Being a beginner in affiliate marketing can be an overwhelming place to be. It’s been awhile for me, but I have a clear memory of feeling like I had no idea how to get started.
As with my posts, if you prefer to learn with video, watch down below.
My story getting started in affiliate marketing is exactly this. It was hard. It was disappointing. It was downright depressing a lot of the time.
I worked at least 20 hours every single week after I got off my regular job, spending hours putting links on forums and blogs. When the year finally ended, I hadn’t even made a thousand dollars. I believe the math added up to me making about $.50 an hour as an affiliate.
Now that might be a livable wage somewhere in the world, but where I live I’d need to work 20 hours a day just to pay for food. And I have a particular fondness for shelter on top of that!
The worst part was that I didn’t feel like I was doing the world any favors. I was pushing affiliate products I didn’t really believe in and I wasn’t really providing value in the way I was doing so. You know those really annoying direct messages you get in your Instagram inbox sometimes begging you to buy a random product you’ve never heard of?
Something like this.
Yep. That was me.
Suffice to say I learned, I changed, and most importantly I kept at it. Within three years I had won two cars and was making ten times as much as an affiliate compared to my old job. Honestly I’ve had successes that I didn’t even dream of having when I first started affiliate marketing. You can learn more about that story in my webinar.
I hate to be the dude that posts pictures of his car, but how often do you win a car? I mean seriously.
At least it’s not a Lamborghini right?
So I want to break it down for other beginners. The process of how a true beginner, with zero knowledge of affiliate marketing can start a successful affiliate business. If I can shave off a year from anyone’s learning curve, it’s worth it.
So without further ado – let’s learn how to get started in affiliate marketing.
Step 1 – Comprehend the Big Picture
I still get plenty of dirty looks when I tell people I’m an affiliate marketer. This is because most people think of folks like the dude in the picture below when they think of affiliate marketers.
That’s one of the dozens of spammy comments I got on my YouTube channel today.
It’s an affiliate link to some crappy program I’ve never heard of and would never buy if I had heard of it.
This is also what a vast majority of beginner’s think that affiliate marketing is. They pay for terrible courses that teach them how to fill the internet with their affiliate link, spamming every forum from Texas to Zimbabwe, all while doing little work and providing little value to the world. They make very little money and they struggle to get out of bed in the morning because, well, who wants to go do that all day?
Let me teach you a better model.
Affiliate marketing is all about creating win-win-win situations on the internet between three different parties.
Those parties are companies with products, affiliate marketers that have audiences, and people that need those companies products, but don’t know about them. Companies spend vast amounts of their budget trying to market their products. So they love if an affiliate can come to them and say, “Hey, I’ll send a bunch of people to your product and you only have to pay me a percentage of what you make from those that sign up”. It’s a no brainer! There is literally ZERO risk to the company. They only pay if they make money!
So the company wins.
On the affiliate front, the affiliate knows that they are good at marketing. They could go get a job at a company and do marketing for them (ugh), but then they have to work 40 years with minimal raises and if they have incredible success, the company reaps the reward. So the affiliate is able to take their marketing skills and actually get paid what they are worth. If they make the company a lot of money, they get paid a lot of money.
So the affiliate wins.
And lastly the user. These are people that can benefit from the company’s product, whether they know about it or not. The affiliate is able to introduce them to the product they didn’t know about and help them solve a problem they have in their life.
So the customer wins.
Having this mindset will change a beginning affiliate marketer from a “spam the internet to make a few bucks” kind of affiliate to a to a “make the world a better place and make a lot of money in the process” kind of affiliate.
So now that we’ve established this mindset, let’s look at the next (much more actionable) step.
Step 2 – Choosing a Niche
Virtually every time a beginner in affiliate marketing comes and asks me how to get started they struggle with answering this question. The conversation looks like this.
Me: So what niche do you want to focus on?
Them: What’s a niche?
Me: It’s a group of people with similar interests. It’s much easier if you narrow down who your dream customer is so you can focus your messaging on them.
Them: Oh the whole world is my dream customer. I want to sell to everyone.
Me: Wrong answer.
Choosing a niche is absolutely essential for those that are new to affiliate marketing. You are not going to sell to the whole world.
Imagine there were two people. One was a girl and one was a boy. One was black and one was white. One was filthy rich and one was dirt poor. One loved athletics and one loved theater and plays.
Do you think you might sell them differently? I sure hope you are saying yes right now. If you say no, perhaps affiliate marketing isn’t for you.
How to choose a niche for affiliate marketing
To choose a niche in affiliate marketing you need to choose a general niche, and then niche down another level. A general niche is typically something in the health space, the wealth building space, or the relationship space.
Once you have chosen one of these three, then you need to get more specific. For example, one of my YouTube channels focuses on the stock market, and even more specifically it is for beginners. It is in the general niche of wealth, and the sub niche of stock market beginners.
This works across every spectrum. I have seen people choose health, and then niche down to pregnant moms and make 7 figures a year. I’ve seen others choose niches like how to make money online for stay at home dads or moms.
Figure out what you have a passion and a knowledge for and then use that to pick your niche. A sub niche for affiliate marketing can be anything from race, location, hobbies, or even political preference.
Step 3 – Find Affiliate Marketing Programs In Your Niche
Time to figure out who is going to be paying the bills! I always find it funny when people say they can’t find any affiliate products to promote, because the internet is jammed packed with affiliate programs.
I’d bet at least half the companies in the world have some form of one. What is more important is YOU picking the right affiliate program out of the many options you have to choose from.
I’ve compiled lists in many major niches here:
1. Credit cards
3. Pay per click
Sidenote, my current favorite affiliate program is called Legendary Marketer. You can read about it here
I actually just went through this process with a new brand I am creating so here is exactly how I find affiliate programs to promote.
I started with a simple Google search.
Complicated – I know.
Next I joined a bunch of Facebook groups. I looked for Facebook groups about affiliate marketing, and Facebook groups about the subject my niche is interested in.
I simply posted in the affiliate marketing Facebook group about what good affiliate programs existed in that niche. Then I posted in the Facebook groups about the subject asking for good programs, courses, etc. that people had taken that had helped them.
Finally I just looked at those recommended programs and found any affiliate programs that were associated.
This research gave me a great list to go from. I also looked at sites like JvZoo, Warrior Plus, and ClickBank to see if they had anything high quality. These sites are essentially brokers that connect affiliate programs to affiliates.
They have hundreds of programs already running through their platforms that anyone can sign up to promote.
Here is what I look for when choosing an affiliate program
When you are looking for the right affiliate programs you want to look for one of two things.
High-ticket affiliate programs, or recurring programs.
A high-ticket affiliate program is something that sells for at least a couple hundred dollars, and nets you over $100 when a sale is made. I prefer to promote high-ticket programs that are $997.
A recurring affiliate program is typically a software that charges its users monthly fees. The software company in turns pays the affiliate a portion of those fees every month. This means the affiliate starts to make passive income every month from past users. They can build up hundreds of software users and get paid every month even if they stop promoting.
The only time I break the rules above are when I am using a source of traffic that is passive. For instance YouTube, Google, or Pinterest.
All of these platforms can send traffic to your affiliate links years after you do the initial work. So I’m willing to push smaller offers on these platforms because it is an awesome source of passive income.
Pay close attention to what I just said above. This is the true key to successful affiliate marketing.
My favorite program is called ClickFunnels. It is a software company that charges users $100 per month. The referring affiliate makes 40% of that each month.
I have generated a 7-figure income in the last 18 months from ClickFunnels alone. I can stop promoting ClickFunnels and continue to make a 6-figure income from the recurring payouts for years.
They also have one of the best information products I’ve ever promoted called the One Funnel Away Challenge.
This is an info product but in the form of a challenge. You can click the link to go read about it, but it…