Are you looking to make some extra money online? If so, affiliate marketing may be the perfect solution for you. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about starting affiliate marketing.
We'll cover the basics of how affiliate marketing works, as well as some strategies for finding profitable affiliate programs and products.
Read on and start paving the way to an online income today!
Table of contents
Affiliate Marketing Myths to Debunk
Before we get into the practical information, let's debunk some of the most common myths in the industry. This way, you'll be able to use the information in this guide with a clearer perspective.
Myth # 1: Affiliate Marketing Is Easy
Many so-called experts will tell you that replacing your income online is pretty easy, that you only need a website, start selling some products, and "kaboom," you're rich.
That couldn't be farther from the truth.
Like anything in life, affiliate marketing requires work and hard work.
If you want to build a career as a doctor, you need to spend several years in medical school before you can think about earning a dollar, right?
To become a civil engineer, you must attend college and learn how to design and construct bridges, roads, buildings, and structures.
When building an income online, you also need to learn certain things, like:
- Paid media
To name a few.
You can't expect to start today and quit your job tomorrow.
The good news?
You don't need a college degree to become a successful affiliate marketer.
You only need patience, determination, and proper training.
Myth # 2: Affiliate Marketing Is Free
Many people expect affiliate marketing to be free.
Even though it doesn't actually cost money to become an affiliate marketer, you might need a small initial budget.
For example, you might need:
- A website
- A domain name
- Advertising budget
Even if you start without any tools or budget, you do need to spend some time reaching out to potential customers and building relationships with relevant people.
That takes time.
And you know what they say, "time is money."
Myth # 3: You Can Grow Rich Overnight
This is probably the most common myth in the industry.
Many people claim to have the "secret sauce" to growing rich with affiliate marketing.
Don't listen to those people.
Affiliate marketing is all about, well, marketing.
And developing solid marketing skills takes time and effort.
The 3 Elements of Successful Affiliate Marketing
Now that we've debunked the most popular myths surrounding the affiliate marketing industry, let's cover how to get started.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, people tend to focus on tactics. That is, they focus on "WHAT" but forget the WHY.
That's a big problem.
What works today might not work tomorrow.
So, instead of covering tactics, let's focus on the three elements that make affiliate marketing work.
Element 1: The Vehicle
Affiliate marketing is a bit like traveling.
To travel, you need a vehicle.
The faster the vehicle, the quicker you'll arrive at your destination.
Let's say you want to go from New York to Miami. If you travel by car, it will take you about 18 hours.
On the other hand, a flight would only take 2 hours and 31 minutes.
That's 15.5 fewer hours.
The same happens with affiliate marketing.
But instead of having a destination city, you have a goal (replacing your income online). And depending on the "vehicle" you choose, you'll achieve that goal in less or more time.
Now you might be thinking:
"I get it, but what the heck is a vehicle, and how do I choose the right one?"
The vehicle is your offer.
And your vehicle's speed is determined by the following:
- Engine and fuel (more on this later)
There are many "vehicles" you can use to reach your goals:
For instance, if you are a good writer, you could write content for other people's blogs and websites.
If you know how to design graphics or edit photos, you could help people do that.
If you're good at drawing cartoons, you could sell that service, too.
It doesn't matter what skill you have. If you can help people do something they don't know how to do, you have an excellent opportunity to monetize your skills.
Products have unlimited "scalability, " meaning you can grow and expand your business without problems.
You can only manage a specific number of clients when offering a service. For instance, if you're an article writer, you probably couldn't write more than three daily articles.
That "restriction" doesn't let you grow in a scalable way.
But when you're selling a product, that restricting barrier disappears. You can sell 1,000 products daily without compromising your time and integrity.
Other people's products
Products are the fastest vehicle you can use to arrive at your destination.
But as we both know, not everyone can create their product.
The good news is that you don't need to.
Many companies are willing to pay you commissions for every sale you make of their products. Some companies pay more than others, so the key is to seek those companies that pay higher commissions.
Note: You can explore Reditus' marketplace to find and compare different affiliate programs. Doing so will help you spot the best opportunities in minutes, not hours.
2. The Engine
It doesn't matter how great your vehicle is. Without an engine, it's useless.
The engine is what gives your vehicle power. The strongest the engine, the faster your vehicle will be.
The "engine" is the way you will promote your offer.
In other words, your vehicle is the WHAT, and your engine is the HOW.
Depending on the vehicle you choose, there are different engines you can use. For instance:
- Landing pages
- Sales funnels
- Phone calls
And many more.
The engine is the mechanism that will turn strangers into customers.
Depending on the price of your product, the business model, and your industry, you might need different engines.
A rule of thumb is to explore what successful affiliates in your industry are doing and start from there.
We aren't saying you should copy their strategy, but it's a great way to reverse-engineer what's already working and adapt the concept to your model.
3. The Fuel
Once your vehicle and engine are in place, it's time to fill your tank with fuel.
The fuel represents your visitors (aka traffic).
The more visitors you get, the more energy your vehicle will have; therefore, you will achieve your goals faster.
Many affiliate companies provide you with already-built websites you can use to promote products. You only need to send people to that website, and when someone buys something, you earn a commission.
With Reditus, for example, you get an affiliate link for every program you sign up for, helping you track sales and progress efficiently.
There are infinite ways to drive visitors to your website, and today I'm going to show you the most effective ones.
Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to attract visitors. Why? Because you're providing people with the exact information, they're looking for. You're helping them achieve their own goals.
Unlike traditional marketing, which consists of interrupting people (i.e., TV commercials and banner ads), blogging helps attract visitors who are already looking for what you offer.
You could start getting visitors today if you have money to spend on marketing. Many websites (including social networks) allow you to advertise your products or services on them.
For instance, if you're selling project management software as an affiliate, you could run some Facebook ads targeting people in management roles.
Modern advertising platforms' level of targeting allows affiliates to get sales much faster.
Social networks are a great place to find people who might be interested in the products and services you're offering.
You only need to figure out where your prospective customers hang out and start building an audience in those places.
For instance, you might find that most of your prospective customers use Twitter, which can be a great channel to attract new customers.
Or, you might find that your prospective customers use Pinterest a lot, so you could start using Pinterest to drive attention to your business.
Ultimately, it all boils down to understanding your customers.
- What do they talk about?
- Where do they hang out?
- How do they buy?
As Al Ries famously said:
"To be successful today, you must touch base with reality. And the only reality that counts is what's already in the prospect's mind."
There you have it.
Affiliate marketing can be an excellent way to build additional income online.
Even though it takes time and effort, it's worth it. Hopefully, the ideas outlined today will help you start your affiliate journey on the right foot.
Use Reditus' marketplace to find the top affiliate programs in the industry, and get started today!