If you’re looking to add to your freelancing income, affiliate marketing is a great way to do that. Affiliate marketing is basically connecting consumers with the products and services they need—and getting a commission for doing so.
If you’re a freelance marketer, you’re already primed with the skills to be successful.
Affiliate marketing can have a bad rap because of people who get spammy and break the rules. Stick to the basics and you’ll see how easy and effective it is.
I will provide the caveat that affiliate marketing is NOT an overnight miracle, but by using proven long-term strategies, it’s a solid side income.
Pick a Niche
Find your people. Pick a topic you’re an expert in, or at least have interest in. Talk about that topic on your website, blog, and social profiles (whether you use your personal profiles or create separate ones is up to you). Build up an audience of people who are also interested in your topic.
Once readers trust you, they will trust your recommendations. You can then take advantage of this by recommending useful, quality products to them. In general, to avoid the spammy image I mentioned earlier, it’s best to recommend products you yourself have used.
Build a Website that Makes You Money
Having your own website, ideally with a blog, is key to a stable online income.
Of course having a website isn’t enough. You need to write regular, weekly articles teaching readers useful and actionable information in your blog’s niche (e.g. dog training, weight loss, muscle building etc).
By providing useful information, readers will trust you—and so will trust you when you recommend products. Once readers trust you, they will trust your recommendations. You can then recommend useful, quality affiliate products to them.
Focus on Email Marketing, Not Banners
In general email marketing makes more money than banner advertisements on websites. Your email list is one of your most important assets. Every person you have on your email marketing list usually means ~$1/month in affiliate income when you know what you’re doing.
People who do click on banners are cold traffic and don’t convert. Email subscribers are people who want to hear the information you have to share.
Give people an incentive to join (e.g. free ebook) then send out emails with helpful information and relevant product suggestions. Doing so pre-warms traffic, increasing conversions and building relationships.
Bring in Traffic Organically with Google
Organic Google (or other search engine, but let’s be honest) traffic is high quality and converts very well. Here are some tips for ranking better on search engines like Google.
Post regularly—Google loves websites with new, fresh content and ranks their posts/pages better.
Optimize your post for a keyword that is shown as having a good number of searches (100+) in Google Keyword Planner.
Place keyword the chosen keyword once in title tag and once in description tag.
Learn About Affiliate Marketing
Yes, these are affiliate links. And yes, I’ve tried them myself. 🙂 These are my most recommended programs for learning affiliate marketing, each at different levels of money, commitment, and base knowledge.
AffilioBlueprint is a fabulous starter course for people who are serious about diving in. I did this when I was first starting out.
Super Affiliate Marketing Mastery is a REALLY low barrier to entry way to learn a ton about affiliate marketing with a really small investment.
John Crestani’s SAS is the mac daddy of affiliate marketing programs. This is the latest program I’ve worked through, and it’s stellar. If you’re seriously ready to buy in to making an affiliate marketing income, this is the course for you.