Are you looking to start affiliate marketing as a beginner?
This step by step guide of affiliate marketing for beginners will help you.
I will address some of the questions beginners ask about affiliate marketing like:
What is affiliate marketing and how does it work for beginners?
How do I become an affiliate marketer?
What is the best affiliate marketing program for beginners?
How do I drive traffic and get people to click on my affiliate links and buy from me?
Can I make money from affiliate marketing?
So this review will cover the following:
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is also also often called referral marketing.
It is where you promote other companies’ products and get paid a commission when someone buys through your affiliate link.
Many companies use affiliate marketing as part of their strategy to reach untapped audiences.
Affiliate marketing spending is growing.
It is predicted by Statista, to grow from $5.4 billion in 2017 to $8.2 billion by 2022 in the United States alone.
You may want to tap into this huge market.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
On acceptance to an affiliate program, the merchant provides you with a unique affiliate link.
This enables sales to be tracked back to you.
In addition, the affiliate link is tagged with a file called a cookie.
This is stored on the computer browser when someone clicks on your affiliate link.
The cookie ensures that even if a purchase is not made straightaway, the sale will still be attributed to you if made later.
Some programs have a “sticky cookie” which allows the cookie to apply to all your devices.
For example, if the initial click was on a desktop computer but you later purchased from your ipad, the sale will still be linked to you.
Each program has a different lifespan for their affiliate cookies, ranging from about 24 hours for Amazon for example, to months after the initial click was made.
With the Amazon cookie, if a customer clicks your link on a particular product, but then orders anything else within the 24 hour cookie lifespan, you will earn commissions on those items.
How Much Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?
The average income from affiliate marketing varies.
According to Job-2-Joy, the majority of affiliate marketers, at 48.36%, make less than $20,000 a year.
At the top end, only 3.2% of them earn over $150,000 per year.
Ink Well Editorial reports that of the 35% of affiliates who earn more than $20,000 per year, 12% make over $75,000 in affiliate income.
Some of the top earners from affiliate marketing include Pat Flynn, John Chow, Rae Hoffman, Mark Ling, Kristy Mccubbin, and Shawn Collins.
Jason Stone, the Millionaire Mentor Instagram star, generated $7 million in retail sales through affiliate marketing between June 2016 and June 2017.
My Personal Journey With Affiliate Marketing
I started this blog in November 2017 to promote my personal finance book, The Smart & Common Sense Investor.
To promote the book, I created a ClickFunnels account and bought Russell Brunson’s book funnel.
After doing some research I started looking into the ClickFunnels affiliate program in March 2018.
I took the free Affiliate BootCamp training but my initial results were not inspiring.
The gamechanger came when I bought the Affiliate Secrets 2.0 course in September 2018.
By April 2019 I had qualified for the ClickFunnels Dream Car Award.
I have made over 6 figures in commissions from ClickFunnels.
My results are not typical. Read my disclaimer below.
These are the steps to start affiliate marketing for the beginner.
Step #1: Choose Affiliate Marketing Niche
Many new affiliates struggle with choosing a niche..
Do you have an interest or passion?
It could be a unique knowledge or talent you possess.
These could be the best place to start your search.
The top three niches are health, wealth and relationships.
Focus on a profitable category, where there is high and evergreen demand.
Golf is often used as an example.
Then drill down to a sub-niche to reduce the level of competition.
For example instead of sports shoes in general, you can promote golf shoes.
AuthorityHacker, gives this list of the most profitable niches for affiliate marketing:
- Hobby Niches – Photography, Travel, Sports betting, Event Tickets, Casino
- Money Niches – Debt Settlement, Bitcoin, Investing, Credit card, Mortgage
- Health and Fitness Niches – Weight Loss, Fitness, Yoga, Organic, Nutrition, Vegan
- Lifestyle Niches – Luxury, Cruises, Travel, Online dating, Airlines, Fashion, Jewelry
- Home & Family Niches – Home security, Coffee, Baby products, Dogs, Gardening
- Tech Niches– Web hosting, WordPress, VPN, SaaS, Gaming, Software
- Alternative Niches – CBD, Marijuana, Essential oils, Herbal, Personal development
AM Navigator analysed 550 affiliate programs.
Fashion was the niche with the highest number of affiliate programs – about 18.7%.
The sports and outdoors category came in second with 14.6%,.
This was followed by health and wellness and beauty at 11.1%, and travel at 8.6%.
Step #2: Select Affiliate Programs To Join
Having selected a niche, you need to find affilate programs to join.
A quick search on Google will throw up some programs.
Type in your niche and add “affiliate programs”.
You will find a selection of affiliate programs in that niche.
For example I promote mainly business software.
Searching for “business software affiliate programs”, returned the results shown below.
I would recommend you only promote products you also use or are very familiar with.
There are four types of affiliate programs you can choose from.
A. Non-Recurring Affiliate Programs
These are affiliate programs where you receive a one-off payment when a sale is made through your affiliate link.
A typical example is the Amazon affiliate program.
Depending on the product category, Amazon affiliates receive from 1 -10% fixed commission.
Many new affiliates start with the Amazon Associates affiliate program.
It is easy to join and there are multiple products in almost every niche to promote.
The drawback is that you only get a single payment when you make a sale.
Also the commissions are very low and so you need high volume traffic and sales to make an appreciable income.
B. Recurring Affiliate Programs
I prefer affiliate programs that pay recurring commissions.
These are affiliate programs that pay monthly recurring commissions when someone purchases a product or service.
They are some of the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners.
Typically these are products with a subscription pricing model like Software as a Service (SaaS).
If the customer is paying the vendor monthly, you will receive monthly commissions for as long as the subscription is active.
These residual recurring commissions will help you build lifetime passive income.
Many of these pay up to 30-40% monthly recurring commission.
ClickFunnels has two pricing plans at $97 and $297 per month respectively.
Top level affiliates receive 40% monthly recurring commission.
This translates to $38.80 and $118.80 monthly affiliate commissions respectively.
C. High Ticket Affiliate Programs
These are the highest paying affiliate programs.
The commissions can run into thousands of dollars.
For example Amazing Selling Machine is one of the best courses for anyone looking to set up an ecommerce business on Amazon.
The current version of the course, ASM12, sells for $4,997.
Affiliates receive 40% commission for each sale ($1,998).
Super Affiliate Accelerator (SAA) is a 3-step formula to help you grow a profitable high ticket affiliate marketing business.
The course will help you to build a multiple six-figure online business leveraging high ticket affiliate marketing?
SAA costs $2000 and affiliates are paid 50% commission.
Affiliates receive 45% commission ($898.65).
Another high ticket affiliate program I promote is the Social Media Lead Machine Partner Program from Blake Nubar.
This social media marketing program costs $997 with 50% affiliate commission ($498.50).
Spencer Mecham’s affiliate marketing course, Affiliate Secrets 2.0, currently costs $897 and pays 50% affiliate commission ($448.50).
I also promote Funnel Builder Secrets.
This is a ClickFunnels special pricing deal.
40% affiliate commission translates to $798.80 and $1198.80 respectively for each sale.
For the beginner, you will be competing against some experienced marketers with deep pockets for these high ticket programs.
It’s probably best to start with the smaller programs.
D. Affiliate Programs With Multiple Products
Affiliate programs with multiple products could be a great way for beginners to start.
This is particularly so if there is a free or cheap front-end product you can promote.
If the company has a solid back-end sales funnel and email marketing process in place, it will do the heavy lifting for you.
They will promote and market other products to your referrals.
Legendary Marketer is a comprehensive training program for online marketers made up of several low, middle and high ticket products.
It is my favourite affiliate program.
Most people enter the program through the two low ticket front end products.
Recently a training on how to generate free unlimited traffic from Tiktok (15 Second Free Leads) has been added as a low ticket front-end product costing $1.00.
Another low ticket entry product is the Copywriters Playbook costing $1.00.
Another example of a company with multiple affiliate products is Clickfunnels, the funnel building software company.
The books are free. Buyers only paying for shipping.
The affiliate commission for each book sold through your link is only $1.
However, each book is sold through a funnel where other ClickFunnels products are offered as upsells.
You will receive commissions if someone buys any of these.
For example DotCom Secrets book is free and costs $9.95 for postage in United States.
The total cart value of all the products in the funnel is $737.95.
Affiliates can potentially earn up to $264.40 per book sale depending on how many of the upsells the customer buys.
The company will also use emails to market other products to them.
This includes the ClickFunnels software and will potentially boost your income even further.
The affiliate cookie will track any sales and commissions to you.
Step #3: Select Affiliate Marketing Platform
You will need to select a platform to promote your affiliate links.
Many affiliates use a combination of platforms.
As a beginner, it is easier to choose one platform.
The two common platforms are YouTube videos and blogging.
Sales Funnels are the third platform many top affiliates use to add value to their offer and increase conversions.
Remember to declare your affiliate links in all your content.
This is a Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) mandatory requirement.
YouTube For Affiliate Marketing
Over 5 billion videos are watched daily.
Affiliate marketing on YouTube can be profitable and is very cost effective..
You can produce content on your affiliate products with reviews, tutorials and product comparisons.
Your affiliate link can be in the description or as a separate link people can click on.
Optimize your videos to rank high in search engines.
Tools like TubeBuddy will help and can be installed as a free chrome extension.
Spencer Mecham, of Buildapreneur, is the top ClickFunnels affiliate.
He is one of the most suceessful affiliate marketers.
Spencer was the first affiliate to make over $1million in ClickFunnels commissions.
So you can get rich with affiliate marketing.
YouTube has been his main platform for affiliate marketing.
Blogging For Affiliate Marketing
It is very cheap and easy to start a blog these days.
Also you can be creative with your content and add your affiliate link to product reviews and tutorials.
To help you rank in search engines as a new blogger, you need to integrate long tail keywords in your blog posts.
Sales Funnels For Affiliate Marketing
Many successful affiliates use sales funnels for affiliate marketing.
This is particularly useful if you plan to run ads.
Facebook does not allow direct linking to your affiliate product.
With a sales funnel you create a landing page where you offer a free or cheap product that is related to your affiliate offer.
This is called a lead magnet which is given in exchange for the contact details of a subscriber, usually an email address.
Your lead is then taken to a second page called a “bridge”, “preframe” or sales page.
This is where you create a story about your offer and add bonuses to increase the value and appeal of buying through your affiliate link.
Leads are then taken to the vendor company when they click on your affiliate link.
With a sales funnel you can do affiliate marketing without a website or blog.
I use and recommend ClickFunnels for building your affiliate sales funnels.
Create PDF documents designed with Adobe Acrobat.
Stunning mockups are also great for getting more eyeballs to your lead magnets.
You can outsource all your design to graphic designers on Fiverr.
I use a funnel to promote the Social Media Lead Machine Partner Program.
In this case, a pop-up page acts at the bridge page.
Below is an example of a simple landing page with a lead magnet free offer.
Step #4: Build An Email List
A common mistake affiliate marketing beginners make is to not build an email list.
Your ad account could be banned by Facebook and Google (yes this is common).
An email list is your asset – the traffic you own.
Many people that don’t initially take up your affiliate offer will do so if you target them with a thoughtful email sequence.
The saying that the profit is in the list is true.
So start building your email list right from the start.
This is where using a sales funnel is effective.
You achieve this by integrating your landing page with an email marketing service.
MailChimp does not allow affiliate marketing in their Terms and Conditions and will ban your account if you do so.
With ActiveCampaign you can build the most powerful automations. It is the one I use and recommend.
Both AWeber and ConvertKit have free plans which are a cost-effective way for new affiliates to start.
For example the AWeber free plan allows you to add up to 500 subscribers before you have to pay anything.
You can also send 3000 emails a month with the free plan.
Step #5: Drive Traffic To Your Affiliate Site
Free Organic Traffic
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is where you optimize your content to rank high in search engines like Google, YouTube and Pinterest.
This is done by finding out what people are searching for about your product.
You then create content around them using target keywords.
SEO is a complex topic but there are some basic guidelines to follow including using long tail keywords as previously discussed.
SEMrush is an SEO software that will aid your keyword search and optimize your posts for search engines.
Remember that Pinterest is a search engine and a great platform to get your content on.
Social media is a great way to get free traffic to your blog or YouTube channel.
Share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
You can do live presentations on Facebook.
BeLive is a software that will help you set up live streaming on Facebook.
I use the Social Warfare WordPress plugin to share my blog posts on social media.
Pinterest is one of the easier ways to generate traffic to a new blog.
Not many people are aware that Quora is a huge search engine.
Quora is a platform where people ask and answer questions on various topics.
Many of the content rank very highly on Google.
For example I searched for this long tailed keyword:
“ClickFunnels for affiliate marketing”.
Ranking on the first page on Google was the question below on Quora, “Is ClIckFunnels a good website for affiliate marketing?”.
There were 18 answers on Quora to this question.
You need to answer questions comprehensively, avoiding being spammy.
Also you can link back to your blog or YouTube content if it helps answer the question.
Direct linking to your affiliate link is not allowed.
You can read my answers to some popular questions on Quora:
This is traffic you pay for usually through Pay Per Click (PPC) ads.
Most ads are on Facebook and Google and less on Microsoft Bing.
You can also pay for your Facebook ads to show on Instagram.
Search traffic on Google is particularly powerful because you are targeting people looking for products or services like yours.
They are therefore ready to buy.
Solo ads, through platforms like Udimi, is where you pay individuals with large email lists to run ads on your behalf.
Paid ads are very expensive and would not be recommended if you are an affiliate marketing beginner.
It is best to be generating income through organic means and building your list before venturing into paid traffic.
Remember also that when you stop paying, your traffic ceases.
Organic traffic may take longer to build but will sustain your affiliate marketing business long term.
Step #6: Get Affiliate Marketing Training
Starting affiliate marketing is easy for a beginner.
However making money out of it is not easy.
Like every business venture, not everyone is successful.
Nor able to make reasonable income from it.
One key reason for failure is the lack of a solid foundation and proper training.
Be prepared to learn and to invest in yourself to succeed.
You may be able to start affiliate marketing with no money.
In general, a modest investment in the tools of the trade is necessary.
Here are some courses and training you will find useful.
1. 15-Day Online Business Builder Challenge
The 15-day Online Business Builder Challenge is a Legendary Marketer program.
It is an action-oriented experience that prepares individuals to start a business and begin earning money online in 15 days.
There are daily video training and purposeful assignments.
You also work with a Business Plan Advisor who will personally assist you in developing a business plan and putting it into action.
This training only costs $7.00.
2. Affiliate BootCamp Training For Beginners
This is a free 4-day virtual training for new affiliates.
15 top ClickFunnels affiliates share their strategies to become successful in 100 days.
This is great training in affiliate marketing for beginners.
You will get 15 strategies which you can implement in your affiliate business.
All the 15 100 day plans have been compiled into a digital 186+ page book – 100 Days To Becoming A ClickFunnels Super Affiliate.
3. Take The One Funnel Away Challenge Training
The One Funnel Away Challenge is a 30-day virtual online training.
It is an all-round comprehensive business and marketing training.
You will learn how to set up your business, build your first sales funnel and make sales within 30 days.
In addition, you will also get the 30 Days.Com Book as a bonus with the boxed version of the course.
It is a 500 + page book where 30 successful entrepreneurs share their daily step-by-step strategies to setting up a successful online business in 30 days.
The One Funnel Away Challenge costs $100.
I have taken it three times so far and recommend it highly.
4. Affiliate Secrets 2.0 Course
Spencer Mecham’s Affiliate Secrets 2.0 through his Buildapreneur brand in my opinion is the definite course if you are new to affiliate marketing.
It will also help marketers looking to scale their business.
It is a video training consisting of 8 modules.
The Traffic module is so massive it has been hived off into a separate section.
It is a comprehensive course on affiliate marketing which many successful affiliates have taken.
As I mentioned above, this course was certainly a game changer in my affiliate marketing journey.
It is not cheap – currently costing $897 – but certainly worth investing in if you can afford it.
5. Super Affiliate Accelerator
Super Affiliate Accelerator (SAA) is a private online mastermind training program focusing on how to build a profitable high ticket affiliate marketing business.
It was created by Jacob Caris, a multi 6-7 figure high ticket affiliate marketer.
SAA is a 3-formula program that combines a training platform, weekly coaching and mentorship live calls and a private Facebook group.
It is the most comprehensive training for closing high ticket sales.
You can watch some Super Affiliate Accelerator case studies here.
Step #7: Read Marketing Books
The Insider's Guide To Affiliate Marketing
This is an ebook by David Sharpe, the CEO of Legendary Marketer.
It is made up of 12 chapters and over 90 pages .
The Insider’s Guide To Affiliate Marketing gives you all the secrets and strategies to build a successful online business promoting other people’s products.
Costing only $1.99, it is packed with so much valuable content to get you started with affiliate marketing.
Russell Brunson's Secrets Trilogy Books
Russell Brunson is now a New York Times Bestselling Author.
His 3 marketing books will help you build a successful affiliate marketing business.
DotCom Secrets will teach you how to use sales funnels and use value ladders to boost your offer.
Expert Secrets shows how to use your talents and ability to build a tribe of raving fans willing to buy from you.
Step #8: Join Affiliate Marketing Groups
When you set your goals in affiliate marketing, find those who have attained the success you are looking for.
Finding a mentor will help shorten your learning curve and achieve your goals much quicker.
One way to do this is to join private affiliate marketing Facebook groups.
Not only do you learn from the group owner, you also interact with other affiliates at various stages in their journey.
You learn, build and grow together.
Affiliate marketing can be a rewarding business.
However it is not a get rich quick scheme with overnight riches.
You need hard work, integrity and willingness to acquire and improve your skills.
Following the steps above will certainly help get you going.
Send me any questions you may have in the comments below.
Affiliate Disclaimer: I hope you got value from this Affiliate Marketing For Beginners Guide. Please take note that some of the links inside this article may be affiliate links. That means that if you buy through one of our links, we may get an affiliate commission for it. If you do click on one of our links, we really appreciate it! Any money we make keeps this site running smoothly and allows us to keep producing these high-quality reviews.
These results are not typical. Your results will vary and depend on many factors. including but not limited to your background, effort, education, business model, experience and work ethic. All business entails risk as well as massive and consistent effort and action.