How to Make Money from Search Traffic through Affiliate Marketing
If your website is already getting a significant amount of traffic coming from the search engines and you'd like to know how to monetize the traffic with affiliate marketing, then this post is for you.If your website isn't getting much traffic from the search engines just yet, then you need to first go learn how to drive organic search traffic to your website or blog. Here are some materials for you:
Now, if you belong to the former group, let's get on with how you can monetize your search traffic through affiliate marketing. Let's start with the basics:
WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting a business's products or services and earning a commission in the process. So typically, you find a product you like and trust, promote it to an audience through the Internet, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.It's a new twist on an old marketing idea: getting a finder’s fee when you refer a customer. You introduce your audience to a product or service and, if they buy using your unique affiliate site link, you earn a commission.
This is how most bloggers in the blogosphere make money off their blogs. Great examples are Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income and Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Make a Sense of Cent.
WHY AFFILIATE MARKETING?
Sure, there are several dozens of options for monetizing your blog. We even created a guide on 10 Ways to Monetize Your [SEO-Optimized] Blog.
But why affiliate marketing?
To start with, affiliate marketing is probably the best method for earning passive income online right now.
You don't need to create a product
You don't need to hire a team
You don't need to think about customer service
You don't need to deal with admin and refunds, and so many other hassles that are associated with launching or selling a product online.
All you have to do is find a product or service that has already been created, branded, perfected, and loved by people. Then start promoting it on your blog or other channel and grab part of the profit from every sale you make. Easy and sweet, isn't it?
HOW DOES AFFILIATE MARKETING WORK?
Or to put it more precisely: How do bloggers make money from affiliate marketing?
As described above, affiliate marketing is really just a quick way to offer products and services to your audience without creating them yourself.Essentially, affiliate marketing involves a merchant paying you a commission for referring new business to their website. Being a performance-based marketing, the merchant only pays you for sales generated from your end for the company. If you don't generate a sale, you do not get paid.
Now you might be thinking: "since affiliates only get paid when they generate a sale, it means that this is basically just a little money, right?"Heck no! It actually depends on a couple of factors including how much traffic and clicks you're getting. Let's see how much you can make from affiliate marketing.
HOW MUCH MONEY CAN YOU MAKE AS AN AFFILIATE MARKETER?
This totally depends on several factors, as stated just above. Some of these factors include:
The amount of traffic you're getting to your website
The percentage of that traffic that is converting
The percentage of the profit the merchant is willing to pay out as affiliate commission
Depending on the product category, the average web company pays anything between as little as $10 to as much as $1000+ per purchase. Some companies offer something like a lifetime 30% recurring commission.Apparently, how much money you make directly depends on the price of the product and how many units the buyer bought.
Now, on a general note, affiliate income is not consistent, as in say, you make $10,000 every month consistently. You would have to look at affiliate income from an annual point of view instead of monthly to get a better grasp of how much money you can make from it.A decent affiliate can make anywhere from $10,000 a year to $400,000. A super affiliate can make upwards of $1,500,000 a year. For instance, following the examples cited earlier, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income makes $50,000+ per month from one affiliate product while Michelle who makes upwards of $100,000 per month says that affiliate marketing makes up more than 50% of her monthly income.And, yes, you can make money from affiliate marketing while you sleep. After all, it's just about your hands on the right products for your audience, sprinkling the promotional links all over your digital space, and waiting for people to click on those. BUT usually, to get to this stage, an initial work of building the right audience is almost always needed. Let's see how you can get started.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO GETTING STARTED WITH AFFILIATE MARKETING ON YOUR BLOG?
Here's our 4-step process for getting started with affiliate marketing on your blog:
STEP 1: CREATE A BLOG AND DRIVE REPEAT TRAFFIC TO IT
This is where the initial work lies. Without this stage, it'll be almost impossible to enjoy the hands-off, autopilot benefits that top affiliate marketers enjoy.So as you can tell, this stage is super important. It'll be the determinant factor as to whether or not your affiliate marketing will be successful or not… because affiliate marketing success directly depends on the amount of traffic your blog is getting.
Of course, you would need excellent content for this. So apart from building a professional-looking website, you'll need to put some time into creating quality content and optimizing it to rank on the top of SERPs (search engine result pages) for strategic keywords. That means doing things like building backlinks, off-page and on-page SEO, and every other thing necessary for driving organic search traffic to a website.
STEP 2: FIND RELEVANT AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
It's a no-brainer that the products you promote should be in line with what your blog is about and appeal to your audience.Start by researching products in your niche that you trust and can promote. If you have a hard time finding great products on your own, you may choose to sign up with an affiliate network.Look at an affiliate network is an intermediary or middleman between publishers and merchants, which allows you to more easily find and participate in affiliate programs that are best suitable for your business. Or you can see it as a marketplace for finding the best affiliate programs…
...because through a single affiliate network, you can have access to various affiliate programs.
Here are the best affiliate networks to sign up with:
ShareASale Affiliates (Awin)
CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction)
Rakuten Marketing (formerly LinkShare)
eBay Partner Network (EPN)
STEP 3: PROMOTE THE PRODUCTS' AFFILIATE LINKS
There are several ways to promote an affiliate link, including promoting it to your email subscribers and on your social media pages, but the best method is adding the links to strategic pages and blog posts on your website.You'd need to continually push out the links in order to generate consistent sales. But over time, as your blog posts compound and build up, your previously promoted affiliate links will be making money for you on autopilot, even from the traffic coming from the search engines.
STEP 4: LATHER, RINSE, REPEAT
Keep producing great content, keep building an audience, keep driving search traffic and optimizing and promoting your affiliate offers to make more money. From here, you can scale up your earnings by driving more search traffic and optimizing your affiliate products even more.
AFFILIATE MARKETING BEST PRACTICES
Before bringing this to a conclusion, let's quickly run through some affiliate marketing best practices you should take note of for increasing your chances of affiliate marketing success.
Only choose a handful of good products. Don't go pon promoting hundreds of products as that could hurt your trust and backfire.
Use several traffic sources to promote products
Test, measure and track your affiliate campaign. This is important for optimizing and improving it for better results.
Research the demand of the product before accepting it into your list of affiliate offers
Don't go overboard with the linking. There's no need adding an affiliate link 89 times in a 1000 word blog post.
Choose the right merchant. It's recommended that you promote only the products that you have used, liked, and trusted.
Always indicate that a link is an affiliate link (disclaimer). Readers most times need to know that you are getting a commission if they clicked and bought the product you're promoting.