Earning is fun if you have nothing to offer except your effort and time. But is not it so much better if you could earn some income despite not being too active about it, that is, a passive means of income?
Too good to be true this may seem, but working smart would pay as much as hard work if you only know how it works by being smart and is essentially what affiliate marketing is partly about.
What is affiliate marketing?
Entrepreneur described affiliate marketing as “a way for a company to sell its products by signing up individuals or companies (“affiliates”) who market the company’s products for a commission” or, more technically, a kind of marketing that pays based on performance of sales or commission.
Unlike the traditional method of “affiliate marketing” in real life, present-day affiliate marketers no longer need to go door-to-door in order to make a sale—they would only need a computer, an internet connection, and a platform to market the goods, and the exposure to the target market you are selling the products to.
Who you are as an affiliate in this picture is the person behind the computer who exposes a range of products that you are not necessarily financially invested in to the target market, also with the hope of tapping on some otherwise untapped consumers who may not know of the products but are with particular interest in.
With the internet as your platform and the people in it as your target market, affiliate marketing is a viable business that will truly earn you passive income.
Is affiliate marketing easy?
Yes, and no.
If you are already a seasoned marketer with lots of followers in the online market and has your own platform like your website, a blog, or social media, then marketing to those within your network may be an advantage and can be relatively easy at the ideal setting like having a wide network, many followings, and good traffic to your platforms. This is partly the reason why people find the internet a lucrative source of income.
But despite this rather grand opportunity to make some income digitally, the vastness of the internet and the numbering crowd can also be an obstacle which can overwhelm anyone who are still new to the niche. Like a student who is still fresh in school, anyone who is new in the online marketing scheme is very much unknown and would not have good followings nor the authority in any niche.
Unlike internet marketing—like the pay per click scheme—however, clicks on your links do not generate you any income, actual sales do. This adds to the difficulty of the overall scheme, especially for products which do not necessarily get particular interest with from consumers. It is worth noting of the difference between the two.
Affiliate Marketing with ClickBank
Given the popularity of the internet, the growing number of internet users, and the ability to buy things you need and want online albeit digital in nature, to see an influx of digital contents creators trying to keep up with the demand and thereby making it to the internet is not surprising. In fact, given the thriving ecology of the digital market, a platform like ClickBank has become one of the main platform of vendors and affiliate marketers alike, both with the goal of making some income.
ClickBank, as of 2011, was considered by Revenue Magazine as the leading affiliate network within the country of the USA with around 1.5 million affiliate marketers, 100,000 of which are active at any given time. At its heyday on 2011, ClickBank has paid both vendors and affiliate marketers alike an amount of more than $1.8 billion, conduct 35,000 transactions a day, and generate an annual revenue of $350 million.
Content Marketing and Blogging as an Affiliate
There are only a few ways one could be renowned in the world of the internet if you are not a celebrity—you either have to be popular in YouTube with all your gags and gimmicks, you have thousands and thousands of friends and connections in various social media platforms, or you blog with lots of following.
While all media are good in building trust and connections for a growing network, it still boils down to authority or how established are you in your chosen niche. If you are trying to put some authority in your brand—even as an affiliate marketer—it is important that you are at least capable of generating contents particular to your niche likely possible through blogs. It may sound as easy as simply being able to write and put contents, but in reality, how you develop your authority may be dependent also in the quality of the contents you share—the more valuable the contents of your share is, the better you are entrenched as an authority in your niche.
Marketing Funnel for Better Sales
However, when it comes to affiliate marketing, all you ultimately need is the sales, not the pre-requisites that came before it. Sure, you may be having lots and lots of following and even the authority in your niche, but if you do not make a sale, you fail as an affiliate marketer since you only get to earn income through actual sales of another company’s products or services—you are only the middleman between the products to be bought and the consumer buying them.
One effective way of addressing this concern is through a marketing model specifically designed to make a sale by identifying theoretical factors about consumers that ultimately leads them to a purchase—marketing funnel or purchasing funnel.
Credited to Elias St. Elmo Lewis, an American advertising advocate in 1898, marketing funnel was derived after the AIDA model which literally means Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action, a series of steps that begins with the consumer being aware of a certain product, followed by building the interest for the product, a desire to acquire it, and ultimately, the need to act for it which is buying.