This is a common question I hear so often. And that’s because affiliate marketing is the easiest path to take when you want to start making money online with your own online business.
But how to start in affiliate marketing is an important question to ask. You need the proper training, or you’ll just waste time and money, and get nowhere fast. You’ll get frustrated and just quit!
Probably 90% of all people who start with online marketing fail, because they didn’t start with the right advice. I want to point these out, to give you a head start, OK? Then I’ll show you what you should do!
And if you’d like to know where I learned how to succeed online, check this out!
Why Affiliate Marketing?
Many people are interested in earning extra money for lots of different reasons. So why not try online? You can do it from home, or anywhere there’s an internet connection.
It’s great as a “side hustle” to make extra cash, and could even replace your full-time income when you master the strategies.
But why affiliate marketing? Because it’s the easiest way to begin, especially for a beginner.
This technique is also the cheapest way to start. There are very little startup fees, and I can even show you a free way! I’ll talk about that further down…
How Does It Work?
Affiliate marketing is when you make a commission by promoting products and services to your readers who purchase them.
Here’s a diagram to show you how it works…
So let’s say you decided to start promoting home exercise equipment on your “Lose Weight” website. Your reviews of a certain treadmill attract visitors. They like what you’ve said and decided to purchase the item.
Your link sends them to the manufacturer’s site (or Amazon, etc.) where they make their purchase. The manufacturer knows it was your link, so they pay you a commission for sending them that customer.
The more promoting and selling you do, the more commissions you make.
Did you know that you can even make money while you sleep? This is called passive income, and that’s the great advantage of using affiliate marketing.
How To Remedy Bad Advice
There is much advice offered online, and some I don’t agree with. Usually, they are by-product creators who simply want you to buy their system, but really… only want your money.
Others tell you that you need all these expensive tools that’ll propel your income to the millions.
It’s all ridiculous and unnecessary.
#1: Clone Your Business
Some say you should start by cloning an already proven system so that all the heavy work is already done for you. Then all you have to do is drive traffic to the site.
Really?? Driving traffic is the most important aspect!
Their so-called heavy lifting was building a website, which is easy these days.
What they don’t tell you is that your clone is most likely on their platform, which means you don’t really own your own site. They do. And when they disappear overnight, so does your business.
I never recommend these done-for-you systems. The risk of losing everything is too high.
If this is something you want to do, then there are things you should look for before buying this type of product:
- Make sure it’s not another fly-by-night program that just popped up online. It should have several successful years under its belt.
- Does the product creator introduce himself, or does the sales page just give you a bogus name? Many of these product owners hide behind a video that was created by a freelancer from sites like Fiverr.
- What are the reviews like? I personally review many products and you can find them on my website. You can find many of these online with some research. Look for the ones that give you both pros and cons. If it’s all positive, it’s usually another marketer just trying to push the product, and it’s not an “insider” honest review.
- Always check to see if there’s any support. Often they just give you an email address, that they rarely answer! The best support comes by live chat or at least a Facebook group community.
#2: Watch YouTube
Yes, there’s a lot on YouTube that offers instruction on just about anything, LOL. But there is also a lot of conflicting advice.
The only way to truly succeed online is with a solid foundation for your business. It’s pretty hard to build that when you get so many people telling you to do this, or that, or who knows what.
I honestly believe the best way is to get training from one proven source. That doesn’t mean it isn’t on YouTube. It can be! You just need to listen to many videos until you find someone who makes sense to you, who resonates with you.
- Type in your niche, which in this case is Affiliate Marketing, and you should find tons of videos.
- As you listen to them, find someone who “speaks to you”. Someone you think you could relate to and speaks your language. And believe me, you’ll be listening to many, umm… weirdos before you find one you like, haha!
- Stay away from those that boast about their fancy cars, and multiple houses. Or the ones who throw cash around like it’s worthless. These are only showboats who are wanting your attention!
- When you find someone you like, make sure they can train you in all the important areas, like:
This may look like a lot to learn, but if it’s a legitimate training program, they will have all this there for you.
#3: You Don’t Need A Website
This is one big area I don’t agree with. All successful businesses online have their own websites.
I’ve come across many platforms that claim you don’t need a website. They say all you need is an email list and traffic.
That’s pretty misleading…
If you use email marketing as your primary method for affiliate marketing, that’s definitely great. But guess what? To drive traffic to a landing page, which is what you need to do with any sales funnel you create, you need a domain name and hosting. It’s sort of like a one-page website.
Then, they tell you to buy Solo Ads if you don’t have your own list to use. Well, if you’re new, of course you won’t’ have an email… sheesh.
But the problem with Solo Ads is it’s very expensive.
Solo Ad is an email list that it’s owner sells you the use of. These people have huge lists and will send your email campaign to them. They will charge you so much per click, which usually averages about $1 per click.
There are many vendor sites like this, such as Udimi.
So if you were hoping to have 500 clicks (which means that someone clicked open your email), you’d be paying the vendor about $500.
And this doesn’t mean sales. Just clicks. The conversion rate average is about 10%. That means you may, or may not, get 50 actual sales from those 500 clicks.
So what are you selling? Will 50 sales cover the cost of your Solo Ads?
I’ve known many people to spend thousands on Solo Ads, and end up in the hole in the long run. Not the best business practice!
Did you ever notice that these people who want to sell you this type of business (with no website), all have a website!! That’s because they all know the value of owning one.
- Email marketing is an excellent way to promote your products and services, but it shouldn’t be your starting point.
- Create your website business first, and start building your email list.
- Nurture your list so that they trust you and become loyal. That’s when email marketing works it’s finest.
#4: High Ticket Programs
Why do we always think that if it costs more, it’s more valuable? This seems to apply to everything in life, not just affiliate marketing, lol.
I’ve reviewed some of these high ticket programs and discovered that some aren’t any better than the cheaper courses out there.
They create a fancy website, with a fancy name like “Millionaire something or other”. Then they have names for their courses like “mastermind” or other terms that make it sound elite.
Finally, they will charge you thousands of dollars to be part of the elite circle.
But really, are you getting anything better than a course that sells for a few hundred? Probably not.
- If you are presented with this kind of product, make sure you do your research to find out everything you are getting.
- Check out a comparable program that’s much cheaper, and compare the course. Look at the training, not the names!
- Find honest reviews that describe what they’ve experienced inside.
- Always check the refund policy. Some are very strict and make it difficult to get a refund if you’re not happy with it.
#5: Promote Using Only This?
I’ve reviewed a few programs lately that teach you to promote your offers on only one platform, like Facebook for instance.
It’s never wise to run your business this way, and here’s why… What if Facebook shuts it’s door someday. I know it’s not likely, but still possible.
Even if they never went away, they are constantly changing their algorithms. The most recent change was what people are now seeing on their walls.
Personally, I am only seeing posts from the small group of people I interact with. That means there are hundreds of other friends that are posting every day, that I don’t see.
The only way to get your ads seen now is to buy advertising on Facebook. And that’s getting more expensive all the time. You had better have a big advertising budget!
The most successful marketers use multiple platforms and have multiple streams of income. So that means attracting traffic with your website content, using your email list, and promoting on many social media platforms.
- Be wary of products or systems that only use one platform.
- If you like this particular course, make sure it’s only one of the multiple ways you promote your business.
- Ensure the course is updated and current to the most recent changes to that platform.
#6: Guru’s And “Secrets”
How many times have you heard these “gurus” saying they have a secret method to make you thousands overnight with little to no work?
Or another saying they found a “loophole” that hasn’t been discovered yet.
These crack me up, LOL. There’s no such thing!!
They know there’s no secret, but they also know how to push people’s psychological buttons. I mean who doesn’t want to be in on a secret or some undiscovered loophole?
And that’s what they’re counting on. They hope you’ll purchase their product to satisfy your desire to be in on something that no one else is.
- When you listen to a sales video that talks about secrets and loopholes, you should be very skeptical. Legitimate training programs don’t speak this way.
- The basic principle to remember is… If It’s Too Good To Be True, It Usually Is!
Affiliate Marketing For Newbies
The first thing you need to succeed is to build a solid foundation for your business. Once you’ve learned all the steps to achieve this, you’ll have a platform that can be sustained in the long run.
These are your first basic step to any online business and the areas of training you should be looking for:
1: Find Your Niche
A niche is the overall topic of your business. It’s that group of people who are looking for answers and solutions in that certain area.
Ultimately, you should have a passion for this, or already have expertise in this area. But it’s not always necessary.
You may want to learn more about this topic yourself, and what better way than to do research for it, write about it, and you’ll eventually become an expert.
There are also certain niches that do better than others. For instance:
- Health – weight loss, anti-ageing, exercise, etc.
- Wealth – making money, saving money, investing etc.
- Love – dating, marriage, sex etc.
The pet and beauty niches are also popular. People will always talk or ask questions in these areas. It’s something that never goes away.
Try to avoid “trendy topics”. These niches may make money in the short term, but they always die out after a few years. It can’t be sustained for the long run.
Also, seasonal topics will only peak at certain times of the year, and your sales will drop significantly in the off-season.
2: Build Your Website Or Blog
I will always recommend you build a website for your business. It’s your online real estate and represents you online.
Once upon a time, you needed a university degree to build your own website. But no longer. The industry has come so far in a short time, and now your website can be up and running in 30 seconds.
I highly recommend a platform that uses WordPress. This is the most widely used system and can easily be moved from one WordPress host to another.
And when you want your site to do something special, there are thousands of free plugins that do just about anything you can think of, lol.
3: Create Quality Content
Now it’s time to start writing content about your niche. You can write:
- Reviews on the products and services you’d like to promote.
- How-To articles and tutorials.
- Listicles – these are the “7 best….” or “top 10 ways….”
- Comparison posts.
These types of articles seem to attract the most amount of visitors. And that’s because when they are searching online for an answer or solution to their problem, it’s usually asked as “How do I….” or “The best way to do…” etc.
The most important thing to remember is to add a lot of value to your reader.
If you can do that, Google will love it and rank you higher than others.
4: Do Keyword Research
Think about the last time you searched for something on Google. What did you type in the search bar? Whatever it was, that’s called a keyword or keyword phrase.
This keyword is how Google finds all the articles that could answer your question.
And those articles that used those keywords properly within the content, were found and presented to you in the search results.
This is why it’s so important to do some keywords research for your article. You want to find those words that show a good amount of monthly searches, yet don’t have too much competition.
The proper tool will find that for you and show you what the best keywords are to use.
5: Choose Affiliate Products To Promote
This is how you’ll make money with your business. Whichever niche you chose to market, will have multiple products and services to help your readers. These can be physical products or digital.
You may already know what company to look for, but if you don’t, a quick search online will find many for you. All you need to do is type in your niche “+” affiliate program (less the quotation marks).
This should bring up many programs and you can apply to all of them if you want. You don’t need to stick to one company. As long as they are all relevant to your niche, you can use them.
You may find that some affiliate programs will reject you. Don’t worry about this. Chances are they found your website to be too new, or not have enough content on it yet.
To be on the safe side, I’d wait a little while before applying. If your business is brand new, you may not even be indexed yet on Google. Be patient, write content, then start applying.
6: Things To Learn Along The Way
There are many ways to grow and scale your business, and these things can be learned once the basics are in place.
Other areas to develop are:
- Your email list and sales funnels.
- Promoting on social media and other platforms.
- Learning to understand your analytics.
- Expanding your niche to other relevant topics.
- Creating your own products or services.
Where Do I Go To Learn All This?
There are some legitimate training platforms online, but like anything else, please make sure you do your research before joining any.
When I started in this industry, I got burned a few times with the wrong choices. This cost me time and money, and a lot of frustration. There must be a better way…
I decided to make a list of what exactly I wanted to see included with a company before doing my research.
This was my list:
- They had to provide a free trial so I could see if I liked it before buying it.
- They had to provide training in both video and text.
- I wanted step by step training that showed me in detail, all the tasks I had to do.
- I wanted the platform to have the tools I needed to build my business, and not send me off to a bunch of other sites to get this and that.
- There had to be a great support system that had more than an email address.
- There also had to be a community area to talk to the other members.
- And most importantly, the price I paid should include everything for an affordable price! No upsells!!
OK, it looked impossible to find, right? That’s a tall order!
It took me a while to research many training programs and platforms. Most had some but not all. So I finally went to Quora to ask some of my own questions. And someone pointed me to a wonderful place that had it all!
I couldn’t believe it when I researched them. Mostly all positive reviews. I say mostly because nowhere is perfect, lol! But this one came close.
I joined and have been there since 2011. They showed me what to do to create a successful business, and I’m still there to this day.
And that’s because of two things:
- They have the best online community of like-minded people for support and encouragement.
- They constantly update and add new features to help propel our success. At no added cost!!
Their membership price has never been raised. It’s been the same for 14 years. Isn’t that crazy!!
My biggest desire is to help you create your own successful business, and save you time, money and frustration. And I promise you that this platform is the best of the best.
If you click on the image below, you can read all about it. And when you join, I’ll greet you on the inside and help you for as long as you need me to. See you soon!
What are your reasons for wanting to make money online? Mine was to help us have a better retirement. Whatever your reasons, affiliate marketing is a wonderful way to have multiple income streams.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I’ll get right back to you.
2 thoughts on “How to Start Affiliate Marketing as a NEWBIE & What Not To Do”
Thank you for this highly comprehensive article!
I didn’t realize how many fake learning promotions are out there.
I tried to download the How To Trade Options book, but it wouldn’t download for me. I don’t know if that’s just me.
Thank you for all the research you’ve done.
I truly think many more people should read this!
Thank you, Cathy, for your kind words.
Yes, unfortunately about 9 out of 10 promotions are for junk and only out to take your money. That’s why it’s so important to do your research before buying into anything.
Your download problem may not be you at all. Sometimes they just want your email address, so they promise you a free download to get it. And guess what? No download! It’s such a shame.
If you need any more help with anything, please let me know. I’d love to help.