Affiliate Marketing – A Step by Step Guide
Affiliate marketing is an easy solution to make money online and in this article you will discover everything you need.
This is a Step by Step guide for Dummies.
It’s been written after years of trials and errors and the main purpose is to help beginners who are just starting out with affiliate marketing and want to learn how to make money online.
Obviously you are not a dummy, but you might be a complete newbie to affiliate marketing and the good news is that you are at the right place.
In the article we will see in detail everything about affiliate marketing and how you can realistically make money online.
Remember this is a guide for affiliate marketing for dummies so I will keep everything really simple and avoid complicated strategies that most of the time leads to disastrous results.
So are you ready?
Let’s dive into the affiliate marketing world.
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies – The Easiest Way To Make Money Online?
There are literally hundreds of ways to make money online.
Some of them can be easy and others can be really hard.
But in most of the cases it requires a lot of time and a lot of money.
If not, you will be usually looking at a few dollars here and there but nothing that can really create an extra income or even better a main income stream.
Which I assume is your main goal.
What about affiliate marketing?
Is this something that can help you generate an extra or a full-time income easy and fast?
Well in a short answer… Yes!
According to Forbes Magazine – “ Around 72% of the U.S. population has access to the internet, and around 96% of all internet users in the U.S. have made some kind of an online purchase.
This shows the potential of affiliate marketing, which gives you the power to reach to a global audience. With more and more people using the internet today, you have the whole world as your target audience. If you exhaust one portion of the audience, you can move to the next. The potential just never decreases. “
Affiliate marketing for dummies, is not just a random subtitle.
Making money with affiliate marketing can be really that simple and during this article you will learn how you can make money out of it starting even from today!
But before we move on let’s see what affiliate marketing is exactly.
What Is Affiliate Marketing
In a few words affiliate marketing is when you promote the products of another business with an exchange of a commission out of each sale.
The merchant (seller, vendor, business) is the party that has the products.
And the merchant is ready to pay other individuals or companies (affiliates / publishers) to promote the products in exchange of a commission.
Of course the affiliate or the publisher can be you.
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing which is not the same.
Referral marketing relies on personal relationships and networking in order to drive sales, while affiliate marketing relies on financial motivations.
Affiliate Marketing For Beginners: How Does It Really Work?
Affiliate marketing is really simple.
But how does it really work?
First of all you need to sign up for the free or paid affiliate program that you have found.
Then the merchant or the seller will provide you with a unique affiliate link that you will be using to drive all of your traffic to.
This link will track every single click and each time someone purchases (using your link) you will receive a commission.
Then usually once or twice per month the merchant will deposit your payment in your bank account or even through a paycheck.
Affiliate marketing programs can be categorized into 2 simple categories.
Paid affiliate marketing and free affiliate marketing.
But before you quickly decide that a free affiliate program is the best choice let’s see some of the main differences.
First of all a free affiliate program is basically when you head over a website such as Amazon and sign up to their free affiliate program.
As strange as it sounds you can become an affiliate for the majority of online businesses.
You can even become an affiliate for Walmart.
But here is the case…
There are a few important problems when it comes to free affiliate marketing.
Let’s have a look.
Free Affiliate Program Problem #1 – Low Commission
Most free affiliate programs typically pay a significance lower commission which typically lies between 5% – 20%.
This means, that of every $100 sale you will only be receiving only $5 – $20.
Free Affiliate Program Problem #2 – Low Priced Products
On top of the low commission, most of the free affiliate programs will pay you a commission out of their front-end products and not for their back-end products which is where the money is.
A front-end product typically costs around $10-$90 dollars, so an average commission per sale will be anywhere from $5 – $30.
Free Affiliate Program Problem #3 – Extra Difficult For Beginners
Once you join a free affiliate program you only get a simple link which leads to the sales page of the affiliate company you promote.
Why is this a bad thing?
As great as it would be, unfortunately most of the people will not actually buy at their first encounter.
So if you send them directly to the sales page and they do not buy, then you are wasting your time (and your money if you are running Paid Ads) for one-time visitors.
What you need first is to capture their email address.
Once you have their email even if they don’t buy at the first encounter you will begin sending emails to that person promoting the same product through email marketing.
But you wouldn’t consider this Affiliate Marketing For Dummies or Affiliate Marketing For Beginners.
In fact email marketing is a big part in affiliate marketing but not really newbie-friendly.
Paid Affiliate Marketing For Beginners
Now that we saw what free affiliate programs are, and what are the main problems let’s continue to the Paid Affiliate Programs and see what are the differences with the free ones.
So paid affiliate programs means that in order to start promoting and making money out of the products of a company, you need first to pay the company a specific amount of money.
You can usually begin with $30 – $90 and be able to start generating money.
Now if you are wondering what are the main differences between free and paid affiliate programs here is one the main differences.
With a paid affiliate program you usually get a Full Done-For-You online business in comparison with the free one where all you get is a simple link to the sales page.
Here are the main features of a done-for-you affiliate marketing business:
- High Ticket Products
- Done-for-you Funnels
- Done-for-you Email Marketing
- High quality training
- More depending on the business
If your goal is to create a primary income out of affiliate marketing you will definitely need to consider joining a paid affiliate program.
How To Start Affiliate Marketing:
Below we included 6 simple steps that you need to follow in order to start affiliate marketing and start earning commissions.
There are 6 steps that we tried to show you in details as well as keep it simple at the same time.
Here are the exact steps:
- Choose your Niche
- Find an affiliate program (free or paid?)
- Create your landing page (if it’s free)
- Get an auto responder.
- Write and load your emails.
- Get traffic to your landing pages.
- Promote your offer.
Step 1 – Choose Your Niche:
So the first step to start with affiliate marketing is to choose your niche.
There are several niches that are converting quite well.
I would really recommend choosing a broader niche than a super targeted one.
The reason why is because you want to be able to scale up without worrying about the audience being very small.
So how can you choose a good niche?
The answer is research.
Head over to Google.com
And simply start writing keywords around a niche.
If you have passion around yoga for example you can start with broad keywords:
Then you can continue with more keywords such as : Yoga videos or Yoga Courses.
What you are looking for is a bunch of result pages.
Websites dedicated to the topic, articles, blogs, videos, courses, training and most important, competitors.
Competition is good.
It means that there is already an established market and audience ready to buy.
If you don’t find a lot of results and competition then that means that your niche is relatively small and there is no big marketing behind it.
Please don’t make the classic amateur mistake thinking that the less the competition the better.
Our goal is not really to re-invent the wheel.
But to get that exact same wheel that we know is already working and build a new car. (if you get my point. ☺ )
The reality is in 99.99% of cases, if nobody else is doing it, it’s because there isn’t money to be made.
The next step is to do a keyword search using a keyword research tool such as Google Adwords Keyword Planner.
This will show you the average searches for each month or longer that are being searched in a Search Engine.
You can use Google Adwords Keyword Planner for Google.com and Bing Ads Keywords Planner for Bing.com
I would suggest getting started with Google Adwords Keyword Planner as Google is the biggest Search Engine and will provide you with the most accurate results for your purpose.
You begin by heading over to Google Adwords Keyword Planner.
Next step is to search for our keywords:
Simply click on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.”
Now we first want to edit the Targeting and add United States as it will provide accurate results, and then we will write our niche related keyword.
One more thing before the the actual search.
Click on Keyword Filters:
Then click on “Average monthly searches” and set it over 10,000:
Then click on Get Ideas” and you will then see the traffic for your keyword as well as keyword ideas.
If you see above 10,000 – 15,000 searches per month for your “main” keyword and 50,000 in total for the other related but more specific keywords that’s usually a good indicator of a winning online business niche.
Here Are A Few Popular Winning Niches:
- Weight Loss
- Healthy Eating
- MMO (Make money online)
2 – Find An Affiliate Program
Now that you have chosen your niche it is time to find an offer to promote!
Here is where you want to decide if you want to find a paid affiliate program or a free one.
Scroll up to the beginning of the article if you want to know about the differences again.
In this article we will see how to pick a free affiliate offer and create everything on your own.
Our first step is to head over to a website where we can find lots of affiliate offers so we can choose the one we will begin with.
A site like that can be Clickbank.com:
Once you go to the homepage first you need to create a free account.
Then once you are done you will click on the AFFILIATE MARKETPLACE:
Next step is to choose your Niche / Category:
As you can see there are a lot of Niches so you just need to find the one you’ve already make your research for.
If there isn’t the exact niche you can find the most similar one.
Now after you click on the Niche you will find a lot of affiliate offers/products.
Now in order to find the highest converting offers we need to focus on Gravity.
Gravity means how much competition there is, and like we explained above competition is good.
So click on “Sort results by:” and select Gravity:
You will then find all the detail below each offer where it says “Stats”.
Now all you need to do is find the best offer and click on “PROMOTE”.
Then simply enter a Nickname and/or a Tracking ID and then click “CREATE”
You have now your own unique affiliate link.
Each time someone uses this link to purchase you will earn a commission.
All you need to do is copy the Link.
3 – Create Your Landing Page.
You now have an offer to promote!
This step is really important so pay close attention.
Once we have our offer we need to create a landing page where we will collect emails and start building our list.
Once we have their email even if they don’t buy at the first encounter (most of them won’t so don’t panic) we will begin sending automated emails promoting the same product through email marketing.
Our landing page is the first page that a person will see.
In our landing page we are basically pre-framing our offer and most of the times we need to give “something” to the prospect in order for them to enter their email.
We can’t simply tell them to enter their email.
We need to give them something for free as an exchange of their email.
We call this a lead magnet.
This can be a Video, PDF, Blueprint, Cheat sheet, Training, Tutorial and anything valuable for the lead.
If you don’t have something to give for free, you will just pre-frame the main offer.
So if the main offer VSL, is about how to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks that should also be your landing page headline.
Remember our landing page should be simple without many details and information.
Here is an example of a simple and high converting landing page:
As you can see everything is simple.
Remember simplicity wins every time.
The reason why is if you have a lot of information like a classic website, the prospect will focus on many things while our only goal is to capture the email.
So we create a simple landing page with a simple headline and a CTA and we provide all the details in the next page and through our emails.
Remember at this stage our goal is to capture the email of the prospect.
4 – Get An Auto Responder
Now that we have our offer and a landing page we need an auto-responder to be able to send pre-loaded automated emails to each prospect who enters his/her email to our landing page.
You can get one for a cheap price at GetResponse.com
All you have to do is head-over here to GetResponse and get a free test trial for 30 days where they allow you to have as many as 1000 contacts.
5 – Write and Load Your Emails
This is a tricky but important step.
This is where you need to write and load your emails into your Auto-responder.
But if you are just starting out you probably have no idea how to write emails.
You really have 2 choices here.
Number one is to hire someone to write the emails for you.
Usually a copywriter will be able to help you but again no-one can guarantee you will be able to make sales out of the pre-written emails of a copy-writer.
Plus you will need an extra budget to pay the copywriter which is usually not cheap.
Choice number two is to simply learn how to write your own emails.
That requires of course time to learn and re-search.
To load your emails in Get-Response follow our instructions below:
In the Dashboard menu, go to Email marketing click Autoresponders in the top menu.
On the Manage Autoresponders page, click the “Create new” button.
You can now enter the details for your autoresponder message.
Then scroll down and click on “Create new email”
Next enter a Message name as well as a the Subject Line.
I suggest writing the subject line in both.
Once you are done hit the “Next step” button.
Now we need to create a message from scratch.
Simply first click on “Start from scratch” and then click “HTML code editor”
You will come across a black screen.
Don’t worry there is nothing wrong with your computer neither you need to learn coding.
Simply click on below where it says “Show WYSIWYG”
You should now be able to see the editor and be able to write your email.
If you want to change your font type size or anything else simply hit the grind icon to reveal more settings.
So after you finish your email simply click on “Next step”
You will now get back to the main screen.
All you have to do is scroll down and click “ Save and publish”
You now have your first email ready to be sent as soon as someone optins to your list.
You can simply follow the steps to create emails for the following days as well.
The only different step would be to change the Day that the email will be send.
6 – Get Traffic To Your Landing Pages.
You made it to the final step.
You are now ready to start driving traffic to your Landing pages, start growing your list and hopefully make your first sale!
This is step is usually the most challenging for most of the marketers.
The reason is that traffic is the lifeblood of any business.
Without a steady flow of leads any business will head to failure no matter what.
So how can you find traffic for your affiliate marketing offers?
First of all there are two types of traffic.
Free traffic and paid traffic.
It’s important to use a combination of both for your business.
There are many marketers that rely on free traffic and that leaves a lot of money on the table.
Your goal with paid ads it’s simple.
To turn the advertisement costs into profit.
So if you are spending 100 dollars for advertisements you want to have a positive ROI.
So any income over 100 dollars would leave you with a net profit.
We usually target at least a 2x ROI.
So for example in every 100 dollars you spend you want to get $200 in return.
So right now there are a couple of traffic sources that work pretty well.
We won’t get into details but you can always take a look at our Blog Articles.
Also make sure to join our Facebook Mastermind Group.
So let’s have a look at the traffic sources that are currenly converting really good:
95.8% of social media managers surveyed said Facebook ads gave them the best ROI of any social platform.
Facebook right now is a lead-bank.
You can literally reach anyone using incredibly detailed targeting.
With the right targeting you can always (!) find your perfect prospect.
Next we have Instagram.
Instagram is the top social platform for engagement.
With more than 500 million active users, it’s currently the second most popular social media network in the world, behind only Facebook (unless you count YouTube).
And now it is considered the best social media platform for customer engagement.
You can get our ebook: “How To Grow An Instagram Account To 10,000 Followers In 5 Weeks Or Less!”
You will learn how to turn Instagram into a Lead Generation Machine.
YouTube is a great source for funny, entertaining content, but it’s also increasingly becoming an essential tool for marketers.
In fact, nearly half of all marketers (48%) plan to add YouTube to their marketing strategy over the next 12 months according to the State of Inbound report.
Now you may be thinking, that’s great but my audience isn’t on YouTube.
One third of all online activity is spent watching videos, and YouTube has more than a billion active users.
The platform is so expansive that it can be accessed in 76 different languages, accounting for 95% of the world’s population.
Not only is your audience on YouTube, but as the internet’s second largest search engine, it can help improve your SEO and overall brand presence.
YouTube allows marketers to present content in a unique way that is easy for viewers to consume and share.
Google is the world’s largest search engine.
According to Business Insider, there are now 2.3 million Google searches per minute.
Google AdWords is a great place to advertise if you’re looking to tap into that enormous search traffic.
The simplest and most efficient version of Adwords is keyword search.
You simply head over to their Keyword Planner and search for keywords relevant to your offer.
For example if you are promoting a product on how to lose weight.
Then the keyword “lose weight” should be a good start for your research.
So when somebody goes to google.com and searches for the keyword [lose weight] your advertisement will be shown as one of the results.
7 – Promote Your Affiliate Marketing Offers
You’ve made it to the final step.
You are now ready to start promoting your offers and start running traffic.
All you have to do is enable your campaigns and pay close attention to the analytics.
You will always keep optimizing your advertisements, your landing page until you get to a point where everything runs consistently.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to get started in online marketing and start generating money.
What it comes to making money online nothing is easy and there are no magic formulas.
You can only succeed by learning, taking action and being consistent as well as persistent.
If you follow the above steps you will be ready to make your first commission.
Comment your thoughts below.
If you are just starting out then following the above steps might sound a bit complicated.
It’s not – you certainly need some time to get familiar with everything.
But keeping that in mind we want to give you the opportunity to try something that we’ve been testing for months now with all of our members.
Instead of going through all of the above steps (Find offer, create landing page, get autoresponder, write emails and even more.) you can get everything already done for you.
Everything is already tested for you so all you have to do is focus on the last step which is driving traffic.
On top of that you have the opportunity to work 1 on 1 with a 6-figure earner coach.