Updated: Aug 3
What is Affiliate marketing and how does it work for beginners?
An Affiliate marketer promotes companies’ products but are not employed by the company for which they promote the products. The marketing is done on a commission basis.
Affiliate marketing is typically done online.
Companies who owns the products for which the marketing is done, has their own websites. When the marketer joins as an Affiliate program, the marketer gets product links to the products on the website of the company that they are promoting for.
These links are unique to each Affiliate marketer. The affiliate marketer will promote the products in a way that allows the potential client to click on the Affiliate marketer’s link.
When the client clicks on the link, it will take them to the product website. The person is then given the opportunity to purchase the product online on the product owner’s website.
Because the link is unique to the specific marketer, the product website can identify which affiliate marketer referred the client. Some product owners will pay the Affiliate marketer a small commission per client referred, regardless if a purchase was made. Most product owners only pay commission per sale, however.
You are probably wondering how much money can you make as an affiliate marketer. The amount, or percentage commission that will be paid to the Affiliate marketer varies, depending on the agreement with the Affiliate program that was joined by the marketer.
Some programs pay a fixed amount per sale.
Others pay a percentage of the sales amount.
When a product requires the client to pay a subscription fee, some Affiliate programs will also pay reoccurring commission monthly, or annually for as long as the client remains subscribed to the product.
There is no limit to the amount of money that you can make as an Affiliate marketer. It will largely depend on your determination and the skills that you learn and how you apply it. There are numerous Affiliate marketers who has made millions through affiliate marketing. John Crestani is one of them.
In most cases the sale does not have to be immediate. When a potential client visits the product owner’s website, a Tracking Cookie is used. This will link the client to the Affiliate Marketer. If the client then logs back into the website at a later date, even if the client does not use the Affiliate link this time, the Affiliate Marketer will still get the commission, as long as the client logs in from the same device as before.
The duration of the tracking Cookies varies, depending on the agreement with the Affiliate program that was joined by the marketer.
When you start with Affiliate marketing, you will have to choose a Niche. A Niche is the type of products that you would like to promote. Examples could be things like, baby products, clothing, outdoor equipment etc.
Sticking to a niche will help you to gain knowledge and authority in the field that you choose. Preferably choose something that you enjoy and are already interested in. It is much easier to promote something that you are passionate about.
What do I need to get started with Affiliate Marketing.
Although you can technically work from a smart phone, I do recommend that you should at least have a laptop computer.
You will have to decide on your niche and find affiliate programs to join.
As I mentioned, Affiliate marketing is done online. Some of the advertising and social media platforms do allow you to post your Affiliate link directly on their platform, but others do not. This will severely limit the effectiveness of what you are able to do and the results that you will achieve.
I strongly recommend that you must have a website. A website will allow you to send the traffic to your website and from there to the Affiliate link. I once heard a highly successful Affiliate marketer refer to his website as his Mother-ship. I thought that that was a very fitting analogy.
These are the advantages of having your own website.
1 ) You will be able to post links on those platforms that do not allow you to post your Affiliate link on it.
2 ) Your website will provide you with a platform to create sales pages where you can "warm up" potential clients, before sending them to the affiliate links.
3 ) You will be able to monitor the traffic to your website, which in turn will allow you with an understanding of how well your strategies are working. This will then enable you to adjust your strategies accordingly.
4 ) A website is an ideal platform where you can create content to attract potential clients to your website and then encourage them to click on your links.
5 ) You can use the website to collect information and email addresses etc from potential clients, especially if you use sales funnels on your website. This information can then be used to re-market your products to these clients.
6 ) A website portrays your brand image. This will help to build trust with potential clients.
Most Affiliate programs require that you provide them with your website’s address, (URL) before they will consider your application to join their Affiliate program.
Cost and expenses are always a factor in any business. This is especially true if you are just starting out and have limited, or no funds available to start. If this is true for you, then I suggest that you look at GrooveFunnels to get started.
They provide a free website and funnel builder and has an Affiliate program to join, that you can start to promote immediately. They have numerous training videos available, as well as a Facebook group with a good mix of experienced and beginners to help you on your journey.
How does an Affiliate Marketer promote products?
When it comes to ways that an Affiliate marketer can promote, the sky is the limit. As long as the Affiliate marketer adheres to the terms and conditions of the Affiliate program, Affiliate marketers can use their own imagination. Keep in mind that your reputation will play a huge role in your success. It has been proven time and time again that Affiliate marketers who are honest and who promote real solutions to their clients are the ones who succeed in Affiliate marketing.
These are some ways in which Affiliate Marketers promote products.
1 ) Blog
Blogs are an exceedingly popular way for Affiliate Marketers to promote products. Although earning money through a blog takes time, effort, and patience, it could be well worth it in the end.
For Blogs to be successful, you must attract traffic. Choose topics related to your product that your readers will be interested in, or topics that will help them to answer questions, or solve problems that they may have. If you chose your topic correctly, you could incorporate your Affiliate links in the blog post.
Before writing a Blog Post, do keyword research to find out what keywords people are searching for. Use these Keywords in your Blog post, so that search engines like Google can find your blog post when people are searching for related keywords. This is called Search engine optimization. (SEO) You can do this research manually or use a SEO Tool like SEO Power Suite to make it easier and to save valuable time.
Although it does take time to rank higher for search engines, if you chose your keywords correctly, good blog posts can still generate traffic and revenue for years to come, needing little to no further work. This is a huge advantage in generating a passive income for you.
2 ) YouTube
YouTube is the second most used search engine, after Google. The basics are similar to a blog post except that you will have to put the information across to your audience in video format, instead of a written format.
YouTube videos has been an invaluable source of traffic and revenue for many Affiliate marketers. If you use YouTube videos to promote your Affiliate products, you can place your Affiliate links on, or below the video and then prompt your viewers to click on your link to buy the product.
One of the advantages of YouTube is that many people prefer to watch a video on a topic, rather than read about it.
Another advantage is that not everybody is comfortable making videos. Depending on your niche, you may find that there is less competition for your keywords on YouTube than on Google.
3 ) E-mail Marketing
Email marketing is a tried and tested way of marketing and it still works great. You will need to build an email list consisting of people that are interested in the types of products that you sell. For a more in dept look into this, you can read our articles on how to build an Email list and another one on Email marketing strategies.
4 ) Social Media
Almost every person these days that spend time online has one, or more social media accounts. This makes social media a very lucrative for advertising. There are numerous social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and many more.
The various Social Media platform differ from one another. You will have to do some research to determine which ones are right for you and the niche that you chose. My personal preferences are Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
5 ) Free advertising websites
There are numerous free advertising websites available. Like with social media, you will have to find the ones that works best for you and your niche. Some of these websites are limited to certain product categories and others are limited to certain regions, or countries.
6 ) Paid advertising
There are various forms of paid advertising. Before you start, I suggest that you do some research into the advantages and disadvantages and cost of the various options available.
The most popular platforms for paid advertising are Google Ads and Facebook. To use these as an example, in a nutshell. With Google ads, you select keywords and you pay per click when people click on your link. With Facebook ads you can select a target audience that you want to display your advertisements to.
What are the Advantages of becoming an Affiliate Marketer?
1 ) You do not need to own or buy any products to sell.
2 ) You can get started with little, or no upfront investment.
3 ) You will have very little to no interaction with clients, as you are merely directing clients to a website.
4 ) You do not have to patch and ship products.
5 ) Day to day costs are lower than with a brick and mortar business as you can run this from anywhere with only a computer.
6 ) You can turn this into a truly passive income if you build your website correctly. Potential clients could find your website and click on your links without any further intervention from you. This therefor has true potential for you to literally make money while you sleep.
7 ) You can do this from almost anywhere in the world. The only limitations to this are that some affiliate programs only accept people from certain countries, so you may be limited to some programs depending on where you live. You will also have to confirm how various Affiliate programs does payments to ensure that you will be able to receive payments. Most important is that you will have to be able to connect to the internet.
8 ) You can work from home and set your own hours.