Affiliate Marketing

by Anca Iusan
eCommerce Guides

We live in a technology-driven world and while having a 9-to-5 was the order of the day, the repetitive routine is boring and nothing to write home about.

While affiliate marketing combines the ingenuity of a computer, the internet, loads of patience, and a sprinkle of determination to scale through the learning process. If you can do this, you will succeed in this business space, or you lose. It is that simple.

So while we are excited about the thrills and revenue that successful affiliate marketing brings to you, have you ever thought about how affiliate marketing started.

We are just asking, but we will answer too. So to enlighten you, here we go. A young man named William J. Tobin began the process and earned the coveted title as the world’s first internet marketer.

This is good.

However, another man, Tobin, conceptualized this idea, and he put it into play with the Prodigy network program. Similar to what affiliate marketing is now, and he generated more than $6million annually.

Today Affiliate marketing is the best way to monetize your website, e-commerce page, and blogs whether you sell products, services, or not. Additionally, you do not have to acquire any unique skills but learn how to do affiliate marketing and shoot for the sky. There are so many benefits to affiliate marketing, such as exclusive access to the latest products or services, special deals, and extra income by the side.

If you are still contemplating if this is something for you, think no more. Since Affiliate marketing graced our society, this non-stop and expanding industry has grown into leaps and bounds and is worth 12 billion US dollars today. So which products do you need to promote to make it as an affiliate marketer?

Well, if you are good at convincing people, marketing any products or services is a win, but according to Finances Online, the top three categories Affiliate marketers prefer are:

  • Computer & electronics
  • Clothing and apparel
  • Online service

The top three sources affiliate market uses to generate paying traffic are:

  • SEO
  • Blogs
  • Social media and social networks

Finally, the top three affiliate networks are:

  • Amazon affiliate
  • CJ Affiliates
  • Rakuten affiliate network

Now, it is easy to make your choice when joining an affiliate network.

When discussing affiliate marketing, you must understand that the two words embody two sections, namely affiliate network and affiliate programs.

While most people innocently mix and misuse them, they are different as the work you put in and the income you make varies too.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing means earning a commission from brands or service owners by promoting their products and services. From the good old days, affiliate marketing is the most way many people use to make a decent living.

So if you are looking to make some good money online, affiliate marketing is a legitimate way aside from running ads, clicking ads, and many simple methods people accumulate money.

What is an affiliate network?

In an affiliate network, you act as the middleman between the affiliate and the merchant. The role of the affiliate network is to showcase affiliate marketing offerings and affiliate programs to potential affiliate marketers and look for ways to connect with them and partake in their programs.

This way, affiliate programs connect with people and consumers who take advantage of their deals and special offers.

What is an affiliate program?

In layman’s terms, an affiliate program is an agreement between a brand and you (a marketer, influencer, or business). The company pays you for promoting and sending traffic or sales your way. The influencer can utilize any method to convince consumers to like/love the products and ultimately purchase them. The affiliates get a unique link that consumers can click on, and brands can track to measure sales by you.

Tips

In affiliate marketing, people will buy and tell others to buy, and if you are honest about your sales or marketing strategy. For example, it would be unfair to promote a brand that sells pork as a healthier meat option when you do not like or eat pork.

That would be consumer betrayal and could cause you to lose following if you are an influencer. The three-way affiliate marketers make money from affiliate programs are:

  • Recommending products or brands to people or followers
  • You help the company to make sales
  • They use your platform to reach communities or consumers they would otherwise not do

How to become an affiliate marketer?

This is the most recurrent question we get from newbies that want to venture into this space. Come to think of it, affiliate marketing is like starting a business, so what is your business plan like?

In affiliate marketing, you do not have to worry about aspects like inventory, qualification, hiring, or paying any staff. It is just you, your internet skills, and the willingness to learn and follow the trends.

Affiliate marketing is passive income, and unless you have an income-generating strategy, affiliate marketing can be an income source to live your dream life upon. So if you are keen on making money while you sleep via affiliate marketing, these are some things to know and remember.

Finding a niche / choosing a niche

There are countless niches, so clearly finding one is never the problem but choosing one is what every affiliate marketer must diligently look into before delving into one or more. Before we go ahead, we have a tip for you; always choose the niche that makes you bubbly and excited.

 If you choose the wrong niche, we can guarantee that you will have challenges selling or convincing a buyer.

If you have a clear answer for the following questions, you are ready.

  • Can you sell the brand, product, or service?
  • Are you passionate about it and will defend it at all times.
  • How consistent are you?
  • Is the demand for your niche high?
  • How will the product improve or positively affect people’s lives
  • How many other affiliate programs and marketers work within the niche?

Your choice is not a problem, but you need patience, dedication, and willingness to pursue it to the end.

How high is the demand for the product?

If nobody is asking, you will not be selling. So when you have chosen the niche, evaluate the market demand for it and how much people are willing to pay or purchase it.

If the demand is high, it is easy to convert shoppers to buy from you. However, if the product or service is unique and scarce but vital, it will sell too.

Who is in it with you?

Your competition is crucial. As a beginner affiliate marketer, you must know your competition. If they are highly known influencers, you have two choices; delve head deep with a killer strategy or find another niche that will enable you to learn and grow.

Apps like ClickBank and Ubersuggest are a way to analyze the competition in the chosen niche.

Research the Affiliate Programs

Getting started in affiliate marketing needs a lot of research and should include what affiliate marketing model they use, affiliate commission, and devise affiliate marketing strategies that would work with the chosen program. 

Affiliate Marketing Models

 The affiliate marketing models are methods that allow you to earn. They are:

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) – the affiliate gets paid by the online traffic they send to the brand’s website.
  • Pay-per-lead PPL – in this case, the affiliate marketer gets paid for every lead that is converted by signing up for a program, submitting their email or buying a product, or accepting a service.
  • Pay-per-sale (PPS) – in this situation, the affiliate marketer gets their commission when a sale is initiated and completed.

What is your affiliate marketing strategy? 

Affiliate marketers adopt two strategies to establish themselves online and earn the affiliate marketing commissions that come with the process. The methods are running paid ads or websites, like blogs, social media, or other marketing means.

You must remember that affiliate marketing is a web-based business that connects people with vendors and merchants online.

Once you have the above steps checked, it is time to develop the content strategy. This is easy using informative content about the products and how it benefits your consumers. 

Do not forget to keep the three strategies listed above by Finances Online.

So, does affiliate marketing work?

We have gotten a lot of negatives, but affiliate marketing works.


The above image is a summary of how affiliate works. Oblivious is the amount of work, time, energy, and dedication the affiliate marketer put in, but they are well compensated with their earnings.

Affiliate marketing comprises of three parts:

  • The merchant or brand offering the product or service
  • The affiliate that publishes or advertises the products and services using the tools at their disposal
  • The consumer that sees the publication and clicks on it to make a purchase

So how do you make money?

Well, everyone on the chain benefits something from this process. The merchant makes a profit, the affiliate gets his affiliate marketing commission, and the consumer receives the product or service they desire.

However, you cannot make money as an affiliate without the affiliate link or the right affiliate marketing strategy.

What is an affiliate link?

Before you can start making money online as an affiliate, you need an affiliate link that consumers will click when they like the products and are willing to buy through you.

The affiliate link is usually given by the affiliate program you choose to join, and it is used to track every sale or click that happens.

The more clicks on your link or sales through your link, the more affiliate marketing commissions you earn.

Disclaimer: Being an affiliate is not an easy job in the world, and depending on the product of choice, you can scale from $0 to $1000 plus in months, years, or even more.

However, when you make your first $1,000, you should get the hang and device appropriate affiliate marketing strategies to boost traffic, clicks, and sales.

What are the best affiliate programs 2021?

Amazon Associates

This is one of the world’s largest and trusted online stores and one of the best affiliate programs for beginners too. The program has its flaws, but if you need to start with a store that gives you countless options in products and services, then Amazon Associates is it.

Beginners to affiliate programs will enjoy Amazon because almost everybody has an account on this e-commerce platform, making it easier to sell and promote your business.

To start on the Amazon affiliate program, visit their website and sign up, but Amazon affiliate programs work according to the country you are in, so you must ensure you have the link assigned to your country, else it is a waste, and it has a 30-day cookie window.

Grammarly Affiliate Program

Grammarly is the world’s best proofreading software and the writing assistant for millions looking to improve their English, especially bloggers and content creators.

While the platform affiliate program comes with incredible benefits, it is a high-paying affiliate program, and affiliate marketers get paid for users who use the free version.

If you join the Grammarly Affiliate program, you get the following affiliate marketing commission, an instant $25 activation bonus for placing one Grammarly banner on your website or blog ( which is amazing), $0.20 commission on every free registration, and a $20 flat earnings per Grammarly purchase.

Overall, Grammarly is another exceptional affiliate program for beginners because of its large user base and ease of use. Other benefits are 90-day cookie duration and an easy 2-tier affiliate program that sees you at the top of your work hard.

Fiverr Affiliate Program

Get the opportunity to earn big with the largest affiliate marketing services and earn big. Fiverr is a freelancer’s paradise and clients find any online services from writing, web design, logo, and more. Fiverr boast over 3 million digital services and 400 unique categories. It is connecting on-demand freelance with clients around the globe. Whether you are a beginner or not, anyone can win big promoting the online marketplace and earn up to $150 every time a first-time buyer uses their affiliate marketing link and $1,000 per sale. Other benefits affiliating with Fiverr are:

  • Professional support, including tutorials
  • A simple and easy to use dashboard o help you launch, promote and monitor your campaigns
  • Unlimited resources to help you become a successful affiliate

Overall, Fiverr also allow people to promote their links on social media pages or website.

ShareASale Affiliate Program

ShareASale is another excellent affiliate platform, and marketers have access to over 1,000 merchants. They offer everything from physical products to digital services, and affiliates can have a field day on the platform. 

Their ability to keep up with the trend has set them apart and allowed affiliate marketers to expand their product categories or change them completely.

Getting started with affiliate marketing on ShareASale is really easy. It requires a little learning, but you should get around it pretty fast. 

Despite all the goodies on the platform, like analytical features that show average sales, conversion, EPC, and others, affiliate links from merchants are challenging.

Other benefits of affiliating with ShareASale are flexible payment and a massive library of products, as mentioned.

Commission Junction Affiliate Program

Commission Junction, although a successful affiliate marketing platform, is more of an affiliate network. This space connects potential affiliate marketers with merchants and offering immense support to ensure you succeed in your dreams.

As Amazon Associates, Commission Junction is another established and one of the oldest affiliate programs in the industry. While it works for professional affiliate marketers, it is also a good starting point for beginner affiliates.

One benefit of affiliating with Commission Junction is the massive number of merchants and product choices. Whether you are a new affiliate or looking for another affiliate program/network to increase your affiliate marketing earnings, their reputation and trusted vendors will give you a field day.

There are other factors to consider, like rates and if the products you seek are available. Otherwise, the only con with this platform is the long processing time merchants take to approve your proposal.

Shopify Affiliate Program

Guess the list would not be complete without the Shopify affiliate program, so here goes. Shopify affiliate largely works with sellers that have a store on the e-commerce platform.

This allows them to, according to Shopify, “Earn more than a commission”. They also get to build their brand and enjoy incredible support and access to resources from the platform.

Overall, Shopify makes a great affiliate partnership, and the more you refer, the more you earn. With a 200% bounty, you can earn a lot in no time.

Conclusion

Becoming an affiliate marketer is a great idea but choosing the best affiliate program is another ball game. There are tons of high-paying categories and equally some low-paying with great sustainability to match your interest.

However, as we prepare to wrap up this article, there are vital points to remember, like the affiliate commission rate, average earnings per click, cookie duration and average order values, payment schedules, and others. Remember, the internet is an integral part of affiliate marketing, so you should understand the working efficiently.

So what affiliate program would you like to start with? If you are ready, contact Ecomitize to get started with affiliate marketing.

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