What is affiliate marketing? - X-Forces Enterprise
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What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a way of earning money by promoting a company’s products or services through your own platform, such as a social media account or blog.

It’s a low investment, passive income stream, whereby you can earn a commission fee every time you drive a sale for the company you’re promoting. Affiliate marketing sales are usually tracked by links or special discount codes.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Affiliate marketing helps companies promote their products and services to a wider audience through partners with influence and a large online audience. There are three main parties involved in affiliate marketing:

  • the seller or creator of the product/service (sometimes known as the merchant)
  • the publisher who promotes the product/service (the affiliate)
  • the consumer who engages with the seller following their interaction with an affiliate

If you promote products through affiliate marketing, there are three ways you can earn revenue:

  • pay per sale – getting paid every time a consumer buys a product or service after clicking your linking or using your code
  • pay per lead – earning revenue by creating leads for the seller, such as consumers signing up for newsletters or downloading free guides
  • pay per click – getting paid for diverting traffic to the seller’s website

As an affiliate, you’ll usually get paid once you generate a certain number of sales, leads, or clicks.

How to start affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing often starts as a side hustle. However, that’s not to say being an affiliate marketer can’t be a full-time job. Firstly, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to promote products and services. You could do it via your YouTube channel, social media platforms, blogs, email newsletters, or a combination of them all.

Next, you’ll need to find the products to promote to your audience. You could target individual companies or join an affiliate network which matches marketers with products to promote. They allow affiliate marketers to sign up to advertising campaigns from a range of different companies. If you choose to work with a network, make sure you’re happy with the processes and the commission on offer. Once you’ve signed up and been accepted to the network, you can add links and codes to your content to start generating revenue.

Affiliate marketing for beginners

Affiliate marketing is popular because you can get started quickly, work to your own schedule, and don’t have to get involved in things like customer service.If you’re thinking about becoming an affiliate marketer, here are some key questions you should be asking yourself:

  • do you have a big enough audience to earn money?
  • do you have the influence to encourage people to buy products?
  • what type of products should you be promoting?
  • how are you going to promote the products?

How to make money from affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is performance-based, meaning there’s no limit to what you could earn, but you’ll only get out what you put in. If you’re going to make money from affiliate marketing, optimisation is crucial. For example, when creating blogs or videos you’ll need to include the right keywords to make sure your content shows up in search engine results.

Meanwhile, if you’re using social media, you’ll need to use tags effectively and learn how to use each platform’s algorithm to get seen by more people. At the same time, maintaining your personal brand is key to building trust with your audience.

Discover some of the most popular types of affiliate marketing and what you need to consider over on our Knowledge Exchange Hub – it’s free to join and packed with expert advice and top tips.

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