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How to Become an Affiliate Marketer: the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

Tips & Guides — 01 Jul 2022

Looking for Affiliates?

How to Find Affiliates for Your Business?

Is there anything more alluring than the idea of earning money without lifting a finger or of having an army of marketers getting the word out about your brand?

In many ways, that’s what affiliate (or performance) marketing provides. By including certain affiliate links in blog posts, on-site content, and/or social media posts, affiliates can generate passive income for themselves while also boosting your business’s reputation and sales.

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How Does Affiliate Marketing Benefit Your Business?

Performance-based marketing comes with a wide array of benefits. It can improve the way your company handles marketing, as well as revolutionizing your digital strategy. As an added bonus, businesses of all sizes and experience levels can make the most of those advantages.

The graphic below provides a glimpse into some of the biggest benefits associated with opting for affiliate marketing.


Image source: thundertech.com

One of the biggest reasons why high ROI is listed as a benefit is because of the way affiliate marketing works.

When you work with a partner, especially one from another business, your audience automatically increases. Even if you chose a business with absolutely no overlap with your own (which is going to be unlikely, since you’ll at least be working within the same sector most times), you’d have access to both your own and that business’ regular customers.

Your marketing campaigns would also show up on both of your regular social media sites. That means that you’d be more likely to rank highly in search engine results. In other words, partner marketing is a great way to improve both your own and your partners’ SEO performances.

If you’re running a SaaS business, you can also use your affiliate’s organic reach to help show your prospective clients that moving to your platform is easy and beneficial.

However, partner marketing is unfortunately not quite as simple as picking any random partners and waiting for the results. Before you can even think about earning income through affiliates, you’ve got to consider who your affiliates are going to be. To that end, let’s find out who affiliates are, and how you can find suitable ones for your business.

Who Are Affiliates?

Affiliates are a type of partner for your business. When you practice performance marketing (also sometimes called partner marketing), your affiliates promote your brand or products, and get paid a commission every time their promotion efforts are successful.

These marketing partnerships are becoming a more popular source of spending each year:


Image source: theblogy.com

That’s because a good affiliate marketing program is mutually beneficial to all parties involved. If your affiliate partner helps you to make a sale through their promotional efforts, your revenue goes up, while they get to earn commission.

In short, affiliates are partners or companies who promote you and your products.

How to Find Affiliates and Where

So, affiliates are useful, and a good affiliate program can increase your overall revenue. But how do you locate potential affiliates, and how do you turn them from potential partners into actual partners?

The most important thing is to know where to look, as well as how. That’s why we’re going to cover the 13 best ways to go about finding affiliates, and recruiting them.

Every business has its own unique needs when it comes to finding an affiliate. It’s important to remember that methods that work well for other companies might not be ideal for you, and vice versa. By giving each of these 13 methods a go, you’ll increase your chances of finding the best partners for your company in particular.

1. Link to Your Affiliate Program

Chances are, if you’re looking for new affiliates, you have a program set up for them to use. In case you don’t, follow our step-by-step guide to create your own affiliate program.

The best way to ensure that more potential partners see that program is to create a program landing page, provide a link to it, and to list that link publicly.

Your affiliate program landing page should contain these essential points:

Of course, linking your program and bringing in more page viewers doesn’t guarantee that you’ll attract the right affiliates every time.

To increase your chances of recruiting affiliates who add value and drive revenue, you’ll want to incorporate statistics and analysis that show the effectiveness of your partner marketing program into that program’s landing page.

That way, you’ll be providing potential recruits with hard evidence as to why they should choose you, and if they respond to this, you’ll know they value that evidence as much as you do.

2. Existing Customers

Your existing customers have massive potential, in many different ways.

This is especially true when it comes to finding new affiliates. Customers that are already invested in your products are an excellent source of potential business partners, since your existing customers are already in the target audience for your promotional campaigns.

In other words, your existing customers are part of the same niche that your affiliates would be marketing towards. That means that by using your existing customers to network with affiliates, you’re leaning into the specific partner marketing niche that works for both parties.

Think of your existing customers as being an intermediary link between your own company and valuable future affiliates. Instead of building these links through networking websites like LinkedIn, you can build them through the customers that are already loyal to your business.

3. Industry Forums or Communities

When you’re searching for your next top affiliate, make sure to take the time to browse online forums and communities for your industry. This is where many like-minded individuals working in the same sector as you will be gathering — meaning it’s a likely source of a new, great affiliate.

Consider, for example, a popular online hub of activity like Amazon. In July 2020, it saw a massive increase in affiliate marketing publisher applications.


This goes a long way to show how valuable it is to search for affiliate partners where they’re gathering. Amazon is more of a general hub of activity as well. With this in mind, it becomes clear that specialized forums and communities designed to cater to people in your industry who are also seeking affiliates (or to become affiliates) are a hugely valuable place to search.

Another advantage of forums and communities is that they’re a great resource for startups. These virtual spaces are full of experts and longer-standing companies, making them an ideal place for new businesses to learn about the industry and build connections.

4. Influencers

The power of influencer marketing is no joke. Between 2016 and 2021, its market size grew from $1.7 billion to $9.7 billion, and this exponential increase pattern is only predicted to continue.

It’s no surprise, then, that influencers can be incredibly helpful when it comes to recruiting new affiliates.

Influencers are masters of networking. They know exactly how to draw new customers to your company, which hashtags to use for maximum impact, and how to ensure that your outreach efforts land smoothly. As well as recruiting them as affiliates, you can pay influencers an affiliate commission to help secure others using their skills in connecting compatible groups of people. In this case, your company and your affiliates.

In a word, influencers can be your marketers. They can make your affiliate offers look more attractive than your competitors’, talk up your brand, and help you show off how beneficial a partnership with your company is.

You can also use your partnered influencers to demonstrate to affiliates how effective your company’s promotional efforts will be. That’s a sure way to look more attractive to those future affiliates.

A marketing partnership with an influencer can be especially helpful to any eCommerce business. That’s because eCommerce companies thrive when they see more traffic on their website, and influencers are skilled at driving that traffic up by promoting companies.

5. Use Social Media

Of course, influencers don’t exist in a vacuum. They rely on the power of social media to promote brands and show off great products.

Social networks on their own are also a useful tool when it comes to reaching a large audience, which in turn helps you cast a wide net and recruit more potential super affiliates. To illustrate the reach of social media, consider the spread of Snapchat’s advertising audience.


Image source: hootsuite.com

Consumers as young as 13 years old are seeing these advertisements, with 50+ year olds also making up part of the total audience. That shows clearly how varied the viewers of social media advertisements are. And more varied audiences mean greater chances of finding the perfect affiliate match for your business.

Snapchat is also just one example of social media you can use to expand your reach. Specialized Facebook groups are going to be more highly focused on the things that matter to your business, just like industry forums and communities. They’re also a great place for those promos.

6. Word of Mouth

A good reputation can get you just about anything you need, including new affiliates. The better your word-of-mouth marketing is, the more likely you’ll get applications from potential partners who heard about you and were impressed enough to want to get in touch.

Word of mouth is impressive at drawing in leads, which means it gives you the chance to increase your conversion rate.

The only downside of word of mouth as a marketing channel is its relative lack of structure. You can’t ever fully control or regulate the word of mouth promotion your brand receives.

However, what you can do is manage that unstructured data, provided you’re using relevant applications like Affise BI.

With effective management of your word of mouth outreach, you’ll have an easier time attracting the kinds of successful affiliates that you’ll need for your partner marketing plans.

7. Affiliate Networks

Affiliate networks are literally designed to be an excellent source of marketing partners. It’s a community of potential affiliates just waiting to be wooed by your program.

Thus, you need to put effort into making your affiliate program compelling. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean offering the highest commission rates. There’s no need to break the bank. What you need is a truly excellent commission structure that benefits all parties involved.

For example, you could choose to pay your affiliates every time their advertisements receive clicks. On the other hand, you could offer them higher commissions every time you make a sale thanks to their ads. This type of performance based payment is going to encourage your affiliates to put in extra work to make their ads excellent.

8. Niche Bloggers

One of the top traffic sources for affiliate marketers is blogging.


Image source: financesonline.com

Niche bloggers combine the unique benefits of influencers and forums. That’s because these bloggers have a loyal following of subscribers, just like influencers. At the same time, they’re dedicated to specific subtopics and help you find customers with a real interest in your products, like forums.

While niche bloggers will typically have fewer followers than influencers, these followers will be highly dedicated. They also tend to know more about the subject of the blogs, since they’ve chosen to seek out that specific type of content in particular.

In other words, niche bloggers help you reach a captive audience that’s definitely going to engage.

9. Industry Experts

Another great way to reach affiliates is by using industry experts. They have all the necessary niche knowledge of a blogger, alongside an influential position within the industry thanks to that knowledge.

Experts within your industry will be able to help you pinpoint which promising partners are the best match for you and your goals. If you need a partner for your digital marketing strategy in particular, an expert can point you to the right company for the job or fill the need themselves.

A major advantage associated with industry experts is that they’re highly flexible and versatile. Their suggestions for affiliates aren’t going to be generalized; they’ll be based on your needs, as well as the things both you and your partners have to offer one another.

10. Conferences

Conferences are hubs of inter-company networking. They’re a fantastic opportunity to connect your business with others in your sector, meaning that conferences have the potential to form the basis of powerful business partnerships.

Affiliate marketing conferences in particular are useful places to start building these connections.

Whenever you attend an affiliate summit, you’re gathering with groups of people who are just as keen to build bridges and create collaborations between businesses as you are. That means that all the potential is there — the only thing you need to do is reach out and seize it.

Speaking of reaching out, these conferences are an excellent opportunity to connect brands and agencies. This makes for more effective partnerships that, in turn, improve everyone’s business performance and marketing strategies.

11. Print Publications

Publications are an excellent method of finding affiliates for your business. That’s because they fulfill a similar role to niche bloggers, except that the content and distribution is controlled directly by you. Also, printed materials often reach different audiences from digital ones.

Any affiliates you gain through print publications are going to be invested in your company. They would’ve read at least one edition of your publication and enjoyed it enough for it to push them to reach out to you, meaning they must have been inspired by something in the way you do business.

That means any resulting partnership is more likely to be fruitful for all parties involved.

You can also choose how widely to circulate your publication. With wider circulation, you’ll cast a bigger net and increase your reach; with smaller-scale circulation, you can target more niche communities and hone in on specific topics and values.

12. Online Ads

Digital ads are another great way to draw in affiliates for your business. That’s because of their large and ever-increasing reach, which is evident from the growing amount of money businesses spend on online ads every year.


There are multiple kinds of online ads to invest in as well.

You can choose the kinds that sit on people’s Facebook or Instagram feeds, the kind that take the format of viral videos on sites like TikTok, or you can focus on sending out ads in the form of emails.

Your online advertisements, after all, work best when they yield a higher total number of clicks. That’s going to happen more easily when they’re sent out to your email list subscribers, who actively chose to receive more of your content. That makes them more susceptible to some well-planned email marketing.

13. Affiliate Recruitment Agencies

Affiliate recruitment agencies hold all the cards. They’re specialized affiliate managers who know just how to link you up with the perfect affiliate partner, and they can get you referrals to all kinds of companies and partnerships.

These types of agencies also come with a major benefit: They’re incredibly useful to startups. This is because agencies geared specifically towards recruiting affiliates are going to be open to new and growing companies. They can also connect those companies with appropriate partners who will fuel and support that growth.

Recruitment agencies also leave enough room and flexibility in the partnership formation process for any business to use additional tools as and when they need. For example, you might want to use one to automate and scale partner relations, the way Affise does, if you’re planning to create multiple distinct partnerships at once.

Find the Best Affiliates Through Affise Reach

You could choose to try each of the 13 methods for finding affiliates that we’ve listed and explored in this article, one by one, until you find the one that works best for your business. That might involve following a tutorial or two (or thirteen), as well as dedicating a lot of time to perfecting your chosen method.

Or, you could take the hard work out of the equation and use Affise Reach.

Affise Reach makes it easy to connect with, and reach out to, new affiliates. It shows you your offer requests, as well as giving you a visual representation of how your current offers compare to past ones so you can track your progress.

As a brand, you doubtlessly want to capitalize on all the advantages associated with partner marketing. You also won’t want to waste time sifting through offers across multiple platforms, since that’s both going to take ages and complicate the process of drawing up comparisons.

That’s why Affise Reach’s easy-to-use software is the ideal solution for you. In addition to helping brands and agencies partner up, Affise Reach boasts a clean, user-friendly layout that makes the process of connecting with affiliates a simple matter.

Conclusion

Affiliates are a great way to boost your reputation and income, and they come with a great number of further benefits, too.

For one, you and your affiliates can mutually promote each other through partnered marketing strategies. That means you’d get to expand your reach and ensure your audience expands — more and more so with each marketing partnership you enter into. Both you and your affiliates would get to earn passive income, all while promoting each other.

Another benefit is the chance to grow your brand awareness. Reaching a larger audience necessarily means more people will become aware of your brand, allowing your image to spread more widely.

In short, affiliates are great for increasing your overall revenue and bumping up your bottom line. Affiliate partnerships are mutually beneficial.

There are many ways to find new affiliates. The 13 best ones are covered in this article.

With that said, there’s nothing like letting an agency do almost all of the work for you. Join Affise Reach today, and let Affise take care of managing the formation of your affiliate connections.

Try Affise Reach today. Access 1000+ networks and agencies to drive high-quality traffic and get new customers.



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Robert Audzeyeu

Written by

Digital Marketing Manager

Robert is Digital Marketer, who passionately believes in integrating Sales and Marketing into coordinated programs, in which each activity has a defined purpose, an expected result, and ultimately leads to a measurable revenue outcome.

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