Before we begin, I’d like you to try and imagine this situation: you wake up in the morning. And no, not at six, seven or eight AM - no, you wake up whenever you want to. You then open your laptop and see that, while you were asleep, you’ve earned around $500 or so.
No need to get up and go to work, think about unfinished tasks or morning traffic - you were already working while you were asleep. A lot of people who are wondering how to make money online motivate themselves by thinking about similar situations.
What if I told you that there is a method of making money online that can make such dreams come true? No, you won’t need to sell your liver or a limb. It’s much more simple - all that you will have to do is to promote products that you like yourself.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, it isn’t. This magical method is called affiliate marketing. And in this guide, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about becoming an online publisher.
What is ‘Affiliate Marketing’?
So, what exactly is this magical method of teaching you how to start making money online?
Affiliate marketing, in it’s a most simple form, is a way of earning money while promoting other people’s (or company’s) products or services.
Sounds easy enough, right?
Well, there’s much more to it.
First of all, let’s talk about the parties that are involved in how to make money online process. There are different opinions about how many people are involved in this process. The most popular answers are either 3 or 4. The fourth one is the advertiser - sometimes, the creators of the merchandise (or the service) come to publishers themselves, other times they hire advertising agencies to find affiliates. It’s a case-by-case scenario.
For simplicities sake, I’ll be using the three-part definition. When you’re starting with affiliate marketing, this is the most common type of scenario that you’ll face.
So then, three main parties - the merchant, the publisher (or, as we’ll refer to him, the affiliate) and the customer. Let’s cover each of these parties separately, shall we?
A ‘merchant’ is a person or a company that produces some certain type of product or service. There are millions of merchants around the world, offering their own specific (and sometimes unique) services.
Now, as I’ve said, in this tutorial on how to make money online, we’ll talk about merchants both as people who produce merchandise and also advertise it. Why did I choose such an approach? Simple - it’s the most common one you’ll encounter.
I’ll cover this more in-depth a bit later on, but to put it simply, a lot of people like to start small when entering the world of affiliate marketing. They decide on a field of merchandise or services that they want to get into (cars, beauty products, PC parts, computer games, etc.) and then they simply contact the seller. When I say that people start small, I am talking about the size of the merchant in question. If you want to maximize your chances in striking an actual deal while not having a big social circle (following), your best bet is to try and work with smaller companies.
Social media sites like Instagram and Facebook are a great place to search for smaller, lesser-known products or service providers. There are a lot of companies that are owned by individual people who specialize in handcrafted products, especially when it comes to jewelry and clothing. It might be tough for such companies to find affiliates. Furthermore, they might not even know that such a thing exists!
This is perfect for up-and-coming affiliate marketers that are looking at how to make money online. You might strike a great deal with the merchant - he offers you a decent commission for the exposure that you’ll provide. Mutual benefits!
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Now we’re going to talk about you.
The ‘publisher’, often referred to as the affiliate marketer, is someone that advertises a product or a service and gets a share of the revenue.
There are many different kinds of affiliates. First of all, probably the most common type of affiliate that you’ll encounter in the digital world is a content creator.
These content creators can vary from bloggers, YouTubers, to Instagram models and so on. The way that they work is by using what is called a referral link.
Referral links play a special role in how to make money online process. These trackable links that merchants provide to publishers. These links usually lead to a specific part of a website that offers a certain specific product. Affiliates advertise this product to their audience (via a YouTube video, blog post, related pic, etc.). In the advertisement, they include their personalized link. When people click on this link, their activity is tracked. If they end up buying the product or service that the affiliate advertised, he will get a predetermined share of the revenue.
Another popular type of publisher is those who receive no financial gain from the companies they promote, but rather get the merchandise itself. In such cases, the companies usually contact social media influencers (Vloggers, Instagram models and so on) and offer them to participate in sponsorship. They might even emphasize that this is a great way how to make money online.
In this type of sponsorship, the publisher (affiliate) receives the merchandise that he or she has to promote. After the agreed-upon advertisement is said and done, the affiliate can then keep the item(s) for him or herself.
These items can vary between simple dresses and toys to expensive cars and supercomputers. Naturally, when you’re just an up-and-coming affiliate, chances are that you’re going to land closer to the earlier ones.
This type of affiliate marketing is great if you’re a beginner. Companies will often be more willing to send influencers their merchandise rather than provide monetary compensations.
There are a lot more categories and subcategories of the types of affiliates out there. Honestly, at this point, probably too many to count! However, they all function in the same or similar manner. When someone asks these people “how to make money online?”, the usual answer that an affiliate would provide is - promote a product that you like!
And finally, there is the customer. Surely both you and me (and most of the other people around the world) have been in this position. We all have our favorite content creators, and every so often, these creators come to us with a proposition in mind.
The success of an affiliate campaign depends solemnly on potential customers. If the affiliate has an already existing, significant fan base that follows his or her work and is fully supportive, then the potential earnings might skyrocket through the roof. There are a lot of factors that influence this.
If someone periodically consumes your content, this means that they like what you’re doing and are probably a fan of you as a person. You, in turn, receive a dedicated follower. If this relationship is built on trust, great! This will play a huge role in your journey on how to make money online. Transparency is key, especially when it comes to promoting some sort of a product or service to your followers.
If you don’t have any dedicated social followings, however, you can still make money by being an affiliate - it just becomes a bit more tricky. In this type of scenario, your best bet would probably be to visit online forum sites like Reddit and try to promote the product there. Be cautious, though - there’s a fine line between being helpful and shoving down something people don’t need down their throats.
How to Earn Money Online with Affiliate Marketing?
At this point, you now know the three main types of parties involved with affiliate marketing. I’ve already presented and introduced each of them and told you about their goals and motivations.
Now let’s get to the main topic that you came here for - how to make money online?
Rather, how to earn money online with the help of affiliate marketing?
Let’s take it from the very top.
Step 1: Establish Yourself
The very first thing you should aim to do is building an online audience and establishing yourself in some certain niche.
For the sake of the argument, let’s say that you currently have no social media and online presence. If, by chance, you do - either skip to the next step or read on to revise your information. Who knows - maybe you’ll learn something new?
Start by deciding if you want your own, long-term audience OR if you’re going to try and promote the merchandise in a one-off sort of a fashion on online forums and chat rooms. This will help you produce a straight-forward plan and set certain goals.
If you want to build your audience, there’s a wide variety of ways to do it. Usually, people who are looking for ways how to make money online are thinking about it long-term. You could create a YouTube channel - this would allow you to produce a huge assortment of content based on your target audience. Instagram is another option - if you like photography, you might find this platform as the most appealing out of all of them.
The key point is to be consistent. It might be hard at first, but it’s all a matter of routine. You probably weren’t wondering that making money online would be a fast and easy task, now were you?
Step 2: Available Options
After you’ve built your initial audience, you can start looking for companies. Sometimes they’ll come to you, but the faster and smoother way to go about it is to search and contact them yourself. Don’t be sad if you get turned down at first - it might take a few good tries to finally land the perfect deal. Nobody was born knowing how to make money online, right?
On the other hand, if you have no intention of building an online following and simply want to go straight to affiliate marketing, the process to go about it is quite different.
Start by finding a site or a company that offers affiliate marketing as an option for making money online. BitDegree has an affiliate program that offers a wide variety of benefits and prizes for participants. In the meantime, while you're earning revenue, you'll be promoting online education - what could be better?
Once you’ve established the deal and got yourself an affiliate link (assuming that this is the type of affiliation that you’re doing), now it’s time to grind.
Go online and look for websites that are centered around your target audience. For example, if your job as an affiliate is to bring more customers to a website, you could look for online forums and chat rooms that are centered around the topic of “how to make money online”. Register, build yourself a reputation of a trustworthy and active user, and - when the opportunity presents itself - post about strategies of making money online with your link attached. You could post stuff like:
I just found this great site that offers it’s users the ability to make money online fast - check it out (and then you post your affiliate link).
People who are looking for ways to make passive income would probably appreciate the opportunity that you’d give them, and you would profit as a result.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind, however.
Step 3: A Couple of Rules of Thumb
Becoming a successful affiliate isn’t an easy task. It requires a lot of patience and consistency. Moreover, there are a few things that you should keep in mind if you want to be successful in the long run.
First of all, when posting on online forums, always read the rules. Some forums allow posting links every so often, other ones might have a strict “no link” policy.
The main point, however, is that you shouldn’t act as a machine. There are a lot of people who try to lure people who want to know how to make money online and scam them, so make yourself a trusty helper. If you want people to take you seriously and trust you, don’t only post when you’re looking for a chance of self-promotion. If you actually get involved in discussions and legitimately try to help people, this will show. A lot more of these people will be willing to check your links out and even register to the site or buy the product.
If you target people that are looking at making money online, don’t be rude about it. Furthermore, be as transparent as you can - tell them that you are doing this, don’t hesitate to explain the process. If people see that you’re being honest, they will usually appreciate it and are much more likely to give you a chance.
Lastly, don’t spam. I probably don’t even need to explain this one - just don’t do it.
Truth be told, there are countless methods on how to make money online. In this day and age, there are thousands of ways to go about it. Some of these methods might suit one person and be completely bad for the other. However, with that being said, affiliate marketing seems to be one of those options that aim to suit almost everyone.
The reasoning behind this is pretty simple - whether you want to make money online fast, or you’re simply looking at how to earn money online as a long-term prospect, affiliate marketing aims to be fluid. With so many different companies, products and services available in the world, it doesn’t matter what your field of expertise is - you are bound to find something that suits your preferences.
Persistence is key. And it’s much easier to be persistent and honest when you’re promoting and advertising a product that you truly believe in. People are usually good at telling whenever somebody’s being honest or simply doing things to make a quick buck.
So, to recap: build your audience (or don’t - I guess this lies solemnly on your preferences), become an active participant in online forums, find a company that offers products and services that you truly like, and - most importantly - be honest.
We’ve reached the end of this “How to Make Money Online” guide. I truly hope that it was helpful and that you’ll put it to good use. Remember, if you’re looking at how to start in the affiliate marketing business, it's worth it to check out what BitDegree affiliate program has to offer.
Best of luck in all of your affiliate marketing ventures to come!