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Affiliate Network Insider — 18 Jul 2023
How Much Affiliate Marketers Make
Affiliate marketing—also known as performance or partner marketing—is big business these days, but there is still a lot of confusion surrounding this career. People often ask “how do affiliate marketers make money?”, and it’s a valid question. The simplest answer is that affiliate marketers make money by monetizing their web traffic.
If you’re keen to find out more about the ins and outs, or if you’re thinking of setting up as a performance marketer yourself, then you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to be discussing all things affiliate marketing starting with the very basics and working up to six key strategies for success.
Taking that first step into the affiliate marketing world can be daunting but it’s a seriously smart choice. The industry is growing at record speed and spending in the area increases by 10.1% yearly. By learning how to become an affiliate marketer, you’ll be able to start monetizing your web traffic and earning passive income even after the day is done!
Sound interesting? Stay tuned to learn more!
Affiliate, performance, or partner marketing is when a marketer earns a commission from advertising a product or service on their platform. The marketer receives a payment every time a member of their audience makes a purchase via their affiliate link.
Many content creators, bloggers, YouTubers, and personalities now participate in affiliate marketing programs. By advertising products and services via their channels, they have the opportunity to earn a percentage profit from each sale made via their affiliate links.
One of the most attractive prospects about this type of advertising is that it allows affiliate marketers to build up a passive income on the side of their primary source of income. Marketers continue to earn affiliate commissions well after making their promotional content, so long as their audience continues to click on and make purchases via the relevant affiliate links.
In short, affiliate marketers leverage their audiences on behalf of sellers by recommending products via their channels (whether that’s a social media platform, YouTube channel, or blog). Each time a member of their audience makes a purchase from the retailer via an affiliate link, the affiliate marketer earns a portion of income from that sale.
This is a mutually beneficial process. Affiliates earn commission and continuous passive income, whilst brands benefit from a ready-made audience willing to make purchases based on recommendations from their favorite online personas, and refer friends and family in the process.
Becoming an affiliate marketer comes with many potential benefits. Performance marketing is a flexible, and potentially highly lucrative, career move that can be taken on on a full-time or part-time basis as a freelancer or entrepreneur.
Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits in some more detail, below:
One of the benefits that comes with affiliate marketing is flexibility; you aren’t bound to an office. Affiliate marketing works as an online activity, most work remotely. As a performance marketer you’ll be free to work from home, or any location of your choice, for that matter.
So long as you are able to continue creating content and distributing affiliate links, there’s no geographical restrictions to consider and your content will do all the talking (and earning) for you. Affiliate marketing is the ideal gig or side hustle for all the budding digital nomads out there.
Affiliate marketing can be an extremely cost-effective venture. Becoming a partner marketer doesn’t cost much. If you’ve already got an established platform and audience, all that’s left to do is to partner up with an affiliate program.
In most cases, there will be no cost to joining an affiliate program and you’ll be able to start making money by advertising an affiliate product or service right away, without any upfront investment needed.
If you don’t yet have an established online platform or community of followers, you’ll need to start with that. Luckily, this too can be achieved on the cheap. Setting up a blog, YouTube channel, social media platform, or affiliate site need not cost a penny.
If you’ve been doing any reading about affiliate marketing then you’ve probably already come across the term “passive earnings”. Passive earning simply means any income derived and maintained with minimal labor. Examples of passive income include things like money earned from rents, royalties, stakeholding, and (you guessed it) affiliate marketing.
A performance marketer doesn’t have to market and sell their own product. Instead, marketers earn money off the back of their existing platforms and online influence. In other words, once an affiliate marketer has joined an affiliate program and advertised their partners’ products or services on their channels, they will continue to earn money when customers use their affiliate links. That means affiliate marketers really can earn whilst they sleep!
This is passive income.
Another great benefit that comes with performance marketing is that your earning is completely uncapped. Unlike in a traditional employment setting, partner marketers don’t earn a fixed salary based on a set number of hours worked each week.
Instead, earnings from affiliate marketing are fuelled entirely by performance. There are no fixed limits on what a marketer can earn. The more effort you put into nurturing an engaged brand audience, the more you can continue to earn through affiliate link commissions.
So long as you keep increasing and nurturing engagement from your audience, you’ll be able to continue increasing your affiliate revenues.Typically, revenues are driven by quality content, engaging promotions, engaged audiences, optimized traffic, and email lists. We’ll be discussing ways to grow your affiliate revenues later on in the article so stay tuned for more top tips!
Because of the passive earning potential that comes with affiliate marketing, there is no real limit on what a performance marketer can earn. The sky really is the limit when it comes to affiliate income. But that doesn’t mean every affiliate marketer is going to become a billionaire.
Affiliates can earn anything from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars a month. Whilst it’s not uncommon for affiliates to earn six-figure incomes monthly (yes, that’s right, monthly), this level of income is not guaranteed.
Money generated depends on numerous factors including the level of engagement on the affiliate marketer’s channels, subscriber counts, affiliate payment models, the affiliate marketer’s particular niche, and—quite simply—effort. Because of this level of discrepancy, affiliate marketer earnings vary hugely.
Because affiliate marketers’ earnings are so varied, it can be helpful to organize them into categories. This will help you work out which earning tier is most relevant to where you’re at on your affiliate marketing journey right now.
It’s important to be realistic. If your online influence is still relatively small, then you’re probably not going to be aiming to earn thousands of dollars per day. But as your platforms gain momentum, there’s nothing stopping you from rising up the ranks and making top dollar eventually.
Affiliate marketer income tiers can be organized as follows:
The novice will earn minimally. Novices are typically those who are starting from scratch. This is a precarious time when new affiliate marketers are investing in their online platforms and discovering viable affiliate programs to work with.
Once an affiliate marketer has an established platform, it becomes easier to generate revenue. More advanced affiliates will typically earn in the region of $300 per day—enough to rival a decent monthly salary.
When affiliates reach expert level, their earnings start to skyrocket. With established platforms that consistently generate passive income, these affiliate marketers will be earning anything skywards of $3000 per day.
The sky’s the limit. Once you’ve surpassed expert levels of revenue generation, there really is no cap on what you can do. It is not unheard of for experienced affiliate marketers—or super affiliates—to earn more than $3000 per day. If you’ve got a very popular site, blog, or online platform and manage to partner with a high-value affiliate program, then earnings can be very healthy indeed.
We know how affiliate marketers earn money, but how do they actually get paid. Sure, they earn passive income via affiliate links, but how are those earnings measured in practical terms?
Well, there are three main ways: PPC, PPL, and PPS.
Let’s take a look!
PPC stands for Pay Per Click. PPC advertising involves placing adverts within a web page. Customers can then click on these adverts. The seller will then pay the hosting platform (aka, the affiliate marketer) every time a customer clicks on one of those advertising links.
PPL stands for Pay Per Lead. PPL advertising is about encouraging people to engage with a brand’s products as prospective purchasers. That could be by subscribing to a newsletter, downloading a brand guide, or even signing up for free trials, online courses, or webinars.
Affiliate marketers can also earn money through a PPL framework. The better their conversion rates the more they get paid. Simply put, PPL is very similar to PPC. The only difference is that leads—not clicks—are being monetized.
Finally, there’s Pay Per Sale. Affiliate marketers who are signed up to a PPS-based affiliate program will get paid a small percentage commission on the sale price of any product sold via an affiliate link. Revenue isn’t generated by individual clicks or leads in this case. Instead, affiliate marketers earn commissions from individual affiliate sales.
If you’re ready to make those first steps towards becoming an affiliate marketer then listen up. There’s a knack to doing performance marketing successfully.
Before you get started, it’s important to give yourself the best chance. The following strategies will help you establish a viable venture and get your affiliate marketing journey off to the most successful start possible.
First thing’s first, remember that the best affiliate marketers work within a carefully curated niche. When you know what your audience wants, it’s much easier to curate content that they will engage with. This will also help you narrow down your choice of products to promote. It’s important that you and your partner seller are operating within a similar topic or industry niche.
If you’ve already got an established platform online, make sure that you work with sellers whose products and services are a match with your topic niche. For example, if you make YouTube videos about health and beauty then you’re going to want to partner up with brands in that space.
If, on the other hand, you’re starting from scratch, it’s time to identify and nurture your niche. This will make you more attractive to affiliate programmes like Amazon affiliate and Amazon associates.
Once you’ve identified your niche, it’s time to home in on your specific target market. In other words, it’s time to identify who is engaging with your topic or industry niche online. Affiliate marketing isn’t a one-size-fit-all kind of venture. Successful marketers focus on a particular speciality and nurture a pool of loyal and engaged followers.
For example, an affiliate marketer might home in on health and wellbeing, dating, finance, cooking, or real estate. By creating targeted and engaged communities, partner marketers become significantly more appealing to brands. After all, sellers want to know that their products are reaching audience members who will convert and become their customers.
Once you’ve established your target market you’ll need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Lots of people with an online presence are turning to affiliate marketing, so it’s important to find ways to make your platform more appealing to potential publishing partners.
The best way to do this is to get creative with your advertising efforts. Aim to incorporate affiliate links into a wide range of different formats from blog posts to video content, podcasts to social media posts.
Once you’ve curated a platform that appeals both to your target audience and potential brands, it’s time to venture out and find yourself an affiliate partner (or partners) to work with. To optimize your revenues, you’ll want to try and work with high-quality, high-ticket platforms.
For beginners just starting out, trying to find your first affiliate partner can feel overwhelming. Instead of traipsing the internet in search of a match, Affise Reach is an online community of agencies, affiliate networks, brands, and publishers ready to partner up.
Here publishers and brands can tap into a ready made network of potential matches and form lasting affiliate partnerships. Using a platform like Affise offers a faster way to foster relationships along with increased visibility.
When looking for an affiliate partner, look for an affiliate program offering competitive commission rates. Consider whether you want to earn commission per click, per lead, or as a percentage of each sale. There’s no right or wrong answer here.
Try to select payment rates that are viable and appropriate for the items you’ll be marketing across your channels. Consider what format will work best for your target audience. Then, ask yourself what you’re trying to achieve. For example, are you trying to close sales, generate leads, or just raise awareness?
Finally, consider what type of affiliate program is right for you. There are so many different options out there. The best way to approach this challenge is to focus on finding an affiliate program that aligns with your niche, expertise, and target audience.
Commission is important, but your affiliate marketing venture won’t be a success without these foundational criteria met. Competition is seriously high in the affiliate marketing world, so the more targeted your partnerships the better. This will allow you to make valuable, specialized content that you and your audiences love and engage with.
Affise works with influencers and publishers to make monetizing content simple. The Affise partnership platform allows affiliate marketers to tap into a ready-made network of thousands of brands, networks, and agencies, worldwide.
With Affise, you’ll be able to join some of the world’s most successful partner programs across a wide range of industries including ecommerce, gaming, dating, and much, much more. You’ll be able to connect with brands directly and have the autonomy to pitch and negotiate the terms and conditions that work for you within a supportive network.
Picking the right affiliate marketing platform is crucial for success. A good partnership software comes with advanced tracking, attribution, and analytics tools. It will help you collect all your data in one place and visualize it. That way you can quickly see how your efforts are panning out and you can make necessary adjustments.
For example, after a month of driving traffic to your website, you notice that users who come from Organic Search convert the best. Then it might be worthwhile to invest more into your SEO optimization and producing more valuable content for your audience.
Once you’ve established your niche, nurtured your target audience, and partnered up with a brand or two, it’s time to start thinking about your affiliate marketing strategy.
Affiliate marketers typically use a range of online marketing strategies in order to generate sales from their affiliate links. The most successful campaigns are those that first research which methods their audience will be most responsive to, and then incorporate a selection of these as part of their marketing efforts.
One of the top digital marketing methods used by performance marketers is social media marketing. Social media is a world-wide platform that allows advertisers to reach people almost instantaneously. With billions of people at your fingertips, social media is the number one choice for reach.
Social media is becoming a top destination for consumers. In fact, research suggests that up to 54% of browsers use social media platforms and apps to research products before making a purchase. A further 71% of consumers who have positive experiences with a brand on social media are likely to recommend that brand to their friends and family, and 49% of consumers admit that they depend on influencer recommendations on social media for their purchase decisions.
Clearly social media is the place to be as an affiliate marketer. But how can you use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, to promote your brand partners?
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Once you’re armed with a well-matched product to promote, you’ll need to engage your audience with high-quality, value-filled content. The key thing to remember here is that effective content doesn’t have to be a direct sales pitch.
In fact, oftentimes, it shouldn’t be. Instead, aim to inform, entertain, and engage. That could be by keeping your audience up to date with industry news, updates, or exciting new product developments. Remember, content is king!
Community marketing simply means building a social media profile and following that appeals directly to people within your target audience (or community). Your social media profile is more important than you might first think.
It’s your audience’s first impression, after all. A good profile boosts credibility and will build trust and engagement. Plus, products advertised within a thriving online community are much more likely to sell.
Content may be king, but images are all-out queens when it comes to advertising on social media. This is what your audiences’ eyes will be drawn to first and sometimes a striking product image will be all it takes to make a sale.
Including images with your ad copy on social media creates higher levels of engagement, and gives customers the confidence to buy-in to an exciting new product.
Incentives always draw in the punters, but try not to stick to the same old offers every time. Catchy and unique incentives, such as seasonal campaigns, competitions, referral programs, and discount codes are a must when it comes to affiliate marketing and will help your products sell.
Online blogging has long been an affiliate marketing staple. Starting a WordPress blog (or any kind of blog for that matter) is a great way to cultivate a loyal and engaged audience with a specific interest in your area of expertise.
Long-form content is one of the best ways to promote products and services and it’s easy to incorporate affiliate links into this style of writing (especially product reviews, for example).
Via your blog, you’ll be able to provide value-rich content, demonstrate knowledge in your field, and position yourself as a trusted source of information. As you build a community of readers, your blog will become an increasingly profitable asset and make you attractive to brands looking to partner up with an affiliate marketer and gain access to your ready-made audience.
Wherever you’re placing your content online (whether that’s an affiliate website, blog, or social media platform), it’s essential that affiliate marketers support their efforts with good SEO.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will make your content more visible on search engine results pages, making it easier for searchers to find and engage with your content.
SEO works by incorporating searchable keywords into your content that get detected by search engines. The more relevant keywords in your content, the higher you’ll rank. In fact, 70% of marketers now consider SEO more effective for generating organic traffic and sales than PPC campaigns.
Email marketing might seem like the old fogie of the advertising world, but it’s as relevant as ever. 87% of marketers still use email marketing to share their content. Email newsletters are a seriously effective lead generation tool because they provide affiliate marketers and brands with the opportunity to distribute custom content directly to people’s inboxes.
An email newsletter is highly customizable. For example, it might include personalized offers or links to relevant blog material, landing, or product pages. And since a whopping 99% of email users check their inbox every day, you can see why email is still going strong.
If you’re a regular on YouTube, chances are you’ve come across affiliate marketing as part of a tutorial video, live stream, or vlog. Online video consumption is on the up, and more and more brands are seeking out influencers to promote their products in their videos.
Affiliate marketers with an established video platform can use their influence to promote products and services via live demonstrations, Q&As, or other forms of engaging and entertaining content.
Pay per click (PPC) ads are another common affiliate marketing method. PPC ads can be integrated within web pages, social media (e.g., Facebook ads), and search engine results pages. Brands will pay hosting platforms (aka the affiliate marketer) a commission every time a customer clicks on a PPC ad on their page.
It’s important to note here that, oftentimes, affiliates will need to invest their own money up front to create the ad campaigns for the products they’re promoting. Because of this, it’s important to consider the cost-benefit ratio of using PPC on your platforms.
The most important thing when venturing into affiliate marketing is to find the best possible partnerships out there. That’s where Affise comes in. Affise isn’t just any old marketing tool, it’s a ready-made community of agencies, networks, brands, and publishers, ready to partner up.
Affise Performance is an affiliate tracking platform designed to help simplify affiliate partnerships with advanced tracking. With Affise Performance by your side, you’ll be able to reduce spend, boost ROI, and get more insights from your existing platforms via Affise’s feature-rich API.
In fact, Affise Performance offers 50 unique data breakdowns offering user-friendly analyses of customer and partner data.
Affise Performance uses targeted data and statistics analysis to help you grow your affiliate business and scale up partnerships. With targeted outreach you’ll be able to maximize your ROI and take full control of your network.
Affise Performance is super user-friendly, easy to use, and highly customizable. Our platform is equipped with advanced data filtering, visualization, and customizable dashboards designed to help you manage your affiliate marketing campaigns more effectively.
With Affise Performance you’ll be able to consolidate all of your marketing channels with advanced analytics functions across traffic and sales channels. This helps affiliate marketers test new strategies out quickly and efficiently.
Affise BI is a set of digital products designed to make it easy to manage and consolidate unstructured data from various marketing channels. Even without a great deal of technical knowledge or training, you’ll be able to use Affise BI to take full advantage of your internal and external metrics and make better, evidence-based business decisions.
If you’re just beginning your affiliate marketing journey or looking to expand your partnerships, then Affise Reach is the ideal platform for you.
Affise Reach is a global platform where affiliate marketers can partner up with top brands and agencies from any vertical. This is a great way to enter into quality partnerships, expand your partnership network, and get access to some of the most lucrative deals and offers.
With Affise, you can avoid chasing bills and payments. It’s super easy to automate payments and manage your charges, commissions, and payouts automatically via the platform.
Affise Reach is the place to find exclusive global brands. The Affise Reach platform brings together thousands of brands and top affiliate marketers from all over the world, so you’ll be in the ideal place to find the perfect partners for your industry or niche.
On top of this, Affise will help you scale up your partnerships, increase sales, build new sales channels, drive traffic, and take control of your affiliate marketing campaigns.
Affise is where partners and influencers can connect and do great work! Affise works from every angle. Here, brands can discover affiliates and affiliates can foster relationships with brands.
That means everyone can grow together in strong partnerships whilst boosting sales and increasing brand awareness across any kind of vertical.
Ready to make money online? Affiliate marketing is a lucrative and flexible way to earn extra income. Is it worth it? Yes. Affiliate marketers harness their online influence to generate sales for partner brands. In doing so, they earn commissions on these sales.
The key to affiliate marketing success is to home in on a market niche and partner up with top-tier sellers. Affise is a ready-made community of agencies, networks, brands, and publishers ready to partner up. Whatever vertical you’re working in, all you have to do is sign up and you’ll be able to start finding those vital connections right away!
Absolutely. Anyone can be an affiliate marketer, but you still have to put in the groundwork if you want to succeed in this industry. Whilst the aim is to eventually earn passive income, establishing a successful affiliate marketing business takes hard work, skill, and experience.
For those who are willing to put in the effort, affiliate marketing offers unbounded potential. So, to recap, here’s what you need to do to start out in performance marketing:
Passive income refers to any earnings that someone generates with minimal labor. In other words, unlike a traditional salary, passive income isn’t associated with working a certain number of hours per week. Instead, it’s a source of income that continues to grow even after the work is done and that keeps growing without investing extra time into it.
You might hear people talk about those who earn passive income as “earning in their sleep”.
Sources of passive income include things like rental income, investments, and royalties.
Affiliate marketing income is another example of passive income. Once a marketer has established a community of followers and advertised a product on their platforms, they can continue to earn money as their followers make purchases from their affiliate links.
Revenue and profit are often confused as terms. Revenue refers to the total amount of income generated from the sales of a product or service. Net profit, on the other hand, is the amount of income that remains after all expenses are deducted. Expenses include things like debts, wages, ad spend, and operating costs, for example.
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