Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money in 2018. So, what is it exactly?

Affiliate marketing is essentially selling someone else’s products/services for them and getting paid a commission. The best affiliate marketers choose products that they trust and believe in and preferably, products they’ve tried themselves. If you want to make money as an affiliate marketer, there are a few things you should know about it. Here’s an infographic that shows exactly how affiliate marketing works and how you can make money.

How to Become an Affiliate Marketer

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Setting yourself up for success as an affiliate marketer takes some time and effort in the beginning. I don’t want to sugarcoat it. It won’t be easy. But here’s how you should go about starting an affiliate marketing business.

Learn about affiliate marketing

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Photo by MockupEditor.com on Pexels.com

If you’re serious about getting into affiliate marketing, I’d recommend taking a short course on it – just so that you can get an idea of just how much time and effort it takes to become an affiliate marketer. Clickbank University is a great place to start because it gives you actionable, highly relevant content that you can use to start your affiliate marketing business quickly and easily.

If you’d rather not take a course, I recommend The Circle of Profit by Anik Singal. This book has been endorsed by The Rich Dad, Robert Kiyosaki and it’s an easy read, so why not give it a try? It breaks down affiliate marketing into terms so that anyone can understand it.

Choose a niche

A niche is a small, specific section of a topic or industry. Choosing a niche can help you narrow your focus of available products and services and allows you to build a reputation as an authority figure in your industry. That way, you’ll have a more specific customer base, meaning more sales from your generated leads.

Choosing a platform

Choosing a platform means deciding how you’ll communicate with your potential customers. Will you run a blog? Have a social media fan page? Or simply an email list with a one-page website (landing page)? Decide how you’ll market your affiliate products and remember, it can be a combination of platforms. Choose a minimum of one and a maximum of four. Anywhere in between is perfect. But there’s nothing wrong with starting with one if you don’t have the time to manage three different social media channels and your blog content. But if you do, go for it!

Build a following

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Getting followers on social media sites and on your own blog is of extreme importance. You need to have a pool of qualified leads that you know are interested in your niche because when the time comes to sell to them, you’ll have everything in place that you need to make a sale – and quite quickly. A following of 10,000 email subscribers can net you an easy $10,000 in one month if you sell a $1 product to each of your followers.

Choose an affiliate site and affiliate programs

Affiliate sites like Clickbank are like marketplaces for available affiliate products. Choose one that you feel comfortable with and sign up for a free account. I started with Clickbank for several reasons – their A+ rating with the BBB and their 200 million current happy customers. However, there are also other options, such as Avangate, Commission Junction, PepperJam Exchange, LinkShare, CJ Affiliate, Google Affiliate Network, Flex Offers, E-Junkie, Trade Doubler, and ShareASale, among others.

Choose your affiliate products

This is one of the most important steps to becoming a successful affiliate marketer. Don’t just choose products that align with your niche. Check the product/service affiliate page and ask for an affiliate copy if possible. Only choose products you’d purchase yourself or that you really believe in. Otherwise, you could end up getting complaints (and maybe even sued – be sure to include an affiliate disclaimer statement on your website, like the one at the top of this article.)

Start marketing your platform

If you have a limited budget right now, that’s completely understandable. There are tons of free ways to market yourself online. It might take a little longer and it might be more work, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Get yourself a content marketing plan and a social media calendar to help you decide what to post and when. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and headaches trying to come up with content ideas on your own. And remember, you don’t have to stick to your plans strictly. Think of them more like guidelines. You can switch things up every once in a while if the thought of scheduled posts makes you crazy.

Stay consistent

Staying consistent in the beginning can be a headache while you’re juggling a full-time job, a family, school, or a combination of the three. But you have to fight the urge to excuse yourself from getting things done. You have to have that same desire, that same passion, that same drive. No more excuses. If you mess up, miss a day or two, just keep going. Recommit as many times as you need to get things done. You may feel overwhelmed in the beginning, but that’s normal. The important thing is that you keep going despite that feeling. That’s the only way you’ll get to where you wanna be. No matter how much it feels like nothing is working – keep going (and improve or change your methods as needed).

The key to financial freedom and great wealth is a person’s ability or skill to convert earned income itno passive income and/or portfolio income.Robert Kiyosaki

Author

Founder at The Ultimate Freelance Guide and author of The Ultimate Guide to Using Blogging to Boost Engagement and Drive Sales and Copywriting vs. Content Marketing: A Guide to Understanding the Difference Between the Two and Using Both for Maximum Engagement. Her work has been featured at USA Today and Small Biz Daily and she's written for clients like Columbia, LifeLock, eSurance, Anthem Health, USAA, Rev.com, Princess Cruises, and Rodan + Fields, among others.

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