If you’re having a hard time relying on affiliate marketing income, and knowing if it is a good fit or not as an income source, we have some facts that can help. However, before going there, you need to set the basis clear.
For example, are you really aware of what affiliate marketing is? What does it entail? There’s a lot to cover that t is usually given as granted or ignored by some considering this option.
We’re trying to say that we will start with the usual concept and go to our facts from there. As you already know, they include the pros everyone wants to know about and the cons and some details to remark or introduce you to.
Thus, without further delay, let’s get into it.
Above All, What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Many doubt it because of how it looks or feels; affiliate marketing is as simple as people tell you or read online.
Basically, it is when you promote a product or service offered by another advertiser or retailer. This is an affiliate model that rewards you for delivering a particular result to the actual seller or provider that is selling a product or making people hire a service.
Some programs offer rewards for leads, clicks on a website, or downloading an app. This means they all follow the same principle, but how you end up making money varies.
Affiliate programs are often free to join, so there is no need to worry about startup costs (we will dig into this later). If done well, this performance-based opportunity could transform from a side hustle into a profitable online company idea and bring you a steady income.
To make this simpler, you will be part of the group of affiliate marketers who are individuals who promote products and services of other brands in return for a commission. Anyone can become an affiliate marketer.
It’s as easy as finding the right program that meets your minimum requirements and makes money when someone converts through your referral.
But How Does It Work in Specific?
Affiliate marketing is an effective option to divide the responsibility of product marketing and creation among parties, so efforts are covering much more audience than usual.
Overall, it allows you to use other people’s channels and options for more effective marketing strategies while also giving contributors a share of any profits. But for this, three parties are required to make this happen:
- Both the seller and the product creators (yes, we add them as one).
- Advertiser or affiliate.
- The consumer.
There’s a relationship that works around them as a trinity, which is why we need to include the seller and manufacturers in the same group. Finally, to understand affiliate marketing, let’s look at the complicated relationship between these three parties to ensure the process succeeds, and you get your earnings:
Seller & Manufacturers/Providers
A seller is an entrepreneur who sells a product or service—that simple.
You can either sell a product or any service like the usual online courses for a language, etc. Anything that seems viable can be included as a product or service today.
The seller or brand is not required to participate in marketing actively. However, they can be an advertiser and make a profit through the revenue sharing associated with affiliate marketing.
The seller could, for example, be an eCommerce merchant who has started a dropshipping company and is looking to reach new audiences by paying affiliate websites to promote its products. This party could be anyone who is the main source of what you will offer.
The Affiliate (You)
The affiliate, also known as an advertiser, is a person or company who markets the seller’s product to potential customers.
This party promotes the product in order to convince consumers it is valuable and beneficial for them. In exchange, affiliates usually receive a share of any revenue depending on the option they agree with the seller or brand.
They may have a specific audience they market to, and as a result, they stick to it to ensure they are getting the best out of their efforts.
Last but Not Least, the Consumer
Affiliate marketing is driven by the consumer even when the previous parties matter and whether consumers know it or not.
The affiliate and the seller share the profits when the consumer purchases or hires what is offered, so it is only basic math. You know everything depends on this last person, regardless of how much effort the first two put into this.
In many cases, the affiliate will be honest with the customer and disclose that they receive commissions for sales. Other times, the customer may not be aware of the affiliate marketing option the affiliate is opting for with the links. However, there’s no need to worry about it.
Most consumers will pay less for the product they purchase through affiliate marketing, so it isn’t usually bad to be direct and mention how much you earn from them using your link.
The affiliate’s share is included in the retail price, so that’s basically why this whole system is possible as well.
Consumers will proceed with the purchase and receive the product as usual, but you make some money thanks to their purchase.
How Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?
First, affiliates don’t have to purchase the product in order to receive a kickback (for starters). The program chosen will determine how the affiliate’s contribution is measured, and you don’t need to deal with the whole: I need to stock and sell.
With this in mind, your earnings will be based on three options:
1. Pay per sale.
This is the most common affiliate marketing structure, and the program pays the merchant a percentage of the product’s sales price after purchasing the product because of the affiliate’s marketing strategies.
This means that you, as the affiliate, must convince the customer to buy the product before they receive compensation.
2. Pay per lead.
Pay-per-lead affiliate programs offer a more complicated system. The affiliate is compensated based on conversions.
The goal is that you must convince the consumer to visit their website and take the desired action, whether that’s signing up for a free trial, filling out a contact sheet, downloading software, or subscribing to a newsletter.
3. Pay per click.
This program encourages affiliates to refer consumers directly to the merchant’s site from their marketing platform. This means that the affiliate must engage consumers to the point where they will go to the main website from their marketing platform.
Affiliates are paid according to the amount of web traffic, and this one is usually the easiest way to make money because you don’t depend on sales or specific actions by the prospects.
Facts You Should Know About Affiliate Marketing
Moving on from all the basics and details about affiliate marketing income and how everything works, we can finally focus on the main reasons why you’re here: the facts to consider during this option.
Those can be either good or bad, but whatever it is, the truth is that you must keep them in mind to guarantee to make the right decision. Basically, you want to remember them to ensure you are investing in it while being worth it or deciding to skip it for a very good reason.
So, lay back and have a look at the facts you cannot miss:
It Is Easy to Scale
Affiliate marketing can significantly increase your earnings without the need for additional staff. While your existing products are being introduced to your audience, you can create campaigns to promote additional products.
The premise is that you can work around promotions and avoid all the hassle of working with the products or services themselves. Thus, you are working on the “sales” part instead of dealing with an entire business.
However, be careful not to get too excited about affiliate marketing in this aspect since it may be easy to scale, but it still takes work and has its own tricks.
Great affiliate marketing is built upon trust. Although there seems to be an inexhaustible number of services or products to promote, you should only focus on the ones that you use and would recommend.
It takes hard work to market a product, even if it is something you are interested in or fits into your existing hobby.
You Can Earn Extra or Large Income
What are the earnings of established affiliates? This is what most people trying to enter this world are wondering every minute, especially because many are not considering affiliate marketing as their full-time job but rather a side option.
Considering this, you must remember that the time you invest in this option will influence how successful you make it.
Now, affiliate programs are more about making money than revenue.
A $5,000/day affiliate might be less fortunate than an affiliate earning $5,000/day without any cash outflow because the former may be spending more on paid acquisition. You should consider this principle when working with this type of program.
You must align your expectations with your earning potential before you become an affiliate. How much you earn will depend on what industry you are in and the work you do as well.
Focusing on AdWords and Facebook ads to promote your affiliate products is just as important as how much money you make.
However, to focus on the main point of this fact, amateur affiliates can earn about $100 to $500 during the first months and after they have built their online presence before anything else.
But when it comes to experts and those who had spent their time over the last few years or built an empire in months (which isn’t impossible), they can easily earn over $10,000 a month and without putting that much effort long-term.
Startup Costs Are Low Compared to Others
Affiliate programs don’t require you to have an advertising team to create ad visuals and buy ad space. Usually, you don’t need to meet requirements to join them either. However, the expenses start with how you are able to advertise and promote the products/services.
Now, before jumping to the whole thing of advertising and how you grow in this, you must know that instead of relying on them to create their marketing content, you will have to rely on your affiliates.
It takes very little effort to market your products other than selecting and vetting the affiliates. This is why it has become so popular.
Once a company feels comfortable with affiliates and has established a good relationship with them, they will most likely let them market the product or service.
Affiliates will bear most of the costs associated with your marketing activities, and you usually have to put effort into sharing. It’s a commission-based program which means you only pay affiliates for sales they make or more as they pay you since you are the affiliate and based on the previous three options, not only sales.
This marketing model is cost-effective and doesn’t interrupt your cash flow. It is also more flexible than other marketing models like PPC advertising, which requires you to pay per click that leads to your website.
Low risk means lost cost. The payment is only made after the actual conversion has occurred, so there’s very little chance of losing money. This is great news for small businesses with tight budgets.
Convenience and Flexibility Are Two Strong Points
You can create multiple campaigns on different landing pages and affiliate websites to promote your affiliate links. This allows you to abandon low-performing ones and optimize the ones that perform well.
You don’t have to stick with one program for affiliate marketing, either. You can choose a few products from one niche, or you can test different niches and then promote them daily to determine which ones are the best for you.
You can sign up for our Affiliate Program to promote this simple and effective tool in your campaigns. MailChimp (or other email automation software) will then enrich your portfolio and add other online marketing tools such as Mention if they offer an affiliate program.
Each tool is part of a different business niche. However, they all serve different purposes and complement each other. You can add a variety of software products to your portfolio. One product may outperform the other.
The other product might be easier to sell and more profitable, or it could be used as a backup. No one is telling you to abandon a ship that’s sinking.
This will minimize the risk of failure and increase your chances of earning a good income. You should be careful not to put all your eggs into one basket. Keep your marketing portfolio diverse.
In addition, you have the flexibility of choosing when you decide to work with affiliate marketing and invest your time.
You don’t have to work for 8 hours straight, not even 2 or 3 if you don’t want to. Besides, you can work from anywhere as long as you have a computer and internet connection.
Customer Service Is Not Your Priority
Sometimes it can be difficult to retain customers or manage customer service issues since you need to make everyone happy, even when that’s impossible, and everyone knows it.
As an affiliate, this is not something you need to worry about because you don’t handle the customers or clients. Leave that to the manufacturers, sellers, and those you are partnering with. You only care about your commission.
If you have any questions after a sale, you can simply pass them on to the merchant’s customer support team and get rid of the whole thing.
Suppose you want to generate user-generated content under your reviews, greatly boosting your SEO. In that case, you should quickly and comprehensively answer any product-related questions under your posts.
Customer service is your call. No one will force it on you unless you want to handle it, which we highly doubt and don’t even recommend if you decide to become an affiliate.
Freelance Jobs Are Not for Everyone (And This Is One)
Even when you get all that comfort and flexibility, it takes a special personality to feel at ease with this type of work style.
After all, there’s a dark side to freelancing: it can lead to feelings of depression, loneliness, or stagnation in some cases. There are ways to reduce or overcome this mental condition, but it will be a difficulty in your life.
Don’t isolate yourself from your family. Every day, find a place outside to work and use it.
Many coffee shops cater to remote workers in your area, so take a look around and find the one that best suits you.
Recently, coworking space has been growing in popularity. You can rent a desk in a coworking space that is only for freelancers. If you’re a social butterfly, you will be able to make new connections quickly.
However, consider all the downsides or think about how you can work around this method based on the pros and cons.
Quantity Approach in Marketing
Sometimes affiliate marketing is associated with spammy marketing campaigns. There is truth to that. Affiliate marketers who are too short-sighted can create misleading and spammy content and expect small wins.
You are doomed to fail if you fall for black-hat affiliate marketing and false advertising. You’ll lose your credibility and, worse, your merchant’s reputation.
Spammy affiliate campaigns can also lead to a breakdown in cooperation from the vendor side. After that, you’re done and don’t get any commission.
Focus on the long-term strategy of your affiliates and invest in quality, not quantity. This will ensure that you have recurring and sustainable revenue.
Act legit. This is the only way to gain trust and allow you to work with the best vendors.
You Can Work with Many Products
The good part about affiliate marketing is that you can work with a wide range of products, which expands your chances and the niche you can choose for yourself.
However, we would focus on this in terms of the entire features of the product and not only based on the niche. What does this mean? You need to aim for products that are:
- High margin or high end.
- Don’t rely on trendy items only.
- Social traction.
Amazon has proven that affiliate marketing with low-margin products is still possible. However, small percentages may limit the opportunities for larger affiliates. It’s hard to miss this combination, as customers trust both the affiliate and the company that supplies the product.
Low commissions eventually will make the best affiliates move to other venues. This means that when optimizing commissions, you must think ahead.
You will attract more affiliates to your product if it has high commission potential. If the product meets all the criteria for the perfect product, it will be more likely that you drive more affiliates to your products and services as well as to your program.
It might be worth choosing the most suitable product or service to promote affiliate marketing rather than having an all-inclusive link. Creating more effective campaigns is much easier if you have a clearly defined product.
Affiliate marketing is generally feasible for a wide range of products, so most businesses can use it to increase their brand awareness and sales, or you can bet as an individual on this option.
So, there’s nothing like “I have no options” in this money-making option.
You Get Access to Influencers and Their Networks
Affiliate marketing allows businesses to target niches that are similar to their core audience.
Each industry and every customer segment have its influencers who can connect with your target audience in a way that is most often almost impossible for companies selling products.
Although it is possible to build a following for a product company without leveraging influencers, you could be missing out on important customer data that will help you scale your business.
Most often, influencers can bring new data to your audience that could increase your opportunities.
An example of this is an online clothing company (think about any) that found the perfect audience through online advertising and testing. The company would then reach out to an influential person whose audience matches their description only to discover that the influencer has a wider audience than originally thought.
If the audience performs above the average, data can help you make better data-driven audience decisions.
The discovery of new audiences is another benefit. Some industries are more difficult to reach via traditional methods. This is where an affiliate deal with an influencer could be a great way to reach new audiences.
Website Maintenance Can Be an Issue
Banner ads can be used to generate commissions or click revenue on your website in order to get your affiliate links to work. But for this, you need to keep your website updated to ensure those banner ads are visible to visitors.
Although affiliate marketing can be a great option if your goal is to grow your business or explore other income streams, it comes with its own set of challenges.
Consider the pros and cons of each program and decide which type you want to join first. Start small and know your limits. You can expand your strategy once you have evaluated the return.
However, You Can Also Start Without a Website
Affiliate marketers tend to use landing pages or websites, but you can also start affiliate marketing without any of that. You don’t necessarily need to own a website to have an online presence and generate leads.
These are three ways you can do affiliate marketing:
- Social media and community forums: If your following is large on social media, or you are an influencer in online forums and communities, you may be able to post affiliate reviews and link to products that you trust and recommend.
- Email marketing: You can send affiliate offers to your email distribution list if you have one. Email marketing can be an effective tool to promote performance for affiliates. It has a decent open rate of more than 17%.
- YouTube: Video marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools. Many affiliate marketers use video marketing for product promotion and conversions. You might consider creating an active YouTube channel if you’re a video creator whiz.
You Need to Focus on a Specific Niche
Even the most skilled affiliate marketer can’t sell everything to everyone. Concentrating on a specific market is crucial, so it isn’t exactly an option to just sell anything without any ideas or plans.
Affiliate marketing, therefore, is an entirely new type of game. Anyone who attempts to sell everything online by jumping from one product to another in an effort to make the most money will soon discover they don’t have any sales.
It is possible to promote products and services within a niche you are passionate about. You will be more successful in marketing products and services in niches that you are familiar with.
Marketers who are most successful focus their efforts on a single area. You can reach a larger audience and possibly develop more successful relationships by narrowing your focus.
Choosing the right affiliate program or product for your small business can be challenging.
It’s important to find untapped areas in which competition isn’t as intense, and get there before others.
Technology and Scaling Are Together
An affiliate marketing business can scale quickly depending on its product and how it uses technology tools. Remember what we said about scaling? It is a bit linked to this.
Some products can have a lifetime value that is multiple times higher than the initial commission you earned from the first transaction.
This could be recurring revenue from monthly or annual memberships or upselling, without the need to spend additional money advertising.
You can also scale your company by monitoring all your promotional activities and identifying the most profitable with search engines and other tracking and analysis software.
A retargeting element can be added to your website. This allows you to promote products your visitors have seen on other websites if they are still in stock at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.
Impressions Don’t Mean Earnings
Affiliate marketing presents another risk: Ad impressions may increase, but earnings don’t.
As we have already stated, it is not easy to find the perfect affiliate program for your target audience. Although you may find the perfect one for your website and your earnings increase, it is unlikely that this will happen.
Because their products aren’t converting at the desired rates, you find yourself in an awkward situation: you give affiliate programs free advertising on your site.
What should you do if you find yourself in a similar situation to the one above? The best way out of this situation is to assess your advertising/marketing program.
This involves calculating how many ad impressions you have given to affiliate programs and their income.
Take into account how many clicks an advertiser gets and how much you can earn if all those clicks convert in a CPC program such as AdSense.
Overall, what can we say about affiliate marketing? It isn’t easy or difficult. Like everything else, it takes time and effort, so it isn’t a good idea to take it lightly, even when it looks like it.
It is always important to do your research, take the time to evaluate every fact, and find more reasons why you should or not rely on this.
However, if you ask us, we believe affiliate marketing is one of the best options today, along with lead gen.
The Local Lead Generation Process for Your Business
All right! So, everything is about building properties and generating leads. But how does the process actually take place? Are there other steps I need to know?
The steps I mention below are what students from our local lead generation program follow to generate leads for businesses like yourself. So I’ll help you see what we do. And how if you join our program, you can simply generate leads for your own business (unless you want to start a side hustle and build a laptop lifestyle business).
Essentially, our lead generation can be divided into four steps:
The first is prospecting. You need to take the time to do market research on a niche (industry) and determine how many phone-driven businesses are there.
Keep in mind that this is local research as you need to know how many companies need leads. For example, you may search for “plumbing services Youngstown OH.”
You will find dozens or even hundreds of businesses trying to get themselves in front of the customers by ranking on Map Listings, organic results, and even Ad.
The second step, building. When you find a niche (plumbing, tree services, a software company, real estate…), you will need to start building your digital properties. You don’t need to be an expert in HTML or coding. It can be easy with the right tools.
The third step is now taking time to rank your lead gen website. With the site done, you need to work on SEO strategies and start dominating those Google search results. If you’re new to SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization.
To keep it simple, it consists of the entire process of growing a company’s visibility on search engines like Google and generating organic traffic. And remember this, local lead generation is part of the strategies.
Moving on to step four, once you rank the site, you will start getting your ROI and profits. You only need to rent it out to a local business interested in the leads the site generates. You can offer a couple of free leads to their move on with the actual pay per lead.
To review steps 1-4 above, I described it to a normal student who is building a lead gen business to help local service providers generate more calls. But replace the student with you as the business owner. And replace sending the leads to a business to simply siphoning the leads to your personal business.
By the way, fun fact, about 20% of our students in our local lead gen program are actually business owners who went through the program. And they use the skillsets we teach to generate leads for their own business.
An Example of Lead Generation: Home Advisor
You must be thinking, “if lead generation sounds so good so far, how come I haven’t seen any company?” That’s the thing; there are many out there. You just don’t know they are dedicated to it.
HomeAdvisor is one of the best examples you can find on the Internet as it is a top lead generation company that has spent millions building its brand but also earned even more zeros for this same reason.
They started small as everyone else but invested in building their brand awareness to make people who are looking for home services go to their website and find what they need. They are over 75% of people’s first choice when they need those services.
If you don’t get HomeAdvisor that much or need a refresh, users need to submit their information to request a service and get a professional or expert who can provide it.
HomeAdvisor’s job is to share your information, which makes you a lead, with local companies so they can contact you and offer the service you’re requesting. For sharing this lead information, HomeAdvisor gets paid by the companies. This happens for every single lead they send to multiple businesses.
Business owners who don’t have marketing skills or don’t even know how to have any online presence will always rely on those pages to list their services. They will save time and effort, but companies like HomeAdvisor can make them spend lots of money as leads aren’t exclusive (one lead is sent to multiple companies after all).
Using Facebook Ads aka Paid Ad Platforms: Do They Generate Leads?
They DO generate leads. If not, no one would use them.
However, you need to remember two facts:
- Paid ads or platforms can be expensive.
- They don’t generate “natural” leads.
Whenever someone sees or clicks in one of those ads, over 80% of them did it by accident or are trying to close/report it.
Why? Because they aren’t looking for those services. At least not at the moment.
What those ads do instead is interrupt their time on the platforms. Users aren’t there to find companies or businesses unless they are searching for a specific company’s user, and for that, there’s a search bar. This is why it is hard to convert them to actual customers who will show interest in the companies’ services. Also, you’re limited by a budget.
When using lead generation, everything is organic. You aren’t forcing others to pay attention to your business but rather being there when they need you. This is why Google’s organic traffic will always beat paid ads, and the reason companies continue investing in it, which is a lot cheaper as well.
What Is Local SEO?
Don’t worry… I didn’t get it at first either. Following the short explanation, local SEO focuses on scaling businesses’ visibility on search engines. However, this is only for those who serve their communities face-to-face.
What does this mean?
Experts and professionals like painters, plumbers, and dentists (but not only them) offer their services to their local customers. Why? Because they can’t deliver them unless they are located in the same area of their customers.
To make sure those businesses get more leads, you need to rank them locally by claiming the business listing on Google to place them on Map Listings. Local SEO also involves online reviews, citation management, and how you manage your entire online presence in the local area.
If you are going to bet on lead gen, you need to adapt yourself to today’s world: The Internet.
Keep in mind that although traditional channels and methods like billboards, warm calls, and pamphlets still work, they aren’t part of your tools. Whenever someone needs a service, they go to Google and search for it.
“Dentist in Miami” or “plumbing services in Orlando,” etc. And you can keep coming up with services or professionals people need and look for. Thus, you need to make sure you’re using Google to get the companies in front of their clients.
Users will always click on the first search results (those near the top), and many of them will be either Ad links (people paid to place their websites there), Map Listing, and then you get websites. Almost all of them are your goal and where you should always aim to place yourself.
Can My Business Utilize a Local Lead Generation Strategy?
If you want customers, you better know you need it. Following the previous explanation, lead gen is all about placing businesses in front of their customers, choosing them over their competitors.
Put it simply – it’s all about closing deals and having clients for those companies to make money. The main difference with the usual methods companies use for this is how lead generation approaches different channels to get them in the right place of the market to get customers.
Those channels are all focused on the Internet as most people are searching for products but also services across the net. The issue is that the Internet is way too broad, and businesses don’t know how to place themselves. They usually try, but they get one common result: losing money and time.
How Powerful Are Organic Leads from Google?
For companies looking for customers, it’s everything. For you? Pretty much the same. When you build a business with digital properties, you get to make thousands of dollars a month.
This isn’t a “get started today and get rich tomorrow” thing, but it is HIGHLY scalable, and ROI + positive results are guaranteed. Learning a fairly decent and very needed set of skills to create your digital properties and start ranking them on Google is required.
I have invested in several online businesses over the years, and if there’s something uncertain, whether you will get your ROI or not, even more than the actual profit.
However, this business moved my earnings from five figures a year to a month in ONLY passive income while sitting comfortably at home.
On my laptop. Anywhere. Anytime.
You can look at one of the first sites I built back in 2016, and it continues making me over $1.000+ every month. The best part is that I don’t need to touch it or the rest I’ve built over the years, just like this digital property.
What Makes Lead Generation SO Alluring?
Here it goes: you can work from home.
The main issue with regular business opportunities is how much you need to invest in staff, equipment, or rent to have a place to sell your products or offer your services.
We all know the hassles of traditional businesses that involve regular expenses, which are extremely high. Can you afford it? I don’t think so, and even if you can, is it worth it? Now, it isn’t only about the money. You also need to put in a lot of work, and it isn’t only during the first couple of months or years. Usually, it is as long as you continue running it.
You can save yourself those headaches and bone-breaking tasks and expenses with lead gen since it is more about generating leads with digital channels—mainly websites.
Websites can be VERY cheap to build, and with many tools online, you get to do it in a couple of hours instead of days. Any virtual or digital business is scalable and won’t need constant maintenance.
So, let’s summarize this:
- You save money in regular expenses with traditional and most online businesses as what you need is yourself and digital properties (websites).
- You can bet on passive income.
- There’s no need to hire more people to get started.
- You can generate leads in multiple industries, which allows you to work on any niche you want.
How Can I Get Started in the Local Lead Generation Program?
Anyone can start and learn. That’s the beauty of this business model. I knew nothing about SEO, Map Listing, and everything I’ve mentioned so far. It is all about learning the skills, gaining experience, and deciding to take the step.
Remember that this business model will never get old as business owners are always looking for leads. They need to do business and scale their companies. Why not do the same while helping others and still making money?
You can start with this local lead generation course highly recommended for anyone wanting to grow in the business. It is a close training that will take you through each step and make sure you are able to get your ROI, profits and take control of your life.
You will be added to an incredible lead generation family ready to help you 24/7 when asking questions on the group. Anyone is welcome who’s willing to put in the work. Click here to watch the lead gen webinar.