Affiliate Marketing is a great way to start an online business in India. Affiliate marketing has a very good reputation among marketers because of its perks.
If you looking to create a channel for passive income or you want to make money from the comfort of your couch, then affiliate marketing gives you a great opportunity.
Affiliate marketers are earning in millions every year and it is a stream of income that never stops flowing unless you stop it.
Does it make you wonder how you can also become an affiliate marketer and start this business? Well, I’m here to introduce you to the same. In this article,
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Let us first thoroughly understand ‘what is affiliate marketing?’
‘Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest and most popular ways of doing business online. It refers to a process where a marketer or promoter uses online methods to promote and market someone else’s product or services.
When a customer makes a purchase from any of these promotions then the marketers get a percentage of the profit as commission from the merchant.’
“Affiliate Marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires.” – Bo Bennett
How does affiliate marketing work?
The working of Affiliate Marketing is a no-brainer. It is a four-step process:
- A merchant decides to use affiliation to market its products or services and initiates an affiliate program.
- A marketer joins the affiliate programs and starts promoting its products and services on his/her network.
- A consumer decides to buy the merchant’s products promoted by marketers using an affiliate link.
- The merchant provides a pre-decided commission to the marketer for every sale it gets from the affiliate link.
Common terms in affiliate marketing
Let’s understand some terminology related to Affiliate Marketing:
The merchant is usually a company or an individual who has any kind of product or services to sell. This could be an e-commerce giant like Amazon or an individual who wants to sell his Digital Marketing courses.
The merchant is responsible for the manufacturing of products, their distribution, and delivery to the end customer.
The Affiliate Program
An affiliate program is a part of the marketing and sales strategy of the merchant who wants to promote and sell the products and services, using affiliate marketing.
This program includes details of commissions, terms, and conditions of promotion and mode of payment to the affiliate marketer.
The affiliate program also generates an affiliate link to track conversions from the affiliate marketer.
The Affiliate Marketer
The affiliate marketer is someone who has built a network of consumers, who are potential buyers of the product or services provided by the merchant.
This network is called an affiliate network. A person enrolls in the affiliate program and market the products and services of the merchant.
The Affiliate Network
The affiliate network works as an intermediary between the merchant and the affiliate marketer. Some merchants choose to run their affiliate programs via an affiliate network.
While others don’t prefer the affiliate network to run an affiliate program. For those, the affiliate marketer can choose to use networks such as ClickBank to handle payments and delivery of products.
The Affiliate Link
When an affiliate marketer signs up to an affiliate program via he is provided with a trackable link/ URL to the product he wishes to promote. This link is called the affiliate link.
This URL consists of product id and affiliate marketer’s id. It is used to trace the traffic and sales generated via affiliate marketer’s promotions.
In the world of affiliate marketing, the consumer is the center. There is no value to the affiliate marketing if it doesn’t generate sales.
The consumer is someone who buys a product or service influenced by an affiliate marketer via different channels like blogs, videos, social media, or any other medium.
How do I get started with affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a great way to start a business online in India and generate passive income. While this might take time to grow as a business, but in the long run, it makes a very profitable venture. So, you should decide to start affiliate marketing as a side hustle by investing 3 to 4 hours a day.
Getting started with affiliate marketing in India is actually pretty simple, choose a product, recommend that product effectively, influence people to buy and get paid for the sale in terms of commission. Let’s dive into how to get started with affiliate marketing step-by-step.
Choose your niche and related products
The most difficult and the most important task when you get started with affiliate marketing in India is to choose what kind of product you want to promote. This can be a dreaded task, to be honest. Not to mention Finding a profitable, workable, and interesting niche are easier said than done.
To begin with, finding a niche that is profitable and interesting for your affiliate marketing business use these tips:
1. Niche Ideas Related to Hobby or Interest
The very first and easiest way to come up with ideas for the niche is to find out what are your hobbies and what you are passionate about.
Suppose your hobby is gardening and you spend your time caring about the plants in your home garden. Your knowledge around gardening and plant care will be natural and more believable rather than you writing about software that you probably never used.
If you have some interest in gardening, it would be easier for you to write about equipment and other products used in gardening.
You might be able to articulate nicely everything about gardening and be able to solve general queries related to gardening. This will also help you to actually use the products first before starting the promotions.
2. Niche Ideas Related to Professional Expertise or Experience
The second way to find a profitable niche is to find something that is related to your profession or professional expertise.
Are you really good at Project management? Or you are really good at marketing? Your skills as a project manager or a marketer can be beneficial for a general audience and you can easily find products related to these skills.
Even if you are owning a business, you must possess any kind of skill-set which can help you choose your niche. There are two benefits to finding a niche related to professional expertise.
Firstly, you already know a lot about the subject. So you will have no difficulties creating content around it.
Secondly, your content will be seen as expert advice rather than promotional content. Which will make a huge difference for the affiliate marketing business.
3. Niche Ideas Related to Trends or Popular Subjects
The third way to come up with a profitable niche is to brainstorm around current trends and popular niches. This method might take extra effort to find out the perfect match for your vision for your affiliate marketing business.
There are some free online tools you can use in order to research for keywords and content ideas like Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Adword keyword planner, and UberSuggest.
To research the popular keywords and find out if there is an existing problem you think you will be able to solve for your audience.
Is there any way you can provide better content than your competitors for those popular keywords? Analyze the market and volume of searches as well as competition.
'Keywords with low competition and average search volume can make a highly profitable niche for affiliate marketing business.'
Once you have brainstormed around ideas your niche, you can now check it’s profitability in the online market with the following steps:
- Do keyword research for your keywords related to your niche.
- Research about the demand for your niche products in the market using social media.
- Check out Gravity score for your niche products on Clickbank.
- Find out if people have an interest in reading about your niche.
Choose The Right Affiliate Program
Once you have decided on your niche the next step is to choose the right affiliate program to start with. You can choose multiple affiliate programs for a more wide area of passive income. But be careful that you don’t contradict your own marketing and promotional activities.
Different affiliate programs have different terms and agreements for affiliate marketing. While you choose the right affiliate program for your online affiliate marketing business in India keep these things in mind:
1. Amount of Affiliate Commission
If you have chosen a highly profitable niche for your affiliate the chances are that you will lot of options for affiliate programs related to products under that niche.
To find the best fit for your needs, compare the commission they are offering for each sale. Also, find out what kind of commission model they are using.
I would prefer CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) rather than being paid only when a sale happens. It is also advised to check Performance Rating of an affiliate program before choosing.
2. Mode of Payments
Affiliate programs pay the commission weekly, monthly, half-yearly or quarterly. Find out how do they make payments for commission. Some affiliate programs require a separate bank account and others may directly transfer the money to your PayPal account.
Though the cheque system is outdated, some affiliate programs might still be using it. Also, check for the refund policy of the affiliate program. Be very clear about the mode of payments to save yourselves from future troubles.
3. Affiliate Program Management System
An affiliate program is as good as its affiliate program management system. Some popular affiliate programs in India like Amazon and Flipkart affiliate programs are very effective in managing their affiliate programs.
They have easy to use dashboards, performance analytics, powerful search functions for products and better affiliate URL tracking systems. Going with a better-managed affiliate program can save you from losing your hard-earned rewards.
4. Affiliate Program Terms and Restrictions
Before joining any affiliate program always go through the terms of affiliate programs. Some affiliate programs have restrictions over the kind of promotional content your publish and what platforms you can choose to publish them.
These restrictions can sometimes be helpful. Because then you don’t have to use trial and error method to find out which platform works best for your niche.
Some affiliate programs also allow you to provide exclusive discount coupons for your site visitors. Which can be a very useful way to make people buy something through you.
5. Training and Support
A good affiliate program will always be able to provide training on how to get the most out of the program. Every affiliate program is unique in ways that suit the strategies and goals defined by the merchant.
While the basic principles are the same, the features might vary from one platform to another. Affiliate marketing can get tricky sometimes, and in such scenarios, an affiliate program with a good support system is favored above others.
Create Content around product promotions
Once you have started with signing up into an affiliate program and decided your niche for affiliate marketing the next step would be to create content around the products you choose to promote.
In the early days of affiliate marketing creating content for the promotion of certain products was easy because of fewer affiliates present at that time.
Now with growing awareness about affiliate marketing in India, that is not the case anymore. The new trend in content creation is to be less vocal about product promotion and create awareness about the products.
These following tips can be useful when you are starting to create content for affiliate marketing business in India:
- Educate your audience about the product and service rather than promoting them.
- Don’t just inform your audience, try to engage them on various social platforms.
- Be very honest about your reviews and opinions, people are smart to notice the difference between honest and fake reviews.
- Don’t promote the product, try to solve a problem for the user. Don’t sell the pen, sell the need to write.
Learn more about creating content for affiliate marketing that actually sells. Read the article here:
Build A Website or A Blog/Vlog to Publish Your Content
All the research and planning comes down to this stage, where you start putting the plan in action. Everything you do in your affiliate marketing business will be put into this website you will create. The advice is that don’t stress about it. This could actually be the easiest part of all your strategies if it’s done right.
If you are a technical background and know to code, building a website may be easier and less expensive for you. But even if you aren’t from a coding background, it can still be easy for you if you choose the right kind of platform for building websites.
WordPress is no doubt the most popular platform to build blog websites. It’s easy to use CMS and hundreds of free themes will help you set your basic website in no time. Other than WordPress there are other popular CMS like Wix.com and blogger are similarly effective.
Tips to make the most out of your blog website for your affiliate marketing business in India:
- Choose a website domain name related to your affiliate marketing niche. Like if you want to work with a make-up product niche you can choose a domain name related to it such as ‘youandmakeup.com’, ‘lipstickstories.com’.
- Make your website responsive, because more than half of your audience accesses the internet from their smartphones.
- Make your content on blog voice search optimized.
There are other ways that you can use to build an affiliate marketing without a website. Read the article below to learn about those ways:
Connect with the relevant audience using social media
There are around 326.1 million people who use social media in India. There are many ways you can use social media to connect with the relevant audience for your affiliate marketing niche. All we have to do is locate them and reach them out.
Follow these tips to connect with your relevant audience on social media platforms:
- Research where your audience spends time. You can do this research online or you can conduct a survey with paid mediums.
- Meet your audience where they are and communicate with them using different engaging content. Remember creating content for the website and social media aren’t the same thing.
- Keep track of your social engagements and develop a process to redirect your social media audience towards your blog or website.
- Provide value to your audiences’ time by educating and entertaining. Don’t force a sale. Use social media largely for creating awareness and knowing your audience.
- Once you get attention from your relevant audience then you can create custom offers for that group of people.
Track sales and analyze affiliate link performance
Once you have successfully set up your affiliate website and started getting attention from your audience. Set up Google Analytics to track the website visitors and their behavior. Most of the affiliate programs in India provide affiliates with inbuilt link analyzer and performance analytics on their dashboard.
Using these tools, you can find out which product gets more sales and which is performing poorly. Then you can make changes in your marketing accordingly.
- Affiliate marketing is a way to earn commission online by recommending products to other people.
- There are six parts of affiliate marketing -1. The merchant 2. Affiliate 3. The affiliate Program. 4. Affiliate Network 5. The Affiliate Link and 6. The Consumer.
- To start with affiliate marketing business in India you will need to:
- Choose a niche.
- Choose an affiliate program.
- Create promotional content.
- Publish content on the website with the affiliate link.
- Connect with your relevant audience on social.
- Track performance and sales, improve and repeat.
If you just starting with Affiliate Marketing in India, I’ve curated a list of tools that you can use as a beginner. Read the full article:
How much scope is there in affiliate marketing in India?
Affiliate marketing has been around for a very long time. Indian marketers have had a taste of it and now it’s becoming more popular in India. In current times, India is the fastest growing economy and every other company wants to do business in India. This gives lots of opportunities to Indian marketers. The earlier you start, the more you will gain. While the Indian market faces challenges in selling physical goods online, choosing digital products as an affiliate niche can be really profitable.
Can I really make significant money using affiliate marketing?
Yes. Affiliate Marketing is a powerful way to start a passive income by doing online business in India. Some affiliate programs pay around 25% for one sale. Other payment models like CPA, where you get paid for every action a visitor take by clicking on the link and adding the product in the cart. This gives a very significant boost to the profit-making method in affiliate marketing. It takes time to build a successful affiliate marketing business but you can earn really significant money and say goodbye to your 9 to 5 job life.
Can I promote my affiliate link without a website?
Yes. While some affiliate programs such as don’t allow adding affiliate link in your social media posts you can still add them into your youtube video description, you can review product in FaceBook Live streams, you can add affiliate link in your Instagram profile and encourage your audience to buy the product with your affiliate link by giving them exclusive offers. The point is, to be honest about your reviews and recommendation with your audience.