Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to earn passive income online if you do it the right way. It’s all about promoting and selling other people’s products. And if anyone ends up buying the product, you earn a commission.
The good thing is you don’t have to develop any product and can work from anywhere.
However, if you’re starting, you need a guide to help you skyrocket your affiliate earnings and avoid common affiliate marketing mistakes beginners make.
And that’s why I prepared this step-by-step guide to help you through your affiliate journey. So, if you’re ready, let’s move.
So, What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is promoting someone else’s product and receiving a commission when someone buys through your link.
But bear in mind that affiliate marketing takes time. First, you need to write valuable content, build trust with your readers and persuade them to take action while on your website.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
For affiliate marketing to be successful, each of the following needs to play the affiliate, merchant, consumer, and affiliate network.
The Affiliate or Publisher creates content on the website, blogs, or social media to attract consumers and convince them of the benefit and value of the product. And when they buy, he receives a commission.
The Merchant is the company who creates the product and markets them through the affiliate.
For example, If you develop a product, you can set up an affiliate program so others can promote it.
Consumers are the leading force in the affiliate marketing circle. If they don’t purchase the product, there will be no commission. So they need to visit your website and click on your affiliate links to initiate sales or leads.
Affiliate Network acts as an intermediary between the merchants and the affiliates. They track your purchases and make sure you receive your commissions.
There are many marketplaces for affiliates to pick tons of products to promote, and good enough, it’s free to join.
When you join an affiliate program, you receive a unique link from the merchant to promote the company’s products or services.
So, when people land on your website, click the link, or buy the product, you earn a commission.
How Affiliate Marketers Get Paid
The are three ways to receive a payment depending on the agreement
Pay Per Click (PPC) – In this program, the merchant pays the affiliate for all the valid clicks generated, even if they do not increase sales.
Pay Per Lead (PPL) – The affiliate is paid a fixed commission when the consumer fulfills the desired action. For example, take a short survey, fill out a contact form, download a file, and like.
Pay Per Sale (PPS) – In this model, the merchant pays the affiliate a percentage of all qualified sales agreed upon by both parties. However, it means he only gets a commission when the consumer purchases.
Then, sign up with top affiliate networks are
- Amazon Associates
- CJ Affiliates
- Rakuten Affiliate
How To Start Affiliate Marketing For Beginners
- Choose a profitable niche and domain name
- Build a self-hosted website
- Identify your target audience
- Create great content
- Build trust and credibility
- Add a disclosure page
- Improve User Experience on site
- Drive traffic to your website
- Reach out to marketers within your niche
- Prioritize quality over quantity
- Track and manage your affiliate links
- Avoid spammy your content with affiliate links
- Be patient and persevere
- Don’t stop learning
Choose A Profitable Niche And Domain Name
The success of your affiliate marketing business depends mainly on your niche and target audience. So, choosing a profitable field you know can earn you money over time is essential.
Choose a niche you genuinely enjoy because you will spend much time researching and creating content around your topic.
Then pick a domain name relevant to your niche. Again, please keep it simple so your audience can identify it quickly.
Many people use their names, and you can do the same if you find it challenging to pick one.
Build A Self-hosted Website
If you really want to make money with your website, then use a shared hosting service.
Unlike free web hosts, WordPress gives you the flexibility and free will to customize and monetize your blog as you wish. You have control over everything you do.
Then choose reliable and powerful web hosting. For example, I use SiteRubix for this blog; their support is top-notch.
There’s 24/7 live chat, email, and support ticket. So if you have any issues, rest assured that you will resolve them quickly. But, again, I’m speaking from experience because that’s what I use.
Follow the steps below, and your website will be set up within a few minutes.
How to build a WordPress website in minutes
Identify Your Target Audience
Next is to know and understand to whom you want to direct your message. Again, the main reason is to be sure you are relating with relevance to your niche.
- What they are searching for
- What keeps them awake at the night
- What they need to make their life better
With that, you can better understand their needs and address their pain points.
Create Great content
To make money with affiliate marketing, you must do more in-depth content like comparison posts, product reviews, how-to guides, and tutorials.
So, aim to create helpful, informative, and engaging content for your readers. Remember, without blog content, there will be no traffic and, thus, no sales.
Write evergreen topics as they generate more website visitors and remain relevant for an extended period.
This infographic from Smart Bloggers emphasizes how you can make money from writing quality content.
Build trust and credibility.
Build a good relationship with your readers and prioritize helping before asking.
Create quality content, answer their queries, and solve their pain points. And when you select products, have your readers in mind.
Promoting low-quality products can damage your credibility and their trust in you. So, when selecting a product, choose wisely. Recommend those of high quality from reputable companies.
With that, your readers will trust and buy from you.
Add A Disclosure Page
As an affiliate, you need to disclose your affiliate links and programs as the Federal Trade Commission requires.
So, add a disclosure page on your website and place it where your visitors can quickly locate it.
When you promote any affiliate product, be open, and add affiliate disclaimers to the post.
An example from Ryan Robinson, a full-time blogger, and consultant
Source Ryan Robinson
Improve User Experience On Your Website
A great website user experience will result in a better rank on search engines, meaning more subscribers and sales.
Here are a few points to note
- Use short sentences and paragraphs.
- Reduce website loading time
- Include a table of content
- Add white spacing between paragraphs
- Use high-quality and well-optimized images
Drive Traffic To Your Website
Succeeding with affiliate marketing has a lot to do with traffic. People must visit your site and click on your links to earn commissions.
You have created informative and helpful content, but you don’t just stop there. Getting people to visit your website is crucial for traffic.
So let’s look at some of the ways to get more traffic
Optimizing your pages
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your pages to rank high on search engines.
You can drive more organic traffic to your website if you improve your SEO. For example, if you target getting your pages to rank on the first page of Google, you get more web searches, meaning more subscribers, sales, and conversions.
For example, Neil Patel, a New York Times bestseller and entrepreneur, drove over 30 million visitors to his website, leveraging the power of SEO.
Source Neil Patel
Paid ads are a good option if you have a budget for them. In addition, you can use Google, Facebook, and Pinterest ad likes.
Immediately after your ads begin, you notice many visitors on your site. But the only problem is that the traffic stops when the budget ends.
Hence, it might not be the best option initially, especially if you’re trying to reduce costs.
Building an email list is one of the most reliable ways to grow your affiliate earnings. Apart from helping with audience engagement and retention, emails drive people to take action and yield a high return on investment.
The number of email users has expanded to 4.2 billion worldwide as of April 2023, and over 300 billion are sent and received daily. So email marketing is definitely not dead.
So, if you are yet to start your list, head over to Aweber and grab the free sign-up, then upload the sign-up form on your website and give out valuable freebies to encourage people to subscribe.
The good thing is that you may send out a broadcast to your subscribers about new products. Then, you only need to include a coupon, bonus, or any other freebies to encourage them to buy.
Reach Out To Marketers Within Your Niche
Connect with other entrepreneurs within your field, including Facebook groups, communities, bloggers groups, and likes.
There’s a community of aspiring and successful internet marketers helping one another to succeed online. If you’re interested, check out the post here.
Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
You can promote any amount of product, but it’s wise not to pick many of them at once. Instead, apply for a few from the beginning and, over time, increase the numbers.
So, take time to study the product you wish to promote and recommend its high quality.
Remember, it’s easy to lose their trust over presenting poor-quality products.
Track and Manage Your Affiliate Links
Over time you may have many affiliate links, and it becomes difficult to manage them in one place. You can do that easily by installing a plugin in WordPress, either Pretty Links, thirsty affiliates, or Likes.
Use that to shorten and track your affiliate clicks. Then find out which performs best and where the traffic is coming from.
Avoid Spammy your content with links.
Don’t make your website look spammy with affiliate links all over your content. Instead, write helpful and informative content to build trust and connect better with them.
Aim to address their pain point in your post.
Be patient and persevere.
True, affiliate marketing is lucrative, but it takes time to see the result.
So, be patient, consistent, and committed.
Don’t stop learning
Invest substantial effort and time in learning new trends about your business, even if you are a professional blogger.
Remember, there will always be room for improvement, so never stop researching new insights.
In the beginning, you may not make enough money. Though affiliate marking takes time and commitment, the effort is ultimately worth it.
The key to success here is creating valuable content that helps your readers solve their problems. So, look for products around your niche, create quality content, and recommend them as a solution to address your readers’ pain points.
I hope these affiliate marketing tips help you get more affiliate sales.
Which of these affiliate marketing tips do you like best?
I would appreciate your feedback and ideas.
Would you please share your thoughts with us in the comment?
If you like this affiliate marketing guide, please share it with others.
Make Money Online
Affiliate marketing is a good option if you’re looking for the best way to make money online.
You can read more about how to make money online here.
About The Author
Muslimah is a writer and Entrepreneur. She helps beginner bloggers scale their blogging business to spend more time with their families while working from home. When she's not spending time with her family and friends, you'll likely find her reading books or writing articles like this one.
1 thought on “How To Start Affiliate Marketing (Easy Guide For Beginners)”
This is good. It’s also good to see someone touch on the marketing strategy that involves creating a site, and developing trust first. Too many people have blown money on quick schemes that made an otherwise profitable endeavor, a turn off.
I know you mentioned email lists, but I’m telling you. That is highly CRUCIAL for longevity. It can’t be understated how important to have an audience already collected, vs constantly having to find a new one for your content.