Biz Tips: Affiliate Marketing 101 & Why You Need It in Your Business Strategy

Biz Tips: Affiliate Marketing 101 & Why You Need It in Your Business Strategy


Affiliate Marketing 101 & Why You Need It in Your Business Strategy

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

From: Encinitas

Dear Friend,

Today, I wanted to share an introductory article on affiliate marketing — what it is, the benefits of it, and why you should have it in your overall business model. There’s a lot of people who don’t understand this powerful marketing and business strategy and this article is designed to help them better understand the concept.

Now, in this article, I’m going to focus more on being affiliate instead of the parent company (the party that owns the product/service).

I believe it’s one of the best strategies you can take advantage of even if you have your own products/services.

So, what is affiliate marketing?

In its simplest form, affiliate marketing is when you earn a commission for referring a sale of a product/service that’s created and managed by another company/person.

A company who wishes to have their products and services marketed and distributed creates affiliate programs and virtually anyone has the ability to join a program (typically for free) and has the ability to start promoting the company’s products and services.

Sometimes, a company will do a check and require you to provide some information about your business in order to see if you’re the right fit for their company. They may look into your audience or business type to ensure you meet their requirements.

Typically, they’ll look at candidates with some type of influence, a platform (i.e. social media), or some vehicle to reach their potential customers.

Once you’re in the program, the company usually offers you training or helpful resources (links, banners, copywriting swipes, etc.) to make sure you have all the information and tools you need to be successful.

Why? Because your success is also their success!

As an affiliate, you’re provided with a unique link(s) that is tied to your account. If someone clicks on your link, a cookie is placed on their browser which is used to track if and when they purchased.

When someone decides to purchase a product or sign up for a service after clicking your unique link (usually within a certain time window), you’ll earn a commission for that sale.

So, why would a company offer affiliate programs? Well, it’s because it’s an efficient way of marketing their products and services.

You see, a company can go out there and spend a boatload of cash advertising the old school ways. But there are two main flaws in this approach…

Flaw #1: It’s tough to track their return on investment

Flaw #2: Their products/services may not even be getting to the right audience

As a result, a ton of ad costs are essentially wasted. And as a business, that’s simply not the result you desire.

When a company/person uses affiliates, they only need to pay commissions (advertising costs) AFTER a sale is made. Not before sales are made which is what happens when buying banners or marketing in magazines, billboards or newspapers. And that’s not to say that those methods are effective.

Plus, companies get to target people who are more likely to buy their stuff based on the affiliate and their type of audience.

So, as people click on your links, the company tracks those clicks and will know which sales were generated by you and give you credit/commissions for it.

Does that make sense?

What types of programs are out there?

Well, there are a ton of different programs out there. Most of the major brands and companies you already know and love likely have some affiliate program. One of the biggest (if not THE biggest) is Amazon.

But there are affiliate programs in virtually every market and space out there — health, fitness, weight loss, marketing, electronics, books, and so many more. There are even affiliate programs for software which is great, especially ones with recurring payments which will pay you recurring commissions for every month!

A simple google search with ‘(market/niche/specific company) affiliate program’ will be sure to give you a ton of results on who has programs in that space.

You can also go to a companies website, scroll to the bottom, and search for ‘Affiliate’, ‘Partner’ program, or something similar in nature.

And if a company or product doesn’t have a special affiliate program, you can always try to find it on Amazon because they have everything! Well, almost everything.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing…

So, why add affiliate marketing to your business strategy?

Here are several reasons and benefits of affiliate marketing in general…

· Don’t have to create the product/service which can be time consuming

· Don’t have to handle customer service, the company takes care of all of that

· Don’t have to design a website that displays the product/service

· Don’t have to create the sales copy to try to sell the product

· Don’t have to handle the sales process

· Don’t have to be the expert, the company will answer questions about the products/services

· Don’t have to deliver the product/service to the customers. One of the biggest pains is shipping and actually getting the product/service to the end-consumer.

· Don’t have to spend money to create the product/service which can require some upfront capital

· Don’t have to deal with returns

So, that list was made up of all the things that you don’t need to do. It’s comprised of a lot of the aspects of a business that cause most people and companies headaches and high blood pressure.

What do YOU actually have to do as an affiliate?

Basically, your goal as an affiliate is to send people (from your website, social media, or email list, etc.) to an offer that can help them in some way. It should solve a problem, fulfill a need, or meet a desire.

You’re basically just sharing information and your affiliate links. If someone decides to buy, great. If not, that’s okay too.

But you’re at least offering them a solution to satisfy a need or an itch they have.

And as an affiliate, it’s super-efficient and there’s virtually no risk (or very little).

It’s a win-win-win. Win for the customer because they get a product to solve their problem or meet a need. Win for the company because they generate sales. And last (and certainly not least), a win for you because you earn a commission for helping the other 2 parties win.

Why you need it in your business?

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Using affiliate marketing can be very lucrative in itself without ever having to create your own product if you don’t want to. Especially if you’re new and looking to build an online business.

As I mentioned in the benefits section above, you don’t have to deal with many of the tedious and headache-inducing activities that come along with having your own product or service.

If you have your own products or services, promoting affiliate products will help diversify income so you’re not just dependent on one stream of income.

The great thing about adding income streams from affiliate sources is that you don’t have to build out new customer support teams like you would if you kept creating your own products.

As an established business, you can find affiliate products/services that complement your own product or service.

Let’s say for example that you have a weight loss supplement and that’s your area of expertise. You could partner with other companies that offer fitness products to help solve your customers’ needs where you may not or want to.

It’s a win all around for all parties involved.

So, where can you use your affiliate links?

Affiliate links can be used in so many different places. From your emails, blog posts, YouTube, Social media, e-book, and even PDF files.

If you look at the top people earners on YouTube, they typically have links for the equipment they use to make their videos and the products they’re actually reviewing in the video. Those link clicks and sales really ad up.

Plus, they’re not even really pushing those links hard so it can be a great “passive” strategy.

For blog posts, links can typically be found in review articles or even just through the text if any sort of product or service is mentioned.

Things to keep in mind and some potential pitfalls

So, every company and program has their own rules for when it comes to their affiliate program. From the commission percentages, the cookie window, or when and how often they pay out — each program is unique.

Now, one pitfall is that if someone clicks on your link in one browser (let’s say Firefox) and a cookie gets placed but then they buy using a different browser (let’s say Chrome), you won’t get the credit for it because the cookie is placed in a specific browser.

And if someone clicks on your link (and a cookie gets placed) but then they decide to wait and then click on someone else’s link, the other person will get credit for the sale. That’s just the way it is.

Wrap Up

So that’s an introductory lesson into affiliate marketing and why it’s an awesome strategy to implement into your overall online business model.

It’s efficient, low cost, low maintenance, and potentially very lucrative because of the high profit margins.

If you have an online business, it should definitely be one of your streams of income so you can diversify but also complement your own products/services (if you have any).

This will further help your audience or customers meet their problems or needs.

Hope that helps you in your online business journey.

Sincere wishes for a great life,

Dan Lu

P.S. If you’re looking for an affiliate marketing business that’s essentially made for you, you can check out the done-for-you Shareable Business.

Call to Action

Looking for more life-changing tools and content? I’ve compiled the resources that have helped me in various areas of life — personal development, self-growth, finance, marketing, and business.

Whether you’re looking for books to read, how to overcome fears in your life, or how to start an online business, you’ll find useful content there.


About the Author

Dan Lu is an author/writer who specializes in the areas of personal development, entrepreneurship, and marketing. He is the creator of the Feardeology concept (a philosophy on how to leverage fear for positive life change) and the founder of Lifestyle Alchemedia.

His mission is to improve the lives of others through sharing insights, tools, and strategies in self-improvement as well as online entrepreneurship.

If you enjoyed or received value from this story/article, please give it a clap & share it with others. It could very well be the article that makes a positive shift in their life.

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