Welcome to my Affiliate Marketing Beginners Guide.
This is an in depth tutorial on how to get started with Affiliate Marketing as a total beginner. Affiliate marketing is one of the online side hustles with a lot of potential and actually not that hard to get started with. We do have a lot to cover in this article so let’s get going!
What is Affiliate Marketing?
This is one of the most common questions I get and it’s actually fairly simple to explain.
Affiliate marketing is a way for you (the affiliate) to earn a commission for recommending products or services from other people to your friends,readers or by advertisements.
To put it simply below our a few steps to outline the process a beginner Affiliate might take.
Step 1: Do some research to find a product or service you want to promote
Step 2: Look for an Affiliate network to promote this product or service
Step 3: Sign up for the Affiliate network
Step 4: Get your affiliate link (if people click on this and buy you get a commission!)
Step 5: Start promoting the link to people on social media, trough your website or any other medium.
Step 6: Sit back and let the money come in.
That all sounds pretty simple right? There are actually a lot of things you will have to take into consideration along the way, but as this is a beginner guide I don’t want to digress into more advanced stuff right away so we will just stay with the basics.
How does Affiliate marketing actually work?
There are a lot of different ways to track affiliates these days, but all are based on someone clicking your special tracking link.
The most common and basic type of tracking is via a cookie.
When an affiliate link is clicked, a small file called a cookie is stored on the users computer. When they buy a product, the merchant can see that they were referred via your special link.
How Much Money Can You Make With Affiliate Marketing?
The amount you can make will be totally dependant on each individual, it can vary from zero to thousands and even millions.
Your income will be directly related to the type of offers you promote, how much traffic you get to the site, and your grasp of other online marketing skills like online marketing, email marketing and SEO.
I have seen a lot of people give the Affiliate marketing business a try and to be honest I also see a lot of different results. There are a lot of people thinking this is a ‘get rich quick scheme’, this is far from that. You ofcourse have to work at it and be constistent just like a ‘brick and mortar’ business. But ofcourse I see a lot of people actually doing it right and quiting there 9 to 5 jobs and travelling the world on affiliate commission.
Follow this guide to the letter and quit your 9 to 5 aswell.
How To Start an Affiliate Marketing Business?
Here’s the thing, you can pick just about any product that you can buy online, and there will be an affiliate program that will pay you a commission for referring a sale.
However, just because you can promote anything, doesn’t mean you should.
The most important thing to consider when selecting a product to market is, “is it relevant to your audience?” or”can I make this work?”.
For instance, for me to try and advertise for Golf Equipemnt on Blog probably isn’t the smartest thing, because 99% of my audience could care less about them.
However, for me to promote, say, a Laptop – makes much more sense, since almost every one of my readers either has or has considered buying a new laptop.
So choose your offer accordingly.
Check list before I start getting my Affiliate Links
When I’m trying to decide what to promote I always ask myself the following questions:
- Do I use this product?
- Will the vast majority of my readers benefit from using this product?
- Is the buying process easy?
- Is there a good affiliate commission rate? (Not always the case)
If I answer yes to each of these questions, then it’s probably a good fit and worth promoting.
Tip: Make a list of products that you use that you think your blog audience would benefit from using as well. Try to think of as many as you can.
And remember, these can include complementary products as well. If you write about fitness, for instance, you can include tons of complementary products like supplements, gym gear, backpacks, and clothing too.
Different types of Affiliate products
So now you got a more in depth understanding how to select a product and how the whole process works, it’s time to compare the different types of Affiliate products. There actually are 3:
- Physical Products
- Services and digital products
- CPA offers (Cost Per Action)
Each one of these has their own pros and cons so let’s check them out so you can make a more informed decision.
Promoting Physical Affiliate Links
Physical Products are probably the easiest to get started with and there is one reason for this and you are probably very familiar with: AMAZON.
Amazon has the world’s largest affiliate program, and once you sign up, you can get a link for any product on the site, and earn a commission on it!
Let’s say for example we search ‘fitness bags’.
Here it is in action.
I type ‘fitness bags’ into the Affiliate program search box.
After that I get a lot of popular fitness bags and if I find one I am considering promoting I just click ‘get link’ to proceed like below.
Then I will get a screen where I can get my affiliate link, just press the text only tab and below short url and this will be the link I will be using to promote this certain product.
Anytime someone clicks that link, their cookie is recorded in Amazon as coming from me, so when they buy something I will get a small percentage of commission.
Pretty cool, right?
Well, yes and no.
Commission rates on physical products are actually pretty low, due to all of the factors that go into selling them (manufacturing, wholesaling, shipping, etc). And in 2017, they made a few changes to the rate structure.
Here’s a look at part of the rate table today. You can check this link for a full listing of the rate information.
So you can earn a 4% commission on a lot of stuff, as high as 10% on luxury and fashion, and as low as 1% on video games.
Even if you’re selling thousands of items a month, you’re still making less than a 10% commission. Because of this, I know a ton of people who make a little bit of money off of Amazon affiliate websites, but few who make thousands.
Average Physical Product Commissions: 1-10%. Anything over 10% is very good.
Promoting Service Affiliate Links
The second type of product you can promote is a service. This is another big one for me, because of the nature of what I write about here.
My business doesn’t function without hosting, an autoresponder, WP Theme, etc.
So it can be easy to make a sale on services because if I personally love and use them, there’s a good chance you will too.
One of the cool things about services, for instance, is that often there are recurring commissions. For instance, I make roughly 20% a month every time I refer someone to Bluehost or GetResponse – which are both services that I use more often then not.
Over time that can add up to be a nice extra bit of income each month which is the holy grail for affiliate marketers.
Think about which services you use and if it makes sense to promote them on your site or channel. You can usually expect commissions between 15-30% on service products – sometimes higher or lower depending on what it is.
My Favorite Affiliate Programs for Online Services
If you have a website related to online marketing, blogging, or business, there are fortunately a lot of really solid affiliate programs out there for different services.
I wanted to share a few of my favorites so that you can get a sense of what an affiliate program is all about, and start to get a feel for what might work on your site.
- Bluehost – On top of being my favorite web host for brand new bloggers, Bluehost starts out paying generous affiliate fees of $65 for every new sign up you refer. Their affiliate managers are fantastic, and I’ve had great results with their service.
- GetResponse – My second favorite is an amazing autoresponder I use for most of my email list building and sending out sequences. It is an absolute must when owning a website or doing affiliate marketing. GetResponse is very user friendly and self explanitory plus they have an amazing customer support.
- Clickfunnels – This one is absolute must for anyone wanting to take affiliate marketing serious. Clickfunnels is a software with a monthly subscription where it has never been easier to create beautiful landingpages. I use it to promote most of my affiliate links. The software comes with an amazing roster of done for you templates and tutorials.
Promoting CPA Offers
Our third option is promoting CPA offers, this is also one of my favorites since it sounds fairly simple to get a person to do a simple action and getting a commission for this.
That’s exactly what CPA marketing is, you send a person to a certain page where they for example have to fill in their email address and that’s all you have to do. It’s just lead generation.
Ofcourse the payout per lead is fairly low compared to the previous types of affiliate offers. But I must say there is a lot of potential here.
Imagine having a fashion blog and promoting a $50 coupon for a fashionstore where people only have to enter their email address and you get about $3 per email entered. If you got some great traffic coming trough your site you can do the math yourself, get 100 people a day signing up to win a giftcard and you just made $300. Sounds simple? It is once you have people to promote the offer to.
For CPA marketing there is no better network then Maxbounty, I have been working with them for a couple of years now and the offers they got on there compare to no other when it comes to CPA marketing. Be sure to give it a shot.
Best Affiliate Programs to get started with
There are a large number of affiliate programs you can get started with, I will outline the easiest ones to get started and approved with.
Amazon Affiliate Program
As mentioned before Amazon Affiliate program is fairly straightforward. You can promote any product they offer for a small commission up to 10%. It is absolutely the easiest one to get started with.
Amazon Affiliate was actually my first encounter with Affiliate marketing as well. I created a blog comparing different electronic products like laptops, monitors, phones, keyboard and much more. I created these as a review of a certain laptop or a comparison like a top 5 laptops of 2017. Ofcourse I only had experience with one or two of the products I actually recommended but for the others I could just do some research and give advice on common sence. The results weren’t amazing as some will tell you but it was a great experience and I learned a lot from it.
Clickbank is probably the most popular among Affiliate marketing businesses. It is very easy to get in to, just sign up and start promoting. They have a huge roster of products in all kinds of niches and very nice percentages commission wise.
Most of the products come with a large affiliate package with banners, emails swipes and much more to help you get started.
My favorite niches to look in to:
- Health & Fitness
- E-Business & E-Marketing
- Parenting & Families
How to select a Clickbank offer
When you sign up to Clickbank it can be a little overwhelming to navigate trough their large marketplace and find a offer suitable for you. the easiest way to do this is to click at the top on ‘Marketplace’.
After you have navigated to the marketplace it is time to select your niche. You can choose any one you like but keep in mind the ones I have previously mentioned.
After that you will see a lot of offers pop up sorted on popularity. To choose the right offer sort on gravity. Gravity means the amount of affiliates that been having succes promoting this offer in the last 3 months give or take. The higher the gravity the better actually.
Once you have found an offer that suits you just click on promote. A pop up will ask you to put in your Clickbank id, this is your username. After you have put in your Clickbank id just click on generate hoplink. This will be your affiliate link to start promoting this offer it’s that simple.
To get your affiliate resources all you have to do is go back to the marketplace where you saw the offer and in the discription you will see something like ‘Affiliate Page’, click on this and you will be redirected to the affiliate page where you can get all the tools you will need to promote this offer.
Clickbank actually has their own CB University which teaches people how to become financially free trough Affiliate marketing. I have heard nothing but good stuff about this course but have not taken it myself but it may be worth checking out.
JvZoo and WarriorPlus are actually the ones I mostly use just because it makes it promotes only digital products and software which I use myself. The easiest way to get started with JvZoo is trough Launch Jacking.
What is Launch Jacking?
Launch Jacking is actually very straightforward. Everyday a lot of new products are getting launched trough JvZoo, WarriorPlus or Clickbank even. These new products will do huge contest for their affiliates which will attract a lot of big affiliates to try and win this contest because of the high money prizes which everybody loves ofcourse.
After all of these big affiliate start getting interested they start promoting the offer to their huge email list. Some of the people receiving these emails will buy instantly but a lot more people will only get interested and start doing their own research on the product.
This is where the Launch Jacking strategy comes in. When these people start researching they are actually looking for reviews. So what do we do then? We create a blog post or youtube video reviewing the product and put our affiliate link in there so the people that came from the other affiliates email list buys the product trough us, this is Launch Jacking.
But you might ask, how can I create a review on a product I haven’t even used myself. This is actually fairly simple, you can search for other peoples review and start collecting information and putting a little review together yourself based on other people experiences with the products. Or you can send a little email to the vendor of the launching product asking them to give you a demo pass to test out the product, they more often then not will surely give you a pass, because if you do a nice review it means more sales for them.
Check out this article for more information on Launch Jacking.
As mentioned before Maxbounty is the best network when it comes to CPA Marketing so be sure to check it out if you are interested and be sure to tell them Adam Carega send you!
Maxbounty is a network where it is actually a bit harder to get approved for then the once previously mentioned. Just because they want to make sure you have a little more experience then a complete newbie. So maybe hold on with this one till you have gotten your feet a bit more wet in the affiliate world.
How to promote my Affiliate Links?
We have come to the most important part, it’s all good getting your affiliate links and stuff but how do you actually promote these offers and get traffic?
By now you probably have a bit more understanding on affiliate marketing and what it entails but if you don’t know how to promote these offers all the other stuff doesn’t even matter right?
In this section, we’re going to look at some of the easiest and most successful ways to promote an affiliate offer.
Affiliate Marketing with Product Reviews
This is probably the easiest to get started with as mentioned at Launch Jacking.
The strategy is fairly straightforward. You create a product review about the offer you want to promote. Ofcourse this is a lot easier when you are actually using the product yourself.
You can do the review in video format or as a blogpost, both are equally fine and depend on what suits you best. I myself don’t like being on camera and putting my face out there so I just stick with blogging which has served me well over the years.
They key to a successful product review is honesty.
I’d generally only review things I like, but if there are drawbacks or little things that bother me – I am very upfront about them. Most people know that no product is perfect, so if you set expectations and are open with them, there’s a good chance they’ll buy it anyway.
Make sure you include the following items in any product review:
- Clear headline featuring your desired keyword (“product name review” for instance)
- Clear links for where to buy at both the top and bottom of the page
- A clear recommendation
- A personal story about how you use the product or why you recommend it
Affiliate Marketing with Tutorials
Tutorials are easily one of the most effective strategies for driving affiliate sales. They can take a long time to put together, but it’s also totally worth it.
So what is a tutorial exactly?
Simple, you create a post that shows people how to accomplish something step by step – you then make a product or service one of the key components to success.
I’ve done a couple of these and they have all payed off very well.
Affiliate Marketing with Comparisons
Another great way to promote multiple affiliate offer is by comparing them. This can be done again trough video or blog and is especially suited for Amazon Affiliates.
This is because you can get a lot of products in different price ranges from the same niche. Also you can get a lot of information about the different products without actually having to own any of them.
An example of this would be to create a Youtube Channel review different kinds of products in the same niche. You can create for example videos like top 5 Gaming Chairs of 2020 and use the videos that already exist and used the suppliers. Just look for these advertising videos and edit them into one video and add your affiliate link to the discription.
Make sure to get products that range from cheap to expensive and don’t put only high ticket items in there because you will get a very low conversion rate this way.
This way you can get affiliate sales on your videos and if you are getting a lot of view on your videos you will be enjoying some nice ad revenue from Youtube which can stack up quickly. Imagine doing a comparison video on a couple of trending products and your video goes viral with 5 Million view. You’ll be stacking up money!
Affiliate Marketing with Clickfunnels,Paid Traffic and Email Marketing
Now were getting into more of advanced stuff. This strategy is being used by a lot of experienced affiliates just because it works like wonder.
You select an amazing offer that you know will convert to the right audience. Then you create an optin page on Clickfunnels. An optin page is a page where you will be sending traffic to and collecting emails.
After you have created your optin page you will be setting up your autoresponder, like GetResponse and connect it to Clickfunnels. Then you set up some email sequences in GetResponse.
Once this is all ready you start sending traffic towards your optin page. The traffic will then land on a page customized around the offer you are promoting and the traffic will be offer something for free, like an e-book or something to do with the offer. In return they have to put in their email to get the free goodie. Because of this they will automatically get added to your email list where they will receive an email for as long as you made the sequence. In this email you will be promoting the offer ofcourse and this is where the money starts coming in.
Ofcourse a lot of people will not be buying from your emails because they don’t trust you yet. But after some time and emails have passed you can start promoting different products in the same niches to this email list and keep making money from the same people over and over again.
This is a more advanced techniques and I will go more in depth in another article.
Now it’s time to get started promoting your Affiliate Links!
That’s about it for this affiliate marketing beginners guide on how to start promoting your first affiliate link.
I know that was a lot of information, but if you’ve been struggling with figuring out how to start making some cash with affiliate marketing, the strategies above are a fantastic starting point.
It’s how I made my first dollars online, and it has the potential to create a win/win for both you and your readers!
If you are very serious on making affiliate marketing your full time income I would advise you on investing in a course that will go more in depth and teach you a lot more advanced stuff. You could also invest in a software to assist you with the process which I found very helpful to get started with. Be sure to check it out.
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