Affiliate marketing is fast becoming a popular option for parents who want to achieve a happier balance between work and family life. So what’s it all about?
Everyone needs to adapt their lifestyle when they become parents. Some aspects are relatively easy to change. For example, no more term time holidays – you might do this begrudgingly but you can adapt.
A big challenge for many is adapting to the demands placed upon them when trying to balance a job and being a parent. Suddenly having to factor in childcare and it’s many challenges, having to unexpectedly take time off when your child is sick, and you can’t remember how many times you have said, ‘I can’t make the meeting if it’s after 5pm’… sorry!
Affiliate marketing is something that you can learn and earn money from. If you are open to learning new skills and willing to invest your time it can generate a very healthy full-time income. The beauty of it is that you can work flexibly, from anywhere at anytime. It gives you flexibility and control. Sounds good right?
But what is affiliate marketing?
In short, affiliate marketing is when one person markets someone else’s product and gains a commission when a sale is made. Commissions can range from 1% to as high as 75%.
I’ll give an example of how this works.
Imagine this. Sarah has developed this great product and she’s keen to start selling it.
How does she find customers? It doesn’t matter how good her product is, without customers it’s nothing.
She could set up a shop on her local high street. Great idea… in 1985! No, it’s 2015 and there is this thing called the internet. The potential reach customers on her high street is really limited, restricted to just people who happen to live nearby. The potential reach for customers on the internet knows no bounds… we’re talking billions.
Sarah needs no more convincing. After-all, having a physical shop is very costly too.
So she will sell on the internet. She gets a website set-up. But now for the big challenge. How to find the customers. She knows there are people out there who would want to buy her product, but how does she reach them and tell them about it?
She knows that she needs to advertise but doesn’t have the skills to do that. What’s more, she really doesn’t want to invest time and money in learning those skills, she wants to stick to what she is good at – developing and selling her product.
This is where affiliate marketing comes in.
Hannah is an affiliate marketer. She is an expert in the niche of Sarah’s product. She knows exactly how to bring people who want Sarah’s product to her. In exchange, Hannah gets a commission on the price of the product sold.
Everyone is a winner. The customer got a product they wanted. Sarah sold her product (hooray!). Hannah received commission for making the introduction (and didn’t have to fulfil the order, get involved in payment, shipping… all those hassles).
Okay, this is a really simple example. Merchants that offer affiliate programmes can vary greatly in terms of size, offerings, products etc. For example, Amazon is one of the largest and diverse affiliate programs.
Affiliate marketing is a low-cost way to raise awareness and showcase products. The difference between traditional marketing and affiliate marketing is that it’s win-win for the merchant, because they pay nothing for advertising until the affiliate brings to them a buyer.
Why does affiliate marketing appeal to mums?
Affiliate marketing is a great choice for mums because it’s a way to earn an income around balancing family commitments.
Working mums find it to be scalable to their needs and wants. For example, I know a stay-at-home-mum with two young children who built a really successful online business based on affiliate marketing from only working in the evenings – when all is quiet from the kids bedrooms!
Similarly, I know a mum who after a few months, was able to quit her full time professional job and earn significantly more, while working fewer hours, as an affiliate marketing entrepreneur.
I could go on with numerous examples and illustrations of how affiliate marketing works for busy mums but I won’t. You can work anywhere, at anytime, you are your own boss and it’s flexible – you get it, I know.
Interestingly, in the UK (according to the Office for National Statistics) 4.2m people were working from home in 2014, which is 13.9% of the working population. Similarly, Forbes magazine posted an article stating that 1 in 5 Americans work from home. Working from home is a growing and totally respectable way to earn a living. We largely have advancements in technology and the digital economy to thank for that!
How do people get started with affiliate marketing?
You may be wondering how to get started, and perhaps asking yourself what skills and experience you need. The answer is that you don’t need any prior skills or experience, because everything can be taught. Anyone who is open to learning and willing to put in some hard work can succeed.
I could launch into a long list of the steps, that if followed diligently, would stand you in good stead for success with affiliate marketing… but I won’t! That’s an entirely separate article which I will write very soon… Okay, I can’t help myself. Here is my brain dump list of getting started… choose a niche, find products, join an affiliate program, get a domain name & hosting, find a mentor, join a community, set up a free website/blog, add content, focus on providing value (value value value!), build relationships, gain followers, learn targeted advertising…
Personally I invested in training in online marketing, and the training company that I signed-up with, the Six Figure Mentors, also provided a one-stop-shop digital system in addition to the training (it includes lots of software that you need plus your hosting and website etc). This may not be for everyone, but for me, building my own affiliate marketing business has been a revelation. The digital system I used was a huge time saver, as I didn’t have to piece together what I needed to learn – and you don’t know what you don’t know! I wanted support and mentors. I also thought that if I want to get really good at something – which I did, I’m competitive by nature so not one for doing things by halves – then I needed to invest in my own learning. In the same way that I have friends doing Open University courses and MBAs, I studied internet marketing and it has opened a whole world of exciting possibilities that don’t leave me dependent on the corporate ladder!
I hope this has been useful to you and you now know a little more about what affiliate marketing is. If you are interested in learning more then please feel free to sign-up for my complimentary training series by visiting the Getting Started page on my website.