Our affiliate marketing for beginners guide will help you learn more about the good and bad of affiliate marketing. We take the rose-coloured glasses off for you and take you through some of the good and bad of affiliate marketing.
Starting your online business journey and considering affiliate marketing?
Thinking of making some additional income for your business through affiliate marketing?
This is for you – the guide to affiliate marketing for beginners.
We’ve done the research for you to consider what works and what doesn’t, answer your questions and point you in the right direction for further advice.
Affiliate marketing is best suited to people or businesses that either know marketing or have learned marketing by starting their online business. Alternatively, if you have an established website and audience, then affiliate marketing can be an easy way to bring in a little extra income.
If you are just starting an online business then affiliate marketing can give you a fast introduction to the world of online sales and marketing.
There are affiliate marketers that are very deft salespeople and making handsome commissions. There also many stories of people that buy into expensive affiliate marketing programs and don’t succeed. As with any online business, we encourage you to do your own research and learn your options.
The first thing you need to do is choose what you will market.
Then you need to decide who and how you will market it to.
There are lots of options and information out there. Massive databases like Commission Junction and Share a Sale are full of ready-made products you can put your marketing efforts into. Before putting your time and investment into these options, read on to ensure you put your resources in the right direction to be successful.
The importance of choosing the right affiliate program.
“The product you choose to promote is super important!” – Spencer Mecham.
This the understatement of the year. Achieving a product-market fit is one of the most important concepts for any business. If the product doesn’t align with your audience, forget it. This is affiliate marketing for beginners 101 and business 101.
High commission is another thing you will be interested in. If you are going to invest in marketing, you want a return on that investment. If you have spent money building an audience, you also don’t want to offer them bad products. However, if you have an existing audience and you know of a good product, that you happily recommend – check if they offer an affiliate marketing program. You may not care about a high commission if its simply a good way to earn an additional income stream, by adding a link to a product you are already recommending!
Professional affiliate marketers are pros at researching opportunities and markets.
The details are important. Here are three things to look for when considering affiliate marketing programs:
- Right products and prices. Look for a company that offers multiple products, and multiple price ranges to suit different tastes and budgets
- Good sales processes. You’re about to spend time, energy, and resources getting people in their front door. If they don’t have their online sales working well, they won’t convert those visitors to sales and you won’t earn a commission. This means you have outlaid time and energy for nothing in return and possibly lost some of y our audience in the meantime!
- Look for a company that cares about you. If the product / company you choose doesn’t look after their affiliates, you can send lots of customers their way and not receive the commission / income you deserve.
When you are entering into an affiliate program, you will also be signing an affiliate agreement. Knowing what you can and can’t do to promote their products will be part of the terms and conditions. Make sure you understand your obligations.
Are you going to be an affiliate marketer or are you just looking for some additional income through affiliate marketing?
An affiliate marketer may never stop to create their digital product, simply focusing on content creation and marketing.
If you are looking for some additional income then taking a look at the marketplaces like Commission Factory, which is an Australian affiliate marketing database or other affiliate marketplaces will allow you to search for products that might suit your audience and align with your niche.
A previous customer had a fitness business that included adverts for health products on their homepage. A couple of small product features on their homepage was creating an extra revenue stream for a bricks and mortar business.
Affiliate marketing has got a bad reputation as being just for spammers. Used well, it can boost your income and help your audience, if you recommend products you know and trust will help them. Compared to making an income through dropshipping cheap plastic imports that have a high environmental cost, taking a commission on information-based digital products feels more ethical – if it’s done well. Part of doing it well is ensuring you disclose that links may earn you a commission. We openly disclose this on relevant pages.
Will you be working on organic or paid traffic for affiliate marketing.
Paid. Paid traffic requires you to invest money to pay for advertising, whether you will do the legwork yourself on setting up advertising campaigns or have someone do it for you. It all still requires an initial and ongoing investment.
Organic. Organic requires time and effort unless you have an audience already established. If you do already have an audience and can capitalise on it by using affiliate marketing this can be a great option. Over time, investing the time and resources to be optimised in a platform’s feed or rankings to get more organic traffic can be worthwhile.
You can also do a combination of these. This is a great option as paid will get you there quickly, while you build organic for free ongoing traffic overtime. Organic is like the compound interest of online business. Invest gradually over time for long term results.
What are you positioning yourself as? This goes and in hand with Product-market fit. DO NOT choose products that conflict with your brand and audience. The products you choose should add to your positioning.
If you run a blog on finance, choose related products.
Affiliate programs examples:
Click funnels – you will see this recommended: lots and lots. As for whether it suits affiliate marketing for beginners? If you are interested in becoming a professional affiliate marketer and crushing it with commissions. Then, yes. They earn their affiliates lots of commissions due to their strong sales processes, care of affiliates, and range of products. If nothing else, check them out to learn more about online sales and sales funnels. This is a program professional affiliates like for its commission-earning possibility (and yes this link is an affiliate link!).
Shopify – recommended by some marketers who have built it into their online course products for setting up a dropshipping or e-commerce business. Regardless of the affiliate program, Shopify does make it very simple to set up an online store. As web designers, our preference is WooCommerce on WordPress, but if you don’t have all the web-building skills, Shopify is a powerhouse.
Elevated Entrepreneurs – they teach affiliate marketing. Processes, systems, tools, and skills. So if you are keen on affiliate marketing but not sure where to start, check it out because you will both learn and get the opportunity to be an affiliate.
Interested in Amazon as a business opportunity? Check out Amazing. This is not a cheap course. But again, it gets lots of referrals from affiliate marketers.
Genius Webinars. Webinars are a proven online sales technique and the team at Genius Webinars offer the course to teach you to master those techniques.
Legendary Marketer – a tonne of online marketing training that also comes with an affiliate program. Lots of information about building your online business.
So what’s the downside of affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketers (if that’s all you do) is a very sales-orientated business. If you are a salesperson it will probably suit you well. It’s all about making the sale and earning commissions! For those less sales-orientated it can feel very spammy. The same as with any group of products that offer commission, do you recommend the better option for a customer or the one that offers the biggest commission? You can choose to use affiliate marketing with integrity if you choose to only market products that you know will deliver your audience value.
If you want to succeed in business then you want to make sales and income. Affiliate marketing has been proven as a method of doing that.
The audience and the product are key, as is your positioning.
Respect your audience, deliver good products, and position yourself well.
Who can I check out that is doing affiliate marketing?
Spencer Meecham – professional affiliate marketer
Stay at home Mum – solopreneur
Digital Nomad Wannabe – solopreneur
And many, many online bloggers and content creators (few aren’t including a couple of links or adverts to monetise their content).
Learn more about affiliate marketing with this affiliate marketing for beginner’s guide.
Let us know what’s working for you. There are so many opportunities out there. We would love to know what’s working for you.