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What Is Affiliate Marketing And Why You Should Do It In 2020?

Affiliate Marketing is an excellent low to a no-cost business venture that you could profit immensely from. That is, if you're willing put in the time and effort that it takes to put the information from this article into action. Affiliate programs are usually free to join, so you don't have to worry about start-up costs. Additionally, this could be an attractive side hustle if you want to fund another business.

Affiliate marketing is a monetization model where an external partner, which would be you, gains monetary commission for bringing customers. Now, typically the result is a sale. However, some programs can be around leads, referring a click to an advertiser's website, or even getting a user to download an app. For instance, at SaleSource, we offer our affiliates commission for each customer they bring in.

Just like running your own business, becoming a successful affiliate takes dedication and discipline. Ideas alone won't cut it. Having a strategy and executing it is crucial for making top earnings. We're going to get you started by focusing on three essential components, picking your platform and method, deciding on a niche and figuring out your audience, and deciding on a product.

To be effective at affiliate marketing, you'll need to create an audience around your niche.

Let's start with a platform and method that you're going to use to start building your audience around. For instance, I personally love YouTube, so that would be where I would default to. It's the platform that I consume most of my content from, and it's the platform that I understand the best. In this article, I'll use examples pertaining to YouTube. There are plenty of other content creation methods and platforms that you can use if you're not big on YouTube and video content.

That you'll need to invest time into creating content for it, and you'll want to build a robust and engaged audience. I'm going to quickly list some ideas that you could use to create content for your venture. So there are:

Review and niche topic sites

These websites compare a line of products against their competitors. For this method, you'll need to create content related to the review space and regularly post to draw in and keep an audience.

Digital content

This is the category that I would fall under. Digital content creators such as bloggers, YouTubers, social media influencers, create niche content that will resonate with specific audiences. Typically, they will then organically introduce products that they like to their audience. Since their audience wants them and their niche, the chances are that they will also resonate with the products that are being presented.

So, there are courses, workshops, and live events. There are ways in which you can integrate strategic affiliate partnership offers and incorporate them into your activities if you're currently working within the course space. For example, if you're an instructor, you can partner with a brand that adds value to your audience and give your audience signup or checkout code.

Apps and solution type partners

These are partnerships where products and or services are placed in front of a relevant audience through an app partner. For this method, you'll need to do some heavy lifting and making an app and ensuring that you have people using it. I want to stress that across all of these methods, authenticity and audience building are the most crucial elements for long-term high earning growth. If you cannot authentically connect with your audience, chances are that you won't have any meaningful success in converting them into affiliate sales.

One of the biggest pain points that most people have with affiliate marketing is that they don't have a sizable audience yet, and that can be a roadblock to earning enough. This will take effort and time, but it's absolutely essential. So let's dive into niche and audience building.

Niche and audience building

Now when it comes to selecting a niche, my suggestion would be to start with something that you're both passionate and knowledgeable about. This will help you come across authentically and as a trusted source of information. It will also allow you to evaluate what products and brands that you can or should partner with and how they relate to your niche. I feel like that's a nugget of gold I added in there.

So for the purposes of this article, let's say that I started a YouTube channel where I regularly share videos with my audience on how they can start their own business. Maybe I would name this channel something like "Learn with Shopify". And I would regularly encourage people to subscribe and like my videos if they find them helpful.

Entrepreneurship will be my niche and I'm going to invest time into building a sizable amount of content to grow my audience. As I release more videos, I will start to use social listening tools, website analytics, and advertising reports to discover and build on who my audience is and what they like. What your users expect and want from you, and you can match that with the offers that they'll buy.

Okay, so let's use the most popular reporting tool, Google analytics. From here, I would typically break down my research into these four steps.

How your audience discovered your site

I would first start by looking at how my audience discovered my website. Using the referral paths report, I'll be able to understand who my users are and which online source brought them to my site. Additionally, it will help me identify the other places that they consume my content before visiting me.

Under audience, I would navigate to the traffic flow report and review the outbound traffic from each of my pages. From here, I would site, allowing you to gain insight into their online behaviour.

I'm going to be then looking at outgoing links, audience interests, referrals, and keywords to learn crucial information about these users. To understand what content my audience is most interested in, that each page generates. This information then allows you to gain an understanding of what your followers like about you and what content appeals to the most.

I would then lean heavily on the demographics and interest data reports to discover basic characteristics like average age of my audience, their gender and geographical location. This section will also demonstrate more robust intelligence about their affinities for brands, their hobbies, topics of interests, and buying behaviour.

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