Affiliate marketing is the process of offering products for sale on the Internet, and having your own account remunerated for any sales made.
The beauty of the system is that you do not have to put any money down for inventory – you're able to sell someone else's product for a cut of the sale.
Obviously, like all business opportunities, a number of unscrupulous individuals bought the market into disrepute with nefarious practices … but having said that, the majority of affiliate marketers are legitimate people looking to share good products.
If you want to know it in 2018, this tutorial should give some insights …
Role Of Affiliate Marketing 2018
The Internet landscape has changed markedly since theception of the model back in the late 90's.
With the rise of Social Media, “influencers” have become the mainstay of most people's Internet experience – leading a huge number of purchase decisions to be based off their recommendations.
Whilst this has bought its own problems, one of the most important things it's done is to expropriate the general Internet community to the process of buying products on recommendation .
This recommendation process is what lies at the core of affiliate marketing, and is basically how anyone who does it gets paid.
The point that needs to be made is that when you “make money” online, what you're really doing is getting people to buy things online.
This purchase process lies at the core of all earned dollars – be it through the Internet or locally. The way through which it's facilitated is what determines its profitability etc.
To this end, when the Internet started achieving commercial value in the late 90's and early 2000's, product / service owners realized that they could multiply their revenue by simply allowing others to sell their products.
The model was designed to encourage cross-promotions etc – and it worked.
By 2010, the market was teeming with products, services and companies who all offered a variety of affiliate referral programs.
There were even some “networks” who managed the process for everyone involved.
Although this works well, the main problem it had was that it led to a number of problems – typically with people feeling they had been ripped-off by referrals / vendors.
Thus, by 2018, while it's still effective to have the likes of Google affiliate sites, it's more effective to carve out an “influencer” role in a market – and let that determine who enjoys what you're offering.
1. Remove Necessity
As mentioned, there are a number of reasons why affiliate marketing was not seen in too bright of a light – the main being that “thin affiliates” had jumped on the bandwagon, trying to take advantage of market demand for their own gain.
The best way to make progress with referrals in 2018 is to use your own face .
Creating content around a particular topic that you have expertise / experience with, and actually giving a damn about whether the content is effective, is what constitutes to a successful affiliate strategy in 2018.
If you create your own content, have the relevant social media channels (which you populate with actual content), you'll want to look at then incorporating referrals into your strategy.
Any referrals you make are NOT “sponsored” content – they need to be presented as you would use them yourself – which typically means the creation of content specifically aimed at the core reason for the product.
For example, if you're in the software / computer business, you'll find that people will respond to either your recommendations or industry news. You'll do very well by not only covering the relevant news, but then linking to “further resources” in the various descriptions you have.
The best affiliate marketing strategy for influencers is to direct readers to a website (rather than the products directly).
This gives you the ability to present various other offers, coupons and information about any referral links you may create – without the need of being overly careful to not break the rules of the various platforms through which you reach your audience.
2. Reviews Are not Dead; But They Need CONTEXT
It used to be the case that if you created a simple reviews website, bought some traffic, you'd get decent sales.
Those days are all but gone.
The big equalizer is social media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram have changed consumers' expectations markedly.
They want to know WHO is making the recommendation and WHY.
This is where “reviews” have headed – they need “context” that can only come from a valid story.
If you want to write any reviews for products, you need to buy the product first – go to lengths to properly review its effectiveness, and then post the results of what you discovered.
Unless you're on the first page of Google (which is now a LOT more difficult unless you have actual content on your website), getting referral traffic really needs to have a lot of quality put behind it.
3. Focus On Providing A Service
The best thing you can do is to focus on “getting paid” by doing something that people will be willing to pay you for.
I've tried many different things, but I'll tell you now that it's those who continuously have “something to do” who are attractive.
The guys who are relying on affiliate marketing to make money are likely going to fail. Even if they do well, it's typically short lived.
The best recommendation I give to people is they look for ways to “create money” of their own, and then use their downtime at evenings or weekends to create websites / videos on various products they thought were good.
By doing this, you not only give yourself actual income up front, but you also do the magical thing of being non-needy.
Needy businesses are weak businesses. Strong businesses take their time to get their products done properly.
If you consider your referrals as a “business”, think about the investment you might need to make it effective, and then consider how you could improve it. This is where the value of affiliate marketing in 2018 really lies.