Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?
Affiliate marketing is one of the most common types of commerce found online, first appearing in the digital space in the early 2000s.
Since then affiliate marketing has boomed and become one of the most popular online tactics to help businesses and individuals generate revenue.
It is near guaranteed that any online user has come across affiliate marketing in some format or another, whether as a seller or buyer, and it has become one of the most popular types of passive income.
It is estimated that over 80% of brands have some type of affiliate marketing program, with some of the most popular being Fiverr and Amazon’s affiliate programs.
However, the perceived complexities of affiliate marketing can make it a daunting process for many who are unsure of how the methodology works.
To help clarify for all those hoping to build a successful affiliate marketing platform, we have put together this guide to help you understand all there is to know about this impressive form of e-commerce.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is an online commerce system where an affiliate marketer can earn a commission for advertising someone else’s product or service.
This means that an affiliate marketer will search for an online product or service they are passionate about and then promotes that item or service to earn a small part of the profit from each sale, usually doing so through blog posts, social media links, or other online sales points.
Breaking down affiliate marketing into a step by step process looks something like this:
- An interested marketer finds a product or service they wish to advertise and promotes a link or ad for that product on an online platform like a website, blog, or social network, usually as part of a more comprehensive work such as a comparative article.
- One of your social media followers or site users clicks the unique link or ad you have created and is redirected to the advertised product or service that they then purchase.
- The affiliate network records the transaction and marks your site or profile as the affiliate marketer.
- Once the purchase is confirmed, you as the affiliate marketer will get paid a commission which is either transferred to your platform or bank account.
Commission rates for affiliate marketing vary depending on the company and a marketer can make anywhere between 5 or 50% of the final sale.
Affiliate marketing in 2022 and beyond
The digital boom and growing adaptability of the online world have only helped affiliate marketing grow. According to Uniquodo, affiliate marketing content has grown at an astounding rate of 175% in the last few years alone and is responsible for over 16% of all total online orders.
Google trends provide us with a great insight into the popularity of affiliate marketing over the last couple of years.
The below screenshot demonstrates a steady increase in the number of searches around affiliate marketing since the early 2000s:
This rapid explosion in popularity, especially in the last two years, is also partially to do with an increase in the number of affiliate networks easily available online, with some of the largest including ShareASale, Amazon Associates and Fiverr Affiliates.
All of these listed platforms provide you with a space to build an affiliate marketing portfolio, with hundreds of new member signups every day.
The growth of these platforms as well as the rising popularity of online shopping, has meant that current predictions expect the total U.S. spending on affiliate marketing to reach 8.2 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2022, up from $5.4 billion in 2017.
This exceptional growth is why more and more online users are turning to affiliate marketing as a means of passive income making in a rapidly developing digital age.
Some of the most extensive affiliate marketing programs explained
There is a plethora of affiliate marketing programs available online that nearly anyone can join up with. These sites often provide you with the resources needed to grow your portfolio and provide helpful insight into better marketing strategies, as well as a catalogue of products and services to sell.
To help you consider sites that may best suit your needs, passions and expertise, we have provided a breakdown of some of the most popular affiliate marketing programs.
Fiverr Affiliates Program
The Fiverr Affiliate program allows users to sign up as a partner and earn commissions by promoting different services provided by Fiverr sellers.
A Fiverr Affiliate can provide a shareable link that assigns a new seller to your account, meaning once they make a sale, a commission will be paid to you directly.
Fiverr have different commission plans and tiers for their affiliate partners, allowing you to market a range of services that are best suited for your audience.
Fiverr Affiliate is the perfect program for those hoping to market a range of online services such as writing or graphic design to their audience.
It is best targeted at business professionals and online workspaces as it is one of the largest digital services sites available.
Amazon Associate Program
Amazon Associates is essentially a referral program that pays a commission for referring customers to specific products on the Amazon platform.
The Amazon program is excellent for blogs and social media accounts that want to market a specific item their audience may find interesting or valuable.
It works by allowing you to send a customer to Amazon via a link on a website or blog and then provides you with a percentage of the sale of whatever item they may purchase over the next 24 hours.
The commission made varies depending on what type of item a customer purchases and the total conversion rate of customers who click on your affiliate link. Below is a screenshot of the commission rate for some popular items at Amazon.
Things to consider for successful affiliate marketing
While affiliate marketing is growing in popularity and availability, it is by no means a get-rich-quick scheme and is instead a process that requires time and dedication.
While joining most affiliate programs is relatively fast and easy, generating the commissions requires much more than just getting a few clicks on a referral link.
While there isn’t a high monetary cost to starting off as an affiliate marketer, building up an audience and the skills needed for successful marketing will require time.
To help better prepare you for the world of affiliate marketing, we have put together a list of the top five things you will need to consider to be successful.
- Establishing a trusted audience
To successfully use affiliate marketing, you will have to build an audience that sees you as a trusted source of information on the products or services you are recommending.
You will also have to develop a platform that your audience can follow you through, whether a social media account providing product reviews or a website that helps businesses connect with specialists.
Building the right level of trust with your audience is the first step in successful marketing as you will be their go-to trusted source for all their interests.
- Understanding the value of what you are marketing
Having a well-developed understanding of the unique points around the products or services you are advertising to your audience is crucial for successful affiliate marketing.
By knowing the products or services you market, you can provide your audience with the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision.
Providing detailed and passionate information means a happy buyer as well as ensuring you can be confident that your audience will always trust your advice!
For example, Streamcrown.com advertises Fiverr’s Twitch graphics section throughout their site, understanding their audience’s needs and the value of a relevant service:
- Matching your marketed products with your audience
Entering the world of affiliate marketing is only worth it if you can match the products or services you recommend with an interested audience.
It is essential to build a marketing platform that discusses areas that you are passionate about or at least knowledgeable on. This ensures that the products you recommend to your audience will be of interest to them and as such are a product or service they require.
Being aware of the demands, reasonings and expectations that your audience expects out of a product or service means that you can successfully target the right affiliate offers towards them.
And sometimes those affiliate offers can come from surprising places.
ElijahCoffee is a dedicated coffee blog, with a very specific audience. Yet, they matched their audience needs with Fiverr’s amazing logo designers for an awesome coffee shop logo creation tutorial:
- Using search engine optimization correctly
Search engine optimization (SEO) improves the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines.
This process is often done through effecting keyword ranking and other practices, making it clear to online search engines that your website is a trusted source in your area.
A critical step in ensuring your page receives the correct traffic from people interested in your products or services is to research the common keywords around your subject.
Once you are aware of the keywords associated with your niche, you can build a database of relevant articles and further resources that pull in an audience searching for the products and services that you recommend.
- Using touchpoints effectively
Once you have successfully built a trusted audience matched with the right products or services, you can utilize the full range of an affiliate marketer’s arsenal.
Rather than just focusing on linked articles, you can build up a unique scope of other touchpoints to increase sales while still providing valued information.
For example, email newsletters, client calls, social media and training sessions are all excellent channels to introduce affiliate marketing.
You can create the perfect affiliate marketing fit by successfully combining the right product or service with the best touchpoint. For example, a blog site that promotes online freelancers sending out a monthly newsletter with the best freelancers of the month and their affiliate is a valuable resource that is also combined with an affiliate promotion.
Why choose to begin affiliate marketing?
There are various reasons why an individual or organization may choose to begin an affiliate marketing program, and we have clarified some of the best advantages below.
Low cost of start-up
An affiliate program does not require impressive ad campaigns led by veteran marketing teams and can be successful with even the smallest beginnings.
Whether you have a popular blog site with regular monthly readers or a well-built following on social media, the best way to get an affiliate marketing business up and running is by developing a robust online presence.
Simply find a product that your followers will find value in and establish its unique selling points on your chosen platform.
Low running costs
Running an affiliate program means that issues like ensuring stock intake, storage and other costs are taken on by the seller rather than the affiliate marketer.
This keeps running costs incredibly low and reduces the marketer’s cost solely to the running fees of their chosen platform.
With an established audience and regular purchases, an affiliate marketer can make thousands in a month with no significant overheads involved.
Affiliate marketing offers a fantastic means to make revenue at your own pace and you can scale up your business model as necessary.
You can choose how many items to recommend, how often to generate touchpoints and how regularly to market to your audience.
This flexibility gives you the power to build a revenue stream at the pace you want, with minimal risk of failure.
High return on investment
Affiliate marketing has been proven to have a much higher return on investment than the majority of marketing strategies.
By creating a trusted sphere of influence, you have access to a regular audience that is always expanding, meaning you have a great range of outreach for possible future customers.