Whether you’ve been looking for a way to earn a bit of money on the side or earn a full-time income with a bit more flexibility, it’s time to look into affiliate marketing programs for beginners. That’s how many of your favorite bloggers earn a regular income. The best part is that it’s relatively simple to get started, even with a basic “affiliate marketing for dummies”-level of knowledge. Affiliate marketing is easy to understand but does require you to invest either time or money. Is it right for you? Read on to find out.
I think that the best way to start this post is to answer this simple question: what is affiliate marketing?
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is about earning a commission when someone purchases a product based on your recommendation. Most people do this by creating a website on a certain topic or “niche.” As you provide quality information about the topic, readers begin to trust your judgment and will then purchase the products you recommend.
To make a decent amount of affiliate money, you need to go beyond affiliate dummy guides. You’ll need a lot of visitors to your site, and you’ll need a good way to interact with those visitors. That’s when the process starts to get a lot harder. So, on this post I will give some tips and tricks that you can start implementing and make all this process a lot easier.
Affiliate marketing can be a good way to earn some money online. One of the biggest benefits is that it’s “passive income.” A website page stays online unless you stop paying your website hosting fees. New people can find your page through the search engines and click on your links to buy products. This means that once you do the work, you can potentially earn off of that work again and again.
Learn How to Build a Website and Start earning passive income:
Almost anyone can get started in affiliate marketing. It works well for those who can’t work traditional jobs due to a physical limitation or family obligations.
You can start it up in your spare time while you work your 9 to 5, then quit your job to work from wherever you want once you build up your business. Assuming you’re creating a website based on your interests – and this is what you should be doing – affiliate marketing is a good way for you to work at something that you feel passionately about.
As an affiliate marketer, you’d start by identifying a niche and creating a website about it. Each page of your site should focus on a different set of keywords that people are trying to find more information about. For instance, if saltwater fish tanks were your passion, you might write about deciding on tank size, choosing the right types of fish for you, and diagnosing a fish’s illness.
To make money, you have to find companies that sell products related to your topic. You’d then get a special link that includes your information and build those links into your web pages. When the reader clicks through to the product and makes a purchase, the retailer can see that you’ve referred the person and will give you a commission.
You can also make "money marketing" by having ads on your site. Some companies will pay you directly to place their ads on your site, but Google’s AdSense automatically places ads on your site and pays you whenever someone clicks on it. Many affiliate marketers also earn money from writing “sponsored posts,” where a company pays you directly to feature their product on your site.
If affiliate marketing sounds right for you, follow our online marketing steps to put you on the right track.
Affiliate marketing success starts with choosing the right niche. In a lot of ways, what you’re looking for is a sort of “Goldilocks” idea. You need a topic that’s broad enough that you’ll always have things to talk about, narrow enough that you can stand out from the crowd, but not so narrow that you don’t really have an audience. Additionally, you’ll need an idea that can be profitable – there needs to be some type of product that people will be interested in buying, even if that “product” is just information.
Start by listing out all of the things you know a lot about. Perhaps you grew up on a farm, and you know a lot about raising chickens or making a vegetable garden. Maybe you have a child with special needs and have a lot of ideas about managing the situation. Perhaps you’ve worked hard to pay off your debts and save up a down payment for a new home. All of these could be excellent ideas for an affiliate marketing site.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few ideas, it’s time to start looking into the viability of each of your ideas. The right niche has:
You can check competition a bit by simply entering a few search terms into Google. What comes up? Are there a lot of sites that seem to relate to your idea? Browse those sites to see what they offer. You want to be able to create a site that has your own unique twist on the idea.
The Google AdWords tool can also be useful for researching an idea. It’s a free tool that shows you how often people are searching for certain search terms and how much advertisers are paying to show ads for those terms. If they’re paying a lot for the ads, there’s a good chance you’ve hit on a good niche.
Finally, think about the types of products you might be able to sell and whether or not you can make money off of them. For instance, if you love cooking, you might think about writing a site with recipes. Since recipes are readily available online, people aren’t always looking to pay money for recipes.
However, your idea could work if you’re thinking about writing your own cookbook or you would recommend certain cooking tools that you use to create your recipes. High-priced products tend to bring larger commissions, but it can also be harder to sell those types of products.
This may seem like putting the cart before the horse, but before you invest a lot of time into building a site, you want to be sure that there are affiliate programs you can use to earn money. Rather than working directly with retailers, most affiliate marketers turn to companies that manage the programs.
Amazon is one of the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners. It’s easy to sign up and get links that take your visitors directly to Amazon’s products. Since Amazon has such a good reputation, your readers may be more likely to buy from them.
A well-known program for ebooks and other information products. It's widely used by affiliates.
offers programs for a variety of companies and may pay you per-view, per-click, or per-sale.
Launched in 2000. Share-A-Sale counts with strong and well-known products to promote.
These are good places to start your search, but if you have a particular product or program in mind, you can always search “[your product] + affiliate program” to see how you can become an affiliate for that company.
The thought of building a website can cause a lot of people looking into affiliate marketing for dummies to run for the hills, but it really isn’t quite as complicated as it sounds. The one thing that most people agree on is that it’s best to have your own website, hosted on your own domain. You can get a free site through companies like Blogger.com, but having your own site gives you more freedom.
Buy a domain name that fits your niche. Names that have keywords in them can help you rank in the search engines. For instance “SaltwaterFishTanks101.com” might be a better choice than “SaltyTanks.com,” even though the later has a better “ring” to it. Often, hosting companies will offer a free domain when you sign up for a year of hosting, so look out for offers like that.
There are plenty of free and paid templates to get you started with your site. Hiring a design to tweak a template to your specifications is generally affordable. However, complete site design goes well beyond the limits of this dummy marketing guide, so you’ll have to seek out some other resources for that.
The hallmark of a good affiliate marketer is the quality of his or her content. If your web pages are riddled with spelling or grammar errors and your content doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, readers are going to click away quickly. They’re not going to click through to other pages on your site, and they’re not going to click through to the products you recommend.
Good content can be hard to quantify. It should have enough information to keep the reader informed. It should have a certain pizzazz that separates your writing from the writing of other site owners. It should be “just what the reader is looking for.”
This varies. For some sites, “good content” means something that’s entertaining. For others, “good content” means something that’s chock full of information that the reader needs. A lot of times, the right answer is somewhere in the middle.
You can get ideas for content by looking at commonly searched phrases through the Google AdWords tool or simply by thinking about what types of problems your readers might have. When you focus on their problems and offering solutions, you have a better chance of success.
One of the hardest things about getting started with affiliate marketing for dummies is that you don’t start out with a strong audience. You work hard and start to build up an impressive amount of blog posts and web pages, but no one is visiting your site. When no one reads your content, you have no chance of making those affiliate sales. The key is to put yourself out there.
Look for ways to network with other affiliate marketers in your niche. If you have a blog that you love reading, ask if you can do a “guest post.” That’s when you write an original blog post that another blogger puts on their own site. This exposes your content to their readers and drives traffic to your website.
Additionally, you can look for ways to write content for big-name sites like Huffington Post. This really gives you authority and readers will begin to visit your site more often and value your opinions. When you recommend a product, they’ll be more likely to check it out.
Several years ago, unscrupulous affiliate marketers were able to make a lot of money putting up fake reviews talking about the glories of a particular product. This was spammy, and most consumers have caught on to these techniques. That means you’ll have to be savvy about the ways that you promote your products.
One popular technique is to create a review page where you talk about the pros and cons of different products. This can work well if you offer honest opinions and don’t seem overly promotional. If you give glowing reviews to everything you talk about, your opinion becomes less trustworthy.
Another good technique is to mention the products you use while really talking about something else. For instance, if you were to write a blog post about your favorite time-saving products, you might talk about your slow cooker and your robot vacuum, including affiliate links to these products as you mention them.
This soft-sell approach works well if you’re concerned about building trust, but you’re not always hitting your readers with the information they need just before making a purchase. This might mean that you lose out on the commission when the reader buys the product months after reading about it on your site.
If you’ve followed our affiliate marketing for dummies guide so far, you should have the start of a successful affiliate site. You should be getting some traffic and a few sales here and there. If you’re not seeing the dollars flowing into your account, though, it may be time to move beyond affiliate marketing programs for beginners and on to some more advanced affiliate marketing strategies. Check below:
If you promote anything and everything, your readers won’t value your opinion as much. Choosing the right type of products – from the right vendor – is an important part of your success.
The best way to go about this is to recommend products that you actually use and like. When you do this, your enthusiasm will show through in your writing, making the readers more excited about buying the product as well.
Remember that many readers like to stick with companies they know and trust. That’s one of the reasons why Amazon has such a popular affiliate program. You might be able to find a similar product available from a site that has a higher commission, but the chance that someone will buy it from Amazon might be greater.
Sometimes, you just have to play around with the offers to see which things work best.
To be truly successful, you have to understand your reader. Getting data about their behavior can help guide your decisions. Google offers website analytics that can show you how many people are visiting your site, how they come to see your site, and what they do once they’re there.
Looking at this data gives you suggestions about how to further develop your site. For instance, you’ll want to focus on search terms that relate to your most popular pages. If you notice that a large percentage of your traffic is coming from a particular source, try to tap into that source again.
You can also use the data inside the affiliate programs. If people seem to be clicking on the links on your web pages, but then aren’t purchasing the product, you’ll want to figure out why.
The answers to these questions might help you understand more about which products you should be promoting.
The more you connect with the readers, the more you’ll be able to grow your business. Readers who want to keep reading your content will start to feel like they can trust you and will be more likely to purchase the things you recommend. Make it easy for people to sign up for site updates by including a feed on the site.
Another way that you can boost interaction is to create separate sites on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Not all of these will really fit with every type of niche, but if it seems appropriate, go for it. A lot of your readers use these sites on a daily basis, so it can be a good way to help them stay up to date.
Use this contact with your readers to help you understand more about their needs. If you keep hearing the same questions over and over, you’ll know that those are topics that you should write about and include on your site. If you’ve been thinking about creating your own product, you might poll readers to see if they’d be interesting in something like that. By doing this, you can avoid doing a lot of work on a project that doesn’t turn out to be profitable.
Once your business is in full swing, you’ll probably start to find yourself feeling overwhelmed. The “side business” starts looking more like a “real business,” and your to-do list starts growing. At this point, you’ll want to start looking for help.
That can be a hard thing to do. After all, your site is a bit like your baby. You’ve worked really hard on it and have watched it grow from the beginning. However, you probably have several facets that you don’t really find all that exciting. Once you get past the dummy stage, some of the tasks get a lot more tedious.
You have to look at your to-do list and try to figure out what types of tasks you don’t really want to do any more. Many people start to outsource:
Of Course! You can outsource some of the things listed above HERE on Residual Income Secrets. Below you will see some of our services but we are expecting to launch new ones in 2017, so stay tuned!
Fiverr is a Good platform but choose wisely the Sellers. There a lot of people from India selling garbage, so be aware!
I Use it for:
UpWork is an excellent platform where you will find an extensive range of expert people. Some very costy but worth the value!
I Use it for:
As you start to grow your affiliate marketing business, you’ll undoubtedly want to keep learning so that you can keep earning. Techniques change frequently, and you often need to stay on top of things if you want your website to continue to be successful.
One way to stay in the loop is to follow prominent sites that discuss affiliate or internet marketing. While you might want to choose your own favorites, start with some of the more famous names, like Darren Rowse at ProBlogger, Neil Patel, Seth Godin, and John Chow.
The information at some of the larger marketing companies like Inbound.org and HubSpot are also good starting points whether you need help with how online marketing works or want some more advanced affiliate marketing strategies.
You can also do well by visiting the forums that other affiliate marketers read. In doing this, you can ask questions to your specific problems and get answers quickly. Start by checking out the Warrior Forum and AffiliateFix. If you’re focusing your efforts on Amazon’s affiliate program, you can learn a lot through their help files or by checking out the Amazon forum at Digital Point.
So, you might be thinking why is Affiliate marketing so good? Am I right? Well, as an affiliate marketer, I can prove you that this business is really that good. There are obvious reasons to validate this statement. Check below:
Most of the products available offer a monthly recurring income. You can imagine the power and freedom affiliate marketing has.
There are lots of success stories that prove that earning commissions through affiliate marketing can give you the so desire financial freedom. Of course, this does not happen overnight. You need to work "hard" at the beginning to settle your website (design, content, structure, strategy, etc.) but once all this is set and you start earning commissions, you can start enjoying of spare time.
On average, the salary of a full-time job is around $2,000/mo. To do a simple calculation, you can earn this amount with just 20 sales of $100 per month. See what I mean? Do you think it's impossible to get 25 sales in one month?
This is the most important benefit in my opinion. I love to spend my time on the things I want to do.
I hate working for somebody else (I did it 5 years) and it's worst if you don't like what you were hired for.
I discovered that with affiliate marketing I have the freedom I always dreamed about. I can assure you that I work less than 5 hours a day on my online business and on top of that I love doing what I do. So, imagine the big difference between an online business vs. a full-time job (9 to 5).
Another great advantage is that there is a low cost to start this business.
You only need a Domain name (between $13 - $15 per year) and a Hosting company (between $50 - $60 per year). So, in a worst case scenario, you can get started with just $6,25 per month.
That makes internet marketing an affordable investment with a very high ROI.
As an affiliate marketer, you have tons of products you can promote in any niche. On the other hand, a product owner only has 1, 2 or 3 products for sale.
Usually, affiliates make more money than the product owners themselves.
Another advantage I like to mention is that you just have to focus on getting sales. You don't have to worry about the cost of the product, the shipping, nor the customer support.
Why? Because all these processes are handled by the company you are affiliated.
Of course, you can give the option of helping those who bought through your affiliate link. It will help you to establish as an authority and improve your brand's image.
The Warrior Forum is considered the #1 internet marketing forum. It was launched in 1997 with great success within the digital marketing community. Below you can see some stats:
Digital Point is another excellent forum to complement Warrior Forum. You can find high-quality tips and some additional useful tools, such as, rank checker, advertising and a marketplace.
Check below some stats of the forum:
This forum was created mainly for BlackHat SEO but throughout the course of the years, as black hat SEO popularity decreased, the forum turned to a wider niche: Internet Marketing (although, you may also find some black hat tricks out there).
See below the statistics of the forum:
Another excellent forum for affiliate marketers. I recommend you to look around the forum using the search bar. I found some useful tips that I implemented on this website and they work 100%.
Check below some statistics:
By now, you might be thinking "hey, all of what you have mentioned about affiliate marketing is positive. Are there any disadvantages?".
Yes, there are, of course. The most important being the time it takes to start seeing results. An estimated time to see results may vary from person to person, but it's normally around 6 months or 1 year. Mainly due to Google Sandbox (if you don't know what this is, check this guide).
So, If you want to have a solid start and shorten this time-frame, you need tools. This means investment.The following 5 tools made a huge impact on my business. They are premium, so if you don't have any money to invest, don't go for all but, at least, you should have one.
This is my indispensable toolkit:
This is my top favorite tool. It allows you to:
This tool is the real big deal you definitely need to invest before doing anything. You can get 1 Free month trial on the link below:
I use this keyword research tool as a complement to SEMRush.
On SEMRush I get seed keywords and ideas that I then paste onto the LTP tool to get long tail keywords. As you may know, long tail keywords have low competition and are more easy to rank than generic keywords.
Together with the tool, you will also get access to the Long Tail Pro University, which teaches you how to do Keyword Research efficiently to improve your SEO rankings.
You can also track your keyword rankings on a daily basis and see what works or not.
You already know that without conversions you don't get sales. Well, conversions increase if your website visitors like your website, including:
Well this can be possible using premium themes. It can be StudioPress or any other, but I have some sites with StudioPress that work fantastic. (On this site I'm giving a try to Thrive Themes and I must admit that I also like it).
Aweber is an email marketing service where you automate the emails you send to your customer database.
If you don't have a list yet, I recommend you to start building one. The power of engaged subscribers is worth the investment on this tool.
But, how to get subscribers? Download below a Free PDF Guide:
You can see other tools I use on one of my posts: Top Blog Tools For Building a Profitable Blog
Maybe you already heard about Pat Flynn. Well, he is one of the most succesfull affiliate marketers with an average monthly income of $150,000. You might want to hear some of his popular Podcasts.
Pat shares his income reports on a monthly basis, showing exactly the products he promotes and which are the hot ones (where he is earning the big commissions). See below a list of the top 3 products he promotes:
Although some of you might think that people from India are scammers, Harsh Argwal proves how he runs a legit affiliate marketing business. His Website has a DA (domain Authority of 60), so that means that Google loves his site and they rank him very well in SERPs.
Harsh shares with his audience a monthly income report where you can see in detail which are the products he is promoting and earning commissions from. Just to list the important ones, see below:
Matthew has an incredible website with very useful tips that you might want to check.
He started this website just +4 years ago and he managed to position the site to top rankings. Top rankings reflect the good performance he is having with affiliate commissions, earning around $25K every month and increasing.
It seems that the most strong commissions come from hosting services (listed below) but he also promotes other +30 products which sum to the total count.
The first lady on the list but not the only one! There are many other succesfull women on affiliate marketing but if include them all, this post will be 1 million words long.
Regina, takes a different approach and she also utilizes own products as a main source of income. you can see below the top 3 products she promotes.
She promotes a guide called "Epic Blog" which helps you create great visual content.
Regina has a course designed by herself called "50 workdays - Zero to blog" where she teaches how to create a blog from scratch.
Add to the list another one promoting this good hosting service.
On top of the above mentioned affiliate marketers, there are other very successful people that you might want to follow:
While many people build their affiliate business through a web page, affiliate marketing can include many other strategies to get sales. Ranking:
Some techniques are focused on bringing more traffic to your website. Search engine optimization is a way to make your website show up in the search engines when people are searching for certain terms. It’s hard to rank for broad terms like “diet,” but you can often get your site to show up in local results or by using longer keyword phrases. To compete in competitive niches, some marketers turn to pay-per-click ads (PPC), which involves paying for your site to show up in the search engines.
Other marketers like to get sales by connecting with fans outside of the website. For instance, if you build a mailing list, you can send offers directly to the inboxes of those who sign up for your letters. You can also do video marketing by creating videos about your topic and building a following that way.
Different techniques work well for different types of niches. You may need to experiment a bit to find out what styles work best for you. Often, it’s best to use multiple techniques as part of a broader game plan.
Affiliate marketing is a good business plan for those who love connecting with other people. You can get started with just a bit of knowledge and very little money, then scale the business as it starts to grow.
However, it’s important to remember that it isn’t necessarily a “get rich quick” plan. The idea is appealing because you can dream of eventually being able to earn a residual income/passive income, but you will need to put in quite a bit of work to get your business off the ground. If you’re willing to do the work, though, you can find your own success.
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