What Is Affiliate Marketing?

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I started my journey in marketing when I was 23 and most of my jobs were in business to business marketing (B2B). During my 10 years of marketing before owning my own business, I didn’t come across affiliate marketing much, although I did understand what it was.

To start with, I noticed it happening with Amazon products. Influencers with thousands of hits on their website per month with crazy high social media following were directing people to specific products on Amazon that they recommended. If you brought that product, the blogger would then get a percentage of that sale from Amazon for recommending it.

So this, in essence is affiliate marketing. Recommending products to people so that they purchase them and you get paid a commission.

Here’s 3 reasons why an affiliate marketing business is a great idea for your first business.

1)     Low overheads.

In a physical business, you have all sorts of costs that you have to be aware of, and sometimes it can take a long time to start making any profit because your sales have to exceed those costs. These are things like overheads, inventory, hiring, staff, storage, equipment and office space.

With an affiliate marketing business, you have very low overheads because most people will have access to some kind of laptop and internet to start with so you are set! The other costs involved in an online business are tools that you may wish to use to help you set your business on automation. So things like scheduling tools or email marketing software that sends autoresponders. Depending on the tool, they can cost anything between $7 and $97 a month when you first start out. You website costs can be very minimal too, with domain names starting at around $10 for two years, and when you buy a website builder like Wordpress or Squarespace, you can get hosting for $15 a month! So a very cost-effective start up.

2)     You hate selling.

You may have realised from my description of affiliate marketing, that essentially you are a sales person when you do it. Because earning a commission is all about being in a sales type business. But this is not the case!

To recommend a product is very different from actually selling it. Essentially, if you are an affiliate for a company, they should be selling the product for you, all you have to do if drive traffic to their website using your own affiliate link. I mentioned earlier about my business to business experience in the marketing world. These days, it’s more about human to human - so people selling to people by attracting them to themselves, rather than pushing out sales messages that turn people off. For example, instead of posting “buy my product” in a social media post or Facebook group, attraction marketing or “human to human” marketing is more about imparting your own knowledge in a niche field (mine is Instagram marketing) and building up a relationship with people who want to learn more about Instagram marketing. Once they know, like and trust me, the “sale” is then made but it doesn’t feel like selling.

3)     The earning capacity.

Being an affiliate on Amazon has a very low earning capacity – with a commission of 3 to 10% per product sold, the average product being $40 to $150 each, you would have to sell an awful lot of products to make $5000 per month. This means thousands of

There’s so many affiliate marketing companies out there now though, who give 40% commission on $3000 sales. That way, you earn $1200 per sale, and you only need to make 4 sales a month to make $4800! Imagine that, owning a business where you have to make 4 sales a month by talking to people and getting them to know, like and trust you…