So you have heard of affiliate marketing. Well how does it all really work and how do you actually make money from affiliate marketing. In this article I will be taking you through what affiliate marketing is, the advantages and disadvantages and how you can make money with affiliate marketing. This is a complete affiliate marketing for beginners guide.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing implies that you will be part of certain affiliate programs and market their products or services. In so doing you will earn finder fees and commissions for sales made from your referring traffic either from your website, YouTube channel or other social profiles. Generally how you would earn a commission is by adding your affiliate links to your website or traffic source. When people click the link it tracks them as being referred by you and when they buy you will be paid a commission.
Advantages of affiliate marketing for beginners
There are a number of advantages to affiliate marketing when you are starting out your blog, website or other traffic sources such as social media or YouTube channel. Here are just a few of them.
- No start up capital required. If you choose to start with affiliate marketing it can be a lot easier just because you won’t need to actually have capital to sell the affiliate products. All you really need is a traffic source and potential customers.
- Has the ability to become passive income. If you have stable traffic sources. You can easily turn them into a passive income using affiliate marketing as your tool for generating the income.
- No true business experience needed. What I mean by this is that you don’t need to get involved in business operations for the products. You will not need to handle the support, refunds, accounting or any of the more complex issues with running a business. Affiliate marketing allows you to just sell the product and obtain a reward from that.
- Diverse product selection. There are thousands of affiliate programs and products. Which you can choose from which means you can easily test products without any cost to yourself. You can also sell multiple different types of products with ease.
- Location agnostic. They great thing about affiliate marketing is it is completely location agnostic. You can run an affiliate marketing business from anywhere. All you need is a PC which you can work on to market your affiliate links. So truly is ideal for young travelling people or stay at home parents.
- Existing marketing material. Often affiliate programs have already prepared marketing material which will help you to start selling their products. This just allows you get started immediately without having to create your own material.
Disadvantages of affiliate marketing
Even though the affiliate marketing model is quite great. There are a few downsides as well.
- Lower margins. Probably the biggest issue with affiliate marketing is that you need to accept lower margins. As you essentially will be sharing a cut with the true seller. Often what you will be selling could be subscription based. Which means the seller will get a long term benefit from the sale, but you will only get a short term benefit.
- Barrier to entry. Often if it’s a good product the barrier to entry can be quite hard to get past. Just because more affiliate marketers will already be selling those products which means higher competition. As opposed to your own personal branded products which should have lower competition because it is a unique product which you own.
- Time delays. Often affiliate programs or sites hold back pay outs for some time. So even though you can get sales in the short term it can take some time to receive your money.
Ways to get started with affiliate marketing
There are a number of options when it comes to affiliate marketing. You can use all sorts of platforms and marketing tools to get sales through affiliate marketing.
- YouTube. Probably the easiest way to get started with affiliate marketing. Is to start selling through a YouTube channel. You can make videos about product reviews and drop your affiliate links in the descriptions to get click through’s to your links.
- Pinterest. By creating quality and useful pins you can get click through’s to your affiliate links. However this method is not recommended.
- Start your own blog. Probably the best method is to create your own blog. The reason for this is because you own the website and the traffic. So it is just completely under your control. You can use other platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to feed traffic to your blog. Then from there sell products through your affiliate links. The other benefit is you can collect email addresses and keep re-marketing to your email list.
Some affiliate marketing programs which are worth your time
It really depends which niche you are in, but for most starting out the best is usually Amazon affiliate program. Just because you have so many products which you can choose from to market. If you are into websites, blogging or marketing you might want to opt for Bluehost or Siteground. Ultimately there are thousands of programs out there and you can find them simply by doing a good old fashioned Google search for them.
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