Today, I’d like to spend some time to educate you about how to begin affiliate marketing.
If you’re like most people, the idea of making money online is exciting, but also overwhelming. Where do you start? What do you do? What business model do you pick?
Affiliate marketing is my second favorite business model, right behind network marketing. In the paragraphs below, I will teach you what affiliate marketing is, explain how to get started, and then share what I have done successfully to promote different affiliate products.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Here’s the best definition I found online.
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. Source
If I had to put it in my own words, I’d say that affiliate marketing is when someone gets paid to sell someone else’s (or another business’s) products or services online. The affiliate company handles the customer service, payment processing, shipping and then they pay you for sending them the customer and sale.
How to Begin Affiliate Marketing
In the paragraphs below, I’m going to break down step-by-step what you need to do begin affiliate marketing.
# 1: Pick a Niche
The first and most important step is to pick a niche. This is nothing more than a group of people you want to focus on. Here are a few example niches:
- Weight Loss
- Beauty Tips
- Living on a Budget
When it comes to picking a niche, there are a few considerations.
First off, are you passionate about the niche? Do you find it interesting? Are you a member of that niche yourself? While this is not MANDATORY, it helps if you are part of the niche because you will have a basic understanding of how people in that niche think, what they want, what types of products they want to buy, etc.
The next thing to look for is the size of the niche. You want a niche that is not too small and not too big. You want there to be enough demand, but not so saturated that the competition is fierce.
The final thing I would look for in the niche is the audience. Are they HUNGRY for information? Do they have MONEY to spend on things? Are they already buying things online? Are there affiliate products available for that niche that are worth promoting?
What I would do is brainstorm 10-20 potential niches and then do a little research on each one to find the one you believe has the most potential. This is the MOST IMPORTANT step in the process, so treat it accordingly.
Selecting a niche is not easy, and it’s always worth spending a bit of time on research. An ideal niche for affiliate marketing would have a heavy demand for the products, high-income potentials (people willing to pay for a solution to their problems), products and services available to promote (check if they have affiliate programs) and few strong competitors.
Being familiar and genuinely interested in the niche is not mandatory but if you enjoy what you do, you will more likely stay motivated and focused. It will be also easier to showcase your knowledge and engage with your audience if you are passionate about the topic. For many people selecting niche based on the interest is the most important criterium. However, even if you are not familiar with the niche you still have a chance to succeed. If you go for something new, spend time on research before you publish posts to make sure you provide valuable content.
# 2: How Do You Want to Promote the Affiliate Products?
Once you know your niche, you’re ready for this step. How do you want to promote the affiliate products? Do you want to:
- Make videos on YouTube
- Share stuff on social media
- Create a website or blog
- Do everything through email marketing
- Do everything through Pay Per Click Ads
- Set up your own podcast
Or something else?
If you love to write, I would set up a website. If you prefer videos, I would sell affiliate products via a YouTube channel. If you like social media, I would focus on promoting the affiliate products through social media.
Pick the platform that works the best for you. There is no right or wrong answer. You want a PRIMARY platform, but you can also do a combination of these things like I do.
Decide how you’ll promote the affiliate products. The easiest way is through a website or blog. Other successful affiliate marketers set up a squeeze page designed to build an email list, and then promote affiliate products to subscribers. Of course, your list should provide other non-sales information as people don’t want to be sold all the time. Some affiliate marketers don’t use a website at all, and instead use social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Many affiliate marketers use a combination of several marketing tactics.
Source: the balance
# 3: Find 2-3 Affiliate Products to Promote
Your next step is to find two to three different affiliate products you want to promote. Don’t make the mistake of starting with 10-20 affiliate products. Less is better. Focus is key.
I suggest you look for a few things when choosing an affiliate program.
# 1) Recurring Commissions
You want an affiliate program that pays you recurring commissions. You refer the customer one time and you get paid on all future purchases that customer makes. This is the easiest way to create big affiliate commissions.
# 2) High Payout Percentages
Ignore the affiliate programs that pay you less than 20 percent per sale. Ideally, you want to earn at least 30 to 50 percent for each item you sell. It’s hard work selling affiliate products, so you want to make sure you are getting paid fairly.
# 3) Big Ticket Items
Personally, I recommend promoting affiliate products you earn at least $20 to $100 per sale, if not more. It’s going to be difficult to make money if you’re only earning a few dollars for each item you sell.
# 4) High Converting Offers
You want affiliate products that people actually want to buy. It should be an in demand product, priced fairly, with a high perceived value and a high converting sales page.
# 4: Set Up Your Sales Funnel
In this step you need to set up your sales funnel. No matter what platform you choose, it is IMPERATIVE that you set up your own sales funnel. A sales funnel is nothing more than a capture page and an auto-responder.
The capture page is a one-page website you are going to send your visitors too. Once they opt-in and type in their name and email they will start getting your email messages, which promote your different affiliate products.
You must realize that most people need to see an offer at least 7-10 times before they make a buying decision. This is why you need a sales funnel: to stay in touch with people.
There are lots of tutorials on YouTube about how to set up a sales funnel. I would start there.
A truly effective affiliate landing page will expand your reach, generate leads, and boost your conversion rate. Not only that; landing pages bridge the gap between the site visitor and the sale, creating an emotional connection – and sparking the feeling of desire.
Affiliate landing pages exist in the first place to inspire action; your goal is to get your site visitors to click, enter their email, purchase, or otherwise act in some way. It’s important to remember this when designing your landing pages because it will help you make the right decisions.
# 5: Develop Your Business & Marketing Plan
Step # 5 is to develop your business plan and marketing plan. Take out one piece of paper and write down the following things:
- Your Goals (1, 6 & 12-Month Goals)
- Your Vision (where you see your business in a few years)
- Your Target Market
- Your Daily Action Plan
- Your Monthly Marketing Budget
Here’s an example website business plan I created. You can use that as a template for your own business plan and marketing plan.
# 6: Stay Persistent and Consistent
The last step in this process is to stay the course. I’m going to keep it real with you for a moment. It’s going to take you some time to succeed with affiliate marketing. You will not make money right away. You have to develop your skills, learn from each mistake, and press on until successful.
Personally, it took me a couple of years to figure out the basics. Considering you are doing this part-time, that’s still a great deal. Just be patient, keep learning and don’t quit.
Successful affiliate marketers see obstacles as opportunities to learn, not reasons to give up. They have learned the underlying secret of success — persistence pays. It takes you to another level of development as an affiliate marketer, deepens your understanding of affiliate marketing, enriches your online experience and brings monetary rewards.
My Favorite Affiliate Marketing Strategy
My favorite strategy to begin affiliate marketing is to build your own niche website. Basically, you take one of your hobbies, passions or interests and turn it into a successful niche website. You write articles that provide a ton of value and you recommend different affiliate products within your content.
As the traffic to your website grows, so do your affiliate sales. It’s really that simple. Once you have a high traffic website, you can make money with it 24/7.
What I Did
My content PRE-SELLS my visitors on me, and the information I provide. Within my content, I recommend different affiliate products. Because my audience likes, knows and trusts me, they trust my recommendations, and many of them purchase the different affiliate products I recommend.
There you have it folks. These are my best tips on how to begin affiliate marketing. I hope you found the information helpful. What are your best tips on how to begin affiliate marketing? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.
Suggested Reading & Resources
- Best Places to Advertise Online
- Learn More About Solo Ads
- How to Get Leads with Safelists
- 34 Ways to Get Leads
- My Top 25 Affiliate Marketing Tips