At the time of writing this, the entire world is shut down. I’m not sure when you are reading this, but I hope that when you are, the world has gone back to normal and we’re all happy, healthy and making money together.
The reason I decided to write this “affiliate marketing made simple” guide, is because I know there are many right now who are struggling to make ends meet and are desperately looking for a way to make some extra money (whether that be online or otherwise).
For the last 7 years, I have been steadily building my online business (mostly with affiliate marketing) and it’s with great pleasure I announce that so far, from what I can tell, my affiliate marketing business seems to be both recession-proof and also pandemic-proof.
With that said, I genuinely believe anyone can make money online – especially with affiliate marketing – so I want to share with you a simple guide to get you started and also tell you how I managed to build my online business, from the ground up.
Before we get into it, I also have to mention here that affiliate marketing is not a quick way to make money online.
If you’re desperate to make money fast, affiliate marketing is not for you – you can look at some other methods here.
However, what I can tell you is that affiliate marketing is a business you can start for free, and work on it in your free time (something I’m sure you have a lot of since everyone is stuck at home).
If you do this right, and you follow my instructions, in a few months you will have a steady, passive-income earning asset that would hopefully help you balance the books and maybe even give you a bit more than you need.
With that said, let’s jump in and explain what affiliate marketing is, how it works and how you can get started.
Table of Contents
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
I’m sure you already know a little bit about affiliate marketing and how it works so I won’t go into much detail about it here (although I do here).
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is a “commission on sales” business model where you, as an affiliate marketer, can promote products online to an audience, and when someone makes a purchase, you get paid a commission.
To find products to promote is not going to be difficult at all. There are hundreds of affiliate programs you can join, and probably millions of products you can promote to billions of people connected online.
(I will explain what affiliate programs are down below so stay with me for now).
How Much Money Can You Make As An Affiliate Marketer?
This is hard to call, because how much money you eventually earn as an affiliate depends on a lot of different factors. For example;
Since we’re working on a commission basis, the price of the products you are selling will be one of the leading metrics in answering this.
The good news is; products you can promote (as an affiliate) can range from $10 to $10,000 and the commission rates vary from 1% up to even 100% (in some rare cases).
As you can see there are too many variables just with that, so this all comes down to the products you choose to promote and how effective you are at promoting them.
What I can tell you is that YES, affiliate marketing does make money, and when done right, it can make you a lot of money!
There’s really no limit to how much you can earn. It all goes back to what product(s) you’re promoting, how much commission you get paid and how well you promote these products.
Don’t worry, I know this is an “affiliate marketing made simple” guide so if this is all getting a bit too confusing, it’s all about to make sense very soon.
I just wanted to open your eyes to the possibilities and the upside potential of starting an affiliate marketing business which yes, can be started for free.
What Do You Need To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?
Ok, I told a little half-lie there. While yes, you can get started with affiliate marketing with $0, my suggestion would be to not take the free approach.
Instead, I suggest investing $15 in a domain name (to get a website) as that would only help you reach your goals of making money with affiliate marketing much quicker.
Alternatively, you can also use the SiteRubix platform which will give you a free WordPress website to work with but if you can, go a step further and get yourself a domain name. The best/cheapest way to do this is through BlueHost.
With that out of the way, let me now walk you through what you need to make money (with affiliate marketing).
I wish I can tell you “you don’t need it”, but that would only make it impossible for you to make some money. As I said, a website does not take a lot of effort (or money) to start and you can have a simple WordPress website up and running in just a few minutes.
What you need to do is:
- Pick a niche (topic) for your website – and;
- Pick a domain (related to your niche).
If these seem daunting, don’t worry! The first 2 video lessons in the training course I’ve mentioned above shows you how to get started and how to set up your website so I suggest you check that out.
50+ Published Blog Posts
The reason you need to have a website is that you need to be publishing content, which is what will attract your target buyers to your website (so you can make money).
This is probably the hardest part for all (beginner) affiliate marketers.
Do not expect to publish your first blog post today, and make your first sale tomorrow.
It takes time to build up the traffic (readers) to your website and it will take about 50 blog posts to really get you some numbers worth talking about.
If you’re brand new to affiliate marketing, my suggestion would be to get those 50 blog posts up and running as quickly as possible and then let the search engines find your content and rank it accordingly in due time (it usually takes 6-8 months for your posts to start getting some serious traffic).
Traffic To Your Website
Do not quit your website before you hit those 50 posts and do not quit your affiliate marketing dreams before you give your 50 published blog posts at least 12 months to get you traffic.
As you can see from my Google Analytics account of one of the websites inside my “profitable niche site case study” the real traffic only started coming in 6-10 months after I launched the site.
Once you have your 50 blog posts ranking and getting traffic, you will see some sales/income. Again, how much you will be making depends on:
- Your traffic
- Your niche/topic
- Your products
- Your commission rate.
The good thing about affiliate websites is that even if you don’t make any sales (which is quite impossible) you can still sell your website for $2,000+ if you follow the 50-blog posts guide I’ve shared with you above.
Affiliate Programs To Make Money With
Affiliate programs are the platforms you need to join to be able to make money as an affiliate. For example, one of the best ways to get started as an affiliate is through the Amazon affiliate program which will allow you to promote and profit from any products listed on Amazon.
The reason I’ve decided to talk about affiliate programs as sort of a “last step” is that I highly recommend you do not get involved with affiliate programs until you have published your first 50 blog posts.
The reason for this is that many affiliate programs require you to have a website in order to be approved and it helps if you have some content on your website (and ideally some traffic as well).
Also keep in mind that in the beginning, you won’t have much traffic (readers) coming into your website so you’re not missing out on much and the fact that your content is not monetized will eventually help you rank faster (and higher) in Google.
This is just a hunch, not a proven fact (although many other affiliates agree with me on this).
Once you have the traffic, you can then monetize by finding an affiliate program, I have a great guide on how to use and join affiliate programs here if you’d like to take a look.
Last but not least, I want to address a question you may be thinking right now…
Is Affiliate Marketing As Easy As They Make It Out To Be?
Sadly no. It IS easy (as you can see, it’s not really that complicated) but it’s not as easy as one-two-three-profit.
It takes time and effort to get started and if you don’t do it right, you may find yourself 6 months down the line realizing you’ve been doing it wrong all along.
This is why I highly recommend you check out Wealthy Affiliate’s training course as it’s laid out in a way that does not allow you to fail.
You will get to start from scratch and build on the previous day’s progress one step at a time.
It’s where I learned how to make money with affiliate marketing and I’m sure it can do the same for you as well.