How to get started with Affiliate Marketing – Full guide

by Maximilian Claessens
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How to get started with Affiliate Marketing - Full guide

Are you considering jumping into the billion-dollar industry changing lives everywhere? We can show you how to get started with affiliate marketing. If you’re looking for a solid new stream of income, affiliate marketing can be impressively lucrative. According to some reports, businesses will spend an estimated $8.2 billion in the United States alone by 2022. That means the sooner you get involved, the better.

This article will serve as a guide for how to get started with affiliate marketing from scratch. The basic process can be divided into seven segments:

1. Settle on a platform to work from
2. Select a niche
3. Choose a good affiliate program to enlist in
4. Make some awesome content
5. Drive traffic to the affiliate program
6. Start getting clicks on your affiliate links
7. Convert those clicks into sales

But the very first step is to go over some basics. What exactly is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the act of promoting products for companies. When customers to whom you’ve promoting something (a good or service) purchase it using your unique link, you earn a commission from the sale. In effect, you’re serving as a virtual salesman.

This kind of marketing has great potential or scaling up. You can promote products for as many companies as you want, simultaneously.

When you’re ready to get to work, the merchant you work with will have a unique affiliate link for you. It’ll keep track of who’s responsible for which sales. When a potential customer clinks on it, a cookie becomes stored on their device. This cookie is a tiny file used to associate the sale which was made with the right affiliate. The file usually comes with an expiration date, so that even if the customer waits some time before making the purchase, you’ll still get paid. Let’s look at an example to help make the process more understandable.

Imagine you’ve set up a blog where you talk about winter clothing, and a viewer on the site sees a post you put up about the best jackets for the cold season. The post contains a solid affiliate link, and they click on it, leading them to a relevant item on Amazon. They’re just about sold on a jacket, but then life gets in the way.

The viewer just remembered that they need to pick their son up from school. They leave to scoop the kid up, pick up some McDonald’s on the way home, and have him tucked into bed over the next few hours. Finally, they can return to the Amazon page where that jacket is waiting for them. While they’re already doing some shopping, they realize they need some ski poles too. It’s your lucky day.

Due to the fact that this customer clicked on your link already, a cookie is currently store on their phone, tablet, or computer. Cookies for Amazon last a full 24 hours. If they purchase a jacket and some poles within that timeframe, you get a commission for both sales – despite the fact that you never even promoted the ski poles.

So how much money can you make from affiliate marketing?

The answer is purely up to you and the niches you work with; the sky’s the limit.

The marketers making the most out of anyone will clear six or seven figures a month. Pat Flynn, from Smart Passive Income, earned more than $100,000 in commissions in December of 2017. Another marketer, Ryan Robinson, pulled in $19,000 of revenue in October of 2019. Have you heard of the popular website known as The Wirecutter? They made some $10 million in revenue over the site’s history. The New York Times eventually purchased the page for a reported $30 million.

Behind these incredible success stories is a lot of hard work building up brands. The first check most people in this business get is usually just for a dollar or two. Be reasonable with your expectations, and understand you’ll need to put in a lot of time and effort before things start paying off.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a more in-depth look at how to get started with affiliate marketing. Here are the individual steps:

Figure Out What Platform to Work On

In reality, you can affiliate market from just about anywhere, including social media like Instagram.

That being said, it’s usually much less hassle to grow an audience and your sales by two traditional means: blogging and YouTube.

It doesn’t take much effort or cost much to get a blog up and running these days. You can find tutorials all over the web to help you get started. On average you’ll only need to shell out a couple bucks every month.

When the site is completely activated, the next step is to optimize it for search results. This will likely lead to improved ranking on different search engines. From that point, your objective is to apply affiliate links throughout your content as is appropriate.

Uploading content to YouTube is free. How you produce the content it up to you, but you’ll still be able to engage in search engine optimization and adding links in the description section.

Make sure you’re actually disclosing the fact that there are affiliate links in the content, or you risk running afoul of Federal Trade Commission requirements about bringing in income as a result of endorsements.

What Niche Will You Use?

The niche is very important, as there are countless blogs out there already. Look for a topic to work with, but make it too vague. Instead of blogging about food, for example, blog about grilling in particular. This way, your audience will be more focused and your ranking will increase more easily. Try to include key terms that pull in viewers.

This is going to be a trial-and-error process, so focus more on documenting what does and doesn’t work, as opposed to just mindlessly churning out content. Don’t be afraid to do some outsourcing if you think you have a reliable source.

Pick Out an Affiliate Program

When getting the ball rolling on how to get started with affiliate marketing, look for affiliate programs that pay highly, but are low-volume. Some programs have monthly recurring commissions that total hundreds of dollars, but the pool of buyers for this kind of content is typically shallow. High-paying programs also usually have some of the stiffest competition.

Some programs are high-pay, high-volume. The products for these programs appeal to lots of people, who usually act as loyal customers for years or even decades.

Crank Out High-Quality Content

This is a key component in the process. The quality of the content will reflect the amount of attention it receives. The affiliate links you use will need to fit in without being clunky or awkward. It helps a lot if the products you’re trying to pitch can do something to solve your audience’s problems.

Be entertaining and innovative. Get input from famous people, or do reviews of products from your niche.

Drive Traffic to Your Page

Now you’ve got the attention-grabbing content. The next step is to get people to your page so they can start focusing on it. There are a few options to consider here.

Paid traffic often comes in the form of pay-per-click advertising. It’s a sure bet in terms of initial results, although it will cut into your earnings. It’s normal for marketers to lose money before they make money, just like everywhere else in the business world. It might not be a great idea for those just starting out.

There’s also SEO. Search engine optimization is a free method of organically growing your audience. High ranking search results are crucial when it comes to staying one step ahead of the competition.

Another reliable method is compiling an email list. This way, you can interact with your audience whenever you’d like. It becomes simple to inform fans about incoming content. You can also put affiliate links directly in the emails you send out.

Convince People to Click on Your Link

Place the links artfully throughout the content. Make sure the context of its placement it realistic and believable. Using HTML, widgets, an other special attractions on your page will further entice audience members to click on the link.

Turn Those Clicks into Commissions

After they click, they need to end up on the product page. You’re in control of this page, as well as the checkout process.

You can make informed decisions about what factors can be successfully incorporated into the product page by viewing relevant public income reports from other marketers.

We hope that this guide on how to get started with affiliate marketing will help you to tap into this potential stream of income more easily.

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