The affiliate marketing industry has so much misinformation bounding about the internet that it’s no wonder one can easily become confused. There are companies pretending to be affiliate marketing (when they actually are not) and companies that over complicate things in order to sell you their over complicated affiliate marketing product or service.
Stay with me for the next five minutes and you are not only going to understand affiliate marketing, you are going to be well versed enough to spring board staright into your affiliate marketing career.
The Process of Affiliate Marketing Simplified.
There are three basics to Affiliate Marketing. There’s the affiliate (you), the affiliate programme (the product/service owner) and the customer (the individual buying).
You sign up to an affiliate programme and this gives you the opportunity to promote the programme product/service or a subset of products and services. The programme provider will give you a unique “affiliate link”, which gives you the ability to promote their services, for it to be tracked and, hence, you get paid.
Here’s a diagramatic representation of the process:
Say you sign up as an affiliate for Amazon (known as Amazon Associates). When somebody clicks your affiliate link on your website or your social media account or from an email you might send out to Amazon and they purchase something, you earn 6% of the product sales value as commission.
That may not sound like a lot but people are buying tens of thousands of toasters daily and buying hundreds of millions of products from Amazon every month. Say you sold 30 toasters per day? Then the 6% adds up.
So that’s how the affiliate marketing process works, not rocket science, now let’s discuss you, the affiliate.
Who Can Be An Affiliate And At What’s The Cost?
Most affiliate programmes are completely free to join. In some very rare cases, a company affiliate programme will charge a small joining fee to gain commitment (and verify you are real), but that is quite unusual.
Affiliate programmes I use are free, there is always the chance that the one that is charging you to join is not an affiliate programme and more likely to be a scam.
As an Affiliate Marketer in 2021, you can promote pretty much every brand/product/service that you can imagine and earn a commissions for doing so. There are over 550 million products and services out there that you can promote as an affiliate. Which brings me onto competition. There isn’t any, there are very few successful affiliates out there but I’m going to make you one!
How Do Affiliate Programmes Work?
An affiliate programme gives you a unique link, essentially a code that allows a piece of tracking software to track your sales from which you earn commission.
Here’s an example of what an affiliate programme stats look like, these are the stats from WealthyAffiliate.com’s affiliate program:
Stats are automated and very accurate. The ability to get more sophisticated and accurate statistics within your affiliate tracking campaigns is at its best now. You will have a great deal of control and can track conversions quite easily.
Good programmes offer promotional materials such as banners, widgets and even plugins that you can utilise on your website or social platforms. The more comprehensive the affiliate programme, the better equipped affiliates are to promote that product/service.
Affiliate Networks. What Are They?
Simply, an affiliate network is a grouping of affiliate programmes under one company. Take Awin.com (the largest in the world), an affiliate network where you have access to 6,000 different companies and their products/services from under one roof.
Then there are 100’s of affiliate networks, adding up to hundreds of thousands of companies and brands out there from which you can choose. Joining an affiliate network is a time saver and involves a lot less management of your passwords, links, payments, etc.
The Opportunity and How to Get Paid.
There are a number of ways to get paid, many affiliate marketing companies use the, now, traditional routes to pay into your bank account. Payment schedules differ too.
Typically, your payment will be made in US Dollars, the industry standard. Some companies will pay you in your own currency, doing the conversion for you from USD to your own currency.
Typical payment routes are:
- Cheque Payment
- Bank Wire
The Wealthy Affiliate programme (which I use) pays primarily through PayPal but also offers cheque payment and, in some cases, bank wire payments.
Affiliate programmes don’t make it difficult for you to get paid, it’s in their interest to do so.
Where Do You Learn How to Run an Affiliate Business?
You’ve decided to get started with an affiliate marketing business (good choice!), but where do you go to find out what’s best for you? It is tough to decide as there are now so many programmes and educators out there that are claiming to be best. As you will learn, affiliate marketing involves a lot of research.
Where do you start?
I am going to help you here and save you a tremendous amount of time and worry. There is one platform in the affiliate marketing industry that I found in 2015 and I’m now very much involved with called Wealthy Affiliate. It is where the “who’s who” of affiliate marketing not only hang out, but where they manage their own businesses.
Wealthy Affiliate has been around since 2005 and is specifically designed to provide you with all the tools, websites, hosting, training, coaching and interactive support to create and grow your affiliate business.
There’s a completely free Starter Membership and a very cost-effective, more advanced Premium option. I recommend that you get going with the Starter Programme, you’ll get a great insight into the offer as well as kick starting your business for free.
Within the first few lessons you are going to have your own affiliate coach, a chosen 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.
You can find my review of Wealthy Affiliate here.