Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
This is one of the key topics if you want to know how to generate income on the Internet. Are you going to get rich with affiliate marketing? Far from it, forget about making money fast this way. But it can give you some extra income or even a monthly salary, but it will depend a lot on whether you take it seriously and do it well. If you’re not going to dedicate time and desire to it, I’m honest, don’t even bother reading on.
What is affiliate marketing?
Let’s take it one step at a time, as Jack the Ripper said. Wikipedia defines affiliate marketing like this. But I’m going to define in my own way (and with the help of Google) each term, to understand it better:
📢 Marketing: set of techniques and studies that aim to improve the marketing of a product and generate sales.
✅ Affiliation: enrollment or incorporation of someone into an organization or group.
Promotion of other companies’ or individuals’ products in exchange for a commission for each sale made to customers referred by you.
In other words, if you promote the product sold by another person or company and get people to buy that product, you get a little money for each sale made thanks to you.
It sounds very nice, but it’s not so easy to get sales, that’s why you have to put in the time and effort.
How to start affiliate marketing
What do i need to start affiliate marketing?
The first question to answer is what to promote?
What came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, the same with your website and what you promote.
If you don’t have a website or blog you can create it yourself, but the point is that you need to have one. And if you already have a website or blog, it makes sense to promote products according to its theme.
For example, if you have a blog about vegetarian food, it may be interesting to promote vegetarian food. If in that blog you promote ribs or pork chops… BAD! Hit with Brick
Step-by-step affiliate marketing for beginners
There are several ways to become an affiliate of the products you want to promote:
- affiliate networks: these are platforms that are precisely in charge of “connecting” sellers with companies/people who want to recommend their products (be their affiliates). There is for example Hotmart, Commission Junction, ShareASale, Impact, etc.
One of my favorites is ShareASale (and as you can see it is, it is an affiliate link), because the affiliate network itself already gives you commissions for each signup (if you sign up with my affiliate link, I would get 1$ commission).
But above all because it has very good and quality advertisers. Does the WP-Rocket plugin for WordPress ring a bell? That’s it!
- Store affiliate program: another of the most popular options, especially Amazon Affiliates. Because the famous online store of course has its own affiliate system, and it’s also very widespread in many websites and blogs.
In fact I use it in my page of the best digital marketing books.
- Affiliate programs of the product in question: the simplest and most straightforward of all. You go to the website of the product you want to promote and if they have an affiliation system or platform, you just have to sign up for it.
This is the case for example of Webempresa.com; if you search for “affiliates” on their website, you will see that at the bottom they have a link where they inform you about their affiliation platform.
- Person responsible for the product in question: this may be the most difficult to get, but that’s also why I think it’s the most “fun”, because it implies more skill on your part.
It is about contacting the person responsible for the product you want to promote, whether it is the director of a company, the marketing manager or a simple blogger. Explain your case, the idea you have in mind and what you can offer in exchange for a commission for promoting their product. The “NO” is already there, so what are you going to lose?
Precisely the great Alex Navarro did this to promote Searchmetrics without using Commission Junction, and now they have his picture on the web. Big Smile
Álex Navarro Searchmetrics
📃 The conditions of affiliation.
Be careful with this detail because it is very important to know all the details of the affiliation before choosing the product/service you want to promote or even the person/company you are going to be an affiliate of.
What’s the point of spending hours of effort promoting something if the company doesn’t deliver what it says it will?
Look at what happened to me a few months ago with the company Twago Spain.
On their affiliate information page (https://www.twago.es/static/affiliate/) you will see that it says “you will earn 1€ for each contributor who signs up with a free subscription”.
Twago affiliate terms and conditions
Twago Affiliate Terms and Conditions
So I contacted them at the email indicated on that page to learn more about the affiliate program and start promoting it.
They replied that they didn’t have an affiliate system themselves, but that they did it through the TradeDoubler affiliate network (although nowadays I think they use the German AdCell).
Ok, no problem, I register with TradeDoubler and santas pascuas.
But when I look for the campaign to get the commissions for each free registration… It turns out that it doesn’t exist anywhere!
I contacted them again to see what was going on, and this was their response:
Twago’s answer to your affiliate terms and conditions
That is to say, that for the Spanish market they do not comply with what is stated on their website in the Spanish version. In fact, I answered them that it was better to modify this text so as not to confuse more people, but after several months it seems that it is still the same?
In short, that you have to be very attentive to the conditions of affiliation and check that they are as they explain them, do not find yourself later with situations like this.
📣 How to promote?
Now that you know what you want to promote, you need the affiliate link that future customers should use and a medium or marketing channel where to promote it, which of course is going to be your website or blog.
🔗 The Affiliate Link
Let’s assume the easiest affiliate marketing case of the 3 I described above, that is, you sign up for the affiliate system of the website of the product you want to promote.
The first thing they give you is a URL, which will be the one your readers will have to use to let the seller know that they are “on your side”. Big Smile
For example, the email marketing tool ActiveCampaign gives me the link https://www.activecampaign.com/?_r=M3V143VB. As you can see it’s a bit ugly, to be honest. That’s why I use the Pretty Link plugin, which among other things, allows you to change the link to one from your domain, organize all your links by groups or show statistics of the clicks the link receives.
This way, the ugly link that ActiveCampaign gave me will now look like https://miposicionamientoweb.es/visitar/ac.
Where does it go!
Clicks to ActiveCampaign on Pretty Link
Clicks to ActiveCampaign in Pretty Link
💬 The marketing channel
You already have your pretty link, now what?
If you think that you can just put it on your website or blog and wait for the money to pour in, you’re in for a treat. Roll up your sleeves because now the real work begins: marketing.
To carry out our marketing work we need a channel or medium where to place our link, and for me the best channel today is the blog. Without a doubt!
There are other channels such as email and social networks, but my advice is to focus first on telling your own experience in the blog as the basis of your marketing.
Your readers want to know what you thought of the product and if it was worth it. Then, when you have published your article, you should share it with your subscriber list and on social media.
If you don’t have a blog….
📣 The key to good affiliate marketing.
When I go to buy something, I like to take a good look, analyze everything with time, and draw conclusions for myself before I decide.
In some stores the salesperson asks you if you need help, but I usually politely say no; that if I need something later on, I won’t hesitate to ask. The problem comes when some sellers
In some stores the salesperson asks you if you need help, but I usually politely say no; that if I need something later, I won’t hesitate to ask for it. The problem comes when some salespeople go from being attentive to being annoying:
Salesman: Are you sure? I can advise you which model is the best even if it is more expensive and I can show you a good comparison that will help you?
Me: No really, there’s no need, I’ve already come “compared” from home, don’t bother.
Salesman: But surely you haven’t seen the new offer we have today?
In most of these cases, I end up leaving the store…
What I mean is that affiliate marketing is NOT selling any product and in any way just to earn the commission, because you’ll end up becoming that annoying salesperson and you’ll end up driving away readers from your blog.
That’s why I’m going to give you 4 recommendations that I think are essential for good affiliate marketing.
And to make it easier, I’m going to explain each recommendation on a practical example as is my own article, in which I analyze and promote the best hosting for WordPress:
✅ 4 recommendations for good affiliate marketing.
- Test what you promote: don’t promote anything that you haven’t tested yourself, for the simple reason that then you don’t know what you are really promoting.
The salesperson may tell you that the product is wonderful, but what if it isn’t? Don’t sell your hard-earned trust to your readers so cheaply. They take your word for it, not the vendor’s.
Example: before promoting Webempresa I asked to try their hosting. They offered me a few days trial and I was able to run a series of tests. In the article you will see that I relate this experience and add the results of the tests I did.
- Promote quality: this sounds very nice, but it is very important. After testing the product you are promoting yourself, you should analyze if it is really good enough to recommend it to your readers.
Even if another product offers you more commission, I recommend you to promote the better quality one or both.
Example: in my case, I liked Webempresa so much that I decided to change hosting with them. And as you will see in the article, I prefer to recommend Webempresa rather than Hostgator or Arvixe even if the latter offer me more commission.
- Honesty: it is not enough to test what you promote. You must show the reader that you have indeed tested it, how you have tested it and why you have finally decided for that product.
If the product is good, it is logical that you use it and want to promote it, don’t you think? So be honest, don’t hide the fact that you will earn a commission if they buy the product you are promoting; don’t take the reader for a fool because he/she is not.
Example: in the article besides adding the results of the tests I did, I added the tools and URLs I used to do them, so anyone can check it out for themselves. And besides offering a discount coupon, I make it clear that I will earn a commission if my affiliate link is used.
- Humility: this can be one of the keys to differentiate yourself from many others. Nobody knows everything and you can always learn from everyone.
People identify with those who, in a sincere and humble way, show their knowledge and how they have acquired it. Those who pretend to be “experts” without demonstrating that they are, quickly lose trust.