You’ve heard of affiliate marketing, but aren’t exactly sure what that is and how it works? It sounds like something that could be useful for advertising your products or services or promoting your blog, but how? Worry not, we have all the answers. Keep reading!
An affiliate program is a marketing tactic that allows you to get paid for promoting someone else’s product or service on your website. You’re paid a commission each time one of your readers clicks through to the advertiser’s site and make a purchase or goes through a CTA on your website.
That’s why it has benefits for all parties involved:
1) The website visitor – The audience member who clicks through to the advertiser’s website is exposed or reintroduced to a brand they may have never heard of otherwise.
2) The advertiser – The company or person who receives the added traffic and potentially increased sales can reach a completely new audience.
3) The affiliate (you) – You get to showcase products and brands in your niche you love with your readers, improving their lives and building your income.
But does it work? These stats say it does!
– Affiliate network participation from content publishers has increased 175% over the past 2 years.
– 81% of brands rely on affiliate programs.
– Affiliate marketing sales revenue driven by content publishers has increased by 240% over the past 2 years and now accounts for 15% of all digital media revenue.
– In 2018, the AM industry was worth $12 million, with the US and the EU being in the lead as the markets with the biggest online trade.
– Together with email marketing, AM is one of the largest sources of online income, accounting for over 16% of all e-commerce orders in the USA and Canada.
So, how effective is affiliate marketing? Brands recognize the value of affiliate marketing and that’s evident through digital spending. As of 2016, 81% of brands and 84% of publishers leverage affiliate marketing. While there’s money to be made in virtually any niche, affiliate marketing is most popular among fashion, sports, and health and wellness brands.
A study of 550 affiliate marketing programs revealed 18.7% of affiliate campaigns promoted fashion products, 14.6% were associated with affiliate marketing for sports and outdoor products, and health/wellness and beauty accounted for 11.1% of all affiliate marketing endeavors.
Affiliate marketing for bloggers is most effective when you, the blogger or digital marketing agency, have a strong audience that relies on you for trustworthy information. Building your audience is a key component to success through affiliate marketing.
Here are some of the examples.
1) This Is Why I’m Broke
Estimated monthly traffic: 5.000.000
Total Backlinks: 130.000
Approximately monthly revenue: $80.000
If you’re looking for the most bizarre, unusual and useless products that nobody should buy, This Is Why I’m Broke is the site for you. The strangest thing about this site is that it lists products that normal people don’t buy, but they still make thousands of dollars in commissions from Amazon.
Why is that? It’s because of their witty product descriptions, extremely unique product selection, and an easy to explore design that can suck you in and keep you scrolling down for hours. Moreover, even though people don’t usually buy what they offer they do click on their affiliate links and whenever that happens the affiliate “cookie” is set and they get a commission for anything else purchased after that.
Amazon is the master at making anyone who lands on their site buy stuff even if they didn’t intend to go shopping, so TIWIB capitalizes on that. They have several popular product categories on their site especially Gifts for Men, Gifts for Women and Gifts Under $20. Overall, however, the products they choose to promote are pretty expensive but interesting.
Estimated monthly traffic: 12.000.000
Total Backlinks: 27.000
Approximately monthly revenue: $900.000
NerdWallet started as a simple credit card comparison blog, but has now grown into one of the biggest personal finance sites on the web serving over 12 million visitors per month. It publishes exceptional content, both in terms of its usefulness and user experience, and helps its readers choose the best credit cards, insurance programs and investment opportunities.
However, it’s still an affiliate site. It makes all of its money through partnerships with different financial services companies, and most of its content can be categorized as reviews and comparisons.
3) The Wirecutter
Estimated monthly traffic: 5.000.000
Total Backlinks: 490.000
Approximately monthly revenue: $30.000.000
The Wirecutter is a content heavy site that helps consumers find the best products in a variety of categories.
However, despite being one of the most popular review sites on the web, The Wire Cutter publishes only a handful of reviews every month since they test every product before reviewing it. Plus, almost every review they publish is a mammoth post of thousands of words. As a result, people trust their reviews and prefer buying through them.
The quality of their reviews and their huge audience ultimately resulted in their acquisition by The New York Times for more than $30M.
From these examples – and many more out there – you can deduce that there is a number of ways affiliate marketers can get paid. Based on different performance factors, the most common ways are:
1) Pay per sale – A commission-based payment method where you earn a set commission based on each sale that comes from a referral visitor from your website. The more sales you generate for the merchant, the more money you make.
2) Pay per click – Merchants pay you each time you bring a lead to the company – when a user signs up for a program of some sort (a trial, demo, newsletter, etc.).
3) Pay per lead – Click-through affiliate marketing pays you each time a visitor clicks on the merchant’s ad that’s on your blog. However, not each click converts to a sale and can become quite expensive, so the pay-per-click method is rarely offered by merchants.