Affiliate Marketing is an excellent opportunity for artists to generate passive income while promoting products and services they genuinely endorse. By partnering with brands and earning commissions on sales made through their referral links, artists can monetize their influence and creativity. In this tutorial-style article, we will delve into how Affiliate Marketing works for beginners, what products or services they can advertise, best practices to follow, and how to approach Affiliate Marketing ethically. It's important to note that Affiliate Marketing is mutually beneficial, providing value to both parties artists, designers, crafters and their audience who is most probably thankful for a good recommendation.
Understanding the Basics of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy where artists, designers and illustrators (and anyone else) promotes products or services on behalf of a brand or company. If you join an affiliate program you receive a unique referral link with an ID generated just for you. Whenever someone makes a purchase through that link, you earn a commission. The key is to establish a genuine and authentic connection between the your content and the products you are promoting.
Choosing the Right Affiliate Programs and Products
When selecting affiliate programs and products to promote, you should, no matter if you are an artist, designer or illustrator, focus on those products that align with your niche and cater to your audience's interests. It's essential to choose reputable brands with quality products or services that artists can confidently endorse. For the beginning I highly recommend the Amazon Associates program. It is easy to handle and you have millions of products to promote. So in my eyes chances are great that you already own products from Amazon which also relate to your business and you can talk about.
Let me give you a quick example: If you work as an illustrator and you love to sketch your drawings with the Faber Castel Pencil Set* you can wholeheartedly recommend this to your family, friends and fans, can't you? You made and still make good experiences with it, you use it every day and you know it has a good quality. As long as you do not just recommend any product but just those you use I believe that there is nothing wrong with Affiliate Marketing - especially not because your friends and fans have no disadvantage because your recommendation has no costs for them.
Promoting Relevant Products and Services
To effectively engage your audience and drive sales, it's crucial to promote products or services that are relevant to your artistic niche. For example, if you're a painter, you could recommend high-quality art supplies, easels, or instructional books. If you're a photographer, you might endorse cameras, lenses, or editing software. The key is to choose products that genuinely enhance your audience's artistic experience as well as things you know, like and trust.
Just adding any kind of products to your website - just because or just because they promise you a high commission - is never a good thing. If nothing else it makes you look inauthentic.
Best Practices for Successful Affiliate Marketing
If you ask yourself if you can make a living just from Affiliate Marketing alone - the answer is: yes! You can but as with so many things online it depends on the amount of affiliate links you have set. If you have three videos and each of them has five affiliate links on YouTube chances are that you do not earn a lot of commission. But let's do the math:
Let's assume you are not yet monetised on YouTube and you are getting maybe 100 views in a week on your three videos. With a conversion rate of 1-2% you might get 1-2 sales per week. If you are not selling cameras this might be not enough to buy yourself a coffee!
So you see it totally depends on (a) what you sell (you get more commission for cameras than on pencils!) and (b) on the amount of blog articles, videos and links you have.
Having that in mind you should follow these rules as well:
Tutorial for Affiliate Marketing Beginners
If this is the first time you ever heard about Affiliate Marketing chances are that you feel overwhelmed especially because you don't know where to start.
If so, no worries - that's how I felt as well. So here is a quick tutorial to help you get started:
My recommendation is to start with an Affiliate Program that is well-known and trusted - just like Amazon. Yes, the commissions are not that high in many categories but they have countless products you can promote and they are reliable. Maybe start by getting your feet wet and then a bit later switch to more profitable programs. So register here. They'll ask you for a website but if you add a domain from WordPress.org or Blogger.com (you need to register on both of course and choose a name) you are good to go.
Once you are approved you can log into your Amazon Account and most probably you have the SiteStripe on top which looks like this:
Copy the yellow underlined link - that's your Affiliate Link and that link can make you money wherever you post it! To give you an idea: My Affiliate Link for the following book is: https://amzn.to/45Rg4u3*
This link recommends one of my favorite books, "How to Sell your Art Online*", written by Cory Huff. Now does spreading the Affiliate Link much more sense if I tell people why I like the book and what it can do for them (and what it actually did for me), right? That's why just copying your Affiliate Link and posting it somewhere (aka in this text now) doesn't make much sense. You need to give value in form of a video, text, audio - whatever you like to produce.
Of course this is just a short tutorial - there is so much more you can say about Affiliate Marketing and there are many websites which do. Here you should just get a short impression that Affiliate Marketing is one way you can make money as an artist. And, in case you produce enough content and add enough Affiliate Links it is really not the worst one.
What you need to keep in mind as an Affiliate Marketer for Amazon
When promoting someone's products after all you produce a piece of content on their behalf on your blog and, in best case, a great one that makes you money for years to come. Just always check the amount of commission you can make.
To stick to our example: Right now (talking about June 2023) Amazon pays for a book sale 4.5% commission. The book mentioned here costs as a paperback 8.25$ so the commission will be about 40 Cents for each sale. Is that worth to create a piece of content? Most probably not. But: When someone purchases the book and adds the Faber Castel Pencils as well as an easel it gets much more interesting. Because: Even if you have not linked directly to the other products you still get a commission.
So the commission you earn is always based on the shopping cart the customer has rather than the product you sell.
More often than not the customer has more than one (the recommended) product in her shopping card and that is where the magic of Amazon Affiliate Marketing happens. That and the fact that you create your piece of content once but profit from it for a loooong time to come!
Benefits for Artists and Their Audience
As seen above, done correctly, Affiliate marketing benefits both artists and their audience. Here are the benefits:
- Artists earn passive income from their recommendations without creating their own products.
- Audiences discover new, valuable products or services that enhance their artistic journey.
- Artists can negotiate exclusive discounts or offers for their audience, providing added value.
- Artists can use affiliate marketing as a means to fund their artistic endeavors, invest in equipment, or pursue personal projects.
Affiliate Narketing offers artists a powerful way to monetize their influence, while simultaneously benefiting their audience by recommending valuable products and services. By selecting the right affiliate programs, promoting relevant products, following best practices, and maintaining ethical standards, artists can create a sustainable passive income stream while nurturing their artistic community. Remember, authenticity and transparency are key to building trust and ensuring a mutually beneficial relationship with your audience through Affiliate Marketing.
Passive Income Streams for Artists
How Creatives can make a sustainable Income in
a Panic Proof Business
Learn about six different income streams creatives can use to build their business and which are suitable for your needs!