Probably, you’ve already heard the term “affiliate marketing” in your search for the best way to make money online. Are you interested to try it by yourself, but don’t know where to begin? I’m here to help you.
I was in the same place just several months ago. In my quest for an additional income stream, I looked at selling home-made goods, drop-shipping, Amazon or eBay and other methods. Each of them looked too complicated and risky for me.
Very quickly I realized that I don’t want to deal with any production, shipping, billing or customer support. My life is already full of tasks and stress, with a 9-5 job, three kids and the household to take care of. No more trading my precious time for low hourly wages.
My hope was to find a way to build an online business that I can do in my own pace, finding some time during the day to work on it, without a need to be available anytime to solve customer problems or run to a post office with some parcels.
After an exhausting amount of research, I decided that affiliate marketing is the best option for a busy mom like me. As a next step, I had to find where to learn it without paying huge amounts of money to newly emerged gurus that filled my Facebook feed with their “must have” offers.
You don’t need to spend your time on the same research, as I’m going to share my findings with you in this post.
There is one super easy and free way to get a better understanding of how affiliate marketing really works and how you can start your online affiliate business from scratch. You don’t need any specific guru since you can learn from many successful marketers on the same platform that exists and grows since 2005.
But before I tell you where to find this great training, let’s take a look at the basics of the affiliate marketing business model.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a way to earn commissions for selling someone else’s product to a customer, without being involved in order handling, shipping, and customer service. There are three participating sides in each affiliate transaction:
1. The Seller (or Merchant, or Advertiser), who is the product owner and looks to sell it to the customers. In order to get the sale, the seller is willing to pay a commission.
2. The Marketer (or Publisher), who refers a customer to a Seller and gets the commission
3. The Customer, who buys the product that the Marketer suggested.
I’m sure you already did some affiliate marketing transactions without ever noticing it. How can it be?
Let me tell you about my first unintended success.
How I’ve got 10 KiwiCo crates for just $7.95
I’m a member of New Moms Facebook group, where we discuss various kids related ideas. In November last year, there was a post about science and art exploration kits subscriptions for children and what are the best companies selling them.
This is how I’ve got to know about KiwiCo crates. At this time, they run a Black Friday promotion, offering the first kit with 60% percent discount from the regular $19.95 price, so it was easy decision to try, especially when you can cancel anytime.
KiwiCo provided me with a personal referral code and I was happy to share the deal in New Moms group. In the next 2-3 day’s I’d got 12 emails with “You’ve earned $10” title.
Being a frugal mom, I just ordered about 10 crates that were on sale and canceled my subscription. I’ve got a full box of STEM kits for the initial $7.95 price.
This is the power of affiliate marketing – I only had to recommend the right product to the right audience and – Cha-Ching! – I’ve got my commission.
Did you ever send Uber promo code to a friend to get him to try this service? Or maybe recommended a hotel or a restaurant and got a discount for your future visit as well? Congrats! You are not really new to affiliate marketing.
How Does Online Affiliate Marketing Work?
Online Affiliate marketing has the same concept, but you don’t have to know your clients personally or talk to them. You don’t need to sell anything, you only should offer a helpful information. Here is the idea.
What do you do when you need to find a quick answer about a product you consider buying? Where do you go searching for solutions? Fifty years ago, you’d probably ask friends or go to a public library to look for a relevant book or an article.
Now, we have our best friend Google. Let’s say you’ve got a kitten and not sure how to take care of it – what food and toys to buy, how to train it to use a litter box etc.
All chances are, you’ll just open Google and type the questions in. Google will offer you hundreds of posts on each topic. Many of these posts will come from pets niche bloggers.
Clicking on the post titles will bring you to their websites, where you’ll read the relevant information and probably will be offered to buy the related products, like a litter box or a kitten food.
The bloggers don’t sell these products directly, they just embed the affiliate links to the merchant sites in the text or the images in the blog.
When you click on the link, you are redirected to the retailer and complete the transaction on their website. Merchant’s system tracks the link and sends the commission to the blogger that offered you to buy the product.
Here is a short video from AskJoel.com that explains the concept of affiliate marketing:
Why Affiliate Marketing Is So Popular?
Affiliate Marketing is very popular because it’s a triple WIN – all three participants get great benefits.
The Seller doesn’t need to invest in marketing, think about strategies, run advertising campaigns, pay wages of the permanent marketing personnel. It sets up the affiliate program, provides links and banners and lets others to do the work. The benefit is clear – the growing revenue. Win!
The Publisher (you!) gets the commission from the Seller, be it a percentage of each sale or a flat lead fee. Win!
The Customer gets the helpful information from the Publisher’s blog post and makes the informed decision to purchase the desired product from the Seller.
It’s worth to note here that the price that Customer pays is the same retail price that he would pay with or without using an affiliate link. Win!
Sounds easy? I have to disappoint you a little – affiliate marketing business requires time and work to be successful. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme (those don’t exist in the real life, by the way). There are several things to learn before you start earning money through affiliate marketing. Be prepared to invest at least 6-12 months to see the first results.
However, after you’ve established the authority with Google, some of your posts can turn into money-making machines, producing passive income while you are asleep.
What Do You Need To Learn To Become A Successful Affiliate Marketer?
There are many aspects of affiliate marketing business that you need to master before you see real success.
I’m going to touch them very briefly, just to give you an initial feeling. Don’t be overwhelmed, as all these questions will be answered in the free training I’m going to invite you to. Here are the main points to address:
How to find the right niche and audience?
What is the topic that you are knowledgeable or passionate about? You need to have enough interest in this topic to be able to find at least 100 post ideas. Are there other people sharing the same interest or looking for solutions to problems related to this topic?
How to find affiliate programs and use their links and banners?
There are affiliate programs almost in any niche. Some of them are managed by a merchant itself. Many other programs can be found in affiliate networks, like ShareASale, Rakuten, Maxbounty, FlexOffer and more. The networks make it easier for the advertisers and also help the publishers to consolidate the commissions and easily track their revenue.
How to build and host a website?
In addition, you’ll need to choose a theme – the basic design of the website, including the homepage template, features, colors, and fonts.
How to create helpful content?
To build a trust with your blog visitors, the content is supposed to help them to solve a problem that they entered in the search engine before coming to your site. It should be an honest and detailed information.
If you have troubles with correct spelling or grammar, this can be easily resolved with Grammarly – an awesome free tool that you can use for any of your writing needs, be it a website content or just a letter to a teacher.
How to get your content to rank high on Google (SEO)?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. What does it mean?
It would be very sad if you write amazing content but there are no blog visitors to read it. Attracting traffic is one of the most important skills of the blogger. You’ll have to learn how to find the right keywords for your articles, how to add links and images and get Google to notice and rank your creations. In the other words – make your site optimal for Google to understand and evaluate.
How to use social media to bring traffic to your website?
There are numerous social media platforms that can be used for driving free or paid traffic to your site: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others. Each platform has different rules and tricks.
As you see, these and many more topics are the necessary pillars to your affiliate marketing success.
I know, it sounds overwhelming and complicated. You might have no coding knowledge and no writing experience. I didn’t have them either.
If you try to take courses about each of the topics, you won’t know where to start and might spend thousands of dollars on this education.
This is where the great training I’ve mentioned in the beginning comes in!
Thorough, step by step training touches all the required skills and is built specially for the beginners, like you.
The Best Online University For Affiliate Marketing
This platform is called Wealthy Affiliate. It was founded in 2005 and has millions of active members.
When you sign up for FREE you will receive:
1. First 10 lessons of Online Entrepreneur Certification Course, with step by step instructions and detailed tasks.
2. Two free websites to apply what you learn and
3. Free Keywords research tool (limited access)
4. Seven days access to Live Chat help
5. Ability to earn money with the referral program. Yes, even if you don’t pay anything yourself.
6. Access to thousands of valuable educational posts written by Wealthy Affiliate community members
You can stay a free member as long as you want and enjoy the learning at your own pace.
In order to unlock additional features of the platform, you’ll have to upgrade to Premium. The cost is $49 per month or $359 per year. There are no other up sales or hidden costs.
If you want to learn more about Wealthy Affiliate features available to Premium members, you can check out my full review here.
Be An Action Taker – Start Today
Affiliate marketing is a growing and attractive business. It’s the easiest way to make money from blogging by helping other people to solve their problems.
Why not jump on this train and check out if it feels right for you?
The best thing – you can start for FREE! No credit card required. Sign up below and begin the exciting journey to your online success.
Once you join, I’ll be able to assist you inside the Wealthy Affiliate platform as well. Expect a greeting from me on your profile there.
P.S I’m here to answer any questions you might have.
What is your view of affiliate marketing? What resources (especially the free ones) do you like to use?