Want to add affiliate marketing to your business as a passive income stream?
One of the questions I get asked the most from readers is ‘How can I make money from my blog as a beginner blogger?’ Affiliate marketing for beginners isn’t as hard as you might think. I know how overwhelming it can be, this post should get you started though!
Have you developed your own blog, website, or social media page promoting something you are passionate about (or would you really love to)? With a few tweaks and our tips for affiliate marketing for beginners, you could turn your blog into a nice little earner.
We all hear about mythical influencers and bloggers who make a living just from talking about what they eat or wear.
But the real-life existence of such people is as likely as the existence of unicorns – right? Regular people can’t make money from their blog or website, surely?
Yes, actually you can.
It is not the snap-your-fingers-and-money-instantly-appears kind of easy, but with some simple steps and a bit of effort put into consistently blogging, you CAN make money through affiliate marketing (yes, even beginners).
Let’s start at the start…
This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. This occurs at no extra cost to you.
What is affiliate marketing?
Using affiliate marketing, you promote other businesses or products through your posts, and then earn a small commission from any paying customers you send their way.
Affiliate marketing happens when you allow other businesses the opportunity for their advertising to appear on your website or social media pages. This is at no cost to you, and you get a commission when the visitor then clicks through and makes a purchase because of your link. You are called the affiliate.
There are a number of different ways that you can do this, including:
- placing ads on your pages from business partners you have chosen yourself
- giving space to third parties like Google to choose appropriate ads for your visitors
- linking to business partners in your blogs or social media posts
- reviewing products
- promoting the products to people on your email list
How do affiliate marketers make money?
Third-party platforms or affiliate networks have set themselves up as a middle-man between the middle-men (if that makes sense!). So you don’t need to go looking for all the individual businesses you might like to promote (although you can approach anyone with this kind of offer if you like their product).
Instead, it works sort of like this:
Customer connects to YOU connect to Affiliate Network connects to Affiliate
If the customer buys the product through this connection pathway you earn a commission.
The easiest way to get connected is to sign up with an affiliate network such as Shareasale or Commission Junction.
Once you’ve signed up you can access hundreds of businesses you could be an affiliate for (each business will need to approve you before you can promote on their behalf). After that, the links are all easily arranged through the affiliate network.
The pathway is all set up for you and the sale, payment, and commission earning all happen without you having to do anything once the link is set up.
The beauty of digital links is that whenever a customer clicks through from your promotional link, the affiliates and affiliate network can track it – so they know that your referral did the work and you have earned the commission.
Customers won’t pay a higher price for any products because they came through you – the commission you earn comes from the affiliate’s cut.
How to choose products to promote
You don’t need to sell your soul to earn money through affiliate marketing. You can choose and control which products you promote, and you only need to include ones that you actually like.
To find affiliate programs, you can use the networks that I already mentioned but there are plenty of businesses that run their own programs. There are two ways that I start looking for programs. The first is to go to the business’ website and scroll down to the footer, they often have the ‘Affiliate’ link there. The other is to search Google, type in ‘Business name + affiliate program’ and often a page will come up. If both of those fail, just email them! Send them an email saying who you are, what your business or blog is about and why you want to promote their products. Most businesses are more than happy to make you an affiliate if they think you’re a good fit.
Just remember, you are required to put disclaimers in any posts before you include links as well as a disclaimer on your website that you receive a commission from affiliate links.
There is good business sense in being transparent about this; most websites say something along the lines that they earn a small commission from affiliate links, but only link to products they would buy and recommend themselves.
How to use your blog to make sales
You make money for two reasons really:
- because you helped people find a product without having to do all the hard work researching it themselves
- you have built a following through your blog who trust that your recommendation is worth something.
But in order to do this, you need to build a following and form a relationship with your visitors that allows them to trust your opinion. This is done through good quality, consistent blogging.
The good blogging part you can’t really skip over, and without it, any affiliate marketing links you put up are not going to generate any revenue for you.
Finding the affiliates and connecting to them through ads and links is really simple. The effort and time go into blogging and content marketing. But if you are already posting quality content and building a base of followers, there is no reason why you shouldn’t make the simple leap to affiliate marketing.
Once you have the products that you think are a good fit and you have used or had experience with, then go back through your blog posts and add links to the products that you’ve already promoted. Start by going through your most popular posts first and work backwards.
Otherwise, start doing some keyword research and planning new blog posts that will help you promote your affiliate products. This is so important and a step that I really overlooked when starting out! Basically you’re looking for keywords that are being searched for but that don’t have huge competition unless your domain authority is already high (which, I’m guessing it’s not seeing as though this is a post about affiliate marketing for beginners). I use Keysearch Pro almost on a daily basis and it’s definitely paying off!
And even if you have no following yet – if you have a passion that you feel like you could talk about and share your experiences with others about it, then why not start a blog?
How to use Pinterest to make sales
Pinterest is another great way to make affiliate sales. Pinterest now allows you to create pins that send traffic directly to the product you’re promoting. Just remember to make sure that the affiliate allows you to do this, I have come across a couple that don’t. This course from House of Brazen, Paid By Pinterest is fantastic at showing you how to use Pinterest to get your affiliate sales started! Really, you don’t even need a blog or other platform to start making money using affiliate links with Pinterest!
It’s so easy to get started in affiliate marketing as a beginner!
If we have peaked your interest with this article and you would like to know more about affiliate marketing for beginners, I can’t recommend you buy this course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, enough! Michelle earns $50 000/month just from her affiliate links, she’s definitely the person to learn from!