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Here’s How Much You Can Really Make From Affiliate Marketing

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Here's How Much You Can Really Make From Affiliate Marketing

But how much money does the average affiliate marketer make, really? Is it actually a good business model?

Today, I answer these questions and talk about how you can get your hands on some of this affiliate money too.

How do affiliate marketers make money?

Affiliate marketers make money by getting paid a commission to promote other people’s products or services.

For example, if you have an affiliate link on your blog that sends people to purchase a product from Amazon, you’ll make a percentage of every sale that happens as a result of clicks on your link. Here’s what the dashboard looks like:

Amazon affiliate dashboard

However, it doesn’t have to only be physical products.

You can also earn money as an affiliate for online courses or software. You may have seen videos on YouTube that are “sponsored by Skillshare” or “sponsored by Fiverr.” These platforms also have affiliate programs.

Alternatively, you can also make money as an affiliate marketing manager of a company. I’ll touch on how much employed managers make as well.

How much do affiliate marketers make?

The average salary of an affiliate marketer, according to Glassdoor, is $59,060 per year. It ranges from $58K to $158K, including “additional pay” options like cash bonus, commission, tips, or profit sharing.

However, this is for a salaried employee. What about a freelancer or business owner doing their own affiliate marketing?

According to a survey done by the Influencer Marketing Hub, here’s the breakdown:

Affiliate annual revenue chart

In other words, more than half of all affiliate marketers make $10K or less per year, while only about 33% make $10K or more per year.

That’s… not great. Certainly not enough to live on in most countries. But I believe this is because the majority of respondents don’t do affiliate marketing full time.

Being in the affiliate space myself and connecting with hundreds of other affiliate marketers give me a gut feeling that the majority of full-time affiliate marketers make less than $100K per year—likely around $30K–$50K annually.

That said, this is from my own personal experience, not a survey or research study, so take that with a grain of salt.

Revenue vs. net profit

When it comes to answering how much money affiliate marketers make, you have to take into account actual net profit numbers—not just revenue.

Revenue is how much money a business makes before expenses are taken out. Net profit is how much it makes after expenses are accounted for.

So profit is your actual take-home amount that your business produced for the year.

That’s why I say most affiliate marketers make between $30K–$50K annually. This means profits after expenses.

How to get started on affiliate marketing

If those numbers sound good and you’re ready to start affiliate marketing, here’s how you can get started:

  1. Choose a niche
  2. Decide on a content channel
  3. Produce and promote your content

Step 1. Choose a niche

Your niche is the thing you talk about. It could be a hobby, a lifestyle, a wacky science theory, or just about anything else. So long as there are products, services, or courses to promote, you can make money from it.

To find your niche, ask yourself:

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I like doing?
  • What am I curious about?
  • What do other people tell me I’m good at?

The overlap of those four questions is often a great choice for a niche. Or at the very least, it will get your head thinking about ideas.

For example, my answers may look like this:

  • I’m good at video games, writing, traveling, and playing music.
  • I like doing all of those things, as well as journaling, hiking, and chillin’ in hammocks.
  • I’m curious about silversmithing, fire dancing, and motorcycles.
  • Other people tell me I’m a great salesman and that I give great massages.

Based on my answers, I have tons of niche options: traveling, hiking, video games, sales, entrepreneurship, and even hammocks. It’s a fun little exercise to quickly come up with ideas.

If you’re still having trouble or want to learn more, check out our guide to finding an affiliate niche here. It walks you through how to find affiliate niches while searching for things on Google in your everyday life.

Google SERP overview

As you can see in the above screenshot, Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar will display information about every keyword you search for, such as how many people search for it per month and how difficult it would be to rank for.

Step 2. Decide on a content channel

Once you’ve chosen a niche, you need to pick how you’re going to promote your affiliate links. You can create a niche website, a YouTube channel, social media accounts, or an email list.

My personal favorite method is building a website and using search engine optimization (SEO) to rank the website on Google. This lets you gain recurring, organic traffic (and sales).

Check out these Amazon affiliate websites to get an idea of what that may look like.

For example, one of my websites is monetized by Amazon affiliates, and I write review posts like the one below on camping mattresses:

Amazon affiliate review post

If this style interests you, a niche website may be the way to go.

However, just because you build a website doesn’t mean you can’t also be on social media and YouTube. I’ve just found it helpful in my own career to focus on and master one thing at a time before moving on to the next thing.

Step 3. Produce and promote your content

Finally, you need to learn how to create amazing content and promote that content to get eyeballs on it.

Affiliate marketing is a content-focused business. Without mastering content creation, you won’t succeed. Whether that means writing blog content, creating videos, or taking pictures, you need to learn how to do it better than most.

But creating awesome content alone isn’t enough. You also need to learn how to promote your work, whether that’s to build backlinks to your articles for SEO or just to get views on your videos so the YouTube algorithm shows them to more people.

How to maximize your affiliate profits

Now you know the basics of how to become an affiliate marketer. But how do you ensure you make the most possible money on that spectrum I shared earlier?

Here’s how:

  • Start by finding the best affiliate programs
  • Improve your conversion rates
  • Go for quick SEO wins
  • Negotiate for better rates

Let’s break these down.

Find the best affiliate programs

Amazon is great for beginners, but with a 1–3% commission rate, it is far from the best.

The easiest and quickest way to increase your affiliate profits is by finding better affiliate programs that give 5%, 10%, and even 50% commissions on sales.

The most common range you’re likely to find is 5–10%. These are still almost triple what Amazon pays, so don’t let that discourage you.

Improve your conversion rates

Beyond simply promoting better affiliate deals, the next quickest way to maximize profits is by focusing on conversion rate optimization.

Meaning, you should make small improvements to your website that get more of your visitors to click your links and buy your recommendations.

In general, some things you can do to help conversions include:

  • Using high-quality images.
  • Creating call to action (CTA) boxes for your recommended products.
  • Displaying comparison tables so your readers can quickly see differences.
  • Making the #1 product stand out.
  • Building your brand and focusing on E-A-T (expertise, authority, trust).

Example: Here’s a page that converts really well, thanks to these custom recommended product boxes:

Recommended affiliate product boxes

You can have a developer make these for you or use an editor like Elementor or Thrive Architect.

As for building your brand and establishing E-A-T, Wirecutter does an excellent job of this. It displays where it’s getting its information and, thus, establishing trust. We wrote a full case study on how Wirecutter does that here.

Go for quick SEO wins

Most tasks in SEO take time to give you results, whether that’s creating great content or building links. But there are lots of low-hanging fruits in SEO that can show results much faster if you know what you’re doing.

These include:

And more.

For example, when I refreshed the content in one of my guides, my rankings shot up from position #3 to position #1 for the keyword “how to start a blog and get paid.” My overall traffic to the page increased by 35% almost immediately.

Organic keywords report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Check out our guide to quick SEO wins to learn how to do all of these tactics.

Negotiate for better rates

Finally, the quickest and easiest way to maximize your affiliate profits is by negotiating a better rate from your current affiliate partners.

This won’t work for generic programs like Amazon and Walmart, but it absolutely works for smaller brands. More often than not, if you’re already sending your partners a good amount of traffic, it’s a no-brainer for them to increase your commission a bit.

Phrase it in a way that shows them you will use the extra profits to reinvest and promote them even more—it’s a win-win.

This is best done over the phone, but even a well-worded email can increase your commission by a percentage or two.

Final thoughts

So now you know that most good affiliate marketers are making under $100K per year. But there are plenty making much more than that.

And you have options—you can either become an affiliate marketing business owner or an affiliate manager for another company.

Both are lucrative options. One of my favorite affiliate program partners has an affiliate manager making almost six figures per year—plus they gave him ownership in the company for profit sharing.

Either way, affiliate marketing is an amazing career. Want to learn more? Check out these other guides:

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Attain Superior Growth & ROI With Organic & Paid Tips

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Holistic Search 2.0: Optimizing and Measuring Organic and Paid Performance

Silos don’t cut it anymore. User journeys are too complex for you to view and track channels separately.

To improve your campaign performance, you need a holistic view of your marketing activities and how they intertwine. This is especially true for organic and paid search strategies. 

You need to be front and center with your ideal customers at multiple touchpoints, including active interactions and passive awareness. An ideal marketing strategy has paid and organic campaigns working in tandem, and it’s becoming harder to succeed without doing both.

If you’re looking to drive quality growth in your own campaigns, iQuanti can help.

Join us live on July 24 as we delve into this intricate relationship between organic and paid search channels. You’ll get actionable insights for measuring success to maximize their combined potential.

You’ll gain a comprehensive, data-driven understanding of how to measure, analyze, and optimize holistic search marketing efforts, ensuring sustainable growth and superior ROI for your business.

You’ll walk away with:

  • Integrated Metrics and KPIs: Learn how to define and track key metrics to capture the performance of your organic and paid search campaigns, so you can make informed strategic decisions that work.
  • Attribution Models: You’ll see firsthand how strong attribution models are crucial to understanding your customers’ journeys, allowing you to identify influential touchpoints and allocate budget effectively for maximum ROI.
  • Optimization Strategies: You’ve gathered data from your campaigns…now what? Take the data and leverage it to further optimize your paid and organic search campaigns, increasing conversions along the way.

Shaubhik Ray, Senior Director of Digital Analytics Solutions at iQuanti is an expert at crafting holistic search strategies to reach more of your ideal audiences at relevant stages in their journeys. Now, he’s ready to share his insights with you.

You’ll walk away equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to execute a combined organic and paid strategy that improves the performance of each channel.  You’ll gain data-driven insights on how to align a combined strategy with business goals and lead your organization to success.

Sign up now and prepare to maximize the potential of combining your organic and paid campaigns.

At the end of the presentation, you’ll get a chance to ask Shaubhik your burning questions in our live Q&A, so be sure to attend.

And if you can’t make it that day, register here and we’ll send you a recording following the webinar. 

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Screaming Frog SEO Spider Version 20.0: AI-Powered Features

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What’s New with Screaming Frog SEO Spider 20.0?

For SEO experts, our toolkit is crucial. It’s how we make sure we can quickly and effectively assess how well our websites are performing. Using the best tools can put you way ahead of other SEOs. One example (and one tool I’ve personally been using for years) is Screaming FrogIt’s a powerful, straightforward, and insightful website crawler tool that’s indispensable for finding technical issues on your website.

And the good news is that it keeps getting better. Screaming Frog just released its 20th major version of the software, which includes new features based on feedback from SEO professionals.

Here are the main updates:

  1. Custom JavaScript Snippets
  2. Mobile Usability
  3. N-Grams Analysis
  4. Aggregated Anchor Text
  5. Carbon Footprint & Rating

Custom JavaScript Snippets

One of the standout features in this release is the ability to execute custom JavaScript snippets during a crawl. This functionality expands the horizons for data manipulation and API communication, offering unprecedented flexibility.

Use Cases:

  • Data Extraction and Manipulation: Gather specific data points or modify the DOM to suit your needs.
  • API Communication: Integrate with APIs like OpenAI’s ChatGPT from within the SEO Spider.

Setting Up Custom JS Snippets:

  • Navigate to `Config > Custom > Custom JavaScript`.
  • Click ‘Add’ to create a new snippet or ‘Add from Library’ to select from preset snippets.

setting up custom JS snippets screamingfrog 20setting up custom JS snippets screamingfrog 20

  • Ensure JavaScript rendering mode is set via `Config > Spider > Rendering`.

Crawl with ChatGPT:

  • Leverage the `(ChatGPT) Template` snippet, add your OpenAI API key and tailor the prompt to your needs.
  • Follow our tutorial on ‘How To Crawl With ChatGPT’ for more detailed guidance.

Sharing Your Snippets:

  • Export/import snippet libraries as JSON files to share with colleagues.
  • Remember to remove sensitive data such as API keys before sharing.

Introducing Custom JavaScript Snippets to Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 significantly enhances the tool’s flexibility and power. Whether you’re generating dynamic content, interacting with external APIs, or conducting complex page manipulations, these snippets open a world of possibilities. 

Mobile Usability

In today’s mobile-first world, ensuring a seamless mobile user experience is imperative. Version 20.0 introduces extensive mobile usability audits through Lighthouse integration. 

With an ever-increasing number of users accessing websites via mobile devices, ensuring a seamless mobile experience is crucial. Google’s mobile-first indexing highlights the importance of mobile usability, which directly impacts your site’s rankings and user experience.

 Mobile Usability Features:

  • New Mobile Tab: This tab includes filters for regular mobile usability issues such as viewport settings, tap target sizes, content sizing, and more.
  • Granular Issue Details: Detailed data on mobile usability issues can be explored in the ‘Lighthouse Details’ tab.
  • Bulk Export Capability: Export comprehensive mobile usability reports via `Reports > Mobile`.

Setup:

  • Connect to the PSI API through `Config > API Access > PSI` or run Lighthouse locally.

Example Use Cases:

  • Identify pages where content does not fit within the viewport.
  • Flag and correct small tap targets and illegible font sizes.

mobile usability analysis on screamingfrog 20mobile usability analysis on screamingfrog 20

With these new features, Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 streamlines the process of auditing mobile usability, making it more efficient and comprehensive. By integrating with Google Lighthouse, both via the PSI API and local runs, the tool provides extensive insights into the mobile performance of your website. Addressing these issues not only enhances user experience but also improves your site’s SEO performance.

N-grams Analysis

N-grams analysis is a powerful new feature that allows users to analyze phrase frequency across web pages. This can greatly enhance on-page SEO efforts and internal linking strategies.

Setting Up N-grams:

  • Activate HTML storage by enabling ‘Store HTML’ or ‘Store Rendered HTML’ under `Config > Spider > Extraction`.
  • View the N-grams in the lower N-grams tab.

n-grams analysis on screamingfrog 20n-grams analysis on screamingfrog 20

Example Use Cases:

  • Improving Keyword Usage: Adjust content based on the frequency of targeted N-grams.
  • Optimizing Internal Links: Use N-grams to identify unlinked keywords and create new internal links.

Internal Linking Opportunities:

The N-grams feature provides a nuanced method for discovering internal linking opportunities, which can significantly enhance your SEO strategy and site navigation.

The introduction of N-grams analysis in Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20 provides a tool for deep content analysis and optimization. By understanding the frequency and distribution of phrases within your content, you can significantly improve your on-page SEO and internal linking strategies.

Aggregated Anchor Text

Effective anchor text management is essential for internal linking and overall SEO performance. The aggregated anchor text feature in version 20.0 provides clear insights into how anchor texts are used across your site.

Using Aggregated Anchor Text:

  • Navigate to the ‘Inlinks’ or ‘Outlinks’ tab.
  • Utilize the new ‘Anchors’ filters to see aggregated views of anchor text usage.

aggregated anchor text report on screamingfrog 20aggregated anchor text report on screamingfrog 20

Practical Benefits:

  • Anchor Text Diversity: Ensure a natural distribution of anchor texts to avoid over-optimization.
  • Descriptive Linking: Replace generic texts like “click here” with keyword-rich alternatives.

The aggregated anchor text feature provides powerful insights into your internal link structure and optimization opportunities. This feature is essential if you are looking to enhance your site’s internal linking strategy for better keyword relevance, user experience, and search engine performance.

Aligning with digital sustainability trends, Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 includes features to measure and optimize your website’s carbon footprint.

Key Features:

  • Automatic CO2 Calculation: The SEO Spider now calculates carbon emissions for each page using the CO2.js library.
  • Carbon Rating: Each URL receives a rating based on its emissions, derived from the Sustainable Web Design Model.
  • High Carbon Rating Identification: Pages with high emissions are flagged in the ‘Validation’ tab.

Practical Applications:

  • Resource Optimization: Identify and optimize high-emission resources.
  • Sustainable Practices: Implement changes such as compressing images, reducing script sizes, and using green hosting solutions.

The integration of carbon footprint calculations in Screaming Frog SEO Spider signifies a growing recognition of digital sustainability. As more businesses adopt these practices, we can collectively reduce the environmental impact of the web while driving performance and user satisfaction.

Other Updates

In addition to major features, version 20.0 includes numerous smaller updates and bug fixes that enhance functionality and user experience.

Rich Result Validation Enhancements:

  • Split Google Rich Result validation errors from Schema.org.
  • New filters and columns provide detailed insights into rich result triggers and errors.

Enhanced File Types and Filters:

  • Internal and external filters include new file types such as Media, Fonts, and XML.

Website Archiving:

  • A new option to archive entire websites during a crawl is available under `Config > Spider > Rendering > JS`.

Viewport and Screenshot Configuration:

  • Customize viewport and screenshot sizes to fit different audit needs.

API Auto Connect:

  • Automatically connect APIs on start, making the setup process more seamless.

Resource Over 15MB Filter:

  • A new validation filter flags resources over 15MB, which is crucial for performance optimization.

Page Text Export:

  • Export all visible page text through the new `Bulk Export > Web > All Page Text` option.

Lighthouse Details Tab:

  • The ‘PageSpeed Details’ tab has been renamed ‘Lighthouse Details’ to reflect its expanded role.

HTML Content Type Configuration:

  • An ‘Assume Pages are HTML’ option helps accurately classify pages without explicit content types.

Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements:

  • Numerous small updates and fixes enhance stability and reliability. 

Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 is a comprehensive update packed with innovative features and enhancements that cater to the evolving needs of SEO professionals like us. From advanced data extraction capabilities with Custom JavaScript Snippets to environmental sustainability with Carbon Footprint and Rating, this release sets a new benchmark in SEO auditing tools.

Key Takeaway

Add this to your toolbox, or update to version 20 to explore the rich array of new features from Screaming Frog to optimize your website’s SEO, usability, and sustainability. It’s a no-fuss tool with tons of features that will help you stay ahead of your competitors, and ensure your websites perform optimally in terms of user experience and search engine visibility.

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Google Simplifies Adding Shipping & Return Policies For Online Stores

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woman online shopper affixes a barcode sticker to a cardboard box, marking it for return and refund

Google introduces Search Console feature for online stores to easily manage shipping and return policies.

  • Google now allows online stores to manage shipping and return policies via Search Console.
  • This simplifies providing vital information to customers.
  • The feature can potentially boost sales for retailers.

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