Introduction To A New World
Since I can think back, I wanted to earn money by doing something I enjoy or by using skills I’m good at.
Each job interview I went for, I had to mold my skills to match the ones required for the position I didn’t really want.
Recently however, I asked myself what I’m good at or what do I actually really enjoy doing?
After all everyone keeps saying: “Do something you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life”
So when I stumbled across affiliate marketing, I knew something was there. But what is affiliate marketing and how does it actually work?
I think these two questions are the very first I get, when people ask me what my new “blog” is about and why I’m doing it.
So in this article I will try to make it simple and explain it as thoroughly as I can. Hopefully I can convince some of you to create your own website and maybe have a little side project after work!
If you want to skip reading and just join the affiliate world straight away, I encourage you to at least go through my Wealthy Affiliate review.
It is the community where I was taught and learned most of my knowledge and still am.
They will provide you with a short explanation in the first lesson on how the internet market can generate some income on the side.
Modern Day Salesman
When I try to explain to my friends and family what affiliate marketing is, they instantly jump to the conclusion that it’s a scam or a pyramid scheme type of thing and tell me to quit what I’m doing.
I never intended and never will want to make illegal money.
Robbing people from their money just wouldn’t feel as rewarding to me and besides, I don’t think my conscience could live with that.
What affiliate marketing really is, is a type of modern salesman. All you do is sell products and get a commission for it.
These products vary a lot because you are free to choose which product, program or service you want to promote.
What you do is, you decide on a specific subject, or niche you want to go into and look for an affiliate program related to that niche.
Usually, if you go on a website where you can buy things, they almost always have an affiliate program.
So if you’re worried about having a niche and thinking you can’t monetize it, don’t panic because there usually always is a way to find an affiliate program around it.
Once you have chosen a program to sign up for, get a unique affiliate link and you create a website based around that product which you are now trying to sell.
You add your affiliate link somewhere in your website and whenever someone clicks on that, it redirects or sends your customer to the actual website that sells the product.
The unique affiliate link you got by signing up, basically tells the store that you sent the customer to them.
Normally people choose a niche, that they have a passion for or are experts in.
This way you can write and review about the product without getting bored and your business will last longer (given that there’s a demand for it whatever you’re selling).
And that’s pretty much it. So let’s go through this again in simple steps to explain how exactly affiliate marketing works:
- You choose a niche/subject that you want to sell (e.g. Lamps)
- You look for an affiliate program, that produces and sells your product, to sign up for (e.g. Amazon) and receive your unique affiliate link.
- Now you create a website based around your niche and try to get as much traffic (visitors) on it as possible and wait for them to click on your affiliate link and buy the product they see on your site.
Pretty simple right? The next question I usually receive when I’ve explained this step is: “Why wouldn’t people buy it straight from Amazon?”
It is a valid question and I asked myself the same thing before, but firstly you should understand that, although Amazon sells millions of products, it doesn’t sell everything.
There are thousands of programs and courses that also offer affiliate programs.
If you go on Clickbank for instance you will see how many products there are that aren’t physical products.
But as for the physical products, people like to be sent in the right direction.
If you manage to get the customer on your site before they land on the retailer, like Amazon for example, and you manage to sell them the product before they leave your site, that commission goes to you.
We as humans are impatient and don’t like to have to choose from 1000 similar product.
And although you can filter out the cheapest, best rated and most popular product on Amazon, there are ways to gather people on your site before they land on the actual retailer.
These tricks and techniques are a long process and it takes a bit of practice and studying to get good at them.
Win-Win Situation For Both
A lot of people also ask me why huge retailers like Amazon would even bother with affiliates.
They could simply just let people land on their page and keep the commission to themselves. It is a pretty obvious answer if you think about it.
Giant firms like Amazon spend millions of dollars every year to advertise their brand and try to get as many customers as possible.
These methods of advertisement aren’t always as effective either. Bad press and failed campaigns cost a lot of money.
If affiliates target a certain group of people that are really passionate about one product.
Amazon doesn’t have to worry about creating a form of advertisement just for that specific group.
It might just be 5% of their main consumer but these 5% are still worth millions to them.
Affiliates can target their group while the retailer doesn’t have to worry about it.
The commission they pay out to their affiliates is a lot less than any campaign or ad would have been.
Additionally all the effort is scratched because their affiliates does the dirty work for them with pleasure as well.
On the other hand, we as affiliate marketers have it easy as well, because all we have to do is attract the consumers by creating a website and generating traffic.
We don’t have to:
- Create and produce the product
- Worry about manufacturing costs
- Store the right amount somewhere
- Deliver the good on time
- Deal with customer service
- Worry about refunds
- Pay employees
With affiliates, the retailers also have to do a lot less work to reach a lot more customers. If there is only their site, people might never hear of it.
But if there are millions of sites promoting their product, there is a much wider range of potential and consumers to be reached.
My favorite benefits of affiliate marketing are the following:
- You can choose your working hours
- You can choose your working place
- You are your own boss
- The money you earn is limited by the effort you put in
- You can choose whatever you love as your product
- All you need is a laptop and no money or very little money to get started.
There are still some and always will be some critics and skeptical people out there.
But I’m not lying that there are some highly successful people out there making more money than you can imagine.
I’ve previously written a post of some success stories, which you can go back to read on here if you like.
These are no exceptions either.
Another great thing about this business is, that once you’ve learned how this works, you can simply repeat it over and over again or improve your website.
So I hope that I could clear up some confusion about this business and that I managed to answer the question.
If you would ask me now “What is affiliate marketing” I would probably answer with, the best job someone could possibly have.
There is no stress involved in it and like I said earlier, profits are limitless. But don’t expect it to be easy.
It mostly takes months if not years to learn how to profit from this type of business.
This is why it’s important to get the right education and learn the fundamentals of this market.
If you are interested I would encourage you to check out some trustworthy programs such as Wealthy Affiliate.
Don’t get your hands on a program that promises millions within a few weeks.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this!
Feel free to leave any comments, questions or thoughts behind. I will most definitely answer to them as always!