Did you always dream of being an entrepreneur? Do you want to work from home and earn money without going into the office?
You’re in the right place. I’m here to help you get unleashed and start living a fulfilled life. How? By telling you how to make money online with affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing allows anyone to make money. Good money. You can make it in your home or in a coffee shop. And, yes, you can even make money while you sleep and generate passive income. But before you become a millionaire, there are a few things you need to know.
This article could also be titled: ‘Everything you wanted to know about affiliate marketing but were too afraid to ask’. Why? Because I have gathered the most popular questions beginner affiliates tend to ask in one place, without much care how basic or obvious they might be. Buckle up.
Can you really make money online with affiliate marketing?
The short answer is yes, with affiliate programs you can earn extra money and even a full-time income from home. Like any home income venture, success comes not so much from what you do to make money but doing what needs to be done correctly and consistently. Once you make the initial decision, there are no limits to how much you may earn.
Imagine that you work as a taxi driver. You are constantly busy, never being idle. But despite all that, there is only a finite number of passengers that you can drive to their destinations. You will never be able to break through a revenue ceiling above your head that this type of business has. In affiliate marketing, you can fit a ginormous number of people into your metaphorical taxi. And you design the route. The business does not put any artificial obstacles on your way to the top. You are able to go as high as your skill allows you to.
But let’s make us something clear: If your only goal is to make money online out of thin air then affiliate marketing is not for you. It is not quick and easy, you need to put some hard work and must have the ‘never give up’ attitude. Put your heart in this job and you will get both money and satisfaction in the end.
What are the requirements for starting in affiliate marketing?
There are business requirements and there are personal requirements. Let’s talk about the business one’s first ones.
In the very beginning, you need an offer that you want to show to other people. If you do not have your own product or service, you go to an affiliate network. They match people that have offers but are lacking the time or skills to promote them with people that can do this job for them. This is where you fit in. You’ll be advertising offers that you do not own in exchange for an affiliate commission. Apply for an affiliate network platform, tell them what your advertising plan is, and you will get access to offers.
The offer that tickles your fancy has to be seen on the Internet. You can display it on your own website, if you have one, or pay for people that see or click your offer. The paid traffic solution is used by the vast majority of affiliate marketers. They go to a special platform, called a traffic source, and define the amount of money they are willing to pay for a single ad display or for a single click. And the traffic source platform takes care of the rest. It puts your ad on their partners’ websites, bids for visitors, and counts the number of times your ad has been seen.
The implication of this is that you need to have some money to buy traffic. More on that later, but the options are that you either have your own way to get visitors to see your ad (you have a successful web page or a Facebook group) or you pay for visitors.
Ok, so you have the offer, traffic… what’s left? Oh yes, some fancy tool that will work out the magic of getting the money for you. This fancy tool is called an affiliate tracker or ad tracking software, and you will spend most of your work in it. Trackers are tools that count all clicks, costs, and payouts, and present them to you for analysis. You will then be able to tweak your campaign to turn it profitable.
As for personal requirements for this job… The will to do things differently, to be your own person is more important than any character trait that you think is required in this industry. You have to be bold to make the initial decision to start doing affiliate marketing, but you have to be humble to learn patiently and work your way up. You need to have some analytical skills, but also a creative mind.
The people who do make the most money online are not necessarily the boldest, humblest, most analytical or creative. They are normal people, with a healthy combination of the above and other traits. But with a drive to get ahead.
What is an affiliate marketing average income?
It is hard to average all the affiliate’s earnings. The dispersion is quite significant, from small-time affiliates that treat it as an additional source of income to superaffiliates that buy new Lamborghini each year.
It is safe to say that starting to earn in affiliate marketing is much harder than scaling your earnings.
But if you commit fully to this line of work and get the hang of it, you can expect figures between $1000 – 10,000$ a month.
How fast can you make money with affiliate marketing?
Like everywhere else, there is a learning curve that lasts for some time. This time tends to be longer if affiliate marketing is only a hobby for you. It can be much shorter if you dedicate your complete attention just to master it.
If you are a fast learner, have good intuition and a bit of luck, you may see first earnings coming very quickly. But in most cases, the money you have invested should start to come back after a few months.
Can I start in Affiliate Marketing for free?
Affiliate marketing, like any other business, requires you to invest money before you make some.
There is no fixed amount that you need to kickoff as an affiliate, but in general, you should have a budget for testing and scaling. If you start with lower payout offers, like push traffic, $1 k should be enough to start off the right foot. If you play your cards well, you might get some of that back.
Then, once you find something that works you need to scale it asap. That’s when your second budget comes in.
If you are afraid that you will lose money because you are new to the industry, remember that the money spent on traffic is never lost. Even if it doesn’t bring you any revenue back, it allows you to learn, test, and draw conclusions. You buy valuable data. As Thomas Edison once said about his numerous failed attempts to build a lightbulb:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
How to create an affiliate business plan?
The complex explanation can be found in your Ultimate Guide To Affiliate Marketing article but the short version looks as follows:
- Search for trends gaining in popularity to discover the profitable niche. There are multiple ways to do so:
- Search for popular websites on the web using Alexa service. Maybe there’s a rising interest in travel-related sites.
- Search forums, the Quora service and Facebook groups to see, what people are asking about and what their problems are.
- Post questions online, especially wrong ones. People will be quick to correct you.
- Find an offer that matches your niche. Go to affiliate networks and find an offer that
- Matches your niche
- Has some competition (no competition means that the offer is poor).
- Has a good but not too high payout (high-paying offers are the hardest to convert)
- Has a good conversion rate.
- Find traffic:
- If you want to attract organic traffic, create content, in which you can put your affiliate links. Write blogs, curate Facebook groups, record videos.
- If you want to get paid traffic, find a traffic source where you can advertise your offer (not all verticals or ad formats are allowed on every traffic source).
- Set up your landing page. Prepare engaging content and creatives, design a catchy CTA button.
- Do the calculations. Use a traffic calculator tool that most traffic sources provide to assess how much traffic you can purchase with your budget. Multiply this number by the offer’s conversion rate and then payout and see, if the expected revenue is higher that your costs (traffic, landing page hosting, tools, etc.). Find a better offer or another traffic source if expected
- Set up tracking. Use a good affiliate marketing platform like Voluum to get the most accurate results.
- Start a campaign, gather data, observe results, and analyze outcomes.
What are the best tips if I want to make money online in affiliate marketing?
There are several tips that I can give you straight away without going too much into technical details. The short version: be prepared to always learn more by reading, looking at what others are doing and drawing conclusions from your own (successful or failed) efforts to make money online.
- Read as much as you can – All the ‘how-to’ and ‘step-by-step’ guides will provide you with detailed information on both technical and business aspects of affiliate marketing.
- Join affiliate forums – On forums such as AffLIFT or STM you can easily search for help. People there are willing to share their knowledge and expertise with newcomers if you just simply ask them.
- Get to know other people’s stories – There is so much experience stored in social media groups and other places. Learn from other people’s mistakes so you can limit your own.
- Store good ideas – Have a place where you put attractive ads that you find on the web. Keep them in one folder or document so you can be inspired by them. Always keep an eye on what and how other people are advertising.
- Do your research – Before you choose a vertical, run a search online to get to know what you want to advertise. Find out what people ask about in websites like Quora.
- Try out the offer yourself – Believing in your offer allows you to sell it convincingly, so try it for yourself. Check the offer’s quality and make sure that the registration form is easy to complete.
- Work on copywriting – Writing simply “Good offer, click here!” isn’t going to cut it. Write concrete and sincere content instead of a generic pseudo-text that visitor will skim-read and forget about a minute later.
- Use URL Shortener – URL shortener is a tool that permits you to brand, track and share your short URLs. Check Rebrandly URL shortener for more details.
- Track everything there is to track – Having data is crucial for affiliates. Data enables you to connect a specific segment of your audience with the most matching offer via the most successful landing page. And that’s where online money comes from.
- Learn the intricacies of the industry. Even if you think you know how everything works, there may still be some additional information or tips that may help you get on your feet quicker.
What’s the secret behind the affiliate marketing success?
Have a plan. Use this plan to manage your time and budget.
- Devote some time to learn the business and technical sides of the industry and to do the actual work. Do not mix them together, time to learn should never interfere with time to work. Do not stop running your campaigns to read a blog; reserve time for both.
- Use your surplus money to invest in this career, do not use your money for daily expenses. Define your budget and stick to it. Don’t burn your budget in one go, you will learn more spending smaller sums over longer periods of time than blowing through your monthly budget in one evening.
- Do not bombard your visitors with overly optimistic reviews or you will come across as a desperate salesperson.
- Provide an honest review of your offer, with all the pros and cons clearly listed. Be trustworthy, people love buying products from trustworthy people.
Have a proper mindset.
- Don’t make rash decisions based on one unfavorable outcome. People rarely make money online in affiliate marketing from the start. They do not have the required knowledge yet. If your offer does not work, do not give up but simply try another offer.
Focus on slow progress rather than on a frantic search for an offer that will bring you all the money straight away. Progress means sustainability and predictability. It means that you know what you are doing.
Isn’t 2021 late to start out in affiliate marketing?
The number of people connected to the Internet is growing, as well as the overall number of websites. Digital ad spending in 2021 surpassed traditional advertising. New Internet users are not saturated with ads yet and they are likely to be persuaded by your message.
The Internet isn’t a finished project if it will ever be. It will always grow, change and offer new opportunities to make money online for people willing to seize them.
Is affiliate marketing a good career opportunity during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Having an option to do your job without the need of going outside makes affiliate marketing a dream job for the time of lockdowns and travel restrictions.
As long as there is Internet, you can work as an affiliate marketer and prosper, even with businesses around being closed down.
Have more questions?
Do you have any other questions about affiliate marketing? Let us know! You can either leave them below using the ‘Leave a reply’ option or reach out to us on our Voluum Facebook Group.