Affiliate marketing is in nowadays. It is a great business stream to make some serious money. Affiliate marketing is set to grow to nearly $ 1 billion by 2025. People have even launched online courses on how to succeed in this game. Several of them are already posting ads on different media channels too. So, what exactly is affiliate marketing? And how can you leverage it to create a lucrative side income or even as a career choice? Let us discuss this in detail in the article below.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based technique of marketing through which you earn money by selling 3rd party products or services to other people. Affiliate marketing has four major stakeholders. These are the affiliate network, the merchant, affiliate marketers also known as affiliates or publishers, and the customer. An affiliate marketer earns money by promoting a product through different channels and earns a commission when it gets sold. The promotional channels can be blogs, emails, social networks, SMS, and even PPC campaigns.
Affiliate Marketing-Significant Terms
To know more about affiliate marketing, let’s understand the meaning of terms associated with this business.
Affiliate marketplaces are the central hub or networks. Some examples include ClickBank, CJ Affiliate, and Amazon affiliate. While ClickBank focuses on digital products, amazon offers both physical and digital products but the focus is on physical ones.
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An affiliate link is a link provided by the affiliate program you are with. It is a tracking link that tracks the process of your affiliate ad.
The Affiliate ID is used to make sure that different affiliate programs are processed with a unique ID number. With its help, you can easily add various affiliate programs to any page on your site.
Landing pages are also known as unique product sales pages or demo pages. They help you raise sales of your affiliate products.
Through link cloaking techniques you can shorten the long URLs. Their short form makes them easy to read and understand.
Affiliate Marketing Merchant
An affiliate marketing merchant is the one who sells the products.
An affiliate marketer promotes the merchant’s products on different platforms and gets a commission on the sale of these products.
Steps to Start Affiliate Marketing in India
Use the steps mentioned below to start your affiliate marketing journey.
Identify the Product
Search and identify the products or services you want to promote. Visit Flipkart, Amazon, or other websites that offer affiliate marketing programs. Go through different categories and decide on the topic you are familiar with or confident enough to work on. Initially, stick to one specific category. This is because creating content for a niche topic or audience will be much easier than wasting the efforts in all directions. After you have targeted a particular topic, check the commission rate page to get an idea of how much you can earn.
Build a website
Creating a website is the most effective and secure way to promote an affiliate link and will serve as a rock on which your online business will be built. Only a website that is simple and user-friendly is required for affiliate marketing purposes. It does not have to be loaded with too many features and plugins. The only thing required is that the user can easily navigate through your site and read the content.
Sign-up for an Affiliate Marketing Program
Next, search for popular affiliate programs like amazon affiliate marketing that offer higher commissions for the product category you want to promote. Read in detail the policies, payment terms, and reviews before you make the final decision. Most of the networks enquire about your website address, banking information, and other details. Share a plan of action for product promotion with the chosen affiliate network to get your registration approved easily.
Select the Product for Promotion
Now choose the product from the category you finalized and get ready for promotion. Select a product that has a high sales volume. It will be easier to sell, instead of a new or a low demand product.
Now you have to create content that attracts visitors to your site and nudge them to buy products through your affiliate link. You have to define the products so the visitors are informed and educated about their advantages and are favorable to purchasing it. Ensure that visitors benefit from your site and get value. You can write tutorials, articles, create videos, do reviews and comparisons, and offer discounts as per your marketing and creative choices. You can also do Instagram affiliate marketing through your Instagram handle. The only requirement is that it raises traffic to your site and generates more sales.
Other Ways to Attract Your Target Audience
Other than creating a website, you can also use the following channels to promote your affiliate products.
Email marketing is a tried and tested way of promoting products that are still effective in the current scenario. You can request your site visitors to fill an email subscription form. You can regularly mail the subscribers sharing updates or offers about the products.
You can post articles on your website and also guest post for a mutually beneficial arrangement. Other than that, you can also publish articles on sites like Ezine and HubPages.
You can also start a PPC campaign to market the goods. Create engaging and visual ads that are highly clickable. Focus on solving the customers’ issues, use effective keywords and add a clear call to action in your ads for higher conversions. Use search engines platforms like Google Ads or social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram for this purpose.
You can also go for free advertising by displaying ads on free websites. The only downside if you call it that is that you have to pay the website owners a share of your earnings whenever there is a conversion on the free ads.
Affiliate Marketing Programs Popular in India
Here are some of the highly popular affiliate marketing programs in India.
VCommission is a Cost Per Action (CPA) network with multiple marketing objectives. They have leading e-commerce clients that include Snapdeal, HomeShop18, eBay, and Myntra. You can earn commission through different consumer actions like e-commerce sales, app installs, and lead generation.
GoDaddy also has an affiliate marketing program for India. They offer high commission rates on different products like domains, hosting plans, reseller plans, and email accounts. You can also place their pre-made high click-banners on your website by copying the code. Other than that, they also provide 24/7 customer support.
Amazon affiliate marketing is one of the leading eCommerce marketing programs in India that offer high commission rates and also has high website conversion rates. You can use your existing Amazon account to sign up for this program. A great feature of its program is that you get a commission even for other products that a visitor buys within 24 hours of clicking your affiliate link. For example, you are promoting cameras and the visitor buys a mobile instead after clicking on your affiliate link for cameras. And that too not instantly but within 24 hours. You will get a commission on sales of mobile even if the visitor clicked on your affiliate camera link within 24 hours of the visit.
Share a Sale
Share a sale is a good platform for bloggers to earn good commissions. You just have to register and find the merchant whose product categories you are familiar with and write blogs and content about them. Start creating blogs related to their products and earn commission through affiliate links.
Flipkart like amazon affiliate marketing also offers high conversion rates. The commission rates for different product categories are available on their affiliate marketing program page. Flipkart also provides comprehensive tools like widgets, banners, and a ready-made set of product links.
Shopify is a hugely popular all-in-one e-commerce platform that enables businesses to create eCommerce stores and sell online. The Shopify program is free to join and you can monetize your audience and earn from each new Shopify merchant referral. Commissions are good with an average of $58 for each user that uses your unique affiliate link to sign up for a paid plan. It goes up to $2000 for each Shopify Plus referral.
DGM is a digital ad network. Here you can join as an affiliate marketer and choose the campaigns you want to work on. The commission is different for different campaigns. Some advertisers pay a fixed fee while others offer a percentage of sales. High-performing affiliates also get bonuses and incentives.
It is a leading affiliate marketing service provider with the largest pay-for-performance affiliate marketing network. It also provides educational tools and training for new affiliates. You can monetize your content using banners and rotating banners, links text, search boxes, flex links, and customized deep linking. Payment is weekly depending on meeting the minimum threshold set.
Other than these networks there are several other affiliate marketing networks that are active in India. An honorable mention goes to Cuelinks, Admitad, BigRock Affiliate, CJ Affiliate, and Sovrn Commerce.
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
An affiliate marketing program is flexible and provides huge benefits to both the affiliate and the merchants. Given below are the several benefits of these marketing programs.
Cost-effective for Merchants
The cost of building an affiliate program is minimal and affordable. The responsibility of sales is to affiliate only and does not require forming a sales team. An affiliate marketer makes the effort and shares in the revenue with no extra cost to the company or affiliate merchant. The affiliate merchant will only pay commission for the successful advertisement that resulted in conversion.
Higher Ranking of Merchant Website
An affiliate program develops a network of advertisers that link to your site and thus improve your website ranking.
Freedom to Work
As an affiliate marketer, you can create your own working schedule and environment. It is up to you, whether you want to work from home or lease an office. There is no hierarchy and you are your own boss.
A Passive Source of Income
With an effective affiliate marketing business strategy, you can generate a regular source of passive income while indulging in other financial pursuits or a full-time job.
No Marketing Kit Required
A marketing kit will be provided by the affiliate merchants you are partnering with. It includes a variety of promotional material, ads, and banners.
Flexible and Convenient
You can choose any number of affiliate programs. You can create multiple landing pages and affiliate campaigns for promoting your affiliate links. There is no limit to what you can choose or do in the affiliate marketing field.
No Customer Cultivation Required
For affiliate marketing, you do not require to cultivate or indulge your clients or provide customer services. This is because you are only promoting the products of the merchant. Yes, the promotion has to be effective with high-quality content, ads, banners, etc. You also need to answer the product-related queries of the interested visitors. The post-sales query will be handled by the customer service team of the merchants themselves. You only have to promote and sell the products and count your commission.
So, this was our guide on how to start affiliate marketing. Check thoroughly the websites of affiliate networks you want to partner with. Then research the product you are interested in selling. Focus on providing benefits and adding value to your viewers and you will create a successful affiliate marketing campaign.