A Beginner’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Imagine selling products which you didn’t create and still make a boatload of cash from them.

Indeed it’s everyone’s dream, and with affiliate marketing it is certainly a reality.

Many people have been starting online businesses based on the affiliate marketing model for many years and it works for them in a big way.

What is Affiliate Marketing

Let me first explain to you what is affiliate marketing and how it works from two perspectives.

From product owners and companies perspective:

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From the above diagram you see that companies strive to recruit affiliate marketers like yourself because this will increase their overall sales figures.

Each product or company sets the amount of commission you will be earning per sale, so you will find that each product provides you with different profits.

Most affiliate marketers look for products that offer high affiliate commissions, while (as you will learn later) this shouldn’t be your only deciding factor when choosing your affiliate products.

From an affiliate marketer perspective, this is how it works:

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Simply you start by creating your affiliate website which is preferred to be a blog.

Then you start writing product reviews to pitch the product to your readers, while adding your affiliate links so that people can click on it.

Once your affiliate link is clicked on, the visitor gets redirected to the actual product sales page along with some tracking codes.

These tracking codes contain information like your affiliate id, which basically tells the product owner to deposit your affiliate commission to your affiliate account.

How to Become an Affiliate Marketer

Becoming an affiliate marketer is rather simple, and it goes beyond simply deciding to enter the affiliate marketing world.

The most important thing you will need is an affiliate account.

Your affiliate account is where you will be receiving your affiliate commissions and having them transferred to your bank account.

There is no universal place that you can create your affiliate account on and works for any product you are promoting.

Affiliate accounts are usually created at companies called affiliate networks.

They are companies that run the affiliate program of products and they are responsible for few things like:

  • Creating affiliate links for products
  • Tracking the affiliates performance and generating reports for them
  • Sending out payments for the affiliates

You need to know the affiliate network of the product you are promoting; such information should be clearly stated on the product’s website.

Look for the affiliate page for any product you wish to promote as an affiliate, and in there they will tell you which affiliate network you can go sign up for an affiliate account on.

Affiliate pages are usually located at the page’s footer, look for “affiliates, affiliate program or partners”:

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Then all you need to do is to go ahead and create a free affiliate account on your product’s affiliate network.

How to Create Your Affiliate Website

I strongly advice that you create your affiliate website as a blog; this will give you more flexibility when selling your affiliate products.

It also allows you to use various online marketing channels to drive visitors to your blog.

It doesn’t cost much to start your first affiliate blog, and here is a breakdown of the costs involved:

  1. A domain name (costs $10 a year)
  2. A web hosting account (costs an average of $50 a year, you can use BlueHost or SiteGround)
  3. WordPress (free installation)

I have compiled a detailed guide that will help you setup your blog in less than 30 minutes.

Once you get these things all setup, you will be ready to start your affiliate marketing adventure.

Some people prefer not to create an affiliate website and rather promote their affiliate links on various online platforms (i.e. YouTube or paid ads).

I don’t recommend such approach as it is filled with trial and error, something which you can’t afford as a beginner affiliate marketer.

The most common mistake that beginner affiliates fall into is filling their affiliate blog with tons of product reviews without any other type of content.

You need to focus on providing value to your readers, after all this is a blog and not an online store.

You need to identify the problems within your niche and try to write a great article that solves these problems in a detailed manner.

Here is a good trick you can use to find out which problems that your niche suffers from:

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You simply search Google for “how” followed by your niche keyword and then “a,b,c…etc”

Google will then return you a list of niche problems that are either searched a lot or written about a lot.

You can even take your affiliate website to the next level (once you master the basics) by applying a powerful selling strategy called “List building”.

Many affiliate marketing courses (like Affset) can teach you how to prepare your affiliate website for list building.

It is something that makes your affiliate business more powerful and profitable.

How to Find a Profitable Affiliate Niche

Finding a profitable niche can have a positive effect on your overall affiliate sales.

On the other hand, failing to do the appropriate niche research can end you up with dormant affiliate website which no one visits or buys from.

Profitable niches are those that contain many product solutions.

This is simply because the more products that exists in a niche, the larger the customers’ base there is.

Those product owners and companies already did their market research, so niches that are product-saturated can be a safe bet for a money niche.

Before I can show you how to do a niche research to determine its profitability, let me show you how you can generate a list of niches to do your research on.

We are going to use a free online tool called Ubersuggest.

Type in the word “buy” (you can change the language if you want to find a local niche):

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After hitting the suggest button you will be returned with a list of niches sorted alphabetically:

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You can then browse through this huge list and pick few niches that you want to target on your affiliate website.

Now you need to find out if the niche you have picked is profitable or not.

Using Google you can search for the niche and pick the one that has many products offered:

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This niche I am researching for example is very profitable as indicated by the high number of products there.

It also means you won’t be short of any products to promote in that niche.

How to Find Profitable Affiliate Products to Sell

The next step is to find the best product to promote; a product than can earn you high affiliate commissions.

Usually affiliate marketers will try to sell products with high commissions regardless of its quality.

This is something you should avoid, as you shouldn’t be blinded by high profits and ignoring the quality of the product.

After all it will be useless to promote a product that pays you a lot but no one buys it.

High quality products are known to have:

  • Good customer services
  • Many positive testimonials

Low quality products generate high refund requests, something which will hurt your own reputation as an affiliate and make less people trust your future endorsements.

You can use Google to find profitable products in your niche by searching for “NicheKeyword site:.com/affiliates”:

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This will return to you a list of affiliate programs in your niche, you can then check them out to find out how much you will be earning in commissions.

All the instruction on the affiliate network and how to create your affiliate link should be written on the affiliate page.

Final Words

Learning affiliate marketing can be the best thing you do for yourself for many reasons.

You won’t be committing to a large scale online business that requires your full time attention; instead you can manage it part-time until you achieve a great success.

Just try to stay committed and focused on your plans and never give up on yourself.

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