You may have heard the term affiliate marketing thrown out there in the PR & marketing industry. Some say it’s a great way to earn additional income, while others go as far as to say you can turn it into a full-time career.
Before delving into the earnings potential of the affiliate programs, it’s worth understanding first how they work.
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is when a person shares an affiliate link of a product or service to someone who clicks and purchases it. The person who shared the link will earn a commission for referring somebody to their business.
The goal of an affiliate, in this case, is to get as many people to buy the product or service from the links they will share. The more people they refer to the brand, the higher the commission.
Therefore, if you’re interested in becoming an affiliate, you must join an affiliate program like Prowly’s to secure the links to promote to people.
Here are the top 7 reasons why joining an affiliate program can be beneficial for you if you’re a PR & marketing professional:
- Low overhead and barrier of entry
- No need to create products and services to sell from scratch
- Generating passive income
- Sustainable business model
- Being your own boss
1. Low overhead and barrier of entry
To become an affiliate, all you need to do is sign up to your affiliate networks of choice.
Some programs will review your application and decide whether to let you into the program. They’d look at how you’d plan to promote their products and services and the marketing channels you plan to use. Once approved, only then will you be able to get your affiliate links to promote.
However, the majority of affiliate marketing programs will accept your application even if you’re a beginner. Your affiliate manager will hold an onboarding process where you receive resources teaching on how to promote their business and creative assets to use in your marketing efforts.
For example, AI content assistant Jarvis.ai sends emails sharing marketing assets that affiliates can use to help pump up sales.
From here, it’s up to you to decide how you want to advertise their products and services to help you sell them and earn your commissions.
The goal of affiliate partners is to make a good living from the affiliate brands they promote. How they choose to do this is entirely up to them. As long as they observe the rules and guidelines set by the program, it’s all fair game.
That means that you have freedom on where and when you work on your affiliate business. You can sell the products as a side hustle while working on your full-time job during the day. Or, you can even turn this into a full-time gig by creating and building an authority website from scratch.
Even if you don’t make a sale right away for the affiliate marketing program you’re part of, it’s fine. There’s no pressure for you to meet a set number of sales over a period.
At the same time, you can spend your entire day aggressively selling and making money as long as you can.
The flexibility that affiliate marketing offers allows you to make the most out of the opportunity you’re given without having you make a certain commitment. It’s up to you how much effort and dedication you wish to put into the program you’re working on.
For example, imagine yourself promoting web hosting Liquid Web, which pays a whopping 150% commission for the recurring months with a minimum payout of $150.
Therefore, you can break the $1,000-barrier affiliate commission by simply referring seven customers to Liquid Web!
3. No need to create products and services to sell from scratch
Most people think launching a business is all about selling your products to a highly targeted audience. To be fair, they get to keep the earnings and generate higher profits with this business model. But as lucrative as starting an e-commerce website is, the effort it takes to produce the items for sale, ship and deliver them to customers, and manage employees is not for everyone, to put it bluntly.
Being part of a successful affiliate marketing program allows you to focus on a specific aspect of your venture. Upon signing up, your goal is to sell as many affiliate products or services as possible. For every referral, the business will take care of fulfilling the order. At this point, all you have to do is wait for the commission payment to arrive. The more sales you make in a period, the higher the payment will be.
Keep in mind that your affiliate earnings depend on the programs you’ll join. Most programs have a commission-based system where the highest paying programs pay 50% per successful sale or more and for the recurring months. Others like Prowly PR software offer a one-time payment for every customer sign-up you refer.
Being affiliate partners of a brand allows you to dedicate yourself as their marketing partner. Your effectiveness to boost brand awareness and sell their products reflect on the money you will be earning from them.
4. Generating passive income
When starting, you must work tirelessly to advertise the affiliate product to your target audience. At first, you won’t be getting the referrals you need to compensate for promoting the business. Over time, however, you will slowly but surely generate more commission sales as you develop your authority and influence in the industry.
However, things get even more interesting as you can make money online from the affiliate programs you’ve joined even while you’re sleeping.
The passive income component of affiliate marketing occurs when you can attract targeted traffic from your affiliate website via search engine rankings. Once your affiliate marketing content starts appearing on Google, your site can generate sales from each affiliate link you put on your site.
This process, known as search engine optimization (SEO), is a cost-effective way of promoting products by leveraging the ability of search engines to send traffic your way. By doing so, you don’t have to constantly market your website and let Google and the rest do their job.
Another way affiliates earn money is through other marketing strategies such as email marketing, online advertising, and social media, among others. By setting them up properly, you can attract new audiences and your target market to the affiliate items you’re selling.
5. Sustainable business model
It’s one thing for the affiliate marketing business model to be popular. It’s another to say that you can turn this into a full-fledged career, let alone a side hustle.
The fact of the matter is that affiliate marketing is just like any other business out there. While it has its rabid fans, it’s not for everyone. Some will find success in it, but others simply won’t. Various factors are at play in the affiliates’ success, so it’s just not a matter of skill.
However, in terms of sustainability, affiliates have found success through the years with this business model. Some marketers and bloggers even disclose their affiliate earnings to their readers and share their findings. People like Pat Flynn and Matthew Woodward have discontinued their reports while a few like Adam Enfroy continue to publish theirs.
Adam is one of the few earnings in the six figures worth of commissions and sales every month. His reports go to show that the affiliate model works regardless of who or where you are.
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that there are no limits. You can earn as much as you want and can. However, you can only do this if you know what you need to improve on and how you should go about it.
For instance, if you’re not attracting enough website traffic, you must find ways to do so. You can either refine your current strategy or find new channels to acquire new visitors that you can turn into new customers.
Analytics tools like Google Analytics provide you with data regarding your website. Here, you can see how many users visited your website over time and which channels they came from, whether it’s from social media or a custom QR code. It also shows you which pages attracted the most traffic.
From here, you can generate insights to help improve your affiliate site’s performance and hopefully increase your traffic. For instance, you can identify pages that aren’t getting a lot of traffic and rework them in the hopes of getting more traffic after the update.
Aside from traffic, you can also measure the conversion rates of the affiliate links you placed on your site. Ultimately, you want to convince visitors to click on the links and buy the affiliate product or service. And you won’t be able to do that successfully unless you know what doesn’t trigger them to click on these links.
Most affiliate marketing tools and programs have a reporting feature showing you how many people clicked on your links and where they clicked on them, i.e., site pages, email, social media.
This can help you can unearth insights and develop ideas on improving the click-through rates so you can earn more.
7. Being your own boss
Finally, becoming an affiliate gives you the chance to become independent financially and professionally. You no longer have to work at a 9-5 job or climb the corporate ladder so that you can earn your raise.
As mentioned, you still have to put in the work to find success in the affiliate program you joined. Earning substantial commission rates could take months or even years, even after putting in hours of work every single day.
However, there are no limits as far as working and earning are concerned. You can make money as fast and as much regardless of how long you’ve been doing this. Once you’ve established authority, all you need to worry about is how to scale your business based on the earnings you’ve earned passively over time.
Affiliate marketing is not the gold rush that people make it out to be. However, with the right approach and mindset into the affiliate program you’ll join, you’ll be able to make substantial money that you can add to your income.
When you’re ready, why not give Prowly’s affiliate program a try?
Cover photo by Domenico Loia