If you are looking to find out who does affiliate marketing really work, you have come to the right place. A lot of other people will make it sound so complicated that you will give up before you even get started. Why?
So they can sell you some crap that you do not need, but they claim will help you get started and earn money really quick…
Affiliate Marketing is simple, I am not saying it isn’t hard work but the reality is that there are four key steps to earning money from Affiliate Marketing and by the end of this guide you will have a full handle of what affiliate marketing really is, how it really works and if you are wanting to get started with affiliate marketing, we will show you an awesome step-by-step training guide that you can get started with for free that comes complete with our full support.
In this guide we are going to first break down the different aspects of affiliate marketing. Let’s get started…
The Affiliate Marketing Process – The Basics of Affiliate Marketing
When it comes to affiliate marketing, there are 3 parties. There is the affiliate (you), there is the affiliate program (the company/product owner) and there is the customer (the buyer).
As an affiliate, you choose to join an affiliate program – this gives you the ability to promote a product or service via a blog (website) or social media.
When you join an affiliate program, they give you the ability to share products with a special link. This link is what tells the company who referred the customer to the product. It is like a stamp that says “I am the one that introduced the customer to that product”.
If the buyer follows that link to the website offering the product or service and they make a purchase, you then earn a commission. This commission is either a flat rate or a percentage depending on the affiliate program.
To make it easier, let’s have a look at the flow chart below:
One of the easiest affiliate programs to join and use as an example is Amazon. More and more people are using Amazon to purchase items and they offer an affiliate program called Amazon Associates.
They offer over 500 million products (yep, that is a lot of products). This also helps show the opportunity that affiliate marketing offers as there is a niche for anyone to explore. Whatever your interest, hobby or subject you can help others with – they will typically have products for you to promote.
If I drive someone from my website, social media account or even an email sent out to a mailing list with affiliate links included and they make a purchase, say a kitchen appliance like a coffee machine, I earn 6% commission on that. So, if the coffee machine cost $100, I earn $6.
That might not sound a lot, but there are 100,000’s buying kitchen appliances every day on Amazon. If you managed to sell 100 kettles a day that is $180 a day that you could be earning.
The thing to consider is that if you were selling a more expensive item, say $1000 flat screen TV and you managed to sell 30 of those that is $1,800 commission.
A huge market at the moment is the get fit market or even pets. Starting an affiliate marketing business around these areas, could easily end up with you having a full-time income just by helping people make purchasing decisions.
That shows the reality of Affiliate Marketing with only a couple of examples.
Now you know what the Affiliate Marketing Process is, let’s talk a bit about what that means for You, the Affiliate.
Related Post: Why Do Companies Use Affiliate Marketing?
Who Can Become an Affiliate?
Generally speaking, there is not usually anything stopping someone becoming an affiliate and it is usually free to join an affiliate program.
There are a few cases where they may charge a small fee, but that is usually to verify you are a real person. But, like I said it is very rare.
It is also a thing to look out for, to protect yourself from scams.
Affiliate Programs should be free! The company is benefiting from you promoting their products and services so they do not have to have a huge marketing campaign budget.
They only pay out if someone makes a purchase which makes it a huge benefit to companies.
If you find they are charging what seems like a high fee, they are likely a scam or a low quality affiliate program and I would steer clear. When you have more experience, you might think otherwise. But for now, stay away from paid ones.
What is great about affiliate programs are they are (usually) free to join as an affiliate, you get to promote pretty much every brand, product or service going and get to earn a commission for doing so.
With Amazon alone, there are over 500 million products and services to promote as an affiliate.
But there are tons of affiliate programs out there. Many Affiliate Marketers start out with Amazon, but when you do the research required – there are many companies and affiliate networks that offer an affiliate program.
You will find there are endless possibilities when it comes to affiliate marketing and the affiliate programs that come with them.
How Do Affiliate Programs Work?
Put Simply, an affiliate program is a piece of software that allows affiliates (you) to promote merchants and earn a commission. The affiliate program tracks all clicks, sales transactions and calculates all the commission automatically.
It will also allow you to manage payment details and personal details. They also give you a dashboard that allows you to track your own progress.
Affiliate Program stats are automated and accurate. They are always getting technological updates all the time to allow Affiliates & Company’s to get better data to improve the processes.
It is especially important for an Affiliate to know which links are converting better than others and which sources you are getting better results with to capitalise on them.
Affiliate Programs also offer promotional materials – banners, widgets or even plugins that help you leverage the offer on your website or social media.
The better the affiliate program is, the more the affiliate has on offer to promote products or services.
What is an Affiliate Network?
Whilst there are many independent affiliate programs, sometimes it is easier to go with an Affiliate Network.
For example, Awin is the largest Affiliate network in the world and you would gain access to promoting 6,000 different companies and their respective products with one account.
There are plenty of affiliate networks out there, with 100,000’s of companies and brands within those networks. Joining a couple of affiliate networks could save you a lot of time and effort, as you would only need to manage a couple of accounts rather than doing it independently with each company and having loads to worry about.
Some of the most popular Affiliate Networks are:
- Awin.com (see related post: Everything You Need to Know About Awin)
- Amazon Associates (see related post: How to Make Money with the Amazon Associates program)
- eBay Partners
- CJ by Conversant (see related post: What is CJ Affiliate by Conversant?)
- Clickbank.com (see related post: Can You Make Money with Clickbank?)
- ShareASale (see related post: What is Share A Sale About? A ShareASale Review)
How Do You Get Paid?
Affiliate Programs do not make it difficult for you to get paid. They want the process to be seamless to encourage affiliates to join them.
Of course, they all pay differently, have different pay schedules. It is also typical for them pay in US Dollars, regardless of where you are in the world.
There are some that will pay you in your own currency, but don’t be surprised if you find it to be US dollars.
There are also payment gateways, such as PayPal that will convert it into your own currency.
Depending on the affiliate program, you could receive payment via:
- Cheque Payment
- Bank Transfer
As an example, Amazon associates offers the option of Amazon gift cards or bank transfer. Or Wealthy Affiliate (Which I am a member) pays primarily through Paypal, but there is the option of Cheque payments or if you are earning enough they will do a bank transfer.
Affiliate Programs would shoot themselves in the foot if they made it difficult to pay affiliates… Would you promote a company that made it difficult for you to receive your money?
What is the Affiliate Opportunity?
The Affiliate Opportunity is endless… The number of people who are buying online is growing by the day.
But when people buy online it is so different to when they go to a store.
If you go to a store you get to see the product, feel the product and check it out. Online, people are resorting to researching reviews of products.
What did other buyers think, is there an in-depth review of the product online?? That is your opportunity, regardless of the niche you pick.
If you know a lot about digital cameras and could share your knowledge and experience of how to use cameras, which would be a great camera for a starter and the prospective buyer gets a great amount of information from you and they trust you through what you write.
There is your opportunity to earn commissions. However, do not just focus on selling to people. It is the one thing that will actually get in the way of you making any sales.
Think of it this way, if I had already made my decision to buy a particular product – why would I be searching for a blog with some information on that product…?
I wouldn’t, I am searching online because I am looking for some help with my purchasing decisions:
- What products are there?
- Which particular product is the best?
- Why is that particular product the best?
- Is it right for me personally?
You need to help people with their questions, before you lead them to the right product for them. It is by far, the best strategy for affiliate marketers.
My biggest piece of advice for wannabe Affiliate Marketers is help the reader, do not sell to them.
Write Product Reviews, How to Guides, Share Your Experiences With the Audience and you will have yourself the foundations of a great affiliate marketing business.
If you just put a load of affiliate links on your website and sold things to them too hard, they will switch off very easily.
Does Affiliate Marketing Really Work…?
This is where I just want to clarify a few things you might have heard about when doing some research into Affiliate Marketing.
Does it really work…? Yes is the short answer.
However, there are many that state it doesn’t work and that is normally because of their expectations.
There is no magic formula that will make affiliate marketing work overnight. Regardless of what some crappy products tell you.
This is an online business model that requires you to work hard and will not earn you a return on that work straightaway.
I do not want to sugar coat it, you will not be earning money within a couple of weeks with affiliate marketing.
But, these gurus want to sell you products that claim to do the work for you and guess what? They don’t work. All they do is get that “guru” some more money in his pocket and that is all he cares about.
Affiliate Marketing is awesome, but it is not:
- A Get-Rich-Scheme
- A Pyramid or MLM Scheme
What Affiliate Marketing Requires:
- Time to Learn
- Time to Invest into your Business
- Hard Work (and more Hard Work)
If you feel that you cannot wait for this to work, then affiliate marketing is probably not for you.
But if you want to invest into your future and think back in a couple of years, this was such a great decision (like we do).
Then Affiliate Marketing can be a great business plan towards working from home and working towards financial freedom.
With the Right Mindset, Affiliate Marketing Definitely Does Work!
If you want to get some expert help and support with your affiliate marketing business plan, then carry on reading!
Where Can You Go to Run an Affiliate Business?
If you have decided that you want to get started with an affiliate marketing business, but still have no clue as to where you can go to learn everything you need to get started. We want to help you out!
It can be really hard to find the right training programs with the right tools, especially as there are plenty that all claim to be the best.
But, the biggest problem with some of them is – when you get started with them, you soon realise they are nothing to do with affiliate marketing or are a complete scam!
Where Do You Start Your Research??
We want to help you out and speed up your research into getting started in Affiliate Marketing.
There is a training platform out there that totally stands out from the rest. We have been using this platform since 2016! We have had such an amazing experience with this platform and want to share it with those who are ready to finally take those first steps into affiliate marketing. That platform is called Wealthy Affiliate.
It is where Affiliate Marketing experts hang out, manage their respective businesses and aid people wanting to get started with Affiliate Marketing.
If you are serious about learning Affiliate Marketing, it is the best option you will find.
It also provides an environment where you can get all the tools, websites, hosting, training, coaching and interactive support to create and grow a business that will succeed within the affiliate marketing world.
There are 2 membership options, a completely free starter membership (free to try) and an advanced premium option (as low as $29 a month). I personally recommend you try the starter membership, as you will want to check it out before making any purchasing decision.
If you want to start a completely free starter membership with Wealthy Affiliate and see what they have to offer, click the button below:
Within a handful of lessons, you will have your own affiliate coach (us), chosen which niche you are going to use for your affiliate marketing campaigns and have a direction for your business.
You will have your own affiliate website complete with hosting and access to awesome training that will take you on a journey to becoming an authority within your niche and in affiliate marketing.
But you will soon realise after checking out the free starter membership that you will truly belong within the WA community and be ready to tackle the hurdle of becoming an Affiliate Marketer.
Whichever direction you decide to travel, we wish you luck and success.
If you still have any questions around any of the aspects of affiliate marketing we have discussed in this post, please write them in the comments below and we will definitely respond to you as soon as we can