In this article, I’ll answer one of the most asking questions, “Is Affiliate Marketing for Beginners?” and why I answer that. Also, I’ll provide other useful information in the area of affiliate marketing. I hope this should be a guide for new affiliate marketers to make the right decision on starting a new business in the digital world.
Affiliate Marketing Spend in the United States
Based on Statista data, the affiliate marketing sector will expand to $8.2 billion US dollars by 2025 in the United States. Affiliate marketing is one of the growing waves of the global digital economy and this is a huge opportunity for affiliate marketers.
Is Affiliate Marketing for Beginners? – YES! – Why?
If you, as a new Internet marketer, are looking for a digital business to make money online, and asking me seriously this question, “Is Affiliate Marketing for Beginners?“. Exactly, my answer is YES!
Asking more questions? My answer is also “YES” for all of these:
- Is Affiliate Marketing really make money?
- Is Affiliate Marketing still profitable in 2020?
- Will Affiliate Marketing be worth it in the future?
Why do I say this?
Because there are a number of benefits of affiliate marketing for new Internet marketers or online business entrepreneurs. It’s one of the great models for building and running a successful and long-term business and generating passive income in the digital world. Not just for the beginners, but also for experienced marketers as well.
But, another side, the affiliate marketing also has some weak points that you must understand and plan to avoid or reduce the problems.
Content of This Article
In this article, I will cover:
- An Overview of the Affiliate Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing Glossary
- Pros & Cons of Affiliate Marketing
- How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing Programs & Networks
- Affiliate Training Courses
- Affiliate Marketing on Social Media
- Affiliate Marketing Strategy,
- The Future of Affiliate Marketing.
I believe If you read through this article, you will gain knowledge covering all of the most important topics in the affiliate marketing sphere. These are very necessary for a new marketer, going into the business online.
Let me start with an overview of Affiliate Marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing About? – Clarify This Matter!
On the Wikipedia website, it shows that:
“Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business (company, store, or product owner) rewards one or more affiliates (marketers or publishers) for each visitor or customer (buyer) brought by the affiliate’s own marketing (advertising, referring, or promoting) efforts.”
In other words, Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective ways to earn money by promoting other company’s products or services.
You, as an affiliate marketer, will get a commission from the company when someone (with your affiliate link) buy their product or service. It is one of the performance-based marketing business models.
Affiliate Marketing Glossary – Terms You Must Know.
Affiliate Marketer (or Publisher)
If you (a social media influence or blogger) promote other company’s products or services, you are one of the affiliate marketers, earning commission for sales.
Affiliate Merchant (or Advertiser)
A company that own products or services, manage orders, hold stocks, deliver the products to buyers, and provide customer support.
Affiliate Program (or Associate Program)
Merchant offers to pay commission (based on performance) to affiliate marketer for sales or lead generation.
A website that combines many affiliate merchants and offers affiliate programs for publishers. It’s the one-stop affiliate marketing services.
Affiliate Link (or Tracking Link)
Affiliate merchant tracks your sales or transaction from the affiliate tracking system. Your unique affiliate ID will be included in the tracking link.
If you are an affiliate marketer, you have to create landing pages (like websites or blogs) for acquiring visitors and change them into sales or leads.
A small text file that includes affiliate ID and other visitor information. The merchant will use this data for tracking and calculating the affiliate commission.
A payment or referral fee model where an advertiser pays only when the ad’s actually clicked on.
A payment model where a merchant or advertiser pays an affiliate for getting visitors to sign up, complete quotes, install apps, enroll in free trials, and more. This also called “Lead Generation”.
A payment model where a merchant or advertiser pays an affiliate for viewing video or TV advertisements based on the number of views.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
This is one of the Keys to success for a successful online business. It is the process of optimizing websites to gain FREE traffic from search engines, including Google, Bing, or Yahoo. You must have in-depth knowledge of the SEO topic.
Above, I’ve listed some important terms related to affiliate marketing. You should learn more, such as affiliate disclosure, CPC (Cost-per-Click), PPS (Pay-per-Sale), Cookie stuffing, recurring commission, and more.
Check out my article, “Affiliate Marketing Glossary – 30 Essential Terms You Need to Know“.
Pros & Cons of Affiliate Marketing – Learn on Both Sides
Below are the advantages and disadvantages of using affiliate marketing. I will explore thoroughly how it can benefit or hurt your marketing plan. Let see if the affiliate marketing will be right for your online business.
Pros of Affiliate Marketing
- Quick and Easy – It’s very easy and quick to build a new affiliate marketing business.
- Low Start-up Cost – You can build a new online business with very low risk and start-up costs.
- Benefits from Social Media – You no need to have a specific or niche website or blog to start affiliate marketing. Thanks to social media (like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and more) is widely used in the world, you can make money from these platforms.
- Focus on Marketing Jobs – With the affiliate marketing model, you no need to handle any order, mange stocks, ship products or provide customer support. Those are the jobs of the product’s or service’s owner.
- No Required Experience – Don’ t require marketing experience or expertise in technology. It’s great for the “Rookie”.
- A Wide Range of Area – It is a wide-ranging and lucrative industry. You can start a new business in a niche area you passion for.
- Pay on Sales – You will earn income based on performance and sales.
- Positive ROI – It provides good Return-On-Investment (ROI).
- A Variety of Commission Models – There are different commission models, such as PPS (Pay-per-Sale), PPC (Pay-per-Click), and PPL (Pay-per-Lead).
- Multiple Sources of Income – You can create multiple streams of income. (Earn money from different affiliate providers).
- Long-Term Passive Income – In the long term, It can be your full-time and passive income, not just a hobby.
- Earning While Building – As you are working on a new website, generating contents to be an “Authority Site”, you can earn affiliate commissions from this website at the same time.
- All Parties Win -It’s a profit-sharing business. All parties receive the benefit.
Now, let’s look at another side.
Cons of Affiliate Marketing
- Lack of Control – You can not control the affiliate marketing programs (like commission, cookie time, or available products or services) offered by merchants.
- More Competition – Because of the low barrier to entry for the affiliate marketing business, you can not control the competition.
- No Guarantee Income – Your income is not guaranteed and could fall in the future. It’s based on your performance (sales or lead generation).
- Hijack Affiliate Links – Someone may steal your affiliate commission. It called “Hijack Affiliate Links”. The browser toolbars or plugins can be used to make money from your visitors.
At this point, you’ve learned both sides (pros & cons) of affiliate marketing. I guess you would like to know more about this big business.
Next, you can learn more important topics, such as how to make money with affiliate marketing, affiliate programs and networks, affiliate marketing training, affiliate marketing on social media, affiliate marketing strategies, and more.
How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing – You Must Understand This!
This section is very important for you and all Internet marketers who are looking for a new online business that can be generated a profitable and long-term income. Now I’ll show you basic steps of how to make money with affiliate marketing.
14 Steps of How to Make Money from Affiliate Marketing
- Find a profitable niche that matches your interests.
- Select plenty of target audience or buyer group.
- Find fruitful and perfect products or services to promote.
- Find high-paying affiliate providers or affiliate networks.
- Build a friendly and responsive website or blog for your niche on a powerful hosting platform.
- Create quality and useful content for your audience.
- Create regularly quality contents in different types, like knowledge, how-to, product reviews, comparisons, and demonstrations.
- Choose the right affiliate programs and types of affiliate programs.
- Join an affiliate network or individual-brand affiliate provider.
- Utilize your affiliate links, banners, and call-to-action (CTA) in your content and website.
- Promote your content on social media platforms and other advertising channels.
- Track and analyze your traffic.
- Track and optimize your affiliate program.
- Re-create quality content.
Although the outcome is lucrative, you must realize that making money with affiliate marketing for a long-term and sustainable business is NOT “overnight success”. You must stick to it for months or years. Please make sure you’ll be happy with this business model before starting.
Affiliate Marketing Programs – How to Choose the Best One!
What is Affiliate Marketing Program?
The affiliate marketing program is an agreement or contract between a company (affiliate provider) and affiliate marketer (publisher), in which the company will pay the publisher a commission for sending traffic to its’ website or selling its’ products or services.
What is the Best Affiliate Marketing Program?
If you search for an “affiliate marketing program” keyword on the Internet, you will found that there are a lot of affiliate programs available in the market today. The question is “How to choose the best affiliate program to promote?”.
Below, I show a list of main factors that help you to select a suitable affiliate program for your niche.
Factors to Consider for Selecting the Affiliate Program
The first factor that you should consider is company information. Answer these questions:
- Do they have industry authority or are they well-known in the market?
- Do they have experience and commit to affiliate marketing?
- Do they have a professional website and useful information for the audience?
- Do they have good communication skills and are they active in affiliate marketing?
The Kind of Product
To be a successful affiliate marketer, you need to choose and promote the right products on your website. The product not only must be related to your web content but also have good market acceptance.
Commission Rate / Conversion Rate
The higher the commission rate, the more you can earn per sale or lead. The program should have a high conversion rate as well.
The affiliate program with the lower commission may generate more revenue as compared to a program that offers high commission with a poorer conversion rate. Hence, select your program wisely.
Another related factor you should consider is commission type: one-time commission or recurring commission. Learn more about this.
Cookie Lifetime or Referal Period
Cookie length is one of the important factors for choosing an affiliate program. It may be 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, or longer. Your commission will be counted only on the period of “cookie life”. The longer the cookie duration, the more opportunity to get more commission.
Available Payment Methods
You must look for an affiliate program that has the right payment methods available to most people, like PayPal, Credit Cards, or bank account. If anyone can pay easily, you’ll earn more money.
It’s important to check the marketing material to promote the product. The most common materials are banners. But other methods also useful, like, creative assets, affiliate links to a specific product page, or tool for customizing a banner.
Other Terms and Conditions
You must carefully read the general terms, policies, and specific conditions on the affiliate agreement. If you break the rules, you may lose your money.
Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Programs
I wrote an affiliate marketing program article, 2020 update, covering the top ten websites, including:
- Google AdSense
- Amazon Associates
- ClickFunnels, Bluehost
- WP Engine
- and more…
You are able to compare these affiliate programs, in terms of product pricing, commission rate, cookie period, and marketing tools. This will help you choose the right affiliate program for your online business.
Check out my articles, “Top Ten Affiliate Marketing Programs – 2020 Updates” here.
Affiliate Marketing Networks – Join One for All!
What is Affiliate Marketing Networks?
An affiliate network is a middle-person between affiliate marketers (publishers) and affiliate providers (advertisers), providing benefits for both parties. Affiliate network, as a service company, combine and manage hundreds or thousands of affiliate programs.
The main advantage of the affiliate network for you, as an affiliate marketer, is that you can view and select affiliate programs from a variety of products and services. It’s “One-Stop-Shopping“.
The popular affiliate networks in the market are:
- CJ Affiliate
- and more.
Check out my article, “Top 10 Best Affiliate Marketing Networks for Beginners” here.
Affiliate Marketing Training Courses – Being an Expert!
If you google for “Affiliate Marketing Training”, you will found that there are many companies or websites offering both free and paid courses online.
In this article, I will show you the top and trusted online learning platforms, including:
- Wealthy Affiliate (WA)
Here are brief overviews of these companies.
Wealthy Affiliate – The Home of Affiliate Marketing.
Wealthy Affiliate is founded in 2005 by two co-founders, Kyle and Carson, creating an excellent learning and community platform for helping people (both beginners and experienced marketers), to build and succeed in their affiliate marketing business. WA supports 1,400,000+ online entrepreneurs from 193 countries worldwide.
Udemy – The World’s Largest Choice of courses.
Udemy is an online learning and teaching marketplace with more than 100,000 courses and 24 million students. There are a variety of topics, covering business, Information Technology, and personal development.
Coursera – The World’s Best Learning Experience.
Coursera is a world-wide online educational platform, established in 2012, offering more than 2,000 courses and specializations from top universities and leading companies, like the University of Illinois, University of Michigan, Google Cloud, and IBM.
edX – Free Online Courses by Harvard & MIT.
edX, a non-profit organization, is one of the trusted MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) platforms. You can access 3,500+ FREE courses online in a wide range of disciplines, including affiliate marketing programs.
Next, I’ll list some of the popular and trending online courses on the top MOOC learning platform, as just named above.
Affiliate Marketing Training Courses on Wealthy Affiliate (WA)
There are two main affiliate training programs on WA: 1) Online Entrepreneur Certification (OEC) and 2) Affiliate Bootcamp Training. Here are the course contents.
1. Online Entrepreneur Certification (OEC) Training (50 lessons)
This training focuses on the step of starting and growing a successful online business in any niche you love. You will learn how to:
- Phase 1: Getting Started
- Phase 2: Building Your Own Traffic Producing Website
- Phase 3: Making Money
- Phase 4: Mastering Social Engagement
- Phase 5: Achieving Maximum Success Through Content Creation
2. Affiliate Bootcamp Training (70 lessons)
You will learn the process of creating and managing a successful business by promoting and earning income from the Wealthy Affiliate WA program or other related services. The course contents are:
- Phase 1: Getting Your Business Rolling
- Phase 2: Content, Keywords, and Conversions
- Phase 3: Giving Your Site Social Value
- Phase 4: Get Visual. Get Aesthetic. Get a Brand Through Media
- Phase 5: Knowing Your Audiences & Catapulting Your Referrals
- Phase 6: Bing, Yahoo, & The Power of PPC
- Phase 7: How to Scale Successful PPC Campaigns
Popular Affiliate Marketing Online Courses on Udemy
Below are popular and trending courses related to the affiliate marketing topics on Udemy.
- ClickBank Success – Affiliate Marketing Without A Website – Learn and model my proven system for success as a ClickBank affiliate. No hidden secrets – I reveal it all! (KC Tan)
- Email & Affiliate Marketing Mastermind – Building, Utilizing, and Remarketing to Targeted Email Lists in No More than One Day! (Bryan Guerra)
- Affiliate Marketing Beginner: Sell T-Shirts with Teespring – How I successfully sell t-shirts, as an affiliate, part-time using Facebook and Teespring. (John Piteo)
- Affiliate Marketing Advanced: Sell T-Shirts With Teespring – The advanced strategies that I use to successfully sell t-shirts using Teespring and Facebook. (John Piteo)
- Ultimate Guide To Creating Passive Income Affiliate Stores – How To Make Killer Affiliate Income From Your Own Aliexpress Affiliate Stores (Michael Day)
- Complete 2020 Hands-on Affiliate Marketing Course (Updated) – Affiliate marketing strategies to create a new income stream by selling other people’s products for a profit. (iMarket XL, Max Cord)
- Affiliate Marketing – 12 Course in One – Clickbank, Pixel marketing, Remarketing, Facebook, SEO, And much much more! (JADA eLearning)
- Affiliate Marketing For Beginners: Home-Business Made Simple – Affiliate Marketing Basics For Dummies, Affiliate Marketing Best Practices, How to Start From Scratch & Achieve Success (Federico Fort)
- Affiliate Marketing Supremacy. Learn Affiliate Marketing – Beginner’s Guide To Affiliate Marketing! How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing, Even If You Are a Complete Beginner (OMG – Mastermind)
View More Affiliate Marketing Online Courses on Udemy, Click Here!
Affiliate Marketing Online Courses on Coursera
Here are top affiliate marketing courses taught by leading universities on Coursera.
- Introduction to the Digital Advertising Landscape by University of Colorado Boulder
- Search Advertising by University of Colorado Boulder
- Critical Issues in Urban Education by The University of Chicago
- Knowledge Exchange: Using, Protecting and Monetizing Ideas with Third Parties by Universiteit Leiden, Luris, Leiden University Medical Center
- Professional Responsibility and Ethics for Accountants by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
View More Affiliate Marketing Online Courses on Coursera, Click Here!
Digital Marketing Online Courses on edX
Below is a list of one of the best and free affiliates marketing training courses online on edX.
- Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, Social Media, and E-Commerce, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
- Consumer Behaviour, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
- Introduction to Marketing: Tools to Set Enterprises Apart, The University of Edinburgh
- Digital Transformation: Business Development and Marketing, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
- Online Marketing Strategies, Curtin University
- Digital Branding and Engagement, Curtin University
- Reputation Management in a Digital World, Curtin University
View More Affiliate Marketing Online Courses on edX, Click Here!
In addition to the top learning providers I’ve mentioned above, you are able to view affiliate marketing courses from these websites: Shaw Academy, Voluum, WizIQ, Excite, and JohannesLarsson. Read more course details, contents, and course fee (paid or free), and then choose the best one that meets your need.
Affiliate Marketing on Social Media – It’s a Must!
Using social media for affiliate marketing is one of the effective methods for a new marketer to promote quality products, and begin making money online. The experienced marketers also use affiliate marketing on social media to increase the regular conversion rate on their websites.
Based on publicly available data, in January 2020, there are more than 3,8 billion social media users worldwide. It’s increasing by over 9 percent since this time last year. This number equates to about 45% of the current world population.
Facebook remains the world’s most widely used social media platform, follow up by YouTube, and WhatsApp.
Top 15 Social Media Platforms in the World
- Facebook has 2,498 billion monthly active users.
- YouTube has 2 billion monthly active users.
- WhatsApp has 2 billion monthly active users.
- Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion monthly active users.
- WeChat (Weixin) has 1.165 billion monthly active users.
- Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users.
- TikTok (Douyin) has 800 million monthly active users.
- QQ has 731 million monthly active users.
- QZone has 517 million monthly active users.
- Sina Weibo has 516 million monthly active users.
- Reddit has 430 million monthly active users.
- Kuaishou has 400 million monthly active users
- Snapchat’s potential advertising reach is around 398 million active users.
- Twitter’s potential advertising reach is about 386 million active users.
- Pinterest has 366 million monthly active users.
As you can see the number of social media users in the world is gigantic. So, it’s must to combine this marketing media in your business strategies.
Affiliate Marketing Strategies – Actions for Success!
The strategy is NOT just a plan for action, BUT it is the actions for success. Below I’ve listed smart affiliate marketing strategies. You are able to add these to your business plan.
Affiliate Marketing Strategies:
- Build an “authority website” on a niche – “Go One Inch Wide and One Mile Deep”
- Choose the right affiliates for your audience.
- Use promotions or coupons to attract your target buyers.
- Utilize the power of social media, like FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Leverage multiple marketing methods, such as PPC, Email marketing, and YouTube.
- Leverage multiple affiliate programs.
- Create “quality content” for both audience and search engines (Google, Bing, and Yahoo)
- Optimize product pages for conversions.
- Be in front of seasonal trends, and events.
- Understand the “Sales Funnel” – Awareness, Interest, and Decision.
- Master and update your affiliate marketing skills.
Re-read these affiliate marketing strategies again, learn more details, and apply them to your marketing plan.
The future of the Affiliate Markering – Are You Ready for These?
As you know, Internet marketing or online business is moving very fast. A popular product, method, or strategy can be obsolete within a matter of months or years.
Look Ahead! To meet and maintain your goal, earning passive money from a profitable and sustainable online business, you must prepare for these:
- Localization by reaching different states of mind
- Mobile-Friendly Content
- Voice and Video Content and Searches
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools
- Chatbot – Talk to Machine
- Visual Marketing
- and more…
In this article, I’ll not discuss in detail on the above topics. You are able to search for this information from the Internet. You may utilize some of these technologies in your online business at a suitable time.
Useful Affiliate Marketing Articles
Below are other articles in the area of Affiliate Marketing.
- The Honest Wealthy Affiliate Review of 2020 – Latest Updates
- Top Ten Affiliate Marketing Programs – 2020 Updates
- Top 10 Best Affiliate Marketing Networks for Beginners
- What is Internet Affiliate Marketing About – Clarify This Matter?
Now that you get the answer to this question – “Is Affiliate Marketing for Beginners?“. And also should be familiar with and gain knowledge about affiliate marketing. I hope that this article will help you to build and run your new business successfully.
If you have any questions or comments related to the affiliate marketing or online business, please feel free to leave your message in the comment box below. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
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