A Beginner’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing


People earning money online can seem like a great party that your neighbor is having and you haven’t received an invite. We all know by now that it can be done, but knowing where to start and actually be successful can seem to be an unsolvable mystery. 

Fortunately for you, we have your invite to the fiesta. Affiliate marketing is without a doubt is the easiest way to start to make money online. All it takes is a passion for something and you are on your way.

Let’s be clear, good money can be made this way. In fact, a study from Viglink found that at least 65% of affiliate marketers made at least 5% to 20% of their annual income from affiliate marketing. On the top end, some are able to make thousands every month.   

For you to become successful, we are going to break down all that you need to know in simple easy steps. We will do this by breaking down what affiliate marketing is, and then what you need to get in the door and start to see a profit.

What Is Affiliate Marketing? 

Put simply, affiliate marketing is when you promote either a product or a service via your personal platform.  

When you sign up to an affiliate program or an affiliate network (both of which we will explain in more detail later on) you are given a commission for every person that ends up buying or using said product or service. 

You will be provided with links directly to the item and, whether it be through blog posts, youtube videos, Instagram, or other means, your goal is to get that link in front of as many people as possible for them to go ahead and make that purchase.

The great thing about this way of working is that it is entirely scalable.

If you wanted to, you could by using the techniques we will show you, easily set things up so you could be earning big bucks. It will take time and effort but countless people have managed to make it work. If, however, you don’t have the time to dedicate to this and are simply looking for a side hustle, starting small could provide you with a slow steady income to support your main paycheck, or just a means to have some beer money for the month. 

If this sounds good for you then let’s go through the essential steps that need to be taken to make it work.

Choose a Niche

As you can guess this kind of work is appealing which means that many people are already trying to do the same as you.

Therefore to really earn money you need to focus on a specific area of interest that doesn’t have as many mouths talking about it.

This could seem counterproductive. But having a specific niche means that rather than being one in a crowd of millions trying to get heard, your voice could be one in a thousand or less. Remember your market is the whole world! As long as it is something that there is a sustained interest in, you are more likely to be found and looked up by those who need that itch scratched. 

Speaking about your subject can seem daunting, but remember that you don’t need to present yourself as an expert, you are only documenting your experience.

Although you don’t have to, we would suggest you choose something that you have at least a fleeting interest in. Maybe you are a budding photographer, then it could mirrorless cameras. Or perhaps you have just become a parent and are constantly having to buy things for your little one, maybe a review site would be up your street.    

As time will be spent either writing or recording content about the subject. making it something you are passionate about will help you find it easier to stay motivated.  

Decide Which Platform You Will Use

Now you know what you want to talk about and promote, next you need to choose where you will talk to people about it. Today there are so many options for you but for a beginner, there are two standout choices that are simple and effective.

Youtube and blogging.  

Youtube is great because it is everybody’s favorite price, free. While you may think that you will fall into a sea of the millions of videos found on there, if you have chosen a good niche it won’t take too long to start gain views. 

Blogging is a great choice for a beginner also. Setting up a website today is quick fast and easy and can even be done for free. Blogger and WordPress are popular choices but there are many more out there.  

It typically takes a little longer to see money come through this way than Youtube videos, however, this can be sped up if you follow this link and use these steps to earn money with affiliate marketing using a blog.

So now you have your niche and you have decided on your platform. What’s next?

Choose an Affiliate Program or Network 

Affiliate marketing programs are when one merchant will provide you with the means to advertise their products or services, usually via a link. Once the link is clicked upon a cookie is saved, essentially telling the company that they came from you.

An affiliate network works the same way but allows you access to a number of merchant programs rather than just one company.  

When choosing to be an affiliate program or network it’s good to be conscious of their cookie expiry period.

Some last a few hours and other days or longer. This can make a big difference as it is common for all of us to start to purchase something and get distracted only to go back to buy it later. If the expiration period is very short you could miss out on potential earnings.  

Another thing to be aware of is the amount of commission you can expect to make. Amazon, the most popular affiliate program starts off from 2% on a sale, not a huge amount. However. business niche affiliate marketing programs such as web hosting pay out a lot more. Namecheap, for example, payout 35% commission.  

Others pay a flat fee so you know what to expect for everyone who makes a purchase, known as a conversion. 

One trick is to look for subscription services. They are excellent choices as they tend to payout monthly as long as the person continues to pay for the service.   

For a beginner, we would suggest starting with a high-volume low-income affiliate marketing websites such as Amazon or Rakuten. Unless you are familiar with the specialized niches that payout higher, it can be a real challenge to crank out great content in those areas. That is so important because as we will see now, content is king. 

Create Addictive Content

We cannot overstate the importance of your content if you want to make money with affiliate marketing. 

You don’t only need eyes on your page or videos but you want them to keep coming back. So give some thought about what you can do to make it as high quality as possible. 

Don’t know where to start? Check out other sites, blogs and video and note what works. A review site is a great idea, but if you just see stock photos of the products then that is no different to looking at a review on Amazon. It makes a big difference though if you see a real person using the product.

A lifestyle blog may also be a great idea, but if you don’t learn anything about the person writing, then people won’t become emotionally attached and want to come back for more. 

The best way to make your work stand out is to try to think of ways to fill the needs of those who find you. If your posts are just talking about products directly and you pepper them with links, people will see through it as a sales pitch. But if you talk about and answer a common question that people have in your niche or create a discussion topic then it will be more interesting for the consumer.  

If you are struggling to come up with ideas, learn a little about keywords for blog posts as these drive organic traffic to your site, and can help you to know what to focus on. You can also use tools like Answer the Public to find out what people are talking about on the internet so your posts are topical.   

Affiliate Marketing Is the Future

As you can see getting started with affiliate marketing is not too hard. Isolating your niche, choosing your platform, and affiliate marketing program can all be done in an afternoon.

The hard work comes in providing great engaging content but remembers, once it is up, you can forget about it! One piece of work can provide a regular source of cash, and if you multiply that by 20, 50, or 100 who knows where you will end up! 

We hope you find success in your journey to becoming an affiliate marketer and if you want more great business advice check out the other content on this site.