Affiliate Marketing For Business
(Definitive Guide In 2022)
Want to make more profits by starting or growing Affiliate Marketing For Your Business?
According to Statista, “business spending on affiliate marketing will hit $8.2 billion in the U.S by 2022”.
Here’s your (A to Z) 100% free guide so you can start with your own Affiliate Marketing for your business.
I’ll take you through the definitions, how Affiliate Marketing works. How it has such a low barrier to entry.
I’ll also give you some practical examples of successful affiliate marketers who make 6-figure & even 7- figure a year using this method.
The good news is that you don't need to be tech-savvy or spend a fortune on advertising to pull this off.
I’ll show you:
- Some marketing products for e-commerce shops like Amazon.
- Writing a search engine optimized (“SEO”) post that ranks on Google’s first page.
- Email sequences for affiliate marketing for business.
- And the different affiliate programs & affiliate networks you can join.
Here's an overview of your step-by-step guide for the entire process from A to Z. It will help you earn affiliate profits in the fastest & easiest way, doing what you're passionate about the most.
Affiliate Marketing Definition
Affiliate Marketing is defined to be:“The practice of promoting other companies’ products in consideration for a commission on the resulting sale, leads, link clicked, or page visits. Affiliate marketers join affiliate programs, find affiliate products to promote, and then share those products with their audiences.” - SmartBlogger
As an affiliate marketer, you can promote products from many different companies & earn commissions from all of them.
You can consider yourself an independent contractor or salesperson helping a company make more sales through publishing content about them on your website or blog.
In short, it’s getting a commission on each sale you make through the content you write about them.
To make sales, content creators & publishers build an audience of raving fans to whom they can promote their favourite products through affiliate offers. The trick is to make sure you are helping your audience or followers get what they want or solve their problems.
Ideally, help your followers get specific things they want & daydream about in the morning, or solve stressing problems that keep them up at night.
So it’s a fast & easy way to sell other people’s or companies’ products or services without having to create or touch it yourself. You simply refer your audience to someone else’s products and they do all the customer support, shipping and all.
It’s a simple way to test ideas by finding a product or service that you tried out & like yourself, promote it to your audience & make profits on the sales you make.
Affiliate partners can help you build additional streams of revenue for your business. This can also help you diversify in different regions, client segments & vertical markets.
How Do Affiliate Marketing For Business Programs Work?
Merchant’s affiliate program software makes life easier for all the stakeholders involved in the process.
The process goes like this:
- A producer of a product or service joins a merchant’s program or creates his own
- When you join that program as a promoter, you become an affiliate partner to the producer
- As an affiliate partner, you are then given a specific link for promoting the producer’s product
- The affiliates include these links in their content for readers to click it to discover more by visiting the producer’s website
- When a reader clicks the link, a cookie is placed on their internet browsers
- The cookie ensures that the promoter (or you as an affiliate partner) are credited with a commission if the reader ends up buying the product.
Producers make reports available so that affiliates can see the number of clicks & sales their audience has generated.
The merchant pays the affiliate commission at the end of each payment period (i.e. revenue sharing).
Payment periods vary from a month to a few months, depending on the refund policy. Producers want to ensure they only pay commissions for sales that are final and not still subject to refunds.
This process or workflow works the same way regardless of what kind of product or service you’re promoting.
However, I like to consider affiliate commissions as icing on the cake rather than my main bread & butter. They can be quite a lucrative way to diversify your income, though.
Advantages of Affiliate Marketing For Business
Affiliate Marketing Has A Low Barrier To Entry.
Although it is super easy now with the existence of the internet to start promoting affiliate offers, the success bar is high or sometimes hard.
Since there are so many producers with tons of affiliates selling the same product, you have to offer something truly special to convince your audience to buy from you and not from someone else. You have to craft a unique affiliate offer (“UAO”) that makes you stand out from the crowd.
Your UAO is not the product you’re promoting, but the offer in which you present it. Your offer is the way you package the product in a way that solves a problem using copy, creative & a specific customer to target.
So for example, think of lettuce. The product is simply a head of lettuce. The offer would be a pre-washed, pre-chopped lettuce in a packet. This offer solves the problem of not having enough time & energy to wash and slice a head of lettuce before serving it.
Your UAO can be unique in many ways. You have to be creative & test what resonates better with your audience. Then stick to what works best.
Maybe you target a specific niche. You offer special bonuses that help buyers solve follow up problems that will show up after they make the purchase, or simply help them get what they want faster & easier.
So let’s say someone is planning a kids birthday and bought one of your recommended products (cupcake mix). You could solve follow up problems by selling cupcake liners, cupcake stands, and sprinkles, for example.
The Disadvantages Of Affiliate Marketing
Here’s Why Affiliate Marketing Can Hurt.
Affiliate Marketing is really a great way to supplement your income, but I do want to share with you an example showing the downside of Affiliate Marketing.
On April 14th, 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, Amazon ripped the rug out from underneath millions of their affiliate partners.
Amazon took a machete at affiliate commissions in most categories. In some categories, commissions went down from 10% to 2%.
“This represents a more than 60% drop in some categories!” - MONEYLAB.
What makes it even worse is that Amazon announced it only seven days before it happened.
The problem is that big companies only care about their own interests & profits, not yours.
That’s a good reminder to focus on building your own brand & offers. Not to build on other people’s land (online platforms) that you do not own or control.
Building your assets on platforms you do not control poses some risks because the owners of those platforms (FB, Etsy, Amazon, YouTube etc) can suddenly change their policies and you won’t be able to do anything about that. You’ll simply have to accept it. The good old “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” idea is just so true in this context..
What Type Of Affiliate Marketing Products To Sell
I always find it more profitable & fun to promote products that I’m passionate about, products that are in an upmarket trend & have a wide mass of prospects or potential client base to make a low ticket (low-priced product) profitable.
It also helps when you start out with Affiliate Marketing to sell products that are expensive. This is so that you feel a high return-on investment of your time and effort.
Products that already sell well (best-sellers) and ones that are owned by a company that already knows how to sell its own products also do really well with Affiliate Marketing.
Why Use Affiliate Marketing As A Business Model
Some people consider affiliate marketing as a passive source of income. I don’t.
I think it requires active work from the part of the affiliate marketer to be successful.
That being said, affiliate marketing to this day still represents a great way for any online entrepreneur to get started, to test ideas & develop marketing skills.
Affiliate Marketing is a sure way to figure out what your audience is interested in and what products they buy.
Mind you, products for sale online don’t have to be physical products. You could easily create digital products that would sell very well online. Examples would be e-books, courses, downloadable PDFs, templates.or plugins.
If you have your own digital product you’d like to sell, it might be a good idea to start your sales funnel by selling a small ticket affiliate product first, then upselling your own product at the back end (with a discount or a limited time offer).
Three Things You Need To Survive As An Affiliate Marketer For Your Business
First - Use Landing Pages To Promote Your Offers
“A landing page is a standalone web page” - Unbounce.
You create a landing page for Affiliate Marketing so that a visitor “lands” on it for you to collect their contact information, essentially their names & emails, to grow your email list.
Once you have your audience’s email addresses, you no longer have to depend on other platforms to promote your affiliate products (or your own products), and you can keep selling to your audience straight into their inboxes.
Landing pages are designed with a single goal, known as a call to action. This makes landing pages effective for increasing the return on your affiliate campaigns.
We use, recommend & believe that ThriveLeads offers the best value for money in the market now.
Second - Drive Free & Paid Traffic To Your Landing Pages
You can drive free & paid visitors to your landing pages by creating social media posts and/or ads on social media platforms or search engines like Google, YouTube, Facebook, etc…
Create & schedule a few emails, blog & social media posts & Pinterest pins to promote & direct readers to your landing pages.
Use an email automation service to send out scheduled emails to your email list.
We use, recommend & believe that ActiveCampaign offers the best value for money now as an email autoresponder.
Third - Create A Freebie To Generate New Prospects
Create content that generates new prospects or leads to your business. Freebies, such as webinars, printables or downloadables work pretty well.
A freebie is a valuable resource that is exchanged for your prospect’s contact information (name & email).
A webinar is a live or recorded presentation that requires your prospects to register beforehand to access it. A webinar can also be presented as a 3-part video series, for example.
These types of lead generation resources are called gated content. They live behind an opt-in or registration form, which means people have to give you their name and email address (or simply just their email address) to access this information you’re offering them.
When you drive traffic directly to these resources, the leads start flowing. You can eventually send these prospects or leads to your affiliate landing pages.
That’s all good, but how do you become an affiliate marketer in the first place?
What Is An Affiliate Network?
“Affiliate networks are middlemen connecting content creators (“publishers”) with companies (“merchants”) - SmartBlogger
“Through a single portal, affiliate networks give publishers access to numerous affiliate programs.” This means that not each company/seller/merchant has to have their own affiliate program. They can join these affiliate networks and you (as a publisher/blogger) can also join these networks and get affiliate links of the products you wish to promote through these Networks.
How To Become An Affiliate Marketer In 4 Easy Steps
After you've spent some time building an audience, you are now ready to start with your Affiliate Marketing journey.
Step # 1: Choose A Product To Promote
Your 1st step is to choose a single affiliate product to promote to your audience.
I only choose to promote products & services that I personally bought, love & believe can help my audience.
Step # 2: Join An Affiliate Program/Network
There are several Affiliate Networks available to choose from (se. The best Affiliate Program or Network for you to join is the one you personally like the best. You should be able to use & understand it easily. It should have reasonable commission rates and it should pay you on time .
Step # 3: Become An Affiliate Partner
Research a few different options, carefully read their requirements for joining & apply to join their affiliate program. Once your application is approved, you become their affiliate partner. Be honest and submit accurate information & numbers about your own self & business.
Step # 4: Promote Your Affiliate Offers
Upon the approval of your affiliate application, now you can promote your chosen affiliate products & services through your uniquely crafted offers.
Write interesting and useful content for your readers and publish them through your blog posts. Make sure that you have good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so that your blog post is found by interested readers when they search for your search terms on Google.
Check out these 7 Things For Google To Love Your Website in 2022. It's yours FREE.
Promote your affiliate offers through paid ads. Paid ads can get quite tricky, so best would be to take a course to understand exactly how these work.
FB Ads: The absolute best course I’ve taken that explains how to go about doing FB Ads with the best return on investment is Sam Ovens’ “Consulting Accelerator”
Here’s an example of my resources page of the affiliate programs I promote.
Want to choose affiliate programs you can promote?
Affiliate networks are good places to find many affiliate programs & compare them.
Here's a sneak-peak on how my equestrian business 7 Step Marketing Plan,
that can inspire you to market your business in 2022.
Here's a Quick Guide To Sales Funnels Mastery on my equestrian blog,
that helps you design your own sales funnels.
Examples Of Affiliate Marketing Networks
- CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction)
- Amazon Associates
- eBay Partner Network (EPN)
It’s time to choose!
If you’re ready, go do this right now.
Is affiliate marketing that simple? You may ask...
Well, there are some legal compliance rules that you have to know first...
How To Avoid Fines & Comply With Legal Requirements in Affiliate Marketing
Since I'm a lawyer explaining to you the ins and outs of Affiliate Marketing, it goes without saying that I have to make sure you understand the legal compliance that goes with it.
In many countries, the law requires that you tell people that you earn a commission if they buy through your affiliate links.
It’s best practice & good business ethic even if it isn’t required by law where you reside.
It’s also good marketing & branding. Your audience will appreciate it.
When you share an affiliate link, let your audience know that you may earn a commission if they buy through your link without any extra charges on their part.
Rest them assured that you never recommend products if you don’t love them yourself and strongly believe these products will help them.
It’s legally recommended that you create an Affiliate Disclaimer Page & paragraph to put on the footer of your website, pages & your emails or wherever you share your affiliate links.
You can learn more about your website legal compliance and the legal pages & contracts you need for your business & website here.
If you’re targeting clients in the EU Region, you’ll need to comply with GDPR. Check out this resource for more info.
Types Of Affiliate Products To Promote
There are so many products for sale on the internet nowadays. You could basically choose any or a variety of these products (depending on your niche) and include them in your blog posts as affiliate products. Some examples include books, ebooks, consumable products, accessories, tools, medical equipment, sports equipment, clothing, online courses, SaaS (Software as a service), virtual communities, or even conferences.
If you succeed at affiliate marketing & want to create your own affiliate marketing program for affiliate marketers to join & promote your own products & services, here are some affiliate marketing tools you can use.
Affiliate Marketing Tools, Apps & Plugins
If you decide that this is the route for you’d like to take and end up signing up with one of the above Affiliate Marketing Tools, you will need the sign a contract to make sure everything is legally covered.
Here are some contract templates that you may need to sign with your own affiliate marketers who join your affiliate program.
The Reason Why Blogging & Consistent Content Publishing Are Essential To Your Affiliate Marketing For Business Success
In today's information age we're all knowledge workers.
We're all in the publishing business. We're always communicating & sharing information.
In this overflowing sea of information, your audience needs your expert guidance...
If you're an expert in your niche, you can help them by creating content & publishing it on your blog,
or if you're not an expert yet, you'll become one by curating content that other experts in your niche create & guide your audience through it.
Your niche blog or content website is the right place to guide your audience & clients to the best affiliate offers that would help them solve specific problems or achieve their desires to live the lifestyle of their dreams.
It's important though, to know what problem you want to solve or what desire you can help people achieve.
Who are you solving this problem for? Why does it matter to them & you? What medium are you good at & like (writing, video or audio)? What transformation (solution or result) can you offer them? How can you guarantee it? What will your client's or audience's life look like if they take or miss your offer? And finally what channel will you use to grab your audience's attention to spread your message, market & sell your irresistible offers?
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The Last Thing You Need To Know About Affiliate Marketing For Business
You can create an additional online stream of income promoting affiliate offers. You affiliate offers would be products that belong to others that you package in a way that makes it enticing for someone to buy from you (as opposed to directly from the product owner).
Why should someone buy from you and not directly from the product owner, you ask?
Because the way you package to product into an offer will be more beneficial or be a better deal than buying straight from the producer. You will explain all the benefits of the product beforehand, + include irresistible bonuses that you offer for free. This will make the buyers choose to buy through your affiliate link and it won’t cost them any extra money.
If you’ve reached this point in reading, I think you have all the informail you need to get started. Set your goal, write down your plans, put them on your calendar & set a date to start executing right after you finish reading this post.
Sure, it’s not as passive or easy as some online marketing gurus make it out to be, but with a little marketing, content & copywriting knowledge, skills & right attitude, you can definitely do it.
This is the icing on the cake for your business profits.
Once you’ve created a decent audience of a few thousand prospects, affiliate marketing is one of the best streams of revenues you should consider.
You can do it from the comfort of your own home or while you’re on a travel adventure, as long as you have an internet connection.
Affiliate Marketing is easy to start & pull off. Figure out the one thing most people in your niche want and start from there...
Choose your 1st product from a business you love. Share it with your audience. Tell your success stories & those of others who succeeded with it too.
Create content that inspires, entertains & educates your readers.
Let each piece of content speak to a specific type of avatar within your wide audience. Be direct, honest & kind. Develop and respect the trust that your audience vests in you.
And once you get going, you’ll feel great when you check your Affiliate commissions and find all your hard work converted into sales and cash in your bank account!
“People need to understand how much they want to give to get. Everything in life is like a bank account. Whatever you put in, you will get out. Don’t put little and expect to get big. It is not going to happen.” - Anastasia Soare
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