HOW TO: Affiliate Marketing for Creators
Need an extra revenue stream? As a content creator, you already have an engaged audience that trusts your opinion. With that audience loyalty, Affiliate Marketing may be the perfect next revenue stream for you to dive into. Affiliate Marketing is a great way to make money by promoting brand’s products and services. We’ll discuss how affiliate marketing works, the benefits of its income stream, and how to get started with your own affiliate marketing side-hustle. So whether you've never heard the word "affiliate" before or you've been waiting to learn more, let us show you the ins and outs of adding an affiliate program to your business.
A Content Creator’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing:
- What is Affiliate Marketing?
- Choosing an Affiliate Network
- Finding Your Products
- Promoting Your Products
- Disclosing Your Ads
- Tracking Your Sales
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process in which an affiliate earns a commission for each visitor or customer brought on by their own marketing efforts. Affiliate marketing is another way that content creators can work with brands to promote their products and earn a commission.
When a content creator signs up for an affiliate program, they are given a unique link to share on their website and social media pages. When a user clicks on the link and makes a purchase from the brand, a cookie is stored in their browser that allows the seller to track which affiliate helped make the purchase. It's a simple as that!
Affiliate links are a low-risk way to test out a new revenue system. They require little to no cost for entry — a one-time purchase is often all that's required to become familiar with a product you want to promote.
It’s a great way to supplement your existing income since it provides (nearly) a passive income. Once you've set up your affiliate links, and you've promoted them across your platforms, you can begin to make money at any time of day, regardless of whether you're working or not.
Choosing an Affiliate Network
An Affiliate Network is a platform that connects merchants with affiliate marketers. You'll need to sign up for one to get started promoting products.
Share A Sale and ClickBank are two of the most popular networks. They both allow for easy merchant discovery, effortless revenue tracking, and reliable payments. In our experience, Share A Sale is a bit easier to navigate and is overall more user friendly.
Amazon’s Influencer Program is an in demand option that’s easy to manage. You can direct your audience to your own personalized storefront, containing as many products as you'd like to promote. You can organize these products into lists based on your audience’s interests. The downside is the low commission rates. A traditional commission for affiliate marketing ranges between 10 and 20 percent while Amazon's commissions max at about 10 percent. However, its ease of use and audience familiarity is a huge benefit not to be forgotten.
When choosing the network that's best for you, consider commission rates, cookie windows (how long of a window the consumer has to buy the product from your link), and user friendliness.
Now that you've chosen your affiliate network, it's time to start finding products to promote.
You likely already have an idea of what your audience is interested in. Use that knowledge to help guide your product selection process. Make sure you're picking products that you are passionate about and would personally use. Maintain trust with your audience by showing them high-quality products they will be excited about and interested in.
Start small — begin with a few products you really feel confident your audience will love. As their trust grows, you can choose more products and begin to experiment with your promotions.
Promoting Your Products
It's time to start talking about the products you’re marketing!
Make sure this promotion is as seamless and similar to your other content as possible. Find ways to weave your affiliate links into your regular content.
Our advice? Use link stickers on Instagram stories, create reply videos for TikTok user comments, directly link to Pinterest photos, or utilize a link in bio where you can direct your audience to a handful of discounts and links (our favorite is Beacons!)
Get creative with it! Think outside the box. As a creator, you already know how.
Disclosing Your Ads
Don't forget! The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a government organization that regulates advertising in the United States. In order for your promotions to be compliant with their rules, you must disclose that you are being compensated for promoting the product. Add a simple disclosure to your posts or stories to make sure you are following FTC regulations.
Tracking Your Sales
Now that you're promoting products, it's important to track your sales and earnings. This will help you see what's working and what isn't so you can make necessary changes along the way.
Most affiliate networks have their own reporting tools that allow you to check on your progress. ShareASale, Clickbank, and Amazon's Influencer Program's all have tracking systems to see which products are performing the best.
With data, you can make business decisions about which products are working for your audience and which aren't. Nothing is more powerful for creators than your data. So use it!
We encourage you to be creative in how you apply affiliate marketing to your content creation and creator business.
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