If you read my about me page, you will know that I possess a ton of real life experience in the world of affiliate marketing and today, I am going to be addressing the most commonly asked questions and answers about it in this FAQ which so far is up to 20 questions.
The 20 FAQ I’ll be answering for you regarding affiliate marketing:
- What is the best way to get started with affiliate marketing? Blogging and YouTube.
- How do you do affiliate marketing on a blog? By blogging about your favorite niche topic.
- How do you do affiliate marketing with YouTube? Review products you own on videos and go from there.
- Does affiliate marketing work on social media sites? Yes but it depends on your experience.
- How do you do affiliate marketing with social media? It’s a long answer, see my response below.
- Can you do affiliate marketing without a website? Yes, there’s at least 5 ways, but I’ll show you 3 below.
- Can you do affiliate marketing with paid ads? Yes, but you need money and more importantly, good experience.
- What’s the fastest way to make money in affiliate marketing? YouTube video reviews.
- Is the affiliate marketing business legit? Yep, but there’s unethical ways of doing it too and you need to know the difference.
- How do affiliate programs track your sales? They give you links and those links track cookies which is how it works.
- How do affiliate programs pay you? Check, PayPal, direct deposit.
- Do taxes apply to your affiliate marketing earnings? Yes. Read below on how to properly do taxes with this.
- How much can one make with affiliate marketing? There’s no limit.
- What are the most common affiliate marketing mistakes? I’ll show you the most common below.
- What are the best networks to sign up with if you want to do affiliate marketing? I’ll show you below.
- Is affiliate marketing too competitive? If you don’t know what to do, then yes. But if you do, then it’s not.
- Is affiliate marketing dead? Nope! I proved it isn’t.
- Can you do affiliate marketing when you don’t own the product you’re promoting? Yes! I have a guide on that.
- How much does it cost to start affiliate marketing? Depends on the option you choose.
- How long does it take to make money with affiliate marketing? Varies on the method you use, see below.
Note: The answers here are short, so for the more detailed version, see the same question and answer below this FAQ section.
A video on FAQ about affiliate marketing (details):
This is also an ever expanding FAQ about affiliate marketing meaning:
That you are welcome to ask me any questions which aren’t already in this article below in the comments section and besides answering it directly in your comment, if I see that many people ask me the same things, I’ll just add that question to the FAQ and give an answer to it for everyone.
I do also recommend you skim this article to see if your question/s are addressed as well as look at the answers for other commonly asked questions out there, because odds are, even if you wish to leave a comment, it may already be the case that an answer to it already exists in this article, so please check beforehand.
And finally, before we get to the official FAQ, there will be some questions which will require longer answers to, in which case, I’ll answer it as best as I can in this post, but will link the longer, more comprehensive answer to it in a separate blog post.
The details of each FAQ about affiliate marketing:
These questions are common but in no particular order. I just list them out as based on they come:
1) What is the best way to get started with affiliate marketing if you’re a beginner?
The short answer is in this order:
2) Then YouTube.
You can flip this around if you’re more comfortable with making videos.
But blogging is probably your best starting option in this business and it requires about 6-12 months to get a blog going well with traffic and making sales, but it’s VERY worth it because blogging allows you to get free traffic and sales and spend the least amount of money in the process.
About half my income in affiliate marketing comes from blogging, while the other half is paid ads, but I’ll tell you this, blogging (and YouTube) is your safest and best route to get into this business. Learn more about affiliate marketing via blogging here.
So let this flow into the next obvious question.
2) How do you do affiliate marketing through a blog?
In my experience the best way to do this is to create a blog focused entirely on a major, evergreen and popular niche topic (something like the best nutrition tips for weight lifters).
The next goal is to grow the blog through creating articles, anywhere from 30-50 (and even more if you can) over a 6 month period.
After the 6 month period passes, the blog should begin to see higher rankings on search engines and more visitors coming to the blog who are interested in the niche topic.
Once this happens, that is when you can start promoting affiliate products on the blog, in this case nutrition supplements for weight lifters.
It sounds like a major time investment and it sort of is, but compared to the other options (social media and paid ads), this is the safest way to start affiliate marketing, with the least financial investment and I highly recommend it above any other option. Now I can actually help you do this with coaching I give people on this.
3) How do you do affiliate marketing on YouTube?
One of the best ways is through creating product review videos. If you want to know exactly how do to this, I’ve got a full tutorial on affiliate marketing with YouTube here.
Other than blogging, YouTube and doing affiliate marketing through it is the next best option for beginners to start in this business in my experience.
4) Does affiliate marketing work on social media?
Again, the short answer is yes but I would not start with this. And when we’re talking about social media, here’s what we’re discussing specifically:
- Facebook and fan pages.
The only option out of these 3 that I would recommend starting with (blogging and YouTube is still a better place to begin) is Pinterest. The other options are generally too annoying to begin with unless you have a large following of people who you can use to grow a social media page.
And then there’s the paid ad networks to these places:
- Instagram ads.
- Facebook ads.
- Pinterest ads.
When it comes to these particular networks, I would never advise you get into paid ads until you master blogging and YouTube. Those 2 networks will give you the money and experience to invest in paid ads later.
5) How do you do affiliate marketing on social media?
I’ll keep this short (but will likely make longer tutorial videos/blogs for each later) but here is the basic formula for the 6 options I put above:
Learn how to take or create very eye candy like images and videos that promote the product you wish to sell and market it through popular but low competition hashtags that are related to the image/video content.
For example: If you’re marketing a weight loss product, you can get an image (make sure you’re allowed to use it) or a before and after picture and then link people to the affiliate offer, or a review of it (on your blog).
Then label the picture with relevant hashtags that relate to weight loss and dieting to get it to get exposure. You also have the ability to use Instagram ads to expand on this.
For Facebook & Fan Pages:
I would say you should start a fan page on a niche topic and send people to it from your blog website and have it grow that way.
As for Facebook ads, it is a different topic and requires a long explanation that I will address in another article, but in summary, you will want to create ads to target VERY specific demographics and sell them affiliate products that way.
Pinterest & Pinterest ads:
This is closely related to Instagram marketing, but you don’t use hashtags, you use keyword phrases. The goal is to create an image that is very attractive and link it to an affiliate offer, but to also label the Pinterest post you put up with relevant keywords and clickbait titles.
Again, this is a VERY short explanation and to be honest, I haven’t used Pinterest or it’s ad system much yet, but this is a preview of how to do affiliate marketing with it. A future post will cover this too in greater detail.
6) Can you do affiliate marketing without a website and if so, how?
The answer is yes, and I share 3 ways to do affiliate marketing without a website here.
There are more options available, but I think at least one of those 3 will be enough for you to get results in this industry, but if you have a chance to make a website (a blog), I would go with that option. Don’t be lazy and skip things.
Doing affiliate marketing through a website is far more profitable long term than doing it without it.
7) Can you do affiliate marketing with paid ads?
Yes, and there are MANY paid ad networks available to do this through. If you noted, above I said that HALF my income in this business has come from paid ads and it’s true.
In my case, I promoted affiliate offers through popular paid ad networks like Bing Ads and I will be making specific tutorials on these networks soon.
But aside from that tutorial, one thing I never mentioned is how much money I lost with paid ads and this is something that is rampant for pretty much every single person who tries this.
It is very UNLIKELY the most of your paid ad efforts will make a profit so be ready to lose money but if you can make 1 ad profit, then that itself can become an incredible, cash flow.
While the Bing post is up, I’ll add the others, such as YouTube ads, Google ads and more when I finish them up.
Update: For paid ad networks, I’ve written a general tutorial called how to do affiliate marketing with pay per click (what paid networks are generally referred to as).
8) What is the fastest way to make money with affiliate marketing?
Theoretically, YouTube video reviews would be one of the best options if you don’t have money because you can get fast traffic.
The next one, which is very profitable but also very financially risky is paid ads but again, remember the warning I mentioned above about losing money.
Again, blogging is the safest and most recommended starting route. Don’t make the mistake of looking for get rich quick schemes in affiliate marketing, because you will most likely fail if you do.
9) Is affiliate marketing legitimate?
Yes it is, but there are also many illegitimate ways of doing it. Check out the following article on affiliate marketing ethics in this business to see examples of how it can be done legitimately and illegitimately for examples.
10) How do affiliate programs track your clicks and sales?
Every legitimate affiliate program on the internet provides it’s promoters with their own UNIQUE tracking links that are called affiliate links. It is how they know it’s YOU when you make the sale.
If a person takes their unique link and places it on their blog or site that is getting visitors, and people click it, the affiliate program will provide reports of how many people click on those links as well as how many sales you received.
For example, here is a very easy to read report from my affiliate account with Amazon Associates, one of the best programs I recommend people start with:
This custom report I set up shows how many clicks my affiliate links got from 12/1/19-12/13/19 and how many sales I made:
- Over a 13 day period, my sites and their links got 195 clicks.
- Of those 195 clicks, 29 people ordered the items I was promoting.
- And the total commissions I earned from those 29 orders is $31.35.
Additionally, tracking and cookies are also a part of affiliate programs and in Amazon Associates example, they track links for up to 24 hours, and if someone visits my website, clicks my promotional links and doesn’t buy something right away, if they still come back to the Amazon site (they don’t have to go back to my site), and buy something within 24 hours, I’ll still get the credit for that sale, even if they buy something completely different!
11) How do affiliate programs pay you (how often do they pay you)?
Generally, there’s 3 main ways:
- Direct deposit.
- Or you can ask them to send you a check.
Each program offers it’s own option or options to do this.
You do have to provide the affiliate network you sign up to with personal information including your tax identification.
Most networks pay you every 2 weeks or once a month, like normal jobs.
12) How do taxes apply to affiliate marketing?
While I am not an accountant, I am going to explain how I pay my taxes as an affiliate marketer…
Since I live in the United States, every time I get a check or deposit the money I earn from this business, that counts as income and I simply to go my accountants and they take that income and deduct the taxes owed on that income.
I do have a corporation I opened up many years ago when my online business began to do well and I do recommend you do the same only after your business starts seeing profits.
Until then, I would do affiliate marketing normally, speak to an accountant if you make money and pay whatever taxes you legally own from whichever country you are from.
13) How much can you make with affiliate marketing?
I have a detailed post on how much you can make with affiliate marketing here which gets into specifics but the short answer is that as long as you work hard and use a good blueprint, there’s NO limit (which I will provide you with on this site).
As an example, here are some of my income reports for 2019 alone for 1 promotion:
Now most people do not succeed at this business, and few even end up making a little bit of income, let alone full time, but again, it’s very possible if you follow a good blueprint and WORK hard.
14) What are the most common mistakes people in affiliate marketing?
There are 10 main affiliate marketing mistakes I talk about, but if I were asked to give 1 or 2 main reasons why, it would be the fact that most people I know look for get rich quick schemes (and fail because they don’t exist) and/or they are lazy and even when they see the right way to do this business, still look for magical, lottery ways of succeeding at it.
15) What are the best affiliate networks to sign up for & start with if you’re a beginner?
My top choice would be Amazon Associates.
And whether or not you are a beginner, doesn’t change the fact that these 3 networks are excellent and legitimate places that will pay you on time. I have a good tutorial on making affiliate sales with Clickbank here if you’re just getting started.
You can promote products that have a wide range of prices, including high ticket ones and as for that, I have a post written up about how to do high ticket affiliate marketing.
16) Is affiliate marketing too competitive or too saturated?
In a minority of cases (markets), I would say yes, but even the most competitive markets will always have PLENTY of ways you’ll be able to profit with them.
In my experience if you chase good, evergreen and popular niche markets, a phrase I’ve used earlier in this post, and you implement proper marketing techniques like creating quality content, you’re going to be able to do very well!
In fact, if you want proof that affiliate marketing is not over saturated, then that article will do just that.
17) Is affiliate marketing dead or dying?
This is 100% FALSE. And I explain the reasons why affiliate marketing is not dead here.
18) Can you do affiliate marketing when you don’t own the product you’re promoting?
The answer is yes. With affiliate marketing you are able to promote pretty much any item connected to the affiliate network that you are approved with (the only exceptions would be membership programs that have different tiers you need to join to promote them).
But if you do plan to promote products you don’t own, then there is a good way I teach people to do it successful and that is by writing reviews on them. Here’s a guide on reviewing and promoting products you don’t own.
19) How much does it cost to start an affiliate marketing business?
There are many different choices for what type of affiliate business you can make, and each one has varied costs. Fortunately, I’ve written an entire post on how much it really costs to start affiliate marketing that explains the options and costs involved.
20) How long does it take to make money with affiliate marketing?
The answer is typically a year for most people, but depending on the method you use to do affiliate marketing may make it longer or shorter. Check out my post on how long it takes to make money with affiliate marketing and you’ll see the range of times it takes to get results.
Have more questions about affiliate marketing? Here’s how to get the answers:
- If you have ANY question about affiliate marketing that I have NOT covered in the FAQ above.
- Or you need more information on an existing question and answer that I did cover above.
- Feel free to ask me by leaving your comment and question below, but please do me a favor.
If you have multiple questions:
PLEASE format them into numbers, so it’s easier for me to see them and label the answers.
And also, please give me specific questions, and not:
Broad, open ended ones, like “how do I make money online?”, because those types of questions have SO many answers and circumstances, that I could write 10,000 words on those (And I don’t want to!), so please be specific!