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What is Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective ways for anyone to earn money online. This is a quick and passive method to earn cash that is highly scalable, and that is easy to set up. 

No technical skill is required, and if you choose the right products and connect with the right market, you can stand to make hundreds of even thousands of dollars in a short space of time.

But let’s back up for just a moment. First:

What is Affiliate Marketing

what precisely is affiliate marketing? How does it work? And what makes it so much more effective than other money-making strategies for internet entrepreneurs?

Essentially, affiliate marketing means selling a product that is not yours for a commission.

You then get to earn money for each sale you make, meaning that all you need to do is to connect that product with an audience that will appreciate it.

When selling affiliate products such as eBooks, you will often find that you get to keep 70% or more of the profit! Choose the right product, and you can earn just as much money as someone who built a product themselves.

In this article, you will learn the benefits of affiliate marketing, as well as how to get started quickly and efficiently in order to begin making money. With smart product selection, a primed audience, and just a little bit of good fortune, this could genuinely change your life.

For those that are already selling affiliate products, this article should serve to provide you with the additional skills and tips you need to really take your business to the next level. This includes the tools being used by top brands in order to sell HUGE ticket items like MBA courses and $5,000+ powerhouse laptops.

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Why Affiliate Marketing is the Best Way to Make Money for Beginners

Affiliate marketing is a concept that eludes many people. How can you make money from selling something you didn’t make?
How can earning money online really be that simple.

The simplest way to explain it is that it is essentially sales. You are acting as a seller and earning commission on any sales you make. In that way, you are just like the door-to-door salesmen who come around to sell you broadband.

The Internet Makes It Easy

The difference is that you aren’t going door to door. The internet is your door and this is a door that gives you access to everyone on the planet. That right away gives you a huge advantage – and especially when you learn how you can get the visitors to come to you.

What is affiliate marketing

Huge Commission

The other difference here is that the commission scheme is going to be highly different. Regular salesmen will normally get a small cut of whatever they sell: perhaps 5-10%. As mentioned, the
difference with affiliate marketing, is that you’re going to get as much as 70-80% of the proceeds. 

That’s right: often as an affiliate marketer you are actually going to earn more than the creator of the product!

This is what makes affiliate marketing so hugely appealing: because it means that you can start earning just as though you were selling your own product, but without having to invest lots of money to create something from scratch.

Popular Products

What’s more, is that because you’ll be selling a product that is already out there, you can choose something that is already selling in big numbers.

 When you create your own product to sell, there is always a small risk that you’ll build something that no one wants. When you simply market something that is highly popular, that becomes much less likely!

It is Scalable

Another huge benefit of affiliate marketing is just how scalable it is. If you create a single web page selling the merits of an affiliate product, then you can start profiting from it within hours. In that case then, what is to stop you from making another page to sell another product? And another page to sell another product?

How Affiliate Marketing Works

So, let’s get a little more technical, shall we? How precisely does affiliate marketing work and why would a creator ever be happy to give away so much of their own profits?

Product Type

First, let’s consider the type of content you are going to be selling.
To many marketers, affiliate products will be digital products. There are plenty more options, which we will explore in this book later. But for now, that’s what we’ll focus on. That means things like eBooks, like online courses and like presentations.

What is affiliate marketing

Digital Product

Digital products are immediately a good choice for selling online because they have zero overheads and no ‘COGs’ (this is a business term meaning ‘Cost Of Goods Sold’. That means that the creator doesn’t have to pay out at all for each sale and they can instead just make profit and share that profit. 

It also means they never had to invest large amounts of money upfront and they don’t have to handle delivery either.
So, the creator likely made this digital product themselves using Word or a camera, or perhaps they outsourced the creation to someone else. Either way, they will have built this ebook or course with the intention of selling it for profit.

Then the creator will probably have begun selling said product from their website or from a random page online. They’ll try to drive as much traffic as they possibly can to their website in order to encourage people to buy from them and thus they’ll have their own passive income stream.

But there’s only so much promotion that one person can do and eventually their well is going to run dry. That is when a creator might start looking for affiliates to work with to help them promote their products.

The product creator is thus willing to offer affiliates like us 70% and above because they want to incentivize us to sell their products. They also want to encourage us to sell their products rather than the products that other creators are offering affiliate programs for.

While the creator will now only make 30% on their sales, this is still 30% more than they would have made on those sales otherwise – because they wouldn’t have exited.

And if that seller can attract thousands of people to their books with a legion of online marketers, they’ll be making gigantic profits and much more than they could on their own.

In short, this is a win/win situation. The creator gets a thousand more sales by encouraging marketers to work with them and affiliate get to sell a product as though it were their own and keep most of the profits! They can make just as much money as they would from their own eBook or course, but without having to develop one and take that huge gamble.

What is affiliate marketing

Physical Products

While selling eBooks through platforms like Impact Radius, Commission Junction etc is an excellent way to ensure that you can keep the maximum profit, it also has its limitations. Despite what some other marketers might tell you, the most popular type of product online is still of the physical variety.
And this makes sense if you really think about it. 

How many people do you know who buy physical products? Pretty much everyone right? But then how many people do you know who would buy an ebook? Your Grandma might not (unless it’s through Kindle) because she doesn’t know how to use a PDF file. Likewise, your friend who doesn’t like reading probably wouldn’t either!

And that basically leaves you with a much smaller cut of the market.

So how do we go about selling physical products as an affiliate marketer? The most popular option is to become an Amazon Associate.
Amazon’s associate scheme is their version of an affiliate program and it’s a very tempting option for many marketers.

If you look up information on affiliate marketing, then you’ll likely find that the vast majority of it focusses on selling digital products through the likes of Sharesale, Impact Radius, ClickBank and Commission Junction.

On Amazon, things are different. Amazon is already splitting the profits with the manufacturer, they have to pay for storage, shipping and postage and generally they can’t afford to offer you more than 4% or maybe 8% at a push.

This means you’ll have to sell a lot more items at much higher prices in order to turn a proper profit.

But does that mean you should rule Amazon Associates out? Not at all.
For starters, selling physical products is often much more profitable than selling digital products. Think about it: are you more likely to spend lots of money on something you can hold in your hands and show to friends, or something you have to read on a computer screen?

Better yet, Amazon is a recognized brand and a company people trust. That means they’re much more likely to buy from them – and they can buy with one click!
Amazon has a massive roster of products you can sell and that means there will be something relevant to go with nearly every article.

And finally, if someone clicks on your URL but ends up buying something else from Amazon… you still get paid! This can potentially result in a lot of earnings if someone were to – for example – buy a new computer and you were to get 8% of that.
Even if you didn’t promote the product directly, as long as you sent the buyer to Amazon in the first place, you would earn that commission.

So, the best thing to do? Use both types of affiliate marketing! But just don’t leave Amazon out of the equation or you’ll be missing out!

What is affiliate marketing

It Works With Affiliate Links

Specifically, the way this process actually works is via the use of ‘affiliate links’ which in turn work via cookies.

When you find an affiliate product you want to promote, you will be given an affiliate link and this is what you need to include on your sales page and in your blog posts.
What will you do with the link that will be given to you?

The link is what you will share with your audience, and your audience can be your family and friends, audience on your website, social media followers etc.

In affiliate marketing, your audience is very important if not the most important. Your audience are the people who are interested in the product you are promoting. If there is no audience, no matter the percentage the affiliate company is willing to pay, nobody will buy the product and no money will be made because you’ve not found people who are interested.

In other words, if you will survive in affiliate marketing, building an audience who are interested in the particular product or service you are promoting is of paramount importance.

When a buyer clicks on your affiliate link, they will first be redirected to another page on the web. Here, a cookie will be stored on their computer which will identify them as having come from you. Now, when they buy something from that store, they will be recorded as being ‘one of yours’ and the commission will be added to your total for you to withdraw at some point in the future.

For you it’s simple: promote the product and provide the link. That’s all there is to it!

How To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing

Okay, that’s enough hypothetical talk… how do you actually get started and become an affiliate marketer?

Register/Sign Up on an Affiliate Network

Well, first you’re going to need a product. In order to get this, you are going need to head over to a website such as Clickbank or Commission Junction. Another good one is Impact Radius.

Here, you’ll be able to see a large selection of different products that have affiliate programs. Just scroll through and look for the ones you’re interested in. You’ll find that you can see some information regarding the different products, so try to look for things that are selling for a decent price and offer a good commission.

Some sites will let you see a rough number of sales, in which case you of course want to look for the items that are selling well.

What is affiliate marketing

Get Your Affiliate Link

Once you’ve identified the product you would like to promote, you then need to contact the owner. If you are successful, they’ll provide you with your link and you’ll be free to use that as you choose.

Something else to keep in mind here though, is that many affiliate products will include marketing materials along with them. Remember: if you are doing well, that means that the creator is doing well. They have every reason to want to see you succeed and as such, they will provide things like emails, a sales page, banner ads and other materials in many cases.

Start Promoting

If you’re someone who is completely new to the world of marketing, then I highly recommend that you choose a product that offers a lot of bonuses in form of promotional materials that will help you get started immediately. This way, you can get up and running almost instantly by simply copying and pasting the materials you’ve got.

You should then see yourself sell in the same numbers: it’s the same product and the same marketing spiel… so there’s no reason that it shouldn’t work just as well.

Like I said before: this is literally a ‘copy and paste’ business model. Someone else already has the product selling well with a set system, all you are doing is copying the same system but making sure it’s your bank account that will receive the income.

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What do you do when you have zero audience?

There is a saying that Rome was not built in a day.
Every journey of thousand miles started with a single step. There is always a starting point. If you want to build an audience, you can start by little.
You can run Ads and meet people who are interested in what you promote, even though it’s not the best way to start because it’s like trying to force people to see what you are talking about even when they may not be that interested.

Look for something valuable around the a niche you want to cover and give them consistent value.

Example of value is, when you visit my YouTube channel for the first time, you come back to visit again and again, that’s because you are getting some value from the videos you are watching.

If I present a product to you and promote the product for you to try it out, there is more likelihood that you are going to try it.

What is affiliate marketing

If you want to build a website, I have an affiliate product called Evanto Market (Themeforest), where you can buy premium themes to build your website without taking much of your time.

If you click on the link that I drop and buy the theme because you trust me, I will get some commission, that commission is called value.

I’m getting the commission because I was able to offer some value.
Remember, throughout this process, no physical contact was made, everything happens online.

Another example:
Let’s say you want to build a website and you are looking for a good host company, I have an affiliate program called Namecheap which is one of the best hosting companies. If you click on the link in the description under Namecheap and you buy hosting for a WordPress website, I will get some commission. This is how it works.

Focus on Delivering Value

Your focus should not be on the money which is still important, your focus should be on giving value consistently.

When you give value, value naturally returns to you.
The value you give out might come back after some times but you should be consistent in giving out the value.

When they ask you questions, you should answer, go ahead and give them value, it will make your audience to trust you and it will make them to value the product you are promoting.

Another important thing to note in Affiliate marking is, whatever product you must promote must be a product you know. It must be a product you are familiar with.

When you promote a bad product, maybe because of the high commission, if your audience buys it because of the trust they have in you, majority of them will never come back to buy any product you promote again.

The best thing is, use the product, confirm that the product is good, then share with your audience.

Whatever you are telling them, you are telling them with experience and not from what you think.
Once there is sincerity, your audience will naturally stay with you.

Building your audience is a continuous process.
Giving out value is a continuous process.

Everything you do in affiliate marketing, you need to keep doing it over and over again.
You can increase the number of products you are promoting as you expand your horizon.

What is affiliate marketing


Affiliate marketing requires consistency to achieve a great result. The more audience you have and the more value you give, the more money you are going to get.