The Complete Beginner’s Guide To Affiliate Marketing: All You Need To Get Started And Succeed!
The Affiliate Marketing Guide For Beginners Says Yes You Can Really Make Money Too! See How It Works, How To Start. See Live Examples For Success. Start Now.
Remember this is a complete guide on affiliate marketing. By the time you finish you will have a free niche website ready for adding content and affiliate links.
Affiliate marketing is a tremendous opportunity for beginners who want to learn how to make money online with no experience. The model is very simple, trustworthy and rewarding. In fact if you have shopped online you have already been a part of the process. Yes, this is nothing new. But understanding how it works is.
Having never having doing it before, it seems terribly complicated, but the good news is that so much of it is automated with software tools and no technical knowledge is required. That’s why we say, if you can read and watch videos that show you how to do it and you can learn how to just repeat what they do, you can easily do it too.
The two biggest elements in the process are time and effort. There is no way to bypass hard work and time dedication.
Many gurus would have you believe they have a new magic formula for making money with affiliate marketing. They sound so convincing when they offer their expensive secret guides. And the worst of it is, thousands of innocent trusting people bite at their sales pitch and come away empty handed and frustrated. These guru programs don’t provide enough help so people can actually succeed. These gurus are only interested in making their six figure income at the expense of innocent trusting people. People who have bought into the hype come away empty handed because they don’t get any help to succeed. They believe they didn’t have what it takes to succeed and are convinced they are a failure. They think all programs are alike so they give up and don’t try again. They believe they will forever fail.
The truth is the process of affiliate marketing is already documented, proven and readily available. But you have to know where to look. That’s why we are telling you that we will guide you through the process so you too can use the right guide. We know from experience, when people get excited they share the process with their friends and their friends begin doing it too. Once they see there is a right guide that shows how they can actually do it, they will wonder why they didn’t do it sooner. But the key is to find the right guide that will walk you through the process step by step so you can understand it and do it.
The process is so simple. In fact we have eight year olds learning it. Modern technology makes this possible. You see eight year old’s learn to do it because they just do it. They don’t have all of the adult hang ups.
The real obstacle to becoming a successful affiliate marketer is you. It takes a lot of belief in one’s self, a desire to learn something new and a willingness to spend time and work hard.
We Are Speaking From Firsthand Experience.
We started as complete newbies back in 2009. We didn’t know anything about shopping online because we had never done it. So even that concept was very hard for us to grasp. Fortunately we had two things going for us. We needed money and we believed from the bottom of our heart if others could do it, we could too. That belief helped us get through the rough first five months.
We worked so hard, but saw no income for three months. Our confidence in the people who told us it worked kept us going and then it happened for us too. We earned $20 in one month. The next month the earnings went to $30 and from there it kept growing. By the end of four years we were earning enough income from affiliate marketing to stay at home and work online. We longer have to depend upon a corporate job to make a living.
Long story short, being affiliate marketers has completely changed our lives for the better. We have a new found freedom and finally the opportunity to work as hard as we want is worth it because our efforts reward us. We don’t have to share what our efforts bring us with a boss, a company or anyone else. What we earn is ours.
Anyway, we’ve learned a LOT about affiliate marketing since we began in 2009. We’ve literally gone from ‘a struggling newbie’ to ‘an earning enough money’ so we can work from home and enjoy a more relaxing, comfortable lifestyle. This all happened because we learned and followed the right process.
The process we use and the process that works is what we are sharing with you in this guide for beginners.
So hopefully you are free of distractions so you can read this guide in its entirety. After you finish you will know exactly what affiliate marketing is, how it works and how you can get started.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a business model whereby affiliate marketers earn a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products or services to people online.
It is a model whereby you, as an affiliate, find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a part of the profit for each sale that you make.
Actually this model yields a fivefold win for everyone. That’s why it works and is so popular.
This truly is clear evidence that all parties like this model. And the model is growing in popularity.
These statics are staggering. Clearly there is some serious money to be made. Many smart people are realizing the opportunity that exists for them.
There are literally millions of products waiting for affiliate marketers to present to consumers. And the numbers keep growing. In fact new products are introduced daily including new inventions.
There Is No End In Sight For The Continuation Of This Model.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
You are literally “getting in between the customer and the vendor” to earn a slice of the pie. And you are doing so because you have information you want to share that will help the customer make the decision to buy.
To get a better understanding of the process, I’m going to delve into each of the players in the process. This will help you understand the process and what your role would be as an affiliate.
There Are Always Three Main Players And Sometimes Four.
Each of these players is necessary for the process to work.
The customer is the one who is willing to exchange money in return for goods or services.
You are the affiliate (also be referred to as an associate or publisher) presenting some products or services. At some point the customer comes into contact with your marketing efforts before making a purchase.
So For Example
Let’s say you have a dog and you would be devastated if your dog ran away while you were both taking a walk. And it actually happened to you one day. Your dog broke the leash and disappeared for a day and finally someone notified you where you could pick up your dog. You had a feeling the leash was going to break sometime, but you kept putting off trying to find a better one because it would take time to do the research online. But now you were forced to do the research. You realized it took a lot of time to search the internet and wished there was somewhere you could go online and find a quick answer.
So now that you understand the value of research and its results, you get a brilliant idea to find out how you could share it with others online. To do so you find a company that will create a website using automated software (you are glad of that because you have no technical skills) and you create a blog about the best dog collar. You include comparisons of several of them based on your research, what materials are best and why, how to measure for size and the best length based on activity, and you present why the one you bought is the best. In fact to make it really touching you include a picture of your dog wearing the leash.
Then a dog owner named Sally, just had the same experience you did. So she gets on the internet and does a search for best dog collars. Your site comes up in the search results and Sally clicks on it. As she reads she realizes you have done a lot of helpful research to save her time. She trusts your content and is convinced that buying the dog leash you recommend is the best thing she can do to prevent another dog loss issue. Sally sees the “click to buy button (affiliate link)” and clicks.
Your “click to buy button (affiliate link)” has information behind it that you received from the vendor (merchant). The information includes a link that goes directly to the vendor’s dog leash site with a special tracking code so you get credit for the sale. The customer buy the leash, the vendor has a sale, and the vendor owes you a commission.
The vendor is the company, merchant or manufacturer who is selling the product you as the affiliate are promoting. They have the goods in inventory and ship, bill and handle customer care related duties.
So your affiliate link on your site is sending customers to the vendor’s site where the actual purchase is made. When the customer buys the product the vendor sees your tracking code and gives you credit for the sale. You are paid by check, PayPal or direct deposit the money owed you based on the agreement established at the time you became an affiliate of the vendor. The fee agreement usually ranges from 4% to 15% for physical products and 50 t0 75% for digital products.
The vendor likes this business model because you reduce the need for inside salesmen who require company benefits and other perks.
The Third Party Affiliate Network
Sometimes vendors choose to contract a third party affiliate network to manage their affiliate program.
In this case the affiliate network handles the payment of the commission and provides the connection to the vendor and resolved any existing issues. Many times the affiliate network provides additional tools for affiliate success.
Joining any of the affiliate network programs or vendor affiliate programs is 100% free. The affiliate program owner asks to see your website before approval. There is no end to the number of popular name brands you can promote. Some Include Nike, Gucci, Timberland, iPhone, Lowes, HomeDepot, Walmart, GhostBed, FurHaven, Kitchenaid and thousands more.
As you can see the model for affiliate marketing is quite simple when you look at each player and their role. You sign up with a vendor or affiliate network, choose a product niche, get your affiliate link with tracking id and start promoting products to earn commissions.
It Is A Simple Process.
Once it’s learned you just keep repeating it. Commissions start slow because it takes time to establish your online site, but traffic to your site grows and so do sales.
So That’s The Process.
Now how do you go about getting started? That’s what we’ll discuss next.
The Affiliate Marketing Guide For Beginners
Now I’m going to show you how to actually get started so you can build an affiliate marketing business to increase your earnings and create something you can be proud of.
Once again the process is simple: FOUR STEPS
These four steps make up the affiliate process which is simple, and effective. This is the exact same process we use to earn a six figure per year income.
It’s Also The Lowest Cost Method Of Building An Online Business.
The reason is there is no product storage, shipping or billing costs, or any other customer service related task. The tools needed are very low cost.
So Let’s Look At Each Of The Four Steps
Step 1: Choose Your Niche
This step begins the entire process. Your business success hinges on it. Choose the right niche and your business will be successful. Select the wrong one and you will waste a lot of time going nowhere. Choosing the right niche makes the years to come enjoyable and profitable.
I’m Going To Walk You Through How To Choose Your Niche.
The good news is, choosing a profitable niche is easier than you think.
I’m providing the basics here, but the good news is, I have a very detailed outline to follow if you want to do a little research. Here’s the detailed process for doing niche research.
So Exactly What Is A Niche?
A niche is a focus or interest and it is a marketable group of people looking for information on that interest online. So there are two groups of people 1) You are the one who chooses a niche and 2) There is a group of people looking for information on the niche you choose.
So How Do You Choose A Niche?
Here are the four key questions and factors to consider.
Did you come up with a niche? What about some products you bought in the past six months? Why did you buy them? How did you decide which one to buy? Are there other people that would like to know more about those products and you feel you have some helpful experience you can share to help them?
Let’s say you are hype about “weight loss”. You tried so hard to lose weight and it finally happened. You feel on top of the world and now want to share what works for you with the whole world. That is your niche.
But will everyone what to learn how you lost weight if you did it by the Keto diet? No, some people believe in eating a more balance diet and losing weight by weight lifting.
So, it is necessary to define the group of people you want to share your weight losing secrets with. Since you are males over 50 you can say confidently that you know the Keto diet works for men over 50 who want to lose weight.
So the group of people to reach are men over 50 who want to lose weight using the Keto Diet.
By narrowing your niche to a targeted group you will have a much greater chance of becoming an authority for this group because those who visit your site will see you are talking specifically to them. These website visitors will trust your content more and will then be more likely to buy from your site.
How do you know if you have a good niche idea?
Basically any niche can be good but there are three questions that help solidify its value.
Let’s Look At Each Of These Questions In More Detail.
Does This Niche Have Enough Value To Spend Time And Effort On?
It takes time and effort to build a niche website, do research and write content. Would you be interested in your chosen niche for over a year? Passion for a niche is necessary so a positive and helping attitude is portrayed when writing content. Passion doesn’t focus on effort and time required.
Is There Traffic Potential For The Niche?
Traffic, known as visitors to your site, is the way you earn money as an affiliate. Without traffic, you’ll have no clicks on your affiliate links. With visitors you site will thrive.
You can check out the traffic potential by doing a Google search and seeing how many website provide information about your niche. The websites to look at are those that are not retailers. For our keto diet for men over 50 we find such websites as ‘thefitfatherproject’, ‘dietdoctor’, ‘fitasafiddlelife’ and many others. This tells us men are searching for help online for this niche.
Are People in Your Niche Buying Products Online?
One way to gauge online buying habits is to visit ecommerce sites like Amazon and look for customer reviews. See the number of reviews for your niche products. If the review count is one hundred or more this means more than that are sold because not everyone leaves a review.
Also remember to check the best sellers top 100 list. Those products are preferred and offer much potential.
Even if you have a niche that provides services or digital products, there are affiliate programs for those too. There is demand for these otherwise since an affiliate program exits.
Over 4 billion people search for information and buy products online yearly. This means there is a lot of traffic potential within countless niches.
As you grow in your skill as an affiliate marketer you will learn many ways to check the potential of niches and how to increase your potential using keyword research.
Research Is Revealing
To be honest with you, days could be spent on researching which niche idea is good. But the best thing you can do is not overthink and take action by making a decision.
STEP 2: Build a Simple Website.
“Build a website” is a slight misnomer because software actually builds it in 30 seconds while you sit and watch. You need no technical skills. Though a website is not mandatory it is the easiest and most reasonable way to generate traffic and affiliate sales.
Here’s Why A Website Is So Valuable.
First of all, having your own website means that it is exclusively yours. This is a great asset because even though social media avenues are available their rules keep changing and it is difficult to feel confident that your content will meet rule standards.
Second, by owning a website, you can leverage free organic traffic through search engines such a Google, Bing and Yahoo. Tons of searches for millions of niches are performed daily. When someone lands on your website as the result of following search results, you get traffic.
So How Does A Website Come Into Being?
Here’s the quick answer. There are three major parts: 1) Domain name 2) Web hosting 3) Content Management System (CMS)
The Domain Name
A domain name gives the address of your website so people and search engines can find it. For people it is the name typed in the browser address bar.
Web hosting is a service that makes a domain name with its viewable structure known as a website accessible on the World Wide Web.
Content Management System
CMS, Content Management Service, is a web application that allows domain name owners to add content so the website can be accessed and viewed with content, images, comments and other formats so as to provide help and value to people who visit it.
So In Summary
The domain address is similar to buying land on which you want to build a house. The land has an address (the domain name) . The house you build on it could represent the website. It makes the land useful. A house without utilities will not be functional. Likewise a domain name and website without hosting is not functional. When walls, a roof and other things become part of the house it takes on ascetics and usefulness. The same way with a website. The content management system gives the website organization for data, images and a viewable presence.
Owning A Website Sounds Exciting And Worthwhile, Right? Let’s Take The Next Step.
So How Can You Own A Website?
You can buy a domain name for about $14 per year, find web hosting for about $10 per month and download WordPress, a CMS software, for free. Those are the three major parts.
So We’re Guessing Your Next Question Is: ‘how Do I Put This All Together?’
Trying to put all of these elements together without technical expertise, the right kind of equipment and a lot of computer knowledge, can be an absolute nightmare. It takes money, time and experience. So let’s let the techies do that while we focus on something that is easy to learn and do. Let’s start to build our website. It takes only a few minutes to have a website fully live, hosted and ready to go. Here’s the link to get your free website build. The free website is automatically hosted and CMS is also added. It is that fast and easy with the right tools, software and expertise.
STEP 3: Attract Quality Visitors (Traffic) to Your Site
Traffic is the life blood of every online affiliate business. You see an affiliate builds a website, adds helpful niche content and links to appropriate products so that visitors can read the content, learn from it and buy the products. When a visitor clicks on the links and buys the product you the affiliate get paid a commission.
So How Do You Get Traffic?
Traffic to a website can be achieved two ways: 1) Buy traffic 2) Earn traffic.
Buying traffic can be costly if you are just getting started because you actually pay to have an ad placed on the internet. Every time someone clicks on the ad which you pay for, you are pay even if they buy nothing. It is called Pay per Click. So if someone clicks and buys you make some money, but if they click and do not buy, you get no money and you pay for their click. That’s why paying for traffic is risky. Buying traffic is not recommended at least until you have experience and understand its associated tips.
The better way to get traffic is to earn it by writing quality helpful content that people are looking for so they come to your website, read the content, click and buy. You didn’t pay for them to click but yet you get a commission because they bought. If they don’t buy you pay nothing. This method is known as Pay per sale (you get paid when visitors buy).
So What Is Free Traffic?
We don’t mean cheap. We mean totally free.
Free traffic is that which comes through search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. You have done searches on the internet, right? Then you see search results and click on it and are taken to a website. Well, you will learn how this search engine stuff works so you can do it too and get lots of traffic.
It’s not hard to learn the search engine stuff, but it does take time. You will spend a lot of time doing the part of the process, especially during the first three to six month, because after all the more traffic, the more sales and profits.
So How Do You Get This Free Traffic To Your Site? What Is This Search Engine Stuff All About?
Two Key Steps
Two steps are important to get your website content ranked so it appears in the search engine results and web searchers chose your content. These two steps are: 1) Perform keyword research 2) Create good quality, original content.
Sounds Hard, Right? But Wait! It Is A Learned Skill.
These are ALL skills you can learn and become very good at over time. There is no hidden secret.
We knew nothing about the process before we become affiliate marketers. Now we get 100,000’s visitors to our sites each year by following the process we were taught.
Keyword research is made of two important terms: Keyword and research. A ‘keyword’ is a word or phrase that contains words that tell what a web surfer wants to know. And ‘research’ is the activity you perform to discover what web surfers are looking for.
Here’s An Example
Let’s say you want to lose weight fast, say maybe 10 pounds in 3 weeks. So a web searcher will enter the phrase ‘how to lose 10 pounds in 3 weeks’ in a browser such as Google. The phase is the keyword.
The reason the phrase was searched is because the searcher is looking for more information about the phrase. So the key is to figure out what the visitor is expecting to read when they come to your site for that keyword phrase.
We can do a quick search in Google and the “People also ask” section tells us they want to know if it is really possible? If not, what is realistic? If it is possible, what kind of diet will make it achievable? There are those who are always concerned about long term health effects on sudden weight loss so we better address that as well. Getting this degree of information from a google search was easy; however we need to do more in depth research.
The Secrets Of Keyword Research Revealed
Not only do we need to provide content about losing weight, but we need to remember that other affiliate marketers have created a website before us and they are focusing on some of the same content.
Sounds like a problem, right? Is it time to throw up our hands and quit. Oh no! This is when we use insightful keyword research tools to tell us about our competition and how to deal with it.
Keyword Research Tools Do The Work
We Use A Great Keyword Tool Called Jaaxy.
It tells us the average search traffic per month for keyword terms, the number of websites already using this keyword phrase, how search engines evaluate its worth, and how hard it will be to rank for it. All we do is enter a term, get the results and decide whether we want to write content about it for our website. More than one keyword phrase appears so we have options to choose from.
Try A Free Search! Then Sign Up For More Free Searches!
Good Quality, Original Content
The content on your website about your niche is key. Visitors come with expectations and you will want to hit a home run. Because visitors who find helpful content will bookmark your site and be back. Repeat visitors trust you and will likely buy.
Writing content sounds hard, right? Well if you can talk about your niche, all you have to do is put your communication in writing. Nowadays, there is software that will do exactly that for you if you choose to use it.
The key to writing content is to think about what you would want to learn if you were the visitor. Product reviews, how to articles, guides and comparisons are always helpful and in demand. We provide format layouts if you want them.
So It’s All About Learning The Process
When good keyword choice is combined with quality content, you will get a lot of traffic to you website. People go where they can find help.
We have more free training available to you which is presented at the end of this article.
STEP 4: Earn Income With Affiliate Programs
Manufacturers and merchants are looking for affiliates to market their products. You pay nothing to do this; they pay you.
There will never be a shortage of available affiliate programs and available relevant products. You are in the driver’s seat and get to choose the products you believe best meet the requirements of your quality content. You will get a special code from the affiliate program manager to put in your website content. By the way, that is really easy to do. When a visitor clicks on it and buys the program manager knows the sale belongs to you. You are the one that gets paid a commission.
When you do the prior steps right, getting people to come to your site and buy is not difficult. Quality content always builds trust and goodwill. When you help customers; they want to reciprocate and support your efforts as well.
So You Are Not Selling Stuff.
You are recommending quality products that go with your quality content. It’s your content that sells stuff. The right approach is not selling it is helping with content. It’s meeting a need.
So How Much Can You Earn?
How much you earn depends on many variables: your effort, the helpfulness of your content, the quality of the products selected to satisfy your niche needs, the number of people searching your niche, the cost of the product, the commission fee, the type of product because digital products generally yield a higher commission, and others.
The Old Fashioned Numbers Game
But affiliate marketing is a numbers game. The more traffic you get, the more you learn about your visitor’s needs and tweak your content, the more money you will make.
The Value Of Other Vehicles
After becoming familiar with the process or using a website, various other vehicles can be used such as email marketing and social media to get more traffic and sales. Check out other training provided for each of these techniques.
The Process Becomes Second Nature
Right now the process we presented may sound complicated and hard to do, but it really isn’t. When you learn and follow it, making affiliate sales is simple.
Is All This Learning And Effort Worth It?
Okay so if you learn and do the process, is it worth it? Do you really make money doing affiliate marketing?
Yes, you certainly can make money with affiliate marketing. The process yields results. So it is a matter of how much effort you put into it and how persistent you are in continuing to build and scale your niche business.
Many thousands of affiliates make a full time living doing just this. Your results are up to you and the amount of effort you want to put into this. Of course there is a learning curve and mistakes are made along the way and initially you may doubt yourself and want to quite. But if you stick with it you can and will succeed.
Your degree of success depends on you and your decisions. We know that corporate jobs are not as reliable as they once were. And many people choose to learn and work at it part time in the event they lose their corporate job. That is a very viable option because learning how to do this takes time.
What may very well happen to you like it has too many others is that your part time affiliate marketing job will begin to bring in enough steady income so that you can quit your corporate job.
This Is The Best Of All Worlds.
Being an affiliate marketer offers so much freedom and flexibility. You can choose the amount of your ‘paycheck’, where and when you work online, and what you promote. What you earn is yours! The goals you set are yours! It’s all about you now and how big your dream is and how much effort you want to expend. It’s about building for long term lasting success.
Summing This Up
This was a long reading guide! Congratulations if you read this far, it tells me you are very serious about building an affiliate business.
This makes us excited because we love sharing what we do because it works. There is so much opportunity and it keeps growing because shopping online is growing exponentially.
And the beauty is anyone can learn how to do this and earn money even while they sleep. This is what we call passive income because affiliate marketers never handle the product or deal with customer service. That’s why it is so popular. It beats any other type of earning opportunity online.
So You Are Interested! What next?
Well you could take what I have explained here and ‘go it on your own’. You can search online for other helpful website information and piece it together.
You could use NameCheap or GoDaddy to buy a domain, get hosting and create a simple WordPress site. This approach will work if you are on an extremely limited budget and have less than $50 a month available.
But really this is a hard way to start because you have no dedicated support forum to help you progress and answer questions and provide feedback. Lack of an organized training program and support will probably result in frustration and a conclusion that it doesn’t work. That would be an unfortunate situation.
This is where sites like Wealthy Affiliate become a great option. This is where we started at ground zero and build our online business so we no longer have a corporate job but work from home full time. The WA program is very well organized with volumes of results driven training, a keyword research tool, website health feedback, 24 x 7 support (community forum and Site Support), domain name purchase and hosting. This is definitely worth checking out. You can check it out for free and even get some free training.
The Future Is Yours
Whatever you decide to do for your future, we wish you well and hope you found our information helpful. We’d love to know what you think. We love to read comments and answer questions.
And If You Are Someone Who Likes To Watch Videos, One of our friends created a video that shows the entire process.
Here’s the link for The $10k Per Month Affiliate Playbook. Enjoy!