Lesson 1: Affiliate Marketing Network
In this lesson, let’s start finding affiliate programs to join for making money. Let’s get started with affiliate networks first.
Finding affiliate offers via an affiliate marketing network is the easiest way. An affiliate marketing network is a marketplace that matches businesses to affiliate marketers. There are 1,000’s of affiliate programs you can join through the network. This is convenient as you can promote many different programs at the same time and receive one payment.
Most affiliate marketing networks are open to anyone, while some have stricter requirements.
Here are the most popular affiliate marketing networks you can join:
A lot of people like starting affiliate marketing with ClickBank as there are thousands of affiliate offers and it doesn’t require application approval.
Also, once you join ClickBank, you can grab affiliate links of products and promote them immediately. On other affiliate networks, you need to submit an application for each product before you can start promoting it. So you can have a quick start with ClickBank.
I will tell you more about promoting ClickBank products in a later module.
What Type of Affiliate Program To Choose?
To begin with, I would recommend joining affiliate programs of digital products.
It’s because affiliate programs of digital products are better in general. First, they offer higher commission rates than physical products as they don’t have an extra cost to sell more.
Also, physical products have shipping issues like product damage or delivery failure. If a customer requests a refund, your commission will be deducted as well. If you promote digital products, you will not have this issue.
Of course, not all digital products are worth promoting. You should choose digital products that offer at least a 20% commission.
Moreover, you need to do some research on the product itself. Take a look at the sales page and the quality of the product to determine if it’s a good fit for your audience. Otherwise, you might lose your credibility with the audience.
So now, go ahead to join the affiliate networks mentioned above and start exploring.
Lesson 2: Private Affiliate Programs
Apart from affiliate networks, there are also private affiliate programs that you can join. You don’t have to limit yourself to affiliate networks.
Private affiliate programs are affiliate programs that businesses manage themselves, and you need to submit applications to join. So you can expect less competition than the offers on affiliate networks. That implies you can easily rank on Google and make money from it.
In this lesson, I’m going to walk you through how to find these private affiliate programs in any niches. You’ll be amazed at how many affiliate marketing opportunities you can grab and make money.
1. Search [Niche + affiliate programs]
You can find affiliate offers by going to Google and typing in “Niche + Affiliate Programs”.
Let’s say your website is about skincare and you’re looking to promote skincare products. You can simply do a Google search:
[Skin care + Affiliate Programs]
You will see pages of search results about skincare product affiliate programs, and you will also get bloggers providing you with lists of relevant affiliate programs.
You could then sign-up for some of these. Some programs might not accept anyone and will need to review your website and require you to provide proof of audience base.
So if you are rejected by some great affiliate programs, just create more content on your website and apply again later.
2. Spy on Your Competition
Another simple way to find great affiliate programs is by spying on your competitors in your niche. You can simply choose one popular product with an affiliate program in your niche.
Then Google [product Name + Review], You will find many websites of other affiliate marketers in your niche. You can see what your competitors are promoting and discover some great affiliate programs in your niche.
For example, say my niche is weight loss. There is a popular weight loss product called “Leanbean”. So I can google [Leanbean review] to find out some affiliate websites in the weight loss niche.
You can do the same on Youtube to find out what other affiliate marketers in your niche are promoting. And by looking at the views and comments, you will know how popular the product is. You can then join the same program and write contents or make videos to promote it.
For example, these are the affiliate websites that I found by using this tactic. These websites have a lot of traffic and probably are making thousands of dollars every month. On their website, you can see what products they are promoting and you may want to promote some of them as well.
Music niche: https://www.voicesinc.org/
Beauty niche: https://www.beautypedia.com/
Fitness niche: http://fitnessreview.co.uk/
Gadgets niche: https://www.digitaltrends.com/
Pet niche: https://www.mypetneedsthat.com/
Car niche: https://www.carbibles.com/
3. Affiliate Directories
There are some affiliate directories such as Associate Programs, High Paying Affiliate Programs. These websites include a database for many major affiliate programs. It’s a great resource for finding programs in a niche you are interested in.
4. Check a Brand’s Website
If you already know some brand names in your niche, you can simply go to their company’s website. Scroll down to the footer. You should see an affiliate program link if they have an affiliate program to join. Click on it and you will be directed to the registration page for their affiliate programs.
5. Browse Affiliate Websites You Know
You can see tons of products or services being promoted on these websites. And you can join some of the good programs that fit your audience.
6. Ask the Merchant
If your website has a decent amount of traffic, you can try to reach out to some merchants by sending an email and ask if they can create an affiliate program for you. This is a great strategy especially when you know a great product without an official affiliate program.
Since there is so many software for creating and managing an affiliate program, it’s not difficult at all to do this by most merchants. The key is that your website has a lot of traffic relevant to the merchant’s product or services. It’s going to be a mutually beneficial arrangement between you and the merchant. With your help, the merchant can get more sales without spending a penny on the advertisement.
Therefore, don’t hesitate to try and reach out to some great product merchant. It can be very profitable as you won’t have to face competition from other affiliate marketers.
Factors to Consider in Choosing Private Affiliate Programs
Not every private affiliate program is good for promotion. Since your time is limited, you should focus on affiliate programs that can give you the highest return.
Here are some factors you should consider in choosing private affiliate programs:
1. Commission Structure
The commission structure is the first thing you should take into account. Is the commission based on a sale amount or fixed? Is it one time or recurring commission? How much is the commission rate? These are the questions you ask.
I like looking for some affiliate programs that offer recurring commission. That way, you can have a more stable income. Usually, digital products using a subscription model offer recurring commission.
2. Reputation of the Merchant
Before promoting any products, you should do some due diligence on the product itself. You don’t want your audience to fall into scams because of you. Your audience trusts your recommendation and takes your advice. So you should make sure the product quality is good.
You shouldn’t sacrifice your credibility for short-term profit.
Moreover, you should research the reputation of the affiliate program as well. There are many blog posts that review affiliate programs. You don’t want to waste time helping a company to promote and receive nothing in return. There are some companies that fail to pay affiliates on time. So watch out for that.
You should take a look at their minimum payment, payment method and frequency. Some affiliate programs only pay you when you reach the payment threshold of $50 or $100. So you won’t get paid if you cannot reach the threshold even if you got a few referrals.
Moreover, some affiliate programs only offer certain types of payment methods which might not be convenient. They may only offer check or wire transfer. So you may not be able to receive payment by Paypal.
As for the frequency, you should see if they release payment per month or per quarter. You should choose some affiliate programs which have a shorter interval of payouts. Otherwise, you may not have enough cash flow to run your business.
Do they have dedicated affiliate managers? Support is important when you have questions about the affiliate programs such as receiving payment and affiliate terms. Some affiliate programs might prohibit certain promotion tactics and it might not be stated clearly in the terms. In that case, asking an affiliate manager to clarify is very helpful.
Are you provided with any promotion resources like banners, images, widgets? A good affiliate program usually provides these for affiliates. It helps you create content and do the promotion on your website.
Also, you should look for affiliate programs that can give you a diversity of affiliate links. When using different promotion strategies, you would need different affiliate links that can link to different landing pages such as a written sales page or a video sales letter. If you have multiple marketing channels, you can also track where your sales come from.
Lesson 3: Amazon Associate Program
In this lesson, I’m going to talk about the most popular affiliate program: Amazon Associate Program. Many beginners of affiliate marketing like joining Amazon Associate Program because of the huge product range.
Promote Millions of Products With One Affiliate Program
Amazon Associate Program is the largest affiliate program. It has over 500,000,000 products on its website and more products are added every day.
No matter what niche your website is doing, you’ll find some products to promote from Amazon. Drones, toys, shoes, trousers, music, books, utensils, headphones, and everything you could imagine can be found on Amazon.
Everyone knows Amazon and most people, especially in the US, are familiar with the platform. So the conversion rate at Amazon is higher than the industry average. That means you can leverage the reputation of Amazon to increase your sales and revenue.
Another cool thing about the Amazon Associate Program is that when you send a customer to Amazon via your affiliate link, you get a percentage of the sale of whatever they purchase over the next 24 hours. It also means if the person leaves and returns to Amazon within 24 hours, your commission is secured if they buy something. All you need to do is sending customers to Amazon.
Imagine if you refer someone to Amazon through your affiliate links to buy a $9 book, they then decide to browse Amazon and buy a TV, you will get credit on that as well! (if it is within the 24 hour Amazon cookie period).
Also, if the person adds the product to their cart, you will get a longer cookie period, which is 90-day. That means as long as the person completes the order within the period of time, you will get credited.
How to Apply For Amazon Associate Program
It’s easy to apply for the Amazon Associate Program. Simply visit the Amazon Affiliate program’s website to create an account. After approval, you will be able to promote millions of products on Amazon.
But before applying for the program, you should fully set up your website and create some content. Amazon will reject your application if your website does not have at least 50% original content.
Also, there are some guidelines to follow. They don’t allow certain promotion strategies and restrict placing the affiliate links in emails and platforms that are not approved by them. Non-compliance may result in being banned from the program.
I will talk about how to succeed in promoting Amazon products in a later module.
Amazon Associate Program Alternatives
Amazon Associate is not available in every country or state. If you cannot join it, there are a few other comparable affiliate programs you can consider:
- Etsy Affiliate Program (Offered through Awin)
- Walmart.com Affiliate Program (Offered through LinkShare.com)
- Wayfair Affiliate Program (Offered through CJ.com)
These companies, like Amazon, also offer a lot of products that you can promote. Some have higher commission rates than Amazon.
Lesson 4: How to Add Affiliate Links to Your Website
What Is An Affiliate Link?
An affiliate link is a unique link that identifies you as the referring affiliate when someone clicks your link and makes a purchase. So if someone buys something via your affiliate link, you will automatically get credit for the sale and earn a commission.
Here is the process:
Step 1: People visit your website
Step 2: They click your affiliate link on your posts
Step 3: They make a purchase on the merchant’s website.
Step 4: You earn a commission as agreed
You don’t have to worry about your credit being stolen. People cannot steal a commission from you. As long as your affiliate link is the last one being clicked by a customer, you will get credit for the sale.
Where to Find Your Affiliate Link?
After you sign up for an affiliate program, the merchant will give you an affiliate link in the affiliate portal. Different affiliate programs have different settings on how to grab the affiliate link. You can follow their instructions.
After that, simply share the affiliate link with anyone who might be interested in the product and persuade them to make a purchase.
How to Add an Affiliate Link to Your Website?
To add an affiliate link to your website content, you are recommended to use a link management plugin. It helps to shorten the affiliate links and track clicks.
I recommend using Pretty Link. It is free to install, but if you want some premium features, you can upgrade to the paid version as well.
To find the Pretty Link Plugin, go to Plugins => Add New => Search “Pretty Link”
Once you found the plugin, simply “Install”, then “Activate” the plugin.
You can now access the Pretty Link plugin on the side menu, and that’s where you can add and delete your affiliate links.
Click on the “Add New” tab to get started.
Step 1: After you join an affiliate program, you will get an affiliate link, which looks very long. What you can do now is to copy the original affiliate link and paste that link into the box of “Target URL”.
Step 2: Go to the box that says “Pretty Link”, and enter any text you want people to see your link.
Step 3: Go to the box that says “Title”, and enter the product name. This is for your internal record only.
Step 4: You’ll be able to see all your links within the Pretty Links tab. Compared with the long raw affiliate links, These links look more inviting to click on.
From there, you can just copy the pretty links and place them wherever you want. When someone clicks the link, it will redirect to the affiliate URL and the cookie will be saved on the person’s browser for affiliate tracking.
Tools & Resources
Stay tuned for the next email to get access to the next module. I will talk about how to use SEO to get free traffic to your website and earn commissions.