Chances are you’ve heard of affiliate marketing before now. And you already know it’s one of the easiest ways to make money online.
But now, I want you to assume you’ve known nothing about affiliate marketing (this post is for stark beginners). Here you’re going to learn afresh what affiliate marketing is, how it works, and why it’s indeed the easiest way to make money online.
Now, let’s roll.
Affiliate marketing for dummies: What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is an internet-based arrangement where you get paid for selling products or services for another business. In other words, you promote another business’s products or services and earn a commission each time a new customer completes a purchase through your link.
Affiliate marketers are more like real estate agents, who don’t own the properties they sell, but instead promote properties on behalf of their clients and then earn a commission off the sale price of any properties sold.
How does affiliate marketing work?
Here’s how affiliate marketing is typically done: You register with an affiliate program and then promote certain products or services on your blog or website using the text links or banners provided by the program.
Each time someone clicks through those links or banners and goes ahead to buy the product or service you’re promoting, you earn a commission of the sale as specified by the merchant (i.e. the company that actually owns the product or service).
Mr Jack runs a security tips blog on which he promotes security cameras and self-defense gadgets for Amazon. He has banner ads strategically placed on his blog, and he embeds text links within his blog posts as well.
Each time a visitor clicks on any of the banners or text links, lands on Amazon’s website, and then goes on to buy a product, Mr Jack would earn a commission. If, for instance, the commission on security cameras is 5%, he would earn $100 for selling a security camera set that goes for $2,000.
An affiliate program is always a win-win system for both the affiliate marketer (you) and the merchant. You will get paid for referring sales to the merchant, while the merchant enjoys more publicity and makes more sales due to your efforts.
It is worthy of note that affiliate links don’t affect the customer at all. That is, the customer won’t be paying more by clicking on your affiliate links than they’ll do by visiting the merchant’s website directly (they may even pay less by clicking on your links in some cases). And they won’t miss out on anything, either. In fact, some may never know that they actually purchased through an affiliate link because there’s no apparent difference.
How much can you make monthly as an affiliate marketer?
Your monthly income as an affiliate marketer is down to how much time and effort you put into your business. Your overall goal is to attract as many as clicks on your affiliate links as possible and ultimately generate as many sales as possible for the merchant.
Some products and services (more details in subsequent lessons) pay $50 to $70 or even more per sale. If you’re the lazy type of affiliate marketer who makes just 2 sales per month, you’ll net $100 to $150 in monthly income. But if you’re proactive and hardworking, then you can make 10 sales or even more every month. That will fetch you at least $500 monthly.
In all, how much you’ll earn monthly depends on how much you earn as commission on each sale and how many sales you’re able to make every month.
Why is affiliate marketing the easiest way to make money online?
You probably already knew about Google Adsense and other seemingly easy ways to make money online. But the truth is, affiliate marketing remains not just the easiest way to make passive income online, but also the best option for beginners.
Here are 6 reasons why affiliate marketing is dead easy:
1. You don’t need huge start-up costs
Starting out as an affiliate marketer will typically cost you no more than domain registration and web hosting charges (both are required for setting up a new website or blog). On the average, you won’t spend up to $100 on both.
Although, you don’t necessarily need to have a website or blog before you can start affiliate marketing, having your own platform makes the business more profitable and sustainable.
2. You don’t need any expert knowledge
To make money as an affiliate marketer, you don’t need any formal qualifications or experience. Regardless of whatever product or service you want to market or whatever topic your blog is about, all you need is an eager-to-learn mindset, the ability to take action, and the ability to market the right products to the right people.
In addition, registering for affiliate programs, generating affiliate links, and retrieving affiliate commissions are all very simple tasks that require no special knowledge or expertise. So, you can easily handle them—even if you’re a complete novice.
3. You don’t need any staff
If you’re to run your own online retail store, you’ll certainly need a physical office run by various staff, such as payment handlers, delivery agents, customer support personnel, website developers, and so on.
Not so for affiliate marketing! Everything from order processing to order delivery are handled by the merchant. Yours is just to promote their products or services and make money.
4. You don’t need (to create) a product
While it’s true that you must sell a product or service in order to make money online, it’s not a must that you are the creator of what you sell. Affiliate marketing involves selling ready-made products and services, and there are many of them out there to choose from.
Even though you’re not creating any product, your commission from each sale is attractive enough. In fact, there are times you’ll earn more profits than the merchant (fact!).
5. You earn passive income
Though you can make money online by selling services such as freelance writing services, graphics design services, and freelance SEO services, all these are active income streams that run dry once you stop rendering your services.
But with affiliate marketing, you can earn income passively. That is, after setting up your affiliate marketing system correctly, you can sit back and watch the sales come in with just little or no effort from your end. But you’ll need to put in lots of hard work from the start before you can reach that stage.
6. You don’t need huge traffic
It’s true that the bigger your traffic, the more money you’re likely to make online. But as an affiliate marketer, you can still make a decent monthly income without necessarily having a website or blog that generates up to 10,000 visits per day.
If all you attract on a daily basis are just 100 visits (that’s 3,000 monthly visits), and only 20 of your visitors buy the products or services you promote every month, you can still end up with more than $1000 monthly (depending on what you’re promoting. But the same traffic figures cannot fetch you up to $50 in Adsense revenue at the end of each month.
I’m sure you now have a better and clearer perception of what affiliate marketing entails and how it works. Do you have any questions, objections or contributions? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.