How To Start, Run and Manage Affiliate Business

All you need to start and run an affiliate marketing business

If you got to this page by search, you could be expecting to download a book, perhaps a PDF file, on Affiliate business, and marketing. This is not a book. I only want to give you a concise guide on how to start, run, and manage an affiliate business, if you’re interested in one.

I want to assume you’re a beginner. In other words, you’re just starting out in affiliate marketing. Hence, I’ll approach it with the basics in mind.

Even if you’re a professional marketer, you won’t complete this guide without gaining one or two things. After all, the history of a man is an open book for another man. 

This is a narration of how I’ve been running my affiliate business side by side with my offline education consultancy. And if you’re in my shoes, you’ll love the practical experiences I’m about to share.

What is Affiliate Marketing Business?

Neil Patel defines Affiliate marketing as the process of earning commissions by promoting other people's (or company's) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.

By “products” in this context, you can promote physical items such as laptops, medicines, furniture, etc or services such as insurance, mortgages, loans, software, etc.

Some combine the promotion of services and commodities. While some specialize in products that have to do with their discipline or professions, others can pick anything money can buy.

Nature of an Affiliate Marketing Business

One great thing about the affiliate marketing business is you don’t need a physical office to sell products you market. You don’t have to rent an apartment.

All you need is to join a network (existing businesses) that allow interested marketers and publishers to register with them and refer people to buy their products.

A very popular affiliate network is Amazon.

The Amazon Affiliate program, or Amazon Associates, is an affiliate marketing program. It's free for website owners and bloggers to become Amazon Associates. They advertise products from Amazon.com on their sites by creating links. When customers click the links and buy products from Amazon, they earn referral fees.

The same is applicable to others; such as Jumia, Konga, Ali Express, etc. 

These online stores sell different products and services and they need independent people to market for them on commissions. The higher you can sell, the more you earn.

It’s obvious that affiliate marketing businesses are very common in physical products such as sales of tech gadgets, home appliances, garden equipment, clothes, accessories, etc. Yet, promoting service-based companies’ businesses such as web hosting, advertisements, consultancy, software companies, etc are known for paying the highest commissions.

Affiliate Marketing Business Needs Website or Blog

While explaining the Amazon affiliate program, you must have noticed that this business is suitable for website owners and bloggers. If you don’t have one, you may be out of luck to join an affiliate program of your dream.

Even though there are other mediums to promote affiliate businesses, yet others rely much on having your own pages to discuss or review those products before they can accept you into the networks.

You can, of course, use a free blog platform to start with. And if you must appear serious, I advise registering that as an independent domain. This will give a good impression of you and your business.

However, some affiliate programs may give you an affiliate link/page to share and promote on Facebook, Twitter, or similar social media. Some creat your personal website (usually one-page blog) to promote your products. This is though uncommon in recent times.

Requirements To Take Off Affiliate Business

I’d observed 3 things that must actively be in place if affiliate business is your next take. Get them ready and be on your way into the business.

1. A Computer

I suggest you own a laptop to start with. Even though I had got a few people running their affiliate marketing businesses using Andriod phones, they usually started with laptops too.

It’s after they’d published enough articles/reviews of their products that it got easy to share links right through phones.

Let me save you the complications. Get a laptop to start with. You will need to type your reviews on word processing software such as Microsoft Word, Wordpad, or Notepad. Then, publish online on the website or blog.

Having said that, you don’t need a special class for this. You only need to know the basics of typing, copying, and pasting. Then, formating knowledge will be required while setting up for the publication on your blog.

2. Internet Service/Connection

There is no doubt that you will need an efficient internet service. Don’t forget - an affiliate marketing business doesn’t require you to buy products upfront and sell to others. No!. All you need is to tell others about the products and if they buy, you’re paid commissions.

You don’t have to hawk electronics. You don’t have to take people to where to buy. You only show them pages where they can click a few buttons, make payment and wait for the product to be delivered to them by the seller, store, or the company.

So, what will you need instead?

Internet! And not just that but a better one enough to support your publications when needed.

3. Website/Blog Hosted Independently

As already explained, you will need a website or blog dedicated to reviewing the products you intend to sell.

It’s advisable to use paid hosting instead of free platforms out there. You can, of course, create your blog through free platforms such as blogger.com, wordpress.com, medium.com, wix.com, etc. More on this shortly.

These platforms will give you free extension such as abc.blogspot.com. This will look unprofessional. Won’t it?

Don’t worry, you can immediately or later register this domain to .com, .com.ng, .info, .net etc.

When you’re done, start promoting.

Summary: With a laptop, internet access, and a blog in place, you’re on your way to join a network that pays you dollars for just telling others where to buy what they already wish to spend money on.

Setting Up an Affiliate Marketing Business

1. Create a Website/Blog to Market Content

I’ve said you needed a website or blog to promote your products of choice. I’ve also suggested a few platforms that can give you free blogs.

But, what is the step by step guide to get that blog in the air?

I had dedicated this post to creating a blog on the blogger.com platform in just a few minutes. It’s a comprehensive lazy-man approach to create your first blog.

Once you’re done, you will be greeted with a .blogspot.com extension. This is free and can be used for your project. However, only a few affiliate programs will accept such into their networks. Hence, I advise you to change to .com, .net .info using the guide in my post, “Register ".blogspot.com" and Redirect to .com, .net, .info, .com.ng etc”.

That's done? Let’s proceed.

2. Write a few Articles on Intended Products

The first step to show your readiness to promote affiliate products is to release some articles on your blog. Let these articles focus on individual products. Make them comprehensive enough to showcase your knowledge of the products.

It may be difficult to have something to write about if you’ve not used any of these items or services before. I bet you have some phones you’ve used. You can review the laptop you’re typing on. A modem you connect on is another resource. Do you use a power generating set?

Things to talk about are endless.

While writing at this stage, you’re not intending to promote the exact products you’re reviewing now. You’re only trying to put a few words down to convince your employer to approve the affiliate application.

3. Apply for the Affiliate Programs

After showing your writing skills and knowledge of a few products, submit your application.

Follow this link for Amazon affiliate program application, this for Jumia, this for Konga. You can do your findings on other legitimate affiliate programs out there.

It shouldn’t take more than 24 hours before you’re officially welcomed into the program. If you’re lucky on the first application, congrats! If not, check for what is wrong in the rejection notice and mend things where needed. Then, resubmit your application.

Once you’re in the system, you should have access to link builders, banners, codes to promote your products. If you share any of these and people buy through them, you earn. Luckily, they require no technical knowledge to implement and share. The system has already done things for you.

It’s through these mediums, the companies or the networks will track sales to you. They will know people buy through you if you share the links, codes, and banners correctly.

4. Get Adequate Knowledge of Your Products

Now, it's time to start reviewing your favorite items for others to read and buy through. The best approach is to buy the product first, use it for enough time to be able to share your experience on it. This has been the most effective approach. Readers want to feel you’re in. They want to know you use the same product you're recommending – not just fictional articles.

If however, you can’t afford to buy or get the item at hand, there’s a working approach too.

You can check through the product pages and see what other verified buyers are saying about it. Many prospective buyers check this as well before they make buying decisions. Hence, when you analyze these reviews for your readers, you’d just help them get all the information in one place.

5. Write Quality Content

I can’t emphasize enough how important quality content is to affiliate marketing just like any other form of content marketing.

You need to learn to be creative enough with your presentation. Readers should be happy reading your posts to the last word. Your ability to achieve this gives you an edge if they compare reviews around the internet. I will drop a few links below this post for articles that will help you win readers.

That’s not all.

The only thing that guarantees organic traffic in blogging is the quality of the content. Google compensates those who invest enough time and resources in writing something convincingly resourceful. Once you can convince readers, Google and other search engines are convinced. In return, they rank you above competitions.

6. Set Up Social Accounts

You shouldn’t be reminded of the power that social media has on marketing by now. And if I must remind you, let’s dive into it.

Social medial is the second to organic traffic in promoting your affiliate business.

There are more people on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram than ever. With Facebook having about  2.5 billion of the world population, it means 1 out of 5 people is active on the platform.

As a marketer, you’d better taken this seriously. Creating a Facebook page and a Twitter account, together with an Instagram account can win you more buys in the long run. Invite friends and families to follow you. Make your social account link available on business cards, flyers, handbills, email signatures, etc.

It gets easier to promote your posts and products on these channels as you grow followers.

Unlike massive and invalid traffic that leads to banning on Google Adsense, promoting links through social media and groups won't have any effect on your account - unless you're spamming unreasonably.

7. Build Newsletter List

Just like your social media, the newsletter is another power for an affiliate marketer. There’s money in the list truly.

Let your subscription links be available to your visitors. Make the boxes available somewhere at the top and below the pages. This will help those who enjoy your reviews decide to submit their emails to receive future posts.

What a cheaper way to market your products?

The list is money, it grows if well managed.

Conclusion

Literarily anybody can start and manage an affiliate marketing business. You don't need to hold stocks. You don't need staff. You can run this business at the corner of your room with your pajama on.

With convictions come the challenges. If you can learn to follow the tactics and approach in this post, you can get your affiliate business started and running within a few days. And more importantly, start earning from the first day.

What you've read here, is, of course, a summary of how to set up, register, and run an affiliate business. However, it is the most important thing to commit to if you must succeed at it.

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