How to Become an Affiliate Marketer
There are no costs involved in becoming an affiliate marketer. If you want become an affiliate marketer the first step is to sign up as an affiliate for a product that interests you.
The concept behind Affiliate Marketing is extremely simple. You promote other peoples products and in return earn a commission from any sales that are made as a result of the recommendation you made.
A lot of the affiliate programmes operate an 'instant approval system'. This means that everyone who wants to become an affiliate marketer for the company is automatically accepted.
Some companies do however operate a little differently. You may be asked how you intend to promote their products. You may also be asked to provide the URL of the website on which the affiliate links will be placed.
Your application will then be assessed and may be accepted or rejected based on the responses you give.
Generally speaking you will be told quite quickly whether your application to become an affiliate has been successful.
There can however be exceptions to this. For example, I recently published a website relating to a niche I am interested in and wanted to promote a range of products from one particular company. I was finally accepted but the whole process took several weeks before I was informed that my affiliate application had been approved.
You drive traffic, via your affiliate link, to the offer you are promoting. Any traffic being sent to the offer or product is immediately identifiable as being sent by you. Any sales that result are also automatically credited to your affiliate account and the commissions due to you are calculated.
Although some companies operate their own affiliate programmes the vast majority use affiliate networks who run the programmes on their behalf.
Affiliate marketing is performance based!
When you become an affiliate marketer your earnings are directly related to the number of sales you are able to generate. The more traffic you send to an offer, and the more people you are able to persuade to buy the product/service, the more money you will make.
There is really no limit to the amount of money that you can earn. There is also no limit to the number of different products you can promote or the number of affiliate programmes you can belong to at any one time!
There is however more to becoming a successful affiliate marketer than simply placing a link to a product on your website. There is no guarantee that if you become an affiliate marketer you will make any money at all. If no one looks at the offers you are promoting or simply does not buy anything you will not make money!
In order to make sales you have to drive traffic to the sales pages of the products you are trying to sell. The more people that see the offers the more sales you are likely to make.
The main reason that people cite for failing at affiliate marketing (or any form of online marketing for that matter) is their inability to get sufficient traffic to view their offers.
To Become an Affiliate Marketer you Need a Product to Promote!
If you want to become an affiliate marketer you must have an offer to promote. One of the easiest ways to find suitable offers is to simply look through the directory of products offered by some of the major affiliate networks.
You can promote either physical or digital products. There are affiliate programmes available for virtually every type of product imaginable.
Take a look at some of the sites listed below to see if there is anything that you like the look of:
Clickbank - Mainly Digital Products
Shareasale - Wide Selection of Products
CJ (formerly Commission Junction)
- FlexOffers - Wide Range of Topics
Avangate - Mainly Digital & Software
Rakuten - All Types of Products
Peerfly - Mainly Digital Products
Moreniche - Health Related Products
If you want to become an affiliate marketer and need products to promote you can also simply do a 'Google Search' to find affiliate programmes to join.
Just type in the keyword that you are looking for followed by the words 'affiliate program'. For example if you are looking for opportunities in the weight loss niche type in 'weight loss affiliate programs'. This type of search will turn up a vast number of results and it is then a matter of sifting through the pages and finding a programme that appeal to you.
Which are the best products or niches to promote as an affiliate?
There is not one specific product or niche that is better to promote than another. What is important is that you choose a product (niche) that is right for you.
Some niches (such as weight loss) are extremely competitive. This does not necessarily mean that you cannot be successful in that niche.
If you have a hobby or pastime that you are passionate about it makes sense to consider becoming an affiliate for products related to that interest.
Make certain that there are a number of products that you can promote. The more products that are available in your niche the more chance you have of earning commissions.
Having multiple products to promote also helps when it comes to writing content for your website.
If you have a website, as most affiliate marketers do, you will need to create content for your site on a regular basis. When you have several products that you are promoting you are able to write a page of content (a review) about each of those products.
Bear in mind that creating content about a subject that interests you is far easier than creating content about a subject that does not interest you.
If you do not have any clear idea of what you want to promote take a look at the categories belonging to some of the affiliate networks shown above.
If you go to the Clickbank and click on 'marketplace' you will see a list of categories at the left hand side of the screen. These categories range from 'Arts and Entertainment' through to 'Travel'. If you then click onto one of these main category tabs a series of sub categories opens up with more ideas.
Looking through these categories in this way should inspire you and help you to make a decision about the niche you want to operate in.
You can do a similar exercise in Amazon. Just sign in to your Amazon Account (most people have one) and click on the 'Shop by Department button' on the top left of the screen. As with Clickbank this will open up a list of the main categories/departments. These main categories can then be opened up to reveal specific choices within the main category.
Drilling down in this manner should help you to identify the niche that they want to operate in.
As I mentioned above once you have chosen a niche make sure that there are sufficient affiliate opportunities available within that niche before making your final decision.
If I become an Affiliate Marketer What percentage of commission will I earn?
If you become an affiliate Marketer you will find that the percentage of commission you can earn will vary dramatically.
Many of the digital products on Clickbank offer affiliates 15-20% commission. Some of the affiliate programmes for weight loss pills etc. that you can promote (via Moreniche for example) enable affiliates to earn commissions of up to 40% per sale.
If you were to enter the 'Make Money Online' niche some of the vendors will even pay 100% of the sale price to their affiliates as a commission. This may seem a little ridiculous on the face of it. The system works because most of these products are sold through a 'sales funnel' that offers additional products (upsells) to customers once the initial sale has been made. The vendors make their money from selling these additional products not from the initial offer.
At the bottom end of the commission scale with regard to percentage payments are companies such as Amazon!
If you become an affiliate marketer and decide to promote Amazon products your commission is only likely to be around the 5% mark per sale.
You can still make money being an affiliate for Amazon (there are lots of people making a good living from Amazon alone). You do however have to make a considerable amount of sales to earn any real money.
Personally, as a rule of thumb, I try to find affiliate products to promote that offer a commission rate of 10% or above!
Is it Better to Promote High or Low Value Items?
One of the other decisions you need to make when you become an affiliate marketer is whether you wish to promote low or high value products. Obviously you are likely to sell more low value items than high value ones. On the other hand you will need to make less sales with a high ticket product to generate a reasonable income.
Personally, using my 10% commission rule of thumb, I try to make sure that each sale will earn me a commission of $10.00 or above.
Do I need a Website?
It is not essential to have a website to become an affiliate marketer. I do however believe that having a website makes the whole process far easier. I personally would not consider becoming an affiliate marketer without having my own website.
If you do not have a website you are restricted to driving traffic directly to affiliate offers from Social Media sites etc.
If you are able to direct traffic to a website it is possible that visitors may see additional items that interest them on your site which could result in more sales.
What type of website should I create?
I would always advise anyone who wants to become an affiliate marketer to build a self hosted site as opposed to using one of the free website builders that are available.
I would also always suggest that your website should be build using WordPress.
WordPress is by far the most popular platform on the internet. WordPress sites are easy to build and maintain and there are a vast number of themes and templates available. This makes it is easy to get your site to look and perform exactly the way you want it to.
Is Affiliate Marketing for Me?
Anyone who has a blog or website can become an affiliate marketer. Adding an affiliate link is an easy way to monetize your website. Once the link is established you do not need to do anything else. When one of your visitors buys something you will get a commission. Making a few extra dollars a month is fairly easy providing you are getting visitors to your site.
It is even possible to make money as an affiliate by sending visitors to offers via social media etc.
If you want to take affiliate a little bit more seriously you will need to be a little more committed. You will need to be able to drive a steady stream of traffic to your offers. You will need to spend some time and create a website that people like to visit, and return to. You will also need to keep adding content to your website on a regular basis.
Affiliate marketing is not for everyone. If you are prepared to put in the effort then it is however a realistic way for you to earn a full time income online.
If you have not been involved in affiliate marketing before give it a try. It costs you nothing so what have you got to lose!