Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide

In recent times, many ways are available for earning online. Among these, affiliate marketing is a fabulous way and one of the trendiest methods. To make money online through affiliate marketing is competitive, but if correct methods and techniques are applied, it is a lucrative way of making huge money online.

Affiliate marketing: Complete guide to making money online

So, can you earn money from affiliate programs? Well, the answer is yes and no. Of course, there is money in affiliate marketing, but whether you would be able to make money from it or not depends mostly on other factors such as your techniques, knowledge and working experience, skills, commitment, etc.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Now the question comes, what is affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is a means to earn money online by promoting other people’s or companies’ products in exchange for a commission on the generated sales. It is perhaps one of the cheapest (but not the easiest) and a fast method to start making money online. An affiliate marketer links up a buyer and a seller and gets a commission on the sale that has been referred by him/her.

Why Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is one of the world’s best internet marketing techniques. The reasons why affiliate marketing is essential, and people should choose it are:

  • Based on performance: Affiliate marketing is mainly based on performance, and for this reason, it has earned so much popularity so far. Frequently it happens that the site on which the advertising is being displayed doesn’t get a single penny from the advertising company without any proof that Internet traffic has been driven to the site. Nowadays, affiliate networks use very advanced tracking software. So there is no chance of tracking error.
  • Cost-effective: As affiliate marketing requires low startup cost or almost no cost, it is easy to start. Signing up is free for nearly all affiliate programs.
  • Full support from the affiliate networks: A full range of advanced marketing tools, tracking, and reporting technologies is provided by most affiliate marketing networks. Some systems even provide web content and personal support to meet the needs of their affiliates and clients.
  • Variety of products: A wide range of products are available for affiliate marketers to choose from. It can be beauty, health, food, magazines, video, self-improvement, membership, green products, electronics, automobiles, fashion, clothing, etc. Affiliate marketers can choose any product depending on their passion.
  • Global market: Affiliate marketing provides the chance to reach people globally.
  • Passive income: A regular job can provide a fixed income if anyone continues to work. But they depend on the promotion skill; an affiliate marketer can build up a stable flow of income even when he/she is not in front of the computer.
  • Work from home: By doing affiliate marketing, people can work anytime in their home environment and comfort.

How Do Affiliate Programs Work?

So, how does affiliate marketing work? After signing up with an affiliate program and selecting the products for selling, sellers provide the affiliate marketers with a unique code that they can use to refer traffic to the target site. Most of the affiliate programs offer ready-made text links, banners, and other forms of original copies. The affiliate marketers only have to copy the code and place it on their websites to start referring traffic. When the visitors get interested, they click on these websites’ links, and they get redirected to the product site. If any visitor purchases a product or subscribes to a service, the affiliate marketers earn a commission as the referrer.

How affiliate marketing works

The sellers track the affiliate marketers’ performance through their affiliate ID and the affiliate marketing software. The affiliate marketers also have complete real-time access to the statistics of all sales and commissions.

Affiliate Marketing Programs

To make a commission, affiliate marketers don’t need to sell products all the time. Different payment terms can be used by various affiliate marketing programs as shown below:

  • Pay Per Sale (PPS): In a Pay-Per-Sale system, the publisher or website owner gets paid by the number of sales directly generated by an advertisement. It is also known as Cost-Per-Sale (CPS).
  • Pay Per Click (PPC): In this payment method, the affiliate marketer gets paid based on the number of visitors redirected to the advertiser’s website from the affiliate site, whether or not a sale is made. It is referred to as Cost-Per-Click (CPC) also.
  • Pay Per Lead (PPL): In this type of program, the advertiser pays the affiliate marketer depending on the conversion of leads, such as completing a sign-up form for a newsletter, email submission, e-book download, software, or file download, or other desired action. PPL is also referred to as pay per action or Cost Per Lead (CPL).

10 Useful Tips for Being Successful in Affiliate Marketing

10 Effective Tips for Being Successful in Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is unquestionably an outstanding way to make money online, but there is enormous competition. If anyone thinks it is possible to become rich overnight by selling affiliate products online, it is wrong. To be successful in affiliate marketing, it is vital to conduct research and know the market needs and promote products, work, and what won’t. The following are several affiliate marketing tips and tricks to succeed in affiliate marketing:

1. Find Your Niche

To promote affiliate products, creating a niche website or blog is one of the most effective ways. The affiliate marketers should choose a topic that interests them most and that they are passionate about. Then they should find product offers that match that topic.

2. Select the Right Merchant

In affiliate marketing, the correct merchant should be chosen. When a product is promoted, the person or the company behind the product also gets improved. If some visitors buy products through an affiliate site and get dissatisfied with the product’s quality or service, there is no chance that those visitors will come back again. This can hurt the credibility of the affiliate marketer and the site in the long run. Generally, websites or companies that offer excellent customer service will have better customer satisfaction. So, it is better to stick to promoting their products.

3. Choose some Good Products

Registering with too many different affiliate programs and supporting everything is the first mistake many affiliate marketers make. Following this path can become very overwhelming, and it is not possible to promote any product properly in this way. All that is needed are many good affiliate marketing products to promote. It is essential to understand the market needs and look for products that go with the affiliate website’s topic or niche.

Here are some of the top affiliate networks that offer products or services:

4. Research the Demand of the Product

It is always best to spend a bit of time researching and finding out the demand for the product. If a product is in low order, then the chances are that no matter how much effort is given, it will not get many sales. It is wise to conduct an online survey or market research and quickly get visitor’s input about the product.

5. Use Different Traffic Sources to Promote Products

Only putting up ads on the affiliate websites is not enough for getting traffic. Most affiliate marketers follow this approach. But it should be kept in mind that there are also other affiliate marketing traffic sources for getting visitors and promote the products simultaneously. The more targeted traffic goes to the sales page, the more chances of making money.

Well, to generate more traffic, there are several ways, including free and paid advertising methods.

(a) Free Traffic Generation

Starting the business as a newbie, you may not have a massive budget for the paid options. So, it is a good idea to follow the free traffic generation methods. The big question that arises then is how to generate free traffic to affiliate sites.

  • Please search for the Right Merchant: It is good to experiment with various merchants to bring needed affiliate marketing success. Before deciding on, it has to be confirmed that these merchants are related to the website niche. For example, suppose your website promotes real estate positively. In that case, it should help with offers from construction, architects, banks, security agents, etc., who would want to use your website as a platform to drive traffic to their sites.
  • Prepare Quality Content: A meaningful content is an excellent appealing factor to the audience or visitors. Only quality content can attract people, and of course, the clicks come from the people. Moreover, a merchant would select a site over another competitor’s website if it has good content.
  • Stay Even with the Algorithm: This year, affiliate marketers should keep pace with Google’s updated algorithm to generate traffic to their sites. Though it’s tough to stay even with the ever-changing algorithm, to keep up with Google, it’s necessary to take on a few modifications in the keyword selection. It’s best to stick to long-tail keywords that best define the products or services and present unique features.
  • Use Audio and Video elements: Nowadays, using audio and video elements in the contents is considered an intelligent representation. It is an effective way to generate curiosity among the visitors and get instant feedback from them.
  • Stay Updated and find the niche audience. A successful affiliate website can attract tons of traffic and see the niche- audience from them by approaching them with targeted messages. Staying updated on real-time news and events related to the website niche helps increased niche-related traffic to the site.
  • Email Marketing: Identifying the target audience and building up effective communication through email is an excellent way to get more affiliate marketing traffic. Emails should be written to compel the user to read the material and visit the merchant’s website. An effective affiliate marketing email campaign can be initiated by making a subscriber list using a landing page.
  • Offer Bonuses: It is always better to offer something extra to the buyers. It can be a free subscription or a gift for the customers, or a bonus. But it should be remembered that a freebie works only when it becomes beneficial to the buyers. While selecting the bonus offer, please consider that it should satisfy customer expectations and match the products or services sold.

(b) Paid traffic generation

Here are some of the best-paid traffic sources based on category:

Search based

Social based

  • Facebook PPC Ads
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Google plus
  • LinkedIn Ads
  • YouTube
  • Slideshare
  • Hubspot
  • Quora
  • About.com
  • Netlog

Contextual based

  • media traffic
  • TrafficVance
  • LeadImpact
  • Clicksor

I hope this shortlist will give you some ideas regarding paid traffic sources and help you get started.

6. Test, Measure, and Track Your Affiliate Campaign

TUsingvarious product promotion strategies is an excellent idea to figure out what is working and what is not. Testing should be done separately with each affiliate marketing campaign. Then the performance of each campaign should be measured, and action should be taken accordingly. It is possible to increase the profit level by just changing a few things here and there.

Most affiliate programs provide the necessary tools and software, but other affiliate conversion tracking software is out there. It is also good to use those to track affiliate campaigns.

7. Stay Up-to-date with New Approaches and Techniques

In the field of Affiliate marketing, people are always coming up with new methods and ideas. It is a competitive arena. So, it is essential to stay current with new techniques and market trends. Otherwise, there is a possibility to fall behind.

8. Use Helpful Tools and Resources

the use of different types of tools helps a lot to become more efficient in affiliate marketing. There are many helpful affiliate marketing tools and resources out there. So, it’s good to find the correct tools and resources. For example, if an affiliate site is a WordPress-powered site, it will be better to get a plugin like the ‘Affiliate Link Manager.’

9. Join Forums to Learn More

There are various forums or online communities for affiliate marketing, such as Digital Point, aBestWeb, Warrior Forum, etc., where people exchange their views and ideas. Join at least one affiliate marketing forum to benefit from experience, knowledge, and advice shared by other newbies and experienced affiliates.

In a nutshell, Study the techniques and strategies and collect essential tools and resources. Proceed with a structured plan and set up everything in a proper manner. But before that, of course, choose a niche about which you are passionate. The more you genuinely enjoy what you are engaged in, the more likely you will transform your money-making endeavor into a huge success.