Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to generate passive income online today. It’s a great way to build a business from home by promoting products and services you believe in.

There are a lot of ways to do it, but the most popular is creating an affiliate link to a product on Amazon, which then earns a blogger a commission when a consumer buys the product or clicks through the link and buys it on Amazon. Affiliate marketing is also a great way to promote products on your blog, too.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

The best way to start affiliate marketing is by creating a website. This will give you a place to promote your products and services and provide valuable information to visitors. It’s also a great way to build traffic to your site, which is important because it helps you gain credibility and trust from potential customers.

Questions to Ask Before Promoting an Affiliate Product

The first thing I recommend is asking yourself why you want to promote this product. Is it because you love the company behind it? Do you believe in its mission? Are you looking to build a business around it? If so, then you should consider promoting products from companies you believe in.

What is an affiliate link?

An affiliate link is a special type of web address that points people to products sold by companies online. The company pays the affiliate a commission whenever someone clicks through from the link and makes a purchase at one of its partner sites.

Assess Your Earning Potential

If you want to earn something online, you’ve got to assess your earning potential by asking questions like the ones below.

  • How much can you realistically earn?
  • How much time can you devote to this?
  • If you’re not sure what you can afford, ask yourself if you can find an alternative way to get it: can you eat out less often?
  • Can you volunteer?
  • Can you take a part-time job?
  • Are you hoping to earn a living writing blog posts?
  • How much are you willing to pay to have your blog posts read by a larger audience?

Assess Your Competition

There is a lot of competition out there in the blogging world. Finding the right niche for your blog is the first step to success, but it is also important to find out what your potential competition is doing to better their chances of success.

It’s hard to keep up with all the latest content around your industry, especially when you don’t have enough time to spare. How can you be sure what’s working and what’s not? How can you instill more confidence in your own voice and your own work?

Start by using a tool like SEMRush Ubersuggest and, using a few of your focus keywords, perform an automatic competitor assessment.

Otherwise, you can conduct a manual assessment by installing an add-on like Moz bar for Chrome and head over to Google and search for your focus keywords and look through the data for each result.

Evaluate Brand Alignment and Reputation

As an affiliate marketer, it is important to keep track of the affiliate brands you work with, in order to ensure you are getting the best return on your investment. Determine which affiliate brand is the best fit for your blog, and how you can evaluate the affiliate brand’s reputation to help determine if the brand is trustworthy.

Alignment between the brand and the affiliate marketing company’s goals is the most important factor in building a successful affiliate marketing campaign.

Ask the following questions:

  • Do the brand and the affiliate company share the same goals and objectives, or is there tension between the two?
  • Is the brand working for the affiliate company’s goals, or does it use the affiliate company only to drive traffic and increase sales of its own products?

Sign Up for Affiliate Programs

If you are an affiliate of someone else’s product, then you need to sign up for the affiliate program. This is a simple process and is usually just a matter of filling out a form with information like your domain, niche, content plan, social media accounts, and more.

Most often, the higher quality affiliate programs have minimum requirements before accepting a website or blog into their program. After filling out the application, don’t get discouraged if your application is rejected. Work on growing your traffic and boosting your domain authority. 

Eventually, you’ll get excepted into exclusive affiliate programs and start rolling in the dough.

Concentrate on One Niche Affiliate Business

Affiliate marketing is all about finding the right brand and focusing on one business opportunity. This way you can get the most out of the time and effort you invest in each business. 

After the learning curve is over, you’ll be able to expand beyond the initial affiliate brand you promote. Until you reach that point, stick with a single brand and learn the best way to promote it to begin earning affiliate commissions.

Build a Simple Affiliate Marketing Funnel

A marketing funnel is a fancy term for how you drive new customers to your site.

There are six basic types of marketing funnels:

  • Lead magnet funnels
  • List building funnels
  • Webinar funnels
  • Social media marketing funnels
  • Video sales funnels
  • Email funnels

It’s important to know your audience, so you’ll be able to build a marketing funnel that works for them. If you have a large social media following, focus on creating a marketing funnel using that platform. On the other hand, if you’ve managed to grow an email list of a couple hundred to thousands of email subscribers, then focus on creating an email funnel. 

Create Optimized Affiliate Content

The key to creating optimized affiliate blog content is to have the right content at the right time. Too many bloggers think they have to have 150+ posts a month to get readers, but that is not the case.

If you have the right content at the right time your content will be viewed by people who are interested in that topic, and these people are your best prospects for making money.

Choose what to write about, the level of depth to which you want to write, whether to focus on a specific topic and the length of the post. 

Research what shoppers closer to the buying phrase use versus those just dipping their toes in the water. They are the people who are most likely to buy from your affiliate link because.

Drive Traffic to Your Affiliate Site

The most common way of driving traffic to your site is to get external backlinks on other sites. External links are just links to other sites.

Don’t forget to optimize your content with internal links, too. Internal links are meant to create a link on your site to another section or page on your site, for example, a link to a new blog post.

Engage Your Visitors

Contrary to what some people may think, blogging isn’t a passive activity. It’s a way to engage with your readers, and it’s a great way to build trust and valuable relationships with your audience.

There are many ways to do this, from helpful comment sections that let readers ask questions to contact forms formatted to encourage visitors to submit questions.

By engaging your visitors, you can boost your blog’s credibility and attract new visitors as well.

Collect Leads Through Email Marketing

We all know that email marketing is one of the most effective ways to attract visitors to your site and convert them into leads. The problem is that sometimes it’s hard to get started with email marketing. You don’t even know where to begin.

While there are several ways to send email marketing, the two most effective are email autoresponders and email drip campaigns. Both of these methods are easy to set up, yet you do have to do some work to get them up and running.

Before you get started, remember that the single biggest factor in whether or not your email marketing campaign will succeed is your ability to create great content. The more time and effort you put into your email subject lines and newsletters, the more qualified leads you’ll be able to generate.

Always be Testing and Improving

The only way to be successful online is to constantly test and improve, it’s as simple as that. Every website gets better over time, and as you learn how to best use it, it will start to serve you better than you, and that’s the key to being successful.

Read the book Measure What Matters by John Doerr to get a greater understanding of how to test and improve your blog and affiliate marketing.

Keep Things Legal and Above Board

By law, you are supposed to make full disclosure about your affiliates, to protect you from lawsuits. But not all affiliate programs are the same. Some are straightforward and use a single affiliate link on your site. Others are so involved that the affiliate must literally fill out a lengthy online form, and then send the completed form back to the affiliate program.

The US Federal Trade Commission has proposed rules specific to affiliate marketing. Be sure to review the rules before getting started with affiliate networks.

Affiliate Networks

There are several major affiliate networks or marketplaces available, such as CJ, Clickbank, Impact, Rakuten, ShareASale, and JVZoo.

Other options require you to either search for a specific product + affiliate program to enroll in their platform. Typically if a company offers an affiliate program, there will be a link in the footer of their website labeled “affiliate.”


Keep in mind that this is merely a brief overview of the steps to affiliate marketing. With the terms and explanations provided above, you should be better prepared to jump into affiliate marketing with more confidence and the urge to earn a ton of money. 

The biggest factor in affiliate marketing success is driving more traffic to your website. You do that by creating a marketing funnel that maneuvers your visitors from having never heard of the affiliate product to actually making the purchase.

Share your success stories or questions in the comments below and I look forward to hearing from you.

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