What are Affiliate Programs? [Complete guide]

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The Internet has changed the man’s relations with the world. Today, we live in a time of opportunities.

New technologies bring with them new channels and different ways to engage consumers with services and content increasingly easy to be consumed. And that’s great news for those who wish to take advantage of this type of change to do business.

This was how the Affiliate programs have emerged, with techniques, tools and many new entrepreneurs who take advantage of this kind of business to work from home and have a good profit margin, without the need to purchase goods or performing any other investment.

The entrepreneur does not need to create or have a product to offer, maintain its own website or even perform sales operations. All opportunities revolve exclusively around the promotion of links, which act as signs for virtual items produced by others. And everything is done for free, uncomplicated and rewarding way.

If you are not yet familiar with the term “Affiliate Program”, today’s post will tell you everything you need to know about this thread that permeates the universe of digital entrepreneurship.

How did the Affiliate programs?

The Affiliate Marketing can look modern, revolutionary, innovative ( and it really is! ), But the fact is that its history began still in 1989. It all began when the American businessman William J. ṭobim, founder of PC Flowers and Gifts, realized the potential of virtual publicity and launched the Prodigy – which became known as the first Affiliate Marketing program in history. Over the years, small initiatives within the same concept have emerged in the United States.

The owners of the first e-commerces realized a great opportunity to network, connecting people around the world. It was when there was an association between e-commerces, various matters sites and the final consumer.

The sites indicated products through content, banners, and when the user clicked on that content was directed to a shopping site. Every sale made, the owner of the intermediary site earned a commission by the alert.

In July 1996, Amazon revolutionized the market by launching an affiliate program on a global scale to promote their products. And further forward, in the 2000s, the Affiliate Marketing has become a reality around the world, including Brazil.

The success of Affiliate programs is due, in part, to this solid history of more than two decades. Over the years, it has established itself as an economically viable model and risk free.

Entrepreneurs who participate in such programs have the security of joining something legally approved in Brazil and worldwide. Today, there is a large market for Affiliate Programs, and this can be seen especially as regards the marketing of digital products.

What is an Affiliate program?

The Affiliate programs allow people to disclose third-party products in exchange for a commission for each sale made. This “business web” brings benefits both for those who create the product and for those who disclose them because both parties receive money after the sale. Generally, the Affiliate Program offers an online platform that provides the products, generates the dissemination and delivery links commissions safely. And everything is done for free, uncomplicated and rewarding way.

This type of service is seen (and chosen) by several people as a chance to take; to achieve the long – sought financial independence ; and to earn money without leaving home.

But after all, why the Affiliate program works so well? What is the key to success behind the system? The secret is the fact that the program bring together people with common interests and help them to bill for real.

Basically, it consists of two main characters, which are:

# 1 – Affiliate

The Affiliate is a person with innovative vision and willing to use the Internet to their advantage. They bill promoting digital product links provided in a distance education platform , or physical products, depending on their area of expertise, and receiving commissions on sales from links shared.

Affiliates are also known as webmasters because constantly study the market and ways to improve their performance to sell more on the Internet.

# 2 – Producer

The Producer is a person who prepares a digital product and want to market it. It produces materials in various formats such as e-books, e-magazines, virtual guides, video classes, lectures, podcasts or software. These items can also cover a number of areas – from issues such as culture, health and cooking, even more dense topics such as financial management, corporate marketing and information technology.

Producers understand the profile of the current consumer, you want to buy virtual goods eyeing concepts such as lower cost, fast delivery and sustainability. But the producers do not just want to produce, also they want to sell. Therefore, they offer digital products on the platform, with the help of Affiliates to increase revenues. In exchange, they offer commissions on sales made and the platform ensures safe operations.

The Affiliate Program is a two-way street that links producers and Affiliates in a large virtual business.

At the end of this path, both sides win, as the profit of one is also the profit of the other. And to align this whole process, there is a platform. It is she who provides the technology needed to carry out the operations, ensuring control of the data and payment security.

A good affiliate program must be supported by a company that offers management service with high quality. And for that, there are platforms like Hotmart (to better understand how it works and what are the benefits associated with Hotmart, read our post on Hotmart Club ).

What is a link Affiliate?

Once you become an Affiliate, the Affiliate program tool in which registered provides unique links for you to promote the products. These links are coded so that every time you perform a new sale, you can identify that the conversion was completed through its contents and thus you receive the commission due.

(You still do not know if you need to pay some amount to use Hotmart? See this post as commissions are divided.)

The Affiliate Program Really Work?

This question could be replaced by “It’s really possible to make money participating in an affiliate program?”.

Yes, many people around the world live off the income generated in Affiliate programs, making the product a profession affiliation.

Some also work as an Affiliate to generate extra income, which can be as useful as building a career as a digital entrepreneur. It all depends on your goal. However, there are some advantages for those who are already Affiliate, and we will list them for you.

10 Advantages of participating in an affiliate program

There is every reason for joining an affiliate program. The main one is the real opportunity to make money easily and independently.

By posting a single ad, the Affiliate can reach thousands of consumers and will have numerous chances for the indication to convert into sales. And every time this happens, he will receive a percentage of the selling value. In other words, success depends only on their own efforts: the more people work, the greater the chances of profit.

But the benefits of the affiliate program does not stop there. In fact, the system has many attractive factors for those who want to start profiting online.

You want to discover what are they?

1 – Do not run the risk of losing investments

Many people apply their savings in building an e-commerce to realize the dream of making money on the Internet. The problem, however, is that most of the online stores fail because of lack of planning and experience of the owner. Already the Affiliate program is a financially secure alternative. Signing up is free, and there is no need for any initial investment.

2 – Being able to work without a product itself

You do not need a separate product to start making money on the Internet. Through the Affiliate program, you will publish links to display material produced by others and receive commissions for sales achieved. This means that you will profit without bothering to acquire and deliver the material sold.

3 – Be Your Own Boss

Joining the Affiliate program, you start a new business. If you can generate good results acting as an Affiliate, you can enjoy a number of advantages: be your own boss, work from home and take the decisions it deems right ones. You can also manage your time the way you want, with no one to oversee the schedules or to interfere with their work.

4 – Have broad dissemination possibilities

As an Affiliate, you will have numerous opportunities for products to promote. Hundreds of virtual items, of different sizes, divided into dozens of niches (later on we will talk about choosing your niche market). It will be easy to choose those that best dialogue with its audience and consequently have greater potential for sales and profits.

5 – Not having to deal directly with the consumer

All communication with the consumer – as the call for questions and subsequent assistance to delivery – is the producer responsibility. In addition, the processing of sales and payments is the responsibility of the platform. The Affiliate shall only promote the link and therefore is free from major concern.

6 – Do not need a website or much technical knowledge

To begin promoting digital products links, it is not necessary to have a website of your own. You can use other tools such as, for example, social networking and email marketing. It is also not necessary to be expert in computer to perform the work. Of course, if you already have some experience with this technology, his work as an Affiliate will be complete and you will find it easier. However, anyone with basic knowledge of internet can join the Affiliate program and, over time, to specialize and learn more about it.

7 – Choose the profit margin

Each Producer defines a profit margin for the material available on the platform. They may vary, and up to 80% of the digital product. It is the Affiliate review (from the sales statistics and quality of the item) which link is most rewarding.

What does this mean in practice? You are who choose the profit margin with which you want to work.

8 – Having full control of information

How to know if your work is having good results?

After joining the Affiliate program, you will have access to the platform and can control the performance of their statements. The system will show how many sales were completed from the links you promoted; situation that ensures a good financial planning and forecasting receipts.

9 – count with payment guarantee

A key advantage of the Affiliate program is that payments are managed by the platform. Commissions are automatically computed after sales, which eliminates the risk of the producer does not make the payment. In this system, the remuneration of the Affiliate is fully guaranteed.

10 – Power expand the business in the future

Another essential advantage of the Affiliate program is the possibility of growth. Most people start promoting timidly, using social networks and blogs with free domain. But as the payments are coming in, you can separate a portion of the resources for the expansion of its business.

Who can become an Affiliate?

As in the case of digital producers, anyone can become a successful Affiliate.

With the digital market increasingly expanding, you can find a plethora of products, and you can choose among those who have more affinity.

Also, you can find many materials on membership and marketing techniques to be used in the disclosure.

What types of Affiliates?

After much study and work the Affiliate market, we see a pattern among the four most common profiles of this professional:

  1. Affiliate authority: He is an expert on a particular subject and uses its authority in that niche to indicate products that can be useful for people who follow their work. It is common for bloggers who already have an interesting volume on their pages or those who built an e-mail base to become Affiliates authority, but nothing prevents someone to start from scratch and become an expert in a particular market.
  2. Affiliate host: The host uses its image and credibility to promote the products to which it is affiliated. Generally, it has a strong presence on social networks and many followers who accompany daily.
  3. Affiliate Scientist: This affiliate constantly studies on advanced marketing techniques and apply them to your business with ads, posts and other strategies to scale your digital business. He is analytical and know measure their results to improve conversions.
  4. Affiliate Reseller: The reseller specializes in making sales by word of mouth. Although you can not climb a lot, he knows exactly what products to indicate the people in your circle of coexistence. While you have not become an authority or scientist, it is interesting to start testing their techniques as Affiliate Reseller .

What skills should an Affiliate?

Even if you decide to work as an Affiliate in your extra time, you need to have some skills to be able to make sales. Let’s count some of them for you already begin to put into practice:

  • Have discipline: be Affiliate is also a work and to reap good results, you need discipline to always keep a minimum of consistency in their strategies. Stipulate a schedule with actions you can take to move your business forward little by little and be faithful to your plan.
  • Like to study: the more you know about your market, you will become more professional. So watch out to the news and study the dissemination of techniques that you still unknown.
  • Know how to communicate: to generate audience, you need to communicate well with your audience, and that means knowing write clearly , is for ads, social networks or blogs. If you plan to record videos , you will also have to train your oratory. In addition to speaking with the public good Affiliates always seek to network with other professionals in the market, so they can exchange experiences, improve their techniques and further scale their gains.
  • Be persistent: this tip applies particularly to those who wish to have great results and not just make a sale or other. Immediacy is one of the factors that make people give up so easily their goals and dreams. Make a plan for your business and stick to it even when yet there is no profit.

How to become a successful Affiliate

Success is something everyone chase today. The truth, however, is that not everyone can achieve their goals. And this is because dreams are realized only from stock. That’s right! Money does not fall from the sky, it is not the result of luck or chance. It takes hard work to get it. The good news is that every effort has consequences therefore working hard, you can win.

If you want to become a successful Affiliate, you must face your daily activities as a company. This means that to get high conversion rates of indications in sales and good financial results, you need to use some techniques of business management.

Strategies are four basic areas of management: Planning, Marketing, Finance and Controls. It sounds complicated? Do not worry! Everything is much easier than you think! Get to know the following details:

Planning: Write your own destiny

Planning is critical for any business!

If you want to be a successful Affiliate should plan their actions. A good start is to trace a work schedule , defining how much time you devote to the promotion of links daily.

It is also advisable to establish specific tasks, such as writing articles on a blog . This strategy will focus and not allow the Affiliate runs becoming unproductive.

Keep in mind that planning goes far beyond the elaboration of an agenda. You also need to map out financial goals, which will help to guide their work. First, define the profit margins that would get the short, medium and long term. Then check what are the actions you must take to achieve all these goals. Put everything on paper and get organized so you really can achieve your goals. That’s the secret to grow.

Marketing: Learn to promote

If you want to get significant results in the Affiliate program, you should be aware that the promotion of links is pure marketing. So it’s essential to use the right tools at the time of release. Below, we list seven golden tips for those who want to hit when promoting links.

Has its own website

This will require a certain investment strategy, but be sure it will be worth. Statistics show that the conversions are higher when the indications are sourced from own pages. It is advisable to create a specific website for each niche of expertise.

Diversify channels

It is very important to use multiple channels for communication with the consumer. In addition to the website, you should make use of social networks and virtual forums. Successful Affiliates also invest in the development of email marketing and production of physical media (which works very well in specific cases). And remember, whatever your choices, the quality is fundamental. Today’s consumers want to access pages and visually appealing ads, with good technical quality and without Portuguese errors.

Choose a specific niche

To start promoting, you will have to focus on a niche market, and the more specific the better.

But how to choose the niche market?

Few companies can address various niches, such as the Amazon e-commerces and Submarino, selling various products to a very wide and diverse audience. Already a nutritionist dedicated to take care of feeding of children with celiac disease, deals with a very specific audience.

You see, for optimum results, the indicated is that your website or blog do not mix tips for bodybuilders with messages for animal lovers, for example. Even if both the public may have interests in common, it is best that you choose a specific consumer profile and stick to it to win over an audience of good quality.

The advantages of working with segmentation is that you can be more precise in their strategies to promote your brand.

In addition to considering those matters about which you like to talk, it is important to list those most promising in the digital products market and align them with the materials you can produce to attract more leads and hence buyers.

Companies with Affiliate program offer the products hosted on the platform for Affiliates can select those who will disclose. It is common that there is a ranking of the top sellers, or those who are more buyers satisfaction index, as in Hotmart.

After doing this analysis, refer to some to have search tools such as Google Trends, Google Adwords Keyword Planner and Keyword Tool, and check the volume of search for topics related to the chosen niche product.

Choose interesting products for your audience

Now that you have defined the public profile, you must know how to choose the right products to promote. The secret is to find the most relevant items for the client, ie, digital products really useful for your niche.

You want an example?

Let’s imagine that you have a blog with makeup tips. In this case, should indicate links to guides and beauty tutorials (after all, this is what the public seeks to enter this type of page, right?).

Choose quality products to disclose

When choosing digital products you release, it is also essential attention to quality. Make sure the material is well prepared, it is visually appealing, that the information is updated and does not have misspellings or typing.

Check also that the Producer page has all of these characteristics. They are important because they help to sell more. As a result, his statements will have more chances of success as well.

Consider working with paid ads

Many people dismiss working with paid ads. But the successful Affiliate knows that it is not cost but investment. The strategy will ensure you a substantial increase in public, which also represent an increase in conversions. The links you promote earn more clicks, sales and increase your profits as well.

Produce content and update your pages always

Content Production is one of the biggest secrets of websites, blogs and social networking profiles. This is what ensures quality and loyal audience. The important thing is to draw up texts and attractive posts with really interesting and useful content to your audience. Posts will attract consumers to the pages on which they may have access to links with indication of digital products.

Finance: gain and apply your money properly

Financial management is one of the biggest challenges of small entrepreneurs. Few possess technical knowledge to manage resources properly. If this is the case, do not worry. There are two basic points to which you should pay attention in the Affiliate program: how to win and how to apply your money.

How to make money

Affiliates earn a percentage of sales from the links they choose to promote. This percentage is set by a committee informed by Producer.

So if you want to have good financial results, should pay attention to this issue for the time to choose digital products to promote. Not always the product with the highest commission is what will yield better profits. You should also check if the item has good sales history and is relevant to their audience.

How to apply your money

One of the most common mistakes made by small entrepreneurs is to spend all the money that comes in, without bothering to ensure business growth. It is very important that you establish a band of earnings to invest.

You can use these features, for example, to build a website of your own or hire a designer to elaborate arts and new advertising. It is also important to maintain a reserve for months of little movement, as they are always sales subject to market seasonality and fluctuations of the economic scenario.

Controls: Monitor your performance

The three above – Planning, Marketing and Finance – need control. That item will tell if their strategies in each of the mentioned areas, are going well or not.

But ultimately, how to monitor?

Just that you use the right metric. There are several different types of them and some may give the entrepreneur similar responses. So the secret is to know what and how to measure.

The key to an Affiliate is whether their disclosure actions are working.

Lift the average conversion of each of the ads and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing strategy. Invest in strategies that are working and enhance those that need more significant results. If you consider that the overall performance is much lower than expected, it may be necessary to make broader changes.

Want some examples?

Make changes to the public segmentation, look for new digital products to promote and invest in the creation of a new layout (more attractive) to your pages.

Another key issue in the question “Control” is the access to the platform reports. They provide invaluable information about the performance of the work. You can view, for example, the number of clicks your links, the volume of information converted into sales and financial summary of your commissions.

The important thing is to work and monitor ever. This is the best way to win!

How does the relationship Producer x Affiliate?

The producer is responsible for all the development of the digital product as well as the pricing and commission paid to the Affiliate.

Some Affiliate programs give the option to the grower to leave open or closed membership. In the open, anyone can join, and the closed, the Producer or not to approve its affiliates.

Moreover, as already mentioned, the Producer will be responsible for all customer relations, since the delivery of the material (in this case, some platforms perform this process in an automated manner to the Producer) to support in case of questions.

Where Affiliates can promote the products?

Once you have chosen products that will join, it’s time to set his first outreach strategies. See, then, what are the options most commonly used in marketing strategies:

  • Social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and many other social networks that are successful today are a powerful tool to promote your affiliate links. But understand that the function of these networks is always engage the audience with interesting content. Make advertisements without context or relevant material is an amateur strategy and is very likely to not bring you results. The ideal is to build strong profiles on these networks and feeding them stuff to then be able to talk about your product.
  • Blog: you can use well written content on the market of the product you intend to publish and thus attract the audience that is most similar to your ideal buyers. A good positioning on Google with SEO techniques can help you get organic traffic (not paid) and a qualified audience that has more affinity with the product promoted. If your product speaks about “self-esteem of women,” for example, it is very interesting to do a post telling “The most common factors that cause depression in women” or perhaps “5 Signs that confirm you have low self-esteem.”
  • Google Adwords: With Google Adwords, you can make targeted ads to the audience you want to achieve and you will pay for each click you receive on your link, even if the click does not execute a purchase. You can advertise on the Google search page, blogs and websites with banners and also on Youtube.
  • Email marketing: study ways to develop funnels sale they can reach the people who provided the email address in the right way at the right time. This way, you can talk to your audience in a personalized way and increase the chances of conversion.

Now that you know all about Affiliate program, it’s time to take the first steps to become a successful professional. If you chose the Hotmart as its platform, register for free at Hotmart and give life to your digital business.

This post was originally written on August 10, 2016 and updated to contain more accurate and complete information.