Every affiliate marketing beginner dreams of one day earning a full-time income online selling other people’s products for a commission.
While it’s definitely possible to make money with affiliate marketing, it’s easier said than done.
Today, I want to share with you a few beginner-friendly affiliate marketing tips to prepare every beginner reading this for what’s to come, what you can expect in the beginning, and how to make affiliate marketing a successful venture.
I will explain each tip in much more detail below, but first, here’s a quick overview of what I’ll be talking about:
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is the online business model that pays you a commission when you send a customer to a product, service, or website, and they make a purchase.
If I send my readers to a website that sells a product and they make a purchase of $100, I’ll get a commission on that $100.
Commission rates vary a lot. It could be anywhere from >4% to 75%<. It all depends on the product, affiliate network/program you’re using, and the product creator.
This process is done through the use of affiliate links (which I explain in great detail here), but for now, you can also take a look at this infographic from YourBlogMentor.com which explains exactly how this works:
4 Unique Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
There are many reasons why affiliate marketing is amazing, especially for beginners who are just getting started in the online business world. However, to give you a glimpse of what to expect, here are some of my favorite benefits (& what attracted me to affiliate marketing in the first place).
Affiliate Marketing Is Cheap (Nearly Free) To Start:
While a traditional “offline” business will cost you a few thousand to get started, affiliate marketing is cheap/free to start.
All you need to “get started” is your own website (yes, having a website is a must with affiliate marketing). This will cost you around $100 a year to create and maintain.
I promise you, this is a worthwhile investment, and if you do things right (as I’m about to explain below), you will make 10X that in your first year, guaranteed.
You Can Sell Anything You Want!
There are 4 billion people online today. With that kind of audience, it’s safe to say there is an audience for everything out there.
There are literally millions of products you can promote on your website, and you can make money (pretty much with each one). This is done through the use of affiliate programs.
You WILL Be Making Money 24/7
One of the best things about affiliate marketing is the fact that I can make money all day, every day – even in my sleep.
There are no off days, no public holidays, no “opening times” – nothing!
My websites never shut down. They’re running 24/7 and they’re all making me money (even when I’m not working).
Your Business Can Be Run From Anywhere In The World:
- Sometimes I work on my business from my bed,
- Sometimes from my home office – and
- Sometimes on a plane at 30,000 feet.
I can literally work from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Affiliate marketing makes all this (and more) possible.
If you were not convinced affiliate marketing is for you; hopefully, you’ve made up your mind now.
If you’re still here reading, I guess it’s time for me to share with you the promised 10 affiliate marketing tips for beginners.
#1: The Best Thing You Can Do Is…
There are probably hundreds of things you can do to feel like you’re working hard, but the best thing you can do (especially as a beginner) is to focus on creating the best content you can.
You can spend an hour on Twitter or an hour creating pins for Pinterest (which will get you some results), but if that hour were spent creating one new piece of content, it would’ve been the best thing you could do.
You make money with affiliate marketing by getting people to visit your website. The more content you have on your website, the more traffic (people) you will get.
Trust me, focus on creating (great) content and not much else. You will see how quickly you start making money.
#2: Promote a Product Your Audience Wants
This may seem obvious, but I see many blogs selling products that are not related to their topic at all. Please don’t sell a “make money online” product on your fishing website. It just doesn’t make any sense.
When choosing a product to promote, keep in mind the mentality of your visitor. If they’re there to see what they can buy for their next fishing trip, their mind is only thinking about fishing.
You can pitch the greatest product in the world, but if it’s not related to “fishing” then you will fail.
#3: Keep Everything Super Simple
I see way too many people wasting time trying to create amazing-looking websites. This has 0 benefits to you.
Keep everything simple. A simple look. A simple black on white text and a simple layout.
Simple works great with affiliate websites.
This because you want the reader to be blown away by your content (and the products you’re promoting), not with how cool your logo is.
#4: Information > Selling
If you want to start an affiliate marketing website, build your website with the intention of providing great information.
Don’t just create a website to sell a product. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but the only way you can get people to trust you (and then buy from you) is by first helping their needs. Remember;
People want to buy your products, but they don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to.
#5: Create Specific Sales Page For Your Product
The best way I found that will prevent me from “overselling” in my posts is to create a sales page for the product I’m selling.
These are what I call “pillar articles,” and they are usually 3000+ word deep with information about the product, an “in-depth review” if you will.
When you create content like this, you can then link to them in your blog posts (instead of linking directly to the product).
This definitely helps boost your conversions too (thus you make more money) because people who click on the links to these types of articles are already half-sold and the “pillar article” continues is there to continue increasing their interest.
#6: Only Sell a Product You Believe In
If you want to make a full-time business out of affiliate marketing, it’s always a good idea to run your business with some integrity.
Don’t just push just any product that you find to make money.
If you’re going to promote a product, promote something:
- You actually use (or used before),
- You find useful – and
- You’re 100% certain it will work for your customers too.
If you continually push sub-bar products and services to make a quick buck, you’ll soon realize that nobody will start trusting your recommendations again.
#7: Go For Recurring Commissions
Whenever possible, try to promote products or services that have recurring commissions.
Making a sale once and then continue reaping the rewards for it for months and even years to come is just magical. It’s how I built my entire affiliate business.
I promote products like this and recurring income is approximately 60% of my overall income. That’s income with no extra work from my end.
#8: Affiliate Marketing Is Not The Only Way To Make Money
I call myself an “affiliate marketer” but the truth is, affiliate marketing is not the only way I make money.
I also create and sell my own products, I have an e-commerce store, and I also have websites that earn money with banner ads.
The reason I’m telling you this is so you know there’s more than one way to make money with a website.
While affiliate marketing is typically the best way to make money with an online audience, don’t be afraid to add banner ads (or even create your own products) when it doesn’t make sense to mention a product in your content.
#9: Have The Patience To See It Through
I’m sure you’ve seen the overhyped, BS products out there claiming you can “make a thousand dollars by next week” but I promise you, it doesn’t work that way.
For months I made exactly $0 from affiliate marketing, then came the first sale (a whopping $0.87c) and the next month, I probably made $5
Today, years later, I make a full-time with this business – and I love it.
My point is; you need to have patience. If I had given up after months of working for $0, I wouldn’t be here to write this post.
I left this tip for last because I absolutely believe that it is by far the most important factor you need to understand as an “affiliate marketing beginner”.
I see too many bloggers get off to a great start only to abandon their blogs 3/4/5 months in, usually just before they start seeing any results. It’s a shame really and I don’t want you to go through this same thing.
I’ve just spent the last year building a case-study, and it’s only after 6-8 months that I started seeing some great results.
Keep at it. You will get there.
#10: Know What You’re Doing Get Some Training
Last but not least, my final tip would be to know what you’re doing.
When I was still a beginner, I spent about 6 months trying to build my affiliate marketing business only to realize I’ve been doing it wrong all along.
That mistake nearly made me quit (luckily, I didn’t), but it’s a tough pill to swallow when you have to delete everything and start from scratch, just when you thought making money will happen soon.
For this reason, I’d recommend you spend some time learning how to make affiliate marketing work instead of trying to make it work.
That’s all from my end. I hope these few affiliate marketing tips have been helpful to you.
If you’d like to know more, here’s a quick YouTube video you can watch that’ll share a few additional things you may want to know as a beginner affiliate.