What is affiliate marketing?

How to Earn Money with Affiliate Marketing? (2024)

Dreaming of making money online but not sure how people do that? The answer is simple: affiliate marketing. 
According to statistics, affiliate marketing is a $17 billion industry, with over 81% of companies using it to boost brand awareness and sales. Without a doubt, you too can start earning with it — and do it effectively by using our guide.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

To start in affiliate marketing, you first need to understand what it is. 

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based strategy where affiliates promote another company’s products or services. It’s like being a virtual salesperson, earning commissions based on the sales or actions you drive.

How affiliate marketing works in a nutshell: 

  1. A company wants to promote its product and publishes the offer online. 
  2. The affiliate marketer picks up this offer. Inside it, they get a unique affiliate link for tracking performance.
  3. The affiliate creates content about the product with the link.
  4. Someone sees their content and clicks on the link.
  5. They buy the recommended product and the affiliate earns a commission.

Main Players in Affiliate Marketing

  1. The advertiser: A company or brand that wants to promote its product or service. For instance, Nike wants to promote its new line of running shoes.
  2. An affiliate marketing program: A platform that acts as a middleman between the affiliate and the advertiser.
  3. An affiliate marketer. They can be divided into two types, varying on the approach they take to promote an offer:
    • Content creators: These affiliates earn by embedding affiliate links into their blog posts, YouTube videos, social media posts, etc.
    • CPA marketers: These affiliates buy traffic, direct it to the brand’s page, and earn commissions when it converts into a desired action, like a purchase. Here, CPA stands for Cost Per Action.

Our article will focus on both these types.

Why Should You Get into Affiliate Marketing?

There are various pros and cons to joining affiliate marketing. However, the benefits that stand out the most are:

Low Entry Barrier

Starting affiliate marketing is quite affordable, and here’s why.

To create a website, you’ll need a custom domain, which can cost as little as $2 per year. Next, you’ll need a web hosting service. The cheapest ones cost around $1-3 a month. As for the website itself, you can hire a professional programmer or save money by using free website-building tools like WordPress to make it yourself. 

As for buying traffic, remember that some niches cost more than others. It’s a good idea for beginners to start with low-cost offers to gain experience and learn how things work without risking big investments.

Favorable Income

Affiliate marketing offers excellent earning potential. Depending on the niche and strategy, beginners can earn from a few dollars up to $1,000 per month. As they gain experience and become more professional, affiliates can start earning around $100,000 per month. “Super” affiliates even reach six figures.

Ability to Scale

As an affiliate marketer, you’re not limited to selling products from just one company. You can promote offers from multiple brands and earn commissions from all of them. In fact, that’s precisely what you should do. 

Over time, this flexibility may allow you to maximize earnings and grow your income exponentially.

Affiliate Marketing Niches Overview

Affiliate marketing offers are different, coming from all sorts of brands. Naturally, you’ll encounter many niches and have to choose the ones you like. Here is an overview of some niches you’ll come across:

1) Gaming

The gaming industry grew significantly during the pandemic, reaching over 2.6 billion gamers worldwide. Another big market is mobile gaming, worth around $100 billion in annual revenues. 

If you’re passionate about games, choosing this niche is a must. You know what gamers love and can make ads that resonate with them.

2) iGaming

iGaming differs from regular gaming; it refers to online casinos, sports betting, etc. This niche also grew a lot during the pandemic, reaching a value of nearly $540.3 billion in 2023. This growing popularity is what attracts affiliates, seeking profitable offers. 

This niche is especially appealing during major sports events, like the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup when the audience is most interested in settings.

3) eCommerce

eCommerce is a classic example of affiliate marketing, where you promote products from online stores. Usually, these offers come from Amazon, AliExpress, Temu, or small businesses. 

This niche offers a great variety of products, including books, accessories, home goods, and more — without a doubt, you can find a product you’d be interested in promoting.

4) Nutra

Nutra covers products like weight loss aids, beauty items, nutritional supplements, etc. This niche is good for beginners because it has a clear targeted audience, for example, hair loss solutions for men.

However, promoting certain products can be challenging. Some products, like male performance pills, are prohibited from promotion in some territories. Remember this when considering offers in this niche.

5) Finance & Fintech

Finance covers traditional services like loans, credit cards, and newer areas like cryptocurrency. Don’t be surprised to see Forex trading and mining offers here. 

Affiliate marketing is favored among finance-related companies. Their audience values experts’ opinions; an affiliate takes this role and recommends a service, encouraging people to try it. What’s more, the finance niche usually offers some of the highest affiliate commissions.

6) Dating

Online dating has grown a lot during the past few years; every GenZ-er or Millennial has tried it at least once. According to statistics, the most known dating app, Tinder, has more than 75 million active users monthly. 

Apps are not the only service in the dating niche. You’ll also find offers for coaching services that teach people how to attract their romantic interests. 

7) Beauty & Cosmetics

The beauty and cosmetics niche is major and offers direct targeting, but it’s very competitive. Here, affiliates have to compete with content creators and influencers which might be difficult, especially for beginners. 

The niche covers everything from hair, nail, and skincare to male grooming products like beard care. Success here depends on keeping up with trends and pleasing customers who want quality and authenticity.

How to Start Earning with Affiliate Marketing?

How you get started in affiliate marketing depends on your approach: website or CPA marketing. We’ll cover both so you can learn and choose the one you like.

CPA Marketing

Step 1: Join a CPA Network

First, you need to join a CPA network, a platform where brands place their offers. These offers come from companies in various niches like iGaming, finance, dating, etc. 

Step 2: Choose an Offer

Selecting the right offer is crucial for creating a successful affiliate marketing campaign. Focus on products or services you believe in and understand the target audience’s needs.

When choosing an offer, consider the commission rate, ease of explaining the product, and proof of sales (check the reviews online).

Step 3: Create a Landing Page

Next, create a dedicated landing page to promote your offer. This is a one-page site with product descriptions, benefits, and calls to action (CTA). 

Remember, your landing page has to be valuable and high quality. If a person doesn’t understand the benefit, they won’t buy. Also, make your page visually appealing, add pictures, and make texts smaller and easier to read.

Sometimes, you don’t have to create a landing page, as the company or network will provide one. 

Step 4: Find a Traffic Source

Identify where your target audience spends their time online. This will help you choose which ad format will be more profitable. It can be ads on websites or search engines, social media, YouTube, etc.

Step 5: Use a Tracker

As you get more experienced, you’ll have more campaigns working simultaneously. Managing multiple offers across various platforms can be challenging. To make things easier, use a tracker

Trackers help you analyze the performance of your affiliate links, including clicks, conversion rate, and return on investment (ROI). You can get insights into your audience and their behavior, including location, click time and device type. 

Tracking tools allow you to adjust your campaigns quickly to avoid losses and maximize your income.

Affiliate Marketing with a Website

Step 1: Choose a Niche

Choose a niche that resonates with your interests, expertise, or hobbies. This ensures you understand your audience and how to target their needs and desires effectively.

Avoid overly broad topics like “sports”. Instead, focus on specific areas within the niche like “pilates,” “bodybuilding,” or “sports nutrition.” This approach not only helps you build a more targeted audience but also enhances your SEO.

Step 2: Build Your Website

First, you need to purchase a domain and select a reliable web hosting service. Next comes the website itself. Create a logical site structure where users have easy access to valuable information. User-friendly navigation is key; when visitors can’t find something, they’re more likely to leave.

Don’t forget to maintain a visual balance — avoid overwhelming visitors with too much text or images. Your goal is to create an appealing user experience.

Step 3: Create High-Quality Content

The website is ready, now you need to grow an audience. Write blog posts with valuable information for your readers. If you’re unsure what to write, use tools like Google Trends to identify trending topics. 

Don’t forget about SEO. Search and use relevant keywords; this helps your blog posts appear higher in the search engine results when users google something related.

Step 4: Join an Affiliate Program

Now that you have a website, content, and an audience, it’s time to start promoting products. You need to join an affiliate program where you can find offers for product or service promotion. Choose ones relevant to your niche, write a product review, and include an affiliate link inside.

Best Affiliate Marketing Programs For Beginners in 2024 To Earn Big — here you can find some good affiliate marketing programs for beginners. 

Step 5: Track Performance

The key to a successful campaign is analyzing and optimizing. For that, you’ll need tracking tools. These tools offer insights into click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and revenue. You also get information on your audience: their location, device, click time, purchase status, etc. 

Understanding these metrics allows you to gain more insights into your audience, see what they do and don’t like, and which visuals and tone of voice work the best.

Affiliate Marketing Types Overview

Affiliate marketing can be divided into three types, depending on the affiliate’s relationship with the product and niche:

  1. Involved: The affiliate has personally used the product or service they promote. This type of promotion depends on the trust between the affiliate and the audience. This trust is what drives sales.
  2. Related: The affiliate is related to the product’s niche but not directly. For example, if a diet recipe blogger promotes fitness courses, it’s called related affiliate marketing — they’re both related to the sports niche. Here, the affiliate doesn’t use the product, just knows about fitness.
  3. Unattached: The affiliate has no authority in the niche. They don’t use the product or service but simply promote their affiliate link through Facebook Ads, Google Ads, etc.

5 Tips to Boost Your Affiliate Earnings

Don’t Rely on One Affiliate Program

Relying on a single program can be risky. First, the company may change its terms, go out of business, or get sold. Second, all affiliate networks have different offers. By settling on one, you can miss out on profitable, hot deals. These risks can be avoided by joining 2-3 different programs.

Industry data supports the importance of multiple programs — affiliates earning around $10,000 monthly use at least three affiliate networks.

Understand What You’re Selling and to Whom

Without a solid understanding of the product and target audience, you won’t attract many leads, resulting in conversions. 

Analyze your audience by checking your ideal customers’ forum posts and social media. Note how they talk, what they like, and what problems they describe. The more insights you have, the higher the quality of your content. 

Pro tip: People resonate better with personal experiences and opinions, so consider testing products you promote. Create product reviews to build more trust with your audience.

Use Several Traffic Sources

Focusing on the website only might be a crucial mistake. Expand your reach by joining social media. It can be Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or LinkedIn for business-focused audiences. This will help broaden your reach and attract a diverse audience.

Also, consider creating an email list. This way, you can create newsletters for your audience and insert links there. According to statistics, affiliates who use email marketing earn 66.4% more than those who don’t.

Don’t Target Only the “Best” SEO Keywords

SEO is important for affiliate marketing, but it’s not as easy as it might seem. You need a clear strategy and thorough understanding. 

For example, some believe hot SEO keywords are the best choice because they promise more clicks. However, these keywords are very competitive, making their clicks very expensive. It takes more money, time, and effort to succeed with them.

Experienced affiliates mix competitive and less competitive keywords, targeting specific user requests. This approach ensures your offer stands out rather than getting lost among numerous similar offers.

Always Track Performance

Without constant analysis and optimization, your campaign won’t perform at its best. To avoid unexpected losses, use tracking tools like Keitaro Tracker

With it, you can evaluate performance, allocate resources effectively, and understand your audience’s behavior. Keitaro Tracker helps you:

  • Track clicks and conversions: Monitor each click on your affiliate link and track conversion rates to identify which marketing approach works the best.
  • Analyze and target the right audience: Access high-performance reports with 30+ built-in metrics and over 500 templates. Use customizable Geo database, A/B tests, and multi-offer funnels to optimize your campaigns and refine your targeting strategies.
  • Protect against fraudulent clicks: Detect and block fraudulent clicks that may appear on your ad campaigns. Protect your budget to avoid losses. 

You can try Keitaro Tracker today with a 14-day full-access trial:

Now you know how affiliate marketing works and can boost your campaign efficiency with Keitaro Tracker.

Keitaro Team

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