If you have been searching for information on making money online for a while, affiliate marketing shouldn’t be a strange term for you.
This article will show you how to start affiliate marketing as a beginner step by step.
🌟 Feel free to bookmark this post so you can review the beginner affiliate marketing guide.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
The concept is simple.
You promote a product or service with your affiliate link, then you earn a commission if someone purchases the product or service through your link within the allowed time frame.
For example, if you promote a headset on your website, a visitor clicks on the headset’s link and purchases it from your affiliate link, you will receive a commission.
It doesn’t have to be an instant purchase. As long as the visitor completes the purchase in a specific time frame, you will get the credit.
2. Benefits and Drawbacks of Affiliate Marketing
- Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular and profitable ways to generate passive income 24/7/365 online.
- There is no need to produce and stock products, worry about shipping arrangements, after-sales service, etc.
- You can start affiliate marketing anytime, anywhere without a joining fee.
- There are countless affiliate products and services.
- Some programs provide you with free trials and extra bonuses.
- The sign-up process is straightforward. Simply submit your application form and wait for approval.
- It is highly likely to quit your day job and get financial freedom when you have ongoing traffic to your well-established site.
- No degree, qualification, or training is required. However, affiliate marketing education and other relevant knowledge are needed to maximize the profit in the long term.
- The sky is the limit in terms of revenue if you know what you are doing and are best at it.
- It requires tons of patience, hard work, time, and energy to generate enough traffic and build trust with your readers.
- Affiliate marketing is more competitive than ever.
- There are chances to be banned by your partnered affiliate programs.
- There is a risk that you might lose loyalty and trust if you promote the wrong or inferior products/services to your readers.
3. Types of Affiliate Marketing
There are three types of affiliate marketing. You can find the information in policies/terms and conditions/contracts whenever you join a program.
3.1 Pay Per Sale (PPS)
In this arrangement, you will earn a commission when someone purchases something through your affiliate link.
Some merchants may pay you a fixed rate (such as $50 per sale) or a percentage rate (such as 10% of each sale or different percentage rates depending on chosen products ).
3.2 Pay Per Click (PPC Affiliate Marketing For Beginners)
When a visitor clicks on your affiliate link to a merchant’s site, you get paid.
The earnings will pile up provided that you have a lot of traffic.
3.3 Pay Per Lead (PPL)
You will get a commission in this agreement when a visitor signs up or fills out some requested information (such as contact information) on your merchant’s site via your affiliate link.
Note that only pay per sale involves payment. However, some merchants may have mixed types. For example, you can get paid per sale and per lead.
4. How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
Create a Website
Suppose you are serious about making money with affiliate marketing. In that case, it is best to build a self-hosted website because affiliate marketing is highly website-dependent, and social media platforms might collapse or ban your account for any reason.
Your website is always your website, and you have complete control of it.
A website is a must for some programs, so having a self-hosted website is much easier to get approved by affiliate managers.
Make sure your website is online so affiliate managers can review your site.
- There should be at least 10-12 quality posts. Also, try to write long posts (1500~2000+ words) to show in-depth and rich content.
- You have an authentic audience and following of your own. Don’t stress if you have not had your audience yet, as some programs don’t have a minimum traffic requirement.
Produce High-Quality Content Regularly
SEO-friendly posts will help increase organic traffic in the long run. Besides, quantity is vital to work your way up.
Choose the Right Products/Services
Choose the ones based on your niche, current audience, and potential visitors in order to grow your revenue.
Find the Affiliate Programs and Apply
There are many affiliate networks.
For example, the best affiliate networks for beginners are ShareASale, CJ, and Impact.
Some programs do not have many restrictions to join, while others are strict with the process.
It is perfectly normal to get rejected by affiliate managers for many reasons. Don’t give up.
Read the Affiliate Program Terms
Read the Terms of Services/Terms and Conditions and relevant policies because you want to play by the rules once approved.
For instance, some programs have clear rules where you can and can’t promote their products and services.
It is important to avoid getting banned or accounts suspended.
Brainstorm Strategies for Affiliate Marketing
Think about where and how to promote the chosen items.
For example, your website, YouTube channel, podcast, social media, emails, live social settings are ideal places to promote your affiliate links.
Don’t insert many affiliate links without relevant information. Otherwise, they might look spammy.
It is hard to succeed in affiliate marketing without analyzing the data.
Each affiliate link includes a unique tracking code to track the sales that you refer to your partnered merchants.
You can make full use of the provided stats (e.g., clicks and referrals) from your affiliate account.
A plugin like Pretty Links is also useful to track the performance of all your affiliate links on your dashboard so you can use the most effective strategies to maximize your earnings.
For instance, You can compare different campaigns to see which ones drive the most sales using Google Analytics.
Even a small tweak to headings or paragraphs could affect the performance significantly.
Learn online marketing and SEO knowledge every day, so you can make changes to optimize your website and increase ranking on Google.
Keep reading: Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid
5. How to Find Affiliate Programs
It is usually placed at the bottom of the homepage of a website.
Anything about affiliate marketing you want to know, ask Google.
For example, type WordPress.com affiliate program, you will find out if the company has an affiliate program or not.
Affilitizer Chrome Extension
Another way to find out available affiliate programs is to add the Affilitizer extension (100% FREE) to your Chrome.
Simply type “Affilitizer Chrome extension” in Google and click on Add Affilitizer on the homepage.
You will receive a welcome email to activate your account by following the instructions in the email.
The extension provides you with all available affiliate programs (over 74 affiliate networks and more than 60,000 affiliate programs) whenever you use Google or browse the web.
It is super convenient and time-efficient.
For example, if you type hotels in the Google search box, you can see an icon (Affilitizer extension) in front of each search result.
When you click on the icon, you will see all the available affiliate programs. Then you can choose which one you would like to apply.
You can also activate the affiliate networks you like on the Customize page for your convenience.
Note that all affiliate networks are activated by default on the Affilitizer extension.
Email or call the affiliate team to make a direct inquiry if you can’t find it on Google or official websites.
If the organization doesn’t have a current affiliate program, you can propose to the company and explain how your plan will create a win-win situation.
Most companies are very open to opportunities to boost their business, so be creative.
Alternatively, keep an eye on their updates; they might have an affiliate program sometime in the future.
Join affiliate communities, forums, groups on social media, or connect with other affiliate bloggers to keep yourself posted.
6. How to Choose the Best Affiliate Networks for Beginners
Choose Quality and Reputable Networks
Viewers might have already known the brand, so trust and loyalty have already been established.
Here are a few reliable affiliate networks.
Find Less Competitive or Newer Affiliate Programs
The chances of getting a new customer are much higher with newer or smaller companies compared to mature and reputable programs.
Before signing up, don’t forget to get to know your merchants and products.
Do Extensive Research
Do an exhaustive research on the program, products, and your competitors so you will have more knowledge about what you are promoting.
Some important things you would like to know in advance:
- Customer reviews (get consistent positive ones)
- Cost of the product/service
- Customer support
- Registration process
- Conversion approval rate
- Customizable affiliate link
- Cookie period
- Minimum payout rate
- Payout methods
Know Your Visitors Well
You can use Google Analytics to analyze your website’s audience.
Think like your audience and write like you are talking to your best friends.
Understand who are you are writing to and how they behave so that you can adjust your affiliate marketing strategies.
For example, an affiliate program with a longer cookie period will be better for rational buyers because they may not make a purchase when clicking on the affiliate link.
However, if they are buying through your link at any specific given time in the future, you will still get credit.
Know the unique selling points, benefits, and drawbacks of the product you are promoting.
In addition, think about what value the product would bring to your readers, why they will like it, or how they will purchase it.
Match Your Content
Choose the most relevant products/services to your content to have a higher chance of conversion rate.
For instance, if your site is about saving money, it would be unimpressive to see some luxury products.
Make sure your content is original, relevant, readable, and informative.
Remember Cookie Length
The cookie period is how long the data has been effectively tracked when a potential buyer clicks on your affiliate links.
For example, some program offers a cookie period of 52 weeks, which means whenever the buyer clicks on your affiliate link and purchases the product/service during the 52 weeks, you will receive a commission.
Cookie time is valuable information for strategizing your affiliate marketing campaigns.
Theoretically, the longer, the better.
Know the Commission
Commission structurevaries (e.g., sub-affiliate sales, lifetime recurring commissions, or one-off payments).
Choose the profitable ones that fit your content to generate more earnings.
However, it also doesn’t hurt to add less profitable programs because the payout rates can add up over time.
Check Payment Thresholds
Some programs offer a high payout rate per sale without a payment threshold which means you will receive a commission whenever it is approved; on the other hand, A lot of programs request a minimum of US$50 or US$100 before the commission is triggered.
Some programs will still process your commission if you don’t meet the minimum threshold within a calendar year.
Choose a Payment Method
When you work hard on promotion, you don’t want to miss out on the payment. Set up your preferred payment method in your settings as soon as you get accepted.
✨ Pro Tip: Make sure your payment account is active and valid.
7. How to Apply for Affiliate Programs/Networks
Once you have found the affiliate programs online, it is time to apply.
You will need to fill out an application form first.
An application form usually includes the following information. Make sure you provide updated and genuine information.
- Full name
- Email address
- Physical address
- Contact number
- Url of your website
- Website language
- Website content
- Promotional strategies/plans
- Chosen payment method
- Tax form
Note: Some programs have strict policies in terms of content and would not welcome website owners who only promote discounts, deals, or engage in any paid advertising for promoting their products/services.
Some programs will request tax documentation, and you might want to submit this as soon as possible to avoid any unnecessary delays in receiving your payment.
The most common ones are Form W-9 for US individuals or businesses and Form W-8BEN for Non-US individuals.
You will usually receive an email or notification in your affiliate account to remind you of submitting the tax form.
For your convenience, some programs have pre-filled forms with the information you have already submitted when joining, so you just need to double-check the information, sign it and submit it. Nice, right.
The whole process could be done in a few minutes.
More Information Needed
An affiliate manager might send you an email with some questions before approval.
This should be the last step, so make sure you make a remarkable impression.
Examples of Some Questions
Tell us a bit more about yourself/your business.
You can write about who you are, what you do, and how your business relates to the program.
Don’t mention something that can’t show a connection between your business and the program. Keep it short but impressive.
How are you planning to promote us?
Write down your promotional strategies like where and how you plan to promote.
If you have already promoted the affiliate product/service, remember to mention that with proof (such as the URL) in the email.
Are you a current customer?
It is a bonus point if you are. Personal experience is a strong signal that you know the product/service, which could be more convincing when promoting.
Do you see your clients using our product or service? / How many users do you estimate that you can refer to us monthly?
Based on your website’s stats, you could estimate or predict the number of potential buyers and your target customers’ behaviors (e.g., online browsing or shopping behavior).
For example, if you know
- your target audience on your website,
- the number of monthly sessions,
- and the relationship between your readers and the affiliate program,
- you can have an estimated number of clients to refer.
Bottom Line: Show evidence to the affiliate manager that you are ready to spread the word out about their products/services with your networks.
Some affiliate programs will approve your application form automatically after submitting your completed application.
In contrast, other programs may take 2-3 business days to two weeks to get back to you via email due to a high volume of applications.
Feel free to contact the affiliate team if you think the waiting time has been too long. Don’t forget to check your spam folder. It has happened to me several times.
You can normally find the email address of the affiliate team in the automatic email or the homepage of the program.
You might get an approval email like this:
Note: Some may not send you any notification if you fail to meet their requirements.
8. How to Promote Affiliate Programs
Once you have signed up with several affiliate networks successfully, promote them immediately and start to earn money.
You can find your unique referral links in your welcome email and your account.
Don’t forget to download logos, banners, icons, screenshots, or copy and paste shortcodes from your affiliate accounts when promoting.
These promotional materials are perfect for promotion because they are informative, colorful, and appealing.
Effective affiliate promotion is a combination of excellent content, the proper channels, and promotional strategies.
You might want to test out the following promotional methods and find out which ones work the best for you.
Write Posts with Your Affiliate Links
Write viewer-generated content (e.g., a solution to a specific problem), which will lead to more quality traffic, and more quality traffic could bring more signups; more signups equal to more earnings.
Some headline ideas:
- In-depth reviews
- Under $50/$100 (or any other price that you see fit)
- A step-by-step guide to purchasing or using the service/product
- Why you use the service/product (e.g., benefits and quality of the product/service or the loss without having it)
Also, feel free to add the current year (such as in 2021) to your title because people enjoy reading updated posts.
These ideas have been proven to generate affiliate sales a little faster or convert better because your readers would love to hear your honest opinions and recommendations and are more likely to make an educated purchase.
🌟 Bonus: Many affiliate programs offer affiliates a free trial for their product/service to gain first-hand experience.
Create a Resources/Tools Page
The resources page is a perfect spot to showcase all the tips and tools so your readers can get all the information on one page.
We are always hungry for valuable tips and tools, so create the page and don’t forget to add your affiliate links when promoting.
Spread the Word on Social Media
Besides blog posts, social media is ideal for getting your links noticed with stunning images.
If you already have many followers, you can send them information with your affiliate links.
Moreover, keep adding new people and joining the most relevant niche groups.
Social media platforms such as Pinterest can get you more views in less time than getting organic traffic from Google.
Share With Your Circles
Tell your family members, friends, colleagues, and clients about the product/services.
You never know who will be interested until you engage them in conversation.
Do Email Marketing
You can email your audience with engaging and specific content periodically, especially for a promotional time like Black Friday.
Don’t forget to add your unique referral links to the content so that you can get all the credits.
Some affiliate programs don’t allow email marketing, so it is important to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions.
Produce Videos And/or Podcasts
If you feel comfortable making videos or podcasts, use affiliate links whenever appropriate.
Additionally, feel free to embed the videos/audios to your blog posts to increase the engagement and reading time on the page.
Read Regularly about Affiliate Marketing
If you are overwhelmed by the online affiliate marketing resources, start with the helpful affiliate guide books (FREE) from your partnered programs.
Some programs have been around for over a decade; they know what works the best about their products/services.
Alternatively, if you’re more of a visual learner, you might find a video walkthrough of everything you need to know.
Merchants also provide you with valuable tips from their top affiliates and recent deals if you have subscribed to their newsletter.
Ensure you have turned on the notifications and check the spam/junk folders.
Matured affiliate programs usually offer all of these.
What resources could be better than those from the merchants directly?
Build Your Community
Do you know you can create your own community?
For example, you can create groups on Facebook or boards on Pinterest.
Try to make full use of the discussion, email list, comments, prizes, questionnaires, or games to attract your readers to your community.
Contact Affiliate Managers for More Support
When you make money, they make money, so don’t be afraid to reach out to your affiliate managers with some GREAT questions.
In the meantime, you might find your answers faster from their extensive documentation, support articles, and pages because it takes some time for them to get back to you.
I always get my answers from the FAQ sections and helpful articles.
✨ Key Takeaway: It is always better to ask if you don’t know something well instead of making mistakes because the price of making a mistake is much higher.
9. Affiliate Marketing Earnings
One of the most frequently asked questions about affiliate marketing is how much you can earn.
It really varies from person to person. Some make several hundred bucks in a month, whereas others make six figures or more.
final Thoughts – Affiliate Marketing For Beginners 2022
Affiliate marketing is one of the most profitable ways to make money online. You can do it anywhere and anytime.
You might not get rich overnight, but you can be rich for a long time if you are doing it correctly.
Embrace delayed gratification. Be patient and realistic.
And that’s it.
Now you know how to do affiliate marketing for beginners.
It is your turn to get your feet wet.
- Sign up as a Fiverr affiliate to start earning now. No website is needed. Anyone can join. 100% FREE.
What is your experience with affiliate marketing? Let me know in the comments.
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