How to Start Affiliate Marketing in 4 Steps.
Here’s the key point you need to understand if you want to become an affiliate marketer: You’re earning a commission in exchange for giving readers valuable insights on products or services they were already thinking about purchasing. You use your blog and the Internet to systemize that process, providing valuable advice to thousands of people.
Here’s a step-by-step process for doing exactly that:
1: Choose a Product to Promote as an Affiliate.
As ethical content creators, we’re constrained in the products we choose to represent in one of two ways:
- Either we’re limited by our experience to products that we’ve used and liked, that have affiliate programs and that are a good fit for our audience
- We’re constrained by the products we can get access to in order to evaluate them, either by buying them outright or getting a free sample or trial. No matter which approaches you take, expect to have to invest time and money into researching the best products for your audience.
2: Get Yourself Set Up as an Affiliate.
Whether you work directly with affiliate merchants or through a network, you’ll have to apply, be approved, and provide certain information so that you can be paid.
At a minimum you’ll need to provide:
- Your personal/business contact information for tax and reporting purposes.
- Your bank account where commissions will be sent.
In turn, the merchant must provide you with:
- An affiliate link. Whenever you post about the product, you’ll use this trackable link. It will have a long tag at the end of each link that includes your affiliate ID.
3: Start Promoting Your Chosen Affiliate Offers.
Ultimately, all your hard work finding and evaluating products only pays off if somebody takes your advice and makes the purchase, right?
For that to happen, you need to put your recommendation in front of your audience. Even more importantly, you need to make your recommendation trustworthy.
This is where a lot of affiliate marketers slip up. They think slapping a banner ad up on their blog that links to affiliate products is all they need to do.
Well, here’s a little secret:
The most successful affiliate marketing offers look nothing like that. No PPC or veiled recommendations on social media.
4: Comply with Legal Requirements
Don’t be afraid to be transparent. People will appreciate your honesty and want to support you to repay you for making their lives better.
So, wherever you share an affiliate link, whether it’s in blog posts, web pages, or emails, let your readers know that you stand to earn a small commission if they buy through you — and if they choose not to use your link, no worries.
Assure them that you wouldn’t recommend any products if you hadn’t used them yourself or were confident, they could help them.
It’s also a good idea to create an Affiliate Disclaimer page on your website.