No one can deny that the world is dramatically changing. While many have lost their jobs and face financial difficulties, others find the remote work is the way forward. Making an income is not limited to working for a company or communicating with others face to face. There is an option of making a living or at least making some extra income from the comfort of your own home.
When you think of a "home-based business", you may immediately think that you already have to have some creative skills such as designing or developing. You may also think of particular professions that require qualifications such as consultancy, bookkeeping, assistants, etc. It's not always the case because there is one home-based business option that you can start today, and that's affiliate marketing.
How Easy Is Affiliate Marketing?
No business model is "easy" but affiliate marketing is one business model that allows you to start easy and get you to learn fairly easily because all the learning materials can be found all over the internet.
Before I tell you how you can start affiliate marketing, I will briefly explain what exactly affiliate marketing is.
An affiliate marketer takes a commission for selling someone else's product or service. They choose any product or service that they believe to help the audience and promote it via a medium of their choices, such as a website, YouTube, social media, and web forums.
When you become an affiliate for a particular company or individual seller, you'll be provided with a unique ID (affiliate link), so they can automatically track which sales come from your marketing efforts. When a prospect accesses to the product/service page using your affiliate link and makes a purchase, the transaction will be. credited to you, and you will get paid a commission, usually a percentage of the sale price.
The Best Home Business To Start Today
All this can be done from your home. If you already know which product you wish to promote, first of all, you contact the product owner and apply to become an affiliate (or Google-search to find out how to go about). If you start promoting your unique affiliate link on social media, then you've already "started" your home business. As you can imagine, this is one of the easiest ways to start a home business. But "easy to start" does not mean easy to make money. Without learning any techniques, it will be very hard to convince others to make any purchases, meaning that the chances of making any money are very slim, let alone making constant income monthly.
I will now show you some of the essential strategies to start affiliate marketing and make it as your successful home business.
Make Sure Your Niche Is Right
Your first task is to choose a niche that you want to promote. It may seem like an easy and exciting task to you but you need good planning right from the start. If you already have a particular niche in mind, take a moment and make sure if your choice is right for you, by checking the following few points.
- Identify the niche you are truly passionate about. It should be something that you are already familiar with and have good knowledge of. It should be specific, for example, if you like traveling, you need to ask yourself what kind of travel you know the best.
- Narrow down the niche further. For example, if you like traveling, does not necessarily mean that you are good at all types of traveling styles. The audience who are interested in luxury travel is not interested in backpacking.
- Make sure it's something you can write or talk a lot about because the content is essential to affiliate marketing. Whether you're going to blog, YouTubing, or podcasting, you should be able to offer in-depth content to connect with your audience.
- Identify which niche makes money. If a niche is very rare, your content will be easy to draw attention, but fewer people are interested means your potential income will be low. A sale per unit also matters, e.g. you'll get more commission by selling one luxuy travel package than by selling one hotel accommodation for a night.
- Whereas if you solely focus on a niche that makes money, you'll find it harder to dedicate time and effort to connect with your audience in the long run. Finding the balance between your favorite niche and the practicality is important.
Sign Up With Affiliate Programs
Once you've established the niche you want to promote, the next thing to do is to find the right affiliate program. If you have a particular brand in mind, all you have to do is to google it and find out if the brand offers an affiliate program, e.g. "XXX (brand name) affiliate program".
Otherwise you can join affiliate networks such as AWIN, ShareASale and Amazon Associates. Once you join, you can search by niche and find brands that sell related goods or services.
Make sure that the commission rate that they offer is reasonably fair. For example, Amazon sells almost anything under the sun and it's useful to be part of as an affiliate, but the typical commission rate it offers is 1%. If someone you refer to spends $100 on Amazon products, you'll only receive $1. You may find other retailers who sell the same products but offer a better affiliate commission rate.
Setting Up Your First Website
Most of the affiliate programs and networks require you to tell them how you intend to promote their products. You are strongly advised to build a website, although it's not always a requirement. The fact that you own a website will show the brands that you are serious about promoting their products, and it till help them approve your affiliate request quicker.
It is possible to set up a website for free, and even your website is at a blank template stage, it will still add credibility to your home-based business.
Also read: How To Build A Sales Funnel On A Budget
Increase Your Affiliate Earnings
So far, I have talked about setting up your new home-based business as an affiliate. All these can be done on your first day, and I hope you find it fairly easy. But without learning various techniques, getting the earnings up there can be very tricky.
Now it's time to start planning out your home-based business strategy as an affiliate. There are several possible ways for you to reach out to your audience. I hope the following tips will help you increase revenue and maintain your business successful and sustainable for years to come.
One of the most popular ways is to market affiliate products by writing reviews. The most important aspect is that you write content that is both appealing to your site visitors and optimized to rank on search engines. The key is to employ some SEO tactics to ensure that your content is in line with Google's algorithm.
The problem with being an affiliate is that, other affiliates always compete for the same spots on Google, along with the main brand's website. Your aim as a blogger is to outrank them and get valuable revenue. SEO (search engine optimization) is all about making your content useful to readers, and here are some of the vital elements to optimize your blogging site;
- Write quality content that's authentic and reasonably lengthy (at least 1,000 words.)
- Use a premium keyword tool and find the most popular but least competitive keywords.
- Place a few relevant images on each of your blogging pages, and they are optimized (reduced in file size, alt-tags are applied.)
- Make sure that your website theme is most up-to-date.
- Make sure that your pages load quickly.
Alternatively, you can use a professional SEO service; plenty of them are available out there to make sure that your SEO work remains a side hustle rather than taking over your life. However, I don't recommend it because although they can help you optimize your site up to a certain level for a fee, they don't guarantee that your site will rank well. Whether you decide to work on SEO by yourself or use a professional service, you are still advised to have some experience of your own to back it up.
Use of a Visual Page Editor
A visual page editor may cost you a little extra, but it's an extremely useful investment because it has features that are often overlooked in content marketing especially for writing product reviews. The features include CTA buttons, table of contents, comparison tables, pros & cons feature. Google maps, etc.
These features will turn your webpage into an easily digestible format for the readers and they encourage sales and increase your revenue at the same time. Thrive Architect is a WordPress plugin and it has been extremely popular among professional content marketers and small businee owners. This is the one that I use and also used for this site. It's easy to nagivate and offers plenty of help and support you need in order to get an idea of what to do.
If you think writing isn't up to your speed and you want to try a "high-risk, quicker return" approach, then you can consider paid ads options instead. With this method, you place an ad that is connected to your affiliate link onto onto popular advertising platforms such as Google Ads or Facebook ads.
The advantage of this method is that you don't always have to make your own creatives. Some affiliate programs will provide you with promotional materials when you sign up, and often all you have to do is to provide your affiliate link to start promoting. That being said, you may end up losing a lot of money if you don't learn who the target audience is and monitor your budget on a daily basis.
Monitor Your Traffic
It is possible for you to sign up with a lot of affiliate programs in an attempt to increase your earnings, and it can sometimes work, but it's not always the wisest way to make money with your home-based business. It can often turn out that one product or service that you are promoting is solely bringing all the traffic in.
Even for that reason alone, it's important to focus your efforts on your traffic by using Google Analytics closely. You can potentially triple or quadruple your earnings by spending more time making sure that you are sending traffic to that particular page.
Social Media and Influencer Networks
Social media marketing is one of the most valuable tools that you can use and not surprisingly, having a lot of active followers on social media is something different all on its own. Many big brands focus their efforts on it and there is no reason why you should try your best to find the right channels where your target audience is using.
Posting updates on several social media can consume a lot of your time, and building social followers can be a painfully long process. But if you focus on two or three social networks and be at them daily, you will have a decent following over time. You will then be able to use that to your advantage and start recommending affiliate products through your social media.
Paid Social Following Apps
While a paid social media ad campaign may be what you need to secure extra clicks, I don't particularly recommend using a paid social following app for 2 major reasons. One is because most of the major social networks try to stop them. New third-party social following apps are developed every now and again and work well at the beginning, but after a while, their programs are prevented by the social network. The other reason is that most of the apps let bot followers follow your account, meaning most of your paid followers will remain inactive.
Use Visuals For Social Posts
Use of visuals on social media is the key to get those valuable clicks and sign-ups. You don't need to be a professional graphic designer to create high-quality images. You can use free cloud software such as Canva and royalty-free image sites for beautiful photographic resources.
If you really want to catch the attention of your prospects and boost your home-based income, start YouTube marketing. This is considered to be the most effective visual marketing method by far.
Email marketing is essential. This will require you to build an email list before anything else, but sending out a newsletter is the key to start building a relationship with your audience while boosting your home-based business income at the same time.
Most of the email marketing service providers offer free newsletter templates and usually let you try their service for the first 14-30 days for free. For an affiliate marketer, AWeber and GetResponse are two of the most popular service providers in terms of price and deliverability.
Also read: AWeber vs GetResponse
Keep Trying Until You Get It Right
Many home-based business owners fail simply by being discouraged when they don't immediately get the results they expected. But like any other business, it takes various marketing techniques, patience, and perseverance to finally achieve success. Needless to mention, online marketing is an ever-changing concept, therefore trial and error are always part of the process. Any mistakes you make along the way are good, and they can only take you to the next level. So start today and keep on working to create the best home based business of your own!