How to become an affiliate marketer for beginners: The lure of Affiliate Marketing is undeniable… who can resist passive income?
But to succeed in Affiliate Marketing, there are fundamental steps to take before earning your first affiliate money.
The good news is that if you are determined to make things work if it means replacing or simply supplementing your income as an employee, and you are willing to invest the time and effort, you are well on your way to success in Affiliate Marketing.
Below are seven steps that, if followed, will point you in the right direction, and you’ll earn your first commission in no time.
How to make money with affiliate marketing for beginners: 7 Steps to Earn Your First Commission as an Affiliate
Let’s see together what the steps are to generate profit with affiliate marketing.
1. Choose a niche
Before you even start building your first site, you’ll need to decide which niche to target. If you already have it in mind, you are on the right track! This is undoubtedly one of the most difficult and vast steps.
Some key questions to ask yourself when choosing your niche:
- What topics am I already passionate about?
- What topics can I easily write 25, 50, or 100 posts on?
- Is there room in this niche for a new affiliate?
- Is there enough interest/demand for products in this niche?
- Are there any affiliate programs available in this niche?
2. Build a site
Assuming you haven’t built a site already, this will be the next step. Fortunately, building a site isn’t as complicated and doesn’t require as much manpower as it used to be.
The easiest way to get your affiliate site up and running is WordPress. It is fully customizable and made especially for marketers like you.
If you also want to build a website platform for your business without spending too much time, then WordPress is the ideal solution for you.
3. Look for affiliate programs
Now that you’ve chosen a niche and your site is up and running, it’s time to find products to promote (although you’ve already done some simple research in Step 1).
Choosing an affiliate program will take some work, but don’t be afraid to invest the time. It will be worth choosing the right program!
When choosing an affiliate program, keep these aspects in mind:
- If you use ClickBank, the products should have more than 50% commission (preferably 60%) and have a high ranking (which means they are in demand).
- For CPA (cost per action) programs, the fees are around $ 1 and not overly restrictive on how you can promote them.
- For physical products, look for high commissions.
Once you have decided which programs to use, sign up and move on to step number 4.
4. Create excellent content
Now that your site is ready and you’re part of an affiliate program, you’re ready to start the most time-consuming (but potentially the most profitable) part of producing your affiliate content.
This is where the overused but truer than ever phrase comes into play: ” Content is king. ”
Your goal will be to turn the site into an authority in your niche, and the most effective way to do that is to create fresh, unique, and high quality content.
This probably consists of:
- Product Reviews
- Posts that talk about common problems, questions, or issues relevant to the market
- Timeless contents
- Free e-books and videos
- A professional autoresponder for email marketing
If you’re tempted to stuff your site with content built by cheap columnists, you’ll see that in the long run, it won’t help you present yourself as an expert in your niche (and it will mean less traffic and fewer sales).
5. Build your audience
Gaining an audience for your site is a step that will naturally happen once you have produced great content.
There are a few ways to do this faster, including:
- Promote your content on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.)
- Write guest posts on popular blogs
- Build a mailing list (where you can promote your content)
- Use simple SEO techniques to increase traffic to your site through search engines
You can also consider requesting inexpensive banner ads on small niche sites or try your hand at Google AdWords to bring some traffic to your site.
6. Promote affiliate offers
And finally, the part we’ve all been waiting for!
Dude, here’s the trick. Some untrustworthy affiliates will go straight at this point by skipping those 1 through 5. And that’s what sets you apart.
Once you’ve proven that you deliver quality content in your niche, it’s time to keep adding quality by promoting products that will be useful and helpful to your audience.
You can do this by providing detailed product reviews, promoting on banner ads or pop-ups on your site, working with affiliate programs by offering giveaways or contests, or giving your readers discounts on affiliate products.
It’s just a matter of time before you can make your first sale.
7. Rinse, lather and repeat
Your ongoing work as an affiliate marketer involves repeating points 4 to 6 on an ongoing basis (with the number 3 having to be repeated occasionally).
Review of key points
It can seem like an immense job to do whatever it takes to bring your site to life and build a reputation. But once you have made your first sale, I guarantee you that getting to the first sale is an emotion that you will want to repeat every day forever.
The key points we addressed how to become an affiliate marketer for beginners today are:
- Choose your niche
- Build a site
- Look for affiliate programs and products
- Produce excellent content
- Form an audience
- Promote your affiliate products
- Repeat steps 4-7 continuously
As you can see, there is a real and proven strategy for Affiliate Marketing beginners. Get to work, and you will soon reap successes.
Also, keep in mind that, one day, if you want to further increase your profits, you can start building your own online business, and here I talk about what changed my life.
Do you feel ready to make your first sale as an affiliate? What is holding you back from starting?
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a form of pay-for-performance marketing in which an affiliate sells items on behalf of a seller at an agreed rate or percentage of the sale.
It’s a great form of advertising for eCommerce stores as the funds are only exchanged after the sale is complete, but it works for every business model on the market.
As long as you have a product to sell or find a product to promote, you can participate in affiliate marketing.
What sets this form of marketing apart is the fact that it benefits all parties involved. It benefits customers who can find products they might not have found on their own and who rely on the approval of someone they (presumably) trust.
While on the marketing, vendor, and network side, they all benefit from a portion of the sale.
Why become an affiliate marketer?
What are the reasons for becoming an affiliate marketer?
1. Receive a passive income
Affiliate marketing offers the ability to make money while doing something else. Of course, the amount that you will be able to earn depends on many factors including the traffic you can get on the products sold and the ability to create engaging marketing campaigns.
2. No customer support
Individual sellers and companies offering products or services need to engage with their consumers and make sure they are happy with what they have bought.
Thanks to the affiliate marketing structure, the affiliate is free from the worries of customer service or satisfaction. The whole job of the affiliate marketer is to connect the seller with the consumer.
3. Work from home
If done with professional techniques, affiliate marketing can become a real smart working, or an additional income of sure interest.
Most businesses require startup fees and cash flow to fund the products they sell.
Affiliate marketing, on the other hand, allows you to get started quickly and without incurring initial costs for the affiliate program.
5. Performance-based awards
Affiliate marketing is based solely on the affiliate’s performance. You will get an income proportional to the commitment and professionalism applied. Hone your review skills and write engaging campaigns will result in direct revenue improvements.
6. Don’t underestimate the power of SEO.
Significant organic traffic can be obtained from search engines if SEO principles are used correctly.
The days when search engine optimization was about circumventing Google regulations are over. Today the best results are obtained by improving the website and directing it to visitors.
People naturally look for information online. That’s why you should learn the basics of on-page SEO, keyword research, and link building to be the source of information that consumers find first.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Unlike the agency relationship, in affiliate marketing, sales take place online, and in most cases, the relationship between the franchisor, also called advertiser, and the affiliate is not direct but involves the intermediation of an affiliate platform or affiliate network.
I will try to explain myself with an example. Suppose I’m the owner of a business and decide to use affiliate marketing. I don’t know in advance the people who would like to promote my products, nor do I know how to contact them. For this, first of all, I will contact an affiliate network to which I will ask to promote my product or service, guaranteeing them a commission, for example of 15%. The affiliate network can count on a large number of affiliates, some of whom will decide to promote my product on their website or social account. Whenever one of them manages to get me to sell the product online, I will pay the commission to the affiliate network, which will divide it with the affiliate according to their agreements.
What are the differences between affiliate with dropshipping?
When it comes to affiliate marketing, dropshipping inevitably enters the conversation.
Dropshipping is another form of online selling that is often referred to when talking about this topic and sometimes causes confusion. Let me clear things up.
When you take a closer look at dropshipping and affiliate marketing, you notice some immediate similarities:
- There is no need to manage inventory.
- There is little or no risk involved.
- Considerable income can be achieved.
- The start barrier is low.
- Digital marketing skills are needed.
So they have in common the principle that it is not necessary to have a physical product in stock to make money. Dropshipping usually involves a relationship between a supplier shipping to a customer on behalf of the brand.
But this is where the similarities tend to end.
Unlike affiliate marketing, dropshipping requires you to establish your own business.
You will need to create a website, build a relationship with a supplier, and manage all the daily minutiae of running a business. It’s always a low risk and can be profitable for an entrepreneur willing to learn the basics.
The positive side of dropshipping is that you have a lot more freedom with your products.
You set your margins, market your way, and ultimately build a brand. Being an affiliate doesn’t allow you this freedom, as you are selling someone else’s products.
Of course, you’ll also need to take care of customer service, backlogs, and other frustrating eCommerce issues as a dropshipper. The potential for success may be greater, but the risks and liabilities grow as your business grows.
This debate naturally leads to a question: which of the two is better?
The final choice is up to you: both present low-risk, low-cost opportunities to generate profit.
But keep in mind that in both cases, your only costs are related to the marketing tactic you use, and you can grow fast or slow based on what you implement.
How are affiliates paid?
A quick and affordable way to make money without the hassle of actually selling a product, affiliate marketing has an undeniable advantage for those looking to increase their income online.
But how does an affiliate get paid after linking the seller to the consumer? The answer is complicated: the consumer doesn’t always have to buy the product for the affiliate to get an income. Depending on the program, the affiliate’s contribution to the seller’s sales will be measured differently.
The affiliate can be paid in various ways:
1. Payment per sale
This is the standard affiliate marketing structure.
In this program, the merchant pays the affiliate a percentage of the selling price of the product after the consumer purchases the product as a result of the affiliate’s marketing strategies. In other words, the affiliate must actually induce the user to buy the product before it is rewarded.
2. Pay per lead
Pay per lead affiliate programs, on the other hand, is a more complex system that compensates the affiliate based on the conversion of “leads.”
The affiliate must convince the consumer to visit the merchant’s website and complete the desired action, whether that is to fill out a contact form, sign up for a trial of a product, sign up for a newsletter, or download software or files.
3. Pay per click
This program focuses on encouraging the affiliate to redirect consumers from their marketing platform to the merchant’s website.
This means that the affiliate must engage the consumer to the extent that they move from the affiliate site to the merchant site. The affiliate is paid based on the increase in web traffic.
How Much Competition Is There in the Affiliate Marketing World?
A major concern of newcomers is: is there still room in the world for another affiliate? It’s no secret: interest in affiliate marketing has been on a positive note in recent years.
But despite this, the answer depends on what you want to sell as an affiliate.
Your interest is strong, but so is the interest of your friends, neighbors, and co-workers. It gives the impression that affiliate marketing, for starters, is an uphill climb.
This idea is not wrong, but it is only half of the image. Like the rest of the digital frontier, being an affiliate means changing with the times. This means that while there is more interest than ever, there are also more opportunities.
For example, smartphones have changed the way we interact with the world around us, which means they have also influenced how affiliates approach their audience.
Additionally, social networks like Instagram and YouTube, for example, have created a larger pool of influencers to choose from, as there are more content creators with ready-made audiences.
Becoming an affiliate is still a viable option for the business owner who is willing to put in the effort and find what works. It can take trial and error, but there’s no question: once you sharpen your approach, the rewards come.
How long does it take to start earning affiliate marketing?
The truth is, building your income with affiliate marketing will take some time. Many affiliate sellers report making modest sales within the first three months, although that’s not a guarantee.
To start an affiliate marketing project, you can take the same kind of approach that you would take if it were your own brand. You need to create a website, start a social media account, and create content that offers value to your target audience.
With this method, your two goals are:
- Building an audience.
- Earn his trust.
So, in one case, the question should be: How long does it take to build an audience and gain their trust?
On the other hand, you could take a more hidden approach and choose to rely on paid advertising. Your role would be to create an announcement and take charge of budget obligations. You always have the same goal of making a sale, but people don’t need to know your name or site.
When using paid ads, the timeline for making a sale can be much shorter, as long as you know what you’re doing.
Either way, you need to start by offering value, something that grabs the attention of potential customers, and then move on to capitalizing on that opportunity.
It also helps if you truly believe in the product you are selling, as this creates a more genuine conversation with your audience. You can certainly build an affiliate business around any product, but that doesn’t mean you should.
How to make money with affiliate marketing: the tools
To start making money with affiliate marketing, there are several tools that can come in handy. So here’s a quick rundown of tools and platforms you can use to make your affiliate marketing business profitable.
1. Social media and affiliate marketing: the most beautiful couple in the world
Social media is a huge sounding board for your brand, and not everyone needs a financial investment to gain exposure.
Affiliate marketing with Instagram: through the use of effective hashtags, it is possible to get your posts straight to the devices of your target audience in a totally free way. Instagram is a social network, and, as the name suggests, the way you interact with other users matters a lot: follow profiles similar to yours, comment, like if you want to increase followers on Instagram quickly!
Affiliate marketing with Pinterest: Pinterest is a little explored terrain. For a brand that offers products with a high visual impact, it is a very important social network! How does Pinterest work? Create pins with photos of the articles you post on your channels and let the community spread them like wildfire.
Affiliate marketing with Facebook: here, the discussion becomes more complex. We have reached a point where it is difficult to emerge on this social network by exclusively exploiting the organic diffusion of posts. For this reason, for affiliate marketing, it is better to focus on Facebook Ads, the platform’s native advertising system, and create content for sponsorship.
2. Website or blog
The main advantage of having a blog/website is the editorial freedom that the Affiliate has to write, in addition to the number of options that he can use to leave the page with the face of his audience, unlike social networks, which have a fixed layout and even character limitation.
Having a blog is also useful for those who comment a lot on products, as it allows you to use visual and written arguments to persuade your readers and reinforce your authority on that topic.
3. Bitly and URL shortener
It’s the details that make the difference – so why not share a short, easy-to-remember link instead of long strings of URLs that everyone will throw into oblivion?
To transform affiliate referral links into short URLs, there are tools called URL shortener: the best known is certainly Bitly. This tool is basically free even if there are paid enterprise solutions… the free version will be more than enough to get started!
4. Email marketing
The Affiliate who has a solid email base has the opportunity to build a long-term relationship with their leads, deliver quality content to those people, and even convince them to make the purchase.
It is a simple and at the same time effective strategy, as it shows the people who accompany you that you are not only interested in making the sale but in adding value to their buying journey, deepening the knowledge that these users have about your product or solution. Take the opportunity to also read our post on email marketing strategy.
But remember: before choosing a channel to promote products, it is necessary to have knowledge of your audience and how they search for information. Do you want to reach people who value thicker texts and do a lot of research before making a purchase? Having a blog is essential!
Do you prefer to focus on seasonal stocks or take advantage of the hype of the moment to promote your products? In this case, social media may serve your strategy better, as people spend most of their day connected.
Ideally, you should invest in the channels that concentrate the most potential customers, and as your business matures, track more people for your outreach.
5. Google Ads
Google Ads is one of the most important channels in digital media; it is also one of the most effective channels when you need to sell.
Through Google Ads, the affiliate will be able to reach their target audience through relevant ads at the right time and place.
However, Google Ads not only helps in direct sales but also helps a lot in generating traffic and even in brand recognition goals through its extensive display network that complements the search network that is used. It is responsible for showing ads to those interested who searched for that term.
6. Search engine optimization ( SEO )
The instructions Webmaster advise you to create websites with original content that adds value to users. This is especially important for sites that participate in affiliate programs.
Don’t underestimate the impact SEO will have on affiliate marketing in the long run. PPC ads are a great way to generate leads and draw attention to your site, but if you want to boost your conversions and grow your affiliate site in the long run, then there is nothing better than SEO.
At this point, you will need to create your new content. Even before thinking about the actual SEO, you will have to think about offering all the necessary information to users: only in this way will you be able to reach the top of the SERP, and only in this way, among other things, will you be able to convince readers to click on the link affiliate. Once completed, the text will be optimized in all its aspects, specifying the various tags and working to obtain backlinks (from authoritative sites that deal with the same topic). Once the affiliate link has been inserted, all you have to do is wait for the timing of the SEO: if you have worked well, in a few months, your content will have gained the top positions, and the affiliate program will start generating real income, while you will be taking care of something else!
Affiliate network for bloggers
Affiliate marketing for bloggers is a slightly different process than marketplaces.
By writing about topics their audience needs to know, bloggers build trust and act as influencers in their daily work. They can also complement their blog with a direct email marketing approach that puts them right in their audience’s inbox.
All of this was designed to build trust, not sell.
They then use the trust they have built up in their audience and recommend specific tools or products they work with through affiliate marketing.
As with online stores, if someone is directed to sponsored sites and makes a purchase, the blog earns a percentage.
Affiliate marketing with influencers
Influencers represent great added value to the digital marketing mix, even in the field of affiliate marketing.
There are several platforms that act as a link between influencers and brands. All influencers have to do is find brands that sell products that may have some resonance with their followers and sponsor their products on their social profile.
Their affiliate agreement will allow them to earn a percentage for every purchase made on the partner’s site by their followers.
As you can see, it is possible to do affiliate marketing on different levels.
Now that we’ve explained what affiliate programs are, it’s time to start digging a little deeper into what affiliate marketing has to offer.
Tips for successful affiliate marketing
1. Develop a relationship
When starting an affiliate marketing business, you have to think about cultivating an audience that has very specific interests.
This allows you to tailor your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the likelihood of converting.
By presenting yourself as an expert in an area, instead of promoting a wide range of products, you will be able to market to the people who are most likely to buy the product.
2. Make it personal
There is no shortage of products that can be promoted. You will be able to choose products that you personally believe in, so make sure your campaigns are focused on truly valuable products that consumers will appreciate. You’ll get an impressive conversion rate while reinforcing the trustworthiness of your personal brand.
3. Start with product and service reviews
It is good to focus on reviewing products and services that fall into your chosen niche. So, taking advantage of the relationship created with the public and the position of expert, it is good to explain to the readers why they would benefit from buying the product or service that you are promoting.
Above all, make sure you generate detailed and articulate content to improve conversions.
4. Use different sources
Instead of focusing only on one campaign, for example, via email, it is also good to spend time communicating via blogs, reaching audiences on social media, and with multi-channel promotions.
It is therefore helpful to try a variety of marketing strategies to see which audience responds to the most.
5. Choose your campaigns carefully
No matter how good your marketing skills are, you will earn less on a bad product than you will earn on a valuable one.
This means that you should take the time to study the demand for a product before promoting it.
6. Stay up to date with trends
There is stiff competition in the affiliate marketing sphere. It is essential to stay up to date on all the new digital trends to ensure that you remain competitive.
The summary about how to become an affiliate marketer for beginners, affiliate marketing is pay-for-performance marketing, where a product is sold by an affiliate on behalf of a seller. In return, the affiliate receives a commission from the sale.
There is nothing more important than the relationship between affiliates and resellers. Remember that they are not your subordinates or your bosses – in an affiliate system, you are partners who work to help each other.
If you do it right, you can build a business from scratch while arranging neat piles of pennies in your pocket.
If you don’t know how to find an affiliate or seller to work with and want to get started as soon as possible, affiliate networks can carve out a lot of work. But at the same time, they also cut your control possibilities and can limit the final results, so consider this option carefully.
As a real example, Amazon has worked well for many bloggers.
The steps to becoming an affiliate are not complex:
You need an audience, but you don’t have to be a superstar to make a difference. Newborn blogs have also done great things with affiliate programs.
Then join a program, find a product that fits your audience, promote it, and profit from it.
If you are approaching affiliate marketing from the seller’s perspective, the process is similar. Start with a niche, create your affiliate program terms, find relevant influencers, and, of course, profit.
Affiliate marketing is difficult, but it offers many possibilities. Ready to take the leap?
Other interesting articles: The 7 factors to consider when choosing an affiliate program