How Affiliate Marketing is the New Hotness in 2021. If you’re like me, when you join affiliate programs, your primary goal is to make commissions by recommending products so that you wake up in the morning and you see an alert like the one below.
That’s the dream, right?
Make money while you sleep.
For 99% of people, affiliate marketing is how they get started.
The idea behind it is that you promote other people’s products, often through an affiliate network, earning a commission if people actually end up buying thanks to your marketing.
HOW GOOD WOULD LIFE BE?
You get out of bed and see that you have $1,155.40 in your bank account from one affiliate sale – just because you’re good at generating traffic.
If you want to take part in this market projected to hit $7.9 billion by 2021, keep reading.
This list includes affiliate programs to join in standard categories like web hosting, website builders, travel, finance, fashion, beauty, and fitness.
Additionally, it includes emerging verticals like sports, dating, health, music, video games, crypto currency.
High Paying Affiliate Programs
My recommendation is to set up a site with Bluehost for just $2.95/month. You can also check out Qsever hosting, their service is cheap for startup for as low as
Before we get started, please note that many of the links in this article are affiliate links.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What are affiliate Programs?
- How Do I Join Affiliate Programs?
- What Are the Requirements to Join Affiliate Programs?
- What Do You Look for in High Paying Affiliate Programs in 2021?
- The pros and cons of affiliate marketing
- Choosing the most profitable product to promote
- Criteria to Choose a Product
- The best affiliate marketing trend for 2021
What Are Affiliate Programs?
Affiliate marketing according to Wikipedia is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
An affiliate is quite similar to an online sales agent. The duty of an affiliate is to promote and sell products from vendors. Affiliates get paid in commissions from each of the sale made. It’s a low-cost business that could bring big profit when done the right way.
One of the many wonders of the Internet business is that it allows everyone to have the same opportunity to succeed. Affiliate marketing is one of those businesses. What sets a successful online entrepreneur apart from the rest is creativity and skills. For a better understanding of this business read this article, This article will teach you how to achieve success.
The best definition of what affiliate marketing is can be found on Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income:
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.
A shopper/reader clicks on a product link on your website.
2. They land on the merchant’s website.
3. He/she purchases the product.
4. You earn a portion of that sale.
You must be thinking: “How do companies know if the sale is coming from my link or from someone else’s link?
From A tracking link (a.k.a affiliate link)
Don’t get confused with the jargon just yet. ” Tracking Link” is pretty simple.
What is a Tracking Link?
A tracking link is a unique link given to only you by the affiliate company or the product company. This unique tracking link is used to keep track of all the traffic you are sending (and sales you are making) via your website or other promotion channel.
A tracking link is like any other URL, but contains a unique string/parameter for your profile. When you join an affiliate program, you will get your tracking link from the affiliate dashboard.
Here are some examples of such tracking links:
HOW DO I JOIN AFFILIATE PROGRAMS?
There are primarily two types of affiliate programs:
1. Self-hosted affiliate programs,
2. An affiliate network.
First, self-hosted programs run on the company’s website with affiliate software tools. You join these by searching for “Brand + Affiliate Program,” finding their program page, and filling out a form to apply.
On the other hand, an affiliate program can live inside affiliate networks – a collection of affiliate programs in one secure place. These networks let you join new programs in different verticals, view reporting, see your commissions, and grab your affiliate links to add to your site.
With either approach, there are either automatic approvals or manual approvals. Some programs accept anyone; some automatically add you if you hit specific benchmarks. Many programs require an Affiliate Manager to review your application manually.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN AFFILIATE PROGRAMS?
To join affiliate programs, you need a website and a way to receive money – either a PayPal or a bank account. Though many of the affiliate’s programs do not require a website. Although you can participate without a website by adding links on social media, this works best for high-end social media influencers, and I always recommend having a website.
I recommend you have a well-designed website with an SSL certificate installed for HTTPS. You should own a business email address connected to your domain, and have a PayPal account set up. Click here to get started
This is what you can do on your own if you watch this video series
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN HIGH PAYING AFFILIATE PROGRAMS IN 2021?
The first two things to look for are commission rates and average order value (AOV). Remember, high rates x high average order value = more affiliate revenue. Next, look at the cookie duration and potential earnings per click (EPC).
Here are four things to look for in the best high paying programs:
1. COMMISSION RATE.
The percentage of a sale that’s funded by an advertiser to an affiliate for referring a new customer. This percentage can range from the low single digits up to 50% or higher.
2. AVERAGE ORDER VALUE (AOV).
The average dollar amount spent every time a customer completes an order. To calculate AOV, divide your total revenue by the number of orders.
3. EARNINGS PER CLICK (EPC).
The income an affiliate earns for each click to an advertiser’s website from an affiliate link. This definition is a little misleading as the true definition of EPC calculates the amount per 100 clicks.
4. COOKIE DURATION.
A cookie is a value stored on an end user’s computer and is used to track affiliate sales. The duration is the length of time the cookie stays on the computer after clicking an affiliate link. For example, with a 30-day cookie duration, this means that if a user clicks an affiliate link and makes a purchase within 30 days, the affiliate receives credit for the sale.
There’s no point in making a 5% commission on a $10 pair of socks. That’s only $0.50.
Alternatively, it would be much better to earn an 8% commission on a $1,200 treadmill and make $96. Since your affiliate website can only generate so much traffic every month, you should promote affiliate products that provide an EPC.
Finally, the last metric to look for is a lengthy cookie duration. Standard cookie durations are typically 30 days. You can find programs as low as seven days and as high as 90+ days. Longer cookie durations are a standard feature of programs I recommend.
Remember, you want high payouts, high AOV, and long cookie durations.
Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing
For those who are still skeptical on affiliate marketing whether it’s still significant and in demand or not, the answer is yes.
It has gone through a lot of changes the past few years, and it has gone through ups and downs. Some methods and some websites are now obsolete, consumed by time. Essentially, it has evolved. It will continue to evolve and it will continue to be significant. It has proven itself to be a big part of online marketing’s advancement.
Let’s address those doubts that a newbie might still have for affiliate business here. Affiliate marketing is proven to be beneficial for all sides of all transactions. Here are the pros and cons, for your consideration.
There are many ways for you to join an affiliate program. In this article, I will discuss the two most popular & effective ways to join affiliate programs.
1. Joining an affiliate marketplace
2. Joining a direct affiliate program
a. (Tricks on finding such programs in a later chapter)
Websites that sell products online, such as Amazon, Shopify, GoPro, or any online service, usually offer an affiliate program. When you sign up for their affiliate program (free), you gain access to their affiliate dashboard & there you can find your unique tracking link.
In a later section of this article, I will share tricks to discover affiliate programs in every niche.
For the Product Vendor
If you look at affiliate marketing from the product vendor’s point of view, you’d see that affiliate marketing is one fine deal. A vendor doesn’t have to pay any fees upfront for the affiliates to start promoting their product and also, the affiliates are paid based on their performance.
So, a vendor doesn’t have to worry about loss investment because if the affiliate doesn’t perform, the vendor doesn’t have to pay. As mentioned, the affiliate business is commission-based.
And for little risk and almost no expenditure, the affiliates are sent out to promote the product. They work very hard at it, too, for their own benefits.
For The Customer
The customer will get, through an affiliate, a product that they’ve been searching for. Remember, an affiliate will go out of his way to sell a product, so they would usually provide details on a product for the customer’s benefits. What successful affiliates usually do is they provide a product review on their own website to be read by the customers. Here, all the functions, features, and also weaknesses of the products are addressed. This, of course, makes it easier for the customer to know whether this particular product is for them or not.
Some affiliates also provide bonuses for the customer to purchase through them.
These bonuses are not an intrinsic part of an affiliate business but those affiliates who want to make big sales, would do this. And, again, the customers get benefits from this.
For The Affiliate
What the affiliate gains from this business is, as mentioned, extra income for doing something easy. And if it were done right, affiliates would gain a lot more than just ‘extra income’. They could run a profitable business by being an affiliate.
If the affiliate truly is serious about the online business and they dedicate themselves to it, they could learn to maybe one day become product vendors themselves. This is up to them, of course. They could just remain an affiliate and just grow their own reach if they choose to.
For The Product Vendor
Some affiliates, driven solely by making sales, would use false advertising to sell their products. They would sell the product more than what it actually is or maybe they promise things that the product can’t deliver.
This is something that the vendor doesn’t have full control of especially for products or promotions where a large number of affiliates are involved. They can monitor the advertising habits of the affiliates but not all, unfortunately, as that would require a large amount of energy.
When a customer is not happy with the product that doesn’t deliver what it is falsely promised, they would ask for refunds. Having a lot of refunds will truly hurt the business.
The damage done by false advertising is much more menacing than just giving refunds. The credibility of the vendor will be impaired. Their name will be tainted and they’ll be seen as swindlers.
For The Affiliate
The swindling game can go both ways. If an unfortunate affiliate were to take part in a program with a dishonest vendor, they will suffer losses.
These vendors would usually start an affiliate program and send out affiliates to make promotions and sales. Then, after all is done, they close down their business leaving the affiliates with no commission for all the sales that were made.
It’s hard to identify these dishonest vendors. It would require experience to know them. This business must be done with attentiveness and cautiousness to avoid this kind of vendors.
For example, many of them offer a 60-day cookie period. That means if a visitor uses your affiliate link to land on a company’s page and they don’t buy anything immediately, they can buy the product within the next 60 days (on the same device) and you will still earn the affiliate commission.
You can read the technical description of cookies here at Wikipedia.
Another interesting thing to know:
You will get paid for other product purchases.
For example, if your reader goes to Amazon.com using your affiliate link & he/she purchases another product which you haven’t recommended, you will still get the same commission out of that sale.
This is yet another reason that affiliate marketing is so lucrative.
Pro Tip: Most companies require you to have a blog or a website for becoming their affiliate partner. This helps them to get serious people, and helps you because having your own blog/website is one of the best ways to make an affiliate sale.
There are pros and cons in everything. And there will be dishonest people who take advantages of a lucrative and significant business such as the affiliate business.
These are the challenges that we must face (or avoid, in the case of swindlers) to achieve success. Even though it’s a great way to gain extra income, it still is hazardous. But for the potential of this particular business, all the efforts are going to be worth it.
Choosing the Most Profitable Product to Promote
As an affiliate, there are two ways of working:
1) You can take everything you can get your hands on and work really hard, or
2) You can choose the best products that bring in the big profits.
Of course, it’s always great to be a prolific affiliate with achievements and work rate that trumps others. But, do all products really worth your time and effort?
A novice affiliate would always participate in every affiliate program they can.
This is because a novice is always hungry. However, how long can you work that way? One day, you’ll be exhausted and your subscribers, too, will be exhausted.
So, the best way to overcome this exhaustion while still earning high commissions are by choosing the best products. In this context, the best products are the ones that can ensure you, as an affiliate, high earnings.
There are a few aspects to look at before deciding on a product to promote. A product has to fulfill some criteria for it to be considered a good product for you.
It’s not going to be difficult, though, to determine how good the product is.
Now, you might think that by doing this, you’ll be limiting your choices therefore, limiting your earnings as an affiliate because of cherry picking. In actuality, you don’t really lose much but have a lot more to gain.
This is because every day, there is a new product being launched. You will never run out of products to promote so you don’t have to worry about losing anything if you cherry-pick. If an opportunity (i.e. bestselling product) is missed, you can always move on and find the next one.
However, commissions and earnings shouldn’t be taken lightly. You have to make sure that you get the best product for you to promote. So, what are the criteria for a good product to promote?
Criteria to Choose a Product
Commission Must Be High
When choosing a product, make sure that the commission rate provided is not lower than 50% if it were not a high-ticket sale.
The usual commission rate for a low-ticket product is 50% or above. It can even go up to 100%. Yes, the affiliate can keep all of the money made from the sale of the product.
However, when it comes to high-ticket products, the commission can be less than 50%. For example, the commission for a $997 product would give $197 commission. But since it is high-priced, despite having a lower percentage for commission, it is still high in value.
Selling high-ticket products is a bit more challenging than low-ticket. The Conversion rate is much lower. To take on the high-ticket challenges, you must first build your list and credentials.
Here’s a comparison of selling high ticket and low-ticket product:
Low ticket product – your sales can easily go up to 500 or more with $37
Product, you’ve made $18,500 or more with this.
High ticket product – it is harder to sell high priced product, if you can only make 10 copies of sales, you earn only $9,970.
This is the difference between choosing a low tick or high-ticket product.
There are many affiliate programs you can choose to do. You can sell and promote appliances, books, clothes, and many other things online. However, the best products, the ones that sell really well, are digital products.
Physical products not only don’t sell as well as digital products, but they also provide low commission rates. To generate enough money from selling physical products commissions would require massive conversion rates.
- Digital products include:
- Video Tutorials
New digital products are launched every day so and their sales could go up to thousands after launched. There’s no need to worry about running out of products to promote.
Physical products also would make delivery more difficult. If you were an affiliate who connected a buyer to a vendor and they’re both from different countries, they might encounter problems with the shipment. And if the customer requests for a refund, there goes your commission.
Selling digital products will have instances where the customer requests for a refund, too, but it’s a very rare occurrence.
In addition, digital products require only few simple steps to download the file in PDF file, almost in no time you can start enjoying the product; in contrast, a physical book requires shipment that could take up to months.
Also, with digital products, you will not encounter problems with shipment. One less thing to worry about!
Quality of the Product
First of all, you would need to know about the quality of the product. You have to make sure that it is a product, to you, worth buying, and then will you be able to know that is a product worth selling.
You do not want to sell shoddy products as it will not only flop, but also affect your credibility as an affiliate. You might lose the confidence of your subscribers. That is not something desirable as your email list and subscribers are a vital part of your business.
Avoid upsetting them at all costs as they can unsubscribe you easier than subscribing you.
Tip: If you are not so keen on buying the product, you need to do some research on the review’s articles from other users on the product you’ve chosen.
Or you can look at the rating and comments from the other users on the product.
It is very common for users to provide feedback after the application of the product. Look at those with at least a 4- of 5-stars rating. If it is within your niche, you are good to go. you can read it here in detail.
Naturally, for those looking to get their answer here and now, here’s the gist of our findings on the best affiliate verticals that will surely help your business grow in 2021.
Affiliate marketing for the 2021 season
First, come the all-times classics of affiliate marketing, a.k.a. ever-green verticals. These are the universal advertising angles that are always in demand, all year round. What’s especially interesting, but even more useful, is that we can adjust them for any occasion you’d like to match your marketing angle with.
In short, be it new year’s resolutions, Valentine’s Day, summertime, or holiday shopping craze — these niches will make money while you sleep. Naturally, right after you set proper campaigns, do your testing, optimization, and proper creative rotation.
The point being, with all the hard work that affiliate marketing campaigns entail, investing your time and money into these sectors is both a stable and profitable investment.
✔︎ Surveys & Sweepstakes
✔︎ Gambling (also Casino and Sports Betting)
✔︎ Dating (mainstream and adult)
✔︎ Finance (including Trading, Binary, and Crypto)
✔︎ Health & Beauty
✔︎ Nutra & Weight Loss
Naturally, we’re all waiting for the big comeback of the travel niche in 2021 but this still has to be confirmed by external factors such as travel and airline regulations in different countries.
COVID-19 prompted verticals
The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has surely exerted a huge impact on the way digital advertising operates these days — the affiliate sector included. Luckily for affiliates of all kinds, the positive results outweigh the negative consequences. Given that the global lockdown forced millions of people to move their daily lives into the online sphere, affiliate marketers were able to benefit from the change in many different ways.
Here are some of the affiliate marketing verticals that experienced a surge in traffic and interest due to the coronavirus lockdown.
1. Make money online niches:
- Gambling (online casino, online poker, and roulette)
- Sports Betting (kick-off expected as soon as the season starts)
- Crypto Offers
2. Home entertainment verticals:
- iGaming (also eSports)
- Online dating
- Adult niche (Valentine’s Day is coming!)
- Streaming (VOD, eGaming, eSports, adult)
- Hobbies & Education
- Home entertainment
- Home appliances
3. Work-from-home verticals:
- Utilities & VPN
- App Downloads
- Hobbies & Education
- Online courses
- Food and grocery delivery
- E-commerce (still awaiting the travel part)
Given that the virus won’t go away the moment we flip that calendar page to 2021, these advertising angles will most likely continue to perform well in the upcoming year, too.
Hot digital trends for affiliate marketers in 2021
The affiliate marketing industry is naturally a part of an even bigger eco-system — the digital marketing one. And as with every subcategory, it draws from its bigger counterparts. That’s why, when looking into what’s going to work for affiliates, it’s also worth investing in what’s going to work for digital marketers of all kinds.
- Driving user-engagement
- Greater campaign sustainability
- Surviving market volatility
- Fitting seasonal and viral trends
- Data-driven decision making
- Campaign optimization
- Marketing automation
Now, these trends alone do not give you actionable insights that can help you grow your affiliate business. That’s why below you’ll find answers to how to adapt some of the top digital advertising trends to your affiliate marketing campaigns in the upcoming year.
Driving user-engagement for your affiliate campaigns
First, we need to think of user-engagement techniques used by affiliate marketers. These aren’t new, yet the need for capturing user-attention is greater than ever. With the abundance of marketing information coming at us from all angles, the attention span of an average internet user is now below 8 seconds and still decreasing.
That’s why making the right first impression, and making it quick, is probably the most important task for the affiliate advertising in 2021.
Fear not, though, as there’s plenty of tried and tested techniques successful affiliates use every day to drive greater user engagement towards the promoted products.
Landing page and website design trends for 2021
- Good quality and credible looking landing pages.
- Fast loading and page speed optimized landers.
- Avoiding ripping your landers straight from spy tools.
- Using varied website designs instead of the same landers all the time.
- Adjusting your landing pages per occasion, mood, target audience, country, language or even the colors of promoted products to ensure seamless user experience flow.
- Improving the UX of your website’s layout.
- Placing clear messages and visible Call To Actions.
- Making your message clear and helping users make their customer journey simpler, faster, better.
Quite often, though, before users are directed to your landers, they get to see some ad creatives. If, for example, push ad notifications are the first point of contact for consumers and products you promote, these small ad-images might be the break-or-make element, in fact.
That’s why a similar set of rules applies to all ad creatives, whether you run push, in-page push, native or banner ads.
Ad creatives trends for affiliate marketers in 2021
- Use power words to instantly capture user attention, e.g. creating a sense of urgency or triggering emotion.
- Go with icons imitating unread messages to better engage users.
- Test and rotate creatives to find the best-performing ones.
- Use icons or simple images rather than cluttered graphics for better conversion rates (especially with smaller graphics, like push ad creatives).
- Add images of people rather than cartoon-like visuals for a more relatable feel.
- Segment your creatives per those targeted at men vs. women.
- Always adjust the theme per seasonal trend, e.g. the Holiday Season, Valentine’s Day.
- Use spy tools for research purposes instead of ripping content.
Naturally, try to combine all the elements into your campaign funnel and test different variations to identify the best-performing trends. While doing so, remember to check on the latest trends and viral content to tap into consumer demand exactly at the right time with the right tools.
Affiliate marketing automation — make money while you sleep in 2021
As in every sphere of life, there comes a time when faster, better and cheaper solutions come into play. But in the case of affiliate marketing automation tools, it’s not only about that. These AI-powered tools are what can truly save you both time and money, not to mention the energy when working on optimizing your affiliate campaigns. If you’re wondering whether affiliate marketing automation is the next big thing of 2021, then…
… duh, sure it is. Have you been hiding under a rock?
Things work pretty simple for affiliate marketers — the more campaigns you run, and the more profitable they are, the more money you make. But what if I can’t run any more campaigns? Or I can’t get my campaigns profitable? Well, that’s when things aren’t that simple anymore.
A number of affiliate campaigns, various ad exchanges and platforms, traffic spikes, traffic volatility, global pandemic, and only 24h in a day — how is one able to combine all these? Well, that’s what the auto-optimization tools are all about.
What we believe can truly help affiliate marketers sleep well at night, without worrying about losing money or losing money-making opportunities, is making the most of the affiliate marketing automation solutions. Are you currently using any?
Examples of affiliate marketing automation tools:
- Rule-Based Optimization
- Traffic source notifications
- Conversion capping
- Budget capping
That’s why using the already available automation tools, as well as staying vigilant to anything new that might pop up on the market is essential to the success of your campaigns. 2021 might be big for automation and innovation so stay focused.
Finally, there’s a pandemic that nobody quite expected to happen in 2020. And as much as we’d love it to just magically vapor into the air (no sneezing, though), it’s not going anywhere just yet. And it’s definitely not going to just disappear once the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Yes, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the marketing world are going to be a continuing trend in 2021. What this trend entails is:
- the continued growth of certain advertising angles,
- the downright fall of other verticals,
- increased interest in affiliate marketing as a work-from-home model,
- and make money online kind of thing,
- market volatility,
- offer and inventory shortages for the most impacted sectors,
- bans and limitations on travel and shipping,
- increased demand in WFH, home entertainment, and online education products,
- increased demand for online dating and adult content,
- increased demand for online casino and gambling advertising,
- a shift in sports events and thus online sports betting season,
- a shift in consumer behavior and shopping trends for billions of people who’ve moved their shopping, work, school, entertainment, and relationships online.
Yet, there’s one thing to be sure of. Just as the 2020 marketing season caught us all off-guard, the same thing may happen in 2021 if we don’t pay enough attention. Attention to what trends are coming back, which are losing in popularity, what’s going viral, what’s selling like crazy, what’s losing us money, and what changes we should quickly adapt for. Get a copy of this book and get started with your affiliate program
Affiliate marketing has proven to be a lucrative way to build profits for both publishers and brands. After understanding the definition and the structure of an affiliate program as well as prominent trends this year, we hope that you can implement your own program successfully.
For all those wondering if affiliate marketing is still worth it in 2021 or if Affiliate Marketing is still the New Hotness, fear not.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerome Udoh is an award-winning information entrepreneur with strong 7-figure online businesses. He has a passion for helping people who are searching for relevant information from the web to solve their day-to-day problems. Remember; knowledge is power. He also likes to write about things in general in his country and all over the world. From money-making ideas to the Latest news and technology. His passion for blogging is strictly inspired by things that he loves to talk about.
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