As you have stumbled across this post called ‘affiliate marketing for dummies’ you may be wondering?
- What is affiliate marketing?
- Am I a dummy for clicking on this affiliate marketing for dummies guide?
- And more importantly, why should I care about it?
In this post, I will answer those questions and show you how affiliate marketing can make a great difference to you and your life.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a great way to generate passive income. Visitors to your website can head over to your site, read a review about a product and then click on a link to buy it from an online store. If you have joined the affiliate program of that online store, you have had placed your own affiliate link in your website post, then you will be credited by the online store when your website visitor makes a sale.
You are being rewarded for spreading awareness of that product and linking to a particular online store.
You may already have taken part in something similar when you referred a friend to your gym, Airbnb or Uber. This is called a referral program and is sort of the little brother version of affiliate marketing, which you can earn a living from and, even, get rich if you are very successful, as opposed to getting a few vouchers or saving some cash off your next bill from a referral.
This works well for both the affiliate marketer and the advertiser, working on behalf of the online store. The advertiser only pays when they make a sale and the affiliate marketer gets paid but doesn’t have to deal with a product.
- The advertiser has a product and would like that product to be talked about to an audience.
- You are the affiliate marketer, who talks about a product to your audience.
- The customer is someone in your audience, who decides to buy the product based on your review.
With affiliate marketing, you don’t need to come up with your own product
This has some great advantages. You don’t have to have your own product. You don’t have to sell the product itself, you don’t have to source, store and fulfill it. There aren’t any returns or customer service to deal with. Whilst this is easier if you are selling information products, like ebooks and Kindle books, but a lot of those activities still apply. Affiliate marketing removes all of those.
Affiliate marketing is great for people who want to get involved in marketing a great product, but do not have a great product to market.
The disadvantages are you are quite a small part of this process. Your cut for the sale is likely to be pretty small, about 5%, you’re not likely to have much of a relationship with the customer and you certainly don’t have any say over the product.
If you do reach the status of being a ‘super affiliate’, where you are producing so much business for your advertiser, then your relationship may change to the point where you will have input into the service or product that is on offer.
How much money can you make from affiliate marketing?
You can make a little bit of extra money as I do now, but really the sky is the limit. Pat Flynn, for one, of smartpassiveincome.com earns at least $100 000 a month. I would definitely check out Pat’s website and his podcast as they provide a ton of great information and he comes across very genuine as well. I would definitely describe Pat as a super affiliate and he talks about some of the great mutually beneficial relationships he has built up with some companies through being an affiliate.
Many people are able to use affiliate marketing as a side hustle or even as a full-time income. Paying the bills with money you have earnt through affiliate marketing and not your average day job means you can do this anywhere you want, including the comfort of your own home.
You can also work the hours you want, as the transaction of the website visitor buying a product via your affiliate link, doesn’t require your input and is completely automated. This is an example of a passive income.
Does it cost anything to start affiliate marketing?
Definitely not. If you find a product or service that you would like to talk about or promote and the advertiser says you need to pay an ‘administration fee’, a ‘premium’ or a ‘sign up fee’, then I would head for the hills. There are plenty of genuine, quality affiliate programs out there that do you not require any money from you.
I can remember receiving direct messages on Twitter from a company claiming to sell fitness clothing and inviting me to join their affiliate network and that I would have to pay around $50. At first, I was flattered and did consider – flattery gets you everywhere with me :). But after a think about it sounded weird and I didn’t have any real information on the company, so decided to ignore it.
You are already essentially helping out the advertiser by providing their products with an audience and helping them to make more sales and, of course, money. If some advertisers are not happy with that as a deal, then I wouldn’t want to deal with them.
What do you need to start affiliate marketing?
- A way to drive website visitors to a relevant offer
- A bit of hard work and persistence
- That’s basically it!
Social media influencers
Here’s Furious Pete eating a massive pizza.
What are affiliate marketing networks?
- Commission Junction
- Warrior Plus
There are loads more to choose from, so don’t feel restrained by that list.
How do I know I am going to find affiliate programs for my niche?
There are affiliate programs for pretty much just every niche. A really easy way to find affiliate programs for your niche is just to do a Google search for ‘your niche + affiliate‘. You will be pleasantly surprised to see how many options are available to you.
What makes an affiliate program good for a beginner?
Affiliate programs vary massively on what they offer their affiliates and what you have to do to earn money with them. Take Amazon for an example. Amazon only pays around 5% commission and only credits you for purchases within a 24-hour window, but does offer such a huge range of products.
Good affiliate programs not only offer a good deal in terms how they pay you, but they also provide support and how best to talk about their products. This can also include material for you to use for your website.
There are some affiliate networks that are scams or maybe not just very good at paying out, so you should make sure to partner with someone reputable. This is essentially a business relationship, so you should be aware of who you are dealing with.
What are good products for an affiliate marketer as a beginner?
I would suggest you look for products that are highly regarded and sell well. This obviously lets you know that these products sell and that they have a good reputation. The last thing you want, especially if you are just starting out is to link to a product that hardly sells or performs really badly and doesn’t work very well. Do yourself a favour and pick something decent to talk about! Remember your reputation is on the line!
Your reputation is very important, especially online, where people are unlikely to have the opportunity to meet you and decide for themselves if you are a good, trustworthy person who knows what they are talking about. So, if they are unhappy with a product you have promoted, they may well come to the conclusion that you don’t know what you are talking about or you only mentioned that product because you wanted to make some money out if it.
What’s in it for affiliate networks and affiliate programs?
Affiliate marketers provide a valuable service for advertisers by getting the word out about their product and telling people online about them. They can focus more on the product itself and other activities. Also, the word of someone who has tried the product themselves and is giving an honest review about them. This is likely to come across as more authentic than the advertiser talking about the product themselves.
This is especially important with products and brands that are not very well known. Or they are in competitive markets and are constantly looking to keep the attention of their audience.
Not all advertisers need affiliates. I have heard stories of affiliate programs being pulled because the advertiser decided they no longer needed the help of affiliates to sell their products.
How can I become more successful at affiliate marketing?
There are a lot of people offering their skills and advice because there are a lot of people interested in affiliate marketing. It offers the potential for a lifestyle that a lot of people would like to have. But many people find this easier said than done.
I like to read a few other blogs about affiliate marketing and have learnt a lot so far. Here is just a very brief list of affiliate marketing bloggers to have a look at;
- Neil Patel has a website called Quicksprout.com, which is mainly about ranking better on Google and being further up the search rankings. Neil also talks about affiliate marketing and other subjects as well.
- Raelyn Tan talks about blogging, affiliate marketing and social media, amongst other things on her site.
- Chantel Arnett is someone I have just started following and has loads of great free resources.
- Kyle Loudoun of Wealthy Affiliate, where I am a fully paid up premium member.
I have learnt a lot about Wealthy Affiliate so far, where there is loads of great training materials and a huge community of other affiliate marketers of all experiences. You can ask questions and interact with the other members, which is great. They have all the tools you need to become a successful affiliate marketer. You can try it for free here.
Conclusion of affiliate marketing for dummies
Affiliate marketing offers you a great way to make money online that can be very, very scalable. There are people who are millionaires from affiliate marketing. There are people who are making a nice living from this or even just a side hustle, which is what we’re all about here.
On the flip side, there are some people who find this a struggle. There is competition out there and this does take some hard work and persistence. It is certainly not a ‘get rich quick scheme’.
If you are after help to get over these struggles and make the most of your hard work, then I would recommend Wealthy Affiliate, which is an affiliate marketing program that I’m a paid member of.
As you can make money online with affiliate marketing you can work anywhere you want. That could be your favourite coffee shop, your own sofa before you get dressed or even the beach. As long as there is WIFI 🙂
Let me know what you think of this post guys. Tell me about your experiences with affiliate marketing or if you have anything you would like to know.