Its been quite a time that I wrote under “make money online” , Last article I wrote related to the category was how you can earn by selling photographs online. You can earn money online regardless of the fact that you have a blog or not, but having one maximizes your online exposure and thus increasing your earnings. Among the methods I am presently using with hacknovations to earn online comes Google adsense, consulting, making wordpress themes and affiliate marketing. In this article I would share with you, how you can too make/earn money online with affiliate programs.
What is Affiliate marketing ?
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. The industry has four core players: the merchant (also known as ‘retailer’ or ‘brand’), the network (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments), the publisher (also known as ‘the affiliate’), and the customer. The market has grown in complexity, resulting in the emergence of a secondary tier of players, including affiliate management agencies, super-affiliates and specialized third party vendors. ( source : wikipedia )
Types of Affiliate marketing :
Affiliate marketing is divided / measured by 4 different payment methods, mentioned and explained below.
- CPC ( Cost per Click )
- CPL ( Cost per lead )
- CPS ( Cost per sales )
- CPA ( Cost per action )
These affiliate marketing programs are divided on basis of payment methods, affiliate programs are also divided how they reach the target audience . Affiliate programs differentiated on basis of payment methods are explained below :
CPC ( Cost per Click ) : In cost per click programs you are eligible to pay when users click to the specified users. For example, you might have noticed sponsored links while searching on google, this could be considered as Cost per click. The websites/blogs pay specified amount to google adwords and get their links appear in search results without much hard work.
CPL ( Cost per lead ) : This is determined by the number of web visitors who sign up for your newsletter, or otherwise contribute their personal information to your site.
CPS ( Cost Per Sale ) : This kind of payment is determined by the number of sales made as a result of affiliate activity. Examples of CPS affiliates include when you sign up for affiliate program of your hosting provider, you are paid as much you sell their hosting.
CPA ( Cost Per Action ) : This is determined by the number of actions completed by a visitor (clicks, sign-ups, and so on). It is often in the form of surveys where users submit their personal information ( Email, phone etc )
This was perhaps how the affiliate networks / programs are differentiated on basis of payments.
How to Earn from Affiliate marketing ?
After you just read how many types of affiliate programs are on the web, you would be wondering how to make money from these programs. Earning from affiliate marketing isn’t supposed to be rocket science, unless you are missing from right instructions and tools.
When I started blogging, I was unguided and moving forward with a blur aim, with the passing time, my vision became more focused I knew what I was doing with my blog. If I still write a monthly report of revenue collected by this blog, affiliate marketing is on the top with consulting and Google adsense being on second and third respectively.
Based on personal practices and experience, below are steps revealing how to make money with affiliate marketing :
1. Join an affiliate marketing : What is the first thing you need to sell something on your blog ? .. Yes, something ! Join an affiliate program, there are thousands of them online. Websites offering you affiliate programs work as connecting link between you and the company ( Because it is not possible for every company to look for interested bloggers, so they work with these websites, and interested bloggers sign-up and use their programs ).
Now, when you’ve made up your mind for joining a affiliate program ; what is next ? You don’t have to spend hours searching google on “Best affiliate programs”. In one of my previous articles I mentioned the top 5 affiliate programs , or you can check problogger’s list of 10 popular affiliate programs.
2. Choose wisely : No matter how many products your affiliate program has, you don’t have to sell all of them. If you sell off-niche products, you won’t be able to make any sale. Because if you write on “Blogging” your blog would have a community of people who are either bloggers or want to be one, this way you can’t sell them a “Shampoo” or beauty product easily, but selling a “hosting” , “Theme” would be more profitable and derive more sales.
Choose your products wisely, never sell a product considering a advertiser is paying high. Consider this simple maths > You try to sell a shampoo worth $100 ( assume ) and made no sales ! ( $100 X 0 = 0 ) but if you sell a hosting plan worth ( $3/month ) and sold it to 10 readers ( $36 X 10 = 360 ) . When you write any article, let say you write an article on “Top 10 Valentine products” try to add affiliate links to all products you mention in the list.
3. Placement : When you start selling a product, your advertiser will be likely to provide you with text links and image banners. Adding the image banners in your sidebar is a good option to drive visitors, but writing an article about the product is much better. While writing an article, don’t provide biased reviews just to sell your product ! If you do so, the reader is not likely to return. Write un-biased reviews on the product.
After you place the image in the sidebar and write an article about it, you are still not finished yet. The ideal places of placing your links are : Top header ( this is the first thing any reader’s eye catches ) , Footer credit links , within the posts ( don’t over do it )
4. Hide your Links : If you look closely at your affiliate links, they would something like “www.advertiser.com/sign-up?reff=yourusername” or something similar. When the reader places the mouse over your link, and the browser shows where the page is linked, they are likely to change their mind. It is better to hide your links via a URL shortner such as goo.gl.
5. Create a coupon website : Coupon sites are proving to be the new trend in affiliate marketing. For earning with a coupon site, you don’t have to do a lot of efforts. There are already lots of coupon / discount websites on the web. The secret trick behind coupon sites is they simply check online shopping sites for discount and place the discount and banner ( optional ) with their affiliate link. Users click on the discount and as they make a purchase, the site owners earns a profit. Maintaining a coupon site also isn’t too hard, you need wordpress ( self-hosted ) and a coupon theme ) and check online shopping sites regularly and place the discounts with your affiliate link on your site, the rest ( purchase ) is done by users.
What happens If “You” buy from someone’s Affiliation ?
A lot of people think there are extra charges if they buy from someone’s affiliate link. But this is not true, when you buy the product from someone’s affiliation, the prize remains same for you, but the “Publisher” or the “Blogger” receives a small percent as commission. contrast to the fact extra charges may be added, some websites like mythemeshop offer a discount if you buy their themes via affiliate.
I am waiting for your Opinions
After you’ve read the article, you might have something in your mind, something to say, some doubts to ask, if so do comment them below. Also I would love if you share your affiliate earning tips and tricks in the comments below.
So, which trick are you using to make money online via affiliate marketing.