What is affiliate marketing and how to use it to make money or increase sales?

Summary

  • Affiliate marketing allows you to get paid a commission when you link products from your website or social media accounts.
  • Many companies have an affiliate program, including Amazon, that is easy to sign up for. Companies – like Amazon – use affiliate programs as a form of advertising.
  • I set up an Amazon affiliate account and made videos for two products I like to see how affiliate marketing works. Here is what I learned.

Getting set up

Signing up for Amazon’s affiliate program is easy. You go to https://affiliate-program.amazon.com and put in your details. You can then generate custom links to any product on their website and put that link on your website or social media. You also need to put somewhere on your site (I did it on my about page) that you get paid for links to Amazon if there is a purchase. The amount you get paid depends on the category the product is in – it typically varies from 1% to 10%.

Where to share/put the link

This depends on where you are getting traffic. I have a personal blog (that you are reading now), and I also like to make videos. So I have created a web page specifically for my favourite products with a short Youtube video for each of my favourite products.

Do

  • Do provide links to products that you already use and like.
  • Do put links in places that naturally make sense – like in a blog article where you are referecing a book, or in the description of a video where you are doing a review.

Don’t

  • Don’t link link to random products that you don’t use or don’t like – that will hurt your reputation.
  • Don’t spam people with links in e-mails or by plastering links all over your website.

Example #1 – My video for a Dyson Cordless Vaccuum Cleaner

Example #2 – Bose Headphones

Example #3 – My Favourite Books

  1. Zero to One by Peter Thiel
  2. Risk Savvy by Gerd Gigerenzer
  3. Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
  4. What they Don’t Teach you at Harvard Business School by Mark McCormack
  5. Blue Ocean Strategy by Kim and Mauborgne

How to use an affiliate program to boost sales?

This is relevant if you are a product owner that wants to boost sales. A few options:
1. If you are on Amazon with your product (e.g. Point 5 Non-alcoholic Beer), then Amazon affiliates are already able to promote your product by default.

2. You can join an affiliate network like http://www.ShareaSale.com (I haven’t used this yet but plan to explore it in early 2021) that allows you to get in front of people that might want to promote/market your product.

From a product owner standpoint, the nice aspect of affiliate marketing is that you can set the commission rate so that it is less than your gross profit. This means you can generate added sales that are net profit generators – i.e. no marginal cost! Beautiful.

Let me know if you have any questions on affiliate marketing by commenting below, and consider signing up to my newsletter if you enjoyed this piece. Cheers.

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