The Ultimate Guide To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when a purchase is made through a link. Read our full disclosure for more info.

Are you familiar with the term of affiliate marketing?

Does it sound true that when you hear affiliate marketing, it means making money?

Or maybe you’re just beginning with affiliate marketing…

You don’t know about any fundamentals needed to start affiliate marketing and jump right in. 

But because you know that it can make you money, you disregard doing research days and nights. You just need the way to make your first sale.

So what is the process behind it? 

What do you still need to know more to crush your affiliate marketing sales?

Don’t worry, in this guide I’m going to bit-size everything you need to know about affiliate marketing and how you can make money with it.

You’ll learn how to get started with affiliate marketing the right way by having this guide side by side with you. So be sure to pin or bookmark this post for your own good. You’re welcome! 😉

As a bonus, I’ll also be adding 5 ways about how you can maximise your earnings with affiliate marketing with proven tips and strategies.

So, if you are eager to find out how to earn with affiliate marketing,

Read on to have a good grasp for it. You don’t need to be a master for affiliate marketing to make money. But you do need to take the right strategies to make affiliate sales.

And it should not be a secret to ace affiliate marketing, so I’m sharing with you all my tips in this guide so that you can start earning your first affiliate sale in no time.

Let’s get into it!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links, and any purchase that is made through these links will reward me a small commission (at no extra cost for you). I only recommend tools and resources that I love and has helped me grow my blog so that you can know how to do the same.

So first off, for newbies who are planning to earn with affiliate marketing, I recommend getting started by having your own blog first. Why do you need a blog with affiliate marketing? Because it’s easier to run affiliate marketing by monetising it with your blog.

With one blog, it is easier to achieve affiliate marketing sales. Because your blog serves as a foundation for your content and you can constantly drive traffic to it to make more sales.

But it doesn’t mean that there’s no work left to be done!

Your efforts and consistency need to be there to grow your blog. 

You need to do the work in order to create a passive income, this is not a get rich quick scheme.

And I do recommend any beginner bloggers to start monetising your blog through Day 1 with affiliate marketing. Because it’s FREE to get started and you only require a self-hosted blog as little as $3.95/mo to begin.

You can have a read on my ultimate guide to start a profitable blog and learn how you can make money with your brand new blog.

So if you are wondering what are the top # 1 way bloggers are making money with their blog…

Then you must realise this…

It’s affiliate marketing! 

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is a way to promote someone else’s product or services and make a commission when someone makes a purchase through your ‘affiliate links’. 

And that means whenever you recommend products to someone who needs it, the person can happily get what they need and you get to earn a small commission from it. This doesn’t cost any extra to the person buying the product. So it’s a win for everybody!

Affiliate links often come with promo available from the affiliates to benefit buyers to save more money while spending. 

This also allows affiliates (which you) bring in new customers for the company and the person gets to purchase something they needed at no extra cost to him/her. The best part is, you get rewarded from a percentage of the sale! How awesome!

Almost all products or services that you use can have an affiliate program. To know whether a product has its own affiliate program, all you have to do is search on Google (the product’s company) + affiliate program.

How does affiliate marketing works?

What is affiliate marketing?

Here are some affiliate lingo you should know:

Affiliate – The person who identifies him/herself as an affiliate to promote products for businesses. The same goes to you when you become an affiliate for companies to promote their business with affiliate products.

Affiliate links – Your unique link given by companies at the beginning of the advertising relationship to promote products. These links are used to track sales you made across different online platforms.

Affiliate products – Of course, in every affiliate program there are products created to help targeted audience to solve a problem.

When you joined an affiliate platform and got accepted, companies will get in touch to let you start promoting their products with banner ads, affiliate links and direct customers to their company webpage. 

Cookies – These are small files saved on computers to track metrics when someone clicks on your affiliate links. Well, it is used by companies to make sure when a new customer landed on their page and bought something, is because of you as an affiliate.

Even if someone doesn’t buy anything at the moment, cookies will still be available to track any sales made in days or months depending on the cookie period. (eg: 30,60,90 days)

Only then companies can tell if you should be rewarded a credit for the sale.

Commission – Each affiliate program offers a different commission rate depending on the product. You can usually get a small commission from each sale and get a payout after reaching a commission threshold.

Some are better where there will be no threshold minimum to cashout and you can get paid monthly through Paypal, Stripe or different payment methods.

Disclosure – A notice in the name of transparency for anyone reading your articles when there are affiliate links included. Always disclose affiliate links close to where you have input them!

This is to be transparent and to make sure readers are informed with links that will directly link them to relevant products.

You want to build trust with your readers and let them know that you only promote products that you use and have personally enjoyed. 

Why should you start affiliate marketing?

If you want to make money but don’t know where to start, affiliate marketing is perfect for many reasons. There’s nothing to lose because companies aren’t charging you at anyways becoming an affiliate.

My favourite part about affiliate marketing is that you don’t need to have a ton of page views or traffic in order to make sales. You can start monetising your blog from the beginning without feeling lost to start a profitable website.

Reasons why you should to start affiliate marketing:

  1. Low cost to get started (under $4 for a self-hosted blog)

Affiliate marketing is powerful because it does not bias to small or big bloggers. Everyone has the opportunity to promote valuable info and products to others.

All you need is a blog that creates content related to your niche and start promoting products that speak to your audience. You don’t need to spend a big amount of money to start an affiliate marketing and it’s free to join on most platforms.  

  1. Work at your own pace

Actually, it does sound great if you can make money while sleeping right? I’m sure if you’ve been blogging, you must have heard about bloggers waking up with passive income earned from their blog.

And that’s how you can monetise your blog from the beginning too!

Get ready to create evergreen content that people are constantly searching for. Produce valuable content for your readers while promoting products that they need (and you personally will use).

It helps to drive consistent traffic to your website in the long run and eventually, sales run on autopilot because you are presenting topics that will not go outdated – and are always relevant to your readers.

     3.  You don’t need to create your own products

Another great reason why affiliate marketing is suitable for beginner or seasoned bloggers is that you don’t need to have a product to start your business.

I know it can be overwhelming for most people when they’ve just started a blog. Some might be busy planning out content, creating graphics and learning to build an email list.

These are skills you’ve just learned and it can be daunting at first to be piled up with lots of tasks to start a money-making blog.

And there comes the greatness of affiliate marketing, it’s helping bloggers to make a profit without having to create their own products.

These products from affiliate programs can allow you to earn a small commission when you recommend to someone who needed it.

4. Make more money 

Of course, you can create more earning opportunities alone with affiliate marketing. As I’ve mentioned, lots of beginner bloggers are making money with a small blog by having an engaged audience.

They started small but are doing a great job because of promoting the right products. You just need to know how to drive more traffic to your blog and focus on writing valuable content to keep your visitors coming back for more.

5. Diversify your income

Another reason to start affiliate marketing and treat it as a business is because it helps you to build passive income in multiple ways.

You can promote useful products or even start your own affiliate program (if you have a product like an ebook, courses, templates, or printables to sell)

You can EARN from those qualifying purchase and thus increase your blog revenue.

How do you make money with affiliate marketing?

We’ve talked about affiliate terms so far and it’s time to put in your effort with the right affiliate marketing strategies. Make the right moves that will increase your affiliate sales and not the other way round.

It can be easy to fall into the loop when you just started where you are simply promoting products but no one is buying them from you. 

Why does that happen?

Because you just can’t paste links around the web and pray for them to convert. Trust me, I have tried and it doesn’t work. 

You need to implement strategies to start affiliate marketing the right way.

What you should be doing:

Promote the right products

Just imagine if you can make your first sale (and even more) when you start promoting the right products to your audience. It will not feel pushy to sell something, instead you are bringing them the right products they needed.

No one will choose to buy furniture from a food blogger if that makes sense to you. That’s why you first need to know WHO are your audience and WHAT do they need before you introduce any products to them.

Understanding what they need is your first task to tackle before you write any content on your blog.

Write useful and valuable content

It is truly important to write valuable content for your readers as a blogger. Remember every blog post of yours should begin with a purpose of giving value or solving a problem.

People shouldn’t have to read another similar guide after they finish yours! You should clear their confusion in a full blog post or even create more articles that will help.

Because your readers are looking for solutions and they won’t come to your blog just because it’s solely cool.  Same as other content creators, you will need to constantly do research and keep up with what your audience needs to better serve them.

By then, your recommendations will be great for them to solve their headache and your readers, traffic, affiliate sales will come by.

Increase your blogging exposure 

Having social networks with your blog definitely does good to increase your blog’s reach with referral traffic. You can have a Facebook page for your blog and participate in active Facebook groups to share about your blog.

You’re more than welcome to do this if you follow the group rules. So read those rules before you join! The point is to connect with relevant bloggers in your niche to give and take feedback from what’s lacking in your content and how to improve it.

The more you’re active and consistent in posting relevant ideas, people see it as a good sign that you’re an expert in your niche and are more willing to buy your recommendation. 

Quality over quantity

Do not go over this idea, as I see this is one of the biggest mistakes for newbie bloggers. (I’ve done it before too)

Content is king and you have to focus on extracting the core value of your topic to give people a reason to read your article.

Create content that people are constantly searching for (and of course it must be relevant to your niche) because these blog posts are going to bring you consistent blog traffic.

These are evergreen blog posts that will bring you the most traffic and convert more affiliate sales with your blog.

For example, if you are a travel blogger, a roundup post of 40 things to know before travelling the world will give you a good chance to rank your blog post higher because people will be searching this if they are looking for their first trip plan.

Plan the outline of your content and craft your post with juicy information before you publish them.

Boost your blog traffic

This is important where you will understand that if there’s no traffic coming to your blog, you won’t be getting much sales (or just random) with affiliate marketing.

I’ve once heard that if content is king, then marketing is the queen. If you’ve no idea how to promote your blog posts online, and think that once you hit publish, people will come up and read and share, this will be a harsh truth, no one will have the chance to even see it!

It’s not because of your fault, or neither your potential readers; it’s because those articles are not promoted on the right platform!

The platforms to promote your blog posts may vary, depending on where your potential audience are at.

You need to first find out which platforms these people (your avatar reader) love to hang out at, and learn to ace marketing your blog posts to them. 

Well, if it’s hard in the beginning to decide which platforms to be at (some may find it difficult to manage all social media networking at once), it’s wise to focus on building a profile on one social media first, and then move on to the next. 

Where to promote your blog posts?

Pinterest is one of the best platforms to share your blog post if you haven’t know yet.

And because it’s a visual search engine tool, where impressions and engagement are mostly based on your graphic to increase click ins, there’s a higher chance for beginners to gain more traffic to their website. 

Remember you don’t have to spread yourself too thin to be on every platform, consistency and hard work pay off with Pinterest marketing strategy when you constantly create fresh pins for your blog post on Pinterest. 

You can learn how to leverage your Pinterest account by creating viral pins here. It has everything you need to skyrocket your Pinterest traffic and drive more visitors to your blog post.

What you’ll learn in Pinterest with Ell e-course:

  • How to boost your Pinterest traffic with Tailwind (or manual pinning)
  • Improve Pinterest SEO with keyword research
  • Create converting pins that go viral
  • Increase sales by pinning on Pinterest (and more!)

How To Join Affiliate Programs?

Affiliate programs can be joined through individual websites and others you simply need to write an application to affiliate networks to get accepted by merchant brands.

Joining affiliate programs allows yourself to be the affiliate of that company to promote products or services you’ve used before.

Here’s the catch, you should only be promoting products you love and have used in the past before sharing it with your audience. Imagine who would buy products that you, your own won’t even enjoy? 

If done right, affiliate marketing can bring in the biggest chunk of passive income through your blog even if you don’t have any prior experience.

The joining process consist of four important steps:

  • Read the affiliate terms before you sign up
  • Fill in details of your blog / make sure your website is ready 
  • Convince merchants what you can do to promote their products; is it through blog content, through an email list or using coupons to attract readers, etc.
  • Login to affiliate dashboard and get your unique links

What do you need to join?

You don’t need technical skills nor getting a degree to set up affiliate marketing. All you need is a laptop and wifi access to elsewhere in the world to get set.

There’s really no upfront cost to pay when you start affiliate marketing, as it’s free. But having a blog makes it so much easier to apply and get accepted into companies with affiliate programs.

This is exciting, right?

What you need to get started?

  • Phone/Laptop
  • A blog
  • Wifi access

Some best affiliate programs/network to join:

1. Web Hosting

Web Hosting is one of the most popular affiliates marketing categories that you can join immediately after having a website created with them.

As creating a money-making blog has become a big hit (and definitely more in the future), it is widely acknowledged that to start a profitable blog, you need to host your website first.

Web hosting like Siteground has their own affiliate program that you can join as you own your first blog. Remember the key to promote web hosting is not about the commission rates, but how well you know the features and giving the best recommendation to your audience.

2. AWIN 

Formerly known as Affiliate Window, AWIN is a global affiliate network for a broad category of niches including big names like Etsy where it sells handmade crafts items and many more antique items.

It is also oriented towards retail shopping (fashion), beauty, financial and travel products. The only thing to be prepared is AWIN sign up requires a $5 to be paid in advance (get back during the first payout)

It is an excellent choice for bloggers who wants to promote Etsy products with its easy to use dashboard.

3. Amazon Associates

With Amazon as the biggest marketplace to shop, all we can know is everybody buys and shops what they want with a partner they trust.

There are over 1 million of products with different commission rates you can find on Amazon to promote products within your blog niche.

They serve a massive range of products and make it easier for affiliates to find the right products to promote. So it’s impossible to not find anything to promote on your website. 

4. ShareASale

ShareASale is another popular affiliate network with over 3,900 merchants to join ranging from fashion, home & garden, business, art & music, foods & drinks and more.

You can find lots of big brand merchants like Grammarly, Cricut, Weebly, Zazzle that suit your audience needs and just stick to the products that they are going to love.

They also have an amazing tracking system with a user-friendly interface to make applying to affiliate program a speed up process.

5 Ways To Maximise Your Potential Earnings with Affiliate Marketing

There are multiple ways that allow affiliates to add their own affiliate link into own social media platforms while sharing it with their readers.

Just keep in mind to always disclose your affiliate links that are in use. Let’s take a look at where you can legally use affiliate links.

1. On your blog

Yes, you can 1000% apply affiliate links on your blog content as long as you own your website. And that’s where many free blogging platforms don’t let do.

It is harder to monetise your blog when it’s not hosted on a web host and usually, free platforms refrain you from starting an affiliate marketing campaign.

That’s why I highly recommend having a self-hosted WordPress blog if you plan to monetize your blog with affiliate marketing strategy. Your website will set as a foundation for all your blog content as a resource for your readers.

You can add affiliate links in texts, create a banner ad in your sidebar and embed them into your website to track which one converts better. Everything is on your call to do it.

There’s no chance someone could shut your website down in a day and pretend it’s never there before. That is how self-hosted blog can provide your long-term blog security and privacy.

Take it as an investment if you want to make money with affiliate marketing. Having your own blog gives you more freedom to add affiliate links in blog posts.

2. Instagram

Being the world’s ultimate visual platform, Instagram has its limited place for users to add links within their profile. The only way to add affiliate links is to put them on your bio description.

However, you can make use of swipe-up links with Instagram features if you have reached more than 10K followers. To the point, swipe up links allow users to add their affiliate links (with disclosure) and bring followers to their desired products page.

So it’s a great chance if you have a big follower base on Instagram. Or guess what, start build your own engage community right now!

3. Youtube 

Youtube is one of the best platforms for content creators to gather their skills, knowledge and experience on-the-go. And the best part is – it’s free to use for everybody, plus, you can include affiliate links at your description box below.

Disclosure should be stated and it is definitely beneficial for anyone who wants to create videos and earn with affiliate marketing when viewers click on them and make a purchase.

That’s why affiliate marketing is very popular on Youtube among all social medias because of it’s freedom and transparency for content creators.

4. Email lists

Everyone can have their own email lists and let people who are interested to sign up through getting freebies, giveaways or something that they need.

By crafting your own email list, you can have a continuous relationship with your engaged community and let them know how you can help them with your recommendations.

Tell them what’s good in it – tools and resources that help you create your own business and give them your honest reviews can make a huge difference.

Making your emails personably and building a connection with your people is the key to ace in affiliate marketing.

5. Pinterest

Do you know that it is eligible to get paid by pinning on Pinterest? Start your Pinterest business account for free today and learn how, when and where to pin to get traffic to your blog posts and earn with Pinterest.

Pinterest has announced that affiliate links are allowed on their platform and for content creators to keep creating graphic content and schedule them with Tailwind.

This course of Pinterest with Ell teaches you everything you need to pin to boost traffic and affiliate sales.

>> Click here to learn how to triple your blog traffic with affiliate sales using Pinterest <<

Final thoughts and your new chapter to affiliate marketing

At the end of the day, if you want to make consistent sales with affiliate marketing, you need to think of your reader’s needs, NOT about what products to promote first.

People will be more than happy to buy from your recommendations if you can show them the results or reviews you gain from your personal experience. 

Write detailed guides, explain with tutorials, bring up values in your articles, tell your reviews in an authentic voice.

Easier to say than taking action. But you need somewhere to get started if you want to create earning opportunities with affiliate marketing online.

So don’t be afraid to start small!

Lesson takeaways

  • Make sure to always disclose your affiliate relationship with companies and don’t hide them with the name of transparency
  • Having a blog can provide you with better insights and opportunities to get into affiliate programs
  • Give out knowledge – let people know what you can provide for them on your blog 
  • Leave your reviews and personal experience and recommend products you use and enjoy (putting your readers best interest at heart)

The Ultimate Guide To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing

And that’s all the basics you need to know about starting affiliate marketing the right way.

Now that you have know what it takes to build up an affiliate marketing strategy with a blog (+ or heck not even with one), the rest is if you’re going to start doing and make it happen.

It is up to you to choose to work it out and create an opportunity to earn extra income. That simple.

Hopefully you are now a little bit more clear about how affiliate marketing works and its downside for beginners after reading this post.

There isn’t really any, in my opinion.

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