Commitments:-  So when people say be your own boss when you start working from home, the statement is 100% true. Unlike traditional 9 to 5 jobs, one can get chose his/her own timings to work on affiliate marketing programs. No boss is going to record your attendance or production hours. You can work for an hour and still be 100% productive.

How do I start affiliate marketing?

Start with deciding it today, make up your mind, and start committing an hour a day. There are two ways you can do it 

  1. Sign up on any affiliate network, check for available programs, create the content based on the chosen product, promote the affiliate links, earn commissions
  2. Identify your passion, develop your content around your passion, check for the products available on the internet related to your content, check for the affiliate network, promote the affiliate link and earn commissions

Which are the top affiliate networks?

There is no one size fits all solutions but here I am about to list a few major affiliate programs that can be joined to start affiliate marketing. Some merchants do not work with affiliate networks, so you won’t find them in any of their directories. Finding these offers is more word of mouth:

  1. Look at other affiliate websites in your niche
  2. Notice what products are being promoted
  3. Find the merchant whose product the affiliate id promoting
  4. See if merchant website has joined as affiliate link on their website
  5. Alternatively, email the merchant directly and ask to promote their product for a commission

There are also special “invite-only” affiliate programs on the market. Some sites grant access to their affiliate program only to those, who have already purchased their product. Another case is when merchants have an individual approval process for affiliates.

These affiliate networks cover most of the niches and are among the most popular ones.

  1. Amazon associates
  2. Share- a- sale
  3. ClickBank
  4. Commission junction
  5. Fiverr

Let’s dig deeper about these affiliate networks

Amazon Associates:-  Amazon Associates is an incredible stage to commence your new pursuit. Your main responsibility is to bring new customers from outer traffic sources to the Amazon site. There are a great many items you can pitch, with new ones being included each day. It’s an extraordinary method to bring in cash. Just sign up, get an interface to search products, and create backlinks and start earning through an amazon associates program.

Clickbank:- ClickBank is one of the largest affiliate networks for digital products, like software and eBooks. Probably the best thing about these types of products is that they tend to have a lot higher commission than physical products. Some commissions can go up to 50% or even 70%. The reason behind this is that digital products have no manufacturing costs per item, so merchants don’t have to worry about affiliate commissions cutting into their margins. Also, after you’ve helped them close the first sale, the merchant will almost every time try to upsell these clients with an even more expensive offer.

Share a Sale:-  It is the oldest and among biggest affiliate networks out there, for more than 20 years in the business, expect among best offers to promote and chose from. Most importantly they have one of the best reporting platforms and among the most honest companies in terms of revenue sharing. 

Expect one of the best customer services in the affiliate marketing industry

Commission Junction or CJ Affiliate:- CJ Affiliate is an incredible program for progressively experienced advertisers, with 300 brands, including a considerable lot of the world’s top brands. The program flaunts 43% year-on-year development in commissions, so it’s an appealing alternative

The only problem with CJ is that you should have a great amount of traffic on your website or blog to get accepted in the CJ affiliate marketing program.

Fiverr Affiliates Program:-  Fiverr is considered as the world’s largest independent digital services marketplace and so many people are providing services moreover it has buyers from all over the world. Since the reputation of Fiverr is rising and many people are joining in to provide service and once that happens Fiverr needs to generate business for these service providers.

It comes with an opportunity for affiliate marketers to create content around Fiverr and earn commissions

Why amazon associates is the best affiliate program?

The Amazon Associates program is set up explicitly to assist people to purchase more amazon listed products. 

When you have joined Amazon Associates as an affiliate, you can exploit the various opportunities available and help amazon inventory to get promoted all over the internet. Amazon keeps on updating its product and service inventory, so you will keep getting new items 

We should view the perks of joining with the Amazon Associates program.

  1. Anyone can join free of cost
  2. Browse over a million items to promote to your audience
  3. Gain up to 12% in promoting products in specific categories.
  4. Effectively add affiliate links to your site inside your Amazon dashboard, utilizing Amazon’s own front-end SiteStripe toolbar, or the Amazon Associates Link Builder WordPress module. 
  5. Market items from various Amazon online portal from anywhere to everywhere throughout the globe. 
  6. Amazon has among the best customer services, not only that it has a big and strong affiliate community to help you grow
  7. Exhaustive and very well organized payment release system, so you cannot go wrong with amazon associate

Also, I believe since amazon mostly has products, with products anyone can create content related to it like

  1. Reviews
  2. Feedbacks
  3. Experiences
  4. How To
  5. Pros and Cons

But because of the latest Coronavirus pandemic, Amazon has to cut down the revenue share incentive programs

As of April 21st, 2020, Amazon reduced the commissions on some product categories, such as:

  1. Furniture, Home, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden, Pets Products, and Pantry: from 8% to 3%
  2. Headphones, Beauty, Musical Instruments, Business, and Industrial Supplies: from 6% to 3%
  3. Outdoors and Tools: From 5.5% to 3%
  4. Sports and Baby Products Categories: from 4.5% to 3%
  5. Health and Personal Care: From 5% to 1%
  6. Amazon Fresh: From 3% to 1%

But that’s not all, Amazon has to take down following giants too

  1. Removing offers from affiliate networks, such as Skimlinks or Sovrn, and connecting with publishers directly.
  2. Pausing a number of affiliate programs, such as BuzzFeed, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which led to some advertisers suspending offers of their own accord.

There are a few reasons behind this, as logistics and delivery are difficult there will be long delays for customers. As a result, some people may ask for a refund, Due to delayed deliveries, some items may take longer in storage and can get a defect which can result in a refund again.

Which in turn increase the overheads for amazon in addition to customer dissatisfaction. That’s not it since most of the deliveries are in delay the storage house has fixed spaces When old stuff not get released then how come new stuff will take transition. 

Amazon cannot afford large numbers of orders as on today, but soon when things get normalized expect a jump in incentives too.

Since large and experienced affiliate marketers have left the amazon associates for now, it has created a great opportunity for new entrants to fill up the shoes. Most importantly when incentives are revised these affiliate marketers have equal chance of getting a large pie in commissions too.

Final Words of advice for new affiliate marketers

Don’t get overwhelmed with a lot of information on the internet and don’t set any incorrect expectations. It is an easy money on the table but requires consistency, commitment, and hard work. 

I strongly recommend selecting one topic and one affiliate program and don’t go after many other affiliate programs. For starters just blindly join amazon associates affiliate program. It has easy to use interface. So many products, so you always have more products to create content around it. 

Get familiar with this affiliate program, gain some experience understand how the affiliate marketing industry is working then decide to continue with it or move to another affiliate program. With time you will get better exposure to experiments.

Happy Commission earning to all of you.

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