How do you make money with affiliate marketing for beginners?
What is affiliate marketing and how does it work?
I’m sure you know SEO, but here are some keywords for “how to make money with affiliate marketing for beginners” just in case.
Affiliate marketing refers to promoting products made by other people and getting a commission if consumers buy the product through you. In some cases, you might even get a commission if a customer visits the seller’s website and views the product through your link.
Any business that deals with products (physical or digital) can engage in affiliate marketing and amplify their sales by a large number—it’s a great pool of opportunities for affiliate marketers.
Affiliate marketing can be a lucrative way to earn money if you have a sizable online following and pick the right affiliate products to promote. About 48.36% of affiliate marketers earn $20k per year, while 3% earn over $150k per year. But it takes some time to move from beginner to pro, and this guide will help you understand the process.
In this article, you’ll understand how to make money with affiliate marketing, find affiliate programs, and some pro tips to master it. Let’s get started!
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS.
CLICK HERE FOR MY FULL DISCLAIMER STATEMENT.
What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does it Work?
Before we dive into how you can make money with affiliate marketing as a beginner, let’s first understand how affiliate marketing works.
There are 3 participants in the affiliate marketing process:
The advertiser, publisher, and consumer.
1. The Advertiser
They make the product and engage in affiliate marketing to amplify their sales and make more revenue. The product can be tangible (good) or intangible (service). The seller tells the affiliates to promote the product but doesn’t need to be involved in the marketing process.
Examples of products you can sell through affiliate marketing include gaming products, fashion accessories, household products, and even digital products like e-books or courses.
2. The Affiliate
Also known as the publisher, the affiliate promotes the product—it can be a person or an organization. They promote the seller’s product to potential customers to earn a commission. This promotion is done through social media, websites, blogs, paid campaigns, etc., so prospects can view and buy the product.
The affiliate can choose to let the customer know if they are a part of an affiliate marketing system or not. Regardless, the customer does not have to pay more if they buy through an affiliate.
3. The Customer
The customer is the most important part of the affiliate process and needs to be convinced that the product is the right fit for their needs. To persuade them, the affiliate needs to create a compelling copy that highlights the “needs and wants” while triggering the benefits of the product.
As per a research paper, 85% of online shoppers turn to Google for ideas and information before purchasing. Affiliates play a great role here by educating the audience and persuading them to buy new products—a win for everyone.
4. The Network
Sometimes, there can also be a fourth participant known as the network. They act as middlemen between the seller and the affiliate.
The affiliates sign up with the network and look for products to promote and earn a commission. According to Supermetrics.com, the largest affiliate networks have 100K+ active affiliates.
Examples of affiliate networks include:
Is affiliate marketing worth it?
To help you answer this question, let’s take a look at how much affiliate marketers earn.
Statista reported the U.S. affiliate marketing spend would reach 8.2 billion U.S. dollars by 2022, up from 5.4 billion recorded in 2017.
According to PayScale (May 2021), which relies on self-reported salaries, the average salary for an affiliate marketer is $51,612 per year.
Among the affiliate marketers reporting their annual salaries, Payscale found these percentiles:
- 10th percentile: $38,000
- 50th percentile (median): $51,612
- 90th percentile: $72,000
According to Affise, affiliate marketers can be divided according to their income:
- Low-level affiliates, who earn up to $300/day;
- Intermediate affiliates, who earn from $300/day up to $3,000/day;
- High-level affiliates, who earn above $3,000/day;
- Super affiliates, who make more than $10,000/day.
In a poll published on the STM Forum asking “How much do you earn in a year?”, the results showed that about 18% of affiliate marketers earn $20K or less, 13% earn $81-$120K, 12% make $121-$200K, and 11% earn $1M-2M per year.
All these stats show us that affiliate marketing is definitely worth the effort, and apart from passive income, you can convert it into a full-time thing too.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: 9 Proven Ways to Earn Money Online
How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: 6 Steps to Get Started
Now that you know how much you can make as an affiliate marketer, let’s see how you begin your journey towards it with a step-by-step process:
#1. Choose Your niche
The first step to becoming an affiliate marketer is to choose a profitable niche. When you choose a lucrative niche, it’s easier to sell affiliate products.
It’s best to pick a niche that’s targeted and not too broad. For example, instead of choosing “food”, select a specific type such as baked food products, keto food, or grilled food. Once you become popular in one niche, you can branch out to other related ones.
To pick a niche that’s best suited for you, ask yourself:
- What topics am I passionate about?
- Do people search for my chosen niche?
- Will the demand for this niche stay consistent?
- Is there a lot of competition?
- Are there affiliate programs that work within my chosen niche?
Some niches are better suited for affiliate marketing than others. For example, AM Navigator’s affiliate marketing industry report revealed that fashion is the niche with the highest number of affiliate programs—it accounts for 18.7% of the total share. The sports and outdoors category comes in second with 14.6%, followed by health/wellness and beauty at 11.1%, and travel at 8.6%.
So, choose your niche wisely because it can make or break your affiliate efforts.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: 20 Best Online Jobs for College Students
#2. Choose the Right Affiliate Marketing Programs
After choosing a niche, you need to choose a program for affiliate marketing to promote products. Affiliate marketing programs will connect you with sellers looking to promote their products so you can enter into a collaboration.
There are three types of Affiliate marketing programs to choose from:
A. High paying and low-volume affiliate programs
These are affiliate programs for niche products with high payouts. For example, ConvertKit’s affiliate program pays almost $700 per month if you send just 80 customers their way. However, as they sell email software for small business owners, there’s a limited pool of buyers.
B. Low paying and high-volume affiliate programs
These affiliate programs are for products with low payments, but they are popular enough to earn an income from them.
For example, Xbox games. They are worth $50 on average, and the commission on each game is $2 to $3. The redeeming quality of these types of programs is they usually offer tons of products to sell.
The same is the case for Amazon’s affiliate program. You can earn up to 10% commissions on almost anything Amazon sells.
C. High paying and high volume affiliate programs
These affiliate programs have products that are very popular and also pay high commissions. A good example is credit cards. Everyone needs a credit card, and most people stay with the company for years.
To choose the right program, you need to ask these questions:
- Which merchants are using the affiliate program you’re targeting?
- How much commission can you make from it?
- Do you want to be associated with the program and the brands selling through it?
- What kind of support does the program provide?
Your answers should help you choose the perfect affiliate program—and then, you can reach out to sellers, and pitch to them.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Start an Online Store
#3. Create Engaging and Attractive Content
After choosing your niche and joining an affiliate marketing program, you need to create persuasive content to convert the audience and attract sellers who want to promote their products.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Affiliates create content as per the audience’s search intent. For example, “best email marketing software.”
Step 2: In their article, affiliate marketers add links to the email software affiliate program.
Step 3: Readers of this article purchase the email marketing software, and the affiliate earns a commission.
Now that you know the process let’s see what type of content will engage your audience and establish you as a trustworthy affiliate marketer.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: Want to Start a Blog?
A. Product Reviews
This is a common content type for new marketers.
For example, TheBestVPN is a site that reviews the most popular Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, in the market. For audiences interested in cybersecurity and protecting their information, this website is a goldmine of information. Each review has an affiliate link to that particular VPN.
By posting product reviews, you can provide information to your audience about products in your niche and earn a commission if they buy through your affiliate links.
B. Informational Blog Posts
Blog posts are similar to product reviews. Your posts should be of high quality, engaging, and informational, so your readers keep reading your posts and trust your advice.
According to FinancialSamurai, 70% of bloggers publishing three times a week for over ten years can make between $500,000 to a million a year.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: 6 Best Side Hustles For College Students
#4. Optimize your Content for Search Engines
Once you’ve created content, you’ll need to attract relevant audiences to it. Search engine optimization or SEO can be valuable to attract traffic to your blog posts.
SEO is the number one traffic source for affiliate marketers (69.22%), followed by social media (67.32%).
To optimize your post for search engines:
- Write valuable and problem-solving content.
- Use relevant keywords in your blog post titles, subtitles, and meta descriptions.
- Link to high-quality external sources.
- Link to 2-3 internal articles.
- Get backlinks from high-authority websites.
To find the right keywords, use Google Keyword Planner.
#5. Use Social Media Platforms to Promote Your Content
According to WritersBlockLive, 67.32% of affiliate marketers connect with customers using social media. The go-to platform for advertising products is Facebook, which has around 2.5 billion monthly active users.
Here’s a quick breakdown of advertising audiences of social media platforms (April 2019).
Here are some ways you can use social media to promote affiliate products:
A. Use niche groups
Famous social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn have groups related to different niches. These are a good way to promote affiliate products to specific audiences.
B. Create engaging social media content
Provide valuable advice, create high-quality content, and engage with your audience regularly to keep them interested in your posts.
C. Include images of the product in your content
Humans process images faster than written content. Look at how affiliate marketers of Amazon and eBay merge product images and specifications with their content to increase the probability of sales.
You can also do giveaways on Instagram—a great way to drive more traffic to your website, or a particular blog with some affiliate links.
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Create A Social Media Strategy
#6. Create an Affiliate Email Marketing Campaign
An affiliate marketing email campaign takes your current automated email sequence and adds a few new emails to promote your affiliate links. For this, you’ll need to build a massive email list.
With an affiliate email marketing campaign, your links will land directly in your reader’s inbox.
To create an email affiliate marketing campaign, follow these steps:
- Ensure that your email provider allows affiliate links.
- Choose the correct affiliate links to promote. Those links should be profitable and also related to your niche.
- Add the affiliate emails in your already set-up email sequence.
- Keep tracking your subscribers and updating your email lists.
You Can Make Money With Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a lucrative option to earn money from a captive audience. It allows you to turn your passion for a specific niche into a full-time income.
All you need to do is find a good affiliate program and create relevant content to attract the right audiences.
Use this guide as a good starting point to begin your earning journey with affiliate marketing and scale up to 6-7 figure income.
FREE Start a Blog Challenge
Want to start an affiliate marketing blog? Sign up for the FREE 7-Day Start a Blog Challenge, with daily video lessons, tech training, and a printable workbook.
Ready to make money with affiliate marketing for beginners?
More About Guest Contributor
Eduard Klein is an International Digital Growth Marketer, Blogger, and Entrepreneur with a global mindset. He guides people through the process of starting and growing a digital business, and to ride the wave of digital technology and marketing without getting swept away.
Last Updated on September 12, 2021