Affiliate marketing involves selling other people’s products or services on your website, social media page, YouTube account, and other Internet-based pages, thereby earning a commission on each sale.  If the idea of affiliate marketing interests you, here is a quick step-by-step guide to getting you started:

Step 1: Select the category you wish to promote

This is pretty easy to do if you already have an existing site or page, as it is going to be one that is relevant to your subject or topic. For instance, if you currently own and operate a website that is somehow related to money or financial issues, you could increase your income base as an affiliate marketer (in which you would be called the publisher) by promoting and selling products and programs related to this topic (like the programs sold by Dave Ramsey, creator of Financial Peace University, or Jim Cramer, host of Mad Money).

However, if you don’t have a page or site set up currently, what types of products or services are you interested in? What are some things that you are knowledgeable about and can discuss intelligently with your readers? Select a category that you love or could add value to and the rest of the process will be much easier for you.

Step 2: Set up a site or web page if you don’t currently have one

If you don’t already have a website or page set up, now is the time to do it. Some options to consider include developing a price comparison site, crafting a review site, or making a discount site for products that people commonly buy online as each one has the ability to attract consumers looking for specific items. Also, sites like these serve a functional purpose for the consumer; whether it is to help them save money, figure out which products are higher qualities, or both, while putting more money in your pocket at the same time.

Step 3: Decide which products or services to promote

If you don’t believe in the product or service that you are an affiliate for, how can you expect your reader to be?
Think of the items that you have no problem recommending to your closest family and friends and your passion for them will shine through more clearly, getting your reader as excited about them as you are.

Step 4: Pick affiliate marketing sites to use and set up an accounts

If you’re new to affiliate marketing, you may want to check out sites such as Clickbank, JVZoo, Amazon Affiliate Programs, E- Junkie, Pay Dotcom, and CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly known as Commission Junction). Each of these can direct you to the merchants best suited for you, allowing you to make the most money from your marketing affiliate program.

You’ll want to pay close attention to how each one works and consider the impact it could have on your potential profits. For instance, Click bank lets you earn up to 75% of the product price and Pay Dotcom offers commissions up to 80%, but you may actually make more money off Amazon Affiliates even though they give you a lower percentage (6-15% depending on which program you choose) as they are one of the biggest online shopping retailers worldwide.
If you already have a successful blog or website that draws a lot of traffic, you may even get paid by a business for simply promoting their brand or name on your site, such as with Google Ad Sense. Options like this are often set up as pay-per-click, where you are reimbursed a certain rate for every person that clicks on the affiliate link that you have displayed somewhere on your site.

Step 5: Select  affiliate programs to promote

I will review the process on Click Bank because it is the website I recommend you to start with. First and most important is the commission you will get for each sale. Aim at 60%+ commissions for digital products. On average, most digital products on Click Bank sell between 35$-85$. Applying this rule you will be making at least 21$ per sale. If you promote physical products, don’t stick with a specific percent but make sure you will earn at least 50$ per sale since physical products tend to sell harder than digital ones. Next make sure that the product has High Gravity. This means that a lot of people have made an affiliate sale in the past week, which basically means that the product is in high demand. However this will also mean that you have a lot of competition to sell the product. So my recommendation is to aim at products that have average gravity, but also have a great sales page. Make sure they have lengthy sales page and compare them with other competitive products, so you can see if they will convert well.

Step 6: Create links to the products

Once you have selected an affiliate program you want to promote, you will get affiliate links.  These might just be text links or could be eye-catching banners.  It is important that you don’t just paste raw text links on your website,blog or channel.  If you are using a WordPress site I recommend the free plugin “Easy Affiliate Links”   This way your links will look much more professional.

Step 7: Market your link

Now that your site is set up and ready to earn you some money, you must market your affiliate products as if they were your very own. Get your readers and followers interested in the items, programs, or services you have chosen so that they are willing to click on them and most importantly buy them.

Not only you want to promote these things on your base site, but also source  groups and  forums that are relevant to your target market too. But do check out the rules to ensure they will accept affiliate links.

Earning Potential

So, how much money can you make as an affiliate marketer? According to a poll conducted by Finch Sells, the majority of affiliates (just under 19 percent) earn $20,000 or less annually. Don’t let that discourage you though. Almost six percent of the respondents reported that they earn over two million dollars a year by selling other people’s products, services, and brands.  To learn how to achieve a full time income as an affiliate marketer, check out the free video series available on this page.