Do you want to make potentially endless amounts of passive income for just a few hours of your time per week? Do you want to build and grow a website that can generate income for you, or can be easily sold for thousands of dollars later down the road? Are you jealous of all the stay-at-home-moms who make tons of money with nothing more than a laptop and some opinions? If so, affiliate marketing may be for you.
Digital marketing is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Businesses of all sizes are constantly looking for ways to increase sales, drive more traffic, and grow their business. Many businesses stick to simply throwing money at pay-per-click ads, Google SEO, and Email marketing, hoping that it provides a decent return on investment.
However, there is not only high competition for this form of marketing, but it can get expensive for small businesses if it doesn’t convert. Instead, these brands would benefit more from a low-investment marketing approach that only costs them money if they convert – affiliate marketing.
How Do Affiliate Programs Work?
Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing that allows you to sell products and services to people on the behalf of the company for a commission. Rather than dishing out money for direct advertisements, they pay influencers – bloggers, website owners, and other sources of information – when someone clicks a link to their products or website.
Once the reader clicks the link, the visitor is tied to the referrer and if a purchase is made or an action is completed (registered for a newsletter, made an account, deposited money, etc.), the referrer is credited. In many cases, this can be repeated numerous times by different customers, earning the referrer tons of money and generating a load of leads or sales for the brand – a win-win!
How Do I Refer People?
To earn money with an affiliate program, you need to generate clicks on your referral link. If you want to generate clicks for your affiliates, you’re going to need your own traffic that you can direct their way.
To do this, many people elect to start a website or blog where they talk about, review, and compare different products against each other to help people make decisions on what to buy. These are often referred to as niche sites, and many revolve around a singular category to make it easier to establish a user base. For example, if you’re into gaming you may create a site all about PC gear and look for affiliates with PC tech companies.
Once you’ve got a home for articles and posts, you can begin signing up for affiliate networks and programs to receive referral links. These links are how actions & sales are tracked with various companies, so you’ll want to include them in your posts and convince readers to click them.
This is often accomplished by using a button that catches the eye or a direct text link. You’ll have to be convincing though, as nobody likes to be directly sold something. It’s all in the power of suggestion!
Examples of High Paying Affiliate Programs & Networks
Obviously, you want to make the most money you can through affiliate marketing, which makes it important that you consider your options for affiliations carefully to maximize your earnings. While you want to look for a high commission rate, you can’t earn a commission if the product is bad or totally unknown. Ideally, you want to stick to semi-known brands that offer fair rates to increase the odds of someone actually making a purchase after clicking.
Below are some affiliate programs and networks that allow you to work with a variety of brands as an affiliate. Many of the brands you find on these sites will be legitimate, but you should still do your own research into them before you commit to adding their links to your post!
Perhaps the most well-known affiliate program in the world, Amazon Affiliates is a worldwide affiliate program that is free to join and easy to use. Simply create an affiliate account on Amazon, collect links to products you want to review on your website, and wait for the clicks to come rolling in.
They allow you to earn up to 10% per sale with your links, and all referrals last 24 hours where any purchases made are eligible to earn the product type’s commission for the referrer. The purchase doesn’t even need to be what was originally linked, and with millions of products available, the odds that someone will make a purchase while you’re still their referrer is pretty good!
To claim your commissions, you can either receive a direct deposit to your bank account or receive an Amazon gift card. It would be better if they offered instant cash another way, but being able to get cash to your bank is pretty nice anyway!
Peerfly, founded in 2009, is an affiliate network rather than a program. This means that they collect affiliate opportunities from larger companies, allowing you to sort through their collection for anything that applies to your niche.
After creating an account (which isn’t so easy with their rigorous registration requirements) and being approved, you can then view any offers that are available to you from their partners. Once you select an offer, you’ll receive a tracking referral link and can start referring.
What separates Peerfly from competitors is that they don’t only offer cost per sale commissions, but they also offer cost per action commissions. An action can be anything from filling out a form to downloading an eBook and is often used to generate leads rather than directly earning sales.
These opportunities often pay less, but the odds of them being completed are higher because they don’t require a purchase, increasing the chances that you’ll earn a commission from each click you generate.
PeerFly also offers great cash out options, with PayPal leading the way in terms of convenience. You can also elect to choose a check, bank wire, direct deposit, or Payoneer deposit once you reach $50 in earnings.
ClickBank is another affiliate network that offers a wide variety of international affiliate opportunities. Having been in business for more than 20 years, they have established a collection of partners that spans the globe and is involved in just about every niche market imaginable, making it likely that you’ll find an opportunity that works for you.
They have lower requirements for opportunities than some other sites, so you may have to weed through some of the less desirable offers. However, their filtering system makes it easy to only find opportunities that have sales, are confirmed legitimate, or that pay enough to be worth considering. Their commission rates vary greatly, spanning from 1% to 50% depending on the offer.
Like many other options, ClickBank offers bank transfers as well as a check or Payoneer transfer for payment once you reach $10 – one of the lowest cash out thresholds available.
With 18 years as an affiliate marketing network, ShareASale (very fitting name) is well-known for providing quality opportunities from some of the largest businesses in the world. With over 3900 merchants in their network, you’ll be able to find an offer that works for you.
In addition to a percentage of the sale total, ShareASale also offers flat-rate commissions for some affiliate offers, allowing you to seriously stack up the cash. With companies like IncFile offering $50 in commissions per sale, there’s no reason not to consider using their affiliate network.
When it comes to payouts, they do an okay job. While there is no PayPal or instant cashout available, you will receive a monthly payment directly deposited into your bank account or Payoneer account that contains all your earned commissions. Regular pay is great, but not being able to cash out when you want is a downside.
Affiliate programs are a great way to earn a passive income by gaining and leveraging influence on your website or blog. With just a few pieces of content and some well-placed referral links, you can get some clicks from readers and earn some sales commissions through affiliations. Just be sure to choose your affiliations carefully, as if you put out too many spammy or low-quality links, your readers may stop trusting you!