The term “affiliate marketing” sounds more complex than it really is. However, it's a common question among new internet marketers or online business owners, so you're not alone! I once found myself in the same shoes, wondering what affiliate marketing is and how it works. Its hard not to wonder, when you see stories of internet entrepreneurs making nearly six figures….per month…with their affiliate marketing business.
With a rise to the number times this question comes up, lead to the creation of this affiliate marketing beginners guide. I'm going to explain to you in basic terms what affiliate marketing is, how it works, and how you can get started with zero startup costs. Who knows, one of you reading this just might be the next six figure per month affiliate marketer! I sure hope so!
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Hopefully we all know what is referred to when discussing the topic of marketing, or the act of making known a product or service to a particular market or audience to increase that product or service growth and sales. An affiliate is simply a person or organization connected to another person or organization in some way. When putting the two together, an affiliate marketer is one who markets the products or services of their affiliate person or company.
Here's how it works. You will find that within my blog are embedded links to other related companies or websites. These links are called affiliate links. When any reader clicks on a link that is found on my website, and that link takes them to, say, Amazon for example, I would make a commission from Amazon for referring you to their marketplace.
Here is an example of an affiliate link. The following link will take you to the Amazon Kindle store, and the product it will show you is my short eBook called “Massive Passive Digital Income.”
Those of you who click on that link, and purchase my eBook (which I highly encourage you to do, and very much appreciate), I will make a small commission for referring you to a product on Amazon. This doesn't have to be a product that I created like the one in this example, it can be any single one of the millions of products listed on Amazon.
And it doesn't have to be an affiliate product within the Amazon marketplace, it can be with any company or business who offers publishers a commission for referring their product.
Why start an affiliate marketing business?
What if I told you there was a business model that allowed you to work in the industry you absolutely love, had no boss, worked your own hours, required no inventory and had the potential to make six figures per month? Would you be interested? If that's not enough to answer the question sufficiently, here is a list of reasons why an affiliate marketing business is a good idea for anyone to start.
Aside from the 5 convincing reasons I mentioned in the former paragraph above, here are 6 more reasons you should start an affiliate marketing business:
- There are 4 billion daily internet viewers. You can access that market in as little as minutes through your affiliate marketing website, creating limitless potential.
- No startup costs are required. In traditional business models, you need to purchase inventory to start, and just MAYBE you will sell all your inventory. Not with affiliate marketing. You're simply sending people to other product websites, and getting paid to do so.
- Affiliate marketing is one of the few business models that can still thrive despite your current economic conditions. How? Your customers aren't just locals, their scattered across the entire globe! I'll betcha someone's economy is doing well if yours isn't. And if everyone's economy is in a recession, than chances are it may be the end of the world…
- Affiliate marketing allows you to impact and help a lot of people in a positive way. You get to spread your knowledge and expertise worldwide, an impact that can't be realized elsewhere.
- There is little to no risk involved. If you're like most entrepreneurs, failure WILL happen at least once or twice. Don't get discouraged, you've just learned something very insightful from your stumble. With affiliate marketing, you can fail time and time again and not risk an arm and a leg. Each failed website is one step closer to the million dollar maker.
- It's a true “set it and forget it” strategy. You can write great captivating content, and it will be read time and time again for as long as your website exists! Ever notice the date of some blog posts you read? Some are years old, yet still attracting millions of viewers. You write a blog post, include a few affiliate links, and people will view it for years to come and thus make you money for years to come.
How much money can you make with affiliate marketing?
Alright, now that you're convinced that this business model is second to none, you probably want to know the potential income you can make from affiliate marketing. Without giving you the frustrating answer you hear most often(i.e. “it depends), I'll do my best to explain a few things worth noting.
First and foremost, if you're looking to make a quick buck overnight, stop reading right here and keep looking elsewhere. This isn't an overnight money maker. Like most businesses, there takes some elbow grease up front to get the plain in the air, than it can easily coast from there.
Some affiliate marketers see their first sale within the first week or two of launching their website, others it takes 6-12 months to see a few bucks roll in. Mind you there is one thing that is certain; and that is if you stick with it long enough, your website WILL generate an income stream that slowly begins to take off.
The amount of money you make is directly related to the amount of hard work you put in. It's that simple. When comparing the college student with no job and taking one or two classes, who puts in 6-8 hours per day on his website, is compared to the 40-hour per week parent who only has time to grow their website for 1-2 hours per day in the evenings, it's obvious the one putting in more time up front will most likely see success quicker.
A few great examples of websites that generate the majority of their income from affiliate marketing are entrepreneurs like Pat Flynn, author and owner of the SmartPassiveIncome.com blog. He brings in upwards of $100,000 – $200,000 per month! Just like you and I, he started out as an entrepreneur looking to make his mark on the internet.
Another example of a great affiliate marketing website is ThisIsWhyImBroke.com, a website focused on info on bizarre and useless products that you would think no one buys! Yet it's estimated that their monthly income generated is somewhere around $70,000 per month! (according to nichehacks.com)
You got to remember, each of these sites started out as a brand new domain, and most often operated by a one man or woman show. As they grew they evolved into a team of entrepreneurs writing great content to attract more customers.
Whether you want to develop your business to be a team of entrepreneurs, or you want it to be a website ran just by you, affiliate marketing makes for a great side hustle income source that anyone can start!
Want to know the bulletproof process to affiliate marketing? Here is the only affiliate marketing process that actually works.
How can you start your affiliate marketing business?
If you've made it this far, I hope your convinced by now. Because the options and potential available to anyone wanting to sell their expertise is whatever you make it to be. So where do you start if you have no experience? Great question. First off, it's important to note, you need no prior experience. I didn't, and here you are reading my content.
But there is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and far too often many new affiliate marketers start off completely on the wrong track. Don't let that be you. What you need is to learn the basics, and get your feet wet by starting out whether you know exactly what you're doing or not.
You will find multiple affiliate marketing programs available out there today, but most of them are just out there to get your money and up sell you time and time again. This helps them but does nothing but take your money, resulting in taking multiple steps backward in your business growth.
My advice, start with the internet's #1 trusted and largest affiliate marketing platform out there. You will save yourself hours of time, and your path to success will be much quicker than the average Joe. It's where I personally started, and the only platform I trust and recommend.