In this article, I will show you how to earn money as an affiliate, as well as provide you with a step-by-step process to get you started. I will explain every step in full detail so that you can understand the awesome potential of promoting products online. The rewards (aka commissions) of these programs are incredible once you fully understand the core principles of affiliate marketing. If all these sounds interesting to you, then read on.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
I don’t want to sound too formal here while I explain to you what affiliate marketing is, so I would like to explain it in simple terms. Affiliate marketing simply means promoting products or services in exchange for cash (that’s it). It’s simply like having a business of your own. But instead of creating your own product, it will be provided to you by a company (or a person) and your only task is to promote that product or service so that they’ll give you incentives in return.
For example, Company ABC has a product that is worth $100 and they plan to set up an affiliate program out of it. They now set the terms to 30% commissions, which means that $30 will go to the affiliate for every sale he or she has made. Let’s say you got interested, and after 3 months, you were able to find 12 customers who bought one product each. What will be your earnings? By doing simple math, your total commissions earned will be $30 x 12 = $360 in 3 months. Wow, that’s an extra $360 that goes into your pocket!
Take note that this is just an example of how affiliate programs work, which is pretty much the very principle of affiliate marketing itself. The product or service may vary, the rewards and the terms may vary, but these programs have one thing in common: they all pay you money (and that’s what we’re really after). Now, are you ready to know how you can become an affiliate marketer and start promoting yourself? Then read on.
Steps to Becoming an Affiliate Marketer
The process is simple, and I’ve summarized it into four steps so that it will be easy to remember. These are the basics of becoming an affiliate in the online world so always keep them in mind.
- Choose Your Niche
A niche is a group of people in a particular market that has a specific need of something. By giving them what they want, you’ll be able to monetize in the process. So how do you determine your niche? It all depends on your passions, hobbies, talents, or skills.
What are you really good at? Don’t limit yourself to the profession you’ve finished like marketing, accounting or engineering. Even the simplest of hobbies can become your niche such as cooking, losing weight, running, gaming, and so on. Take your time to find out what your real passion is and one that you’re willing to share with people.
Don’t worry about becoming an expert yet. As long as you’re better than the rest of the crowd, then you’re good to go. You may not realize it right away, but you have some kind of natural talent within you that others admire. So it might help to ask your friends about what you’re really good at.
Once you’ve found your passion, it’s time to narrow it down to a manageable size. You have to be more specific of what you want to share to others in order to focus on the niche you’re in. Cooking is a broad niche, sharing meat recipes is manageable enough. Fitness is broad, providing diet plans is better. Technology is broad, reviewing smartphones is much better. Sports is broad, playing basketball is more manageable. Engineering is broad, designing houses is better. I hope you get the idea.
- Provide Valuable Content
With your chosen niche, it’s time to start building authority on the Internet by creating a website. Building your own website is very important because this is where you communicate with people and share your passions or unique talents. By creating your own valuable content through blog posts, articles, or videos, you help people with their problems. This in turn will build your credibility and authority in the online world.
Once your website is established, your next task is to get your message out there by using tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and other social media to attract readers to your website. Another way to get your website noticed is through YouTube by posting videos and growing your subscriber base. Other ways of promoting your website are SEO, Email Marketing, PPC, or by word of mouth.
Remember, that we are in the business of helping people and that we help them solve their problems. By becoming an affiliate, we focus on helping them first before we earn commission for ourselves. I believe this lesson can be summarized with Robert Kiyosaki’s quote: “Change your focus, from making money to serving more people. Serving more people makes the money come in.”
To get started, I’ll introduce you to a tool called SiteRubix which I recommend for building your website because their platform is awesome and that’s what I’m using right now for this website. To get started, use the SiteRubix tool below to create your very own domain.
- Join an Affiliate Program or Network
The next step of the process is to join an affiliate program or network where you can find the products you want to promote. An affiliate program is a program that a business creates in order to recruit affiliates who will promote the company’s products or services. Affiliate network on the other hand serves as an intermediary between the affiliate and the company so that affiliates will be able to find affiliate programs they can join into.
Online businesses like Wealthy Affiliate and Jaaxy have products or services that provide value to customers in their own respective niches. Because of that, some of them will be eager to set up an affiliate program in order to generate more sales. So if you see one in a website that you love hanging out with, then you have yourself a business opportunity! If not, then that’s fine. Just keep searching within your niche for good affiliate programs.
Affiliate networks on the other hand are places where you can look for affiliate programs and start promoting right away. Just register to the network of your choice and you can start promoting their products. Examples of affiliate network include ClickBank, Commission Junction, ShareASale, LinkShare, and the list goes on. My advice is to first conduct some research on these networks to find out what’s best for you.
Every possible niche has an affiliate program and that’s for sure. So don’t worry about the niche you are currently on because there is always a business opportunity that fits for you. Just type “whatever niche you have chosen + affiliate program” in search engines and you will be shown a lot of affiliate opportunities online. Now all you have to do is choose.
- Start Earning Commissions
This is the last step and is pretty much the moment you’ve been waiting for. Every affiliate program or network that you sign up to will dictate the terms of your commissions (like the example I provided above). One of your tasks while doing research is to list all the commissions that you will get and how you will be paid. On Amazon for example, the percentage varies from 4% to 10% (depending on the product). Other programs dictate the exact amount that you will get per unit you promote, so take note of that.
If you notice something odd about the affiliate program, don’t hesitate to dig in a little more before you commit to that company or network. If you have some feeling of doubt about the whole scheme, then don’t take it. Just remember, always be vigilant for scammy promotions out there or else you will regret it in the end. If you want to feel more secure, then promote only those trusted sites like Amazon, ClickBank or Wealthy Affiliate.
Also, don’t forget to set up everything that has to do with payments such as your PayPal account, your tax information, or any setup that is needed in order to comply with the program. Although this might seem obvious, I’m just concerned that you might forget to set these up first. You may be bringing in customers, but you’re not earning a single cent just because you haven’t completed the setup and the company doesn’t know how they can pay you.
But once you’re all set and everything is good to go, then you can just sit back, relax, and wait for the checks to come into your account and to your pocket. It’s just a matter of time before you amass a lot of success.
The Opportunities are Endless
That’s it for affiliate marketing and the process of how you can make money from affiliate programs. Follow these 4 steps and you’ll be on your way to affiliate success. Frankly, I will tell you that becoming successful as an affiliate won’t be easy because it takes time. People don’t just trust you especially when you’re just starting out. You have to gain their trust and the way you do that is by building your website and earning credibility from it.
The going will be tough, but it’s only in the beginning. Keep putting in the effort and start sowing your seeds, because once the harvest is ready, you can start reaping the benefits of it and the opportunities are endless. By becoming an authority you’ll be able to influence a lot of people and they will believe what you’re going to say.
A Word of Warning
If your intention of getting into affiliate marketing is just to make lots of money and become rich, you will not be successful. Therefore if you’re looking for a get rich quick scheme, then this isn’t the right one for you. Even if you force your way through, then at some time in the future it will backfire on you and you’ll get caught. People are not dumb and they will eventually know whether you are a crook or a person of real value. I would rather fail in my affiliate marketing attempts than to sacrifice my dignity as a person.
So much for that, what I’m trying to tell you is to always stay on the right track. Whichever way you make money online it’s better to be ethical than to join those band of crooks and scammers out there because if you follow them, your life will become miserable. I strongly believe that you guys are awesome and very good people, therefore I’m confident that you will not become part of them.
My Final Word
Affiliate Marketing is one of the hundreds of different ways to make money online and surely, it’s one of the best. The information can be overwhelming at first and it would take some time getting used to. But in order for you not to get lost, there’s a program that I recommend you go through (which I’m a member by the way) and it’s called Wealthy Affiliate. It is one of the best online courses I’ve come across on the Internet and the lessons are easy to digest.
Well that’s it! Thanks for reading my lengthy post about how to make money from affiliate programs. What are your thoughts and insights about the subject of affiliate marketing? Share them by leaving a comment below and I’ll be glad to discuss it with you.