Affiliate Marketing is when you refer people to someone else’s products or services and you get paid when they purchase. You’re sort of a commissioned salesperson.
Affiliate Marketing Is Straight Forward
When someone buys something that you referred to, you get paid! They use so-called “affiliate links” to track the sales that you refer so they know how to pay for a referral.
What you get paid as an affiliate varies greatly. It depends on what it is and the rate the business owner is willing to pay. We’ll get into more of that in just a bit.
The Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing
The biggest benefit of being an affiliate is it’s a great way to bring in some extra income. It’s actually another revenue stream for your business. One that you don’t have to create anything for!
A word of caution though I highly recommend only referring products or services you’ve used yourself. Because it’s all about reputation. For instance, what if someone purchases something on your recommendation using your affiliate link and it’s not good?
Do you really want to put your reputation on the line for a product or service you’ve never used just to get paid? I know I don’t. I only recommend products and services I’ve actually used and know the quality of before referring it to my tribe. Do what works for you – but keep in mind it’s your reputation.
Also, there are people who teach Affiliate Marketing as a way to earn money as a Virtual Assistant. As I said it’s a great way to earn EXTRA money but it should not be your main source of income. That’s what your VA business is for.
If you are what is called an Affiliate Marketer, you’re relying on somebody else for your income. You’re not in direct control – you rely on what they sell to make a living.
How To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing
#1 – Sign Up For Any Of The Tools You Are Using Now
For example, I’m a Teamwork affiliate. It’s a task management tool I’ve used for the past 11 years and can highly recommend it. It’s great!
Take a look at the tools you use in your business and then check their website to see if they offer an affiliate or referral partner program (same thing – different name). Many times they’ll have a hyperlink at the bottom of their website for joining their affiliate program.
When you sign up they’ll provide the exact details on how their program works. Each program is different but be sure you can find the below information:
- Amount paid.
- When it’s paid.
- How it’s paid.
- Where to find your unique affiliate link.
- Training on how to be an affiliate.
Pay attention when you sign up to find out how to get your affiliate link and the tracking system they’re using to keep track of your referrals and commissions. I’m an affiliate for SiteGround and get an email when someone signs up so I know I’ve got a commission coming.
#2 – Take A Look At Any Product Or Services You’ve Used + Found Valuable
Many business owners offer an affiliate program for their training and coaching. Some will have a menu option on their website for you to sign up. If you don’t see one, you could always reach out and ask them if they have one.
Keep in mind, you’ll have to sign an affiliate agreement and if you’re US-based you may even need to provide a W9 form for tax purposes.
As I mentioned above there is NO one-size-fits-all commission or affiliate fee structure. It’s all up to the business owner. When you sign up to become an affiliate you’ll see what the percentage or flat fee is you’ll get paid.
Now that you know what affiliate marketing is and how to get started, let’s talk about what to do AFTER you sign up as an affiliate.
How To Start Earning Those Commissions
The most important thing is to have a plan for how you’re going to market your affiliate programs. If you want consistent income and a solid revenue stream. So how can you let your clients and audience know about the products and services you recommend?
The easiest way is to add a “Resources” page to your website and include your affiliate links to each. Be sure to include a simple disclaimer that lets people know that you are a paid affiliate and are using affiliate links. Then visitors to your website can find what they need, click on the affiliate link, purchase, and you get paid!
Important! Affiliate Links + Social Media
Before you go wild and start sharing your affiliate links all over social media – especially in groups – read the group guidelines to see if it’s allowed. I know in my own groups – it’s not permitted.
Creating Your Own Affiliate Program
If you’re somebody who sells digital products, you could create your own affiliate program. It’s a great way to thank loyal customers and clients for referring others to you.
There are many programs that have a built-in affiliate program like ClickFunnels or Kartra for instance. If you’re not using one of those programs you can find stand-alone products for creating and tracking affiliates like LeadDyno. They do all the heavy lifting for you!
What action can you take right now to start creating passive income as an affiliate? I’d love to know. Just leave a comment further below.
If you’re looking for additional ways to scale your VA business, please read my post, Ready To Scale Your Virtual Assistant Business? Here Are 9 Ways To Change Things Up.
Thanks for reading – Susan
P.S. If you want to specialize in in-demand skills, learn how to package and offer them as a service to become a known Specialist and get those higher-paying clients, I recommend you have a look at my TechieU Training. You can try it for 5 USD for 5 days and see if it’s for you!