Welcome back to another edition of the make money series! If you are new to Sprout Wealth, then this is our little series that describes ways to make more money. We all know people are interested in earning more to better their finances, so we decided to show them how. Making extra money on the side is not as hard as you may think. Yes, it does require work, but if you play your cards right, then it can be quite lucrative. There are a large number of ways to earn money, especially online. Today, I am going to share a little run down of how you can make more money with affiliate marketing. You do need to have a website in order to make money with affiliate marketing. You can also use it on a blog. If you want a blog, then check out my how to start a blog guide for more information.
What is Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is really a simple concept. Though the concept is simple, I am going to show you a little graphic that will make it much easier to understand. Who doesn’t learn more with visuals?
OK, from the graphic above, you can see the basics of how affiliate marketing works. You join an affiliate network, which I will speak about later, then put links on your site. When someone clicks your link and completes a purchase, you get paid. It is that easy, right? No, it isn’t that easy. Sorry to burst your bubble. I will dig into this more in order to show you how you can earn money. Here are the steps to start affiliate marketing. As I said before, you need to have a website in order to do this.
Step 1: Join an Affiliate Network
This is the most important step. In order to have access to a wide range of affiliate programs, you should join a network. These networks have a large amount of advertisers that all have active affiliate programs. These networks just aggregate these advertisers into one place to make it easier for you. The two terms to understand in affiliate marketing is that you are considered the publisher(affiliate) and the product/service you are promoting is the advertiser.
There are quite a few affiliate networks out there, but the biggest and most established are Commission Junction and Linkshare. Some other networks worth noting are ShareASale, Amazon Associates, and Clickbank. Clickbank deals entirely with digital goods, so you won’t find too many advertisers that sell physical products. Many of the biggest brands are on Commission Junction or Linkshare. The Amazon Associates program is just for Amazon.
Step 2: Find a Suitable Advertiser
Finding a suitable advertiser is key to affiliate marketing. You do not want to promote products or services for companies that do not match your niche. If you were running a website dedicated to clothing, you wouldn’t promote auto parts products. They just don’t work. Most affiliates fail when they don’t have the right offers for their audience. You want to look through the affiliate network and find advertisers that match your niche and who your readers will react to. If you speak about a specific product or category a lot, then check out the advertisers who are in said category.
Just finding the advertiser is just the beginning. You then have to apply to be in their program. This requires you to read their terms and accept them. They will then either approve you automatically, decline you, or manually review your application. It can take days to weeks to hear back from some advertisers. Don’t get discouraged.
Step 3: Promote the Advertiser
You will never get paid unless you promote an advertiser. This is how you earn money as an affiliate. If you are running a blog like this one, then you could deal with products or companies that are connected in the finance industry. You would talk about specific products or services that match who is visiting your site. For example, let’s say I wanted to talk about Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover. This is a great personal finance book that has helped many people get their financial houses in shape. Do you see that link that I put in? Yes, that is an affiliate link. It might not appear as one, but it is. If you were to click that link and buy the book off Amazon, then I would get a commission.
Adding in affiliate links into your work is super easy. You can do it when you are speaking about anything that has a product or service with an affiliate program. If you are dedicated an entire webpage or post to a specific thing, then see if there is an applicable affiliate program to join. If you do well with that page, then you could earn money when people click through your links and buy. The opportunities for affiliate marketing are endless.
If you run a WordPress blog, there are many ways to help you with affiliate links. One plugin that I not only use, but recommend is Pretty Link Pro. It is well worth the price and it does a great job with managing and promoting affiliate links.
Step 4: Get PAID!
This is the step you have been waiting for. The time when you get paid. If you earn enough money in your affiliate network account, then you will get paid. Many of these accounts have minimum thresholds. Some are $50 or $100, while others have none. You have to earn enough commissions in order to get a payment if there is a threshold. Most networks will pay you via check or direct deposit your earnings into your checking account. It is up to you. There are also some networks that will pay you via Paypal.
Getting paid can be confusing if you don’t read the terms of each advertisers program. There are some things they will pay you for while others they won’t. Some will pay you when a customer makes a purchase, while others will pay you just for leads. This is like if someone was to just fill out a form. You can get paid when someone clicks on your link and fills out a form.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to get paid online. If you know what you are doing, then you can make passive affiliate income over time. You can put up a website and get some traffic to it. If you did well, then you can convert that traffic into commissions over and over again. As I said before, affiliate marketing opportunities are endless if you just strive to use it. Many people I talk to are scared of affiliate marketing because they don’t understand it. It is not hard to do. If you have any questions about affiliate marketing, then make sure to check out my services. I can help you get setup and start earning money!
Have you tried affiliate marketing before? Did you like it? If you haven’t, then what is stopping you?
Image via commission factory