by Pawel Halas on 14 Mar, 2017 ~7 minutes read

In this article you’ll find a set of basic information about how to start your journey as an affiliate marketer. We entitled this article: Affiliate Marketing for Dummies for a reason: to draw your attention. This is exactly what you will have to do as an affiliate marketing professional to succeed in this industry.

As you probably know from posts like this, affiliate marketing is an online marketing technique in which merchants pay commission to publishers, who efficiently promote their products and/or services. It became one of the most popular ways of making money online for a reason:

It works!

While many businesses have high barriers of entry, both in terms of financial resources and an in-depth knowledge necessary to start, affiliate marketing stands in the crowd as a simple and cost-free way of making money online.

5 short points, 7-minute read and you will never search for “Affiliate Marketing for Dummies” phrase ever again.

Affiliate marketing for dummies tip no. 1: Work with proven affiliate programs only

What made affiliate marketing successful is its convenience for all involved counter-parties. However, you might have also heard that it is an entirely phony method and you can only lose money on it.

Well, both statements are partially true.

Among proven, established affiliate programs and networks, there are plenty of fraudsters wanting to take advantage of your effort. Like everywhere. To avoid them, don’t let yourself be tempted by the promise of easy and quick money. Affiliate marketing is known for its convenience, but it does not offer a shortcut to making money overnight. What you should remember is to stick to affiliate programs of companies with established position on the market (yes, LiveChat with over 18,000 customers worldwide is exactly what you are looking for!).

Proven affiliate marketing programs won’t lure you with promises of easy money and will not expect you to pay for joining them. They benefit whenever their affiliates earn, so it’s their goal to engage with as many affiliates as possible.

Affiliate marketing for dummies tip no. 2: Find your niche

When you separate proven affiliate programs from those fake ones, it’s time to consider what niche would you like to be active in. Firstly, chose topics you already feel passionate about. Starting your journey as an affiliate, you might feel like the member of the exclusive ‘Affiliate Marketing for Dummies’ group. Following your passions is definitely recommendable to make this start at least a bit less uncomfortable. Just don’t forget to verify whether there is money in the niche, you want to get engaged to.

What’s equally important, you have to decide whether it’s better for you to work with independent affiliate programs or with large affiliate networks. Either of these approaches have its pros and cons but it would definitely be hard for you to efficiently combine your activity in both of them.

While affiliate networks (like Shareasale) are suited rather for affiliates with no particular strategy, I’d suggest you choosing SaaS affiliate programs (software as a service) if you want to work independently on a large scale. SaaS affiliate programs are usually much higher paying, due to the value of software they offer. While it may take a bit more effort to find a customer for B2B-oriented software, revenues from closed deals are incomparable. What’s even more enticing, some of SaaS affiliate programs sell monthly recurring licenses and - therefore - offer fixed recurring commissions!

In fact, that’s the approach we took at LiveChat Partner Program.

Once our affiliate partners manage to sell our software, they receive a 20% recurring commission for as long as the license they brought us is up and running. While some licenses are worth $50/month, other reach up to $10,000/month value. It’s easy to calculate what sort of flow of income can you generate with it.

Affiliate marketing for dummies tip no. 3: Create a website

While former points considered your overall approach to affiliate marketing, this one is about taking action. Don’t hesitate to take it! There is of course a number of ways to become a successful affiliate marketer without a website but I’d definitely recommend you creating one. It will just make your work a lot easier.

Creating a website is easier than you might think. The whole process is quite convenient and can be summed up in 4 basic points:

  • buy a domain,
  • buy and set up hosting
  • install WordPress
  • install an attractive WordPress theme.

Many companies like GoDaddy offer bundle deals in which you can get domain and hosting services straight away and on the cheap. All you have to do is install WordPress CMS (Content Management System) and pick a dedicated theme for it. Fortunately, that’s not hard either. You can get both 100% free of cost. With the support of amazing tutorials on wpbeginner.com, you’ll be able to get your website ready within an hour. Your affiliate marketing related efforts will get a bit more professional with it. :)

Affiliate marketing for dummies tip no. 4: SEO is the key

This point largely depends on an affiliate marketing niche you chose to get yourself involved in. Various approaches would involve various techniques and promo strategies. What I can suggest you to do regardless of the specificity of affiliate program you chose, is to focus on: valuable content creation & SEO optimization,

Once you find your niches and create a website, you need to fill it with valuable content. Whatever you publish on your website, it should not only be helpful to your readers, but also optimized for SEO. Yes, SEO! You know: keywords, search engines, websites rankings, etc.

Rings any bell?

Ok, as an Affiliate Marketing Dummy, you might feel a bit confused now. This post about SEO from LiveChat’s blog will make the concept pretty obvious while this article from Yoast will help you avoid all the mistakes, rookie affiliate marketers tend to make. What you have to remember is to search for RIGHT keywords related to your niche, instead of for the best ones. How to search for them? You’ll find Adwords Console Keyword Planner extremely useful here. Try to optimize your website for phrases with min. 500 and max. 15,000 monthly organic searches. Those are usually relatively easy to get your content rank high in Google. That strategy won’t bring you millions of visitors overnight, but can attract attention of few potential customers everyday.

Affiliate marketing for dummies tip no. 5: add value and promote

SEO optimization is important to rank high on Google and draw attention of potential customers. However, the content you fill your website with has to maintain this attention and turn website visitors into customers of products/services you sell as an affiliate. Popular ways of promoting affiliate offers include writing honest product reviews, using in-text content links, email marketing activities and offering unique discounts and special offers.

What’s crucial, is not to be too pushy with your efforts. Intrusive promotion is one of the most common mistakes, ‘dummies’ make. In brief, you don’t want it to look like a regular ad.

Ads don’t sell products themselves.

They are usually the final element of the whole strategy, focused on providing an in-depth explanation of a problem and suggesting ways to solve it. Affiliate marketing professionals call it: a presale content. This is what you should focus your efforts on. Make your content as genuine and insightful as possible and then use various promo channels and techniques to promote it.

Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest developing online industries now. It’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will increase by 10.1 percent between 2015 and 2020, reaching an overwhelming total value of $6.8 billion. The business is clearly large enough for everyone to get their share. With proper approach and some dedication, even affiliate marketing rookies can earn nice money out of it. We honestly hope that “Affiliate Marketing For Dummies” guide will make it all a bit easier.

About the author:

Pawel Halas

I’m running an in-house Partner Program here at LiveChat so I’m probably the right person to reach out to if you have any questions or doubts. Feel free to do so anytime via email or Twitter. From my posts on this blog you’ll learn how our project is progressing and how you can leverage various features and business opportunities we provide. Expect me to share valuable insights and partners’ success stories you can benchmark or - at least - get inspired by. Happy marketing!

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