Affiliate Marketing for Dummies: What You Need to Get Started

Affiliate Marketing for Dummies: What You Need to Get Started

Anyone who has pondered about making money online has probably researched affiliate marketing.

Can you make money with affiliate marketing? What are the best affiliate marketing programs?

If you’ve done a bit of research, you’ve probably come across those people who make 10K or even more per month from affiliate marketing. What exactly does it take to replicate their accomplishments and is that even possible?

The short answer is – yes. Affiliate marketing can help you earn money online.

The long answer is that you will have to put effort into the process in order to see returns.

The following affiliate marketing for dummies guide will acquaint you with the essentials and help you make your first steps.

What Is Affiliate Marketing

My affiliate marketing for dummies guide will start with a quick definition of what affiliate marketing is.

Affiliate marketing is an advertising arrangement between a publisher (you) and a company that wants to advertise.

You display ads or links to the respective advertiser’s website or offer on your pages. When people click, opt in or buy following the referral, you will get either a fixed amount or a commission (a percentage derived from the sale amount).

As an affiliate, you have a major interest in growing your traffic and reaching as many potential website visitors as possible. The higher your traffic is, the higher the chance of generating sales or desirable actions that can be monetized.

For more information, please visit affLIFT – an affiliate marketing forum that will give you a lot of additional information.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

Doing affiliate marketing comes with numerous benefits over other strategies for monetizing your website or blog.

A few of the key affiliate marketing advantages include:

  • Relevance: by choosing the right networks, ads and links, you can ensure the relevance of the promotional content. The more relevant it is, the higher the chance of people following an affiliate link and eventually purchasing.
  • Easy tracking: affiliate marketing networks make it very easy for their affiliates to track traffic, engagement and actions. You can see if you’re missing the mark and you can adjust your content/design to get better results.
  • Simple implementation: you don’t need technical knowledge or development skills to get started with affiliate marketing. Typically, you’ll be provided with links that are used to track the origin of content and pay you for the referrals you’ve generated.
  • Highly scalable: it’s entirely up to you to decide whether you’ll rely exclusively on affiliate marketing to do some monetization or if you’ll use it alongside another approach. In addition, you have the freedom to choose the companies you’re going to work with and the affiliate marketing networks you’re going to join.
  • You can do affiliate marketing without a website: even if you don’t have a website or a blog, you can still get money from affiliate marketing. For the purpose, you’ll have to share promo links in your social media content, via the ebooks you create or in your YouTube videos. Comments on forums and within communities can also be used for the purpose.

There are many resources you can use for the purpose of learning more about affiliate marketing and turning it in a full-time business.

Affilorama, for example, enables you to create a free membership and learn more about affiliate marketing. Get started today. 

The Best Affiliate Marketing Networks

There are many opportunities out there and in order to make the most of this monetization strategy, you will have to choose the best affiliate marketing programs.

The good news is that you’ll find many opportunities out there. Some of them accept newbies. Even if you don’t have a website that brings in massive traffic every single month, you can still give affiliate marketing a try.

Our affiliate marketing for dummies guide will continue with a shortlist of some of the best opportunities to try:

  • Amazon Associates: the Amazon affiliate marketing program is a great choice for anyone. The reason is simple – there’s an amazing range of products that will be suitable and targeted for just about every blog or website out there. The Amazon affiliate marketing program does accept newbies.
  • CJ Affiliate by Conversant: another network that accepts newbies. The problem here is that you’ll have to apply to every single marketing program. The advertiser is the one that will decide whether they’d accept or reject you. For best results, you may want to first work on developing your online presence and growing your traffic. Having a well-established website will make it much easier for you to get the approval of multiple advertisers.
  • Clickbank: this one needs no explanation – Clickbank is an affiliate marketing giant. The platform enables everyone to sell digital products and you can advertise these products on your website. Just like in the case of Amazon Associates, the diversity is tremendous and you’ll discover at least a few great choices you can promote on your website. If you’d like to learn more about Clickbank affiliate marketing – join the Clickbank university. You will learn from some of the most successful Clickbank affiliates, which will enable you to fine tune your strategy.
  • PeerFly: PeerFly has quickly acquired a lot of popularity because of the diversity of marketing options available. Via the platform, you can earn commissions and you can also monetize clicks and views. Each campaign provides information about the preferred advertising method and the amount you can win depending on the origin of your traffic. Some of the advertisers, however, have pretty strict criteria about what’s permissible and what’s not. Thus, you may want to sort through the offers carefully if you don’t have a lot of experience. The good thing is that many of the advertisers provide banners and creatives you can use in your campaigns.
  • Rakuten: this network used to be known as buy.com. After the rebranding, Rakuten has grown tremendously. It is one of the most prominent ecommerce companies and its portfolio spans over 90,000 products. Once again, you have a huge pool of advertising opportunities that you can choose and pick among.

Obviously, these aren’t the only networks out there.

You can easily find individual websites and brands that have their own affiliate marketing possibilities. These aren’t available via a marketing network and the qualifications requirements may be a bit less strict. Airbnb is an example of a website that has its own affiliate marketing offer. In order to qualify for this opportunity, however, you will need to have solid traffic.

Affiliate Marketing for Dummies: How to Get Started


So now that you have the basics, it’s time to move on to a few more strategic considerations.

The first aspect of getting started with affiliate marketing is developing a plan.

What will your niche be? Do you already have a website that you’d like to feature affiliate ads on? If so, you will have to make sure that the respective niche offers profitable opportunities.

For the purpose, join some of the affiliate marketing networks mentioned above. See their top offers and the represented industries. Can you feature such ads on your website and will they be relevant? If the answer is negative, you may want to consider the launch of a brand new website.

To get started with blogging, you may find the following course quite handy. 

Affiliate marketing is a job. You can’t just launch your blog and hope for the links to begin generating income for you.

You will have to keep on creating quality content that your niche audience loves. In addition, you will potentially have to work on social media marketing or invest in the promotion of your blog.

Many people give up in the very beginning because they don’t have the patience and the discipline to develop their online presence to the point of getting a return.

Depending on the size of your blog and the niche you’ve chosen, you may have to wait a month, a few months or even longer to generate your first sale and get a commission. The trick is to continue investing time and effort in the development of your website. If you do that, you can potentially benefit from other monetization opportunities on top of affiliate marketing.

Biggest Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Is affiliate marketing worth a try? The answer is positive but the effectiveness of your effort will depend on the amount of work you’re willing to do.

Newbies often commit affiliate marketing mistakes that keep them from making the most of the opportunity.

A few of the most common errors include:

  • Promoting tons of products for the sake of getting money: you need to feature tailored ads your audience is going to be interested in. if you cram just about every affiliate ad you find on your website, chances are that you’ll achieve the exact opposite effect of what you’re trying to do.
  • Refraining from investing in it: affiliate marketing will probably necessitate some investment. You will need SEO tools, good hosting, a website domain and some investment in marketing and growing your popularity. While you should be careful about the initial spending (don’t overdo it!), you can’t rely on a free site in order to make significant cash.
  • Thinking that affiliate marketing is a “get rich quick” chance: no, it isn’t! For some, years will have to pass until the efforts return some monetization. Once again – the amount of time required will depend on the niche, your skills and the frequency of creating good content. Your sources of traffic and a marketing strategy will also matter.
  • Overselling: this is an overkill for all types of online money making programs. If you replace quality content on your website with a sales pitch, you will fail in terms of getting the audience engaged and willing to click on some of your promo links.
  • Choosing low quality products or programs with bad conditions: make sure you have a clear understanding of a specific program’s terms and conditions. For the purpose, you’ll need to learn the common affiliate marketing terms. You will also have to examine the quality of the respective product. If you want to maintain your website’s reputation, you have to be selective about what you place on it.
  • A failure to track your performance: affiliate marketing platforms give you the tools and the metrics you need to assess your performance. You can learn from your mistakes. You should also be tracking your website’s key metrics. Google Analytics www.google.com/analytics is an absolute essential.
  • Doing what everybody else is doing: don’t be a follower – create your own niche. Attempting to replicate what somebody else has already accomplished isn’t going to help you achieve a lot. Instead, find your unique voice and your audience. Monetization opportunities come easier to those who are pioneers.

The lesson here is to refrain from hurrying things and being impulsive.

It takes time to grow your audience, whether you have a blog or you’re a social media influencer.

Get to know that audience and create quality content for it. Only when trust is established can you start featuring ads here and there.

Hopefully, this affiliate marketing for dummies guide has answered some of your biggest questions.

Don’t hesitate to address me in the comments below. Have you tried affiliate marketing? If so, what has your experience been? Can you share some of your tips and suggestions for a better affiliate marketing strategy? I’d love to learn from you and I think that other readers will also appreciate your input.

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