Affiliate Marketing Explained (For Total Beginners Only)

Affiliate marketing is often explained in ways that makes it more confusing than clear and I’d like to give you my simple take on it which is why what I’ll tell you here is aimed at total beginners (or anyone whose already lost on this subject).

Here affiliate marketing explained (in it’s easiest form):

You promote other people’s products and get commissions for a sale/s. At it’s very core, this is really the most basic explanation of affiliate marketing.

The thing is, it’s not really enough to get you started or see results, which is why we’re going to build off this explanation and get deeper into it, so you actually get more, meaning:

  • You don’t just understand what affiliate marketing is.
  • But you also understand specifically how it works.
  • And how to get started so you can succeed in it.

And to do that, there are a few specific parts you need to know about:

affiliate marketing explained

  1. You need to know what you want to promote.
  2. You need to know where to find these products so you can promote them.
  3. You need to know the commission you’d get for the affiliate sale.
  4. You need to know how to actually get the affiliate link.
  5. You need to actually know how to promote that link so it actually makes you sales.

And all of this encompasses and explains how affiliate marketing works, and this is what I’ll give you a concise explanation of right now:

1) You have to know what you want to promote as an affiliate:

Most people have a “general” idea of what they want to do here, but often get it wrong.

You see, the best place to start here is by examining which products you know a lot about.

What I often tell people is to brainstorm niches and products they like and know a lot about before they even think about promoting them.

This has a cascading effect on your success in this world because it makes it much easier to review.

So rather than look at this as “what can I make from promoting a random product I actually don’t know anything about”, think about it as “what can I promote that I know a lot about that’ll be easier for me to review for potential customers?”.

2) Look up the affiliate networks you can find these products on:

You have so many choices and here are 7 affiliate networks you’ll have ample options with. These 7 offer (literally) millions of promotional opportunities. You would want to sign up with the network you select.

I’m not a big fan of signing up with every affiliate network out there. Literally 1 will do just fine (for starters).

3) Examine the sale you’d make from promoting the product/s:

Depending on which affiliate network you sign up with (and get approved for), they each offer their own commission structure. For example:

Amazon Associates gives you 3% to 10% of each sale depending on what product you successfully promote for them in what quantities. Here’s an examine of my actual affiliate sales made through this affiliate network:

my amazon affiliate sales screenshot

You can also make good money as an Amazon affiliate if you follow a specific formula I talk about in that link.

Clickbank offers people commissions that can literally go up to 90% or even more off products you promote for them. Here’s a screenshot of some of my Clickbank sales that I used to make (before moving elsewhere):

my clickbank affiliate income screenshot report

Now of course, looking at those numbers, you might be inclined to signup with Clickbank, but there are many more products you can promote on other platforms and while Clickbank offers good commissions, you may be able to find more products on other networks and make more sales there vs with Clickbank.

4) You actually have to get a legitimate affiliate link to make the sales:

Some affiliate networks make it easy to get your affiliate link and for those who don’t know, this is the unique link you get from a network which gets you the commissions. People actually have to click on that link and buy the product if you want to make the money from it.

Certain places like (again) Clickbank make that easy and other places like Avantlink.com (a huge affiliate network) make it very annoying (but worth it if you learn how it’s done. In fact, here’s a video of how to make affiliate links on Avantlink.

And by the way, here’s a screenshot of my affiliate sales through Avantlink:

my avantlink affiliate report

But once you have one or more links, it’s basically like prepping your affiliate business with the necessary ingredients to succeed.

5) You have to know how to promote these links legitimately:

The hardest part of understanding and succeeding with affiliate marketing happens here. Most people have no clue how to promote their affiliate links correctly and what often happens is this:

  • They spam those links.
  • They don’t do anything with them.
  • They just place them anywhere without understanding proper fundamentals.

I’m doing to give you a few ways you can properly do this and then if you want, I’ll provide you with a resource to help you get started, but anyway:

  • You can place your affiliate link in a YouTube video where you review the product.
  • You can place you affiliate link on a blog post where you review the product.
  • You can place the affiliate link in an email you send out to a subscriber (never send it to friends or family).

These 3 places will typically provide you with an outlet to correctly share your affiliate link so people can buy it and give you more context, allow me to share a bit more:

1) With a YouTube video:

Imagine I review a product and that video gets 10,000 views and in the description of that video, I tell people to buy it from that link. 100 people do and the sale gives me $5 per sale. That would be $500 in commissions for me off that 1 video.

2) With a blog:

I can review a product and if that blog gets a high Google ranking and lots of visitors (say 20,000), I can promote a product that gets me $50 a sale and if 10 people buy it, that’s also $500 made from that blog post.

3) With email marketing:

If I have a list of 100 people, and send out an email for a product promotion and 5 people buy it at $100, that’s also $500 made from the email sent out.

These are very basic examples and their success as well as outcome is not something that’s typically easy to reach as it does take you time and energy but if you follow a program like Wealthy Affiliate, you will be able to correctly get these things done.

And that is affiliate marketing explained!

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