What is Affiliate Marketing, and how can you start it the right way?

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you click and go through my product links, I’ll receive a small commission for my efforts with no additional cost incurred to you. It’s a win-win 😊

Affiliate marketers are all over the internet, whether you look on social media platforms, blogs, Pinterest, or YouTube videos.

And why not?

Affiliate marketing is an incredibly lucrative way to make money. It’s not just filling their bank account with money, but also giving them the ideal life they’ve always desired.

Let me ask you a question?

Would you not be pleased if, when you woke up in the morning and discovered a message on your phone that your account had been credited with $1000?

You like the sound, right?

What if I tell you that you can have the same lifestyle and fill your wallet with cash, even if you don’t know anything about marketing?

Today, we’re going to discuss everything about it in detail in this blog post.

Make Money While Sleeping: This is Affiliate Marketing

Make money while you Sleep
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Before we go any further, I need a commitment from you. This journey will never be simple, so all you have to do is stick with it and put in more effort when required.

Are you ready for it?

Great! Let’s get started.

What is Affiliate Marketing Exactly?

Affiliate marketing is an online selling strategy in which a product owner allows different individuals or companies “affiliates” to earn a commission by recommending the product to others. In that way, it makes it possible for the affiliates to make money without even creating products of their own.

Doesn’t it sound like a wonderful idea?

You only need to work on the marketing side of the business.

You will educate your audience about the product. Guide them on how to get the most out of it. Make them eager to buy and send them to the sales page via their affiliate link.

All the hard work of creating the product, maintenance, and fulfillment of what they promised is on the vendor.

How does Affiliate Marketing Work?

An affiliate marketing model basically consists of four parties:

  • The Merchant (Also known as ‘Retailer’, ‘Advertiser’ or ‘Vendor’)
  • The Network (an intermediary between Publishers and Merchant, that has the Offers to promote and that also takes care of the payments)
  • The Publisher (‘the Affiliate’)
  • The Customer (‘Buyer’)

But to make it simpler, many marketers describe with only three:

  • The Merchant
  • The Publisher
  • The Customer

I’ll go through each of the four parties in detail since it will give you a clear picture.

Affiliate Marketing Model
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The Merchant:  The merchant, also known as the advertiser, producer, retailer, or vendor, is the first party. It is accountable for developing or distributing the actual good or service. The commission rate is determined by the merchant and may only be approved or disapproved by them.

A merchant can be a big company like Microsoft – a leading global vendor of computer hardware and software. Or, it can be any small company. Even one individual can become a vendor. They only need to have a product to sell.

The Affiliate Network: An Affiliate Network is the party that acts as an intermediate between the Vendor and the Publisher like JVZoo or ClickBank.

It helps the affiliate marketers find out affiliate programs more easily and participate in them. And at the same time, it lets the Vendors offer their affiliate programs to affiliate marketers to reach a larger audience.

The affiliate network generates the affiliate link for you, takes care of your payments, and tracks your links.

The Affiliate: The Publisher, also known as the affiliate, is the third party. They are responsible for getting the word out about the Vendor’s product and driving traffic to the Vendor’s offer page.

They are given a commission on sales that are generated through their marketing efforts. The Publisher can be anyone – an individual like you and me, or a company.

Also, an affiliate marketer acts as an Infopreneur. An infopreneur is someone who engages with our customers repeatedly. Therefore, they sell products to the same customers over and over again.

Customer: The consumer makes the affiliate marketing system go round. Without any sales, there is no revenue to share, and so there is no commission also.

Affiliate marketers try to reach these potential customers via any medium possible. That’s where the role of Digital Marketing (like social media marketing, email marketing, and blogs) comes into presence.

Also, the best thing is, you can sell new products to the old happy customers just by referring them. That reduces the cost of running ads and searching for more customers.

The customers don’t have to pay extra for the product if they click on your Affiliate connection and buy it. All marketing and affiliate network expenses are included in the Retail Price.

But why Affiliate Marketers?

Smart entrepreneurs are always open to new things to grow their businesses. And the best approach to do so is to discover a method to add more value to your consumers and followers. That’s where the role of Affiliate Marketers starts.

The Affiliate Marketers partner with the merchant. They not only reach out to more consumers, but they also educate them about the product. Instruct them on how to make the most of it. And by doing so, not only is the Creator making more money but also the buyer is getting the best output from it.

Now that you know all about what affiliate marketing is and how it works, it’s the best time to get started with my affiliate marketing guide.

How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing?

It is not difficult to get started in affiliate marketing. You can simply go and sign up in any affiliate marketing program, pick your product, and start promoting.

The problem is that many beginners do it the wrong way: they simply distribute the link to everyone and everywhere. Most of the time, these people either don’t make any sales or even get banned and as a result, they become overwhelmed and frustrated.

Do not do that.

It is very much essential for you to understand – how to do affiliate marketing, from the beginning.

The approach of a good marketer should be completely different. You must realize, it is not going to happen overnight.

Also, you must not tell about your product to everyone. People get annoyed easily by this and hence they might even remove you from their list.

Take your time, make a good strategy, and tell about your product to only the people who might either need it or seem interested in such kind of products.

To make things clear and easy to understand, I have made a detailed guide for you below:

1) Setting the Mindset

Before you get started with affiliate marketing, there’s one thing you should keep in mind: Affiliate Marketing is a business. It will require time and investment, just like any other business.

You will face failure initially, but you need to keep pushing yourself and continue. Keep testing every strategy you planned. Re-plan, modify, and retest the new strategies until you find one that works. Finally, you will see a result.

2) Find your Niche

This is the key to your success in Affiliate Marketing. You need to find a profitable niche with hungry buyers.

My strategy for finding lucrative niches is to ask myself these four questions.

Q1. What are you passionate about?

Choose something you are passionate about. What can you do when you’re exhausted? It will be a lot easier to work on something if you are passionate about it. Otherwise, you will be bored quickly and leave midway.

If you are really passionate about something, you will already have some ideas about it. These ideas will assist you in producing quality content.

Q2. Is your niche profitable?

Money isn’t everything, but if you want to survive, you’ll need money. Being passionate about a niche isn’t enough. You must first determine whether or not your niche idea is profitable.

You must select a niche, about which people are searching online and where there are enough products available in the market. If not, it would be tougher for you to grow it into a lucrative business. Your online business depends entirely upon the audience looking for your product.

Q3. Is your niche oversaturated?

Before jumping into a niche, make sure there is room for you. There may be numerous Affiliate marketers working in the same niche, and demand may be low. In that case, you might consider another niche.

Q4. Are there enough products in the market?

If you want to get into affiliate marketing but there aren’t enough products, it won’t last long. You must select a niche that has enough products to choose from.

One best way to check this is by looking inside an affiliate marketing network like ClickBank or Amazon Associate.

For example, we are choosing ClickBank.

ClickBank is one of the best platforms for affiliate marketers in the health and relationship industry.

After the recent update in ClickBank, you must first set up an Affiliate Account to access the Marketplace.

ClickBank Signup
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If you run into any difficulties with account creation, you can visit the marketplace with this link: https://accounts.clickbank.com/marketplace.htm.

Click Bank Product Categories
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On the left side, choose the categories relevant to your niche. It will lead to a page with all the different products that you could sell:

ClickBank Products
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Tip for you: If you’ve discovered a product in your niche. Check to see if it has a good Grav(Gravity) and a decent average income per sale. A product with a gravity score of at least 5 is deemed safe. Grav over 60 is not recommended for beginners.

What is Gravity if you ask?

Gravity is a measuring factor in ClickBank. It represents the number of different affiliates who earned a commission by promoting the product over the past 12 weeks.

3. Create a medium to reach your audience

The first thing you need for Affiliate Marketing is your audience. There are many ways to reach your audience including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and other Social Media Platforms. But the best way is to create your website or blog.

Having a website gives you advantages in many ways. It helps you develop trust with your audience faster and also in getting affiliate approvals for new products quickly. It also allows you to communicate with your audience in the ways that are most suitable for them.

The goal of your website is to provide information to your audience. Blog websites are the ideal way to achieve this. Check out my extensive guide on How to Start an Affiliate marketing blog if you want to learn more about it.

Once you have created your blog, your task is to bring more traffic to your website and start nurturing them with quality content that we are going to discuss next.

Note: Your website must have the Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service page to protect you and your visitors. The Disclaimer page protects you from any legal issues that may arise from the use of your website. The Privacy Policy page protects the personal information of your visitors. The Terms of Service page protects the rights of your visitors.

4. Create Quality Content

Now, as the framework of your website is ready, you need to create high-quality content. The reason behind this is to provide some value to visitors so they can know you and trust you.

Quality content means content that is worth sharing — content that fulfills the demands of the visitors.

Google promotes the content that best meets the demands of its audience. Your content must be unique, well-written, and meticulously researched. It must cover all relevant information and be easy to grasp.

Tips:

1) If you are not comfortable with writing Articles, you can also add video content or podcasts to your website.

2) You can also create some review posts at this stage if you already have a product to promote in mind.

5. Build Your Email List:

Build your Email List
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The best and the easiest way to market any product is to share it with your email subscribers.

Email marketing is a great way to nurture your audience. It gives you direct access to their email inbox and lets you reach them with every information you have.

According to a survey, a company gets an average of 23% of its total sales using email marketing only.

It is also proven that you can earn up to $44 for each email you collect; it is that powerful technique.

If you’re into affiliate marketing, email marketing is a must-have. I would suggest you start with Aweber if you’re a beginner. Aweber is very simple to use, and it includes affiliate marketing. To get a free 30-day trial of Aweber, click here.

How to generate an Email list?

The most effective way to obtain your visitor’s email is through a lead magnet. You ask your visitors to submit their email so you can deliver the lead magnet straight to their inbox.

Here are some of the strategies you can use to collect the email addresses of your site visitors.

a) Launch a Viral Contest: 

It can be basically a giveaway where you will give away a gift of a handsome price, let’s say $500.

Invite people to that contest, and they need to submit their emails to participate in the giveaway contest.

Then, they have to do some tasks to win the contest, such as inviting more people by sharing the link to their Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and other platforms. For each genuine referral they make, they will get extra points to win the contest.

In this way, You will get a lot of emails, and the cost per lead can be as low as $3.

Note: Be specific with the requirements to join the giveaway content, so that you’ll only get the people who will be interested in buying from your emails in the future.

b) Free Webinar

Webinars are one of the most compelling ways to generate leads and sales. A webinar is not like a simple video course; it has a micro-commitment to join at the right time, and it creates urgency.

The ideal length of your webinar should be 45 minutes to an hour. And with the proper implementation and presentation, it can be very easily turned into a direct sales funnel with an almost 10-40% conversion rate.

Things that you have to keep in mind before going for webinars.

The webinar must contain some amazing tricks that can really help the audience.

Also, on the other hand, it should not contain all the secrets that you know and constantly generate a sense of urgency so may purchase faster.

c) Free ebook:

Free E-books are the most common method for lead generation.

Create an opt-in page for your target audience and give them a free ebook with valuable information in exchange for their email address.

Remember that the e-book must be relevant to your niche and enticing, with any information your prospects would find valuable.

d) Free Tutorial:

A tutorial is a very important tool to teach your audience. It is any piece of content that teaches your audience how to do one specific thing. It could be a video series, email series, or simply any PDF.

Just like an e-book, a tutorial can be used to share for free in exchange for their email.

e) Case Studies:

In my experience, Case studies work very well. Case studies are compelling, convincing, and credible.

You can easily create a case study to show how your potential customers and other people like them can solve their specific problems.

A case study is a powerful lead magnet since it demonstrates how your strategies benefited your clients and how they might use them to solve their own problems.

6. Choose the best Affiliate Products and Services to Promote:

Since you have your email list ready and you also have some audience who is consuming your content, it’s the ideal time to start marketing your products.

The best affiliate products or services to promote vary from individual. We must consider these factors below. You don’t need to apply all of them but refer to as many as possible while selecting the affiliate product you want to promote.

a) You can affiliate the products that you already use:

You already know all the goods and bads of the products you have used. It is also easy to write reviews and convince others to use products you have already used.

Your reviews will be truthful and automatically people will see realism in your words. Products you have used are naturally to sell.

b) You can affiliate the products in which you are interested: 

Market products in which you have some interest. The benefit of marketing products you already have an interest in is that you’ll keep yourself up to date and come up with a lot of innovative ideas for how to use them.

c) You can also affiliate the products others are recommending:

The purpose of marketing is to sell. Sometimes you may not like a product, but others love it. Don’t sell what you think is a good product but rather what others want and is good for them.

Sometimes, marketing products you have no interest in becomes a burden while doing research. However, if you’re outsourcing content, you can market even what you have no interest in.

d) You can choose a price range for your products:

Cheap products sell quickly, and their reviews don’t require many details. People buy them on impulse. Impatient marketers will enjoy selling these products.

Other products or we can say expensive require valid reviews, and their buyers think a lot before deciding to buy. If you have the patience and skills of persuasion, go for these expensive products.

e) Evergreen Products:

Sell products that do not vanish or become outdated after a short period. Imagine you write a review about any phone, and when your article starts getting attention, the new phone with new features is out. Marketing products, like cooking pans, is easy. A review you wrote ten years ago will still make you money today.

Not to miss: Always read the terms of conditions applicable for the affiliates and apply it properly.

If you are interested in knowing more about how to choose the best affiliate products or services, you can read my detailed article here.

[Pro tip: If there are any products or services you might not find the affiliate program for. Here you can reach out to the company directly and ask for any partnership program.]

7. Educate your customers about the products

It is very well said by the Co-Founder of WebFX – William Craig.

Don’t Market To Your Customers; Educate Them Instead.”

In today’s competitive world, Consumers demand comprehensive information and timely services from Enterprises. They want to know all about the product or service and which problem that product will solve. That is why it is so crucial to educate your customers about your product before selling it.

When you educate your customers about your products, they are able to make informed decisions about what they want to buy. They are also more likely to be satisfied with their purchase because they understand why they bought it and how it will benefit them.

Make your educational content relevant to their pain points and show them how your product will solve them.

Now that you understand the significance of educating your customers, let’s look at 3 best ways to do it –

a) Create Product Review:

Product Review is one of the best ways to educate your potential customers. Your honest review can literally give a huge boost to your number of followers and buyers.

More than 80% of consumers buy anything after checking their online reviews. And this rating should not only be in text or video, but you should also include start ratings. Star rating is the most crucial factor that can change your consumer’s mind.

You can also include testimonials/Reviews of your product users. Their positive reviews will be the best compliment to your work.

b) Create a Video Tutorial: 

Videos are the most consuming content these days. Video Tutorials can be the best way to give practical knowledge of your product if required.

While making a video, you must notice a few things:

  • Try to keep your video short and simple.
  • The video quality must be high.
  • Your video must be audience-centric.
  • Don’t use complicated words in your video. Use easy to understand words.
  • If necessary high a professional voice.
  • Write a Thoughtful Text Description.

c) Conduct a webinar:

As I have already shared, a webinar can be a direct sales funnel, and it can even convert up to 40% of your audience just because of that webinar.

The main reason behind this high rate of conversion is direct interaction. People can connect better with your direct communication. It generates more trust, and people can easily ask their queries.

Warning: Whenever you put your affiliate links on any platform, don’t forget to put a disclaimer there as per the FTC disclosure guidelines. Here, you can find more information about it in an essential guide to FTC disclosure for Affiliates.

8. Track Your Results:-  

Testing and tracking are the keys to success in affiliate marketing. Tracking your affiliate links can help you to understand which product performs better with your audience. You can also discover what changes you must do to get more clicks.

With this knowledge, you can understand what kind of products you should provide to your audience. And you can present better content as per your audience’s interest, so they keep coming back.

You can easily track your products with MonsterInsights on your WordPress site. You can also use Google Analytics to track your affiliate link, but it doesn’t track clicks on links within the pages. Here you can learn how to Track Affiliate Links With Google Analytics.

Some Affiliate Marketing Tips to Increase Earnings

Now, as we have covered the basics, I am going to share some more tips with you on how actually you can make good money with affiliate marketing.

1. Create an in-between

One biggest mistake that most affiliates do they only focus on sending the traffics to the merchant’s website. All the Affiliates do the same out there, what is different in you?

What you need to do when you create a blog, an article, or a video, try to answer your audience’s questions, solve their problems, be interactive, and provide some useful value. Tell them why they should go for it and take the next step. You should make the bridge for them.

You should not rely on the merchant. They are already doing all the heavy lifting – creating the product, taking care of the legal problems, money refunds, delivery processes, taking care of money handling, customer service, and more.

Therefore, you could do more rather than just sending traffic to their website to increase your sales.

2. Keep your audience in mind

While choosing any product, keep in mind what your audience is looking for and their interests. You might have an audience of a specific age group, gender, and education. Your product must fulfill their needs, not yours.

For example, you are writing a fitness blog for gym people, so your target will be who want to build muscle or become slimmer and stay fit. Your product will be gym products like Gym Gloves, Protein Powder, Cardio Equipment, workout bags, etc. and similar products that your customers would buy.

You must also keep in mind that the products you are promoting must be good and reliable. If any audience buys a product on your recommendation and it didn’t work well, they will never trust you again.

3. Don’t Hard Sell, Ever!

The hard sell is an aggressive method of selling in which a person who is selling tries very hard to persuade the customer to buy something.

Never hard sell. If you think you can sell more by selling hard, trust me, you are never going to be successful in affiliate marketing.

People typically want to know all about the product, visit your website, or watch your video to see interesting content before they decide whether they should buy it or not.

Making money by selling products is an art. You should focus on finding out the ways to provide value through your content and the products you recommend. That’s the best and fastest way to grow any online business.

4. Select good brands and quality products

As an Affiliate, you have no control over the product creation, its quality, and maintenance. You cannot guarantee that the product will perform well in the future. Therefore, it is so important for you to recommend products from good brands and reputable companies.

The best way is to recommend the products and services that you personally used and tested. If you feel any product is worth recommending, share it with your prospects with your experience about that.

Also, if you want to review a product that you have not used, you can nicely ask the companies. Most companies don’t mind and will gladly give you free access or a trial of their products and services.

5. Give your own bonuses:

This is the most important and my all-time favorite piece of advice to affiliate marketers. You could give your audience some bonuses to boost your sales. Your bonuses will also make you stand out among your competitors.

This bonus can be a 30 minutes meeting or webinar with you. Or your free advance course on that product, your e-book, or any other software to compliment the product.

Just keep in mind your bonus must give your audience some value. It will be a great proposal for them if you give any of your premium courses for free in bonuses.

So far, it has been terrific, right?

But there is one more thing left. Let’s also hear now what Neil Patel has said about Affiliate Marketing:

You just have to change the way

Affiliate Marketing FAQs:

Now, as you know, what is affiliate marketing? And how does it work? It is the right time for me to answer you. Some frequently asked questions that many marketers and beginners ask.

How do I start affiliate marketing from scratch?

To start your Affiliate marketing journey from scratch, here are the 8 easy steps you can follow and promote other’s products as an affiliate:

• Decide on your niche in which you may suggest a product.
• Choose the medium through which you will deliver your content. We recommend starting a blog, as it makes it easier to build trust in your readers.
• Find out the best products that are interesting to your audience.
• Follow the terms and conditions mentioned in the affiliate program.
• Decide the mediums through which you’ll advertise and build an email list of your target audience.
• Add your links to blog posts, newsletters, underneath Your videos on YouTube and other social media sites.
• Don’t forget to mention that you are an affiliate, and you will receive some commission on each purchase via your link.
• Finally, track your links, observe and optimize your content to get better results and sales.

How much money is required to start affiliate marketing?

If you are going with the paid traffic, I recommend it would be $1000. If you don’t have a large sum of money, start with organic traffic. You need to create the budget first, elsewhere. Then you can run ads and grow your business.

I started my affiliate marketing journey by just spending $100.

How much money can you make as an affiliate marketer?

The right answer is – As much as you want! And Pat Flynn is a perfect example of that. He easily makes at least $100K PER MONTH.

Also, A decent affiliate marketer can make anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 a month.

How do affiliate marketers get paid

The affiliates simply receive a commission based on any sales they refer for their product. Once a sale is made, the commission is generated and placed on hold until your sales meet the requirements of a refund.

Once the refund period is over, You may withdraw it yourself in your bank account or PayPal. Alternatively, the store would make the transaction itself.

What affiliate programs are best for beginners?

ClickBank, Commission Junction, Digistore24, Amazon Associates, JVzoo, Rakuten Affiliate, and eBay Partners Program.

Should I promote/sell products that I’ve never tried before?

Yes, you can. You can promote any product which others are recommending, and which is beneficial to your audience. But you need to do a lot of research and be completely honest about it.

The key to success in any online business is to be completely transparent and honest!

Conclusion:

Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to make money online. You don’t need to have your own product, still, you can make money by recommending others.

As you are just starting, you need to have patience. It takes time and effort to show results.

Unlike in the past, you can now do it in many ways. You don’t need to invest much money, you can create your own video on Youtube and share your affiliate links underneath to promote and start making money.

There are a few things you must do now, as outlined in the affiliate programs’ terms and conditions, as well as a disclosure when offering your links.

I hope you guys found this article helpful and that it can teach you a little something about affiliate marketing. If you want to support sharing this article with someone, need it.

You can share your thoughts and comment with your strategies on how to make money as an affiliate marketer, and I’ll see if the strategy is working or not! If it’s working out well then I’ll include it in the article.

I’ll create a blog post on that strategy with your name attached to it, so everybody can see it.

What is Affiliate Marketing, and how can you start it the right way
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