Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan. We review these products after doing a lot of research, we check all features and recommend the best products only.
So you want to make more money?
You're blogging hard and trying to find other ways to make money online.
At the end of the day, that's why you're doing what you do.
Yes, you enjoy it. But you want more money.
Does it sound familiar?
I'm sure it's, because that was me when I first started, actually, I still want to make more money online 🙂
If that's the case, this post is for you. You'll discover where the real profit from blogging is and how you could make use of it. So continue reading.
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest businesses (but it needs patience and dedication) which you can do by sitting in any part of the world. If you have landed here by searching the term “Affiliate marketing for beginners,” then you have landed at the right place.
I started my affiliate marketing career by sitting in a very small town, having no broadband connection and very poor English writing skills.
I learnt, implemented, and soon I was making very good income from affiliate marketing.
I have written this guide in as simple words as I could. I hope in the end, this guide will answer all your queries.
By the end of this post, you’ll learn:
Let me be very honest with you..
It's not a quick-rich scheme. If you are here searching for something which can change your life in the next few days, then I am sorry, this article is not for you.
You can close this tab right now and read some other articles instead.
But, if you are someone who has the passion to learn, implement, and above all, have a lot of patience, then this article is for you.
Affiliate marketing is not just writing articles and making a lot of money.
Before you start affiliate marketing as a beginner, you'll have to finalize on thing first.
and that's TRAFFIC.
Decide from the day one that you want traffic from SEO or with paid ads.
SEO (Search engine optimization) will take at least 6-7 months before you see any results. Paid traffic, on the other hand, would need a lot of money for the testing.
So I highly recommend SEO as the primary traffic source when you are a newbie in affiliate marketing.
Ads are not the key to real profit
I'm sure you're disappointed, but let me be honest with you, ads aren't what you're looking for to make a real profit from your blog.
Yes, Mashable is making money with ads, but are you Mashable? How long will it take you to have that huge audience?
It'll take you years and years to get that audience in this crowded internet.
And ads don't build a sustainable lucrative business.
There are blogs with a much lower audience and they're making huge money online, but they don't use ads.
If you think that ads are what you need to make money online, you're losing a lot of money without you know. In fact, my own AdSense account was banned in 2013.
And this is all beside your audience are annoyed with the ads and you sound less of an expert in their eyes.
Ads are a bad solution to make money. But what works?
Affiliate Marketing is a Better Solution
Affiliate marketing is better than using ads. Instead of getting a cent per click for every 300 visitors or something like this, when you promote a product that solves the problem of your audience, you'll get more money and you won't need all that traffic.
You'll get much more money than what you'll get with ads.
If you're starting and you've good traffic, find a problem that your audience have and find the perfect solution and do an honest review. It'll take more time, but the benefits are huge.
And this is only one problem, of course, your audience has many more, so think about how much you'll earn.
There are many bloggers out there making thousands of dollars online. When you ask them how are they doing it, a lot of them will talk about affiliate marketing.
This term pops up many times when you find different ways to make money online. It’s because, with affiliate marketing, many people are living the life of their dreams.
The true laptop lifestyle without having to worry about anything else.
Do you also want to become one of such people who make a ton of money from affiliate marketing?
Take a look at this:
This is Pat Flynn’s November 2017 income. More than 50% of this income was generated from affiliate marketing.
and here is the income breakdown from EOFire.com.
If you want to see similar numbers in your bank account at the end of each month, this article is for you.
In this article, you’ll learn in detail what affiliate marketing is and how you can become an affiliate marketer and make money.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
So what is this affiliate marketing?
The most simple definition of affiliate marketing is:
When you do marketing of a product which you don't own, and for every sale you generate, you earn some commission.
Companies pay you very good commission to promote their products.
Sounds simple, right?
That’s because it is. But this is not the end. There are some important terms and definitions you need to know about affiliate marketing.
So let’s dive into that.
Important Terms & Definitions In Affiliate Marketing
Before you get started with affiliate marketing, you need to know some important terms and their definitions.
Affiliate marketing is about three very important relationships. These three relationships are involved in any form of affiliate marketing.
Here are some more important affiliate marketing terms you should know:
1. Affiliate Manager
An affiliate manager is a person who manages the affiliate program for the merchant. They help affiliates increase their sales by ensuring that they use the best methods for the merchant’s product promotion.
2. Affiliate Link
An affiliate link is a link you use to promote the merchant’s product. This link is unique for each affiliate and helps the merchant and affiliate program track the sales generated from each affiliate.
3. Affiliate Network
An affiliate network acts as a bridge between merchants and affiliates. Affiliate networks help the affiliate and the merchant by providing proper link tracking systems, generating sales reports and also helping affiliates find the best merchants.
Cloaking means hiding the tracking code of an affiliate link.
The money merchants pay to the affiliate for generating a sale. The commissions are predefined.
6. CPA (Cost Per Action)
CPA or Cost Per Action refers to the money paid to an affiliate for generating the desired outcome. This action could be signing up to a mailing list or buying a product.
7. CPC (Cost Per Click)
CPC stands for Cost Per Click and it refers to the money paid to generate a click by a user on your website or link.
Cost Per Mille (Thousand) refers to the amount of money spent on advertising per 1000 impressions.
Impression means how many times your ad was shown on a page.
10. Landing Page
The page used to promote a product to generate sales or leads is called a landing page.
PPL stands for pay per lead and stands for the amount of commission per lead generated.
PPC or Pay Per Click stands for the amount of money paid to an affiliate by the merchant whenever a click on the affiliate link is generated.
ROI (Return On Investment) is a percentage or a ratio that is used to analyze the affiliate marketing efforts.
The formula for calculating ROI is:
ROI = (Gross profit – Investment) / Investment * 100
14. Split Testing
Split testing is also called as A/B testing. It is the practice of testing two different variations of a web page, sales copy or advertisement to see which one performs better for your affiliate marketing goals.
Vertical is also known as a niche is a specific topic. Dog training, yoga, self-care, teeth whitening are examples of verticals.
Affiliate Marketing Methods With Examples
Now that you know the important affiliate marketing terms, it’s time to get started.
But here comes a problem:
How do I get started?
There are so many different affiliate marketing methods that many people get overwhelmed and they end up doing nothing.
That’s why here are the best affiliate marketing methods out there. I’ve also included examples of these methods to help you understand how each method works.
1. Content-Driven Affiliate Marketing
Content-driven affiliate marketing refers to using the content as the backbone of your affiliate marketing success.
This can be done by writing content about the product you’re promoting. Blogging is the best way to get started with content-driven affiliate marketing.
All you need to do is to find a product you want to promote, start a blog about it and use it to generate affiliate sales.
Many affiliate marketers are making money solely from blogs.
Pat Flynn, who runs Smart Passive Income manages to make over $100,000 from affiliate marketing.
And most of his income comes from the products he promotes on his blog. Take a look at his income report:
He makes over thousands in affiliate income just from one product and he promotes over 50 products on his blog.
Let’s take a look at a case study of an affiliate site that makes over $20,000 per month.
Case Study: Affiliate Site Making Over $20,000 per month
The website ThisIsWhyImBroke.com makes over $20k per month. They use Amazon Affiliate program, eBay affiliate program and other networks to generate money.
They promote products like gadgets, gizmos and quirky products. Just take this one for example:
Most of their traffic comes from the Reddit ads they run but this also brings extra social traffic as the products on the website have the potential to go viral.
You can read the full case study to learn more about the concept and how they did it.
There are many concepts out there you can use to start your own content-driven affiliate website.
Here are some resources that will guide you to get started:
We already discussed what PPC is. PPC affiliate marketing is not easy as there are not enough programs and networks that provide viable PPC affiliate campaigns.
But still, it is a great way to make money as an affiliate.
To make money from PPC, you basically display ads on search engines for the desired keywords.
Finding keywords and products is not easy. But don’t worry about it because I’ve mentioned the best affiliate networks later in the article.
Another problem is that many affiliate programs don't allow using PPC to promote their products because then you are competing against them which is against their policies.
But some of these programs allow you to do PPC on Bing which can help you make a lot of money.
3. Affiliate Marketing with YouTube
YouTube has become a great hub of affiliate marketers. Almost every tech blogger is doing affiliate marketing with YouTube these days.
Let me show you 2 screenshots
Both are promoting affiliate products in their video description.
So if you are already running a YouTube channel, make sure you start promoting various products in your description.
There are affiliate sites ranking for certain products just with the help of SEO. These are SEO affiliate sites that require a single landing page.
SEO-driven affiliate marketing is similar to content-driven affiliate marketing. The only difference here is that in SEO-driven sites, the main focus of getting traffic is from search engines.
These blogs are ranking for the keyword “clickfunnels vs leadpages“
So how do you get started with SEO-driven affiliate marketing?
Here are some tips that will help you.
A. Find keywords with high traffic volume and low competition
Finding keywords that aren’t competitive but have high search volume is the key to success. To do this, check the different products available on affiliate networks.
Analyze these products and find out whether they have a volume of searches or not. There are many products that have high searches on Google.
B. Write a review article
In most cases, when you’re doing SEO-driven affiliate marketing you’re promoting a single product.
Pick the best products after doing some market research and write an in-depth review article on your blog.
By going to the review category of our blog, you can see that we have written many reviews for the products. Many of them are ranking in Google and we are making decent affiliate commission by promoting them.
C. Rank it on Google
Depending on the competition of the keyword, you may have to build some links to your website.
And don’t make the mistake of not doing any On-page SEO for the landing page. Because in many cases, your website can rank by good content and On-page SEO.
4. Banner Ads
A very underrated affiliate marketing method is using banner ads.
You can display ads on high traffic websites and generate sales to the product you’re promoting. The best part is that you don’t even have to create a website, write content or do SEO.
To get started with banner ads affiliate marketing, all you have to do is to find the product you want to promote and the website where you want to display the ad.
You can find websites to display ads on from BuySellAds.
Head over to BuySellAds and go to the marketplace.
You can select the category to find websites related to the product you’re promoting.
Let’s go to the Beauty & Fashion category to find websites with high traffic.
I’m going to check Long Hair Care Forum to see the ad spots available and the rates.
As you can see, this website gets over 219,000 monthly impressions and there is one ad spot available on the right sidebar. The rate for this ad spot is $150 per 30 days which is not bad.
Now, all you have to do is to find a product such that your ROI is positive.
You can find other publishers on BuySellAds who charge less for ad placements.
This is how banner ads affiliate marketing works.
Now let us discuss some of the best affiliate networks.
List of Affiliate Networks
We have published a separate article having 33 affiliate programs, here are few of the hand-picked programs for you.
Promoting Amazon products has helped many affiliate marketers make thousands of dollars per month.
With the Amazon affiliate program, you can promote Amazon products on your website, email list or social media.
The commission is different for different categories. Finding products to promote is difficult because many products are already being promoted by marketers.
The website ThisIsWhyImBroke also makes money from Amazon affiliate.
Amazon Affiliate Program provides you with all the tools and resources required to promote a product. This includes affiliate links, banners, and reports of your affiliate income.
All in all, Amazon’s affiliate program is the best place to get started with affiliate marketing.
ClickBank is a marketplace for affiliate marketers. There are thousands of products available on ClickBank.
You can create affiliate links for any product you want to promote. The offers on ClickBank are highly paid and you can get a commission of 75% for the products you’re promoting.
The only disadvantage is that since there are so many products on ClickBank, finding the products worth promoting is not easy.
But still, ClickBank is one of the best affiliate networks and if you want to get started with it, I highly recommend watching this video.
3. CJ Affiliate by Conversant (Formerly Known As Commission Junction)
CJ is another affiliate marketplace like ClickBank. You can find thousands of products here and promote any product you want.
Though, some products require approval. Signing up on CJ is free. While signing up, you’ll either have to enter your website URL or information about your newsletter.
Once you sign up, you can search for products, get product links and banners that can be used for promotion.
The last affiliate network I’m going to discuss is Shareasale. Just like ClickBank & CJ, you can find thousands of products to promote.
It provides you all the tools required as an affiliate. You can get detailed statistics of the product you’re promoting.
Now that you know about affiliate marketing, different affiliate marketing methods and affiliate networks, it’s time to share some tools and resources that will help you in your affiliate marketing journey.
Affiliate Marketing Forums
Here are the best affiliate marketing forums:
So that’s all about affiliate marketing for beginners. I hope I have shared everything here but still if you have any questions, feel free to drop comments below.
I’ll be replying to any questions you have.