Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you purchase something I recommend- at no additional cost to you! Thank you for supporting this blog! Full disclosure here.
Do you want to learn how to make money online with affiliate marketing so you can pay off debt fast or make money from home?
Affiliate marketing is a very simple skill, and NO you don’t need to be a blogger or a tech savvy person to learn it.
In fact, you can use social platforms that you already use, such as Facebook and Pinterest, to promote your affiliate products (without a blog!)
There is even a program that will teach you how to be a successful affiliate marketer, and allow you to earn huge commissions while you learn.
I talk about the program, and the exact methods I use to promote my affiliate links later in this post, so keep reading!
Introduction: What is Affiliate Marketing?
Part 1: Intro to Affiliate Marketing
- What Products Should I Sell?
- Important things to look for when joining an affiliate marketing program.
Part 2: How to Find Quality Affiliate Marketing Programs
- How to fast track your success
Part 3: Where to Promote Your Links
- Social Media
- Mini Course or Training
How Did a Podiatrist, Get Started in Affiliate Marketing Anyway?!
I’m a wife and busy mom of 3 young children. I’m also a doctor by day and a blogger by night (and early morning).
After I had my third child, I found myself wanting more time with my kids, but the mountains of medical student loan debt were leaving me with a crushing amount of anxiety and stress.
I decided I wanted something more for myself and my family.
I got focused, and turned my mom blogging hobby into a J-O-B.
I struggled to make money online at first, until I discovered how to use affiliate programs in my blog posts and on social media (especially Pinterest!)
Related Post: How to Make an Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours
Affiliate Marketing is pretty much the coolest thing ever.
Basically, someone creates a product, you love it, you promote it, and you get paid.
Sounds simple, right? Simple yes, but it definitely takes some dedication.
Affiliate marketing is NOT a get rich quick scheme, and the big bucks will not come in overnight!
If you are willing to invest in yourself, learn a few skills, and stick with it, you really can make hundreds, even thousands, or more in affiliate income each month.
Affiliate marketing is also NOT network marketing, MLM, or direct sales. Totally different! So, don’t worry about “not having sales or marketing skills”.
Anyone with a computer and a phone can do this.
The cool thing about affiliate marketing is that you get a fantastic return on investment. If you put hard work into your promotion, you will get more commissions.
There is no ceiling to what you can earn in this business.
Let’s get started!
Part 1: Introduction to Affiliate Marketing
Is it really possible to make money online?
Affiliate Marketing happens when you recommend a product or service in exchange for a commission.
You are solving a problem for your audience/followers/friends that you don’t have a solution to, but you know of a great course or product that can help them.
You bring the customer, they bring the product, and everyone wins!
What should I sell?
There are two main types of products that you can sell online:
Physical Products: These are a great option, especially if you are a blogger or have a large following and a lot of influence. You can use programs like Amazon Affiliates or Shopstyle Collective, which I have successfully used in the past over on my mom blog.
The problem with physical products (clothing, toys, electronics), is that someone has to cover the cost to create, advertise, ship, and pack all those goodies. This means by the time the commissions get paid out to you (the affiliate), you’re looking at dollars and cents.
You can make money by being an affiliate for physical products, but usually a more advanced online marketer will have faster success in this arena.
Related Post: How to Make Money Blogging
Digital Products: This is where affiliate marketing gets really exciting.
Digital products (E-Books & Online courses to name a few) can be created one time and sold over and over.
There are no repeated production costs or shipping and handling, so the profit margin is practically 100% when it’s all said and done.
This allows the creator of the product, to pay their affiliates higher commissions.
I typically see anywhere from 40-60% on digital products that I’m an affiliate for.
Online courses and digital products are a $165 billion dollar industry, and continuing to grow.
Becoming an affiliate for a digital product is a great way for a beginner to start earning money quickly with affiliate marketing.
Which Digital Products Will Convert to the Most Sales and More Money?
- Great marketing
- Excellent copywriting
- Product solves problems for the buyer
- Sales funnels (process to bring the buyer closer to the sale)
- Upsells- Get the customer in with a low priced front end sale, then offer them high priced products
- Downsells- Customer doesn’t take the Upsell, but they buy something else
This is a LOT. So, the BEST affiliate programs to join, are the ones that TEACH YOU HOW to be an affiliate marketer, or provide great coaching and resources.
Even better, are programs where you ONLY have to worry about driving the traffic (bringing the customer), and the rest is DONE-FOR-YOU.
You can check out my number one recommended affiliate program here.
It’s my favorite for beginners, because of all the things listed above.
Part 2: How to Find Quality Affiliate Marketing Programs
Not every program is worth your time and effort.
When looking into an affiliate program, you want to make sure you’re choosing a quality product.
You are recommending it, and if you get your audience to buy something that’s sub-par, they will lose trust in you.
You want them to love you for recommending this product.
When you build that “know, like, and trust” factor, your people will be more likely to buy the next thing you rave about.
Important Things Your Affiliate Marketing Program Needs
Again, it takes a LOT of advanced knowledge in marketing and sales to know how to really close the deal, and make good money online.
Many people fail at affiliate marketing, because their program says, “Here’s your link”, but don’t provide a strategy or any knowledge on how to generate traffic that converts to leads, etc.
That’s why I recommend that you find a program where you can focus on getting traffic and leads (email addresses), and your affiliate program can do the heavy lifting.
An excellent affiliate marketing program will have:
- High converting copywriting (words that SELL)
- Advanced sales funnels with days to weeks of email follow ups that continue to bring your lead closer to the sale (It can take 4-10 contacts with a person before they finally buy!)
- Upsells that allow you to make even more money when the person upgrades or buys other products
- The ability to duplicate this system so all you have to do is focus on getting traffic.
This is the best way to start earning money fast with affiliate marketing. Earn while you LEARN!
So, if you’re not quite yet a marketing mastermind, choose an affiliate program that does it all for you.
Part 3: Where to Promote Your Affiliate Links
Spoiler Alert! The answer is everywhere!
There are several places that you can promote your affiliate links online.
It’s best to start with a platform that you are already comfortable with.
For example, I am a blogger and so I promote links on my blog with value based blog posts.
Pinterest is another excellent place to promote affiliate links and is one of my favorites for passive traffic and income.
You can also promote your links on Facebook, Twitter, or in Email.
There are many different places, and as you learn more about promoting your links, you will be able to use several different platforms to reach as many people as possible.
There are ways you can promote your links without being “salesy”.
Let’s talk about several ways to promote your links and bring value to your audience.
Places to Promote Your Affiliate Marketing Products
Affiliate Marketing on Social Media
This is probably the easiest place to start promoting your affiliate products.
Pick the one you know best.
Here are some helpful tips, and what I love most about each of these social media platforms.
Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest
This is my absolute favorite place to promote affiliate links, so this section will be a bit lengthy.
That’s because you really can automate the “pinning” process.
I sometimes wake up to commission notifications in my inbox because of Pinterest. It’s almost unbelievable, but it happens.
A common misconception is that you have to have a blog to make money with Pinterest. This isn’t true.
You can create a pin and direct link your affiliate program to the pin (Amazon does not allow this). Pin it to boards, let it circulate, and voila!
Pinterest is really more of a search engine, than it is a social media platform. This benefits those with low follower counts.
If you take the time to do keyword research, it will pay off by getting your pin (and affiliate link) found by more people.
If you want to learn the ins and outs of Pinterest, so you can start putting your affiliate marketing strategy on autopilot, I highly recommend the following valuable tools.
- Tailwind– This Pinterest approved pin scheduler allows you to set it and forget it. Tailwind provides a way to schedule your pins so you aren’t constantly on Pinterest all day. You can get started for free with my link here.
- How to Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours– This is a step by step guide on how to make an affiliate sale using Pinterest. Using this quick course, I was able to make my first sale in just a couple of days.
- Pinterest Ninja- This is the ultimate guide to mastering Pinterest. I have invested in quite a few Pinterest courses, and this one is an excellent value! It doesn’t matter if you’re a complete beginner, or an advanced pinner. This course is for you.
- Pin Practical Ads– If you want to jumpstart your pins, or get more exposure to your affiliate products, you can run a very low cost ad on Pinterest. This is an excellent course on just how to do that. It’s quick and easy, and not nearly as complicated as Facebook ads rigorous standards. Once you are ready for paid ads, start with Pinterest.
Affiliate Marketing on YouTube
Video increases the “know, like, and trust” factor with your audience.
You can do a video tutorial showing how to use a product you are promoting, or a review video on a digital course.
It can be scary making videos if you aren’t experienced with this, but getting a little out of your comfort zone can have big payoffs.
Affiliate Marketing on Twitter
I love Twitter because the feed moves quickly, so you have the ability to get a LOT of your content out each day.
It can also feel extremely overwhelming if you don’t have a great scheduling tool to assist with your promotion.
I recommend the following tools to boost your affiliate sales using Twitter.
- SocialOomph– This is a scheduling tool that allows you to create tweets one time, and recycle them over and over again. If you want to keep up with Twitter’s fast pace, you have to be posting consistently and frequently. You really can’t post TOO MUCH on this platform. SocialOomph allows you to be much more productive on Twitter, and earn affiliate commissions on autopilot, similar to Pinterest.
- Manage Flitter– The more eyes on your content the better. Twitter people have an unspoken understanding that if you follow someone they will follow back, at least in my experience. Manage Flitter allows you to follow and unfollow quickly, and easily search for people you want to follow based on a number of factors such as how active they are on Twitter, or if they have a profile picture, or if they follow Mr. Smith or not. This has allowed me to grow my following quickly.
Affiliate Marketing on Facebook
This one is usually the most familiar to people, but how should you use Facebook to get leads for your affiliate marketing products?
Don’t just post and spam everyone’s news feed.
An excellent way to get people reaching out to YOU to learn more, is to interact in groups.
There are thousands of blogging, entrepreneur, work from home, and make money online Facebook groups to choose from.
When people ask questions and you know your product will help them, you can strategically direct them to your link.
Affiliate Marketing on WebTalk
WebTalk is a new social media platform.
It’s marketed as Facebook without the crazy algorithms, so that people ACTUALLY see your posts!
Most of the people joining, are business minded, entrepreneurs, and ready to network.
This is a great community to provide value to, with your affiliate links.
It’s free, but you have to be invited, so use my invite link and start networking now before this thing gets huge!
Affiliate Marketing to Your Email List
The fortune is in the follow up!
Email is a great way to present your affiliate links to your audience, especially if a great sale pops up, or a new course, or limited time offer.
If you already have an email list, that will be a great place to start.
If you want to build an email list, you will need a little extra training on lead magnets and sales funnels.
Luckily, my favorite affiliate program has done-for-you sales funnels, so you can just focus on driving people to your links on social media. Let an experienced team follow up with an email series and call your leads to close sales.
I highly recommend Aweber for your email service provider, due to the ease of use and excellent customer service. The money is in your list, so start collecting those emails now!
Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers
This is an excellent way to promote your affiliate links by providing a value based blog post to your audience.
With a blog post, you can tell people exactly why they need this product or course in their life!
A blog is an extremely low cost way to start an online business, and affiliate marketing is just ONE way out of many to monetize a blog.
These next two are a little more advanced.
Affiliate Marketing with an E-Book
Creating an ebook is an excellent way to build and grow your email list and get your affiliate products in front of people.
Interested entrepreneurs are usually willing to give you their contact information in exchange for a valuable free ebook.
This is what’s referred to as a lead magnet.
You can also place your affiliate links throughout the ebook, if they add value to what you are teaching or talking about.
This is a great course on how to create your first ebook. You can create ebooks and sell them for some serious profits, but sometimes offering a free ebook can be just as valuable if you have it monetized correctly.
Affiliate Marketing with a Free Mini Course or Training
Similar to an ebook, creating a course can be a great way to teach people skills, and get your affiliate products in front of them.
For example, you could teach people “how to start a blog”, and have affiliate links to your web hosting provider throughout the course.
I use Teachable to create free courses and training sessions.
Tips for Success in Affiliate Marketing
- Invest in Yourself- learning a few simple skills can skyrocket your income potential
- Goal setting, mindset, & visualization- write down your income goals, and don’t stop until you get there!
- Be patient, don’t give up!
Fast Track Tip: Focus on driving traffic to your links, and let experienced marketers do the rest.
Make sure to check out my favorite affiliate marketing program. Learn proven online marketing methods, while you let someone else do all the closing work for you. This way you can start earning commissions right away.
Congratulations on your decision to get started in affiliate marketing!