Part 2: Affiliate linking
(If you haven’t read part 1 of this Affiliate Marketing Business 101 series, read that first!)
What is it?
The affiliate link is the most basic form of affiliate marketing, and one that many start out with because it is just so darn easy to set up. It’s as easy as 1,2,3 (or is it?)
- Sign up with an affiliate network
- Choose an advertiser program to promote, and
- Get the tracking code and put it somewhere people can click it
This tracking code is crucial, and ensuring it is right means any traffic you send to the advertiser’s site will be tracked correctly. This is important because it’s from this that sales that have come from you get recorded. Then you can be paid commission for them!
One of the most important parts of this might not be so easy – choosing which products to promote. You need to find a range of products that are not too specialist, so there’s a decent, focussed audience. This is called a niche. But at the same time, you don’t want to pick one from an over-saturated market. You also need good ROI for your efforts.
This balancing act is called finding the right niche, and it’s the subject for a whole series on its own. Suffice it to say, you might need to try several niches before you find the right one for you.
What can you put your affiliate link on?
Do you have a blog or personal website that you’ve been updating regularly and gets good web traffic numbers? Have you been wondering about how to make a little money from the many visitors you have? Affiliate links are an ideal way to monetize your blog or personal website. You can use inline text links in your usual content, or use ad banners or put in special offer spots.
If you run a business website and want to increase your revenue, offering related goods and services might be a great way to give your income a kick.
Most of us have heard of social media influencers. They will often link to a product they are promoting for an advertiser in the foot of a social post. Many will use video product reviews to drive interest in a brand. You could also purchase ads to boost your posts above others and get more traffic, (although we recommend you start small and as low-budget as possible until you find your feet).
Email or other digital media
Running a killer email campaign is something we have covered elsewhere in this site, and it has the power to bring highly-qualified and motivated affiliate traffic. Another method of affiliate linking is to publish an industry report for download or write an e-book with your links inside these. Really, the one question in digital marketing is “can it be clicked?” – if the answer is yes, you can send affiliate traffic!
(You could – in theory – print out a link on a flyer, but that’s a whole different story.)
This is an important consideration, don’t let this slide!
If you are using affiliate linking in your blog, you will need to comply with legislation about disclosure. It varies depending on which country you live in, but the basic rule is that if you receive any compensation for recommending a product, you should declare this somewhere where it is easily noticed.