If you’ve been looking for a guide that shows you everything you need to know about affiliate marketing, then here it is…
Here’s our ultimate guide to affiliate marketing for dummies. It’s a complete step-by-step guide for beginners that shows you everything you need to know about affiliate marketing, including how it works + we let you know how you can get started with an amazing training platform, which helped us get started too.
We’ve done our best to keep our explanations as simple as we can, and we hope our guide is comprehensive enough for you, but if there is anything more specific you want to ask, then please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s get into our step-by-step guide to Affiliate Marketing…
Table of Contents
A Step-by-Step Affiliate Marketing for Dummies Guide. Everything You Need to Know!
When I was first looking for ways to make money from home, I started doing some research into how I could make some money with a blog.
I was aware of the more obvious ways that you could make money with a blog, such as selling my own products or through advertising. But I knew very little about affiliate marketing.
Ok, to be completely honest, I knew nothing about affiliate marketing at all! When I first heard of the term, I thought they were talking about something in a foreign language. It sounded super complicated, and yet I soon realised that I had been involved in affiliate marketing, as a customer, many times.
I just never put two and two together. Now I know what I know now, I think it is one of, if not THE best way to make money online!
That’s why we put this guide together. To help anyone, and everyone get a firm grasp of what affiliate marketing really is, and how it all works.
I can still remember the excitement I got from my first affiliate sale. It was only $3, but after a few months without any commissions, that was a huge achievement…
That was when I knew that affiliate marketing really worked. If I could make a $3 sale, then what was stopping me from making that a full-time income. It made me more eager to learn more about affiliate marketing, and everything that went with it. Like improving my writing, my website, learning more about my niche in detail, etc.
I had already been following an awesome training program that was proving its worth by following their step-by-step strategy, but I wanted more, and this proven training program gave me the extra information I needed. (You can read up on that training program here).
This guide is going to share with you some information, hints and tips, and techniques that we’ve learned from our experiences with affiliate marketing. It’s going to be a long read, so you may want to grab a cup of coffee first… and maybe bookmark our page, so you can get back to it when you need to…
What’s Affiliate Marketing?
It’s a very common question we get, as you’ll still be surprised at how many people have never even heard of it, so they don’t know what it is or what it means. They know it has something to do with online marketing, but don’t really know what the “affiliate” part of it means…
Affiliate Marketing Definition
Let’s look at the definition that Wikipedia gives…
“Affiliate Marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts”
Ok, maybe that didn’t really help answer the question… It still makes it sound really complicated, when actually it is one of the most simple techniques you can use to make money online.
Affiliate Marketing – What Does It Mean (Simple Explanation)
The easiest way to describe it is that affiliate marketing is very much like a “refer a friend” type of marketing. Affiliate Marketing allows you to make money (usually referred to as commission) for recommending products and services to those who read your blog. You will only get paid when one of your recommendations turns into a subscription or a sale.
There are also types of affiliate marketing, where you can earn for the click itself, this is CPA Affiliate Marketing.
By creating a blog website, and then signing up with an affiliate program, you can then promote products and services that are related to your niche. When someone lands on your website and clicks on your affiliate link, and then buys something, you can get rewarded with a commission for that sale.
What you might not realise is that you may have already been involved in affiliate marketing, as a customer, without evening realising it…
For example, have you ever used an Uber? When you refer a friend to try Uber and to become an Uber driver, Uber rewards you with a coupon code to use on your next trip..
That’s affiliate marketing in action. Instead of paying for expensive marketing campaigns, they reward active users for recommending their service to someone else.
In Uber’s example, it’s a coupon for the next trip. But when it comes to a lot of other products or services, the reward is a commission (money).
Let’s show you another example… Let’s say you are looking to purchase a new laptop. But you aren’t sure which model or brand is the best one for you. Are you thinking about a normal laptop, or a tablet/laptop hybrid. A gaming laptop, or just one for word processing?
Which brand do you want to go with? There maybe tons of questions that you have, and want an answer too, before you make your final decision.
Where do you go for those answers?
Well, most of us end up doing a search on Google. We tend to start typing in something like “best laptop” or “Macbook review” or “Surface Pro review”.
Pretty much the same as when you typed into Google to learn more about affiliate marketing.
Google (and YouTube) have the lions share of the traffic, and their goal is to get you the best answer to your questions specific to your query.
Bloggers will work hard to provide the best answers to the questions you have. So, if you are looking to buy the best laptop for blogging, or gaming, or whatever your desire is, the blogger who provides the best answer will appear at the top.
They will get the most traffic, and anytime someone goes with their recommendations, that blogger will earn a commission.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Let’s get into a little more detail about how affiliate marketing works.
Affiliate Marketing is the term for the process of promoting other people’s products or services. In return you earn a commission for the sale.
This flowchart describes the steps involved in this process
The customer does a search for the help they need
#2 Your Site
They land on your website. Where they find helpful guides, how-to guides and relevant product reviews
#3 Customer Buys Product
As you’ve signed up with an affiliate program, such as Amazon (example) you have a special link which tells Amazon that you were the one who introduced that customer
#4 You Make Money
If that customer clicks on your link and then does complete the purchase, then you make money
If we go back to that example with the laptop search, when the person did that online search they would have landed on a blog post that was written by an affiliate marketer.
Or, they may have landed on a useful YouTube video, where an affiliate link was waiting for them in the comments section.
Either way, when the person clicks on the link and then buys the laptop, the affiliate marketer would have earned a commission.
There are a couple of other points that you should consider with affiliate marketing. They are also great examples of how good affiliate marketing is for a blogger.
The first point is that a well written blog post could be earning you passive income for years to come. With affiliate marketing, there is no need to handhold the transaction.
The blog post and the affiliate link do all the hard work. My first affiliate sale happened overnight whilst I was sleeping. Once I had written the blog post and included the relevant links, I just leave it to do it’s job.
If we take Amazon, they are the world’s largest marketplace and they have an affiliate program.
If someone lands on your blog post and they like what they read. Your blog post has helped them come to a decision about whether to buy it, or an alternative (as you may have said you would recommend an alternative in the blog, and included an alternate affiliate link).
They then go and click on your affiliate link and go directly to Amazon.
Amazon handles everything else. They handle the transaction, the shipping, everything else that we all know happens when we buy from Amazon.
But they also do all of the stuff that says you were the one that introduced this buyer, they bought this and therefore you earn this amount of commission.
Even though, you were never there. Because you don’t have too. This means that an Affiliate Marketer’s website is working for them 24/7 and 365 days a year.
Once you have done all the legwork and building the foundations, it can become a really lucrative passive income.
The second point that makes affiliate marketing great, is this. A customer doesn’t actually have to buy what you were promoting to earn a commission.
For simplicity, our example will be Amazon again.
Amazon has 24 hour cookies. Some affiliate programs have much longer ones, some even have lifetime cookies. But Amazon has 24 hour ones.
What this means is that once your reader clicks on the affiliate link, the program will save a cookie on their device.
Many people might not buy the product straightaway, they may just save it to their basket or they may change their mind.. But if they decide to go back to Amazon in that same 24-hour period and buy something else, you would still qualify for the commission, on a completely different purchase.
Let’s use an example…
Mary is reading a blog all about slow cooker recipes… She is thinking about getting herself a new slow cooker, and so clicks on one of the links the blogger has about a slow cooker.
It takes her to Amazon (and the cookie is triggered). She has a look at a few on there, but she decides that she isn’t ready, or she’s not actually going to make a purchase.
She goes out for a walk, but then when she gets home, she remembers that she was going to buy a new Apple laptop for her job.
She logs back into Amazon, and goes and buys a $2K Macbook Pro… But that isn’t the best part.
You just earned a commission on that sale… As Mary made that purchase within the 24-hours of clicking your link, the sale stands.
Ok, it’s very unlikely that it will be as easy as that. But hopefully, you get the point of how affiliate marketing works and how you can always benefit from being an Amazon affiliate.
The reason we love affiliate marketing is that it is one of the most passive ways of making money with your blog! You could write one blog post that could earn you money for years to come. It would only require minimal work to keep it up-to-date and current.
At this point, I just want to show you an example of what an affiliate link would look like, just in case you haven’t notieced before…
Here’s the standard link to Amazon’s marketplace (website):
Standard Link to a website: https://amazon.com
Now, here is what an affiliate link would look like to the same website:
Affiliate link to the same website: https://amzn.to/2XVtLra
Both links would take you to the Amazon website. But the second link is our affiliate link, so it tells Amazon we took you to the website. Amazon gives you both a short link option (the one above) and a full link.
We personally feel the shorter link looks better.
When you hover your mouse over the links in your browser it will normally display the link at the bottom left-hand side of the screen (at least it does in chrome). So, you can start to see which links are affiliate links or not.
Why Affiliate Marketing Is Ideal For Beginners
There are many reasons why we believe Affiliate Marketing is ideal for a beginner who is looking to earn money online. But we’re going to discuss the top 4 reasons why we think its the right choice for a beginner…
#1 Potential for a Full-Time Passive Income Stream
When you compare affiliate marketing to a normal day job, there is such a difference.
With a normal job, you usually earn an hourly rate and you only get paid for the hours you are there. There is also very little chance or incentive to work harder, as you won’t get paid more if you work harder or do a good job.
That decision is left up to the employer. So, this type of traditional structure wil never help you achieve financial freedom.
With affiliate marketing, by putting in more effort, you can have a direct impact on your earning potential. It has the potential for you to do something once, like write a blog post or a product review, and get paid over and over again. There is no ceiling to your earning potential.
Your website/business can be working for you 24/7. It can be working for you whilst you sleep or travel the world. This is about creating a passive income stream that works for you, and not against you.
Having the right mindset is a really important factor, but you are showing a fantastic mindset just by reading this guide…
Take action and you can change your life and start pursuing your dreams for change.
#2 Fully Flexible Working Schedule
This is something you aspire too, as you will not really have this in the early days. You will still need to keep you day job for now, until you start seeing an income from it.
But once your business is on the right path, and you can give up your day job and then start planning your own working schedule. You will be the boss and you can then start working from literally anywhere you want.
The local coffee shop, your sofa. Many affiliate marketers are working whilst travelling the work. Wherever you feel most comfortable, will be where you are most productive.
I have an office at home, as I kind of like the structure. But there are also times when I’m working from the garden. As long as I have internet and my laptop, I can work on my online business.
#3 No Need to Sell
Have you ever heard of a business model called MLM? It stands for Multi-Level-Marketing. It can also be called Direct Sales.
There are many MLM companies, some of which we have reviewed and the story isn’t a great one.
It relies heavily on your ability to sell products face-to-face and your ability to recruit other marketers into your downline…
MLM companies make it really difficult for the everyday person to find success. This is often down to overpriced products and a monthly sales quota which is impossible for a beginner to hit.
Which means many MLM members are having to buy products every month just to remain active for commissions. But the reality is that 99% of MLM members are losing money or are in huge piles of debt.
They also ruin their relationships with their friends and family, as MLMs get you to constantly pitch products and the business model to them.
Yet, what I found strange is that most people have heard of direct selling or MLM. they have also given it a go, and probably failed. Yet, they haven’t heard of affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing is a polar opposite to MLM. There is no need to sell door-to-door or host house parties. There is no need to recruit people and then train them to be sales people.
There is no sales persona needed.
All you do is let your website do all of the hard work, by providing loads of helpful content and serves a purpose.
Many of us are a little introverted, so the MLM form of selling is massively out of our comfort zone. I’m not an outgoing person who can go out and sell a product that I don’t really believe in, just to make a sale.
That is the key difference – Affiliate Marketing, you help someone get a good product. MLM you sell overpriced products to stop losing money.
This is a great way for people who may be a little shy, to make money online by helping people from behind their keyboards.
#4 No Prior Experience Needed
We’re totally serious about this one. Gone are the days where you needed to be a technical wizard to launch a website.
Anyone can now build a website in just a few minutes, without any computer code. We’ll show you shortly how you could have your own website up and running in just a few clicks. Nowadays, it’s no more difficult than using Microsoft Word or Chrome.
All you’ll need is time, effort, and a willingness to learn.
Before I got started with affiliate marketing, I knew nothing about online marketing or even how to build a website. I also felt that my writing wasn’t going to be good enough, let alone be able to apply for affiliate programs.
And yet, here we are helping beginners like you get online and that is because we found the best training on the planet to help us every step of the way. All I had to bring, was my determination to make this work and it is… I’ll show you some results later…
Who’s Affiliate Marketing For?
It would be too easy to write that affiliate marketing is for everyone. but I don’t believe that it is…
The reason I say that is you need to be an individual who is patient and someone who thinks about this a long-term goal and won’t give up until their goal has been achieved.
Affiliate Marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. You won’t wake up in a week or two suddenly earning a 4-Figure Monthly Income from it…
To explain the difference, let’s compare affiliate marketing with a typical day job…
Ina normal job, you work for your next paycheck. If you knew that your boss wasn’t going to pay you, you wouldn’t work, right?
The same could be said about the opposite. If you stopped going to work, you wouldn’t expect to get paid.
With affiliate marketing, you will be working towards earning a passive income stream, but that means you won’t get paid straightaway. You are working towards making that a reality, but the rewards come further down the line.
Basically, you need to think about working for free in the short term, and believe that you will get the returns at some point down the line…
When you start to earn from your passive income streams, you work when you choose to, and because you have to.
If you can that into your head and know that you may be working on your business for free for a while, and yet know that it will lead you to something down the road, then you will do extremely well.
But you will need to work really hard if you want to see the results… the only reason you will fail at affiliate marketing is because you give up too soon.
Too many affiliate marketers have given up saying it doesn’t work, but when you offer them help and advice, you realise they still kept that employee mentality – they worked hard for two weeks and thought they should have returns by now…
You honestly need to dedicate a year to this, and then work your backside off to achieve that goal…
So, who is affiliate marketing for?
You don’t require any prior experience to get started with affiliate marketing, but you will require patience, and some support. We will help you, and the support we got is open to anyone who is serious about making affiliate marketing work for them.
It worked for us because we had an awesome community behind us to help us every step of the way. You can check out this awesome community for yourself for FREE.
But you’re going to need to be the one that takes this opportunity, and works hard to achieve your goal!!
How Much Can You Make with Affiliate Marketing?
Honestly, the earning potential for an affiliate marketer is limitless!
There are many examples where success affiliate marketers are earning a truly astonishing income from affiliate marketing. It is pretty common for those who have mastered affiliate marketing ot be earning tens of thousands of dollars a month, using the affiliate marketing business model.
Here are some examples to give you an idea of the earning potential…
- Pat Flynn earns more than $2 million a year from affiliate marketing
- Michelle from Making Sense of Cents makes over $50,000 a month with Affiliate Marketing. She has also create a course to help others.
- Mike from Stupid Simple SEO, makes over $95,000 a year in passive income. he uses SEO techniques and Amazon
But How Long Will It Take?
It’s a common question again… You’re asking how long will this take to earn me money, right?
Ok, Let’s try and give you a realisitc timescale to help you with your expectations…
From past experience, you could start making your first few sales within the 3-4 month mark. From then you could be earning a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars within a year, maybe two…
Are you willing to spend one to two years of your lie, building up your own PASSIVE INCOME stream so that you don’t need to work at your normal job for the rest of your life?
To be clearer, and give you some context- this is a year of hard work. Putting in a lot of time and effort to achieve that level of success.
This isn’t going to be a walk in the park. There are many times when I was working on my site in the evenings, when the family had gone to bed.
Working at break times at work, so that I could see some success in the long run. It was totally worth it in the end, but felt hard at times throughout.
There is no guarantee or a promise about those timescales. It is just a rough guide, as there are so many factors to consider. But work hard, and you will see the results.
You might also be thinking… if anyone could build their own passive income online just just a year or two, why isn’t everyone doing it. Why are so many people struggling financially if they could just do this?
Well, the reason why so many people fail is down to their mindset. They don’t follow the advice that was set out by our awesome training program. They often give up too early…
Keep reading after our step-by-step guide where we will share with you some top tips to double or triple your success rate in Affiliate Marketing…
Affiliate Marketing for Dummies:
A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners
Ok, here’s our step-by-step guide for beginners. Here are all of the steps that you need to be successful with affiliate marketing. This “Affiliate Marketing for Dummies” guide will make your life so much easier…
How to Start Affiliate Marketing?
The steps you need to take to start affiliate marketing sound very easy, when written down…
- Apply for the best affiliate progams
- Add your affiliate link to your blog or reviews
- Wait for the money to come…
Oh, if it was only that simple… You’ll soon realise that there is a little more too it that that. Nothing is ever straightforward, right?
Whilst we are going to try to keep our explanations nice and simple, there are many steps you need to make before you actually get to the point of being able to earn money.
If you really want to make money with affiliate marketing, then you need to start the right way and ensure you follow all of the steps, in the right order.
#1 Choose a Niche
Choosing a niche is the most important step, if you want to be successful with affiliate marketing. There are a few factors that are going to help you with this, which we will get into in a moment.
But when you are deciding on your niche, it is important not to be too broad. If you start with a niche that is too broad, it is going to really difficult for you to stand out in the crowd.
There will be many other competing websites you have to consider, so if you start too broad you make your task harder.
Choosing a tightly focused niche will help you rank higher up in Google, allowing you to grow your following faster…
Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself when choosing your niche…
What Topics Am I Passionate About?
When you consider you are going to have to write a lot of content on your blog to get yourself noticed, choosing a subject you have no interest in is a bad decision.
Too many people choose a niche because it sounds “profitable”. Or they choose expensive products as they look at the commission they could earn, over their knowledge on the subject.
But here is what you need to know. If you cannot write much content about the subject, you won’t earn anything anyway. So, pick a subject you are passionate about.
You need to pick a subject that you are passionate about, can help other people with blog posts relating to that subject, and have some experience with it.
That is why we suggest you choose a hobby or passion you have.
You’ll have some experience and knowledge related to it. You’ll also have more interest in learning more about that niche, and you already know your target audience.
They will be people like you…
That way, you can come up with loads of ideas for blog post, that lead to product reviews for items related to that niche.
When you have no passion for a subject, it means every task will feel like a chore. You’ll get bored of doing the research, bored of writing the content, bored of everything.
But without any content, you will get no rankings in Google. No rankings leads to no traffic. No traffic means no sales.
Think of it this way…
Gaming Laptops & PCs are big business. Many are retailing for over $2,000 easily.
But if you have no knowledge or interest in them, what is the point as you will not be able to create any helpful content or even understand the target audience. Having an empty website about Gaming Laptops will earn you nothing.
But I’ve seen many blogs that are earning a really good income promoting stuff that retails for really low figures. But as the blogger is getting thousands of visits a month, the cumulative income is easily giving them the financial freedom they desired.
One other thing I’ll say is that you don’t need to be an expert, most people are not looking for an expert opinion. They are looking for the opinion from real people, someone who knows where they are coming from. Provide them with the help they require, and the money will follow.
But not the other way around.
Can I Make Money In My Niche?
A hobby or passion is a good start, but passion will only get you so far. So, you need to ensure that you can actually make money from your passion/hobby and the niche you have decided on.
A good way of doing this is to check out the Amazon marketplace, or doing a Google search for affiliate programs within your niche. (We’ll show you that in a little more detail later).
By checking if Amazon has products related to your niche, then at least you know there is demand for those kind of products and that you have products you can promote.
If you cannot find any products when doing this, then you may be being too niche, and you may need to have a rethink…
But you might be still sitting there going, “I have no idea John, help me out…”
Well, the following four markets have a huge market, and always have buyers, so they might be a good starting point for you to choose a niche:
- Health & Fitness
- Money (Making & Saving)
- Diet & Nutrition
- Beauty & Fashion
If you want more ideas, you can check out this post.
Is My Niche Too Niche?
You do need to drill down as much as you can to find a niche, but there is also a pint where you have gone too far.
You need to be able to come up with 50 or 100 blog post ideas related to that niche. So, if you went with pink dog collars, you are going to find it really hard to come with stuff to write about.
But if you went with dog collars, or dog accessories then you might have a better starting point.
No matter what the niche is you decide to go with, make sure you write about products you are familiar with,
If there is one thing that you really need to focus on, to be a successful affiliate marketer, you need to help your potential customers and not sell to them.
Helping your readers solve problems, and answer questions they have, must come first. You also need to be confident that whatever you are recommending, it will be really useful to that customer.
Building trust is key to people coming back to you for return advice, and future recommendations.
#2 It’s All in the Planning
Now you have a niche, you then need to consider your plan. All businesses require a plan and for affiliate marketers there are two things that you need to be good at planning. One of them is your time and then the other is your strategy.
Time management is key when we are first starting out, especially if you are still working at your normal job.
So, when are you going to put the time aside to do some research or write a blog post or do some training?
There will be times when normal stuff gets in the way, family commitments, etc. But planning some time each day and each week will be really important to your success.
Ideally, if you could spend at least 2 to 4 hours per day on your new business, you will be surprised at how much you can get done.
That might seem impossible, but when you factor in how much you want this and the amount of time, we all spend on social media (wasted time), you could easily find 2 hours a day for this.
As for the strategy, we are going to focus on content marketing in our guide. This means creating content consistently. You will need to plan how many blog posts you are going to write each week, what are you going to write about, etc.
Once you actually get started, you will find you will have a much better understanding of what to prepare and how to plan your week.
#3 Build Your Own Website
Now, this is where it gets exciting!!
That is because we are going to show you how you can build your own (FREE) website and have it up and running to start making you money in just a few minutes…
If you already have your own website, then that is a great start and you can skip to step 4…
If you don’t, then this where you are going to take your research to the next level…
If you’ve never built a website before, then please don’t worry. It’s nowhere near as complicated as many people think it is.
These days, it is so simple and there is no need to know anything about complicated computer code or anything. Many of us affiliate marketers (us included) don’t know anything about website coding or programming.
When you have tools like SiteRubix, and WordPress, there is no need too.
You can build yourself a website in just a few minutes. In fact, it usually takes you longer to decide on your domain name, than it does to actually building the website.
There are just a few steps you need to follow to get your website setup the right way…
Pick a Domain Name
A domain name is just a fancy way of describing the name of a website. Our domain name is visible in the address bar up the top – https://bestaffiiatemarketingtools.org
Here are some ideas of how to pick a name for your website:
- Pick a name that is easy to remember
- Make it easy to spell
- Try to avoid using dashes (i.e. instead of best-affiliate-marketing-tools we went with bestaffiliatemarketingtools)
- Choose a name that relates to you or your niche
You can see if your domain name is available using the box below:
Choose the Right Platform & Hosting – WordPress
WordPress is by far the easiest Content Management System (CMS) for bloggers and affiliate marketers. It is so easy to manage and customise your blog with a number of different themes to match the look you are after.
Over 50% of the websites out on the web are WordPress websites, showing that it is the preferred option.
But if you think of your website as a building (your house for example). The hosting is the ground or foundations that your house is built on.
There are many hosting providers, Bluehost and SiteRubix are both good examples.
But if you are not ready to commit fully and pay for hosting, SiteRubix is the ideal choice as they will provide you with a free website and free hosting.
You will also get access to that community we spoke about earlier and mentoring from ourselves too.
If you chose SiteRubix, here are the steps you will need to follow to install a WordPress website:
- Choose a Domain Name
- Choose a Title for your website
- Choose a theme from the selection available
- Click Install Website
Once you have gone through those steps and created a free Wealthy Affiliate account. You will get your own affiliate marketing website, access to Wealthy Affiliate’s training program and access to ourselves to help whenever you need it along your affiliate marketing journey.
If you need more help building your website, check out my step-by-step guide to building a WordPress website to go through everything in detail.
#4 Find Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners
Here is where you can start to explore the products and affiliate marketing programs there is within your chosen niche.
There is part of me says, that until you have built up an extensive range of content on your website and actually have traffic before you apply for them. But there is nothing wrong to see what is out there for ideas on what you can write about and ultimately promote further down the line.
There are two different types of affiliate programs you can join:
- Affiliate Networks: Affiliate Networks group publishers that have affiliate programs under one single website platform, like Awin. If you are accepted into an affiliate network, you will find it easier to find and apply for several different affiliate programs and it helps you keep a track of the different offers and conversions too.
- Individual Affiliate Programs: Some companies offer their own affiliate programs meaning you will need to apply individually to each company. Examples include Amazon, eBay, Bluehost, etc.
Here is a list of some of the top affiliate networks:
- Max Bounty
- CJ Affiliates
- Flex Offer
- Offer Juice
- Impact Radius
- ClickBank (more digital products)
Here is a list of individual affiliate programs:
Things You Need to Know Before You Apply to Any Affiliate Marketing Program
#1 You need to have content on your website before you start applying and sometimes you will get rejected!
Before you are allowed into an affiliate program, you will need to go through their application process. This normally requires you to fill in some details and includes information about your website, your location and how much traffic your website is currently receiving.
Depending on the affiliate program, you might get rejected. The main reason is normally because of a lack of content on your website before applying to the program. We recommend you have at least 15 articles on your website to make your website look good and legit.
If you do get rejected, try to find out why by contacting them. It will normally be down to the lack of content or traffic levels. But when you get the feedback, you can work on what they feedback to you.
Don’t let it get you down, it is totally normal to get rejected from time to time. Sometimes you just need to go back and prove you are in this for the long term and are willing to put the effort in.
If you imagine they get a lot of applications and the serious marketers will stand out from the crowd with their persistence.
#2 There is a minimum threshold payment you need to reach before you get paid
Most of the affiliate programs have a minimum payment threshold you need to achieve before you receive your money. Some are as little as $10 and then there are others that are over $100. Therefore, you may need to remain a little patient to get hold of your money.
It took us ages to receive that $3 from Amazon as we had to wait until we earned a few more sales…
Make sure you do your research and see what the minimum threshold is before you apply
#3 It could take up to three months to receive your payments
This will depend on the affiliate program. Some pay every month on the same day. Some will hold on to the money for at least 30 days but some all the way up to three months.
This is normally because they need to verify the sale, and most of them offer a 30-Day money back guarantee. If someone cancels the purchase, you will not receive the commission.
#4 Check how much commission you will receive
Every affiliate program is going to be different. Some will get you a fixed amount on someone subscribing to a service, others you will get paid a fixed commission on a sale.
Knowing the commission rate can help you determine how profitable it can be, and how feasible it is to get a sale.
It would be much easier to get some to buy into a free subscription to an app and receive $2 every time, than it would to sell a $250 product offering a $100 commission.
You need to know what is realistic and achievable
#5 You must keep track of your affiliate programs
Once you get going, you will find that you will end up with a long list of your affiliate programs and it is easy to get lost. So, my advice is that you keep a track of all your affiliate programs you have applied. Also, whether you were accepted or rejected. It can also help you factor in which programs are earning you money and which ones you need to work on to improve.
Other Ways of Finding Affiliate Programs
Affiliate Networks are great in a sense, but they do not cover all the affiliate programs there could be in your niche. So, here are a couple of ways you can find other relevant affiliate programs in your niche.
We use google every day, and it can be as simple as typing:
“Niche + affiliate program” or “Company + Affiliate Program”
For example, if you typed “Amazon Affiliate Program” you would find the link to their associates program.
Check Out Your Competitors
You will need to keep an eye on what they are doing anyway to see how you can compete and come out on top, but you can also figure out what affiliate products they are promoting through checking out their website and hovering your mouse over their links.
Affiliate Search Platform within Wealthy Affiliate
I also want to share with you another way… If you did decide to get a website through SiteRubix, there is an easy way of searching for a ton of affiliate programs within your niche using the Affiliate Program Search Function within Wealthy Affiliate. You will get hundreds of results, but you will also get reactions from other Wealthy Affiliate members as to how good they are. But you can also apply direct from the platform. Definitely a great tool for affiliate marketers looking for affiliate programs. Click HERE to learn about this awesome tool.
#5 Create High Quality Content That is Relevant
I would not suggest you go out and apply for loads of affiliate programs at this point yet. It can do more harm than good.
The simple reason is that many affiliate programs require you to have a qualifying sale within a set time period. Amazon needs you to have 3 qualifying sales within 6 months.
Another reason is that a brand-new website full of affiliate links will not rank that well in the search engines.
So, our advice is work on building up great content before you start delving into affiliate programs.
The simple fact is that your route to success with affiliate marketing is to provide high-quality content that draws in an audience and then you can bring in affiliate offers and product reviews with affiliate links in.
Once you start getting traffic, you can then start searching for affiliate programs.
If you want to make money, you need to create engaging content worth sharing with others and that is relevant to the reader who is looking for it.
By creating in-depth blog posts that include call to actions, short paragraphs and written in a conversational style (write as though you were talking to a friend), it will make sure your readers will have a great experience on your website.
Here are some ideas of what you could include on your website in your chosen niche:
How to Guides & Tutorials
How to guides and tutorials are a great addition to your website, they are also a great way of building up trust with the reader. Trust is an important step in them wanting to follow your advice (which will be to affiliate links).
But remember you are there to help and need to really write a guide that helps them fully.
When you factor in the customer purchase lifecycle, people searching for product reviews are typically in the “ready to buy” stage and are looking for a review to see whether it is the right choice. If you can provide an in-depth product review that can help someone with their final decision, you can earn some good money through your affiliate link.
It is well-known that people love lists – The top ten, or 14 facts about.
List articles are a great way of attracting readers and in turn attracting traffic.
If you can create a few list articles you will see a great leap in traffic, which you need to make sales.
If you have a couple of key competitors in your niche, then a good comparison post which lists the pros and cons of each, you will have a great article.
If someone is looking for a comparison, it is likely they are in that “ready to buy” stage and just need help finalising their decision.
Before you start writing that content though, you need to understand the importance of SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.
#6 Learn to Master SEO
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is an important step in getting readers to your website from Google or Bing.
SEO is a free method of getting people to your website and is really key to you getting people to your content that will lead to potential sales.
There are two factors, one is User Intent and the other is Keyword Research.
You really need to understand what a user is looking for when they type that search into google. By understanding your target audience’s intent, you can then answer that question in the right manner. Understanding where that customer is in the purchase lifecycle is also key to leading them down the sales funnel.
If they are nowhere near ready to make a purchasing decision, then you should consider that in answering the question. If they are ready to buy, you need to suggest it in a more forward manner.
To optimise your sales, you need to really understand the intent in the search and your target audience.
But you also need to be able to complete keyword research,
Keyword research is integral to your affiliate marketing business. Blindly writing blog posts related to your niche will not yield results.
You need to understand what questions people are asking Google and how many times a month people are searching for that given term.
To keep it simple, any term you type into Google is a keyword.
So “Affiliate Marketing for Dummies” may have been the keyword you typed that led you to our guide today.
We are going to use Jaaxy for our example as it is integrated into Wealthy Affiliate and is the tool, we use most.
Check out the screenshot below:
This was us doing keyword research for this blog post:
It shows us that on average 206 people search for Affiliate Marketing for Dummies on a monthly basis. There are 126 other competing blog posts out there we are up against, so we need to ensure we write a high-quality comprehensive guide for Google to rank us high up.
You could also use Google Instant. Have you noticed how as you start typing in Google, they try to predict your question? This is a good indicator of what people are searching, but you need to still do keyword research as it can sometimes show that the competition for that keyword is too high for a new website, or there might be a better alternative.
For example, here is a screenshot of Google Instant in action:
So, I could have used “internet affiliate marketing for dummies”. But the search term does not get searched that often:
Meaning, I can expect less than 10 visits a month…
That is why you need to get keyword research right to bring in an audience.
If you want to learn more about keyword research, here is our complete guide.
By combining keyword research and great high-quality content you will be well on your way to building up that all-important audience. Now, we can start adding some affiliate programs to the mix…
#7 Promote your Affiliate Offers
If you are still with us in this guide, then it means you are serious and are ready to start promoting your affiliate products and to make money!
Once you have an audience coming to your website and you have gained their trust, you can start to suggest valuable products to them.
You have to remember to only promote relevant products that your audience would be interested in. Otherwise you will risk losing the trust your readers have gained into you.
But there are ways you can promote these products in the right way and highlight the products and services that you believe in.
Banner ads are a way of promoting affiliate offers on your website. Most affiliate programs will actually provide you with their own banners to use on your website. Placing banners in the right places where there is a lot of traffic and relevant posts is key to conversions.
People are more likely to click on an image as it grabs their attention.
Product reviews are a great way to promote affiliate products, especially as they are targeting people who are in the “ready to buy” stage. You must remember to be completely honest, as your readers are after your genuine opinion. Highlight both the positives and the negatives of any product and let them know your thoughts.
They are also good to help you centralise your affiliate links. Keeping your affiliate links to your reviews, with other posts leading to your reviews has a positive impact on your rankings.
If a website has affiliate links everywhere on it, the search engines will not see this in a good light.
In-text Content Links
This is one of the more common and easier ways to promote affiliate products. Whenever you see a link within the text of a website, it will lead you somewhere. People will click on it if it is relevant. For example, we used one earlier to go through to our step-by-step guide to building a website. This is an internal link and not an affiliate link. It just takes you to another page on our website that is relevant to building a website.
But the idea is the same to take someone to an external link that is an affiliate link.
As long as the link is relevant and helps the user, they will be inclined to click on it.
Use Your Email List
Once you have started to build up your email list, then you also have an audience of people that are interested in what you have to say, and you can use this to promote products via your emails.
Remember to keep it genuine, relevant and not have every email selling stuff. Include some useful hints and tips related to subjects in your niche.
I am sure you have signed up for an email list from a company and can see examples of what they send. Not every email is a plug for a product.
Top Tips to Double or Triple Your Success Rate in Affiliate Marketing!
You will find that most people fail at affiliate marketing when they do not follow the advice, we will go through in the points below. They walk away too soon as they think it isn’t working, but the reality is they just didn’t give it enough time.
Here are our top tips to improve your success rate!
Treat it Like a Business
Affiliate Marketing is a Business Model, it needs to be treated as such.
What we mean by treating it like a business is having a plan and working that plan. Set yourself daily, weekly and monthly goals.
You cannot expect to put in the odd hour here or there and realistically expected results. The problem is people do that all the time. They put in effort for about a month and then expect there to be results, when that isn’t how it works. Remember that you are working for the long run and not the short term like in a normal job.
If you are anything like me, we can relate this one to visiting the gym. Everyone signs up in January to the gym to get fit. The gyms are really busy in January. But are they still busy in March?
The same could be said for an affiliate marketing business. If you remain consistent and work at it at least an hour or two a day and be productive in that time, you can see success.
But the same needs to be said about learning. You need to keep learning through your affiliate marketing business. We are still learning now. As you gain more experience, you can then start learning how to implement email marketing better or how to improve your sales funnels, etc. (Here is our top recommended training program review)
You Need A Lot of Patience
You have to understand that affiliate marketing will not make you rich overnight, it is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme.
I am guessing you will have already seen plenty of adverts for programs that make those promises. They claim you can earn thousands overnight with a simple system.
People get scammed out of a lot of money through these programs, only to find out they are talking about affiliate marketing. They provide only basic information and conveniently have already taken your money.
Don’t get fooled by gurus who claim they can help you earn it quicker, as they are only after your money and not to help you.
You cannot expect to see results within a few days or weeks. If you remain persistent and motivated (and we can help you there, along with our community), you will see those results as long as you follow the right step-by-step plan.
Remain Patient and Determined and you will see those results…
Find a Mentor
Having a mentor and support is a massive step towards success. Someone to help and guide you when you feel lost or demotivated.
But how can you find a mentor without paying a huge fee?
Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Like we have mentioned a couple of times in this guide, there is a community where we like to hang out. There are a lot of successful affiliate marketers in many different markets on there, ready to help you out.
This community is a great resource for any budding affiliate marketer, and we have a number of different mentors from whom we are following and learning from.
All you need to do is create a FREE account HERE and you will be able to mastermind with other like-minded affiliate marketers very soon.
How Can I Learn More About Affiliate Marketing for Beginners?
I hope you have found this guide for beginners useful and you have a good understanding of what affiliate marketing is.
Affiliate Marketing is THE best way to make money online. Affiliate Marketing is only going to grow as more and more people go online to do their purchases.
If you really want to become successful with Affiliate Marketing, you are going to Love Wealthy Affiliate.
This course is how we got started with affiliate marketing and are now earning a 4-Figure Monthly Passive Income thanks to their training and support. They offer you a Free membership to get you started with fantastic training on Affiliate Marketing, a free website with hosting and they also provide you access to a huge community of over 2 million affiliate marketers and direct access to the owners to ask for their help and support at every step of the way.
If you are ready to take the first step into building your own affiliate marketing website with our support and the support from the team at Wealthy Affiliate, then all you need to do is click the button below and sign up. We will be there on the inside waiting to help you out.
Are You Ready To…?
- Do something once and get paid over and over again
- Make money whilst you sleep
- Work anytime and anywhere you want
- Have more time to be with your family
- Plus, many other benefits…
We have tried to cover as much as we can with our Affiliate Marketing for Dummies guide, and we hope that you have found it useful?
If you still have any questions, we encourage you to write them in the comments section below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
We hope you are really considering starting your own affiliate marketing business and can start building for you future with what you have learned. Wewe are here to help anyone who needs it, all you need to do is ask
All the best
John & Gem
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