Beginners affIliate marketing guide:2023 edition

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It is probably everyone’s dream to be able to have some time aside to themselves while still being able to live the life of their dreams.

This very dream has led to various forms of passive income.

A good example of which is the not so new affIliate marketing.

It is a good way to monetize your traffic,influence and audience online and most importantly,take days off and still have the money coming in.

If you make a search for the top 10 best ways to make money online, you’re probably going to find affIliate marketing sitting at the top of every list.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most  passive forms of passive online income.

It basically enables you to skip the part where you would have to create and develop a really nice product,keep inventory and all of that stuff.

Affiliate marketing is also the most lucrative way to make money online.Mostly because a single conversion in your affIliate marketing business could mean anywhere between $100-$5000.The emphasis is on single.

Best of all, affIliate marketing is completely free to start.Very few affIliate programs(the bad and sketchy ones) charge people when they join their affiliate program.Yes I said it,any affIliate program that makes any attempt to charge you a registration fee to join the program is a bad one.

All the wonders of affIliate marketing aside,what exactly is it?How does it work?,who can and who can’t do it?.Well,stick around and all your questions will be answered before the end of this guide.

This article contains all you need to know about affIliate marketing.

The basics of affIliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is simply referring buyers to purchase products and getting paid a certain fraction of the amount paid for the product as commission for referring the customer.

Affiliate marketing is a business for middlemen.These middlemen (called affIliates) connect product owners with product buyers and earn commissions each time the process is completed.

They connect whoever wants to buy a product with whoever sells the product and gets paid by the owner of the product for referring buyers to them.

There are three parties involved in the business:The advertiser,The affIliate network and the affIliate.

The advertiser is usually a product owner who is ready to pay affIliates to help him/her promote his/her products online.

The affIliate is the party that’s ready to promote products and get paid for doing so.

The affIliate network connects the both parties for affIliate marketing to take place.

Here’s how this looks for an affiliate:

Step 1:The affIliate joins an affiliate network and gets connected to a product owner.

Step 2:The affIliate gets his/her affIliate link.

Affiliate links are unique tracking links given to every affIliate once they join an affiliate program.The link is used to identify each affIliate and is used to monitor when they make a sale and how much commission they should get.

The affIliate link is a customised link that points to a page where people can purchase a product that the affIliate promotes.

Once an affiliate link is clicked,the person that clicked the link will be redirected to the advertiser’s product page or site.

Step 3:The affIliate promotes the product using the affIliate link.Each time the affIliate link is clicked and used to purchase a product,the affIliate will get a commission from the sale.

Affiliate marketing is all about using an affiliate link to promote a product and getting paid each time someone purchases the product.

Before anything else,let me tell you of my personal affIliate marketing journey.

Here’s a story of how I stumbled on the business model:This journey started about 3 years ago.I was searching for a good way to make money online.

A way in which I won’t have to pour thousands of dollars into the business to see tangible results.

I found a few which were all extremely tasking and required a lot more than a few hundred bucks to be productive.

Creating a product of my own came to mind but at the time I really wasn’t ready.

Still,I tried the process.I quickly realised that there was a lot involved in that from building trust, getting reviewed and running ads.Which for a new product, definitely requires a lot of money to show result (spoken from experience).

Then I found affIliate marketing,a way to earn without actually selling anything of your own or having to worry about inventory.

As always,I searched to find out what others thought about the business model and I got mixed reactions.

While some claimed to make thousands from the business model,others claimed to make little to nothing.Some even lost money!

Before we continue,just to keep you informed here are some of the pros and cons I have found on my affIliate marketing journey:

Pros and cons of affIliate marketing

Pros:

It’s cheap to start:Good affIliate programs charge nothing for you to sign up and start working.I mean absolutely nothing.

However,you may need a few tools if you intend to scale your affIliate marketing business.But don’t worry,you don’t really need to have that now.

Workspace and time freedom:One of the great things about online businesses is workspace and time freedom and affIliate marketing guarantees just that.

Owing to the fact that it can be done online, you really don’t need any special time or place to get stuff done.

It is a good way to make a lot of money:This is probably the one you were waiting for so yes,it is a good way to make a lot of money.Affiliate programs usually pay about $50-$5000 per customer you refer to them.

Some really big ones offer even larger commissions per sale.

Cons:

There are way too many affIliates:I’ve got to tell you this.There are way too many affIliates.There are over 7 million affIliates in the world.That’s a whole lot of competition.

Luckily, due to diversity in products and affIliate programs,that number will boil down to about 1000 or less affIliates promoting a certain product in the world.

But still, that’s a whole lot of guys saying stuff like “click the link in my bio”.

It usually requires some capital: Although joining an affiliate program is completely free,you may need to put in some money to see results.Hopefully,not more than $20-$25 at the start.

Other expenses will only come in when you start trying to scale your business, but you can do that when you have started making some money from it.

Still care about the business model even after seeing the cons of it? That’s good to hear.

Yeah so back to the story,in order to understand why there were mixed reactions about affIliate marketing,I decided to dig a little deeper to find out what was the cause of these.

I tried to pinpoint what the group that was making money from it was doing that the other group wasn’t.

All the secrets will be spilled in this article but first, let’s discuss how affIliate marketing works.

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How affIliate marketing works

First,it is common knowledge that every online resource has a unique URL that when searched in a browser,directs the user to that resource.Sales pages or pages where people can purchase products have such URLs as well.

So to start your affIliate marketing journey,all you need to do is copy such URLs,share them with friends,have them purchase products and earn thousands of dollars worth of experience.

I know what you’re thinking,I will be earning experience?

Actually to be able to earn money with affIliate marketing,there are a few more steps to be taken.

There are usually three parties involved in affIliate marketing:The owner of the product,the customer and the affIliate.

The affIliate gets paid to send customers to the product owner.To do this, every intending affIliate must sign up to an affiliate program and get their unique affIliate link.

The affIliate program is simply the agreement between a product owner and an affiliate in which case the affIliate agrees to send buyers to the product owner while the product owner pays the affIliate a commission per buyer.

Once anyone decides to sign up to an affiliate program,they will be given their unique affIliate link with which they will refer buyers.

The affIliate link is simply a link to the sales page but a lot more customised.The affIliate link is usually peculiar to a certain affIliate.Only this affIliate can use that affIliate link to refer buyers to purchase products and when he or she does so,he will get paid for using the link.

So instead of simply using the original link to refer people,the affIliate can use a customised link to refer buyers and get paid for doing so.With actual cash this time.

So with that here’s a more concise definition of affIliate marketing:Affiliate marketing is simply referring buyers using an affiliate link to purchase products and then getting paid each time they purchase a product.

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How to start affIliate marketing

Now that you know the pros and cons of affIliate marketing as well as how it works,now the question is how exactly can you start.

Find and join an affiliate program

The first step to take is to find and join an affiliate program.To do this,all you have to do is search a certain product name + affIliate programs.This will show you a list of affIliate programs that offer the type of products you want.

We recommend that you start with products you are already familiar with.This will make things a lot easier for you.If you are more familiar with beauty products,you can search beauty products + affIliate programs.

Once you have pinpointed a few good affIliate programs you would like to join,you can go ahead to sign up with your email address and get your affIliate link.

Your registration may be confirmed in a few seconds or may delay up to two weeks; however,once your registration has been confirmed,you will be able to promote the products and earn from them.

Equip yourself with the right tools

Much like every business,there are a few tools that make affIliate marketing a lot easier.

These tools usually range from very simple content creation tools like video ad makers  and image editor tools to link shorteners and trackers.

If you really do hope to make some money out of the business model and even scale it,you will need a few of those.

Here are some of the basic ones:

Link shorteners: Your affIliate links aren’t going to look all clean and click worthy.Sometimes,they may look spammy and untrustworthy and trust is essential.In such cases,you may need to shorten them.You can start with a link shortener like Bit.ly.It will help you make your link look more attractive.

If you have your affIliate website setup,you can take a step further by employing super link shorteners like Thirsty affIliates or Betterlinks.

An image or video editor tool:These are usually important if you plan to scale your affIliate marketing business with ads.

Such tools enable you to create nice and clear images and videos that will really hit the mark on your ad campaign.

We have compiled a comprehensive list of all the tools you will need to be successful at affIliate marketing. You can go ahead and check them out.

Join an affiliate marketing forum

Affiliate marketing can feel very confusing when you’re just starting out and trying to figure out everything on your own.

Seeing as you are new to the business model,it is only normal for you to experience difficulties.

But a comprehensive forum could enable you to skip all that.

In a forum,you can connect with those that have already made some money with the business model,ask questions and get realistic answers to them.

And if you ever experience any difficulty implementing the tips you learned,you can always return and ask another question.

You can repeat that until you have gotten the hang of it.It’s bye-bye to courses.

Big Affiliates has a comprehensive forum that’s open for anyone who wants to join.

The forum contains some of the best affIliate marketing advice online as well as a few friendly affIliate marketing gurus who are willing to share their knowledge.You can go ahead and check it out now.

Start a social media channel

Social media is where everybody is these days or at least where most of the potential buyers for most products are.

So if you want to get successful finding and referring potential buyers to sellers,you might want to start there.

I am not exactly saying you should become the next big social media influencer,I am saying that it is necessary for you to exploit what social media has to offer.

Creating a social media channel and  regularly publishing content on your social media channel is one of the big steps you can take on your journey.

This tip will also give you a huge advantage when you start trying to use ads to scale your affIliate marketing business.

As promised,I am now going to tell you what the major difference between the affIliates who made significantly more than others were doing to achieve this.

However,only the major one will be discussed here,you can find all the rest at 15 common mistakes affIliates make.

The difference was actually really simple.The ones who were making more were simply trusting the process.

Affiliate marketing success is hardly, if ever,a mistake.It is usually made up of a bunch of small yet conscious steps taken each day to bring you closer and closer.

As with every legitimate business model, affIliate marketing takes time to produce results.You will have to simply trust the process.

Put in the work and trust.Although the process hardly ever takes more than three months to produce results,it is alarming how many give up before that time.

At this point,I hope I have successfully made a good affIliate marketing introduction.For more tips on how to make money with the business model,you can visit our next article:How to make money with affIliate marketing and subscribe to get notified when we publish newer articles.

Remember:

  • You earn money with affIliate marketing by referring buyers to product owners.
  • To become an affiliate,you must join an affiliate program and get your affIliate link.
  • Start by equipping yourself with image and video creation tools for the journey.
  • Start a social media channel TODAY.
  • Learn to trust the process.

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