Affiliate Marketing – The Ultimate Guide To Beginners (2021)

Affiliate Marketing – The Ultimate Guide To Beginners (2021)

Waking up at late morning, open your laptop and something like that:

affiliate revenue - Guidehut.in

It’s the dream of everyone. Right?

Passive Income and not much hard work, even earn while you sleep.

But do you know your that dream comes true also.

I know I know you are thinking how it was possible. But I make it possible for you.

Affiliate marketing makes it possible for you. 99% of people started making money online through affiliate marketing.

The concept behind Affiliate Marketing is simple. If you have product or service and want to sell more, you can offer promoters a financial incentive through an affiliate program. If you have no product and want to make money, then you can promote a product that you feel has value and earn an income from it as an affiliate marketer.

That’s the basic view of Affiliate Marketing. I want to dive deeper into what affiliate marketing actually is, what sides there are to it, and how to get started.  So, let’s dive into my affiliate marketing guide.  

Ready?

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

The best definition of Affiliate Marketing is can be found on Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income:

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting another company’s product (or service). You find a product, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.

In my words, when promoters help other companies to generate sales by promoting the companies product or service, they get some profit when any customer purchases from their given promotion link.

There are four parties in all processes of Affiliate Marketing. Other definitions talk about 3 parties instead of 4.

Neil Patel says that: Affiliate Marketing can be seen as the process of spreading product creation and product marketing across different parties, where each party receives a share of the revenue according to their contribution. It’s not just the promotion or just the product creation that defines who you are as an affiliate marketer.

Best Affiliate Marketing Definition

Source: JustLearnWP.com

You can be anyone, a creator or the marketer. Let me explain it in brief.

Now, I hope you understand what Affiliate Marketing is. Now let’s look at all of the parts of a successful affiliate marketing system.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Because affiliate marketing works by spreading the responsibilities of product marketing and creation across parties, it manages to leverage the abilities of a variety of individuals for a more effective marketing strategy while providing contributors with a share of the profit. To make this work, four different parties must be involved:

The Seller or Creator:

Sometimes also known as the merchant, the brand, the retailer, or the vendor. This is the party that creates the product. It can be a big or small company or the brand that makes the product. Or it also can be any individuals(entrepreneurs) who sell their service or product.

Anyone can be the seller behind the affiliate program, They just have to have a product to sell.

The Affiliate:

They’ve also known as the publisher. Affiliates can also range from single individuals to entire companies.  An affiliate marketing business can produce a few hundred dollars in commissions each month or tens of millions of dollars.

In other words, the affiliate promotes the product to persuade consumers that it is valuable or beneficial to them and convince them to purchase the product. If the consumer does end up buying the product, the affiliate receives a portion of the revenue made.

Affiliates often have a very specific audience to whom they market, generally adhering to that audience’s interests. This creates a defined niche or personal brand that helps the affiliate attract consumers who will be most likely to act on the promotion.

The Consumer:

The customer or consumer makes the affiliate system go ’round. Without sales, the affiliate doesn’t get any commissions. The affiliate will try to market to the consumer on whatever channel they see fit, whether that’s a social network, digital billboards, or through a search engine using content marketing on a blog.

When consumers buy the product, the seller and the affiliate share the profits. Sometimes the affiliate will choose to be upfront with the consumer by disclosing that they are receiving commission for the sales they make. Other times the consumer may be completely oblivious to the affiliate marketing infrastructure behind their purchase.

Either way, they will rarely pay more for the product purchased through affiliate marketing; the affiliate’s share of the profit is included in the retail price. The consumer will complete the purchase process and receive the product as normal, unaffected by the affiliate marketing system in which they are a significant part.

The Network:

Only some consider the network part of the affiliate marketing equation.  But, I believe that an affiliate marketing guide needs to include networks, because, in many cases, a network works as an intermediary between the affiliate and the merchant.

While you could technically promote an online course someone has created and just arrange a direct revenue share with them, letting a network such as ClickBank or Commission Junction handle the payment and product delivery puts a more serious note on your affiliate marketing.

Sometimes, affiliates have to go through an affiliate network to even be able to promote the product.  For example, this happens if the merchant only manages their affiliate program on that network.

With the basic terms clarified, let’s see how you can start with Affiliate Marketing.

How To Become An Online Affiliate Marketer?

There are 7 steps that you can take to start your journey as an affiliate marketer.

  1. Decide on a platform
  2. Choose your niche
  3. Find affiliate programs to join
  4. Create great content
  5. Drive traffic to your affiliate site
  6. Get clicks on your affiliate links
  7. Convert clicks to sales

Step 1: Decide on a platform

You can do affiliate marketing on any platform. Even Instagram works.

However, it’s much easier to build an audience and increase your affiliate sales via one of two channels: a blog or YouTube channel.

Starting a blog today is relatively easy and cheap. There are plenty of tutorials online that teach you how to get started. The best part? It’ll likely only cost you a few dollars per month.

Once your site is up, optimize it for search engines so that you have a better chance of ranking. From there, you’re free to add affiliate links to your content.

The other platform is YouTube. Creating and uploading content to YouTube is free, which makes it ideal for many people. Optimize your videos for SEO, and include affiliate links in your description.

If you’re using a blog, create a standalone page, or include it in the footer of your website like this:

Farnam Street A Signal in a World Full of Noise 2

If you’re doing it on YouTube, include it in your description:

Ace of Seafood The rise of the Anthropods YouTube 2

Now, you’ll likely get more clicks from a blog than a YouTube video. For that reason, most of the examples going forward will be for a blog.

Step 2. Choose Your Niche

Let’s be honest: if you’re starting a blog today, you’re facing a ton of competition. Statista estimates that the number of bloggers in the U.S will reach 31.7 million by 2020.

To stand the best chance of success, niche down.

Choose a topic that focuses on a specific category. For example, the topic of “food” is an enormous category. Rather than tackling that, try something more specific, like grilling food.

Keeping your topics tight can help you build a more focused audience and potentially help you rank higher in search engines.

Now, if you’re going to be the main content creator, choose something you’re interested in.

Many affiliate sites die due to a lack of consistency. So at the very least, if you’re passionate about a topic, you’ll find it much easier to press on when the going gets tough.

Don’t worry if you’re not an expert in the field. As Gary Vaynerchuk puts it, “document, don’t create.” Documenting what you’ve learned can make great content and attract people who are interested in following your progress.

If you’re outsourcing the content, then it’s better to work with seasoned experts in the niche. Experts can help you create high-quality, trustworthy work, which can lead to more traffic, engaged visitors, and more affiliate sales.

Step #3: Find affiliate programs to join

There are three types of affiliate programs to choose from.

A. High-paying, low-volume affiliate programs

These are affiliate programs for niche products with high payouts.

For example, ConvertKit’s affiliate program pays almost $700 per month if you send just 80 customers their way. However, as they sell CRM software for small business owners, there’s a limited pool of buyers.

convertkit affiliate program 2

There also tends to be more competition for programs with high commissions. Since you’re probably just starting, it’ll be quite challenging to make a meaningful amount of money competing against skilled marketers with deep pockets.

B. Low-paying, high-volume affiliate programs

These are affiliate programs for products with low payouts but mass appeal.

For example, take PS4 games. Lots of people play PS4, but the average cost of a game is only around $50, and affiliate commissions are usually in the single digits. This means you’ll earn $2–3 per sale if you’re lucky.

The redeeming quality of these types of programs is that they usually offer tons of products to sell. Take Amazon’s affiliate program, for example. You can earn up to 10% commissions on almost anything Amazon sells.
amazon associates 2

The other good thing is that you often get commissions on the entire value of the purchase rather than just the product you recommended.

To make these types of affiliate programs pay, you’ll need lots of traffic.

C. High-paying, high-volume affiliate programs

These are affiliate programs for products with mass appeal, which also pay high commissions.

One example is credit cards.

Everyone needs a credit card, and most people stay with the company for years (sometimes even decades!)

The downside of these types of products is that they attract affiliate marketers with lots of expertise and deep pockets. Some also use spammy tactics that you just can’t compete with.

How to decide which affiliate programs to join

This depends on your niche and level of expertise.

If you’re targeting consumers, you’ll likely go with the second model of low commissions and higher sales volume.

If you’re going after a business audience, you’ll likely go for the first model: high-paying and low volume. The most popular programs here are for software and web hosting-related products.

The best way to find these affiliate programs is with a Google search.

google search

Alternatively, enter a competing affiliate site into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and go to the Linked domains report.

For example, I know that Pat Flynn promotes a number of software products on his website, Smart Passive Income. Eyeballing the Linked domains report shows that Pat links to Aweber pretty often.

Clicking the “Links from target” caret reveals that Pat is an affiliate.

aweber

It only takes a quick Google search to find an application form for this program.

However, if there is a product you’d really like to promote without a public affiliate program, reach out to the company and ask if they would be willing to build an affiliate relationship with you.

Step #4: Create Great Content

If you want your affiliate site to succeed, you need to create high-quality content where your affiliate links fit naturally.

Don’t just blindly curate products from Amazon’s best sellers. Go the extra mile to make sure your content solves the visitor’s problem.

If you don’t have money to buy every single product, you can always start with what you have at home. For example, if you had a tech blog, you could create reviews on the gadgets you own.

Step #5: Drive traffic to your affiliate site

You’ve created great content. The next step is to get more people to read it, so they will click on your affiliate links.

Here are three traffic strategies to consider:

A. Paid traffic

This is where you pay for traffic to your site. You can do this using PPC ads.

The advantage of paid traffic is that the moment you start paying, you get traffic.

However, there are some downsides.

First, running ads will dig into your profits. It’s quite normal for advertisers to lose money before they make it… if they ever do.

0acebook comment

You need to be realistic about how long it takes to optimize a paid traffic campaign.

Secondly, once you stop paying for ads, your traffic will stop.

Generally speaking, ads are a great traffic strategy if you’re part of a high-paying affiliate program and can make the numbers work.

But if you’re completely new to paid marketing and have no marketing budget (or are working with lower commission programs like Amazon Associates), then it might not be such a great idea.

B. Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is the practice of optimizing pages to rank high in search engines like Google.

For as long as you can rank high in the search engines for your target keywords, you’ll get consistent and passive traffic.

On the most basic level, SEO is about:

  • Understanding what your target customers are searching for;
  • Creating content around those topics (blog posts, product pages, etc.);
  • Taking care of the “technical” stuff to push these pages higher in the search engines (which includes link building).

Learn the basics in this video:https://www.youtube.com/embed/DvwS7cV9GmQ?autohide=1&iv_load_policy=3&modestbranding=1&rel=0&wmode=transparent&autoplay=0

C. Build an email list

Email lists allow you to communicate with your readers anytime.

Use them to tell fans about new content and keep them coming back to your site for more. This leads to more affiliate clicks and sales.

You can even send affiliate email promotions to your list directly:

To build an email list, you need to persuade the readers on your site to sign up. That means offering something valuable.

Some websites like Gear Patrol also have a “subscribe” link on their navigation bar:

gear patrol

But there are plenty of ways to do this. You can also offer a free eBook, an email course, etc.

All you need is some creativity.

Step #6: Get clicks on your affiliate links

Just because you have an amazing piece of content doesn’t mean people will click on your affiliate links.

There are a few things you need to consider.

A. Link placement

If all your affiliate links are at the bottom of the page where people rarely scroll, clicks will be few and far between.

On the other hand, make every other word a link in your introduction, and your content will look spammy.

You need to balance link placement with the other factors below.

B. Context

Let’s say you were writing an article on the best kitchen knives for under $50.

Your introduction probably shouldn’t look like this:

Today, I’m reviewing the best chef knives.

The links look out of context and spammy.

This would make more sense:

Today, I’m reviewing three different chef knives you can buy on Amazon for under $50. These are, product name 1, product name 2, and product name 3

C. Callouts

Using callouts like buttons, tables, and boxes can help attract your readers’ attention and make the post more skimmable.

Step #7: Convert clicks to sales

In affiliate marketing, two conversions need to take place for you to make money.

The first conversion is the click to the product page.

You’re 100% in control of this action. Use the tactics above to improve your chances of getting that click.

The second conversion is the visitor purchasing the product. In the case of affiliate marketing, the merchant controls the checkout, and their conversion rates are out of your control.

The trick is to play the game to your advantage and look for merchants with programs that convert well.

Okay you know, how to start affiliate marketing but you must think why you need to start Affiliate Marketing?

Why Affiliate Marketing?

What are the reasons to become Affiliate Marketing? Here we have some reasons and benefits you can consider as the reasons to become Affiliate Marketing.

Passive Income:

While any “regular” job requires you to be at work to make money, affiliate marketing offers you the ability to make money while you sleep. By investing an initial amount of time into a campaign, you will see continuous returns on that time as consumers purchase the product over the following days and weeks. You receive money for your work long after you’ve finished it.

No customer Support:

Individual sellers and companies offering products or services have to deal with their consumers and ensure they are satisfied with what they have purchased. Thanks to the affiliate marketing structure, you’ll never have to be concerned with customer support or customer satisfaction. The entire job of the affiliate marketer is to link the seller with the consumer.

Work From Home:

If you’re someone who hates going to the office, affiliate marketing is the perfect solution. You’ll be able to launch campaigns and receive revenue from the products that sellers create while working from the comfort of your own home. This is a job you can do without ever getting out of your pajamas.

Cost-effective:

Most businesses require startup fees as well as a cash flow to finance the products being sold. However, affiliate marketing can be done at a low cost, meaning you can get started quickly and without much hassle. There are no affiliate program fees to worry about and no need to create a product. Beginning this line of work is relatively straightforward.

Convenient and flexible:

Since you’re essentially becoming a freelancer, you get ultimate independence in setting your own goals, redirecting your path when you feel so inclined, choosing the products that interest you, and even determining your own hours. This convenience means you can diversify your portfolio if you like or focus solely on simple and straightforward campaigns. You’ll also be free from company restrictions and regulations as well as ill-performing teams.

Okay, you done everything, but now how should you find the Affiliate Programs.

How to find affiliate programs

If you’re wondering how to get your feet wet in affiliate marketing, you’ve got a few options. Not every company offers affiliate programs—some businesses manage their own affiliate programs while others use an affiliate network.

An easy way to find affiliate programs is to visit an affiliate marketplace or platform. Browse your niche to find top-performing affiliate platforms. Here are some of the most popular:

Another option is to visit the websites of the products and services you use and like to see if they have an affiliate program. Large companies often have programs they promote on their sites, such as Amazon Associates or the Shopify Affiliate Program.

You also can take a more direct approach. Reach out to the owner of a great product you come across and see if they offer an affiliate marketing program. If they don’t, they might be happy to set up an arrangement with you, such as offering you a special coupon code to share with your followers. The best deals often are found when you’re the first to inquire and have a relevant distribution channel, such as approaching the seller of a new fitness product if you’re a health and wellness blogger.

Affiliate marketing programs will have terms of service you need to follow, so read the fine print. For example, your link usually will have a cookie with a specified timeframe, and some programs don’t allow you to purchase pay-per-click ads using the product or company’s name.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is a good way to get started with online marketing.

Focus first on making your first affiliate sale. As your site grows, set new goals, and continue experimenting.

This is how to build up a site that eventually generates a decent income.

Earning money with affiliate marketing programs can be a rewarding way to add a new revenue stream without taking on too much risk. All it will cost you is your time. By investing the hours upfront, you can continue to reap the rewards.

Although the success of the job does depend on the affiliate’s marketing skills, it can prove to be an effective way to meet your income goals as either a primary career or a profitable second job.

I hope you like my article and for more articles like it go to my website Guidehut.in .

Got questions? Let me know in the comments or ping me on Twitter.

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