This will be the fastest affiliate marketing lesson that you have ever have had. The biggest issue within the affiliate marketing world is that there is so much misinformation about the industry. Many companies pretend that they are affiliate marketing businesses when in actual fact, they actually are not. Whilst other companies try to over-complicate things in a bid to sell you their over complicated affiliate marketing product or service.
Here and now, I will set the record straight and fully simplify things for you. I will help you to understand the affiliate marketing space in the most concise and uncomplicated way possible. In fact, if you stick with me for just a few minutes, you not will not only understand affiliate marketing but you will be well versed and ready to use my knowledge as a “starting point” to your affiliate marketing career.
Ready? Ok, let’s get started!
The Affiliate Marketing Process, in a Nutshell
Affiliate marketing has three entities.
You have an affiliate (you), you have an affiliate program (the company/product owner) and you have a customer (the person buying).
As the affiliate, you are able to join an affiliate programme. This gives you the ability to promote a product/service or a variety of products and services. As a member of an affiliate programme, you will be given a special and unique “affiliate link” when you join their program. This gives you the ability to promote the services/products of this programme and for your sales to be tracked on your website/s.
If or should I say when, as an affiliate, you send someone to the product website that you are promoting and they make a purchase, you will then earn a flat rate sale or percentage commission. These commissions typically range from 1% – 75%. This is obviously dependent on the company or product/service.
The chart below shows the process in detail.
Let’s look at an example of this cycle. I could become an affiliate for Amazon (known as an Amazon Associates). Just think of all the products you can buy on Amazon as a customer. As an affiliate I or you have the opportunity to promote over 500 million products! It is astounding to consider the possibilities and the opportunity available here and that is with just one affiliate programme.
If I drive somebody from my website or social media account to Amazon through my affiliate link and they purchase something, for example, a vacuum cleaner, I earn 6% commission for that. If the toaster is $100, I get paid $6.
I hear you, that doesn’t sound like much at all. However, people are buying 100,000’s of vacuum cleaners every day, and people are buying 100’s of millions of products from Amazon every month. Consider what people are buying from Amazon every month! What if you sold 30 vacuum cleaners per day? You would be earning $180/day.
Imagine that you go on to sell a more expensive item on Amazon that costs $1,000 and get paid $60 in commissions with every sale? If you were to sell 30 of those, you would then be earning $1,800 in commissions every day. That there is the reality of affiliate marketing and this is just one very tiny example of what you could be doing if you are willing to work hard.
Now that you are much more aware of the affiliate marketing process at work, it’s time to talk about YOU – the affiliate.
Who Can Become an Affiliate. At What Cost-or is there a Cost?
In general, most affiliate programmes are free to join. However, there could be a small charge in some cases just to make sure that you are actually a real person – this is extremely rare though. In my opinion, they should all be free as you will be the one promoting their services so if they are not entirely free them please proceed with extreme caution! They might not actually be an affiliate scheme or it could be someone out to scam you.
So basically the most amazing part about affiliate programs is that they are absolutely free to join and as an affiliate, you can promote pretty much every brand/product/service you can imagine and earn a commission for doing so. There are over MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS of products and services that you can promote as an affiliate. Take your pick and find a niche that you truly love.
How does an Affiliate Program Work?
An affiliate program is essentially a piece of tracking software that allows affiliates (you) to promote merchants (the company) and earn a commission. The affiliate program is a robust system which tracks all clicks and all sales transactions. It will then calculate all commissions due to you the affiliate. The affiliate programme will also allow you to manage all of your personal details and payment details.
Affiliate programme statistics are automated and accurate. Affiliate tracking technology has advanced massively and consequently tracks in order to get more sophisticated and granular with your affiliate tracking campaigns. Affiliates are now very much in control of their own marketing campaigns and are able to track conversions and the source of conversions with reasonable ease.
Affiliate programs will offer promotional banners, widgets, or even plugins that you can utilise on your website or social platforms. The more comprehensive the affiliate program is, the better supported affiliates will be to promote that given product/service. It is therefore extremely beneficial to a company to offer a high quality experience for their affiliates as they will receive good quality revenue in return.
What is an Affiliate Network – Should I join one?
An affiliate network is when a group of affiliate programs come together under one company name. An example of this is an affiliate network like Awin.com (the largest in the world). If you choose to join Awin.com then you can promote 6,000 different companies and their respective products from one company umbrella.
There are many reasons to join an Affiliate Network but the main one would be convenience. There are 100’s of affiliate networks with 100,000’s of companies and brands within their networks. Choosing to join an affiliate network will most definitely save you a lot of hassle and time as an affiliate. Instead of managing many logins and passwords you will only have to manage a few. This can save you a lot of unnecessary stress.
It is entirely your choice – you can join 1,000’s of programs independently or you can join one affiliate network like Awin and promote 1,000’s of products under umbrella company and get paid through a single affiliate system for all of them.
Below are a list of the most popular affiliate networks:
- Amazon Associates
- Ebay Partners
- CJ by Conversant
The affiliate opportunity and how to get paid
There are different ways in which affiliate programmes and networks can pay affiliates and they also have different time frames for payments. Usually they will offer multiple methods of payment.
It is very common for payment to be centralised in US Dollars. This is fast becoming a standard worldwide payment method for affiliates. However, certain companies will pay you in your own currency and it may also be possible to do the conversion for you from USD to your country currency (like PayPal).
These may include:
- The Affiliate Opportunity & How to Get Paid
- Cheque Payment
- Bank Wire
In general, affiliate programmes make receiving payment hassle free. If it was difficult to obtain payment then no affiliate would want to promote the given program.
Where Do You Go to Run an Affiliate Business?
So you’ve decided that you want to get started within the affiliate marketing industry but you’re still a little unsure about what to do. It can be difficult these day with so many information or misinformation all over the web claiming to be the newest or the best platform in the affiliate marketing industry. However, so many of these claims are false or they aren’t even “affiliate marketing”.
So where do you start your research? What do you trust?
Well, hopefully you have understood what I have said so far and have liked what I have had to say! I am going to save you a considerable amount of time and effort on research. There is an elite platform in the affiliate marketing space, which I am involved with (and that I can coach you within) called Wealthy Affiliate. It is where the “who’s who” of the affiliate space not only hang out, but where they manage their respective businesses.
This is the one platform that you must have if you plan on learning affiliate marketing, but also if you want environment where you can get all the tools, websites, hosting, training, coaching and interact support to create and grow a business within the affiliate marketing world.
There are two membership options, a completely free Starter membership (free to try) and a cost-efficient, more advanced Premium option (as low as $29 per month). I recommend that you get rolling on the Starter membership, as I recommend that you always “try” a service before you consider every purchasing anything.
Within the first few lessons you are going to have your own affiliate coach, chosen a direction for your business, your own affiliate website (with hosting), and access to training that will truly take you from a beginner to an affiliate marketing expert.
I would also invite you to think about your financial goals and what you personally would like to achieve from Affiliate marketing.
If you have any questions about ANY aspect affiliate marketing, I am more than happy to share my knowledge and help with you. Feel free to leave any questions below and I will be sure to get back to you right away.