Affiliate Marketing 101: Other People’s Products
I've mentioned that I run a health and fitness blog and podcast. Long story short, during my own health journey I stumbled across a lot of products - both virtual and physical - that I used through the process. Some of the were horrible, but some of them were great. Products that really helped me with one thing or another.
Instead of just keeping this information to myself I decided to share a lot of this information with my readers and listeners on the website. Well in many of the cases the creators of these products would actually pay me if someone that I referred to them ended up buying their products.
That's exactly how affiliate marketing works. You get paid for promoting other people's products whenever someone you referred makes a purchase.
Major Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing
1. You can make a lot of money. I always start with this one. It's true - affiliate marketing can be very lucrative when done properly. A lot of the time as an affiliate you can actually earn just as much if not more money per sale than the creator of the product. Most good affiliates offer anywhere from 25% to 75% of the sale price as a commission.
2. You don't need to build your own product. If you're thinking about building a product but there is something already quite similar out there it might be easier to simply sell that product. Depending on what percentage they are offering and how much time you think the product will take to create it could be a better solution.
3. It helps add more value to your audience. If you use a specific product and it has solved a problem that you had then why wouldn't you want to share that with people? It will add a lot of value to your readers and audience. Not only might it make you a little money, it will also help the people with the same problem as you. It really is a win-win.
Where To Find Good Affiliate Products?
Great question. The first place to start is by visiting the website of the manufacturer or creator of the product to see if they have a link called affiliate or partner somewhere on their site. You can send them an email or contact them in order to ask if they offer some sort of affiliate program. This is by far the easiest and best way to do it.
Another solution is to use an affiliate marketplace. These are sites that essentially bring the creators and marketers together. A couple good places to start are ClickBank and Commission Junction. You'll be able to sign up and browse through a list of vendors or products based on industry.
How Do I Setup Affiliate Marketing?
Once you sign up for an affiliate program, you will receive a unique URL that has a built-in tracking code. All you need to do is use this specific URL whenever you link to the product from your website. When someone uses this URL to visit the site your affiliate tracking code automatically gets added and they can associate that visitor (and potentially that sale) to you.
More info below on best methods of linking to affiliate products.
Do I Need To Have Used The Product First?
It is not necessary to have used the product in most cases. However, it will be easier for you to recommend something if you have a good knowledge of it and know what you are talking about. Remember, when you are recommending a product you are essentially vouching for it. Your readers trust you and you don't want to recommend or promote a crappy product that you've never actually used.
Four Tips For Affiliate Marketing
Whenever anyone asks me about how to get better at affiliate marketing there are always a few tips that I like to provide.
1. Always be genuine. Like I mentioned, you don't necessarily need to have used the product in order to promote it, but you need to have a good knowledge of it and know what it does. People can see right through you if you are simply trying to force them to checkout products that you've never used. Be genuine when it comes to this sort of thing.
2. Always pre-sell the product. The best way to do this is to write a review of the product on your blog. You can even go as far as creating a short video of you using the product - whether online or in person depending on what it is. Doing a review like this will let your readers see the "insides" of the product before they buy it. It helps pre-sell the product so that when they do click on your affiliate link they are already excited about it and looking to buy it.
3. You need to disclose that you make money. It's important that you tell your readers that you are compensated for them purchasing through you link. This can be done as a blank statement on a separate page on your site, or beside or near the actual link. Most people don't mind this at all - especially if you pre-sold the product and added a bit of value.
4. Offer a bonus when possible.
This one really depends on the product, the industry, and how much money you make off of every sale. Say Jessica writes a blog post about parenting. She also promotes a product that helps new parents learn all about potty-training. Maybe the product sells for $50 and she makes $35 from the sale. She could offer free email advice to whoever buys the product through her link. She might have to answer a couple emails for each person that does it - but $35 for writing a couple emails doesn't sound so bad to me.
It can be as simple as offering to show the reader how to setup the product, or offer a little help. It could be as big as providing your own add-on products - like another ebook or something similar to the original product.
This is a good strategy to take off a little bit of the pressure and entice them a little to buy it through you.
How do I use the affiliate link(s) on my website?
That depends on how many products you want to link to. I'm going to draw the line around 5 products, but really that number depends on how much work you want to put into building complex pages to sell the products. Feel free to replace 5 with whatever number makes the most sense to you.
If you're linking to 5 or less products:
Presumably each one pays a lucrative amount for you to want to stop at just 5.
You'll probably find it simpler to create a single page for each one (often called a sales landing page), then optimize the hell out of each page for its specific product.
You'll presumably then have lots of sections on each page describing exactly why this is the best product to purchase for whatever thing it helps accomplish along with numerous call-to-action buttons that link through to purchase the product using your (nearly) magical affiliate link.
If you're linking to more than 5 products:
It's probably going to get quite time-consuming if you have to build dozens or hundreds of product landing pages.
As a result of this, I recommend installing WooCommerce and creating products within WooCommerce for each affiliate link you wish to utilize on the site.
This helps greatly in terms of standardizing the look of your product pages and it allows you to nicely categorize your products and display those categories on your site.
You're probably wondering: doesn't WooCommerce only allow me to sell my own products?
It's easy to assume that, but the answer is no. You can configure each product in WooCommerce to link externally for purchase. And in that spot you're going to put your affiliate URL.
All you have to do is follow our guide to using WooCommerce to sell products on your WordPress website with these alterations:
- When creating products, specify that they are Affiliate Products and enter your affiliate URL in the spot provided.
- No need to set up payments or shipping in WooCommerce as the company you're linking to typically handles that
Now that you've got your website online and set up to make you money, take a read over our comprehensive marketing strategy guide to learn how to build an audience and increase traffic.