An overview for Small Businesses
Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
Affiliate marketing is something practically every website owner should have a basic understanding of in today’s digital world. Even if you don’t personally use it in your monetization strategy, there may be a time when you want to. This guide to affiliate marketing for beginners can get you several steps closer to understanding one of the most popular forms of website monetization online businesses use today. Affiliate marketing has become a valid way to earn a passive income online. Sign up for an affiliate program, insert links on your website, and watch as you earn commissions from things people purchase with your links. However, the details can get confusing as you delve into the world of being an affiliate. This simplified guide will break down the basics of affiliate marketing for newbies to give you a solid foundation with which to grow.
Affiliate Marketing for New Users: What is it?
Imagine creating an eBook but not having a large enough network to help market it. In this case, an affiliate marketing strategy can help your marketing abilities and generate more sales.
Affiliate marketing pulls together marketers who want to advertise and publishers, sometimes called influencers, who want to promote products and services and get paid to do so. Publishers place customized links to things they want to promote within their website or social media content. Then, they get a portion of the sales as a thank you for their promotion.
Fortunately, affiliate marketing isn’t particularly challenging to learn. You can set yourself up as an affiliate, start placing links, and jump on the path to earning money from affiliate commissions, all within a couple of hours. The trick is to understand how to do it all correctly so that you can maximize your profit.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Make You Money?
Now it’s time to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing for beginners. As a beginner, you may start out making a few dollars per month with affiliate marketing until you learn the ropes. As you learn what products and services your audience is most interested in, you can tweak your strategy to earn more.
When you place an affiliate link on your site and someone clicks on it and completes a required action, usually a purchase, you’ll make money from that action. Your earnings could be a percentage of the sale, a flat fee for generating a lead, or a large bonus for a subscription sign-up.
Some programs, like Google AdSense, are Pay-Per-Click (PPC), meaning that it will pay you money for each advertisement or link click. Each affiliate program is different, but the advertiser will let you know the amount you can make from each lead, conversion, or sale when you sign up.
How Much Can You Make with Affiliate Marketing?
The reality of affiliate marketing is that everyone earns money differently. While some are lucky enough to earn thousands of dollars per month, others struggle to earn $1 per day. Strategy is a significant part of your results, but even the best strategy in the world isn’t always predictable.
It’s important to remember that, even if you make $100 per day for a full week, month, or more, you shouldn’t expect always to earn that much per day. The products making you money could be trending now, but their popularity can dip without notice. Although it’s possible to earn a full-time income when you become an established affiliate marketer, it’s not realistic to expect a full-time income as a beginner. Let’s talk more about the strategy behind affiliate marketing that can help you work your way up to the big leagues.
How to Be an Affiliate Marketer for Beginners
First, you need to learn how to sign up for affiliate marketing programs. Here’s where to look:
- Join Branded Affiliate Programs
- Join an Affiliate Marketing Network
- Contact Your Favorite Brands Directly
- Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: Know What Products to Promote
- Where Does Keyword Research Come In?
- Inserting and Tracking Affiliate Links
You’ve probably heard of affiliate marketing with Amazon Associates, one of the most popular affiliate programs to join. Amazon Associates is an example of a branded affiliate program. In other words, you can look up your favorite companies and brands and sign up for their affiliate program to promote products and services they sell.
Often, brand websites will have a link in the site footer to get to their affiliate program’s signup page. Most of the time, you’ll get directed to an affiliate marketing network, through which you can sign up for that company’s program.
As an example, check out Apple’s Affiliate Program page, which gives you the details of the program and the benefits to you. When you sign up, you’ll be directed to an application via the Performance Horizon Group, an affiliate marketing company that handles Apple’s affiliate account.
An affiliate marketing network, like ClickBank and Share-A-Sale, work as a middleman between advertisers and publishers. Advertisers sign up for the platform to find publishers who can promote their products. Publishers sign up to join programs and get links to promote.
As a publisher, you can apply for several programs and you’ll often find your favorite brands in one place. These networks usually have helpful tools that allow you to track your clicks, commissions, and more.
If you can’t find information about an affiliate program for your favorite brands, you can reach out to them directly. You might be able to set up a contract with the brand that outlines your commissions for promoting its products and services.
It’s in your best interest, though, to suggest that the brand sets up a program through a network so that you have access to tracking features and can evaluate your affiliate marketing performance.
This affiliate marketing beginner’s guide wouldn’t be complete without pointing you in the right direction toward knowing how to find the right products for you to promote. The best products for promotion won’t be the same for everyone, but instead depend on your business and audience.
If you plan to promote your favorite brands, that’s great. However, you’ll want to make sure their products are something your audience will also love. Remember that affiliate marketing is about what your audience loves and will find helpful.
Joining an affiliate network can come in handy for finding the right products and services because it will offer tools to narrow down your program options. For example, if you want to promote office supplies on your website, you can filter programs by companies that sell office supplies and similar items.
Keyword research is one of the most important tools when it comes to affiliate marketing done correctly. Why? Proper keyword research using a tool like Long Tail Pro will not only draw people into your content, making it more likely to generate commissions from your links, but it can also help you find the best products to promote.
Once you find a product you’re interested in, you can use a keyword research tool to find keywords that you can use within your content to see if that product can potentially draw in an audience from search engines. If you want to promote a weight loss shake, for example, you can research the term, ‘weight loss shake’, to find the best keywords.
Specifically, you’ll want to find keywords that have low to medium competition, high monthly search volume, and a high profitability score. If you find that the keywords related to the product you want to promote don’t meet these criteria, you may want to reconsider targeting that product.
Have you found the products you want to promote? Great! Now, it’s time to insert your links. Fortunately, most affiliate networks make this as easy as possible, even for beginners, by providing copy-paste codes for you to place in your content.
Alternatively, your network or program might provide a unique URL for you to link to. In this case, insert your unique link the same way you would any other link on your site.
Once your links are in place, you’ll want to track their performance. Most affiliate networks and programs have tools that help you do this through your dashboard. Or, if you use WordPress, you can choose from several affiliate link plugins that give detailed insights of clicks, top-performing pages, and more.
Be careful not to click your own links, as this can trigger your removal from a program or network.
The hope is that this guide helped you learn the basics of affiliate marketing and set you up for future success in the programs of your choosing.
Remember that the key to affiliate marketing success is finding the best products to promote within your niche. You can do that by taking time to research the best keywords for each of the products and services you want to promote so that you can create targeted content that pulls in the right audience. While this type of marketing can generate a lot of extra revenue, it’s not typical to ‘get rich’ overnight. It requires a lot of effort and research to manifest the right beneficial results.