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What is affiliate marketing and how to get started in 2022

According to Mhojhos Research, in 2020 the affiliate marketing industry worldwide was worth over $17 billion, with 81.2% of publishers making more than $20,000 annually.

Affiliate Marketing
Photo by Christina Morillo
Photo by Christina Morillo

This article is Sponsored Content by Indoleads

‘If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.’ 

But how many people actually followed this brilliant advice by Warren Buffett? 

Millions of people dream about making money from wherever they are without being bound to a 9-5 office job. Dreaming can be useful too, but what really matters is actions. Affiliate marketing is a set of real actions which can lead you to your dream way of life and making money. According to Mhojhos Research, in 2020 the affiliate marketing industry worldwide was worth over $17 billion with 81.2% of publishers making more than $20,000 annually. And these numbers keep growing. 

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing or CPA marketing is performance-based online marketing, which means that advertisers pay only for real actions performed by users – purchases, installs, subscriptions, registrations – and the website owners (also called “publishers” or “affiliates”) earn money every time a user clicks on their affiliate link and takes a targeted action.   

CPA is literally a “cost-per-action”, referring to a payment for a targeted action made by the user, that’s why nowadays affiliate marketing has become a synonym of CPA marketing. 

So why is it so beneficial for both advertisers and publishers?

Let’s see.

You must have seen billboards on the streets with ads on them. Measuring OOH (out of home advertising) is at very best quite a task, if not impossible at all. An advertiser can thoroughly take into account target locations and quantity and demographic of traffic that passes through said locations, but still the results can be unclear. The same applies to a traditional online advertising on the web when an advertiser pays a flat rate for a banner space on an internet resource regardless of the amount of traffic or impressions. This makes it almost impossible to plan an advertising budget for an advertiser and leaves no motivation for a website owner to actually promote this ad to earn more.

Affiliate marketing has appeared as a highly efficient method of online promotion and generating an income stream without working fixed office hours. 

How does it work?

An owner of the website or a blog on social media joins an affiliate program, puts an affiliate link on their website or blog, and every time a new user clicks on the affiliate link and completes a targeted action, an advertiser pays a commission. The more users take these actions – the more a publisher earns. Also, some affiliate programs pay for recurring customers, it all depends on the terms of the particular affiliate program.

Who determines these terms?

All the terms and conditions of the promotion are described in the affiliate program (also called “offer”). Affiliate programs are created by the advertisers and determine the targeted action, the amount of commission, the allowed sources of traffic, other useful metrics, and also provide the publishers with promotion materials if they’re available. 

What kind of targeted actions are there?

Targeted actions are those that bring benefits to advertisers and which are determined by the advertisers: sales, app installs, subscriptions, registrations. These actions either bring companies money – as for example sales – or leads that can be converted to customers later.

Where to find affiliate programs?

A publisher can search for affiliate programs directly on companies’ and brands’ websites. In order to join the program a publisher will need to contact a company’s manager, go through moderation or/and interview with the company’s representatives, wait for an outcome and then handle all technical issues while completing an integration. In case a publisher wants to join more programs from other advertisers (and almost everyone wants that eventually, as each program brings an income), they need to go through this process all over again. 

This way of working in affiliate marketing is absolutely doable, but can you imagine how much time is wasted with all these endless moderations and interviews? 

Luckily there is another way of working in affiliate marketing – joining CPA-network. You will go through a moderation only once and then you get access to thousands of affiliate programs all within a hand’s reach. A reputable CPA-network collaborates with the best companies and brands to bring onboard only the best affiliate programs with the highest payouts. 

How to get started

  1. Choose your niche

It’s crucial for your further affiliate success. Think about which area your expert knowledge lies in, what deeply interests you – maybe it’s finance, cars or electronics. Keep in mind that different niches are profitable at different periods of time, but no matter how profitable the niche is, if you’re an absolute novice in it and have no interest – it’s unlikely it will become profitable for you. 

  1. Build a website or/and a blog on social media

Your audience is actually the key to success. The more the users trust you – the more profitable your affiliate business is going to be. That’s why you should always prioritize the content. People get hooked on your posts or videos and start to actually trust your recommendations and advice. That’s when you can make money. 

  1. Make your research

Research the affiliate products and services which are popular at the moment or are gaining popularity in the perspective of the next months. For example, these days we’re approaching Black Friday, and people start searching for the stuff they can buy during the sales. Electronics and homeware might be selling well, but it’s always good to keep an eye on Google trends, read some forums and see what’s sought-after. 

  1. Join a CPA-network or search for affiliate programs on the web

The easiest way to get started quickly is to join a CPA-network, for example, Indoleads, as here you can choose from 2000+ affiliate programs from 182 countries. However, you’re free to search for offers yourself and connect them one by one. 

Image courtesy Indoleads
  1. Plan your campaigns wisely 

Affiliate marketing is all about the right time and flexible approaches. Always keep an eye on the affiliate calendar with the biggest shopping events in order to prepare for your marketing campaigns well ahead of time and choose the right affiliate products and services. Successful publishers get everything ready in advance to be the first to offer their audiences the most sought-after products. 

Wrapping it Up

Affiliate marketing is the easiest way to make money online. You don’t need to store or ship products, and you can easily work while traveling. However, how much you will earn depends on how much effort you’re willing to invest, how much you’re willing to learn and keep track of what is happening in online marketing. Don’t give up quickly, remember, there are hundreds of thousands of successful publishers who went from zero to millions. And you can too!

Image courtesy Indoleads

 Indoleads CPA-network is dedicated to make affiliate marketing accessible for everyone. Their team is constantly expanding the catalog of offers, and publishing new posts on their News blog for beginners. Start your affiliate journey!  

Digital Journal
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Content written by Digital Journal sponsors.

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