Right, so you want to know how to make money with affiliate marketing.
Whether that’s some “pocket money” on the side, or you’re thinking BIG and want to make tens of thousands per month through affiliate marketing, let me tell you this – you absolutely can!
You’ve landed in the right place, so you’re off to a great start already.
I’m going to tell you exactly how I got started with affiliate marketing and made my first sale almost immediately. But first, lets clarify a few things.
I use affiliate marketing through my blog, so although marketing through social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook will require a slightly different approach to market your affiliate products, the process to become an affiliate marketer is very similar.
What is affiliate marketing?
Before we jump into the fun stuff and learn exactly how to become an affiliate marketer and make your first sale, then hundreds and even thousands of dollars, let me quickly cover what affiliate marketing is for those of you who are unsure.
I’ll keep it as simple as possible.
Affiliate marketing is when you promote a product or service using a unique affiliate link provided to you by the company/business/owner.
Your followers and visitors click on this link that leads to the specific product or service and they make a purchase,(hopefully).
Ca-Ching! You have then earned a commission on this product or service.
The percentage of commission you earn depends on what each company/business has offered you at the time of becoming an affiliate with them.
Sounds super easy, right?
Well, yeah it can be! But that depends on a few things.
1.Your marketing skills; don’t worry you don’t need a marketing degree to be awesome at marketing! I certainly don’t have one.
You just need to know your product or service and can SELL it like a pro!
There are a few other important things, all of which I will cover so you can feel confident and motivated to jump right into your affiliate marketing journey and start making some money!
How to make money with affiliate marketing – step by step
1. Choose affiliate products that match your niche.
Assuming you already have a blog/website or a platform to market products from, but even if you don’t this article will help you boost ahead with starting one so you can get on the affiliate marketing train fast!
Focus your products or services you plan to promote around the niche that you are already in.
Not in a particular niche? You write about a range of different things?
No worries, just make sure you link appropriate affiliate products to an appropriate article.
For example, you have a blog about puppy training. You want look for an affiliate program with products or services that you can work into your articles that your readers would actually be interested in.
It wouldn’t make sense to write an article about how to train a puppy and randomly add an affiliate link to beauty products.
Your readers didn’t land on your article to find beauty products, they want to know how to train their puppy!
Instead, you would look for an affiliate product relating to puppy training, or puppies in general.
Haven’t got a blog just yet?
No worries. Its actually not near as hard as you think to get started.
Choose a domain name. You can check out available domains here at Godaddy and purchase one for as low as $7.99 at the current time of writing this article.
This is who I used, but there are many other places out there to purchase domain names, but Godaddy is very popular.
Alternatively you can check if any domain name is available through the following link.
Just enter the domain you like and check availablility. It’s completely free.
Choosing a web host to host your site
Then you just need to choose a good webhost to host you site.
There are quite a few goodies out there, but here are a few of the most popular.
I use Hostgator and highly recommend them.
They have three hosting plans available starting from as low as $2.75 per month.
Another feature that I absolutely love about Hostgator is their 24/7 live chat option.
I have had to use this many times because i’m not hugely tech savvy (i’ll admit), and they are insanely fast at fixing any queries I have had, as well as providing great, friendly customer service.
Bluehost is another highly recommended company among bloggers and big website owners.
It offers some very competitive rates and introductory pricing to attract new customers.
Bluehost is a perfect first host for a new WordPress blog.
Hosting plans start at $3.95/month
Siteground is a great webhost for new site owners.
They have three hosting plans available with the StartUp plan staring at $4.95 per month.
What sets them apart from other hosting companies is that they give you a 1 month trial period rather than having to commit to a 12,24 or 36 months hosting plan.
Then all you need to do is go to WordPress.org, sign up, choose a theme for your blog (I love OceanWP personally), and start building your blog!
Below I have linked an awesome tutorial for setting up web hosting with Hostgator as well as building an entire blog with OceanWP.
I used this when I started and wow did it make my life so much easier!
Here is the link – How to make a WordPress blog step by step for beginners
2. Make sure you have quality content
The worst thing you can do as a blogger is to write terrible articles that have no benefit to your audience.
Now, I don’t mean you need to be an amazing writer.
What I mean is you mean to provide quality information to your audience that they can click off your article and feel like they walked away with more than they expected to find.
You don’t want them getting part way through and leaving because you offered them no value.
Capture them from the beginning, as quick as you can to keep them interested.
The worst thing you can do, and it WILL backfire, is to promote a product you either know nothing about, don’t believe in yourself, or haven’t tried yourself.
Your audience will smell it a mile away.
Instead, be a decent person and sell your audience something you would be happy to have paid for yourself.
I promise it will be so much easier to write about and sell, and the rewards will follow.
The last thing you want is to find that everyone is getting refunded for the crappy product you sold them. 🙂
3. Apply to affiliate programs
When applying to affiliate programs, most will require you to complete a fairly quick application online.
Each application is different of course, but most will almost always ask for your URL, what niche you’re in, a little bit abut your blog /website and how you intend to promote their product or service.
This is why it is important to have at least a few articles published (I had about 5-10 when I applied to my first affiliate program) and make sure their are no broken pages on your site.
What pages should my site have?
Although you can have as many pages as you like, there are a few key pages that you should consider having right away.
This not only gives your site a more professional look and is more user friendly to your audience, but some pages help cover you legally.
Pages to consider
About – A little about yourself and/or your goal and aim of your blog.
Contact – A way for people to contact you eg. email, Facebook, Instagram etc
Disclaimer – This is a more important page to include, especially if you want to sell products on your site, give information and apply to places like Google Adsense.
You want to be taken seriously so you can be accepted into as many programs as you apply for.
Where do I find affiliate programs?
Good question! And yes, I have the answer 😉
There are many affiliate marketplaces that you can apply to join.
This is the easiest and by far the quickest way to become an affiliate marketer.
It’s free and you usually get an answer very quickly.
Affiliate marketplaces are like a big umbrella for companies to sell their products and services and promote their affiliate programs.
Once you have joined some affiliate marketplaces, you can then start searching for affiliate programs that have products and services based around your niche.
You then apply to those programs to become an affiliate marketer for them and promote their products and services.
Some programs will accept you immediately, others might review your site and reply within a few hours or days.
Here is a list of some of the best and most trusted affiliate marketplaces.
Personal opinion: I am in favour of Shareasale, but the others all have there good points.
I am a member of the others as well, but my personal favorite and recommendation is Shareasale.
Remember, never promote products you know nothing about, haven’t used before or you don’t personally recommend.
It just looks bad, and its unfair to your audience.
4. I’ve been accepted to an affiliate program, how to I market the product?
So you’ve got a good product or service to market, now you need to include it into your articles.
When you include your affiliate products to your articles and website, you want to be careful that it doesn’t come across as though all you care about is selling a product.
Again, people see this a mile away and will immediately be put off.
People are on your article because they have a problem they need solved. They want solutions.
It’s your job to prove to them that the product you are selling, is what they need.
Make sure you give them good quality information, but be subtle in the way you go about including the product to your article, especially in the beginning of it.
I’ll use my 5 best probiotics for weight loss article as an example.
I begin by explaining what probiotics are and why they’re important.
Often people hear about a product being good for you but they really have no idea why.
It’s your job to educate them on it.
Then I go on to outline how probiotics can help with weight loss.
Again, educating my audience and hopefully increasing interest.
Then I go on to tell them how they can get probiotics, in what forms.
I make sure to list the foods they can get them from, as well as through supplementation.
And lastly, I tell my audience how to choose the right supplement.
I list 5 of the best probiotic supplements that are top sellers on Amazon, (whom I am an affiliate marketer for.)
I also give them a little bit of info about each one.
Now, this brings me back to my statement about making sure to try a product or service before you sell it to people.
I absolutely stand by this, but there are a times where there can be an exception.
These probitoics all have hundreds of reviews, and the majority of these reviews are high.
Also, its not an overly expensive product. Its not a treadmill, or an appliance that you definitely should use yourself before marketing it to your audience.
So, smaller items, especially when they are rated as top sellers on Amazon with great reviews is when you could be more relaxed with not having used it yourself
5. Where should I link affiliate products?
As said earlier, you want to give your audience information first and educate them on the product or service.
This is your sales pitch, so it needs to be good!
You could subtly add your affiliate link within the body of your article a couple times.
Not everyone will read your article right through, so you might want to give them the chance to see the product earlier in the article.
This could be easier or harder to do depending on how you structure your article.
Just always remember, you are solving a problem for your audience.
So give them good quality information early on to capture their attention.
There will be thousands of other articles very similar to yours on the web, so if you’re not delivering what your audience is looking for, they will very quickly go somewhere else.
Make sure you link your products at the end of the article, and give information about it and why you personally recommend it.
Don’t just throw up a bunch of banners and pictures all over your article with no information.
I’m telling you now, this will never work!
You must build trust with your audience before selling.
6. You need traffic to make sales
This is just stating the obvious.
If no one is visiting your site, you’re not going to make sales.
If you already have a steady flow of traffic, then you have an audience to pitch your affiliate products to and are far more likely to make sales.
How do I get traffic?
When starting a blog, it can be hard!
I know this. I started at the bottom, with nothing, just like every one else.
But don’t let this put you off.
Remember, the big bloggers at the top with hundreds of thousands of visitors per day started with ZERO traffic.
But they worked HARD and relentlessly to get where they are today, like myself.
I’m also pretty certain we all applied these same strategies I am about to tell you.
Promote promote promote!
Don’t be shy. Promote yourself as much as you can.
The first thing you should be doing, and it is absolutely crucial to success, is to build an email list.
Convertkit is a platform that allows you to create loads of ways to collect emails through social media advertising and through your website.
I wont get into detail now, but here is a great Convertkit tutorial that tells you exactly how it works.
Pinterest is another great search engine to promote yourself.
Yes, it is a search engine! Not a social media platform.
I get most of my blog traffic through Pinterest and it has been invaluable for growing my traffic and fan base.
Good SEO (search engine optimisation).
Again I wont get into the nitty gritty of SEO because it is never ending, but here is another great article from Neil Patel about SEO tips for beginners.
I hope this has given you a good break down of what affiliate marketing is and how you can begin your journey to become an affiliate marketer today.
Any questions, don’t hesitate to leave me comments below. 🙂