In the online world, opportunities to make money constantly show up every day. While every one of them pays in varying quantities, one of the best methods out there is called affiliate marketing.
You can literally build a million dollar business by just doing affiliate marketing, and it all depends on how good you are at your craft.
If you’re a complete newbie now, this guide will show you the basics of affiliate marketing, including some good reasons why you should pursue it.
Sounds interesting? Then let’s get rolling!
How to Be an Affiliate: The Basic Principle
There are many ways to define affiliate marketing. At its core basics, affiliate marketing involves the “splitting of profits” by the vendor to his or her affiliates.
Let’s say I have an awesome product which I sell online for $100. The problem is, I struggle to get this product in front of the customers. So I create what is called an affiliate program to entice affiliates to be a part of my business.
Basically, what I would do is either set a fixed amount ($50) or percentage (50%) of the revenue to pay to my affiliates, also known as a commission.
To determine the amount of sales each of my affiliates has made, I will provide something called an “affiliate link”, which is a special type of link containing a unique ID for every person.
In order to get credit for the sales, you must convince customers to click through your affiliate link and make an actual purchase. I will then pay you based on the number of units you’ve sold.
So for instance you made 15 sales of my $100 product, the commission you’ll get from me is 15 x $50 = $750.
Why Pursue Affiliate Marketing – 4 Great Reasons
For people searching for “ways to make money online” on Google, I suggest you give yourself a break and start digging into affiliate marketing. Here are 4 reasons why this industry can make you serious money (enough to replace your 9 to 5 job):
1. You Don’t Need a Product to Get Started
Let’s face it, creating a product to sell is a very daunting task and is filled with uncertainties. You don’t want to be working 12 hours a day and spending 1,000’s of dollars perfecting your product, only to realize that no one will be interested.
Affiliate marketing can take off that burden from you by giving you the opportunity to sell other people’s products instead. You might get paid less, but at least you’re moving forward.
2. You Learn the Skill of Internet Marketing
Here’s the thing, the world is full of great people with great business ideas. And yet, only a chosen few are good enough to take it to the marketplace.
By becoming an affiliate, you will learn how to do Internet marketing in general. You will master the art of selling online, which is an extremely valuable skill that can be worth MILLIONS to you.
When it comes time to creating your own product, you can effortlessly sell thousands of units of the product because you’ve taken the time to learn affiliate marketing.
3. It Pays Better Compared to Other Methods
What enticed me to start affiliate marketing is the idea of earning commissions. Most of the time, the payouts of affiliate programs far outweigh other monetization methods such as Google AdSense, Native Ads, CPA offers, and more.
From small $0.05 commissions to whopping $1,000+ lucrative programs, the possibilities are endless knowing that it’s capable of replacing your full-time job.
4. The Industry is Getting Bigger Every Year
As more people are buying on the Internet, companies are starting affiliate programs everywhere in order to grow their businesses. In fact, the industry has grown to 5 billion dollars and will continue to grow to 6 billion and more.
So even if you’re just starting right now, you can look forward to seeing success with affiliate marketing.
How Long Will It Take to Earn a Decent Income?
People often wonder how long it would take to start making money from affiliate marketing. This question worries me because if they ask the wrong people, they’d be misled to a false expectation.
To be honest, there’s no definite answer or amount of time before making that first sale. At the very least, expect it to be a few months from now.
The likeliness of you making money sooner will depend on a couple of factors, such as:
1. Competition – If you entered a highly-competitive niche (such as health, dating, or Internet marketing), then you’ll obviously find it tougher to get a piece of the audience. In fact, I made my first sale for almost a year, which was brought about by a tough market.
2. Demand – The good thing about competition is you’ll be sure that there’s demand in that market. It might take forever to sell if you’re promoting a product that no one is interested in.
3. Price Point – Are you selling high-ticket items ($500 or more), or selling in volume of low-priced items ($20 below)? Obviously, buyers will find it easier to pull out a credit card and buy from you if the price of the product is cheaper.
4. Credibility – People are very careful of their buying decisions and would only buy from sites and businesses they trust. How much effort have you put into building that relationship with your buyers?
5. Amount of Effort – Being an expert is definitely NOT a requirement to become an affiliate marketer. You’d rather focus on putting in the effort and hard work in your business especially when you’re just starting out.
5 Useful Skills to Learn as an Affiliate
The great thing about affiliate marketing is how it molds you into a “complete package” Internet marketer. At the very least, here are the skills you’ll learn along the way:
1. Content Marketing
In simple terms, it’s the skill of creating content in order to attract leads to your business. “Content is King”, which is why I strongly recommend having a business that runs on content.
The marketer who has a “foundation” of content is perceived to be more authoritative than someone who doesn’t have any. Most people are smart enough to distinguish the ones who are trustworthy from the ones who are not.
So as a newbie, it’s imperative that you start creating high-quality and “original” content by having a website and growing a blog inside it.
For those who want to take it up a notch, here are other forms of content that you can learn to craft as well:
- Ebooks (serve as “giveaway”)
- Cheat Sheets
- Memes (they do work!)
Quick Tip: You can actually convert a single blog post into a video, podcast, slideshow, cheat sheet, webinar, and so much more. That’s multiple content all at once!
2. Search Engine Optimization
SEO is one of the most precious skills you can learn as an Internet marketer. By optimizing your pages in Google, YouTube or Bing search engines, you’re able to tap into the best traffic source on the Internet.
The huge drawback is the difficulty of learning this subject. With so many SEO techniques out there, it’s hard to determine which ones are good and bad for your business.
Ultimately, these practices are divided into two main categories:
Black Hat SEO – involves tactics that “manipulate” the search engine rankings in order to appear in the first page. Examples of these include: keyword stuffing, article spinning, doing link schemes, etc.
White Hat SEO – involves legitimate SEO practices that marketers do to get high rankings, but are NEVER affected by major algorithm updates. Examples of these include: natural link building, guest posting, etc.
Doing organic, white hat SEO takes a long time to bear fruit. Depending on the niche you’re in, I’d say it will take several months or a few years before you consistently rank 1st page on Google.
But once you’re at the top, you’ll generate an awesome stream of traffic that’s highly-targeted for your business.
3. Email Marketing
Emails can be a serious money maker for your business if you master the art of using it. “The money is in the list” because most marketers generate the majority of their income through their huge email lists.
Whether you do affiliate marketing or product selling, having a well-nurtured email list will definitely boost your income.
To get started, you need to use something called an “autoresponder” (like AWeber or GetResponse). You’ll then place a sign-up form on your website or landing page where readers will come to subscribe.
Once they’re in the list, you have to develop email campaigns that you’ll send to your subscribers, which eventually leads to the products and affiliate offers you’re promoting.
Along the way, you will learn the skill of “tracking”, which is vital if you want to have a very profitable email list. Your job is to keep tweaking your sign up page and emails to get the best conversions possible.
However, can email marketing be done by newbies? Absolutely, but I think you should first focus on providing content and becoming immersed in your niche (I’ll explain this later).
4. Social Media Marketing
When it comes to brand building, nothing beats growing a huge social media following. While you’re not allowed to place affiliate links on Facebook or Twitter, you can use them to build long-term relationships with your raving fans.
When getting started, social media doesn’t bring much of an impact to your business. That’s why I don’t focus on these tools in the beginning.
However, there are social media marketing courses (like FBV Commission Profits) that will walk you through the process. They teach how to use social networks as a platform for doing Internet marketing.
But for me, the best platform to start an online business (which I always recommend to newbies) is no other than a professional-looking website.
5. Website Maintenance and Analytics
In order to have a strong online presence, one must implant himself in a well-defined location on the Internet. The best way to do that is by having a website.
Back in the days, only the computer geeks, IT, and Computer Science experts can create an actual website (using HTML and Java). But now, we have powerful tools such as WordPress and Joomla that will ditch the codes once and for all.
The catch? Well, you have to familiarize yourself with the WordPress dashboard and learn important terms like posts, pages, plugins, and widgets, which will take some time to master.
You also have to learn how to integrate vital tools such as domain hosting, Google Analytics, and Search Console.
But don’t worry, there are hundreds of free tutorials in Google and YouTube that will teach all these in a newbie-friendly manner. Once you master everything, you’ll surely become an Internet marketing expert!
Get Started Using a Simple 4-Step Process
There’s so much to learn when you enter the Internet marketing world. So I won’t be surprised if you get overwhelmed by the things to learn in the process.
But look at the bright side: affiliate marketing has the potential to transform your life forever.
Just imagine if hundreds (or even thousands!) of affiliate sales are coming into your PayPal account. You’ll be dazzled and delighted one day to be earning $10,000 a month on autopilot!
This leads to the ONE thing that everyone dreams of: Financial Freedom.
Sounds exciting? Then let’s get rolling and start your affiliate business now!
Ultimately, if you want to have a successful online business, you only need to understand these 4 simple steps:
1. Choose a Niche – What industry do you want to specialize at? It doesn’t matter if you’re not an expert in your chosen niche, for as long as you’re willing to learn along the way and help a lot of people.
2. Build a Website – As I mentioned earlier, your website serves as a place where people will find you on the Internet. It’s where you’ll build the foundation of your online business (via content) and become an authority in your niche.
3. Acquire Traffic – Traffic is the “lifeblood” of any online business. Without it, you won’t have leads and therefore, no sales. I believe traffic generation alone can be the most valuable skill you’ll ever learn as an Internet marketer.
4. Earn Revenue – Once you have the traffic, it will be easy to convert into a stream of revenue via hundreds of monetization methods. The best method is of course, affiliate marketing.
That’s it, no more complicated strategies as suggested by other “gurus”. By following these basic steps, you’ll be on your way to success.
I can talk 10,000 more words in this article to show you everything. Instead, why don’t you grab a top-quality training to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing?
I know of a place that explains everything pretty well especially for newbies. I think you should check it out.
Thanks for taking the time to read my affiliate marketing guide. I look forward to hearing from you, so please throw in your insights and questions in the comments section and I’ll be glad to help. ‘Til next time!