If you are wondering what is affiliate marketing, it’s probably because you read somewhere that you may earn some money via this marketing method.
Now, if I were to explain what is marketing affiliate for dummies, I’d say it like this:
Some company has a great product. They need help with marketing to get more sales. You tell them “Don’t worry, I can get you many sales”. You start promoting the company’s product and sales are increasing. The company is happy and is giving you a commission on every sale that comes from your marketing efforts.
Okay, I admit that I have a little sugarcoated the story, but that was to help you understand the process. So what does that mean? It means that for each sale that is the results of your efforts promoting someone’s or some company’s product, the product owner is willing to give you a share (or commission) of the sale.
Alright, an image is worth a thousand words, so here’s what it looks like:
You can find thousands of products to promote through affiliate networks. You can find several ones on the Affiliate Networks page.
Why are people willing to pay you a commission for promoting their product?
That may seem counter-intuitive at first. Some people are willing to pay up to a 100% commission (meaning you get the entirety of the sale). Why is that, it seems totally insane!!!
Alright, let’s take a common case. Let’s say we get a 30% commission on each referred sale, and the product’s price is $100. That means that for each sale, we earn $30, and the product owner $70.
You may think that the product owner may be losing a lot of money, especially when the commission is 50 or 70%, or even more.
Well, in fact, you must think the other way. If you had not referred the sale, the customer would probably never have heard of the product, or wouldn’t have been convinced to actually buy the product. That means that the product owner would get $0 from 0 sales.
So you must see this as “sales bonuses”. Every sale you, as an affiliate marketer, manage to get is a sale that would never happen otherwise. That’s why the product owner is happy to give you a commission on every sale, because he gets 70% of $100 (if we stick to our example) on every sale, or $70, instead of 100% of 0 sale, which is $0.
That is the power of affiliate marketing!
How much can I make with affiliate marketing?
The sky’s the limit!
Of course, as a beginner, you won’t start making millions overnight. But there is no actual limit to how much money you can make with affiliate marketing.
Many people are living from affiliate marketing and are earning $10-20,000 per month. Some even earn several million per year. It greatly depends on how much time, energy and effort you’re willing to put in affiliate marketing.
I may be starting to scare you a little bit but, as with any domain, you need to learn the basics before becoming an expert.
Now, the affiliate marketers earning $10-20,000 per month are enjoying life while not working more than 5 days per month. That’s the power of affiliate marketing. Once you set it up, it works on autopilot. The more you have money, the more you can delegate to your virtual assistant to make the most of your time and live the life you want.
How to make money for affiliate marketing beginners: the long way
If you want to start making money from affiliate marketing and you don’t have a lot of time or money (like most people), you must think in the long term.
So how can you make money with affiliate marketing? The basis is to build an authority website or blog on a niche market. It’s best to choose a niche that you are interested in as it will be easier to produce content.
You will use this website/blog to do two things: build an email list and promote your affiliate links.
It may seem rather odd but email marketing is still one of the most profitable ways to make money. When people subscribe to your newsletter, you get very targeted customers, as you know people have subscribed because they are interested in your niche market. You can then send them emails to promote some related products and earn affiliate commissions on sales.
And of course, you will use your website to promote some related products. The goal here is not to promote everything related to your niche and try to sell every product you can, even if those products are the worst. No.
You must always keep in mind that you are here to help your visitor, either by providing some useful feedback, analysis, advice, story or explanation. For example, you can do a thorough review of the pros and cons of a product, and put your affiliate link at the end. Or you can make a tutorial on how to use a service, and offer a discount on the first-month subscription using your affiliate links (some affiliate programs offer discounts to referred customers).
You don’t want to promote a product in every blog post though, you can write content for free. Remember that you are building an authority website, so giving away free stuff is actually going to help you grow your audience. The more traffic you get, the more money you make (that’s how it works, in theory).
How to make money for affiliate marketing beginners: the fast way
For those of you who want start making money from affiliate marketing quickly, you can do it using a completely different method.
First, you must carefully choose your product. It’s up to you to choose which product you are going to promote, based on the product quality and promises, the commission you get for every sale, the average conversion ratio, etc…
Once you have your product, you are going to build a landing page. A landing page is basically a single web page where you are presenting the product and all he can do for the visitor. The aim is to do so while keeping in mind that the product is solving a painful problem for the visitor.
On this landing page, you are going to set up a bunch of CTA (Call To Action) in order to either get the visitor email address or to redirect him to the product checkout page, or both.
Getting the visitor email address is important for two reasons. First, if the visitor hasn’t bought yet the product, you can send him a series of timed emails to try to convince him (or making him remember) to buy the product. That’s is called retargeting.
Second, you will build your email list. That means that you can send emails promoting other products in the same niche market and get some sales. Don’t try to sell something completely unrelated as the customer will probably not be interested and unsubscribe from your list.
A great way to increase your lead capture ratio is to give away free stuff in exchange for an email address. People love it. You can create a quick free PDF guide, or provide a link to a private video, etc…
Once you have set up your landing page, all that’s left to do is to drive traffic to it. And the best way to do that is to use paid ads, mostly from Facebook as it is actually the best way to drive cheap targeted traffic.
Where can I learn affiliate marketing?
Here, I’ve just explained the general concept of slowly building your authority website to leverage affiliate marketing. If you want to get a step by step course on how to do exactly that (and much more), I strongly recommend you to check out Wealthy Affiliate. You can’t find a better training if you are a beginner. I’m part of Wealthy Affiliate myself.
You can also follow the course from ClickBank University. It’s from the successful affiliate marketers who made their fortune on ClickBank (a famous beginner-friendly affiliate network) and have been endorsed by ClickBank to produce the course content. They have an 8-week program to get you started and make your first dollars without the having to create and maintain a website. That’s more like the fast track.