What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is an action-based or performance-based marketing. Companies pay affiliates commissions based on referrals. This means you can earn money by simply referring traffic (people) to their company. It’s kind of like you become a freelance digital marketer. Referrals are tracked through unique URLs (links) that are assigned to you as an affiliate. When someone clicks on your link and then makes a purchase… you earn a commission!
Why Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is one of the best online businesses for beginners and experts alike. It is easy to get started. The affiliate marketing model allows beginners to get started with little to no investment yet provides the opportunity to scale well into the 6 or even 7-figure per year range. Other benefits include:
- You Do Not have to create a product yourself, set up a shopping cart or process payments.
- You Do Not Have to worry about customer service, product fulfillment or processing any potential refunds.
- You Can do this anywhere in the world as long as you have your laptop and an internet connection. And affiliate marketing programs are almost always free to join.
Step 1: Choosing Your Niche
Your niche (pronounced “neesh”) is your topic. This dictates the type of affiliate products you promote (we’ll cover how to find products in step 2).
Your niche should be in line with a passion or interest of yours. It is important that you resist the temptation to go after something because it “seems like a profitable idea.”
For instance, let’s talk about a trend that took off a while back. Intermittent Fasting. It seemed like everyone was talking about this approach to weight loss. And since there is always plenty of money to be made in the weight loss industry, perhaps this would be a good niche. However, if you are not passionate about intermittent fasting then it is going to be difficult to become a leader in the intermittent fasting niche (more on why this is important in just a second) therefore, you are most likely not going to see the success you had hoped for.
However, if you are passionate about sharing the benefits of natural remedies, then this would be an opportunity worth exploring. It is a subcategory of one of the 3 Evergreen Niches, and your passion for the topic will keep you motivated as you build your web of influence.
3 Evergreen Niches
The 3 Evergreen Niches are the categories with the highest earning potential:
Health, Wealth and Love are important to us on an emotional level. And as a result, when something is not to our liking within one of these areas, we are willing to spend money and take action to rectify the situation.
For example: If you and your spouse/significant other/partner were fighting a lot. Yet deep down you really loved each other and wanted to stay together. Then you would be highly likely to search for a solution. This could involve purchasing a program designed to help you overcome your struggles.
🔑 And this is the key. Even though most affiliate marketing takes place online, Money Still Comes From Other People.
The same can be true for couples looking to spice it up. Or parents who are having trouble with their children (i.e. behavioral issues).
The wealth niche could be investing, real estate flipping, selling on Amazon, etc. The health niche could be “how to lose weight” or “how to be healthy.”
Keep in mind that it’s important to remember to follow your passion or interest. If things go well, you will become a leader in your space and continue to profit for many years. Too many marketers burn themselves out because they chased the money instead of following their passion. Remember: You can become whoever you want to be. Everyone loves a transformational journey. This is a great way to build an audience.
Step 2: Finding Affiliate Products
After you decide that affiliate marketing is the smart way to go, you have to find products to promote. The good news is, there is no shortage of products and services with affiliate programs. A quick Google search of “Product in my niche affiliate program” can lead you in the right direction.
💡If you have a product in mind, one of the easiest ways to see if they have an affiliate program is to scroll down to the bottom of their home page. Oftentimes this is where you will find a link to their affiliate sign up page and commission structure.
Popular Affiliate Programs
Many people do not realize that Amazon (that’s right, the world’s largest eCommerce retailer) has an affiliate program.
As you can see on the United States version of their home page, down at the bottom you will find the link to become an affiliate. Once again, this is free to join. After approval, you have the opportunity to earn up to 10% on purchases made by your referrals. And since Amazon sells everything, you can find relevant products regardless of which niche you choose.
ClickBank is another popular and trusted affiliate opportunity. ClickBank is a marketplace for digital product producers. Essentially, they connect digital product producers with affiliates. The best part is that ClickBank processes all of the transactions for the product producers AND pays the affiliates. When you partner with ClickBank, you can rest assured that you will be paid.
Here are the top 3 reasons why you want to promote ClickBank products:
- They are beginner-friendly. It’s easy to get approved to promote ClickBank. And they have their own training program called ClickBank University. Created to help you promote ClickBank Products.
- They offer mostly digital products. And since their products are digital, there are almost no fulfillment costs. This allows companies to pay 75% commissions. Meaning $60 products can earn you $45 commissions.
- ClickBank has a huge selection. In their marketplace, you can find a digital product to fit any niche. They have everything from WoodWorking Plans to Survival Strategies and Forex Trading.
💡Tip: When searching for products, sort by “Gravity” or “Popularity”
Software (SAAS) and Web Hosting
Software As A Service (SAAS) and website hosting are highly lucrative affiliate marketing opportunities that can be easy to promote. Online businesses need tools to run their business. You can earn commissions by connecting new businesses in need to the software required to run their business. No selling necessary.
- BlueHost for example is a web hosting company that is great for people who want to start a blog. They pay a $65 commission for every customer referred to. (For more detailed information about web hosting companies, check our post on the best hosting services available).
- ClickFunnels is an all-in-one solution (they host the web pages, capture the emails, and process the transactions) and pay a 40% monthly recurring commission on a product that starts at $97 a month.
Step 3: Earn Big Commissions
In general, it is much easier to earn One $1000 commission than it is to earn One Hundred $10 commissions. The problem for most beginners is that it takes a lot more skill, experience and technique to sell a product that will earn a $1000 commission than it does to sell a product that will earn you a $10 commission.
That’s why beginners should partner with companies that have a proven “Value Ladder.”
Big Commission Secret: The Value Ladder
The Value Ladder is the affiliate marketer’s secret to massive earnings. Typically, you (the affiliate) will promote a low-ticket entry product. In some cases, it could actually be free. These low-ticket products can sometimes be referred to as “Trip-Wire Offers.” Examples include:
- Free Trial
- Low Monthly Membership Fee
- Free + Shipping Book
This allows the affiliate to more easily get customers into their partners’ pipeline. Once that first “Trip-Wire Offer” is set, that customer is then attributed to your earnings for life. This means that if they purchase a $2000 product 6 months from now, you still earn the $1000 commission (assuming a 50% commission structure).
When you join an affiliate partner with a proven Value Ladder, you leverage the capability and experience of professional marketers with a sizeable advertising budget.
Let’s take a look at 2 programs you can start promoting today, that have lucrative value ladders.
ClickFunnels has numerous affiliate marketing opportunities, however, in the following example you can see how giving a book away for free can earn you $264.40 in total commissions.
As an affiliate, you simply promote the Traffic Secrets book. This book is a tremendous resource that you can feel great about recommending. Plus it’s free (buyers simply have to pay for shipping) so it converts at a high rate. Then ClickFunnels will follow with upsells and back end offers. All of which earn you a 40% commission. This is without a doubt, one of the best ways for beginners to start earning big commissions fast.
👉 Get your Free copy of Traffic Secrets: Get Your Free Book
✌️Learn more about becoming a ClickFunnels Super Affiliate by taking part of their Free Affiliate Bootcamp 👉 Join The Bootcamp for Free
🚘 See how referring 100 people to ClickFunnels can get you your dream car paid for by ClickFunnels 👉 Win Your Dream Car
Much like ClickFunnels, the Value Ladder put together by Legendary Marketer has the potential to change the game very quickly. Let’s take a quick look at the earning potential with Legendary Marketer:
As you can see, massive potential. If one of your referrals purchases a ticket to the Entrepreneur Mastermind, that earns you a $4,800.00 commission.
Remember, it takes a lot of time and resources to build out a value ladder of this magnitude. Yet, in partnering with a company like Legendary Marketer, you can instantly leverage:
- Their back end sales processes
- Their phone sales team
- Their product line
- Their years of experience closing sales
☝️One more thing that is interesting about an affiliate partner like Legendary Marketer is the MLM aspect of it. Don’t be scared. This isn’t a bad thing. And you don’t have to bug your friends and family (more on that in the next section). Allow me to explain.
When you join Legendary Marketer, you learn how to promote Legendary Marketer. This can benefit you in 3 ways….
First: Clarity. A lot of times when you sign up to promote an affiliate offer, the affiliate partners will give you tools. But they will generally rely on the affiliates to “figure out how to connect the dots.” This may be because a good affiliate who knows what he/she is doing can drive more traffic than 10,000 beginners. With Legendary Marketer, they focus on teaching you the system that allows you to earn commissions. This brings us to benefit #2…
Second: Earn While You Learn. You can absolutely hit the ground running. As a matter of fact, in some cases, brand new affiliates are able to implement
the system and earn their first commissions in 15 days or less. And once you earn that first commission, that brings up benefit #3…
Third: Self Validating System. When you recommend a product that you use, you become a trusted ambassador for that product and people are likely to trust your recommendation. Think of it like this:
Let’s say you see an advertisement for a new restaurant in town. It might catch your attention. It might peak your interest. But restaurant advertising is nothing new. As a result, you may visit the restaurant, or you may not.
However, if someone you know says “Oh my gosh. We went to this new restaurant last night. It was so good, you have to go.” Then there is probably a high likelihood that you will try that restaurant out. The restaurant’s worth has been validated.
This is the exact same way Legendary Marketer works. If you can say that you earned your first ever dollar online with Legendary Marketer, then other beginners are going to be highly likely to join Legendary Marketer. And when they do, you earn another commission…and the snowball effect kicks in.
✅ To learn more about the Legendary Marketer Opportunity and how you can launch your online business in 15 days or less….
Visit 👉 The 15 Day Challenge
Step 4: Getting Traffic
Traffic (people clicking on your links) is obviously one of the key components of affiliate marketing. There are two types of traffic in the digital marketing world.
- Paid Traffic (e.g. Facebook Ads)
- Free Traffic (Also referred to as Organic Traffic)
Each has their pros and cons. Let’s dive in…
Paid traffic has two main advantages over organic traffic. Paid traffic is fast and controllable. If you have an offer that you wish to promote on Facebook, simply pay for the space and choose your target market. You can almost instantly get your offer in front of as many people as your budget will allow. If a campaign is profitable, scale up. If not, turn it off.
The Challenges of Paid Traffic with Affiliate Marketing
There are two factors that make it difficult for beginners to use paid traffic in their affiliate marketing efforts. Unfortunately, some “gurus” in the space will tell you otherwise (in hopes of selling a course probably) because paid traffic sounds easier.
In reality, paid traffic only works for the best affiliate marketers. And there is a perfectly logical reason for this. Advertising is sold on an auction basis (meaning the space goes to the highest bidder) and everyone has access to the same affiliate products. So in theory, the profit margins will always go to zero. Only those with complex funnels & systems will earn the competitive advantage necessary to make this model profitable.
And reason #2 affiliate marketing beginners will struggle with paid traffic is the payout schedule. Let me explain…
If you are selling a product where you take the payments, then you receive that money almost instantly. Let’s say that today you spend $100 on ads to make $200 back. That means tomorrow you can spend $200 to make $400…etc.
With affiliate marketing, commissions are often held for 30 days. So if you are able to spend $100 today to earn $200 in commissions, that’s great. However, with the affiliate model, you can not immediately re-invest those earnings. As a result, it is very difficult for beginners to sustain long enough to make this model work. For this reason, the best method for beginners is…
You may have heard of a number of ways you can generate free organic traffic. Instagram and blogging are two examples of ways people make money with affiliate marketing using organic traffic. However, hands down, the three best organic traffic sources are…
- Facebook Groups
YouTube is king. Everything else is secondary. Your first reaction might be “YouTube is too hard.” In reality, the opposite is true. Here is why.
The most important thing to remember about YouTube is that YouTube is the second largest search engine (only trailing Google). Because of the “Discovery” nature inherent to search engines, beginners have just as much of a chance at “ranking” as established channels. Now, it would be foolish to think that established channels with huge followings and authority don’t have an advantage. However, with the right combination of content and keywords, it is 100% possible for a new channel to rank well and rank fast. And the result of ranking on YouTube is floods of highly targeted traffic. One “highly ranked” video can change your life.
And this is why YouTube holds such an advantage over “Blogging.” Google is more established. Ranking can take months or even years. On YouTube, videos can rank within hours.
The second reason YouTube is great for beginners: It automatically leverages your #1 competitive advantage.
When you boil it down, YouTube only cares about user experience and watch time. They don’t play favorites. This can benefit you because as long as you upload consistent content, YouTube will work hard to find your audience for you.
Think of it like this. Let’s say you and I both are good at making Cupcakes. As a matter of fact, if we each made a batch of 12 cupcakes and put them to a group for a blind taste test, there would be no clear winner. It’s safe to say we are equal in our ability to make cupcakes.
Yet in that blind taste test, 6 people would prefer your cupcakes. And the other 6 would prefer my cupcakes. Neither one is necessarily better, it just comes down to a matter of preference. This is exactly how YouTube works. Your audience is out there waiting for your unique view and approach.
The Best Way To Leverage YouTube
The best strategies for growing your YouTube channel fast is to either educate or motivate. Both strategies crush it in affiliate marketing. Let’s look at 2 specific examples.
💡A great way to educate on YouTube is to create “How To” videos or Tutorials. This can be anything from how to brew beer or how to make money with Airbnb to how to create the perfect smokey eye. Remember, YouTube is a search engine. And I always like to say that YouTube is the search engine people use to find solutions. Where Google is the search engine people use to settle a bet or find a restaurant. When people are looking for solutions, this is where the money is made.
💪Motivation also works well. People love to be motivated or inspired. Think about the weight loss or personal development niche. If you have the ability to inspire people to take action, you will never run out of affiliate product opportunities.
As you continue to create content, focus on growing your brand, building your audience, and providing value. This will future proof your business and bring about exponential increases to your income.
☝️ Remember the #1 rule… It’s so much easier to have an audience and then find products for them to buy than it is to have a product and try to find someone who will buy it. Start by building your audience and then simply feed the machine.
Step 5: Assemble The Machine
By now you already know what affiliate marketing is. You know how to find the offers to promote. And you know how to drive traffic to the offers for free. Now it’s time to learn how you can create a system that can deliver consistent commissions and passive income. In simple terms, the formula is…
VALUE > VALUE > OFFER > FOLLOW UP
You have most likely seen this same formula or pattern repeated thousands of times, even if you haven’t yet realized it. The initial value builds your audience. Take for instance the YouTube & ClickFunnels examples we discussed earlier. You could build up your YouTube channel by offering mini-tutorials for beginners. Using a free tool like Keywordtool.io you can see what questions people are actually asking.
As you can see in the image above. By simply entering your main keyword into the search bar, you can get a list of keywords and questions that represent what people are actually searching on YouTube. Then simply make videos addressing these keywords and questions.
- You could make a video that compares Clickfunnels and Builderall
- You could make a video that talks about Clickfunnels’ pricing
- You could offer your review of Clickfunnels…etc.
The key to YouTube is not being super professional. It’s about being relevant and relatable.
So once again, this is your first piece of value that builds your audience. The next step in the formula is once again value. Sticking with this same example, your second piece of value would be a ClickFunnels Setup tutorial. You could offer this for free in exchange for email addresses (more on this in a second). This free course will give people confidence and get them to take action. And because they are in your system, they are likely to click on your affiliate link. This is the offer. Sign up for ClickFunnels. And when they do, you earn a monthly recurring commission, plus 40% of any back end sales.
VALUE > VALUE > OFFER > FOLLOW UP
Looking at that formula again we can see the last step is the follow up. People are resistant to change. Especially when effort is required. This is true in weight loss or self-improvement just as it is in starting a new business. Because you captured their email address, you can follow up with them.
Nudging them. Encouraging them. Thus, increasing your conversions. And this follow up is what turns a good business model into a great business.
Yet, it doesn’t end there. Follow Up is actually two-fold. Because you have acquired email addresses. You can actually follow up with subsequent and related affiliate products. For instance, someone looking to start a business with ClickFunnels might someday be interested in running ads to promote their business. You as the affiliate can find a reputable Facebook Advertising Course with an affiliate program. And by simply making a recommendation, you can easily increase the Lifetime Value of Your List.Beginner's Guide to Affiliate Marketing Click To Tweet
Affiliate marketing is a real opportunity. And we believe it is about to go mainstream. As advertising costs continue to increase, we believe more businesses will rely on affiliate marketing as a way to control their marketing budgets. One of our favorite quotes is by Bo Bennet…
Affiliate marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires.Robert Foster Bennett
Because it’s true. The very nature of affiliate marketing allows ordinary people like you and us to partner with huge companies and leverage their systems. For this reason, an affiliate marketing business is easy to start, yet has the potential to scale well into the 7 figure range.
🏃♂️If you are ready to hit the ground running, yet aren’t sure which direction to step first, then keep one thing in mind. The most money is in the “Wealth” niche. Marketing or “starting an online business” represents huge earning opportunities. If you are interested in this potential, we recommend starting with one of the two avenues below.
We think the 15 Day Challenge is the best for beginners, as it provides the most guidance. However, both opportunities represent amazing opportunities right now. Why not try both?
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