The internet offers many opportunities to make money online, and one of those is through affiliate marketing.
In the simplest terms, affiliate marketing involves selling other people's products or services through your website or social media platforms. Then, you receive referral fees as a commission.
An affiliate business isn't a “set and forget” business model as some would like you to believe. While it can be lucrative, it takes time and effort to grow it to become a successful business. Fortunately, you can save a ton of time and boost your affiliate marketing business profits by outsourcing a lot of the necessary work.
What is the Potential With an Affiliate Marketing Business?
The affiliate marketing sector has continued to steadily grow with new opportunities each year. Site owners can forgo some of their own advertising expenses by having affiliates do that heavy lifting in exchange for a referral fee.
The Rakuten Affiliate Network released a study finding that this will be an industry worth $6.8 billion by 2020. VigLink also released a survey revealing that 9% of affiliate marketers earned over $50,000 per year in income. With a steady stream of traffic, your website can make this much or more.
Some Areas of Your Business that You Can Outsource
If you're working 12 or more hours a day on your affiliate marketing business, this is a tough pace to maintain. Even if the business is producing results, you'll never be able to scale it because there's only one of you. It's time to figure out which tasks you can get others to do while you focus on your core business.
While this is an excellent list of tasks to get you started with outsourcing in affiliate marketing, it's better to have a benchmark for these jobs before you hand them off to someone else. In other words, if you don't know anything about programming, content creation, or data mining, there's a good chance that someone will take advantage of you through long turnaround times, poor workmanship, or inflated prices.
When you start your affiliate marketing business, learn how to do some of these tasks first, at least in their most basic form. Then, you'll be in a better position to hire the most skilled and honest contractors to do this work for you. Fortunately, you can also use freelancing sites such as Fiverr to choose top talent.
As your online affiliate marketing business grows, here are some of the top tasks you can outsource:
Having some basic coding skills will benefit you as an affiliate marketer, but it won't be worth your time and effort to program your own websites and landing pages. While many online marketers use WordPress, you'll probably want to go beyond a cookie-cutter solution.
Outsourcing your web development work is one of the top ways to save time as an affiliate marketer. Hire a professional programmer or designer to build your websites and customize landing pages and upload them to the web on your hosting account.
2. Graphic Designers
Again, you're probably going to want to learn some design basics, such as how to use Photoshop, but this isn't something you want to dedicate your days to doing when you could be focusing on something more profitable.
You can provide a graphic design freelancer with examples of the banner ads and landing pages that you like, and then give them specific instructions for your deliverables.
Other graphics that they can create include infographics for content marketing and social media sites. Creating these yourself would be incredibly time-consuming and costly.
Speaking of time-consuming and costly, if you've ever tried to write your own quality content or copy, you know that this isn't a simple task. In fact, a majority of your outsourcing will probably be for writing projects.
You'll want to find some online sources to get regular unique, engage, quality content written for your website and other online platforms. This includes your landing page copy, blog posts, e-books, press releases, and social media posts.
4. Data Miners
Pulling together data and other research online isn't difficult, but it can sure take a ton of time. This is something you can and should outsource to a freelancer.
This can range from keyword, market, and competitor research to something more specific.
As an example, we outsourced the research involved in determining “How Much Does Website Hosting Cost?” Instead of looking up everything ourselves, we hired a VA to collect and compile this data.
5. Content Translation
Many affiliates run foreign affiliate marketing campaigns. Now everyone knows multiple foreign languages, and using Google Translate isn't going to be sufficient for this.
6. Video Production
Video has become an increasingly popular way to get your message across online, but producing effective content isn't simple. You might make a video, but there's much more involved, and you should hire an expert.
Hiring a video freelancer will help put your video together with production software, add any voiceovers that you want, and include transitions, effects, intros, and outros. You can find these folks on the major freelancing websites.
7. Social Media Admins
Managing your own social media accounts can become tedious, but someone has to do it. If you still want to do some of the work yourself, you can use a tool like HootSuite or SocialOomph, but these don't provide you with human help.
Otherwise, look for a freelance social media manager to assist with social media management.
8. Virtual Assistants
A virtual assistant is exactly what it sounds like. This is an online freelancer that will perform a variety of tasks for your affiliate marketing business, generally paid by the hour. Depending on the skill set required, the cost to hire a VA is usually between $10 to $15 per hour.
Most VAs will list out their qualifications, which might include researching, uploading to FTP, billing clients, email marketing, basic graphic design, etc. You can also train many to do additional tasks.
The Benefits of Outsourcing for Your Online Business
To some business owners, “outsourcing” is a dirty word, but it shouldn't be. There is a misconception that to outsource something means that you're going to settle for poor quality, which isn't the case.
We did a survey recently to find out if bloggers outsource their tasks by hiring freelancers.
Here are a few interesting findings:
- 66.7% of the bloggers we interviewed hire freelancers.
- 50% of them spend less than $500 monthly.
- Fiverr, Upwork, Peopleperhour and Freelancer.com are most popular among bloggers.
While you can certainly get a deal by outsourcing some work overseas, your choices are virtually boundless. Here are several reasons that outsourcing is a smart move for your affiliate marketing business:
1. Save Time and Money
Whether you operate your affiliate marketing business solo or as a team, handing over some of your tasks to a third party will free up a ton of time for other important matters. All of those hours spent writing content, managing social media accounts, and dealing with other mundane tasks will be yours once again.
And remember – time is money.
On another note, outsourcing might cost money, but it's also going to save you some cash. If you were paying an employee to do some of that stuff before or renting office space, you could eliminate that overhead.
Also, outsourcing provides you with predictable costs that you can put into your website operation budget.
2. Increase Productivity to Grow Your Business
Even online marketers get stressed and find that they are unable to make additional headway in their business. When you begin to outsource, you'll find that some of that stress is relieved and you'll become more productive in the areas of your business that matter the most.
Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of outsourcing is that it allows your affiliate marketing business to scale. Not only are you more productive, but you can outsource as much as you wish as you rapidly grow your business and its bottom-line results.
3. Get the Benefit of Professional-Level Service
The internet makes it easier than ever to connect with experts and other professionals around the world that can help you run and grow your affiliate marketing business. This not only gives you access to people but also a wider variety of platforms and resources that can be used for marketing, automation, analytics, and more.
Beyond this, you have a unique perspective on your business as its owner, but it might be biased. When you work with contractors that have been in the business for a while, they can bring a unique perspective to your situation. You might gain some additional insight into how to address a particular pain point or new ways to attract and convert buyers on your website.
Take Your Affiliate Marketing Business to the Next Level
One of the biggest mistakes in affiliate marketing is losing your focus. When you're running an affiliate marketing business, time is a precious commodity. You should focus your effort to grow your business. Things like strategic planning and tracking your progress aren't things you can or should outsource, and these can be time-consuming tasks.
While affiliate marketing can be profitable, it also takes careful planning to ensure that you don't get burnt out or even limit your capacity. By outsourcing many of the affiliate marketing tasks that we've outlined, you can maximize your business growth.
Although Fiverr is the go-to platform for most of the people, Upwork is equally popular when looking for outsourced talents. Here's our article on Upwork vs Fiverr, if you want to know the comparison.
This article originally appeared on the Fiverr blog.