What exactly is this “Affiliate Marketing” so many are banging on about? Is it really a practical option? And how could I possibly find the time to generate an online income when already working full time?
When asking yourself and Google these questions, you have probably been bamboozled by the search results generated online. You are not alone. That’s why I put together a beginners guide to affiliate marketing, to help you understand the basics and how to get started.
There are many ways you can make money online these days, from selling on Amazon and eBay, creating your own Youtube channel, to managing social media content.
However, few are as flexible or as rewarding as affiliate marketing. If done right, it can be a lucrative way of earning a part-time or full-time income, whilst producing creative and valuable content. Something which a lot of other “making money online” options cannot boast.
In this article, we’ll have a look at:
- What defines affiliate marketing and who is involved in the process
- Touch on some of the benefits that attract so many to the business model
- Take a look at different ways to get started (free and paid)
Let’s dive in…
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Since The 4-Hour Work Week hit our shelves, we witnessed an online army forming, seemingly all with the same goal. To wake up in the morning, open their laptop, and see they have made money overnight – sounds great right? But, how is that even possible?
Two words, PASSIVE INCOME – money earned with minimal activity requiring as little daily effort as possible (from the person making it). In other words, not trading your time for money. Think of making money while you sleep, making money in different time zones, automation, you get the idea. Although in essence, affiliate marketing is not by definition passive income, for the vast majority of people, it is the starting point. The affiliate marketing business model is also an excellent way to create a very flexible lifestyle as it has no fixed hours and can be worked wherever you have the internet.
Pat Flynn defines affiliate marketing brilliantly
“Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make”.
The idea is that you as an affiliate get paid for referring customers or sales to a business. It’s based on revenue sharing – so, If you have a product and want to sell more, you can offer promoters (affiliate marketers), a financial incentive through an affiliate program. Or, If you have no product and want to make money, then you can promote a product that you feel has value for your audience/readers and earn an income from it as an affiliate marketer. Make sense?
Companies will always want more exposure on the internet and for every person that you refer to their website who then takes action, they will pay you a commission. Taking action means either purchasing something or signing up for a free trial.
For example – I refer people to Siteground and get paid a commission when they purchase one of their hosting plans. But, here’s the thing, you should only recommend products that you have either used or are very familiar with. You also need to be 100% confident the product or services you’re promoting will help your audience. I have used Siteground to host my websites and it provides super fast speed, so I’m more than happy to promote them. I see this as a smart way to do affiliate marketing.
Far too many people refer to products and services that they have never used or are referring because they pay out a high commission. People will see through this and not trust these recommendations. This is not a smart strategy to adopt.
The golden rule is to remember we are in the business of helping people solve their problems. Sticking a random link on your website and hoping they click is not going to cut it. You need to be providing your audience with value and showing them how a product or service can help them before you ask them to purchase or signup.
How Are The Links Tracked?
The majority of companies have an affiliate program nowadays, as it’s cost effective for them. These companies will essentially get free marketing (upfront) from whoever joins the affiliate programs and are only required to pay the affiliates once a sale has been made.
See for yourself, Google the company’s name + “affiliate program” and (if they have one) it will be one of the top search results.
What attracts people to Affiliate Marketing?
- You don’t need any prior knowledge or high-level education.
- Low start-up costs, therefore low risk. This is great news for anyone with very little capital.
- You don’t have to create your own products, saving you a lot of time and effort
- You don’t need to actually do any selling as the person or company who own the product will do the selling for you.
- You don’t have to stock the product either as again all the selling, shipping and taking payments is done by the product owner.
- Your website will be online 24/7, meaning anyone anywhere in the world can make you money, at any time.
Now don’t get me wrong, there is work to be done, especially in the beginning, or when starting a new campaign. This is not a “get rich quick” scheme. This will take time and effort, so anyone not willing to put in the work should not even bother going any further with affiliate marketing.
Yes, you can fast track the process by investing in some high-value professional training, but this all depends on your budget and how quickly you want to see financial results. However, regardless of where you choose to start, to be successful, there’s no doubting you need to build a smart strategy. But this is consistent when starting any business, online or offline.
Ultimately, it’s down to you to find the customers (for the products) and also to carry out the promoting/marketing, but if you get it right, then affiliate marketing can be a real winner with uncapped potential earnings and the icing on the cake – a work schedule and lifestyle designed by you!
Think back to PASSIVE INCOME.
So where exactly do I start?
There are now (in 2019) more options for getting started than ever before when it comes to affiliate marketing and it can be somewhat daunting not knowing where to start. However, before giving up your day job and calculating the cost of that Lamborghini you’ve always wanted, consider the following;
How serious are you about starting an online business in affiliate marketing?
1 – If you answered something like, “I’m not sure yet”, or “I want to find out a little more”, then learn the ropes of affiliate marketing for free at Wealthy Affiliate
The Wealthy Affiliate training platform offers a free starter membership and is a great training package for beginners (I can recommend this, as it’s where I started out learning for free). As well as getting access to the training course, the platform also shows you how to set up and build up 2 of your own website for free. The early course material covers all the necessary basics to help a newbie affiliate build a successful website from scratch.
Here’s a bonus video to give you a taste of the training platform ==>Lesson 1 “A comprehensive platform walkthrough”.
2 – If you think you already have a business idea and are looking for a professionally built WordPress website with 12 months 1-2-1 support the check out www.HBGCourse.com
The HBGCourse is the first paid training package I ever invested in so I’m confident in recommending it to anyone else. The course will provide you with a step-by-step guide to building an affiliate business, and for anyone like myself (who knew absolutely nothing about building a website), will get you up and running with a professionally built WordPress website designed around your ideas.
Everything is broken down into easy to follow modules so that you can work through them at your own pace. To complement your training, you’ll receive ongoing 1-2-1 support from the course creator Nick Squires, another successful online marketer.
3 – Or for the more serious entrepreneurs, who are willing to invest and looking for the fastest possible results, then the affilojetpack may be for you.
Affilojetpack is a high-value premium product that takes all the confusion out of content creation and stops users from procrastinating by providing “out of the box” optimised affiliate websites for their users that convert. Meaning; users can make money much faster. A perfect option for those who would like a lot of the hard work done for them and who are willing to invest to see financial results faster.
Did You Know..?
To put the whole affiliate marketing idea into context, think about this for a minute. Affiliate marketing is something we all most likely do in our offline worlds through word of mouth nearly every day, but probably don’t even realise when or get paid for it!
Have a quick think about any recommendations you have given to your family or friends recently about a specific product or item they were looking to buy. Or maybe even if someone has asked if you know a good place to eat or visit?
I’m sure you’re getting the point by now. But, imagine every time you did these things, you got paid for them! Would that be something of interest to you? At the end of the day, there is only ever one way to find out if affiliate marketing is for you, and that’s by taking action. Stop procrastinating and start doing!
If you think I may have missed an important point or have anything to add to this beginners guide to affiliate marketing, then please leave your comments below.