What Is Affiliate Marketing?

A lot of people get caught up in the meaning or definition of affiliate marketing. Usually arguing about the smallest points or 'variations of affiliate marketing. 

In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is a marketing method, whereby you (the affiliate) are provided a commission, for every item sold (or action taken) through your special link. 

There are many different strategies, styles and options when it comes to affiliate marketing. Including different traffic styles, payment models and platforms to join. 

The following article will look at these different options. Explore different traffic styles and also offer some  top affiliate networks you can join. If you are completely new to affiliate marketing, I would recommend checking out this free course

How do affiliate marketers make money

The main way an affiliate will make money is via affiliate links. These links contain a unique ID associated to you.

Affiliate Marketing vs DropShipping - Affiliate Marketing

Depending on the type of payment, you may be given a bounty (set amount) if an item is purchased. You may also be given a % or commission based on the basket total for a website. Finally, you can also be awarded a $ amount if someone signs up to a service, adds an email or provides a phone number. 

How can you do affiliate marketing?

You can actually get started with affiliate marketing in a number of different ways. These include; 

  • Blogging (SEO)
  • YouTube
  • Social Media - Instagram or TikTok
  • Network Marketing - Facebook or LinkedIn
  • Paid Ads - PPC / Solo Ads
  • Email Marketing & Funnels

A lot of people will usually tell you that you need the latest hack, secret button or hidden method to succeed with affiliate marketing. But to be honest, you don't. 

The following methods can all be set up and started the same day. 

Blogging

A personal favourite of mine, as there are so many different niches and items to blog about. A new blog or website can be set up within 30 - 60minutes. As time goes on, and your pages start to rank within Google, blogs become partly passive. 

As you work on new articles, older ones provide you with a baseline income, without needing a lot of upkeep. As blogs and websites grow, so does that beautiful baseline. 

They can take a little getting used too, and do take time, but don't let that put you off. Check out BlogFocused to learn more.

YouTube

A huge social media platform, with a near infinite growth opportunity, and the ability to be seen by hundreds of thousands. YouTube is sometimes seen as the quicker, slicker version of blogging and SEO. 

YouTube algorithms usually work a lot quicker than Google, meaning a new video for a particular keyword can appear in search results within weeks, days or even hours. Rather than the weeks, months or years that Google can take. 

Of course, not everyone wants to show their face, or be on camera. You can also do voice over only videos, or use sites such as Fiverr to animate your videos for you. 

Network Marketing

A method that blew up in 2020, with a lot of people working from home and having social media open a lot more. Network marketing can be achieved on a number of platforms, but Facebook and LinkedIn have become hugely popular. 

With hundreds of millions of daily users, both platforms have massive potential for networking and finding leads. Though it can be difficult to get into, especially when a lot of people don't like directly talking to people, it can also be very profitable. 

A lot of people can get started with a phone or laptop, and a Facebook or LinkedIn account. No additional funnels or software is really needed to get started. 

Check out the Super Affiliate Accelerator review to see one of the best ways to get started with network marketing. 

Social Media

Another method that can be explored is social media as a whole. Sites such as TikTok or Instagram have the ability to catapult a short video viral within a few short hours. 

Showing your 15-30 second video to hundreds of thousands of potential leads, just by the power of the platforms algorithms. TikTok is still a new platform, which can make it a little hit and miss at times. With some videos getting 10's of views, with others getting millions. 

If you are happy to make short 15 second videos, then this could be a great place to start. You only need a phone, and yourself to begin. Checkout Legendary Marketers 15 second leads book for ideas. 

Some methods can also take a little longer, or require additional testing. The following methods may take more time, or money to get started. 

Paid Ads

Always a risk one, platforms such as Bing Ads, Google Adwords or Facebook ads have the potential to get your link and promotion in front of hundreds of thousands of people, instantly. 

But, they also run the risk of burning through your cash stacks in days or banning you from ever promoting a link again. Paid ads take time and require testing to nail how they work. 

Understanding the data you are provided, the costs associated and if you are actually making money is critical. I wouldn't say Ads are beginner friendly, though Spencer Mecham does talk about how he succeeded with Google Ads within his own marketing journey. 

Email Marketing & Funnels

The final traffic method is one that can really be used with all the others we have looked at. Email marketing can be done on it's own, using paid ads or solo ads to generate traffic, with the emails then providing you with the income. 

Huge marketers such as James Farcett have seen great success, with roughly $450k produced in 2021 alone using this method. 

Using a simple funnel set-up to capture leads, subscribers are then shown products or offers that appeal to what they have signed up for. For example, if someone has signed up to learn how affiliate marketing works, you may show them the free MOS course. Once they have enjoyed that, you may then show them a better, or possibly more expensive training that will further help them. 

These leads and emails can be marketed too or shown opportunities for as long as they are on your list. Of course, they do get burned out, or stop responding, which means you have to replenish your lists. Again, this method takes testing and money to start seeing your returns. 

Where To Find Affiliate Opportunities

There are a number of ways to find affiliate opportunities. It will largely depends on what you want to promote. There are dedicated platforms, or affiliate marketplaces whereby you can login and see a huge variety of offers to promote.

But you can also find independent programs or platforms, that only sell one product or service. 

The Best Affiliate Platforms?

ClickBank

One of the most popular sites that people use to find their offers is called ClickBank. You may have already heard about it if you have started to research Affiliate Marketing in the past, and that's because it's probably one of the biggest platforms and one of the oldest.

ClickBank is full of offers from software to step by step training courses or even physical products such as health supplements or guides.  

JVZoo

Another really popular site, JVZoo is used by some of the biggest vendors who mainly want to promote software or tools, you will always find lots of video graphic tools or funnel building software. 

JVZoo does differ slightly from ClickBank, as vendors are the ones who pay out, rather than JVZoo holding the money and then releasing it too you. 

It also requires you to be accepted to promote products, so you may need to explain to vendors that you are new or have just started, but you have a blog, or vlog and already have seen traction on your videos and articles. 

Amazon

One of the biggest sites for affiliates, it's not strictly a platform, but they have so many different products that you can promote that it kind of falls into this category. 

Amazon doesn't just do Amazon.com, they also have Audible, AmazonPrime and of course the main Amazon marketplace that can all be promoted. 

Legendary Marketer 

A self hosted platform that specialises in consultancy, affiliate marketing and building an online business. They teach people how to get started in these key areas, finding offers, funding or building a team. 

You can become an affiliate of Legendary Marketer, though it does require an application, and actually owning their products. As a starter for 10, I would recommend at least going through their 15 Day Business Builder Challenge to understand what they are about. 

Other Methods To Find Affiliate Offers

If you want to go a little off the standard track, you can actually find affiliate offers in a number of ways.

Google Searching

Yep, good old fashioned google will allow you to find new opportunities, by simply searching for terms such as 'X product affiliate' or 'X product referral' will start showing up different affiliate offers, IF that product or service offers the ability to become an affiliate. 

You can also run searches looking at a broader term, for example 'affiliate offers for wood working', this will bring up platforms of particular products that have affiliate programs. 

Reach Out To Your Favourite People

This always worries people, but lots of sites actually have affiliate programs, that they don't always promote. If you have a tool or software that you love to use or you constantly use a service that you feel others would love and you have a platform and an audience to utilise, then reach out to the website using their contact options and explain it too them. 

This won't work every time, but it's worth at least trying!

What Big Websites Use Affiliate Marketing?

It is always a good idea to see some of the success stories that come with affiliate marketing to understand better the concept around “affiliate marketing”. Below are two real examples of websites that make thousands of dollars per day and also monthly through affiliate marketing.

TopTenSelect.com

This is a popular product review site where a different type of products gets reviewed and get compiled into a comparison table and top 10 lists.  The site is funded mainly by the Amazon associates. The site has comprehensive contents that give a User advice on the products that are worth the money.

HuffingtonPost.com

Many bloggers have published most of the traditional collections of their writings which gives them a chance for several affiliate marketing opportunities using any of their online pieces. The affiliate links to the online retailer get included as part of the author's blog post or articles.

The Best Courses For Affiliate Marketing

Purchasing a course, or training can be a bit daunting. Most people don't want to take the big step, and that's ok, there are plenty of videos on YouTube that can give you ideas and even some meaningful information on how to succeed with Affiliate Marketing, but they lack one thing. Structure. 

Most videos are one off videos aimed at solving 1 particular problem, and are usually just a short 5 minute video on setting up a site. 

If you don't know what the next step is, then you may never find the video that will solve your next issue (especially if you don't know what your next issue is!)

Courses solve that problem by giving you a structure and a path to follow to get you from A - Z in hopefully the easiest way possible. Lucky for you, there are loads of different courses that actually cater for different needs. 

The Best Affiliate Marketing Courses For Beginners

I usually categorise these courses as the ones that don't focus any particular type of traffic or platform and provide information on basically everything, at a slightly higher level. 

They are great for those just starting and want to learn the basics, but also good for those who have had some success, but want to go onto the next level.

MyOnlineStartup

A free course that teaches those completely new to affiliate marketing, the different styles and fundamentals. You can go through the course at your own speed. Looking at the different modules such as YouTube, Blogging or Social Media. 

There is a paid for version, though if you are just starting out, it's not essential. I rated MOS fairly high considering the amount of information you get inside of the free version. 

Savage Affiliates 

One of the highest rated courses I have ever looked at, the course is packed full of useful information on the different ways to suceed with Affiliate Marketing. 

I myself took the course nearly 3 years ago (the original Savage Affiliates 1.0) and have never looked back. For the price, you will struggle to find as much information or as much good content as this. It's perfect for those who are just starting, or may want to learn more about alternative methods to branch out with. 

Wealthy Affiliate

This community, as it's more than just training, usually gets quite a bad rap, usually because the ones who promote it do it in quite boring or very similar ways. 

Wealthy Affiliate is an online platform that provides hosting, tools and training for those who want to get into affiliate marketing. 

It's quite heavy on bringing more people into the WA bubble, but they do provide some really good training on every aspect of Affiliate Marketing. Once signed up, you have to keep the subscription up to keep access to your sites and training, so it's very all or nothing with them, which for me is a bit of a downside. 

The Best Affiliate Marketing Training For SEO

These days, there are a number of decent SEO focused affiliate marketing courses.

SEO Affiliate Domination 

One of the best, still has to be SEO Affiliate Domination. It's designed specifically to teach people how to succeed with SEO and that's it.

Greg Jeffries is a master at his art and has created a course that provides his knowledge in an easy to follow format. If you are serious about using SEO as your main strategy then SEO Affiliate Domination will be the one you want to check out.

BlogFocused

I am slightly biased, as it's my own stuff! If you are new to SEO, then this could be a great place to start. BlogFocused breaks down SEO into the basic format and removes so much of the confusing fluff and clutter. It mainly focuses on showing the core mechanics, without complicating matters with crazy backlink ideas or methods.

Affiliate Secrets 3.0

With Spencers latest release of Affiliate Secrets, he has overhauled his blogging and SEO training. Nate from Entresource is the brains behind the new release. He artfully explains how he grows and builds his authority site, with an impressive $1m+ earned from his online business, he definitely knows his potatoes.

The Best Affiliate Marketing Training For Adverts & PPC

A lot of affiliate marketers want to take their game to the next level, or want to focus on a faster, more scalable option, and this is where PPC or advertising comes into play. 

It is the means of using sites such as Google Ads, Bing or even social media to link potential customers to offers. 

Legendary Marketer

The course focuses around using funnels, adverts and social media to generate commissions from different products online. Focusing a lot of ClickBank or JvZoo, the Legendary Marketer 15 Day Business Challenge is a great place to start, especially for the $7 it costs to do it. 

Affiliate Secrets 3.0

As you may have guessed, AS3 covers a lot of areas and marketing methods that Spencer has succeeded with. His Google ads and PPC training does focus on a single style of paid ads, but they are effective if you can find a way to incorporate them. 

Final Thoughts - What Is Affiliate Marketing? 

So there you have it, a breakdown of affiliate marketing and how to get started.

This method isn't for everyone, and some people get stuck when they start out because there is so many different articles, videos and ads trying to get your eyeballs. But, if you take the time to sit and watch 1 YouTube channel, read 1 book or follow one person, it will make life a lot easier. 

Don't be afraid of failure, it happens to everyone, and it's part of the process. You will always find a hiccup or two as you grow and it just allows you to come back stronger. 

Good luck on your journey. 

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