This post contains affiliate links. For more information, read my disclaimer.

After the success of creating my first digital product, I wanted to diversify my income streams so I wasn’t relying heavily on one source. As all Mothers across the globe will say, don’t go putting all your eggs in one basket. So over the last two months I decided to execute this by introducing affiliate marketing to my monetization plan.

The first month was about setting up the systems, implementing my affiliate strategy and then testing them throughout the month. I finished the month at earning just over $500 in affiliate income.

On the second month, I deliberately let my systems run on their own without me changing or adding anything and I doubled my income.

While it’s not hundreds of thousands, that is a NICE amount of money to make completely passively in a short amount of time!

And with that I thought it’d be a great idea to share how you can get started with affiliate marketing too!

Note: If you want to learn how to make money through affiliate marketing, I recommend checking out my brand new course Affiliate Affluence where I teach you exactly how to go from making $0 – $500 in 30 days with a very small audience + strategies to continuously increase your affiliate income month by month.

 

THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO AFFILIATE MARKETING

 

SO.. WHAT EXACTLY IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?

The simple definition of affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting a company or individual’s products.

The industry has four core players: the seller (the person or company that created the product), the network (a place that holds your affiliate ID & links), the affiliate (you!) and the customer.

How it works is that you typically find a product you love through the seller or network, promote it through various mediums, and if a customer purchases the product after clicking your link within a certain time period (called an affiliate cookie), you earn a commission for that sale.

 

AN AFFILIATE COOKIE? THEY SOUND DELICIOUS!!

Slow your row love, they’re not THOSE kinds of cookies! An affiliate cookie is the information transferred when someone clicks your affiliate link. If the customer purchases the product, the information transferred is a your unique ID which ensures you get the commission for that purchase.

There is a set duration for the an affiliate cookie, meaning after a certain amount of hours, days or weeks, the cookie will no longer be valid. The cookie duration is completely dependent on each program and product, make sure you find out what it is when you sign up.

 

HOW DO AFFILIATE COMMISSIONS WORK?

There are three types of ways you can earn your commissions:

  • Percentage of the Sale: This is when you receive a set percentage of the sale of the product. Before you join the affiliate program, it will tell you the percentage amount. You’ll find that percentages will be higher for digital products (around 30% – 50%) as opposed to physical products (around 4% – 8%). i.e Abby from Just A Girl & Her Blog offers 40% on her Ultimate Blogging Handbook.
  • Commission Per Lead: This is where you get paid a fixed amount when the company or product you’re promoting acquires your customer as a new lead i.e signing up for an account. get paid a fixed amount, usually low (think one cent to a few dollars) when someone uses your affiliate link to sign up for an account, but didn’t necessarily purchase. i.e Shareasale pays you $1 for every lead you refer that signs up to the company.
  • A Fixed Amount: This is where you will receive a set commission regardless of how much the product cost. This agreement is made in the beginning when you join the program, and is usually quite a good amount. i.e Bluehost offers $65 commission on any hosting plan that’s purchased through your link whether it’s 12 months or 3 years.

 

the advantages to affiliate marketing

  • It’s the quickest and most cost effective way to get started with generating revenue in your business.
  • Your earning potential is uncapped! Meaning you do the work once and continue to make commissions on the product for years to come.
  • You have very little to no admin. Mainly someone asking for your advice or wanting to know more about your experience with the product or service.
  • You have full control over what products you want to promote.
  • You do affiliate marketing from anywhere in the world because you aren’t the one who has to create, produce or ship the products.
  • Scaling takes very little work and over time comes naturally.
  • The products fill in the gaps of what you don’t offer and rounds out your business nicely.
  • Helps you to start thinking in ways of a marketer.
  • You’re selling a product that is already popular in the market, therefore proven as sellable.
  • Helps you builds relationships and connections with larger businesses.
  • You can fully track what, when, where & how you made the sale helping you to focus on those avenues.

HOW TO chooSE the right affiliate programs

AFFILIATE NETWORKS

Affiliate networks are the middlemen between the companies and the affiliates. They host a collection of programs under their umbrella rather than just a single program. Each programs commission rates differ depending on the advertiser. i.e ASOS offers 8% while Boohoo offers 15%.

These are the affiliate networks I’m currently using below:

  • Skimlinks – easiest program to start with, user-friendly website, pays out via PayPal with a $10 threshold (WOOP!!!)
  • Shareasale – lots of awesome programs, site is a bit difficult to navigate, pays out via check or bank deposit with a $75 minimum threshold.
  • CJ by Conversant – lots of crap to wade through but has some great programs, pays out via check & bank deposit with a $100 minimum threshold.

Note: Don’t be afraid to shop around to find the best rates. Some companies host their own affiliate programs as well as using networks, but they can offer a higher percentage on their own programs.

Related Post: 
4 Affiliate Networks I Used to Make $1486 Dollars

 

AMAZON ASSOCIATES

Amazon Associates is the easiest program to get into that houses pretty much every product ever in one place. Everyone starts off on a 4% commission rate until they sell 7 or more items and your commission rate goes up to 6% and so on until you hit the highest tier of 10%. Amazon Associates is a great place to start because it’s a worldwide trusted company. People know it and use it.

The only downside is that you can only make commission on the products you sell to people who purchase in your country. Meaning if you live in the US and Sarah from the UK clicks your link and purchases the product you recommend, you don’t receive a commission for that purchase. For someone like me living in New Zealand this is a royal pain in the a**, however there is a way around it!

If you use GeniusLink, it overrides the country restrictions and allows you to earn commission through Associates on purchases made all over the world. But with all awesome shortcuts, it does cost $9 a month to use on the lowest tier. A worthy expense if you’re making a lot of sales through Associates!

 

CREATIVE MARKET

Creative Market has an awesome little affiliate program offering 10% commission on every purchase a new member makes for a year. That means if a customer clicks your link and buys a graphics pack for $40 in Jan, then buys 20 stock photos for $7 each in June, a font pack for $30 in July and then a WordPress theme for $85 in September, you get 10% on each of those sales.

I really like Creative Market because it’s there to support our up and coming independent talents, artists, designers, coders and more.

 

INDEPENDENT AFFILIATE PROGRAMS

Bloggers and entrepreneurs like yourself host affiliate programs for their own products. Whether thats digital products, software or physical goods, these programs tend to have higher commission rates solely because there’s no middlemen fees between the seller and you.

You can find them through searching on Google, check if a product you’ve purchased has an affiliate or referral program or you can ask the person who sold you the course whether they’d be interest in running an affiliate partnership with you.

HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR AFFILIATE LINKS

 

CREATE A RESOURCES PAGE

A resources page or tools post is a great way to share with your audience what you’re currently using for your business and projects. You can do them a few ways, either as a page or a post. You can create a page on the tools you’re currently using, a list of tools on a particular subject or an all-around guide.

Here’s some examples:

  • Mom Blogger – favourite kid-safe products, toys, cleaning products etc..
  • Fashion Blogger – favourite online stores, discount hacks & rewards programs etc..
  • Business Blogger – favourite courses, software & hardware products, books etc..
  • Food Blogger – favourite kitchen tools, recipe books, photography class etc..

 

CREATE A LIST OR ROUND-UP POST

These types of posts can be very valuable resources for your audience and very profitable for you. Make sure the post is giving a lot of free value, otherwise it’s just going to look like you’re link dropping without giving anything of substance first. Make your lists and round-ups relevant and unique. They are pretty common, so you wanna make sure you’re giving something different.

WRITE A REVIEW ON THE PRODUCT

Writing a review about the product you’re using is an awesome way for your audience to learn about the things that are helping you in your business or projects. The key to writing a good review is full blown honesty. That means not holding back on the things that annoy you about the product, and really expressing the things you loved about it. A review is your opinion, and people want to hear non-biased opinions about products or services they could be interested in purchasing.

Three ways to find out what people want to know about the product:

  • Check the comments section on other blogs and websites who sell or use the product to find out what questions their audience is asking about the product.
  • Use Google Trends to find out the popularity of the product.
  • Check the reviews section on Amazon of the product to learn what people think about the product to help you round out your review – they might pick up things you haven’t noticed yet.

 

WRITE A TUTORIAL ON THE PRODUCT

Tutorial posts are one of the best types of affiliate marketing posts because they show your reader exactly how to do something step-by-step. If you check Google Trends, and it shows you the product is spiking upwards on the graph, that means it’s getting more and more popular. You can put yourself ahead of the game if your tutorial is one of the first out there.

Melyssa Griffin does this so well with her post on how to create your own resource library and she now makes thousands from that single post. So make sure when you are using a product you love, consider creating a tutorial on how to use it because you just might hit a gold mine!

MONETIZE OLD POSTS WITH YOUR LINKS

The easiest way to monetize your blog quickly is to go back through old blog posts and insert your affiliate links into relevant areas. Like this post and this post. It also gives you the opportunity to re-edit and make evergreen some of those posts that might be outdated so you can continue to promote that post today with your new affiliate links added.

 

USE SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is one of the best places to start promoting your affiliate links. Share them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, Google+, YouTube, Tumblr and StumbleUpon. Just make sure you’re being genuine and not spammy. Here’s a list of ways you can share your links on social media

Related Post: How to Start Using Affiliate Links on Pinterest

 

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN STARTING TO ADD AFFILIATE MARKETING TO YOUR BUSINESS

 

  • Try to promote your affiliate products less and recommend more
  • Recommend products that you love and use and believe in
  • Use PrettyLink Lite URL cloaker to make your affiliate links prettier!
  • Put an affiliate earnings disclosure on each post and in your disclaimer
  • Use ‘nofollow’ when promoting an affiliate link to keep your page rank high
  • Be honest, authentic and genuine when recommending these products!

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN:

In the comments below, please share with us..

  1. What affiliate marketing tips do you have for beginners?
  2. What would you like to know more about affiliate marketing?

Elise xo

  • Kaitlyn Rose

    Thank you so much for this post, it answered a lot of the questions I had about affiliate marketing! I am just getting started and was feeling a little overwhelmed with everything, but this post along with your ebook that I purchased is really helpful! Have you ever used the Affiliate Window network?

    xo Kaitlyn
    thepeachyrose.com