One of the most common questions we get asked is: What’s affiliate marketing and how does it work? Well, we are always ready to help people understand exactly that, and we are always ready to help people get started with affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing can help you realise your goals and dreams of working from home and earning money.
Affiliate Marketing is an awesome way of starting an online business with the opportunity to earn money from literally any interest or passion you may have, and we will go through all the different elements of affiliate marketing to ensure you go away with the necessary information you need to go and get started.
What is Affiliate Marketing – The Basics of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing involves 3 parties. There is you, the affiliate. There is the affiliate program, which is the company or product owner and then there is the customer (the buyer).
As an affiliate, you sign up and join an affiliate program. This is what gives you the ability to promote a product or service via a blog or website, or on social media.
When you join an affiliate program, they give you a special link which is unique to you. This link is what you would use when promoting a product or service, it also allows the affiliate program owner to track it when a buyer uses it to come and buy something.
If a buyer does follow that special link and goes and makes a purchase, you earn a commission. This is typically a flat rate or a percentage of the product price.
Here is a handy flow chart, to make it easier to digest:
Amazon has one of the easiest affiliate programs to join, when starting out. Amazon is the world’s largest marketplace; they also have used affiliate marketing since it started out as a bookstore. There are many benefits to both the affiliate and the company to use affiliate marketing.
Their affiliate program is called Amazon Associates.
They offer over 500 million products, just think about it for a second. That is a lot of products, it also shows the opportunity available to affiliate marketers. There is a niche for anyone to explore within Amazon alone.
Whatever your hobby, interest or subject that you can help other people with – Amazon will have a product to offer within that niche for you to promote.
If you can drive someone from your website, social media account or an email sent out to your mailing list with affiliate links included within them and they go and make a purchase, let’s say a laptop – You will earn around 6% commission on that one purchase. So, if a laptop costs $500, you just earned $30.
That might not sound like a lot of money but think about how many people are buying laptops every day on Amazon.
If you were able to sell 10 laptops a day through your blog, that is $300.
That is with just one product, what if you were promoting 10 different laptops and you were able to sell 10 of each?
$500 x 100 = $5,000 a day
This honestly shows the reality of affiliate marketing, with only one example. Now you know the basics of the Affiliate Marketing process, let’s talk a little about what that means for you, the Affiliate.
Related Post: Why Do Companies Use Affiliate Marketing?
Who Can Become an Affiliate Marketer?
In general, it is normally free to join an affiliate program. There are a couple of examples where they may charge a small fee. But this is usually to check you are a real person, and it is very rare.
It is also a sign for you to look out for when checking an affiliate program, to protect yourself from a scam.
Affiliate Programs should be free, companies benefit massively from affiliate programs as they only need to pay out if someone makes a purchase. They benefit because you are introducing to them a customer.
If you find an affiliate program is charging what seems like a high fee, it is either a scam or a low-quality affiliate program. I would keep away from these types of affiliate program.
Affiliate Programs are great, they are usually free to join as an affiliate, you get to promote every brand, product or service that is available online and you get to earn commission from doing it too.
Amazon alone, give you the opportunity to promote over 500 million products and services.
But do not think Amazon is your only option, there are literally thousands of affiliate programs out there. With the right research, you will find tons available in whatever niche you can think of.
How Do Affiliate Programs Work?
An affiliate program is some software that allows affiliates to promote merchants and earn a commission. This software tracks all clicks, transactions and works out the commission all automatically.
It allows you to manage payment details, etc and gives you a personal dashboard that gives you some really important data to improve your conversion rates.
Affiliate Program stats are automated and always accurate. Companies work hard on making sure their affiliate program information is up to date for both themselves and you (the affiliate).
They also provide you some awesome information around what links are working better than others, giving you the opportunity to work on the ones that are not working well, to improve your money-making opportunity.
Affiliate Programs also offer you promotional stuff too – banners, widgets and even plugins to help you leverage your offers on your websites and social media.
The better the affiliate program, the better the promotional gear.
What is an Affiliate Network?
There are tons of independent affiliate programs, but it is sometimes easier to just sign up with an affiliate network.
Awin, for example is the largest affiliate network in the world and by having one account you will gain access to over 6,000 different companies and their product lists to promote.
There are plenty of affiliate networks, all with 100,000’s of companies and brands within them. Joining a couple of affiliate networks, could save you a lot of time and effort that could be better utilised elsewhere.
Managing a couple of accounts is much easier than managing 100’s of accounts, right?
Some of the most popular Affiliate Networks are:
- Awin.com (see related post: Everything You Need to Know About Awin)
- Amazon Associates (see related post: How to Make Money with the Amazon Associates program)
- eBay Partners
- CJ by Conversant (see related post: What is CJ Affiliate by Conversant?)
- Clickbank.com (see related post: Can You Make Money with Clickbank?)
- ShareASale (see related post: What is Share A Sale About? A ShareASale Review)
How Does an Affiliate Get Paid?
That is the great thing about Affiliate Marketing, they do not make it hard for you to get paid. They want everything to work seamlessly for both the benefit of you and them.
There are a few things to consider with payments though, they all have different payment systems and often have different pay schedules.
But for the most part, expect them to pay you in US Dollars regardless of where you live in the world.
There are a few where you could get paid in your own currency, but for the most part it will be US dollars.
You will also have the options of payment gateways, like PayPal that will convert it into your local currency.
Payment could be received via the following options, depending on the affiliate program:
- Cheque Payment
- Bank Transfer
If we go back to our example of Amazon, Amazon Associates offers the option of Amazon giftcards or bank transfer. Or Wealthy Affiliate, with which I am a member, pays primarily through PayPal. But they still offer the option of Cheque payments. But if you are earning enough, you can also get bank transfer.
If Affiliate Programs made it difficult for people to get paid, affiliate marketers would not use them. They would be shooting themselves in the foot if they did that!
Would you promote a brand if you were struggling to get paid from them?
What is the Opportunity for an Affiliate?
The opportunities for an affiliate marketer are endless… The number of people buying online is growing at a fantastic rate.
But when people are buying stuff online, it is so different to when they go to a store to make a purchase.
If you go into a store today looking at a product, you can see the product first-hand, you can feel it and check it out and even ask someone from the store questions around that product.
Online, people are resorting to checking out product reviews.
What did other buyers who bought it think? Is there an in-depth review of the product online? That is the opportunity regardless of the niche you choose.
By helping people with all of their questions about products or services within your niche, you will find the affiliate opportunity goes hand in hand with helping people.
If you know a lot about digital cameras, you could share your knowledge, experience and how to get the best out of digital cameras. Including some great product reviews of certain cameras for people just starting out.
That is your opportunity to earn commissions, not from selling to people. But by helping them.
Think about what you need from a blog owner to help you make a purchase decision?
Do you need someone who sells to you the best product, or do you need someone who helps you come to an all-rounded decision? If you knew you were going to buy it, then you would not necessarily go into researching the product too much. You are searching online, because you are unsure on whether that is the best option and what to consider with that.
What you need is someone who can help answer all of your questions about it, and then you can come to your own decision around going and buying it.
People need trust in you as an authority in that niche, then they will buy from you. No need to sell, help them and that is where the true affiliate marketer will earn good money.
If you just fill up your website with a load of affiliate links without the helpful guides and product reviews, etc. You will find that your readers will switch off very easily. No readers, no commissions.
Where Can You Go to Start an Affiliate Business?
You might have decided that you want to get started in Affiliate Marketing, but you have no idea where to go to get started… This can make it hard, as there are literally tons of programs and learning tools all claiming to be the best.
The biggest problems come in the form that not all of them are related to affiliate marketing or are complete scams (and utter garbage).
Where Can You Get Started with Your Research?
I want to offer my help with speeding up your research into getting started with affiliate marketing. There is a training platform that is by far the best option for someone just starting out and it stands out massively against the rest.
I have been learning and using this platform for the last couple of years and would not be where I am today with their fantastic training and tools. That platform is called Wealthy Affiliate.
Expert Affiliate Marketers hang out within Wealthy Affiliate, managing their respective business and helping out people, just like you who are wanting to start their very own Affiliate Marketing business.
It is the only platform you need, to learn everything there is to know about Affiliate Marketing.
It also provides a safe environment where you can get all the tools, websites, web hosting, training and coaching to create and grow your business within affiliate marketing.
There are two membership options, the completely free starter membership and an advanced premium membership (as low as $29 a month). But I personally recommend you try the starter membership. This will allow you to fully check out the platform before making any purchasing decisions.
Within the first few lessons, you will have your own Affiliate coach (Me), you will have chosen your niche and have a clear direction for your business. You will have your own affiliate website complete with web hosting and access to training that will start your journey to becoming an expert within the affiliate marketing world.
I am here at any time to answer your questions, whether it be about Affiliate Marketing or Wealthy Affiliate. All you need to do is ask! I am here to help anyone start their journey and will happily share my knowledge and experience to help you at any time.
Write any questions below and I will reply to you as soon as I can