BASICS

AFFILIATE MARKETING FOR BEGINNERS

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

Hey! I am here to turn the old adage “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” right on it’s head! Take it from me, you are never too old to learn something new, especially when you can make some cash! Let’s talk about affiliate marketing for beginners.

What Exactly is Affiliate Marketing?

It is an optimal, low risk way to earn money for bloggers, website owners and online retailers. The bloggers and website owners, called affiliates, provide links to products they enjoy on their website. A consumer who visits the website might be interested in the product and clicks on the link provided, which directs them to the online retailer’s website. We will call them merchants.

Once they are on the merchant’s website they might decide to purchase the product and the merchant would then receive money for the product. The merchant then shares with the affiliate. Affiliates get paid a commission for traffic or sales that are brought about by their referrals and, usually, the commission is a higher percentage because of the low risk  for merchants. Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that? You can become an affiliate! “But, how do I start?” Take a look at the 5 steps I have outlined.

Build a Website

First, you have to have an established website.  You might already have one of those or you can start a brand new website by purchasing a domain and webspace from places like godaddy.com and using WordPress to help you create a wide variety of websites, from blogging to e-commerce, super quick and easy as pie.  You can purchase different plans depending on your needs and wants, making sure you are allowed to run affiliate marketing on your website.  Wordpress will be there to support you every step of the way.  Take a look at our “Resources” page for all of our recommendations to help you build an engaging, interactive website!

Promote the Right Products

Second, you are promoting products on your own website, make sure they are products you believe in. Sell what you know!  Do some research and keep your audience in mind. In fact, “Know Your Audience” will provide you with an in-depth look at discovering your target audience.  Knowing your target audience will enable you to market products you believe in and use to a relevant audience.  People will respect and respond to your expertise. Once you know what you would like to promote, again, research the affiliate market programs of companies with products you like.  Affiliate programs are usually free of charge. You receive commission on either sales generated or when someone takes action because of your advertisement, like taking a survey or signing up for a free trial. It is important you understand why, how and when you are getting paid.

Another beneficial way to get connected to an affiliate market program would be to join an affiliate network. They act as a go between for you and the merchants. Their purpose is to provide the merchant a place to list their products, manage the affiliates and send the payments.  They offer to the affiliates a place for you to search for products, sign up as an affiliate, and track your performance and earnings. In fact, many of the products or companies that you want to partner with all ready use an affiliate network, like shareasale.com, firstpromoter.com, or cjaffiliate.com . What an amazing way to get connected!

Adding Links

Third, add your links to the products you are promoting to your website. It is best to keep them slightly separated from your main content towards the end of the appropriate post, if you are blogging.  Attract the immediate attention of those visiting your site with banners and visual sidebars. Just like you can join an affiliate network to get you connected, you can also add “plugins” to your website to help you manage your affiliate links, banners and ads.

Plugins are components of software programs that can be added to customize your website and provide it with special features and help your website be more efficient. Plugins like, Thirstyaffiliates.com, gives you the ability to easily add affiliate links.  Adsanity.com helps to create banner ads and insert ads into your website.  Monsterinsights.com will track where your users are coming from and what they are doing once they get to your website. For example, which affiliate links are being clicked on most often, which can then help you determine missed opportunities.  Take advantage of plugins for your website. They really can help your website be more efficient.

Be Upfront and Honest

Fourth, and very important, include a disclosure statement to let people know that you will receive a commission from products that you promote.  Affiliate links are considered endorsements and are regulated by the FTC. You should usually put the statement close to the link of the product you are trying to sell.

A privacy policy must also be included on your website stating that you will be collecting personal information because you participate in affiliate marketing.  If you are using cookies that must also be disclosed. So, what are cookies? Cookies are special identifiers that are delivered to your device, so companies can recognize your device and provide recommendations, “one-click” purchasing and storage of products in your shopping cart, among other things. You want to be seen as trustworthy, and complying with the laws will improve that trust.

Work Hard and Be Patient

Lastly, work hard and be patient! It takes a lot of time and effort on your part to generate traffic and to build up your audience.  Promote your website or blog using different social media methods. Always provide new content, including detailed reviews of the product you are promoting.

So, always choose products you believe in and use.  In fact, check out Ashley Williams’s post on “Having Integrity While Being an Affiliate Marketer”. It is a great resource for beginning affiliate marketers. Stay current and always be updating your website. You have to remain relevant to your audience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, affiliate marketing can be a lucrative business if you are willing to put in the work. Whether you are just starting out or are heading into your twilight years, affiliate marketing can be a low risk and fun revenue generator!

Join the Conversation

90 Comments

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alexis pickett founder of aisfora.com

Welcome! I’m Alexis, an affiliate marketing guru and founder of A is for Affiliate. My focus is to help you create a successful affiliate network.

Learn how to monetize your website and increase your bottom line!

Be sure to reach out to me and my team whenever you’d like! We’d love to hear from you 🙂

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