“What is the Difference between Affiliate Marketing and MLM?” We get asked this question regularly, so we wanted to show you the differences between the two in our guide and share with you why we prefer the one over the other.
They are both very different business models and the main reasons we prefer the one over the other is main down to flexibility, choices and the huge cost difference.
In this guide we will detail the main differences between affiliate marketing and MLM, the pros and cons of both business models and a little bit more about our preferences.
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
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.
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 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:
1. The customer does a search for the help they need
2. They land on your website where you have helpful guides and product reviews
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. 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 logs 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:
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,
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?
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
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. Whilst 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 there are two things that you need to be good at planning. One of them is your time and then the other is your strategy.
Time management is key when we are first starting out, especially if you are still working at your normal job.
So, when are you going to put the time aside to do some research or write a blog post or do some training?
There will be times when normal stuff gets in the way, family commitments, etc. But planning some time each day and each week will be really important to your success.
Ideally, if you could spend at least 2 to 4 hours per day on your new business, you will be surprised at how much you can get done.
That might seem impossible, but when you factor in how much you want this and the amount of time, we all spend on social media (wasted time), you could easily find 2 hours a day for this.
As for the strategy, we are going to focus on content marketing in our guide. This means creating content consistently. You will need to plan how many blog posts you are going to write each week, what are you going to write about, etc.
Once you actually get started, you will find you will have a much better understanding of what to prepare and how to plan your week.
3. Build Your Own Website
Now, this is where it gets a little exciting!!
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:
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. Choose a Domain Name
2. Choose a Title for your website
3. Choose a theme from the selection available
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.
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. 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. 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:
Things You Need to Know Before You Apply to Any Affiliate Marketing Program
1. You need to have content on your website before you start applying and sometimes you will get rejected!
Before you are allowed into an affiliate program, you will need to go through their application process. This normally requires you to fill in some details and includes information about your website, your location and how much traffic your website is currently receiving.
Depending on the affiliate program, you might get rejected. The main reason is normally because of a lack of content on your website before applying to the program. We recommend you have at least 15 articles on your website to make your website look good and legit.
If you do get rejected, try to find out why by contacting them. It will normally be down to the lack of content or traffic levels. But when you get the feedback, you can work on what they feedback to you.
Don’t let it get you down, it is totally normal to get rejected from time to time. Sometimes you just need to go back and prove you are in this for the long term and are willing to put the effort in.
If you imagine they get a lot of applications and the serious marketers will stand out from the crowd with their persistence.
2. There is a minimum threshold payment you need to reach before you get paid
Most of the affiliate programs have a minimum payment threshold you need to achieve before you receive your money. Some are as little as $10 and then there are others that are over $100. Therefore, you may need to remain a little patient to get hold of your money.
It took us ages to receive that $3 from Amazon as we had to wait until we earned a few more sales…
Make sure you do your research and see what the minimum threshold is before you apply
3. It could take up to three months to receive your payments
This will depend on the affiliate program. Some pay every month on the same day. Some will hold on to the money for at least 30 days but some all the way up to three months.
This is normally because they need to verify the sale, and most of them offer a 30-Day money back guarantee. If someone cancels the purchase, you will not receive the commission.
4. Check how much commission you will receive
Every affiliate program is going to be different. Some will get you a fixed amount on someone subscribing to a service, others you will get paid a fixed commission on a sale.
Knowing the commission rate can help you determine how profitable it can be, and how feasible it is to get a sale.
It would be much easier to get some to buy into a free subscription to an app and receive $2 every time, than it would to sell a $250 product offering a $100 commission.
You need to know what is realistic and achievable
5. You must keep track of your affiliate programs
Once you get going, you will find that you will end up with a long list of your affiliate programs and it is easy to get lost. So, my advice is that you keep a track of all your affiliate programs you have applied. Also, whether you were accepted or rejected. It can also help you factor in which programs are earning you money and which ones you need to work on to improve.
Other Ways of Finding Affiliate Programs
Affiliate Networks are great in a sense, but they do not cover all the affiliate programs there could be in your niche. So, here are a couple of ways you can find other relevant affiliate programs in your niche.
We use google every day, and it can be as simple as typing:
“Niche + affiliate program” or “Company + Affiliate Program”
For example, if you typed “Amazon Affiliate Program” you would find the link to their associates program.
Check Out Your Competitors
You will need to keep an eye on what they are doing anyway to see how you can compete and come out on top, but you can also figure out what affiliate products they are promoting through checking out their website and hovering your mouse over their links.
Affiliate Search Platform within Wealthy Affiliate
I also want to share with you another way… If you did decide to get a website through SiteRubix, there is an easy way of searching for a ton of affiliate programs within your niche using the Affiliate Program Search Function within Wealthy Affiliate. You will get hundreds of results, but you will also get reactions from other Wealthy Affiliate members as to how good they are. But you can also apply direct from the platform. Definitely a great tool for affiliate marketers looking for affiliate programs. Click HERE to learn about this awesome tool.
5. Create High Quality Content That is Relevant
I would not suggest you go out and apply for loads of affiliate programs at this point yet. It can do more harm than good.
The simple reason is that many affiliate programs require you to have a qualifying sale within a set time period. Amazon needs you to have 3 qualifying sales within 6 months.
Another reason is that a brand-new website full of affiliate links will not rank that well in the search engines.
So, our advice is work on building up great content before you start delving into affiliate programs.
The simple fact is that your route to success with affiliate marketing is to provide high-quality content that draws in an audience and then you can bring in affiliate offers and product reviews with affiliate links in.
Once you start getting traffic, you can then start searching for affiliate programs.
If you want to make money, you need to create engaging content worth sharing with others and that is relevant to the reader who is looking for it.
By creating in-depth blog posts that include call to actions, short paragraphs and written in a conversational style (write as though you were talking to a friend), it will make sure your readers will have a great experience on your website.
Here are some ideas of what you could include on your website in your chosen niche:
How to Guides & Tutorials
How to guides and tutorials are a great addition to your website, they are also a great way of building up trust with the reader. Trust is an important step in them wanting to follow your advice (which will be to affiliate links).
But remember you are there to help and need to really write a guide that helps them fully.
When you factor in the customer purchase lifecycle, people searching for product reviews are typically in the “ready to buy” stage and are looking for a review to see whether it is the right choice. If you can provide an in-depth product review that can help someone with their final decision, you can earn some good money through your affiliate link.
It is well-known that people love lists – The top ten, or 14 facts about.
List articles are a great way of attracting readers and in turn attracting traffic.
If you can create a few list articles you will see a great leap in traffic, which you need to make sales.
If you have a couple of key competitors in your niche, then a good comparison post which lists the pros and cons of each, you will have a great article.
If someone is looking for a comparison, it is likely they are in that “ready to buy” stage and just need help finalising their decision.
Before you start writing that content though, you need to understand the importance of SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.
You really need to understand what a user is looking for when they type that search into google. By understanding your target audience’s intent, you can then answer that question in the right manner. Understanding where that customer is in the purchase lifecycle is also key to leading them down the sales funnel.
If they are nowhere near ready to make a purchasing decision, then you should consider that in answering the question. If they are ready to buy, you need to suggest it in a more forward manner.
To optimise your sales, you need to really understand the intent in the search and your target audience.
But you also need to be able to complete keyword research,
Keyword research is integral to your affiliate marketing business. Blindly writing blog posts related to your niche will not yield results.
You need to understand what questions people are asking Google and how many times a month people are searching for that given term.
To keep it simple, any term you type into Google is a keyword.
So “Affiliate Marketing for Dummies” may have been the keyword you typed that led you to our guide today.
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:
It shows us that on average 206 people search for Affiliate Marketing for Dummies on a monthly basis. There are 126 other competing blog posts out there we are up against, so we need to ensure we write a high-quality comprehensive guide for Google to rank us high up.
You could also use Google Instant. Have you noticed how as you start typing in Google, they try to predict your question? This is a good indicator of what people are searching, but you need to still do keyword research as it can sometimes show that the competition for that keyword is too high for a new website, or there might be a better alternative.
For example, here is a screenshot of Google Instant in action:
So, I could have used “internet affiliate marketing for dummies”. But the search term does not get searched that often:
Meaning, I can expect less than 10 visits a month…
That is why you need to get keyword research right to bring in an audience.
If you want to learn more about keyword research, here is our complete guide.
By combining keyword research and great high-quality content you will be well on your way to building up that all-important audience. Now, we can start adding some affiliate programs to the mix…
7. Promote your Affiliate Offers
If you are still with us in this guide, then it means you are serious and are ready to start promoting your affiliate products and to make money!
Once you have an audience coming to your website and you have gained their trust, you can start to suggest valuable products to them.
You have to remember to only promote relevant products that your audience would be interested in. Otherwise you will risk losing the trust your readers have gained into you.
But there are ways you can promote these products in the right way and highlight the products and services that you believe in.
Banner ads are a way of promoting affiliate offers on your website. Most affiliate programs will actually provide you with their own banners to use on your website. Placing banners in the right places where there is a lot of traffic and relevant posts is key to conversions.
People are more likely to click on an image as it grabs their attention.
Product reviews are a great way to promote affiliate products, especially as they are targeting people who are in the “ready to buy” stage. You must remember to be completely honest, as your readers are after your genuine opinion. Highlight both the positives and the negatives of any product and let them know your thoughts.
They are also good to help you centralise your affiliate links. Keeping your affiliate links to your reviews, with other posts leading to your reviews has a positive impact on your rankings.
If a website has affiliate links everywhere on it, the search engines will not see this in a good light.
In-text Content Links
This is one of the more common and easier ways to promote affiliate products. Whenever you see a link within the text of a website, it will lead you somewhere. People will click on it if it is relevant. For example, we used one earlier to go through to our step-by-step guide to building a website. This is an internal link and not an affiliate link. It just takes you to another page on our website that is relevant to building a website.
But the idea is the same to take someone to an external link that is an affiliate link.
As long as the link is relevant and helps the user, they will be inclined to click on it.
Use Your Email List
Once you have started to build up your email list, then you also have an audience of people that are interested in what you have to say, and you can use this to promote products via your emails.
Remember to keep it genuine, relevant and not have every email selling stuff. Include some useful hints and tips related to subjects in your niche.
I am sure you have signed up for an email list from a company and can see examples of what they send. Not every email is a plug for a product.
Top Tips to Double or Triple Your Success Rate in Affiliate Marketing!
You will find that most people fail at affiliate marketing when they do not follow the advice, we will go through in the points below. They walk away too soon as they think it isn’t working, but the reality is they just didn’t give it enough time.
Here are our top tips to improve your success rate!
Treat it Like a Business
Affiliate Marketing is a Business Model, it needs to be treated as such.
What we mean by treating it like a business is having a plan and working that plan. Set yourself daily, weekly and monthly goals.
You cannot expect to put in the odd hour here or there and realistically expected results. The problem is people do that all the time. They put in effort for about a month and then expect there to be results, when that isn’t how it works. Remember that you are working for the long run and not the short term like in a normal job.
If you are anything like me, we can relate this one to visiting the gym. Everyone signs up in January to the gym to get fit. The gyms are really busy in January. But are they still busy in March?
The same could be said for an affiliate marketing business. If you remain consistent and work at it at least an hour or two a day and be productive in that time, you can see success.
But the same needs to be said about learning. You need to keep learning through your affiliate marketing business. We are still learning now. As you gain more experience, you can then start learning how to implement email marketing better or how to improve your sales funnels, etc. (Here is our top recommended training program review)
You Need A Lot of Patience
You have to understand that affiliate marketing will not make you rich overnight, it is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme.
I am guessing you will have already seen plenty of adverts for programs that make those promises. They claim you can earn thousands overnight with a simple system.
People get scammed out of a lot of money through these programs, only to find out they are talking about affiliate marketing. They provide only basic information and conveniently have already taken your money.
Don’t get fooled by gurus who claim they can help you earn it quicker, as they are only after your money and not to help you.
You cannot expect to see results within a few days or weeks. If you remain persistent and motivated (and we can help you there, along with our community), you will see those results as long as you follow the right step-by-step plan.
Remain Patient and Determined and you will see those results…
Find a Mentor
Having a mentor and support is a massive step towards success. Someone to help and guide you when you feel lost or demotivated.
But how can you find a mentor without paying a huge fee?
Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Like we have mentioned a couple of times in this guide, there is a community where we like to hang out. There are a lot of successful affiliate marketers in many different markets on there, ready to help you out.
This community is a great resource for any budding affiliate marketer, and we have a number of different mentors from whom we are following and learning from.
All you need to do is create a FREE account HERE and you will be able to mastermind with other like-minded affiliate marketers very soon.
How Can I Learn More About Affiliate Marketing for Beginners?
I hope you have found this guide for beginners useful and you have a good understanding of what affiliate marketing is.
Affiliate Marketing is THE best way to make money online. Affiliate Marketing is only going to grow as more and more people go online to do their purchases.
If you really want to become successful with Affiliate Marketing, you are going to Love Wealthy Affiliate.
This course is how we got started with affiliate marketing and are now earning a 4-Figure Monthly Passive Income thanks to their training and support. They offer you a Free membership to get you started with fantastic training on Affiliate Marketing, a free website with hosting and they also provide you access to a huge community of over 2 million affiliate marketers and direct access to the owners to ask for their help and support at every step of the way.
If you are ready to take the first step into building your own affiliate marketing website with our support and the support from the team at Wealthy Affiliate, then all you need to do is click the button below and sign up. We will be there on the inside waiting to help you out.
Are You Ready To…?
Do something once and get paid over and over again
Make money whilst you sleep
Work anytime and anywhere you want
Have more time to be with your family
Plus, many other benefits…
We have tried to cover as much as we can with our Affiliate Marketing for Dummies guide, and we hope that you have found it useful?
If you still have any questions, we encourage you to write them in the comments section below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
WE hope you are really considering starting your own affiliate marketing business and can start building for you future with what you have learned. WE are here to help anyone who needs it, all you need to do is ask
When you start thinking about it, it isn’t that difficult to make money with affiliate marketing. But you need to know the following tips if you want to make some serious money with affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing can be a fantastic way of making money online or from home, but it can be a hard slog if you aren’t on the right strategy. That is why we want to help. Did you know that 99% of Affiliate Marketers fail? That is why we want to help you become part of the 1% that succeed.
If you are still unsure on what exactly affiliate marketing is and how it works, then check out this guide and it will fill in all the blanks…
You can spend years checking out all of the different training courses for affiliate marketing, but which one is the best affiliate marketing course for beginners? Well, we want to help you with not only showing you the best training course, but also show you proof that following their training works.
Want to know how to start affiliate marketing today? Then know that by the end of this step-by-step guide you will have already taken the first few steps to making that a reality.
Affiliate Marketing is a fantastic option for making money online, it doesn’t require huge start-up costs and despite what some say, you do not need to be a technical know-it-all who knows computer coding to be able to achieve it.
In fact, you could get started with affiliate marketing today with expert help, support and training without any real technical knowledge and you will not need to spend a penny either. Does that sound like a great deal…? Then read on and we will first talk about what real affiliate marketing is, how it works and then show you a simple step-by-step guide into how you could get started today… Let’s get started…
What is Real Affiliate Marketing?
The reason I always start out with these posts with clarifying what real affiliate marketing is, is because there are plenty of scams or low-quality programs out there that claim to be affiliate marketing but are really not worthwhile, or are MLM schemes or are clearly there to just rob you of your money. Real Affiliate Marketing is by far one of the best ways of making money online, but it is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
That is one of the first signs that it is not real affiliate marketing or is not worth getting involved with.
Affiliate Marketing is not going to make you rich overnight. Even if you get started today, you will not see instant results. Anyone who promises that is not your friend.
There are four key stages of affiliate marketing:
Choosing a Niche
Start a Blog Website
Attract an Audience
You will notice that the making money part is the last part and it will require a lot of your time and effort doing what I am doing now which is creating quality content to attract an audience.
Affiliate Marketing is a great passive income as you are not required to hand-hold any transactions, you do not need to keep stock. In a sense, you are the middle person in-between the person who owns the product and the person who wants to buy the product but wants to know a little more about the product before buying.
That is your opportunity to be that person who offers an insightful post to highlight why you think that product is worthwhile buying or not and if your audience has trust in you, they will go and buy that product and you can earn a commission from that sale.
Let’s get into how affiliate marketing really works
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
There are 3 parties involved in affiliate marketing.
There is the Person looking for help with a particular product to help them make a purchasing decision.
There is you, the affiliate marketer.
And there is the owner of the product (for our example, we are going to use Amazon).
You have someone who is looking for the best gaming laptop online (it could be any niche you want; we are going to use gaming laptops for our example.
They want help finding this out and go to a search engine such as Google.
They type in: best gaming laptop
The search results come up with:
They go and visit the option at the top and read about the best gaming laptops on that page, which happens to be a blogger using affiliate marketing.
They read up on the best gaming laptops and decide that one of the options that the blogger has gone through in detail is the best option for them.
So, at this point we have a customer who is deciding on a purchase. The affiliate marketer (you) has helped them come to a decision with that purchase with a helpful guide to what they consider the best gaming laptops for 2019 and our customer is ready to actually make a purchase.
The gaming laptop blog does not have any actual stock, but they are an affiliate with Amazon. So, if the customer chooses to follow the link in the post to buy the Alienware m17 R2 laptop that they highly recommend. They are taken to Amazon’s page for that laptop.
The customer has a lot of trust in Amazon, as I think most of us do and they decide to go through and purchase the laptop.
Your reward for helping that customer to that decision is a percentage of the sale price.
No, this affiliate actually has signed up with the Dell Affiliate scheme, but it works in the same way and you will find there are literally thousands of affiliate programs you could sign up with.
The laptop’s retail price is $1499. If the affiliate program commission is 6%, that equals = $89.94 of passive income.
If you happen to help 10 people to a similar decision, that is $899.94. As you help more people, you will find your income can grow and that is just from one post that this blogger has written.
Not bad, when you do not need to be there for your reader to make the transaction.
Affiliate Programs do all the hard work of tracking this type of stuff, allowing you to crack on with the creation of high-quality content that gets you to page one of the search results.
Here is How to Start Affiliate Marketing Today! Take the First Step…
Affiliate Marketing is a great way of creating passive income, and the added advantage is that you could choose any subject you want. We used Gaming Laptops in our example, but the same premise works for literally any topic you could think of – technology, sports, fitness, health and wellness, losing weight, homeware, coffee, knitting, pets, childcare, new parents, making money online, gadgets, cbd oil, art, etc.
Affiliate Marketing does not have to be just about products, you will find a lot of services also provide an affiliate program. There are thousands of affiliate programs, Amazon is good for new affiliate marketers but as you progress you will soon find that there are programs with better commissions rates elsewhere. But Amazon is a great starting point due to the sheer number of products they offer…
If you are serious about starting affiliate marketing today, then we can definitely help you with the first step. If you follow our advice, you could have your very own blog set up and ready to go within a matter of minutes. But the first step is to actually choose the topic you want to use for your affiliate marketing.
This can sometimes be the hardest decision to nail on, as it isn’t just as simple as picking a subject. That is because if you start too broad, you will have a harder time of actually breaking into the market. That is why our advice is to choose a niche – a narrow or small segment of a broader market.
The more niche you go, the better chance of getting your affiliate marketing campaigns a kick-start and appearing higher up the rankings.
So, if you are thinking about a particular subject, try and narrow it down to as a small niche as you can. You need to become an authority on this niche. Once you have achieved this authority, you can then start broadening out into the larger market.
A great way to do this is to go to Amazon. Go through their categories, and you will see they have done the hard work for you. You will see there are sub-categories and then sometimes they have dug down again to another sub-level.
It also gives you an idea of the products that you could review when you are up and running.
If you are not too sure what your niche could be, then you might find this training useful from the guys at Wealthy Affiliate. It has helped a lot of people narrow down their niche…
Spend the next 30 minutes thinking about what your niche is going to be for your affiliate marketing business. It is great brainstorming this and if you need any help, write your ideas in the comments section and we will help you narrow down your niche ideas.
Start a Blog
Once you have your niche nailed down, you can then start the task of starting your very own blog website. Now, this is where most people do not believe they have the technical skills required to build a website and often walk away before they even get started…
But let me take that worry away!!!
You could have your very own website up and running and ready for you to create some content within a matter of minutes.
You do not need any technical knowledge, you do not need to understand html or coding, etc. All you need to worry about is picking a domain name.
WordPress has made building a website really easy with a one-click install. Follow these 4 steps and you will have your own website up and running:
Step 1: Choose a Domain Name
First off you need to pick a name for your affiliate marketing website or a domain name. A domain name is what you will see in the address bar. For example, our domain name is https://bestaffiliatemarketingtools.org
Spend 30 minutes coming up with some good domain names that could match your niche and target audience and then you can use the tool below to see if it is available:
This will give you access to Wealthy Affiliate’s training platform and access to 2 free websites. All of the hosting is included, and you will also gain access to some awesome training on affiliate marketing too.
Step 2: Complete your sign up with Wealthy Affiliate
Create your free account with WA, and you will be one step closer to your own website.
Step 3: Customise Your Website
Once you are signed in with WA, you will be taken to the page where you choose how your website will look. You have already chosen the domain name but give your website a title and choose from the available website themes to choose how your website will look.
Step 4: Click Build This Website
All you need to do know is to click to build your website. Within about a minute you will have access to your very own affiliate marketing website ready for you to create content.
Bonus Step: You Have Gained Access to Wealthy Affiliate’s Training
Not only will you have your own website, you will also benefit from the training available within the free Wealthy Affiliate starter membership. Follow the ten lessons included within the starter membership and you will have all what is necessary to be successful with affiliate marketing.
Now you have access to a website, you can concentrate on the key step that is going to get you an audience to be able to promote your affiliate products to – Creating High Quality Content.
Create High Quality Content
If you have followed the steps above, you will have your own affiliate marketing website within a couple of hours including the research needed for picking the right niche and domain name for your website.
But what now???
Before you can even think about applying for an affiliate program, there is little point until you start creating some content to attract an audience.
SEO is about creating high quality content that targets a specific keyword that hopefully gets onto the first page of Google. The majority of clicks comes from the first 3 results of the search engines, so your primary target is to create content that Google likes and that anyone who clicks it likes to.
Often people make the mistake of creating content that only targets the search engines. It might give you good rankings, but if anyone who clicks on it doesn’t relate to it and doesn’t find it helpful, they will not follow your recommendations leading to no sales.
The first step to creating the quality content is to understand who your target audience is, then you need to employ some keyword research too.
We use the keyword research tool Jaaxy, it is from the guys at Wealthy Affiliate and gives you a good insight into what people are searching for and what keywords you could target with your content.
Remember at this point your website is brand new and you need to build trust with the search engines, so they want to put your content at the top of the search results as the best option for their users.
They are desperate to provide the best answer to the question that someone is searching for. If your content does that, then they will gladly rank you higher. But if you were targeting really competitive keywords and were up against authority websites, then you will struggle to break into that crowd.
A keyword research tool allows you target less competitive keywords that get a little bit of traffic. A little bit of traffic is better than no traffic, right?
The best thing to do is to show you what I mean. I am going to go back to the best gaming laptop example we used earlier in the post. Below you will see my Jaaxy dashboard searching the keyword “best gaming laptop”
In the screenshot you will see 10 keywords that have been generated that are relevant to our original keyword.
But if we targeted that original “best gaming laptop”, it is really competitive. Let’s break down the headings, so you know what we mean.
Avg – The average number of searches for that keyword a month
Traffic – Visits to your website if you can achieve number 1 position in the search engines
QSR – The number of competing websites for that same keyword
KQI – Keyword Quality Indicator
SEO – A score based on traffic vs. Quality
So, our original keyword that we could target, “best gaming laptop” has got great traffic potential… but we would be up against 160 competing websites for that same keyword and we are only just starting out.
Now, if we looked at the other results and looked at “best gaming laptop computer” – it doesn’t get as many searches a month, but it has an amazing potential for a beginner just starting out as it only has 42 competing websites for that same keyword.
I would much rather get 21 clicks a month from a keyword like this one, then try to compete for the original one and get nothing.
Also, when you have picked up on a keyword to use, check out the other websites competing for that keyword, you might actually find you are more informed and can write a much better option for the search engines can.
If you have taken up our recommendation and joined Wealthy Affiliate, we have found that WA members tend to write the best content because of everything that WA teaches when it comes to writing high-quality content.
That is why you will need to do keyword research before writing any content. Once you have nailed down a keyword to use, you can then start to identify who the target audience is for that keyword.
High Quality Content requires you to provide Help and not Sell.
If someone was to click on your post about the “best gaming laptop computer”, what do you think they want to see?
Option 1: a website that tells them this laptop is the best and that they should buy it. It provides no in-depth information about why you recommend it. You just tell them it is the best.
Option 2: an in-depth post about both the benefits and concerns of a certain laptop, that gives them good options for if they have a high budget or a low budget. Gives them a look at what others are thinking about these types of laptops and a chance to see some good informed information about them?
If people had already decided which laptop they were going to buy, they would not need to search the internet to check out what other people’s opinions were.
People who are undecided need help, and that is what you need to provide.
I think at this point; it would be good for you to understand the customer purchase lifecycle. As when you are writing content, you need to consider where people might be. If someone is not ready to purchase, you cannot sell to them. You might just help them get an understanding on a subject and not even recommend any products at that point.
If you would like to learn more about the customer purchase lifecycle, I recommend you check out this training. If really helps you when deciding where you audience might when writing your content.
Target the right keyword, understand where your reader might be in the customer purchase lifecycle and write a really in-depth guide that helps, and you will soon see your search engine rankings soar to the top…
Gain an Audience
Getting to the top of the search engines is your goal with your content, because then you will start to see an influx of people starting to visit your website.
Once you start to see people coming to your website, it is now time to start applying for some affiliate programs.
You might be asking yourself, why have I waited so long to apply for an affiliate program, when I want to start affiliate marketing today.
That is because this is not a quick route to making money, it takes time to build up the trust with the search engines to put your website at the top.
This could take a month, or two or even 6 months depending on your niche.
But affiliate programs are in the business to make money and you will need to register some qualifying sales. Without any traffic, how are you going to register any sales?
That is why we wait until we are starting to get some traffic. Then as you begin your quest, you can apply to join Amazon Associates. There are plenty of affiliate programs out there, but we feel amazon is a great starting point for when you are starting out and this purely down to the number of products you gain access to and your readers will trust the association between your blog and amazon.
Apply for an Affiliate Program – Amazon is Best for Beginners
The affiliate program at Amazon is called Amazon Associates. It allows you to promote any product that is available on Amazon on your website. You get an affiliate link that you can add to your website that tells Amazon that you were the one who referred this customer to their marketplace and if they make a purchase, they will pay you a commission.
Applying for Amazon is not difficult, but you need to have 3 qualifying sales within 6 months to stay in the program. That is why we suggest you wait until you are starting to get traffic before applying. 6 months sounds like a long time, but it goes quicker than you think and if you do not get your qualifying sales you will be booted out and need to reapply again.
Website Information – your website and provide some details about it
Profile – complete your profile
Identity Verification – Depending on your country, they may ring you.
You will also need to consider where you are in the world. We live in the UK, so signed up with the UK Amazon Associates program. But if we noticed that most of our traffic is coming from the US, then we would need to create an Amazon.com account for the US and apply for that associate account, so we could benefit from earning commissions.
Write Product Reviews with Affiliate Links
Our advice is to not flood your website with affiliate links!! The search engines do not like to see affiliate links everywhere, so our advice is to centralise your affiliate links into review pages. It is a sound strategy as most people searching for product reviews are in the buying stage of the customer purchase lifecycle.
Create high quality content about your niche that flows into product reviews and then they are more accepting of a promotion for a specific product and will follow your suggestions into making purchases.
This is the part you want to hear about. But it will not happen overnight. We have showed you up to this point how you can get started with affiliate marketing today, but the point at which you are earning money does depend entirely on how much time and effort you are willing to put in.
I will not sugar-coat it for you, this is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme but done correctly can easily become your full-time income if you put your mind to it and work hard.
But as you create more high-quality content, and as your traffic grows and as you build up your product reviews you are going to see this becomes an awesome passive income stream.
One post you write could become an income stream on its own. I know of many affiliate marketers that are seeing consistent sales from a post they wrote years ago. You only need that trickle of traffic to become a flow and as long as you follow the right strategy you can see this become your perfect work from home job.
Never let anyone tell you that it is not possible, every affiliate marketer started out from scratch and by employing the right strategy you can too.
Want Expert Help & Support Through Your First Steps?
You can get started with affiliate marketing today following the steps we have laid out today. The hard part, we found was going through it without any support. That is why we want to offer our help and support and the help and support of experts available to you from Wealthy Affiliate.
Most people are put off by building a website, but these days it is one of the easiest tasks to complete. WordPress is just a one-click install.
But when it comes to keyword research, SEO, creating content that converts you need to understand what it takes to be successful at affiliate marketers.
You also require support to get you through those early stages where you are not getting any traffic.
But know, that most affiliate marketers fail, not because of their content or lack of hard work. They typically fail, because they gave up too soon.
The only reason you will fail at affiliate marketing is if you give up before you were going to make it. The image below sums up why most fail. They give up too soon and end up walking away and yet they might have only been days from it making them money…
What we can offer on behalf of Wealthy Affiliate, is there will always be support and expert training to help you achieve your goals. They will not do the work for you, but they can help you work smarter.
How to Start Affiliate Marketing Today – Conclusion
We love affiliate marketing; it is a fantastic business opportunity that allows you to literally pick any interest and hobby and earn money from it online. But we have found the biggest factor to whether you will succeed or not is whether you receive the best help and support along the way.
You will find plenty of gurus claiming that you can earn thousands if you start affiliate marketing today with their program, but guess what… You will not!! IN fact, you will have just wasted your money!!
Wealthy Affiliate is totally honest with you about the time and effort required, that it is not a get-rich-quick scheme and you will have to work hard to achieve success!
But then, they have helped thousands of affiliate marketers achieve all that. They have proven success stories within their ranks, and we are so glad we found their training platform.
If you truly want to start affiliate marketing today, then you will find no better partner to achieve your goals. Know that whether you start today or leave your decision a little while that the sooner you start and persevere, the sooner you will have those sales you are looking for.
If you think you cannot do it, then I suggest you think again. Many members of WA will tell you they had no clue how to do affiliate marketing before they signed up. Many didn’t know a lot about their computer and whether they could do this, and they are achieving great things.
Trust in yourself and put the work in and together we will can achieve your goals. Trust in the training at Wealthy Affiliate and follow it to the letter, and you can be earning money from your own affiliate marketing website.
If you want to really start affiliate marketing today, the real first step is to click on the button below and join Wealthy Affiliate with a free starter membership and then crack on with the training.
Have you found our post useful? Have you any experience with Wealthy Affiliate that you could share with anyone who is still considering whether it is a good move or a great move? We would love to hear your experiences, stories or any questions you may have. Just write them in the comments below and we will g
Affiliate Marketing is one of the best ways to make money online and if you have been considering if CBD Oil might be a good niche to choose for it. Well, we have come up with a list of the top CBD Oil Affiliate Programs. We do not know a lot about CBD Oil, but we do know a lot about affiliate marketing. Let’s get into it…
Amazon is the largest marketplace in the world, so it is only natural that people start asking how to become an affiliate marketer for Amazon. We have racked our brains and have come up with 5 easy steps to getting started and want to share those with you… We will also through in 5 tips to making sure you are successful including some great training and tools that we have used to build up our affiliate marketing business and you can learn how to get started too.
Affiliate Marketing is so appealing these days, especially as more and more people are searching online for ways to make money from home and naturally land on a page all about affiliate marketing, but why is affiliate marketing so appealing?
The simple fact is that Affiliate Marketing is Awesome, but there are many questions around it and a few reasons why people fail…
Let’s start by clarifying exactly what affiliate marketing is…
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Before I go into detail about what true affiliate marketing is, you need to know there are plenty of training platforms that are actually scams pretending to be affiliate marketing. We have reviewed a number of them, and some have actually been closed down by the FTC because they couldn’t live up to all of their promises. If you ever find something that states you can earn money on auto-pilot or with little effort, then that is exactly what I am on about. That is why we wanted to clarify your understanding on what is affiliate marketing.
It is very likely you have already experienced affiliate marketing is some way, especially if you have every purchased a product off of Amazon.
Affiliate Marketing is a beneficial way of marketing products for both affiliates and companies themselves, as the act saves them a fortune on their marketing campaigns. It is as simple as promoting products and receiving a commission if someone chooses to buy said product through your affiliate link.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
An Affiliate Marketer signs up with an affiliate program, for the example I will discuss Amazon Associates. This gains you access to all of their products to promote via blog or on social media.
You create a blog or website on any subject you want to cover and promote products or services on it. If someone lands on your website and decides to follow your recommendation and goes to the Amazon website via your affiliate link, if they buy the product you receive a percentage of the sale price as a reward for introducing a buyer.
There are thousands of affiliate programs, and affiliate networks that house thousands of affiliate programs meaning that you can create a blog in any subject you can think of.
That kind of adds to the appeal.
Why Affiliate Marketing is so Appealing?
Affiliate Marketing is so appealing for a number of ways, let’s go through a few:
Start an Affiliate Marketing Website About Anything
The best thing about Affiliate Marketing is the fact that you can start an online business in any interest or passion you have.
Interested in golf, then you can use that. Interested in getting fit and helping others to get fit, then you can use that.
Literally, you can start a business today in anything you are really interested in and you could find an affiliate program that will fit perfectly with it.
Gem runs and maintains a wedding stationary business, and affiliate marketing runs well with that.
Why start a business about something you don’t enjoy or know anything about when you could get started with a business you know loads about and enjoy immersing yourself within that subject.
It’s a Work from Anywhere Job
Another appealing feature of Affiliate Marketing is the fact you can do it from anywhere, the only restriction is internet coverage.
Affiliate Marketing tends to go really well with travel blogging because that is one of the main benefits of an online business using affiliate marketing, you can blog about your travels and help others get started on their own travelling plans.
This is because it is classed as a passive income stream, meaning you do not need to monitor the sales. Create great content and move on, you do not need to there for someone to decide to buy something you are promoting.
You Do Not Need Your Own Products or Services
Another great thing about affiliate marketing is the fact you do not need your own products or services, because you are promoting other people’s products.
No expensive warehouse, no need for a Point of Sale system. This is often the reason why people do not think they can start their own business, because they have nothing to offer.
But, with affiliate marketing you have something that you can offer which isn’t a physical thing. You can offer help and advice about a subject you know about, that is what you need to get started with affiliate marketing.
There are three great reasons as to why Affiliate Marketing is so appealing, but what stops Affiliate Marketers from succeeding?
What Stops Affiliate Marketers Succeeding?
There are a number of reasons why affiliate marketers do not succeed, we have picked out the top three that we feel is why they do not succeed:
Think it is a Get-Rich-Quick Scheme
We mentioned earlier in the post that there are loads of programs claiming to be affiliate marketing and they all have something in common. They make you believe that success can be achieve overnight.
I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this is anything but a get-rich-quick scheme. In fact, there is no such program that can make you loads of money overnight. It is was a thing, plenty of people would be reaping the benefits.
Affiliate Marketing is a great business to get started in, it can be any subject you love but if you think that in a month’s time you can sit back and watch the money come in that is not going to be a reality.
It is going to take a lot of hard work to realise your goals. I will be honest with you, I didn’t earn anything for 6 months when I first started with affiliate marketing and it will be a long road to actually achieving a way of replacing my full-time job.
The more hours you put in, the more effort you put in the better, as realising your dreams will take hard work.
An honest affiliate marketer will tell you that you still need to put the hours in, even after you have established yourself in your chosen niche.
There are examples of where someone has got to the point where they are earning good money, they have even been able to leave their day job. So, they decide my website is making good money now, I will go on a month-long holiday. They do nothing with their website for a month, and then realise that their traffic levels drop a little because they haven’t worked on their website.
Hard work will pay off, but many do not give this any thought and the best way to describe it is they “play at it”. They do not invest the time and effort to realise it and then they decide to give up…
They Give Up Too Soon
People give up before their hard work pays off. This is normally because people think of it like an hourly-paid job. I have done an hour of work, so I therefore deserve an hour’s worth of pay.
An online business does not work out like that. Affiliate Marketing is a truly passive income, but it will not earn you money straightaway. The harder you work in the early stages, the more likely you are going to enjoy the benefits down the road.
You could write an awesome quality post and it doesn’t make you money for 6 months, but then it starts earning you recurring income on a regular basis and could do so for years to come.
But many affiliate marketers give up after a couple of months and say affiliate marketing doesn’t work. That is why the search engines does not really trust a new website until it is about 6 months old, because a website owner still engaged in their website after 6 months is the real deal and will keep on working and understands the long-term plan of an affiliate marketing business model.
A normal bricks and mortar business will typically not plan to turn a profit in year one, and yet online we seem to think we can be turning profit immediately.
Whilst the costs are nowhere near a typical business, the main investment you need to put in with an online business is your time and effort.
If you can commit to putting at least an hour a day into learning and acting within your business, you have what it takes but you need to keep at it until all your hard work pays off!
Lack of Quality Training & Support
You will find loads of contradicting strategies online, or you are being drawn in by affiliate marketing training that is outdated or clearly not affiliate marketing.
But there are training programs out there that do help their members, and will give a easy to follow step-by-step plan to success.
The support is the key, I think anyone who cares enough will follow a structured guide, but it is the help aspect that people lack, and they feel like they are doing this all alone and that can be one of the hardest things to get over.
I am part of a community of affiliate marketers and we all engage together to help each other. If we did not have that, I would have felt like I was swimming upstream. In other words, it would have been extremely hard to keep going until the money started coming in.
We can help you get the help and support, with some awesome training to. But I think it is one of the factors as to why many affiliate marketers are struggling, and that is wrong or outdated training with a real lack of support.
What Do You Need to Succeed?
Let’s just summarise so far, Affiliate Marketing is an awesome way of building an online business in a subject you really love and enjoy. You can literally work from anywhere and enjoy the freedom that a work from home job can bring.
You also do not need any of your own products or services as you can promote other peoples and not have all the hassle that would normally bring.
But it does take long hours and hard work to become successful and people tend to give up too easily because they think it isn’t going to work – this is often because they do not get shown a proven method to follow and have a lack of support.
What I want to share with you is the fact I know how you might be feeling at this point; Do I take the plunge??
If you are just trying to piece together bits of information from Google and keep looking for those (fake) proven methods, you will look back in six months time and realise you haven’t achieved anything and you are no closer to having financial freedom.
Or you could read on, learn about how I now make money online and get all the help you need to succeed.
I was there at that point and thought there were no genuine ways of making money online until I read a review about a training platform called Wealthy Affiliate.
Things That You Need to Succeed?
I have broken down what you need to get started on the right track, and they are all things that Wealthy Affiliate will offer you in abundance.
Up-to-date training that all users can understand and follow. I have found and reviewed many pieces of training around affiliate marketing, and typically they are outdated and that is why they are being offered for free.
The search engines are constantly changing, the way people navigate searches is changing and you need to keep up.
That is why we highly recommend the step-by-step training available at Wealthy Affiliate. Kyle and Carson (the WA Co-Owners) do not try and confuse you or get you to do strategies until you are ready.
By the end of the first ten lessons, you will fully understand what Affiliate Marketing is, help to choose the right niche, how you are going to monetise your website and actually have your own free website up and running ready for your all-important content.
Learn from their experience and gain personal access to them to help you along your affiliate business.
Websites & Website Tools
The second thing you need for your affiliate marketing business is a website. You will find many free ones online, but when you actually start to scale your online business you find the prices start to rise rapidly. With Wealthy Affiliate, a free starter membership gains you 2 free websites with no limit on the number of users.
A premium membership adds a different level with up to 50 domains available to you, with no limit and free SSL certificates.
You will also experience some fantastic website engagement tools including a keyword research tool.
I have already expressed the importance of the right support network. You will find no better support that from the community at Wealthy Affiliate.
If you ever feel like you are stuck, or just need a comforting word to keep you on the right track you will find it in abundance within Wealthy Affiliate. You will find experience affiliate marketers and newbies alike all engaging in the training, asking and answering questions and encouraging everyone to achieve their goals.
Are You Ready to Get Started?
Affiliate Marketing is so appealing because of the fact it can be about anything in the world. Whether you are interested in starting a business in a hobby you love, want to help people in a subject you consider yourself an expert in, or want to document your fitness plan to help other people learn from you it all leads to the same thing.
A profitable online business that you actually enjoy working on. Gem and I chose helping people and I have a background in learning and development. We love helping people, and we also understand what good training is and that is why we recommend Wealthy Affiliate.
If you think you are ready to work hard and build a business that will allow you to enjoy it and work when you want and not be dictated to by a work schedule then I highly suggest you click the button below and start a free starter membership with Wealthy Affiliate.
It is totally free, with no credit card required. You will have access to the first ten lessons of their Online Entrepreneur Certification Course and 2 free websites that are yours to keep. There will be no pressure to upgrade until you are ready. But trust me, even those ten lessons will transform what you know about affiliate marketing and you will truly understand the potential behind it.
If you still have any questions about Affiliate Marketing or Wealthy Affiliate, I would be happy to answer all your questions. Just write your questions in the comments below and we will respond.
If you are here, you might be considering whether affiliate marketing really works? There are plenty of reasons why affiliate marketing might not be working for you and you are looking for help to turn the corner and make it work. But let me answer that first question – does affiliate marketing work? Yes, totally but there are some factors to consider when thinking about why it might not be working for you.
First off, there is no big secret as to how it works and a lot of it comes down to one factor – Patience.
The Biggest Factor to Achieving with Affiliate Marketing is Patience
One of the biggest mindsets you need to get out of when starting any online business, including affiliate marketing is that you will not immediately earn a return for the time you invest. People sink a lot of time and effort into an affiliate marketing business and will see no return after 3 or even 6 months and walk away from it stating “Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work”, when really 6 months is the point where your website is starting to earn the traction it needs with the search engines to turn your articles into a money-pot.
The main thing I see with struggling affiliate marketers is they are drawn into these training platforms that are not telling you the truth about the need for patience.
Think about it, unless you find a genuine training platform like Wealthy Affiliate that is honest and realistic about the timescales needed to make this successful – Most affiliate marketing (or programs advertising themselves as affiliate marketing) state that you can be earning money really soon after starting…
Whether it is an e-book, a training course or learning from a guru they all lull you in with false promises of a passive income stream that can happen overnight.
In reality, the biggest thing you need to get over is that this is not a reality. I did not earn anything from affiliate marketing for 6 months and if I had stopped at the 6-month mark I might have been in the same place you are and questioning whether Affiliate Marketing works.
That 6-month point is really important in your affiliate marketing business. The market is being flooded with people wanting to do affiliate marketing, but as most give up on the 3 or 6-month Google consider this when deciding on where to rank your content. If a website is still alive after 6-months and is offering high-quality content, that is a great sign for your rankings and will mean that you will start to get good traffic. Traffic is what you need to make money with affiliate marketing.
Another key reason as to why affiliate marketing does not work for some is because they do not know how to do it properly.
Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work Because People Do Not Know How to Do It the Right Way
Another big reason as to why affiliate marketing does not work for most marketers is because they are learning from scammers. There are thousands of products out there claiming to be the best affiliate marketing training, but in reality, have been put there by fraudsters to get your money or personal information and leaves those that fall for the trap believing affiliate marketing does not work.
They give away enough information to get you to buy the product, but not enough information for you to find any success with their tactics.
There are many factors to consider making sure affiliate marketing works for you, but you also need a training platform that is honest, can be trusted and ensures you are put on the right track from this point onwards. We highly recommend the training and tools available at Wealthy Affiliate. They are the training platform we used when we first started out with Affiliate Marketing and without the support from the team, I might not have stayed the course and saw that first sale after 6 months.
With clear training on choosing a niche, creating a website, writing content that converts and SEO and other marketing methods they are a highly recommended and up-to-date training. Learn more about what they offer and their success stories within my Wealthy Affiliate Review.
Many Affiliate Marketers are using Outdated Tactics
Another factor as to why affiliate marketing does not work is people using outdated techniques. One Example is using duplicate content. Some products out there claim that their system will generate you content for your website without you needing to do any work? How? They steal another person’s work and display it on your website.
But the search engines are actively looking for duplicate content and using duplicate content will lead only one way – your website and content not getting ranked at all.
What the search engines and people searching via those search engines are looking for is high-quality content that provides value and helps people with their query.
In days gone by, some affiliate marketers used tactics including just writing a 20-page website, and sending unnatural links to it by spamming blogs, comment sections, etc. This would benefit the website for about 3 months, before Google found out and would penalise the site. This technique stopped being effective since a change in Google’s algorithms in 2011. But I have still seen training material showing affiliate marketers this tactic, even though it will not work at all.
If you can provide high-quality content that helps people and provides value, you have the key ingredient to making affiliate marketing work. You just need to remain consistent posting this high-quality content regularly to see it turn into a successful affiliate marketing business.
Affiliate Marketers Not Treating It Like a Business
It is possible for anyone to launch a website and start affiliate marketing nowadays. You can get a free website really easily and little or no financial barrier to getting started. This brings with it the idea of testing the water with affiliate marketing, with little commitment needed.
This leads some to not get into the right tracks that this is a business model. It also means they do not have a business plan for their affiliate marketing business.
Think about your current goals, if they are just to make money – then this could be a factor into why it is not working. Even if you start with small goals, like I am going to write 3-4 articles a week that is a better goal to start with.
We all have a financial goal, and that is normally the main reason why we have chosen affiliate marketing as a way to achieve that. But a normal bricks and mortar business will not expect to turn a profit in its first year. Now, an online business doesn’t have the outlay a normal business does, but why does that mean you can immediately expect it to turn a profit straightaway.
Set yourself daily, weekly and monthly goals that are not about earning money. It could be creating articles, spending an hour doing proper keyword research, researching your niche and engaging with others in your niche, learning how to get started in video marketing.
There are tons of things that you can set yourself up with, and the beauty is if you are constantly working on your business and creating excellent value – guess what you will start converting this into sales.
Not Getting into the Mindset of an Entrepreneur!
One of the things that I notice about people who say affiliate marketing does not work, they think it works in the same way as working in your day job!
Think about a job that pays by the hour for a moment, you do an hour’s work and you get paid an hourly rate.
Affiliate Marketing does not work in the same way. A true entrepreneur plays the long game. I know affiliate marketers who are earning money from articles they wrote years ago, and they are still converting. The article might need a little update every now and then as things do change, but in essence it is the true way a passive income works through affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing is in definition about playing the long game. Write a high-quality article that helps, is based on a low-hanging fruit keyword and offers value to the person who reads it. Once you have posted it to your website and shared it on social media. You start researching into your next article. Don’t get hung up on Google Analytics, it can work against you as you will not see a great deal of traffic and that can be demotivating.
Just focus on writing articles, regularly and keep that going for 6 months, then plan for your next 6 months.
Get the Right Training & Support You Need to Succeed!
One of the things about those early stages of an affiliate marketing business is it can feel kind of lonely. If no one is interacting with your website, it can seem like you are writing content for no one and it can be something that leads you to believe that affiliate marketing does not work. But that is why I love the guys at Wealthy Affiliate.
First off, you will gain access to high-quality training that will ensure you are following the right path for your affiliate marketing business. this includes:
Picking the Right Niche – some people start too broad, and end up not being competitive enough and failing
Doing Effective Keyword Research – without keyword research you have no chance of ranking your content
Writing Quality Content – It is the key ingredient Google is looking for, they want to offer value to their users in the same way you need to with your content
Social Media Marketing – this is essential for your business, but you will be surprised how many do not know how to utilise this effectively.
One of the key things that Wealthy Affiliate offer that I have heavily used in my time with them is the ability to learn from some of the Super Affiliate’s that are on their platform. To be able to learn from them and to ask them questions at any point was really motivating in those early stages before I started earning money from Affiliate Marketing. With a free starter membership, you can truly experience the platform with no commitments and see how it differs to any training you have experienced in the past and also see the opportunities that lie within. It is really empowering to live chat with some of these affiliate marketers and learn new techniques that work, with proof. Read some success stories and try to incorporate it into your online business and learn from some techniques that haven’t worked too.
Let’s just clarify the key points of this post.
You need to have a lot of patience with affiliate marketing. This is not an overnight success route. If you can only post once a week, it will take a lot longer to get the search engines trust and the rankings that this means to get traffic.
If you feel you have not had the best training, you need to go back to basics and learn it from the best training platform out there – Wealthy Affiliate.
The only tactic you need to concentrate on is doing the right keyword research and posting high-quality content that provides value and helps the reader
This is an online business model – if you are currently playing at it, what will it take for you to commit?
Think like an entrepreneur! Don’t work to get paid, work to build a future for yourself and your family.
Get the Right Training and Support – Read my Wealthy Affiliate Review and see how this amazing platform can help your affiliate marketing business
I know you might be currently thinking that Affiliate Marketing does not work and you might be thinking that it will never work. But I want to assure you, it can and does work! I would not be where I am today without it and I love the fact I found Wealthy Affiliate when I did. I had been caught out by an online scam and could have given up on my desire to make money online. At one point, I did not think it was possible. That was the point I saw a review for Wealthy Affiliate and found out about affiliate marketing.
It is a proven route to make money online, but it is so easy to fall for a fake affiliate marketing training out there. I want to guarantee anyone who reads my Wealthy Affiliate review, they are totally genuine and are a really supportive platform. They are all about you making up your own mind about them and offer the free starter membership as a way for you to make your own decisions. A truly great bunch of guys.
If you ever feel like you are struggling, just reach out. We have all been there and thought the same. But that does not mean affiliate marketing doesn’t work, we just need to keep believing and learning.
Thanks for reading this, if you have any questions or want to add any experiences with affiliate marketing, I would love to hear from you. I will respond as soon as I can. thanks
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