Starting an Affiliate Marketing Business: A Beginner’s Guide

Many people have heard of affiliate marketing but very few actually know how to start and run this type of business.

Knowing how to start an affiliate marketing business is a fairly simple process but will take some time and effort.

How Does It Work?
This business is simply a way for you to earn a commission for recommending either products or services to people online. To provide a simple overview, you find a product or service that you want to promote and then search for an affiliate program. Chances are, there’s a program for it on Amazon or a similar site.

Sign up for that site’s affiliate program and you’ll receive a link that will allow the merchant to track anyone who clicks on that link.

If a person purchases the product through that link, then you’ll get a commission of the sale. Overall, this is a simple process but it will take you some work to get started.

Create Your Niche
Although you could promote any number of products, affiliate marketers do best when they fit into a certain niche. This means that you focus on a particular area and products related to that area. For example, if you’re interested in health and fitness, you could promote products that are workout clothes, shakes, shoes, and more.

In order to promote these products, you’re going to need to have a social media presence, blog, and/or website.

You can easily create a website or blog but also have some social media sites to spread out your reach. These sites should be focused on your niche. It may be helpful to build a web presence before you start affiliate marketing.

Research Products
There are two ways to go about this next step. You can either search affiliate programs and look for products that they already offer. Or, you can find products you know that you want to promote and then search for affiliate programs for that particular product.

Both approaches are fine but make sure you only promote products that you actually support.

Also, before choosing products, look at the commission rates. The ones that are low probably won’t be worth your time, so commissions of at least 3-4% are desirable.

Promote Products
Now that you have a list of products that you want to promote, start to add the links onto your website, blog, and social media. Instead of simply posting links, make sure that you add value to the products you promote. Bloggers often do well by mentioning that they’ve tried these products and offering a personalized review.

You can also add personal stories on how you used the product and why you recommend it. Avoid being too promotional or promoting too many products at one time.

Enjoy the Income
When you link the products on your page, anyone who visits the product through that link and purchases the product will earn you a commission. This passive income will generally be low when you’re starting out but you can expect to see higher income when you improve and start selling more products. With this handy guide, you’ve got the basics needed to get started selling today.

Is it Worth it to Buy Clickfunnels?

If you are looking for a way to build funnels, there are many options. However, one of them stands out from the rest. Clickfunnels took the internet by storm and they have just been in existence for a few years only.

What is Clickfunnels?
Clickfunnels is basically a landing page builder. Seem like you can find them anywhere right? Well, with Clickfunnels you get a full suite of tools. The drag and drop features, with proven pre-made funnels are already done for you, as well as the hosting. If you don’t have a website you can even use Clickfunnels to promote just about anything, including your own business even if it is not online.

Membership sites can also be created with Clickfunnels. Payment integration is easy and it integrates with Paypal, Stripe and other payment options.

You can even to A/B split testing to see which landing page works best. What I like most about Clickfunnels is that you don’t need a website and you also don’t even know how to build a website because the drag and drop builder makes it super easy.

What is a Sales Funnel?
The first part of the process is creating a free and enticing offer to get someone to subscribe to your email list. You would give tremendous value here, such as a list on the top 10 things in the niche you want to promote. You would target people in that niche.

The next step is to start sending them value based emails after you receive their email. You will be building up trust in a few emails here. Then after that, in one of your emails you will link to an offer. This offer must be tied into what you have been offering. If they add the item to their cart, then they are presented with an OTO (one time offer) to either double their order at a reduced rate or offer another relative product. The whole point here is to maximize sales.

Should You Buy it?
One of the cons of Clickfunnels is the price. For someone new, the price of $99 USD per month may seem steep. But even if you get one or 2 sales it has paid for itself already, and you are building up your list. People that see no success with Clickfunnels during their trial (14 days) normally end up canceling. For this reason I think Clickfunnels should have a monthly free trial to give people more of a chance to use and understand the platform.

It’s a good product though and I encourage you to try it out for yourself and see if you like it.

Should You Do Affiliate Marketing or Ecommerce?

One question we get asked a lot is whether you should do affiliate marketing or e-Commerce. Both of these business models can be very lucrative. You can make a very good income doing both but if you are new you should definitely only pick a one model.

It really depends on what excites you more. So let’s dive into the differences between an affiliate marketing and e-Commerce.

Affiliate Marketing
In this business model the idea behind it in its most basic form is that you are a commissioned salesperson. Large companies will have a product where they not only sell it themselves on their website but will offer affiliates the opportunity to sell their product and receive a commission once the sale has been made.

The identifier of the sale is generated through a unique link. This unique link identifies you as the individual responsible for a customer purchasing through your link. Once the sale is finalized you will get a commission depending on the vendors terms. Commissions can range anywhere from 2% to 70% depending on the offer.

Informational products such as courses on affiliate marketing for example typically will yield a higher commission rate. Where as commissions on physical goods is usually much lower. An example of this is with Amazon Products. If you are interested in starting affiliate marketing you need to decide whether you want to sell physical products or informational ones.

You can start to do this by creating your own review blog and simply preview products that interest you. You may need to purchase some of these products in the beginning but as your website grows and vendors take notice, you may end up getting products with free access or in the case of physical goods –sent to you.

The easiest way to get started is by checking out clickbank.com and find an offer that interests you. Keep in mind these are all informational products. However, there are many different categories to choose from. If you want to sell physical goods, Amazon could be a good place to start or you could just google the products that you are interested in and see if there are affiliate programs for them.

E-Commerce
With e-Commerce, the focus is only on physical goods. In this business model we are using drop shipping which is the most common method. The idea behind this is that you can sell a multitude of products and never have to store them in your home or a warehouse.

You would list the products in your e-Commerce store and when someone makes the purchase you then order the product from the manufacturer who in then ships the product directly to the customer. The customer has no idea that the product was shipped from the manufacturer in the seams it came from your own store.

The way how you make money with this business model is through marking up the products. Typically any product gets marked up several 100%. Your profits on an e-Commerce store varies depending on your expenses.

The main expense for e-Commerce is advertising. The two most common platforms for drop shipping is facebook and google ads. There are also fees two your host and payment gateway provider which the most common platform is Shopify.

Which one to Choose
By now you should have a good grasp on the differences between these two models. As for startup costs, the affiliate marketing model is generally cheaper. If investing a little money is not a problem for you then you could go with the drop shipping route if that interests you more. However, if you’re a little strapped for cash, affiliate marketing is probably the better choice.

You will need some training in either one from a good affiliate marketing and ecom review blog like Drew’s Review. Other options are to watch a lot of Youtube videos as there is plenty of content available for free for both of these business models.