The business model of website publishing and blogging has evolved enormously since the early days of the internet. Whereas publishers used to rely on success driven by flashing banner ads, the opportunities to cash in on traffic and user engagement are now deeper and more varied than ever. Affiliate marketing is one way website publishers and bloggers are monetizing, and the platforms available to manage the entire enterprise of selling as an affiliate make it easier than ever before. In this post, we explore affiliate marketing basics, provide some tips on finding your specific niche, and provide some important predictions for 2018.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance based marketing in which a business rewards an affiliate for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts and is a relatively widespread practice. The concept of affiliate marketing existed before the internet.
For example, the sale of Girl Scout cookies as a way to finance troop activities began as early as 1917. Another example is AVON, a commission-based selling program that now boasts nearly $60 billion in revenue per year. The difficulty with such offline affiliate marketing programs, of course, is tracking. Referrals or sales need to be tracked in order for the affiliate to be paid. That’s why affiliate marketing in the digital age is such huge business. Every click and purchase can be intricately tracked.
Affiliate Marketing Statistics
In 2016, “81% of brands, and 84% of publishers leveraged affiliate marketing.” If you are a publisher with interesting and engaging content, brands want to include you in their affiliate marketing strategy. Their ideal customers are shopping online, and your website is the perfect spot for them to learn the brand’s offerings.
Interestingly, Google Trends reports “between September 2016 and September 2017 search interest in the term “affiliate marketing” has risen by 30%.“ This means publishers are more aware of affiliate marketing as a technique for monetizing users.
Finding Your Affiliate Marketing Niche
In order to cash in on affiliate marketing, you must find the best affiliate products or services to promote in your niche. Sell what you are passionate about, and your efforts will be rewarded. In order to find the best affiliate products or services for your audience, you may want to research trending affiliate niches for 2018 as a start.
Here is a list of 12 online niche marketing trends and predictions for 2018 we found for you to explore:
- VR Accessories
- Electric Scooters
- LED Shoes
- Vape Juice
- Green Tea Shots
- Explainer Videos
- Wifi Video Doorbells
- Power Banks
- Nano Suction Technology
- Fidget Spinners
Here are a few more links on trending affiliate niches for 2018:
How to Select the Best Affiliate Marketing Products
Thankfully, publishers have ways in which they can measure the value of an affiliate program before making a decision on which affiliate products to promote.
- First, the more you familiarize yourself with the product before you promote it, the better. Read online reviews. Check the product’s website. Google the brand name. Research the quality of the product. Keep in mind, the products you promote should be aligned with your brand and mission.
- Next, each affiliate program will list their commission structure on their affiliate program page. Review the structure to determine the percentage of commission you will receive. Also review information on payments such as how will you get paid and how often. You want to ensure the product will be financially viable in comparison with the amount of time you will spend on promoting it.
- Lastly, be sure to look into the cookie duration to find out the lifespan of the affiliate cookie. Cookies can last anywhere from 24 hours to a lifetime depending on the affiliate program you choose.
The bottom line? The more you understand affiliate products and programs, the more informed you will be in order to select the best affiliate products and programs that are the right match for you.