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Published: April 17 2023

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Ewelina Wróbel

How to start Affiliate Marketing – The Ultimate Step by Step Guide

What is an affiliate network? How to start making money online without investing your own money? Can it be a way to a main source of income? Learn how to start an affiliate! Let's find out!

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a popular and effective way for individuals or companies to earn a commission by promoting another person's or company's product. This method is counted among effective marketing efforts. In simple words, it is a process by which an affiliate market and sells another person's or company's products and earns a commission in return. This commission is usually a percentage of the sales price.

How Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?

Affiliate marketers get paid on a commission basis for driving traffic and sales to the company's products or services. There are different ways that affiliates can earn commissions, depending on the agreement with the company. The most common way that affiliate marketers get paid is through the pay-per-sale model, where the merchant pays the affiliate a percentage of the sale price of the product or service. In this model, the affiliate receives a commission only when a sale is made through their unique affiliate link. To track the sales made through the affiliate link, companies use a temporary browser cookie that tracks the user's activity on the site. The cookie expires after a set period, usually 30 to 90 days, so affiliates must ensure that their audience clicks and purchases the product within that timeframe to receive a commission. 

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

Determining whether affiliate marketing is a good fit for you depends on several factors. The affiliate marketing niche that you choose must balance three key factors: level of competitiveness, size of potential target audience, and your personal interest and expertise. If you choose a highly competitive niche with a small target audience or one that you have little knowledge of, it may be challenging to achieve success in affiliate marketing. However, if you choose a niche that aligns with your expertise and passion, you are more likely to succeed in promoting products and generating sales.

It's important to note that becoming a successful affiliate marketer takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Even if you are interested in a product, or it fits within an existing hobby, it requires effort to promote it and generate sales. You'll need to invest time and resources into learning about the product, identifying your target audience, creating content, building a website or a blog, and implementing marketing strategies to drive traffic and sales. 

Choosing an affiliate marketing strategy is the way to make money in 2023. 

How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing?

The first step is to review products in your niche and identify those that you believe will be a good fit for your audience. This will involve researching and identifying products that align with your niche and that you believe will be of interest to your audience. Once you have identified the products you want to promote, you can join affiliate programs and start promoting those products to your audience. Many programs offer beginner affiliate marketers commissions of up to 30% per sale, making it a great way to start earning money online. It's important to note that choosing the right niche is crucial to success in affiliate marketing.

You should focus on a niche that you are passionate about or have expertise in, as this will make content creation more enjoyable and help you build trust with your audience. This will also help you create content that is valuable and relevant to your audience, increasing the likelihood that they will engage with your content and make purchases through your affiliate links.

To get started with affiliate marketing, you will need to create a website or a blog to promote your products and provide valuable content to your audience. You can also use social media platforms to promote your products and reach a wider audience. Additionally, you will need to implement marketing strategies to drive traffic to your website or blog and increase sales. You can start an affiliate marketing business with no money - you don't need to invest to start making money. 

how to start affiliate marketing

Choose your niche

Find a niche that you are passionate about and has a large audience. This will make it easier to promote products that are relevant to your audience.

Join affiliate programs

Join affiliate programs that are relevant to your niche. There are many affiliate programs available, such as Amazon Associates, ShareASale, and Commission Junction, among others. 

Promote products

Once you have joined an affiliate program, start promoting the products. You can promote the products through your blog, email list, social media, or other channels.

Create content

Create content that is relevant to your audience and promotes the products you are promoting. This can include blog posts, videos, social media posts, and more.

Use white-label solutions

White-label solutions can help you to promote products under your own brand name. For example, WebWave website builder offers white-label program that allow you to create a custom domain under your own brand. Another way to use white-label solutions is to find white label affiliate programs that allow you to promote products under your own brand name. 

Join over 514 000 WebWave users and create websites with a true drag and drop website builder.

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How do I find Affiliate Marketing Partners?

Finding the right affiliate marketing partners can be a key factor in the success of your affiliate marketing program. One way to find potential affiliate partners is to research companies in your niche or industry and see if they have an existing affiliate program. Many businesses have affiliate programs that are open to new partners and offer attractive commission rates. You can also reach out to influencers or bloggers in your niche who may be interested in promoting your products or services to their audience. This can be a great way to access a new audience and generate more sales.

Another approach is to use affiliate marketing networks and platforms. These platforms bring together businesses and affiliates, making it easier to find potential partners and manage your affiliate program. Some popular affiliate marketing platforms include ShareASale, Commission Junction, and Rakuten Marketing. These platforms allow you to search for potential partners based on criteria such as niche, audience size, and commission rate. They also provide tools and resources for managing your affiliate program, such as tracking and reporting tools.

When looking for affiliate partners, it's important to consider factors such as audience overlap, brand alignment, and commission rates. You want to find partners who have a similar audience to your target market and whose brand values align with your own. Additionally, you want to ensure that the commission rate being offered is competitive and provides sufficient incentive for your partners to promote your products or services effectively. 

Benefits for affiliates

Low cost to start-up

Affiliate marketing offers a range of benefits to affiliates who partner with businesses to promote their products or services. One of the primary advantages of affiliate marketing is that it is a relatively low-cost business opportunity for affiliates. Affiliates do not have to create their own products or services, which eliminates the need for substantial investment in product development, manufacturing, and logistics. Instead, affiliates can focus on promoting existing products or services, which can be a low-cost and low-risk way to generate revenue. Additionally, affiliate marketing provides affiliates with the opportunity to earn a commission on a sale without having to handle the transaction or customer service. This means that affiliates can focus on marketing and promoting products rather than dealing with the administrative tasks associated with running a business.

Increase conversions on your website

Another significant benefit of affiliate marketing is that it can increase website traffic and boost brand awareness for affiliates. By promoting products or services on behalf of a business, affiliates can attract new visitors to their website, which can help expand their reach and enhance their social proof. When affiliates promote products or services that align with their audience's interests, they can build trust and credibility, which can lead to increased engagement and conversions.

Affiliate Sales

Affiliate marketing also offers the potential for a higher return on investment (ROI) for affiliates. By partnering with businesses, affiliates can leverage the businesses' existing customer base and marketing efforts, which can result in a higher conversion rate and a stronger ROI. Affiliates can also benefit from the flexibility and scalability of affiliate marketing, as they can promote a range of products or services across different niches and industries. 

Affiliate Commissions

Affiliate commissions are a fundamental part of affiliate marketing, which is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission for promoting and selling another person's or company's products or services. The commission rate is typically a percentage of the sale price of the product or service and is agreed upon by the business and the affiliate partner before any promotion begins. Affiliate commissions can be a great way for businesses to incentivize and reward their affiliate partners for promoting and selling their products or services, while also generating revenue for themselves. The benefits of affiliate commissions for affiliates include the potential to earn revenue without investing in product creation, manufacturing, or logistics. By promoting products or services on behalf of a business, affiliates can earn a commission on sales without having to handle the transaction or customer service.

Types of affiliate marketing

Unattached Affiliate Marketing

Unattached affiliate marketing is a type of affiliate marketing where the affiliate promotes products or services without being tied to a specific company or business. It involves promoting products or services through various channels such as blogs, social media platforms, podcasts, or websites, and earning a commission for referring customers to the companies or businesses that offer those products or services. Unlike traditional affiliate marketing where the affiliate partners with a specific company, unattached affiliate marketing allow the affiliate to promote a wide range of products or services across various industries. This gives the affiliate the flexibility to promote products or services that align with their interests, expertise, or target audience. Moreover, unattached affiliate marketing allows the affiliate to earn commissions from multiple companies without being tied to any one of them. This means that the affiliate can earn revenue from multiple streams and diversify its income sources.

Related Affiliate Marketing

Related affiliate marketing involves promoting products or services that are related to the content of the affiliate's website, blog, or social media platform. For example, a fitness blogger might partner with a company that sells exercise equipment or nutritional supplements. The affiliate promotes the company's products to their audience, and in return, earns a commission on any sales that result from their referrals. Related affiliate marketing can be a highly effective strategy as it allows affiliates to promote products or services that are relevant and useful to their audience. This means that the audience is more likely to purchase the product or service, resulting in higher conversion rates and greater revenue for both the affiliate and the business. 

Involved Affiliate Marketing

Involved affiliate marketing is a type of affiliate marketing where the affiliate has a close relationship with the product or service they are promoting. In this type of affiliate marketing, the affiliate has first-hand experience with the product or service and can speak to its benefits and features from personal experience. The affiliate may have used the product or service themselves, or they may have worked closely with the company to develop or test the product. As a result, the affiliate is able to provide a more detailed and authentic review of the product, which can be highly persuasive for potential customers. Involved affiliate marketing differs from unattached affiliate marketing, which involves promoting products or services without being tied to a specific company or business. In unattached affiliate marketing, the affiliate creates a unique link, or "affiliate link," that they place on their website, blog, or social media platform to promote products or services. In contrast, involved affiliate marketing relies on personal experience and a close relationship. 

types of affiliate marketing

Top 5 Affiliate Marketing Tools

Affiliate marketing can be a complex and time-consuming process, but fortunately, there are several tools available to help streamline the process and make it more manageable. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of affiliate marketing tools designed to help affiliates and businesses alike. These tools can help with everything from finding and signing up for affiliate programs to tracking and analyzing performance metrics.

1. CJ – Affiliate Marketplace Tool

CJ Affiliate is a powerful and popular affiliate marketplace tool that can help affiliate marketers generate leads, sales, and traffic. CJ Affiliate, formerly known as Commission Junction, is one of the world's largest and most established affiliate marketing networks. It offers a range of features and tools to help affiliates find and promote products and services, track performance metrics, and earn commissions.

One of the key benefits of CJ Affiliate is its vast network of advertisers and publishers. With over 3,000 advertisers and over 70,000 publishers, CJ Affiliate offers a wide range of products and services to promote across various niches and industries. The platform also offers advanced tracking and reporting capabilities, allowing affiliates to monitor their performance and optimize their campaigns for better results.

Cj tool

2. Google Analytics – Web Analytics Tool

Google Analytics is a popular and free web analytics tool that enables website owners to collect, track, and report information about their website visitors. It provides a detailed analysis of website traffic, user behavior, and other valuable insights that can help businesses make data-driven decisions to optimize their online presence. One of the key benefits of Google Analytics is its ability to automatically track and integrate affiliate sales and lead data, allowing businesses to optimize their traffic sources, landing pages, and content.

Additionally, affiliate marketers can leverage the power of Google Analytics to monitor on-site engagements using Google Event Tracking and to create custom dashboards to track specific metrics relevant to their business goal. Google Analytics features a user-friendly interface and offers a wide range of reports and tools to help businesses analyze their website performance and identify areas for improvement. With its powerful insights and easy-to-use interface, Google Analytics is an essential tool for businesses looking to improve their online presence and drive more traffic to their website.

GA tool

3. AffJet – Affiliate Network Performance Tool

AffJet is an affiliate network performance tool that enables affiliate marketers to monitor and optimize their affiliate marketing activities. This tool provides a range of features and tools that can help affiliates analyze their performance data, track conversions, and improve their overall performance.

One of the key benefits of AffJet is its ability to track affiliate marketing performance metrics in real time, allowing affiliates to monitor their progress and adjust their strategies accordingly. Additionally, AffJet offers advanced reporting capabilities that enable affiliates to analyze their data in detail, identify areas for improvement, and optimize their campaigns for better results. With AffJet, affiliates can also track their earnings across multiple affiliate networks, making it easier to manage and organize their affiliate marketing activities.

AffJet tool

4. AdEspresso – Affiliate Ad Campaigns Tool

AdEspresso is an affiliate ad campaigns tool that provides a range of features designed to help affiliates optimize their ad campaigns and improve their overall performance. With AdEspresso, affiliates can easily set up campaigns and create ads using best practices to maximize their return on investment.

This can help you identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize your campaigns for better results. AdEspresso also allows you to analyze your ad campaigns from diverse channels and get actionable insights. This can help you make data-backed decisions and adjust your campaigns to improve your performance.

5. AnyTrack – Conversion Tracking Tool

AnyTrack is a powerful conversion tracking tool that enables digital marketers to track, attribute, and sync conversions across their marketing ecosystem. This tool provides a range of features and tools that can help affiliates and marketers analyze their performance data, track conversions, and improve their overall performance. One of the key benefits of AnyTrack is its real-time conversion tracking capabilities, allowing marketers to monitor their progress and adjust their strategies accordingly. Additionally,

AnyTrack offers advanced reporting capabilities that enable marketers to analyze their data in detail, identify areas for improvement, and optimize their campaigns for better results. With AnyTrack, marketers can track conversions across multiple channels, including Facebook, Google Ads, and more, making it easier to manage and organize their marketing activities. Furthermore, AnyTrack integrates with other marketing tools such as Google Analytics and affiliate marketing platforms, allowing marketers to track and analyze their website traffic and user behavior.

AnyTrack tool

5 Most Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes

Affiliate marketing can be a lucrative way to earn passive income, but it is not without its challenges. There are many common mistakes that affiliates can make when promoting products or services, which can negatively impact their performance and revenue potential. One of the most common mistakes is prioritizing selling over helping. Affiliates who focus solely on making sales, rather than providing value and helping their audience, often fail to build trust and credibility. This can result in a lack of conversions and ultimately, a lower commission payout.

Another mistake is publishing low-quality content. Affiliates who fail to invest in high-quality content, such as blog posts, videos, or social media posts, risk losing their audience's attention and trust, which can adversely affect their conversions. Additionally, ignoring or overlooking SEO on web publisher sites can be a major mistake. SEO is essential for driving traffic to your website and increasing your visibility in search engine results pages.

Promoting products you don't believe in

It's essential to promote products that you have used and believe in, as promoting products that you haven't used or don't believe in can damage your credibility and reputation.

Monetizing too early

Some affiliate marketers make the mistake of trying to monetize their website or social media channels too early, before they have built a targeted audience. It's important to focus on building a loyal audience first, then monetize your content gradually.

Not having a deep understanding of what you're promoting

It's crucial to have a deep understanding of the products you're promoting. This includes knowing the product's features, benefits, and drawbacks, as well as understanding the target audience for the product.

Overlooking the importance of SEO best practices

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for driving traffic to your affiliate marketing content. Neglecting SEO best practices can result in your content being buried in search results.

Going overboard with promotion

Over-promoting products can be a turnoff for your audience, leading them to mistrust your recommendations. It's important to strike a balance between promoting products and providing value to your audience.

By avoiding these common affiliate marketing mistakes, you can increase your chances of success and build a profitable affiliate marketing business. Remember to always provide value to your audience, promote products you believe in, and focus on building a targeted audience through SEO best practices.

5 Ways to Successful Affiliate Marketing

Choose the Right Products

It's essential to choose products or services that align with your niche and target audience. Promoting products that your audience is not interested in will not lead to conversions, no matter how much effort you put in. Research the products and services you plan to promote and make sure they match your audience's needs and interests. 

Build Trust and Credibility

Building trust and credibility with your audience is crucial for successful affiliate marketing. One way to do this is by providing valuable and helpful content that addresses your audience's pain points and offers solutions. Focus on building relationships with your audience, and they will be more likely to trust your recommendations. 

Use Conversion Tracking Tools

Conversion tracking tools like AnyTrack can help you monitor your progress and adjust your strategies accordingly. AnyTrack offers real-time conversion tracking capabilities, allowing you to monitor your progress and optimize your campaigns for better results. Additionally, AnyTrack offers advanced reporting capabilities that enable you to analyze your data in detail and identify areas for improvement. It is also important to use affiliate platforms. 

Affiliate Website and High Quality Content

Promote high quality content is essential for successful affiliate marketing. Make sure your content addresses your audience's needs and interests and provides value. Avoid the mistake of ignoring the quality of your content, which can adversely affect your conversions. An affiliate website is a type of website that is created for the purpose of promoting and selling another person's or company's products or services. The website is typically created by an individual or company who wishes to earn commissions by promoting products or services through affiliate marketing.

The individual or company that creates the website is referred to as an affiliate or publisher. To create an affiliate website, the first step is to choose a niche or area of focus for the website. This could be anything from health and wellness to technology products, depending on the interests and expertise of the affiliate. Once the niche has been chosen, the affiliate needs to set up the website itself, which can typically be done using a website-building platform or content management system. This will allow the affiliate to customize the site with plugins and a theme that aligns with the chosen niche. 

Find Innovative Ways to Reach New Audiences

To expand your reach and grow your audience, you should find innovative ways to reach new audiences. Consider collaborating with other influencers or bloggers in your niche, using social media platforms to promote your content, and exploring new advertising channels. 

Trends in Affiliate Marketing in 2023

As we head into 2023, the affiliate marketing industry is set to continue evolving and adapting to changing consumer behaviors and emerging technologies. According to recent predictions and trends, there are a few key developments that we can expect to see in the affiliate marketing landscape. Affiliate marketing can be done in many ways - one of which is a Youtube channel, TikTok, or blog. With which you can increase traffic to your affiliate. 

Promoting complementary products and services

One trend that is expected to gain even more traction in 2023 is the increase in brand-to-brand partnerships in the affiliate space. Brands are recognizing the value of partnering with other companies to promote complementary products or services. These types of collaborations can lead to increased exposure and revenue for both brands, making it a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Videos, podcasts, affiliate SEO

Additionally, there is expected to be a greater focus on video, podcast, and SEO affiliates. Brands are realizing the power of these types of affiliates in reaching new audiences and building brand awareness. By partnering with video creators, podcast hosts, and SEO experts, brands can tap into new markets and connect with potential customers in a more engaging and personalized way.

Nano and micro-influencers

Another trend that is expected to continue in 2023 is the use of influencer marketing. Brands are recognizing the value of partnering with influencers to promote their products and services, and this trend is expected to grow even more in the coming year. However, rather than partnering only with macro-influencers, more brands are expected to tap into the power of nano and micro-influencers. These influencers have smaller, but highly engaged audiences and can be more cost-effective for brands. Other emerging trends in the affiliate marketing industry include virtual shopping, social selling through video content, voice search, and link building and co-marketing.

Improving the shopping experience of customers

With the rise of virtual and augmented reality technologies, brands are expected to explore new ways to create immersive shopping experiences for customers. Similarly, video content is expected to become even more important in social selling, while voice search is expected to continue growing in popularity. 

Affiliate Website

An affiliate website is a type of website that is created for the purpose of promoting and selling another person's or company's products or services. The website is typically created by an individual or company who wishes to earn commissions by promoting products or services through affiliate marketing. The individual or company who creates the website is referred to as an affiliate or publisher. To create an affiliate website, the first step is to choose a niche or area of focus for the website. This could be anything from health and wellness to technology products, depending on the interests and expertise of the affiliate. Once the niche has been chosen, the affiliate needs to set up the website itself, which can typically be done using a website building platform or content management system.

This will allow the affiliate to customize the site with plugins and a theme that aligns with the chosen niche. Once the website is set up, the affiliate can then begin promoting products or services through the site. This can be done by adding affiliate links or banners to the site, which direct visitors to the product or service being promoted. When a visitor clicks on one of these links and makes a purchase, the affiliate earns a commission on the sale. Overall, affiliate websites are a popular and effective way for individuals or companies to earn revenue through affiliate marketing. By creating a website that promotes products or services in a specific niche, affiliates can earn commissions on sales without having to handle the transaction or customer service. On the website, you can share affiliate links and start creating content, that will interest your audience and create a group of engaged users. 

Top 5 Recommended Affiliate Programs 

Shopping/Amazon Associates 

Amazon Associates is an affiliate marketing program offered by Amazon that allows content creators, publishers, and website owners to monetize their websites by advertising products from Amazon.com. This program is one of the largest affiliate networks in the world and is free for website owners and bloggers to join. As an Amazon Associate, you can create links to Amazon products on your website, and if someone clicks on those links and makes a purchase, you can earn a commission on that sale. In essence, Amazon Associates is a referral program that pays a commission to referring websites for driving traffic and sales to Amazon. This program can be a great way for website owners to earn additional income by promoting relevant products and services to their audience.

Amazon

Freelance/Fiverr

Fiverr is an online marketplace that connects freelancers with clients who need their services, including graphic design, writing, programming, and more. The Fiverr Affiliate Program is free to join, and once accepted, affiliates gain access to a range of marketing materials, tools, and resources to help promote Fiverr services to their audience. The Fiverr Affiliate Program provides affiliates with a unique ID that is included in their affiliate link.

This way, affiliates can track every new customer they refer to Fiverr. It is essential to always use your unique affiliate link when promoting Fiverr's products to ensure that you receive the commission for new customers you refer. Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy in which an affiliate earns a commission for each sale they make. The Fiverr Affiliate Program operates on the same principle. Affiliates earn a commission for every new customer they refer to Fiverr who completes a purchase. The commission rate varies depending on the product category, but it can range from $15 to $150 per sale.

fiverr tool

Marketing Tool/Semrush

SEMrush is an all-in-one digital marketing platform that provides tools for SEO, PPC, content marketing, and social media marketing, The SEMrush Affiliate Program offers a generous commission of $200 on every new SEMrush subscription, regardless of the plan, and a commission of $10 on every trial activation.

The program also provides a 120-day cookie duration, which means that if a user clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase within 120 days, you will earn a commission on that sale. The SEMrush Affiliate Program is free to join, and once you are accepted, you will receive access to a range of promotional tools, including links, banners, and widgets, which you can use to promote SEMrush products to your audience. Affiliates can also track their earnings and monitor their promotional activities using the program's reporting tools. 

eCommerce/Shopify

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows businesses to create online stores and sell products. Similar to Amazon Associates, Shopify also offers an affiliate marketing program that allows content creators, publishers, and bloggers to monetize their traffic. Shopify's affiliate program is facilitated through third-party affiliate platform app integration within its platform, making it easy for businesses to set up and manage their affiliate programs.

There are several apps available that have been specifically designed for Shopify affiliate marketing, making it easy for website owners to promote relevant products and services to their audience and earn commissions on sales. These apps offer a wide variety of features and functionality, including affiliate tracking, commission management, and reporting tools, among others. With the Shopify affiliate program, website owners can earn a commission on every sale that is made through their unique referral link. This can be a great way for businesses to increase their sales and for website owners to earn additional income by promoting products that are relevant to their audience. 

shopify

Web Design/WebWave 

WebWave website builder offers a clear and transparent affiliate program. There are no hooks - everything is already known at the stage of joining the program. From each purchase of the Premium Plan, you will receive 30% of the amount. You will receive money from both the first and every subsequent website created. You will receive the commission as long as they remain WebWave drag and drop website builder customers.

WebWave affiliate program