To most people, these two simple words don’t mean much – an obscure line of work someone else is doing far away in the vast reaches of the Internet.
Some people even think it’s a sham.
However, I know a lot of people who have earned their first million doing affiliate marketing – I can’t say I know a lot of people who have earned a million by doing something else.
Some of those people are multi-millionaires today.
They got there by being smart and leveraging the money they made from affiliate marketing. I’m talking about people like Frank Kern and Mark Ling – they started off as affiliate marketers and now run their own successful businesses that are making them a steady 6-figure income on a monthly basis.
You might not become a millionaire by doing affiliate marketing – it’s going to depend on how much time and effort you put in – but this doesn’t mean that you can’t make enough to live comfortably.
On the contrary, do it well and all your money problems might just disappear.
Why Is Affiliate Marketing a Great Way to Make Money Online?
Some would argue it’s the best way to make money online and a way that definitely has the potential to scale quickly. There are a lot of pros to being an affiliate marketer so here’s just a few:
- Most affiliate programs are free to join so there aren’t too many startup costs involved
- You can leverage your existing blogs and email lists to promote the offers
- There is little risk involved – if an offer isn’t working out you can simply drop it
- You do not require any specialized knowledge to go into affiliate marketing
Who Can be an Affiliate Marketer
Honestly, not everyone is cut out to be an affiliate marketer.
There’s a lot of work that goes into it, and a lot of learning, especially if you want to make it big. It’s a cut-throat industry with a lot of really good people competing in it.
However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try. If you’re determined and a hard worker, you can definitely expect it to pay off.
Consider affiliate marketing if:
- You already run a successful blog with a lot of visitors
- You have a large list of email subscribers
- You’re willing to put in the work needed to build a good list
How Do You Make Money With Affiliate Marketing
There are 2 different ways you can approach affiliate marketing: affiliate networks and independent affiliate deals.
Affiliate networks are great because they connect you with a ton of merchants. However, they take a commission. Independent deals you have to find on your own and there’s usually a lot of searching and negotiation involved.
I recommend you stick with good affiliate networks since they are a lot less hassle.
With affiliate marketing, you will earn from:
- Pay-per-sale – you get paid every time someone you’ve referred makes a purchase
- Residual income affiliate marketing – you’re paid every time someone you’ve referred goes back and makes another purchase (either fixed fee or commission-based payment)
Where to Start
First, think long and hard if this is something that you want to do. Identify a niche you’re comfortable with and know a lot about – something that interests you. Every bit of work you have to do will be easier if you’re looking forward to it.
After that, proceed according to the list:
- STEP 1 – Build a website that caters to that niche (or leverage a site you already have)
- STEP 2 – Start building an email list
- STEP 3 – Connect with your email subscribers and form a mutually respective relationship
- STEP 4 – Research affiliate programs and find the ones that offer products in your niche
- STEP 5 – Include offers in the content on your pages and in your emails (don’t overdo it)
- STEP 6 – Continue building up your website, your list and authority, and provide useful content
- STEP 7 – Rinse and repeat steps 5 and 6
For a more thorough step-by-step guide on affiliate marketing, check out this great write-up by Neil Patel.
Recommended Affiliate Marketing Resources
1. Affiliate Networks
If you’re hunting for your first million, affiliate marketing is one of the best methods to get there. Choose your offers wisely, learn about the industry, and be persistent and chances are you’re going to get there sooner than you think.