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Want to make money online? But don’t know how? In this mini course I will tell you how to make money through affiliate and influencer marketing.

Hey! I’m Seema Gupta, professor of digital marketing at IIM Bangalore.

Basically, affiliate marketing is performance based marketing wherein you earn a commission if the customer buys through your link (also known as affiliate link). Note the point that the customer is not charged extra money for buying through your link. The commission is a remuneration for the marketing efforts taken by you in order to push a sale for a product. The commission which we are referring to here is paid by the E-commerce site or the company, also known as merchants in affiliate vocabulary. Affiliate marketing is a sub domain in digital marketing, and a thriving field in today’s digital world. Affiliate marketing is valued around $6 billion as of 2019. Some of the popular affiliate marketers include Pat Flynn, Harsh Agarwal and Neil Patel, Gaurav Chaudhury (also known as technical guruji)

Now, you might be wondering, if it’s a simple job of earning commission by referring links, then why this course in the first place? The fact is that to be a successful affiliate marketer you must follow a process and adopt best practices which will be covered in the course. But, for now in this free mini course let us take a glimpse of how exciting affiliate marketing is.

Today, affiliate marketing is the go to technique to make money online, due to large number of active internet users.

1. First of all, choose an affiliate network to sign up for. This is the most important aspect, and should be chosen very wisely. If you are a newbie to this field, I would suggest that you choose affiliate networks which have a huge consumer base such as Amazon, Flipkart, eBay so that you get that initial exposure towards promoting products which can cater to a good number of customers. And as you get the hang of it, you can expand your prowess in popular affiliate networks such as Clickbank, vCommission, Commission Junction and many more.

2. Second of all, you have to identify a niche in which you wish to promote the affiliate products. Niche can be anything ranging from Electronics to footwear. One of the ways to determine a niche is to list down all your hobbies and interests, and leverage online tools like Google trends to determine the popularity of the niche, market demands, how enduring it is and of course the profitability; for at the end of the day you and I need to make money!

3. Third of all, you need a medium to promote the products. It may be blogs, videos, podcasts or any medium appealing users online.

The process is straightforward and will reward when done correctly. I will tell you some thumb rules to make money as an affiliate:

High Quality content:

First things first. You should produce high quality content. As an affiliate or influencer, the content you deliver should be top notch and stand out from the rest if you want to take the complete advantage of this passive income source. Remember the content you make should appeal to customers at each of the 3 stages in funnel: Top (Problem aware), Middle (Solution aware) and Bottom (Purchasing stage).

Use better traffic sources:

Use better traffic sources to drive customers to the merchant site. The ways you can achieve this is by running paid ads, email marketing, article marketing and most importantly Search Engine Optimization.

Leverage tools online:

As a growing affiliate marketer, it is necessary to optimize your marketing. Well how do you do that? You can do it by using analytics tools such as Google analytics, Tube Buddy, Optimizely and Crazy Egg which give you an idea of where the users are more prone to click and scroll. These tools take the burden off you. But remember, you need to up your game every now and then if you want to survive in the affiliate industry.

Customer is first, so be engaging enough:

An unwritten rule in marketing is that as a marketer, you have to put the customer at a higher pedestal than making money. If you don’t follow that the purpose of marketing is itself defeated, and not a single person is going to buy on your recommendation. You should have two way communication so that consumers feel that you are not just here to make money, but also to address the issues of your loyal customers. Even a simple act of replying to a comment is considered engaging. When customers feel that they are given importance, they tend to give back the same by converting into your loyal customers.

Market research should be promptly done:

See it’s really good to promote products which are fad, but a good market research about the product will tell whether the users actually need this product in the first place. In simple words, survey the users’ behavior with regards to your products.

Build a fan base and become a brand ambassador:

Build a fan base for yourself. Following the above steps will ultimately lead to the same but this fact is highlighted for a reason. More the fan base, the better is your chance of making profits. As these customers are loyal, it takes only a slight push to make them purchase through your affiliate link. You need not break a sweat in bringing them to your way of thinking.

Lululemon is one of the famous platforms for finding brand ambassador programs.

Offer exclusive services:

you need to deduce ways through which you can offer exclusive services to your customers (or fans) in return for a nominal fee. Call it membership or subscription, these services are available only to those customers who have availed the membership. The services could include early access to your content, streaming without ads or behind the scenes in case of YouTube and more. ‘Patreon’ is one of the recognized platforms to sign up for if you want to jump start into membership business as an influencer.

My above strategies have done wonders for many entrepreneurs and are guaranteed to make you millions too. Thank you for watching.