How to make $150k via affiliates

(2 min read) Strategies, tactics, and math on how Creators make real money through affiliates!

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Last week, Anna Daly told us about how she makes 50% of her revenue through affiliates.

Today, I want to share some insight on how that could be real money - even for a “microinfluencer” (<100k audience).

Here’s how the math works:

.Assumptions.

  • 50,000 views/post on IG

  • 10 posts per week (roughly what Anna does on IG)

  • 3% of viewers click (industry benchmark is 1%-5%) = 1500 clicks per post

  • 2% of clicks purchase (industry benchmark is 0.5%-3%) = 30 buyers/post

  • $100 average cart value (there’s no benchmark - it depends on the category)

  • 10% average affiliate fee (industry range is 5%-30%)

.The Math.

  • $100 per purchase x 10% to the creator = $10 per purchase

  • $10 per purchase x 30 buyers per post = $300 earned per post

  • $300 per post x 10 posts per week = $3000 per week

  • $3000 per week x 52 weeks = $156,000 in annual revenue!

Not bad! 

There are a lot of variables here that will impact revenue over time. The obvious tactics to increase sales, that are under your control, are:

  • How often you post

  • How hard you push viewers to buy

  • How easy it is to find and click the buy link

Other variables that impact your sales, though, are less obvious:

  • Audience saturation - i.e. how much of your audience has bought the product you’re pitching

  • Cart value - i.e. how much is spent per purchase

  • Commission - i.e. how much you make per dollar sold

Here are four strategies to maintain (or increase!) your affiliate revenue that go beyond just posting and promo strategy:

  1. Variety - Get buyers to come back by offering products in a variety of categories that might appeal to them. If you sell someone headphones, they may also be in the market for a mic, or a game controller, or a speaker system. If you sell eyeliner, the customer may also buy mascara or blush. Promote a variety of related products to get repeat buyers and maintain your weekly sales.

  2. Consumability - Focusing on durable (long-term) product categories can be lucrative because they’re high-priced, but you won’t get many repeat customers - for example, no one is buying a dishwasher more than once a decade. You will sell more products if you focus on consumable products that people need to replace relatively quickly, like cosmetics, clothing, food, and other consumer goods, because there are more potential buyers AND more return buyers. 

  3. Higher prices - If you’re showcasing low-cost items, you need to sell a lot more to make the same amount of money. Selling high-quality, high-cost products can reduce the number of sales you make, but increase the average revenue per sale. If your viewers have a ton of disposable income, then it might be worth going upmarket in your partnerships and content. Of course, this won’t work for everyone, and it’s important to know your audience - trying to sell high-priced products to a low-income audience is a great way to alienate your audience while not making any money.

  4. Better fees - Different affiliate programs can pay different percentages to Creators for the same product. Shop around to different programs (LTK, Amazon, Rakuten, etc.) to find the best percentage splits on the brands you like…or, if you have the relationship (or hustle), reach out to the brands directly to negotiate a better fee for yourself. Even a 1% increase in your fee can have an impact at scale ($1560, in the above example).

Affiliate revenue can be a lucrative source of income. Just remember - the trick is to use affiliate links to monetize the content YOU want to post, while charging brands upfront to post the content THEY want you to post.

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My mission is to enable a million people to find freedom in the Creator Economy.

This was an extended version of a previous LinkedIn post! Follow me on LinkedIn for more actionable insights on the business of Creators. 

My firm, Partner with Creators, is a fractional go-to-market team for the Creator Economy. If you’re struggling to work with Creators, get in touch here.

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Written by Avi Gandhi, edited by Melody Song,
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