This post was most recently updated on September 29th, 2019
Affiliate marketing can be overwhelming if you are just starting out. And until recently, I was in the same boat. So my team and I decided to write this affiliate marketing for beginners’ guide.
Let’s start from scratch.
I have always been fascinated by the idea of generating passive income that many self-proclaimed internet gurus out there tend to claim.
Reading those success stories
But after spending years trying to understand how affiliate marketing is done, I found 5 lessons that I feel are the gist of my learnings from over the years.
And you should ground yourself in these 5 lessons before you attempt to go into the world of affiliate marketing as a beginner:
- You need to be good at selling stuff. Just writing a blog post with a bunch of affiliate links is not going to get you anywhere.
- You need to have a strategy in place. Figure out how you are going to approach affiliate marketing. What you are going to do.
- Focus on a niche. Very important. Signing up with a bunch of affiliate programs can be enticing. But hold your horses.
- Become an expert. Be true to yourself and the people who you will try and sell to. Build a relationship of trust and credibility.
- Treat it like any other business. That’s crucial. As I mentioned earlier, just writing random blog posts is not going to help your cause of making money through affiliate marketing.
Why You Should Stop Reading Any Further…
Tell me if you’re also here because you read one of those stories? But keep the below in mind:
Like everyone else, you want to make money. But if you think it is going to be easy? Turn right back.
If you don’t like trial and error. That is another reason for you to close this browser window. Do it right now.
If you don’t like to read and to educate yourself. That’s not going to help your affiliate marketing goals either.
Nothing in this world comes easy. If you are serious about affiliate marketing, get ready to put in some blood and sweat.
First Things First
Before reading any further, remember a golden rule of building strategy. It is one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
Begin with the end in mind.Stephen Covey
I live by this rule.
It is vital to understand what you want to achieve before doing anything. Even if your goal is as straight-forward as making money through affiliate marketing.
Grab a pen and a paper. And write your goal. Do it right now.
This is the first step towards manifesting your goals into a tangible outcome.
If you did it. Give yourself a pat on your back. Good job.
Reminder on What Affiliate Marketing Is
There is a lot of misconception about and confusion around affiliate marketing in general.
So let us start with a quick refresher on what affiliate marketing is.
In simple terms, affiliate marketing is a commission based marketing approach. The affiliates sign up with a company who wants to sell, let’s say, a hairdryer.
The affiliates, then market this hair dryer through their content, their website, their social media accounts. Anything (depending on the guidelines defined by the affiliate program manager.
Everytime an affiliate sells a hair dryer through their tracking link, they are paid a commission on that sale.
In other words, affiliate marketing can also be defined as a method of rewarding people (with monetary or non-monetary commissions) for referring potential customers to different products.
Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
In this affiliate marketing for beginners guide, we are going to discuss the building blocks and strategies to help start with affiliate marketing.
The best approach to learn about affiliate marketing as much as possible. Then start with building an affiliate marketing plan.
Once you have a robust plan in place, start executing it. And don’t forget to
Books and guides about affiliate marketing will only take you so far.
However, trial and error approach will take you through a steep learning curve.
And by the way. The pace at which technology and the digital realm is evolving, by the time you would finish a book or a course on affiliate marketing; the market dynamics might change.
How Affiliates Make Money?
To illustrate how affiliate marketers make money, here is a linear process a potential customer goes through:
- A potential customer visits a content platform, a blog, or a review website to learn more about a specific product that you have written about
- After reading through your convincing and inspiring argument, the visitor clicks your affiliate link to check out the product that you are marketing to them
- This affiliate link redirects the visitor to a merchant’s website that compels to convince the customer to close the sale
- If the customer is sold, and purchases the product from the merchant’s website, the merchant passes on the agreed upon commissions to the affiliate marketer for their efforts
In essence, doesn’t it seem straight-forward to implement? But the reality is, it is much harder to execute and earn money from it.
Just writing a blog post and driving thousands of random visitors on your affiliate marketing page will not help you generate sales.
You have to consider a visitor’s buying intent, the stage he/she is in the purchase funnel, and if the product is relevant to them.
As I mentioned earlier, you need to treat it like a business.
It’s a game of patience, hard work and persistence.
Start with a Niche
Start with a niche that you are well-versed in. Or a niche that interests you. Or an affiliate category that you can be passionate about.
When you write about a specific niche, and people start to listen to you and respect you for your opinion. They will buy what you tell them to.
It goes back to building your credibility.
If you just want to make money, you can sign up for one of the affiliate marketing for beginner programs for you to see which niches are profitable. And which ones are relevant to what you want to market.
Make a Blog
You can start a blog in the niche that you have identified and start writing to gain authority. Keep writing on relevant categories within your niche and make your blog a resource for people to refer to .
Start generating traffic through organic search, paid search, and social media.
Don’t Start Selling from Day One
DO NOT. I repeat. DO NOT start selling from day one. interested in and once you start getting traffic, you sit, wait and hope for people to click on your affiliate links.
This goes back to building your credibility.
Believe us when we say that although this method takes time, this is the best way to start your affiliate marketing journey.
Write Informative Content
Informative Content is key to build a successful affiliate marketing business. Don’t expect people to buy through your affiliate links if you’re not going to help them get to that decision.
You would need original and interesting content for visitors to compel them to try what you are promoting.
Don’t Come Across as a Desperate Sales Person
Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes. How do you feel when someone is aggressively trying to shove something down your throat? Or forcing you to buy.
How Are My Affiliate Earnings Tracked?
If you are worried about how your earnings will be tracked, don’t.
Affiliate marketing networks and companies keep track of how much you have earned through unique tracking URL.
They ensure you receive your dues.
Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners
There are tons of affiliate marketing programs for beginners that you can sign up for. Simply sign up with some of these that fall within your interest group, and you can begin promoting products and services.
Key Takeaways and Some Affiliate Marketing Tips for Beginners
First off, keep track of what products are popular. Visit other blogs in your niche (you can get ideas from them), and develop your writing skills.
It is completely up to you and the strategy you adopt on whether it is a blog, a video blog or a different strategy altogether.
Remember, as long as you can generate traffic, and develop authority within your niche, you can encourage people to buy from your affiliate links.
Almost all affiliate programs are free to join. But, you should have a quality blog or a website to start with to get approved.
Many people also decide to promote their affiliate links through paid advertising to generate commissions, but it is not recommended when you are just a beginner in this affiliate marketing for dummies game
Last but not the least, do not be afraid to explore. Success comes to those who keep trying to achieve their dreams.