What is affiliate marketing in 2020?

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Affiliate marketing definition 2020.

With affiliate marketing affiliates earn commission on the sale of products and services offered by vendors. The affiliate therefore shares information about services or products on his website and earns commission on every visit or purchase. Depending on the contact quality level between affiliate and vendor, it can be a pleasant and successful form of marketing.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a form of online marketing. Affiliates are people with a website or newsletter on which they actively promote certain products or services from suppliers. Usually via blogs or a website, but it can also work fine via newsletters, email marketing or social media such as FaceBook, Linkedin and Twitter.

It looks like influencer or content marketing, but an important feature of affiliate marketing is that the compensation is variable. Usually this is a percentage or amount per purchase. If someone clicks on links in these blogs or newsletters and purchases a product or service, the affiliate earns commission. The merits of affiliate marketing are therefore performance related.

It is therefore in the interest of affiliates that people want to make a purchase almost immediately after the affiliate has recommended specific products or services. The affiliate then forwards them to the vendor’s website. The purchase therefore takes place at the supplier and not on the affiliate’s site. Affiliate marketing is useful for people with a blog, newsletter or site who do not have an online store with their own product stock and their own payment options.

How to do affiliate marketing?

Create articles or ads.

Affiliate marketing is a bit of a special form of advertising. In other forms of advertising, a supplier usually creates the advertisements and determines a budget. In affiliate marketing, it is the affiliate who places the ads often in the form of an article ( copywriting ).

Although the roles are not completely reversed, the vendor still decides which of his products should be promoted and what commission he is willing to pay for it. Sometimes this is an amount per visitor, but usually it is commission. For example, five percent of the purchase amount. The affiliate then decides how and where to use the ads. For example, he may decide that these products or services fit his target group so well that he will write blog articles about them or mention the products in a newsletter.

The audience reach is therefore largely determined by the affiliate and the supplier doesn’t know in advance how much money he will spend per month on the advertiser/affiliate. Although this is usually not a problem because it’s only a small part of the turnover made.

Avoid content duplication.

There are affiliate campaigns offered by merchants where they give you all the information about a product so you can put it on your site. It is not recommended to take this literally. Often the word choices do not suit your website and target group. Moreover, the text is not unique because other affiliates may post the same text and this is penalized by Google as duplicate content! It may also be good to first buy the product yourself and see how everything works and how good the product is or is not. This way you can share your own experiences about this on your website, which makes it much more interesting and reliable for your readers.

Don’t just accept any company.

In theory, affiliate marketing is suitable for almost anything. Think of it as a kind of paid form of word of mouth. If many people recommend products on their blogs, newsletters or social media, this has a similar effect. Yet few merchants really use it on a large scale.

On the other hand, it can ensure long-term partnerships between merchants and affiliates. Especially if the net profits for both parties are in order. It is the ideal solution for many products and services to substantially increase sales.

However, one reason that affiliate marketing sometimes fails is because the merchant’s expectations are too high. Setting up a campaign can be quite intensive for merchants, especially in the beginning. There are networks active where a company can set up a campaign quite easily, but there is little chance that affiliates will simply pick up en masse right away. It is also questionable whether affiliates sell in the way that the vendor likes. So, the merchant should help them with this. Actually, the vendor must already actively help some ambassadors of his campaign with extra high commissions for the first 20 affiliates or other incentives. Further he should create special Help Pages for his affiliates, inform News Media that an affiliate program has started, optimize the affiliate page on his site for the search engines and more. In other words, the merchant is expected to do a lot of extra work in order for affiliate campaigns to succeed. All this leads to the conclusion that affiliates should not just accept any company and should give preference to those merchants that are actively helping their affiliates succeed. As in any relation it’s two way traffic.

Sometimes it’s difficult for merchants to find the right compensation. Many vendors are a bit careful at first. They are afraid that the affiliates will also reach a part of their current customer base and that they will therefore incur a lot of costs and only find new customers to a limited extent. As a result, merchants initially work with low fees, which in turn sometimes means that they only get a small number of affiliates in the beginning. This is a bad start of course and it increases the chance of a failed campaign. So, as an affiliate it’s better to avoid suppliers paying very low commissions.

Products should fit your website and target group.

There are many people with a website and there are many making money with their sites through affiliate marketing. If they can earn a serious income with it strongly depends on which company, campaign, product or target group they choose. In general, companies that focus on consumers are more likely to use affiliate marketing than companies that mainly work business-to-business. But there are certainly also B2B campaigns to be found. As an affiliate you have to try different products and companies and you will automatically see which ones best suit your target group and website and how you can make the most profit.

In general, there are of course basic differences between products and services that you can sell. For example, it is easier to sell a digital product such as software, scripts and templates than non-digital products such as computers, furniture and clothing. With the latter products, people tend to want to touch them, to see it for real. And of course there is also a price tag for shipping! With digital products it is quite simple, you pay and you download the product to your computer.

Make your site suitable for affiliate marketing.

It is common for some starting affiliates creating their own site to think that any website will do. A new website with only texts written by advertisers are actually never successful. Placing many banners is also counterproductive. The ads deter people and they leave the website. Don’t think too lightly about it and take it seriously. Placing an ad that doesn’t belong anywhere on your site does more harm than good.

Many websites do not take ads into account in the design. If you build a website yourself, consider beforehand whether you want to show ads on it. It is very important that your ad appears to be part of your website. And be critical of what you post. Usually it works better if you place one ad on your page than if your entire site is full of ads. Only place advertisements that match the content of your web page and your target audience and only in places where they are least disturbing. But again, the best strategy is writing expert blog posts about the product or service you are offering instead of using the ad method as described above.

How to become an affiliate marketer.

At first you could visit your favorite shopping websites and apply for their affiliate program if there is one. As you can see, merchants and affiliates can approach each other directly, but there are also specialized networks that bring both parties together. Well-known affiliate marketing networks are Share a Sale, Awin, Amazon Associates, CJ Affiliate, Rakuten, Avangate Network, Click Bank and Flex Offers. In addition, there are dozens of networks that are focused on a niche or region. Thousands of affiliates and suppliers are already affiliated with most of these networks that take care of all technology and administration for you. Once approved as an affiliate by merchants you can immediately start advertising your affiliate links.

How much can you earn as an affiliate?

If you only earn a few percent commission when someone actually buys something after clicking a link on your website, it seems like affiliates can’t make a lot of money with it.

Broadly speaking, this is true. Most affiliates don’t earn a full time income. On the other hand, large sites with a lot of visitors usually earn more if they get money for really all views or clicks with their ads. However, if there is a good match between a small website owner and the vendor, and the texts are really well tuned, the conversion (chance that someone buys something) can sometimes be much higher than expected.

If it creates a win win situation for both the company and the affiliate, these types of deals can sometimes persist for a long time and affiliates really make a lot of money with it. Then there is actually no maximum to what you can earn. There are affiliates who really hit the target with multiple successful campaigns and have become millionaires in just a few years. Can you be one of them? I certainly hope so! Last but not least, I stumbled upon this excellent article by Neil Patel. So, if you’d like to learn even more, I would say, take a look. Good luck!

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