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How to Become an Affiliate Marketer: The Complete Guide

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Are you struggling to find credible information on how to become an affiliate marketer? Well, you’re not alone!

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn top dollar by recommending products and services that are relevant to your niche. It’s an excellent way to make money as a content creator. 

This in-depth guide covers everything you need to know about affiliate marketing, from what it is and why you should consider it to what it takes to become a successful affiliate marketer.

So, if you’re adamant about becoming an affiliate marketer, you should stick around!

An Overview of Affiliate Marketing: A Primer

Affiliate marketing is a digital marketing strategy through which companies compensate affiliates for promoting their products or services.

As an affiliate, you earn your commissions by influencing audiences to complete a desired action set by the advertiser. In most cases, the desired action is purchasing a product or service.

For instance, Amazon Associates, which is Amazon’s affiliate marketing program, pays affiliates a percentage on every sale they generate through their unique affiliate links.

As an affiliate marketer, you get to choose the products you want to promote. In other words, you don’t have to promote products you don’t like. 

The great thing about affiliate marketing is that it’s highly accessible. According to Zippia, 81% of brands around the world have an affiliate program, and 16% of global ecommerce sales are generated via affiliate marketing.

So, it’s safe to say that the affiliate marketing industry has a lot of fruit to bear.

Read More: Why affiliate marketing is a great side hustle

How Much Do Affiliate Marketers Make?

Affiliate marketers can earn anywhere from a few hundred dollars to six figures on a monthly basis. However, the average salary of an affiliate marketer, according to PayScale, is around $54,000 a year.

Note that experience plays a major role when it comes to earning potential. According to Authority Hacker’s Niall Roche, affiliate income categories can be classified as follows:

  • Beginner: $0 to $1,000 per month.
  • Intermediate: $1,000 to $10,000 per month.
  • Advanced: $10,000 to $100,000 per month.
  • Super Affiliate: Over $100,000 per month.

What You’ll Need to Become an Affiliate Marketer [& Associated Costs]

Affiliate marketing isn’t just a low-risk venture; it’s also a low-cost one, requiring very little to get started.

Here’s a list of all that you’ll need to become an affiliate marketer:

Publishing Platform

First and foremost, you need to have a publishing platform for your content. This can be a website, YouTube channel, social media page, email newsletter, or a similar medium. 

You don’t have to settle for a single platform. You can use a combination of several platforms. In most cases, the cost of creating a publishing platform is little to nothing. So, this shouldn’t set you back a whole lot.

Affiliate Marketing Program

To become an affiliate marketer, you need to enroll in one or more affiliate programs. You can opt for an in-house affiliate program, where you get a commission for every completed action.

Alternatively, you can opt for affiliate networks, where publishers (affiliates) can connect with different brands. Essentially, an affiliate network acts as a middleman between publishers and brands.

There’s usually no cost to joining an affiliate program. Some programs may have certain criteria that you need to meet, though.

Quality Content

Whether you’re a blogger, YouTuber, or social media personality, you need good content to succeed in affiliate marketing. Think about it; why would anyone buy the products or services you promote if they don’t find your content valuable?

The cost of creating high-quality varies based on the type of content you’re making. This ties directly to your publishing platform choice.

For instance, if you’re a blogger, all you really need is a computer or smartphone, which you probably already have. On the other hand, if you’re a YouTuber, you’ll need some video recording equipment. This can set you back a few hundred dollars.

How Much Does It Cost to Become an Affiliate Marketer?

As we stated earlier, affiliate marketing is a low-cost, low-risk venture. Enrolling in an affiliate marketing program won’t cost you a single dime. So, in theory, it shouldn’t cost you anything to become an affiliate marketer.

That said, depending on your publishing platform, there could be some associated costs that have less to do with the affiliate marketing strategy itself and more to do with your content creation process, as explained in the previous section.

Is It Hard to Become an Affiliate Marketer?

Though anyone can become an affiliate marketer, not everyone will succeed. It takes time, effort, and a whole lot of dedication to grow a successful affiliate marketing business.

To succeed as an affiliate marketer, you need to focus on a niche in which you’re quite experienced. Remember, the quality of your content is what’s going to make or break your affiliate marketing work and experience.

If your content doesn’t provide enough value to drive traffic, you won’t make much as an affiliate marketer.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Affiliate Marketer?

It takes around 6-12 months for most affiliate businesses to garner affiliate marketing success, though you can start making money within the first 2-3 months. 

If you have a solid background in digital marketing, or if you already have a large following on your blog or social media page, expect the process to go faster.

How to Become an Affiliate Marketer in 6 Simple Steps

Ready to kickstart your affiliate marketing career? Here are the steps you need to follow to start affiliate marketing:

1. Pick a Niche That Interests You

The first step to becoming an affiliate marketer is to find a niche that interests you or that you’re passionate about.

Ideally, the market demand surrounding the niche you pick should be high, as that translates to higher profitability.

Make sure to choose a niche that you’re quite familiar with so that it’s easy for you to follow its trends and deliver credible information.

2. Conduct Competitor Analysis

Once you’ve pinpointed the right niche for you, it’s time to assess the competition.

If the competition is steep, it might be hard for your content to stand out, especially if you don’t have a digital marketing background.

There are several ways to conduct competitor analysis. You can start by Googling prominent keywords in your niche and analyzing the search results. Alternatively, you can use a free SEO analysis platform like Ubersuggest.

Other options include paid services like Ahrefs and Semrush.

3. Find a Suitable Affiliate Program

The next step is to find an affiliate marketing program that suits your niche and commission goals.

Ideally, you should opt for an affiliate marketing program that offers high commission rates and long cookie durations.

Some of the most notable affiliate marketing programs for beginners include:

  • Amazon Associates
  • ShareASale
  • ClickBank
  • eBay Partner Network
  • Impact
  • Refersion Marketplace
  • Awin
  • Commission Junction (CJ)

4. Establish Your Publishing Platform

The affiliate marketing model is compatible with several publishing platforms.

If you have a strong following on social media, you can leverage that by promoting affiliate links in your stories, posts, and so forth.

Alternatively, you can build an affiliate website or blog that revolves around the niche you’ve chosen.

You can also make YouTube or Twitch videos about your niche and include your affiliate links in your video descriptions.

Any publishing platform will work. It all boils down to the quality of your content.

5. Create Content That Drives Traffic

You must strive to create high-quality content that visitors find relevant, original, well-presented, and engaging.

If the quality of your content is subpar, it’ll be overshadowed by competitors, and visitors won’t give your affiliate links the time of day.

After all, you wouldn’t purchase a product or service if the person recommending it doesn’t seem credible.

6. Promote Your Affiliate Offers

Once you’ve crafted your high-quality content, it’s time to implement your affiliate offers so you can start generating affiliate sales.

You should be providing an affiliate link to products and services that you personally find valuable. If you include an affiliate link to low-quality products or services, you run the risk of losing credibility. You also compromise the trust you’ve built with your audience.

There are many ways to implement your affiliate links, depending on your publishing platform.

If you’re a blogger or have an affiliate site, for instance, you can embed your affiliate links into suitable anchor texts.

If you’re a YouTube or podcaster, you can link to your affiliate offers in your video or podcast descriptions.

If you’re promoting a business, service, or product via an email marketing campaign, you can include affiliate links in your emails.

Reasons to Consider Becoming an Affiliate Marketer

There are several reasons to consider pursuing affiliate marketing full-time, including:

  • Low Risk and Cost: The financial risk associated with affiliate marketing is low, as most affiliate marketing programs don’t require an entry fee.
  • Multi-Channel Venture: Affiliate marketing is compatible with a wide range of channels, including YouTube, social media, blogs, and email lists.
  • High Flexibility: Not only does affiliate marketing allow you to work remotely, but you also get to enroll in as many programs as you want.
  • Passive Income: Affiliate marketing takes a lot of time and hard work, but it pays off generously in the form of passive income. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Anyone Become an Affiliate Marketer?

Yes. Anyone can become an affiliate marketer, but this doesn’t mean that everyone will succeed. Garnering success as an affiliate marketer takes a lot of time and hard work. 

What Are the Three Main Types of Affiliates?

The three main types of affiliate marketing are related affiliate marketing, unattached affiliate marketing, and involved affiliate marketing.

Similar Gigs to Check Out

Here are a few career options that go hand in hand with the affiliate marketing model:

Wrapping Up

If done properly, affiliate marketing is a low-risk and low-cost business endeavor that can generate impressive income.

Hopefully, the information shared in this guide will help you get started as an affiliate marketer.

Did you enjoy our guide? If so, be sure to share it with others who are interested in affiliate marketing.

And if you have any questions or concerns, leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

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