One in three Americans said they started a side job in 2020, while the Economic Outlook reported that employment numbers would not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024. For most of 2020, people were forced to go inside and one of our only social connection points of sale was the internet.
The steady increase and the interest in online side businesses prove that people want financial freedom, freedom of time and freedom of location. As evidence, 24 percent of Americans from the same survey want to start their sideline this year. They say this is a way to earn passive income or to diversify your income potential.
One site that is thriving: affiliate marketing. “As long as you have a computer and an internet connection, affiliate marketing doesn’t require money or experience to get started,” says Meghan Damico, US sales director at Digistore24. Digistore24 is an automated reseller and affiliate marketing platform where vendors can automate sales, sell products, and connect to an extensive, trusted affiliate network.
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Damico’s business partner and the Vice President of Marketing at Digistore24, Ryan Alarid, believe that affiliate marketing benefits both the affiliate and online businesses. Together, they increased Digistore24’s sales from $ 2 million to $ 66 million in less than a year.
“With affiliate marketing, it’s so easy to take an established brand or product and get it known to your audience,” says Alarid. “There’s less risk to the company and the content is more authentic because the partner is motivated to create great posts that will get their audience to buy the product.”
Consumers spent $ 861 billion online in 2020, up 44 percent from 2019. With the advent of influencers and social media platforms, affiliate marketing has rapidly become one of the largest sources of online income right now.
To be successful in affiliate marketing, Damico recommends three simple steps: choose the right social media platform, pick a niche, and promote the products.
Step 1: choose the right social media platform
Start on a social media platform that best suits your audience and content. Facebook has one of the greatest latitudes and lows in all age groups. However, if you are promoting products that look more visually appealing in photos, then you should go for Instagram. If the products you are promoting are perfect for Gen-Z’er, TikTok might be your best bet.
Step 2: Pick a niche that matches your personal brand
Damico recommends keeping your passions in mind when deciding what type of products to advertise. Affiliate marketing should fit into the social media content already created in a natural and authentic way.
“You want to be honest with your followers, and that means you have to be true to yourself with your social media content,” says Damico. “Your followers will be more connected to you when you promote products that add value to their lives.”
Step 3: Promote Products and Make Money
“Fringe” products or those that are off the beaten path are perfect to start with. These products are often from smaller brands. With the companies Damico has worked with, they have told her that they prefer to work with partners who authentically love their products and have real following, even if it’s a smaller number.
Affiliate marketing commissions can range from 5 to 100 percent, while influencers usually earn a fixed amount for each post and the content must meet standards. According to Damico, affiliate marketers have more flexibility with their content and more creative freedom.
And Damico says the possibilities are endless. “When you’re ready to move up a level, you can start collecting email and using email marketing to make even more money as an affiliate marketer.”