Affiliate marketing is a multibillion-dollar industry that provides content creators with exciting career opportunities. It’s quickly becoming a typical strategy used by e-commerce brands to promote their products or services. It is a great way to monetize your website traffic and generate extra revenue. Whatever your industry or niche, you can take advantage of this flexible source of income. One of the best ways to earn passive (or nearly passive) income online is through affiliate marketing, but if you don’t approach it correctly, it won’t work.

In this in-depth guide about affiliate marketing, we are going to outline how you can start using affiliate marketing, what are the best ways to grow your affiliate marketing business and how can you take it to the next level.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate receives a commission for promoting the goods of another person or business. The affiliate simply looks for products in which they and audience are interested in, promotes those products, and is paid a commission on each sale they generate.

In simple words, affiliate marketing means that you sell someone else’s products and earn money for it.

How Does Affiliate Marketing work?

In the affiliate marketing sales model, a business pays a third party to promote its products or services and get sales for them. Affiliate marketers are everyone you’ve ever heard on a podcast or seen promoting a product on social media. They are paid with a commission from any sales they get because of their affiliate links shared for products or services to their audience.

You’ll get a unique link or code after selecting an affiliate marketing program, which will enable the businesses to track every customer you send their way. You receive a commission when a customer uses your link to make a purchase.

Programs can be found directly through a business or through an affiliate network like EarnKaro. However, the basic functioning of an affiliate program is as follows:

How Does Affiliate Marketing work?
Working Process of Affiliate Marketing
  1. You promote a store on your blog, website, or social media. Let’s say Store X
  2. Now someone clicks your unique affiliate link
  3. And makes a purchase on Store X
  4. This transaction is then recorded by the company or the affiliate network
  5. The purchase is confirmed by Store X
  6. And you receive a commission

The 4 Key Players of Affiliate Marketing

  1. Affiliate
  2. Seller
  3. Network
  4. Consumer
Key Players of Affiliate Marketing
Key Players of Affiliate Marketing

1. Who are the Affiliates?

Affiliates, often known as publishers, can be either individuals or companies. Affiliates are often content creators that specialize in the same industry as the product they’re promoting. Through content like social media posts, blogs, videos, and a variety of other sorts of content, they promote products and services.

Affiliates can also use sponsored ads to drive traffic. Although there are usually restrictions on the keyword’s affiliates are allowed to use for the products they’re promoting. You should avoid using the products’ trade names or brands.

2. Who are the Sellers?

The creators of the products or services that affiliates promote are sellers. They are responsible for paying affiliate commissions on purchases. Anybody willing and able to pay for sales via affiliates can be a seller, whether they are individuals or businesses.

3. What is a Network?

To manage their affiliate marketing campaigns, many sellers choose to partner with an affiliate network. The network oversees third-party audits and regulates transactions between affiliates and sellers. Top affiliate marketing networks include EarnKaro, Cuelinks, and ShareASale.

4. Who are the Consumers?

The individuals who do the transactions are the consumers or customers. They are the ones who make the product purchases or fill out the lead forms so that the affiliate can get paid the commission.

What are Advantages and Disadvantages of Affiliate marketing?

Like every other business, affiliate marketing also has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at the advantages of affiliate marketing first.

Affiliate Marketing Pros:

  • Billion-dollar Business: As many of you are aware, the affiliate marketing sector is worth billions of dollars and has been booming for the past few years. It primarily increases your chances of growth and success and is one of the key advantages of becoming an affiliate marketer.

2. No Expertise Required

To become an affiliate, you don’t necessarily need to be an expert in marketing. The great thing about affiliate marketing is that you can pick up tips as you go along by experimenting with different organic and paid campaigns. There are numerous ways to manage and run affiliate marketing programs as well. Leverage any prior marketing expertise you may have and try to determine what works best and generates the most revenue. 

3. Minimal Investment

If you’ve ever wanted to start your own business, especially one that sells physical goods, you know how expensive it is to do it. Sometimes, a lot of money. You’ll have a low-cost solution to start your own business using affiliate marketing. As an affiliate marketer, all you need to consider is how much time you’re spending on content creation and promotion.

4. Passive Income

Affiliate marketing is a passive income option as through your content creation and promotion, you can earn money from it. Moreover, the transaction can take place even if you are not actively involved which means your website would keep you earning money even, you’re on a holiday or sleeping.

5. Flexibility

With affiliate marketing, you have a good amount of flexibility to follow your interests while still generating income for your business. You simply sell the product without needing to design, create, produce, store, ship, or service it. This implies that there are no defined times when you should work on developing or advertising the product. Just choose products that appeal to you and those you believe your audience and network  will like, then create the content necessary to promote them.

6. Convenience

To promote the affiliate link, you can run a variety of campaigns on various websites. By focusing just on the links that perform well, you can leave the others. You can run numerous affiliate programs across various product categories as you are not limited to just one affiliate product.

If one product is hard to sell, go on to the next one, which is a little bit simpler to promote and offers greater earning. In other words, if one program doesn’t work, switch to the next one. It enables you to increase the probability of growth and profitability while reducing the risk component.

7. No Customer Support

You don’t have to worry about customer support for the products and services you sell as an affiliate marketer. Many affiliate marketers who want the freedom to start their own business without worrying about how to deal with actual customers find this to be a huge relief. The main point we want to make is that you should only recommend high-quality products and services to your audience that you would genuinely use. They will stop trusting you if you promote inferior products to your audience to make easy money. Therefore, choose the affiliate products and services that you promote carefully.

8. Sole Proprietorship

You often work as a freelancer and establish your business activity as an affiliate partner. And as the sole proprietor you don’t share the earnings with anyone.

9. Performance Based Earnings

Affiliate marketing offers you a great benefit of earning well based on your performance if you’re good at managing marketing campaigns and promoting products.

Affiliate Marketing Cons:

1. No Control on the affiliate program

An affiliate marketing program is not your business; you are simply a participant in it. In other words, you are dependent on a Retail Company and must abide by their rules. At first, it seems charming, but as time passes, it loses its charm. You must wait for the client to adjust the new rate and put the changes into effect. There isn’t much you can do besides communicate.

2. No Control Over Competition

The advantages of an affiliate program are high profitability, low cost, and ease of starting an affiliate business. Additionally, it implies that you have no influence over the competition and that anyone can introduce a new marketing strategy and capture market share. Professionally experienced affiliate marketers would provide you with tough competition in the market and this would influence the growth of your company.

3. No Customer Base

Once customers use your affiliate link to visit the client’s website, it becomes a referral program. They would go straight to the store the next time without your link. It is impossible to create a database of repeat or loyal customers. It is your responsibility to bring in new customers and build a strategy to retain them.

However, some SaaS affiliate marketing programs provide you recurring licenses, meaning that if the consumer stays with the business, you’ll continue to receive the commission. These programs are limited.

4. Uncertainty of Income

Pay-per-performance has the potential to be both a huge opportunity and a huge risk. Nobody offers the guarantee that becoming an affiliate marketer will be simple or that you will start making money right now. Although it’s a challenge you should take on and you must put all your effort into making the most of the chance, it is ultimately difficult to predict how much money you will earn from it.

5. Freelancing Not Suitable for Everyone

It is a difficult lifestyle to lead working alone for an indefinite amount of time while not being able to interact with others or move around. Not everyone can handle it, and for some people, it leads to mental health problems. If this relates to you, you should rent a co-working space so that you may work with other freelancers.

6. Quantity Approach

Since some marketers engage in spam marketing, affiliate marketing to some extent falls under that category.  It’s important to note that if you use any of the shadow techniques, it will limit your opportunities for growth and harm your reputation. The affiliate program would also end the collaboration with you.

How do Affiliate Marketers Make Money in India?

Depending on the terms of the affiliate program, there are various payout models. The company typically pays out commissions monthly, although this can change based on the rules of the affiliate program. For all the leads or sales you’ve generated, you can receive a weekly payout or a monthly payment. When selecting an affiliate program to join, you should be mindful of the payout structure, which ultimately depends on the objectives you have.

How do Affiliates Get Paid?

Ways of affiliate marketing
Ways of affiliate marketing payouts

1. Pay-per-sale

The most used affiliate marketing model is pay-per-sale. Affiliates are compensated under this payment model for each sale they bring in.

2. Pay-per-click

Affiliates are paid for clicks generated under the pay-per-click affiliate marketing payment model, regardless of whether a sale was completed or not. This model is quite rare.

3. Pay-per-lead

Affiliate marketers get paid for the leads they generate under the pay-per-lead model. Depending on your goals, the payout model will influence which product you select, how you plan to promote the product, as well as how much time and resources you want to invest.

How Much Can You Earn Through Affiliate Marketing?

Most affiliate networks typically pay between 5% – 15% of each sale that is successfully converted from a lead of a given affiliate link. However, many sellers offer smaller commission, particularly in product categories where demand is high. Most sales may result in a one-time payment but depending on the kind of products or services being sold, some referrals may generate recurring payments. Most regularly subscription-based products and services involve recurrent payments.

Here are some statistics on affiliate marketers’ typical incomes. Potential earnings are significantly higher according to affiliate marketing income statistics from Glassdoor. Affiliate marketers make an average of ₹5,202,509.90 a year, with earnings ranging from ₹33,20,751.00 at the low end to ₹6,56,2436.50 at the high end.

Affiliate Marketing Channels

Affiliate marketing channels are nothing but platforms where you can start your affiliate marketing business. Affiliate marketers have several ways for increasing traffic and generating revenue. Some affiliate marketing channels are more popular than others. Here some of the well-known affiliate marketing channels.

1. Influencers

A content creator who can influence a significant percentage of the audience’s purchase decisions is known as an influencer.

This individual is well-positioned to gain from affiliate marketing. Through social media posts, blogs, and other interactions with their followers, they can easily point customers to the seller’s products because they already have a large following. Then, a portion of the earnings are given to the influencers.

Campaigns using influencers are particularly popular on Instagram and TikTok, where marketers collaborate with influencers who are regarded as experts in their respective fields. A campaign might include several product reviews with photos, account takeovers, or live videos, depending on the deal.

Even though an influencer may have their own branding and aesthetic, it’s crucial to include components that relate to your brand to increase brand recall and awareness.

2. Bloggers

Blogging can bring organic traffic to deals and offers affiliates share and help affiliates rank in search engine results. To promote the affiliate product, bloggers frequently use reviews, guides, how-tos, and other educational content. To receive credit for the sale, they then use their unique affiliate link to connect to the seller’s website.

3. Paid Search Microsites

Microsite development and monetization can also result in significant affiliate revenue. These websites are promoted on a partner site or in search engine sponsored listings. They are different from the company’s primary website and function separately. Microsites enhance conversions by providing more targeted, relevant content to a particular audience due to their simple and straightforward call to action.

4. Email Marketing

Despite its older origin, email marketing can be used to generate income for affiliate marketing. To promote the products of the seller, some affiliates have email lists they can use. Others may make use of email newsletters that contain links to products to earn commission from a customer’s purchase.

The affiliate can also gradually assemble an email list as another method. They gather emails in bulk via their numerous campaigns, then use those emails to promote their products.

5. Large Media Websites

These websites focus on growing a wide audience of millions and are built to constantly generate a large influx.

These websites use banner ads and contextual affiliate links to market products to their large audience. This strategy provides superior exposure and boosts conversion rates, generating top-tier profits for both the affiliate and the seller.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing?

1. Decide a Niche

The first step to becoming an Affiliate Marketer is to decide on a niche. A specific area that you would like to focus on. For example, if you like fashion and like to blog about clothing styles, you can become a fashion Affiliate Marketer. Similarly, if you are interested in technology you can decide to solely promote deals and offers on electronics.

Apart from your interest, there are a few other things that you need to keep in mind while deciding on a niche. They are-

  • Choose a niche that you would like to research. As an Affiliate Marketer, you would have to constantly stay on top of trends. Hence, it is always wise to choose an industry that you are curious to know more about.
  • It should solve the problem of the customers. To get more sales, it is important to choose a niche that would solve the core problem of the customer. 

2. Choose Your Platform

After deciding on your niche, you should pick at least one platform or channel that you’ll use for affiliate marketing. For affiliates who wish to create product reviews and comparisons to promote their selected affiliate products, blogging is likely the easiest and least expensive way to get started with affiliate marketing.

Another excellent platform for affiliate marketing is YouTube. Additionally, creating a YouTube channel and uploading videos are both free. The disadvantage is that YouTube is saturated with content creators and videos, making it challenging to stand out. Moreover, making and uploading a great video will certainly take much longer than writing a simple blog post. If you want to talk to people on camera, YouTube is something you should consider. Additionally, if you already have a YouTube following, use it for effective affiliate marketing.

Another place with a lot of affiliate marketing activity is Instagram. It’s an active platform, and just like YouTube, it’s a great choice if you already have a following there. To promote your affiliate products, you can create visually appealing images and videos, and like other platforms, you can even pay for ads if you want.

3. Build an Audience

You should first focus on building an audience before thinking of growing one. You can directly address your audience by creating email lists. Anyone who joins your email list will receive your newsletters, updates on fresh content, and exciting deals.

Follow and tag influencers who might be interested in your niche if you mostly work on social media. Making every effort to boost traffic to your website or social media page is the key.

Avoid trying to sell anything to your audience only to make a quick profit. They will trust you more if they feel your interest is genuine.

4. Find Appropriate Affiliate Marketing Programs

There are many affiliates marketing programs available. Make sure you find affiliate offers and products that will interest your audience rather than just concentrating on high-paying affiliate programs. When selecting an affiliate program, keep the following in mind:

  • Is the program well-known in the industry?

Working with partners who people don’t trust is something you should avoid. The good thing is that affiliate networks evaluate affiliate programs, and present trustworthy, successful retailers you can partner with like EarnKaro.

  • Does the program have a good commission rate?

You want to get paid well for the time and effort you put in. Many programs offer compensation for sales that range from above 10% to 20%. Choose a rate that is suitable for you.

5. Create Valuable Content

Although people are consuming content, you must make yours valuable to your audience if you want to stand out. A great way to achieve it is through blogs. If you have a blog, do some research and learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Reaching your audience requires doing some keyword research and using SEO effectively. According to studies, blogging is the only traffic source used by 65% of all affiliate marketers.

Social media is another way to do this. An easy and cost-free way to get your content in front of potential customers is to promote it on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and even Quora.

Another strategy for retaining the interest of visitors to your website is email marketing.

How to Choose the Right Affiliate Marketing Platform in India?

Now that you know the benefits of affiliate marketing platforms, it is very important for you to choose the right affiliate platform. There are many affiliate marketing websites / platforms available online and we have done some extensive research so that you can make an informed decision while choosing an affiliate network. Below are things that you should look for:

1. Audience

First, think about your target market. What kind of goods and services are likely to be of interest to your network? For example, Fashion Influencers are more likely to be interested in Lifestyle and Fashion websites than Home and Kitchen ones, so you might choose an affiliate platform that can connect you with online fashion websites and portals.

2. Commission rates

How much will you earn per sale? Network Rates can vary widely. All affiliate platforms offer different commission rates for different brands. You can choose the one which offers the highest commission on the retailer you want to promote.

3. Product/service selection

Will the network connect you with brands your audience will be interested in? This is the most important thing to look for when choosing an affiliate platform. Before joining any affiliate network check out the list of brands that they offer and whether it matches the interests of your audience.

4. Approval requirements

Some networks require your site to be well-known or receive a certain volume of traffic. You can check all the requirements before signing up with any affiliate network.

5. Cookie Duration

The cookie duration indicates how long a program follows and credits you for a potential customer. From one platform to another, durations might vary significantly. For example, the cookie duration at Flipkart is 30 minutes, while for Myntra it is 30 days.

Tips to level up Your Affiliate Marketing

You now understand the basics of affiliate marketing. So, what comes next? Of course, you begin! Here are some tips to help you get going and level up your affiliate marketing efforts.

1. Begin with product reviews

Start by reviewing the products and services offered in your industry. By doing this, you will develop your audience’s trust and position yourself as an authority in your field. Make sure you explain to your audience how the things you are reviewing will benefit them (or why they should stay away from them). Add product comparisons to the mix once you’ve written a few product reviews.

2. Always stay up to date with the trends

In affiliate marketing and online, there is a lot of competition. You must remain up to date with trends in marketing in general as well as those in your industry if you want to be the best. If you’re a pro at using social media, you don’t want to be left behind when the next Instagram trend hits.

3. Establish Credibility with Your Audience

Don’t break the trust of your audience by trying to sell them things they don’t need or want. Choose things that you genuinely believe will help your audience instead. And never directly tell people to buy—always offer recommendations based on your best opinion. To keep your audience returning time and time again, be helpful and offer high-quality recommendations.

4. Widen the Range of Your Affiliate Products

You are not required to promote only a certain number of affiliate products. Even if you can have a favorite seller, it’s fine to work with other retailers and market other products as well. This protects you as the affiliate as well because you won’t be left stranded if the merchant you love decides to reduce commissions, restrict the channels via which you may inform your audience about products, or end their affiliate program entirely.

5. Test and Optimize

Optimize everything with testing. All the time. Get to know your analytics inside out and use them to guide your marketing and promotion. In marketing, you can never be sure of how something will work until you try it. So, give the program some time to run and collect data before making changes. Keep an eye on what works well and do more of it.

What is the Future of Affiliate Marketing in India?

The Future of affiliate marketing in India is promising as online sales can significantly increase through affiliate marketing. About 15% to 20% of all online sales are currently driven by it.

According to a recent report from IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India), the affiliate marketing business in India will exceed by $835 million by 2025.

India has the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world, according to 2019 research by NASSCOM (The National Association of Software and Service Companies).

In terms of the potential of affiliate marketing in India, the recent increase in online businesses has a lot to promise.

People are using the internet to purchase a variety of goods and services. Businesses are paying more attention than ever to affiliate marketing to draw in more customers and sell them their products.

The timing is right to start exploring affiliate marketing. Put your expertise and passion to work so you can earn more money.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is an incredibly simple process that can be done through reviews, blogs, social media, webinar software, and other platforms. It is a new marketing frontier that is just waiting to be explored.

By using the tips in this article, you can engage your audience, turn passive readers into active buyers, and increase your revenue one click at a time.

FAQs

How can I start Affiliate marketing with no money?

You can join affiliate programs for free with affiliate marketing platforms like Earnkaro. All you need to do is signup for free and partner with 150+ brands available on EarnKaro. There is no documentation required to join EarnKaro.

Is Affiliate marketing profitable?

Although affiliate marketing is a viable source of income, not all businesses can benefit from it. Affiliate marketing demands long-term focus and commitment to be profitable. Affiliate marketing has advantages and disadvantages, just like any other form of self-employment or business model.

How do you pick a niche for affiliate marketing?

The first step to becoming an Affiliate Marketer is to decide on a niche. A specific area that you would like to focus on. For example, if you like fashion and like to blog about clothing styles, you can become a fashion Affiliate Marketer. Similarly, if you are interested in technology you can decide to solely promote deals and offers on electronics.
Apart from your interest, there are a few other things that you need to keep in mind while deciding on a niche. They are-

1. Choose a niche that you would like to research: As an Affiliate Marketer, you would have to constantly stay on top of trends. Hence, it is always wise to choose an industry that you are curious to know more about.

2. It should solve the problem of the customers: To get more sales, it is important to choose a niche that would solve the core problem of the customer.

Is affiliate marketing easy?

Affiliate marketing needs knowledge, experience, and effort. Although it is not a quick or simple path to success, when done correctly, it can generate significant income.

The following qualities will help you succeed as an affiliate marketer:
· An interest or expertise in a certain niche
· use of the internet and consumer research
· website design, graphics, SEO, PPC, and analytical skills
· the ability to create engaging content or to hire someone to do so
· Organized & methodical
· Patience and strategic skills
· Networking skills

How much money can you make as an affiliate marketer?

Most affiliate networks typically pay between 5% – 15% of each sale that is successfully converted from a lead of a given affiliate link. However, many sellers offer smaller commission, particularly in product categories where demand is high. On average, Indian Affiliate Marketers earn around 0.3 lakhs to 9 lakhs per annum.

Where can I promote affiliate products?

You can promote affiliate products in your tutorials and product reviews, email campaigns and newsletter, video content, social media Like Facebook Groups, Facebook Business Page, Instagram, LinkedIn groups, Twitter, Resource Pages, Blogs, Podcast, Paid Ads, Online Events, And Guest Posting.

How Do I Become an Affiliate Marketer?

To become an affiliate marketer first you need to decide on a niche then you need to choose a platform to start affiliate marketing like social media, blogging, podcasts, etc. After you have chosen a platform, you need to build an audience. Once you have grown your audience then you need to look for appropriate affiliate marketing platforms like EarnKaro. Last and the most important thing is creating valuable content for your audience.

What are the best products for affiliate marketing?

Some of the best products which you can promote are Wireless Chargers, Home Automation, Wearable Devices, Gym Equipment, Travel and tourism, Shapewear, Safety Apparel, Jewelry, Gaming, Pet-grooming, Subscription Boxes, Food Delivery Services/Coupons, Baby Care, Digital Courses and Learning Material, Insurance, Car Accessories, Bicycle Add-ons, Bottles and Protein Shakers, Backpacks, etc.

Which platform is best for affiliate marketing?

One of the best platforms for affiliate marketing is EarnKaro. With EarnKaro you can become an affiliate for more than 150+ retailers. You can sign up on EarnKaro for free and no documentation is required.

Do you need a website to do affiliate marketing?

No. Having a website is not necessary for affiliate marketing. You only need traffic which you can direct on the merchant’s website, and it can be through your YouTube channel, Instagram or Facebook.

Mansi Rana is an experienced content writer with 2 years of experience in creative storytelling. A Journalism and Mass Communication graduate from Amity University, Mansi is passionate about helping creating micro-influencers through the power of affiliate marketing. When not writing for the Internet, she is a voracious researcher of all things beauty and fashion.

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