Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular business models new entrepreneurs decide to start.
Firstly, affiliate marketing is one of the simplest businesses anyone can start.
All you need are two things - products and customers.
This leads us on finely to our second point.
Everyone who speaks about affiliate marketing online emphasizes the expectations one should have with affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing isn't an easy way to earn money, there's still quite a lot that goes into it, and you won't become an overnight millionaire after starting the business.
To get inspiration for my articles, I usually search up similar articles to see what they talk about, or how they structure their article.
With affiliate marketing, I couldn't find anything remotely close that resembled how affiliate marketing should be done.
In this article, I wanted to write something that anyone, no matter your experience, can understand in order to start affiliate marketing.
You're not going to become a millionaire within a week, but you'll be on your way to earning a few hundred dollars extra per month, with the opportunity to scale into the thousands and beyond.
Here's the ultimate 2022 affiliate marketing guide, and how beginners can get started too.
What is affiliate marketing?
Before we get technical, let's first examine what affiliate marketing really is.
The definition of an affiliate is someone who is attached to a larger body, someone who is involved with a brand or business.
Therefore, affiliate marketing is simply an arrangement where the brand or business reimburses an individual for driving sales through various means - usually in the form of a commission.
In layman's terms, an affiliate marketer is someone who makes sales for a business and gets a commission for it, it's that simple!
Examples of affiliate marketing:
There are various ways one can become an affiliate for a business or brand.
For example, I'm an affiliate for the products or services that I mention on my blog.
Some of the biggest products I'm an affiliate for are books that I read.
The articles about 'the top 5 books entrepreneurs should read', etc, are all articles that would lead you to an affiliate link where you can purchase the product and I'd receive a small commission for driving that sale.
Similarly, YouTubers might have affiliate links in the description of their videos that lead the traffic to the product's sales page.
Makeup YouTubers might have links that let their viewers purchase the makeup they showcase in a specific video.
Chefs might have links in the description that lead to specific kitchen equipment.
The internet is full of affiliates - it's an incredibly simple way to make a little bit of extra cash if you've got the traffic already.
What should I expect from affiliate marketing?
So what if we don't have the traffic, how does affiliate marketing work then?
Better yet, what should our financial expectations look like when we start affiliate marketing?
Going against what 90% of the internet will tell you, you're not going to become a six-figure earner within 30 days of starting an affiliate marketing business.
Massive influencers achieve a 1-2% conversion rate, on average, with affiliate links.
Although this is very low, the high influx of traffic and eyeballs makes up for it.
However, we most likely don't have millions of people watching our videos or clicking on our social media profiles.
Aim to make an extra $100 with affiliate marketing, then aim for $500, and so on.
Aiming to make $1000 per month within the first few days of starting isn't very realistic, becoming a six-figure earner from it? Now that's a pipedream.
Don't take this the wrong way - it's definitely possible, but not from day 1.
To start making a ton of money from affiliate marketing, you're going to need to put the time and effort in.
The step-by-step process:
So now that we know what affiliate marketing really is, and what to expect from it, how exactly do we get started?
A lot of people online will overcomplicate the process - as we mentioned earlier, there are only two steps to worry about - finding products, then finding customers.
Below, we're going to break each one down and tell you everything you need to know about each part of the process.
Finding your products
The first thing we must do when we want to start affiliate marketing is finding the products that we are going to promote.
There are various ways to find products for affiliate marketing.
Luckily for us, there are websites that make it extremely easy to find products and become an affiliate.
Amazon is the largest retailer in the world, and so it's likely the best place to go to find all sorts of products.
However, Clickbank is much better when it comes to finding better, high-ticket products, which yield a higher commission rate.
Unless you're looking for specific products, for example, books, or home equipment, then I would suggest you use Clickbank.
However, if you've already got a following, then you can use Amazon.
I use Amazon because the products I focus on are all books, whenever I suggest a book, I can find it on Amazon, and so I use Amazon's affiliate program.
It's best to promote products that you've used before and would recommend to others.
Many of you reading might be looking to start an affiliate business - for this, I suggest you use Clickbank because of the high affiliate commissions.
There are a ton of different affiliate marketing websites, Clickbank is the largest.
Simply create an account and start searching for products.
There are a ton of categories you can search for products in, here are the top 3:
- Health & Fitness
- Make Money Online/E-biz
- Online Education
Choose a category, and start filtering through the products.
There'll be two main things that stand out - the average commission, and the 'gravity.'
What is gravity, you might be wondering?
Gravity is simply how popular a product is on Clickbank, although you want to find popular products, you don't want to only focus on the most popular products because they will be extremely competitive.
Instead, focus on the mid-tier gravity products.
Low gravity products are not exactly proven to sell, and so you could risk losing a lot of money testing whether a product is worth promoting or not.
Make a list of 10-20 products, then start to narrow down the list until you have 1-3 products you want to advertise.
The third and final method for finding products to sell is simply through something you're interested in.
I've recently taken a massive interest in NFTs and the metaverse.
I could simply find a course on NFTs and become an affiliate for that course (if the creators allow it).
When products or services are not on Amazon or Clickbank, you can easily reach out to them to figure out whether they have an affiliate program.
Finding the customers
Now that we have our products chosen, there's only one thing left to do - drive traffic and make sales.
For every sale we make, we receive a commission from the business or brand we're working with.
It's important to mention that some products have different sales strategies.
There are high-ticket products that cost thousands, then there are normal, everyday products.
Selling normal products is very simple, all you need is a link and you're good to go.
The link then leads traffic onto the sales page, be it Amazon, or the affiliate's website.
However, a high-ticket product might be a little different, instead of going from link to a product, you might go from link to a landing page to webinar to product.
This is because it requires a lot more conviction to sell a product worth hundreds or thousands of dollars compared to a product that costs $30-$100.
Creating a landing page is very simple, and something I'm not going to fully explain here.
Search Google for basic landing page templates to learn more - I promise, it's extremely simple.
So where are we going to get traffic from?
There are, once again, two main ways to get sales:
- Your existing audience
This is the ideal situation to be in because it's going to be much easier to kickstart your sales engine (and much cheaper too).
From there, you'll receive a commission for it.
- Paid advertising
You might not be so lucky as to have an audience ready to buy products you show them.
Instead, you're going to have to spend money on marketing.
Why? It's much faster to spend money on paid advertising than to build an audience - building an audience takes time, effort, consistency, and a whole lot of patience.
It's much easier to run paid advertising to kickstart your sales engine, than focus on building an audience in the long term (we'll get to this later).
There are a few platforms you can use to run paid advertising, however, the ones I recommend are:
I've written a few articles on setting up and launching your first Facebook ads campaign before.
Simply follow the principles outlined in that article to get started.
Most platforms are the same, with a few small changes in the layout.
Before we end off, I wanted to mention a ninja trick for driving free traffic to your affiliate link.
Amazon, as we mentioned, is the biggest retailer in the world - people go on Amazon every day to purchase products of all sorts.
One of those products that have been growing in popularity is ebooks.
Writing a short, 10-15 page ebook, then listing it on Amazon for free can be a great way to get traffic to your affiliate link.
If you're promoting aging cream, you will write an ebook on how to look 20 years younger, as an example.
From there, simply list it for free on Amazon, while ensuring your listing is fully optimized.
So now we've learned exactly how affiliate marketing works, and how we can get started.
Like I've mentioned, it's a very simple, two-step process:
- Find a product
- Find the customers
After you've started, and you've begun to make money from it, what should you do next?
How do you scale your business and make even more money from affiliate marketing?
Firstly, you can start to build an audience, a tight-knit community around a specific niche.
Since we've mentioned anti-aging, we can use this as an example.
Spend time on building a community on a platform, and keep that audience engaged.
From there, you can promote products that you're affiliated with.
As you start to grow, you can reach out to those brands or businesses to build a real, mutually beneficial relationship with them, which can be more profitable than simply marketing their products as an affiliate.
Before we end off, I wanted to mention one more thing a lot of people don't see - something that is right in front of them.
Affiliate marketing is essentially a marketing business.
Therefore, it's very easy to branch off into a marketing agency business and reach out to the brands you're affiliated with to grow your clientele.
That was the ultimate 2022 affiliate marketing guide for beginners.
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