Affiliate Marketing for Dummies: How to Get Started in 2020

If you own any kind of business, then you know that marketing is everything. If you don’t market your service or product, you don’t bring in new customers.

And if you don’t bring in new customers, your business dies.

The world of marketing is always evolving, changing with time and new technologies. It is important to keep up with this evolution to keep your business in front of potential customers.

One of these new trending marketing strategies in affiliate marketing. Have you heard of it? No?

We’ve got you covered with affiliate marketing for dummies.

Affiliate Marketing for Dummies

It can be really difficult to keep up with all of the marketing strategies out there while doing everything else to run your business.

Luckily, affiliate marketing is very effective and also fairly simple to understand.

We’ve broken down the basics to show you how you can apply this tool to grow your business and revenue!

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

First of all, being an affiliate means that a person (not an employee) is connected to an organization.

Affiliate marketing is when that outside person promotes a product for the company they are affiliated with and then receives a commission based on any sales that come through that promotion.

This is a little different than other marketing programs because a person outside of the company is actually doing the marketing instead of an internal team.

While still a relatively new type of marketing, the number of companies using this strategy continues to grow by at least 10% every year.

The growth is projected to continue on in this way for the foreseeable future. That is largely due to the effective nature of this strategy. It really benefits both sides with little investment.

The whole program boils down to a promoter sharing a product or service with their audience. When people from that audience purchase those goods the promoter gets paid a certain percentage.

Who Can Be an Affiliate?

The short answer is, anyone can be an affiliate!

The long answer is that the best, most successful affiliate relationships come from someone who has an established platform and audience.

A common (maybe the most common) affiliate relationship is the one between a company and an influencer on social media.

An influencer is a term used to describe a person who has the ability to persuade actions (like purchasing) from their social media audience. In order to be a successful influencer, the person will need to build a community that trusts their opinions.

Many bloggers have been successful in monetizing their sites by becoming affiliates for other companies.

Brands can also become affiliates if they have created the same type of community where they have influential power.

Wherever the affiliate comes from, they will need to have a basic marketing knowledge to know the best way to promote the product to their specific audience. The more in-line the affiliate and product company are, the more likely the audience is to buy.

And we all know the more they buy, the more money everyone makes.

How Does an Affiliate Make Money?

There are a few different ways that affiliates make money in this type of marketing program.

The first is the one we’ve already talked about, which is a payment for every sale that is made based on an affiliate promotion. For each purchase made from the affiliate’s audience, that affiliate gets a certain commission from the sale.

But how does the company know if the sale should be attributed to the affiliate or not?

The answer is in the affiliate links set up by the company. This type of link has special tracking capabilities (cookies) so the company can see how much traffic came from that specific link.

If a purchase is made from that specific link, the affiliate gets the commission.

The other way an affiliate can make money is just through clicks to the company’s site, not an actual purchase. Though this type of affiliate program is not as common.

How Much Money Can an Affiliate Make?

There is really no set answer for how much money an affiliate can make every month, it all just depends!

The amount of money an affiliate makes is pretty much up to them based on how they choose to use the marketing programs.

Many affiliates choose to promote several products or companies at a time in order to boost their chances of a high revenue. But there has to be a balance found of giving a lot of opportunities for clicks but not overwhelming the audience with commercials.

Also, affiliates who are very intentional and selective with the products they promote do better overall. These affiliates make sure that the products they are endorsing fit with their niche.

Those affiliates who take the time to build their community up often do much better with their revenue because their audience trusts them. When they suggest a product the audience knows it will be a good fit for them based on past successful recommendations.

What Kinds of Companies Benefit From Affiliate Marketing?

Now to the other side of affiliate marketing jobs — the company.

Basically any company that does business online will benefit from affiliate marketing because it is a low-investment, low-risk marketing strategy.

When a company partners with an influencer, they generally do not pay them up front for the promotions. There is just an agreement made for the commission the influencer will get when purchases are made from their audience.

So essentially, they are getting advertising at no upfront cost which is obviously a great option.

Companies who are newer and just starting to build their reach can also benefit greatly from affiliate programs. When they partner with an affiliate their product reaches a whole new audience without them having to do the research to find those people.

And the hope is that those new customers tell their friends who become customers and so on.

Really, any company can benefit from having an affiliate program.

What Is the Benefit of Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing really is so beneficial to all parties involved on a lot of levels.

The affiliate can generate some passive income that is simpler than creating and producing their own products. This type of income can also repeat countless times from a single link as customers return over and over or new customers find the promotion later on.

When a company uses an affiliate they reach a wider audience more quickly and they also get new, creative takes on promotion. The positive aspects of a product an affiliate chooses to share may be a different take than the traditional marketing team is taking.

These partnerships really can legitimize both parties and add a lot of value to the marketing efforts.

Examples of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing jobs look very different one to another. There is such a wide range of how the affiliate can pull off this promotion.

Here are a few examples of how affiliate marketing actually works:

  • Product reviews — This is where the affiliate tries out the product and then shares their opinions on it with their audience. They highlight the positives and show how the audience can use and benefit from it, like this SugarBearHair review.
  • Product demonstration — This is where the affiliate actually visually shows the audience how to use the product and its features.
  • Product recommendations — This is where the affiliate works the product into their content and shares why the audience should purchase it.

Once the affiliate has decided which will be the best option for their audience, they can publish that to their chosen platform. That can be their social media, video platform, or blog.

The method will depend fully on the affiliate and its audience.

Get Started 

Affiliate marketing accounts for around $12 billion annually and you can have a piece of that money.

This affiliate marketing for dummies guide has given you all of the background and basics of these programs. So now what?

Now you start to build your audience on your chosen platform (social media or website). This is built by sharing consistent, honest, and valuable content. Once the audience feels like they can trust you, then you can start to have affiliate links.

Find the best affiliate programs for beginners and also companies that you would like to work with. Reach out to companies and set something up.

Then start making more money!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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