Table of contents
If you’ve spent enough time in the marketing world, “affiliate marketing” is a term you may have heard repeatedly.
The fact that affiliate marketing has a market value of $17 billion in 2022 should tell you that affiliate marketing is all the rage today. In this article, we shall discuss:
- What is affiliate marketing?
- The benefits of affiliate marketing
- Common attributes that all good affiliate marketers have
- The top 10 affiliate marketers in content marketing that you should know
Table Of Contents
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing where a publisher promotes another company’s product or service for a commission using an affiliate link.
For instance, if you had a high traffic blog and you promoted another company’s product or service using your affiliate link, you would earn a commission every time someone makes a purchase using your link.
Affiliate marketing typically works like this:
- You place an ad, coupon, or link for a company on your social media, blog, etc.,
- A prospect clicks on this link and makes a purchase
- The affiliate network records this transaction
- You receive a commission after the purchase is confirmed by the store
Benefits of affiliate marketing
Here are a few benefits of affiliate marketing:
- It is a low-cost business opportunity. Unlike many types of business that require capital, the barrier to entry as an affiliate marketer is practically zero. All you need is a website or a blog.
- You don’t need expertise. Again, unlike many other types of businesses or even marketing, you do not need any real expertise to become an affiliate marketer. You do not need to be an expert in anything to get things moving. You can test different types of content, different campaigns, etc., to generate enough traffic to your blog or website to make brands want to approach you to promote their products or services.
- Affiliate marketing is performance-based. In other words, there is no cap on the commission you can earn, no entry fees, no contracts, and no compulsion to reach a particular number of sales every month to earn your commission.
- You get to choose. Since affiliate marketing is essentially a business and not a job, YOU get to choose if you want to work with a certain company, or promote a particular product or service.
Common affiliate marketing mistakes you should avoid
Just about every aspiring affiliate marketer goes through a few common mistakes. You can expect to fast track your progress if you avoid them.
Sell, not help
One of the biggest mistakes affiliate marketers make is prioritize revenue and sales over everything else. While you want to increase your sales, you cannot afford to do it at the expense of your audience.
The first mindset to have as an aspiring affiliate marketer is to help your audience more than you sell to them.
Lack of understanding
In their zeal to post as much content as possible and gain more followers, and eventually…sales, affiliate marketers fail to put in the time required to understand their niche and target audience.
It can be easy to lose credibility when your audience has endless amounts of information at their fingertips, making it easy for them to question and discredit you.
You need to continually do your research, read blogs, watch videos, get in touch with thought leaders and keep yourself updated.
You may have your content in place and you may know what you’re talking about. However, if your sentences are large and complicated, and your font is too small, people will not have the patience to read your content.
Limit your paragraphs to three or four lines, use a font no less than 16pt.
How to become a successful affiliate marketer
Now that you know what mistakes to avoid, here are a few things you can do to become a successful affiliate marketer:
Quality content is the bedrock to expanding your reach and landing a gig as an affiliate marketer. Before you starting creating content, you need to ensure you’ve done enough research to understand:
- Your target audience
- Their pain points
- Their desired state
- Their roadblocks
Once you can answer these questions, you can start creating content that you think would suit them best - blogs, videos, podcasts, infographics, etc.
Understand the products or services you are promoting
Everyone is looking for someone who knows what they are talking about. Far too many affiliate marketers get their hands on a few businesses that they think they can work with…only to promote their services and products without a decent understanding.
If you put in the time to understand how a product or service works, you will be able to answer your target audience’s questions on a level that most affiliate marketers cannot - thus increasing your credibility in the eyes of the audience.
Choose one niche
It may be tempting to dip your toes in a bunch of niches. However, you’re better off choosing one niche to begin with, and focus all your efforts on that niche. This way, you’re likely to better identify and understand your target audience, understand the products and services you are promoting, and create quality content.
Prioritize helping your audience
You should create most of your content to help your audience. If you want more sales, you need to build a relationship with your target audience over time, and the best way to do this is by finding ways to help them.
Put in the work
While many seem to associate “affiliate marketing” with passive income, recognize that it takes time to build your brand to a point where companies want to approach you.
The top 20 affiliate marketers you must follow
We’ve curated a list of the top affiliate marketers we think you ought to follow. But, before we get to the list, here are a few attributes that all these affiliate marketers have in common:
- These affiliate marketers have the skill and tools to promote products and services. They also know their way around various social media platforms and different affiliate programs.
- They are constantly pushing the envelope, testing new ways to promote services and products to gain increasingly more mileage online.
- They know their niche inside out. In this case, it’s content marketing tools.
- They care about their brand, longevity, and the rapport they’ve established with their followers.
Matt Diggity is full-blown SEO specialist - making 100% of his income from SEO-centric endeavors. He’s the man behind Diggity Marketing, The Affiliate Lab, The Search Initiative, and Authority Builders.
Matt has been featured on publications like Entrepreneur and Cloudways. On his blog, Matt explores the possibilities of SEO that others simply do not. He also has an active Twitter account where he has 17.2K followers.
Harsh Agarwal is the founder of Shout Me Loud - a blogging business that aims to liberate people from the 9-5 grind. Originally pursuing blogging as a passion project in 2008, Harsh eventually migrated his old blog on Blogspot.com to his own domain after receiving positive feedback from his readers.
Harsh has a wealth of useful content on the Shout Me Loud website, including:
…and much more.
While Harsh maintains that he faced significant challenges in his blogging career like - minimal social interaction and support, it was his blogging income that allowed him to visit Antarctica.
Kevin Miller became the co-founder and CEO of GR0 and The Word Counter, after having worked for Google for a few years. With an extensive background in email marketing, SEO, paid acquisition etc, Kevin has made waves as an excellent growth and affiliate marketer for a few years now.
He currently has 44,745 followers on LinkedIn.
His current focus is on helping businesses scale through SEO, content marketing, and digital marketing. His number one piece of advice for newbie affiliate marketers is to get a deep understanding of their audience - what they like, what they dislike, how to reach them, and so on.
He also maintains that it is more important to “help” than “sell” to your audience. You can check out his podcast here.
Sean Ogle is the founder of Location Rebel, a business that helps people gain the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere in the world. After crunching numbers for 60 hours a week at his desk.
Sean began his journey into the world of freelance writing in 2009, culminating in Location Rebel - which as of today, has 44.5k subscribers on YouTube. Sean is also a digital nomad, passive income coach, affiliate marketer, and plays golf.
Location Rebel is a fantastic resource for freelancing, blogging, and lifestyle-related topics.
John Engle is the founder of The Blog Pilot - a one-stop solution for everything you’ve ever wanted to know about blogging. In 2009, John started blogging for fun and eventually put it on the backburner to make time to grind at his 9-5 job.
However, realizing that time was catching up with him, John decided to make a business out of his passion for blogging. Today, he helps ambitious bloggers build a sustainable blogging business.
Josh Burns is the founder of JoshBurnsTech, a platform that helps people become top earning freelancers. After college, Josh added a variety of income streams to his career and ended up becoming one of Upwork’s top earners after having earned $820,000 since 2016.
He talks about earning on upwork, SQL, etc., on his YouTube channel which currently has 104k subscribers.
Tracy Jackson first tried his hand at entrepreneurship back in 2005, when he was running a country-wide vanpool business. After running that business for eight years, he closed the business in 2013, and eventually dove head-first into marketing. His expertise in driving traffic to marketing funnels helped his clients reach their online presence goals.
Cody Wanner is a video freelancer with a YouTube channel that has 64.5K subscribers and a Twitter account that has 19.8K followers. He started out making videos right from middle school, since then blossoming into a full-fledged video creator.
Cody has worked with Adobe, Redbull, Squarespace, Storyblocks, Skillshare, and a variety of other notable companies. He was also named “YouTube creator on the rise” in 2018, having uploaded a video on all 365 days in 2018.
Cody was a speaker at events like VidSummit, Power Of Video, and Social Media Marketing World.
Jeremy spearheaded SEO campaigns for brands like BigCommerce, FreshWorks, Monday.com, and many more. He is a Forbes 30 Under 30 lister, writes articles for Forbes and Enterpreneur.com, and has been featured on Founder Story, Cloudways, and other publications.
Corey Haines is the man behind Swipe Files - a membership platform with quality marketing resources that marketers can use to grow their SaaS brands.
He also has a book called “Founding Marketing” - a book for founders and first marketing hires on how to grow a SaaS startup.
Dave Chesson is the CEO of Paladin Analytics, creator of Kindlepreneur, Publisher Rocket, and Co-Founder of Atticus & Gun University. Paladin Analytics is a software company that develops scalable products.
Kindlepreneur is a platform that equips authors with everything they need to know to write, format, edit, and market their books.
Dave has self-published nine books on Amazon that now have a combined revenue of between $7-9k a month.
Shane Barker is digital marketing strategist and brand consultant with a team that has a total of 25 years of experience. Shane and his team have helped Fortune 500 companies, influencers, and other businesses grow through - content marketing, influencer marketing, online PR, and SEO. He has various ebooks on content marketing, product launch, and so forth.
With a following of 23K on Twitter, Adam Connell is one of the best SEO marketers out there. He’s known for Blogging Wizard". He teaches solopreneurs how to build websites that attract traffic. Both Buzzsumo and Semrush consider Adam one of the top 50 marketers in the world. Publications like Huffington Post, Forbes, GoDaddy, etc., have featured Adam.
Anil Agarwal is a full-time blogger with eighteen years of experience, and the founder of BloggersPassion where he teaches people how to launch money-making blogs. He launched BloggersPassion in January, 2010 and has since gone on to become the leading digital marketing blog in India, generating over $13,000 per month and over 200,000 visits a month.
He has an ebook called “Zero to $10K”, where he teaches you a step-by-step blueprint to earn $10,000 per month.
Désiré is the managing director for Tech Radar - a website known for its cutting-edge insights into the technology industry. He is a public speaker and writes articles for Forbes and Entrepreneur.com.
With a career spanning four decades, Désiré has a wealth of experience - writing about technology, dabbling in website building and web hosting in the process. He has been featured on Cloudways, Founder Story, and other publications.
Chintan Zalani is the founder of Elite Content Marketer" - a platform that helps creators make a steady income. Chintan started out as a freelance writer, and wound up starting Elite Content Marketer to help creators sustain their craft. He has been featured by publications like Entrepreneur, Wordstream, Tech Crunch, and more.
Sandeep is the founder of 99signals and Startup Cafe Digital. 99signals is an online marketing blog that equips entrepreneurs and bloggers with all the right resources and tools to launch an online business.
Startup Cafe Digital is a group of digital marketing experts from all over the world who give small businesses holistic digital marketing solutions. These solutions include everything from SEO to social media marketing. Startup Cafe Digital is ranked amongst the top ten digital marketing companies in India.
Matt Giovanisci is an expert in marketing who knows a lot about the sector. He created Money Lab in 2016, which is a well-respected online resource for digital marketing. Money Lab looks into the latest online marketing trends and conducts experiments to keep up-to-date. It serves as a foundation for both novice and experienced marketers, providing helpful materials like a comprehensive online business strategy and podcast marketing guide for 2022.
Moreover, Money Lab's content complements other websites including The Blog Builder Kit, Business Porn in Audio Form, and YouTube for Bloggers, which can be utilized by affiliate marketers to promote their work.
Spencer Haws is the brains behind Niche Pursuits, a website he established to examine and evaluate new business and advertising principles. On Niche Pursuits, you will find a blog and niche site page that discuss a variety of matters, such as examining the dependability of affiliate marketing, along with a collection of convincing arguments for why you should start a blog. The website also has pages committed to podcasts and niche business ideas.
Moreover, Haws oversees an NP Facebook Group where subscribers can converse with trainers and learners, get up-to-date digital marketing news, and swap their tactics.
For more than two decades Zac Johnson has been involved in the business of affiliate marketing. He began his journey with Amazon and in 2007 he set up a website in order to make an impact and promote affiliate products.
To determine the most efficient methods of affiliate marketing Johnson has experimented with a variety of digital techniques. One of his strategies was the utilisation of PPC marketing which enabled him to increase his email list to more than two million people. Currently, he maintains a blog which provides valuable content that is not limited to affiliate marketing.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays Johnson hosts his podcast called Rise of the Entrepreneur. He interviews successful business owners and allows them to pass on their knowledge to the listeners as well as giving helpful advice. Additionally, Johnson offers a comprehensive range of resources for blogging, affiliate marketing and website design.
How to choose the right affiliate program
Before you jump on a random affiliate program, you ought to know how to choose the right affiliate program. Here are a few factors:
- Choose a brand that has a good reputation. Before you decide to promote a company’s products and services, make sure they have a good reputation. The last thing you want is to market a poor quality product that is known to receive negative reviews. Marketing a mediocre brand can affect your reputation as well.
- Pick a product you are familiar with. Choosing a product that you know about or (preferably) have used, can help you promote it more effectively. A deeper understanding of the product can help you identify the buyer’s needs, and answer their questions accordingly.
- Commission rate. The average commission rate is between 5% and 30% and it generally varies depending on the product you are selling.
Affiliate marketing is an untapped goldmine. Becoming a successful affiliate marketer isn’t about following the best affiliate marketing practices and avoiding common mistakes.
You also need to choose the right affiliate program for YOU. Writesonic’s affiliate program helps earn a 30% lifetime commission (which is the highest in the industry) for every referral that subscribes to Writersonic premium.
You will also promote a product that is the rage TODAY. Promoting a high quality AI product can only add to your brand reputation. If you want to fast track your way up to $10k a month, sign up for our affiliate program where you will find other affiliate marketers who have already made the money you want to make.