Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing that involves you referring someone to any product on the internet and you receive a commission when that individual buys the product based on your recommendation.

Depending on what product you are promoting, this commission could range from $1 to $10,000.

how affiliate marketing works

Affiliate marketing works in 4 simple steps:

  1. You register for an affiliate program.
  2. You select a product to promote (You will be given a unique affiliate link)
  3. You share the link via Social media, Blog, YouTube videos, Facebook ads or any other form
  4. Whenever anyone makes a purchase, you will earn a handsome affiliate commission.

Many online businesses that sell products such as web hosting, shoes, software, or other services typically have an affiliate program. You can simply subscribe to the program and get a tracking link unique to you. Each time you write about their product, you can simply use this affiliate link to recommend the company’s product or service.

If your readers make any purchase through that link, you will receive a commission.

Each affiliate program has a TOS. For instance, most of them use a 60-day cookie period, meaning that if a visitor uses your special affiliate link to land on the site’s sales page and buys something within the next 60 days, you will be entitled to the commission from the sale.

How to Begin Affiliate Marketing for Starters:

You can start Affiliate marketing in different ways; they include

  • Start a blog and use it to promote affiliate products
  • Buy traffic from Facebook and direct it to the landing pages.
  • Create a YouTube channel and promote affiliate products.

The following steps will help you get started with affiliate marketing via your blog:

  • Create a blog
  • Select a profitable industry and then choose a niche for your blog
  • Select affiliate products which you can promote
  • Create content for those products
  • Drive traffic to your website/affiliate post
  • Use email-marketing services to capture email of visitors
  • Create email-sequence to automate the funnel (We will discuss this in details)
  • Focus on driving more traffic and repeating the process.

Blogging is one of the most effective ways to get started with affiliate marketing. Thi is because it requires low investment and everything around it can be learnt in no time. What really matters most is how much dedication, time and smart work you put in to grow your affiliate business.

Affiliate Marketing Terminologies

Here are some of the most popular terms associated with affiliate marketing:

  • Affiliates: Publishers like you and me who promote the links of affiliate programs and make sales.
  • Affiliate Merchants: There are many merchants such as Shareasale, Commission Junction, and Clickbank. These operate as networks for affiliate programs in different niches.
  • Affiliate Software: A Software used by companies to create an affiliate program for their product. Example: FirstPromoter.
  • Affiliate Link: Special follow-up link offered by your affiliate program to monitor the performance your affiliate promotion.
  • Affiliate ID: Similar to the affiliate link, but many affiliate programs offer a unique identifier that you can add to any product site page.
  • Method of payment: different affiliate programs offer different payment methods. Example: payoneer, check, bank transfer, PayPal and others.
  • Affiliate / OPM Manager: Many companies have dedicated affiliate managers who help publishers earn more by providing them with optimization tips.
  • Commission amount/Percentage: The amount or percentage you will receive in affiliate income from each sale.
  • 2-tier affiliate marketing: It’s a great way to make money with an affiliate program. With this method, you recommend others to join affiliate programs and you get a commission when a sub-affiliate makes a conversion (similar to multi-level marketing). This revenue is also called sub-affiliate commission.
  • Landing Pages: A Sales page or exclusive product demonstration used to increase sales. Many of the programs you promote will have many landing pages and you can Run A/B tests to see which pages convert the most for you.
  • Custom Affiliate Revenue/Account: Unlike a generic affiliate account, many companies offer personalized affiliate income to people who earn the most affiliate sales.
  • Link Clocking: Many affiliate links can be very lengthy. By using a link synchronization technique such as URL abbreviations, thirsty affiliates, etc. You can turn these links into links that your readers can read and understand.
  • Custom Coupons: Numerous programs allow affiliates to create custom coupons that are also used to track sales. Custom discount coupons help you increase sales from your affiliate links.

For companies that offer affiliate program, this is one of the best ways to benefit from a free promotion, and it saves a lot on advertising cost.

For example, every time you see coupons or discount links, most of the time these are affiliate links and when you make a purchase, the webmasters earn.

Affiliate Marketing: Frequently Asked Questions

At this juncture, you now have a basic understanding of affiliate marketing and how it functions.

Let me now answer the most frequently asked questions by affiliate marketers and webmasters about affiliate marketing:

How much money can you earn as a marketing affiliate?

“Unlimited”.

There are affiliate marketers who earn millions of dollars a month through affiliate marketing. You can earn more than $30,000 a month through affiliate marketing. 

The key here is how you approach the entire process. Do you use a blog or use PPC to promote affiliate products. What I have used in the last 10 years is through blogs. It is the most effective so far.

Is it important to have a blog to promote affiliate products?

Not necessarily so, however a blog is actually the best promotional tool. That being said, you can still use methods such as PPC or advertising to promote an affiliate product. It’s more like affiliate marketing “hit and run”, though. The best way to get the most out of affiliate marketing opportunities is to have a blog and use it for a hard and soft promotion. Find out how to create a blog here.

How much does it cost to join an affiliate program?

Membership for an affiliate program is free. However, the total cost depends on the promotion technique you use. For example, a blog article does not cost a dime, but PPC marketing, email marketing and advertising cost some money.

What qualifications do I need to become an affiliate marketing?

There is literally no qualification required to become an affiliate marketer, although having good marketing and copywriting skills is an added advantage.

Is Affiliate Marketing Malicious or Illegal?

No, it’s neither harmful nor illegal, because you simply use the affiliate link provided to you instead of a direct link to connect to any site.

How Do I find an affiliate link for a product?

Of course, not all companies offer an affiliate program, but you can check their website for related information of they do not offer affiliate programs. During your search, be sure to check the company FAQ page if there is one.

Another way to get this information is to do a simple search on Google. For instance, you can enter the following phrase in the Google search: “(product name) + affiliate program”. (Replace “product name” with the name of the product you want to promote.) There is an interesting addon for chrome, known as Affilitizer, which simplifies this process.

This should lead you to a landing page. Many companies use an affiliate merchant such as ShareASale, Commission Junction or Clickbank. These are free and you can create a free account.

How can I find new products to promote?

Affiliate markets such as those mentioned above are the best places to begin your affiliate marketing research. You can browse your niche and see the best affiliate programs.

Alternatively, you can monitor the blogs in your niche and see what products they promote and what methods they use.

Affiliate Marketing and AdSense: Can We Use Both?

Yes, you can use both because Affiliate Marketing does not violate any AdSense TOS. In my own opinion, affiliate marketing works better than Adsense and that’s one of the reasons you see fewer AdSense ads on scrupulousblog.

Well, now I understand what affiliate marketing is. How can I start?

Here at Scrupulousblog, many authors and I have written some of the best guides to help you understand how to get started, as well as some of the pros and cons. Here is a list of our affiliate marketing archives that will get you started:

How to make money with the Amazon Affiliate Program

How to promote affiliate products on your blog

I also recommend buying our affiliate marketing eBook. This is a complete guide on how to get started with affiliate marketing.

I hope this beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing will help you get started. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask me in the comments section below.

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