Now that you have a website and your business is better for it, the next thing for you to consider is affiliate marketing. Apart from the direct relevance of a website to your business, you can also turn the website itself into a cash machine.

One of the legitimate ways to do this is through affiliate marketing. This may or may not be new to you but affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money as a website owner and/or blogger. And you don’t have to do much to get started.

It is about identifying a product/service that will be useful for your audience, signing up as an affiliate for the product/service, promoting the product and getting paid when people purchase or try the product, depending on the terms of the affiliate agreement.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make an extra income by sharing your love for a product or service to others. For example, if you’ve seen a Youtube video where a Youtuber reviews a makeup product and then places the link to purchase the product in the description box―that is affiliate marketing.

How to become an affiliate marketer

To get started with affiliate marketing, you can either join an affiliate network or a company’s direct affiliate program. An affiliate network is like a marketplace or meeting point that brings together two sets of people.

The first set is made up of companies or businesses (also called advertisers) looking for sales/leads. The second set of people are bloggers and website owners (also called publishers) looking to monetise their websites. What affiliate networks then do is to give publishers access to numerous affiliate programs available. By so doing, they connect the two parties to achieve the mutual aim of getting leads.

Once you get signed up as an affiliate for a product/service, you will be given a special link that you can share in relevant posts on your website.

You can sign up for the link either directly or through affiliate networks such as Amazon Associates, Rakuten, Share-A-Sale, etc. Click To Tweet

Some companies require you to have a website that has been functioning for some time, with a number of posts and a sizable audience before accepting you into their affiliate program. This is why the first step to affiliate marketing is to set up a personal website. It helps you to build your personal brand and give people an idea of your work.

 Affiliate marketing guidelines

There are guidelines for affiliate marketing. These guidelines are the dos and don’ts that ensure you get the most out of it.

The first is that you have useful content that your audience appreciates and trusts.

Sharing useful content gives you credibility and establishes you as an authority in your niche. This, in turn, helps you build an online community and ultimately generate leads for you. Click To Tweet

The next is that you do not promote a product or service because of the earning potential. Rather, promote the product because you trust it and because it is useful to your audience.

Always choose products/services that will truly offer value for money and are related to your niche. Otherwise, you may lose your integrity and the possibility of building profitable long-term relationships that are important for your business.

For example, if you have a website based on baking, you can choose to be an affiliate for a company that produces ovens or any other baking instrument or ingredient that you trust.

Another important guideline is that you have to disclose the fact that you are an affiliate and that you will earn a small commission whenever anyone purchases the product or service through your link.

Technically, this is a requirement for several companies. Asides that, it clears up any misconceptions that may arise. Apart from stating the disclaimer, there are other rules that you have to follow as an affiliate, such as approved places to promote your link.

Affiliate marketing takes time

As much as affiliate marketing is a means of monetising your website and poses a little financial risk, it is not a replacement for regular income. It’s best combined with other legitimate methods of making money online. Click To Tweet

Affiliate marketing is not an immediate source of income as the income at first ranges from little to nothing. Although over time, income from it is sure to grow. The more your audience and community grows, the more you can earn from affiliate marketing.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. If you find this post useful, don’t hesitate to share it with others.


Damilola Fasina is a final year students of Communication and Language Arts (CLA) at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan. She currently interns with The Plenipotent Company Limited.