Affiliate Marketing for Newbies 2018 | Ultimate Beginner Guide
If you are wondering what this affiliate marketing hullabaloo and making money online thing is, then this affiliate marketing for newbies 2018 post is exactly the lesson for you. I remember when I started affiliate marketing and I started earning close to 20 cents in a day and felt like the coolest person on earth. I used to make such commissions from Google AdSense.
This remotely pathetic self-worth boost was put to test when I came across affiliate marketing. It was when I came across affiliate marketing and fully realized the amount of money I was leaving on the table.
Nowadays this has become the new craze in town. Bloggers and website owners trying to claw their way into earning affiliate commissions. I mean, who wouldn’t want passive income? For close to 80% of the population this is the dream, right? The popularity of this industry has led to somewhat negative results rather than positive ones as people delve into the industry with absolutely no idea of what they are getting into. The information appears to be rather overwhelming with very few answers and the fear of sounding dumb holding back the newbies from becoming authorities in their respective niches.
So what is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when you promote other people’s products mostly through affiliate programs or affiliate networks and get paid commissions when people buy products through you thanks to your marketing skills.
All you need is a laptop, reliable internet, and most importantly a will to succeed.
You might also like: How to get started online!
Have a look at Affilorama’s Affiliate Marketing for Newbies video.
Hate videos? Don’t worry I still got you covered. Hang on.
The harsh truth is that affiliate marketing is really fun to embark on but it’s not as easy to get to the top. There is a lot of half-baked data on the web and in this post I will show you all you need to get started and touch on all the intricate details that no one will tell you. Affiliate marketing requires a really strategic mindset and literally anyone can make a killing with it.
So my friends, sit back and let me show you a step by step guide as to how you can get started with affiliate marketing. If you happen to be a blogger, you might want to sit through this as I have realized there is an information void in this field.
Ready? Well let’s get started.
Basic Definitions About Affilate Marketing You Should Know
Here is a list of some words you should be familiar with and will encounter quite a lot in the industry.
- The Merchant: This is the retailer. The owner of the product that you are selling. For instance, if I am promoting GoDaddy, GoDaddy happens to be the merchant. If you own a product yourself and are looking for ways to promote and sell your products, you are the merchant.
- The Publisher: You the blog owner, are the publisher. You are the one doing the marketing of products on your website in a bid to make sales for the merchant and earn an affiliate commission. Mostly in the industry, the publisher is referred to as an affiliate and they range from individual publishers to big companies and corporations. Dependent on the affiliate, one can generate from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars on their sites.
This is where the marketing all happens and the publisher promotes a single or multiple products. The publisher tries to convince the customer beyond reasonable doubt the worth of the product. The common method of doing this is by running a review of the merchant’s product on your blog for instance. An entire site can circle around making reviews on the coolest products on the market and in turn get awesome affiliate commissions from it.
- The Customer: Let’s face it. Without customers, no business can flourish. Without someone to buy your products, you might as well close shop and go home. The consumer is the one that makes the entire system go round as without revenue circulating, there’s no money to be shared between the merchant and the publisher.
The affiliate can choose whether to disclose to the customer or not that they are part of an affiliate marketing system. This is completely up to them. However, most affiliates are transparent.
- Affiliate Network: The merchants do not have the right set ups to promote their products and thus they submit their products to affiliate networks where in turn the publishers join affiliate networks and get the right products to promote with regards to their respective niches.
Affiliate Networks have a lot of products in their databases and it is up to the publisher to promote the products they want.
An example of an affiliate network is CJ Affiliate.
- URL Masking: No one will tell you this but URL masking is really important. Affiliate links happen to be quite an eyesore with a myriad of characters parading in front of you. For instance, an affiliate link may be
https://revolutionhacks.com/order/signup?a_aid=b46713245No one is gonna want to click on that. URL masking makes the URL prettier and the links more clickable. People use bitly, goo.gl or WordPress Plugins such as Pretty Link.
- Deep Linking: Deep linking is a technique that directs a customer to another page on your website rather than a brand website or specific product page.
No with all the basic definitions at hand, let’s dive in and I will show you how best you can get started in your marketing business.
There are two ways you can become an affiliate marketer. You can create an affiliate network or become a publisher. In this lesson I’ll focus on building your business as a publisher.
How much money can you make as an Affiliate Marketer?
Well, the answer to this question is dynamic. It’s also scary. If you are a lady with long hair you might want to put a pony tail for this one. Some shades too won’t hurt… Some bloggers make THOUSANDS… of Dollars a month.
Just Marinate in that.
Boy, I am not kidding. Kyle from Wealthy Affiliate who created the course I took in Affiliate Marketing earns over $10,000,000 in recurrent commissions. Can you believe that? Over 6 figures a mooonth!!!
Well what about us less super human bloggers?
As for me, affiliate marketing accounts for the largest portion of my income compared to AdSense ads on my site. The road wasn’t easy… the blood (lol, relax. No blood was involved), the sweat the tears. It took me time before I got to know how stuff works. There is quite some strategic thinking revolving around affiliate marketing. It’s not just about dropping links thinking people will buy your stuff.
So how exactly do you become an online affiliate marketer?
In the journey to become an affiliate marketer, there is a 4 step strategy that’s recommended.
- Choose a niche
- Build a website around your niche
- Attract Visitors
- Earn commissions
Dennis, is it really that simple? Yes it is. It’s not a get rich quick scheme but that’s basically all you need to get you going.
To earn commissions, here is a recommended affiliate marketing for newbies strategy that I recommend.
- Write awesome product reviews for the products in your niche: You can also achieve this by running reviews on your YouTube channel but that’s a story for another day. Here we will just focus on bloggers not vloggers.
As an affiliate marketer, you have already used most of the products in your niche and all you need to do is to talk about them publicly. Just that.
All products sell. Really!
Read about this guy that makes a killing by reviewing different apparel.
If you like reading you can do book reviews, if you are a techie you can do electronics reviews. The list is endless. You can take the game a notch higher by doing comparison reviews between the highest products in the industry. Say for instance Coca Cola vs Pepsi review.
- Collect emails. I always collect emails from my site using third party tools like Aweber and MailChimp. This helps me to connect with my audience any time I want. I don’t just sit back, relax and hope that they will miraculously see my content.
Up to date, emails are one of the best marketing tools. Everyone checks their mails once in a while. So what strategy do I use to collect emails?
- Use a hello bar: Whenever visitors visit your site, they will see a hello bar on your site. Here you can offer them freebies such as ebooks or awesome videos. It doesn’t have to be long. Just something informative. Once they click there you can offer them your freebies by redirecting them to a page where they will exchange their email for the freebies.
- Sidebar: Let me let you in on a secret. Don’t clutter your sidebar with a lot of unnecessary information. A little tour back in the physiology class says the human being has a shorter attention span compared to the gold fish. If you have over 10 different things on your sidebar, you will kill your audience’s attention. They are highly unlikely to do anything at all. You should only have one CTA (Call To Action) on your sidebar.
Did you know that even with under 500 emails on your list you may end up generating significant sales? However, don’t just make sales to people on your list. You can notify them of new reviews. Once in a while is when I send out specific calls to action to people in my email list.
- PPC Advertising. PPC is what we refer to as Pay Per Click advertising. Some PPC companies include Google AdSense, Content.ad, Taboola and Outbrain among others. To get serious money with PPC, you ought to have a tsunami of traffic. Like a big wave of traffic. When you have mastered your SEO game.
So here comes the biggest question:
Do I really need a course in Affiliate Marketing?
Truth be told, I did a course in affiliate marketing to kickstart my success.
You however don’t really need a course per se. Most of the information you need is already online. The problem here is that the information is scattered all over and it is hard to piece the pieces together. To get the most out of it, I would recommend you to sign up for a course that has everything pieced out together. When I started my journey, I read all the free resources there were to read on affiliate marketing. I soaked up all the information. However the information was too scattered and that’s when I caved in to sign up for an affiliate marketing course.
I did a lot of research and that’s when I landed on Wealthy Affiliate by Kyle and Carson and you can read more about my detailed review on Wealthy Affiliate.
So how do I get started with affiliate marketing?
Joining affiliate programs and affiliate networks is easy and free. However it’s not as easy as dropping links on your blog. You have to be smarter. It’s not as easy but once you understand how everything works, it is a smooth paved road to success. This is what you need to get started.
- Quality Content: Time and again, I have heard the phrase content is king. This is very true. Without content, the internet would be a blank canvas. As a contributor to the internet, ensure you publish quality content and publish frequently and with this in mind, it will be easier getting you accepted by affiliate networks and affiliate programs.
- Make a decision on the affiliate programs that work for you. There are millions of programs out there. Don’t get into a craze and join all of them. Analyze the market and figure out the best programs for your niche. The method I use to get the best affiliate programs for a niche is using mother google. You can go to Google’s search bar and type in “Company + Affiliate Program”. Say for instance if my blog centers on how to lose belly fat, I can search for “How to lose belly fat + Affiliate Program” and find tons of programs on my niche.
- Generate Affiliate Links: When I was starting out, I felt like a dummy. It was really difficult for me to understand how to effectively generate affiliate links. I will share with you.
- Traffic! Focus on your traffic. Basic math! The more people view your site, the more likely you are to make sales. You can write some killer affiliate posts but if you do not get traffic to them, they may never see the light of day.
What they will not tell you about affiliate marketing.
With all the hype circumventing affiliate marketing, the internet really let me down on this by giving me half baked truths. There are some details they never told me on my journey and I had to learn them painfully.
*shows you my tear soaked pillow*
- Minimum payout
There is a minimum payout that you need to hack before you get any commissions. My first pay was 20 cents from Google AdSense and it got me so excited until it hit me that the minimum payout was 70 bucks. I had to wait a looong time to get to 70 bucks as I was just starting out. Sites such as Bluehost have a minimum payout of $100
- Delayed Payment
Well I hope that instant gratification is not your forte. If it is, this might not be your cup of tea. For some affiliate networks, even if you hit the minimum payout, there’s still a waiting period before they confirm your pay. Affiliate Marketing is therefore in no way a bungee jump to fast cash.
- Sometimes you will get rejected by affiliate programs
To become an affiliate, you’ll have to make an application for it. Even when you are affiliated with a network, you will need to make individual applications to the merchants in the network. This is where the house of cards crumbles. With that in mind, take your time to find the best networks for your niche and put some effort and juice in your applications.
My final thoughts.
Phew, that was quite a long post and a lot to digest! Building passive income is not as easy. It is not for the lazy. It takes time to build and needs dedication. Now that I have chewed the food for you (uuugh) I hope you are ready to swallow. I hope you feel less confused and I have demystified this beast called affiliate marketing for you.
If you want to start the road to success on a high gear, my number 1 recommended marketing course is the one offered by Wealthy Affiliate. It has helped me so much and I am sure it can work for you too. To make the deal sweeter, if you sign up for the course through my affiliate link, I’ll give you my cheat sheet free Ebook on how to get approved on PPC Networks like AdSense and Content.ad and how to get high end deals from affiliate networks.
Have a go at it yourself
What about having a go at it yourself? What’s there to lose anyway? Most people are pretty stubborn but that shouldn’t be a problem. All the resources will be around. Test and see for yourself.
So without trying to dilute the information I have given you, I hope I have made you slightly more knowledgeable in the myriad of information concerning the affiliate marketing world. If you have any questions, the affiliate marketing Santa is here. Thanks for reading my affiliate marketing for newbies post. Don’t forget to drop me a line in the comments section.
PS: This post was not a promo on Wealthy Affiliate. You can read the full review here. However, I wouldn’t promote it if I have not tried and tested it. Any commissions earned help to keep Revolution Hacks running.