Beginner’s Guide to Making Money With Affiliate Marketing in 2020
I’ve been meaning to write a post about affiliate marketing for, what feels like, forever but there was always something getting in the way.
But here I am today!
I’m finally doing it.
I finally sat down to write it!
So if you are interested in affiliate marketing and want to start making money with it, this post is perfect for you.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
What is affiliate marketing?
Let’s start with the basics.
What is actually affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a process in which you promote products and services from brands and receive a commission from sales.
How does it work?
You share an affiliate link on your blog or social media, someone clicks on that link and buys something, and then you earn a commission from the sale.
And everyone is happy!
The company is happy because you helped them make money, you are happy because you earned a commission and your reader is happy because you recommended them a product.
Just think about it, how many times have you recommended a product you love to someone? Whether it’s by word of mouth or in a blog post.
So why not earn some money from it?
That’s where affiliate marketing comes.
You would talk about that product (and service) anyway so why not make some money doing it?
How to get started with affiliate marketing
Now that you know what affiliate marketing is and how it works you’re probably wondering, how do I get started with it?
Let me show you!
1. Find products to promote
The first step of getting started with affiliate marketing is finding products and services to promote.
You are going take a step back and NOT think about the products but your readers.
Before you even start thinking about products to promote you need to think of your readers.
WHO are your readers? What are their interests? What are their biggest problems?
Once you know the answers to those questions you can start thinking about products that will interest them.
You want to promote products that are relevant to them.
2 Join affiliate programs
Once you have some products in mind it’s time to find their affiliate programs and join them.
To find out whether a company has an affiliate program you can type into Google “company name affiliate program” or go to their website and look in the footer if there is a link for an affiliate program.
Some companies have their own programs you can join through their website while others are a part of an affiliate network.
What is an affiliate network?
An affiliate network is a company that serves as a middle man between you and brands.
A great thing about affiliate networks is that they work with lots of different brands whose affiliate programs you can join and promote.
When you join an affiliate network you get instant access to affiliate programs of all the brands they have in their network (expect for ShareASale where you have to apply for each program individually).
For instance, when you join ShopStyle Collective you get instant access to thousands of popular brands ( like H&M, Mango, Puma) without having to apply for each of their programs.
Best affiliate networks and programs for beginners
There are SO many different affiliate programs and networks you can join (just take a look at this masterlist with over 500 different ones) but I thought I’d share a few which are the best for beginners. They are
Tips for getting accepted into affiliate programs and networks
- have your own domain name (you can get one for only $8.88 for a year by clicking here)
- having a self-hosted blog makes it easier to get accepted
- have some content on your blog
3. Create a list of all your affiliate programs
And the last step of getting started with affiliate marketing is creating a list of all your programs.
This part is optional but I think it’s very helpful and can save you a lot of time.
You can create a table or just write a list (whichever you prefer) with all your affiliate programs.
Write down the name of the brand and a short description, a link to your affiliate dashboard, your affiliate link and any other information you think is important.
Legal requirements for affiliate marketing
Before you can start using your affiliate links and making money you need to know about the legal side of affiliate marketing.
You must disclose every affiliate links
First things first, you need to disclose EVERY affiliate link.
Whether you’re sharing affiliate links on social media, your blog (I’ll talk more about this one in a sec) or in emails, you need to disclose them!
You can easily do that by putting #ad or #affiliate in your description on social media, for emails you can put an affiliate disclaimer in the bottom of your emails where you say that the email contains affiliate links and if they click on them you will earn a commission.
Affiliate marketing on blogs
When it comes to affiliate marketing on blogs things are a bit more complex and require more work.
First, you need to have an affiliate disclosure statement in every post and page that has affiliate links.
Your affiliate disclosure must come BEFORE any affiliate links and must be clear.
I wouldn’t recommend putting your affiliate disclosure at the very beginning of the post because the beginning is very important for SEO. Google often pulls the first few lines of a post in search results.
I personally like to put mine under the first photo.
Speaking of your affiliate disclosure, DON’T use a plugin for that.
Plugins just slow down your website so it’s best to avid them whenever you can.
If you use the Gutenberg editor on WordPress you can create a reusable block with your affiliate disclosure so you can easily add it to every post.
To make it, go into any post and type in your affiliate disclosure in a new block > click on the three dots on top > add to reusable blocks > name your block and click save.
If you use the classic editor or you’re not on WordPress you can have your affiliate disclosure in Word or Google docs and then just copy and paste it into every post.
Besides having an affiliate disclosure it’s a good idea to also have an affiliate disclosure page on your blog.
And lastly, you need to make every affiliate link no follow.
In the past, all paid links had to be marked as no follow but recently Google said that all paid links should be marked as sponsored instead of no follow.
To make your link no follow (aka sponsored) in Gutenberg click on the block where you have an affiliate link > click on the three dots > and click edit as html.
Then add the word sponsored between rel=” ” (it doesn’t matter if you add it before or after noreferrer and noopener, just make sure it’s between the two ” “
How to make money with affiliate marketing
You joined some affiliate programs, added all the required pages to your blog and now it’s time to start promoting your links and earning money.
When you join an affiliate program you get your own unique tracking links. They are called affiliate links.
You can, then, share those links on your blog, social media and other places. When someone clicks on those links you get a commission from the sale.
Every affiliate program has a different commission. For some programs there is a set price for every sale, for others, it’s % of the sale (that’s the most common one).
For most affiliate programs you only get paid when some buys from your link. But there are some places where you get paid whenever someone clicks on your link
Where you can promote affiliate links
You can promote affiliate links almost anywhere on the Internet.
But here are just a few of the most popular places.
1. On your blog
There are so many different way you can make money blogging but affiliate marketing is my favourite one.
What I love the most about it is that you don’t need hundreds of thousands of page views to be able to earn money.
If you have a good strategy and promote the right products you can make a lot of money with little traffic.
Posts that work best for promoting affiliate products are:
The next place where you can promote your affiliate links is Youtube.
When you mention products in your YouTube videos add links in your description box. You can also have some link in the description of every video (for instance if you often get questions about the equipment you use just add links to every video or have a recommended products list in your video descriptions, etc.)
3. Social media
You can also promote your links on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
The most popular one is Instagram. If you have the swipe up feature (you need 10k followers to have it) you can share links to affiliate products.
Your bio is the only place where you can put a clickable link on Instagram. That’s why you can use a free tool like Smart.bio to create a landing page for Instagram. On that page, you can add links to lots of different affiliate products
4. Email list
Another great way to make money with affiliate marketing is through your email list.
Email marketing is a very powerful thing and you can earn a lot of money with it.
Yes, it’s also possible to make money on Pinterest.
You can create pins for your affiliate products and add direct links. So when someone clicks on your pin they will be taken to that product.
For making money with affiliate marketing on Pinterest I would highly recommend checking out Get Paid To Pin.
It’s a very affordable ebook that will teach you everything you need to know about sharing affiliate links on Pinterest.
You can use my coupon code TFB20 to get 20% off your order and get the ebook for only $20!
Tips for successful affiliate marketing on your blog
I want to talk about affiliate marketing on blog a bit more.
As I think that’s the best way to do it and you can make the most money with it.
So here are some tips for making affiliate sales with your blog
- make your links stand out by making them a different colour than the rest of the text (blue is the best)
- also, make your links bold and underline them (to underline words just go with your mouse of the words you want to underline and click ctr + u)
- don’t just add links to random words, instead, be intentional and actually tell people that they can go to a product by clicking- how are they supposed to know where to click if you don’t tell them?
- don’t go overboard with the links, space them out
- only link to relevant products in a post
- only promote products you believe in and use (or would use)
- speaking of using products, in your posts show and tell how you use products-show before and after picture (if you can)
- in tutorials, take pictures (or screenshots if it’s a digital product) of you actually using that product and show the process
- tell your readers WHY they need the product you are promoting- what’s in it for them? what will they get with buying that product? (maybe it will solve their problem or save time, etc. Whatever it is tell them that! )
Can you really make money from affiliate marketing in 2020?
Now that you know everything what affiliate marketing is and all the ways you can make money, you’re probably wondering…
Can I actually make money that way?
And the answer is 10000% YES.
People are constantly buying and recommending products.
We live in a world that’s obsessed with buying and trying new things. (I won’t go into whether that’s a good or a bad thing…)
We (as humans) constantly want more, we want something new and better.
And it’s hard (maybe even impossible) to fight against that.
And that’s what makes affiliate marketing so successful.
The fact that people are that way.
Even if there wasn’t for affiliate marketing people would still buy and “need” new things. They would recommend products to their friend and readers.
And affiliate marketing is just a way for you to make money from that.
There are people making thousands of dollars every month just from affiliate marketing. (I made almost $2,000 with affiliate marketing in one month).
These are just 2 examples but there are SO many more people who are earning some serious money with affiliate marketing.
As you can see, affiliate marketing is not as complicated as it might seem at first.
It’s quite easy to get started. The hard part is actually making money.
But if you implement the tips and strategies I shared above you’ll make your first affiliate sale in no time.
And from there things will get easier.
But the number one thing you should NEVER forget about are your readers. Focus on creating content that will help them.
If you don’t create content that will provide value and help your readers (or followers) you won’t be successful in affiliate marketing.