Guide for Beginners, What is Affiliate Marketing?

If you’ve heard about affiliate marketing, you’ve heard the stories.
Yes, you can make a lot of money in affiliate marketing 
But there are a ton of ways to make money – why affiliate marketing?
For me, it’s simple.
Freedom.
What Is Affiliate Marketing


Sure you can earn big money as a CEO, as a consultant, or an investment banker – but what’s the freedom like in those jobs?You can’t pack up and take a trip to Japan for a month if you feel like it.Also, how many years does it take to hit the big money in those careers?10?20?I made my first $1m in my first year as an affiliate.That’s not to say it’s easy, or that anyone can do it, I’m just telling you that it’s possible.

What is affiliate marketing?

So, what is affiliate marketing? Well, it’s the practice of recommending a companies products or services to potential customers, generating a sale and earning a commission in return.
The process of affiliate marketing generally involves four parties: the affiliate website, the affiliate network, the advertiser and the buyer.
Many beginners find this confusing, but there’s no need. Let me explain in layman’s terms.

SEMrush




The affiliate

The affiliate owns a website. That affiliate could be me, you, or that weird guy next door. Seriously, it’s not that complicated to build a website suitable for the job (although marketing that website effectively is another matter, we’ll get to that later).
The website an affiliate owns contains details (or reviews) about a product sold on the advertiser’s website. It also links to the advertiser’s product page via a special link, known as an affiliate link.

The advertiser

The advertiser could be any business which sells a product or service online. It could be John Lewis, Amazon, a car insurance company, or even your local skateboard shop if it has an online store.

The affiliate network

The affiliate network drops a tracking cookie into the buyer’s browser when they visit an advertisers website as a result of clicking an affiliate link on the affiliate’s website. They are effectively the glue which makes affiliate marketing possible, and they’re the guys who send your payment to you.

A working example of affiliate marketing in action

As this article aims to cover affiliate marketing for beginners, here’s a little example for you. So, let’s assume John is an affiliate. He has a website which is all about skateboarding. On it, he has a blog where he shares videos of his latest stunts, pictures of the parks he’s visited, and in-depth reviews of the best and worst skateboards he’s ever used. The reviews contain a deep link to the page on the advertiser’s website where the recommended skateboards can be purchased. The key to this is that the link is not a standard link such as:
  • bobsskateboardshop.com/amazing-red-skateboard
But actually, its an affiliate link, which looks something more like:
  • bobsskateboardshop.com/amazing-red-skateboard/affiliateID123456
So, if a visitor to John’s site decides after reading one of the many raving reviews that they really want to buy one of these skateboards right here, right now, the affiliate will be rewarded with a commission for referring the buyer to the advertiser’s site. Result!
On the other hand, they may need longer to think about it. Perhaps they’re waiting for payday, or they’re not quite sure yet whether they prefer the blue one that they also spotted while browsing around the advertiser’s site. They may go away and come back in a couple of weeks’ time, no longer able to resist the urge to blow their wages on a better board.
The great thing is, the affiliate will still be awarded commission for this sale provided the cookie placed by the affiliate network remains in the browser.


A word about cookies

In case you’re wondering, there are a couple of ways these cookies can and will disappear:
  1. If the buyer clears the cookies in their browser, either manually or using a tool such as CCleaner.
  2. If the cookie expires. Most affiliate networks work with a 30-day cookie period as standard. 

Advantages for affiliates

The advantages of the affiliate marketing business model for the affiliate are quite obvious to anyone. Having the opportunity to effectively ‘sell stock’ without having any of the costs or responsibilities of manufacturing, buying or storing it is very liberating. In addition to this, when working with a high-paying network , the profit potential is enormous.
If approached correctly, this can eventually turn into an almost passive income. While it’s likely you’ll always need (and want) to keep your eye on the ball, if you can get the business bringing in a substantial income, you may be able to outsource many of the routine tasks to freelancers in the long term.
Where many people stumble, however, is in believing that success in affiliate marketing is quick and easy. It’s not. It takes many hours of learning, commitment and a willingness to adapt to bring the best out of every changing situation.
Aside from the obvious advantages of running your own business, being able to work online from anywhere at any time, and having the freedom to choose just how hard you work, there are a few other perks. Affiliates with a strong social following (also known as influencers) can expect to receive freebies from advertisers looking to boost their brand awareness.
If an affiliate’s website is generic, such as a health and beauty blog, the possibilities are endless: from beauty creams to entire pampering sets, if you can give a company enough exposure, they will be begging you to trial their products for free!

Advantages for advertisers

Many advertisers are unaware of the potential of the affiliate marketing business model for their own businesses, in fact, most small businesses have never heard of it. But imagine marketing your products only to interested people for no upfront fee. Paying only when you get results is a risk-free way of advertising that requires no marketing budget to get started. As you can imagine, this is great for any start-up business with little funding for marketing their new brand.
Not only this, but what could be better than having hundreds, if not thousands of websites promoting your product? This is the perfect way to get people talking about your products, buying your products and generally just getting your brand ‘out there’.


My Favorite Analogy of Affiliate Marketing

Imagine an encyclopaedia salesman (back when that was a thing).He goes from door to door, trying to sell his encyclopaedias.After a while he gets to know some of the triggers that make people buy.He gets to know what to say, when to push for the sale, and how to get people to buy.He starts to develop a formula, a script.After he’s been doing the job for a few years and he’s really damn good, he knows that he can sell a set of encyclopaedias to 1 out of every 30 houses.This is great – but there’s a BIG problem.He can only visit so many houses per day.No matter how fast he can walk and do his sales pitch, he’s limited to about 100 houses or so per day.The only solution is to somehow replicate himself.How could he do this?
  • By training other salespeople with his techniques
  • Starting a telemarketing campaign
  • Get some billboards made up on the side of big highways
What’s the problem with all of these types of ideas?They cost money!A lot of money.What’s his solution?The internet.There are billions of people online every day.It’s estimated that over $2.2 TRILLION dollars in sales was spent over the internet in 2016.This is how millions of companies now drive sales.They pay affiliate marketers to do drive sales and leads, because we’ve learned how to do it.

How much can you earn from affiliate marketing?

This is a ‘How long’s a piece of string?’ question. Your income as a beginner affiliate will depend massively on several factors:
  1. The efficiency and reliability of the affiliate network you work with.
  2. The commission levels and conversion rates of the advertisers you work with.
  3. Your level of commitment.
  4. Your depth of knowledge and willingness to learn everything about your niche in order to succeed.
Networks and commissions vary widely. New affiliates could take over a year to make their first sale, but with the correct training and persistence, you could earn anything between $5 and $100 per sale from products on our network!
It’s easy to see how this can add up to some pretty impressive earnings. Some of our top affiliates earn in excess of $8000 per week! Who needs to be Walter White when you can earn this much legitimately, online, from anywhere in the world?

How To Get Started As An Affiliate Marketer


The crazy thing about affiliate marketing is that there’s no degree needed, no school can prepare you for it (going to college to learn digital marketing is a terrible idea BTW).
This is one of the last pure industries where you actually get paid based on the work you put in, and how good you are.
It’s nothing like investment banking where you need Ivy League connections, or Google internships where you have to have an IQ of 195 just to look inside the door.
It’s not like stock trading from home in your pyjamas where it’s pretty much luck, and you need $100k+ to make it work.
Anyone can get started in it today.
There are private forums for affiliate marketers like StackThatMoney where people are sharing success stories, case studies, and follow alongs showing how they’ve made money.








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