This is NOT the first website that I’ve developed.
Before I created this “How To Start Affiliate Marketing For Beginners with Less Risk” guide on ThisJay.com, it is better off for me to try out what I practice on a niche-based website.
There has been some struggle at the beginning where you are started to feel doubtful of all the efforts that you put in to build the website.
“Are they anyone viewing my website?”
“Did I do anything wrong?”
“When aren’t my first sales coming in yet?”
Well, everything paid off when I receive the small commission from my first sales.
I still remember how excited I am about making my first $0.50 commission on the sales from Amazon Affiliates.
Literally, I jumped off the bed and told my wife “Yay! I GOT A SALE“.
That is when I strike on the “Ah-Ha” moment which proves to me that Affiliate Marketing does works!
And beginners like me and you, it is indeed the best step to start your online business empire.
So, What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Remember those referral codes/links or “Invite Friends” buttons that you click and send it to your friends on Lyft?
How does Lyft know who sends them over?
Embedded inside the “Invite Friends” button are actually unique links, which we called affiliate links. That link is associated with your profile(Don’t worry, only the merchant will know it’s you from the link).
You get paid with free rides credit for every friend that signed up. That’s on the “affiliate” part.
Marketing comes in different forms. Paid, Organic, Social, Email, Content marketing are some of the online marketing avenues that are often used by marketers.
In layman’s terms, affiliate marketing is to promote a product/service via various marketing sources to earn a commission from the merchant.
How Affiliate Marketing Works
Affiliate marketing is like being a salesman in a company. We don’t physically present in front of the customer to promote and sell products or services.
Our marketing strategy is different from the traditional business. All our marketing efforts are all online, 24/7 round the clock promoting the product.
Let’s use an infographic to explain how it works.
Imagine that your website is your salesman which is always available to serve your customers(readers) at any time and in every part of the world. Isn’t it wonderful?
You can reach out to people from Australia in the morning while closing another sale in Canada at the same time. The world is the limit!
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
1. No Huge Investments
You don’t need to break the bank in order to start a new affiliate marketing business online. All you need is a website, laptop, wifi, and your personal time.
There is no need for inventory. You are leveraging the merchant’s product to earn a cut from the sales.
Personally, I would prefer to bootstrap and minimize the spending as a start when we aren’t sure whether it will work out. (Unless you have some spare cash to invest) 🙂
2. No Customer Facing
Are you the type of guy that hates selling face to face with your customers? Say goodbye to that!
In affiliate marketing, you don’t need to meet, promote and sell in front of the customers. Your beautiful website did it all.
As a working adult in the factory, I spend more time with machines, computers than people. Through this method, I can promote the product from my website without talking a single word to the customer.
How cool is that?
3. Working By The Beach
I guess this is what we dream of every day. As a matter of fact that you can virtually work anywhere, you want.
This is your online business, you have full control of your time unlike the 9 to 5 job that you are in.
You can be in Thailand for a week of vacation and in London for the following week and still work on your affiliate marketing business.
4. A Month Vacation and Still Get Paid?
Can you take a month off from work and still get paid? Well, you can do that with affiliate marketing.
You see, I build the online business is not for the short-term gain. I am looking for at least a return of investment for 5 -10 years on every website that I built.
In the near term, you won’t be seeing this to replace your current full-time job. If you work hard and determine to be successful, you can achieve it as fast as 2 years from now!
How to Get Started on Affiliate Marketing For Beginners
As mentioned above, there are many avenues to conduct affiliate marketing. The approach that we will be taking as a start is Search Engine Optimization with content marketing.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization or SEO is a technique that is used to influence search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to place your content at the top of the search results.
It is an organic traffic source that doesn’t require advertising fees for placing your post at the top spot.
If you are doing it right and optimize the SEO on your content, it will stay there for a long time.
What I love about SEO is it is FREE!
5 Steps To Start Your Affiliate Marketing Business
Step 1: Pick Your Niche
It is just like picking a theme for your evening prom. Your website should be targeting a specific niche.
A niche is basically a small subcategory of a certain product in the market.
To illustrate it with an example, “Online Business” is considered as a category while “Affiliate Marketing” is classified as a niche.
Most people are confused about picking their niche. A general rule of thumb is to pick a niche that is associated with your hobby.
If you are a marathon running, that is your niche.
When you are passionate about something, you will find ways to study, learn and share this passion with everyone. This is how you can grow to become an expert in this field.
Step 2: Non-Monetary Goals
Everyone loves setting monetary goals. $100 in 3 months, $1000 in a year, $10000 in two years!
Based on previous experience, if you are setting up a website just for monetary purposes, you aren’t going anywhere.
You need to have a bigger purpose or motivation for creating this website. That is the main driver that makes you go further during the downtime.
“Are you providing tips and tricks on how to improve your marathon timing?”
“Are you reviewing products associated with marathon running?”
“Are you guiding amateur runners on preparing for their first marathon?”
When you provide value to your customer, money will follow.
NEVER SKIP THIS STEP. There will be a lot of work to revamp your website if you are unsure what your goals are.
Step 3: Build Your Website
Once you have your niche and goals, it’s time to develop your sales vehicle, WEBSITE!
Many people are so terrified when asking them to create their own website.
“I am not an IT guy.”
“I have no knowledge of website design.”
Does this sound familiar? Well, it is indeed a lot of hard work if you are designing a website 10 years back.
With the current technology, from buying a website until designing a website will merely take you less than 20 mouse clicks away.
WordPress is a powerful content management service tool that powered up to 25% of the website on the whole worldwide web.
It has thousands of free themes which you can download and install to your website without you knowing how to design the appearance.
Building a website is no longer a difficult task. Even a 70-year-old lady can do it, can you? 🙂
Step 4: Search For Affiliate Products
This is the most exciting part. One of the best affiliate networks for physical products is Amazon Affiliate Program.
There are literally millions of products for you to choose from. You are 99% guaranteed to be accepted by the affiliate program with the conditions of 3 sales in the first 6 months. Is it not that hard right?
Besides Amazon, there are a few reputable affiliate networks such as Rakuten Marketing, ShareaSale, Clickbank, CJ, etc.
Some required you to have a certain amount of visitor traffic before you being allowed to join the network.
Otherwise, you can just type “<product> + affiliate program” in Google Search and you will see tonnes of affiliate programs associated with it.
Step 5: Write an SEO Content
Content plays a huge part in the success of your affiliate marketing business.
Everyone feels nervous when it comes to producing content. You don’t need to be a copywriter to produce SEO content.
You are not writing an essay to be graded in school. No fancy language or wording is required. Your article should be written in a way that is easily understandable by a 15-year-old child.
Before producing the content, you need to research the targetted keyword that you are intending to rank in Google or other search engines.
Keyword research is a huge topic that will not be discussed here. Trust me, it is not that hard.
OPTIONAL Step: Promote Your Content
Promote your content on social media, forums, groups in a RIGHT WAY.
Everyone hates spam posts. You will need to build a relationship with the members of the group before you engage them on your website.
Start building relationships with people that have the same interest as you. It will be easy for you to promote the product to them at a later time.
How Much Can You Make?
There is no limit on affiliate marketing earning. Earning in the thousands is not a dream on just one niche.
Here are some examples of earnings for promoting products in Amazon.
Have you heard of thewirecutter.com? It is one of the biggest successes in affiliate marketing.
Brian Lam, the founder of TheWireCutter started up in providing reviews on various physical products. They provide advice on the best products in its category.
To cut the story short, the company was sold for $30 million to The New York Times and it was just a 5-year-old company at that time.
It is estimated that the yearly revenue is about $10-20 million. Does it impress you? 🙂
3 Things You Don’t Know About Affiliate Marketing
Minimum Payment Threshold:
There will be a minimum payment threshold set by the affiliate network which you will get paid when the threshold is hit.
Some networks will let you set your own minimum payment threshold.
If you are staying outside of the US, it doesn’t make sense to get paid by cheque for every $100 that you made.
There will be a flat fee for every foreign cheque that you deposit.
Get Rejected by Affiliate Network:
It is common to be rejected by the affiliate network.
Some affiliate networks may require you to have established traffic or visitors on your website before you are approved to the network.
Keep trying when you have more traffic. Eventually, you will be accepted.
Get paid on Other Items:
If you happened to be promoting for a $50 shoe, while the customer checked out a $3000 home theatre system, you will still get paid as long as your unique affiliate link was the last click.
Is Affiliate Marketing For You?
This is not a get-rich-quick scheme. There is tremendously hard work, dedication, and effort to be put into this business.
It is not a mission impossible to excel in affiliate marketing. Your effort may not pay off for the first few months, but you will bear the fruits in years to come.
Here are 4 tips that would ensure the success of your affiliate marketing career.
Well, if you are just getting started on affiliate marketing, there is quite a bit of ramping up. Knowledge is the key to every success. Do you willing to learn something totally new?
Determination & Patient:
Every amateur affiliate marketers take at least 3 months to make their first sales, a year or two to get their first 4 figure monthly paycheck.
Every word that you wrote in the first 3 months will probably be seen by friends and family. As search engine started to notice your page, it will bring in more visitors to your page.
Don’t be discourage and keep growing your website. Eventually, the public will give credit to your hard work. It is a matter of time.
Build A Business:
What is the most important thing about a business? Reputation.
Build an online business with great credibility. Do not deceive your readers and visitors with fake information. You may fool them once or twice, you can’t fool them forever.
Don’t worry about those nay-sayers. You can’t please everyone in this world.
“If you trying to please everybody, you going to please nobody”
Network With Affiliate Marketers:
Surround yourselves with like-minded people who know your struggle, pain, and excitement in affiliate marketing.
The reason I joined Wealthy Affiliate is to get along with people in the community in which we will grow together and excel in affiliate marketing.
Those are the people that understand the joy of you making the first sale, hitting your first 100 visitors, and guiding you when you need help.
Many people think that affiliate marketing is going to sunset. YOU ARE WRONG! It is just getting started as people tend to spend more money online.
No doubt that there are many people in the affiliate marketing business, but if you follow the proven formula from the expert, you will be part of them.
Take action now. Great things won’t happen if you are just having an idea in mind. Start executing it now.