Affiliate marketing is a type of business where a person earns by participating in affiliate programs of different companies. Income is the difference between the cost of advertising and the payment of the affiliate for the fact that the affiliate brought buyers.
Earnings depend on finding and testing effective bundles, verticals, offers, and catch market trends. Of great importance is experience, intrinsic motivation, and personal qualities – analytical thinking, entrepreneurial flair, perseverance, and purposefulness.
- Affiliate marketing beginners earn between $100-$1,000 per month.
- Webmasters who have gained experience in a particular niche can earn $5,000-$7,000.
- Affiliates from arbitrage teams — companies that buy and resell traffic — have more opportunities to beat the competition and work with large advertising budgets. They usually earn $10,000 or more per month.
PayScale estimates that a US affiliate earns an average of $53,290 annually. According to an Affise survey, 15% of affiliates earn up to $200,000 annually. Let’s name specific record holders. Pat Flynn increased his monthly income from $8,000 to $100,000, Tom from Onlinemediamasters has an income of about $150,000 a year, and Doug Cunnington earned $70,000 a year running only one personal website.
The main benefits of this business include:
- Stability. The proof is Forrester statistics: 81% of advertisers use affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing spending in the US alone in 2022 will amount to more than $8.2 billion. According to Kickstart Your Own Affiliate Marketing Business, affiliates bring companies from 5 to 25% of all sales. Advertisers are unlikely to refuse such a powerful assistant.
- Remote work and the opportunity to work for yourself. There is no need to work on a rigid schedule, you can earn solo.
- Opportunity to start with minimal investment or without them. To launch an advertising campaign on an inexpensive site like a push network, it is enough to have $50-100. If a webmaster has a personal YouTube channel with many views, he can advertise referral links without attachments.
- There is no need to purchase and store goods. Affiliates are not engaged in producing the product, logistics, or delivery. All these business processes lie on the shoulders of the advertiser.
- Constant self-development. The affiliate acquires new skills in Internet marketing and related areas – analytics, design, and project management. As a rule, the more skills and experience, the higher the earnings.
Working in affiliate marketing consists of several steps.
This is the line of business in which the advertiser offers products. Examples of main niches:
- dating – offers of services of dating sites;
- gambling — online casino services;
- betting – sports betting, eSports;
- e-commerce – directly consumer goods, for example, clothes, smartphones;
- nutra – health and beauty products, dietary supplements;
- crypt – services related to earning on cryptocurrencies;
- finance – offers of banking products, cards, deposits, loans, microloans;
- sweepstakes – participation in prize draws in exchange for contacts.
You can choose a vertical based on personal preferences or test several niches and stop at the one that works best.
It is better to contact the CPA network to choose an affiliate program. She will offer several options, a personal manager will advise on which offers have better statistics. The CPA network will provide traffic management tools such as smartlink. This “smart” link determines the user’s geo and other parameters and directs him to the desired offer.
- An offer is an offer by an advertiser to promote a specific product under certain conditions. Each offer, in addition to product description, characteristics, and benefits, has:
- Geo. This is the country or region where the advertiser can deliver the product to the buyer.
- Payment model. It depends on what target action the user should be oriented to when creating an appeal in advertising. Example: “Order”, “Register”, “Make a deposit”, “Subscribe”.
- Prohibited traffic sources. This point should be approached carefully. If the affiliate does not accept email traffic and the affiliate brings buyers from mailing lists, he will not receive money.
Having chosen an offer, it is desirable to study the target audience from all possible angles: gender, age, income level, behavior, interests, and mentality. This is necessary for compiling an effective selling ad.
This is a channel where the target audience gathers: a website, a social network, and a forum. It is crucial to study the advertising policy of the source, and whether it is possible to promote the selected offer. For example, you can’t openly advertise casinos on Facebook.
The affiliate can use:
- SEO promotion;
- mailings by email, SMS;
- crowd marketing – leaving comments on blogs and social networks;
- targeted advertising;
- contextual advertising;
- advertising through networks: banners, teasers, push notifications, pop-unders, pop-ups, click-unders, natives;
- advertising with bloggers;
- shooting video or short clips, streaming.
Creatives are the design and presentation of advertisements to users. Depending on the format provided by the traffic source, a creative can be text, video, image, or banner. Usually, several options are prepared to check which one sells the offer better.
The creatives contain a referral link that leads to the offer or the landing and pre-landing:
- Landing is a one-page site that promotes an offer.
- Pre-landing is a laying site, an additional element in the funnel. It is used to ensure that targeted and warmed-up users come to the landing and to avoid moderation bans.
You can make landings and pre-landings or take them from an affiliate program. All elements of creatives need to be tested, even those details that seem insignificant: the color of the button, the text, and the location of the blocks.
Depending on the source’s capabilities, you can set up targeted advertising, contextual, media, or native. The first two types are more difficult: they require savvy in terms of bid management or working with keywords.
Before starting, you need to warm up the account. Moderators and users trust a profile more with content, followers, and audience feedback like comments and likes.
After setting up the campaign and passing moderation, the testing phase begins. Ads are shown for several days on minimal budgets; the affiliate collects the first data. It is important to pay attention to the ratio of costs and income, whether there are conversions, and whether the audience parameters are set correctly.
When testing has shown that some results are positive and others are not, it is important to eliminate ineffective actions. For example, it turned out that two out of five prepared creatives do not interest the audience. They need to be disabled so that the budget is not spent on impressions.
The analysis is carried out at all stages. It is necessary to collect information on the link elements “offer – source – targeting settings – creative”. If there is a noticeable decrease in performance, for example, at first they actively bought, there were fewer orders, the campaign should be stopped, or the creatives should be changed to fresh ones. When the campaign is over, it remains to go to the affiliate account, withdraw the money earned and calculate the profit.
Affiliate marketing can become a source of stable income. Development in this area allows you to keep abreast of the latest trends, improve in marketing, explore different approaches, and increase earnings. For success, you need to be ready to constantly test advertising campaigns, learn to analyze indicators, find patterns and improve work based on them.