Everything we do have a beginning. Whatever job or career choice you make, we all start off as beginners. We learn how to perform our jobs, develop various skills and as we use and apply those skills, we get better over time. This “How To” Affiliate Marketing Guide For Beginners will answer the question of what is affiliate marketing and how to do it in one go.
Affiliate Marketing is an online business model in which one earns a commission for promoting products and services. No one is born an affiliate marketer. We need to know what affiliate marketing is, how does it work, learn the skills necessary and apply it to benefit from this business model.
When the world wide web (WWW) made the internet a global publishing platform. Now, anyone can be a publisher and produce their own content. Blogging, which came from the word web blog proliferated and many were just blogging out of passion. It was not about making money.
Businesses then noticed that these blogging web sites have a niche and an audience, some in the hundreds of thousands. The affiliate marketing business model innovation was created to monetize these traffic from these bloggers to the merchant sales pages.
Today, it is a big business. More and more companies are selling their products online. There are terabytes of data in Google and millions of products sold online. How does one reach the consumer?
Affiliate Marketer perform a value added service of engaging with the online audience and promoting products to them.
This is where anyone can make money online through affiliate marketing. While it is a simple business model, like every profession, you need to learn how to do it right.
The following diagram explains How Affiliate Marketing Works.
This 4-step process starts at the top of the diagram going clockwise.
1. Visitors Engage With Your Content On Your Income Site
Most of the work is done by building your income site. To build your income site, you need to:
- Identify Your Niche (Target Market)
- Identify A Problem or Unmet Need
- Find A Product To Provide A Solution
- Build Your Income Site
- Create Content For Engagement
Once your income site is up and running, your objective will be to
2. Attract And Engage With Visitors So That They Will Click On The Links To Go To The Merchant Sales Pages.
You place links in strategic locations on the web pages and in the articles so that your visitors can take action to click on the links to go to the merchant sales pages.
3. Visitor Buys The Product You Are Promoting
Most merchant sales pages will have a sales funnel that would sell one or more products to the visitor. You usually so not have to worry about the sales funnels are it is provided by the product vendor.
4. You Earn Up To 80% Commission From The Sale
Once the purchase is made from your link, you earn up to 80% commission from the sale. The commission is dependent on the vendor, niche, product type and value. The percentage will be lowest for physical product and highest for digital downloads.
Identify Your Niche (Target Market)
The first step is to know who you are selling to. In affiliate marketing and online marketing in general we need to be more specific about the target market. Therefore, we call this a “niche”.
The definitions of niche marketing are as follows:
- Niche marketing is a specialized market offering focused on the needs of a tightly-defined market segment.
- The customers in the niche have a distinct set of needs; they will pay a premium to the firm that best satisfies their needs; the niche is not likely to attract other competitors; the nicher gains certain economies through specialization; and the niche has size, profit, and growth potential. (Philip Kotler, 2003)
- A small market that is not served by competing products. (Keegan, Moriaty & Duncan 1992)
As a beginner Affiliate Marketer, Your objective here is to identify a niche market so you can:
- Provide a unique value proposition
- Limited competition
- Develop some competitive advantage
You can sign up for an email course to identify your niche based on your strengths (Link to email sign-up)
Identify A Problem Or Unmet Need
Once you have identified your niche, you need to attract an audience from your niche. I use the following two proven ways every beginner can use to attract your audience.
The first is to Identify A Problem. It is best if the problem results in a Pain that your audience experience and they are actively looking for a Solution. This method is the Problem-Solution approach.
This approach is effective because your audience will be actively searching for a solution. It is highly likely they will be googling the problem and you will be using keywords to rank your pages so your audience will find you.
The second method is Unmet Needs. This is not a problem but a need that is not fulfilled. Therefore, your audience does not feel any pain, and not looking for a solution. They may not even know they have this need.
Unmet Needs are opportunities. There is going to be very little competition and you can be the first to educate your market and therefore make yourself an authority. This is where you can be creative in your specific niche.
Find A Product To Provide Solution
Whether you have identified a problem or unmet need, you need to provide a solution. In affiliate marketing, these solutions are products you would promote to your niche and earn an income for the effort.
You can find companies who run their own affiliate programs or within and Affiliate Network.
This is still a growing market and their are 100s of affiliate networks. The following are 8 popular affiliate networks with a lot of products.
- Amazon Associates
- CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction)
- eBay Partner Network (EPN)
- Rakuten Marketing (formerly LinkShare)
Build Your Income Site
Your income site is a website you setup and build to generate income from your niche. This is an asset as the effectiveness and value of your site will increase over time.
You have 2 main options for the type of platform to build your income site.
- Build your income site on a software as a service (SAAS) platform
The benefit of using a software as a service platform is a simple user interface and you can get started immediately.
You are required to sign-up for the service, After that, you must use the templates and have no customization ability. While most of these platforms are targeting lower cost and simple user interface as the main selling points, you really are stuck with whichever platform you use because you cannot migrate easily from one to another. You need to start from scratch if you decide to change platforms.
- Build it on a hosted Content Management System
- Adobe Experience Manager
Content Management Systems are software you install on a hosting service and you build you site on this platform. The software and content belongs to you. Therefore, it gives you a lot more control over the platform features and capabilities. Unless you are a large enterprise with stringent requirements, my recommendation is to build on WordPress.
WordPress runs 60% of the websites in the world and have a large user community supporting it with thousands of themes and plugins that allows customization.
It is not difficult to build your site on WordPress as opposed to what some may tell you. You just need to find a user-friendly platform and training. You can get you site up the same time as it takes on any of the SAAS platform if you are a beginner.
Create Content For Engagement
Content is the heart of affiliate marketing. In barter terms, you are using content to engage with your audience in your niche and you will get paid every time they buy from your links.
Therefore, content is like honey to the bees.
So, what time of content should you create?
The content should be relevant to your niche and you should also write about how your audience can benefit from the products you are promoting.
These content can be articles, blogs, images and videos.
The most common today being blogs.
The objective of creating content is to:
- Engage with your audience
- Get rank on search engines
- Promote products
- Close sales
Once your sign-up, make sure you setup your account properly so you can start engaging with the community of online entrepreneurs.
- Write a short profile of yourself
- Add an image
- Write your goals
If you are not sure, watch this video after you signed up.
If you have any questions, just message me on WA and I will help you.