Soon to be affiliate marketers struggle to find the starting point from which they can get their affiliate marketing business started.
The most confusing question is should I start by finding an affiliate product to promote or first find the niche then the product.
While both approaches work, I personally like to find a niche first then the product.
You can start by finding a popular product which itself is an indication of a good niche, but doing it this way will confine you to just promoting 1 product.
However finding a profitable niche first allows you to promote various products across any niche.
Affiliate marketing for beginners is not impossible no matter what level of experience or background you have in running your online business.
All the top affiliates you read about were beginners at some point, in fact some affiliates who are now making 6 figure income have started their affiliate website as early as 2011 and they generated affiliate income after just 6 month.
Basic Tools You Should Have
There are tools that are going to be using a lot as an affiliate, they are essential for any product you promote. These tools are already on your PC and others are free to download.
- Text Editor (i.e. Microsoft Word)
- Microsoft Excel
The text editor is the most used tool among the above, you will need it to write your product reviews and pretty much anything that needs writing. It is especially perfect for non-native English speakers as it has a built in spell check and grammar correction.
Snagit is screen capture software; you will find it handy when you want to take a screenshot of the product.
Screenshots of the product’s sales copy and any images you find there will help you review the product better and better deliver your message to your readers.
I mention Microsoft Excel because since2007 Microsoft added a cool designer tool inside excel itself.
You can design your headline text so elegantly, and draw lines under your text and use the other coloring and shapes built in excel to truly design a readable and eye catching review page.
Affiliate marketing for beginners especially those on a tight budget can reach the same level as those more established affiliate marketers. You just need to work harder to compensate for the luxury of having hundreds of dollars in budget.
Affiliate Marketing Lingo
You should familiarize yourself with the following terminologies because as an affiliate marketer you should be able to read affiliate marketing blogs and understand what they mean.
- Affiliate Program
- Affiliate Network
- Affiliate Link
Vendor is the product owner, the company or the person you are promoting the product for.
Affiliate is anyone who promotes a product and earning commission per sale (well…You!).
Affiliate Network is usually a company that hosts many products and allow affiliates easy access to these products. You can sign up to any affiliate network and browse through the products there and actually see the different commissions you will earn for each product.
Also you get paid from the affiliate network itself and not form any individual product owner, so they have a system for payments withdrawal. This way you can rest assure that you will be paid on timely manner and not being at the mercy of the vendor’s schedule.
Affiliate Link is what ensures that you will get paid for the client you referred.
How it works is, someone visits your website and read your product review so at the end of this review you should add a link that direct your readers to the product page so they can buy it. And this link they clicked is what is called affiliate link.
What happens then is that your affiliate link carries a special code that tells the product owner that you are the one who referred that buyer. And behind the scene the product owner deduct some of the sale amount and grant it to you (affiliate commission).
Affiliate links are easy to generate and they vary from product to product and from affiliate network to the other.
The instructions on how to generate your affiliate link for a certain product is stated clearly by the affiliate network you sign up to and also explained thoroughly by the product vendor himself, so you don’t have to worry about that.
Decide on Your Affiliate Marketing Model
Affiliate marketing is derived from what is called Performance Marketing.
Performance marketing is about charging the advertiser for the results of his ad and not for the ad itself.
For example the traditional TV/Radio advertisement and website banners are not performance marketing because the advertiser pays monthly fees for running his ad on the publisher platform (i.e. website, newspaper…etc) and it doesn’t matter if the ad converts or not.
Pay per click, Pay per view, cost per action are all performance based marketing because now the advertiser pays only when someone clicks his ad or views it or achieve a certain goal like signups.
And this divided affiliate marketing programs into 2 important segments:
- Pay per sale
- Pay per acquisition
Pay per sale is any affiliate marketing program that grants commissions to the affiliate based on how many sales they make. So if you sell product A you earn say 50% of that sale and you will not be compensated for just brining a potential buyer to the vendor’s website (i.e. window shoppers).
Some major affiliate networks like Amazon will give you not only a commission for the sale you referred but also for any product the person you referred buys.
Pay per acquisition is another good way to get paid. Instead of making someone buys something and earning commission from that, you get paid if you made someone fill out a form.
This seems rather simpler than getting someone to buy a product, and it is actually. Even better, some advertisers will pay you as much as $500 for getting someone to fill out a survey or signup for a free offer.
If you Google “cpa offers” you will find tons of affiliate networks that host advertisers who are willing to pay you for acquisitions.
Steps to Launch your Affiliate Business for Beginners
Now that you understand better about affiliate marketing, you need to get started on building your 1st affiliate website.
These are the basic steps you will need to work on:
- Find a profitable niche
- Find products to promote
- Write and design your review page
- Get traffic to your affiliate website
There are tons of articles that explain to you the ins and outs of finding lucrative niches, some will even list you niches that are known to have high paying products.
If you sign up to any affiliate network, you will find many products to choose from. Also if you have heard of a certain product in your niche, you can promote it too without having to rifle through hundreds of products.
Writing your product review is not that hard, just read the product’s sales copy and write down the most important benefits and features, also take some screenshots and add them to your review page.
If your affiliate website is a blog, then use many of the free themes to design your blog.
Getting traffic could be the most challenging step you face. But a good source of free traffic can come from SEO and social media.
Of course some affiliates tend to spend money on paid ads campaigns like on Google’s adwords or Facebook, Twitter advertising programs. So if your budget allows you to do so then it’s another good source of traffic.
In the end, what will make you a successful affiliate is how much effort and time you are willing to put in.
Successful affiliate marketing for beginners usually takes some time, but once you earn your first affiliate sale you will feel proud and full of energy, something you will need to be able to carry on in your affiliate marketing mission.
But don’t despair if it took longer that it should, your day will certainly come!