Let’s start with the basics: What is affiliate marketing and how can I make money with affiliate marketing? Affiliate Marketing is pretty simple: you find offers, products, or services that someone else sells, and you promote them to make a commission.
The higher value of the offer, product, or service is, the more you’ll earn as an affiliate marketer.
We will go into detail below about what exactly is affiliate marketing, why you should consider it as a way of making income from home or even set it up, forget about it once it’s all well automated, and start earning passive income from the comfort of your home!
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products. The affiliate simply searches for a product they enjoy, then promotes that product, and earns a piece of the profit from each sale they make.
The sales are tracked via affiliate links from one website to another.
Essentially, affiliate marketing means selling a product that is not yours for a commission. You then get to earn money for each sale you make, meaning that all you need to do is to connect that product with an audience that will appreciate it.
See one of my previous posts for more details: What Is Affiliate Marketing All About?
While any “regular” job requires you to be at work to make money, affiliate marketing offers you the ability to make money while you sleep.
By investing an initial amount of time into a campaign, you will see continuous returns on that time as consumers purchase the product over the following days and weeks.
You receive money for your work long after you’ve finished it. Even when you’re not in front of your computer, your marketing skills will be earning you a steady flow of income.
No customer support.
Individual sellers and companies offering products or services have to deal with their consumers and ensure they are satisfied with what they have purchased.
Thanks to the affiliate marketing structure, you’ll never have to be concerned with customer support or customer satisfaction.
The entire job of the affiliate marketer is to link the seller with the consumer. The seller deals with any consumer complaints after you receive your commission from the sale.
Work from home.
If you’re someone who hates going to the office, affiliate marketing is the perfect solution. You’ll be able to launch campaigns and receive revenue from the products that sellers create while working from the comfort of your own home. This is a job you can do without ever getting out of your pajamas.
Most businesses require startup fees as well as a cash flow to finance the products being sold. However, affiliate marketing can be done at a low cost, meaning you can get started quickly and without much hassle.
There are no affiliate program fees to worry about and no need to create a product. Beginning this line of work is relatively straightforward.
How to Decide the Best Affiliate Marketing Program for Beginners
There are a few factors that you need to take into consideration when choosing the best affiliate program to start with. You need to look into each program’s offers, the niches it covers, and the quality of both digital products and the physical products they provide.
You need to think about whether these products are something that you are going to want to put time and effort into promoting on your website and social media.
Another thing to look for when deciding the best affiliate program for those just getting started is ease of use. Read reviews on how other affiliates like the programs’ dashboards, how much support they offer their affiliates, and what software as a service (SAAS) tools they provide for those who might not have a background in tech or web development.
If you are not familiar with building a Word Press website, email marketing, how to build lead pages, or even how to use Plugins, you may want to find a solution that can handle this for you. Only consider programs that make joining their network beneficial to both them and you.
If you see affiliates complaining about the lack of real-time support or how difficult it was to join from the start, you may want to consider another program.
The affiliate marketing program you decide on should also have a clearly written, detailed payout structure for its affiliates. If you see reviews about affiliate commissions not getting paid on time, payouts not being processed, issues with PayPal payments, or anything related to this, you will likely have better luck going with a network that actually pays you for your hard work.
What You Need to Start Affiliate Marketing
There are 2 things you need to get started with affiliate marketing:
- Create a website or blog in your niche
- Choose affiliate products to promote
Let’s look at each of these in a bit more detail:
1. Create a Website or Blog for Your Niche
To make money with affiliate marketing, the first thing you need is a website. When it comes to building your website, you have tons of options. But we highly recommend using Word Press. With Word Press, anyone can quickly build a professional-looking website in minutes, even if you don’t know how to code.
2. Choose Affiliate Products to Promote
If you’ve done the work to choose a niche, choosing affiliate products to promote should be easy. Choose products that fit your niche and relate to your content. One of the best ways to select your affiliate products is by joining an affiliate network.
Affiliate networks are businesses that connect merchants and affiliate marketers so both can earn more money. Affiliate marketers use affiliate networks to make better product selections to promote on their site. There are many affiliate networks out there, but here are a few of the most popular:
Here’s Our List of Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners
Amazon is an e-commerce store, not an affiliate network. Most of the other programs on this list are affiliate networks where the network is simply managing the relationship between you and the actual company with the affiliate offer.
Setting the popularity of this program aside, you may be wondering about the benefits of utilizing this affiliate program in your business.
The fact that this affiliate program is the largest and oldest in the world says a lot. Because Amazon has built such a well-known program for affiliates, you can be assured that you have a great foundation to start off with.
When you read reviews about the Amazon affiliate program, you will surely notice the recent update to the program’s commission structures. While this did punch a few holes in some businesses that relied solely on this income source, those who had diversified their revenue streams were less affected.
The great part about this program is that it will always pay you on time (usually 30 days after the purchase).
The ease of use with this program is also worth noting because it is one of the easiest programs to navigate and implement into an existing business. It is perfect for those looking to get moving right away.
No matter which niche you happen to be interested in, the diversity of products through the Amazon program can’t be beat. With tons of diversity in products, the Amazon affiliate program is definitely a top contender for beginners, and you have the option to change links to higher paying offers later on once you start to rank.
One negative about this program (other than uncertain commission updates) is that Amazon has strict terms of service policy you must follow. Search around Amazon affiliate reviews and you will see cases of affiliates being flagged for unknown reasons for a breach of terms of service.
These issues can usually be resolved with a little effort, but it is worth mentioning and something to keep in mind as an added nuance to the program.
Because of its sheer size and number of affiliates, the Amazon affiliate program offers far lower payouts than some of the other programs in this list.
With the recent updates to these commission rates for affiliates, you should consider whether this program alone will help you achieve your business goals.
Another problem that many affiliates have with the Amazon program is having a much shorter cookie duration (24 hours in most cases), which is the tracking code used to see if someone who clicked on your link had made it all the way to the checkout window.
CJ – Commission Junction
Commission Junction is a huge affiliate network that works with companies and promotes products all over the globe. With over 20 years of experience in doing business within the affiliate space, it has a record of being a great option for those first setting out.
How Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?
A quick and inexpensive method of making money without the hassle of actually selling a product, affiliate marketing has an undeniable draw for those looking to increase their income online.
But how does an affiliate get paid after linking the seller to the consumer? The answer can get complicated.
The consumer doesn’t always need to buy the product for the affiliate to get a kickback. Depending on the program, the affiliate’s contribution to the seller’s sales will be measured differently.
The affiliate may get paid in various ways:
1. Pay per sale.
This is the standard affiliate marketing structure. In this program, the merchant pays the affiliate a percentage of the sale price of the product after the consumer purchases the product as a result of the affiliate’s marketing strategies. In other words, the affiliate must actually get the investor to invest in the product before they are compensated.
2. Pay per lead.
A more complex system, pay-per-lead affiliate programs compensate the Affiliate based on the conversion of leads. The affiliate must persuade the consumer to visit the merchant’s website and complete the desired action — whether it’s filling out a contact form, signing up for a trial of a product, subscribing to a newsletter, or downloading software or files.
3. Pay per click.
This program focuses on incentivizing the affiliate to redirect consumers from their marketing platform to the merchant’s website. This means the affiliate must engage the consumer to the extent that they will move from the affiliate’s site to the merchant’s site. The affiliate is paid based on the increase in web traffic.
Affiliate marketing is a good way to earn a living, but before you can start counting your commission earnings, there are a lot of things to be done. You need to find the product or service you want to promote, identify your target audience’s needs, and adjust your website for affiliate marketing purposes.
Steady passive income only follows well-planned and executed activities. Making substantial efforts across all channels will help you to establish yourself as a credible promoter and reviewer, a position every affiliate marketer craves for.