If you followed every step in my affiliate marketing training, your blog should now be fully functional, containing some articles and getting a number of visitors.
To become an affiliate marketer and start making money by recommending other people’s products, you have to start joining affiliate marketing programs.
But how are you going to find those affiliate marketing programs anyway? How can you join them, how do they work, and how are they going to pay you?
All of those questions, as well as many more, are going to be answered in this lesson.
This is lesson #9 of my affiliate marketing course for beginners.
If for any reason you have not yet gone through all the previous lessons, please do, before going any further.
You may find all the links right below:
- What is Affiliate Marketing and How It Works. (Lesson #1)
- What is a Niche Marketing Strategy? Finding Your Niche! (Lesson #2)
- Create Your Own Business Website for Free, in Less Than 2 Minutes (Lesson #3)
- How to Set Up a WordPress Website for Beginners (Settings, Plugins, etc)… (Lesson #4)
- Creating Initial Website Content… The Foundation of Your Success! (Lesson #5)
- Fully Customize Your New WordPress Website in a Few Simple Steps! (Lesson #6)
- Keyword Research: The Absolute Beginners How-to Guide (Lesson#7)
- How To Write Content For Your Website: A Must-Read Beginner’s Guide (Lesson #8)
Let’s start making money, shall we?
How Do Affiliate Marketing Programs Work?
An affiliate marketing program basically starts with a merchant needing to boost the sales of his products.
A merchant might be a large corporation like Apple or even an individual just like you and me who owns a product of his own.
By having an affiliate marketing program available, the merchant basically allows people to earn commissions by promoting his products to their website’s visitors.
Once you join a merchant’s affiliate program, the merchant will give you access to affiliate links.
You can include those links anywhere on your website.
When one of your visitors clicks a merchant’s affiliate link, they will be redirected to the merchant’s website where they can purchase a variety of his products.
If they do purchase one or more products, you earn a commission.
The commission will be a percentage of the total amount of the money purchased by your visitor while on the merchant’s website.
As you can understand, this paradigm is a win-win for everyone involved.
The Merchant’s Side
A merchant with an affiliate program can end up having thousands of affiliates recommending his products on their websites.
This results in increased traffic flow on the merchant’s website and subsequently an increase in their earnings.
There are merchants whose revenue comes mainly through traffic sent from the websites of their affiliate marketers.
The Affiliate’s Side (Your Side)
You can take advantage of already existing products which are already selling to start earning money right of the bat, without having to create a product of your own.
All you have to do is
- Sign up for a merchant’s affiliate program
- Get your hands on their affiliate links
- Include those links on several places of your website such as banners, images, and throughout your content
How Does the Merchant Know Who Referred the Sale
One of the most frequently asked questions that beginners to affiliate marketing ask is
“How the hell does a merchant knows when a person who purchases his products is sent by me?
Remember the affiliate links that I mentioned earlier?
Well, those links are unique to each affiliate.
If a merchant has 1.000.000 affiliates, every single one of them will have unique affiliate links.
This way the merchant can keep track of each affiliate’s sales and pay them accordingly.
An affiliate link will look something like this -> www.website.com/1@34571!_89.
The last part of the link with what appears to be some random numbers and symbols is your affiliate ID.
For example, I am promoting Wealthy Affiliate. The affiliate link that they gave me is https://www.wealthyaffiliate.com?a_aid=632ce32b.
My affiliate ID is 632ce32b and I am the only person in the world having it.
Wealthy Affiliate knows exactly when someone clicks this link. If one of those who click this link makes a purchase within the Wealthy Affiliate platform, Wealthy Affiliate is going to pay me a commission.
Later on, I am going to let you know exactly how to find and use your affiliate link.
First things first though.
How to Find Affiliate Marketing Programs
Finding affiliate marketing programs is one of the simplest and easiest tasks that you will have to complete as an affiliate marketer.
The ways that I have been using since day one to find affiliate marketing programs for the products I want to recommend are
- Through Google Search
- On a merchant’s website
- By joining affiliate networks
Through Google Search
Something that I haven’t yet mentioned in this lesson is that 99% of the products that exist on the face of the earth have an affiliate program. No matter what your niche is, you are going to be able to find at least some dozens of products that you can earn commissions from.
The simplest way to do that is through Google search.
The concept is simple.
Just type in the name of your product and then “+affiliate”.
Google will then list websites which have affiliate programs available for your product. See an example search below.
On a Merchant’s Website
Another way to find affiliate marketing programs is by going directly to a merchant’s website.
For example, if you go on Amazon and scroll to the very bottom of the page, you will be able to see that there is an option saying “Become an Affiliate”.
Clicking this link will redirect you to the Amazon Associates page where you can find more details about Amazon’s affiliate program as well as sign up for it.
Most of the time, you will be able to find the affiliate program of a merchant at the very bottom of their homepage under the terms “Affiliate Program”, Become an Affiliate”, “Partnership Program”, “Become a Partner”, etc.
Join Affiliate Networks
An affiliate network acts as an intermediary between affiliate marketers and merchants.
For merchants, affiliate network services and benefits include sales tracking, reporting tools, payment processing, and access to a large base of affiliate marketers.
For affiliates, services and benefits include simplifying the process of registering for multiple affiliate programs, reporting tools, payment aggregation.
Some popular affiliate networks are
Once you sign up to an affiliate network you get instant access to thousands of affiliate programs at once. Those programs are usually categorized so affiliates can easily locate the most suitable program based on their niche.
How to Join Affiliate Marketing Programs
Joining affiliate marketing programs is as easy as joining a forum. Once you locate the program you’ll have to fill in a form with some information such as
- Full name
- Website URL
- Billing info
For the purpose of this tutorial, I will show you how to join one of the most popular and high yielding affiliate marketing programs out there, the Amazon Associates program.
How to Join the Amazon Associates Program
Go to the Amazon Associates sign up page and click “Create your Amazon account”.
Follow the steps, fill in all the information you are asked until you come across the page below.
Choose to update your payment and tax info right away.
When you are done you are 100% ready to start including Amazon affiliate links on your website.
But where are you going to find those links?
How to Find Your Amazon Associate Affiliate Links
To find your Amazon affiliate links, log in Amazon with your Amazon Associates account that you just created.
At the top of your browser, above the Amazon search box, you will see a bar (image below)
Go ahead and click the “Text” option.
A window with your Amazon affiliate link will pop-up(see below).
You can copy this link and paste it anywhere on your website. When someone clicks this link they will be redirected to the Amazon home page. If they make a purchase on Amazon you will earn a commission. It is as simple as that.
The whole process of joining an affiliate program and finding your affiliate links is similar (but not identical) to most merchants.
How to Use Your Affiliate Links
Most people are using their affiliate links in their content.
For example, you could say something like this:
“By the way, I came across an amazing book called The Power of Habit. It is a New York Times bestseller. You can purchase it on Amazon.”
The link above will send those who click on it to The Power of Habit on Amazon. If they purchase the book, or basically any other product on Amazon within 24 hours of clicking my affiliate link, I will earn commissions.
You can also, use your affiliate links on banners or images.
Make sure that you use your affiliate links sparely throughout your content.
Do not stuff your affiliate links in every other word of your content.
Using more affiliate links in your content does not automatically mean that you will earn more money.
On the contrary, link-stuffing might hurt your website’s rankings. On top of that, it will make you sound too sales-y, losing the trust of your readers.
Use your affiliate links only when relevant and just a few times within your content.
I am rarely using affiliate links in my articles.
If there is a product that I want to recommend I am creating a full review around it and then I send people to read this review.
Only inside the review, I am including affiliate links.
I am doing this for two reasons
- To avoid affiliate link stuffing
- To let my readers know everything about the product I am recommending before buying it in order for them to be able to make an informed decision
This is what I have done in all my affiliate marketing website as well as in this one with my Wealthy Affiliate review.
How Does a Merchant Pay You?
As mentioned earlier, at any time a merchant knows exactly how many of those who purchased his products are sent by you.
Subsequently, a merchant is always aware of how much they should pay you in commissions.
But how does a merchant usually pays an affiliate?
Most merchants will pay their affiliates through cheques, direct deposits or PayPal.
The way of payment is chosen by you during your sign up.
Depending on the way of payment that you have chosen some additional info will be required from your part such as
- Delivery address of the cheques
- Bank account for the deposits
- PayPal email
Some merchants might require you to reach a minimum threshold of earnings to actually pay you.
For example, Amazon has a 100$ payment threshold.
Other merchants might pay you per sale, per month, per two weeks, per your request, etc
A Bunch of Useful Tips
1/ Promote Cheaper Products
As a beginner to affiliate marketing, you might be better off promoting cheaper products.
The idea behind this tip is that it is harder for anyone to pay 2000$ for a product than paying 20$.
As a result, it is very likely that a person who is relatively new to affiliate marketing is going to have a tough time making money by promoting very expensive products.
“But if I promote cheap products I will be earning lower commissions and thus less money right?”
Most successful affiliate marketers are making their living by promoting 20$-100$ products. The commission per sale might be lower but since their visitors are more likely to purchase those products their overall revenue is greater.
2/ Visitors First
Your #1 concern as a beginner to affiliate marketing is to start bringing visitors to your website.
If no people are visiting your website, joining dozens of affiliate programs and posting hundreds of affiliate links will take you nowhere.
Instead, spend your time and energy on optimizing your content for the search engines, posting your articles on social media, as well as employing other techniques to increase your visitor stream.
You can always find and join affiliate programs later on. Getting visitors to your website should be your #1 priority.
3/ Recommend Quality Products Only
It goes without saying that the products you promote on your website must be those of high quality that will actually benefit your readers one way or another.
Never promote crappy products due to their high commissions or because you believe that your readers are going to actually buy them.
The only occasion that you should talk about crappy products is if you want to actually state that they are crappy maybe to prevent your readers from buying them.
Many people review crappy products in an open and honest way, stating that they are crappy, and then recommend similar, higher quality products to their readers.
For example, I have composed a review about Affilorama which is an affiliate marketing training platform. According to my experience and my opinion, Affilorama is not a high-quality training platform and I am not hesitating to state this in my review.
At the end of my Affilorama review, I am informing my readers about a better affiliate marketing training platform called Wealthy Affiliate and I give off a link to my Wealthy Affiliate review.
This way, people who will come to my website to find out about Affilorama are going to end up learning about a product which is better and will benefit them way more.
4/ Try the Product You Promote Yourself First (If Possible)
Following the previous tip, the best way to know if a product you recommend is of high-quality is to try the product yourself.
People who have used the products they recommend
- are much more successful in promoting them
- create better reviews (a review of a product that you have tried yourself will definitely be more powerful and captivating, surpassing the quality of all other people’s reviews who are just making guesses about the product)
- are more likely to recommend products which their readers will find helpful and beneficial
I know that as a beginner to affiliate marketing you might not have to luxury to try out every single product you recommend on your website.
At least try to do so with your top recommended products.
For example, my top recommended product on Blog4Cash is Wealthy Affiliate which I have been using for more than 2 years now. I literally know everything about the product.
This is why my Wealthy Affiliate review is the longest, most helpful, valuable, and honest review I have ever created.
How Much Money Can I Earn Through Affiliate Marketing?
Let’s do the math!
Let’s say that you are promoting a 50$ product, receiving a 10% commission per sale. This equals to 5$ per sale.
If you are getting 50 visitors a day and 10 of them click your affiliate link and buy this 50$ product, you will be earning 50$ a day or 350$ a week, or 1400$ per month.
Those numbers are totally attainable.
There are products, usually electronic ones such as software and courses that might pay you up to 75% commissions per sale. This means that a 50$ product is going to pay you 37.5$ for every sale you refer.
Now the previous example goes like this:
50 visitors a day-> 10 buy the 50$ product -> 375$ revenue per day -> 2625$ revenue per week -> 10500$ revenue per month.
The answer to the question “How much money can I earn through affiliate marketing?” is “You can earn as much as you’ll allow yourself to earn“…
Over to You
I believe that this article might have been overwhelming for you. It’s okay, it took me some time to get the hang of the whole process myself.
Don’t overthink what you just learned… Just keep moving forward, join a couple affiliate marketing programs and get started from there.
Eventually, everything will become clearer.
The most important thing to remember is to only promote quality products to your readers. If someone buys a crappy product through your recommendation, they are not going to forget it.
And when they come back to your website, even by chance, they will be thinking “Oh right… This is the website that made me buy this crappy product!”.
And guess what…! They are going to leave immediately.
If you have any questions or need any further help or guidance from me, I encourage you to leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You could also drop me a PM on my Wealthy Affiliate Profile.
Whatever the case, I will get back to you as soon as possible.
My best regards to you,
CEO & Founder at Dear Boss I Quit
Xaric started his journey to making money online back in 2016. After a lot of trial & error, he managed to build a full-time income online and he is now working from home. He founded dearboss-iquit.com in order to help as many people as possible achieve the exact same thing and he now serves more than 30.000 people per month!
You can read more about Xaric’s story here.