How do you make money online? This is one of the most asked questions on the internet. Since the explosion in connectivity that we have been privy to in the last thirty years or so, many of us have been looking for ways to make money through the internet, quickly, and simply. Whilst there is no pay-off for anything without a little ‘elbow-grease’, there are plenty of ways in which you can make money online without having to spend hours each day tending to your business, but few are more intriguing than affiliate marketing.
So, what exactly is affiliate marketing? In the simplest of terms, affiliate marketing is where an external partner to a company gets paid for transforming clicks into sales. A quick example of such a partnership would be hosting a link on your personal website, for a pair of running shoes, with the target link going directly to their listing on Amazon. This link will contain affiliate information, letting Amazon know that those who click and buy the product, came to their site through your effort. Affiliate programs are available for a whole range of products, from financial services such as Forex, through to Amazon, eBay, Shopify, and many more besides.
Extend your reach
If you do decide to take a foray into the world of affiliate marketing, one area of your business that should never be neglected, is social media. In fact, there are very few businesses that don’t need to deal with social media in any way whatsoever, and when it comes to affiliate marketing, social media can be extremely important indeed. If you manage to get a decent following on any of the popular social media channels, you can make some serious money from affiliate marketing, but there are a few things to consider before you get started.
Firstly, know your audience. If you are looking to become an affiliate partner for a company that has a target market in their thirties and forties, Facebook may be the place where you should invest most of your time. For a younger audience, Twitter and Instagram may be the way to go. There are, however, nuances between the sites that mean your approach should change depending on which site you are using.
Instagram, for example, is a great tool to reach younger eyeballs, but unless you have over 10’000, you can only put links within your bio section (or your story section). Twitter, while giving you the ability to reach a huge amount of potential customers, is an extremely fast-paced social network. A post you put up at 11 am, may be lost into the ether by 11.10 am. Because of this, you may have to post 5 or 6 times a day, and with useful and relevant hashtags, to get the most widespread coverage possible.
Quality content drives clicks
There is also another quite obvious tip to consider when pushing affiliate links on social media, and that is to make sure you concentrate on making your content as useful and interesting as possible. Blindly tweeting out links to products will get you nowhere fast, but if your social media accounts offer useful content in between your affiliate link posts, you should find that your audience is more likely to trust your recommendations. Find your niche in the affiliate marketing world, and get building a community on social media around it.
Another thing to consider for your posts, is that the more tech-savvy viewers out there will be able to see exactly what an affiliate post looks like before they even click it. With a URL being a dead giveaway, some affiliate partners out there prefer to ‘cloak’ their links, using one of the many services available. The result is a much smaller URL address, and no clues as to whether the link you are posting is actually part of an affiliate marketing campaign. Take heed though, as some companies do not like the use of URL cloaking by their affiliate partners, and as such, it is always worth checking out whether there will be any issues from your particular partner company in the long run.
Finally, if your social media network is lacking the numbers needed to make a dent in the affiliate marketing world, it is always possible to leverage someone who does have the desired numbers and demographics. Reach out to influencers across social media platforms, or video content sites such as YouTube (most YouTube stars are more than aware that their fame can be a good deal for both parties). If you can strike a deal where they use your affiliate link in their posts, it can be a win-win situation for all involved.