How to Become a CBD Affiliate
Starting off as an affiliate marketer for a CBD company can be a fun and lucrative activity for anyone with the knowledge and willpower to succeed in this rapidly growing space. To be successful, you must consider the following:
- Is the brand a good fit?
- Do the products make sense?
- Can you work with the company?
- What is the compensation plan?
- Do you have a strategy?
In this article, you will learn what to look for when deciding to become a CBD affiliate as well as see how you can get started with CBD affiliate marketing today.
Is the Brand a Good Fit?
Most affiliate marketers work hard to develop a brand that fits within a certain niche. Does CBD affiliate marketing integrate with the image you are cultivating? The following list highlights the categories we find are the most common in CBD affiliate marketing:
- Health & Wellness
- Fitness & Sports
- Mental Health
- Beauty Products
- Massage Therapy
- Hemp/Cannabis Lifestyle
A good idea is to search on social media for influencers in your category who are already representing CBD products. Take a look at how they do it for ideas that will help your CBD affiliate business take off.
Check that the brand you will be working with is reputable. Do they have followers on social media? What are customers saying in reviews? Has the brand been featured in any media outlets? The more reputable the CBD brand, the easier your job will be to market it.
Just because a CBD brand does not have a lot of online presence does not mean they do not have potential for a CBD affiliate to work with. Perhaps the company is new, or they are just starting to incorporate online marketing in their overall strategy. These companies are looking for as much help as they can get, which is your opportunity to secure some lucrative deals.
Also, powerhouse CBD companies which are already established may not offer as high of a compensation plan or provide as much support as a smaller, start-up company.
Do the Products Make Sense?
Nowadays, you can find CBD in almost anything. You need to ask yourself if you see people actually using the products you will be marketing as a CBD affiliate. The most common types of CBD products usually fall into the following categories:
- Sublingual oils/tinctures
- Topical (salves, lotions, sunscreen, etc.)
- Smoked (hemp flower, vape cartridges)
- Edible (gummies, chocolate, honey)
Sublingual oils and tinctures are made by emulsifying CBD into a carrier such as MCT oil from coconut, hemp oil, or vegetable glycerin. Often times they are flavored with natural or artificial flavors because sublingual tinctures are placed under the tongue for fast absorption through the sublingual gland.
Most CBD companies offer some sort of sublingual product. As with all products, you should check if the company sources its CBD from reputable growers and that third-party laboratory testing results are available and within specifications. Some sublingual-specific things to consider are:
- What carrier oil or liquid does the product use? Is it healthy?
- Are artificial flavors or colors used? Is this a way the company wants to cut costs?
- What other additives are in the ingredients? Are they necessary and safe?
- What is the price in terms of CBD concentration and how does it compare to the competition?
- Does it contain any THC? Is your audience comfortable taking a product with THC in it?
If you become a CBD affiliate, you will most likely work with sublingual products. Educate yourself on the pros and cons of different types of tinctures and oils so you are better prepared when marketing your affiliate brand.
Topical CBD products are absorbed through the skin and come in a variety of styles. Oil-based salves, water-based lotions, sunscreen, roll-ons, and body wraps are some of the types of topical CBS products you will come across.
Again, ask yourself if the product is something your audience will benefit from. If so, is it high-quality, effective, safe, all-natural, and priced competitively compared to similar products on the market?
By U.S. law, hemp flowers must contain no more than 0.3% THC, although there have been cases in which CBD products were tested and found to contain higher THC concentrations than the legal limit. A 2017 JAMA study found that 18 of 84 CBD products purchased online had THC levels possibly large enough to cause intoxication or impairment.
High THC levels can be a major issue for people who need to pass a drug test at work, such as federal government employees, military, police, truck drivers, pilots, train conductors, union employees, and s drivers. Often times, people in those occupations are those who need the benefits of CBD the most but are afraid to take it because they don’t want to risk losing their job over a failed drug test.
There are many CBD products that are inhaled by smoking or vaping. The most basic kind is cured and dried hemp flower, also known as “bud.” Hemp flowers are harvested from female industrial hemp plants that are grown indoors, outdoors, or in greenhouses using a variety of horticultural methods. Hemp buds are combusted with a flame and smoked just like marijuana (in paper “joints”, pipes, bongs, and vaporizers).
There are also vaped CBD products, which are oils or liquids infused with CBD and flavoring that is heated to produce a vapor that is inhaled and absorbed through the lungs. Inhaling any form of substance may cause long-term health issues. As of February 2020, the CDC reports a number of hospitalizations and even deaths linked to lung disease primarily caused by the use of vaping products contaminated with Vitamin E acetate. The CDC released the following warning in response to these lung injuries:
The safety and long-term health effects of using e-cigarettes or other vaping products are not well known. In September 2019, federal and state health authorities began investigating an outbreak of lung injury associated with e-cigarettes and other vaping products. As of November 2019, the CDC recommends that people should not use THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly from informal sources like friends, family, or in-person or online dealers.
Edible CBD products are usually treats that are infused with CBD, most commonly in the form of gummies, chocolates, candies, honey, coffee, bottled water, and baked goods. Of these, by far the most popular are gummies which come in a large variety of flavors and concentrations.
It is important to keep in mind that some CBD edibles are not very healthy, so if your brand is focused on health and wellness or physical fitness, you may want to only work with CBD products that do not contain any unhealthy ingredients such as sugar.
Another thing to consider about edible CBD products is their bioavailability, or the amount of CBD that actually makes it into the bloodstream where it will interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. The following is a list of CBD bioavailability rates supported by medical research:
- Intranasal (smoked or vaped): 34% to 46%, up to 56%
- Sublingual: 13% to 19%, up to 35%
- Oral (ingested or eaten): 10% to 20%, as low as 6%
- Topical: undetermined bioavailability, but found to be highly effective
In addition to having a much lower bioavailability, ingested CBD takes much longer, up to two hours in some people, to take effect, and during that time much of the CBD is lost in the liver and gastrointestinal tract.
Can You Work with the Company?
After either you or the CBD company reaches out to suggest collaborating, you should schedule a call to speak with one of the decision makers at the company. This will give you both the opportunity to evaluate the company and decide whether or not you can work with them, and it will also allow you to ask any questions you may have about the company or their products.
Here are some questions you should definitely have answered by the end of the conversation:
- Does the company seem easy to work with? Are they organized and experienced with affiliate marketing?
- Does the company use a third-party app to track affiliate leads and conversions? This will make both your lives much easier by automating and publishing your commission earnings and marketing performance.
- Does the company seem professional? Do they have an up-to-date website? Do they accept online payments (meaning they were vetted by an e-merchant payment processor)?
- Is the person you spoke to knowledgeable and passionate about CBD? Do they seem caring and helpful? Will they agree to help you if you need it?
You can also request some samples so you can try the products yourself. This will enable you to personally talk about the product experience. It’s always a good idea to have some samples handy wherever you go. You never know when a CBD conversation can strike up, and letting people try your products is a great way to find new customers.
If compensation is discussed, we have a few pointers about that in the following section.
Compensation plans are as varied as the CBD products available on the market. Most of the time, comp is commission-based and is calculated by a fixed rate on the sales you bring to the company. However, this may vary from situation to situation based on your experience with CBD affiliate marketing, your actual sales performance, and the preferences of the company.
Here are some typical compensation plan options for CBD affiliates available at many companies:
- Fixed commission vs. variable rate based on sales performance
- Free or highly discounted samples
- Recruiting bonuses for bringing in new CBD affiliates
- One-time vs. lifetime associations, meaning the length of time you get paid commissions on an account
- Are taxes and shipping costs excluded from commission sales? Normally they are not included as part of your commission calculation.
You will typically get paid once or twice a month as a contractor, meaning you will receive a Form 1099 for tax filing.
Do You Have a Strategy?
Now that you have determined that the CBD brand is a good fit, the products make sense, the company is one you can work for, and that the compensation structure is fair, you are ready to get to work as a CBD affiliate marketer!
You will receive an affiliate link, which can be personalized, that tracks whenever you send traffic to the company website. An example of a personalized affiliate link is: www.wgmed.com/yourname. You can provide this link directly or embed it in images or hyperlinks in your marketing material so when people click through to the website they will be tracked as your leads. If the leads end up making a purchase, the affiliate software the company uses will automatically calculate your commission based on the agreed upon terms.
Additionally, you will often be provided a coupon code to offer as an incentive for your leads to make a discounted purchase. This code can be good for a single use or for use multiple times, depending on the company’s policy. The code is entered by the customer at checkout to apply the designated discount.
Your CBD affiliate marketing strategy can take many forms. You can stick to social media by posting quality original or reposted content. Make sure that whatever you post follows the company’s guidelines and that you include your affiliate link or coupon code so your commissions will be counted.
In addition to social media marketing, you can look for wholesale accounts in places like smoke shops, pharmacies, chiropractic offices, massage parlors, yoga studios, medical offices, supplement shops, standalone CBD retailers, gyms, or any other business that may want to sell your CBD products. Wholesale accounts usually purchase products at a lower rate than the general public, but they buy in bulk so the overall commission on wholesale accounts can be much higher and more consistent than retail commissions.
The sky is the limit as far as how you decide to sell your products, so be creative and figure out what method is most effective for you and your personal brand.
The decision to become a CBD affiliate marketer can be extremely fun and rewarding. First, make sure the company and products are a good fit for you and your brand. Then, if the compensation plan is right, you can move forward with your marketing strategy to start earning passive income through sales commissions.
If you are interested in becoming a CBD affiliate for Wellness Garden Medicinals, follow this link and send an email with your bio and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. We love working with people as excited about CBD as we are!