What is Affiliate Marketing?

The remarkable thing about Affiliate Marketing is that you have the flexibility to build any business based on your passion and on top of that, the initial start-up cost is low.

All you need is a website and hosting service (Some might even argue that you do not need a site to be an Affiliate Marketer).

You might be interested to know that Affiliate Marketing is the best out of the top 3 online business opportunities for beginners.

So, what exactly is Affiliate Marketing?

Let me explain what Affiliate Marketing really is in this short 2 minute video:

The concept of Affiliate Marketing is really simple, you recommend other people's product(s) and earn a commission out of each successful sale.

There are basically 3 parties that are involved in the Affiliate Marketing model:

Affiliate-Marketing-merchant
Affiliate-Marketing-affiliate
Affiliate-Marketing-consumer

The Merchant

Merchants are mainly the product creators/owners or the product distributors.

For example, you have a new idea to create an online course that teaches people how to become a great home cook.

And, because your effort to get the word out for your new online course isn't enough to reach the wide audience, you need the help of someone else, an affiliate.

These affiliates are individuals who would do everything, at their own cost, to help you promote your business.

And, you'll pay them a cut of the sale for their efforts. Affiliate Marketing is like the word of mouth of the modern day.

Nowadays, even if you run a brick and mortar store, it would be wise to set up an e-commerce store to sell your products.

With your e-commerce store setup, you can leverage the power of affiliate marketing to drive sales to your business.

It is difficult to create an affiliate program for your business without proper resources.

And, that's why business owners either leverage on Affiliate Networks to run their affiliate program or they leverage on available software tools.

What are Affiliate Networks?

Affiliate Networks like Clickbank and Shareasale, are a marketplace for affiliate programs.

These affiliate networks, houses thousands of Affiliate Programs.

And, they have thousands of active affiliates to promote the products within the network.

Which means that if you as a merchant joins an affiliate network, you already have a group of hungry affiliates dying to promote your products (if your products fit the affiliate marketers' appetite).

Although there is a big advantage of joining affiliate networks...

You have to ensure that the affiliates promoting your product are qualified affiliates.

For example, if your product is only looking for customers who reside in U.S., U.K. or Canada, you don't want affiliates who bring you prospects from Nigeria (this is just for an example).

As a merchant, you want to know more about your affiliates, and where they get their traffic.

Affiliate Networks like Clickbank doesn't allow you to filter quality affiliates, so you have to do your due diligence and see which Affiliate Network fits your business.

Start an Affiliate Program For Your Business? Click here!

The Affiliate

The Affiliate will use all means to promote a product for the company they are affiliated with.

If you are looking at this, I guess you are aspiring to become an affiliate marketer.

The secret to becoming a successful affiliate marketer is to build a business around a niche that you are passionate about or you are interested in, this concept is called niche marketing.

What is Niche Marketing?

There are millions of affiliate products online, but not all products are suitable for your affiliate business.

To be successful in affiliate marketing, you have to build an affiliate business around the niche that you are interested in.

Which means that you'll only promote products that are relevant to the people in that niche.

This way, you are becoming an authority (an expert) in that niche, and people will trust and follow your recommendations.

Best Affiliate Marketing Training for Beginners? Click here!

The Different Types of Affiliate Models

As an affiliate marketer, it is important for you to understand how you are remunerated.

There are 3 main types of affiliate models:

  1. Cost Per Click
  2. Cost Per Acquisition
  3. Cost Per Lead

Let's talk about each of them...

Cost per Click Affiliate Model

This is where you will be paid whenever someone clicks on your affiliate link. It doesn't matter whether the person who clicks the link takes any action after clicking, you get paid for as long as there is a click.

It sounds lucrative, but you have to be careful!

For example, there was an affiliate program where I would be compensated $2 - $4 per click when someone clicks on my affiliate link. It is definitely enticing, but you have to be careful where you are sending the traffic to.

This kind of offer could be a scam because it is difficult to sustain the compensation model, so you have to do your due diligence before sending traffic.

If you run a blog like mine, you'll understand that reputation and authority is very important. People trust your blog for a reason, and you shouldn't take advantage of their trust. So, be sure to only send your blog visitors to legitimate programs.

Cost per Acquisition (CPA) Affiliate Model

This model is widespread in the online trading industry.

The online trading platform will either (1) pay a commission based on the trading activity of the user you've referred or (2) a percentage (or a fixed sum) of the funds injected into the trading platform.

You will be able to choose how you wish to be paid when you sign up to the affiliate program.

To further elaborate on the two Cost per acquisition Affiliate Models above, (1) whenever your referral executes a trade, a portion of the trading fee earned by the trading platform will be shared with you, and if you select the latter (2), you will be compensated immediately when your referral deposits money into his/her trading account.

Cost per Lead Affiliate Model

This model simply means that you will get paid whenever the someone clicks on your affiliate link, and becomes a lead of the merchant.

A lead in layman term is a prospect. Whenever someone becomes a prospect of the merchant, it will be merchant's job to turn the prospect into a paying customer. You will play no role in that.

If the prospect becomes a customer, you won't get paid, but you are already paid on the front end.

Hybrid

Sometimes you will see merchants offering affiliate programs that pays cost per lead and cost per action.

It is a business decision made by the merchant. Happy affiliates means more sales for the merchants, am I right affiliates?

The Consumer

Needless to say, as long as we buy a product to consume, we are consumers.

Could you tell me, when you were deciding to buy a product online, what was the first thing that you did?

Research, right?

And how do you do it?

Google Search? Forums? Facebook Groups? Whatsapp chat? Word of mouth?

If you are an Affiliate Marketer, that is what you need to figure out, "Where your consumers are going to for research".

Adweek.com published an article that says 81% of the consumers do their research online before making the purchase.

In the past, the power of the word of mouth marketing generated the most sales for companies, and it is still the same in this day and age.

People go onto the internet to find reviews and recommendations from people who've tried the products.

As you position yourself as an affiliate marketer, your job is to share your personal experience of the product with likely consumers.

The trust factor is significant in your affiliate marketing business. If you can show proof that a particular product works for you, there is a high chance that the consumers will buy the product through your affiliate link.

There is no difference to the consumers when they purchase the product through your affiliate link or directly from the merchant.

How much can an Affiliate Marketer earn?

In practice, you'd probably need to put in hours and hours of training and action in order to make your first sale. It is not a "Get Rich Quick Scheme" that many "gurus" are preaching.

However, the income that you can generate from affiliate marketing is rewarding.

Here's an approximate timeline to achieve success with affiliate marketing.

A successful Affiliate Marketer could potentially earn between $2,000 to $8,000 per month, and the figure rises depending on the products that you promote.

If you promote high ticket products, there is a chance that you can earn $10,000 to $20,000 a month or more.

Most affiliate programs are free to join, and the only costs you have are either the cost of setting up your website, or the cost of driving traffic (paid advertisements).

Like everything in life, you have to start from the ground up, and you can't expect to earn money immediately.

The first milestone...

The first milestone that you want to aim for is to earn your first $100 online, that way you'll know that your online business work, and making money online is real.

All you have to do after that is to be consistent with your efforts, and you'll soon reap the rewards.

Many people didn't get passed the first milestone, and they quit. Here are some reasons why people fail with affiliate marketing.

Honestly, the first milestone is the hardest to achieve, and once you've reached that, the following milestones will be much easier.

If you want to learn how to be a successful Affiliate Marketer, I invite you to learn from Wealthy Affiliate because this is the place that got me to earn $6,000 per month on average, and allowed me to quit my full-time job to pursue my dreams.

Top 5 Courses for Building an Affiliate Marketing Business (For Affiliates)

As you know, in order to start any kind of business and to make it successful, you need knowledge and guidance.

Without that, you are just like a headless chicken heading no where. Much like going to school to get proper education and get a proper job, Affiliate Marketing is similar in that sense. You need to educate yourself to build an affiliate business.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Affiliate Marketing training on the market, and I've tested most of them.

A lot of them gave big (false) promises but never deliver, and out of those programs, and I've picked out the top 5 affiliate marketing training programs that will teach you how to build your affiliate business in the most concise, efficient and effective way. Here they are...

Rank

Name

Review

#1

Wealthy Affilia​te

#2

Authority Hacker

#3

Legendary Marketer

#4

Fizzle

#5

Affilorama

My Final Word (From One Affiliate Marketer to Another)

The path to success as an affiliate marketer is not going to be easy. There are many hurdles you have to overcome.

If you ask me how long it takes to become to successful, there is NO definite answer, here is the gauge.

I would say that the first milestone is to achieve $100 online, and once you've achieved that, the next milestone will be easier.

The hardest part of becoming successful is to earn your first dollar online.

I've struggled and failed many times, but it was the dream, the vision, and consistency that made me who I am today. Here is my journey to success.

Maybe you are new to Affiliate Marketing or you've tried affiliate marketing in the past, or maybe you are struggling to find success, my advice is to be focus and consistent.

Don't be in Affiliate Marketing for the money (although it is an important factor), but be in affiliate marketing because you are passionate about what you have to share with the world.

Your passion will eventually turn into profit if you keep doing what you love.

Thank you for reading this article!

If you find this helpful, please share it with others.

If you'll like to discuss more, please, feel free to leave a comment below.

Your pal,

Jack

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