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How are all these Influencers making bank with affiliate marketing when you feel like you get 17¢ a month?
How can you turn that 17¢ into $1,700 and create an actual supportive income stream for you, your family and your business?
If you have any questions similar to those, you’re not alone. And you’ve come to the right place. In this post, I’ll break down what affiliate marketing is and how to set it up and scale it for your business.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is when you can earn a commission or fee for sharing products you love with your followers.
There is no extra fee or cost for your followers by using your affiliate links. It’s simply another way for them to support you and your business.
Now there are two main types of affiliate marketing we’re going to be talking about in this post: CPA and CPC.
CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)
CPA is the most common type of affiliate marketing.
This is where you will receive a commission when a specific action is completed by your followers.
For example, I love my espresso machine. Since I love it so much, you can bet I’m telling you all about it on my stories, and I’ll use an affiliate link for that espresso machine to link it to my stories. If someone buys that machine through that link, I earn a commission that’s paid to me from that brand.
They didn’t have to spend any money on marketing to earn a sale, so they compensate me for doing the marketing for them!
CPC (Cost Per Click)
CPC is less common, but still very important.
Sometimes, companies will set up CPC Affiliate Marketing so that if YOU generate clicks on your link (that’s leading to their website or product), you’ll get paid per click.
Most of these are set up to pay affiliates around 10¢ per click.
So, if I wanted to talk about a single product in my Instagram stories and on one slide the link receives 40 clicks, and then the next slide gets 20 clicks, that $6… That’s a Starbucks drink!
How to Set Up Affiliate Marketing in Your Business
There are three steps to do in order to set up affiliate marketing in your business.
- Pick a niche
- Pick an affiliate site
- Keep them organized
Let’s break those down.
Picking a Niche
Knowing your niche is important because it will help guide you to the correct site to sign up for.
Even if you’ve heard this advice from me or anyone else before, it’s extremely important. It’s difficult building an engaged and trusting following if your content and message is all over the place.
Speaking from experience, you will find it so much easier to create a loyal audience once you’ve found and specified your niche.
Whether you prefer to call it your niche, industry, or target audience, the trust and loyalty that comes with it is vital to your success in affiliate marketing, which I’ll dive into later in this post.
Picking an Affiliate Site
Here is a list of my top recommendations for common affiliate marketing platforms for Influencers:
This one is for fashion Influencers, but is the hardest site to get accepted to.
ShopStyle Collective is very similar to LTK, so it’s a great alternative if you don’t get approved on LTK.
If a lot of what you love and talk about in your niche is on Amazon, this would be a GREAT place to start.
My biggest note here is that they do not pay out until you reach $100 in commission and will close your account if you don’t make a sale within 90 days.
(Pro tip: you can avoid your account being closed by having someone you know who’s already placing an order on Amazon use one of your links for something in their cart.)
With that in mind, you should have no problem finding success starting with Amazon Influencer. Especially since Amazon has everything from smaller inexpensive items to larger, more costly items.
Feel free to check out my Amazon store for ideas on what items to use and how to organize it.
I have not personally used this one, but YouTuber, Cathrin Manning, has mentioned them quite a bit when it comes to how she makes her affiliate income, so I thought it was worth mentioning.
She would be your go-to source when learning how to use ShareASale strategically and effectively.
This one is really cool. With MagicLinks, you can take any link of a product at a retailer’s website and it will turn that link into a revenue-generating “magic link” for you.
I told you it’s really cool.
This is the only CPC site I’ve heard of where they pay per click. They have CPA available as well, so you can also earn a commission for sales.
Using Specific Brands
If there is a specific company you want to be an affiliate for, you can simply go to Google and search “*BRAND NAME* affiliate program” to see if they have an affiliate program!
(Side note: those brands on Instagram that are like “DM to collaborate”, “become an ambassador” and the like are not the best affiliate brands to sign up for. I would bypass those and focus on websites and brands you already love.)
How to Organize Your Affiliate Links
For me, I’ve noticed the fewer affiliate accounts I have the better. That’s because it’s easier to keep track of them.
The way I keep all the links organized is I keep them bookmarked on my web browser under the same folder. Organizing this way makes the links easy to get to in case I ever need to grab one.
You can see an example of how I organize my affiliate links in the gif below.
For example, if you use Trello, you could create an “Affiliate Links” board and have individual cards for each link.
These organizational tips will make them easily accessible and will make your life so much easier in the long run.
In terms of organizing my earnings, I like to keep all of my affiliate payouts going to the same place. I personally prefer to use PayPal.
How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing
To start making money you are going to do these three things:
- Create links
- Post the links EVERYWHERE
- Wait for the snowball effect
Create Your Affiliate Links
Every platform that you sign up for as an affiliate will give you a unique link that belongs to you.
For example, if you have an Amazon Influencer account and there are products on Amazon you want to talk about, you’re going to need to create individual links for each product.
You can make all your links at once or overtime as necessary. Whatever works best for you, just remember to keep it organized for your own sanity.
Post Your Affiliate Links Everywhere
Making money with affiliate marketing isn’t just a “one and done” deal. You can’t just post one link, one time on your story, and expect to make thousands of dollars. Or even hundreds for that matter.
After you create your links, post those links EVERYWHERE (when appropriate and relevant).
If you have a blog, drop an affiliate link in every blog post. If you have a YouTube channel, put your affiliate links in the description of EVERY YouTube video.
You can create a highlights section on your Instagram focusing on your favorite products, or you can create a Reels series and link the items you mention in your bio. There are so many places to leave links, so put them everywhere.
Keep in mind that there are legal guidelines you have to follow that come with adding affiliate links. For more info on that, check out my post on legal tips for Influencers.
As you continue to do this, your monthly income will gradually increase.
The Snowball Effect
When I first started with affiliate sales, my first paycheck was around $14. But because I was consistent with linking in my YouTube videos, adding a products page to my website, and trusting the process, I’ve been able to make a consistent $1-2k a month with affiliates just through link placement.
I will say that your monthly income will look a little bit different depending on your niche or industry. I know other Influencers make up to $10k a month on affiliate sales.
For example, let’s say you build a TikTok page that is based on “Amazon Products You Didn’t Know You Needed”, you have a 1,000-part video series, and build a solid following. Of course, you’re going to be making a lot more because your business is based on recommending products.
With my business, I’m not trying to sell you an espresso machine, countertop mini vacuum or the newest boots in season. I stick to my niche and recommend things like video equipment or editing software.
The “Know, Like, Trust” Factor
The KEY to actually converting clicks into sales is what’s called the “Know, Like, Trust” factor.
When you’ve built a relationship with your followers to where they feel like they know you and genuinely like you, then that means they trust you.
All you have to do is post and talk about stuff you genuinely use and love that is within your niche. If you can do that, it doesn’t ever feel like “selling”. It comes across as organic and natural, which is the best way to convert with affiliate marketing.
If you’re sharing about your life on Instagram, you’re naturally going to share about specific products you love. So, if you’re sharing these items anyway, you might as well make a little bit of money from it.
You don’t have to change anything about what you’re already doing because you’re already sharing items whether or not there are affiliate links involved.
The great part is nowadays, social media users tend to trust Influencer recommendations more than celebrity recommendations. That makes the barrier to entry low so that anyone can make money this way!
NOW is the time to get started with your affiliate marketing journey! And let me know how you end up going about it. Did these tips work for you? Are there any other tips you tried that you liked?
I love reading all my comments on blog posts, YouTube videos, social posts, wherever. And I’m always happy to get back to you if you have any questions on the topic.
Follow your joy!