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Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: 5 Steps for Success

affiliate marketing for beginners

Affiliate marketing for beginners – a step-by-step guide – affiliate marketing can be a great way to earn a living online.

But for beginners, this would mean, maybe several years of hard work, choosing the right products to promote, understanding trends and consumer preferences.

While you can make a ton of money doing affiliate marketing, you have to remember; it is not a get-rich-quick scheme.

You still have to put in the work, and in most cases, it will take several months of perseverance or even years to make a livable income.

But of course, with the right knowledge, guidance, and resources, you can make this affiliate marketing thing work for you.

In this guide, you will learn 5 proven, time-tested steps that will, at least, increase your odds to succeed as a beginner affiliate marketer.

affiliate marketing for beginners

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Step 1: Decide on a platform

Step 2: Choose your niche

Step 3: Find affiliate programs & sign up

Step 4: Create great content

Step 5: Drive traffic to your offers

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an online business model where you promote other companies’ products.

Think of an affiliate as a salesperson. But in this case, you can sell several products from different companies. You are restricted to maybe one product from one company as the traditional salesperson.

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – How does affiliate marketing work?

Merchants (the company you are promoting their products) gives you a unique link that you use in your content or email when selling the product or service.

When a consumer clicks on the link, a tracking cookie is embedded on their browser. The cookie helps the merchant to attribute the traffic or sale to you.

affiliate marketing for beginners

Usually, the cookie has an expiry date. It can range from 24-hours in the case of Amazon affiliate program to 30-days for some merchants and even 60 days for Clickbank products.

All the purchases the consumer makes before the cookie expires is attributed to the marketer.

So, for example, if you are promoting Kitchen Juicer from Amazon, and a buyer visits the e-com site using your link, but, instead of purchasing only the Juicer, the consumer goes on to shop for other products, the extra items bought are attributed to you, and you earn a commission for them too.

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – How much can you make?

Well, the answer is it depends. You see, the amount of money you can make from affiliate marketing depends on several factors.

affiliate marketing for beginners

For instance, the payout commission of the product or marketplace you are using plays a part.

Someone who promotes products that pay up to 40-50% in commission will, generally, earn more than a marketer promoting products that only pay 10%.

Also, the mass appeal of the product affects how much you earn too.

If you are marketing products with a mass appeal, even if the commission is low, you can expect to make more money in the long term than when you are promoting a product in a limited market.

Even when the niche and product are spot-on, the amount of money you make still depends on how much you are willing to work, and your experience marketing online and overall skill set.

However, if other people’s results are anything to go by, you can be sure that with the right guide, resources, and skill set, there is no limit to how much you can make in affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – How to get started

Follow these 5 proven steps to begin your affiliate marketing journey:

Step 1: Decide on a platform

Step 2: Choose your niche

Step 3: Find affiliate programs & sign up

Step 4: Create great content

Step 5: Drive traffic to your offers

Step 1. Affiliate Marketing For Beginners – Decide on a platform

Your platform is the marketing channel, where you engage your customers.

Whether you use  social media, starting a blog, creating a YouTube channel – you want a platform that gives you the flexibility to build your audience and still retain the power to command attention on demand.

The last part, ‘command attention on-demand’ is crucial to your affiliate marketing success. You see, you want a significant number of your audiences to see your message whenever you promote a product at the lowest possible cost.

Does building an audience on social media allow you to do that? Does a YouTube channel give you that flexibility? Can you achieve ‘attention on-demand’ with a blog?

I recommend building a blog or starting a YouTube channel.  And, optimize each channel for email list building.

You want to start building your list as soon as possible, as you may have heard, the money is in the list.

Plus, when you consider that for every $1 spent on email marketing, you get $4 back, it becomes a no-brainer why you should take email list building seriously.

affiliate marketing for beginners

Step 2. Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Choose your niche

Finding your niche is the way to stand out from the millions of other sites doing the same thing you want without spending a fortune in branding.

If you want to start promoting dog products, for example, being generic could mean you have a larger audience to target.

Still, it also means you have millions of other marketers to compete against.

However, when you niche down to say, targeting only German Shepherd owners, it is a lot easier to stand out since your audience is super-targeted, which means they are more likely to buy whatever products you promote.

In addition, you can easily rank a niche site faster on search engines, this way, attracting targeted people that are likely to click on your affiliate links.

The downside, however, to niching down is that your target market is comparable smaller.

Step 3. Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Find affiliate programs and sign up

Time to find affiliate programs and products in your selected niche to promote.

Clickbank is an excellent affiliate marketplace to begin if you are promoting digital products. On the other hand, joining Amazon FBA is a great choice if your focus is on physical products.

You can also contact companies you’d like to promote their products and see if they have an affiliate program or open to negotiating a term with you.

Step 4. Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Create great content

The content you create will largely drive the sales. So, you may want to devote adequate time and resources to creating and sharing quality content your audience will love.

Be sure that the content you create either answers questions your customers have, solves a problem, or even makes it easier for them to discover already available solutions to their problems.

Also, ensure that your content is not too “sales” oriented.  Instead, focus on providing value to your audience.  Remember, no one wants to be sold to. Conversational, friendly, and warm content tone works bests.

Step 5. Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Drive traffic to your offer

The final piece in the puzzle is to drive traffic to your offer. Mind you, it is not just any traffic, but send targeted people to your offers.

how to get traffic

Run paid ad campaigns on social media like Facebook Ad or Google Ads as a great way to get things started. However, I don’t recommend them as a beginner.  They can be really complicated and very expensive, especially if you haven’t mastered the platform.  A cheaper, more beginner-friendly tactic that I still use is Solo Ads.

Solo Ads are basically utilizing another marketers email list.  They agree to send out your offer on their list and you agree to pay a certain amount per click.  Udimi is  a solo ads market that connects buyer with sellers.

The rates are generally about 40 – 95 cents per click.  They also filter out bad or fake clicks and they have a real buyer rating system so the traffic is good.    You can take a look at them here

For a long term strategy you should do  search engine optimization (SEO) which is generally the best, most targeted from of traffic.

You see, while paid ads get you results faster, the traffic stops coming when you turn off the ads. SEO, on the other hand, though slower, will ensure you have organic traffic once search engines start ranking your pages.

As your email list grows, it will gradually become a big part of your traffic generation strategy.

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Conclusion

Affiliate marketing, like anything else worth value, is not an easy road to riches as some would try to make you believe.  It will require a ton of work, especially in the beginning, but it will be well worth it.

What I try to do is make the process “easier”.  To give you a leg up, if you will on the process.  That said, gather and study all the information, from reputable sources that you can and TAKE ACTION.

One of the sources I’d recommend is Clickbank University.  They are one of the most respected platforms in the industry.