Affiliate marketing has been here for quite some time now. If you are here, then you must have thought about earning a few bucks with the said program. But the question arises, how to start affiliate marketing in India?
With a wide range of affiliate programs currently floating in the market, it becomes a little difficult to know what may be the best option for you. So here is everything you need to know all the work that goes in to become an affiliate marketer.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Before we start learning the process of becoming an affiliate marketer, let us first understand what is affiliate marketing.
Brands and e-commerce websites continuously pay people to market their online store. This is where affiliate marketers come in.
Affiliate marketing helps you earn a commission for promoting and selling a company’s products.
How Does It Work?
Now the question arises, how exactly do you earn through an affiliate program.
To give you a brief, you get an affiliate link for the e-store you are affiliated to. You will have to promote this link. Once people click on this link and make a purchase from the e-store, you will automatically earn a commission.
What if the user doesn’t make a purchase?
One of the most common worries of starting as an affiliate marketer is this – What if the user doesn’t make a purchase?
Here is the thing, you only earn a commission on sold products. In case there is no purchase made, there will be no commission.
But, if the user returns to the website (directly or through your link) and makes a purchase, then you will earn a commission. This is because affiliate links work on the cookie system.
When you redirect a user to a website, their browser details are saved in their data files. So if the user makes a purchase in a given amount of time, then you will get paid.
What if they get a better deal?
Another common worry among new affiliate marketers is the user abandoning the recommending product, and instead of buying an alternative that suits that better.
So, let’s clear this doubt once and for all.
As long as the user makes a purchase, irrespective of the product, from your affiliate link, you will get paid.
Why Affiliate Marketing in India?
Being an affiliate marketer seems like easy money. But there are a lot of efforts that go into promoting a product and convincing people to actually buy it.
When you are making so many efforts into creating a platform for promoting a product and generating traffic to the said platform, you need to be assured if affiliate marketing is a good choice for you.
Here are three main reasons why you should practice affiliate marketing in India.
1) Digital Boom
It is no surprise that India has experienced a digital boom in recent years. We have experienced a growing fascination with online shopping and the need to try something new.
The growing urbanization has led to a tremendous boost in the number of online shoppers. People are more open to trusting online retailers, unlike the early years of online shopping. As more and more people start to get comfortable with the idea, the chances of you selling products become higher.
With the added advantage of loads of new products flooding the market, consumers are looking for recommendations and the best products available to them. As an affiliate marketer, you will be able to take advantage of this continuously growing digital wave that has swept the world.
If you have something that you are passionate about and you want people to learn from your experience, then it would not be a tedious task for you to get consumers to trust you. And once people trust you and the products that you recommend, you can start earning.
2) Easy to Get Started
Another reason why you should try affiliate marketing in India is simply because of the ease you can get started with it.
To get started as an affiliate marketer, you do not need any investments. In fact, unlike popular belief, you do not need a website to become an affiliate marketer. You can promote the link through your social media accounts.
But remember, just because you do not require a website, doesn’t mean that you won’t need an online presence. When you fill out an affiliate marketing application, you will be asked to link to the online platform on which you will be promoting their products. Therefore, make sure you have a strong online presence.
Other than this, all you need is a talent to make your words convincing. To do this, all you need is to recommend a product that you would use yourself. Make sure that the product has a good rating, and do not hesitate to mention the drawbacks.
This is why affiliate marketing is gaining popularity among individuals. It is not a complex job that takes hours of training. You do not need to be a professional to become an affiliate marketer.
3) Currency Advantage
There are several affiliate programs out there who pay in foreign currency (mostly US dollars). Being an Indian affiliate, this gives you a great income advantage.
Some of these foreign affiliate marketing programs include Alibaba, Amazon, Udemy, and other e-commerce websites.
One thing to note about these foreign affiliate marketing programs is that they usually have different requirements. For example, to become an Amazon affiliate, it is necessary to have an active website.
Therefore, if you are interested in one of these affiliate programs, read the terms before filling the application.
Nonetheless, there are some great foreign affiliate marketing programs out there that can help you earn big with foreign currency.
Step by Step Process for Starting Affiliate Marketing
We have seen the major advantages that affiliate marketing offers, and the growing industry of internet marketing has become a very big reason for becoming an affiliate marketer.
Here is a detailed step-by-step process to get you started with affiliate marketing.
1) Identify Your Niche
If you are a complete beginner, let us clarify what a niche is.
In simple terms, you can consider niche as a specific segment or market of products that you would promote.
Take this as an example – you must have come across websites or influencers that promote only a single type of product or category of products, like software, fashion, technology, or food blogs. This is their niche.
Identifying one’s niche is a very important step in becoming an affiliate marketer. We can go as far as to say that selecting one’s niche forms the foundation of affiliate marketing.
Why exactly a niche so important?
A niche plays an important role in affiliate marketing, because it helps gain the trust of consumers. Consider yourself, would you trust a professional or a stranger. This is exactly what niche marketing does.
When you have a platform devoted to a single category of products with your reviews and your knowledge, people will be able to trust your suggestions and would be more willing to buy your products.
If you promote everything, then it may be a little difficult for you to get people to buy your promoted products, as they wouldn’t see it more than a marketing strategy.
One thing to keep in mind while becoming an affiliate marketer is that you need to build trust in your audience, and this can only be done if you promote something that you will use yourself. Target a section of people rather than creating a chaos of unplanned brand promotion.
How to Find a Niche?
Finding your niche is a simple but time-consuming process. Here are three things to keep in mind while choosing a niche.
- Choose something you are passionate about and have a flair of learning more about the topic.
- Find out the problems related to the said products/hobby and get solutions that could help people.
- And the most important part; how profitable is the said niche? Will consumers be willing to spend money on your promoted products.
2) Choose a Suitable Affiliate Program
Now that you have something to promote, you can move on to choose an affiliate marketing program that will be the best match for you.
There are a number of things that you must focus on while you choose an affiliate program.
- Cost Per Acquisition
One of the most important factors to look for while choosing an affiliate program is their CPA or in simple words, the commission per sale. If you are going to earn through affiliate marketing, then you must do it right.
Currently, Amazon and Flipkart offer some of the most competitive commission percentages on their products.
Depending on your niche, you can find online stores that sell products based on your niche, and choose the best one for yourself.
- How Relevant is their Product
As mentioned in the above section, affiliate marketing is all about building trust in your audience. The first step to do that is to recommend a product that would benefit them.
This is why it is extremely important that you promote a trusted and reliable product that fits in the budget.
So, before choosing an affiliate marketing program, go through the e-commerce website, and get acquainted with what they are selling. Read the customer reviews to determine if they are worth it.
Go through their quality check and all the features before you sign up for their affiliate marketing program.
- Brand Reputation
Now, this may not be a very essential step if you are a well-established blogger or influencer. If you have a long-time audience that has continuously grown with years, then you could promote new brands who don’t have an established name in the industry.
But if you are a new blogger who is just gaining an audience, then you should recommend products that have a good name in the industry.
Make sure that the brand you partner with can be trusted. You do not want to lose the trust of your audience when you are just beginning to gain.
- Cookie Length
Another important factor that we want to put forward in this list is the cookie length of the affiliate program.
Most of your customers would click on the link but wouldn’t buy the product on the spot. They are probably going to do their own research and as an affiliate marketer, you will have to respect that.
Now, what you can do is ensure that the affiliate program provides sufficient time for your customer to come back and buy the product.
Since your link is stored through cookie data, make sure that the program has a good cookie length. Depending on the program, the cookie length can range from anywhere from a few hours to up to 30 days.
Choose a program that gives you the longest cookie duration to increase the chances of getting paid.
One of the most important things that people forget is going through the guidelines of the affiliate program. There may be some restrictions or some conditions that may stop you from earning from what you deserve.
Go through their complete guidelines and ensure that you are comfortable with it before signing up for the program.
The last thing to look for while choosing an affiliate marketing program is their payment details.
When you are doing it to earn some extra bucks, you need to make sure that it is done on conditions that you are comfortable with.
To make sure that you don’t face any future problems, go through their payment details and look at the provided payment methods. Usually, the affiliate marketers receive payments directly to their bank accounts.
Another thing to look for is their minimum payout. You do not want to wait for centuries before receiving payment.
You will receive payments on a fixed date every month. In case the minimum payout is not reached, you will have to wait until you reach the amount. So make sure they have an amount that is easily achievable.
3) Choose Relevant Products
Now that you have connected with a suitable affiliate marketing program, the next step is to choose the best product.
Even though you have chosen an affiliate program that has products suitable for your niche, you still need to choose the most relevant products that you want to promote.
Here are the steps that you can follow to choose the most suitable product.
- Find a Problem
First and foremost, find an issue.
What is the most common problem faced by people who are related to your niche?
For example, if you have a blog about kitchen gardening, a common issue that you can talk about is pests and insects.
- Find a Solution
Once you have a problem, the next thing to do is find a solution.
This is the step where you will find a product to promote.
Going back to the kitchen garden blog; the solution for pests and insects could be organic fertilizer. So that is what you are going to promote.
- Choose the Best Option
Now, that you know the type of product you want to promote, all you need to do is find the best one.
Choose the best-rated product with an affordable budget that the consumers would want to buy.
Moving back to our example; you can choose an organic fertilizer that is best for vegetable plants and doesn’t have harsh chemicals.
With these three steps, you will have a product to promote in your hand.
4) Generate Traffic
You have a preferred niche, a suitable affiliate program, and even the product that you want to promote. Now all you need is get people to click the link and buy the product.
This is the most important and possibly the hardest part of affiliate marketing -; getting people to buy a product.
Here are three ways to generate traffic and start earning money.
- Build a Website
Generating traffic through a website is a favorite method of traffic generation. Although it takes time and effort to build a trusted platform where you build an audience with patience, it is also one of the most trusted methods.
First thing’s first, you do not need to be a professional to be able to build a website. There are several online platforms (like WordPress and Squarespace) that help you to build a website within minutes.
Start your website by writing posts that would actually help people. Give them solutions to their problems and explain the basic concepts about your genre.
One of the best ways to generate traffic is by using SEO. Search engine optimization is a method to rank higher on search engines thus getting free traffic. Even if you are no expert, you can still get started with it.
Here are simple tricks to make your content SEO-friendly.
- Write structured and well-defined articles. You do not need a cluster of words.
- Give your article the most relevant title. What is your article about?
- Keep your paragraphs short. Many people ignore the importance of indentation making chaos of their informative content.
- Inform but do not drag. Readers only want what they are looking for. Too much information can lead to disinterest.
- Use your keywords wisely. Place them wherever relevant and do not overuse them. You do not want your post to look like an ocean of keywords.
- Use the meta description. The meta description can be really beneficial in presenting a concise version of your post.
- Finally, use media. Images, videos, and gifs make your text look interesting and fascinating and overall prevents a bland look.
Create content that is truly beneficial for your audience. You can write how-to guides or product reviews and drop the affiliate links at relevant places. This will not overpower your content with affiliate links and also help you promote them subtly.
2) Social Media Platforms
If you are starting from scratch and are not sure if you want to invest money in building a website, you can turn to the next great option : social media.
Social media, today, has emerged as a place for brand marketing. There is no social media platform that is deprived of influencers, bloggers, or new businesses that are building their customers.
Using social media, especially Instagram, for building an audience is much easier than building a website. Although a website ensures better sales, social media can lead the path to become a professional affiliate marketer.
To promote the products on social media, try to create an account that solely talks about your niche. Show people that you are not just there to earn but actually help them through your solutions.
Use tags (hashtags) in your post so that people are able to find you.
Once you have a good amount of followers that trust you and your recommendations, start promoting your products.
Remember, do not create a cluster of affiliate ads. This will only make you lose your audience. Instead, promote a product through a solution.
Do not forget, subtlety is the key.
3) Drive Traffic Through Paid Ads
The last method of driving traffic to your affiliate links is through paid ads. This method is perfect for people who are comfortable with technical work and are ready to make investments.
To start promoting your affiliate link through ads, you will need a landing page. This page should consist of all the important details of the product and you must make it sound convincing so that the consumer would buy it.
Since these ads are paid, you also need to make sure that the overall cost of promotion should be less than the commission you get.
There are two main aspects of your promotion cost.
- CPC – cost per click. This is the money you pay for every click that you receive on your link.
- Conversion Rate – This is the ratio that determines how many clicks are actually bringing you a sale.
To calculate the promotion cost take a ratio of these numbers. This ratio must be less than your commission per sale. Only then will you be able to earn good profits.
Start Your Affiliate Marketing Journey
We have covered everything that you need to know for starting affiliate marketing. It is easy, doesn’t need big investments, and can be done at your pace and comfort.
Getting started with an affiliate program may seem confusing at first, but with time and experience, you can turn it into a source of income.