Your chosen niche will ultimately determine what is the best affiliate marketing program for beginners and for you. But knowing what to look for and the differences will be a major factor in whether it is the right affiliate program for you. Relevance and Quality will be some things that you are looking for when deciding.
Before we delve into the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners, let’s just cover what exactly is affiliate marketing and also how it differs from referral marketing.
What Exactly is Affiliate Marketing?
The simplest way I can describe affiliate marketing is that it is where you (an affiliate) receive a commission for introducing a buyer to a product or service. Affiliate marketing is quite a broad statement as it can also include receiving a commission for referring someone to signing up to a program, for example a training platform.
Let’s use an example for the product side. You have a niche focusing on bean coffee machines. You have done the hard work and built up your audience and you have signed up to a retailer (Amazon, for example) selling the coffee machines that you are writing reviews and articles about.
Your audience decide they want to purchase said coffee machine after reading your review and follow your link to the retailer. If they decide to purchase that coffee machine, you receive a percentage commission on the sale. That is exactly how affiliate marketing works.
Referral Marketing works the same way, let me us Swagbucks as an example.
Swagbucks is a website where you can earn a little money from completing surveys, watching online videos. That sort of thing. If you were to refer someone to join up with Swagbucks, you get a reward. In this instance it is SB points, that when you reach a certain amount you can cash out for giftcards, etc.
In essence, they are both affiliate marketing – but the rewards are typically where you see the difference.
Referral Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing
Some will describe both as affiliate marketing, and they would be right. But I do like to differentiate the two, as understanding both of them in the right way will end up earning you more conversions.
If you solely worked on just products and services in your niche, you are missing out on a big chunk of potential sales. If you are in the making money online niche, you might not consider referring someone to survey sites as worth your time – but everyone is different, and these survey sites would not be around if people were not signing up. Whilst most of us are looking for ways to replace the job. Some are quite content with relieving boredom and earning a few extra pounds completing a survey.
Another one, I never consider really was a website like Udemy.com. You can actually become an affiliate with promote training lessons.
Whatever your niche, it is worthwhile checking out what courses they have to offer and see whether it fits with your chosen niche.
Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners
Before I share with you some beginner friendly affiliate marketing programs, I want to just take a moment to mention relevance and quality. Remember that anyone who visits your website is looking for help and guidance, and they will be put off by low quality products or stuff that isn’t even relevant to what they were looking for.
The reason I say this is, I have seen a number of affiliate marketers choosing to promote something because it has a high commission rate. But they aren’t making any conversions. I would rather have a relevant product earning 4% commission on my website and it get conversions, than a product with a 70% commission rate that doesn’t get any sales and has nothing to do with my audience.
That is why we choose a niche, and not start too broad. We need to become an authority in that niche and keep it fully on topic to earn the trust of anyone reading our blog. Otherwise it is game over.
That is why I am going to suggest when first starting out you start with affiliate programs that fit in with your brand, will be relevant to your audience and have products or services you yourself would use. You cannot promote something just because of the commission rate, you need to promote something that you believe in.
Affiliate Programs or Networks to Try
When you start researching into affiliate programs you will soon see that there 2 places to try. One is an affiliate network, this is where they have teamed up with a number of sellers to offer their affiliate program. Instead of signing up with 10 different affiliate programs, you just have one log-in to worry about. Share a Sale or Awin would be an example of this.
An affiliate program is one that is offered by an individual seller, Amazon for example.
If you are targeting a niche with a product base, then you really shouldn’t overlook Amazon or eBay. The Amazon Associates or eBay Partner affiliate programs are free to join and have an endless number of products or services that you can search through.
It also becomes an awesome way of researching your niche. I bet there will be more products on offer than you might think and will give you more ideas on what to write about and promote.
eBay is quite easy to work with and it is no longer just about second-hand merchandise. Gem’s wedding stationary business is mainly geared through eBay, so it will definitely be one to look at.
Amazon – it depends on where you are and where you are promoting products. Amazon.com, the worldwide website needs two qualifying sales within 6 months to stay an active affiliate. You can re-register straight away, but it is a bit of a faff. Personally, I would wait until you are starting to see traffic to your website. Once you start getting people regularly hitting your website, then I would sign up.
The other way you can see what affiliate programs are out there is using Google.
Just type your niche + affiliate programs. So, back to the bean coffee machine niche idea, here is what came up when I searched that + affiliate programs.
Signing up with smaller companies, sometimes yields better results and higher commissions. They are also not always as picky. There are affiliate programs out there that will not accept you until you are hitting a certain level of traffic, so it is always worthwhile researching and reading as much about the affiliate programs as you can.
Don’t be afraid to send an email and ask questions, if the answer isn’t forthcoming.
If you are targeting the ‘make money online’ niche, then the first thing I would say is it is a crowded market and will take a lot of hard work and effort to master it.
But for starters, Click Bank is a good affiliate network to begin with. But, as for the quality statement, I personally use it to look out for low-quality products to warn people about. You will always find products that promise the earth, seem quite scammy and you know why? It is normally because they are.
We need to warn people about the bad products, just as much as the good products.
These are the top affiliate networks out there and I would recommend you check them out.
Want to Find Success with Affiliate Marketing?
Starting out in Affiliate Marketing requires a lot of time and focus. But you also need to ensure your efforts are going into the right actions to ensure long term success.
There is more to signing up to an affiliate program, promoting a few products and then hoping that it ends up earning you a ton of money.
I have found there are a few things that you need to remain focused during those difficult first few months when you are not seeing any reward (yet!).
The Right Education for Affiliate Marketing Success
There is so much to learn when it comes to affiliate marketing and not all of it is actually to do with affiliate marketing. You are starting an online business, so there are elements that you will need to master on top of learning affiliate marketing.
- Website Design
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Getting Traffic to Your Website
- Creating Content that Converts
If you stick with my suggestion you will get a comprehensive guide to achieving success with your online business within affiliate marketing
Expert Help & Support On Hand Anytime
Starting an online business can seem really lonely, and if you are ever stuck you tend to only have a google search to help… That doesn’t always help, and I prefer a two-way conversation with some real experts in online business. If I am ever stuck (we all get stuck at some point) I just reach out to my fellow members on Wealthy Affiliate. Wealthy Affiliate offers outstanding training, expert help and support and some awesome tools to help make sure your online affiliate marketing business gets started the right way and scale it to the point where you are really seeing success with it.
Getting the right training, right support and using awesome tools to achieve it correctly, Wealthy Affiliate is the right start for a new affiliate marketer.
When I first stumbled onto the concept of affiliate marketing, the whole landscape seemed alien to me. Starting a website, writing articles, even applying for affiliate programs or finding them. Without Wealthy Affiliate’s training and support, I would not be where I am today.
So if you are still looking at making your affiliate marketing business a reality, but still not 100% sure what you are doing with it. I would highly recommend Wealthy Affiliate. With a free starter membership, you can fully experience the platform, the training, the support and even get 2 free websites included. No need to enter any credit card details and no catch. If you find that it is not what you are looking for, then just log out and good luck to you on your affiliate marketing business.
Here is my full Wealthy Affiliate review, so you can see exactly what it is all about. If you would like to try a free starter membership with Wealthy Affiliate to make up your own mind, then you can join for free here.
Affiliate Marketing is a fantastic way of starting a home-based business and can be a lot of fun when it is in a niche that you are already interested in. But I have found that help and support is really something that you cannot do without. Gem & I love helping new people succeed, but with the training, websites, tools and support that Wealthy Affiliate offer and some guidance from us included then you will soon find that you do not need to search for answers using google that can end up wasting you a lot of time. Get an instant answer from people who know within minutes at Wealthy Affiliate.
Getting the right affiliate marketing program for your niche will definitely depend on what your niche is and the opportunities that lie within that niche. Hopefully you now know how to search for and find affiliate programs in your niche and also how relevance and the quality of your chosen products and services will matter loads.
If you have any questions or would like to share any hints and tips on how to find the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners, then please leave them in the comments below. I will definitely come back to your as soon as I can and good luck in your search.