Affiliate marketing is when you have a website, and you’re able to convince people to buy a particular item. You then offer a link to the seller’s website for that item, which then transfers your audience to the seller’s website. When that particular person buys the item, part of the money goes to you as your commission.
This sounds a lot like an easy way to earn money. However, not everyone succeeds in affiliate marketing. Here are five facts you need to keep in mind before you even think about becoming an affiliate marketer.
1. It’s a Great Money-Making Scheme — for the Seller
Let’s say there’s this XYC manufacturing company that makes and sells doodads. The seller has you as the marketer trying to hawk their wares, and you do all the work. If you do get someone to buy, you earn maybe 5% to 10% of the sale.
However, the seller takes 90% of the sale. They get this amount regardless of who the successful affiliate marketer is. That may be you, but that may be any of the hundreds of people who have also affiliated marketers for this particular brand.
So if you’re running a business, then it’s a great way to earn money. But for the affiliate marketer, it’s not going to be easy at all. The competition can be cutthroat.
2. The Affiliate Owner Can Suddenly Change Things
The agreement between affiliate marketer and affiliate program owner can be very one-sided. The affiliate program owner is in control. They can change the conditions, such as reduce your commission percentage. They can do this without prior notice. If they wish, they can cancel the agreement altogether.
This may seem like a theoretical nightmare, but it’s happened before with smaller companies. So you better check the reputation of the affiliate program owner to see if marketers are treated right.
3. You’ll Need SEO
Lots of people may want to buy whatever it is you’re promoting. These buyers will then Google for the item, and ask questions like “What’s the best hiking tent?” or “Which wristwatches are great for the beach?” If you want these buyers to get to your site so they can click your link and you earn money, then you better make sure that your website appears on the Google search engine results. That means you better hone your SEO skills to promote your website on Google.
The main problem here is that if you hire experts, then they’re the ones profiting and not you. So you’ll have to know all about SEO yourself. This means that your job as an affiliate marketer won’t be as easy as you may have imagined. You’ll have to be on top of the Google algorithm changes so that if your website suddenly disappears from the first page of results, you know what to do to recover your Google rankings.
4. Talk Only About the Things You Understand
To succeed in affiliate marketing, you better make sure that you’re knowledgeable about the subject matter you’re talking about. You can’t just blunder your way through it all. If you do, very few people will trust you. That trust is your primary weapon as the affiliate marketer. You want people to believe you when you say that a particular item is excellent.
So talk only about the consumer items you understand. It also helps if you’re passionate about the subject matter. Your passion and knowledge shine through, and people can detect your sincerity.
Fake your knowledge and people who know more about the subject will delight in exposing your ignorance. That will keep others from trusting you ever again, and that can mark the end of your affiliate marketing career.
5. It’s Best If You Don’t Lie and Exaggerate
Since you want to be trusted, you need to be honest. Don’t say that something is good when it’s not. Don’t say something is terrific and “the best” when it’s merely adequate.
This will destroy your reputation as well because you’ll be seen as just another “used car salesman” rather than a passionate expert on your niche. When that happens, it’s game over for you!
The good news is that even when you fail, you can always try and try again. Getting into affiliate marketing is easy. Succeeding with it is another story! Heed these five tips, and it can help you succeed.