So, there are ‘for dummies’ books on just about every topic, but what about affiliate marketing for dummies?
I’m not actually planning to write a book on the topic, but I have been interested in writing an affiliate marketing for dummies post for a while now.
The reason is that affiliate marketing seems scary to a lot of people because it look like such a complicated topic at first glance.
Honestly, affiliate marketing is nowhere near as challenging as it seems, and I’m going to show you that in this post.
Affiliate Marketing 101
For affiliate marketing, you start with a product. For simplicities sake we’ll pick a random product from Amazon (which has a large affiliate program). So, this is our product here:
Our idea is to promote this product to our readers. So, we might choose to write a review on the product. We would then go to Amazon and get the affiliate link for the product. For Amazon, the link looks something like this:
However, every affiliate provider will have their own types of links. The key thing is that somewhere in the link will be a tracking id. That id is what tells the affiliate company that you referred someone to the page.
So, once you have the link all set up, you post the review to your site.
For the moment, let’s assume that you have some SEO in place, and you are getting traffic to your site. At some point, people will read your site and they may choose to purchase the product.
In this case, the product we are promoting costs $15.
For Amazon, commission rates start at 4% (and increase as you make more sales). So, if you sold this particular product once you would get a commission of $0.60.
Okay, so you’re probably wondering what the big deal is.
After all, $0.60 commission isn’t really all that great.
However, there are a few things to remember.
First, Amazon is on the low end in terms of commissions. Many affiliate programs offer a higher percentage as payment for when you get a sale. This amount varies considerably depending on the program you choose.
Second, the concept of affiliate marketing isn’t just to make a single sale.
The idea is that over time your traffic and your sales increase and you end up with consistent sales over time. For example, if you got a $0.60 commission sale for a month, you would be making around $18 per month. If you got two sales per day, you would be getting $36 per month.
Likewise, you might start getting sales for items that cost more, which means that you would be getting higher commissions also.
So, this means that the person might not buy what you are promoting, but they may instead buy something else entirely. If it is soon enough after they click the link, then you will still get affiliate commission for it.
This is actually a really cool feature.
The thing is, sites like Amazon are exceptionally good at selling people things.
So, often getting people to a site like Amazon is enough to make a commission, even if that commission isn’t on what you were initially promoting.
Websites, Traffic and SEO
What we have talked about so far is basically affiliate marketing for dummies. I’ve tried to break down some of the key concepts of affiliate marketing as simply as I can.
Hopefully you can see that there is real money making potential in affiliate marketing, but it is also an approach that takes time and effort. After all, you need to build up traffic to your site and get repeat sales.
All of that takes time.
However, it is very doable.
As you develop your site, you will find that you develop a trust relationship with your readers, and will be able to get people who come and buy from you multiple times.
For a lot of people, the idea of building a website is probably the scariest part of affiliate marketing.
Personally, I think that websites kind of have a bad rep, because it really isn’t as hard to build one as everyone thinks. In fact, there are a lot of tools out there that make website building very simplistic.
I honestly feel that anyone can develop their own website with a little bit of time and effort.
The other thing that is relevant to affiliate marketing is SEO and traffic.
I’ll be honest, learning SEO is a bit more tricky, but not very tricky. Once you get the hang of keyword research, you will find it relatively easy to rank your website and this plays a huge role in getting traffic to your site.
Additionally, some people take advantage of social media as a way of getting traffic to their site.
I go into more depth about affiliate marketing and keyword research in other posts, but I hope that I have covered some of the basics in this post.
I have honestly found that affiliate marketing is an effective way of making money online and it is actually pretty easy to learn.
I mean, look at it this way, I didn’t know anything about affiliate marketing when I started either, and that wasn’t so long ago.
However, if you want to learn more about affiliate marketing, the best place to go isn’t on this site at all. Instead, you should check out Wealthy Affiliate.
In my Wealthy Affiliate review I provide an overview of what the site offers and what it can do for you. But honestly, I think it is a great choice for anyone who is even just considering making money online. After all, Wealthy Affiliate is free to try out and has a free membership, so what do you have to lose?