If you have been looking for ways to become more financially independent, you have probably stumbled upon affiliate marketing in your research. You are probably wondering if you can earn an income with affiliate marketing?
There is a lot of information about it on the web. There are also some pretty outrageous and outlandish promises being made about how much and how quickly you can earn. You may be wondering what is true and what is simply unethical marketing. The truth is that you can absolutely earn money with affiliate marketing.
In fact, you can earn a substantial amount of money, if you are willing to learn and put in the hard work. Unfortunately, there are many scams out there that promise hundreds or thousands a day within a few short weeks, with very little work!
The SCAMs give affiliate marketing a bad name. I have been seduced by these get-rich-quick schemes on multiple occasions. They only served to delay my success in AM. In fact, I quit affiliate marketing all together for years because of these scams.
The good news is that affiliate marketing is a powerful business model that can help you gain financial stability, and eventually financial freedom. With the proper resources, effort, and time investment you can certainly find success online – while working in the comfort of your own home (or at Starbucks, the library….) and on your own terms.
But first let talk about what this business model is!
WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?
Affiliate marketing is an arrangement by which you earn a commission if one of your customers buys a product from someone else.
Let’s say you have a dog blog. On this blog you cover dog chewing extensively. Your readers know you as an authority and refer back to your site often because you provide them with new and helpful content.
Because you are an authority on dogs, you know that dog chewing is a massive pain point for your readers. You do extensive research and eventually find a digital course that will help your readers to stop their dogs from chewing everything.
On your blog, you refer your readers to this digital course. If the course creator has an affiliate agreement with you, you will earn a part of the sale (a commission) every time your readers purchase the course.
There are some specific terms that you need to be familiar with:
The Merchant: This is the person/company that created the solution. In this case, it would be the company that created the digital course to stop dogs from chewing.
The Affiliate: That would be you, the owner of the awesome dog blog. Because you have excellent, helpful content, you have a big source of readers. These are all potential clients for the merchant.
The Customer: In this case your blog readers are the customer.
BENEFITS OF AFFILIATE MARKETING
Affiliate marketing is extremely attractive to many people. Beyond the scammy promises of a few marketers, it has proven to be an effective tool to earn money online. Here are a few of the benefits:
- Low cost of entry: while traditional brick and mortar businesses require a hefty amount of upfront cash, affiliate marketing does not. Conceivably, all you need is a domain (less than $13), hosting (less than $5/mo) and a good internet connection (free at the library or at the coffee shop).
While all you need are the minimums listed above, it would be helpful to you to have funds available for education, tools and outsourcing. These extras are just that. Extras! They are not necessary to get started in affiliate marketing.
- No inventory: The model revolves around referring your customers/readers to merchants. If you are referring your readers to physical products, the merchant has all the hassles of maintaining the inventory, its storage and all shipping. Affiliate marketing is truly a hassle free business model.
- Location Independence: This is one of the biggest appeals of Affiliate marketing. You get to “work from home” on your business. This is an amazing freedom that is enticing and empowering at the same time. You are not confined to an office. You do not have to report to a dreary building every day at an appointed time. You can work from your local coffee shop, library or your balcony. You can even work from the beach!
- Unlimited potential Income: I am not saying that you WILL make thousands of dollars. I am saying that you CAN. The appeal is that you are not bound by some boss or company. You are truly in control of your earning potential. If you learn the ropes and are diligent in your business you can earn a ton. You will succeed or fail based on your own merit.
- Massive Clientele: Remember the real estate mantra “location, location, location”? Well this mantra also applies to business. Brick and mortar business are also reliant on location. If they are in a part of town that has little traffic, they will not make enough sales and eventually they will close.
With affiliate marketing, your websites can be seen by anyone with an internet connection. That represents Billions of people (with a B)! The whole internet is your marketplace. If your site is properly built and your content is compelling, you should never run out of customers.
I will discuss websites and compelling content a bit further down this article.
HOW DO YOU REFER PEOPLE TO A MERCHANT’S PRODUCTS?
This question gets to the guts of affiliate marketing. There are a few models regardless of which specific path you choose you will need these basics:
- Pick a niche: A niche is group of people that share a specific interest or problem. Dog lovers are a niche. People that suffer from eczema are a niche.
Preferably, you would pick a niche that you are familiar with and that you are passionate about.
If not, at least pick one that you can see yourself digging into and enjoying for the long run. This will make things easier for you as you will be immersing yourself into the subject. If you don’t enjoy the topic, you will find it hard to focus and to give it the time and effort it needs.
Check out my other article on how to pick a niche for affiliate marketing
- Build an authority site: This is your website. You will write a lot of content. Your content will be original and useful. There will also be lots of it. This is the part that stops most aspiring affiliate marketers. Building out a good site takes time and effort. There is just no getting around it.
It takes many articles and posts. It also takes several months for the search engines to trust your site. After you earn the trust of Google, Bing and Yahoo, they will start showing your website to visitors. Only at that point will you have the opportunity to monetize your site.
- Monetize: Now that you have good content and that your site is being shown to visitors, you can start to make money. This is where a deep knowledge of your niche comes in. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, you know your reader’s pain points. They come to your site to find a solution to their problem. If you provide the right solution to your readers and they purchase it from your link, you earn a commission.
The way it works is that you have an account with a merchant. You get assigned a link that is specific to you only. The merchant page (that you refer your readers to) will recognize anyone that reaches their site through that specific link as your customers. If the visitor you sent (through your link) makes a purchase, you get credited.
WHY DO SO MANY FAIL AT AFFILIATE MARKETING ?
The concept of affiliate marketing is appealing because it is conceptually very easy to understand. In fact, the overall steps are no more complicated than what I explained above.
This is why many people looking for additional income, or looking to replace their incomes all together are attracted to the business model.
While many are attracted to it, very few actually succeed in affiliate marketing. Why?
They don’t have the right help to walk them through each and every step. They do not have a clear enough blueprint.
While the overall concept is simple, the individual steps to achieve success are very specialized. They require very specific and varied knowledge. Notice I did not say it was hard! It is not. Once someone walks you through the required steps and explains the why of each step, it is not difficult at all.
To be successful, affiliate marketers need to know how to pick a niche, how to do keyword research, create and maintain a blog or website, apply good search engine optimization, and market properly. That is a lot of stuff!!
The sad truth is that even with the knowledge to perform the required steps for success, the majority of people are still not successful. This is the main reason for failure even beyond not having the required skills as discussed above.
The main reason is that people quit too soon. They do not give themselves enough time to succeed. Unfortunately, this is due to the fact that we assign a different timeline to things that happen on the internet. When we click a button we expect to be taken to a page in milliseconds. When we order online, we expect delivery in 24-48 hours. Everything happens fast on the internet.
Maybe that is why people expect success with online affiliate marketing so fast. It is simple unreasonable to expect to earn commissions in a week or two week’s time! Affiliate marketing is a business and it requires time and effort. It takes months of steady work for the search engines to trust your site and to start showing it to readers. It takes a lot of content creation for the search engines to build that trust.
This idea of immediate success is exacerbated by SCAMs that promise to show people how to earn thousands of dollars a day with very little work. Other SCAMs promise success in 48 hours.
For the uninitiated affiliate marketing hopefuls, it is easy to fall for these traps, because they do not know any better. It is the first thing they see when they research affiliate marketing. In fact, it may be the only thing they see so they can be forgiven for falling into the trap.
Inevitably they will spend their hard-earned money on gimmicks and quickly find their hopes dashed. They are broke and disappointed. After a few tries, they become cynical and believe that affiliate marketing is a scam and that it does not work. I know I did!
HOW TO SUCCEED AT EARNING MONEY WITH AFFILIATE MARKETING?
The good news is that affiliate marketing works. In fact there are hundreds of individuals that make thousands of dollars with this business model. They enjoy financial freedom and peace of mind because they are self-reliant. They have the skills needed to succeed.
If you are like me, you are looking to supplement your income beyond what you earn at your nine to five. Maybe you hate your current job. Maybe you don’t earn enough at your current job. Perhaps you want to save for vacation, or pay some extra bills.
For me, affiliate marketing is my insurance policy against getting laid off. For the last 20 years, in good or bad economic climates, my industry has laid off at least twice a year. I have a large family and I am the main bread winner in our household. Getting laid off would be catastrophic. So I work hard on my affiliate marketing business. This gives me the peace of mind to know that if the worse happened, my family would be ok.
Back to success online! All that is needed to succeed is to get past the scams and implement a step by step plan that will take you through all the necessary steps.
After falling for many scams (with the associated upsells) I found a community that took me by the hand and walked me through every step.
There are training programs with over 30 courses that walk you from choosing a niche, picking good keywords to building a site. You learn how to write engaging content and how to apply good search engine optimization.
All this is done with video training that walks you through each step in detail.
Check this video out! It shows you how to create a website in about 30 seconds
The platform offers new members the ability to test drive everything for free. You do not need to enter a card number or anything like that. Free is free!
There is no pressure to upgrade to a premium status. If you want to stay a free member, you can for as long as you want to.
As a free member you will have access to enough training to get started. You will have the ability to host 2 sites for free in order to test what you have learned.
There is a huge community of very experience as well as new affiliate marketers that are there to help each other succeed. The amount of knowledge in the community is astounding.
There are soooo many benefits that I would rather let you experience it by yourself, at your own pace and without any pushy talk!
You can take your time looking around and taking advantage of the benefits that a free membership gives you. I am positive that you will learn a lot and that you will start gaining the skills needed to earn an income with affiliate marketing.
Once you have taken a look, I would appreciate it if you came back to this page and left me a comment. If you have any questions whatsoever, please post them in the comment section and I will answer them to the best of my abilities!
I’ll see you on the other side!