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I am sure many of you heard about affiliate marketing but what exactly is it and how does it work? A lot of people say affiliate marketing is the new passive revenue stream and is probably one of most popular monetization strategies because it has a low entry bar and there are no limits to how much you can do. 

Affiliate marketing is the process by which a representative aka affiliate earns a commission by marketing another person’s or company’s products. The affiliate finds a product they like to promote and upon every sale, the affiliate earns a piece of the profit. The sales are tracked via affiliate links and as an affiliate marketer, you can promote products from many companies and earn commissions from all of them. 


Affiliate Marketing For Beginners - 3 Great Tips

So how does affiliate marketing work? To put it simply, the merchant gives every affiliate an individual unique link so they can track who was responsible for generating that sale. Whenever someone clicks on the unique affiliate link, a small file called a cookie is stored on their device and its main function is to help the merchant track which affiliate is the sale attributed to. 

Affiliate marketing is a convenient and flexible “side hustle” where you can work from home and don’t require much or very little capital to start. You can totally work at your own pace and do not need to deal with customer complaints as all these will be handled by the sellers. Pretty ideal, right?

So without further ado, let’s go into the first 3 steps on how you can start with affiliate marketing: 


1. Decide on the platform

Theoretically, you can do affiliate marketing on any platform but it is recommended that you choose one that you are comfortable with. Two of the easier ways to build your audience and have better affiliate sales are through blogging and YouTube. 

Affiliate Marketing For Beginners - 3 Great Tips
Previously, we did talk about blog monetization and it only costs as low as 3 dollars per month to use a web hosting service. Starting a blog has never been so easy with many free platforms and tutorials provided online which can be found readily. Once the blog site is up, you just need to optimize on the search engine optimization (SEO). 

YouTube wise, you will need to create and upload content. It is a free platform which makes it ideal for many people be it affiliate marketers or influencers etc. Optimize your videos for SEO and include affiliate links in your video description. You will need to disclose the fact about including affiliate links mainly for 2 reasons – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is responsible for making sure businesses follow ethical practices and it is advisable to practice transparency with your target audience.  

When you disclose you will be making a commission from the affiliate marketing links, you are letting your audience know you are making money from their purchase but it will cost them nothing. The reason is to build trust and most people would rather be aware that someone is getting paid when they click on that specific link. 

2. Pick your niche

There are so many blogs nowadays and you know you are just 1 of the many bloggers out there – in short, stiff competition. According to statistics, there are more than 500 million blogs worldwide so to stand out from the crowd, the best option is to write about your niche.

For some of us, we are clear on specific things we are good at. Eg. Real Estate Investment. So this will be your niche. Maybe you are a generalist aka Jack of all trades and you can’t really decide, choose the niche based on your passion instead by narrowing down the specs further. Eg. Baking. Many people are good at baking so how do you stand out?

Affiliate Marketing For Beginners - 3 Great Tips

You might want to take some time to ponder, you have baked so many yummy cakes and pastries before but what do you enjoy baking the most? It could be macarons and so your niche will be about baking macarons. Choose a topic that focuses on a specific category so it can help you build a more focused audience and rank potentially higher in search engines.

3. Join affiliate programs

There are a few types of affiliate programs to choose from. There are those for niche products with high payouts, products with low payouts but mass appeal and products with mass appeal but high payouts. 

Eg. ConvertKit’s affiliate program gives a payout of almost $700 per month if you send 80 customers to them. However, as they sell CRM software for small business owners, the niche product limits the pool of buyers. There tends to be higher competition for affiliate marketing programs with high payouts so if you are a newbie, it is probably advisable to join this type of program when you have built a following. 

For newbies, it is good to start on affiliate marketing programs that offer products with low payouts but mass appeal. Eg. Amazon – you can earn up to 10% commission on almost anything that sells on Amazon. The redeeming quality is that these programs usually offer tons of products to sell and you earn commissions based on the total purchase value rather than the product you recommended. How cool is that?

The last type of affiliate marketing program with mass appeal but high payouts usually are products like credit cards. Almost everyone you know will need or own a credit card and most people stay with the company for years! The disadvantage is that they usually attract experienced affiliate marketers with deep pockets and some of them use high level spammy tactics that you just can’t compete with so it is not advisable for newbies until you have gained certain success then you can scale accordingly. 

In conclusion, after you have decided on the type of affiliate marketing and set your site up, you are ready to start on your new revenue stream! With consistency, quality content and well planned execution, you will see the results in due time. 


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