How to Start Affiliate Marketing – Cool Ideas and Simple Steps
Elke Robins | 29 March 2022
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It brings in thousands of dollars for independent creators, companies, and internet publications.
So do the New York Times, Forbes, and NerdWallet.
According to Statista, firms will spend $8.2 billion on affiliate marketing programmes.
That’s a 76% increase in only 6 years.
But placing a few affiliate links on your site won’t cut it.
The cash rewards promised by innumerable articles and videos online seldom materialise for most new affiliate marketers.
Read on to discover how to avoid rookie mistakes and the best affiliate marketing strategies.
Here’s how to properly begin affiliate marketing:
1. Do your homework
2. Pick the best platform
3. Choosy affiliate programmes ex. ClickBank, Digistore24
4. Promote your affiliate site with optimised content
6. Create an affiliate funnel
7. Track and boost affiliate sales
But first, some Affiliate Marketing basics.
Also, check out How To Get More Traffic to Your Website?
So, what is Affiliate Marketing All About?
Brands share income with publishers and content providers in return for leads and sales.
It’s like a salesman being paid a commission for a sale.
More sales mean more money.
Affiliate commissions may vary from a few cents to hundreds of dollars.
If done correctly, affiliate marketing may supplement or even replace full-time employment.
1. You put an affiliate link on your blog or social media.
2. A client hits your affiliate link.
3. Advertiser’s website is forwarded to
4. A cookie tracks your referral of the customer.
5. A customer buys
6. An affiliate network credits your purchase and pays a commission.
7. Affiliate dashboard commissions
8. The affiliate network pays you!
A successful affiliate marketer has no one profile.
They vary from solopreneurs to newsrooms and internet media.
Affiliate marketing is a minimal risk since you are not responsible for delivery.
Affiliate marketing does not need a marketing degree or other unique abilities.
Anyone may create affiliate money with the correct tools.
In today’s market, an affiliate’s success depends on acquiring an audience and producing targeted traffic.
To do so, you must create excellent content optimised for conversion.
And it all begins with affiliate links.
An affiliate link is a unique connection to a product/service that pays a commission if purchased.
Affiliate links are the mainstay of affiliate marketing.
Affiliate links are trackable and have a unique URL allocated to them.
They let marketers know you referred them to a specific client, so you get paid if they buy anything.
An example of a standard affiliate link structure:
A consumer must click on your unique affiliate link to receive a commission.
Then there’s the commission structure.
There are two basic ways to earn affiliate commissions:
- CPA (Cost Per Action):
You get paid when your audience takes action.
Depending on the software, the step may be a purchase, a free trial, or a contact form.
- CPC (Cost Per Click):
You are paid for quality clicks even if they don’t complete a particular activity.
Some affiliate programmes pay for both leads and conversions, while others just pay for leads.
This post will discuss how to identify excellent affiliate programmes.
While you’re here, learn a few more critical affiliate marketing terminologies.
These will also assist you in choosing high-profit affiliate programmes:
A cookie is placed on their device when a client clicks an affiliate link.
They help companies and affiliate networks; remember you recommended a consumer to get paid later.
- Cookie expiration:
Affiliate links usually expire in 15 to 30 days, although they might last 24 hours to a year or longer.
Affiliate marketers are concerned about cookie longevity since customers may return days or weeks later.
- Affiliate Networks:
Brands create affiliate programmes on third-party platforms called Affiliate Networks in most cases.
These platforms connect brands and affiliates.
Popular affiliate networks include Impact, Flexoffers, Clickbank, PartnerStack, and Rakuten.
Is it worth it?
Profits as an affiliate marketer are endless. How many can say that?
Your earnings vary depending on your speciality and ability to maximise content and income sources.
But it doesn’t imply most affiliate marketers become billionaires online.
From $3,000 to $6,000 a month (or $36, 000 to $72, 000 annually), according to PayScale.
And the top 1% make tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, every month.
They are usually full-time affiliate marketers with extensive expertise.
No need to go full-bore to build a sustainable company.
Affiliate marketing may augment your 9-5 income from day one.
You may even replace it entirely.
Stages to Affiliate Marketing Success
You are earning potential in affiliate marketing is incredibly reliant on the topic you pick.
What sort of audience and items do you wish to provide?
So, before starting an affiliate marketing firm, you need to know what to search for.
Here are the first steps:
Step 1: Research a niche
Rushing to grasp the current fads might cause problems when they fade quickly (fidget spinners, anyone?).
Niche research is the most incredible way to ensure your affiliate company is profitable for years to come.
Develop a content plan and a strategy to promote your affiliate marketing efforts.
Here’s how it works:
If you need ideas for niches, many free niche research tools are available.
Here are three standard speciality research tools:
- Google Trends – Topics and searches grouped by region
- Exploding Topics – A Google Trends alternative.
But if you’re starting out in affiliate marketing on a shoestring, I suggest finding a niche you’re enthusiastic about.
So, you won’t become bored or dislike your place after 50 articles.
But a subject you enjoy doesn’t mean it can produce money.
Again, tools like Google Trends can help you evaluate new themes and ensure they’re not simply fleeting fads.
Most likely, you’ll want to choose an evergreen speciality that pays year-round.
Finally, understanding the competitors can help you discover your market entrance point.
Starting a site regarding web hosting (one of the most profitable affiliate topics) may be out of reach for newbies.
Look for medium-competition niches where you can service a limited audience, differentiate yourself, and grow later.
Instead of “web hosting” for everyone, you might start with “salon website builder” and target beauty industry specialists.
Starting specialised may help you establish a tight-knit group around your company and improve your Google ranking.
Read more: 5 Steps to Finding Profitable Affiliate Niches
Step 2: Select the platform
Pick where to host your affiliate material and what to generate with a niche in mind.
Starting affiliates have two options: a website or a YouTube channel.
YouTube is a great place to grow a following, brand, and sell affiliate products to a committed audience.
But beginning with only a YouTube channel has certain drawbacks:
1. Producing video takes longer than writing.
This restricts the quantity of stuff you may generate at the start.
2. Less easy to outsource videos If you’re the channel’s face, you’ll need to be active in every video.
3. Harder to build an email list. YouTube doesn’t offer an email subscription feature. But email is a powerful affiliate marketing medium.
4. LESS AFFILIATE MONEY Getting affiliate clicks from a video is more difficult than a blog post.
Having a website and YouTube is excellent.
Adding movies to an affiliate website may also help increase conversion.
For a newcomer, starting with a blog is usually more straightforward.
When is YouTube an Option?
In a highly competitive niche, YouTube is perhaps a better option.
For example, to sell credit cards or educate email marketing to your audience.
Having video skills means less competition, and you can use personality to build trust and distinguish out.
Decide on lucrative affiliate schemes.
Affiliation is simple. But spreading yourself too thin is a common novice affiliate marketing blunder.
You need a limited number of affiliate programmes with high commissions, conversions, and demand.
Step 3. How to choose a decent affiliate programme:
Assess first earning possibilities.
Affiliate programmes payout in a variety of ways.
Only a few cents for each conversion.
Others charge hundreds of dollars for each lead.
Easy to join and promote, but need more sales to earn the same amount.
Here are three methods to “figure out” your affiliate math:
Volume, low commissions Almost all Amazon affiliate sites.
1. Low Commissions, High Volume
Amazon needs earn $100,000 to get $5,000 monthly from 5% commissions. 1,000 orders at $100 each = $5,000.
You need a lot of traffic to perform successfully here (meaning, a lot of content).
2. Adding volume, Affiliate programmes for photography and luxury (expensive watch) (expensive camera equipment).
A smaller number of conversions is required for both.
Volume & commissions (…and high competition).
3. Financial affiliate programmes include credit cards, bank accounts, web hosting, and email marketing.
You may struggle to compete with these programmes.
Examine the affiliate cookie duration. Longer cookie durations (beyond 30 days) increase conversion chances.
Shorter cookie times may still work for clients who are ready to purchase.
Use programmes with shorter cookie lifespans to contact customers later in the buying cycle.
Let me describe the buyer’s journey in terms of affiliate marketing.
Examine the competition.
A little competition is friendly. If others in the niche are succeeding, you can too.
To locate rivals, just google the search phrases you want your website to appear for.
Then look at the affiliate programmes your rivals are strongly advertising.
Learn about their terms and how to join the programme.
This is a great approach to assessing affiliate programmes if your rivals are ahead of you.
WARNING: LOW COMPETITION
No competition sounds fantastic, but it generally implies the niche is unprofitable.
Either competitor had failed before and moved on.
But if others are plainly generating money in a place, that means you can too.
Assess brand alignment and repute.
You’re marketing other companies’ goods and services while creating your own brand and reputation.
Choose wisely who you represent.
A lack of brands alignment leads to audience distrust and long-term brand damage.
Also, make sure the brand you’re advertising converts.
Look at their sales websites, mobile design, and online reviews.
Evaluate what you would consider as a consumer.
Now that you’ve chosen your affiliate programmes, it’s time to develop content.
Step 4: Create optimised affiliate content Nothing else matters if your content doesn’t convert.
Adding affiliate links to an existing blog post isn’t enough.
Your website’s wording and design should assist your audience in deciding on a product or service.
High-converting affiliate marketing content examples:
Reviews are essential for affiliate marketers since almost 97% of buyers check them before purchasing.
- Roundups on a particular subject or category direct users to related items and diversify your income streams.
- Compare products Like product reviews but compares comparable items to highlight strengths and downsides.
- Product comparisons help viewers become oriented.
It is a collection of your favourite tools and resources.
Resource pages, although not the greatest converters, may position you as an authority and centralise your affiliate links.
Tutorials allow you to demonstrate a product’s functionality in simple steps.
Customers are more inclined to purchase a product if they see it working for them.
Some topics don’t fit inside a blog post or email.
Here come eBooks. They allow you to go further into a subject. Use the booklet as a lead magnet to grow your email list.
Include an affiliate disclosure that informs your visitors that you may earn a commission if they buy via your links.
After selecting a content format, optimise the page for conversion.
New affiliate conversion 101
Here are several simple methods to accomplish it without complex plugins.
Good button placement and design encourage users to join up, subscribe, or learn more.
It should say “Read more reviews”, “Check the price”, and “See more photos”.
In this case, the button is above the fold of the browser:
Convinced readers may quickly scroll to the top and click through to the affiliate offer.
These text bubbles clearly separate crucial information from the blog.
Use them for appealing quotations or facts that affect your visitor’s purchase choice.
An example from Theme isle’s Elementor review:
Positive evaluations and installs show that this product works well.
Graphs, charts, and tables Visual information summaries are as vital as great textual material.
Graphs and charts provide consumers with a quick overview of crucial facts.
An example from a site comparing kids’ smartwatches:
Emotions typically drive buying choices.
Images that reflect a sentiment conveyed in your article encourage viewers to convert.
And much better if you could provide images of your results.
For example, the author of this cosmetics review tries each product:
Images showing the product in use or outcomes help demonstrate the advantages.
While eye-catching and noticeable, flags are readily missed owing to “banner blindness.”
You may add them, but make sure you include many acceptable text links and buttons.
Popups are controversial because they may be irritating, but they are also quite successful at converting readers.
Each popup gives a chance to re-engage audience members with discount vouchers and limited-time offers.
Step 5: Promote your Affiliate Site
Now it’s time to promote your well-chosen deal. Use social media, blogs, and email lists to achieve this.
This cool way of using social media will bust your customer base.
The objective is to either approach buyers or get their email addresses to educate and enlighten them before buying.
Here are some of the most acceptable free affiliate traffic sources:
Twitter, Tok-Tok, Instagram, Pinterest, and Reddit
Sites like Twitter, Tok-Tok, Instagram, Pinterest, and Reddit are excellent free traffic sources for affiliate marketing.
But the most successful affiliates also invest in SEO.
By targeting buyer intent keywords, you may attract people researching purchases on Google.
It’s far simpler to generate affiliate clicks and earn money using this method than attempting to sell to non-buyers.
Affiliate marketing through email is another great free traffic source.
Emails are direct and offer targeted messaging directly to your prospects’ inboxes.
This helps people discover more about a product and make a purchase.
Email is ideal for regularly updating your audience about new products, special offers, and top recommendations.
Step 6: Create an affiliate marketing funnel
A well-designed affiliate marketing funnel converts first-time consumers into repeat customers.
Intimidating buyers need channels (like most visits from Pinterest or other “inspiration”-based platforms).
Pinterest and other social media are cool and a good idea – using them can generate customers.
Using a funnel keeps the reader engaged throughout the buyer’s journey.
Even if they joined months or weeks before they’re ready to buy.
Consider the buyer’s journey:
The buyer’s journey has four major stages:
- Consideration: The prospect examines various solutions to their difficulty.
The prospect buys and becomes a client.
Satisfied customers buy again.
Here’s how you use a primary funnel to turn cold visitors into paying clients.
Or no Funnel?
Simply stating the value proposition of a low-ticket item might attract consumers to the affiliate website.
Funnels work effectively for high-ticket items that need more information before purchasing.
Stage 1: Collect email affiliate leads
Your website’s visitors should be converted into email subscribers via free offer opt-ins.
An eBook, email course, resource library, or other gated information.
Starting with email may seem daunting, but it’s an investment you won’t regret.
You can find out how to get started with affiliate marketing through email in our related post.
Boosting affiliate revenue via email marketing
Stage 2: Affiliation Landing page – Sent Leads to it
Your email list allows you to better guide and fill in the gaps.
This is your chance to share information particular to their adventure.
“About me”, “my achievements”, “previous customers’ testimonies”, “lessons” and “instructions”
You may then connect to your affiliate landing page.
Pre-sales pages enable you to interact with your audience, encourage them to buy, and build trust.
Stage 3: Optimisation
Marketing funnels are really useful since they show you where to enhance your operations.
With a funnel, you can track where someone leaves the path.
Adjust it to enhance the next person’s experience when you know that.
Also, check out How to Increase Traffic to Your Website
Stage 4: Recurring sales by emailing your list
They are still solid possibilities for other offers.
A fresh buyer’s journey and a new product’s funnel may now be sent to your email list.
Building a High-Converting Affiliate Marketing Funnel in 5 Easy Steps.
Follow up on affiliate income tracking
Affiliate marketing success requires tracking.
Finding your keys is better than stepping back and turning on a light in the dark.
Giving yourself feedback on your affiliate marketing strategy’s performance saves time and money.
No time like the start of your affiliate website to build up a structure that will grow with you.
Here are two strategies to monitor your affiliate strategy:
Set up simple affiliate tracking first.
Affiliate tracking is of two types:
1. For you, a network (attributing your sales and telling you which products people bought through your links)
2. Your own tracking (identifying which pages, affiliate links, text and visual elements are converting).
In the second situation, SubID tracking may be used.
SubIDs are extra data you add to your affiliate link logged next to every conversion.
A SubID is usually a query parameter added to existing affiliate connections. SubIDs in affiliate links:
SubIDs are analogous to the UTM campaign parameter in Google Analytics.
Read our guide on SubID tracking for affiliates for more details.
It’s a bit technical, but you’ll be glad you did it right away.
You may also totally automate this process using an affiliate marketing programme like Affiliate.
Then, start testing.
After setting up tracking, the first step is to pick which blog post to test.
Posts with high traffic, new traffic, and high intent but low RPM should be considered (revenue per thousand visitors).
Once you’ve picked your blog article, try it to see how it performs.
Here are some test ideas for your affiliate content:
- Changing the wording on call-to-action buttons
- Adding alternative affiliate connections
- Decluttering by deleting non-converting links
- Changing link text
- Testing Links
- Add comparison tables
Using SubIDs enables you to test conversion rates.
It’s important to know how much content each viewer contributes.
Like before, you can use a tool like ours to combine data from several sources rather than manually:
If you learn these two methods early on, you’ll be ahead of most affiliate marketers, even veterans.
Affiliate Marketing Blunders
After mastering the basics of affiliate marketing, focus on the finer points.
Small, apparently insignificant choices may make or break your success.
A few frequent affiliate marketing blunders to avoid:
- A lengthy intro. You just have seconds to captivate your audience with written material or video.
- Keep your introductions brief and make it apparent what they stand to gain by remaining with you.
- Mistargeting the purchase cycle. No matter how hard you try, your audience will not grasp the offer.
- Your material should educate your audience at the appropriate stage of the purchasing cycle.
- Absence of a distinct top tip Buyers wants a definite recommendation, not a product comparison or roundup.
- Make their choice easier by stating your preference.
Nor recommend or connect to other affiliate items.
Consumers are becoming increasingly wary
Selling a product as a panacea will raise red flags.
Instead, evaluate honestly and consider alternatives.
It’s even better if you can earn money by promoting competitors’ items.
Ignoring affiliate metrics Successful affiliate marketers handle marketing like a business.
Tracking enables revenue optimisation based on facts rather than guesswork.
Stay ahead of the 90 per cent of rookie affiliate marketers that lose readers before the first click.
What to know in 2022
The previous year has seen a shift in consumer behaviour.
So that affiliate marketing remains relevant, accurate, and compatible with privacy laws.
Starting is difficult, but don’t give up.
Keep these affiliate marketing trends in mind to establish a long-term business plan.
1. Brands seek partners, not affiliations.
Even if affiliate marketing hasn’t always had the greatest reputation, it does exist.
This rebranded from affiliate marketing to “relationship marketing.”
Brands and organisations want quality partnerships over quantity.
Thousands of Influencers
Thousands of influencers and content providers are used to promote businesses.
Choosing the proper individuals to represent and promote them has become more complex.
Brands will choose creators that have genuine ties with their fans.
Brands want artists who will represent them with honesty and sincerity.
Brands will be pleased if you have a high-click-through email list or an active social media presence.
This offers you power in commission negotiations.
Don’t forget to check out How to Get More Traffic
2. Increasingly, diversification is critical.
Affiliate success is seldom based on a single revenue stream.
To earn a living as an affiliate, you must diversify your revenue sources.
Rate reductions and changes hit your predicted profits hard if you only use one programme.
This occurred to Amazon associates both during the epidemic and in early 2021.
Worst-case scenario, programmes that seldom deal with affiliates individually give minimal redress
The introduction of alternatives protects against drastic revenue loss and increases present earning potential.
3. Channel is your Motte
A multi-channel strategy outperforms a single platform.
Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest allow you to use both “owned” and “rented” platforms.
Social networking is an essential tool for reaching new audiences.
Worldwide, YouTube is the second most popular search engine.
Social media-friendly content directs your target audience to your “owned” online area, mainly your website.
Creating direct relationships with your target audience as an affiliate marketer requires a multi-channel approach.
For future-proofing your business, generating traffic to owned media is crucial.
Ready to go?
Diversification and multi-channel strategies are essential in affiliate marketing.
Most effective affiliates wind up juggling various logins and platforms to maximise their business.
It saves you time by consolidating all affiliate programme information into one easy-to-use dashboard.
The Affiliate dashboard also shows you the performance of your affiliate marketing material.
Keep track of income, find top-performing content, and learn about optimisation.
With Affiliate, you can gather, optimise, and increase your affiliate earnings.
I hope How to Start Affiliate Marketing – Cool Ideas and Simple Steps was helpful.
Please Leave Questions and Comments Below and I will be Glad to Answer them.