Le affiliate marketing is one of the most popular web marketing strategies, thanks in particular to its simplicity of implementation, but also to the fact that it is accessible to all.
Today, it has become an effective method to generate passive income for an e-commerce beginner, but it is also a great way for a company to promote its website.
In this article, we are going to introduce you to affiliate marketing in the easiest and clearest way possible.
Affiliate marketing, or affiliate marketing for our English friends, is a digital marketing technique allowing a website (the advertiser) to promote its products and/or services through other people (the affiliates). Generally, affiliates promote the website through their own site (mainly blogs), but also through Youtube videos, Instagram stories or more recently through TikTok.
Advertisers are simply commercial websites wishing to develop sales of their products or services.
As I told you before, affiliates are people or companies that use different means of communication at their disposal to promote themselves. Moreover, the most effective and practiced way is writing blog posts.
The sectors of activity are very varied, whether for fitness programs, beauty products, for real estate, there is something for everyone.
Before understanding how affiliate marketing works, you must first understand what an affiliate network is.
It is a website that connects advertisers and affiliates, it is therefore an intermediary that facilitates exchanges between the two parties, but which also allows to give guarantees for each, in particular with regard to the fees.
In addition, it takes care of different tasks (monitoring of KPIs, recruitment of affiliates, implementation of contracts, remuneration, etc.), which allows the advertiser not to take care of it and the affiliate to find trade agreements more easily.
Now that you know each actor and the role they play, I will explain to you in a concrete way how affiliate marketing works.
- First of all, the affiliate will register on Affilae which is a affiliate platform well known.
- It analyzes different companies and markets that can generate traffic and sales through affiliate marketing.
- Then, it identifies different products or services, which, to the extent possible, already work thanks to this strategy.
- The affiliate then promotes on these communication tools.
- It then tracks the various figures (number of visitors, number of clicks, conversion rate, bounce rate, etc.).
- And finally, he pockets his first commissions.
All this is possible thanks to cookies, not cookies but those web files that are stored on your machine's hard drive.
This will allow the various websites and affiliate platforms to follow the visitor's journey and therefore see if the latter makes a sale. Its function mainly allows the follow-up of the affiliate's link, which contains various tags and trackers used for its identification.
Despite this, do not think that cookies are viruses or allow you to have any control over your computer or smartphone.
In addition to its memory function, cookies will allow affiliate platforms to fight against fraud. Fraudsters generate, without the knowledge of Internet users, cookies in order to believe that there has been a visit.
My last sentence leaves you perplexed and you are probably wondering, “Okay, he makes his first commissions, but how?”.
And indeed, there are different ways to make commissions, some are more advantageous than others for affiliates, but not necessarily for advertisers.
1. Cost per acquisition
Or the CPA, is the most used means because it provides a financial guarantee for advertisers. It is a mode of remuneration which consists in paying the affiliate on the number of customers, therefore of sales, that this one will bring him.
2. Cost per lead
The lead or prospect is a commercial contact who demonstrates a more or less confirmed interest in the brand. In digital marketing, this prospect is obtained through the information of their contact details on different registration forms (newsletter, white papers, etc.).
The commission is made, here for the affiliate, when a prospect has therefore completed one of these contact sheets.
However, in some contracts, the supply of leads must be qualified, that is to say, they must correspond to the advertiser's target (example of an unqualified lead: my partner is looking for men and single women under 30, but the prospects I bring to him are married men and women over 40).
3. Cost per click
As its name suggests, here the commission is made when the click is made. This is the dream method of remuneration for affiliates, you will tell me, but in reality this means is not really popular with advertisers, because it does not provide any guarantee. This is, among other things, the method used for Google Ads campaigns.
If you want to learn more about monetizing your blog via affiliation, we advise you the maker's blog. Guides and tutorials to generate income online through blogging and affiliation.
For affiliates, this method can bring in a lot or very little. To give you a range, it can go from €50 to €10000 per month (yes, that's a big range). It all depends on the market and the niche you are going to target, the bigger your niche, the higher the number of potential customers, but the higher the number of competitors as well.
In addition, doing affiliate marketing cannot be improvised, you particularly need web marketing skills (whether it is site editing, SEO, mastery of social networks). However, there are many training courses, both very good and less good, that will teach you how to make money with this strategy.
When you are trained in affiliate marketing, you can expect to make several hundred euros over several months and a thousand euros or even more in a year.
As I told you before, affiliation is a profession that can be learned and therefore becoming an affiliate takes some time.
If you think you already have the necessary skills or want to get started in the future, you can already read on.
If you are a blogger who has one or more sites, generating a minimum of traffic, the exercise will be much easier for you.
However, do not believe that it is necessary to have a large site making tens of thousands of visits to make affiliation, certainly it will be perhaps simpler, but with a site of very good niche and quality this one can convert as much as large sites.
For example, if you have a site specializing in the theme of magnet fishing and you offer well-positioned quality articles, you will certainly have a higher conversion rate (on affiliated products/services) than a general site on hunting and fishing.
The choice of an affiliate program is just as important because it is this that will determine the commission you will receive for each sale, there are many on the market but I will only give you three.
Certainly one of the best known and most used programs, because by creating an affiliate account with Amazon, it will allow you to have access to thousands, even millions of affiliate links.
It will therefore be very simple to have your site monetized, but the commission rates are not the highest, but it is one of the best ways to make money with affiliate sites when you are starting out.
This tool is an international sales and affiliation platform, which is particularly specialized in dematerialized products, such as detailed courses, ebooks, but also other digital products in sectors such as fitness, marketing, mindset , etc.
Very well known and highly appreciated on the French-speaking market, 1TPE is a quality and secure platform that also offers digital products. It has thousands of monthly visits, but also thousands of products available.
If you want to make money through affiliation, you must be able to offer your audience the products they are looking for.
For that, it's very simple, identify a market in which you want to operate (let's take the example of fishing), then find a more specific niche of this market (here magnet fishing). Once your niche is chosen, look at what is already done on the web by analyzing the sites of potential competitors. Thanks to tools like SemRush or Ahrefs you will be able to identify the pages, therefore the products, which work best for these sites.
Finally, do the same on your end, but do better than your competitors through SEO optimization.
When you run out of ideas for your niche, you can expand to other similar niches (e.g. angling), or you can also see what is being done in foreign countries, like the USA , Germany, United Kingdom, etc.
As I just told you, to show off your affiliate products you will have to promote them mainly via a blog. Writing articles may seem simple, but in reality it requires a lot of upstream work with competitive analysis, keyword research, copywriting, optimization, etc.
If you don't have the right skills, you can always start by training on Youtube, then invest in training.
In addition, do not focus only on blogging, develop your gear using social networks in particular, TikTok being very popular at the moment, you must take advantage of it.
The main purpose of affiliation is to create a regular passive income, so once the promotion of your products or services has been done in an optimal way, all you have to do is put your feet under the table and wait. let the profits fall into your wallet.
However, do not forget to keep up to date regularly, with trends in your market for example, but also to monitor the proper functioning of your site. Indeed, it is not uncommon to see some affiliate sites have a lot of visits, but their affiliate links are dead (too bad for them, good for us).