Affiliate marketing offers the potential to make good money online, but it can be hard to figure out how to get started. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place! In this guide, you’ll learn the basics of affiliate marketing, including the different ways to make money and what kind of skills you need to succeed in this exciting industry. Let’s get started!
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when a brand or retailer pays you, as an affiliate, to bring them customers. Essentially, it means that if someone buys something through your link, you’ll receive a percentage of that sale. Amazon is a great example of an affiliate marketer – they sell products at a discount and pay their affiliates 2-10% commission for each sale made. Imagine all of your favorite brands or retailers offering you commissions on any sales you send their way! Now imagine how much money that could add up to overtime…This guide will take you through everything from picking an affiliate program/network to building out your site/blog and working with influencers.
Learn more about affiliate marketing in this guide.
Why do I need an affiliate link?
If you do not have an affiliate link, when someone visits your site and clicks on an ad that leads them through an affiliate link, you will not receive credit for it. This is one of the most important parts of affiliate marketing. You need a web address that tells anyone who has visited your website what they can find in return for them clicking on a specific advertisement. An affiliate link helps build trust with readers and show them that you are personally invested in their success. The more traffic you drive to your website, the higher your commission will be as well.
How does it work?
The concept of affiliate marketing is actually pretty simple. As a business owner, you agree to pay another business (or businesses) when they bring you customers/clients that are looking for your product or service. However, it’s important to remember that not all products have an affiliate program, so be sure to research yours before signing up.
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Once you sign up and set up your account with an affiliate network, they will provide everything you need (including links and banners) in order to get started! Be sure that there are terms of service in place before running any promotions or writing any posts about them on your site; having a separate policy page is recommended.
What products should I recommend?
The good news is that there are plenty of products you can promote as an affiliate marketer. The not-so-good news is that most of them aren’t very profitable. Some experts estimate that less than 20% of all affiliate marketing products convert at a 5% or higher rate and less than 1% will generate more than $1 million in sales per year.
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That’s not exactly setting the world on fire, but then again, it’s much better than zero percent! The trick is to promote something people actually want and make it so irresistible they can’t resist clicking your link and buying your product/service. This could be difficult if you’re just starting out, but thankfully there are tons of offers on sites like Clickbank that fit these criteria.
Do I need my own product?
Yes, but you have to make sure you give credit where it’s due. It’s not hard: Just add Image Credit: [Name of Website/Person] somewhere in your post and link back if possible. Also, when writing about other people’s photos, ask for permission. Otherwise, you risk using something that isn’t licensed for commercial use or displaying someone else’s copyrighted work without their consent or knowledge.
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You might think it’s fine since they haven’t made any money off of it (yet), but technically there are legal ramifications if they ever did anything with it and you used it without crediting them first.
How much can I earn?
It depends on how much effort you want to put into it. Since there are no limits and you only need a website, chances are your earnings will be tied directly to your time investment. For example, if you run an affiliate website that makes $100/month, that equates to about 15-20 hours of work for a monthly return of $1,200 per month ($100 x 12 months). If you have more time and dedication, it’s possible for you (and others) to make more money via top-ranked positions in Google search results. Remember: Just because someone claims an income doesn’t mean they earned it themselves!
Can I use other people’s images?
This is a common question for beginners who want to start an affiliate website. I’ve been asked by many people if they can use someone else’s images and I always tell them yes you can. As long as you follow Google’s Terms of Service, which states that you need permission from the owner before using their images on your site, then you should be fine.
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If a third-party site (image host) has watermarked pictures then that isn’t covered under Google’s ToS. A lot of people will post uncredited pictures when they are trying to show off their work; it makes sense in some ways because they don’t have time or know-how to create high-quality screenshots (of their own hard work), so they use another site.
Where should I promote the product?
What happens if your amazing product doesn’t take off? There are two things that can happen here: Your product could truly suck, or it could be really good and it might just need a little more time. One of my favorite quotes about business comes from Peter Thiel (one of the founders of PayPal): If you’re not embarrassed by your first product release, you’ve launched too late.
I don’t agree with everything Thiel says but he’s onto something with that quote. You should always expect that most new products won’t have immediate success and give them time to prove themselves before completely shifting gears on a project. Nothing worth doing is easy; it’s OK if there’s an initial pushback on a project! Hang in there!
Setting up your website – WordPress, Squarespace, etc.
Setting up your website is easy and can be done by anyone who has a basic understanding of website coding. Most simple websites will have a theme that someone else made, which you can then edit according to your needs. All you have to do is change a few settings, choose some colors, and upload some images.
If you want something more complex, check out Squarespace for highly customizable templates (no coding necessary), or WordPress for both free and paid themes (website code required). The choice really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with your website; if it’s an online store or service, WordPress might be best; if it’s a portfolio site, Squarespace may suit you better.
Are there any costs involved?
Let’s face it, money is important. Most affiliate programs charge an initial setup fee as well as a recurring membership fee for every month you remain in good standing. For example, if you join an affiliate program that costs $75 upfront and then pays $50 each time a product sells, you’ll pay $75 initially and $50 per sale thereafter.
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You may also be required to contribute a minimum amount of sales revenue to their pool each month. Depending on what site you choose, these payments can take different forms (cash via Paypal, check, or direct deposit into your bank account). Be sure to read all agreements carefully before signing up—especially if there are any additional fees you should be aware of!
What if nobody buys my product/recommendation?
There’s a lot that can go wrong with affiliate marketing, but you can always learn from your mistakes. The most important thing is to make sure you don’t cut and run: When your first product flopped, what did you do? If you react by pulling back, you’ll lose a crucial opportunity to learn more about what works and what doesn’t. Take a look at what happened (and why) and decide if it makes sense for you to continue with affiliate marketing or find another way of monetizing your business. And remember: You won’t know until after you try!