Last Updated on May 2, 2021 by Tracy Jackson
If you’re reading this post, you most likely searched for “affiliate marketing for dummies”.
You’re in luck! In this post, I’ll teach you exactly what the concept of affiliate marketing is, how you can become an affiliate marketer, and what are the best affiliate programs for affiliates.
Affiliate marketing spending in the US is forecasted to rise from 6.8 Billion USD in 2020 to 8.2 Billion USD by 2022!
That is a good reason to start an affiliate marketing business online in 2021!
The reason I’ve titled this blog post “Affiliate Marketing For Dummies” is because it is designed for complete beginners who are just starting an affiliate marketing business.
We’ll learn how companies set up their affiliate programs and how someone can market various products such as books or even software services to their audience as a method of earning affiliate income.
Let’s walk through affiliate marketing for dummies.
Disclaimer: If you buy something using the links in this article, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Know that I only promote stuff that I use and trust for the sake of my readers and the reputation of this site.
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies – Step By Step
If you are a blogger or a website owner looking for a way to make money through affiliate marketing, then this Affiliate Marketing For Dummies article was created just for you!
By the time you’re done with this affiliate marketing guide, you will have learned how to look for the right affiliate program in your niche, how to promote affiliate products that you are a fan of and become a master at affiliate marketing.
The most popular way for people to make an affiliate income is by running a blog and promoting products with an article with information on the product. The affiliate link is placed within the article so that readers can click through and make a purchase – and the affiliate marketer earns a commission with each successful purchase.
If you are wondering “How do I become an affiliate marketer (for beginners)?”, Here are step-by-step instructions you can follow:
Step 1: Find Your Niche
The very first step in this affiliate marketing for dummies guide is to find out your niche.
There are hundreds and thousands of affiliate programs you can promote on your site, but if you really want to make decent money through affiliate marketing, you must focus on products in a specific niche.
Keep in mind that your website needs to be built in a way that helps people buy the best products that they need. Promoting affiliate products just for the sake of making money is never a good idea.
Your site or blog must do more than just sell – focus on a particular niche and build your expertise so that you can serve your readers more genuinely.
Here’s a helpful video that gives you a bird’s eye view on selecting a niche for your affiliate marketing website:
Becoming a leader in your niche will help you build a solid reputation, which will further help you grow your business.
Step 2: Research And Choose Affiliate Programs For Products You Want To Sell/ Promote
Okay, so you’ve decided which niche you want your website to focus on.
The next step in this affiliate marketing for dummies is to research the various affiliate programs out there and pick those that are:
a. Relevant to your niche,
b. Beneficial to your readers, and
c. Profitable for your site
The best way to make money through affiliate marketing is to pick the right affiliate program (such as Amazon) to join. Choosing the right affiliate products to promote through your blog will help you make decent money online while helping your readers.
As beginners, you need to always keep in mind that your customer comes first in affiliate marketing. Do not mislead people just to make a quick buck online.
Step 3: Create Your Own Website
Your affiliate website – probably the most crucial steps in this affiliate marketing guide!
To attract customers and sell them your affiliate products, you need to create and maintain a niche affiliate marketing website or blog.
There is nothing more crucial than meeting your audience at whatever point in their customer journey they are and offering the right content on your page.
The goal of your affiliate marketing blog or site is to give out free information in the form of blog posts. The affiliate sites that truly see results are the ones that make a name for themselves in their niche.
Your website is your own, meaning you have full control over it unlike social media marketing or paid ads. That is why this is the most crucial step in affiliate marketing.
Here are the basic steps you need to follow to get your affiliate marketing site up and running in no time.
You can also join my email list to get an 8-Day detailed email course on launching a blog, setting up a marketing funnel for your blog, and building a highly engaged audience!
Step 3a. Select And Purchase Your Domain
The first step in building your website is to think of a domain name and purchase it on a site like Namecheap.com.
A domain name is an address your audience needs to type in their internet browser to visit your site and read your content.
Your domain name is one of the first steps you will take as you begin your journey of starting an affiliate marketing business.
Make sure you choose a domain name that is short and easy to remember, has one or more keywords (to help with SEO) and is relevant to your page or products. That way readers will have an idea of what to expect when they visit your page.
For example, this blog, Marketingamateur.com is for marketing amateurs who want to learn and grow into professionals in the marketing industry.
Step 3b. Choose The Right Hosting Platform
The next step in building your affiliate website is to choose the best hosting platform to host your website.
Your website needs a space on the internet to store files and content that can be accessed by people through their internet browsers.
Website hosting companies require you to set up an account and either pay for annual web hosting or monthly hosting service.
Choose the best hosting service according to your business needs. You can check out these posts to help you decide on the best hosting service for your affiliate blog:
Step 3c. Install WordPress For Your Website
The third step to set up your affiliate marketing website is to set up a content management system (CMS) for your site. A CMS helps you maintain a blog that will hold articles that promote your affiliate products.
WordPress is the most popular CMS used by content marketers all over the world.
Since this is an Affiliate Marketing For Dummies guide, I will share the easiest way to install WordPress on your affiliate site.
The best way to install WordPress is to go with web hosting that does it for you. Web hosting services such as BlueHost and SiteGround allow you to install WordPress on your site in just a few clicks.
Step 3d. Select a Suitable WordPress Theme For Your Website
There are 3.6 billion mobile users in the world and this number will increase to 4.3 billion by 2023.
More and more readers are using multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops to access your site.
That is why you need to have a suitable WordPress theme for your website or blog that is mobile responsive. This will help you promote products or services for your affiliate marketing business.
Step 4: Create Content For Your Site
Ah, the meat of your affiliate marketing website – content.
Content is what gets people to learn about your affiliate products and buy them. SEO should be the main focus of your content marketing strategy as this is what brings your readers to your site.
The sort of content on your site is crucial in determining how successful your affiliate marketing strategy is going to be.
As affiliates, you need to reach out to your niche readers in a way that helps you relate with them. You need to understand what they are looking for and how you can solve their problems with your affiliate products.
There are many types of content you can publish on your affiliate marketing website, but here are the three main types:
4a. Product Review Article
A product review article helps your audience learn more about the product you are promoting and understand whether it is worth their time and money.
When your audience read a breakdown of all the features and benefit of the products you want to sell in your affiliate program, they will be more inclined to make a purchase using your affiliate links.
When your readers purchase products through your content links, you will make a commission.
Be careful to select the right merchants and companies whose products you want to promote. The more helpful information you provide your readers, the easier it will be for you to make money through your affiliate marketing product review articles.
An ideal product review article will have an introduction to the product, a list of its features and benefits, a list of its pros and cons, and a summary section to make it simple for the reader to make a decision.
Here is a great example of a summary section for a product review article by Authority Hacker:
4b. How-To Article
One of the ways affiliates can promote products to their customers is through guides and “how-to” content.
How-to blog posts are typically articles that contain information on how to do a specific thing. For instance, this article that you are reading can be considered as a how-to article that teaches beginners how to set up a successful affiliate marketing business.
You can share tips and step-by-step instructions with others in these types of posts that will help your audience take action, buy your affiliate products, earning you a commission or an affiliate income.
Focusing on SEO with these types of posts will help your content win a place in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), getting you more traffic and more income.
4c. Product Comparison Article
A product comparison article is another type of content that helps you promote your affiliate offers and earn a commission.
In comparison posts, you typically name a few products that you recommend to your customers along with the content links.
You then compare each of these products with each other in different ways so that your audience can ultimately pick one according to their needs.
Comparison posts are used by a lot of affiliates to help sell products from the companies they are associated with.
As with other affiliate marketing articles, you need to work on SEO for these posts to rank high in the SERPs and get you, valuable customers.
You can also use product comparison tables to make clear comparisons between products in your list like this one:
Step 5: Optimize Your Website For Search Engines With SEO
You must have heard me mention the word SEO many times in this post.
So here’s a section dedicated to SEO!
The main aim of affiliate marketing articles is to be found by your target audience so that they can read your valuable content and click on your affiliate links to buy the products you promote.
It’s no surprise then that SEO should be a strong factor to consider when you create content on your page.
One of the ways you can set your affiliate blog up for success is by optimizing your content for search engines.
There are many ways you should do this, but here are the main ones:
SEO Tip #1: Niche down. When you write articles for a niche audience, search engines (as well as your audience) start to recognize your site as a leader in your niche and push you up the rankings.
SEO Tip #2: Use an SEO tool. SEO tools such as Surfer SEO and Ahrefs help bloggers write and optimize content to rank higher in the SERPs. You can also use these tools to do keyword research and plan your content strategy.
SEO Tip #3: Beat your competition. Take a look at what your competitors are writing for your target keywords and try your best to out-write them!
SEO Tip #4: Target long-tail keywords. People generally search for specific terms. So instead of targeting broad terms, use long-tail keywords that have higher rates of conversion.
Tip #5: Remember the searcher’s intent. It helps to know what your readers are looking for when they type in a specific keyword. Are they looking for more information? Or are they looking for a product to buy? Keeping searcher’s intent in mind will help you craft content that helps them – and beings you more affiliate income.
Step 6: Build A Highly Engaged Audience
Once you’ve built a good website with helpful content for your readers, it’s time to build an engaged audience for yourself.
Remember, traffic is a vanity metric if it does not lead to conversions or a meaningful relationship with your readers.
There’s no use putting out more and more content if you are not able to capture your readers and eventually convert them into buyers.
Now, I don’t mean that sales should be the only thing on your mind when you are building an affiliate marketing site. What I do mean is that it is important to take the time to get to know your readers and build an engaged community.
You can do this by building an email list and regularly sending our great, helpful content to your readers. An email marketing software like GetResponse will help you do this.
Step 7: Promote Your Affiliate Links With Full Disclosure
The last step in this affiliate marketing for dummies guide is to make sure you fully disclose your affiliate links on your website.
Remember, you are not here to “trick” your customers into buying from your affiliate links. Only link to affiliate products that you truly love and would use yourself.
Add a disclosure clause at the beginning of every blog post or page on your website that contains affiliate links.
This will let your readers know that you are looking for the best deals for them while earning a commission if they make a purchase from your affiliate links.
What Are The Best Affiliate Programs You Can Join Immediately?
Want to know what are the highest paying affiliate programs? Which are the ones that you can join immediately and make a profit out of?
Here are some of the most popular affiliate marketing programs you can join to build your affiliate business:
ShareASale is one of the most popular and reputable affiliate programs with over 20 years of experience in sales and advertising.
Affiliates can join their affiliate program for free simply by signing up with their email address.
Content creators, website owners, and influencers can partner with their favorite brands in their niche.
Merchants can decide to pay affiliates two ways – Pay Per Lead or Pay Per Sale.
Amazon Associates is another very popular affiliate marketing platform that helps content creators and bloggers to monetize their traffic.
You can join the Amazon Associates program for free by entering details such as your email address.
Amazon has a highly competitive conversion rate, helping associates to earn the maximum commission for products sold.
When you join the Amazon Associates program, you can recommend thousands of products to your readers such as books, home improvement items, clothes, toiletries, and more.
Commission Junction (CJ) is an affiliate marketing company that helps merchants and affiliates through affiliate programs.
To make affiliate money from Commission Junction, you will need to join their affiliate marketing network using your email address.
Their affiliate program is one of the most successful programs worldwide and they help affiliate marketers partner with some of the world’s most reputable brands t earn a commission online.
ClickBank is a global affiliate marketplace for buying and selling information products. You can recommend products such as email marketing software and audiobooks through the ClickBank affiliate marketing program.
ClickBank is also free to join. Once you join their affiliate program, you can look for the products you would like to promote and start promoting them using the affiliate links you get from the program.
Etsy is a vintage and crafts marketplace that has an affiliate program. You can earn a commission of between 4-8% depending on your location and the products you recommend.
All you have to do is place the Etsy affiliate links you get of the products you want to recommend on your website and whenever someone purchases the item, you get a commission of about 4-8%.
Have you heard of the Fiverr Affiliates program? Fiverr, as you may have heard, is a marketplace for freelancers. With the Fiverr affiliates program, you can earn a commission by referring freelancers on the platform.
Fiverr Affiliates is free to join. Once you join their program, you will get access to a ton of marketing tools and materials.
You can then share Fiverr with your target audience. If the traffic you send them converts, you will earn a commission.
With the eBay Partner Network, you can earn a commission by sharing eBay listings on your website. eBay has a lot of tools for this, from simple affiliate link generators to high-volume product feeds that display a wide variety of relevant products on your site.
You can leverage deals and offers from eBay by sending traffic to them. You can also track, analyze, and optimize your affiliate earnings using their platform.
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies – Frequently Asked Questions
1. What skills do you need for affiliate marketing?
There are no specific skills you need to have to start affiliate marketing. All you need is an internet connection, a laptop or PC, a willingness to research and learn new things online, and an entrepreneurial mindset.
2. How much money can you make as an affiliate marketer?
How much do beginner affiliate marketers make?
If this is a question you have on your mind, here is the straightforward answer:
There is no limit to how much money you can make through affiliate marketing. It depends on the niche you choose and your dedication to building your affiliate marketing business.
3. Is it easy to start an affiliate marketing business?
It is fairly easy to start an affiliate marketing business if you plan ahead and have a clear picture of your niche and the type of affiliate products you would like to promote.
4. Does affiliate marketing still work in 2021?
The answer is YES!
Affiliate marketing is booming now more than ever with the rise in online shopping and online businesses. All you need to do is research thoroughly and pick the niche that interests you and is profitable.
5. Do you need a business license as an affiliate marketer?
In the United States, you do not need a business license to start an affiliate marketing business. However, it is best to check your local business laws because I am not a lawyer, but am answering out of my own personal business.
Here is more information on whether you need a business license for affiliate marketing:
6. How do you get paid as an affiliate marketer?
There are three ways affiliate marketers can get paid:
- Pay Per Click – You get paid based on how many visitors click on the affiliate links on your site.
- Pay Per Sale – You get paid based on how many successful sales you make through your affiliate links.
- Pay Per Lead – You get paid based on how many visitors leave their contact information through your affiliate links.
7. Do you pay taxes as an affiliate marketer?
Although you are exempt from paying sales tax as an affiliate marketer since you do not sell physical products, you will have to pay self-employment tax since affiliate marketing is considered to be a business.
Again, it is best to consult a lawyer and take note of local laws while paying taxes as I am not a lawyer and am talking out of my own experience.
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies – Tips
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies Tip #1: Focus on your niche.
This will help you build expertise at something you are already familiar with or willing to learn more about.
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies Tip #2: Offer value through your content.
Do not just write for the sake of promoting your affiliate products. Write to educate your readers and add value to their lives.
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies Tip #3: Share your content.
Find ways to share your content online. Build social networks on social media like Facebook and Instagram. Offer value so that your social media followers will be attracted to your content, eventually land on your blog and buy products through your content links.
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies Tip #4: Focus on your reader.
Remember to keep your readers first always. It is when you put your audience at the forefront of all you do that you will truly be able to build a successful and long-lasting affiliate business.
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies Tip #5: Improve.
Learn from your mistakes and constantly improve your business. Maybe you notice that one of your affiliate products is doing really well in conversions but you have spent little effort promoting it. Or maybe a product you love is not doing that great on your site. Don’t be afraid to tweak your affiliate marketing strategy as and when you need to.
Wrapping It Up
I hope this Affiliate Marketing For Dummies guide has helped you understand what affiliate marketing is, how you can set up a website and an affiliate marketing business for yourself, which affiliate programs you can join, and how you can earn an income online through affiliate marketing.
Are you planning on starting an affiliate marketing business?
Do you already have an affiliate website of your own?
Do you have more questions about starting an affiliate business and making money online?
Reach out to me in the comment section below! I’d love to hear from you! 🙂
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