When people search for ways to make money as a side hustle, affiliate marketing is probably the easiest and cheapest place to start. This article, how to start affiliate marketing for beginners, gives a basic overview as what affiliate marketing is, how to start, and how to find products to promote and make commissions from.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
The definition of affiliate marketing is fairly simple. Affiliate marketing for beginners is when you promote a product or service and when a sale of that product is made using your affiliate link, you get a commission. After the sale, you do not provide product delivery or support. The product owner does.
Affiliate marketing is no stranger to the Internet. It offers a phenomenal opportunity for people who do not have a lot of money or a lot of time. Affiliate marketing has many advantages over starting a traditional business or franchise.
Advantages of Affiliate Marketing
- No product of your own to create or support
- No inventory to store with zero storage fees
- No shipping (digital products)
- For the merchant or vendor, it can be a cheap and effective marketing strategy because the affiliates send all the buyer traffic to them. This means the merchant spends less money on ads and marketing of their product.
How To Start Affiliate Marketing For Beginners
To start affiliate marketing on the internet, you need a few things.
- A device to connect to the internet. Computers, laptops, tablets, and smart phones can be used by affiliate marketers.
- An affiliate link for a product or service.
- A place to put your links for people to see and click.
What are Affiliate Marketing Programs?
Generally speaking affiliate programs are marketing programs offered by vendors, web advertisers or merchants that recruit affiliates like website owners, influencers, and bloggers. The merchants provide affiliate links, banner ads, images, and buttons for website owners to place on their website to market the merchant’s products. In turn, the website owner or blogger will receive a referral fee or commission when a customer purchases a product that is delivered via an affiliate link.
Choosing an Affiliate Program
There are many companies that have affiliate marketing programs like Amazon, web hosting companies, domain name registrars, and digital product marketplaces and websites.
When you are looking for an affiliate program or product to promote, there are some things you need to consider before choosing.
- Is it a quality product and something you are proud to promote? The product can also be a service. As long as it’s a service that people want and it offers something of value to the customer.
- Does it convert? How many visitors will you need to send through your link to make a sale?
- Commission. How much you receive if someone buys the product or service can vary from affiliate program to program. For instance, Amazon now typically gives a not so generous fee of 3 – 5 % for commissions. Digital product marketplaces like WarriorPlus, Clickbank, and JvZoo have a much higher commission rate of 50 – 75%.
- Is it Evergreen? Evergreen products are those that people are always going to need and therefore, buy.
- Are there recurring payments, residuals, or re-bills? Recurring payments for subscriptions or monthly services will mean a commission every month, without any extra work, for the affiliate as long as the customer stays with the product or service they signed up for with your affiliate link.
What You Should Look For In Affiliate Programs
When you go looking for an affiliate program, find a quality product, look for high affiliate commissions, long cookies, good conversion rates, and recurring or subscription based products. Recurring payment affiliate programs are definitely the way to go. You continue to make money on that visitor month after month. The advantage here is that eventually your sales start accumulating each month as you add more people to the subscription or product. Each month you earn more and more money as opposed to individual sales where you have to continuously make new sales to stay at the same level.
There are also others programs and companies that offer a multilevel marketing structure of compensation (MLM). If you’re familiar with multilevel marketing than that may be an avenue that you would choose to examine.
But before jumping into any multilevel marketing program, you should read up on it and do a thorough analysis and research. The last thing you want to do is jump into a program that is going to be a serious waste of time and money.
How To Get An Affiliate Link
How to get an affiliate link and become an affiliate for a product or service isn’t that hard. First, you need to find an affiliate program for a product you would like to promote. You can search the company’s website and look for a link to their affiliate program. Sometimes the affiliate program is found within an affiliate network like CJ, MaxBounty, or Share A Sale, to name a few.
You will need to sign up to the affiliate program before getting your link to promote. Upon approval, you will then be given a unique affiliate ID. In addition, many vendors or merchants will have creatives like banners, ad images, emails, etc. for the affiliate to use in their promotion.
You can then place these on your website or social media accounts so that your potential audience can click on those links which, if they purchase, you will receive a commission.
Getting Approved From Affiliate Networks
There are services out there that have a database of companies that are doing affiliate programs so you do not have to search each individual program themselves. Sites like ClickBank, lets you promote almost all of the products listed in their marketplace without an approval. This makes it very easy for new affiliate marketers to start promoting products and making money online. To find more products you can promote without getting approval, check out The Megabook of Affiliate Products.
Marketing Your Link
Now let’s talk about that affiliate link for a moment. Most affiliate links are extremely long, hideous and some of them have special characters in them like a “?” or “=” sign. These links will not rank on search engines like Google very well and definitely cannot be added to pay per click like Google AdSense. What I would suggest is getting yourself a domain name and rerouting it to your affiliate offer.
Let’s take for an example if I wanted to become an affiliate of a cell phone company and I had a website I can actually write a review on a particular cell phone that I’m trying to market. If it’s more than one, then I could just pick a product or two to write my articles on. Anyway, I would try to register a domain name that may have something in it like cheap cell phones or something along those lines to help the search engines determine what your product might be.
Increase Your Sales
What if you don’t have a website and you wish to increase your sales with affiliate marketing; what would you do? One way to market an affiliate program I briefly touched on is to write quality articles about the product that is being marketed. There are several article directories that you can post your articles to, but do not post the same article to multiple sites other than the article directory and your own site if you have one.
Article directories can be a very good source of traffic because of their reputation and the amount of visitors they have each month reading your article. Of course, some of those readers will click on your affiliate link driving traffic to your affiliate program.
I like Ezine Articles as an article directory, but there are others like; Goarticles, ehow, Examiner, Technorati, Thefreelibrary and much more.
Don’t just read one article when doing your research and regurgitate the content from that one article. Try to do some in-depth study to get a complete understanding of what it is you’re writing about. Once you have that understanding, try to simplify your article by using either bullet points or topic list. To get people to click on your link you need to be compelled to do so, but the only way to do that is to write compelling articles.
Making money on the net with affiliate marketing can be a rewarding experience if you know where to go to find the right affiliate program and how to do the research needed.
Just finding an affiliate program is not all you need to do, you need to look at the performance of that affiliate product. Determine what it is you would like to sell and do your research.
Read more HERE: How To Choose Affiliate Marketing Products To Promote