If you’re interested in starting an Internet Business, I can tell you from personal experience there are a lot of ways you can go about it.
For me, I chose affiliate marketing and I’m going to show you in a few simple steps, how you can get started with affiliate marketing too.
Affiliate marketing is one of the simplest online businesses you can start…
- You don’t need to create your own product.
- You don’t need to handle customer support.
- Simple learning curve compared with other Internet business models.
- It’s a lifestyle business that you can fit around your current situation.
I’m a former car mechanic and I quit my job way back in 2012 and I’ve been a full time affiliate marketer ever since. You can read my story here.
So, What Is Affiliate Marketing?
In this article...
Affiliate marketing simply put. is selling other people’s products and get paid for it.
This is known as a ‘commission’.
Commission is calculated as a percentage, usually between 50 – 75%.
So, if you promote a product that costs £100 (or dollars if you’re in the USA), you’ll receive a commission of between £50 – £75 every time somebody buys through a special link that’s unique to you, called a Tracking Link or a referral link.
More on that a bit later.
Is Affiliate Marketing A Real Genuine Business?
Yes, and the best way to demonstrate that is through this blog post here, where I show you all the companies that use affiliate marketing as part of their business.
Companies like: Amazon, Nike, Uber and even Apple itunes.
All those companies run affiliate programs, that’s just a few examples, 100’s of companies use affiliate programs as part of their business model, that anyone can join.
Where to Find Products That Pay A Good Commission
Before choosing a product, it’s important that you choose the right category.
In Internet Marketing terms, a ‘category’ is known as a “Niche”.
A Niche is really a topic that a group of people are interested in and most importantly, willing to spend money in.
As a general rule, the most profitable Niches I’ve found all fall into one of the ‘big 3’ Categories:
Health would be things like Bodybuilding, weight loss or nutrition.
Wealth would be things like Investing, Stocks or Property.
Relationships would be things like Dating, Marriage / Divorce guidance.
I use a tool called Semrush for my affiliate marketing research and you can see the search volume for one of these topics in the screenshot below:
As you can see, if you wanted to promote affiliate products to those interested in creating wealth, as you can see from the screen shot above, “How to make money online” get’s over 27,000 Google searches every month.
And there a ton of places you can find affiliate products that you can promote in this niche for a decent commission.
A few of them are:
Offer vault is a massive database of offers from a lot of different affiliate networks.
You can search offer vault very easily directly from their homepage and find offers.
Share A Sale
Shareasale is another huge database of affiliate products you can promote with a ton of categories / niches you can pick from.
Clickbank is one of my favourite places to find good affiliate products to promote.
I have used Clickbank for years and they pay weekly with no minimum threshold and like most reputable affiliate networks, it’s 100% free to join.
Amazon is another affiliate marketplace that is very popular with affiliate marketers.
The affiliate networks I’ve already mentioned are mainly for digital (downloadable) products.
Amazon is for physical (shippable) products.
I personally don’t promote Amazon because the margins for profit are small because Amazon don’t pay very much in commissions.
Amazon’s commission structure is around 7%.
That’s not high enough for me, I only promote digital products with a commission of at least 50%.
You can read my thoughts on amazon here.
How Are Sales Tracked?
Regardless of what Affiliate network you choose to promote, all of them will give you a unique tracking link, that is unique to you.
Meaning, anyone who clicks and buys through your link, you’ll be credited with the sale.
Here’s an example of a tracking link from Clickbank:
Clickbank call affiliate links or tracking links ‘hoplinks’.
It means exactly the same thing, it’s a link that tracks all sales referred by you.
As you can see from the image above, it’s quite a complex link with a lot of information contained within it.
You don’t need to know what it means, just make sure you use your unique tracking link whenever you share or promote your affiliate link so that you get credited with any sales you refer.
Types of Affiliate Tracking Links
There are mainly 2 types of tracking links most commonly used by Affiliate product networks:
- First Click.
- Last Click.
It’s important that you understand the difference between the two.
‘First click’ means, whoever referred the customer first gets the sale.
eg: Affiliate A promotes a product and “Bob” the customer clicks affiliate A’s affiliate link and is sent through to the sales page.
“Bob” doesn’t buy at that moment, he decides to keep searching.
He then finds Affiliate B’s website and clicks the link and visits the SAME sales page only this time “bob” pulls the trigger and buys the product.
Who get’s the commission? Since both affiliates referred bob…
In the case of ‘first click’ tracking links, Affiliate A will get credited with the sale, even though “bob” actually bought via Affiliate B’s tracking link, that’s because Affiliate A’s link was the FIRST link “bob” clicked.
So as you can see, ‘First Click’ tracking is less than ideal and I personally stay away from any affiliate program that has ‘first click’ tracking links.
Note: none of the affiliate networks I’ve mentioned on this page operate ‘first click’ tracking links.
‘Last click’ tracking is the method I prefer.
This means that in the situation above, the last affiliate link that “bob” clicked, in this case Affiliate B’s, means that affiliate B will get credited with the sale.
That means, that if “bob” buys through your affiliate link, you’ll still get credited with the sale regardless of any other affiliate links “bob” clicked before yours.
So I always recommend you only stick with ‘Last click’ networks.
Can you do Affiliate Marketing without a Website?
Yes. But I don’t recommend it.
If you’re interested in doing affiliate marketing without a website or landing page, then I recommend you read this blog post I wrote here.
I only promote affiliate products through my own website, for example, my blog you’re reading right now.
This blog was very easy to setup.
All you need is a Domain name, a hosting account and WordPress with a theme.
You can read all about choosing and buying domain names here.
Some hosting companies will provide you with hosting and a free range of website templates you can use right out of the box.
Here is a list of webhosts I recommend, in particular this one who will give you a wide range of website templates you can use.
If you don’t want to use any of those templates, you can install WordPress for free in one-click and choose from thousands of free wordpress themes in the WordPress database.
How To Get Your First Affiliate Sale
The first thing I recommend you do is sign up to clickbank.
I recommend you read all the steps I outline there and that will get you started well on your way to making your first affiliate sale.
I also recommend you sign up for my free affiliate marketing training course here as well, it’s a complete affiliate marketing mini-course for exactly how to get started with affiliate marketing, as I said, it’s completely free of charge.