Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links. I may get a commission from those links but it's at no cost to you.
There are many different ways to make money online and certainly, you’ve heard that affiliate marketing is one of them. Affiliate marketing can be tricky at first but when done well it is a very lucrative way to make money online.
Read along to find out what is affiliate marketing, who can use it to make money online and how to turn affiliate marketing into your next source of online income!
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when you promote someone else’s products or services and earn a commission (a cut) when someone either buys the product you mentioned or engages with it in some way (depending on affiliate terms).
If this is news to you, or you’ve heard about affiliate marketing, but are unsure of how to go about it, I suggest you learn from one of the most successful people on this matter – Michelle from Making Sense of Cents.
Michelle has made over $50K in affiliate marketing alone and she has a really good course – Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – that explains what it is, the basic pillars of affiliate marketing and how to use it on your blog or website.
Taking her course really made me more aware of the intricacies of affiliate marketing and how the whole process works. But, what I love the most about this course is that it gave me access to a community I can contribute to and learn from and it made me aware of tools and resources I didn’t know I could tap into!
Is Affiliate Marketing Only for Bloggers?
Many people often assume that you have to be a blogger or have a website to earn money from affiliate marketing.
While having an affiliate website or a blog are certainly two prominent ways of doing it, you don’t need to go that way to make money with affiliate marketing.
I wrote a post specifically about this, where I explain how you can make money as an affiliate marketer on Pinterest. Click below to check it out now or pin it for later here.
How to Become an Affiliate Marketer
STEP 1: Pick a Product You Love
Going for everything and anything out there won’t get you anywhere. The best strategy is to look at products you’re already using and would naturally share with others.
For example, here is a list of resources and tools I often share on this blog, because I use them and like them:
My current hosting service — I switched to Siteground and have had a great experience so far! My plan is the GrowBig plan, which allows me to add multiple websites for an affordable fee. Start a website with Siteground.
Elementor is the drag and drop builder I use for WordPress. It helps me customize my website beyond what my theme can do. Try elementor free.
Airtable is a great project management tool that goes beyond spreadsheets — Try it free here!
STEP 2: Sign up to an Affiliate Network
Most companies have their affiliate programs managed through an affiliate network. Networks make it easier for both the merchants and the affiliate to manage the technical and legal aspects of affiliate marketing.
But don’t just apply to any network. You should start with a well-known and trusted network that offers as many programs of interest as possible.
My best pick for an affiliate network is Share-A-Sale because it’s easy to set up, trustworthy and offers hundreds of big-name affiliate programs!
Affiliate Networks I use:
Owns Share-A-Sale, but works in a different way. Best for Canadians. There’s a $5 entry fee, you get back in credit when you register. Sign up with Awin here!
Best for promoting retail and fashion brands.
A very popular affiliate network among social influencers. Best for fashion, fitness and beauty.
Some products/companies have their own independent affiliate programs. In this case, you will want to apply directly to their program.
STEP 3: Get Your Affiliate Links
Once you’ve applied and have been accepted into an affiliate program, you will receive your affiliate code to turn regular links into money-money links.
You’re also likely to get banners and other creative content to help you with your affiliate campaigns.
Most likely, you will be able to browse the website you’re now associated with and create a deep link (a direct link to that specific page/product) with your affiliate network tools.
STEP 4: Share Your Affiliate Content
It’s time to share and promote your affiliate products throughout your online outlets. You can share them on your social media channels, blog, website and directly to your e-mail list!
Read the terms and conditions first, though, as some programs don’t allow you to share their products in certain outlets. For instance, Amazon doesn’t like it when you send affiliate links to their products through e-mail marketing, so you shouldn’t do that!
IMPORTANT: As per the FTC regulations, you must disclose that you’re sharing and affiliate link every time you share it, regardless of the outlet you’re using!
There you go! That’s the gist of how to become an affiliate marketer and start earning money online.
There is more of the game though, as it is after all Marketing! There are some insights and tricks to doing affiliate marketing right so you can start profiting from it.
Check out below for a list of affiliate marketing courses and resources to help you with it.
Affiliate Marketing Courses:
Do you have any questions about affiliate marketing? Let me know in the comments.