Many people ask what is affiliate marketing and how does it work? Before I started blogging, I didn’t know anything about affiliate marketing or how to make money online.
That’s when I began to do my research and learn more about how to get started with affiliate marketing and which affiliate programs were the best for new bloggers.
As an affiliate marketer, you can get paid for referring new customers to other businesses, products, or services.
Here’s another way to think about it – Let’s say you try a new makeup foundation. Your friend notices how nice your skin looks and asks which foundation you’re using. You tell her that it’s this new one you’ve been trying and love it.
The next day, your friend decides to purchase the same foundation as you, based on your recommendation. If you were an affiliate for that foundation product, you could earn a commission each time someone buys the product based on your recommendation. The company will split part of the profit from the sale with you, which is usually a certain percentage.
Many people already love to recommend helpful products or services to their family and friends. With affiliate marketing, this can give you the opportunity to earn a commission each time someone decides to purchase the product or service you recommend.
One of the best parts about making money through affiliate marketing is that you can work from anywhere that has an internet connection. All you need is your computer or laptop to get started.
Does affiliate marketing sound like a good fit for you?
Today I’m sharing some helpful tips to help you get started in making money with affiliate marketing.
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What is affiliate marketing?
To put it simply, affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products or services.
The best part about affiliate marketing is that it’s easy and cheap to get started because you don’t need to create and sell your own product.
Types of affiliate programs
There are a few different types of affiliate programs that use different payment terms.
One tier: You get a commission when a sale is generated through your affiliate link.
Two-tier: You get a commission when you refer other affiliates and they start making sales.
Climbing tiers: You can increase your commissions as you make more sales.
Recurring commissions: You earn a commission for as long as people are signed up for that subscription service. For example, I use Convertkit for email marketing. If someone decides to sign up for Convertkit through my affiliate link, I will earn a small commission for each month they use Convertkit.
Pay Per Lead: You get a commission each time someone provides his/her contact information on the advertiser’s website.
Sitewide Commissions: You can get a commission no matter what someone buys on the advertiser’s website. Amazon’s affiliate program offers sitewide commission.
How affiliate marketing works
Still not sure how affiliate marketing works? I know it can be a little tricky to understand. Here’s a simple way to break down step-by-step how you can make money from affiliate marketing.
Step 1: You place an affiliate link on your website or social media post.
Step 2: A visitor clicks on your affiliate link and is taken to the advertiser’s website.
Step 3: The visitor decides to buy something from the advertiser’s website.
Step 4: You can earn a commission. This is usually s percentage of the sale.
Sounds pretty straightforward, right?
Do you need a blog to make money from affiliate marketing?
As long as you have an online platform where you can market to an audience, you can earn money through affiliate marketing.
This online platform can be your blog, social media, an e-book, YouTube, a regular contributor to forums or online communities, or email campaigns.
So yes, you can make money through affiliate marketing without a blog. But it’s not a great idea.
This is because if you’re serious about making a decent income through affiliate marketing, you’ll need a platform (such as a blog) where you can engage and educate your target audience.
Having a blog is the easiest and best way to make money through affiliate marketing. This is because your blog has the potential to target the right audience and reach a lot of people.
Here are some other reasons why you may want to consider using a blog to make money through affiliate marketing:
- A blog is the best way to give your audience access to valuable free content.
It’s easier to promote affiliate products to an audience who already trusts and likes your content.
- A blog is a great way to help your audience solve a problem.
Many people search for answers on Google. If they click on your blog and see that you’re promoting a product that can solve their problem, this can be a good way to make money through affiliate marketing.
- A blog is yours. You own and have full control over your website.
I’ve seen people try to make money through affiliate marketing on social media, such as Facebook, but they lost their ability to reach an audience because Facebook changed their algorithm.
It’s also important to note that many affiliate programs require you to have a website of some kind. Some affiliate programs will review your website first (before accepting you into their program) to make sure that your content is a good fit for their products.
Another reason to consider having a blog is that you can sell your website someday. Think about where you want to go with affiliate marketing over the long term. If you start a blog that makes money each month through affiliate marketing, you have the potential to sell it someday. This can be another great way to make money.
If you’re interested in starting your own blog, I’ve put together this easy tutorial showing you how to start a profitable blog in minutes. You can check out my step-by-step guide here.
How to be successful with affiliate marketing
Once you’ve built up a website, blog, email list (newsletter), or social media, then you can follow these steps to help you become successful and start making money through affiliate marketing.
1. Get to know the affiliate program. Research each affiliate program you want to join and understand how and when you’ll be paid.
To do this, decide which products or services you want to promote with your audience. You can Google each product or service to see if they offer an affiliate program. For example, does Old Navy offer an affiliate program? You can find the information about how to join their affiliate program on their website.
2. Build trust with your audience. You’ll want to promote products that you already know and love. This means you should only promote quality products to your audience. This can help maintain the quality of your brand and recommendations.
3. Choose products that match your niche. If your audience is affordable fashion for moms, you probably don’t want to start promoting expensive designer products. Your audience will lose trust in your recommendations because they are interested in affordable fashion, not designer products.
4. Be patient. Affiliate marketing can be a great way to make money online, but success doesn’t happen overnight. No matter which platform you use, it takes time to build an audience. Once you’ve built your audience, then you can engage and educate them about the products you want to promote.
How much money can you make from affiliate marketing?
The amount you can make from affiliate marketing can vary. Some people make $100 per month with affiliate marketing and some people make $10,000+ per month with affiliate marketing.
It all depends on what products you promote (make sure they match your audience’s interests) and how engaged your audience is.
For example, if your audience doesn’t engage with your content, it will be difficult to make money with affiliate marketing. However, if you have a highly engaged audience that trusts your recommendations, it will be easy to make money with affiliate marketing.
My friend Michelle, from the blog MakingSenseofCents.com, has a highly engaged audience. She makes over $50,000 per month from affiliate marketing. Now that’s a lot of money!
Benefits of making money with affiliate marketing
Making money with affiliate marketing can have a number of life-changing benefits. Many people are looking to become a stay-at-home mom or dad, but still want to find a way to make money for their family too. Learning about affiliates might be the perfect opportunity for you to work from home or make extra money on the side.
Here are some of the top benefits of making money with affiliate marketing:
- Low start-up cost. Most affiliate programs are free to join. You just need to pay for your blog or website so you can promote affiliate products. You can use my easy step-by-step guide here to start your blog in minutes.
- No Product Creation Necessary. You don’t need to worry about making your own products. Simply promote products from brands / companies you already know and love.
- Location Independent. Use your laptop to work from anywhere that has an internet connection.
- Earn Passive Income. This has the potential for you to earn passive income. Work smarter, not harder.
Do you want to start living a more financially free life? Making money with affiliate marketing might be the right fit for you!
Best affiliate programs to make money
I recommend thinking about what products or services you already use and love. As you’re brainstorming products, think about if they would be a good fit for your audience. Would your audience be interested in this product?
Then do a quick search on Google to see if this product or service offers an affiliate program. Sometimes companies have their own affiliate program. This means you’ll join the affiliate program through their website.
Most affiliate programs are available on affiliate marketplaces. These marketplaces have thousands of merchants to choose from. It’s also more convenient to just go to one website instead of having to login to multiple websites to track and monitor the affiliate products you choose to promote. Here are the most popular affiliate marketplaces:
ShareASale (my favorite) – StudioPress, Cricut, Smile Direct Club, Spanx, WP Engine, Grammarly, Master Class, Tailwind, among others.
CJ Affiliate – Overstock, GoPro, Priceline, J. Crew, Office Depot, 24-hour fitness, Lowes, Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, among others.
Impact – Airbnb, Getty Images, Constant Contact, Target, Grubhub, Uber, among others.
FlexOffers – Eileen Fisher, Herschel Supply Company, JetBlue Travel, Skyscanner, among others.
How to get started:
While formal training isn’t necessary to get started, it doesn’t hurt to learn from someone who is already successful with affiliate marketing.
My friend Michelle over at Making Sense of Cents is one of the most talented affiliate marketers out there. After being so successful with her blog, she has compiled all of her knowledge into a comprehensive course: Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
She’ll teach you the basics of affiliate marketing to make sure you’re a marketing superstar! After you’ve mastered these skills, Michelle will show you how to turn this newfound knowledge into a thriving and profitable business.
You’ll walk away from this course knowing exactly how to find affiliate products to promote and proven strategies to help increase your conversion rates, so you can be run a successful website. Sounds like high-value stuff, right?
Almost all of her course graduates have incredible success stories. This can be the perfect opportunity for someone who is looking to start working for themselves.
Still not sure if Michelle’s course is right for you?
I can appreciate if you’re not quite ready to jump headfirst into this. I mean, this course can certainly help you excel with making money online, but perhaps you still have some questions.
For example, maybe you’re thinking, “This is something I would love…but since I have no experience, how can I just start making money with affiliate marketing?”
How do you go from knowing nothing about affiliate marketing to engaging your audience and making money?
It’s funny because Michelle had the same thought as you!
Most online courses don’t teach the part where you actually go out into the real world and apply what you’ve learn. This is what makes Michelle’s course so valuable – because half of the course is dedicated to helping you find affiliate products that work for your niche and how to increase your conversions so you can make more money.
That’s why many of Michelle’s course graduates have been so successful. When you enroll in her course, you’ll gain the skills needed to succeed, PLUS you’ll learn how to make money from your skills and create a profitable business.
Online success story
When I first started my blog, it was just a hobby. I didn’t know anything about how to build an audience or make money online.
Then one day, I stumbled upon Michelle’s blog and was inspired by her success. I ended up reading every article I could find online about how to make money with affiliate marketing.
I tried to apply what I learned to my blog, but I soon realized that a lot of the free information that I reading online was outdated and didn’t work very well.
That’s when I decided to take the leap and purchase Michelle’s course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. At that time, my blog way making around $50 per month.
Within just a couple of weeks after completing Michelle’s course, I was able to make back the money I paid for her course.
And within one month, I earned over $1,000 with affiliate marketing!
I know Michelle’s strategies work because they helped me turn my little hobby blog into a thriving and profitable business.
With the right training and hard work, you too can make some good money online. This can be a great opportunity for those who want to make extra money online or work from home.
Ready to get started? Start by learning more about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing here!