Are you sick of dragging yourself out of bed every morning only to later find yourself stuck in a traffic jam? Or are you tired of the monotonous email scrolling every day until 5 pm? If your answer is a resounding yes, then earning money anytime, anywhere (even when you’re sleeping) might be enticing for you. Passive income—that’s everybody’s fantasy! To generate passive income, most people start with affiliate marketing.
The whole idea behind this marketing model is that somebody or a third-party publisher promotes someone else’s brands, products, or services via an affiliate network or partnerships. Then, the third-party publisher earns a commission whenever consumers purchase a product or avail of the services through the third party’s marketing efforts.
If you’re interested in this whole affiliate marketing idea and are already thinking of passive income, you might want to read further.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a marketing model where an affiliate would gain a commission for marketing someone else’s products or services. In this marketing model, the hiring brand would compensate the affiliate for generating leads and traffic to the brand’s products or services. This model may be seen as product marketing across various parties where every party gets a portion of the revenue congruent to their contribution.
Often, the affiliate looks for products or services they enjoy and then proceeds to market and promote these products and services. In return, the affiliate gains a piece of the profit for every sale made. Product sales may be tracked through affiliate links from one website to another.
How do I Start Affiliate Marketing as a Beginner?
You might want to enter the world of affiliate marketing and generate passive income, but you’re doubtful, “can beginners do affiliate marketing?” The answer is yes! Here’s a step-by-step guide on affiliate marketing for beginners.
Step 1. As an affiliate, carefully select the product to promote.
An affiliate can choose between two options to carry out the primary step of affiliate marketing. The first option is to promote the products they’ve already experienced and have fallen in love with. This option is the most common way to start with getting affiliating offers.
Affiliates are more comfortable and feel more honest when they promote something they’ve already used, experienced, and tested. Thus, they’d be more confident with the results that the consumers would get out of the product, given their firsthand experience of the same product.
The second option is to source products through an affiliate network. If an affiliate doesn’t have any direct experience or knowledge of a product, the best thing to do is to look for great affiliate products on an affiliate network. However, this option requires investing the effort, time, and money in researching and purchasing the products to try. Some of the reliable affiliate networks include Amazon Associates Program, CJ Affiliate, and the eBay Partner Network.
Step 2. Get set up as an affiliate.
To get compensated, you’ll need to apply, get approved, and provide specific information. This process is regardless of whether you work through a network or are directly affiliated with merchants. Generally, you’ll have to provide your personal or business information for reporting and tax purposes and the bank account where you prefer to receive your commission.
On the other hand, the merchant should provide you with an affiliate link. The trackable affiliate link will be used whenever you post about the product. Typically, a long tag will be found at the end of the link, including your affiliate ID. On top of that, you can receive some useful assets and tips for the product’s marketing.
Step 3. Begin promoting your selected affiliate offers.
Once you’ve accomplished the first two steps, you may proceed to the third step where you’d start promoting your chosen affiliated offers. Of course, you won’t be doing this randomly. Various options are available to carry out this task.
First, you can place a resource page on your blog. On a resource page, you could promote several products and organize them according to your types of readers and their needs. Your readers would appreciate this because all the recommendations are in one place—totally hassle-free!.
Second, you may create and promote custom content, such as reviews, definitive content on a trending topic, or valuable bonus content. Whatever works for you and your readers is the best option to take in promoting affiliate offers.
Step 4. Comply with legal obligations and requirements.
In the United States, people are required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to allow others to know that they’re earning a commission. This is recommended whether your location imposes the same law for purposes of good business. That way, people would appreciate your honesty and transparency and would eventually want to support you.
Hence, always let your readers know that you’d earn a small commission if they purchase through you. If they don’t choose your link, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Just assure your readers that you don’t recommend products you haven’t personally tried or aren’t confident of the benefits.
How Much Money do You Need to Get Started in Affiliate Marketing?
The average amount needed to get started in affiliate marketing is around $500. Here’s a brief breakdown as to what these expenses include:
Some platforms, such as PropellerAds, allow the use of its built-in tracker to track the ads’ performance. However, you should invest in an independent tracker if you desire more flexibility. Independent trackers usually charge $100 monthly.
Without traffic, affiliate marketers would hardly run a campaign. Hence, you must purchase one. You can purchase traffic for at least $300, which would be sufficient to run a few tests and generate profit. The quality of your traffic would somehow be defined by the platform you’d use and the price you pay.
If you’re not self-hosted, securing a reliable hosting provider suitable for the tracker and landing pages you choose is crucial. Some of the famous hosting providers are Amazon Web Services and IBM Cloud.
If you want to ‘spy’ on your well-performing competitors and get an idea of the ad type you need to design, you must invest in a spy tool. Spy tools cost about $40 and come with numerous features, such as keyword research and search page analysis. Free spy tools have limited features only.
Landing Page Builders
If your cost-per-action (CPA) network doesn’t provide ready landing pages, you’ll need to spend at least $20 for a decent landing page builder. Alternately, one can also enlist the services of websites where one can sell products. However, to avoid vendor lock, you must download the landing pages beforehand.
Images and Creatives
It’s super easy to get free stock photos today, but some users could tell them apart. Several paid platforms like Shutterstock provide various options for only $29 per month.
How to Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money?
We’ve already discussed the possible cost for beginners, but is it possible to start affiliate marketing with little to zero money? We can’t deny that it would be best to start affiliating with at least a few bucks on hand, but if the budget is really tight, there are several alternatives, too.
The first alternative is to build your social media presence. You don’t have to be a blogger right there and then, but you may begin to monetize your presence using social media. How do you do this? Simply embed affiliate links on your profile, posts, and updates. Get help with your social media management and check this Sprinklr review.
Another alternative is to leverage your Facebook and YouTube presence. Billions of people are on these platforms, so start building your audience there. Once you’ve established a loyal audience, join an affiliate program like Rakuten and ShareASale. Affiliate network programs are always on the hunt for publishers who can promote well.
How Much Do Beginner Affiliate Marketers Make?
Before deciding to be an affiliate marketer, you have to understand that your potential for earning is uncapped. Your earning is relative to your conversion rate, audience size, and commission rate, and these three things come in a domino effect.
The bigger the audience, the higher the possibility of a drastic conversion rate. The more drastic your conversion rate, the larger sales you’ll earn. If you’d earn huge sales, you’ll also get a bigger commission and earnings! It might seem like a favorable cycle, but the whole process takes effort.
Most beginners earn less than $20,000 annually, while some barely earn a penny in their first few months. This work takes time to generate a full-time income. So, patience is the key!
What are The Best Affiliate Programs?
Sourcing the best affiliate programs can help you get off on the right foot. Here are some of the best and most popular affiliate programs that pay generous commissions:
This platform gives its affiliates a freehand to choose between a flat rate that corresponds to a hundred percent of the first month’s revenue or a 15% recurring rate for one year. HubSpot’s paid plans cost $50-$3,000 a month, and its cookie life is 90 days.
This popular website builder for WordPress offers 50% commission for every sale, with a team ready to assist with any issues and an affiliate toolkit of logos and banners. Elementor has five pricing packages, ranging from $49-$999 annually. Its cookie life is 45 days.
Affiliates of this program are given two different channels where they could earn substantially. One is through its in-house program that grants a lifetime commission of 30%. The plan costs around $20-$150 monthly. The second is through CJ Affiliate where you could generate up to $300 for every account. However, this option’s cookie life is only up to 45 days compared to AWeber’s one-year cookie life.
This affiliate program offers a lifelong 30% commission per webinar subscriber or referred paying customer. The offered plans range from $29-$2,000+ per month. ConvertKit’s cookie window is 30 days.
Like AWeber, GetResponse allows you to choose between two programs. First is its self-hosted program that promises a 33% recurring commission. The plans range from $15-$1200 a month. The second is through CJAffiliate where you could earn $135 for every referred sale. However, the cookie life for CJAffiliate is only up to 30 days, unlike the self-hosted program that lasts for 120 days.
BeRush, SEMRush’s affiliate program, grants a 40% recurring commission over a referral subscription’s lifetime. This figure translates to at least $160 per month for every referral. BeRush’s cookie life extends to 10 years, which is considered the most generous in terms of cookie life.
Meanwhile, SEMRush can help you improve your social media visibility and website traffic. Learn more about this platform in this SEMRush review.
Fiverr offers a $15-$50 commission for Fiverr CPA, 30% of every Fiverr Learn course order, or $10 CPA plus, 10% revenue sharing for Fiverr Hybrid. The program’s cookie life is up to 30 days only.
This platform is widely known for its unique features. First, you can promote all or any of their products and generate a 30% commission within 40 days. You can also generate a commission on the sale of every product purchased through your link, regardless of the product you promote. The best feature? You can generate a minimum commission of $183 from a single Pabbly product sale.
Is Affiliate Marketing Right for You?
Generating passive income is almost every individual’s dream. Is it yours? Because it most certainly is ours! However, it isn’t an easy path to tread. You don’t just decide to be an affiliate marketer today and earn thousands of dollars tomorrow. As mentioned, the whole process takes time, effort, patience, and commitment. The beginning won’t be easy, but it will eventually pay off.
So, don’t rush and pressure yourself into this. Take time to learn and grow in affiliate marketing and never forget to put in that extra effort.
Read this post about “Influencers and Affiliate Marketing: Using Influencers to Boost Affiliate Marketing” to learn more about affiliate marketing.