What is Affiliate Marketing? How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing? A Step-by-Step Guide

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In recent days, everyone seems to have the same goal.

To wake up in the morning and check how much money they did while they were asleep.

AKA (Also Known As) → Passive Income.

For 99% of people that are after this goal, affiliate marketing is how they get started.


But What is Affiliate Marketing?

Here we will explain in detail exactly what affiliate marketing is, what it takes to succeed and how you could become a successful affiliate marketer, too.

So, what is affiliate marketing? Well, the idea behind it is that it’s the practice of recommending or promoting other people’s or company’s products or services to potential customers, generating a sale and earning a commission in return thanks to your marketing.

What is Affiliate Marketing

It’s based on revenue sharing. If you have a product 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.

Now that you know what affiliate marketing is, let’s dive into the complete guide of affiliate marketing. Ready?

The best definition of what affiliate marketing is:

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

An affiliate marketing business can produce a few hundred dollars in commissions each month or tens of thousands of dollars each month.

It’s where the marketing happens. An affiliate promotes one or multiple affiliate products and tries to attract and convince potential customers of the value of the merchant’s product so that they end up buying it.

In the case of promoting consumer products, like tools, books, toys and household items, the biggest affiliate network, by far, is Amazon. Their Amazon Associates affiliate program lets you promote any item that is sold on their platform.

Anyone can sign up and then generate a custom affiliate link to Amazon products. If someone purchases through your link, you earn a small commission.

With the basic terms clarified, let’s get an overview of how you can best get started with building your affiliate marketing business.

While we’re still here, let’s point out some of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing.

Advantages of Affiliate Marketing:

There are several aspects of affiliate marketing that make it a good home business option including:

  • Low cost to get started. Most affiliate programs are free to join, so your costs are usually related to your referral/marketing methods.
  • No need to create a product or service.
  • Don’t have to stock or ship products.
  • Work anytime and from anywhere as long as you have Internet access.
  • Passive income potential, depending on how you market your affiliates programs.
  • Can be added on to current home business to create an additional income stream.

Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing:

Just as there are the above advantages, there are still some challenges and difficulties in making money from affiliate marketing, such as:

  • It might take some time and effort to generate the amount of traffic needed to result in income.
  • A bad affiliate referral can ruin your credibility. It’s important that you choose quality businesses to work with to avoid this.
  • Some companies have been known not to pay, although there are ways to screen and choose quality affiliate programs.

Overview

While most people start by becoming an affiliate and it definitely is the easier path to take, building enough traffic to make a meaningful income just from affiliate sales isn’t quick or easy.

That’s why I’ll walk you through the 4 basic steps that you can take to get started in the affiliate marketing industry.

4 Steps to Becoming a Successful Online Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketing is an ideal home business because it doesn’t require much money to get started, and you don’t have to produce, stock or ship product inventory, or deliver a service. You’re essentially paid for referring new clients and customers to other businesses.

Affiliate marketing isn’t hard, but like any business, it requires knowledge, planning, and consistent effort to make any significant income. Here are some things you can do to make sure you’re on the right path into affiliate marketing.

First, you need to start reviewing products in your niche. That is usually done on a website blog or a YouTube channel.

Second, you must connect with your audience and make them trust what you’re giving them to make sure they keep seeing your content.

Third, you can use joint venture webinars to make a lot of sales in a short period of time, while simultaneously growing your email list and creating new content.

Finally, once your affiliate marketing business starts making money, you can scale your growth with pay per click advertising.

Step 1: Review products in your niche

It’s easier to get started as an affiliate because you’re skipping the ‘have an idea’ and ‘creating an idea’ parts of becoming a merchant.

You already use and like plenty of products, so all that you have to do get started is to publicly talk about them.

Be sure that “Any product works”.

Really.

When you write reviews on your blog, you can use an affiliate link to link to the products that you promote.

This is usually the first step to start making commissions.

Simply sign up to Amazon Associates and you can then proceed to get your own affiliate link to any product on Amazon.

However, if you only rely on people using the affiliate links in your reviews, that means that you need lots of traffic to actually start making serious money.

But, if you find a way to contact your audience directly, you can market to them whenever you like, not just when they come to your website.

This is where step 2 comes in.

Step 2: Build an email list with your prospects on it

“Email is still one of the best marketing channels today, so don’t miss out on it.”

Since you’re collecting email addresses around a very specific topic, such as finding the best straightening iron, juice maker, mini-oven, etc., you don’t need a lot of them to make the email list worth your time.

Even with less than 500 people on your list, you can create significant sales.

Just make sure that you keep your audience engaged, by sending them regular updates, ideally once a week.

Don’t make it all sales.  Just let them know when you have a new review up.

You can update your audience on your change of mind, the reasons why and recommend that they switch to that product also.

But, there’s more. Once you have a few contacts on your email list, you can do this.

Step 3: Educate your audience with live webinars

Webinars are awesome.

Imagine that you want to buy a new fridge.

What makes you want to buy a fridge more?

  1. Reading a review on a blog
  2. Seeing a live presentation of a fridge in action

Number 2 of course!

Promote your webinar on social media for a week in advance and get people to sign up.

Then, you can very easily host a Google hangout that is completely free, to stream your webinar live to your audience.

Webinars are great to engage with your audience one on one, show them the product that you’re promoting live and answer any questions that they might have.

You can:

  • present the product’s features
  • show different use cases of the product
  • talk about its benefits and drawbacks
  • tell people your personal history with the product
  • help your audience get the most out of it

and much more.

Note: Learning how to host a webinar with a Google Hangout takes less than 10 minutes.

Imagine how fired up your audience will get when they see all the cool things that your product will enable them to do.

Pointing to your affiliate link and sharing it at the end of the webinar is a soft sell and comes naturally since you just spent an hour talking about the product.

It won’t feel forced and your consumers can still take all the time that they want to make up their mind about whether they’ll actually purchase.

Pro tip: Can you get your merchant to give you a special deal for your audience? If you promise to get their product in front of a couple hundred people, they’ll often happily give you a discount or special bundle to further incentivize people to buy.

Step 4: Grow your business with PPC advertising

Once your affiliate marketing business starts to pick up steam, you can start thinking about paid advertising.

*** Remember: Only do this once you have a way of making back your money.

Conversions are all that matters here.

You can use PPC advertising to:

  • Get people to sign up for your webinar
  • Grow your email list
  • Make more sales

Now, while you could try to target people who are just trying to find a review of your product, you’d probably be better off improving your SEO.

The percentage of people who buy straight through your link after reading a review is naturally low, so imagine paying for these reads. Depending on the product price, you only get a few dollars or even cents per sale, so the margin you can spend on ads is not very big.

In most cases, your best off promoting sign-ups to your email list.

As a matter of fact, getting people to sign up for a webinar with ads is the best way to go.

You will win in 3 ways:

  1. They’ll be on your email list and you can contact them again at any time
  2. There’s a chance that they’ll attend your live webinar and buy the product
  3. You can put them on an autoresponder email sequence that encourages them to buy.

Affiliate Marketing FAQ

At this point, you should have a basic understanding of what affiliate marketing is and how it works. Now, let me answer some of the common questions asked by webmasters and marketers about affiliate marketing:

Is affiliate marketing harmful or illegal?

No, it is neither harmful nor illegal, as you will simply be using the particular link provided to you rather than a direct link to link to any site.

Affiliate marketing and Ads (Adsense): Can we use both?

Yes, you can because affiliate marketing does not violate any Adsense TOS. In fact, for me, affiliate marketing works better than Adsense.

How much does it cost to join an affiliate program?

There is no charge for joining an affiliate program, however, your total cost depends on what promotion technique you are using.

What qualifications do I need to become an affiliate marketer?

There is literally no qualification required to become an affiliate marketer, though having good copywriting skills and marketing skills will be an added advantage.

How much money can one make from affiliate marketing?

As I mentioned above, there is no limit to the amount of money you can earn from affiliate programs and your income as an affiliate marketer will depend massively on several factors:

  1. The efficiency and reliability of the affiliate network you work with.
  2. The commission levels and conversion rates of the advertisers you work with.
  3. Your level of commitment.
  4. Your depth of knowledge and willingness to learn everything about your niche in order to succeed.

Networks and commissions vary widely. New affiliates could take over a year to make their first sale, but with the correct training (which we provide for free) and persistence, you could earn anything between $5 and $100 per sale!

It’s easy to see how this can add up to some pretty impressive earnings. Some affiliates earn more than $5,000 per week!

Now tell me, who needs a 9-to-5 job when you can earn this much legitimately, online, from anywhere in the world?

If you still have any questions or inquiries regarding any of this, you can just mention them in the comments section below.

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