The concept of making money with affiliate marketing is rather straightforward…
All you have to do is promote already existing products throughout the web in exchange for a commission per sale generated via your own affiliate links.
However, the process of building a sizeable affiliate income online is definitely no walk in the park, especially if you don’t have access to the right guidance…
The good news is that there’s no shortage of affiliate gurus sharing all kinds of free tips that can supposedly help you build a 6-figure affiliate business!
The bad news is that the vast majority of them are practically charlatans with no clue what they’re talking about.
As a result, an alarming number of beginners to affiliate marketing end up spending weeks or maybe even months utilizing inferior affiliate tips that take them nowhere near their financial goals.
And as you can imagine, this can be terribly frustrating, infuriating, and demotivating…
That being said, in an attempt to point you in the best possible direction and ensure that your affiliate endeavors won’t end up suffering such a terrible fate, I reached out to some of the most Expert Affiliate Marketers and asked them to share with me their best beginner-oriented affiliate marketing tips.
If you’re on the verge of embarking on an affiliate journey or you’ve already embarked on one but have yet to see any substantial results, the tips outlined right below will help you get started on the right foot, lay the proper groundwork for becoming a successful affiliate marketer, and scale your affiliate business like a pro.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
9 Affiliate Marketing Tips for Beginners
1. Pick Your Niche Carefully
The very first step towards getting started with affiliate marketing is picking a niche.
A “niche” can be described as the main topic of your affiliate business and it can be anything from weight loss and electronics to furniture and clothes.
Going for the wrong niche could inhibit your progress, waste your time, effort, and money, and derail your affiliate business.
For example, extremely profitable niches tend to have way too many well-established competitors that usually trample smaller newly-launched websites with no authority…
On the other hand, way too narrow niches tend to lack a monetizable audience that’s large enough to generate a decent income.
Furthermore, if you choose a niche that bores you to death, you’re more likely than not to give up before you even make your first commissions (or soon after).
Ultimately, you should pick a niche that:
- Is profitable, well-established, and evergreen
- Doesn’t have stifling competition
- You’re interested in or, even better, passionate about
One of the best ways to identify niches that check all the boxes is to browse through website marketplaces…
Getting niche selection right is crucial to make money as an affiliate. Many factors go into niche selection, but here’s one I’ve found highly effective — reverse engineering marketplaces.
Go to an online business marketplace like Flippa. Flippa may not always have the best websites, but unlike Empire Flippers or FE, you can view a site’s vital statistics without paying a deposit.
Flippa shows you TONS of valuable data, and you can quickly get a sense of how profitable sites in any given niche can be.
I’ve found reverse engineering marketplaces invaluable for zeroing in on lucrative niches. Why risk wasting your time, effort, and money gambling on a dead-end niche?
– Matt Diggity, Owner, The Affiliate Lab
2. Invest in High-Quality Training
Most affiliate “experts” argue that one doesn’t need to purchase a dedicated course to become a successful affiliate marketer…
Technically, that’s indeed the case!
Truth is that there’s an immense amount of free information about building and scaling an affiliate business from scratch all over the internet (YouTube, marketing forums, blogs, social media, etc).
The problem is that only a fraction of that info is actually valid and legit and if you don’t know how to separate the wheat from the chaff, you might end up wasting months, if not years, utilizing crappy techniques that not only hinder your progress but also take you further away from your financial goals.
As a matter of fact, according to affiliate marketing statistics, lack of proper training is the #1 reason that aspiring affiliate marketers struggle to scale their revenue.
That being said, while investing in a structured affiliate course might not be mandatory to build a successful affiliate business, if you’d like to short-circuit your learning curve, minimize trial and error, speed up your success, and maximize your commissions, it’s extremely suggested.
Here’s a roundup of The Best Affiliate Marketing Courses that have helped hundreds of people go from zero to building a sizeable affiliate income online.
No matter you’re a beginner, or seasonal blogger there’s always something to learn from experts who remain updated with trends, events, summits, and changes that happen in the online world. Save money to make an investment in quality training.
– Arfa Nazeer, Founder, SheMeansBlogging
3. Consider Leveraging Aged Domains
Many seasoned SEO marketers support that Google uses a filter called “The Sandbox” that prevents brand new websites from ranking on the first couple of pages of its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
This Sandbox effect is said to usually last anywhere between 3 and 9 months and the main idea behind it is that new websites should rank lower than older ones until they build up their authority and trustworthiness via publishing more content, acquiring backlinks, and generating user behavioral data.
What all this means is that launching a new affiliate website could require up to 9 months of upfront work just to start gaining its initial traction.
Thankfully, you have the ability to sidestep Google’s Sandbox by setting up your affiliate website on an aged domain.
The history and authority of an aged domain have the power to offer an enormous competitive advantage and take your affiliate business to a point that could otherwise take years to reach.
This is exactly what Jay Yap, COO of Leadspring suggests…
Most affiliate marketing beginners tend to lean towards starting a website from scratch. This isn’t wrong but with Google’s sandbox, it’s not quite ideal because most of your initial work won’t move the needle much if at all.
I think that’s also why a lot of aspiring affiliate marketers tend to get demotivated in the beginning.
Personally, I prefer skipping the sandbox by buying an aged domain.
4. Provide as Much Value as Possible
Most people venture into affiliate marketing for the money.
This is absolutely understandable… That’s exactly why I embarked on my affiliate journey as well!
However, as counterintuitive as it may sound, forgetting about the money and just delivering massive amounts of upfront value to your target audience is going to take you much closer to your financial goals a lot faster.
Furthermore, it’s going to separate you from the thousands of other affiliate marketers who blindly bombard their visitors with affiliate ads in an attempt to pocket a commission as fast as possible.
To win in affiliate marketing, you have to rise above the noise. If you do what everyone else does, you won’t achieve better results. Get in the mind of your reader. What are they looking for? What content would be the most helpful for them? If you’ll do the extra work to create content that’s really helpful for your readers, then you’ll see your traffic and conversions grow.
– Ricky Kesler, Co-Founder, Project 24
Frankly, spamming affiliate links at every single turn won’t convince anyone to actually buy what you promote.
That’s mainly because nowadays, most internet users have been browsing the web for so many years that they have learned to easily identify and steer clear of desperate affiliates who are only after getting their hands deep in their pockets.
And as the years pass, making an affiliate sale without delivering any value whatsoever is only going to keep getting harder and harder.
Simply put, if you fail to provide sufficient value, your visitors will end up navigating away from your website and purchasing the affiliate offers promoted by a competitor who actually educates them, answers their questions, understands their pain points, and offers viable solutions to their problems.
To find true success with affiliate marketing, you must completely forget about making money & shift your focus onto selflessly delivering value. As soon as you start building a business with the primary intent of truly helping people, that’s when you’ll hit your biggest breakthrough.
It’s also wise to avoid falling into the trap of “promoting” as you’ll typically find it’s only the struggling affiliate marketers that “promote”. The most successful affiliate marketers simply focus their efforts on connecting people with the products or services that they’re already looking for.
So don’t ask yourself “how can I make a sale?”, instead, ask yourself “how can I get between a sale?”.
– Dale, Creator, Commission Academy
5. Make Data-Driven Decisions
The vast majority of beginners to affiliate marketing tend to be making their business decisions based on gut feeling or intuition.
While there’s frankly nothing wrong with that, moving forward according to patterns and facts extracted by actual data could save you enormous amounts of time, effort, and money that you’d otherwise waste experimenting with mere assumptions that might not work.
A good starting point is leveraging Google Search Console towards understanding how and for which queried keywords your website appears on Google.
Website rankings, traffic, and commissions usually start taking place several months after launch… In the meantime, we need a bit of feedback to understand whether we’re heading in the right direction.
Google Search Console’s search impressions are a great way to check how your website is coming along on the search engines in its early days as they indicate the number of times and for which keywords your pages have appeared in Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
– Mark Webster, Co-Founder, The Authority Site System
Then, you could also utilize Google Analytics to find out the demographics of your audience, how many people click on your affiliate links, the amount of time your visitors spend on your website, and most importantly which pieces of content perform the best so that you optimize them for conversions as well as publish similar ones.
If you’ve been blogging for longer than a month and you already have some content built up, a great way to start making money with affiliate marketing as soon as possible without feeling like you are wasting your time is to go through your Google Analytics, find the top 10 blog posts that garner the most traffic, and start placing into them affiliate links that point to relevant offers.
– Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, Founder, Making Sense of Cents
Lastly, make sure that you pay close attention to all the reports generated by your affiliate merchants as they’ll probably contain tons of valuable insights that could be leveraged towards improving your overall affiliate revenue, such as:
- Total Clicks
- Conversion Rates
- Entry Points
- Earnings Per Click
- & more
6. Don't Spread Yourself Too Thin
Are you aware of what Shiny Object Syndrome is?
Well, let me explain…
Shiny Object Syndrome plagues all kinds of entrepreneurs, including affiliate marketers, and it can be described as the tendency of perpetually chasing after new business objectives, projects, strategies, niches, or even ventures, without being able to maintain focus on utilizing and mastering the ones at hand.
Ultimately, this results in spreading yourself too thinly over so many diverse activities that you end up failing at every single one of them, thus completely wasting all the time, effort, resources, and money you invested in them.
Truthfully, I used to be suffering from Shiny Object syndrome myself…
During the first year after I launched dearboss-iquit.com, I kept randomly publishing content that revolved around dozens of niches I thought could attract some decent traffic, from career advice and surveys to MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) reviews and GPT (Get Paid To) platforms.
As a result, the vast majority of all the content I spent one whole year creating ended up performing much more poorly than it should.
Thankfully, ever since I started doubling down solely on writing about one subject at a time I’ve started seeing much better, faster, and more consistent results.
If you’re not yet seeing the results you want from affiliate marketing you may be spreading yourself too thinly. When I first began my affiliate marketing journey I was working on quantity over quality and didn’t have a clear focus. I was dipping into different industries which I believed would be popular instead of where I could offer real value.
When I created Financer.com and began working in the finance niche, I let go of my other projects and focused on providing the best content possible. Financially, the results have spoken for themselves so I recommend anybody who is struggling right now to double down on the one area they can offer the most value.
– Johannes Larsson, Founder, The Affiliate Method
7. Set Your Expectations Straight
Affiliate marketing is usually presented as the simplest and fastest way to build a sizeable income online…
While this is indeed the case, many people tend to mistake affiliate marketing for a magic bullet for instant and effortless riches.
However, this couldn’t be further from reality…
Truth is that while affiliate marketing can be leveraged towards building a sizeable income online by virtually anyone regardless of age, background, previous experience, available capital, tech-savviness, professional network, etc, the process of becoming a successful affiliate marketer involves a steep learning curve, tons of trial and error, and immense amounts of work.
Having said that, I strongly suggest that before venturing into affiliate marketing you do your due diligence and set your expectations straight because if you go about it assuming that it’s a surefire way of having thousands of dollars magically land on your lap every single month with little to no effort, I assure you that you’ll end up bitterly disappointed…
8. Less... Is More!
Back in 2000, psychologists Iyengar and Lepper conducted an experiment based on the hypothesis that having to choose among many options might result in “choice overload”, and in turn failure to make a choice altogether…
The experiment took place using a tasting booth for exotic jams at a grocery store in California which displayed either 6 or 24 different flavored jams.
When the tasting booth displayed 24 jabs, it was approached 150% more frequently than when it displayed only 6 jams.
However, as it turned out, the 24-jam display made 27% fewer sales than the 6-jam display.
This experiment proved that whilst an extensive array of options might appear more appealing to consumers it can reduce subsequent motivation to make a choice and commit to a purchase.
According to Morten Storgaard, Founder of Passive Income Geek, implementing this principle of “Less Is More” by making sure that you don’t overload your audience with dozens of affiliate offers could actually boost your affiliate sales.
Rather than featuring a long list of affiliate vendors for a specific product, I’ve seen great results by listing just one or two. That makes it easier for the reader to make a choice. Combine that with linking to the vendor’s product category page rather than the specific product page. That way people will often come across a broader selection of products rather than just a single one.
9. Utilize Email Marketing
One of the oldest and most effective principles in marketing is called “The Rule of 7”…
According to it, potential buyers need to see or hear a brand’s marketing message at least 7 times before making a purchase from it.
This couldn’t be more accurate…
Truth is that only a tiny percentage of your target audience will buy the affiliate offers you’re promoting the very first time they come across your brand.
As such, if you don’t find a way to keep interacting with any unconverted customers until you make them realize that purchasing the affiliate offers you endorse is in their best interest, you’ll be leaving quite a lot of money on the table.
One of the best ways to do that is email marketing!
Email marketing is considered the Holy Grail of customer conversion with an ROI (Return On Investment) that can be as high as 4400%.
Email is still one of the best marketing channels today. Even with less than 500 people on your list, you can generate significant affiliate sales. Just make sure that you keep your audience engaged, by sending them regular updates, ideally once a week.
Here’s a brief overview of how the process of utilizing email marketing works:
Step 1: Signing up for an email marketing automation platform (e.g. MailerLite).
Step 2: Build a squeeze page (a page designed to capture email addresses).
Step 3: Create a lead magnet (e.g. ebook, webinar, template, 1-on-1 consultation, case study, etc) that you’ll be giving away for free in exchange for a person’s email address.
Step 4: Set up an informative automated email sequence that’ll start dripping out the moment someone subscribes to your email list.
Step 5: Launch email campaigns promoting your affiliate offers.
Email marketing is an integral part of any affiliate marketing campaign. If you don’t have an email list, you need to start building one yesterday! Email is extremely powerful for marketing, which is why so many expert marketers say, “The money’s in the list.”
– Pat Flynn, Founder, SmartPassiveIncome
Affiliate marketing FAQs
If you’re a beginner to affiliate marketing, I can guarantee that implementing all the tips outlined right above in your overall business scaling strategy is going to have an enormous positive impact on the trajectory of your affiliate endeavors.
That being said, I strongly suggest that you bookmark this post so that you can conveniently refer back to it during moments you might feel stuck, lost, frustrated, or unmotivated.
Have any questions?
Leave a comment right below or contact me right here and I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.
All the best,
Harry, Founder & Editor at dearboss-iquit.com