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Affiliate Marketing Business Ideas: A Guide For Merchants and Publishers

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Affiliate Marketing Business Ideas

Affiliate Marketing is primary about three parties. First are the customers who want to purchase certain products based upon their needs, Second are merchants (or the businesses/brands/companies) who want to sell their products to the customers, and third are the affiliate marketers (or the publishers) who promote the merchant’s products on their website and drive customer traffic to the merchant’s website and thus earn a certain percentage of sale out of that directed traffic. Thus, it is a win-win situation for all these parties. In this post, I will share some Affiliate Marketing Business Ideas both from the perspective of Merchants (Businesses) as well as the Publishers (Affiliate Marketers).

How To Start An Affiliate Marketing Business in India

In this section, we will discuss Affiliate Marketing business ideas and affiliate marketing busines plans both from small businesses and from Affiliate marketer’s perspective. Affiliate marketing online business is a great option to generate income both for Merchants and Publishers.

First of all, we will begin with affiliate marketing for small businesses.

  • Affiliate Marketing Business Ideas For Small Businesses

Once you have decided that which particular products (digital or physical) you want to sell through affiliate networks, there are two ways you can go about affiliate marketing for small businesses:

1) Create your own Affiliate Network

This is generally not feasible and affordable for small businesses. You should create your own affiliate network only if you have sufficient resources in-house as well as if you can manage the relationship directly with the affiliates as well as maintain the technical aspects in place. You will also have to handle complaints, queries or any other issues faced by your Affiliates.If you can manage all this, then go ahead and create your own Affiliate Network, otherwise, it is better to go with third-party Affiliate Networks as shared in the next point. In fact, you should build your own Affiliate Network only if there is no third-party affiliate network which can sell your products (which is a rare case).

2) Sign-Up with Third-Party Affiliate Network

Signing up with third-party affiliate networks is much more viable and intelligent option for small businesses. For a certain percentage of commission, they take care of marketing and distribution of your products among large number of Affiliates registered on these networks. Here are some excellent options for the same:

  • Amazon Services

Amazon.com and Amazon.in are one of the best places for merchants to sell their products. Amazon has thousands of affiliates around the globe. And if you satisfy the criteria to be Amazon’s merchant, then rest be assured, Amazon knows how to sell!
Affiliate Marketing Business Ideas

  • ClickBank

ClickBank is one of the top affiliate networks focussed only on the Digital Products (like eBooks etc.) which help solve different problems of their customers. If you as a small business can provide a value in the form of digital products, then go ahead with ClickBank.

  • CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction)

CJ Affiliate as a platform offers the reach of millions using their affiliate network.

  • Rakuten

Rakuten offers more than 18 million products from thousands of merchants worldwide. It is one of the top most e-commerce players in the world today. Which means a huge reach for your business.

  • ShareASale

They are into Affiliate Marketing business since for almost 17 years now and provide an excellent platform for the merchants as well as Affiliates.

  • Affiliate Marketing Business Ideas for Affiliate Marketers (or Publishers)

Affiliate Marketers or Publishers need to create a website related to the Niche/Product category they want to promote. For example, in the following screenshot, I have chosen as a particular Niche “Chrome Polishes”, I can build a website on this topic of “Chrome Polishes”, sign up with Amazon and promote these products (using Amazon’s affiliate links) on my website.

Affiliate Marketing Business Ideas

Observe how I have narrowed down to a very small niche under the parent category (Automotive)

And if visitors on my website, who click on those product links and then purchase these or other products from Amazon within 24 hours (Amazon just requires you to send traffic to their website and any product sold apart from those which you recommended is credited to you) will earn a certain percentage of commission.

There are various affiliate marketing business ideas for publishers like signing up with any of the Affiliate Networks listed above: Amazon, ClickBank, CJ Affiliate, Rakuten, ShareASale etc. In India Flipkart also has its own Affiliate Network. Apart from these, there are many retailers who offer their own affiliate programs. You just have to Google! Now I will share the process of how you should build a Niche Affiliate Marketing website.

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Process of Building Niche Affiliate Marketing Website

Here is a simple process using which anyone can build a niche affiliate marketing website:

  • Selecting a Niche

What are your interest areas or hobbies? Make a list of that. Like Body Building, Fitness, Yoga, Fashion Designing, Gadgets etc.Now search does that hobby or interest area has any related products on a marketplace like Amazon.com (if you want to build a site for USA Audience) or Amazon.in (if you want to build a site for the Indian Audience).Narrow down as much as you can, for example, ‘Ayurveda’ is a broad category, but ‘Ayurveda for Pregnant Ladies’ is a particular Niche, on which a profitable website can be built. A whole lot of blog posts, ebooks, products (like Ayurvedic products for Pregnant ladies etc.,) can be posted on the website. And such a website can be monetized using products from Amazon, ClickBank as well as by signing up with AdSense.I have listed some of the paid and free affiliate marketing courses in another blog post wherein you can find the detailed process of selecting a Niche.

  • Creating the Website

Once you have selected the Niche, the next step is to build the website. You can learn to build a website in just 30 minutes. I would recommend building a self-hosted website using WordPress.org as a platform if you are really sincere about it.The reason is WordPress.org is a highly professional platform which even a layman can learn to use and it provides you a whole lot of customization options and plugins to enhance the functionality of your website. And it is trusted by millions across the world. For hosting, I would recommend Bluehost as a platform as it is recommended officially for WordPress, plus it offers a very easy 1 click installation of WordPress on your website along with a free domain, email account etc.

  • Creating the Content

Once you have installed the WordPress, the next logical step is to create and post the content on your website. But rather than randomly creating the content, you should create content after doing the keyword research. Install “Yoast” Plugin on your website (available on WordPress), it will help you to manage your SEO while you create content on your website.Once you have identified the target keywords related to your business after doing the Keyword Research, say for an example you identified top 30 keywords related to your business, based upon the number of search volume per month. Now, this is a list of your primary keywords. Now for each of these Primary Keywords, search for secondary keywords.Once you do that, you can begin writing content based on these keywords. So 30 Primary Keywords will make 30 Articles, with each having its own set of secondary keywords. For example, in the following screenshot taken from Wordtracker.com, the first keyword ‘laptop chargers’ is the primary keyword, while rest of the keywords are its secondary keywords to write a particular content on laptop chargers. Together all of them will bring much more traffic rather than writing just about the ‘laptop chargers’.

Affiliate Marketing Business Ideas

Keyword Research using Wordtracker.com

Create different menus like Home, About, Categories, Contact, Blog Posts etc., and create content under each menu. For Home Page, I would recommend adding content at least 2000 words long. And for Blog Posts, I would recommend anywhere from 900 words to 1500 words per post for an effective SEO.

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If you structure your content this way, Google will automatically pick up your website content and start ranking it for the various keywords.

  • Adding the Affiliate Links

Wherever applicable, add affiliate links in your content in the form of text links, call-to-action buttons, banners etc. Remember, not to stuff your content with affiliate links. Just 1 or 2 links per post should be fine and that too within the context.Always keep your website visitors at the top. They should get value out of your website. They should not feel that advertisements or affiliate products are being pushed at them. Just keep the interface of your website neat and clean and focus on resolving the problems of your website visitors and wherever applicable share the links of the affiliate products.

  • Bringing in the Traffic

One of the best ways to bring in quality traffic towards your website is the free and organic traffic you can get from Google, which I have already explained above that it depends upon the quality and original content. Never-ever copy-paste or spin content from other websites, Google will not rank your website this way.Apart from the free organic traffic from Google, you should use social media, new aggregator sites like Reddit, social bookmarking sites, and emailers to bring in the traffic.You should also write guest posts on other authority websites related to your Niche so that you get backlinks from there too. This in itself will boost the ranking of your website a lot.

  • Measure Results, Rinse and Repeat

Use Google Analytics and other analytics tools to measure the performance of your website. Keep on adding the quality content. Analyze what is working and what is not. Repeat the processes which are making you the money and weed out what is not working.

Final Words On Affiliate Marketing Business Ideas

Affiliate marketing business ideas should not be approached as a one off way to make some quick money, rather, to be successful in it, one needs to look at building a business out of it. Ideally, there should not be a single source of income towards your Affiliate Website because if due to some reason, your affiliate account gets blocked, or your website gets banned due to some violation or any other reason, then immediately you will lose your business too. For example, you should not depend just on Google Adsense or just on Amazon affiliate or any other affiliate income source.

Similarly, ideally, there should not be a single source of traffic towards your Affiliate Website. Although the organic traffic from Google is the best and high-quality traffic you can get because they are already searching for that particular information which your website is providing but if some how you violate Google’s policies, they can ban your site or drop it from ranking altogether and you will immediately lose your business.

So, the ideal scenario is that you should have multiple sources of income, like using Amazon Affiliate links, Google Adsense, ClickBank, your own Products, eBooks, Memberships etc. to create a kind of business out of your website. And also you should have multiple sources of traffic towards your website, like free organic search traffic from Google, social media, news aggregator sites, bookmarking sites, emailers etc.

All this will ensure that you have a sustainable Affiliate Marketing business. Hope you found affiliate marketing business ideas in this article to be useful. If you have any queries, please ask in the comments’ section below.

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