What is Affiliate Marketing?

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Would you agree that one thing that most people desire in life is a way to generate passive income? This means being able to make money anytime, from anywhere, and even while one is asleep.

In recent times, one of the most popular ways to generate passive income is Affiliate Marketing!

Let’s understand the concept of affiliate marketing which has turned many ordinary people into millionaires and billionaires.

Image showing a person sleeping on sofa while passive income is being generated for him.

What is Affiliate Marketing & how it works?

Affiliate Marketing is a type of performance-based marketing where one as an ‘affiliate marketer’ (also referred to as ‘Affiliate’) promotes someone else’s products or services.  

In return, the affiliate receives a commission when people buy those products/services through his/her referral.

The sales are tracked via affiliate links posted in website or blogs or products/services landing pages created by the affiliate.

Looking at below recent statistics, one wouldn’t be surprised why affiliate marketing is currently considered as a popular sales strategy to generate significant online revenues:

  • Commissions paid out to Affiliate Marketers is increasing by 10.1% annually in the US alone, and it is projected to hit the $6.8 billion mark by 2020.
  • 15-30% of all sales for advertisers is generated by affiliate programs which are at par with SEP and PPC marketing. (Source: Authority Hacker)
  • 81% of brands and 84% of publishers are already leveraging the power of affiliate marketing.
  • Affiliate Marketing accounts for 15% of the today digital media advertising. (Source: Business Insider)
  • 35% of the affiliates earn over $20000 every year, out of this 12% make over $75000 as an affiliate income. (Source: Ink Well Editorial)
  • Awin, the global affiliate network, distributed around $734 million among more than 100,000 contributors in 2018.

Image showing a loud speaker speaking dollars to depict the potential to generate income with affiliate marketing

Let’s understand how affiliate marketing works in 5 simple steps:

  1. You pick a ‘niche’ for the product(s) or service(s) to promote (we will talk about it shortly).
  2. You join the best ‘affiliate program’ for the selected niche (you will get a unique affiliate link including unique affiliate ID).
  3. You join the best ‘affiliate networks’ for the selected affiliate program(s).
  4. You share the affiliate link via various channels such as Social media, Blog, Website or Landing Page, YouTube videos, Facebook ads or any other form.
  5. When someone makes a purchase via your affiliate links, you earn a handsome affiliate commission.

Deciding the most profitable ‘Affiliate Niche.’

A product or service that you can promote based on your field of business is precisely an affiliate niche. For example, if your business revolves around the fashion world, then ideally, your affiliate niche would focus on fashion-related products, such as clothing, sunglasses, etc.

But what if you haven’t started a business yet? What if you are still in the process of researching and deciding which affiliate marketing business to begin with?

In the above scenario, your best option would be to either follow your passion or to simply figure out what people want and what kind of products/services they are looking for?

Market research plays a crucial role in identifying the product or service which people demand the most.

Affiliates are most successful when the products or services they promote match the interests of their followers and subscribers.

Also, many successful affiliate marketers advise recommending and promoting only products or services that the affiliate is personally familiar with.

That’s because familiarity with the product, service, or program helps to build trust between the affiliate and end-user.

Also, some affiliate marketers sell both low and high price products to reach the full spectrum of users.

Sometimes we tend to overlook high price products assuming they would be harder to promote.

If you are looking to generate revenues of $2000, then which would be easier to sell out of 3 cases listed below?

  1. Selling 200 products of $10
  2. Selling 20 products of $100
  3. Selling 2 products of $1000

Most of you would probably choose option #3 as only 2 products need to be sold to generate revenues of $2000.

Ultimately if you genuinely believe in the chosen product and know that it is a value for money and quality product then go for the high-value product.

Based on intensive research, we have identified 10 most popular and profitable niches among successful affiliate marketer as below (the list is no particular order):

  • Health & Wellness (30-40% commission)
  • Fashion (15% commission)
  • Beauty (15% commission)
  • Hobbies (10% commission)
  • Online Courses (10-30% commission)
  • Books (10% commission)
  • Medical equipment & medical support (10% commission)
  • Pets (10-30% commission)
  • Fitness (15-30% commission)
  • Dating & Relationship (Up to 75% on initial orders)

Depending on which category you are passionate about or have expertise in – you should go with your own personal choice.

However, when it comes to choosing the most profitable niches for affiliate marketing, then we highly recommend exploring the above listed 10 niches.

Factors to consider while choosing the best ‘Affiliate Programs’ for your niche

Once you have zeroed down the affiliate niche, the next step is to research for the most profitable affiliate program for that niche.

Affiliate Programs, also known as associate programs, are arrangements where an online merchant or advertiser who is selling products pays an affiliate website a commission for any sales generated from their referral traffic.

As per the commission structure of the merchant’s affiliate program, an agreement between an affiliate and a merchant is set whether it will be Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Pay-Per-Sale (PPS), or Pay-Per-Lead (PPL).

There are numerous programs for each niche in the market, so you need to do thorough research for the most profitable & viable affiliate program for your selected niche.

Some of the key factors to consider for the high paying affiliate programs are as below:

  • Commission Rate – The % from the sale proceeds that are paid by an advertiser to an affiliate for referring a new customer to them.
  • Average Order Value (AOV) – It is the average dollar amount spent when a customer completes an order. AOV can be calculated by merely dividing total revenue by the number of purchases.
  • Earnings Per Click (EPC) – It is the revenue an affiliate earns for each click to an advertiser’s website through an affiliate link.
  • Cookie Duration – A cookie is a value stored in the end user’s computer to track affiliate sales. The duration is the time length for which the cookie stays on the user’s system after clicking an affiliate link.

As an example, with a 15-day cookie duration, if a user clicks an affiliate link and makes a purchase within 15 days, the affiliate receives credit for the sale. Typically, 30 days is standard cookie duration.

One should focus on high commission rates, high AOV, potential EPC, and long cookie durations.

 Join an ‘Affiliate Network’

An Affiliate Network acts as an intermediary between merchants, affiliate programs and affiliates (publishers). Joining an affiliate network benefits both merchants and affiliates.

Affiliate networks allow publishers the ability to search through various merchant affiliate programs and join them in one place.

Furthermore, they allow merchants to reach a larger audience and promote their business to all the affiliates in the network.

Image showing the names and logos of different affiliate networks

Again, there are vital factors to consider while selecting among the best affiliate networks:

  • Make sure the affiliate network has a lot of merchants in your chosen niche.
  • Try to join the one which is 100% free as almost all affiliate networks are free to join.
  • Go for the one which has high levels of customer support.
  • Make sure you join an affiliate network with high paying merchants to earn high commissions from your sales.

Basis of our research, some of the best Affiliate Networks in 2019 are as below:

Affiliate Marketing Channels

To get traffic for the products or services you are trying to promote, the following marketing channels can be leveraged:

Create great content

Create engaging content and follow best practices of content marketing. Your post should provide a comprehensive review that compellingly promotes the product or service and drives traffic back to the seller’s site.

Use effective SEO techniques

Practice best SEO strategies and drive quality traffic from search engines just like we do for any blog post.

Use Paid Campaigns

Apart from gaining organic (free) traffic via SEO and social media networks, you can also get paid traffic via paid ad campaigns on platforms like Facebook, Google Ads, and other ad networks.

Email List

Having a list of email subscribers within your niche can help you drive more conversions. Ideas like creating a giveaway such as a free e-book or some relevant free tip in exchange for their email works well.

Your audience will be more inclined to buy from your suggestions once you’ve built up trust with them to keep the money rolling in from affiliate sales.

Leverage the Power of Niche Influencers

Influencer marketing is getting popular in recent years. These days many brands choose to work with many social influencers and bloggers in their niches.

Influencers have more honest relationships with their followers. They can effectively get their audience to trust your brand and convince them to use your products or services.

They may not send vast amounts of traffic to advertisers, but the audience they do send is targeted, credible, and has higher conversion rates.

Optimize Your Product Pages for Conversions

Optimized product pages can boost your affiliate marketing strategies and help you retain customers.

You need to ensure simple things like your site loads fast, the display is impressive with high-quality product photos, engaging product description with enough information to help your customers buy the product they want.

Lastly, you should clearly feature customer reviews to build trust.

Benefits of becoming an affiliate marketer

  1. Work from any part of the world

You do not need to travel for work or anything. There is no expense for any travelling.

  1. No investment

When starting a business, there is usually a need to invest. But in this, you do not have to make any investments and is risk free.

  1. Work without employees

You do not need to hire any employees to do your business; you can earn while doing affiliate marketing yourself only.

  1. Reach a wide range of customers

Reach a wide range of customers through affiliate marketing, no matter where they may be located. Affiliate marketing offers a wide range of spectrum to reach the audience.

How to become a successful affiliate marketer?

  1. Stay Consistent

It is essential to be consistent when you are doing affiliate marketing. To become successful, you should keep the efforts up and not do it for the sake of it. Only consistent efforts will help you to reach the top.

  1. Make a good name in your niche

When you build a good reputation in your niche, people will trust you more and will be more willing to buy from your website.

Make a name for yourself by promoting your website and reaching more people. The more traffic you will have, the more successful you will be.

  1. Learn about the products you are selling

It is essential to know about the products you are selling. When you know about every product which is there on your website, it will help you to offer better to the customers.

People like to buy from a site which has excellent products. Keep updating the products and replace with the best ones.


affiliate marketing


Final Thoughts

Affiliate marketing is an ideal solution if you don’t want to be in the 9-5 corporate rut and looking to gain control of your own income from the comfort of your home.

And that too without worrying about producing your own product or service.

There are many success stories of affiliates becoming millionaires. Jason Stone, the much talked about successful affiliate marketer also known as Millionaire Mentor, made $7 million in retail sales in 2018. He is also an Instagram influencer having 3.3 million followers.

However, you need to realize that it can’t happen overnight. You need to choose the right niche, best affiliate programs & networks, channels, and affiliate marketing strategies to boost conversions.

You’ll be able to engage your audience, convert passive readers into active consumers, and enhance your paycheck one click at a time following the tips included in this article.

Have you ever used affiliate marketing for your business? Which strategy do you find to be the most effective? Please share with us in the comments below.

If you are keen to get into affiliate marketing and looking for advice and guidance, our experts can help you get started. Do leave us a message on the contact page and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

6 thoughts on “What is Affiliate Marketing?”

  1. Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
    It’s on a totally different tlpic but it has prettry much the same page layout and
    design. Great choice of colors!

    1. Hello Khorshed,

      Thanks for visiting our official blog. We appreciate your encouraging feedback. Happy to be helpful to someone in need. Keep visiting our blog for more such posts.

  2. Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize your blog, especially when you don’t sell products or services. Joining an affiliate program can get you exclusive access to new content and special deals for your audience all while earning you more money. It is one of the best ways to make money online. And you’ve shared a very accurate post here. Thanks for this knowledge.

    1. Netilly Support

      You are most welcome. We do agree with you. Thanks for your valuable reply. We do post a new article every week, keep visiting our blog.

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