The rise of the digital age now offers many opportunities for ordinary people like you and me to make money online.
One of the most popular and attractive options to make money online today is affiliate marketing. Today, I’m going to:
- Explain what affiliate marketing is
- How you can actually start to make money online from it, and
- Where to get started.
So take 10 minutes of your time today and check out this guide. Find out what is Affiliate Marketing and does it work?
Who knows it might just open the door to a whole new world for you
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a massive industry and there are people who make can make you from a few hundred bucks per month to several thousands of dollars a month from it depending on their approach.
I’m going to be upfront here and tell you that affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
There are many who are trying to sell you the blueprint to easy success with affiliate marketing but I’ve tried those and been burnt before.
The good news is anyone can learn affiliate marketing and how quickly you succeed if really up to you.
It is all fully within your control.
If you are willing to spend only a few hours per week then you can’t expect to be rolling in cash within 28 days. Those types of promises simply aren’t true, they are mostly likely scams in fact.
And if you are willing to spend 10 or more hours a week, then you could really build an amazing online business with affiliate marketing. And the best thing is, you can split your 10 hours into a lunch break a day or a couple of hours each evening. It’s not a crazy time commitment if you break it down.
Now, I’m going to back up for a bit for those who don’t know what affiliate marketing means.
Let’s talk what affiliate marketing means.
Affiliate Marketing Basics
Affiliate marketing is where you promote a product you like, and get paid a commission when someone buys the product based on your recommendation.
Many online companies who sell anything from books, shoes, TVs, dating services, couples counseling or some other service, usually offer an affiliate program.
For example, if you type in “book affiliate programs” into google you will find a list of all the companies which offer affiliate programs for selling books.
All you need to do is sign up for the affiliate program and get your unique tracking link. Then on your blog or website, whenever you are writing about a book available on the online bookstore, you simply use your special tracking affiliate link to recommend the company’s site.
Every time someone buys something through the link on your website, you will get a commission.
Commissions for physical products tend to range between you can earn between 5-10% for each sale.
Digital products, such as PDF books, training courses or memberships usually pay a lot better, you can often earn up to 75% for each sale.
So it is definitely more profitable to sell digital products. At the end of the day, it takes the same amount of effort to promote products but one pays more generously than the other.
What some people do is create their own digital product like a “how-to’ e-book and sell it on the Amazon kindle market.
Have you heard of the book, Fifty Shades of Grey? Sure you have. It’s now been made into movies.
A little known fact is that it actually started it’s life as an e-book before it’s popularity exploded and then it got published in print.
Where to start with affiliate marketing
It’s all well and good to know that every day people are making money from affiliate marketing but how do you actually get started?
Affiliate marketing starts with a blog/website. Building a website might sounds daunting but if you have the right tools, it’s actually as easy as filling in a form. And is someone like me, who doesn’t have any coding or technical experience can build a website, then anyone can.
Once you have your website up and running, you then need to consistently write content (posts) for your blog/website.
These posts should provide value to people in your niche by answering questions they have or recommending products they are looking for.
Every day people are searching for information on search engines like Google and Yahoo. And when you consistently provide valuable information on a website, Google and Yahoo will view your content favorably.
That means when someone types in a search in Google, your post will rank well. And when someone clicks on your post, that’s how you get visitors. And when visitors read your content and click on your links, that’s how you get sales and commissions.
Alternatively, if you have the budget and don’t want to spend the time creating content, you can even buy ready-made website with content that fully optimized for search engines. That is content that Google likes, that will get you ranks, visitors, sales and commissions (yay!).
Or if you are great in front of camera, you can also share content on videos and get visitors from YouTube. Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google? It is even bigger than Bing, AOL and Yahoo.
The Pros of affiliate marketing
The best thing about affiliate marketing is that you can work from anywhere in the world and dictate your own hours. Some people call this the laptop lifestyle where you can work anywhere with a laptop and internet connection.
You also have the potential to make way more money than when you work for someone which is a great plus.
To make money with affiliate marketing, you don’t need to have written your own –book or have your own product. You can get started by promoting other people’s products and make a full time income.
Most affiliate marketing programs are free to join and you don’t have to pay to promote products (unlike MLM programs).
All you have to do is make a sale and you get paid a commission.
This means the running cost of your online affiliate marketing business is very low. Your business investment involves paying for a domain name and for website hosing. This will cost you about $20 for a domain name and between $100-$300 a year for hosting (depending on your hosting plan).
And one thing that is essential in my opinion is to pay for affiliate marketing training.
That is way lower than the $100,000s you will need to start a traditional offline business. And plus you don’t need to go to the bank to get a loan.
The low barriers to entry is why affiliate marketing has been growing in popularity and more and more people are becoming affiliate marketers each year.
The Cons of Affiliate marketing
Though affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online, not all affiliate marketers experience the same level of success.
While some people start to make money in the first few months, it can take longer for others.
The most experienced affiliate marketers will tell you that no one can guarantee how much or how soon you will start making money.
But if you are a hard worker and put in consistent effort, you will be successful with affiliate marketing and you will be making enough money over time.
Most people expect affiliate marketing to be a get-rich-quick scheme. This is probably because of the sheer number of outrageous ads with their outrageous claims. Claims of being able to earn enough to quit your job in 100 days after following their proven blueprint.
The lure of instant returns is real and can really cloud our reality. That’s why people expect to build an online business from scratch and be making full time income in 28 days.
Can you build a business from scratch for one month?
No, you can’t. You have to cut yourself some slack and give yourself enough time to learn and implement new skills before you start making money.
To make money you need visitors to make sales on your blog/website. So what you need is lots of visitors to your website.
So the real question you need to ask is not how long does it take to make money with affiliate marketing but “how long does it take to get consistent traffic (i.e. visitors)?”
A successful internet marketer put it this way, “building traffic takes good techniques put into consistent practice. Traffic often begins as a trickle, then grows into a stream, and then finally blossoms into a river.”
So how do we get traffic, let’s talk about the top 5 ways to get traffic.
Here are the top 5 ways to get traffic to your blog/website:
- Social marketing
- Video marketing
- Email marketing
SEO is still my favorite way to get lots and lots of free and targeted traffic to your blog and website.
The good news is it’s completely FREE. So if you are starting out on a budget of close to nothing, this is good news for you. And there is no shame in not having much of a budget. I started off the same way too.
The downside is that it takes time, months and months to start getting several hundred visitors a day.
Winning at SEO involves creating consistent quality content through keyword research and you will start to rank on Google and get natural organic traffic coming in.
Don’t despise traffic numbers in the 100s. If you optimize your website well for conversions (ratio of visitors who end up buying something) you can make a solid income even without big traffic numbers.
Social marketing can a great way to drive traffic. There are many affiliate marketers who get a ton of traffic from Facebook, Twitter and even from Pinterest.
A great way to get noticed online is to do guest posting on authority blogs or genuinely help people on forums or websites such as Quora. Remember that when you provide value to people, they will come. People come online every day looking for answers, so if you provide those answers they will keep coming back for me.
Video marketing is now a massive traffic source. It is easier to get your videos ranked on the first page of YouTube than on Google. True story.
And YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google.
Don’t underestimate the power of video marketing because with Gen Z, they just consume so much more video than written content so video marketing is where it’s at!
Email marketing is another powerful marketing tool and if you have a list of fans that you can just send offers or recommendations out to, you make crazy amount of sales in a short period of time.
You need to create a powerful squeeze page for collecting leads and set up a good email sequence to provide value that will convert readers to raving fans and into long term customers.
Again the theme is, you have to focus on providing consistent value to people. If you manage to collect emails but then send our spam, people will just unsubscribe. Plain and simple.
PPC or Pay-Per-Click Advertising is one of the most reliable ways to make money online…if and only if done right.
PPC involves paying for clicks, and how much you pay for each click will depend on the network in which you are advertising, the niche you are in, the competition, and the quality of your campaigns.
Most ‘get-rich-quick’ affiliate marketing programs that promise that you can make like $100,000 in 28 days will involve PPC.
But the only difference in the person who made the $100,000 is probably extremely well experienced with PPC and knows exactly what they are doing. If you are a newbie, PPC is the fastest way to burn through a whole lot of cash and get NO results.
The principle of PPC is simple. It’s a game of math.
Revenue > Expenses = Profit
Revenue < Expenses = Loss
But you need to be well versed in starting from setting up your PPC accounts, research aspects (keyword, audience, and product), campaign creation, landing page creation, analysis and testing.
So if you are a newbie, I would suggest starting out with SEO. It’s much lower risk and easier to grasp concept wise.
How to become a successful affiliate marketer
In order to be successful in affiliate marketing, you need to have access to quality up-to-date training, access to the right tools and services, as well as timely support from industry experts.
Your first step would be to learn about affiliate marketing and the steps required to be a success.
Wealthy Affiliate is my #1 recommended one-stop platform. You get all the training, tools, services and support you need under “one roof” to create and grow a business online.
And all this is available for under $1 per day.
This price includes everything you need:
- The hosting
- The websites
- The personal mentoring
- The endless hours of training
- Access to network with over a million peers and experts.
- Live weekly webinars
- Industry leading keyword tool
- Access to a database of well over 1,000,000 royalty free images
Website Caching on a hardware level (to make your website faster and more Google friendly)
For less than a dollar a day, this is by far the most comprehensive and cost-efficient platform in the industry.
However, I must warn you that even with the best training, support and tools you still need to take the time and effort to learn and implement the training to see success.
If you are short on time but have more of a budget, then you might want to check out Human Proof Ready Made Websites.
This program provides ready-made websites with quality content that is already ranking on Google to give you a head start. They also provide all kind of services including website building, content research and writing, link packages and training.
But if you don’t have that kind of budget when starting out (I definitely didn’t), Wealthy Affiliate is definitely the way to go.
What is Affiliate Marketing and Does it Work??
Yes, it definitely works and many are making extra income and even a full-time income from home.
But your level of success in this business will depend not so much on what you choose to do to make money, but whether you do what needs to be done correctly and consistently.
You need to treat your online business seriously if you want to achieve your financial goals.
If you want to start your affiliate marketing business, then check out the two programs I recommended above.
Remember, Skills + Action = Success
So you have to learn new skills and put it into consistent action to see results.
Affiliate marketing is a great way of making money online and if you’re still thinking of starting your affiliate marketing business I recommend to you start now.
Make a decision now to make a change.
Think about what you would do with an additional source of income.
Would you pay down your debt? Not spend hours commuting just to speak out a modest living? Spend more time with the people you care about?
Can you imagine what you could be doing in a year from now if you decided — right now, today — that you were going to start your affiliate marketing business… and then you took action to make it happen?
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