How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of my favourite ways of making money on the internet:

  • You get a commission on every sale you introduce – anything from a fairly small percent with Amazon right up to 100% or more with some promotions. Regularly 35% to 60% available
  • There’s an almost infinite choice of products to promote
  • No stock to hold
  • No trips to the post office or parcel shop
  • Near enough no customer service needed
  • Low maintenance – the system works while you’re asleep or on holiday

It’s close to perfect.

So you’re probably wondering what the catch is.

Why would another site pay you some of their profit just because you introduce a sale?

Quite a few reasons for this:

  • No-one is big enough nowadays to economically reach all potential customers
  • If you don’t make a sale, you don’t get paid. So the site only pays you when they make money
  • The site doesn’t have to pay for every click people make – only the ones that result in a sale
  • You’re helping spread awareness. With millions of potential products, the chance of a product even being found, let alone bought, is low without this kind of promotion
  • You might discover a way to get sales that the site hasn’t thought of – different keywords, different target audiences, etc

The sites you promote are prepared to pay you to introduce sales for them.

This happens all over the place – it’s been happening long before the internet made it possible for people like you to get a commission.

Historically, insurance is often sold via commission. Comparison sites still operate that way – they’re affiliates.

Supermarkets don’t produce every single product they sell – effectively, they’re an affiliate for the brands, albeit usually they have to buy products to stock (although not always, sometimes they’ll get products on sale or return or even on a pay-when-sold basis).

The only difference is the barrier to entry is low.

Almost anyone can apply to be an Amazon associate (their term for affiliate). Likewise it’s rare for Clickbank to turn someone down who wants to sell their range of digital products.

Some private affiliate programs want to see how you’ll promote them before agreeing to let you have a commission. Historically, I’ve found these to be the most profitable ones for me.

You (maybe) don’t even need a website

I’m old school so I still prefer my own websites to sell affiliate products. I’m more in control that way.

But there are lots of people who don’t have their own domain name or website.

Instead, they use some or all of these sites:

  • YouTube – lots of channels promote affiliate products
  • Facebook – groups, pages, even just personal accounts
  • Pinterest – some boards very successfully promote affiliate products
  • Instagram – again, it’s used by affiliates
  • Forums – less popular nowadays but still making sales
  • Twitter – if your product fits, it can work on this platform
  • TikTok – an upcoming social network
  • Phone apps – if you’re in a WhatsApp group or something similar, this is do-able
  • Podcasts – not everyone is into moving images and there are plenty of places to put out your sound recordings

The list goes on.

So not having a website is a lame excuse for not being an affiliate.

But you do need to create content

It doesn’t have to be particularly creative content (a picture or a meme that you’ve created or maybe even borrowed) and an affiliate link.

Or a short video – produced by yourself or using one of the many different sites that allow you to create videos. Most of my videos are made using PowerPoint and recorded using Screencast-o-matic. Other people film themselves using their phone. Some of the professional YouTubers have high-ish end equipment and maybe even a studio kitted out to look as though it’s their bedroom (or am I being cynical?).

Written content is my favourite but that could be because I still prefer my own website. Google indexes written content very well and if you follow the path I teach, you’ll start getting long tail traffic within a few months. I know that’s not the attention span that’s generally taught on the internet but if you’ve got the patience, this is the closest you’ll get to the dream of truly passive income. The pages I create hang around the top of the results (once they finally get there) because they’re obscure.

But in a world where billions of people are on the internet, obscure can turn into some very nice money.

Especially when it’s not just one obscure thing but tens or hundreds or even thousands – a page a week for a couple of years gets you into the hundreds. A video most days for a few months does the same.

You’re taking the place of a trusted friend – partly because not all your friends know everything, partly because some of the most profitable products to promote are quite embarrassing and there’s a good chance you wouldn’t want to ask a real life friend about them.

So how do you become an affiliate marketer?

At its simplest, you apply to one of the networks, get approved, drop a link somewhere.

Of course, there are nuances.

Do it yourself and you could get lucky. In fact, so long as you keep at it, you probably will make some cash.

Or you could use a proven road map.

That’s where I come in.

I’ve been making money with affiliate marketing since 2004 so I know what works and what you need to do.

I’ve created a course that covers everything you’re likely to need to know about affiliate marketing:

  • How to choose a profitable niche that’s just right
  • Finding profitable affiliate products to promote
  • Getting a domain and hosting if you want to go down that route (don’t rule it out, some people make a living creating these sites and “flipping” them for multiples of the income they’re earning)
  • Getting WordPress up and running on your website
  • Creating content – whether that’s on your own site or elsewhere
  • Weaving in affiliate links that people click on – much like all those links you happily click on when you browse Wikipedia
  • Promoting your content on social media
  • Creating videos for YouTube, Facebook and the other sites that lap up video content
  • Starting to curate your own list of subscribers so you can build more of a relationship with them and get commissions almost “on demand”

It’s a mix of written content and videos.

And it’s instantly available when you click the PayPal button here:

P.S. Obviously there are no guarantees about how much you can earn with affiliate marketing. As with everything in life and internet marketing.