Want to know how does affiliate marketing really work? It’s a common question, and you’ll be surprised at how simple the answer is…
A lot of people make it sound like it’s a really complicated process, just so they can sell you an expensive tool, or something to make you believe they have the answer to making you money really quickly…
Today, we’re going to break it down and go through the basics of affiliate marketing. That way you’ll have a full understanding of the process, and how simple it is… But also, actually how much effort goes into it.
If you’ve been looking for a guide that shows you everything you need to know about affiliate marketing, then here it is…
Here’s our ultimate guide to affiliate marketing for dummies. It’s a complete step-by-step guide for beginners that shows you everything you need to know about affiliate marketing, including how it works + we let you know how you can get started with an amazing training platform, which helped us get started too.
We’ve done our best to keep our explanations as simple as we can, and we hope our guide is comprehensive enough for you, but if there is anything more specific you want to ask, then please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s get into our step-by-step guide to Affiliate Marketing…
Are you looking to learn Affiliate Marketing? Getting Started in Affiliate Marketing is an aspiration of many who are looking for a way of earning money online and finally giving up the day job.
Affiliate Marketing is in a massive growth stage at the moment and to be successful you need to understand what Affiliate Marketing is, and what there is to learn to be successful in Affiliate Marketing. But more importantly, you are here to find out what is the best Affiliate Marketing Course for Beginners!
But in short, Affiliate Marketing has 3 parties. You (the affiliate), the Product/Service Owner & the Buyer. By signing up with an affiliate program you get rewarded by introducing a buyer to a product or service with a commission. This is typically a percentage of the product price.
Check out this graphic, which shows you process…
Whilst the premise is simple, there is much more to learn than just understanding how Affiliate Marketing works.
What Else Is There to Learn in Affiliate Marketing?
There is actually a lot that you need to learn effectively to become successful at Affiliate Marketing – the first thing I will discuss is the need to treat this like a business model.
Thinking about it as a business will have so many benefits to your chances of earning money from affiliate marketing.
When I first started out, I came across an article of Affiliate Marketing and I started looking at a number of opportunities to get started and I came across an online certification course to getting started with Affiliate Marketing – it is an amazing course and covers all aspects of an online business, but before I share with you the course it also highlighted what you need to learn to become successful, but whilst it looks complicated it really isn’t.
But by going through the course I learned what other things I needed to know to get the most out of Affiliate Marketing:
Picking a Niche for your Affiliate Marketing Business
Building a Website & Optimising it for the Search Engines
Creating Content for your website and getting it ranked on the search engines
Social Media Marketing & Getting Social Engagement
It might seem like there is a lot to learn, but that is why I spent my time researching and finding the best course to learn it all. There are plenty of courses out there, but they do not necessarily offer the best courses – mainly due to their training being a little out of date or expect you to pay up front without giving you the chance to see if that course is the best for you. They also offer only training and not any tools towards achieving it.
The course I want to share with you is the platform that I myself has been using for over two years. Their training is geared towards people who have no clue to an online business, step-by-step guides and videos to help you get started. They also offer you the tools included (such as a WordPress website builder and keyword research tool) as part of the membership. I have exclusively used Wealthy Affiliate for my online business, before I started with them I had no clue on how to get a website ranked in Google or even build a website.
Why Wealthy Affiliate Offers the Best Affiliate Marketing Course?
Wealthy Affiliate’s platform offers 3 elements that sets it apart from other Affiliate Marketing training platforms:
Education – All aspects of an online business and affiliate marketing are covered in step-by-step guides, videos, classrooms.
Awesome Tools – WordPress Website Builder, Website Hosting, Keyword Research Tool, Social Engagement Tools, etc.
Expert Help & Support – Get Help & Support from a community of Internet Entrepreneurs all with the same aims. You will also get Expert Support from Me.
The key training that I want to share with you is the Online Certification Course. It is ideal for beginners and by the end of the first course, you will have picked a niche, have a website up and running and actually be ready to start on your affiliate marketing journey.
Online Certification Course
This course is set out into 5 sets of 10 lessons and is all geared to getting you started with your own online business. See details of the first 10 lessons below and what the course objective is:
One of the things I love about the training at Wealthy Affiliate is that it is written for those that haven’t got a clue, the videos will talk you through all the tasks that are set, and you can actually tick the tasks as you complete. This makes it much easier to see where you are up to. When you log back on and click back on training, it will take you straight back to where you were you up to.
Their use of pictures is also really helpful. Again, this shows you the steps that are being set out in the training.
Getting Help When You Really Need It
But I think the biggest benefit of the training at Wealthy Affiliate is the community. Everyone gets stuck sometimes, but by asking the question in the community will give you an answer. You will also find that, unlike other platforms, you get help and support from the owners of Wealthy Affiliate – Kyle & Carson.
When I first started out with my first niche website, I wasn’t too sure what niche to target so I asked the community and it was actually Kyle who answered it and advised me I was being too broad.
The training is great and is constantly kept up to date, and there is plenty of training that has been created by the community on a number of subjects and will benefit anyone in their online business, but I think the help and support you get is just as useful as the training.
How to Get Started with Wealthy Affiliate – With My Support
I always recommend anyone to research a product before trying it, and I will still give you that advice – if you want to learn more about Wealthy Affiliate, here is the link to my Wealthy Affiliate Review.
But unlike other training platforms, you will not need to pay to experience Wealthy Affiliate with their free Starter Membership account. Kyle & Carson (WA Owners) are determined that you are fully happy with their platform and the only way you can see if the training course and the tools are for you is by checking it out.
I have seen many training courses where you have to pay just to try it and when you actually find it is no good, it is difficult to get a refund.
To get started with a Free Starter Membership at Wealthy Affiliate, Click Here. If you do decide to try it out, make sure you get in touch. I would love to help you out.
In my opinion, Wealthy Affiliate offers the best affiliate marketing course for beginners.
If you have any questions about Affiliate Marketing, Wealthy Affiliate or if you want to share your experiences with Wealthy Affiliate, please leave a comment and I will get back to you.
Have you ever asked, why isn’t it working? Why am I not converting any sales? It can be often frustrating when our Affiliate Marketing business isn’t achieving the goals we have set out. In this post we will explore common beginner affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid. Many of these are down to our mindset, but that doesn’t mean we cannot rescue the situation. Affiliate Marketing is awesome business model for a work from home job, done correctly and avoiding these mistakes.
AFFILIATEDISCLOSURE – One of the ways I try to cover the costs of maintaining Best Affiliate Marketing Tools is via a small number of affiliate partnerships (with tools I genuinely use) where I get a small percentage commission on sales made via referral. You don’t pay any more for purchasing via my affiliate links. If you click one of my affiliate links, your support is really appreciated! Learn more here.
Let’s get into the Mistakes to Avoid…
Irrelevant & Confusing Content
Staying highly relevant to your audience is paramount to succeeding in Affiliate Marketing. It is also easy to be too broad when choosing a niche. The narrower you can choose a niche the more likely you will start to see better traffic and conversions. But many when starting out think they have chosen a ‘Niche” when actually they have chosen a category. For example, they choose home appliances and create loads of content about too many different types of home appliances – kitchen, lounge, smart tech, lighting, etc. When someone clicks on their website and sees a lot of content that has a loose connection, it can show that the website owner is just clutching at anything. The reader gets confused about the message and decides to look elsewhere. So, a key element is narrowing the niche down as much as possible:
The narrower you can start, the better you will find becoming an authority site on that niche.
Also, consider the fact that when someone clicks on a link about a given subject, that is what they will find. I find it very frustrating when you click on a link about something, and the web page just has a load of ads and nothing to do with what I was looking for. You need to ensure you put your reader first in all decisions.
Selling Instead of Helping
I have never liked going into a showroom and having a sales advisor selling a product to me. I would rather check out everything and then if I had any questions, I would ask a sales advisor. It is the same online, people are looking for help online. Whether it be a problem they have (which you have the answer to) or help understanding a product. Readers want to know what the product is, what benefits there are to that product, your opinion on that product before they can make up their own mind.
If you constantly sell to their readers without answering these questions you will find you fail. Help them with these questions and conversions will happen.
Ineffective Introductions & Conclusions
Let’s be honest, not many people will read every paragraph in your post. You have 2 opportunities to grab their attention and inspire them to read the rest. If the first paragraph (introduction) does not grab them, then you have no chance. You have about 30 seconds to get them to want to read the rest and respect your opinion. That is your Featured Image (needs to be highly relevant to what they are looking for) and a couple of sentences that make them believe they will get the answers they want.
If you grab this attention, you need to ensure the conclusion to the post is a succinct review of the post with a clear message.
I notice I do it with Video Game reviews, I read the intro and check out the final verdict. Then I decide whether I will dig into more of the article. We cannot help it, our attention spans are not designed to sit there and read a massive volume of text, unless it grabs our attention. This is key to ensuring you avoid these mistakes.
Not Doing Keyword Research
I recently wrote a great post on the importance of doing keyword research, check it out for more detailed information. But if you are not doing effective keyword research for your posts, how will you get any traffic.
Writing Content is only part of the process, without any traffic you will find it very hard to succeed at Affiliate Marketing. Ensure you complete keyword research and choose keywords that will help you get traffic, I like the low-hanging-fruit technique, check out more here.
Take this post, if I used the keyword ‘Affiliate Marketing Mistakes’ I could only hope to get a chunk of what is only 40 searches a month, with 200 competing posts for the same keyword. By choosing a better keyword “beginner affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid” that changes the dynamic completely, over 100 monthly searches with 13 competing posts.
Being Impatient & Cutting Corners
Success in Affiliate Marketing is about the long game, it will not become a success overnight. It takes time and effort, but where newbies get it wrong is they get impatient and start cutting corners. Watch out for these as they can end up destroying your chances of becoming successful.
Using a Low-Quality Website with Duplicate Content
It can be easy to buy into these ideas where they sell you the idea of a website where you do not need to create any content. It is all done for you, and you just need to sit there and watch the money come in… Yeah, I wish.
These will not make you any money. The search engines (like Google) have ways to identify duplicate content and will penalise the website with it on. Meaning you will not appear in the search results = meaning no conversions.
Your website needs to part of your brand, so it needs to be high quality with content that is unique and created by you on your given niche helping people – that is how you succeed at Affiliate Marketing.
Buying ‘Fake’ Traffic
If you search online, there are opportunities to buy traffic. They promise it is real traffic with real people. I have tried it in the past.
Your Google Analytics lights up with loads of traffic, and it might help with rankings (a little). But what I found was, there was no cut through with this traffic and it had more of a detrimental effect once you have stopped buying the traffic as your traffic drastically drops. And, none of this traffic actually is real – as they didn’t interact with the posts or join the email list, etc.
So, I would focus more on getting natural rankings and interactions, this will help your conversions much better.
Following the Herd (Shiny Object Syndrome)
What I mean by this, and I have been guilty of it in the past, is trying something too early because everyone is doing it. I’ll give you an example, as part of my Wealthy Affiliate membership there is weekly webinars and the last couple of weeks has been about Managing Website Design through CSS.
This is great training, don’t get me wrong, But I could go away and spend ages on messing with the design of my websites – but at the end of the day, it is the content that is important in the early days. So what I am saying is focus on creating relevant content, don’t add an email list until you are getting plenty of traffic (it is another feature you need to keep checking on, that gets in the way of creating content). Video is great, but if you are not sure how to do it and you are not getting a lot of traffic, then focus on written content.
There are plenty of examples where an experienced Affiliate Marketer will be doing something, and you think it would be great to do in your business (shiny object – it is working for them, so I will do it). But most of these things are for when you are scaling your business. That is key, when you start converting sales, that is when you can start exploring these different aspects.
Our Own Expectations
There are a few bits with Affiliate Marketing, where we need to hard on ourselves when it comes to our expectations:
Passive Income – yes, but only when it has started converting sales
Timelines – the time it takes to start converting
Effort – the effort required to turn it into a scalable business
Most people looking for ways to earn money online comes down to the dislike of their day job. So, it is understandable that they want to build this business as quickly as possible to leave their day job. The problem comes from the fact that searching online you can find so many promises of a system that can turn you into a millionaire overnight. Whilst these are typically scamming people, it doesn’t stop people believing them and falling into the traps.
Affiliate Marketing is a very legitimate way of earning money – but it is a business and not a past-time.
We also need to consider our expectations with how much we can earn. I recently read a great post about how a fellow affiliate marketer’s first goal was to earn $33 a day. It doesn’t sound much, but that is $990/month.
If one of your goals is paying off debt towards being able to work from home, that is a massive step forward. But when you think $33, it doesn’t seem much.
Most brick businesses will not turn a profit within 12 months, I know the overheads are lower with an online business, but I didn’t earn anything online for 6 months.
You need to stay motivated that the conversions will come. Set yourself your first financial target (keep it realistic), then once you achieve it you can target a higher target.
Ultimately Not Treating It Like a Business!
Affiliate Marketing is a business model and not something you can play at! To avoid these mistakes, that is the number one piece of advice I can give you.
Highly relevant Quality Content on a Quality Website that Helps People will always win out against the rest.
It is a great way of earning money online, but requires time, effort and focus to reap the benefits of it. If you would like an awesome step-by-step guide that takes you through the correct steps for starting an online affiliate marketing business, I recommend you read my Wealthy Affiliate review.
If you are struggling with affiliate marketing, it might be down to a number of the reasons we have gone through in this post, there may be others. But I am hoping you have a better understanding of the main reasons, and that is down to our mindset with it.
Starting a business takes a lot out of us and losing patience with it is easily done. But remain focused on the reason why you want to succeed at Affiliate Marketing – My reasons are it will allow me more time to spend with my family.
I am sure you will have your own reasons, share them with me in the comments below.
If you need any help or advice to do with affiliate marketing or you need help getting out of the rut of your current business – drop me a note below in the comments and I will try to help in any way I can.
We will be exploring a common subject for those starting out online and that is how to monetise your blog with (mainly) Affiliate Marketing. If you are going to invest your time and effort into creating an online presence, you might as well be able to make some money at it.
I mention blogging, as there are some that state you do not need a website to do affiliate marketing, but I will disagree a little. Social Media is very important to your online business, but advertising on only one does restrict your reach and not all social media types are great depending on your niche.
Whilst I explore how to make money online with affiliate marketing for beginners, there are a couple of other routes you could take to monetise your blog.
How do you Make Money Blogging?
Blogging allows you to express your opinions, help your audience and grow your audience. Then you can start earning money by:
Joining Ad Networks (for example, AdSense). By offering up space on your website, you can earn revenue through interaction from your audience.
Sell Physical or Digital Products.
Consult & Hold Events
But the most popular is Affiliate Marketing. One of the key benefits of affiliate marketing is you control what you promote.
You can never really control what adverts are shown on your website. AdSense tries to make it relevant to the user based on their google interactions, but I refuse to use most of them as they could put my audience off.
If you have your own products, then great you could definitely follow this route, but I would typically say most are turning towards Affiliate Marketing.
But What is Affiliate Marketing?
There are 3 parties involved in Affiliate Marketing. You (the affiliate), the Company (Has the Product) and the Customer (Buyer).
Let’s use Amazon as an example – they have an affiliate program called Amazon Associates. You sign up for a free account and choose a product that is very relevant to your blog.
Let’s say you have a blog on the home.
You write a well-written review on that product (a toaster). You include your affiliate link in that review which when the reader clicks on that link, they are sent to Amazon and Amazon knows you were the one who sent them to that product.
They buy that toaster for $100. You will have earned 6% commission, earning $6.
Let’s break that down into a simple graphic:
That figure might not seem much but imagine if you had 100 people read your review and buy a toaster through your affiliate link, that is $600 through what is a passive income type.
This will depend on the niche you have set your blog up on. To help find products there are 2 ways you could find the right products or services in your niche.
Affiliate Networks have multiple products and services available giving you access to plenty of options with just one account. I would suggest you be careful with what you pick (depending on your niche) In the Make Money Online niche, there are also a few undesirable products in them, but if you do your research correctly, you can also use the product as a “watch-out” post.
Some of the top Affiliate Networks are:
CJ Affiliates (formerly Commission Junction)
Rakuten (formerly LinkShare)
Awin is the largest in the world and gives you access to a lot of products and services. It also helps give you ideas for content and reviews too.
An alternative way is to sign up with individual companies via affiliate program. Just type in Google “Product + Affiliate Program” and you will see if they have one and the website details. You will be surprised how many companies are joining the affiliate program format.
But when searching for products or services, you do need to make sure it is a natural fit for your audience.
On average, 42% of Affiliate Marketers promote between one and 10 products.
Natural Fit to Your Audience
Commission rates differ massively across the affiliate marketing field, but that doesn’t mean we can just go for something that doesn’t fit with your website. Take this site, it is about affiliate marketing and affiliate marketing tools, imagine if there were banners and posts about stuff that was nothing to do with it, i.e. a toaster. Do you think I would get any traction from that?? It might actually put readers off, as it looks like I am not taking them seriously.
I’ll go back to the amazon example, it might only be 6% but if the website is right, content is right, I help that person with their questions and then they buy it and I am helping more and more people all the time, then you will earn the same as a 60% commission product where it is only bought once or twice a year?
Keep it Relevant.
How Much Will I Get Paid?
Commission rates vary depending on the type of product and service.
Physical products have a lower commission rate due to the cost of producing it and shipping it, Digital products or services tend to have higher commission rates.
The average would tend to sit around 30-50%. Amazon has a wide variety of products to use, however their commission rate sits around 6-10%
Will I Always Be Accepted to the Affiliate Programs?
This again depends on the program or network.
A small number will want to see proof of traffic to your blog and others will need you to earn a number of referrals to stay in the program.
I found this with Amazon if you do not earn a referral in 6 months, they do take you out of the program, but you can instantly reapply.
Others will let you join without much hassle, for example Click Bank aren’t particular about who can join their affiliate program.
Top Niches Ideas for Affiliate Marketing
If you are a little stuck on a niche to use, below are the topics people are seeking help in:
Health/Fitness Related Niches
Health & Beauty
Smart Devices (is huge at the moment)
Sports & Outdoors
Online Jobs/Make Money Online
Finance & Insurance Advice
Creating Awesome Content to Drive Sales
Creating content is the key to any blog, let alone with affiliate marketing. There are plenty of opportunities for creating content that will help you monetise your website:
Genuine Product Reviews
Blog Posts that:
Solve Problems in the given Niche
In text Content Links
Social Media Promotions
Create added value for those using your affiliate links
An exclusive Facebook groups
Supplementing resources to support with any product you promote
Can I Compete with Established Affiliate Marketers?
Of course, you can! Affiliate Marketing is a major growth area at the moment – with revenue going from $3billion in 2016 to $6billion in 2018 and yet there it is still growing.
Many companies are realising how expensive it is to have massive marketing campaigns, but if they use the affiliate marketing route – they will get more exposure and pay a lot less in commissions.
Some niches are more competitive than others, but again if you target the right keywords with awesome content you can easily benefit from Affiliate Marketing.
Keeping Everything Legit
There are obviously some things to consider when it comes to the legal side of affiliate marketing.
Honesty & Transparency
This is also key to building up a trust with the reader, if they trust you they will consider buying off of you. Be honest with them about the use of affiliate links. Add a disclaimer – see mine below:
“One of the ways I try to cover the costs of maintaining Best Affiliate Marketing Tools and offer free courses to my audience is via a small number of affiliate partnerships (with tools I genuinely use) where I get a small percentage commission on sales made via referral. You don’t pay any more for purchasing via my affiliate links – in fact in some cases you will even receive a discount. If you click one of my affiliate links, your support is really appreciated! Learn more here”.
By placing a disclaimer in your website, it helps with your honesty, it also helps with the legal side of affiliate marketing. There are stringent laws in place. You will need to add an affiliate disclosure page to your website.
There you go, how to make money with affiliate marketing for beginners. I would be lying it was as simple as that. I would not have been successful with affiliate marketing if it hadn’t been for the help and support of Wealthy Affiliate.
I joined about 2 years ago and have not looked back. If you do want to start the right way in Affiliate Marketing, I do advise you to read my Wealthy Affiliate Review and make your own decision on whether their platform will help you.
If you have any questions about Affiliate Marketing, getting started or you are struggling with Affiliate Marketing in general – please get in touch, leave me a comment below and I promise to get back to you as soon as. I am here to help anyone I can.
Thanks for reading
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