How to Start Affiliate Marketing as a Beginner

Learn the steps on how to start affiliate marketing as a beginner to start making passive income online today!

So, everyone is talking about affiliate marketing success. You’ve heard about how much money you can make, and you’re probably awestruck. Coupled with your shock is probably curiosity. Little guess: you’re thinking, “How the heck do I start affiliate marketing and get a piece of the pie?”.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. In the next 6 minutes, you’re going to learn the steps required to kickstart your own affiliate marketing business.

What is affiliate marketing?

In a sentence, here’s how affiliate marketing works:

You promote the products or services of another company and earn a commission for every purchase made through your affiliate link.

Example of affiliate marketing (How it works)

Let’s say you’re passionate about music-related products, likeBluetooth headphones. After some digging, you find that Best Buy has a solid affiliate program. So, you weave in a hyperlink to a pair of SONY headphones within your promotional content–like a blog post review on them.

As Lauren reads your post, she becomes interested and visits the merchant’s site (that’s Best Buy) and makes the purchase. Bam. Based on the agreed-upon commission rate, a portion of that profit–let’s say 12%, goes to you as affiliate income. Think of it as a “thanks” from the company.

So, if the headphones were $200, 0.12 x $200 is $24.00. Now, if 500 people read your article and of that, just 10 (that’s just 2% of your post readers) clicked your link and purchased, that’s $240 made that day alone. Imagine doing that with ten other products, with similar or even higher commission rates, every day.

So, yeah, here’s a shocker: affiliate sales can bring you a nice amount of passive income monthly, especially when you work hard, stay dedicated, and scale. You have to grow your audience and build trust by creating valuable, trustworthy content.

Choose your niche

One of the best advantages of affiliate marketing is that you get to pick your niche. Choose something your passionate about. That way, you’ll love making the content sound genuine, stay dedicated, and see growth because you’re creating real value.

If you choose a niche just for its “popularity,” but it’s not something you’re interested in, you may find yourself treating your work like a chore, which will lead to poor quality content.

Broad niches vs narrow niches

Generally speaking, specific niches are more likely to dominate the space and drive conversions because there’s less competition. However, the traffic may be insufficient to monetize if you’re too specific with your population.

Broader niches promise greater income potential with a larger audience but are usually heavily saturated with fellow marketers. You’ll need to work harder to stand out.

Make sure to study your niche and its respective audience to make sure you don’t fall on either extreme. Some niches will also have higher conversion rates than others because of the nature of the demographic. Planning this out now will set you up for great success when scaling.

How to find a high-paying affiliate program

After you decide on your niche, naturally, your next question would be how to find relevant affiliate programs. Here are a couple of ways to find the right one for you:

A quick google search on the ‘best affiliate programs’ should give you plenty of options if you don’t have a niche in mind yet. In fact, here are 45 of the Best Affiliate Programs That Pay the Highest Commission (the first organic result on Google). Mind you, since these programs are so high-paying and popular, the niches are saturated–so there’ll be some heavy competition.

Alternatively, if you’re passionate about a particular industry or product, look for relevant brands and visit their website–scroll to the footer and look for a quick link for ‘Affiliate Program’.

Amazon’s affiliate marketing program is one of the largest and most successful programs for affiliate marketers. People trust Amazon more than family because of its unequivocal devotion to the ‘customer first’ philosophy. So, linking to their site gives you a higher likelihood of converting your audience.

How to sign up as an affiliate

Once you find the affiliate program page of your brand, you:

  • Fill out some contact information

  • Link your website or other promotion platforms like social media for reference.

  • Answer preliminary questions–for example, at Amazon associates, you notify on which niches you’d like to target, your plan to drive traffic (organic SEO/forums/paid search), summarize the goal/topic of your website, and some other stuff. Here are screenshots:

  • Get your own Associate’s ID that will attach at the end of your hyperlink (so the merchant knows the customer came from you)

  • Easy peasy. Now that you’re signed up with the agreed-upon commission rate, you can start strategizing content through different channels to sell a company’s products. That leads us into the following section:

Pick your platform and marketing method(s)

To learn how to become an affiliate marketer, you need to decide on your growth strategy. It’s time to pick your poison. Just like the ads you see while scrolling through social media, you need promotional content to sell the affiliate product or service.

Here are some affiliate strategies to build your personal brand:

● Blog posts/articles or YouTube videos that are review style or product-relevant topic

● Build an email/SMS list and incorporate affiliate marketing work

● Social media: Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram

● Paid advertising (PPC)

Let’s dive more in-depth with each of them:

Review-style or topic-related blog posts and videos

The most common route is having your own blog site or YouTube channel to promote products.

Consumers love absorbing informative content before making a purchase; they want to make sure they’re making the best-informed decision possible. You can feed this need through product reviews.

There are two types of people in this world: those who like to read for information, and those who watch a video. You can absorb written content faster and save it for reference later. However, a video is more visual on the product (generally better at feeding the customer’s curiosity) and takes less focus to pay attention to. Objectively, one is not necessarily better than the other.

For you, it will depend on what you like to create. You could do both, too. Either way, when a customer finds your informational content, and it delivers value, they will trust you and are more inclined to listen to your recommendations–your affiliate products.

How to grow your blog site

For blog posts especially, the best way to grow is through organic traffic. For that, you need to prioritize search engine optimization in your affiliate marketing content. That means conducting keyword research and building backlinks from other sites with high domain authority.

Over time, search engines will classify your site as a trustworthy and relevant site, so your web pages will soar to the first search results page, where 71% of search traffic clicks are captured.

How to grow your YouTube channel

This is a whole topic by itself that would take another article. But, generally speaking, you want to optimize your video header and description and any alt texts for keywords. And, you should mimic your competitor’s video structures and use attractive thumbnails to stand out.

Check out this article on How to Grow Your YouTube Channel in 2021 to learn more.

Build your email marketing and SMS list

Emails, and especially texts, yield the highest conversion rates (30.3% click rate, 9.1% conversion convert rate) because they allow you to get up close and personal. You can update your prospects on new findings–weave it into a short story in email, and keep it casual with a text.

Some affiliate programs, like Amazon Associates, prohibit this kind of communication. So, just do your research on what type of promotion is allowed to avoid getting banned from programs.

Do NOT be too spammy and crowd your information. That’s how you lose subscribers. Send an email or text once a week; that should suffice.

How do I get email subscribers?

Add subscription options through links on your website, blog, and YouTube. You can set a website header that sits at the top bar on any of your web pages t0 urge visitors to subscribe.

Or, install something known as an “exit pop-up” that shows a subscribe pop-up if the web page detects your cursor leaving.

Alternatively (or additionally–just don’t make your page too spammy and crowded), a sidebar email box panel gives the reader a visible and uninterrupted option to subscribe as they scroll through your stuff.

Social media growth

Affiliate marketing is low-cost as it is, but if you’re looking for an absolutely FREE channel to start making money, then creating content on social media platforms is the way to go.

Tiktok especially is incredibly powerful with how easy videos can go viral if you play on the right emotions. Facebook and Instagram are great communities, too, where you can foster engagement and have one-on-one interactions with your audience. This uniquely builds a trust with your audience that is unattainable through all the other channels.

The downside is that most people surfing through social media are probably not ready to make a purchase. They’re scrolling for entertainment. So, you’ll need to work harder to convince them on there, and you may need to be more pushy and repetitive.

Paid advertising

Only do this when you scale and can afford to–that means making back the advertising costs and being left with a positive net difference.

Remember how we just said you might need to be more pushy and repetitive on social media? Paid traffic is the way to do it. You can show the same ads to the same users multiple times through Facebook and Instagram ads. After a couple of runs, the users tend to convert.

Paid search traffic with Google ads is also significant because users will see your website first on the search results page. You can promote your organic channels here, too, like your email list and blog site. Or, have your cold audience sign up for special webinars where you give a live presentation on the product or service and let them join your community in the end.

Remember, create quality content.

The best way to scale your affiliate marketing business is to deliver real value. You always want to try to provide information that no one else is giving out. So, don’t blindly curate products from the highest paying affiliate programs; buy things and test them out. Provide unique insights and perspectives that copying another review online cannot deliver.

Be truthful about your affiliate links, too. Often, customers will see a recommended product and then visit Amazon or elsewhere to find cheaper alternatives. But, if you’re known to be the kindest, most down-to-earth content creator ever, your audience will want to reward you and use your link. Because you’re so lovely, the extra few dollars are worth it to them.

Well, you’re all set. Now that you know how to start affiliate marketing, you’re ready to make a decent income online and build a huge audience. Don’t expect to cash in thousands just yet; in fact, the first six months could at a loss. But, you must stay consistent for results.

Here’s a little motivation: once a solid foundation has been established, a beginner affiliate makes $300/day. Not enough? Well, continue to create content, and once you’re at the intermediate level, we’re talking up to $3000/day. And, if you scale and be patient, you may or may not be surprised to hear that a pro affiliate earns $10 000/day. Easy, tiger. That’s a long way from now.

We gave you the information; you got the next move. What will it be?