If you’re just starting out with online business, or just looking to make some money on the side using only your laptop, the one sure way to do it is through affiliate marketing.
By finding the right affiliate network for your niche (considering you’ve found out a good and profitable one, which you’ll enjoy creating content around and promoting products for), you can have a solid addition to your monthly income.
Let’s talk about the very basics of this type of marketing, together with the channel you should choose to become an affiliate for.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
There are many categories for making profit online. Based on what you’re ready to build yourself, though, these would be the following 2 digital opportunities:
- creating your own product, promoting and selling it;
- promoting other brands and people’s products and earning a commission when a purchase is made through your special affiliate link (or after a number of visitors’ clicks, in some cases).
There are many things you can be bad at in the online world. No money, no experience or connections is rarely a problem.
But sales and advertising is something you’ll probably be doing at any stage of your journey. Be it to promote yourself when finding clients to do freelance work for, promoting your own books on Amazon through social media, bringing traffic to your platforms, or tempting people with offers and making them click on links that bring them to a third-party platform you’re working with.
Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest types of advertising on the Internet, and something that is so profitable, but still undervalued.
It means promoting somebody else’s products or services, and getting rewarded when orders are made from people you brought.
It’s a sweet passive income stream to add to your online business earnings, or something to start with if you’re looking for fast money.
Soon I’ll talk more about it on the blog and podcast. In particular, about how it works, niche sites creation, writing affiliate content, promoting products, making Amazon work for you, etc.
For now, however, I wanna share with you the best places to go to if you’re looking to be an affiliate marketer no later than tomorrow.
Because without the right affiliate networks, where you know that people are already buying products and affiliates have been getting paid and are happy with the results for decades now, you won’t make it.
Why You Need an Affiliate Network?
Sure, you can just know people who are already trying to sell expensive products, or those working for bigger companies looking for affiliates. You can make a deal with them and simply start promoting what they offer.
But your chances of success are very little.
It’s much smarter to go where the money is, where it’s already proven what people like, and to follow the lead of the experts who’ve been making a living with one or more of the biggest affiliate platforms out there.
An affiliate network is a third-party platform connecting publishers (that’s you), with merchants (companies selling products or services online looking to grow their audience and offering a percentage to anyone who brings a visitor or/and customer).
Most of them work with a revenue share model.
Some of the affiliate networks and marketplaces you’ll hear first if you do a quick research, are ClickBank, ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, and more.
But I want to bring to your attention 2 other platforms, still huge (the first one being the biggest online retailer), whose audiences and reach are giving you enough opportunities to capture visitors, and whose commission rates and conditions you’d enjoy.
Let’s see how Amazon and Udemy can change the way you make money forever.
1. Amazon Affiliates.
Let’s start with that.
I began using it just recently, and it will be a long-term strategy.
Amazon offers so much. Below I’ll share with you what you can promote for the company as an affiliate.
But before that, just wanna mention some numbers.
In 2016, the net sales for Amazon reached 136 billion dollars.
Here’s an image of how their revenue has increased (in billions) over the past 13 years.
That’s one of the factors of the affiliate network you’re going to join that you should always check, by the way.
Having this graph in mind, you’ll know it’s where people are spending money online. And when one platform becomes that powerful and provides so much for both parties, it’s unlikely to die any time soon. Just the opposite. More and more will be invested in marketing research, so that they can offer an ever better user experience, more products and services, and motivate their affiliates even more.
Amazon’s affiliate program is called Amazon Affiliates.
By joining it, you get the chance to create content and monetize it by linking to their products and anything else they have, such as membership programs and special deals, thus earning referral fees when customers like the item and decide to purchase it.
You can promote any possible item that’s sold online (which makes this affiliate network a good choice as you’ll be sure to not just find it on Amazon, but also see what the bestseller in the category is, which also has the most positive reviews, and simply refer your followers or readers to it, knowing it will be quality).
They’ve got a special page for the best-selling products. So you can just link to that and let your website visitors find an item they’re interested in.
As long as they got there through your link, the cookies will stay up to 24 hours. Most often, Amazon affiliates are surprised by the fact that they end up making money from products they never actually promoted, but which the user ended up buying after checking out a few others.
The next big thing you want to promote when it comes to the Amazon affiliate network, is their main membership program – Amazon Prime.
By becoming a Prime member, people get access to a number of benefits. Including, free 2-day shipping, music and video services, photo storage, audiobooks and Kindle eBooks, and much more.
There are currently around 85 million members, and 22 million joined just last year. So you can see where this is going.
If you’re content creator by nature, have a blog already or just want to start one now and begin writing on some niche topics and gather an audience, you can wait till you gain some traffic and simply place a banner like this in your sidebar or before the article:
Or you can also write reviews about each of Amazon’s different services.
An affiliate review means sharing the benefits (but also one or two disadvantages to keep it real) about a product or service, and then adding your genuine opinion to say why you think people should use it. Here’s a checklist on how to write one.
It’s alright if you haven’t used it yourself. Hundreds of millions of people are doing affiliate marketing well and profit from it without actually getting their hands on the goods.
Here’s what you can promote for the Amazon affiliate network:
- Amazon Music Unlimited
- Amazon Channels (their very own streaming service)
- Amazon Audible (audiobooks and podcasts)
- Handmade at Amazon (their store for handmade goods)
- Deals in Electronics
So, enough about Amazon Associates. If it sounds like your thing, feel free to join today (it’s free, of course), and see how it goes. Just give it time.
Now, let’s move onto the second affiliate network I wanna share with you today.
2. Udemy Affiliates.
Udemy is the world’s largest platform for online courses. And as you may know, these are quite profitable and cover almost any possible niche that you can create content around online.
If you don’t want to be bothered with creating a whole course yourself (quite time-consuming but also a good investment of your time), you can simply promote those of others and still make money.
Udemy is like YouTube, but for courses.
I highly recommend it if you’re in an interesting niche where educational content is a good addition to what you’re sharing with your audience.
Writing about productivity? Simply refer them to a course on how to be more productive, where they will find lectures and audio to guide them through the steps.
Or put a banner of the best-selling ones in a certain category, such as business.
Udemy uses the Rakuten LinkShare affiliate network, which is also one of the oldest and not a bigger player any more. But that shouldn’t stop you.
Although it offers you plenty of other merchants and brands to work with, I’m in it because of Udemy and the online courses I’d like to promote here and there. It’s content I believe in, and something I won’t be creating as a product myself. So it’s not a problem to join a new channel.
So, enough about that. This post was meant to be shorter and just present you the 2 affiliate companies I’m happy with and a fan of. But turned out to be a longer post talking about the whole affiliate marketing business model, and how joining networks happens.
Over to you now.
I’d love for you to take one little step today towards building some financial freedom online over the next few months.
What will it be? Does affiliate marketing sound like your thing? What niche do you see yourself writing/talking/sharing products about?