Affiliate Marketing for Dummies (Beginners Guide)

So, let’s assume that you have already established a stable working website. Of course, you’ve worked hard and your traffic is gradually increasing. Still, you see interactions from visitors and you know that there’s much more to it then just clicks & impressions. You’ve seen other publishers make tons of money, but, you don’t know how they did it. The main thing that they knew about, and you didn’t is called Affiliate Marketing, and it’s helping people earn fast with little to no experience since the early 2000s.

Before we dig in into our guide, remember that these methods can work both individually and collectively, so it’s all about playing it smart and going for quality over quantity.

The most popular and most effective way of earning money online is definitely Affiliate Marketing. It’s basically a process where you earn money through promoting products of other companies, affiliates, partners, etc.

Your only job is to find a product the company wishes to promote. Then, you promote it and earn a percentage of the sales that the product made. That’s it. Obviously, getting to know your targeted audience & stimulating the sales of the product you promote is not as easy as it looks. But a few tricks you’re about to learn will make Affiliate Marketing seem easy & effortless.

First, the basics. There are three essential players:

  1. The Affiliate/Advertiser (You)
  2. Seller and the product creators
  3. The consumer (end of the affiliate chain, the most important part)

Your (Affiliate’s) Main Objective

The Affiliate’s (your) main objective is to promote sellers’ products in appealing ways to stimulate sales. Every affiliate earns through a fixed payout rate (which may or may not be fixed, depending on your Affiliate Program).

For example, if your payout rate is $15, you’ll get $15 for each sale you generate.

How do You (Affiliate) stimulate sales?

Affiliates do that through several marketing strategies such as persuasion, which is very effective if used correctly. It lets you adapt your sales angle to match your user’s needs, which makes them more likely to buy. Creating a unique sales angle through persuasion is not as easy as it seems.

Before you start praising your product to everyone and everything, ask yourself this:

Who is my target audience?

Why would they buy this?

How does this product solve their problem?

Why is it any different from everything they’ve seen so far?

Does it provide value? If so, does it provide any additional value, perhaps something that the competing product doesn’t have?

Answering these questions right away will definitely make it easier for you to learn your audience & adapt your approach to them.

Along with persuasion, you can also leverage existing reviews about the product you’re promoting. For example, if you’re promoting an already established product, it has to have top-notch reviews? Right?

Then why not include those? Show them someone who already made a choice & was happy about it.

In plain English, show your potential customers that they’re not making a mistake by choosing you.

Reviews and persuasion not doing the trick? Try spicing it up a bit more with exclusive promotional offers that bring value by providing discounts you just can’t say no to.

Think about it this way, if you see those jeans, shirts, shoes you always wanted to wear for half their usual price, would you buy or pass?

The reality is that most people don’t even think twice. They see that they’re benefiting, and they place their order. It’s basic human nature.

Moral of the story? There are many different methods/strategies that you (as an Affiliate) can use. It’s up to you to choose your approach, and choosing carefully is the most important part. Don’t rush.

Why do I need to be careful when selecting my approach?

By carefully selecting your approach, you assure sellers that their consumers will be persuaded into buying their product. It’s important to know that to assure isn’t the same as to sell. To really assure the sellers, you’ll need to prove that your method works.

How do you prove that? You stimulate actual sales.

It’ll probably take a few split-tests of different methods combined before you hit the sweet spot for your customers. But in the end, you’ll have a steady stream of passive income that generates serious money while you sleep. How cool is that?

Affiliate Marketers tend to establish fully recognizable brands that continuously attract active consumers in 9/10 cases.

The second part of the chain is the Seller. Entrepreneur, vendor, product creator, small firm, large enterprise, retailer, you name it. All forms of sellers are compatible as long as they have a product that they want to promote online.

The best part of the story? A product can be literally anything, from actual physical objects up to digital platforms.

How does Affiliate Marketing Work?

The third part of the chain is, yeah, you guessed it – the consumer. Consumers are essential to this whole process. And it’s easy to see why.

The consumer might not be aware of it, but his decision to engage in the promoted product and buy it is consequentially the main driving force behind Affiliate Marketing. Consumers buy the product, sellers and affiliates split the share, and just like that both sides of the coin profit.

If this whole thing makes sense to you, and you’re still not sure how is this “making money from home with no experience”, take a look at this:

1. No Additional obligations to customers ( eg. Customer Support)

Since Sellers are the ones that have to worry about consumer experience and their overall satisfaction with the product, you don’t. All you got to do is sell.

Thanks to this particular business model, your only job is to link sellers with consumers, customer service is not your job.

2. Work from Home

If you’re not very keen about 9-5’s (which you most likely aren’t since you’re reading this blog) and you prefer to work from home, then you’ve hit the jackpot, this model suits you perfectly.

Literally, anything can be done from your couch, from launching campaigns all the way up to receiving revenues.

3. Flexibility, Convenience, profit and FREEDOM

Since you can essentially define yourself as a freelancer, you possess total freedom when it comes to decision-making and future goals.

Essentially, You choose the product, you choose your work hours, you choose your campaign, and most importantly, you, and only you get paid.

4. Guaranteed Growth Potential

Let’s put it this way. You can literally work your whole life by doing the same job and earning the same paycheck every month without any advancement.

With Affiliate Marketing, that’s basically impossible because the whole system revolves around your performance, the more you perform, the more you’ll get rewarded. The more professional and thorough you become over time in your campaigns, the higher the paycheck at the end of the month.

To sum it up, Affiliate Marketing is a performance-based environment.

The best part of the story? All you need is a domain, an email account linked to the domain, and a free place to sell your ad space.

If this particular business model fits you, all you need to do is find a good Affiliate Program with payout rates that satisfy your needs and you’re ready to start your climb towards greatness.

What are my necessary requirements?
  • A fully operational and optimized website
  • Decent amount of traffic
  • Active Subscription to an Affiliate Program
What are my necessary skills for Affiliate Marketing?
  • Decent Social Media Skills
  • A sense for writing promoted content
What are my necessary skills?
  • Blogging skills
  • Social Media skills
  • Solid negotiation skills
  • Decent analytical skills

Selling Ad Space

Selling Ad Space is the most flexible method that you can use. There are a lot of ways to sell your website’s ad space, but for the sake of this article, we’ll only focus on selling ad space in Affiliate Marketing.

How does selling ad space in Affiliate Marketing work?

Generally very simple. There are three key steps you need to remember:

  • Choosing an Affiliate Program & establishing a payout price with advertisers
  • Placing the ad code somewhere on the website
  • Getting paid for every lead you generate through your ad’s click funnel

You’re probably thinking: What in the world is a click funnel? How am I supposed to know that? You said this was simple…

Relax, it’s just a fancy word that affiliates use to describe the whole path that users go through. From the first click on the ad that promotes a product to the last click on the order button of that promoted product.

PPC Model

When this model is mentioned, you’ll need to understand that it’s directly connected to Google AdWords.

What is PPC and how does it work?

PPC (Pay-per-Click) is a bit more complicated than selling ad space. Although the definition is relatively simple, the whole process isn’t. The most profitable & most popular PPC Affiliate Program you should focus on is definitely Search PPC. The whole process revolves around targeting niche-related keywords that will display your promoted website on top of google’s search results. And getting paid for each click on that website.

Essentially, your goal with PPC is:

Each time a user types keywords that are related to the product you’re promoting into the google search, your job is to be in the top three results.

This is extremely difficult to master. Especially because you’ll need a lot of practice to master which exact keywords you need to target to stimulate clicks.

What is AdWords?

It’s a Google advertising system in which advertisers participate in real-time auctions where it is determined which ads are paid the highest.

After that, the highest-paid ads get displayed on google search result pages.

Selling Digital Products

This might be the ideal scenario for higher monthly revenues, but it has to be viewed from a long-term benefit standpoint.

The upside of this whole story is the fact that there are no middlemen between buyers and you, so you don’t have any percentages that you have to share with anyone. The model itself is very clear, you sell products directly through your website with immediate payments. However, in reality, it’s not that simple.

Finalizing good, useful products that sell well requires tons of tireless work and many sacrifices to accumulate high revenues. Resource Costs, production costs, so-called „hidden costs“ with collaborating contractors, payment gateways (issues with collecting payment), shipping issues, and many more similar obstacles are inevitable, but if your product is well polished, your success is guaranteed.

Besides the product, the web page itself must be appealing and well connected with the product you’re trying to sell

What do I need to sell my own digital product?

Assuming that you already have a stable website, and you already know how to set up one, your next step is setting up an eCommerce platform. Through this platform, you will design your store by customizing it to fit your needs.

The last step is the easiest, you wait for your buyers, you track your numbers and you calculate your profit.

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