Affiliate Marketing Definitive Guide For Beginners 2020
The affiliate marketing concept is getting more popular day-by-day.
It is the best method to make money online, even if you don’t have your physical identity or physical or digital products.
You just need to understand it completely and an audience, be it your blog audience, groups, email list etc.
This guide will you show you everything that you need to learn to earn from affiliate marketing.
The concept is very simple to understand…
You need to promote others’ products and when someone buys through your affiliate link(a unique link which you will get from merchants), you will get a fixed rate of commission. This is how affiliate marketing works.
See the below image to understand it more better:
Parties Involved In Affiliate Marketing
There are three parties that come in affiliate marketing:
Merchant is the product owner also known as, advertiser, vendor, seller, who owns the products and when you(as an affiliate) refer sales, they pay a fixed rate of commission from their profit.
Affiliate aka partner, associate, publisher is you, you promote merchant’s products to your audience and when someone buys using your link, you get paid a fixed amount of commission by the merchant.
Customers are the buyer of the product that you promote as an affiliate. Once they buy a product using your affiliate link, you will get the fixed commission out of merchant’s profit, it won’t increase the product price.
For becoming an affiliate, you need to join the affiliate program of the merchant, whose product you want to promote.
You can easily find any merchant’s affiliate product by searching in Google, (merchant name) + affiliate program. Or, you can also crawl their website, you will surely get an affiliate program page link if they have an affiliate program.
Important Factors In Affiliate Marketing
There are many other things also involved in affiliate marketing rather than merchant, affiliate and customer.
And they are very important.
Let’s take a look at all those factors involved in affiliate marketing:
Here are all those important terms involved in affiliate marketing:
The commission is the money that you as an affiliate get from a merchant whose products you are promoting when someone buys using your affiliate link.
There are various types of affiliate commissions that merchants offer to their affiliates.
Let’s take a look:
- Percentage Rate: You will get a fixed percentage of commission from product cost if you send a sale.
- Fixed Commission: You will get a fixed amount as commission for each sale you send like $50/sale, $100/sale.
- Recurring Commission: Recurring commission is amazing, you will get paid every month/year when the customer you refer will pay to the merchant for increasing the subscription period. SEMrush affiliate programs is an example of a recurring commission. You need to refer customer once and you will get be getting paid every month when he pays to continue the service.
- Tiered Commission: In Tiered-based commission affiliate programs, the commission will be fixed for a certain number of sale in a month, but when you touch that number and refer more sales then your commission will rate also increase.
2. Affiliate Link
An affiliate link is a unique link that contains your Affiliate ID or Username, you will get this link from all the merchants whose affiliate program you join.
It helps merchants to track sales and traffic you are sending to their product page.
3. Affiliate Link Cloaking
Affiliate link cloaking is a process of converting your long and spammy looking affiliate links to short and branded.
After cloaking an affiliate link, it creates a redirect from your cloaked link to affiliate link so that your commission will be well-protected.
An affiliate link usually looks like:
But when you use affiliate link cloaking, it becomes:
4. Affiliate Manager
Affiliate manager is the person that dedicated to helping company’s affiliates in their promotion and other related things.
An affiliate manager will help you to promote the products, tells you about the best methods you can use to promote, inform you about the sale going on and other different things..
5. Affiliate Network
Affiliate network is a place where you can find thousands of affiliate programs to join, some examples of affiliate networks are ShareASale, JVZoo, Commission Junction, Click Bank etc.
Affiliate network lets you join affiliate programs in your niche and it also tracks your sales and traffic and manage payments as well.
6. Minimum Payment Threshold
This is the threshold set by merchants, when you reach the minimum payment threshold then you will be able to withdraw your earned money to your account using any payment method you are comfortable in.
7. Payment Methods
These are the methods your merchant are using to pay to their affiliates, usually affiliate programs use Paypal, Payoneer, Wire Transfer etc.
Affiliate Marketing Myths
There are many misconceptions about affiliate marketing in beginners mind which stopping them to start their affiliate marketing journey.
Affiliate marketing is a 100% genuine method to make money online.
I have been in affiliate marketing almost from 4 years back and earning my living online through affiliate marketing(primarily).
Let me share all those myths about affiliate marketing and reveal the truth.
I quit my 9 to 5 office job to take the step into full-time blogging and affiliate marketing.
Now I am earning my living online through affiliate marketing and some other methods, living my life with freedom.
I have seen newbie having some wrong image of affiliate marketing in their mind which makes them afraid to come into affiliate marketing.
But the actual image of affiliate marketing is amazing, it isn’t a scam nor you need to invest a lot of money to start.
Let’s see all the affiliate marketing myths and reveal the truth,
Kick-Start Affiliate Marketing
Are you ready to start your affiliate marketing journey?
Yes? That’s GREAT!
Let me help you in this by showing you some initial but very important steps toward your affiliate marketing journey.
I will show you some initial steps that you need to follow to kick-start your affiliate marketing journey.
1. Find Your Mind-Blowing Affiliate Niche
Whether you are starting blogging or affiliate marketing, the first step is always to find a niche you will work on.
You should be passionate and knowledgeable enough about the niche you are starting with if you don’t want to quit in-between.
Finding an affiliate niche is a bit tough than finding a niche for your blog which is not primarily focused on affiliate marketing.
Before picking a niche, you should understand what a niche is?
Let’s take a little help from Google:
A niche is basically a highly specified market for a section of the population. For example, “pet food” is a board market and “dog food for labrador” is a highly specified market of pet food, which is specified only for labrador dogs.
So, if someone searches “best dog food for labrador“, what he is trying to find?
It is clear that he has a labrador dog and finding the best food for his labrador.
Let’s see how you can hunt for your perfect affiliate niche…
Choosing a niche isn’t really hard but it needs 100% focus because if you picked a niche randomly, it won’t work you.
Step #1: Identify Your Passion, Knowledge
The niche you are going to pick, you should have knowledge & passion about that to be able to write content around.
So, for identifying your passion, take a pen and paper and ask yourself:
- What are your hobbies?
- What things do you like and enjoy doing?
- How do you spend your free time?
- What are your favourite topics to talk about?
- When you were young, what was fun for you?
- What topics do you know more than most about?
Step #2: Check The Competition
If the niche you are going to pick has high-competition then it will be going to very tough for you to get success.
That’s why choosing a niche with low competition is a must.
Now it’s time to use a good keyword research tool. I always prefer using SEMrush because it makes keyword research too easy even if you don’t have prior experience.
Claim the SEMrush Pro 14-Day free trial now to start keyword research.
Open the SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool and enter your niche/seed keyword.
SEMrush will show you the keyword difficulty which helps you to understand the competitiveness for your searched term.
It will also show you the volume for your selected country as well as Global volume.
Scroll down to the bottom and you will see the SERPs analysis section where you can see all the top 100 pages ranking for that term along with their authority score, referring domains, total backlinks and other important details.
Step #3: Check The Demand
You can again perform keyword research using any keyword research tool(SEMrush is recommended) and find the average monthly search volume your targeted keyword is getting.
There is another a free tool by Google which you can use to know the demand of your niche, the name of the tool is “Google Trends“.
Enter your niche in the box and hit the search.
You can use to filter options at the top to see the result for the desired country and time.
Step #4: Is It Profitable?
Now you need to find, is your selected niche has much potential to make money for you?
In short, you need to find affiliate marketing opportunities in your niche.
You need to ensure that there are merchants who offer an affiliate program to promote their product and make a commission.
If a niche qualifies from all the steps, it means it is perfect for you.
2. Search Pain-Point To Create Top-Notch Content
Once you are done with the niche research, it’s mean your first step is clear.
Now research the market for your niche and find out the pain point of your audience. Try to find what people are searching around your niche, what are the problems they are facing.
Once you get this data, you can easily create content around that to gain traffic and also you can find products to promote that solve their problem.
There are many tools that you can use:
Market Research Using Quora
Quora is a question-answer site where people come and ask about their problems to others.
You can use this to find questions and problems people are asking about around your niche in Quora.
When I search for “dog foods for labrador” I found some amazing questions people asked on Quora, It popup some amazing content ideas and affiliate products to promote through my blog.
Find Questions Using AnswerThePublic
AnswerThePublic is an amazing free tool that you can use to find questions people are searching through search engines around a particular topic or niche.
Once you found all the questions people search about your niche, you can easily get some content ideas as well as product ideas to promote.
Head over to AnswerThePublic.com and enter your seed keyword or niche in the box. Then hit the Get Questions.
It will show all the questions and queries that people search around your niche.
3. Find Affiliate Products To Promote
Now the most important part comes in the game…
Start making money by promoting affiliate products… After doing market research, you surely get some idea about the products that you need to promote that will fix your audience problem.
Keep this mantra in your mind:
Now let me share some techniques that you can use to find affiliate products around your niche to promote and make some good money.
Get Affiliate Products Ideas By Spying Competitors
Your competitors are already promoting products on the same niche, so why you are researching to find affiliate products to promote?
You can easily come to know by spying a bit on them, that’s it!
Just enter your seed keyword/niche in Google and hit search. Google will show you the 10 pages ranking on the first page, you can pick the top three and open them.
I did a search on “dog foods for labradors” open the first results, it has listed 13 best dog foods for labrador.
After analyzing the entire page, I found that website is promoting products from Chewy. I open the Chewy site and searched for the Affiliate to find the affiliate program of the site.
Gotcha, I got that!
You can also use search queries like best, top, reviews etc to find affiliate products ideas. Let’s say my niche is dog foods for labrador.
If I search for best dog foods for labrador, Google shows me the pages with a list of best labrador foods and all are the affiliate sites.
So, this is a simple technique which you can use to find affiliate products around your niche.
Hunt Products In Affiliate Networks
There are many affiliate networks available, basically, affiliate networks are the places where you can find thousands of merchants to promote their products. Likewise, Merchants also looking for affiliates to promote their products.
Affiliate network provides them with a platform to come in contact. Amazon Associates, Clickbank, ShareASale and CommissionJunction are some great examples of affiliate networks.
4. Start Promotion
Now you are done with everything, niche & market research, found affiliate products also.
So, now you are ready to promote affiliate products to let money rolling into your account.
There are tons of methods that you can use to promote affiliate products. I have shared some of them below:
Start A Blog
Affiliate marketing using a blog is the best way to earn from affiliate marketing, however you are do it without a blog or website.
But have a blog, makes it easy. You can build an audience easily through your blog, generate good amount of traffic through SEO.
It makes affiliate marketing a lot more easy than doing it without any blog.
So, it is recommended to have a blog for affiliate marketing.
If you don’t want then following are the methods to promote affiliate products without a blog or website.
I am sure you have seen products reviews and unboxing videos on YouTube.
They all are promoting those products and making money through affiliate marketing.
You can also do the same to promote your affiliate products through YouTube Channel. You just need to create a YouTube channel which you can create for free from here.
Once you have created your YouTube channel, now think of types of videos you can create to promote your affiliate products and start money.
Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram can be another best way to do affiliate marketing without having a website or blog.
You can build a huge audience of people who are interested in your niche on social media and start interacting with them to share knowledge.
At the same time, you can recommend products and make money from affiliate marketing using social media.
Host Live Webinars
Most of the top affiliate marketers use live webinars to make passive income from affiliate marketing.
It can be a great way to do affiliate marketing even when you don’t have a blog or website.
BUT, for this, you need to build an audience who is interested in your niche and read to watch your webinar.
Paid ads can be a good method to attract an audience to watch your webinar.
Hire Ad Space On Other Blog
You can host your ad on others’ blog and website within your niche and attract their audience.
Search the blogs with a good amount of traffic within your niche and purchase an ad space to host your ad.
Write On Medium
Medium is an online content writing platform that allows others to create an account and write content for free.
You can use this amazing free platform to write content around your niche and include links and banned of your affiliate products.
These are some of the amazing methods you can use to start affiliate marketing with a blog or website.
There are thousands of affiliate programs available that you can join to start making money.
But you can’t go with all.
It depends on various things, your niche, your audience, etc.
Let me share some high-paying affiliate programs you can join to kickstart your affiliate marketing journey.
Before joining an affiliate program, you should take care of the following things:
1. Commission Rate
Check the commission rate they are paying on each sale. are they offering a fixed commission rate or tiered commission?
2. Minimum Payout Threshold
Beginners give up from affiliate marketing because they failed to reach the minimum payout threshold to get their money into their account.
Because the affiliate program they joined have a high payout threshold, they start thinking that they have been cheated and affiliate marketing is a scam.
So, checking the minimum payout threshold is a must because joining any affiliate program.
Mostly all affiliate programs have $50 to $100 payout threshold, which is good enough.
3. Payout Methods
Another important thing to look for before joining an affiliate program.
Must check what are the payout methods available in the affiliate program you are going to join.
You will find the PayPal option in almost all the affiliate programs available out there.
4. Cookie Duration
A cookie is a small file that gets stored in the visitors’ web browser when they click on an affiliate link.
If a visitors click on your link but didn’t make a sale and purchased the product after one week directly from merchant’s website, you will still get the commission.
Well, affiliate programs mostly use standard cookie length of 30 to 60 days. Make sure to check the cookie duration before joining an affiliate program.
5. Features, Reputation Of Product
I have seen people promoting products just because they offer high commission per sale but the product isn’t reliable.
If you are promoting a promote that already have good words in the market and it offers amazing features. You hardly need to do any promotion, it will automatically generate sales.
So, these are the 5 important things that you should look in an affiliate program before joining that.
Let’s look at the list of best affiliate programs to join…
Affiliate marketing is a booming way to make money online, whether from a blog or without a blog.
It is just amazing…
But again, it’s not a quick get-rich scheme, it will take time to start generating a good amount of income for you.
Jump into affiliate marketing today and apply all the things you learnt from this post.