Affiliate Marketing for Beginners [Complete Guide]
Affiliate Marketing for Beginners [Complete Guide]

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners [Complete Guide]

In order to ensure a stable income, you have to indulge yourself into affiliate marketing. With so many things to offer that promises opportunities and almost unlimited income, it is true that this is really undeniable.

However, learning its dynamics, just like other work, does not happen overnight.

Of course, it takes determination and willingness to spend everything that you have time, money, and efforts, you can ensure that you are ready to accept the challenge and the perks affiliate marketing has.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

To succeed in this approach, critical steps must be done and taken before receiving the affiliate rewards.

Let this article provide you with the stuff that you need to do to get you prepared.

To know more about affiliate marketing, we broke the whole process into seven things to guide you, as a beginner, on the various stuff about it. Sticking to these guides will get you on the right track and have your own earnings in no short time.

#1.The Niche

Before deciding on the other matters, you have to think about first your targeted niche. It must be done so that you know what site are you going to fix your eyes on.

And just like the cliché “the first thing is the hardest” says, this is also the hardest and annihilating part of all the steps. But we got you covered.

If you haven’t decided about your niche, take a look at these key questions you have to ponder while identifying your niche:

1.1 What are my passions?

You can start by knowing your skills and interests since there is an easiness to work if you are dealing with what your passions are.

Moreover, it is in your passion where you are more familiar than anything else, so that will definitely make everything easier.

1.2 Can this niche be profitable for me?

Aside from following your passion, another thing to consider is the probability of producing money in that particular niche. That is why sometimes, people give up their passion and choose a subject they are not familiar with if that will not give them the income they need.

1.3 What are the topics I can comfortably write about for 25 blogs or more?

A successful affiliate marketer must have ensured that he has an authoritative site, well-established search engine optimization to serve his end-user well. You can gain that by having a strong topic to discuss on.

One of the best tactics to gain authority backlinks and improve your SEO rankings is to guest post on other blogs. You should use a guest posting tool like Outreach.buzz to find relevant and high authority blogs to guest post on.

Outreach.Buzz - Find relevant blogs in your industry
Outreach.Buzz – Find relevant blogs in your industry

In order for you to produce a lot of good-quality content, the subjects you choose should be profound so you can have more topics to discuss it. An insufficient and not relatable content in any topic will make you an unreliable affiliate marketer, and it will hard for you to convince someone to invest from you.

1.4 Does this niche need another affiliate marketer?

Before indulging yourself to a very popular niche, ensure if there is a space for you there and if you are ready to compete especially in well-established marketers who are not advisable for you as a newbie. Do not get tired of looking for profitable niches that will work for you.

1.5 Is this niche has interesting products and services to offer?

Aside from interesting content, you should ensure that it has relatable products or services to your audience. It is not enough that they can read and get your message, but you should convince them to purchase to you as well.

1.6 Does this niche have available affiliate programs?

Before choosing this particular niche, you must know if there are affiliate programs for it. Any niche, no matter how popular it is, cannot produce sales if it does not have affiliate programs supporting it. If it doesn’t, then try to look for other niches.

We use Affiliate Programs Labs to find suitable affiliate programs as it has hundreds of affiliate programs in different niches you can choose from.

#2. The Affiliate Networks

After making up your mind on the niche, the next step is to do research about its affiliate programs and products to promote.

Here are some of the key points:

Merchants used – This will help you keep track of your success or failure on that particular program.

Your Commission – Sign up for profitable programs, with enough return in on the investment.

  • CPA (cost-per-action) programs– over $1 commissions, without too many restrictions on promoting their products
  • Physical products- consider over $40 commissions

You Product/Service Association – Familiarity with products is very important. You have to build your audiences’ trust to buy your product, so you must know everything about it so you can deliver to them the best of your product confidently.

Affiliate Program Support – Determine the customer support you should expect once you signed up. You can do this by researching and consulting other sellers using the same affiliate program.

Best Affiliate Marketing Networks for 2020

Below are some of the top recommended affiliate marketing websites that you can actually check out and choose the one that suits your needs.

#2.1 ShareASale [Join ShareASale]

This affiliate marketing company has been in the game for more than 18 years now. Over the years, the technology they have been using has overly been praised due to speed, accuracy, and efficiency of their services.

ShareASale houses affiliate programs for 4,500+ merchants, both big and small that offer both digital and physical products. From one spot – the ShareASale dashboard – you can sign up to all these merchants, generate links, and view your statistics.

ShareASale affiliate marketing network also has a fair and honest reputation which is well known and recognized within the industry.

Shareasale affiliate marketing network
Shareasale affiliate marketing network

ShareASale details:

  • Niche/product types: A little bit of everything, including both physical and digital products.
  • Average commission rate: Depends on the specific merchant you sign up with.
  • Cookie duration: Depends on the specific merchant you sign up with.
  • Minimum payout: $50
ShareASale dashboard
ShareASale dashboard

Pros:

  • Thousands of merchants for both physical and digital products, including lots of well-known merchants
  • Trustworthy – They’ve been around forever and work with lots of big brands

Cons:

  • The dashboard design is a little clunky, though it’s gotten a lot better

#2.2 Amazon Associates

Amazon Associated Affiliate Program
Amazon Associated Affiliate Program

Well, do I really need to even introduce this? Anyway, Amazon is American electronic commerce and also a cloud computing company that has its headquarters in Seattle, Washington. In the US, this is the largest internet retailer. You can use this affiliate network to tap into more than a million products that can enable you to advertise to your consumers.

Pros:

  • Massive selection of products
  • Universal cookie, so you get credit for everything people buy within the cookie duration
  • Amazon is by far the biggest name in eCommerce
  • Very low payout threshold – only $10

Cons:

  • The universal cookie only lasts for 24 hours
  • Some categories – like video games – have very low commissions (1%)
  • You need to register for each country individually

#2.3 CJ Affiliate by Conversant [Join Commission Junction]

Comission Junction Affiliate Network
Commission Junction Affiliate Network

This was also formally known as Commission Junction. They also reach millions of consumers who usually shop online through their affiliate marketing companies. They also include companies like Dotomi, Mediaplex, ValueClick Media, Greystripe, and Commission Junction.

Pros:

  • Huge range of big and small merchants to choose from
  • A nice back-end dashboard to help you manage your affiliate marketing efforts
  • Has a deep link generator bookmarklet that makes it really easy to generate links

Cons:

  • The dashboard is a little complicated when you’re just getting started (though I like it overall).

#2.4 Impact [Join Impact]

ImpactRadius Affiliate Network
ImpactRadius Affiliate Network

This is another good affiliate marketing website that can also help you to make some money online. They usually have an accurate tracking technology, flexible contracting and an automatic system for payment processing.

All these when combined, give their customers the ability to manage their marketing campaigns thus helping in maximizing their growth.

#2.5 MaxBounty [Join MaxBounty]

Maxbounty Affiliate Network
Maxbounty Affiliate Network

This is also one of the successful CPA affiliate programs available today and has been in the game for more than 10 years now. It is usually considered to be one of the most popular and best CPA affiliate networks available.

Currently, MaxBounty has thousands of affiliates who are satisfied and are earning some cash through CPA advertising. It has some of the highest paying affiliate programs.

#2.6 Rakuten [Join Rakuten]

Rakuten Affiliate Network
Rakuten Affiliate Network

Rakuten was formally known as Buy.com. It has now grown to be one of the biggest marketing affiliates and it ranks among the top 3 e-commerce companies worldwide.

This is mainly because it has over 90,000 products from 38,500 shop owners with more than 18 million customers. This makes Rakuten Ichiba be one of the largest e-commerce sites in Japan and among the world’s largest when you look at the sales.

Pros:

  • Gives you access to big-name merchants like Walmart and Best Buy
  • A trusted name (Rakuten is a billion-dollar company)
  • Nice-to-have features like easy ad rotation

Cons:

  • The back-end dashboard looks a little outdated
  • Not as big a selection as some other affiliate networks
  • Not available for EU audience

#2.7 Clickbank [Join Clickbank]

Clickbank Affiliate Network
Clickbank Affiliate Network

ClickBank details:

  • Niche/product types: ClickBank definitely leans towards digital products, but you’ll find some physical products as well (and ClickBank makes it easy to filter between the two).
  • Average commission rate: Depends on the specific merchant you sign up with, but usually pretty high. You’ll find both percentage and flat-rate commissions.
  • Cookie duration: Depends on the specific merchant you sign up with, but usually ~60 days.
  • Minimum payout: $10

This is one of the biggest paying affiliate marketing companies available today. Clickbank has now been providing their services for more than 17 years while still focusing on digital information products. Being one of the largest retailers available online today, they have a vast library of over 6 million products for them to reach 200 million customers globally.

Pros:

  • Lots of smaller niche offers that you won’t find at other affiliate platforms
  • Pretty high commissions for most merchants
  • $10 minimum payout makes it easy to get paid
  • Offers weekly payments

Cons:

  • ClickBank’s  refund policy means you might lose commissions
  • You have to wade through some outdated, low-quality products.

#2.8 eBay Partners Network [Join eBay Partners network]

eBay Partners Network Affiliate Network
eBay Partners Network Affiliate Network

I am more than sure that many of us still don’t know that eBay has an affiliate network. eBay has now been in this business for more than 20 years now and is still going on, providing first-class tools, reporting, and tracking. It is also known to be one of the best affiliate programs.

Pros:

  • Huge variety of products because you can promote anything on eBay
  • Can sell used products, which is unique
  • Low payout – just $10

Cons:

  • The cookie only lasts for 24 hours

#2.9 Flexoffers

FlexOffers Affiliate Network
FlexOffers Affiliate Network

FlexOffers appears as one of the best websites when it comes to affiliate marketing. They always use some multiple marketing, data delivery and advanced payment solutions to take care of both the advertisers and publishers needs. They also offer a lot of unique products and services and when you join them, you get access to an affiliate publishing network plus other advantages.

#2.10 Avangate

Avangate Affiliate Network
Avangate Affiliate Network

This is also one of the best affiliate programs that focus on digital commerce. It is usually backed by a cloud platform and focuses also on subscription billing and global payments for software. This program is actually trusted by over 4000 digital businesses in more than 180 countries.

#2.11 Avantlink

Avantlink Affiliate Network
Avantlink Affiliate Network

Actually, this is the industry-leading technology platform when it comes to affiliate referrals. This affiliate marketing program actually works hard to remain on top with constant updates and upgrades to their platform. They also emphasize more on the quality than quantity and always implementing new tools and technology.

#2.12 AffiBank

Affilibank Affiliate Network
Affilibank Affiliate Network

Always known to be among the most comprehensive and categorized affiliate programs, it usually offers pay affiliates a great commission of about 75% on the sales. Most of the affiliate programs that are usually listed in AffiBank’s marketplace use AffiBank’s in-house tracking system.

#2.13 AffiliateFuture [Join AffiliateFuture]

AffiliateFuture Affliate network
AffiliateFuture Affliate network

Having a database of more than 600 advertisers and 300,000 publishers, Affiliatefuture is just one of the best marketing networks one can get. They usually offer personalized services and also have managers who are highly trained to help you out with your marketing problems.

#2.14 Onenetworkdirect [Join OneNetworkDirect]

OneNetworkDirect affiliate network
OneNetworkDirect affiliate network

This is another affiliate program that guarantees your rapid growth. They have great solutions and a team of experts to help you out. Their affiliates usually receive great bonuses and advantages. You can earn up to 60% commission by promoting their brands and unique products.

#2.15 RevenueWire [Join RevenueWire]

Affiliate Marketing Network RevenueWire
Affiliate Marketing Network RevenueWire

This is a global e-commerce platform that is specifically designed for those companies that sell digital products online. Together with other industry-leading services like AffiliateWire, their e-commerce platform is available in over 120 countries.

#2.16 LinkConnector [Join LinkConnector]

LinkConnector Affiliate Marketing Network
LinkConnector Affiliate Marketing Network

LinkConnector is also a pay per action affiliate marketing program that can help you make some money online. It also has pay per call. They also use a technology that allows you to have direct links to websites.

#2.17 Tradedoubler [Join Tradedoubler]

Tradedoubler Affiliate Marketing Network
Tradedoubler Affiliate Marketing Network

This is another great marketing company and signing up with them means success for your business. Through their technology, they usually deliver quality results by bringing in quality traffic, a process which is also facilitated by their marketing experts. They also help their clients to maximize their investments and also monetize their traffic.

#2.18 Pepperjam Network [Join Pepperjam]

Pepperjam Affiliate Marketing Network
Pepperjam Affiliate Marketing Network

Termed as the largest affiliate network in the world, this company focuses mainly on exclusive publisher distribution, development in technology and strategic planning all which are always channelled towards delivering of great pay-for-performance results. This helps the publishers to reach their consumers while offering the products they want thus bringing success to your business.

#2.19 Commission Factory [Join Commission Factory]

Commission Factory Affiliate Marketing Network
Commission Factory Affiliate Marketing Network

Commission Factory makes performance-based marketing available to everyone without requiring a steep learning curve in order to get involved and be successful. The platform has been designed to foster a spirit of collaboration between Merchants, Affiliates and Agencies in order to grow mutually beneficial and prosperous relationships. Because they have little to no barriers to entry Commission Factory has an enormously fast growing user base that enables companies of all sizes to discover the power of performance marketing.

#2.20 Webgains [Join Webgains]

WebGains Affiliate Marketing Network
WebGains Affiliate Marketing Network

Webgains is also a good marketing program which incorporates different people, technology, partnerships, creativity and not forgetting delivery.

They usually provide large variety of services with their experts more than ready to help you in your business. Sign up with webgains today and start enjoying some of these priceless benefits.

Conclusion

Well, if you want to monetize your website, it is always recommended that you try and capture the attention of those people who are visiting your website and continuously bring them back to your website. While they are still on the website, get them to take multiple actions in there and make the most out of these actions.

You can fully use these online affiliate marketing programs and make money online without using any sweat. Try it today and see how much you can earn from this.

Other affiliate networks: Awin

#3.The website

This is where your research will be taken an action.

If you’re unfamiliar on building sites, you can run into WordPress. It is very user-friendly since it has the features you need to build up your site.

Here are the steps to building a site:

  1. Buy a domain or your website address. We recommend NameCheap or Godaddy.
  2. Set up hosting (the place for your website files). We recommend DigitalOcean (Discount here) + ServerPilot.
  3. Install a content management system (CMS) like WordPress.
  4. Install theme, plugins etc. Here is a complete website guide you should refer to.
  5. Create awesome content.

#4. The content

After setting up the site, you are now ready to the hardest yet potentially rewarding part of this business. For this, your goal must be to become a reliable and authoritative site to your niche, so you must provide exceptional and the best of quality content.

There are many websites out there trying to just pass anything for good content, but in all honesty, these websites simply aren’t making any money.

The ones that do make money are the ones whose owners either spend a lot of time and money finding amazing content creators, or becoming ones themselves and optimizing their content in every sense possible.

#4.1. Make Informative Posts

The most important thing of the content you post on your website is that needs to be informative. The Internet is overflowing with websites whose only purpose is to sell stuff. Visitors, especially the ones who are willing to spend money have learned to see the difference.

make informative posts

While it may have been appealing to have a simplistic website spamming loads of products to people some years ago, in today’s climate, people want to see websites that actually give them information about the particular niche they are interested in.

Learning to balance the sales pitches with actual stone-cold useful information is the trick of the affiliate marketing trade, a trick which the best in the business have mastered.

#4.2.Optimize For Google (SEO)

Once you have learned how to create good informative posts, or have found outside help to do so for you, you will need to learn how to get your posts ranking on Google, as well as other search engines such as Bing.

Search engine optimization is a complex process that includes all sorts of steps, from making your content relevant to the topic, using keywords and meta descriptions and tags to making sure your site is well linked up within and has links leading back to it from the outside.

#4.2.1 Chose your Keywords right

The first things you will need to do is to make sure you use keywords that people search a lot on the Internet. There are online keyword research tools that allow you to do just this. Researching your niche for particular keywords people look for will give you the ability to know what keywords you should use in your posts to satisfy the needs of your customers.

You will also want to find keywords that are not used by too many other websites but are still searched enough to give you some actual visits. This is a balancing act and you will often be walking some fine edges in choosing the right keywords.

Other aspects of search engine optimization such as internal linking and meta description creation will also be very important. Google looks for websites that are well made, easy to navigate and contain lots of informative content.

This is why you will want every single post you make to have meta descriptions, meta tags and several internal links, leading to other pages within your own website.

If you are using WordPress for your websites or blogs, I recommend you to install a very useful plugin called Yoast SEO which will help you optimize your posts/pages for the keywords you want to rank for. The free version should be enough for what you need so buy the premium version only when you have money to spend or the site is already making money for you.

All of which Google will recognize as ease of navigation. While these things can all be faked to some degree, the actual best tip is to keep it all genuine and have some actually relevant and well-interlinked content on your website.

#4.2.2 Implement Schema.org

The structured data can include information about a web page, e.g. author, title, description, rating, ingredients, cooking time, video length, etc. At its discretion, Google can then use this data to add more value to the search results. Here is an example showing how Google used structured data embedded in a web page to highlight review data:

Notice the listings in the SERPs have star & number ratings, number of votes, and even starting prices. These are called rich snippets, where the word “rich” refers to anything that is not normally found in a normal listing (blue title, green URL and black description).

How to Implement Schema To Improve Your SEO [Complete Guide]
How to Implement Schema To Improve Your SEO [Complete Guide]
Rich snippets like this are created by Google using structured data that these webmasters embedded into the web page.

#4.3. How To Use Content To Sell

Now that your content is relevant and optimized for search engines you will want to find ways to integrate your affiliate links within it. There are various methods for doing this.

For one, you may simply have content that talks about your niche and is highly relevant and interesting to your target audience, making it possible to integrate the links within the posts seamlessly.

This method will work well because the customer won’t really know they are being sold to if the content is good enough and will click the links because they are actually curious about what the stuff is.

#4.3.1 Use the direct sales approach

Making review posts or buyer’s guides is fine as long as you make them actually stand out from others and relevant to your customers. For instance, if you are selling bodybuilding supplements, there is no reason you should not take a supplement reviews section on your website. People will actually be Googling for these, so give them what they want. When making reviews however, try your best to be objective.

While it is alright to upsell your product a little bit, saying great things about a product that is actually really poor will only cause you to lose the confidence of people reading the post. If on the other hand, you are honest about the products, people will want to return to your website for some truth and honesty referring to the product they are planning to buy.

Instead of talking big about a bad product, admit it is horrible and provide your customers with an alternative that actually works. This way you not only get the customer to trust you and like your site but you also potentially get a sale when they look at the alternative and realize it is better than the product they were looking at in the first place.

#4.3.2 Create Guides for Potential Buyers

Making buyer’s guideposts for your customers is another good idea. For instance, while keyword researching you may realize people tend to look for “mountain bike under $500” a lot.

Creating an informative search engine optimized and high-quality list of the top 10 bikes in this category will get Google to rank your post-high and people who come visit it will be actual customers who were looking to buy a cheap mountain bike.

With some luck, the post will get you sales and make your overall domain gain some authority with Google. With a given niche this will in turn help your later posts rank higher as well. Affiliate marketing is an exponential business where success builds more success in the future.

#4.4. Update Your Content Regularly

One of the things that makes great sites great is the fact they have lots of content and update it regularly. For starters, the more posts you have and the richer they are in content, the more chance there is you will actually hit the top spots on Google with some of them for some of the keywords.

What is more, is that Google likes the sites that update and refresh on a regular basis, so adding content daily will give you more chances for all your pages to rank well. Making blogs with 20-30 posts and letting them sit there can work in theory but making a website with regular relevant updates will certainly make your site stand out more, get more traffic and in the long run generate much more revenue per hour spent making or dollar invested in it.

#4.5. Affiliate Links Placement

Now that you are building lots of quality content on a regular basis, you will need to place your affiliate links within the content to get people buying the products. The best methods of doing so will vary on the type of a site you want to have. If you are doing a strictly sales site with reviews of the products in your niche, then it is quite simple.

You can link the names of the products to Amazon or other sites you use for sales, add clickable images within the articles which also lead to the product buy page and set up special call to action buttons or text that will entice people to buy the product.

If your content is more general or “quality” content, meaning it gives people more than just an idea of what to buy, than your marketing will usually need to be subtler. You could be talking about a general topic and name a few products that can be helpful with a particular problem within that topic.

Additionally, setting images that link to Amazon on the sides of the content, above or below the content, or within the body of the content can also all lead to direct and indirect sales.

#4.6. The money is still in the list

Additionally, you will be sending out mailers with the links to your products. You will want these to be something people want to buy and you will want to focus on new products that they possibly don’t already own.

Sending a weekly mailer to your list can drive sales, especially during holiday times and other shopping periods. Also, if you are not too strict on targeting one single niche you may want to sell to your customers based on the period of the year. If the summer is coming up sell them beach gear, if it’s holiday season sell them Santa outfits.

Basically, give your customers a choice among the things they want to buy, and don’t push them into buying things they don’t want or need.

#4.7. Replicate what top marketers are doing

Affiliate marketing is constantly evolving and there are a lot of methods that are discovered every year that works and improve your conversion.

So make sure you stay updated with the latest techniques used by the big guns in the affiliate marketing industry. Check these lists made by ninja outreach with the 25 most influential affiliate marketers and learn from then and then implement on your sites and see what strategy and methods work best for your niche.

#5. The audience

Excellent product content means more audience. And more audience means a hugely stable income for you.

Here are some ideas that you might consider to try:

  • Social media promotion
  • High-traffic blogs guesting
  • Email list creation
  • Traditional SEO techniques
  • Paid advertising investment

#6. Promote Affiliate Offers

After informing your audience what’s in store to your niche, you can continue to urge them to purchase by promoting those products and letting them see its usefulness and helpfulness.

Depending on the site you have built and the products you are selling, you can promote what you offer in lots of ways.

How to promote affiliate programs

  • Product reviews- this works if you want to gain your audience’s trust. Aside from real and honest reviews, you can add images, distinct features and specifications and other details that can appeal to your product. This can be linked to a page using an attached affiliate ID.
  • Banner ads – you will just insert the banner on a page that is highly-trafficked. This works best if it offered in the right locations.
  • In-text content links– A very common promotional method, it is where a link is connected to a blog about the related product or service. As the reader clicks the link and purchase, the blog owner has a commission as well.
  • Email promotions – This works especially for those who have an email list. This is crucial since you have to build a relationship to your audience. Every sent email has the affiliate link to the product your audience can click through.
  • Discounts and giveaways – This is a very attractive approach to your audience. This is a great way to advertise and give the best value to your audience.

#Conclusion

Now that you have done these, you just have to keep doing what you are doing, and that is the final and ultimate step to become the best affiliate marketer you can be!

Dos and Don’ts of Affiliate Marketing
Dos and Don’ts of Affiliate Marketing

Your started efforts in building the site up to creating meaningful content and product promotions can take hard work since consistency is the key.

But if you are willing to do these things constantly, then one of these days you will see yourself as a successful affiliate marketer and earn more and more.

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About Daniel S.

Daniel is the founder of MediaDigi.com digital agency and digital marketing manager here at Monetize.info. For over 14 years he has helped hundreds of customers to establish a presence online and win the digital race.

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