Make money while you sleep! Be your own boss! Work from the comforts of your Home. Passive income option sounds too hard to resist for some, while for others it might sound like fraud.
Well, many of you may have dreamt and still dream of being your own boss, making money from your home, setting your own work hours, enjoying all the comforts such a lifestyle offers!
The good news for you is making money from home is a modern day reality, even in India.
Affiliate marketing is how you do it!
Affiliate Marketing – One of The Major Source of Passive Income
Worldwide affiliate marketing is a US $ 6.5 billion industry with almost every business in every industry running its own affiliate program or using an affiliate network to drive more sales of their products or services.
You can register as an affiliate – directly with an online store or with a manufacturer – or a third party affiliate network of your choice and promote products belonging to retail, banking & finance, Home & Garden, travel, education, Health & fitness or any other industry that you have a special interest in or expertise to recommend
those industry products to your target audience.
The lure of affiliate marketing is such that it attracts stay-at-home moms to professionals with high profile jobs that pay fat checks!
Well, people join affiliate programs to make money from home without the hustle and bustle of a 9 – 5 work lifestyle and enjoy the independence and freedom of being their own boss!
On the moneymaking side, successful affiliate marketers make anywhere from US $100 to US$ 100,000, of course your earnings depend on your efforts, your marketing strategies, etc.
Once you reach specified sales volumes, you will get a higher commission percentage for the same products that you promote. The volume of money you make is directly proportional to your efforts and depends on how the niche you choose, the product or products you promote, your online reputation.
With affiliate marketing, you simply promote the products and services of other people or companies and every time someone you referred makes a purchase on the company’s website you are associated with, you earn a small percentage of the sale value as commission!
Easy-peasy way of making money isn’t it! Well, with affiliate marketing, you need not manufacture any unique product; go door-to-door selling products, etc.
All you need to do is spread a word about the products and services of the company you have affiliated with and count the money as your referrals purchase or subscribe to the products or services of that company. You can refer the company’s products to your friends, to prospects using word-of-mouth advertising, telemarketing, or blogs.
Most online companies offer affiliate programs to anyone interested in making money! In addition to their usual marketing efforts, these merchants try to drive more traffic to their stores and make more sales with the help of affiliate marketers.
Affiliate marketing is a tried and tested way of making money from the comforts of your home during your spare time. You signup to become an affiliate of one of the top online store such as Amazon affiliate or flipkart affiliate and use your creativity to drive traffic to those sites using your own marketing platforms, increase the sales and earn commission.
However, there may be some affiliate frauds and therefore you need to be careful to identify such frauds and avoid them without falling in their trap.
The first sign of a scam is a membership or a start fee to join affiliate program. The fact is there should not be a fee to join any affiliate program.
Do not fall for the trap of unrealistic promises; earn tons of money in quick time without any hard work. Affiliate marketing, though a way of passive income, but it still requires active efforts from you. You should always join free affiliate marketing programs appear, sound, and look logical, practical, and feasible.
Finally, have patience to skim through the information and make sure you understood the terms and conditions of the program before you sign up with any affiliate program.
When you sign up with an affiliate program or an affiliate network, you will get a unique affiliate ID. When promoting the products of that merchant you should use the product link, which has your unique affiliate I, so the merchant knows that you have referred a particular visitor to their site and can offer you the commission when that visitor makes a purchase.
Affiliate Marketing Basic Terms
As an affiliate marketer, you may come across plethora of new and confusing terms, well not to worry there are plenty of resources to help you understand the terms. Refer to affiliate glossaries available online. Some of the important affiliate terms include:
- Affiliates: When you join an affiliate program, you become affiliate of that program. You publish content, product or service reviews to promote products and services of that company, hence publisher is another name used to refer to affiliates.
- Affiliate Programs or networks: Every business, mostly online, have an affiliate program, which encourages individuals or companies to join as affiliates and recommend their products to a wider audience. Amazon associates is a very popular affiliate program. An affiliate network is a link between the publisher and the affiliate program; it brings publishers and merchants together. Popular affiliate networks include Clickbank, ShareAsale and many more.
- Affiliate ID: When you sign up for an affiliate program you, will receive a unique code and affiliate ID, which helps the merchant, identify that you have referred a particular visitor onto his website.
- Affiliate Manager: Companies want to help you drive more traffic to their site, so they can make sales and earn revenue. An affiliate manager from the merchant is a professional who helps you optimize your efforts and become a successful affiliate.
- Affiliate Links: The links to the webpages of the products you promote along with your unique ID so the merchant can identify the visitor as directed from your website and pay you the commission from any purchase such a visitor makes.
- Commission: The amount of money you as an affiliate make when a visitor you redirected to the merchant’s website makes a purchase there. Of course, the visitor must purchase within a specified time from the time he visits the merchant’s website. The time within which a visitor has to make the purchase differs from merchant to merchant. Some require the purchase to happen in 24 hours while other merchants offer lenient time limit of 90 days from the time the visitor first lands on the online store.
- Conversion: When a visitor you redirected to a merchant’s website takes the intended action, buy a product, subscribe to services, signup for email updates, etc. is conversion, as the visitor has now converted to prospect or customer.
- Link Cloaking: Link cloaking is a method by which publishers make their affiliate links, Product page links along with your affiliate ID, to shorten the lengthy affiliate link, so it becomes readable and visually appealing one.
Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing
Now, you might wonder what does it take to get started, you are curious to know how much money you need to invest, what special skills you need to start the business of affiliate marketing.
Well, it costs you ZERO to join an affiliate network! Yes, you need not, in fact should not, pay any company to join their affiliate program and promote their products.
You may have to invest time and some money in promoting the products; however, the amount of investment depends on you. Ideally, you may start a website, a blog as online platforms help you reach to a wider audience, promote products, and make more sales.
You need not have great technical skills in web designing or online marketing, average level sills in web design and online marketing with decent copywriting skills are good for you to start your Affiliate marketing journey.
If you still nervous not sure how it all works or just want to test the waters, and learn a few tricks of marketing before you take the actual plunge, you may choose to promote affiliate programs with free websites, which is a good option for affiliate marketing beginners strapped for cash and are low on confidence.
In fact, you can start affiliate marketing even with word-of-mouth advertisements, tele-calling and so on, if you are not technically inclined and not sure about setting up your website. However, a website will help you reach out to a wider audience.
Affiliate Marketing Online
Having an online presence is almost mandatory in the digital age, moreover online platforms help you reach out to a wider and geographically scattered audience. If you are not ready mentally or financially to invest in and set up a website to promote products of a merchant you can use free blog platforms such as WordPress, Blogspot, Wix, Weebly , tumblr, squidoo, etc., to promote products. You can also market the products on blogs and forums in the form of comments.
Video marketing is another attractive marketing tool, you can create interesting YouTube series centered on the product you want to promote and drive traffic to your YouTube channel.
Write an E-book promoting your products and offer it for free or at low cost on various online stores.
Alternatively, if you are confident of setting up a website and driving traffic to the site then you can build your own affiliate website and start publishing content recommending products and services to your visitors. No matter what platform you use to promote affiliate products and services you need to write compelling content that offers value to your visitors.
Affiliate Marketing India
Affiliate marketing has been in existence for many decades now in one form or the other. Well, affiliate marketing in essence is all about referring products you either have had good experience using them or have heard or read positive reviews from someone who have used those products.
However, the popularity of affiliate marketing has grown rapidly in recent times, affiliate marketing has become one of the most successful and hence the popular moneymaking options for many advertisers and publishers. Especially, with the launch of Amazon.com in the 1990’s affiliate marketing has reached new heights. Amazon’s associate program is still the most popular affiliate program anywhere in the world.
Affiliate marketing in India is catching up and already has become a viable source of income when it comes to making income by the side. Thanks to the growing mobile usage and the deeper penetration of the internet, there is a swift upward trend towards online purchases. Many publishers today make a ton of money as affiliates recommending products and services of the companies they associate with.
If you are planning to start a blog and promote products to Indian consumer, there is no dearth of affiliate programs to monetize your blog. Affiliate marketing companies in India are plenty. You can register with such companies and start promoting products and services of your choice to earn passive income. You can register with individual affiliate marketing companies or affiliate networks that help you promote products and services of many online stores.
Some of the popular affiliate marketing companies in India – Affiliate programs and affiliate networks include
- Amazon Affiliates
- Flipkart Affiliates
- Snapdeal Affiliates
- Komli Media
- Post Affiliate Pro
- Trade Tracker
- One click CPA
And many more…
Affiliate marketing companies act as a bridge between the affiliate programs and the publisher or the affiliate and help optimize the marketing efforts, reach out to wider audience, and make more sales.
Indian Affiliates Earn Great Passive Income with Flipkart Affiliate Program
Flipkart and Amazon offer the top affiliate programs for publishers that cater to the Indian audience. Flipkart started as an online bookstore in the year 2007 grew rapidly to become one of the largest ecommerce stores in India. The founders of Flipkart worked for Amazon.com before setting up their own online store. Incidentally, amazon followed its employees, setup amazon.in, and launched its very popular and highly competitive amazon affiliate program in the year 2013.
The advent of Amazon affiliate program has changed the affiliate marketing game in India. Amazon affiliate program had a much higher commission percentage than the Flipkart affiliate program. Flipkart was the leading online store running its very popular affiliate program, but in 2013 when amazon launched its globally popular affiliate marketing Amazon program people started referring Amazon.in products lured by the higher commission structure of the Amazon affiliate program.
Eventually to retain its affiliates Flipkart had to up the ante, and increase the commission percentage, and it did so to make Flipkart affiliate program competitive in the market.
Flipkart affiliate program has now become very attractive to Indian publishers. It has a very easy entry requirement and maintains transparency in the transactions. The program has a competitive commission rate and affiliates will receive information whenever changes to the commission policy or any other policy comes into effect.
If you want to earn passive income promoting products for Indian consumers, become a Flipkart affiliate by filling out their application form, and create your Flipkart affiliate log-in ID and Password, you need not wait for review and approval of the application. Once you have submitted your Flipkart affiliate program application you can start promoting products by creating and publishing product links using the many tools that Flipkart offers affiliates.
Select a Niche to Promote on your Affiliate marketing website
Well, you have plethora of options when it comes to choosing an affiliate program to associate with and start promoting those products. However, even before you signup as an affiliate and start promoting the products you need to select a strong marketing strategy for your affiliate marketing business.
Whether you want to start a deals and coupons site or want to promote products belonging to a specific niche, sub-niche.
A deals and coupons affiliate marketing is a very successful affiliate strategy where publishers inform their readers of the latest and popular deals that are up for grabs on the various online stores.
On the other hand, many affiliates choose to promote products or services that caters to specific demographics, products that answers the pain factor of a particular demographic. Some examples of such niche could be
- How to lose weight after 40
- Fashion for full figured women
- Yoga for new moms
- Smart phones under 20,000 INR
- Smart phone with more than 12MPcamera
As you can see, the above topics cater to specific demographics. People over 40 years, full-figured women, new moms, or gadgets enthusiasts looking for phones under 20,000 INR or with a camera of over 12MP. They answers specific issues.
As an affiliate, you can offer tips, advice, and other valuable content for those demographics and help them find the right products or services.
Your content should offer value to readers and help them with suggestion and tips that help people over 40 to reduce weight and get back in shape. You can offer advice to full figured women on how to look chick and fashionable. You can also offer various yoga routine for new moms to get back in shape and stay fit and healthy.
Now, the obvious question and the challenge here is to find these niches, or topics?
Well, ideally, many players in the affiliate-marketing field suggest that you chose a niche and products that you have used and felt that the products are of good quality, match the product description, and stands good on the promises that manufacturer made.
However, it may not be possible for you to use the products of your niche to testify its quality, etc., now that should not disqualify or discourage you from promoting such products if you have a serious interest in that niche.
You can apply common sense when selecting a niche to recommend products to your audience.
The obvious reason behind starting your affiliate marketing business is to make money, and something that’s selling like hot cake and is in demand will help you make money, right? Commonsense.
Well, the other reason is to write and offer insights on topics that you are passionate about!
Now mix these two factors your passion and serious intention of making money.
Other factors to consider are the latest trends in that niche, the business worth, will you be able to sell products, is there enough scope for another affiliate in that niche? Does your niche has many products so you can public content and promote those products?
Finding answers to such questions will help you weed out the junk niche topics and shortlist the profitable niche that helps you make great passive income.
Build an Affiliate Marketing website that attracts both Search engines and Audience Alike
You obviously want to reach to a wider audience in your selected niche, so you can make more sales and earn passive income. Building an affiliate-marketing website is undoubtedly great way to reach audience scattered over geographical regions.
However, the challenge remains in offering visibility for your website, to make sure that your website is visible to search engines so it could offer it in the search results.
Search engines is how your visitors, audience find your website.
It is therefore, important that you design your website in the most search engine friendly manner. Some tips to design your website in search engine friendly manner include:
Chose a Responsive Theme and Design for your website:
A website with a responsive design adjusts the page size according to the device the visitor uses to visit the website.
As the number of views to any website from handheld gadgets such as smart phones, tablet PCs is on the rise, along with a considerable proportion of the audience who visit website via desktops, search engine prefers websites that have a responsive design.
There is a User Experience factor also involved in it, with a responsive design the user need not scroll to adjust the page size according to the device screen size one uses, so it offers the visitor ease of use. Search engines prefer user-friendly designs. Hence the design of your affiliate marketing website has to be responsive and SEO friendly.
Your website should have a clear URL. The URL should be self-explanatory and help readers and search engines determine what a specific page or website is all about.
Optimize each page for Specific Keywords in your Niche
Keywords play an important role in making your website found by the search bots and readers.
Keywords are the query words that users type in to find websites with the information the need. You should use these keywords naturally in your content signaling Google that your website/ web page has the information that matches the query of a particular user.
Keyword research helps you ascertain what keywords your niche audience use to find information on products and services that you offer.
When promoting products and services and trying to make sales, you need to use keywords with “buyer Intent,” than generic keywords.
Buyer intent keywords have certain prefixes or suffixes. Some examples of buyer intent keywords include
- Best Smart Phones under 5000 INR
- Deals on Yoga Mats
- Samsung Galaxy Phone Cover with Free Shipping
- Mens Jeans on Sale
- Discounts on Books and school supplies
As you can see, the above examples contain words such as Best; Deals; Free Shipping; Sale; Discount. A user keying in these words along with a generic keyword is more serious about making a purchase. Think of more terms, which a user might type when seriously looking to purchase products or services in your niche and try to find similar keywords.
When mining for keywords search volume and competition are some other factors you need to consider.
As a beginner affiliate marketer, you may target a monthly search volume of 500 for a particular keyword. You need to find keywords that have low competition and you can easily rank on the first page of search results for any search engine. Google, yahoo, Bing, etc.
You have plethora of FREE as well as paid tools to research keywords in any niche available on the market.
- Google Keyword Planner
- Long Tail Pro
Easily Indexable and Highly Engaging content with natural infusion of Keywords
Content is the king of your website!
You may have a very responsive and user friendly design for your website with a great URL structure, but if your content sucks, then your audience will bounce off your site in no time, and would never comeback.
Publishing Great content that engages your audience and compels them to take the action that you want them to, is crucial for the success of your affiliate-marketing efforts.
As mentioned earlier, search engines favor websites that not only have technical
strength to impress the search bots, but also offers great positive user experience.
Writing content in an engaging, compelling way is crucial to make your content user friendly. Write content that is easy to read and understand by anyone. Your content should show than tell, and show the characters live. Make your content lively and make it shareable.
Write content in a humorous way to engage your audience better. Use images, videos to attract audience.
Alongside the engagement of your content, it should also have the technical prowess to attract search engines, signal them saying that they contain specific information that matches the visitors query.
- Use keywords in titles, descriptions of your content
- Use keywords in a natural way at least once for every 100 words. You should never force keywords into your content; they should sound natural with the overall flow of the content
- When using images, indicate the content of the image using ALT tags.
- Interlink all the pages of the website using a relevant keyword.
Additionally, Search engines keep changing their search algorithms so stay on your toes, and look out for updates, new changes in search algorithms to make the necessary changes.
Search engines now moving to more user experience and engagement factors for ranking websites. Therefore, you need to build social media strategy to drive engagement about your products on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Find the right Affiliate Program for your Niche
You have the niche, the keywords, and a content plan, now you need to find the right affiliate program that has many products from your niche and offers good incentives for promoting their products.
- How many products does the affiliate program contain that belong to your niche?
- What commission percentage does the affiliate company offer for every sale that happens via your website?
- Verify their payments history of the merchant offering affiliate programs. Is the merchant affiliate program reputed one? How long has it been inexistence?
- What kind of support does the merchant offer to help you promote products?
Once you find the perfect affiliate program that has plenty of products in your niche, offers a decent commission on every purchase by the traffic you drive to their website, and helps you in optimizing your affiliate marketing efforts. You need to apply to become one of their affiliates.
Becoming an Affiliate of your Chosen Affiliate Program
The first step in getting started in affiliate marketing is to fill the affiliate application form by entering all the details as asked on the application form. The merchant after reviewing your application may approve it or deny your application for affiliate.
You may wonder what if my application is not accepted, and disapproved. Ooops it may happen.
But, hey that’s not the end of the road for your passive income dreams.
Well, there could be a billion reasons for not accepting your application; mostly it could be not enough of traffic to your site, the design of your site, or could be one of the billion reasons only the affiliate manager knows better.
Firstly, as every affiliate program has a dedicated affiliate manager, try to get in touch with the affiliate manager to understand the reasons of rejecting your affiliate application. If the affiliate manager still declines your application with a big NO.
Still nothing to worry, you have opportunities at every corner you just need to keep your eyes wide open.
Apply for a master affiliate network. A master affiliate network such as viglink, skimlinks is one that acts as a bridge between you affiliate and the actual company that offers affiliate program. However, the catch here is that the network that offers master affiliate program gets a cut out of your earnings.
Build a Killer Affiliate Marketing Website
As said, affiliate marketing does not require any costs to get started as in paying feeds to merchants etc. However, you need to invest some money in setting up a platform to promote the affiliate products.
Again, as discussed you can setup free blogs, social media profiles and start affiliate marketing for FREE!
Having a top-level custom domain and self-hosting your website helps your affiliate marketing business greatly.
Search engines prefer a top-level domain or TLD, as popularly known, such as a .Com, .Net, .Org etc. Such domains help your sites rank better and gain popularity among your target audience. Such domains help affiliate marketers gain the confidence of audience and are easy to remember and relate as a commercial website.
Similarly, self-hosting the website offers plethora of benefits. Firstly, you have the freedom of publishing your content without any ads popping up on your content distracting visitors’ and causing a negative experience, which happens with most free affiliate marketing website platforms.
With a self-hosted website, you have control over the security features and can make sure that the emails you have collected from your audience are safe and are not victims of hacking.
Well, what you looking for! Use your marketing and keyword strategies to come up with a catchy and related domain name for your affiliate-marketing website.
- You can register a domain name with any popular domain name registration services company such as Godaddy, Name cheap and so on. Typically, a domain may cost you anywhere forma 100 INR a year to a couple of thousand rupees.
- Next, you need to purchase hosting from an internet services trading company like Godaddy. Hosting services may cost you anywhere form 100 Rupees a month to a thousand rupees depending on the space, security features you need.
- You can also subscribe to special premium themes that offer great user experience, makes you site more attractive to your visitors.
- You can check for coupons, deals and discounts if you are looking to save money on domain registration, hosting services, or themes for your affiliate-marketing website.
Set up your affiliate-marketing website with a catchy and attractive domain name, responsive and user-friendly navigation theme, and write engaging sharable content to attract your audience and drive more convertible traffic to your affiliate company’s website.
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