If you are thinking about getting started with Affiliate Marketing, I bet you have so many questions… We have put together this Affiliate Marketing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to hopefully answer them for you…
We’ve classifed them into 5 main categories:
- General Questions
- Niche Questions
- Basic Website Questions
- Content Creation Questions
- Website Development & Growth Questions
Hopefully, you will find your answers here! But if you don’t and you still have questions, then please write them in the comments section below.
32 Affiliate Marketing FAQ
Affiliate Marketing is a type of online marketing business. It is where the Affiliate (the middleman between a buyer and seller) earns a commission by referring, linking or recommending the buyer to the product or service from the seller. When the buyer makes a purchase via the affiliate’s affiliate link, the affiliate earns a commission from the seller.
Have a look at the video below for a more thorough explanation of affiliate marketing:
- The Merchant or Seller
- The Affiliate
- The Customer
When a transaction takes place in the form of affiliate marketing, the customer gets the product that they want, the seller makes a sale and the affiliate earns a commission for recommending that product to the customer.
One thing that you should know
Affiliate Marketing overlaps with a number of different types of Internet Marketing to some degree. This is because affiliates often use different types of marketing skills to promote their affiliate websites and affiliate offers. Some of these marketing skills include:
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Paid Advertising
- Content Marketing
- Attraction Marketing
Simply put, Affiliate Marketing is one of the best ways for you to earn a full-time passive income from home or online.
Here are 8 Advantages of an Affiliate Marketing Business
#1 A Source of Full-Time Passive Income
You will be building your own website to run an affiliate marketing business. A website that will be working 24/7 for you once you set it up, and that way you can make money at anytime of the day even whilst you were sleeping. This is because customers can visit your website from any country or time zone in the world.
This can provide you with a truly passive income stream!
#2 You Can Work From Anywhere in the World
As long as you have a laptop and also access to the Internet, you can work on your website. This means that you won’t get stuck in your office or somewhere you don’t like anymore.
Although there are many successful affiliate marketers showing you pictures and videos of them lounging on a beach whilst working or whilst travelling, it is still recommended that you have a proper place to do work on your website. Maybe a desk or office in your home to work on your business.
This is mainly down to the need for you to focus on working instead of having a lot of distractions that can get in the way of you achieving your goals.
The pictures and videos you see are attraction marketing techniques to attract people into their business. I guarantee they have an office too, yet they want you to believe it is easier said than done.
# Turn Your Passion into your Business
You get to choose the topic that your affiliate marketing business will be based on. In this context, it is often referred to as a niche. You get to choose what types of products or services you will promote. That can be a hobby or passion.
This means that you will be working on something that you already have an interest in and already enjoy, making your chances of success much higher.
People don’t put effort into something they do not enjoy.
#4 Fully Flexible Working Schedule
This is not like your day job. There is no need to clock in or clock out based on what your boss or company expect. You can choose when and where you will do the work on your affiliate marketing business.
#5 No Prior Knowledge Required
When affiliate marketing first became a technique, there was a requirement that you knew a lot of technical knowledge around website creation and design and then computer coding as well.
That is no longer a barrier. Technology has advanced so much that anyone can build a website really easily with just a few clicks and there is no need to know anything about computer coding.
As far as the marketing skills that you will need, can be learned at a very affordable price. There is no need to go to college or have a degree to build your own online business.
Wealthy Affiliate is one of the best learning platforms for anyone to get started.
#6 You Don’t Need to Sell in Person
In traditional business, network marketing or Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) businesses, there is usually a need to sell products to real people. Sales and Pitching are a necessity.
Many people are put off by this need to sell in person, especially with MLM businesses. They end up feeling awkward as they usually start by selling to friends and family members.
With affiliate marketing, there is no need to do any of that. There is just a need for you to learn how to build a proper website and how to market products to people who are interested and will come to you. There is no need to sell or rely on your friends and family to make sales.
Done right, your customers will come to you via your website. That means that your potential customers could come from everywhere and means you have a much larger pool to pull from than just your friends and family.
#7 You Don’t Need to Product Your Own Products
For you to make money, there is going to need to be a transaction. In order for that transaction to take place, you will need to have products or services to sell to your target audience.
There are two ways for you to do this:
- Create your own products or services
- Sell other people’s products and services
In affiliate marketing, there is no need for you to create your own product (although you can if you want). You can simply promote other people’s products and earn a commission for every sale you make.
Whilst product creation is a completely different thing to be learned, not all businesses can sell other people’s products.
#8 You Don’t Need to Handle Shipping or Customer Services
With affiliate marketing, you are only linking the customer with the product or service by recommending it. That means that you will not have to deal with any shipping or customer service as that is the responsibility of the seller.
When the buyer comes along and buys the product via your affiliate link, you earn a commission and there is no need for you to do anything else.
There is mainly one criticism against affiliate marketing.
Abusing the use of Affiliate Links
The most serious criticism against affiliate marketing is that there are too many affiliates that are trying too hard to make money that they end up abusing the use of affiliate links.
Many people get into the wrong mindset and they are focusing so much on making money fast. When they learn a little bit about affiliate marketing, they simply want to learn how to promote affiliate links to as many people as they can. They end up spamming people, using unethical or illegal techniques to promote their affiliate links.
They end up getting their social media accounts banned and have not done the work to identify their target audience so they are not getting the right traffic to your website.
People who abuse the use of affiliate links usually quit after a while as they don’t get any results. But it is because they are not following the right strategy.
People who follow the right strategy and do proper affiliate marketing will not have this issue.
Everyone is different and that means the results you see will totally depend on how much time and effort you are able and willing to put into your business.
Some people can start making money within a few weeks, but that is normally as they have spent every minute they could in front of their computer.
Others, like ourselves had a longer route as we both had full-time jobs and a family to work around.
For a good response to how long it can take, check out this video. It is the ideal response to those looking for how long this will take:
Like we said, how long it takes before you are making money online will really depend on yourself and your situation. If you have more time available and are willing to invest this time into your business, you will definitely make money sooner. As long as you are productive and follow the right strategy.
Just for your info, some people started making money after a few months and others it took them years.
If you utilise platforms such as Wealthy Affiliate, the average time needed to make your first commission will typically be around 3 to 6 months. This is dependent on you following the training and taking consistent action, as this is no guarantee.
You will find that there are 3 main types of Affiliate Program. These are:
- Private Affiliate Programs
- Affiliate Networks
- Amazon Affiliate Program
#1 Private Affiliate Programs
These are affiliate programs that are offered directly from the seller of the product. This means you will need to apply to join the affiliate program directly through their respective website or platform.
#2 Affiliate Networks
Some merchants prefer to not do all the work for an affiliate program themselves, and that is where you will find Affiliate Networks.
These include platforms like:
- CJ Affiliate by Conversant
These are platforms that connect sellers and affiliates together. By joining an Affiliate Network, you will find a large number of affiliate programs that you can utilise for your campaigns.
#3 Amazon Associate (Affiliate) Program
Amazon is different to those affiliate networks, although it is very similar in certain ways. In essence, it is an e-commerce platform that also offers an affiliate an opportunity.
As an affiliate (Amazon calls it “Associates”), you are able to promote any of the products that are available on Amazon. When you consider how many products that Amazon sells, this gives an affiliate endless possibilities.
When you compare this to having to apply for individual affiliate programs for products elsewhere, Amazon is an ideal opportunity for people just starting out.
Please note, every platform will have it’s own rules, terms and conditions for both affiliates and sellers. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these rules before you sign up with them.
This will depend totally on your current schedule…
There is no exact amount of time you need to invest into your business. You can put in 2 hours a week or put in 2 hours a day. This will be up to you and will depend on your current schedule and other commitments.
Having said that, you need to know that the more time you put into your business, the faster you will see the results and you will therefore earn more money.
If you want to see better results earlier, then you should invest as much time as you can into your business, where possible.
You can sell ANY products or services, but they need to be relevant to your niche and also have an affiliate program.
Typically, you will find that products and services will be from one of two categories: Physical and Digital.
Physical products are those that are tangible, as in you get a product through the post, i.e. a book, etc.
Digital products include online tools, software, a membership, an eBook, an online course, etc.
There are many products and services in either category. But the key point you need to take away is that the product/service needs to be relevant to your target audience and help solve their problems or need.
Digital Products appear to be the most popular products to sell online.
There is a proportion of people who are not willing to put the time and effort into learning and creating content, so they just want to buy traffic to get sales instead.
There is a fundamental problem to this method.
Buying traffic and making it profitable is not as easy as many people think. If you don’t spend the time to learn the basics, you will end up losing money instead of earning any. You need to ensure your Return on Investment (ROI) is positive. To do this, you need to know what you are doing.
Even if you do know how to buy traffic and monetise it, it is not a long-term strategy and you are very unlikely to get consistent sales from buying traffic.
The best strategy is to create content and rank it in the search engines. It is free and a long-term strategy to build a passive income.
Although, this method will take you longer to see results, the income rewards you are getting at the end is definitely worthwhile.
You Won’t Know Unless You Persevere!
An Affiliate Marketing business is not a get-rich-quick scheme. You will not get rich overnight. It will take time to learn the skills. It will then take you time to apply those skills and make the search engines trust your website.
The only way for you to know whether your efforts are paying off is by being consistent in your efforts and persevere. You will not see results in the short term. You need to play the long game.
It generally takes at least 3 to 6 months before you make your first commission.
To help you persevere, you just need to keep in mind that there are already many people succeeding with affiliate marketing and they all did it by persevering.
You have to Believe in Yourself and your Effort will Pay Off!
There is no Limit, So As Much As You Want!
(Provided that you are willing to put in the time, effort and some money)
The potential earnings of Affiliate Marketing is HUGE! Pat Flynn is a good example. He is an expert at Affiliate Marketing. In his monthly income report, you can see that he is earning at least $100k PER MONTH!
I know you might be thinking, “well that makes sense as he is an expert. It is no surprise that he is earning that kind of money”.
He is indeed the extreme example of what is possible. But we have seen a lot of people earning a full-time income and living freely, many are travelling the world by building a successful affiliate marketing business from home.
But there are still many success stories of a more realistic earning potential.
According to ConvertKit’s research, professionals in this industry have an average profit of $138,046 in 2016. Then there are those that are not yet professionals but are working hard in this industry and they have an average profit of $9,497 in 2016.
The potential is there. Once you have your business set up and your website up and running for you 24/7 and therefore making money for you 24/7.
Compare that to the traditional paycheck which you receive from your boss every month. With affiliate marketing you can honestly earning money whilst you sleep.
But you do need to put in the necessary efforts if you want this to become a reality!
It won’t be easy and I will be totally honest about that. But it is definitely worth pursuing in the long term perspective.
Whilst it isn’t necessary, we would definitely recommend it.
The reason why we say it isn’t necessary is because a lot of the information you need to build a successful online business can be found for free using the internet.
This information can be found all over the place. It will take you time to collate all the information you need and then put it into some kind of order to ensure that you are on the right path. There is also the reality that there are a lot of scammers out there giving out false information and as you lack the knowledge, you might found you are caught out by a scam or a dodgy strategy that really hampers your efforts.
If you are a complete beginner who wants to make money online, it is best to have a training/strategy that is systematic.
Or else, you will most likely quit before you build anything or see any results.
There is a high chance you will become overwhelmed by all the information that is online.
We recommend that you find a proper training program that offers a step-by-step plan and support and you will not typically find proper training for free.
We recommend Wealthy Affiliate, It offers online marketing training and is the training program we uses ourselves to learn the skills we required.
It is important you understand how important it is that you are completely honest and that you make the point of stating that you are reviewing/selling products from your own research and not from personal experience.
If you want to be successful online, you need to be completely open and honest!
Despite there being many people who argue that you must first purchase and use the product or service before you can review and promote it to others, that is really hard and can be really expensive to buy everything you want to promote first. Especially when you are just starting out.
So, you can sell products and services that you have not tried yourself. But know that you are going to need to do a lot of research and then be honest about that in your review.
There is another way as well, you could reach out to people who have used the product before and ask them to give you some insight into their experiences with the product.
As you gain experience and have a higher budget, you can then aim to buy the product and services before completing a review and promoting them.
If you become an authority in your niche, there is also the chance that merchants will reach out to you to complete a review and will send you a product free.
The simple response is NO!
There is a growing concern that since more and more people are doing affiliate marketing online, there is a point where it may become saturated.
We understand your concern, but it is really a redundant concern.
There is the fact that more people are getting involved with affiliate marketing, but there is also the counter argument that more and more people are buying their products online. There are reports that nearly 4 billion people have access to high-speed internet these days. That shows the potential customer base for affiliate marketers is that high.
Also, there are more and more markets being invented and discovered, so Affiliate Marketing can only grow.
Check out this post for information about the future of affiliate marketing.
My advice is to not worry about the competition and focus entirely on doing the actual work!
I understand that you may be worrying about all the other competitors that may be in your particular niche. It is a valid concern, but one that I do not share.
Even if there are a lot of competitors in your niche, no two websites are the same and you can still make money. Different people have different opinions and they have different things to offer their target audience.
With affiliate marketing, your job is to understand the need of your target audience and offer them solutions.
As long as you can choose a good niche and target audience and then market good solutions to them, you can definitely make money.
You can wait, but it is not necessary…
There are people who think that search engines don’t like affiliate links. They tend to advise waiting until you have decent rankings for your content first and then adding an affiliate link.
However, this is NOT True!
Google doesn’t hate affiliates and affiliate links. This post will show you why.
What Google hates more is low quality websites with low quality content.
Google runs a service where they are helping people get answers to their questions, so they want blogs and websites that help their users get the best answer they can possibly get. Low quality content does not do this.
So, you can add in an affiliate link when you are writing your content. You don’t need to wait until it is ranking.
Remember, where you rank in the search engines will be determined by the quality of your posts, and not whether you have an affiliate link or not.
Provide high quality content and including an affiliate link is not an issue.
A niche is a group of people.
In terms of affiliate marketing, this group of people is the target audience who are interested in what you are offering them.
Choosing a niche to target for your affiliate marketing campaign, is choosing a group of people whom you want to help and create value for by meeting their need and wants or by answering their questions or solving their problems.
Let’s use an example…
Let’s say that you are a 55 year old man that used to be overweight. You have put in a lot of effort into maybe dieting or exercixe to lose that weight. You have slimmed right down and are very healthy right now.
From this example, we could say that one of your possible niches could be – How to lose weight for men over 50.
There is no need for you to be a fitness instructor, nor do you need to be a dietician. Since you have the experience of successful losing the weight, you have the knowledge and experience to share your story with people who are also struggling to lose weight. They want to learn how you did it and hopefully gain some insights into how you did it and hoping they can replicate it.
So, men over 50 are your target audience and your aim is to help those people lose weight from your own experience!
There are four things you should consider when choosing a good niche for you to work on:
- It should be your own passion or hobby
- It must be very specific
- You must be able to write content and give your own opinions about it
- It must be profitable
#1 It Should Be Your Own Passion or Hobby
Having a passion in what you are doing is integral to success, especially in the beginning. There are a lot of skills to be learned and that can sometimes be overwhelming.
But if your niche is based on your passion or hobby, it allows you to stay on track and keep you motivated. It also helps with coming up with content ideas. There is no point starting a project and then running out of ideas for what to write about after only 10 posts.
#2 It Must Be Very Specific
There are 2 mains reasons for choosing a very specific niche:
- It is easier to pinpoint specific problems and identify solutions to those problems for your target audience
- It is easer to make a name for yourself in that niche and become an “authority” to your target audience
The more specific you are when choosing your niche, the faster you can see results and therefore make money.
Some people have a misconception that they need to reach a large audience to make money, this means they end up choosing a broad niche. But this can actually hamper your chances of success.
My advice would be to not try to please everyone. With affiliate marketing, if everyone is your customer, then no one ends up being your customer.
#3 You Must Be Able to Write Content & Give Your Own Opinions About It
One of the most important aspects of affiliate marketing is creating content. Without creating regular high-quality content your business will not get off the ground.
The niche you choose will be the topic of what you are going to be writing about.
This is why it should be something that you are passionate about and enjoy, and also mean that you have personal experience with the topic and have multiple ideas for what to write about.
Having your personal opinion gives your site a personal touch. This allows you to engage with your audience more and make your words more trustworthy.
#4 It Must Be Profitable
There is truth in the fact that you can make money from almost every niche. However, the potential for every niche is completely different. In that sense, not all niches can be profitable,
There are many ways to predict whether a niche is profitable. But as a beginner, there are two main rules you should consider when choosing your first niche:
- There must be products for your niche
- The price of the products shouldn’t be too low
You can use Google or Amazon to see whether there are affiliate products or services to promote within your niche. This is the most basic (yet important) aspect of making money in affiliate marketing business.
The products or services should be too cheap. This is because a product that only costs a few dollars will not make you rich by promoting it as an affiliate. There must be products that are more expensive or services that pay you a residual income, i.e. a recurring membership fee.
The term Expert is a relative term. You don’t need to be an absolute expert. You just need to be a relative expert.
It isn’t necessary for you to hold a Phd or have gone to college to offer help and make money with affiliate marketing.
Just because someone has a Phd, doesn’t mean they are capable of making money in your niche, especially if they lack the marketing skills to do it.
To make money online you need to know marketing skills.
In order for you to make money online, you just need to know more about your target audience.
For example, if you owned a dog, you are much more experienced and knowledgeably in raising dogs than those who have never owned a dog. There is no need for you to be a vet or dog expert, but since you have the experience of raising a dog, you can help people who have yet to own a dog.
As long as you have more experience and knowledge in a certain field, you are considered a relative expert for those who don’t have the knowledge.
Basic Website Questions
Domain Name is the URL or your website. It is like the address of your house. Whereas website hosting is like your actual house.
These are mostly FREE and will generally look like this:
YourDomainName.SiteRubix.com or YourDomainName.WordPRess.com
These are paid for and the cost will vary depending on the quality of the hosting server. A decent one will cost around $15 to $20 a year. This cost will sometimes depend on the demand as well.
A paid domain will look something like:
YourDomainName.com or www.YourDomainName.com, etc.
What is the Difference?
You do not fully own a free subdomain and it can also have limitations. Whereas you full own a paid domain. You will also find that your own paid domain will usually rank higher in the search engines.
Is a Static Article. This article will not be affected by the time it was published. Good examples of this are an About Page or a Contact Page. It is a good idea to publish those evergreen content as pages.
Is a regularly published blog-type article. They will be shown on your blogroll. As you publish new blog posts, the older ones will be pushed down the order.
There are arguments for both, but there are more benefits for it being a Static Page.
Using a static page as your homepage gives you the chance to clearly tell your visitors what it is your website is all about. They can then see if your website is right for them.
Using your blogroll, doesn’t do this and depending on the articles that are appearing at the time, it may mean your visitors have to work out what your website is about.
They will need to spend some time navigating around before they understand what it is your website is about.
Using your blogroll could also be considered lazy, or that the owner doesn’t know what to put on their homepage.
Your homepage needs to deliver a clear message to your target audience, include a call-to-action. You have to remember people have a very small attention span. You need to capture this quickly if you want to draw them in.
You need to be really clear on what you are offering and you will only be able to do this with a static homepage.
That is why we recommend a static homepage.
Relax, I also don’t know anything about coding!
There is no need to worry about this, because the technology available today allows people to build professional looking websites without any coding knowledge.
We lacked any knowledge about any of this before we got started.
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS). It allows people to manage and edit their websites is a really user-friendly interface without any need to touch any coding or anything too complicated.
SiteRubix is a powerful website builder which helps you build your own website in just a few minutes adopting WordPress as the CMS.
Content Creation Questions
Technically, it can be as long as you like. But longer and more in-depth posts rank much higher up in the search engines.
Research undertaken by Neil Patel proves this:
The image above shows that the average word count for content that is ranking in first position in the search engines is roughly 2450 words.
Some may think that people have a short attention span online, so people aren’t going to read long blog posts. So, they write short blog posts.
But the reality is that longer and more in-depth content gets more shares, more link-backs and is more trusted by the search engines.
This is mainly down to the fact that longer content will usually have higher quality information and delivers on what the search engines are wanting.
This does not mean that short content can’t deliver value to the reader, but most long posts definitely offer more value and more information.
Read this post by Neil Patel on this topic. You will find inspiration in the post!
Being a writer might give you an advantage when it comes to writing content for your website, but it isn’t guaranteed.
There is also the point that writing posts for your website is completely different to the writing you would do for a written book or for an exam.
To make money online, you need to write posts that are focused on conversion. This is completely different to how you would write a book or exam or essay.
People also worry that English might not be there first language, and so they feel that they can’t write content for a website. But that doesn’t matter.
Many successful affiliate marketers have English as their second language. Jerry Huang is a very successful affiliate marketer within Wealthy Affiliate and he says that English is his second language, but that isn’t a barrier.
There is also a particular successful online marketer within Wealthy Affiliate where English is his fourth language, but he is still creating content and earning a huge passive income online through his website. He also runs a successful podcast too.
Writing content for a blog focuses more on writing in a conversational manner and not a formal way. These are skills that can be learned and they will help you write content that sells.
Don’t worry if you think you are not a writer or you think you are a bad writer! We all started somewhere and my writing has improved hugely since getting started. The more you do something, the better you get.
This is definitely not acceptable as it will be considered as duplicate content by the search engines. The article that is considered as duplicate content will not rank in the search engines at all, so there is very little point in doing it.
It is best to have an original post every time and not to reuse it elsewhere!
As it would be considered as original content by the search engines if you translate the content manually yourself.
It would be hard to detect that the content is from another source because there are plenty of ways for you to translate the same thing.
My advice would be is to not use things like Google translate. The translation will be a low quality and it could also be detected by the search engines.
However, it is still better to come up with your own original content. It is a better long-term strategy if you really want to make a full-time income online for the long-term.
This will depend on your schedule, but ideally you would publish at least one post per week.
This will ultimately depend on your time and your schedule. If you are able to write more content, then that is going to be better for you and quicken up the process.
The norm seems to be one post per week.
If you are posting at least once a week, you’re in a good position.
If you aren’t able to do this due to other commitments or you have limited time, don’t worry. It just means it will take you longer to see results.
But it won’t mean you won’t see any results.
Check out this post for more information on this subject.
If Google or the other search engines see that you are doing this, which is very likely, then your website will be penalised. This usually comes in the form of you not being able to rank well or at all in the search engines.
Again, there is no point in copying content that is not yours. You should take the time to write original and helpful/valuable content on your site it you want to rank well and make money.
This doesn’t mean you cannot quote from another website, but you could do that as a screenshot of the quote rather than copying the part you want to share.
You Could, However…
You can hire writers to write content for you. But our advice is to wait until you have seen some results and have earned some money first.
It is not as simple to just outsource content creation as you may think.
You have to know what kind of content is working for your target audience and niche. You need to know what to write and how you should write it.
This way, you can then give clear instructions to the people you hire to write your content for you.
This can only be done once you know what is working for you, and you will know this by seeing results.
Many beginners want to outsource the creation of content at the start because they are a little lazy or they are not confident in their own abilities.
Even if they were to outsource it at this point, they lack the knowledge to give clear instructions to their hired writes.
So, the content they outsources won’t really make them money and this brings into the room, the point that they will typically be losing money.
Website Development/Growth Questions
Organic search is the traffic coming from the search engines when your blog posts or content gets ranked.
It is the best source of website traffic as it is totally free.
Once your content is ranking really well, the traffic becomes passive and it will just keep on coming to your website.
Some research undertaken by ConvertKit can prove this
The research shows that organic search is the number one source of traffic for professional bloggers and affiliate marketers.
Again, you will find some research that ConvertKit undertook that shows that social media is the most popular way to grow an audience.
This is mainly down to social media marketing being one of the most common strategies people know about growing an audience.
Hopefully, we have answered many of the questions that you may have about affiliate marketing, but it might not have covered off every question that you may have. So, if you do have any specific questions please write them in the comments section below and we will make sure we get you an answer.