Affiliate Marketing for Dummies: A Complete Guide for Beginners

Affiliate Marketing for Dummies

Here is a complete step-by-step guide for beginners on everything to do with affiliate marketing.  From what affiliate marketing is to how it works in practise. If you want to learn all about affiliate marketing, you need to read this guide!

A Step-by-Step Affiliate Marketing Guide for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know

step by step affiliate marketing guide for beginners

When I first started looking into ways of making money from home, I started to do some research on how to make money with your blog.

I was aware of the more obvious ways to make money with a blog, like selling your own products or with advertising.  But I knew very little about affiliate marketing.

In fact, in honesty I knew nothing about Affiliate Marketing at all!  It seemed such a foreign subject, but I had never realised I had been involved in affiliate marketing (as a customer) plenty of times, I just never put two and two together.

That’s why we put this guide together, to help anyone and everyone get a firm grasp on what affiliate marketing is and how it works.

I can still remember the excitement I got when I made my first affiliate marketing sale.  It was only $3, but after a couple of months without any commissions it was a massive achievement.

amazon affiliate earnings example

I knew at that point that this would work!!  If I could make a $3 sale, what was stopping me going and getting more sales.  It made me hungrier to learn more about affiliate marketing and how to improve my writing, my website, my niche in more detail.

I had already been following an awesome training program that was proving its worth by following their strategy, but I wanted to know more, and this proven training program gave us that extra information we needed. (You can read up on that training program here).

This guide is going to share with you some information, tips and techniques that I have learned from my experience with affiliate marketing.

It’s going to be a long read, so you may want to grab a cup of coffee first…

What is Affiliate Marketing?

It is a common question we get, as not many people offline know what it is or what it means or anything.  They know it has something to do with marketing, but what does the affiliate part mean.

Affiliate Marketing Definition

According to Wikipedia:

“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”

The problem with that statement is it doesn’t really help you understand it any clearer.  It doesn’t break down how simple affiliate marketing actually is.

But what does that mean in simple terms?

In the simplest terms, affiliate marketing is a “refer a friend” type of marketing.  Affiliate Marketing allows you to make money (normally referred to as a commission) for recommending products and services to readers.  You will only get paid when one of your recommendations turns into a subscription or a sale.

By creating a blog and then signing up with an affiliate program, you can then promote products or services and then one of your readers buys something you recommend you get rewarded with a commission on the sale.

Many of us have probably already been involved in affiliate marketing without even realising it.

For example, many of us have used an Uber.  When you refer a friend to try Uber or to become an Uber driver, Uber rewards you with a coupon code to use on your next trip, right?

That is affiliate marketing in action.  It is basically referring people or recommending a product or service to people and getting a reward for it.  In this example it is a coupon, other times it is a commission (money).

Here is another example.  You are looking at purchasing a new laptop.  But you are not sure which model or brand is best for you.  Do you buy a normal laptop, do you buy a tablet/laptop hybrid?  Which brand do you go with?  There may be tons of questions you need answering before you make your decision.

How do you go and find out those answers? 

That’s easy, you would go to Google and type in something like “best laptop” or “MacBook review” or “Surface review”.  Pretty much exactly the same way you typed into google to learn about affiliate marketing.

Google would then give you a selection of blog posts written to help you with your research.  If you land on a blog post and they answer all your questions and then follow their link through to the marketplace that laptop was being sold on and then buy the laptop.  That blogger would have received a commission as a thank you for introducing a customer.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Like I said, affiliate marketing is the term for the process of promoting other people’s products or services and earning a commission from the sale.

Here is a flowchart that describes the steps involved:

how does affiliate marketing work flowchart

  1. 1. The customer does a search for the help they need
  2. 2. They land on your website where you have helpful guides and product reviews
  3. 3. AS you have signed up with an affiliate program with Amazon (for example), you have a special link that tells Amazon it was you that introduced the customer.
  4. 4. If that customer buys through your affiliate link, you make money

In the case of the laptop example, when the person did an online search, the blog post they landed on was probably written by an affiliate marketer.

The same can be said for if they clicked on a YouTube video, an affiliate link would be included in the description of the video.

Either way, when that person clicks on the link and goes and the buys a laptop, the affiliate marketer would earn a commission from the sale.

There are a couple of other points to consider with affiliate marketing and they are great examples of how good affiliate marketing is for a blogger.

The first is the fact that a well written blog post could be earning you passive income for years to come.  You do not need to handhold the sale.  My first affiliate sale happened overnight whilst I was sleeping.  If we take Amazon as the example, as they are the world’s largest marketplace and has an affiliate program.

Then we can say that someone lands on your blog post.  They like what they read, and you have helped them decide to buy the product you were writing about.  They then click on your affiliate link and go through to Amazon.

Amazon handles the transaction, they handle the shipping, they handle everything including triggering the commission for your help in the process.

Even though, you weren’t even around.  That means an Affiliate Marketers website is working for them 24/7 365 days a year.

The second point is that the customer doesn’t actually have to buy what you are promoting to earn a commission either.  I am going to use Amazon again for simplicity.  They have, what you call 24 Hour cookies.  Some affiliate programs have longer ones, and some are lifetime cookies.  But with Amazon, it is 24 hours.

This means that once your readers click on the link, the program will save a cookie on their device.

They might not make a sale when they click it immediately, they might change their mind.  But, if they decide to go back to Amazon within that same 24-hour period and buy something else, you would still qualify for the commission on that other product they bought.

Let’s use an example:

Mary is reading your blog post about slow cooker recipes and clicks on the link to one of the slow cookers.  She has a look on Amazon at the product, but then decides it isn’t for her.

She goes out for a walk, but then she gets home, she remembers that she was going to buy a new Apple laptop and logsaffiliate example - macbook pro back into Amazon and goes and buys a $2,000 MacBook Pro… but guess what the best part is?

You just got that commission on that sale.  As long as Mary did it within 24 hours of clicking on your link, the sale stands.

Ok, it is unlikely to be that easy.  But hopefully you get the point.

The reason we love affiliate marketing is that it is one of the most passive ways to make money with your blog!  You could write one blog post and it could earn you money for years to come. It would require very little maintenance 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.  So, here is a standard link to Amazon’s marketplace:

Standard Link to a website: https://amazon.com

Affiliate link to the same website: https://amzn.to/2XVtLra

They would both take you to Amazon’s website.  But the second would tell them that we were the ones that took you there.  Amazon gives you the option of a short link (which is what we used) or a full link.

When you hover your mouse over 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?

There are a number of reasons why we feel Affiliate Marketing is ideal for a beginner to earn money online.  But we are going to discuss the top 4 reasons on why affiliate marketing is the right choice for a beginner.

Potential for A Full-Time Passive Income Stream

When you compare affiliate marketing to a normal day job, there is such a difference.  A normal job, you will only get paid for the hours you are there and with very little chance of you getting paid more an hour for doing a good job.  That is often for your employer to make that decision.  So, you will never achieve financial freedom in that traditional system and that mindset.

With affiliate marketing, by putting more effort in you will have a direct impact on your earning potential.  It has the potential for you to do something one (write a blog post or product review) and get paid over and over again.

Your website/business can be working for you even when you sleep or are travelling.  This is about creating a passive income stream.

Having the right mindset is also an 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 a change.

Fully Flexible Working Schedule

You might not get this in the early days when you are building up your business, you are probably going to need to keep your job for a bit.

But once your business is on the right path, you can give up your day job and plan your own working schedule.  You will be the boss and you can literally work anywhere.

The local coffee shop, your sofa, even whilst travelling the world like many affiliate marketers do.  Wherever you feel most comfortable, as this will make you the most productive.

No Need to Sell

Have you heard of a business model called MLM?  It stands for https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_marketing.  If you have heard of Avon, then Avon is an MLM.

It relies heavily on your ability to sell products face-to-face and your ability to recruit other marketers,

The problem with MLM is that this is made extremely difficult due to the products being so expensive, don’t always have a benefit and there is always a pressure to hit targets.  99% of people in an MLM lose money or end up in debt. 

They end up trying desperately to get friends and family to buy stuff to hit those quotas and ruin many relationships.

Yet, most people have heard of MLM and even tried (and failed at it) but have not heard of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing has none of that.  You are not having to sell direct to anyone.  There is no face-to-face sales.  Your website does all the hard work for you.  You only need to create helpful and friendly content.

Many of us are slightly introverted.  We are not outgoing people who can go out and become a salesperson or find it easy to meet new people.  But we do not need to with affiliate marketing.

This is a great way for people to make money online by helping people from behind their keyboards.

No Prior Experience Needed

I am totally serious with this one, there is no need to already have a website or a blog.  You do not need to know how to use computer code.  And building a website is super easy these days.  We will show you shortly how you could have a website up and running with just a few clicks.

All you need to bring to it is your time and effort and a willingness to learn.

Before we got started with affiliate marketing, I knew nothing about online marketing or even how to build a website.  I also felt my writing wasn’t going to be good enough, let alone how to apply for affiliate programs.

And yet, here I am helping new people get online and that is because I had the best training on the planet to help me every step of the way.  All I had to bring was my determination to make this work and it is… I will show you the results later.

Who is Affiliate Marketing For?

determined individuals

It could be easy to write that affiliate marketing is for everyone, however that isn’t strictly true.

The reason is that you need to start thinking about this as a long-term goal.  Affiliate Marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme that will have you waking up in a week and earning a 4-Figure Monthly Salary from it.

To explain the difference, we need to go back to a comparison between a normal job and this.

In a normal job, you work for your next paycheck.  If you knew they weren’t going to pay you, you wouldn’t go to work, right?

The same could be said for the opposite scenario.  If you stop going to work, you will not get paid.

With affiliate marketing, you will be working towards earning a passive income stream.  Meaning you will not be earning straightaway, but you are working towards making that a reality.

When you start to earn from your passive income streams, you work when you choose to, and not because you have to.

If you can get that in 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 somewhere, you will do extremely well.

But you also need to work hard to see the results, the only reason you will fail at affiliate marketing is because you walk away before that earning point.

But to answer the question of who affiliate marketing is for, you do not need any prior experience to get started with affiliate marketing, but you will require determination and some support.  The support we got is open to anyone who is serious about making affiliate marketing work, it worked for us because we have an awesome community to help us every step of the way.  You can check out this awesome community for yourself for FREE.

But you are going to need to be the one that takes this opportunity and work hard to achieve it.

How Much Can You Make with Affiliate Marketing?

The answer is pretty simple, there is no limit to the earning potential of an affiliate marketer.

There are plenty of examples of successful affiliate marketers earning truly astonishing amounts.  It is pretty common for people who have mastered affiliate marketing to be making tens of thousands a month using the affiliate marketing business model.

Here are some examples showing the 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 created a course to help others.
  • Mike from Stupid Simple SEO, makes over $95,000 a year in passive income, using SEO techniques and Amazon

But How Long Will It Take?

You are probably asking yourself; how long will this take to earn me money, right?

Let’s try and give you a realistic timescale for 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 life to build up your own PASSIVE INCOME stream so that you don’t need to work at a normal job for the rest of your life?

To put a bit of context on this, that is a year of hard work.  That is, you putting in time and effort to achieve success.  There are plenty of times when I was working on my site in the evenings after the family had gone to bed.  But it was totally worth it in the long run.

We cannot give you a guarantee or a promise that this will work to those timescales.  It is just a rough guide as there are many different factors to consider.

You may also be thinking that if anyone could build their own passive income online in just a couple of years, why isn’t everyone doing it and why are so many people struggling financially?

The reason is that many people fail because of their mindset or they do not follow the advice set out by our amazing training program.  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 Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide

We are now going to go through all the steps that you need to take to be successful in affiliate marketing and I am sure, that by the end of it, this “Affiliate Marketing for Dummies” guide will make your life much easier!

How to Start Affiliate Marketing

The steps you need to take to start affiliate marketing do sound very easy on paper:

  • Apply for the best affiliate programs
  • Add your affiliate link to your blog or review
  • Wait to make money…

Oh, if only it was that simple.  You will soon realise that it is not as straightforward as that.

Whilst we are keeping the guide simple, there are many steps you need to make before you get to the point where you make money.

If you really want to make money with affiliate marketing, you need to start the correct way and ensure you follow all the steps.

1. Choose a Niche

This is an important step that you need to make to become successful with affiliate marketing and it is about choosing a niche.  There are some huge factors that will help you with this, that we will get into in a moment.

But when you are deciding on your niche, it is important to not be too broad.  If your niche is too broad, it will make more difficult for several reasons including the competition from others in your chosen subject.

Choosing a tightly focused niche will help you rank higher up in Google, allowing you to grow your following faster.

Start too broad and you will find that you will find it harder to get ranked because you are competing against a number of different niches for the same keywords.

Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself when choosing your niche:

What Topics Am I Passionate About?

There is little point of choosing a topic that you know nothing about just because someone said it was profitable.  Whilstpassion led us here people choose expensive stuff on Amazon because of the commission rate.  What is the point if you cannot write any content because you know nothing about the products?

You need to pick a subject that you are passionate about and can help other people with blog posts written about stuff relating to your subject.  That is why we suggest you choose a hobby or passion you have.

This will normally mean you have some knowledge and experience related to that subject.  I also means that you are willing to learn more about it too.

That way you can come up with loads of ideas for blog posts that lead to product reviews for items related to your niche.

No passion about a subject will mean you lack any stuff to write about.  Without content, you will have no rankings.  No rankings leads to no traffic.  No traffic means no sales.

There is no point having an empty blog about Gaming PC’s that retail for over $2,000 where you will get no sales.

When you can choose a subject you really enjoy that you can fill with content and make money on.

I have known people who are really interested in knitting make money from their hobby.  It won’t have the high commission rate of the PC’s, but then it doesn’t matter as they are making plenty of sales from helping people with something they know or love.

You don’t need to be an expert in that hobby or niche, people want to learn from real people and that is what you are.  Provide them with help around a subject you know, and the money will soon follow.

Can I Make Money in My Niche?

Having said that, passion will only get you so far.  You need to make sure that you can make money from your passion or 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 will show you that in a little more detail later).

By checking if Amazon has products related to your niche, then you know you have products to promote for your idea.

If it lacks any products, then it may be too niche, and you may need to have a rethink.

But you might be sitting there going I have no idea John on what I could use.  Well the following four markets have a huge marketer and always have buyers, so they may be a good starting point for you to choose a niche from one of these four:

  • Health & Fitness
  • Money (Making and Saving)
  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Beauty & Fashion

So, if you are not too sure which direction to go, you could explore a niche within these.  These in themselves are too broad, but they are a great starting point and you could explore a specific niche in each of them.

Is My Niche Too Niche?

Whilst, you need to drill down as much as you can to find a niche, there is a point where you go too niche.

You need to be able to come up with like 50 to 100 article ideas on that niche. So, if you chose pink dog collars, you are going to find it extremely difficult to find much to write about.

But if you went with dog accessories, then you may have better luck.

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 successful with affiliate marketing is that you need to help your potential customer and not sell to them.

Helping your readers to solve problems or to answer their questions must always come first.  You also need to be confident that whatever you are recommending will be really useful to that customer.

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 thereplanning and setting goals 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 a little exciting!! 

build a website

That is because we are going to show you how you can your very own (FREE) website up and running and ready to start making you money in just a few minutes.

If you already have your own website, that is a great start and you can skip to step 4.

If you don’t, then this is where you are going to take your research to the next level.

If you have never built a website before, then please relax.  It is nowhere near as complicated as many people make out.

These days, it is so simple and there is no need to know any complicated code or anything.  Many of us affiliate marketers (us included) do not know anything about website coding or programming.

There is no need to, with the help of tools like SiteRubix, you can build yourself a website within minutes.  In fact, it normally takes longer to choose the domain name than it does building the site.

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

We want to make this as simple as we can make it. WE recommend SiteRubix and 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:

  1. 1. Choose a Domain Name
  2. 2. Choose a Title for your website
  3. 3. Choose a theme from the selection available
  4. 4. 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:

  1. 1. 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.
  2. 2. 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:

Here is a list of individual affiliate programs:

Things You Need to Know Before You Apply to Any Affiliate Marketing Program

  1. 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.

  1. 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

  1. 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.

  1. 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

  1. 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.

Google Search

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.

affiliate program search - health and fitness

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.

Product Reviews

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.

List Articles

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.

Product Comparisons

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.

User Intent

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

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.

But how did we know how many people are searching for that.  Well, we did some keyword research.  There are many different keyword research platforms.  For example, Ubersuggest or Jaaxy.

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:

jaaxy keyword research example - affiliate marketing for dummies

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:

google instant example - affiliate marketing for dummies

So, I could have used “internet affiliate marketing for dummies”.  But the search term does not get searched that often:

jaaxy example - internet affiliate marketing for dummies

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

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.

Like This!

wealthy affiliate banner ad

Product Reviews

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.

Remain Consistent

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.

wealthy affiliate free sign up

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.  WE are here to help anyone who needs it, all you need to do is ask

All the best

John & Gem

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