If you’re a newbie and want to monetize your blog from the get-go, affiliate marketing is the way to go. This post is a guide on affiliate marketing for beginner bloggers, so you can understand everything that goes into making money with it.
Affiliate Marketing is a great place to start monetizing your blog since you can learn a lot from it.
This form of monetization is great if you want to create a passive income stream in the future. I mean, who doesn’t like to make money in their sleep, right?
There’s a lot that goes into affiliate marketing, and it can be a little bit confusing at first if you aren’t familiarized with it. That’s why I’ve decided to take everything I’ve learned thus far and create this post on affiliate marketing.
Want to create your blog but don’t know where to start? Click here for a detailed guide on how to start a blog the easy and right away.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost for you. Please read my full disclosure for more information.
What Is Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is a form of monetization where you refer to a product or service from a person/brand/company, in exchange for a commission, if a sale happens through your referral.
With affiliate marketing companies are sharing revenue with their affiliates, to have their products/services promoted and reach more people.
It’s a win-win situation since you gain a commission, and the company makes more sales than what they would’ve made, without your referral.
Affiliate Marketing Terms
Before we continue, it’s important you know some terms related to affiliate marketing:
Affiliate: The person who is promoting. In this case, you.
Affiliate link: This is a specific link that the merchant gives you to promote their products. It includes your specific reference so the merchant knows the purchase was made through your referral.
Merchant: The person/company who owns the product/service you’re promoting.
Affiliate Program: A program created by the person/brand/company to incentivize people in becoming affiliates and selling their products.
Affiliate Network: Some companies choose to have their affiliate programs managed through a third-party company. In this case, this third party will be called an affiliate network. An affiliate network will manage several companies’ affiliate programs.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work
To give you a general idea of how Affiliate Marketing works, I’m going to explain to you the step-by-step process behind this monetization method:
1 You, as an affiliate, join the merchant’s affiliate program. You then receive your ID, as well as a specific URL, that you’re going to use to promote the product/service
2 You then start the process of promoting the product on your content, email, and social media (check the affiliate program’s rules to know what places you can or cannot use to promote their products), leading people to click on the link to know more about the product
3 Whenever someone clicks on your link, a cookie (that identifies you as an affiliate) is placed on their computer (or another device they’re using).
4 Your reader likes the product and decides to purchase it.
5 The merchant checks to see how this sale originated. In other words, the merchant checks what cookie relates to that sale, and identifies, through the affiliate ID, which affiliate that cookie belongs to.
6 Then, the merchant proceeds to credit the affiliate that made the product/service referral that led to the sale.
7 The merchant pays the affiliate its commission.
SIDENOTE: Different merchants will usually have different payment periods, so be sure to check that as well, when signing up for an affiliate program.
Reasons to Start Affiliate Marketing
You create a passive income stream
With affiliate marketing, you can make money even in your sleep.
If you work hard on creating quality content, optimize your posts to drive a lot of traffic, and if you have a good affiliate marketing strategy, you’ll create your very own passive income stream.
You can make money, even if you don’t have a product to sell
Affiliate marketing allows you to make money even if you don’t have products to sell.
That’s why I think this is one of the best ways to monetize a blog, even if you’re just a beginner blogger since it allows you to make money from your first months of blogging by promoting other people/company’s products.
You will learn how to sell
This is another great reason why I find this type of monetization worth it when you’re a newbie.
You can go through the trial and error process of figuring out what selling strategy works best for you and your blog.
Then, when you feel like you’re ready to launch your product, it’ll be much easier to get in the gear of things and start selling right away.
You have to worry solely about selling the product
Once you nail your affiliate marketing strategy, you’ll be earning your money without much effort.
I say this because the merchant is the one who goes through all the worries.
They are the ones who will be responsible for customer support, collecting payments, and all that goes into the selling process.
Most merchants even create a marketing kit you can use to easily promote their products/services.
Your only job is to send constant traffic to those products and services and earn your commission whenever a sale is made.
How To Start With Affiliate Marketing
Before we get to this section of the post, I would like you to be aware that you should only recommend to your audience products you use, or have already used in the past.
This is important.
I’m sure you already understand how important it is to build a trusting relationship with your readers.
People buy from people/brands they trust
If you recommend products or services that aren’t that great or that you have no knowledge about only to receive a commission, you’re probably going to lose your audience’s trust once they buy something they aren’t happy with.
You have to recommend products to your readers as if you were recommending them to a friend or family. Would you recommend to a friend a product you know nothing about?
Now that we’ve taken that out of the way, let’s get to the fun part, and talk about how you can start with affiliate marketing.
1 – Choose your product
Start by making a list of the products you already know. Remember, choose products that you’ve already used and tested out.
You can promote anything you like as long as it makes sense in your niche, as well as, is useful for your audience.
It can be a book, a course, a coaching service, makeup, clothes, house items, and so on…
Once you have the list of the products/services you’d like to promote, it’s time to go online and check if they have affiliate programs.
You can simply search on Google for the brand or product name and add “affiliate program” to the search query.
For instance: “Astra theme affiliate program”.
Or, you can also visit the product’s website, and see if there’s any mention of an affiliate program.
If either way you can’t find any mention of an affiliate program you can get in touch with the brand to see if in they have an affiliate program or not.
2 – Sign-up for the affiliate program
Depending on the merchant, you can either sign up to become an affiliate through their affiliate program, or an affiliate network.
Some examples of affiliate networks are:
Amazon affiliate program
The sign-up process will be pretty much the same whether you sign up through an affiliate program or affiliate network.
You will have to provide your business and personal information and choose your preferred payment option.
Some merchants will ask you additional questions to better understand your interest in becoming an affiliate for their products.
Keep in mind that, in some cases, you have to already have a certain level of traffic to your blog to be accepted for some affiliate programs.
After that, you’ll either be accepted right away, or you’ll have to wait for approval from their part.
After you get approved for the program, the merchant will provide you with your specific URL to use whenever you’re making a referral to their products/services.
They’ll also provide you with visual assets that you can use, as well as tips to better promote their products/services.
You’ll also have your affiliate account on their platform, so you can be on top of your sales, payments, and so on.
Remember that each merchant will have a payment period, so it’s important that you check those out.
3 – Start promoting
It’s now time to start promoting.
Keep in mind that merchants will have their standards and rules when it comes to promoting their products.
Some of them might not want you to recommend their products via email, for example.
So, you must check their affiliate program’s terms and policies beforehand so you aren’t at risk of being excluded from their program.
Another recommendation I can give is for you to refer to products in a way that isn’t “salesy”. Don’t stuff your content with links because people might think that you’re too “salesy”, or too desperate.
It’s important to explain the product to your readers so create quality content around that product or service.
Dropping random affiliate links to products won’t make you rich, that’s for sure!
Create a good review about the product, explain the pros and cons, and tell your readers why it’s worth buying it. Give them reasons to buy the product.
4 – Comply with the law
To be an affiliate you have to comply with the law.
For transparency reasons, and since you are required by law, you have to insert a disclosure on every post or page that contains affiliate links on it.
The disclosure has to be easily seen by the reader, and it has to be showcased before any of your affiliate links. When the reader is clicking on your link and purchasing from it, he/she has to be fully aware that you’re earning a commission from that sale.
It’s a good idea to include the disclosure before your content.
Related: How to Avoid Lawsuits When Blogging
Now, if you’re serious about affiliate marketing, you have to drive a lot of traffic to your blog! You can read this article to learn how you can drive traffic to your content.
Affiliate marketing is a great opportunity to make money recommending products and services you already love. It’s a way to learn about selling, developing and testing adequate strategies, and earning passive income!
It takes a lot of time and effort to start making a good amount of money through affiliate marketing. However, it deserves all the time you invest in it!
So, how do you feel about affiliate marketing? Leave a comment because I would love to hear from you!
See you in my next post!