You have created a niche for yourself, developed a website, and even have a few followers. Is affiliate marketing in your future? Is it really possible to earn some passive income on the internet? Do affiliate marketing programs for beginners even exist?
The answers are yes, yes, and yes.
With hard work, perseverance, and passion, you can look forward to limitless cash flow in the future.
What Exactly is Affiliate Marketing? 🤷🏽♂️
Affiliate marketing is an optimal, low-risk way to earn money for bloggers, website owners, and online retailers. The bloggers and website owners, called affiliates or publishers, provide links to products they enjoy on their website.
A consumer who visits their site might be interested in the product and clicks on the link provided, which directs them to the online retailer’s website. We will call them merchants or advertisers.
Once they are on the merchant’s website, they might decide to purchase the product, and the merchant would then receive money for the product. The merchant then shares with the publisher. Publishers get paid a commission for traffic or sales that are brought about by their referrals and, usually, the commission is a higher percentage because of the low risk for advertisers.
Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing ✍️
Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right? “Where do I start?” You are asking yourself. There is so much information out there and, believe me, it can be overwhelming! Hopefully, we have made it a little easier by providing recommendations of some well established, successful affiliate programs that will get you to your goal. Plus, some helpful tips for beginning a successful affiliate journey with fewer bumps in the road.
Keep in mind there is no limit to the number of affiliate programs in which you can participate. You will want to have a lot of options to provide product links in your posts. However, remember the tired, but the ever significant phrase “quality over quantity”? Do your research and choose your affiliate programs wisely.
Start by applying for affiliate programs of products and services you already use. For example, what products and services make your life easier? You can go direct. Go straight to the merchant of the product you want to promote, like a service you use for your website.
Direct Affiliate Programs for Products You Use ☝️
There are products we highly recommend to take the guesswork out of managing your affiliate marketing websites and programs. The products mentioned below will be simple to promote to your target audience because you will find they help to create and maintain an engaging site. They also have super affiliate programs you can join to start making some money!
Support is a must for any WordPress website, and WP Buffs is the best in the business! They offer unlimited edits, performance enhancements, daily health maintenance, and regular security troubleshooting. They also have an awesome affiliate program that pays out $100 per direct customer referral, and the referrals still count two months later!
Fantastic Hosting Programs for Beginner Affiliate Marketers 🗄️
When you’re just getting started, the following affiliate marketing programs make diving in simple:
Liquid Web* is a fully managed web host that provides managed hosting, managed solutions, and managed applications. You will be backed by the most helpful humans in hosting™. Their affiliate program is one of the best in the business. You can receive 150% of sales with $150 minimum.
WP Engine* is another excellent hosting choice. It drives your business forward faster with simple site setups, easy workflows, stressless launches, and effortless maintenance. Their affiliate program is aggressive with two ways to earn. You can earn $200 minimum commissions for WP Engine sales and 35% of StudioPress theme sales.
Best Plugins for Beginner Affiliate Marketers 😎
Think of plugins like the utilities in your home. There are certain things you can’t live without, like water, heating, and power. Similarly, your website can’t properly function without specific tools and features. Here are the plugins we feel are superb for your affiliate marketing website.
Beaver Builder* is a WordPress page builder to help customize every aspect of your website. Take a look at the live demo to see how simple it is to use! Free up your time and unleash your creativity with Beaver Builder! You must also join their straightforward affiliate program where you can earn a 25% commission on all sales.
WP Rocket* is an essential plugin. WP Rocket helps your site perform at higher speeds, by caching. Caching creates a super-fast load time. You get a faster website with just a few clicks. Their affiliate program is easy to join, and you can earn a 20% commission on every sale that comes from you.
Blogvault is another plugin that makes life a little easier for the website owner. Blogvault offers a 100% recovery rate in the shortest amount of time. It also provides a staging site in one click for free, meaning you can safely test your site’s changes and updates.
They also offer daily backups for your WooCommerce site. They also have an excellent affiliate program where you can earn 20% recurring commissions on every paid account you refer to BlogVault.
HubSpot CRM* is a customer relationship management software that is provided by HubSpot free of charge! It will help to increase leads, accelerate sales, organize your contacts, and better serve your customers. HubSpot has a solution to help you grow. WP Buffs also uses HubSpot CRM to create a human centric sales environment.
HubSpot* is the “one plugin to power your sales, marketing, and services” and automatically syncs with HubSpot CRM. A must for managing contacts. HubSpot for WordPress is built to grow your business safely. Join their affiliate program and earn up to $1,000 in commission for each product purchased. No minimum sales or limits on commissions and 90-day cookies. Amazing!
Give* is a valuable plugin for those who want to donate to valuable causes. It is developed specifically for accepting donations so that you can keep donors on your website. Give believes that collecting donations on your site should be free, so they have provided the Give core version free! You can make it even easier for your donors and you by paying for the insightful add-ons. Give has an affiliate program that paysall affiliates 30% of the sale of the total checkout amount from their referral.
You see? It is easy to stimulate sales of products you are already using. Specifically, all of the services you use to get your site up and running smoothly with less stress. Your audience will appreciate your recommendations, and joining their affiliate programs will pay off!
Fast Earners: Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners 💸
There are two well-known, extensive direct companies we should mention that will help you start earning some cash quickly, outside of the WordPress ecosystem. Amazon and eBay.
First of all, Who doesn’t use Amazon? I know I do! So why not become an Amazon Associate? You can make money from any sale generated. It doesn’t have to be the specific product you promoted. If your visitor clicked on the beautiful crib you recommended and then bought the rocking chair to match; you would get a commission on both! Or if they decided to purchase a digital camera to take a picture of their new baby, instead of the crib, you would receive a commission on that. Pretty cool, right?
However, there is a catch. There is a short window in which your audience has to buy the product for you to receive credit. Once a visitor has clicked on your link, they need to buy within 24 hours, or you won’t receive the credit for the sale and get the commission.
Amazon and other affiliate programs keep track of this by using affiliate tracking cookies.🍪 A cookie is a file that is generated then stored on your audience's web browser. #WordPress Click To Tweet
When your audience has clicked the link that takes them to the merchant, like Amazon, the merchant will then know the sales have come from you. So, Amazon’s cookies only last 24 hours.
With Amazon, you can get up to a 10% commission, but averages about 4%. Amazon requires an active website and updated, quality content. You also need to have driven at least three qualified sales in six months.
We have one last plugin to suggest if you are going to become an Amazon Associate. You need AzonPress. A plugin specially made for Amazon affiliates. Create and present easy to connect, high-yield Amazon Affiliate links on your WordPress-based website and increase your sales up to 250%! Spectacular!
eBay’s affiliate program works like Amazon’s. eBay offers over a billion products and 175 million users. Like Amazon, it will fit any niche. It’s another terrific option for beginners. eBay’s cookies only last 24 hours, as well. You may not get credit for a sale if it is an auction item, but the auctions on eBay only account for 11% of the listings.
Affiliate Marketing Networks for Beginners 🏁
Affiliate Marketing Networks offer complete affiliate programs for the beginner affiliate. Many of them are free to join and provide those just starting, a much simpler way to get connected with more advertisers.
An affiliate network is a link between many merchants’ or advertisers’ affiliate programs and the affiliate or publisher. Merchants can reach a much larger audience when they join an affiliate network. You, as the publisher, can have access to a plethora of products that you can promote on your website.
A network provides reporting tools and ease of payment, which creates a strong team of merchants and publishers. Your website visitors can also take advantage of the many products suggested because, as you know, we always keep our audience in mind. Most of the merchants on the networks pay out a certain percentage of the total sale as a commission to you. Let’s talk about some of the top affiliate networks for 2019.
ShareASale is one of the top networks that has been around awhile. It offers over 2,500 merchants with many products and services available and over 3,900 affiliate programs in 40 different categories. You can pick any of the merchants provided, and ShareASale will provide you with the links and banners to promote the merchant.
ShareASale will also provide you with deep links. Deep links will take you to a specific page where you want your visitor to land, bypassing the homepage.
Commission and cookies will vary depending on the merchant. Payouts are on the 20th of each month. You need to show them you have an established website and let them know how you will promote the products you have chosen.
CJ Affiliate is another at the top of its game and also has been around a while. Again, you have a large number of well-known advertisers to work with, over 3,000. Some say it may be the only affiliate network you need.
The commission offered and the duration of the cookies is usually 1-120 days but varies with each merchant. It is a simple process to apply, but they do require an established website and a hefty amount of followers. They only pay with direct deposit and check.
The support offered by CJ Affiliates has mixed reviews. Some say It has excellent support and has helped affiliate marketers grow their sales by 43%. Others say it is difficult to get help, and customer support is slow. It is essential to do your research.
Rakuten is another that is very well established and has been voted Blue Book’s number one affiliate network for eight years in a row. They are proud to say they have over 100 million orders. They have about 1,000 products and services affiliates can choose.
You apply to Rakuten’s program for approval, and then you need to apply for each advertiser you wish to promote. Each merchant has specific criteria you have to meet. Rakuten and Rakuten’s advertisers look at unique content that adds value to your audience. Your website must also have content that pertains to the merchant.
Commissions and cookies vary depending upon whom you choose. You will have access to world-renowned customer support. If you have an established website, this could be a smart choice.
ClickBank is an affiliate network with a less restrictive signup process. They are known to work with those less experienced. They specialize in digital products, which offers a higher commission rate. It can be between 1-75%, and cookies can last up to 60 days. You can promote them as soon as you sign up.
AliExpress offers a wide range of stock and millions of offerings. Most of their products come from China, and they provide stiff competition for Amazon. They offer up to 50% commission depending on the merchant and their cookies last three days.
FlexOffers is an award-winning affiliate network that offers 12,000 affiliate programs. They have an easy application process, and you usually hear back from them in one day. You can also get paid by referring other publishers to FlexOffers with the FlexRev-$hare program. You need a website to verify your identity and must provide detailed information on how you are going to promote the products. They also need to take a look at your traffic sources.
They offer a CPL (Cost Per Lead) program where the visitor does not need to make a sale for you to earn a commission. Your audience will just need to provide information, usually, contact info and not a credit card. You can search through the advertisers to check out commission rates and find those that offer CPL.
Skimlinks works a little differently, but provides ease of use. After your application is accepted, they will give you a line of code. You only have to copy and paste that line of code into the footer of your website one time, and you have access to 20,000 merchants.
Skimlinks provide you with affiliate links that replace regular merchant links, and you don’t have to apply for each merchant. They also offer incredible reporting data. However, they do take 25% of what you earn. So, if you have made $100 in commission Skimlinks will take $25, but many people say the creation of affiliate links and the data collection is worth the money.
Research, Research, Research! 🔍
The affiliate programs we have talked about are just suggestions. It is crucial to do your research beforehand. Get familiar with the application procedures, rules, and regulations of all of the affiliate programs. Whether it be a direct program or an affiliate network, look for the merchants that fit your niche.💳 Never pay upfront for an affiliate program. Look for ease of set up and the kind of tracking tools the programs provide. #WordPress Click To Tweet
- Do the affiliate programs have a supportive team? You will want to stay in contact with them regularly to ensure your success. If you are successful, then they are successful. Most importantly, look for how much you can expect to get paid, how you will receive payment, and when you can expect payment.
- Be aware that if your website is brand new, you will have a harder time getting approved for the larger affiliate networks. The bigger networks prefer well-established sites with a broad audience.
- If you are just getting started, you can focus on the smaller affiliate networks first, like ClickBank. When you have a little more experience under your belt, try applying to the big guys. You can also become an Amazon associate and earn money right away. Also, remember to apply for the affiliate programs of website services you use. It’s exciting to see that first dollar come in, even if it is only a dollar!
- Also, take into consideration that the big networks are not for everyone. You may want to promote just a couple of items on your website within your niche. You can do what millions of people do every day and “Google it”. Put in the google search bar the name of the product and affiliate program.
Advice for Affiliate Marketing for Beginners 💁♀️
As promised, let’s discuss some useful tips to ensure the success of your website and your potential for limitless income.
What is your goal? Do you want to earn a steady income, so you can escape the cubicle or just a little cash to save for a vacation? If you are searching for a full-time salary, be prepared to work smart and hard!
Focus on SEO (search engine optimization) and long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are a particular set of keywords that are three to seven words long. They are more focused, and you will rank better in the search engines. You can even form your phrase into a question. I know when I do a Google search, it’s usually in the form of a question.
There are SEO helps out there. SEO Press* provides SEO software and courses you can participate in to improve the success of your website. It will take some time, but full-time income may be within your reach.
Target Audience With Affiliate Links
You have heard many times when promoting products keep your audience in mind! Who are you targeting? Don’t build up just any product willy nilly, like a brand new big ‘ol chainsaw to a stay-at-home mom or a stunning designer handbag to a landscaper.
Trust and integrity are so important in gaining more of a following. If your audience trusts you, they are more likely to purchase the products you recommend and click on the links you have provided.
Research has also shown that using affiliate links in your content is much more successful than banner ads and pop-ups. You have to have a large amount of traffic for banner ads and pop-ups to make you any real income. Your audience trusts you, and that will lead to the purchase of the products you recommend.
They are not going to click on a distracting and annoying banner ad. The banners and ads detract from the trust you have worked so hard to achieve. Have you had any experience with Pinterest websites? There is nothing more annoying than landing on a website with all kinds of pop-up ads. I don’t know about you, but I leave the site immediately!
Also, due to ad-blocking software, many of your visitors will not have exposure to the ads you have placed anyway.
Disclose Your Links
Another essential component to posting affiliate links to your website is making sure you disclose that you will receive a commission on the products you promote. Let your visitors know you will be collecting personal information from them because you participate in affiliate marketing.
Quality content is imperative in promoting affiliate links. Content is where your keywords will live, so again, keep keywords in mind as you develop your subject matter. Here are a few suggestions for content you can prepare to encourage your audience to click through on affiliate links.
- Provide honest reviews of products that pertain to your niche. You should always mention the good and the bad and set realistic expectations. Your audience will respect and appreciate your honesty. Write a clear headline with the name of the product and “review” in the title.
- Share a meaningful story on what this product has done for you. It will help your audience decide if the product is right for them and could lead to a click on the link you have placed within your writeup.
- Another great way to sell a product is to produce a tutorial. You can present a post that shows how to complete a project step by step and highlight the product or service as one of the things that made you successful. For example, develop a step by step tutorial on how to make a beautiful Italian frittata for brunch next week using your new set of Pyrex baking dishes from Amazon. How about an instructional video on how to rebuild the carburetor on your ‘62 Corvette Stingray? You can promote your new tool kit from Home Depot. Sign up for the affiliate programs first!
If you are more established using email marketing can be a potent way to promote your affiliate links. It works best if you have about 1,000 followers with email addresses. Sending emails about a product you are passionate about and have an excellent reason for promoting, can prove to be very advantageous.
It also needs to be a product that converts well. That means if one of your readers clicks on the link to check out your recommendation, they will eventually buy it.
Wrapping Up 💝
Are you ready to dip your toes into the pool of affiliate marketing? We think you are!
Research the programs and find one or maybe a few that will best fit your needs. Look for the advertisers with products that fit within your niche, and where you know you can get a response from your audience.
Continue to create fresh, unique content, and very soon you will make a big splash in the Olympic size pool of affiliate marketing! To get started ask WP Buffs how you can be a part of their affiliate marketing program today! Or if you need help with site maintenance, a WordPress care plan might be better suited to your needs.
Want to give your feedback or join the conversation? Add your comments 🐦 on Twitter.