This Advice was Last Updated 9 months ago.
We receive daily emails from our readers asking us for advice on affiliate marketing.
This is why we created this “how-to” guide on affiliate marketing for beginners.
More and more people are intrigued by the idea of making money while they sleep and wake up to see that overnight their bank account increased.
To dream at night about it, and actually wake up to!
One very popular and handy way to make money online is by using affiliate marketing programs. It’s a great source of passive income.
Some people are still unfamiliar with the term “affiliate marketing“, and want to know everything about what it takes to be a good affiliate, and most important, how to make money out of it.
Don’t be scared.
While it is true that affiliate marketing requires some basic knowledge (which will be explained later on below), it is not as complicated as you may think it is.
It requires some analysis of the target audience, a little strategy, and a lot of effort directed to the right places.
In this guide, we will cover in detail all the steps you need to make in order to succeed in this new adventure.
But the most important thing to keep in mind is that it is not rocket science, it is not very complicated once you understand the bare minimum.
Ok, let’s dive deep into affiliate marketing for beginners and discover what it is all about.
Looking for more great ideas ☍ ? Check out all our articles on this topic.
Affiliate marketing is a very interesting marketing model that implements a performance-based commission structure.
It is mainly popular with online marketers because it allows them to receive a commission after they refer a client that brings in a sale.
This guarantees that good-paying traffic is sent to the target company, making sure they make money from your leads, and in return compensate your efforts with a nice commission.
The good part is that every big company that respects itself has implemented an affiliate program.
Each brand has different paying methods, depending on what they sell (digital products, physical products, courses, etc.)
Before you start to promote such a company, you should verify how much do you receive from one affiliate sale, just to make sure you don’t work for pennies.
After you’ve decided that they are worth being promoted, sign up for their affiliate program, and get your tracking link.
This link is all you need in order to make money with that program.
With your very own blog, you have the utmost freedom to promote every kind of product you like.
Don’t have a blog yet? Read our advice on how to start a blog and make money ☍
Making money with affiliate marketing can be summarized in this simple sentence:
Whenever somebody clicks your link and makes a purchase, you earn a commission.
It’s the perfect passive income system.
But different programs have a different cookie life.
Certain cookies can go up to 90 days, others have 10 days, or just until the website visitor closes the browser window.
What does this mean?
If the reader didn’t make a purchase within the cookie life, your effort is in vain and you don’t earn that commission.
So, make sure your message is clear and the readers make the order as soon as possible.
If you are just starting your journey on affiliate marketing, keep on reading our advice, you will discover why it is one solid method of making money from home.
The real deal about affiliate marketing
In simple terms, affiliate marketing is when you (as the affiliate) promote other people’s (merchants) products or services on your platform (website, blog).
It is a performance-based payment structure between the affiliate and the merchant.
Keep in mind that the performance is not related to your progress (which will improve over time, do not worry) but it is rather measured on how well your marketing tactics have worked in promoting their products to generate sales.
As an affiliate marketer, you have to create engaging content and implement some influencing skills on your readers.
Your job is to spread the message to the masses that a certain product or service is something worth checking out, or they simply cannot live without it.
You must lure the client in with an impressive presentation, where you add various CTAs (call to action) elements that have your affiliate links, for the readers to click, and decide on whether they wish to buy it or not.
It all depends on you and how well you market the products.
This will reflect in the total clicks on your affiliate links and final sales.
That actually poses to be a very challenging task.
Sure, you can convince your customers to read a TL; DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) blog about a very versatile pair of snow boots but what guarantees that the reader will decide to actually make a purchase?
It is easy to make something pop in the browser of a customer, but convincing them to actually make a purchase is what decides the success of the program.
This is where you must be very skillful at what you do and have the confidence to carry it over a long period of time.
Wondering how much money can you make with affiliate marketing?
This interesting study from VigLink (now sovrn //Commerce) ☍ gives some valuable insight into how much income does affiliate marketing brings.
We can clearly see that affiliate marketing is the second-best in revenue for advertisers. This shows exactly how powerful affiliate marketing really is.
If we look at the survey, just 9% of affiliates produced more than $50,000 in affiliate income in 2016.
65% of affiliates—which is more than half of those interviewed—state that their main income comes from affiliate marketing, which is between 5% and 20% of their total revenue.
The survey also brings to light a link between the years of experience in this business and the revenue.
Over 60% of affiliates that had been involved in affiliate marketing for five years or more have the most revenue from affiliate marketing.
Remember, affiliate marketing is a long-term business. You won’t get rich overnight by doing it.
Before starting to promote a new product first make sure it’s legit.
Even if it’s not often an issue, there have been events in the past where items that are sold from certain merchants do not follow legal protocol, and customers are charged ridiculous amounts of money for products that are questionable or fake.
What to expect?
In your journey as a beginner affiliate marketer, you will have to create strong relationships and be in touch with other parties, like:
- reputed brands
- affiliate programs that promote products and services from other brands
- affiliate technology providers that help merchants track and measure accurately how the affiliate link is performing and how much to pay their affiliates
- affiliate and partner marketing agencies that help to handle and strategize within an affiliate program for other brands acting as a middle-man
- consumers who need to be influenced by brands and affiliate programs to make a purchase
Customers are the ones who decide how much money the merchants and affiliates will be making in the long run.
Their activities like submitting a lead form, making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, testing out a new service, becoming a new customer, etc., are what makes or breaks a brand and ultimately affiliate programs and your commission.
In other words, the main model of an affiliate marketing program is associated with the interactivity with the consumers, particularly the interactivity that is generated through their end by simply visiting web pages or online-based platforms.
Affiliate marketing as thoroughly described earlier is when you are promoting other brands’ products and services on your website or blog.
However, what benefits do you get out of it? Are you getting the product or service for free?
While you might get free goodies if your relationship with your merchant is solid and you bring in lots of sales, your target as the affiliate, and as the one reviewing all the products or services, is actually the commission you get from the merchant you are working with.
Unfortunately, the commission you receive has a lot of challenges associated with it, which makes affiliate marketing a pain for beginners, initially.
First and foremost, you receive commissions from merchants or brands for whom you have reviewed their products or services.
Remember how we mentioned that you have to leave a link to the product or service in your content so that customers can check them out for themselves?
The mighty EPC is very important because it’s one essential metric that shows your success as an affiliate for a certain program.
In affiliate marketing terms, EPC is the actual amount of money or commissions you receive for every click you get on the affiliate links in your website or blog.
You are entitled to an affiliate revenue whatever final activity is done through that affiliate link (for example making a purchase, or subscribing to a monthly plan).
Are you wondering how much does an affiliate marketer gets paid per click?
The stats vary for different affiliate programs.
Sometimes the commission rates are as high as 30% while the most common scene is a commission rate of 2%-5%.
Let us take a look at Amazon Associates ☍, which is a typical example since most people are part of their affiliate marketing family.
Here is a neat little breakdown (on average) of how you can make your targeted amount of money by being an Amazon affiliate:
- the percentage of your blog readers that click on Amazon Affiliate links = 10%
- Amazon conversion rate (estimated) = 2%
- the average commission for products promoted = 5%
- target earning through commissions for 1 month = $1,000
Let’s assume that your goal is to earn $1,000 in a month. Believe it or not, this is a very realistic goal that can be easily achieved.
If you have a good blog and you get about 100,000 visits each month, hypothetically, only 200 clicks on your Amazon links will end up making a sale.
Depending on what products you promote, these sales can bring in more or fewer commissions.
If you review products that have an average price of $33, with only a 5% commission, your 200 converted clicks will bring in only $330.
There’s a lot more work to be done in order to get to your $1,000 target.
In order to increase your affiliate revenue by 3X, you must first increase your traffic to 300,000 visitors.
It’s not that easy to increase your traffic?
Then consider promoting other products that bring in higher commissions.
This is a good rule of thumb to follow for a beginner in affiliate marketing.
You are already aware of what affiliate marketing is, but what does it mean to be an “affiliate” in the first place?
An “affiliate” is a partnership between you and the merchants who want you to promote their products on your website or blog.
This partnership is formed based on a contract which states that the merchant will pay the affiliate when there is a sale generated from the affiliate links.
The affiliate is responsible for marketing the products and services that the merchant is promoting, highlighting its prominent features.
Doing so in an engaging manner should lead to clicks from the affiliate links.
However, for the process to be a full circle, the links have to generate sales as well.
We will discuss how to convert clicks into sales later on in this article, but first, let’s get you signed into a suitable affiliate program.
There are many affiliate programs available that will help you get started.
Let us take a thorough look at affiliate marketing programs for beginners.
As we slowly progress, we will guide you through the entire process of scaling up your affiliate marketing business and joining the ranks of the big affiliate marketers.
As a beginner affiliate marketeer, you would think that aiming for the highest paying affiliate marketing programs will probably get your name on the map.
It is very easy to get overwhelmed with the idea that aiming high will help you to earn a lot of money in return.
Well, we are here to tell you that the best approach to get your income rolling is to “affiliate” yourself with programs that are more in line with your niche.
This means that you must reflect on what are the things YOU prefer to discuss, what you are good at, what you are passionate about.
Start with programs that help you build your brand and your credibility on related topics.
For instance, let’s say you are a lifestyle blogger.
Your niche is lifestyle products like skincare, clothes, shoes, makeup, accessories, etc.
However, if your blog suddenly delves into why “Bluehost is a great way to explore your blogger creativity“, this is such off-putting content to have in a website that has zero relevance to blogger sites.
Now, if you truly want to venture into other niches for reviews, you could have a separate “miscellaneous” section on your blog or website.
However, it is suggestible that you stick to your niche and develop your credibility in it.
For beginners, there are some great programs for you to try your hand at affiliate marketing, understand the core activities, ins and outs, etc.
These programs have pretty low commissions, so you must work hard in order to make a lot of money with them.
Yet they are still very popular, and you can find tips on how to sell better with them all over the internet.
Here are some popular affiliate marketing programs for beginners that you can join with ease:
- Amazon Associates ☍
- ClickBank ☍
- Awin ☍
- FlexOffers ☍
- ShareASale ☍
- Commission Junction (CJ) ☍
- Sovrn //Commerce ☍
Let’s take them one-by-one and see what the strong points are for each one.
The Amazon Associates Program ☍ is, by far, the biggest and easiest affiliate program in the world to get into, in order to monetize your traffic.
With Amazon you have millions of products to choose from, it is one of the most reliable e-commerce services.
Most affiliate marketing blogs use Amazon product links to redirect their readers to products on Amazon websites and earn a hefty commission.
However, it is not the perfect system.
You can earn big figures, up to $30,000 per month, but you must have good traffic on your blog to reach these figures.
If you have poor traffic, you risk not making a single penny with them.
Also, conversions are never perfect or accurately measured, and, at the end of the month, you end up receiving a little less than what you should.
ClickBank ☍ is the oldest affiliate marketing network.
This affiliate company was founded back in 1998, and it is still one of the affiliates’ favorites when it comes to making money online.
You have a wide variety of categories to choose from, so you can find one that fits your niche easily:
- Arts & Entertainment (art, body art, fashion, music, photography)
- As Seen on TV (auto, health and beauty, kitchen tools, gadgets)
- Betting Systems (casino games, horse racing, lottery, poker, soccer)
- Business/Investing (stocks, equities, forex, real estate)
- Computers/Internet (email services, programming, web hosting, website design)
- Cooking, Food, & Wine (BBQ, cooking, recipes, diets)
- Internet Marketing (affiliate marketing, auctions, surveys, SEO)
- Education (educational material, K-12, student loans, study guides)
- Employment & Jobs (cover letters, resume guides, job training)
- Games (console repairs, strategy guides)
- Green Products (alternative energy)
- Health & Fitness (beauty, dental health, supplements, weight loss)
- Home & Garden (pets, crafts, hobbies, gardening)
- Languages (different world languages)
- Mobile (apps, developer tools, ringtones, security)
- Parenting & Families (educations, divorce, marriage, pregnancy)
- Politics/Current Events
- Reference (automotive, catalogs, legal, writing)
- Self-Help (abuse, dating, eating disorders, public speaking)
- Software & Services (3D printing, digital photos, internet tools, security)
- Spirituality (astrology, hypnosis, magic, numerology)
- Sports (baseball, coaching, extreme sports, golf)
The best part is the fact that it is offered in multiple countries, and they have a lot of big names as their advertisers (like the sorts of HP, Etsy, Aliexpress, Ted Baker, etc.).
This led to over $900 million earned by their affiliates in the last year alone.
However, keep in mind that they do not emphasize service-based content, rather focus on product-based reviews.
So, in order to make good money with them, you have to be in the “review blogging” niche.
FlexOffers ☍ is another affiliate company where you can find a lot of big-name brands to promote with your affiliate links.
FlexOffers affiliate network currently has over 12,000 advertisers and is adding new ones each day.
Some of their affiliate programs include brand names like Macy’s, AT&T, H&M, Reebok, SkinStore, etc.
You only need a personal website or blog to start with them, without a blog it’s harder to get approved.
Don’t have a blog yet? Read our advice on how to start a blog.
The simplest way to make money with FlexOffers is by joining a CPL (cost per lead) program.
Your readers don’t even have to actually buy something, all they need to do is leave their personal information.
ShareASale ☍ is a great service that effectively showcases important affiliate data like:
- conversion rates
- earnings per click (EPC)
- average sale
- top affiliate links in the platform
Finding the right partner to promote is very easy with their clever system of filters, popular searches, and also a marketing calendar for the upcoming seasonal events.
This transparent reporting gives you a proper insight into which merchants are worth pursuing.
They have over 39 categories to choose from, so it’s easy for your blog’s niche to fit in one of them.
Commission Junction (CJ)
Commission Junction (CJ) ☍ follows Amazon in being one of the oldest affiliate programs that exist in the market.
They were founded in 1998, and in over 20 years managed to expand to 14 offices worldwide.
CJ does a great job at cross-device tracking, which means that if your readers click on your links when they are on their laptop, and finish the order on their smartphone, you still get paid.
This makes your job working as a CJ affiliate easier and can bring in more revenue, just because you don’t lose your referrals.
If you dreamt of working with big names like GoPro, Barnes & Noble, IHG, or Office Depot, you just have to sign up with them and become a CJ affiliate.
Sovrn //Commerce (formerly VigLink)
Sovrn //Commerce (formerly VigLink) ☍ is an effortless way to convert the links you already have in your blog posts into affiliate links.
Even more, they convert to affiliate links the brands and merchant names that appear in your content.
It automatically inserts affiliate links within your content for everyone to see and maximizes your revenue in return.
You can earn commission in two ways with them: cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-acquisition (CPA).
These were just some examples of affiliate networks that are suitable for beginners in their journey of making money as an affiliate.
Once you better understand how affiliate programs work, you can move on to bigger affiliate programs and scale up your affiliate marketing business.
In order to keep your readers hooked to your blog, you need to create engaging content and place your affiliate links naturally.
You have to expose in detail the product’s or service’s features and attributes with a dash of enthusiasm and a vibe showing that you have been using it for ages without it ever failing you.
Of course, do not write about a product that you didn’t test out first, or have done enough research to know it very well.
You don’t even have to actually buy the products you are writing about, you can start with anything that you have around your house, or you can borrow from friends.
Try to write as honestly as you can.
You must improve your writing skills at the subtle art of exaggeration as best as you can, to avoid any writing mistakes that can cost you a lot of commissions in the long run.
5 Tips on how to write good content that your readers will love
1. Content Writing for High-Search Volume Keywords
Before starting to write, do keyword research on the topic you want to write about, so you can get a good idea of how people are searching for that topic.
This search volume gives you a better idea of how many readers are actually looking for that affiliate product.
If it’s too low, you don’t even have to bother writing about it. This saves you a lot of time writing about something that nobody searches for.
Furthermore, the number of reads you are getting is another quick and easy way to see how your content is doing.
Everything you write about should be in a suggestive manner and allow the readers to think and decide for themselves if they need it or not.
In this way, you are not imposing too hard on your readers.
You can talk about what you think of the affiliate product and how you use it, and in this way, they make a decision more easily if they should buy.
Usually, readers feel a little vulnerable, cornered, and frustrated when they cannot compare or try to differentiate.
This, in turn, leads to them leaving your blog.
A good rule is to research your competitors’ topics and find out the search volume their topics are targeting.
Of course, first attempts will perhaps not rank you higher in the search results but at least now you know how to start and/or maintain the direction of your writing.
2. Content Writing About Your Niche
This cannot be stressed enough.
While it may be tempting to write about everything you love in life, that only adds to a messy blog filled with various categories and 1–2 posts in each of them.
This will only end up confusing your readers more to the point that they would leave your site.
If you are passionate about technology, grow your credibility and authority in that field by speaking freely and honestly about tech-related topics. The same goes for cooking or video games.
Add dates and names of events if you have attended any keynote speeches or workshops.
The simple mentioning of the names of the people you’ve met there may lead to them sharing your content and promoting the affiliate product and services on their platforms as well.
3. Honest and Detailed Content Writing
As we mentioned earlier, do not write anything that is not true or spread any misinformation.
It is tempting to do so when you feel like you cannot write anymore or you just want to meet the word cap as quickly as possible.
However, this will leave a big mark on your credibility and ultimately on your revenue.
When you are reviewing products or services, try to speak from a neutral point of view.
As we said, the art of subtle exaggeration must be mastered.
Exaggerate those points that seem dull, to begin with.
For example, if you write something like mattress X has CertiPUR-US certification, this may seem like gibberish to a reader.
You can write something more attractive by saying that “You can rest assured knowing that mattress X is free of any harmful chemicals properly earning its CertiPUR-US certification“.
But avoid having a negative connotation.
Try a more friendly and suggestible approach.
4. Content Writing for A Bigger Audience
There will always be naysayers and believers debating over the same topic.
This is a fantastic advantage that you cannot miss because the more they keep talking about a certain product or service, the higher your chances of ranking top in the search results.
The trick is to maintain a good balance between them.
A lot of people will agree, while others will just agree to disagree.
You can engage with them in the comments section of your blog or affiliate website by responding to them with an “I agree” or a counterpoint, by saying that you were not aware of this since the data you looked into says otherwise.
Always invite readers to speak freely.
5. Research for Content Writing
This goes without saying, you need to conduct heavy research on the topics you are writing about.
Pull out your competitors’ material and check out how they structure their content.
See how they use search volumes.
Use Google Analytics to get a proper view of the topics that have best-converted clicks into sales.
Analyzing these will help you understand what sells good and what does not. Inside Google Analytics, you have tools that measure the conversion rate of every page on your blog.
This will show you all the paths your customers have taken to buy products through your affiliate links.
If they have worked before, surely, they will work for you again.
Now that (hopefully) we’ve cleared some terms for content generation, it is time for people to find you on the web and see what you have to offer.
The only way to do that is if people access and read your content.
Consider this scenario:
You have a big list of review articles for products or services neatly outlined on your site that other people start to read.
Still, you need to convince the audience to click on your affiliate links and buy.
You need to persuade them to at least check out the products, or register for a trial on the services you are raving about.
This is where you need to improve your affiliate marketing strategy and optimize your traffic driving strategies as best as possible to get prime results.
Here are our main tips on how you can achieve this:
1. Driving Traffic for Results and Commissions
In order to drive traffic to your site, let us first explore what the term “traffic” usually stands for.
The more people visit your site, the better.
This means you are getting good visibility, which reflects in a big number of clicks, and (potentially) increased commissions.
A good affiliate marketing strategy must include an optimization of the traffic directed to your websites.
What you want to focus on (keeping your business in mind, of course) is driving specific traffic to your website or landing pages or whatever it is that you want your customers to take a look at.
Especially in affiliate marketing, not everyone would be interested in the content that you are creating, no matter how good it is.
What really matters is that you help the people who are buying the products being sold through affiliate links in your website or blog, by offering a good insight on what they buy and how it performs.
To define your core target groups, you need to figure out who and what they usually like?
How is their emotional and physical state?
What languages are they usually comfortable with, can they relate to the brand, and what it stands for?
And, most important, you must bring them into a buying mood.
Having these aspects well-defined can help you create a pool of target traffic.
To understand how traffic-boost works, you need to have a clear understanding of Google Analytics.
Google Analytics holds all the crucial information like:
- how many visitors are coming to your website or landing pages on a daily basis
- which pages are visited the most
- which groups visit these pages the most
- product or service performance
A good advice is to learn as much as you can about Google Analytics.
Don’t have enough time to check out the whole course?
We will give you a bit of short advice on how you can set up your Google Analytics account to better track your sales.
To set up Google Analytics to monitor your WordPress site, here is a quick summary of what it involves:
- Go to Google Analytics and create an account.
- Allow Google to explore your affiliate website to gather more information.
- Collect the code for the tracking information in the admin panel.
- Circle back to your WordPress site and install a plugin that supports GA (like RankMath) and follow through with the recommended steps.
2. Letting Google Gain Access
For a website visitor to feel the motivation to read your website and take you seriously, visual representation plays a huge role in persuading them to stay.
For example, if you have a simple website and few boxes that lead to the different pages in your website, be sure that this website is destined for failure.
Your website needs to look and feel premium so that the users feel more comfortable navigating it.
There are a lot of free and paid website building services that will help you get the ideal website feel.
However, if you are looking to gain the largest number of visitors through visualization, you are better off hiring a professional.
Your website will attract a lot of visitors through organic searches from search engines like Google.
Thus, as mentioned previously, you need to give unrestricted access to Google and scrape through your website page by page, and collect information.
If necessary you can restrict the number of pages Google can automatically visit. We will dive into that later.
At the same time as starting your affiliate website (or perhaps at a later time if you had no idea until now) you must optimize it and its key pages for both users and search engines.
To get a stable flow of traffic to your site from organic searches, you can create many so-called “signals” that point to your site in the form of shoutouts, product links, social shares, etc.
There are a lot of ways in which you can build strong signals.
However, there are some root-level metrics you must follow in order to create strong yet correct signals.
The entire point of building a signal is to build a foundation of trust so that you can impose authority and make sure that search engines are up to date with the changes you bring about to your site.
Otherwise, they will not be able to collect proper information to display to the visitors.
Here are three sets of metrics that will help you create a powerful signal:
- Create a powerful backlink profile so that your website has a high domain authority (DA)
- Associate with sites that generate high traffic (these can be easily analyzed through SEO platforms like Ahrefs ☍ or SEMrush ☍)
- Acquire backlinks from sites that have high relevance
You do not need hundreds of small sites linking back to your affiliate website.
If you have somewhere between three to five reliable and high-traffic sites, you are good to go for starters.
These will help you build strong signals continuously and send equally strong signals to search engines as well.
Thus, quality traffic will be referred to your site, earning you a top spot in search results.
Link with sites that have high topical relevance to yours and have products or services that will make a difference in people’s everyday lives.
Customer participation and interaction can help boost your affiliate marketing business if you remember to put them first in every decision you make, regardless of how small they are.
You can opt for paid search results at the beginning of your journey if you feel that the traffic you have is not enough.
Of course, if you pay to get traffic, you will get more clicks since you are listed in the top results. However, it is not cheap.
In order to rank well in Google, you have two options: you can invest in PPC or SEO.
We will talk about SEO later in this article but first, let us explore PPC and what it means.
However, they cost quite a lot and you have to get an expert in PPC to manage your account if you feel that you can’t handle it.
Once you stop paying for the ads, the traffic will come to a halt as well.
Make sure you have enough budget to keep funding paid ads.
3. Research your Keywords
Let’s have a look at this scenario: you are looking for a new propane gas grill, but you are set within a budget.
Let’s say that you want to get a product that costs $500 or below that.
How can you quickly see what your options are? research it online.
You quickly access your favorite search engine and you type in the keywords that will give you the product with the best price.
However, what exactly do you type?
Would you type something like, “best gas grill under 500”, or you just keep it short and vague and type something like “grills”?
You wonder why is this important in affiliate marketing?
Well, if you want your visitors to see your website, you must include these keywords and their variations in your blog post.
If your affiliate website does not include these keywords, it simply will not show up in the search engine results.
For the particular direction of the topic you are dabbling in, you need to find all the major keywords that people use, and use them effectively in your content.
There are many keyword research tools ☍, both free and commercial ones, that work in giving you the best possible results.
Here are the top 5 of the best keyword research tools available in the industry right now.
The most basic and simple to use keyword research tool, Google is a platform that spoon-feeds you everything you need to know about keyword research.
Think about it, you mostly use Google to search for stuff anyway.
It has a massive level of information stored under its belt and there could not be a better research tool.
The main problem is that you have to navigate through the platform manually and it does not have one-click options like other keyword research tools do.
However, if that is not an issue at all, you can reap the benefits of the many options that are available within the platform to find high-search volume keywords to build your content.
What’s great when you use Google, is the prediction features when typing a search term, and it reveals a lot more keywords that people have generally used to look for things.
There is also the “People also ask” section, where you can find more terms related to your topic, which comes in really handy.
Below that, you will find the “Searches related to…” option that reveals ideas of keywords that other people have used to search about that specific subject.
You can use those to find low-competition keywords as well to cater to your niche market.
It lets you narrow down the keyword search in different countries and in specific languages.
This is great because what people look for in one region may not be the same in another.
If you are a multilingual affiliate marketer, AlsoAsked.com will come in very handy.
You just have to choose the language of origin and you will be able to find the exact keywords people use to search for things on the internet in their languages.
The search results will concede a neural-map of sorts and show you branches of related keywords, questions, phrases, etc. that other people have used in order to find what they need.
You can use these to focus on the best effective results, create content for niche markets, or incorporate these in your content to increase your chances of ranking at the top.
The best part of AlsoAsked.com is the fact that you can download these keywords in the neural-map as CSV or PNG format to take a look at whenever you need to (available only when you register with a free account).
Much like AlsoAsked.com, AnswerThePublic gives you fantastic keyword-related search results.
The only difference is, they do not use a neural-map and leave it to you to sift through all the information and find what you need.
Rather, AnswerThePublic categorizes searches by prepositions, formats of questions, and comparisons that users have typed in to conduct their affiliate research.
While the neural-map was a helpful tool in AlsoAsked.com, being exposed to so much information all at once can be confusing.
Sometimes your eyes may deceive you and you may miss important information.
This is why an effective categorization is helpful.
Let us look at our “best gas grill under 500” example again.
You can localize your search by language and country so that the suggestions are more specific.
Results are structured by “questions“, “prepositions“, “comparisons“, “alphabeticals” and “related“.
Each section has its own two tabs: “visualization” and “data“, where you can see the results in two different ways.
Under “visualization” you will see a neural-map, where clicking each branch will lead to a google search in a different tab.
The “data” on the other hand shows specific words or prepositions that are used to search for a barbecue grill set.
Incorporating all these could build a strong case for you and you will find yourself in the top search results in no time.
The downside is that the program has limited free features.
If you want to use the data comparisons feature, you will have to upgrade to a professional subscription.
This can be very beneficial if you are looking to match up or at least compete with related blogs in order to get an edge over them.
Moreover, this will help you create content based on data that is correct and up to date.
You will be able to send your content to specific target groups, thanks to its multi-feature capabilities.
Don’t forget about the “questions” tab that helps you see the various questions asked when looking for things.
For example, “what is the best gas grill under 500“, “what are the best gas grills for the money“, “best gas bbq under 500“, etc.
There are various ways and tactics to attract more clicks from your readers.
The “hack” lies primarily in trying to place the links more strategically, to attract more clicks, rather than just leaving them random on the site.
Here are some marketing tricks that can help attract more clicks on your affiliate links
Underlining the hyperlinks
Leaving the links looking like ordinary text will not be beneficial to your revenue nor to your readers. They don’t know that a link is present there.
By adding an underline to the links, they will end up being more noticeable.
Furthermore, usually, links are often associated with deeper shades of blue.
By adding links with a suitable color, such as deep blue, not only does the visitor immediately know that is a link by seeing the color, but it would also prove to be more attractive to the eyes of any visitors who end up finding themselves on the page.
Making the best use of navigation menus
In order to make users notice the links more often, an easy approach is to place the links near or around the navigation menu.
Visitors will be more likely to engage with the links, and they will be sent directly to the page of the advertiser when trying to navigate from one page to the next.
Make use of adverts with banners
Visiting a page with banner ads that are placed strategically on the sidebar and at the top and bottom of the page has proved to be useful in the past for many affiliate websites.
Adding arrows and circles to the banner also tends to do well as it more readily attracts the attention of the visitor.
A click-through-rate has been seen going up to as high as 30%.
This can lead to more engagement with the links from the visitors.
Use more click incentive texts
Instead of placing ordinary, obvious text that describes the product or the advert, it would prove more useful to take a different approach.
By writing text that incentivizes the visitor to click the link, such as “Click here for the best deals“, “Click here for up to 50% off” and so on, it highly increases the chances of the visitor clicking on the link.
Make the advert vague
Just like incentive, it has been discovered that visitors tend to click on links that are not too direct in giving off their purpose.
It just makes them curious.
By adding an element of mystery with text such as “Terms and conditions apply” and “Click here to learn about our exclusive offer“, the visitor would be more likely to click on the link.
Feedback and Reviews
Although this is a very old tactic in the world of marketing, it has proved to be useful more often than not.
By adding feedback and review for more complicated items on the site, the user would be incentivized to make a purchase if they notice the reviews being positive.
It is also common to place the positive reviews at the top and leave the rather negative ones at the bottom.
Visitors may end up finding products that have links or tutorials on how to use them to be more useful than they would originally.
A well-made, proper tutorial can portray a product to be something that the user may not even originally consider a necessity.
This makes visitors more likely to buy the product.
Native ads have proven to be more useful because they often contain more engaging content displayed for purchase.
This is mostly due to the native ads displaying content from merchants that would otherwise not show up on these sites.
This builds up a larger audience range in terms of the products or services the readers may want to buy. And it also gives a market for the publishers that would otherwise be unavailable to them.
Make the best use of other social media platforms
With social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and so on being as popular as they are, they already have a massive user-base.
By using these platforms for promoting affiliate links, you have a really big audience that can see your affiliate links.
It should also be noted that all of these platforms use a very refined recommendation system created with years of data collected.
This system makes it even more likely for users to click on affiliate links, as they will be usually shown links that match their preferences or interests.
It segments the adverts in a way so that only certain users see the adverts who have shown interest in the past for those particular topics.
Make the best of events like Cyber Monday and Black Friday
It is a known fact that purchases and engagement from clients and customers rise on special occasions like Cyber Monday and Black Friday.
Almost all physical and online stores offer great discounts for their products, and affiliate programs greatly take advantage of this.
After the discounts have been added to the advertiser’s platform, you can deploy your affiliate links on your website.
By participating in highly engaging events like these, the chances of a visitor actually buying something increases greatly, because they can’t simply refuse such low prices.
Using adverts that use words such as “Prize” or “Reward“
People are often more likely to be attracted to words like these, because psychologically speaking, they would be more attracted to receive a product without having to give anything in return.
And that is why sneaky adverts that contain such words as prize and reward can prove to be greatly better.
The landing page should be something that offers a very good deal and does not necessarily need to match with the original concept of the prize.
Acquiring exclusive deals for the reader
By acquiring exclusive deals available only on your site, you can attract your audience even more, and thus making new fans of your site.
This can be done easily when you have a large enough audience, and ask the advertiser to give you exclusive coupons found nowhere else (preferably with your own brand name in the voucher).
This actually works and a lot of big affiliate marketers do it with success.
The most important part of a successful affiliate marketing is to convert the clicks into actual sales.
That’s why you do it after all.
There is another popular term also linked with affiliated marketing: CPC, cost-per-click.
While this is also important, EPC can prove to be more crucial.
It’s easier to visualize it with this formula:
Profit = EPC – CPC
In simpler words, if your EPC is greater than your CPC, it means that you are in profit and this is what ultimately decides the overall success of your efforts.
In affiliate marketing, profit is generated based on the clicks you get, and there are many ways to improve it.
From engaging with the audience more efficiently to directing the visitors to click your links because of their interesting appearance, the quality of the traffic that arrives on the landing pages is a deciding factor.
Remember that the revenue is generated after the reader clicks your link, and ends up buying something from the publishers.
This is what makes an affiliate marketing successful.
You can use a wide variety of methods to analyze and generate more income from your traffic, depending on the readers’ habits:
1. You can generate a heat map that shows you where your visitors are clicking the most and put your affiliate links in that place on the page.
This heatmap ☍ would give a detailed view of where the links are not working at all, and you can change them with something else.
You can fix the inactive links, and the links that require more engagement can be tweaked or improved to increase the chances of interactivity.
2. You can create a scroll map that shows up to where the visitors are comfortable scrolling down.
Similar to the heatmap, this measurement will prove useful, as you will be using it to find the length to which you should display the links.
After that specific length of the page, you can place fewer links for visitors who will scroll all the way down.
To provide top profitability, most links should be placed above the fold of your page. That is what visitors see for the first time.
3. Taking a look at the user behavior on each of the pages can also help, as it will show what parts of the page the user interacts most with.
The revenue will increase if the areas with lower engagement/clicks are improved upon.
Keep in mind that even after implementing these methods, you may not be able to make proper revenue.
Sometimes the amount generated from clicks is not enough to meet the expenses, and this often leads to failure in this approach.
Like a lot of things associated with affiliate marketing, there are a wide number of reasons that can lead to this happening.
1. Lack of familiarity
Not being familiar with your audience is one of the most common reasons why these programs fail.
The links not being relevant enough to the visitors of your blog leads to almost non-existing engagement, and this renders their purpose useless.
The wrong kind of audience is a similar issue in this regard as well, as the wrong target demographic can be very harmful to the business.
Links that are supposed to target younger audiences will not flow well with adults and vice versa.
2. Not having the right kind of traffic
Traffic that is received from the wrong keywords will also not be able to attract suitable customers or visitors.
The keywords that are used to search for your page are crucial to how successful the links on the page will prove to be.
If your page is relevant following the keywords used in the search engine, the right kind of visitors will be drawn in.
To fix this issue, you can change the products to match the audience that arrives on your site or to make the keywords more in tune with the search results, in order to draw in the right kind of traffic.
3. Not having a conversion funnel
The user flow and usability of a site is mainly the decision-maker when it comes to the buying process.
The conversion funnel is a term that is used to define the steps of a client or customer from being aware of a product or service, to actually buying it.
While this issue may sound insignificant now, it will prove to be very crucial in the long run.
The conversion funnel must be suitable, as per the needs and popularity of a business.
The conversion funnel also differs from one site to another.
These are just some of the common reasons why an affiliate marketing program may not be giving the correct or wanted results.
Sometimes, a program, despite getting all these things right, will not succeed in making money, just because it does not have an existing market to cater to.
Despite doing everything properly, the program will fail as the audience or customers it is trying to attract simply do not exist.
In the end, the true success of an affiliate program is judged by its revenue and it will always vary from case to case in what the reason behind the success is.
What may seem simple at first, might not really be that simple, once you get your hands deep into the work.
The sad part is that there is no bulletproof way to make an affiliate program succeed.
We hope we managed to paint a proper picture of how much you can earn on average per month if you go for the most basic affiliate programs.
You would want to increase your passive income to the maximum, without exhausting yourself.
Sadly, depending on the program you choose, the income rates are not always the best and this can leave you deprived of some serious earnings you might get.
We have a few suggestions to increase your income.
1. Just like the old saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, in affiliate marketing try to diversify your money flow.
You want to make sure that you have money coming in from multiple sources so that you are never stuck if one source doesn’t monetize so well in certain periods.
For example, if you are an affiliate for swimwear, in the winter season your income will be lower in this niche, that’s why you must promote other products like skis, to compensate.
One other way of diversification is to spread around your affiliate links on various channels on the web, so that more people see them, click on them, and hopefully buy the products.
2. Use “call to action” or CTA buttons to make the affiliate links seem more visible.
Most readers skim through articles and blogs anyway.
They would usually spend more time looking for the link rather than reading your full blog.
Thus, keeping a CTA button big and visible will prompt readers to click on it and perhaps buy something.
If they are simply going to the link, the chances of the clicks turning into sales are quite high.
3. Using tables or lists is great because it allows your readers to view all the affiliate links at once.
They can quickly compare the details from within your affiliate website or blog and click on a link that they like.
They could click on multiple links all at once to check and compare prices.
In your review, try to add in a comparison chart as well, highlighting the most prominent features of the product or service.
4. Create a portfolio of good keyword searches related to what you write about, and try to use them as much as you can in your content.
You should make use of easy and basic keywords and try to use them as much as possible to get the best scores in keywords density.
Do not be limited to only one keyword. People often use variations of the same idea.
Use multiple variations of the same keyword to make sure that whatever form of question people are asking on the search bar, your content pops up first.
Here is a list of positive keywords that will help you bring in more traffic:
- Price cut
5. Do not be shy or hesitant of asking for increased commission rates from your affiliate publishers.
Of course, first, make sure you have a good relationship built with them, and you’ve already referred many clients.
You also need to provide quality work and timely submissions to be on their good side.
Once you have earned more reliability points with them, and they know that they can trust you, you should ask for an increased affiliate commission.
You deserve it.
You see it promoted in ads everywhere.
You can go even further and ask for a 35-40%, by offering premium exposure of their products and services on your platforms.
Should they be interested, immediately strike a deal.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a process by which one can earn money through promoting someone else’s products or services.
They can be a company, organization, or even individual.
One can earn money in the form of an affiliate commission for doing the marketing of the product or service at hand.
The affiliate can search for products or services required and then promote them in different ways.
After that, each time a sale happens, the affiliate can earn a certain amount of profit for promoting it.
Presently, this is an important field as there are a lot of products and services in the market which are not profitable, not because they are not good, but due to lack of recognition.
So, through affiliate marketing, one can promote and earn money through commissions with each affiliate sale.
How much money does an affiliate marketer earn?
Due to different factors like the number of sales, amount of profit by the client, and some other reasons, the amount of money earned by an affiliate marketer is not consistent.
It is influenced by different factors.
And a lot more on the traffic the affiliate gets month by month.
However, if consistent and good quality content is provided, then a beginner affiliate can earn anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 annually.
As the income depends on the profit of the product or service and varies from one month to another, it is better to look at the annual income of your profits rather than on a monthly basis.
In this way, you won’t be too disappointed at the end of the month.
It is important to know that the income of the super affiliates who do this professionally, increases to over $100,000 annually.
What are the most popular affiliate marketing programs or brands?
There are presently many affiliate marketing networks that are popular because of having more sales compared to their competitors.
Some of the most popular affiliate marketing networks are:
eBay Partners program
Advantage Affiliate Network
Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?
This process of gaining commissions through referring sales is an honest work that adds more value to the publishers and the clients.
Publishers have increased sales, and clients know better what they are buying after they read about it on your site.
Pyramid schemes by definition are set up as multi-level marketing structures (MLMs), not affiliate programs.
In the case of affiliate marketing, the multi-level or pyramid structure doesn’t exist.
You are simply receiving an affiliate commission as the middle man that speaks about a product.
Is affiliate marketing a real job?
Yes, it can be considered a real job, because it revolves around commissions by doing an affiliate sale.
This is a very well-known job, as all the companies, businesses, individuals need promotion for their products or services to be sold.
This drives the businesses to benefit more from sales, and through promoting the publishers to other people, one can earn a decent amount of money, just like a real job.
Is ClickBank the best affiliate marketing program to work in?
It is a good affiliate marketing program, but certainly not the best.
In fact, according to many people, it is one of the worst programs for affiliate marketing.
The main faults of this program are that there are a lot of scams and questionable sellers and merchants who are doubtful.
Many even recommend not to join the ClickBank program due to its untrustworthy network.
Sure, there are a lot of good publishers too, you just have to do a lot of research to find the best to promote.
Is it possible to earn money without having a website in affiliate marketing?
It is highly recommended to create a blog and then use it as a hub for your links.
Successful affiliate marketing is reached only with a personal affiliate website.
It’s the best way to go when trying to promote a product or service.
And it is very easy to create one, just read our advice on how to start a blog.
If you don’t have a website, you can promote affiliate links through different platforms like social media, forums, or even through email if you have a large enough list.
Despite Facebook not allowing affiliated URLs that contradict with ads, there are many other ways to promote products through affiliate marketing.
Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of each platform where you promote when you decide to take part in this marketing path.
Will I have to pay to join affiliate marketing?
No, the entry is free.
If a certain network asks for money to join them, it surely is a scam, and be very careful not to pay them.
If any party demands money, then simply avoid those affiliate programs because these are mainly scammers.
The process of affiliate marketing works only if you are promoting a product or service and you are paid if you convert sales.
If not, then the process of promoting a product or service is free.
So, the merchant is already getting paid promotion from you.
How do I know if a merchant has an affiliate program or not?
It is very easy to find out if a merchant has an affiliate program or not, by simply using Google.
You can search for keywords like “[brand] affiliate program” in Google (without the ) and they will direct you to the brand’s affiliate program.
Thus, you can find authentic affiliate programs.
Another way you can find it out is by searching for the brand on the main affiliate networks.
How do I start affiliate marketing?
There are 4 simple steps in becoming an affiliate marketer.
Firstly, you have to choose a platform where you promote.
It can be your blog or social media sites.
Then, use your niche and find accordingly the affiliate programs that interest you, and fit your niche.
After that, you need to create great content and get your traffic to click on your affiliate links.
Lastly, each click on your affiliate links can convert into sales.
What is one of the best methods to make affiliate sales?
According to many, one of the most preferable methods to start with affiliate marketing is email marketing.
You can work on creating a certain series of emails to promote the products or services.
This works best if the product that you sell has a high commission.
Other methods include:
· Social Media platforms
· PPC Advertising
· How-to videos or articles
· Coupons and vouchers
There you have it, a complete step-by-step guide to affiliate marketing for beginners.
You now have every bit of detail at your disposal to start off your own business in this field.
It is advised that you read a lot of articles on this subject, tailored to your niche, and stock up on knowledge.
Your writing must incorporate your marketing know-how, and create convincing content.
However, if your posts are too full of fancy and pretentious words, readers may feel like they will not be able to find what they are looking for on your affiliate site.
Some readers may love it, but most readers prefer to just scan through and find specific information.
Keep your message short and to the point and let readers feel like they can participate on the topic as well.
Regularly check comments and respond to them.
This helps your credibility and allows people to trust your site even more.
Trust us when we say this, you need to be on their good side to make it in affiliate marketing. Best of luck!
We hope you’ve found this advice helpful. Please make sure to leave a comment if we missed out on something or you have something to share with us.