If you’ve been searching for some affiliate marketing tips for beginners, then you’ve reached the right place for some valuable information.
I urge you to read this not once, but twice over as this information I’m divulging is an accumulation of experiences, lessons learnt and results over my 10 years (maybe a bit more than that) in affiliate marketing.
I will start by proclaiming that I’m not a five figure earner, an affiliate marketing guru or even anyone famous on this subject. However, I can assure you, when you reach the end of this post, you’ll be able to appreciate the time I’ve saved you from learning stuff the hard way.
In fact, I’m going to save you a substantial amount of time and money that you would be spending without gaining anything in return. I’ve already taken that path of risk for you and experienced regrettable crap that I’d wish I could revisit and reverse. Painful right?
Early Days and How It Began
I remember, back in 2007, I started a blog on the beloved blogger (blogspot) platform. I had no focus or interest at that time to monetize anything I was blogging about. I just blogged about life in general, even took excerpts from other blogs, crediting them for the useful content and made references to other links too. It was a blog about all sorts.
One day I just though that maybe I should somehow make my blog earn some money for me. I had already reached 50 posts albeit short ones with one or two images. I started with Google’s AdSense because I found out about its earning potential.
My gut feeling told me I shouldn’t miss this boat.
At the same time, I started my second blog (also on blogger). Since I’m a Liverpool FC fan, I started designing and posting Liverpool FC Desktop Wallpapers featuring the club’s logo and a player.
This started a series of desktop wallpaper posts and the blog gained traction and popularity as this niche was not so competitive at the time. Since the traffic to the site was quite good and gained visitors weekly, AdSense for my blog was the next thing to do.
Best decision ever
Coming back to my first blog I started. I monetized it with AdSense too. Not only that, I read about and joined ShareASale and Kolimbo Affiliate Network (no longer active the last I checked). This was 2008.
I had published a post in my travel section of my blog about a leather travel bag with an image of it under an excerpt from its sales page. Nothing much, just that. The link on the image was an affiliate link to the sales page of that leather bag.
Someone found my post, clicked on the image and bought the bag. I earned my first affiliate commission of USD$17.30. Since I’m a Malaysian, the currency exchange at that time was around MYR3.80 to one USD.
So yeah, that really got me into affiliate marketing!
My AdSense earnings from the Liverpool FC Wallpaper blog reached USD100 every 2 months. I had to manually cash this out from the bank via Western Union wire transfer service. That was my first taste of passive income while working full time in a 9 to 6 job.
I learnt that it’s possible for anyone to get into affiliate marketing and earn side income or passively beginning from any level., no matter what your age is and where you are in the world.
Start today. Start small. Start with the knowledge that I am going to share with you.
Affiliate Marketing And The Shiny Object Syndrome
This is often talked about among Internet Marketers on webinars when they share their own experiences and tips. If you haven’t come across this term yet then let me break it down for you.
Shiny object syndrome is an element of distraction affecting affiliate and internet marketing entrepreneurs alike. It’s a tendency to follow and chase a trend or a goal that you think will be better than what you already have built up.
And then, you take the risk – jump into the deep end, no matter the amount of investment will be, with the hope that it will get you better and faster results.
Have you been here before?
I learned about this the hard way and lost quite a lot of hard earned money along the way.
Nothing out there is perfect. Nothing can promise you quick results without any effort put in. My advise: If you have something that works and you have invested time and effort in with some results already, stick to it.
Then, to expand your options, study the market (YouTube and LeadsLeap are great sources of reviews for most affiliate and internet marketing platforms out there), do your own research till you are really sure that it will work for you.
Also, keep in mind any new and emerging platforms or systems that try to re-invent the internet marketing wheel usually don’t last long and fail eventually. You’ll come across a lot of them for sure.
Nevertheless, all is well and good because there are definitely some great platforms that are trusted and used by many successful entrepreneurs. These outweigh the shiny objects that don’t work.
What you need to avoid (from the mistakes I’ve made)
These are the mistakes I’ve made and lessons learnt.
- Overhyped web applications and software that promise easy 1-2-3 steps to instant results.
- Website traffic brokers that promise instant opt-ins and signups but provide bot traffic instead at ridiculous overhyped prices.
- Safelist websites that promise you high click through rates when you upgrade to the highest level – Only to find out that they weren’t listed on Alexa and with only 10 daily visits max.
- Cost-Per-Click (CPC) ad platforms that promise targeted traffic to your ad link, high CTRs and dirt cheap ‘budget friendly’ CPC rates that will deliver high sales and results.
- Free web courses (webinars) that teach you the basics of affiliate marketing only to lure you to an offer/entry/upgrade for a whopping $1,000+ (approx) to learn what 6 figure marketers use and do, Found out that you can get this $1000 info for free on YouTube. Go to this post for my recommended affiliate marketing YouTubers with high content value – saves you some search time.
Tools I use & recommend
This one is a must. Your own domain. Your own website. Brand yourself. This is what most people who embark on the affiliate and internet marketing journey often take for granted or skip altogether.
You can start simple, be it with a free website like google sites or straight away with your own hosted website. I recommend that you invest in branding yourself and your website.
These are the tools and platforms that I frequently use to promote my affiliate websites and offers. Each of them have their applied strategies.
Email Safelist Marketing
There are a couple of thousand safelist websites across the internet. Out of those, I have highlighted some that I am still using since I first started my affiliate marketing journey. Check out this post.
Here are the most established and responsive email safelist sites that I highly recommend you to sign up with (shown with monthly and daily visit count):
- Herculist – 473,871 Monthly Visits; 15,796 Daily Visits
- Free Advertising For You – 186,964 Monthly Visits; 6,232 Daily Visits
- State-Of-The-Art Mailer – 139,616 Monthly Visits; 4,654 Daily Visits
- Million Leads For Free – 136,529 Monthly Visits; 4,551 Daily Visits
- Viral Mailer For You – 110,065 Monthly Visits; 3,669 Daily Visits
- European Safelist – 93,115 Monthly Visits; 3,104 Daily Visits
Be aware that some safelists do not provide the audience reach they promise, even though they claim to have more than 2,000 members. Some claim these registered members are active but be weary.
Website Traffic Analyzers and Checkers
Website Traffic Platforms
With no traffic, no one will see your offer or know of their existence. The more traffic you can send to your site the better.
Here are my recommended resources that I use (and many other marketers use). Each of these links carry my referral link. I will earn a commission if you do sign up under me. These sites are tried and tested for their deliverability and referral sign-ups (3 years of testing with good results can’t be wrong)
- LeadsLeap – one of the most established advertising networks out there. Launched in 2008, LeadsLeap is not a fly-by-night startup. They’ve been around for years, and still going strong!
- TheDownliner – If you want to advertise a product, but don’t have the time to surf the web and find relevant places to put ads, Downliner allows you to automate that task.
- TopDogsRotator – Lets you rotate unlimited sites and also promote affiliate links automatically. All members can also get traffic by viewing micro ads and referring new members. You can earn affiliate commissions as a free or upgraded member.
Landing page tools
To get things going, you can start without incurring any cost using the landing page maker in LeadsLeap. Another one I can recommend for beginners is Groovepages. Free to use but with a limit of 3 landing pages. Still it’s a good deal.
Email Management & Autoresponders.
- Maxbounty – is a cost-per-action affiliate network. It is called performance-based marketing network. Basically, it is an online platform that brings together advisers and marketers. As such, the platform acts as a go-between an affiliate and an advertiser. The advertiser places his offers on the platform.
- ShareASale – is the oldest and largest affiliate marketing network. We represent more than 2,500 merchants ranging in size from small to Fortune 500 companies.
- JVzoo – With over 800,000 affiliates we are the go to solution for both super affiliates and vendors. JVZoo users have made 6085 sales per day… and that’s every day since 2011!
- WarriorPlus – is a digital product platform for buying and selling products related to online business. On our website, people sell “digital products” such as eBooks, online courses, access to paid membership sites, and software. These products are all in the “Internet Marketing” or general “Business” niches.
- ClickBank – is one of the world’s largest affiliate platforms. It has more than 6 million clients worldwide and is growing rapidly.
Closing words and advise
I hope that the information I’ve shared helped and given you more insight in some way or another. Affiliate marketing and the earning potential is possible as long as you put your mind to it. There will be times you will feel discouraged to carry on.
I’ve had my share of ups and downs and it’s not always a smooth ride. Strive in your own pace, do your research, apply tips that I’ve shared, invest wisely and distract yourself from shiny objects that knocks you off your track.
Results are not always typical with each project and endeavor you engage in. When you can identify what works for you, keep at it. Your success will be your own doing and no one can take that away from you.