Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy that can be very effective for an advertiser. But it’s also a great way for publishers to develop skills and expertise and earn money. Whether you are an influencer, blogger, YouTuber, content producer, or just an online enthusiast, affiliate marketing is a practical way to earn a living while expanding your online activities.
Affiliate marketing allows you to place your digital platform at the advertisers’ disposal, incorporating links or ads for third-party products or services. Every time a web user clicks on that link or completes a purchase, you earn a commission on the amount spent. It’s pretty simple, on paper — and it’s just that simple in reality, too. Let’s go through that.
Step 1: Choose an area that interests you
Getting into affiliate marketing implies sharing content on a particular theme. However, since it is always easier to share what you love, you must capitalize on a single thing you’re passionate about. There’s no point in lying or creating a character; web users will notice that immediately. Fashion, beauty, extreme sports, DIY, decoration, video games, cars, travel, design… Surely you have some passions that you can share online. That is a great place to start building content that represents you and that will attract web users in order to create a solid community. To share your passion online, there’s no need to be a recognized expert or have undertaken lengthy studies. All that matters, in order to make a strong start, lies in your personality, your motivation, and your rigor.
Step 2: Create your online medium
Based on your desires, there are a number of ways to build a publisher’s career. Your choice of content medium will be important in this effort. Most publishers have a blog on which they publish articles about their passion. If you aren’t comfortable writing, a YouTube video channel could be very effective. Unless perhaps photos are your preferred medium? In that case, Instagram offers great opportunities for self-expression.
What’s important is to choose a medium with which you are comfortable, so that you can communicate effectively. The medium must reflect your personality, and you must have sufficient knowledge to use it well.
Step 3: Produce appropriate content
By definition, a publisher is an influencer to some extent. He or she may have a very broad community or a smaller but more specific one. The way in which a community is built depends largely on the tone and editorial style selected to publish your content. The latter must be well-suited to your community, in line with your passions, and likely to interest advertisers, who must see you as a relevant and trustworthy marketing representative. While becoming a publisher is an important goal, it is not, however, an end in itself. What matters most is being believable and authentic. You must take your time, not rush in, and build a personal branding strategy geared toward the long term.
Step 4: Choose an affiliate marketing platform
Now that your content is up, shared, read, and generating interactions, it is time to move on to the next step: choosing the right partner. There are a number of affiliate marketing platforms, and each one has its own specific functionalities.
However, there is some standard best practice to follow in order to choose the right partner, avoiding mistakes. Here are a few questions to ask and reflect on:
- Has this platform been around a long time? What is its history? Who are its clients?
- What campaigns are proposed?
- What is its economic model concerning publishers? Does it pay for click or purchase commissions? What is the percentage?
- What are the payment terms? How is the payment made? If it is based overseas, how can you minimize bank fees? What administrative procedures are to be followed?
- Does it demand a non-competition clause? Does it make demands that strike you as unreasonable?
- What are the relationships between the affiliate marketing platform and content producers? Does it have a team dedicated to publishers’ management? How is the trust relationship maintained between the two parties?
- How does the platform help you to progress in your work? What does it do to advise you, train you, and guide you as an affiliate?
Step 5: Jumping in
Finding success as a publisher is a marathon, not a sprint. It is necessary to take the time to build one’s community. Accept that you’ll need to start small in order to build strong foundations. Then, you may be able to grow very quickly. Don’t forget that your content will nurture your positioning as a publisher. Invest in quality and regularity, and things will follow from there. To start with a trustworthy platform is essential in building long-term relationships. The platform will help you grow, offering you tips and good practices in order to succeed in your digital career.
In the end, getting involved in affiliate marketing is a fairly simple process, once you’ve followed these five key steps. This is good advice to follow in order to finance your online business and will make it possible for you to be more ambitious and to create more consequential content. It’s a win-win strategy for you, your community, and the advertisers who place their trust in you.