If you already have a website, adding in affiliate marketing as a new revenue stream is a no-brainer.
And if you don’t have a website yet — consider making affiliate marketing one of your main revenue streams as you plan your launch.
The benefit of affiliate marketing is that it allows you to make money passively, 24/7. Once you create your affiliate marketing content it continues to earn income while you sleep, travel, work on other things, etc.
But just because affiliate marketing is passive income doesn’t mean that it’s easy.
It takes work to set up successful affiliate marketing strategies, which is what we’re going to cover in this article.
If you’ve tried affiliate marketing before you may be familiar with this. You create a piece of content, add your affiliate links, push it out into the world, and… nothing. Where are all the clicks and commissions?! Is this even a real way to make money?!
There’s a lot more to affiliate marketing than just adding links to your blog posts or Instagram feed. You need a strategy.
Once you have your strategy in place and are consistently earning affiliate income from a few top sources, then you can scale your income.
If you can make your first $100 from affiliate marketing, the sky is the limit. The strategies that you use for your first $100 are what you’ll scale and earn your next $1,000 and up.
How to Make Your First $100 with Affiliate Marketing
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when you share about a product and make a commission from someone purchasing it through your product link.
For example, let’s say I have a website all about the best kitchen gear and gadgets. I’ll post and share about different kitchen products using affiliate links. When someone clicks through and buys one of the products that I’ve shared, I’ll earn a commission.
How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing
In 3 simple steps, here’s how to get started:
1. Think strategically about the types of products that you’ll promote.
When choosing products to promote, focus on products that make sense for your audience. There’s an affiliate program for almost every product under the sun, so choose ones that naturally go with your business and the interests of your audience.
2. Only promote products that you love & believe in.
Even better: only promote products that you use. Treat the products that you promote like they’re your own and only try to sell them if you would put your reputation on the line for them
3. Apply to affiliate programs.
Once you’ve brainstormed the best products or brands to promote, apply to their affiliate programs. Many individual brands have affiliate programs but there are also large-scale programs that you can apply to that cover many brands.
Let’s talk about how to know which programs to join.
What Are the Best Affiliate Programs to Join?
When you’re just starting out, focus on one or two affiliate programs to join. If there is a specific product or brand that you want to promote, apply directly to their program. You can usually find the link to apply to a program on the company’s website or you can send them a quick email asking if they have an affiliate program.
If there’s a specific category or range of product that you want to promote, consider joining a large affiliate network. Some examples of these include: Target, Amazon, and RewardStyle.
Some affiliate networks require minimum traffic or content in order to be accepted. If that’s the case, start creating content and build up a following before you apply. Once you apply and are accepted, go back and add affiliate links to your site.
How Do Affiliates Get Paid?
Affiliates get paid a commission dependant on the number of sales that are made through their affiliate links.
The percent commission that you get paid depends on the individual program that you’re a part of. Amazon’s affiliate program pays around 4 – 10% per sale, whereas some high-end digital products may pay as much as 50% per sale.
Once you’re a part of an affiliate network, you generally get access to a dashboard that tracks your clicks and commissions.
The Best Ways to Make Money from Affiliate Links
Earning money from affiliate links takes strategy. Not only should the products that you promote be ones that your audience is interested in, but you’ll want to think about how best to share about them.
Some examples of ways to share your affiliate links include:
1. Create blog posts:
When using affiliate links in blog posts, focus on adding value to your reader. Your post shouldn’t read like a sales pitch, it should be full of engaging and value-adding information for your audience.
2. Create product reviews:
Product reviews are one way to share affiliate links that’s helpful to your readers. Share about your experience with the product, including your own photos or video with it if possible.
4. Create bonuses:
A bonus is an extra incentive for your audience to buy an affiliate product. This could be new content, support, or access that they get as a result of buying through your affiliate link. Adding in a bonus can be the extra push that someone needs to make a purchase.
How to Make Your First $100 with Affiliate Marketing
We’ve touched on different aspects of affiliate marketing, but here’s a step-by-step walkthrough of how to start making money & earn your first $100:
- Decide on the products that you want to promote.
- Apply to affiliate programs.
- Create content that shares about the products or brands you’re promoting.
- Take photos or videos of yourself using the products if possible.
- Create many different types of content sharing about a product: for example, a review in a blog post, a video of you using the product on Instagram, a comparison guide that you share to Pinterest, a how-to guide PDF download, etc.
- Don’t just share your content once. Share your content many times and in different ways to get traction.
- Track what works by monitoring your links that get the most clicks & sales.
- Follow up with customers who buy: treat the products that you promote your own & make sure your audience is having the best customer experience possible.
The biggest key to making your first $100 with affiliate marketing is step #6 above. If you’re creating high-quality content and sharing it with your audience consistently and in different ways: you’ll get traction.
This is where your strategy comes in. You want to think like your audience and go through their buying process.
Is the product that you’re promoting complicated? Record a video guide of how to use it. Do you constantly get the same questions about a product? Create a FAQ. Did you have amazing results with product? Make a personal before and after with photos.
Affiliate marketing is a form of passive income, but you do have to actively promote the products that you want to make money from. Seek to add value with the affiliate content that you create, and your audience will naturally click and buy.