Here's your affiliate marketing for beginners guide.
There are four members in an affiliate marketing business model.
1. The Merchant (seller, brand, retailer, creator, vendor)
2. The Affiliates (affiliate marketer, publisher, promoters, people who doesn't own the product)
3. The Consumers (buyers, subscribers - without them, there's no income)
4. The Network (in between the merchant and the affiliate, like Amazon Associate Program)
My lessons will be about #2: The Affiliates.
Here's how Pat Flynn, one of the greatest Affiliate Marketers I've been following since 2015, defines it...
"Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make."
Affiliate marketing is a way to earn commissions or incentives by helping companies promote their products and services. You do not have to have the products on hand and you need not be a part of the company to make a profit from the products or services they offer. You just need to introduce them to your readers or viewers.
There are a lot of things for sale online. There are also many companies that offer a variety of online services.
One of the usual requirements of companies to allow you to help promote their products or services is a blog. There are companies that would accept you even if you don't have a blog as long as you have an active social media channel, like Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, which has a lot of followers. You just need a platform that has an audience, like a blog.
In my lessons, we will use the blog as the main platform. Why blog? Why not YouTube or Facebook? It’s because if we build a blog, we own it. We can decide what we want to put in it. There are no rules or restrictions. Our viewers, readers, followers and all the efforts we have invested will not be wasted should the free platform, like a social media channel or a free blog, suddenly close down.
When you build your own blog, it will only shut down if you choose to and not because you got kicked out or banned for violating any of the platform's rules. Having your own blog also gives you the freedom to monetize it in the future in different ways, not just through affiliate marketing.
If you want to switch on your Ads (Google AdSense, MediaVine, etc.), you can choose to, should you be qualified. You also have the option to accept paid posts or sponsored reviews should companies want to collaborate with you in the future. You can even start selling your own products and courses in your site. The limits are in your hands because you own the platform.
Affiliate Marketing For Beginners
My lessons will focus on affiliate marketing since it is one of the most cost-efficient and newbie-friendly ways to start making money through blogging. You do not have to get hold of physical products since our role in the "money-making" process of a company we wish to promote is somewhere in the middle.
How To Earn Commissions From Amazon Affiliate Links
Your reader clicks on an Amazon affiliate link on your site and they end up buying the product within 24 hours. Depending on the product, you can earn different percentages on commission. Baby products, as of writing this post, pay a 3% commission.
My sales mostly come from car seats. My daily sales vary. Good days like Black Friday or Amazon Prime sale can yield to a 3-figure income in one day.
Your blog visitor clicks on any of your affiliate links but wasn’t convinced to purchase the product you mentioned. They left your site and ended up shopping in Amazon. They bought unrelated items – shopped for gadgets, groceries, availed a service, etc. They checked out the orders in 24 hours. YOU EARN THE COMMISSION from their purchase.
YES. The commission is still yours.
A visitor reads your blog post from his laptop. He clicked one or more of your affiliate links to check the product, but he wasn’t really planning to buy yet. He was just there to research and read your product reviews and blog posts (that contains your affiliate links).
His friend borrowed his laptop and wanted to buy something from Amazon. The friend checks out his order in 24 hours.
You get the commission from his friend’s purchases.
The Native Shopping Ads – it looks something like this:
You can customize what product categories to show and how many rows and products are going to show up.
My first ever Amazon commission happened on my 3rd month of blogging. It was whopping... USD 5! Haha! But as any beginner can relate to, the feeling of excitement is real! It reassured me I had finally done something right. LOL.
I can still remember what I bought with my first few Amazon commissions 4 years ago...a space saving rack! LOL.
As you build your blog, commissions from different companies will come... and you'll learn to appreciate them for every cent because they represent your progress...
I remember giving my Payoneer referral link to a friend when he asked what I use to receive my Amazon commissions. He signed up (it's free) and we both got $25 bonus. Cool, right?
A friend also sent me a personal message one time to ask me what I used for making my graphics and videos. Instead of simply pointing her to Canva and Screencast-O-matic, I gave my affiliate link (and told her of course that it was an affiliate link). If she ends up being a paying member of those two platforms, I can get a commission.
Simple enough? 🙂
The process is the same when you do affiliate marketing in your blog.
There are many ways to make profits by blogging and affiliate marketing is only one of them.
Amazon is just one of the many companies you can point your readers to. Most online companies right now have an affiliate program, and it’s free to join most of the time.
If your blog is about dog training, just Google, “dog training” affiliate program. If it’s about gardening, Google “gardening" then affiliate program. And so on. More details on this on a separate lesson.
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you do not have to be a salesman. You also do not have to learn how to sell anything or be good at it since we will be using several techniques for us to make a sale.
First, we will write "targeted posts." In such posts, the readers you are talking to are the people that have an interest in what you are saying. We will aim to reach out to this audience through “free traffic” (a.k.a those who use search engines, like Google, Bing or Yahoo, etc.). Details on a separate lesson.
It's hard to sell products and services to people who aren't interested, especially if you don't know how to sell well. Right? But when we use "free traffic," more often than not, the possibility that these people will buy the products or avail the services are higher. How can I say that?
In using "free traffic," we will use what we call "keyword research." What is keyword research? That’s using keywords in your articles to reach people who are looking for the products or services you “sell.” (Details on a separate lesson.)
We will not blog about random topics, though. We need specific topics or what we call a “niche” if we want to make money faster. (NICHE: Another separate lesson)
With so many online stores and blogs, how can we be sure that our website will reach the top search results of search engines like Google? We will use a technique called "search engine optimization" or SEO. Again, a separate lesson.
And finally, how do we make your blog profitable through affiliate marketing?
If this is something you are interested in doing, welcome aboard. Step by step, let's build a blog from scratch until your website earns money. Stay with me, okay? Let’s do this!