Are you interested in earning some extra money through affiliate marketing but don’t know where or how to start affiliate marketing from scratch?
Well, no worries! I’ve got you covered. In this ultimate guide, we’re going to cover all the basics of how to start affiliate marketing from scratch.
Whether you’re totally new to it or have a bit of experience, you’re going to get comprehensive insights and practical tips to help you succeed in the world of affiliate marketing.
By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the tools and knowledge you need to start your own profitable affiliate marketing adventure in 2023 and beyond.
Let’s dive in and get started!
Affiliate Marketing Business
- Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing model where affiliates promote a merchant’s products or services and earn commissions for the sale or lead generated through their referral link.
- There are three main types of affiliate marketing: involved, related, and unattached.
- Benefits of affiliate marketing include low start-up costs, flexibility, access to a wide range of products, a passive income stream and performance-based commission.
- Affiliates can get paid through various payment models depending on the affiliate program they join.
- The amount of money an affiliate marketer can make varies widely and depends on several factors such as niche or industry, traffic quality and quantity, promotional strategies and more.
- Whether affiliate marketing is worth it or not depends on your goals, resources and approach.
- Trends in the affiliate market in 2023 include blogging, influencer marketing diversification, new social media sites and multichannel marketing.
- How does affiliate marketing work?
- What is an affiliate link?
- What are the benefits of affiliate marketing?
- How do affiliate marketers earn money?
- How much can someone make as an affiliate marketer?
- Is affiliate marketing worth it?
- How do I become an affiliate merchant?
- How do I start affiliate marketing from scratch?
- Affiliate marketing trends to watch in 2023
- Mistakes to avoid in affiliate marketing
- Topics & Questions
How does affiliate marketing work?
Well, it is a performance-based marketing model where an affiliate promotes a merchant’s products or services and earns commissions for the sale or lead generated through their referral link.
Here is how affiliate marketing works in simple steps:
Step 1: Sign up for an affiliate program
The first step in affiliate marketing is to sign up for an affiliate program. This involves finding a merchant whose products or services you want to promote and signing up for their affiliate program. Once you’re approved, you’ll receive a unique affiliate link to promote their products.
Step 2: Get an affiliate link and promote the products
After signing up for the affiliate program, you’ll receive a unique affiliate link that tracks the traffic you generate to the merchant’s website.
You can promote the products or services by using the link in your content, such as in blog posts, social media posts, or emails, and encouraging your audience to click on the link and purchase the products.
Step 3: Make sales and earn a commission when someone clicks your link
When a prospects clicks on your link and purchases the product or service, you’ll earn a commission based on the agreed-upon commission rate. The commission rate can vary depending on the merchant and the product or service being promoted.
What is an affiliate link?
An affiliate link is a unique URL provided to an affiliate by a merchant or an affiliate program. This link contains a tracking code identifying the affiliate who generated the traffic and any resulting sales or leads.
When someone clicks on an affiliate link and makes a purchase or takes another desired action, the affiliate earns commissions from the merchant or affiliate program.
Affiliate links can be used in various forms of content, including emails, blog posts, social media posts, and advertisements.
They are often customized to include the affiliate’s username or ID, which makes it easy for the merchant or affiliate program to track the traffic and sales generated by each affiliate.
Types of affiliate marketing
In affiliate marketing, there are three primary types. Here is a closer look at each of the affiliate marketing types:
Involved affiliate marketing
It involves promoting products or services you have used or have direct experience with. Involved affiliates have a personal connection to the products they promote, which makes their recommendations more credible and trustworthy.
They can provide in-depth reviews and personal experiences to their audience, increasing the likelihood of conversions. Involved affiliate marketing is often seen in the beauty, health, and fitness industries.
Related affiliate marketing
This type involves promoting products or services related to your niche or industry, but you may not have personal experience with them. Thus you could have only read customer reviews about them, or someone could have reffered them to you.
These affiliates have a good understanding of their audience and needs, and they promote products or services that are relevant and valuable to their audience.
They may provide product comparisons or highlight the benefits of the products they promote. Related affiliate marketing is often seen in technology, software, or finance industries.
Unattached affiliate marketing
It involves promoting products or services unrelated to your niche or industry. Unattached affiliates typically have a broad audience and promote products that have mass appeal, such as fashion or home goods.
They often use promotional strategies such as coupons or discounts to attract customers and generate conversions.
Each type of affiliate requires a different approach and strategy, depending on the affiliate’s niche or industry and their audience’s needs and interests.
By understanding the different types of affiliate marketing, affiliates can choose the right promotional strategy that aligns with their goals and audience.
What are the benefits of affiliate marketing?
Want to be an affiliate and make passive income online? There are several benefits to this. Here are some of the main ones:
From all these, you can note that affiliate marketing offers many benefits to both affiliates and merchants, making it an attractive option for those looking to earn money online.
How do affiliate marketers earn money?
Affiliates can get paid through various payment models, depending on the affiliate program they join. Here are some of the most common:
The payment model depends on the affiliate program and the merchant’s preferences. Affiliates should choose a payment model that aligns with their promotional strategy and earning goals.
How much can someone make as an affiliate marketer?
From experience, the amount of money an affiliate marketer can make varies widely and depends on several factors.
These include the niche or industry they are in, the commission rate offered by the merchant or affiliate program, the traffic quality and quantity generated by the affiliate, and the effectiveness of their promotional efforts.
Some affiliates earn a few hundred dollars a month, while others can make a six-figure income or more. It’s not uncommon for successful affiliates to earn thousands of dollars a month or more.
However, it’s essential to note that affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme as many think; it requires hard work, dedication, and persistence to be successful.
Is affiliate marketing worth it?
Whether affiliate marketing is worth it or not depends on your goals, resources, and approach. It can be an excellent way to earn money online, especially if you have a website or social media platform with an engaged audience.
As we have seen, affiliate marketing has a lot of benefits. However, it also requires effort, time, and dedication to be successful. It’s essential to choose the right niche and products to market, create quality content that resonates with your audience, and promote the products effectively.
Keep track of your performance metrics and adjust your promotional strategies as needed. Like any business or income stream, it requires continuous effort and optimization to generate consistent income.
To short answer to this is it can be worth it if you’re willing to put in the effort and take a strategic approach. It may offer low start-up costs, flexibility, and passive income potential, but it requires dedication, time, and effort to be successful.
How do I become an affiliate merchant?
Becoming an affiliate merchant is easy. Note that merchants create the products and allow affiliates to promote them, earning more for every sale.
Aspiring entrepreneurs can become affiliate merchants by following these tips:
Come up with an idea
The first step in becoming an affiliate merchant is to develop a product or service idea you are passionate about and knowledgeable in. Consider your skills, interests, and expertise to identify a niche or industry to which you can contribute.
Research and validate your idea
Once you have an idea, it’s essential to research and validate it to ensure that there is a market demand for it. You can use tools like Amazon Best Sellers, Google Trends, and keyword research tools to check whether people are already selling the same product and how interested they are.
Create a solution
Once you have validated your idea, it’s time to create a solution that addresses your audience’s needs and challenges. This can be an e-book, course, YouTube channel, membership site, or any other digital product or service that aligns with your niche.
Find affiliate partners
After creating your product or service, you need to find affiliate partners to promote the affiliate marketing program to their audience and earn a commission for every sale they generate.
You can find affiliate partners through an affiliate network like ShareASale, ClickBank, and Commission Junction or by reaching out to individual affiliates and influencers in your niche.
Provide marketing materials and support
As an affiliate merchant, it’s your responsibility to provide your affiliate partners with marketing materials, such as banners, product images, and promotional copy, to help them promote your product effectively. You should also provide support and guidance to your affiliates to ensure they have everything they need to make affiliate income.
Becoming an affiliate merchant requires creativity, research, and strategic planning. Follow the steps above to gain traction fast.
How do I start affiliate marketing from scratch?
Apart from being an affiliate merchant, you can also become an affiliate marketer. But I must say starting it from scratch can be overwhelming. However, it’s an excellent way to earn passive income.
Let’s go through the steps:
1. Research and define your audience
This is the first and most critical step in starting affiliate marketing. Identifying your target audience helps you understand their needs, interests, and pain points, enabling you to choose the right products to promote and develop effective marketing strategies that resonate with them.
To research your audience, start by defining your niche or area of focus. Once you have defined idea of your niche, you can use various tools and techniques to learn more about your target audience, such as:
One of the best ways to research your audience is by analyzing your competitors and their marketing strategies.
Look at what products they are promoting, who their target audience is, and the marketing channels they use. This information can help you understand your target audience comprehensively and develop a marketing strategy that sets you apart from your competitors.
Use tools such as:
These can help you analyze website traffic, social media engagement, and keyword search volume to identify your audience’s demographics, interests, and behavior patterns.
By understanding your audience’s needs and interests, the next steps should be easy since you can then create content and promote products that appeal to them, increasing your chances of success in affiliate marketing.
2. Understand the solution you are offering
After identifying your defined target audience, the next step is to understand the solution you are offering. This involves identifying the products or services you will be promoting and understanding how they can solve the target audience’s problems or meet their needs.
By doing this, you can create a strong value proposition that aligns with your target audience and encourages them to take action. This, in turn, increases your chances of success in affiliate marketing by establishing credibility and building trust with your audience.
Here is an illustration
Let’s say you have identified your target audience as new parents looking for baby products. Your solution could be a range of baby products, including strollers, car seats, and cribs.
To understand the solution you are offering, you need to research these products and understand how they meet your audience’s needs.
For example, you might research strollers and find that new parents are looking for a stroller that is lightweight, easy to fold and store, and has a comfortable seat for their baby.
You could then identify a range of strollers that meet these requirements and evaluate them based on price, durability, and safety features.
In evaluating the strollers, you might also research the reputation of the vendor or merchant selling the strollers. You could check online reviews or ask other parents for recommendations to ensure that you are promoting high-quality products from a reputable source.
3. Choose the right platform
Choosing the right platform is the third step in starting affiliate marketing from scratch. The platform you choose will play a critical role in the success of your affiliate marketing efforts.
There are several platforms to choose from:
To choose the right platform, consider your audience and where they spend their time online. Suppose your target audience is active on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook.
In that case, starting an Instagram account or Facebook page could be an effective platform for promoting your affiliate products.
On the other hand, starting a blog could be a better option if your audience prefers to read in-depth content.
Let’s expound more on these platforms:
It can be a great platform for affiliate marketing because it allows you to create in-depth content that provides value to your readers. You can use your blog to create product reviews, how-to guides, and listicles that feature the products you are promoting.
The platform can be useful for affiliate marketing because it allows you to create video content that showcases the products you are promoting.
You can create product reviews, tutorials, and unboxing videos that provide value to your audience. It can also help you build an email list, promote your blog, and drive traffic to your affiliate links.
Social Media Platforms
These can be useful for affiliate marketing because they allow you to reach a large audience and engage with them in real-time.
You can use social media to create posts, stories, and live videos to showcase the products you are promoting. Additionally, you can use hashtags and paid advertising to increase your reach and target specific audiences.
The platform can be useful for affiliate marketing because it allows you to build a list of hot buyers who are interested in your niche.
You can use emails to promote your affiliate products, send product reviews, and provide helpful tips and resources to your audience. You can also use it to nurture your audience and build trust, increasing their likelihood of purchasing through your affiliate links.
Podcasting is an audio platform useful for affiliate marketing because it allows you to create content your audience can listen to on the go.
You can create podcast episodes that feature the products you are promoting and provide value to your listeners by providing tips and insights related to your niche.
Also, you can use your podcast to promote your blog, email list, and social media channels, which can help to increase your reach and promote your affiliate products.
Choosing a platform that aligns with your skills and interests is also essential. If you enjoy creating videos, then starting a YouTube channel could be a great option. If you prefer writing, then starting a blog or email list might be more suitable.
4. Create a winning sales funnel
A sales funnel is a strategic approach to guiding prospects through a series of steps that eventually leads them to make a purchase.
By creating a sales funnel, you can target specific groups of customers, build relationships with them, and provide them with relevant information that addresses their needs and interests. This approach can help you build trust with potential customers, increase brand awareness, and ultimately drive more sales.
Let’s say you are promoting an online course on digital marketing that you are an affiliate for. Your sales funnel could look something like this:
Having a sales funnel that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience and provides them with valuable information can increase the chances of converting potential customers into paying customers.
5. Create affiliate marketing content
The next step is to create content around the affiliate products you are promoting. There are different types of content you can create.
Here are some of them:
Each type of content serves a different purpose and can be used at different sales funnel stages. For example, product reviews and comparison content are ideal for the consideration stage, where potential customers are weighing their options and trying to make a decision.
On the other hand, tutorials and guides are perfect for the purchase stage, where customers are looking for additional information on how to use the product effectively.
6. Build an email list
An email list is a database of people’s email addresses that you can use to communicate with them, share information, and promote your affiliate products.
To build an email list, you first need to create an opt-in form on your website or landing page. This form allows visitors to provide their email addresses voluntarily in exchange for valuable content, such as an e-book, a discount code, or a free trial.
Once you have a list of subscribers, you can use email marketing to nurture and engage with them, share relevant and valuable content, and promote your affiliate products. A well-crafted email marketing campaign can significantly boost your affiliate sales and revenue.
Let’s say you are promoting an online course on digital marketing. Create a series of emails that educate your subscribers on various aspects of digital marketing, such as SEO, social media, email marketing, etc. You can also share success stories of people who have taken the course and achieved significant results.
Over time, as your subscribers begin to trust and value your content, they will likely purchase the course and other affiliate products you recommend. With a growing list of engaged subscribers, you can make passive income.
7. Track, measure, and optimize
Tracking and measuring your affiliate marketing campaigns is the final step to ensure you are making the most of your efforts. It involves analyzing your data to determine what is working for you and what is not and making necessary adjustments to improve your performance.
The best way to track your affiliate marketing performance is using tools like Google Analytics. You can use these tools to track the number of clicks, conversions, and revenue generated from your affiliate links.
If, for example, you are promoting affiliate products of affiliate networks, such as Amazon, on your website or blog, you can track how many people are clicking on your Amazon affiliate links and how many are making purchases using Google Analytics.
Here is another illustration…
Let’s say you’ve been promoting a popular book on Amazon, such as Expert Secrets, as an affiliate and have been getting a lot of clicks on your affiliate link. However, you do not see many sales, so you decide to track, measure, and optimize your campaign.
First, you use Amazon’s reporting tools to track your clicks, orders, and earnings. You notice that you’ve had 100 clicks on your affiliate link, but only 2 orders, resulting in $20 in earnings.
Next, you decide to measure the performance of your campaign by calculating your conversion rate. You divide your orders (2) by your clicks (100) and get a conversion rate of 2%.
You realize a relatively low 2% conversion rate, so you optimize your campaign. You try a few different things, such as changing the headline of your affiliate content, promoting the book on different platforms, and offering a bonus to anyone who purchases the book through your link.
After a few weeks of testing and tweaking, you recheck your Amazon reporting tools and notice that you’ve had 200 clicks on your affiliate link, 10 orders, and $100 in earnings.
You calculate your new conversion rate by dividing your orders (10) by your clicks (200) and get a conversion rate of 5%.
By tracking, measuring, and optimizing your affiliate marketing campaign, you increased your conversion rate from 2% to 5% and significantly increased your earnings.
Affiliate marketing trends to watch in 2023
Affiliate marketing is constantly evolving and adapting to changes in consumer behavior and market trends.
As we go on through the year, there are several key trends that affiliate marketers should keep in mind to stay ahead of the curve.
In the past, some affiliate marketers relied on creating “thin” blog post content on their affiliate website. The content was focused on driving traffic to their affiliate offers rather than providing real value to the reader.
However, search engines like Google have become increasingly sophisticated at identifying and penalizing low-quality content, so this approach is becoming less effective in search engine optimization.
Today, successful affiliate marketers who use blogging as part of their strategy tend to focus on creating high-quality, informative content that helps their audience solve problems or achieve their goals.
Influencer marketing has been on the rise in recent years and is set to continue in 2023. In fact, according to a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, 63% of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2023.
However, there will be a shift in the way brands approach influencer marketing. Instead of focusing solely on the number of followers an influencer has, brands will be looking for more meaningful engagement metrics.
Diversification in affiliate marketing refers to promoting products across multiple niches and categories instead of focusing on just one.
The idea is to spread out your income sources and reduce your reliance on a single product or niche. This can help to reduce the impact of any market fluctuations or changes and increase the overall stability and sustainability of your affiliate marketing business.
New social media sites
As the world becomes more interconnected and people spend more time online, new social media platforms are constantly emerging.
While established platforms like Facebook and Instagram are still popular, new platforms like TikTok and Clubhouse are rapidly gaining popularity among younger audiences.
As an affiliate marketer, it’s important to stay up-to-date with these trends and adapt your affiliate strategy accordingly to reach your target audience where they spend their time.
In 2023, the trend is expected to become more critical than ever as customers increasingly engage with brands across multiple platforms. Affiliate marketers must diversify their marketing channels and ensure their strategies are cohesive across all channels to reach their target audience effectively.
Mistakes to avoid in affiliate marketing
Here are some regular mistakes to avoid in affiliate marketing in 2023:
Topics & Questions
And there you have it, your ultimate guide on how to start affiliate marketing from scratch! We’ve covered a lot of ground, from understanding affiliate marketing basics to optimizing your website for conversions.
But keep in mind that like any business, success in affiliate marketing takes time and effort. With dedication and persistence, you can definitely turn this into a profitable venture for you.
If you want to learn more and dive deeper into the world of online business, sign up for Legendary Marketer’s 15-day online business challenge.
THis program provides you with actionable insights and strategies to maximize your earning potential and build a successful affiliate marketing business.
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