Want to make money with affiliate marketing, but don’t know where to begin?
The whole point of affiliate marketing is to make a heaps of money with little to no effort, aka passive income. However, the reality is that it’s much more complicated than that. If it wasn’t, then everyone would be able to make money easily without doing much. My own experience with affiliate marketing has not been as smooth or as pain-free as all the other gurus online make it out to be.
Yes, there are some truths to it. Affiliate marketing can bring in a profit. A life changing one at that. Even as you sleep, you can continue to make money 24/7.
In this post, you’ll learn how to truly build a passive revenue stream through affiliate marketing but I won’t guarantee that you won’t break a sweat.
Here is what we will cover in this comprehensive guide:
Affiliate disclosure: Just to be transparent, some of the links on this website are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, we will earn a commission but there will be no additional cost to you whatsoever. This is how we manage to keep creating free content. We never recommend any affiliate link that will not benefit our readers.
What Is Affiliate Marketing, And How Do I Get Started With It?
First of all, what is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is where a merchant or seller offers to pay you a percentage of every sales that you refer to them.
So for example, if you’re partner with a top perfume company as an affiliate, and you get people to buy their perfume, you get a percentage of that sale as a commission.
Depending on the type of product, the actual percentage can vary. Physical products tend to be around 3% or so, and digital products tends to be around 40% and even sometimes as high as 70%. When you join an affiliate program, you will be given all commission-related details.
Sellers and retailers are increasingly using affiliate marketing over classic billboard type advertising. This is due to the fact that “word-of-mouth” type marketing has been shown to be much more effective than interruption-based advertising (such banner or TV advertising).
How do you get started with it?
At the most basic level, all you need is to sign up to an affiliate program, ideally for a product that you truly believe has value or one that you are passionate about.
For example, I love doing 3D modeling and animation. So I would look for affiliate programs promoting 3D software, ideally the 3D software that I use everyday.
Once you find an affiliate program, all you then need to do is apply and wait till you get approved. Depending on the program, some affiliate programs are easier to get approved while others could be a little stricter. The stricter ones have better potential to make a higher income as they don’t just accept anyone.
Once you’re approved for an affiliate program, you will generally get a unique affiliate link. This is the link that you would then promote and share to other people.
When people buy using that link, you will get a commission from that sale.
There are many different ways to promote your affiliate links, and it doesn’t really matter how you promote it.
As long as you get people to buy, you will always be credited for that sale.
Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing: What You’ll Need
There are many ways to get started with affiliate marketing.
Let’s look at one of the easiest methods: starting a website or a blog.
Then make a list of affiliate items to advertize.
Let’s dig a little deeper into each of these.
A Website or Blog for Your Niche Is the First Step
To begin earning money through affiliate marketing, you’ll need a website.
Many alternatives are available to you when it comes to building your website. Nonetheless, we strongly prefer WordPress.
When using WordPress, you don’t even need to know how to code in order to create a professional-looking website.
It’s also easier to use than other website builders because WordPress provides a wider range of options to help their sites function better. This translates to more features for your site’s users and an improved user experience (UX).
WordPress is the best platform to use if you want to make money through affiliate marketing. If you need help setting up your website, take a look at these guides:
Another option is to use Groove.cm which is another free website builder. They allow you to build beautiful looking websites and blogs quickly. Groove is still new and not as advanced as WordPress, but the beautiful templates and super fast page loading times actually help attract more visitors to your site. It’s also easier to use than WordPress.
Join an affiliate program
Now you need to determine what products you want to promote after your website is up and running.
After deciding on a niche, it should be simple to find affiliate products to advertize. Select products that are relevant to your content and that fall within your chosen niche.
Joining an affiliate network is a great method to narrow down your options for affiliate products.
There are many affiliate networks and programs out there that connect merchants with affiliate marketers in order to help each of them make money.
Many affiliate networks exist, however the following are some of the more well-known:
- CJ Affiliates
- Amazon Associate
In general, affiliate networks have more information on how well a product sells. Your affiliate marketing income will rise as a result of this information.
For example, when you search for affiliate programs on ClickBank (which is considered the largest affiliate network in the world), they have a gravity score, which indicates how many people are currently making sales promoting the product, which can increase your odds of making the sale as well.
You can also see other stats like how much commission you can make per sale and so on.
I don’t actually recommend you to go all in and promote the highest gravity affiliate programs. The main reason is that so many people are promoting the same product and competition will be an issue, especially if you’re just starting out.
At the same time, I wouldn’t pick the lowest gravity either. Even though competition is almost non-existent, it could also mean people don’t actually end up buying that product.
Try and find a good middle ground.
Over time, you will be able to make data-driven judgments rather than just “going with your gut.”
Having established your website and chosen the products you wish to advertize, it’s now time to learn exactly how affiliate marketing works.
So all you need to do is join a couple of good affiliate programs and wait to get approved.
Once that’s done, it’s time to get this party started!
Step 1: Create Affiliate-Promoted Content
Once you have your blog or website up and running, you need to fill the pages up with content.
This is where the hard work comes in. It’s not easy, but you’ll need to get at least 30 blog posts on your site. It will help build up trust with Google so they can later on flood your site with visitors.
It will also help build up trust with your visitors as they will start seeing you as an authority and trust you enough to buy off your affiliate link.
The content of your blog post should be around the niche of the products you’re looking to promote. So if you’re looking to promote perfumes, then you can create articles such as “how to find the right perfume for you” or “top 10 perfumes for older women in 2022”, and so on. If you’re stuck on content ideas, check out the blogs of your competitors or people you look up to in general to get inspiration.
Most newbies to affiliate marketing simply write some random material and include affiliate links in the piece in an effort to make money.
In order to increase your affiliate revenue, you’ll need to make sure the material you post reaches your target audience, regardless of whether or not that approach works out.
In order to reach your target audience, you need to know who they are and what they are looking for.
There are situations when a user may not even know what product they need.
An affiliate marketer’s role includes providing high-quality material that assists customers in making an informed purchasing decision and then directing them to the product’s website where they may complete their purchase.
That implies your article should be targeting terms that your target audience uses on Google to investigate the product they want, immediately before making the purchase, in order to be effective.
Step 2: Include Affiliate Links to Products in Your Content
You now have a clear idea of the type of material you intend to create. Think about what your target audience wants to know about and what they’re having trouble figuring out.
Start incorporating affiliate links into your content once you’ve completed your keyword research and brainstormed ideas for new posts.
There is no one-size-fits-all method for inserting your affiliate links. For a product review, it doesn’t make sense to provide affiliate links for five distinct items.
When showing “the top 10 tools for solving X,” on the other hand, you’ll want to include many affiliate links so that you can get more revenue.
The objective is to place your links in the most advantageous places.
Here are a few tips to help you maximize your affiliate link placement.
If an affiliate link doesn’t fit in your article, don’t include it. Your visitors’ experience will suffer as a result, and lost revenue will mount as a consequence.
A good rule of thumb is to include affiliate links at the top of the list when promoting multiple goods in one post. The vast majority of internet users are unwilling or unable to read a complete article in its entirety. It’s critical that your affiliate links are prominently displayed from the outset.
Maximize the space on your website: Your affiliate products can be promoted by using floating banners, in-line banners, and sidebar widgets, among other methods. In the long run, this will increase your revenue because of the increased impact your material will have.
Also, be sure to include an affiliate disclaimer (like I have at the top of the post) as it’s an ethical thing to do and helps build further trust.
When promoting your links, it’s important to do it in the most effective way possible.
Invest in an affiliate link plugin before you start adding hundreds of affiliate links to your site.
Imagine trying to update hundreds of expired affiliate links when you don’t know where they are on your website.
There are going to be a lot of wasted time and money if you don’t take care of outdated links.
An affiliate management plugin like Pretty Links for WordPress can help make this easy.
It also allows you to cloak affiliate links so that they can be easily shared via email or social media. Cloaking means that the affiliate link is hidden within another readable link (e.g, turbostackers.com/refer/productX).
When it comes to updating outdated affiliate links, you’ll be able to do so in a matter of minutes rather than days.
For any issues that may arise, they’ve got an excellent support crew ready to assist you.
In order to maximise your affiliate marketing efforts, you’ll first need to develop high-quality content and strategically arrange your affiliate links (using an affiliate management plugin).
Step 3: Turning Your Visitors Into Affiliate Customers
New affiliate marketers often make the error of thinking that they must increase their traffic by 10 times if they want to increase their profit by 10 times.
Fortunately for you, it doesn’t truly work that way.
A $50 affiliate commission for every transaction is an example of what you may expect to earn from promoting a product on your website. If your affiliate conversion rate is 2 percent, that suggests for every 100 visitors to the website, two of them will purchase a product from your affiliate link.
This translates to a CPC (cost per click) of $1.
This is calculated as the total affiliate revenue divided by the number of visitors you sent (100 visitors with 2x$50 commissions).
What do you think would happen if you brought in twice as many people to your affiliate site?
The affiliate revenue might be increased by twofold if the CPC was doubled. You don’t even have to raise your site’s visibility. Instead, you may implement a revenue-boosting conversion optimization strategy.
Your affiliate product can also be setup to be featured in a popup ad in order to double your CPC.
Whether you like it or not, there’s no denying that popups work extremely well.
Using a popup campaign is the quickest and simplest way to get your visitors’ attention and increase the number of affiliate sales you generate.
You can use an advanced tool like OptinMonster to show personalized and targeted popup ads that are shown to people who are more likely to buy.
In pop-up campaigns, precise targeting is absolutely critical. In order to reach the correct consumers at the right time, pop-up campaigns require precise targeting. According to research studies, the optimal time for a popup to appear is when the user is about to leave your site.
As soon as your visitors are about to depart, you could use OptinMonster’s Exit Intent technology to show a popup promoting an affiliate offer to them.
OptinMonster is just an example. There are many tools you can find that can do targeted ppop-upads.
Affiliate offers can be created for individual pages on your site using page-level targeting. It’s possible to display to visitors a campaign that focuses on the exact affiliate product you’re marketing in an article they’re currently reading.
This campaign has a higher conversion rate than a more general one because the offer you’re promoting is more narrowly focused.
For the WordPress hosting provider FlyWheel, page-level targeting actually increased interaction by 660%.
Step 4: Optimize your existing traffic
What we’re about to do is based on a tactic known as “the 80/20 rule.”
According to the 80/20 rule, 80% of your profits will come from 20% of your content. While it’s clear that this isn’t an accurate measurement, the underlying idea remains the same.
Prioritize affiliate campaigns around the content that has the highest conversion rates.
To improve affiliate sales, you can target a certain post or video that resonates with your audience.
This is a far more effective strategy than creating campaigns for every page of your website at the last minute.
What do you need to do to begin?
Identify the articles that bring in the most engagement and then design targeted advertisements for those URLs on your Google Analytics dashboard.
The most popular Google Analytics (GA) plugin is MonsterInsights which is free. The concept of getting data from Google Analytics is appealing to many marketers, but the platform’s user interface often leaves them feeling befuddled, irritated, or terrified.
As a result, instead of letting all that useful data go to waste each month, you can get the same information provided directly to your WordPress Dashboard. You’ll also get an overview of the most popular articles on your website.
Identifying the most popular posts will allow you to optimize your content and conversion strategies in order to make more affiliate income.
Your most profitable content will always be at the top of your priority list thanks to this method. To put it another way, you can save time while also generating more revenue.
Step 5: Build Your Email List to Earn Affiliate Commissions
Marketing via email is still the best option to make money online. Email marketing has been around for over 20 years and is still the most effective way to market compared to direct email marketing. The reason why email marketing is so powerful and effective is that it’s personal. People like to know the latest and greatest news directly from you.
SEO is also a wonderful strategy to employ to build up solid traffic over time and can help you build your email list on auto-pilot. However, you’ll never really know the changes Google will make to their algorithm, which could affect your traffic and sales overnight.
Pay-per-click advertising can provide fast results if you have the money to fail your way to the top. But still, paid ads necessitate continual attention in order to maintain good conversion rates.
Social media marketing is also effective and is similar to email marketing in that it’s more personal and direct. However, with many social media accounts, reach is quite low even if you have built a massive following. This is usually done in a way to encourage you to pay for ads.
You can also create online courses and sell them on marketplaces like Udemy and Skillshare to help you get more quality leads to your email list and at the same time earn extra. However, some marketplaces like Udemy frown upon this as they prefer to keep their users on their own platform. Also the fact that creating an online course takes a lot of time and effort. If this is something you would still want to pursue, then check out this article first: Launching An Online Course.
Email lists, on the other hand, are always yours. It’s also an asset that you own and control.
Keep in mind one thing. The audience is already interested in what you’re writing about. Because of this, you can be confident that your affiliate marketing initiatives will have a captive audience.
Email marketing has only one flaw: most business owners can’t seem to build their contact lists large enough to make money from them.
Learn more about email marketing here: Email Marketing For Online Courses.
So it’s important that when you start out, you should focus on building up traffic first. And the best way to do that is through content.
To summarize, start building a blog and adding plugins for Google Analytics (or MonsterInsights) as well as a smart popup plugin like OptinMonster.
Then write around 30 high quality blog posts around your niche.
Include your affiliate links in strategic areas of your content and in popups.
Drive traffic via SEO, email marketing, paid ads and/or social media.
It’s easier written than said. All of this will take time and effort and you will break a sweat. Your first affiliate sale might not come for months (depending on the niche). It’s important to not be disheartened and to keep grinding until you get to a level where the affiliate business doesn’t really need much work to keep it going.
Hope this post will help you on your journey to make money with affiliate marketing and if you have any questions, please feel free to drop a comment below!