Welcome to article about my thoughts on how to become an affiliate marketer and where to get started.
Affiliate marketing has been very good to me throughout the years.
When I first got started and did not know what I was doing, when I got started to attempt to make money online, without really knowing what it was, it was through an affiliate program.
That is where I first made my first dollar online.
The way I made my first sale was a totally backwards way of doing it because the way that you were suppose to make money with it was suppose to be by promoting the offer to others through advertising and make a percentage off of each membership.
Yup, not me, I filled out these trial offers myself, made some money, had to remember to cancel all the trial offers after a certain period of time, which I forgot to do a couple of them… and that was the end of that little journey.
I made money, but not anywhere where I needed it to be, and the name of that company is something I don’t really want to mention at this time, just because I don’t want anyone influenced by me and try to do those type of programs, just because I don’t think they’re that legit.
Funny story right, but that didn’t deter me, I kept going, probably because I had responsibilities and couldn’t find a good job at the time and was motivated and because I actually got paid.
So What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing in its simplest form is promoting other people’s product, service or company and earning a percentage of the total sale made of the product, service or company.
The percentage of what you earn is determined by the owner of the product, service or company.
As you learn more and more about affiliate marketing you will soon discover their are networks that you can join to promote an abundance of products.
You will also soon discover that some of these networks have applications to fill out before they will accept you into their network as well.
Don’t worry too much about getting accepted into these networks, all you really need is a clean website with a topic that relates to some degree to some of the products that these networks offer.
The networks that have the applications are called CPA Networks and the ones that are much easier to get into are called regular affiliate programs, or affiliate marketplaces.
I will cover some of the differences that I have found below.
How To Get Started In Affiliate Marketing?
Is fairly simple to get started in affiliate marketing. The first step is to decide what you want to sell.
Do you want to sell physical products, digital items, or services?
In my opinion, it’s easiest to get started by thinking about something that you already like and have some knowledge about, just because you don’t have to do as much research, and it will be more enjoyable.
One of the things that I would highly recommend is to start a website around that idea.
Plan it out, take some time to think about everything involved with your idea or topic, and also everything that surrounds that idea you have, like if your topic is about a specific teeth whitener, you can also have content about organic whitener, whitening tooth paste, devices that help make your teeth white, home made teeth whiter, how to make teeth whitener, benefits of having white teeth, the cons, then go into how to save money, top 10, and then think about the products that fits into your demographic, like if its teeth whitening, demographics show that women search for this term more than men, then you can also market and have content about weight loss, etc.
Do you see what I mean, just don’t create a website on just a specific product, create content on and around a product or topic, be creative and helpful.
Now, I m not saying the mini sites, or product specific smaller sites don’t work, I use to build them all the time, BUT is you want a long term income stream, go big and broad, because if you don’t you are leaving a ton of money on the table, plus those mini sites are short term gains, Google values great chunky helpful content above all else.
If you have no idea about how to create a great niche site that Google loves, then make sure to check out my “Getting Started Online” courses I have available, you can check them out here.
There are so many courses and tutorials out on the Internet already about this, but they are really simple and don’t really go into detail about what is really needed for great Google rankings, also about how to protect your site from hackers and viruses, and how to make it load fast for the best user experience.
Now lets get into the affiliate networks and how to join them and get started as an affiliate.
The first I will cover are the CPA Networks.
What are CPA Networks?
The first companies I’m going to jump into that have great products you can market are called CPA networks. CPA stand for “Cost Per Action”.
Once accepted into a CPA network you will get assigned an affiliate manager to all of these networks.
This can be very beneficial to you because you can ask them questions like “what product has been doing very well for a while now”, Or “what kind of traffic being used is producing the most sales with this product?”. They are usually very transparent, but of course they cant give you specific sources, but they might recommend something.
The offers provided within these networks are usually physical products like, weight loss, teeth whitener, testosterone trial offers, and even some “As Seen On TV” offers, among others.
They also have the products you see from time to time on the internet that pays out a commission when someone simply inputs their email address or zip code, and by doing so, that person receives a free gift like a iPhone, or Xbox, etc. (they usually also have to submit to and take trial offers on the back end as well as per their terms to get these “free” products.)
The merchant pays you a commission when someone purchases a trial offer of X amount of days, usually 14, 7 or 30 days, this is considered the “action” steps required by the merchant in order for you to make the commission listed.
With these type of offers, the commissions are usually much higher than the email or zip submits.
I want to also cover that the product owners do a ton of tracking and split testing traffic, and tweak their websites for the maximum click through rates they can get.
So yes, all of the products you promote will come with their own dedicated sales pages that you simply promote that are usually very high quality for the best conversions.
The sales made are usually payed out 1 time per month, unless you have increased legitimate sales, or have been marketing that particular product for a period of time, usually around 3 months with a good amount of sales. Then you can request a bi-monthly or even a weekly pay-out, some networks like Peerfly are known to pay out bi-weekly on more offers than the other networks.
And when you are looking for products ro promote but just can’t find the network its hosted on, there is a popular website you can use where you can find a ton of products with payout information and what networks you can promote them from called, OfferVault.
What is OfferVault?
When you want to look for a specific product to promote it can be a hedache, especially when you belong to a bunch of different CPA networks and you have to log into each one to check out the products you are interested in.
OfferVault solves this issue by offering a big search bar with a big orange button that sais “Search”.
Simply type in the specific offer or a topic like, real estate, teeth whitening, pay per lead, email submit, bizopp, weight loss, diet, fitness, and rehab. The list goes on and on, but you get the point.
Nice website that is used a lot.
Some Popular CPA Networks:
MaxBounty is one of the top affiliate CPA networks. It has been around for several years and still going strong.
They have a beautiful interface for their back-office, has a ton of options for affiliates like, tracking URL’s, banners, tracking cookies.
To get started as an affiliate marketer for MaxBounty you need to sign up.
The sign up is fairly easy. When you’re done with the application expect them to give you a call back.
They are simply going to verify its you, and talk to you about your experience.
Peerfly handles affiliates for several online merchants. They are a very popular affiliate CPA network.
Their interface is very nice, like all of the networks some of the products you have to request to promote, but they have many products that you can plug into right away as well.
The sign up process is similar to Maxbounty.
I don’t remember if they needed to call me and talk to me but just expect that, that is the usual method for all CPA networks sign up process.
This network was started by a amateur poker player out of California. They bought out the popular Neverblue CPA network when Neverblue was in bankruptcy.
I don’t have too much information about this network, but I wanted to give out a mention about Neverblue because it was such a nice network to be part of, I really enjoyed their layout, data reporting, offers, and support.
Clickbooth is another very popular CPA network.
There are many more CPA networks available to join, but I wanted to just list a few that I actually am or was a member of, and I know they pay out and are legitimate, just in case you decide to join one of the ones I listed above, I know you will be taken care of.
When dealing with the CPA networks you will run into terms used like merchant, promoter, publisher, and advertiser, every network has there own type of lingo they use within their site. Publisher usually means the product owner, and promoter and advertiser usually means that you want to be the one that promotes the products within the network. Choose the advertiser or promoter option when filling out the applications, and also when initially signing up and into most of these networks.
Now, affiliate Cpa networks are different from regular affiliate marketing product programs, meaning that affiliate programs offer both physical products and digital products like eBooks, apps, and software and usually can be found in affiliate marketing programs like Click Bank, JVZoo, and Warrior Plus, and Amazon, these 4 are the most popular ones.
I’ll touch on these programs in the next section.
What Are The Best Affiliate Marketing Programs?
In this section I want to cover the most popular affiliate marketing programs that you can join to become an affiliate marketer and make money online with.
The first one I want to mention is by far the biggest, which is Amazon.
Amazon Affiliate Program
If you are living under a rock, never had internet connection, live in a remote part of the world in a remote area where technology is non existence then you probably never hear of Amazon.
But for those that have, Amazon also has an affiliate program. Unlike the CPA networks this one is much easier to get started with.
How to become an affiliate marketer with Amazon is you simply have to sign up with their affiliate program.
Refer to the pictures I provided and use this link to get started.
After you have filled out everything and get your login credentials (usually by email), login to your Amazon affiliate back office and then do a search for a product to promote, once you have a product to promote, Amazon will provide several options on how to promote it. It will provide several website codes that you simply copy and paste into your website or you can also grab your affiliate link to that specific product or even category, so that you can paste it anywhere on the Internet that you can paste the link.
The only con that I have with promoting Amazon products is that the payout percentages are very small to start out with, but the more sales of a product you sell the percentage does rise.
The positives I have is that Amazon is that it is a truly trusted site, probably everyone you know has visited or has purchased something from Amazon, its simply well known by everyone… unless your living under a rock, or never had internet connection, live in a remote part of the world in a remote area where technology is non existence.
Click Bank has been around before I even got started with my online business.
I actually got my first breakthrough with one of the “how to” guides (eBook) they still have in its marketplace.
Some of the best products to sell in their marketplace when you first get started is the how to guides, in my opinion.
You can see how to get started with the Craigslist affiliate program by checking out the images I posted.
Once your in your back office, you have a hefty selection of products to choose from, the interface is nice and is separated into different categories, comes with your personal tracking link with a great tracking sheet page that auto updates for you, and a nice interface to see your sales.
One thing about Craigslist as among the other affiliate market places is that you want to make sure you advertise responsibly and don’t make false claims, and be aware of trademark terms that each product owner usually has.
Craigslist in my opinion is a great marketplace to get started as I did, and I am mentioning them here because I have personally used them which I still do from time to time, and they pay out.
Craigslist usually pays out bi-monthly and if I can remember right, they hold back a small percentage of your earnings for 2 weeks just in case for any refunds that may happen.
All of the Craigslist products have a 30 day refund policy and I never had any problems with them not paying me in all my years promoting any of the products within their affiliate platform.
Craigslist is very easy to get started as an affiliate, refer to the images I provided above to get started.
The JVZoo marketplace is another affiliate program that you can get started with and is a great place to sell products as an affiliate and also to host your own products within.
I highly recommend this platform because usually all of the products in its marketplace are of high quality.
You will find more software programs within this marketplace than Craigslist, much more.
As an affiliate you can find great new product launches almost every week which is great because the way of marketing and advertising is always changing and new opportunities are always popping up, and product creators are always have and create fresh and new products to help with these processes, and JVZoo is the place they love to host their products.
Most do this for the security, and also for the affiliates to help promote their products.
Also, many of the new launches have some very lucrative prizes when you help launch their products, which is a great way to help the product owner make more money and also gives the affiliates an incentive to promote hard, and get some notoriety and some bragging rights that we, as affiliate marketers can use in our own reputation pictures.
The Warrior Plus affiliate marketing program is similar to the JVZoo marketplace and does host many of the same products.
This market place is another great place to get started and promote affiliate products as it is a lot easier to get accepted for many of the products.
The way to get accepted is you have to request permission (not always but most of the time) from the product owners through a simple request form in your back office marketplace.
Other Affiliate Programs Worth Mentioning
I wanted to mention these affiliate programs also because these are useful tools for online marketing that are in my opinion (and most top affiliates) a MUST HAVE!
I would consider all of these tools I listed below to set the foundation of your marketing efforts online that will establish a solid foundation and as we all know we can’t build a house without a solid foundation.
Aweber is a list manager auto-responder service provider. You can create forms to capture leads and follow up with email messages to that lead with either manual or automated sequential messaging. You can write out a sequence of emails that will go out when you want them to. Write out messages that go out for a month or even a year, and at even at specific times per day.
You can also build a subscriber list like I have here with Digital Cash Kings and when you create a new post, Aweber will automatically send out a message to your subscriber list to let them know about your new post with a link for them to click on for them to read it.
Aweber affiliate program pays you every time someone clicks on your affiliate link and buys a monthly subscription.
They pay you a commission every month this person renews.
Aweber has a high retention rate because one of the most profitable marketing strategies you can do is build a list. This is a huge asset for you once you learn how to monetize this strategy. And the list is always yours!
I highly recommend Aweber and also recommend Awebers affiliate program as well.
If you want to learn how to use Aweber and utilize it properly as an affiliate marketer then make sure to take advantage of my getting started guide.
Namecheap is my top recommended domain name registration company to register a new domain name.
I like it better than GoDaddy because it doesn’t present you with a ton of upsells when you buy a new domain name, plus the interface is more user friendly in many ways. When you have no experience purchasing a new domain name, this is a huge plus.
They offer free WhoIs privacy for an entire year, and SSL certificates for just over $1 for an entire year. Renewals are very competitive if not better than most other registrars as well.
The only con I have with them is it’s extremely hard to find any coupon codes for the initial purchases, but the positives outweigh the cons in my opinion.
Namecheap also has an affiliate program that you can get started at as well. Simply sign up and when a person buys from your link you receive a commission.
The percentage of pay is really not that high, but when you live as an affiliate marketer you have to really stack everything together and everything counts.
I highly recommend Namecheap as a company to buy your domain names especially when you are starting out, and also to market this company as an affiliate.
GoDaddy is also another domain registrar company, and the reason why I also have them on the list is that they are a well established, safe, and reputable company.
I would also recommend Gogaddy as a company to buy your domain names from and to also be an affiliate for.
Aweber has all of the features that Namecheap has, but not designed as neatly for the newer person. The interface is beautiful, just not as easy to navigate.
Some of the cons are all those damn up-sells, they try to convince you to buy right after you purchase a new domain name, and even during your back-office visits.
But a big positive are the vast majority of coupon codes you can find online. Many of them that you may find offer a $1 coupon for the first year for a TLD (top level domain name like .com, .net)
To join the GoDaddy affiliate program click on the button provided below.
BlueHost is an excellent hosting company that has all the features that one would look for in a hosting company.
It has a ton of features that the beginning and more advanced marketer are looking for.
BlueHost is also know for its award winning support and its security.
If you are looking for a great website hosting provider then you will not be dissapointed when choosing this one.
For those reasons I listed above, that is why I would highly recommend becoming an affiliate marketer for this company.
I will provide an in-depth BlueHost overview all about its features, security and support on a dedicated page for you to learn more about because I think it really deserves it.
If you want to become an affiliate for Bluehost, or looking for an award winning hosting company to host your websites, then check them out by clicking on the link below.
Tuned Hosting is a hosting company for your websites, it offers everything that the bigger well known website hosting account managers offer.
The thing that I like about them is that they offer a great re-occurring affiliate program that most other hosting account companies do not offer.
I am putting together a full overview about Tuned Hosting that you can find by clicking on my Tuned Hosting text link for an in-depth overview about it.
I must say that they have come a long way from when I first joined. Their security is very good now, servers are super fast (uses Amazon cloud servers), and support is very responsive and helpful.
I highly recommend using this service and recommend promoting their affiliate program.
So How To Become An Affiliate Marketer?
To sum it up, you simply have to have a product to sell online that makes you a commission when you sell that product.
Whether it’s selling other peoples product or your own.
Pick a niche and then create a website around that niche (product) and create a ton of great and helpful content pages with some targeted, broad, and similar topic pages (keywords), and then rank it.
Also, make sure the products that you promote have enough attention around it, you can use keyword research with your favorite keyword software tool to discover this.
Then rinse and repeat the process but around another niche (product). But stay focused on that website because 1 great website with the right niche (and their are thousands), can make you rich!
Give it time to marinate and take off, with great and helpful content and eventually your efforts WILL pay off.