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Have you seen people you follow recommend products on their website or social media? Chances are, they’re using affiliate programs. Whether it’s selling tea on Instagram, or recommending a book on Amazon, there are thousands of affiliate programs that let you recommend their products to make a commission.

Here’s how to get started with the basics:

Choose the right program:
The most important thing when choosing to be an affiliate is to choose the right affiliate program for you. First and foremost, is this a product you can passionately recommend to your fans? It helps if you use the product or company regularly so you can speak truthfully about. Your fans will be able to tell if you’re just trying to make a buck off them, it’s more genuine if you believe in the product.

Choose the right commission:
Once you’ve found a program you believe in, make sure the commission is right. If you’re putting your time and effort into this, you want to be sure that you’re getting paid well for it. If you’re using a program like Amazon’s, you’ll need to make sure you have a large quantity of visitors to your site that will click through, because oftentimes you’ll make less than $1 on each sale. This is great for high-traffic blogs recommending a single product straight to Amazon. Those sales add up and can make you a lot of money over a few months.

If you’re looking for something that’s more bang for your buck, find an affiliate program that pays higher commissions, or a program that charges a monthly fee, and will pay you a commission for each month a user stays on with them. A lot of software companies have affiliate programs set up where you get paid the first 2 months a user stays with them, and some of them even last up to a year. They often have higher commission percentages as well because they’re usually higher ticketed products.

Choose to subtle sale:
If you’ve decided on the affiliate program you’re going to represent, it’s time to start selling.

Follow these steps to make the most out of your sales:

Make sure you’re using your unique affiliate link:
You’ll be given a unique link to use for each recommendation you make. Make sure any copy and any assets you publish are connected to that link so the sale is attributed to you.

Use the copy and assets provided:
A lot of affiliate programs will give you pre-written copy and assets (pictures for Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Banners, etc.) that you can just copy + paste into your own website and social media. This is not only the fastest way to create your links, but it’s a surefire way to do things correctly. These companies have spent a lot of time marketing their products, so they usually know the best way to represent themselves.

Get Creative…
Of course, no affiliate program is successful without a little creativity. Go above and beyond the typical recommendations if you really want to see those commissions flow in. Put your own spin on an email to your followers, post a silly Instagram photo. You may have an outline of what to follow, but feel free to get a little creative and unique to be more genuine.

…But don’t be annoying
As we always say, genuine sells. Your followers do not want to be sold to day in and day out. Treat this program like you’re recommending the product to your best friend. Tell your followers why you love the product, and whole-heartedly recommend it because you truly believe in it. Being salesy and gimmicky is just going to make people less inclined to buy.

Track Everything:
Most affiliate programs have a dashboard where you’re able to track all of your clicks and sales. You’ll be even more successful if you spend some time keeping track of where your sales are coming from. You may find that a banner outperforms a blog post, or an Instagram post made way more sales than a Facebook post. Find out what works and focus on that. Keep creating, posting, and selling to continue your sales.

Get Paid:

And here we arrive at the most important part: getting paid. Make sure you understand the terms of payment so you’re not surprised when it takes a while to get to you. A lot of companies only pay out once a month, or only after they get paid first. Be patient, but keep track of your sales in your dashboard so you know what to expect. Most affiliate programs use paypal, so we recommend setting up a paypal account first.

Also, keep in mind that this income will fluctuate regularly. Don’t rely on it as a single source of income, but keep it as a way to add to your Tahiti vacation fund, or fun date night plans. Affiliate programs are an excellent source of additional income, so sign up and enjoy the extra cash!

Speaking of affiliate programs, Selz has a pretty sweet affiliate program that is available to everyone. It offers industry-leading rates of 200% commission just for recommending Selz to your followers. Sign up for the Selz affiliate program here, and follow the tips above to get started.

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About the author

Molly Corless

Molly has been marketing for small startups for over 5 years. From marketing automation to Facebook ads to copywriting, Molly has figured out the key to growing a business from the ground up. She lives in rainy Portland, Oregon with her dog named Hamms.