How to Make Money by Affiliate Marketing For a Flexible Lifestyle
If you are looking for a flexible lifestyle having an online business is a great way to do it. The aim of this website is to help those that want to live the adventurous lifestyle, by having your own online business, while having the flexibility to never miss out on a powder day or the perfect conditions for whatever you want to do in your spare time. My choice of online business is affiliate marketing. In this post I’m going to tell you how to make money by affiliate marketing.
This is going to be a quick overview of how affiliate marketing works and how it could work for you. I will also let you know the pros and cons of affiliate marketing, to help you decide if it is something you want to get in to.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
I am going to start at the very beginning and assume you don’t know anything. This way I won’t miss anything out.
Affiliate marketing has three parts to it.
- The affiliate (you)
- The affiliate program (online shop or product owner)
You can join various affiliate programs, that allow you to promote products or services. When you join the affiliate program you will have access to your unique affiliate links, which you drop on to your website. These links could be for products, services or adverts and are tracked.
When someone clicks on the affiliate link and buy something, you can earn money from it in two ways. You either get a flat rate or a commission. Commissions usually range from 1% – 75%, depending on the company or product/service.
The image above shows you the process of how you make money by affiliate marketing. Therefore, in a nutshell, you attract people to your website, send them to the product, they buy it and you get a small commission.
For an example of the percentage of common you can typically receive. If you joined the amazon affiliate program and someone bought a toaster for £100, you would get 6% commission. £6 doesn’t seem much, but if you can attract a few thousand people per day to that toaster, the sky is the limit.
Who can start their own Affiliate Marketing Business?
Typically you can join affiliate programs for free. There are some that will charge a small fee. The idea behind this, is to verify that you are real and attempt to prevent fraudulent affiliates. However, this is pretty rare.
This means you can start your affiliate business and promote pretty much anything in the world while earning a commission for doing so.
Anyone with an internet connection, a computer and the will to work hard can start their own affiliate marketing business. One of the best things about it, is that is is relatively cheap to set up. Most businesses need thousands investing in to it before you get going.
Affiliate Programs and Networks
An affiliate program is really a piece of software that allows you to promote for sellers and earn commission in return.
Affiliate programs track clicks and sales. All you need to do is put in your payment details in order to receive your commission.
There is an element of trusting the affiliate program, which can be difficult when you first start. However, affiliate programs are automated and accurate. But, you do have more control than you first expect, as you can track conversions and the source of conversions very easily.
In addition to your unique affiliate links, affiliate programs can also give you banners, widgets and plugins. These help you monetise your sites further, as you get more functionality.
You don’t need to join lots and lots of separate affiliate programs, as you can join affiliate networks. These are groups of affiliate programs all accessible from one place. For one of my sites I use Awin.com. This allows you to promote 6,000 companies. This means that the you can use affiliate links from all these companies, but the payments are managed in to one place. It is a good idea to join one of these networks, purely for time saving. Also, you don’t have to remember loads of passwords.
Where do I learn about Affiliate Marketing?
You may now be getting a bit more interested in learning more about affiliate marketing, but not sure which step to make next. When I was at this stage, I did lots of research and there is a lot of information out there. However, I didn’t always trust what I read. It all looked too “salesy” to me. I also found out that there are a lot of scams out there and when you know nothing about a subject, it is easy to get drawn in.
During my research I found a platform called Wealthy Affiliate. It came across as genuine, very comprehensive and trustworthy and free (to start with anyway). This is where I started my affiliate marketing journey and continue to use to this day. Wealthy Affiliate is ideal for those that want to learn about affiliate marketing, but it also provides all the tools, websites, hosting, training and support needed to grow your business.
Initially I signed up to the free membership. This was because I was still deciding if affiliate marketing was for me. The free membership is limited, but it gave me enough training and information to get started and decide that this is what I wanted to do.
The Premium membership gives you much more. But, I recommend you give the free one a try first if you are still undecided of what you want to do. With this you get training, a coach, your own hosted website and you will have decided on a direction for your niche website.
Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing
The reason I started my affiliate marketing business was to have the flexibility to go snowboarding, mountain biking and generally enjoy the mountains when I wanted to. Doing this has meant I haven’t missed a powder day all winter, while earning enough money to live comfortably in the French alps.
When it comes to earning money, the sky is the limit. If you manage to create a niche site that attracts just a fraction of the amount of people that use the internet, you can make some silly money. However, it is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes time, patience and lots of effort. If you are expecting to fund a ski season or the van life by doing it, you really need to get started 6 to 12 months in advance. It takes months before you even see a penny. But, if you follow the correct training properly, anything is possible.
How to Make Money by Affiliate Marketing
The amount of money you can make by affiliate marketing depends on the effort you put in to it. You need to create lots of good content to build your audience. When you create good content, you become an authority on a subject and build trust with your audience.
So here is a quick overview on how to make money by affiliate marketing.
1. Pick a Niche
You need to establish yourself as an expert in one particular thing. This could be absolutely anything! So you really need to choose something that you are actually interested in. This could be a type of camera, kitchen gadget or even toys. Don’t worry if you are not a co plate expert on something, because you will be very soon.
The way a niche website works, is that people will be searching for information on certain things with search engines. When they find your site, like what they see, take on board your recommendations and hopefully buy something. Knowing your stuff about one small area is better than spreading yourself thin over lots of products.
2. Learn about it
Once you’ve decided on your niche, look in to the different affiliate programs, businesses associated with it. You will be endorsing these products and putting your name to it. So you need to make sure you are happy recommending them.
3. Build your site
Your website be full of content that draws people to it and keeps them there. Making sure your site is attractive, informative, easy to navigate and up to date is very important. There are lots of tips online on how to do this, but if you go for the Wealthy Affiliate training, it is all there for you.
4. Quality Content
There is no point having a sexy looking website if your content is rubbish. Making money from your websites comes from creating quality content. It needs to be well written, thoughtfully created, and researched to ensure it becomes a trusted resource for your audiences.
Once you have decent content on a good website, you need to promote it. However, you still need to create more content, or your audience will slowly disappear.
It is possible to earn a ridiculous amount of money with affiliate marketing. This is done by people that dedicate more time, research, and effort into their affiliate marketing. You can of course, just do it as a part time job or hobby that will generate additional income and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, as it is actually quite fun. After all, if you have chosen a niche you are genuinely passionate about, you will learn more about it, share it with the world and make some money while doing it.
If you have any questions or thoughts, please drop them in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.