If you want to make passive money online, one of the fastest ways to do it is affiliate marketing. Knowing how to set up an affiliate program can give you a good way to make solid money.
Many people think affiliate programs are dead. They’re wrong.
There’s still a lot of money to make if you create an affiliate program. All you need to know is how to make the golden goose lay eggs.
In this definitive guide, we’ll teach you how to start an affiliate marketing program. Build the right platform. Get your own tribe of loyal supporters.
Here’s how you do it.
1. What is an Affiliate Marketing Program?
Before anything else, we need to understand what is an affiliate marketing program. In essence, selling anything for somebody else and receiving commission is affiliate marketing. Even then, you’re not a mere salesperson under the primary seller.
You can do whatever you want, however you want it. This means you’re free to sell as much or as little as possible. The entire goal is to sell more though since more sales mean more earnings for you.
It is different for people who want to start their own program. You can get better revenue and the ability to create a central network around your own program.
It’s this exact no-limits approach that makes affiliate programs lucrative for many.
We still need to remind you of something. Launching a successful affiliate marketing program is not easy. You need to have a few essential things to start going for you.
The Birthing Pains of Affiliate Programs
First, you need to have a proper platform to even have a chance to start a program. You need to have the entire structure set up, which means significant preparation.
You would also need to have the right audience. You need the right traffic, with people willing to listen to you and buy the products you affiliate with. This means you need to put in the time to convince people the value of what you have to offer.
The struggles come from the amount of time and money. You need to spend most of it racking up legit traffic. Without solid traffic that converts, there’s no point. It’s a high stake, high reward investment that has a very small success rate.
We will demystify as much of affiliate marketing programs as possible for you. We’ll give you a few principles you can stand by for success. Add these together and we’re sure you can dominate the world of affiliate marketing.
2. Claim Your Affiliate Program’s Niche
It all starts with claiming a niche that will work for you. Like any business, there’s no point in targeting everyone for your program. You want a slice of the audience who will be hardcore on what you have to offer.
When picking a niche, you can pick:
- something you know
- something you love
- something you know and love
A niche market that you know is not always something you love and vice versa. If you know it and love it, you can project your passion to your potential audience.
Your niche does not even need a high level of mass appeal. All you need are people willing to buy products that relate to it. Like any online business, you want to do proper keyword research and social media to find traffic.
If you can find social media groups who love your topics, that’s an audience. You should convince people that they can be affiliate partners to your program.
3. Developing Your Product or Service
Now that you have a niche, you need to develop a product or service you can sell. Launching an affiliate marketing program depends on the quality of your product. You need a product that has high conversion rates that can beat the competition.
A high-quality product is nigh impossible. If you don’t have a strong niche match between your program and your customers, you’ll fail.
If the product is desirable enough to your niche audience, you can get more conversions and faster movement within your buyers’ journey.
Sure, you can find small, quirky products that people would love. That’s quick and easy enough to make a good buck. You want, however, a good mix of quality and optimized conversions.
4. Creating Your Brand Story
Products are useless if you don’t have the right story. Like any business, creating your brand story is paramount.
It is important to your partners and the audience itself. It can help push the right narrative that will help make a bridge between you and your customers.
Why is this crucial? People often associate their opinions based on emotional responses and you can drive positive emotional triggers with a good, heart-tugging tale. This is why many companies often have at least one “feel-good” commercial to establish a positive outlook regarding their brand.
- What’s your story?
- How did you suffer?
- How did you take up on the challenge?
- Why should people care?
- What are your discoveries over the entire journey?
- What are your failures and successes throughout the journey?
Make an emotional investment in your brand. You don’t want people to be logical buyers of what you have to offer. Those types of people would need convincing for your buyer journey.
You should not even sell them something as soon as possible. You want to hype up your potential audience and be emotional on what you have to offer.
5. Assessing Your Product and Network Options
Your next move when you create an affiliate program is to assess your product options. You would want to learn how you can promote it to your potential affiliates and make money out of it. Once you do, you start casting a wider net for people showing interest in your product.
Depending on the product, you can choose commissions from impressions, lead generation or even straight up sales for your affiliates.
Your product’s customer retention can help you choose your affiliate model. You can choose a subscription model and offer high commissions. This will ensure that you get back your profits since the only payout condition is a sale or lead.
Once you get the details of your niche, the potential audience, and research, you’re good to go. You want to find the right niche partners for the job.
Your success also hinges on your affiliate partners. You want to make sure they have traffic ready.
6. Finding the Right Commission Model
Your program is your product and your affiliate partners are your direct audience.
You want to convince them that your program is profitable for them. What is an affiliate marketing program good for if not for the network it is in? You want to offer something that your partners can profit off.
Cost per mille impressions or CPM is still more profitable for partners. If you’re a partner, compare CPM versus cost per lead or cost per sale models and you’ll get more in the long run. There are only so many sales and leads to go by, but impressions will not be a problem.
This leads to a quandary: how can you avoid CPM as a program but reward your partners? This needs two skills from you, which are:
- Your ability to negotiate cooperation
- Your ability to sell your program
The bottom line is to get affiliate partners with quality, not quantity.
You want to get people you can convince. You want people to believe your program is a good thing. Reward them with high conversion rates.
7. Optimizing Your Affiliate Program
Now that you know how to set up an affiliate program with your partners, optimize. You need the right tools to make everyone’s job easier.
Marketing materials, creatives, and tracking tools help. You need to make sure they focus on the audience as well.
You want materials that are compelling to your audience. Provide the benefits that it can give to people that will convert to your program.
The less work that your partners need to do on marketing materials, the easier it is. They can focus on audience persuasion instead.
Less work means an easier time convincing your partners to promote. You should also take care of the tracking tools for your entire network.
Tracking tools are crucial to getting the proper numbers from your affiliate network. Accuracy is crucial, as these numbers are key to affiliate commissions.
8. Diversifying Your Affiliate Network
With your marketing in check, you need to move into diversifying your social network. Looking to build some diversity? Don’t stop at first party creatives and marketing strategies.
Like any business, you want to use whatever options you have to reel in more affiliates and audience. Why?
If you focus on your platform alone, you might stumble into an issue that puts you deep down in search results. You want to widen your visibility as much as you can.
How do you do it?
Use social media. Build your network and audience through groups and forums. Find ways to keep your brand connected to people.
Focusing on your main platform runs the risk of fizzling you out of existence. If your affiliate program is present on different fronts, you can keep a consistent presence.
Protect the program by adding new affiliate partners where you can. You would still want to focus on quality. If one or more partners stop becoming profitable, you need someone to take the reins.
Advertise your platform or initiate direct contact with partners as soon as you can.
9. Keeping Everyone in Your Affiliate Program Happy
After taking care of marketing and visibility, one of your later works will be retention.
Communicate with your partners and send them consistent updates on what is going on with the business. This will help keep morale up within your network. Give them the proper tips and advice on how they will find success in marketing your products.
Be clear on what tactics and strategies are fair game. You want to make sure that everyone is clear with their roles within the entire program. Since your affiliate partners will do the heavy lifting, you need to consider their position.
Even then, you don’t want them to resort to unethical tactics and predatory systems. Make sure there is a clear line with your affiliates.
As for your audience, you want to keep them in the loop. Build a community around the brand and make sure they know you value them.
Be consistent in providing marketing and support to your customers.
10. Key Takeaways
Most of your time will revolve around keeping people happy. Your affiliate partners should stay happy. Your audience should stay happy.
Make sure to pay people on time and manage everyone’s expectations of the program. Putting in the proper amount of time to the entire process can help your affiliate program grow. The cycle of hiring partners, converting and optimizing your strategies will look endless.
Don’t rest on your laurels. Stamp out your competitors where you can. Protect the program by controlling your flank and preventing others from overtaking.
Vigilance in competitor research is vital if you want your affiliate program to stay relevant.
Create An Affiliate Program With Success
If you want to create an affiliate program, you need to provide time and effort in its success.
You want to involve yourself from top to bottom – from setting the platform to recruiting your partners. Make sure to go through the proper step by step and you should be able to earn from the entire program.
Looking to learn more about affiliate marketing, online marketing, and entrepreneurship?
You need someone who can work with you to success. Get in touch now and achieve the success that you need. Get ahead today.