Shortcuts – there is something about this word that makes your brain scream “NO!” and your heart scream “Hell Yeah!” But in this fast-paced world, it doesn’t hurt to take a shortcut every now and then and in some cases, even in the business world, it is highly recommended. One such shortcut is taking the help of affiliate marketers to promote your products, initiate sales, and jumpstart your business. Confused? Keep on reading!
All You Need to Know About Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an innovative online advertising model where you or the entrepreneur (known as “advertiser”) seek help from third-party publishers (known as “affiliates”) to have your products and/or services promoted online. In doing so, you have to pay them a commission for every sale made due to their help. You can start your new business in no time using affiliate marketing as it is simple and effective, but you need to know exactly what to do.
The phrase “earn money with affiliate marketing” has become so over-used on the internet that it makes most of us roll our eyes out of our skulls when we read it. But, in truth, arming your business with affiliate marketing does ensure a significant increase in the number of people who visit your website, as well as a boost in sales. This is why the demand for affiliate marketers is going off the charts and, as a result, more and more people are adding “affiliate marketing” as a skill to their resumes.
So, without wasting any more time, let’s talk about everything you need to know regarding starting your business using affiliate marketing.
Join the Right Affiliate Marketing Network
An affiliate marketing network is where all the magic happens. It is the platform where potential advertisers meet their future affiliates. There are many networks available in the market and it is easy to join them – the only tricky part is choosing the right one for your business. If, for example, you are selling a digital product, such as an e-book or an audio clip, your network must be one where the affiliates are willing to promote such products. Here are two major categories of products along with the most famous affiliate networks for them:
If you are selling tangible products like cosmetics, electronic devices, etc., consider joining the following affiliate marketing networks:
When it comes to promoting tangible products, most experts recommend ShareASale, which gives you access to a large army of publishers and allows you to easily manage your affiliate program.
Commission Junction (CJ)
Commission Junction is another renowned affiliate network, perfect for physical products. It maintains the quality of its affiliate programs with strict entry policies for new affiliates.
The name Amazon needs no formal introduction. Its affiliate network, known as “Amazon Associates,” has an easy registration process and a large number of affiliates that continues to grow.
If your business is selling digital products, such as software, e-books, audio files, videos, etc., the following affiliate networks can help you blow life into the venture:
Clickbank is the leading affiliate marketing network for digital products. The payments to affiliates are handled by Clickbank itself, ensuring an easy process and sheer peace of mind.
Avangate Affiliate Network
Avangate Affiliate Network is yet another trustworthy name for the promotion of digital products. With up to 50,000 affiliates willing to promote online services and software, you can easily find the best ones to build your program.
Build an Affiliate Program that Stands Out
After you have selected an affiliate marketing network, the next step is to, of course, build an affiliate marketing program. This includes a handful of crucial aspects, from defining your niche to seeking the right affiliate partners, the details of which are discussed below.
Clearly Define Your Niche
“You can’t expect to sell EVERYTHING to EVERYONE” – that’s the basic rule of any business. This is why you need to not only select a niche market for yourself, but also define it clearly so that your affiliates can get a clear picture of whom you are trying to sell your products or services to.
Find Relevant Partners
After defining your niche, the next step is to find niche partners. If you have chosen to join an affiliate network, you will not have any problem in doing so. However, if you are seeking partners by yourself, you must conduct a thorough research on the internet and find websites with a similar niche who are willing to promote your business.
Make a Smart Budget Plan
With so many things to take care of while building an affiliate program, it’s easy to forget the basic thing that will keep it up and running: commissions. Devise a smart budget and set commissions for your partners accordingly.
Focus on Creativity
Nothing sells like creativity – you have to give your affiliates something to work with. Make sure you provide them with promotional content/material that is truly creative and captivating. Doing so will significantly increase the probability of you landing sales.
Pamper your Affiliates
To ensure long-term partnerships, a little pampering is in order. Greet new affiliates with kind words, start off emails with appropriate salutations, express your gratitude, remind them what they mean to your business, and offer them exclusive discounts with special promo codes.
Keep Looking for New Affiliates
You cannot rely on your existing affiliates to keep your program up and running forever, as they can decide to abandon ship at any time they like. You should always be on the lookout for new partners to ensure that your program doesn’t go downhill and continues to run smoothly against all odds.
Affiliate marketing is a fantastic way to take your venture to the next level. Whether you want to grow your existing business or want to land your very first sale, this model can definitely help you get there, but only if you know what you are doing!
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