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5 things you need for starting affiliate marketing business


If you have come across business proposal of earning $100-500 per day from your home working with just a laptop and internet connection, you have most likely been approached by an affiliate marketer or network marketer. 

what is it and how people make such amount of money?

We will discuss all this in this article and more.

First thing first,

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a branch of Digital Marketing where we make money by promote others product. It is based on the power of mouth publicity.

The original producer of the product which we call Advertiser or merchant decides to share his profit on fixed commission basis with Affiliate (us) who brings sales of the product. It is a win-win situation; advertiser gets the sale while Affiliate get the Affiliate Commission.

To track sales Advertisers contract with Affiliate Networks who provide sale tracking system and affiliates to promote business.

Once we join any Affiliate Network, we get a link to promote and track sales, all we need to do to earn affiliate commission is to promote this link and bring sales.

Starting Affiliate Marketing Business

We can start our own affiliate marketing business and make decent income from it that too from the comfort of our home. But like all worldly affair, this is a not an easy task as people assumed based on deceptive advertising done by some Affiliate Marketers.

To make those $100-500 per day, we have to develop some new skills and work hard to build an audience who believe our recommendations and act on it. With consistency and dedication you can definitely make a living online with your affiliate marketing business and  live a life of financial freedom.  

To start our affiliate marketing business and be successful at it, we will need these 5 things:

1. Right Mindset

Affiliate marketing is a little different from your traditional brick and mortar business. Unlike traditional businesses, you don't see immediate results from your affiliate marketing business.

Affiliate marketing is a relationship driven business where we have to influence people's purchase decision with our recommendations and people are only going to follow our recommendation when they trust us. It takes time to build trust and we have to create value for others in the first place to begin a trusting relationship. 

We can create value for other by helping them solves their problems. For this we can create problem solving content in form of product reviews, product comparison, how-to-do videos etc. Next we need to reach the right audience who need and value our content with SEO, Paid ads and Social Media like channels and build our audience.

All this process takes time and patience. If we are not willing to build a trusting audience by creating value first, we should not enter into this business of Affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick scheme, if you don't put efforts in it you will not make money from it. Period.

2. Affiliate Product/Offer

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With the right mindset of creating value first, next we will need an affiliate product to promote. For this we join an affiliate network like Clickbank, Amazon, JVzoo etc or contact directly advertisers in our niche to join their affiliate program.

Simple type "Affiliate programs in your niche" in google and you will get some resources to begin your product research.

We should choose a product which passes following criteria:

  • The product should solve a real world problem. There are many scam products in the market which actually don't address any problem of the target audience, the sole purpose of these scam products is to make money and disappear from the market. We don't risk our reputation promoting such products.
  • Products that bring recurring commission: Products that bring monthly recurring stream of income after first sale are the ideal products to promote. This way we passive income stream for us and focus our efforts on creating more valuable content for our audience. While it is good to have recurring commission products, it is not a must. We can promote single commission product also as long as they are good and actually help buyers solve a problem.
  • Products you personally use and like: Products that you already use and have first hand experience with their quality and suitability for a specific audience is the best product to promote simply because you can share details as to how these products helped you and because you have confidence in them.  
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    Products with Good Marketing Material for affiliate: Our conversion rates as an affiliate will depend on the quality of marketing material we use to promote the product. Generally Advertisers ( merchants) provide swipe files and marketing material to promote their product, we can judge the quality of actual product with its marketing material and stay away from scammy advertisers. If we product products whose website and marketing material looks scammy, our audience will question our recommendation themselves. We don't want that.  
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    Products that pay higher commissions rate: Higher commissions give us leverage as affiliate to invest more into marketing with paid ads, content marketing etc to build our followup list. While product quality should always be the first criterion for product selection, higher commissions rates are always good to have.
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    In-demand Products: Every product in the market has a life-cycle. Advertisers spend the most money during the product launch to create hype in the market to sell more units of product. It is easier to sell the product during launch and early days. As the product gets old, it market becomes saturate. Thus either we should product that are in-demand right now or products that are evergreen by nature.
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    Products already making money for other Affiliates:  As affiliate marketers, we should be ready to learn from the mistakes of other affiliate marketers and implement success strategies of successful affiliates. Selecting products that are already making money for fellow affiliates is wise strategy as beginner affiliate marketer. Affiliate networks like Clickbank provide gravity metrics for each product on their marketplace which we can use to make an informed decision. Higher the gravity score denotes that more affiliates are making money the product. We should select products that have gravity score of 50 or more.
Starting Affiliate Marketing Business-2

For your convenience, we have built a list of best Clickbank products to promote as a newbie affiliate based on all these criteria so you can get started with the right affiliate product from the start. 

3. Right Guidance & Training

Like any other skill out there in the market, Affiliate Marketing has its learning curve. When you become affiliate marketer, you also become a copywriter, a web designer, a Facebook Advertiser, a google advertiser, a webmaster and an email marketer. 

That are too many skills to learn. But don't worry, you can master many of them in a month or two with proper Affiliate marketing guidance and training. 

A robust affiliate marketing training will clear all your doubts and take you step by step path to success and save your hundreds of dollars wasted on learning things by trial and error.

Because training is such an important part of affiliate marketing, I have written a dedicated post on best Affiliate Marketing training program.


4. Blogging Website & Sales Funnel

Whether we decide to promote affiliate products with product reviews, product comparison articles, or how-to-do articles, we will need a blogging website to organize all our content and collect visitor's contact details. 

While some people would say that we can make affiliate commission without a website, having our own blogging website not only makes us more trustworthy but also provide base for the robust strategy of using sales funnel for product promotion.

For the blogging platform, we highly recommend going for self-hosted wordpress blog because of its impressive SEO capabilities. While for web hosting SiteGround is the best option because of their proprietary cache system supercache which makes websites speed blazing fast, but if you are tight on budget you can also go for Bluehost recommended by wordpress itself.

Sales funnel is a modern affiliate marketing strategy where rather than focusing on converting a website visitor immediately, we collect his contact details and retarget the visitor with email autoresponders. 

Developing a sales funnel for product promotion brings following benefits:

  • We get chance to convince an email lead multiple times.
  • We don't look salsy to a first time visitor.
  • We can shatter a potential customer doubt with frequently asked question and relevant case studies in follow-up emails.
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    We can build a potential customer trust by sharing past customer testimonials in our follow-up emails.

Clickfunnel is the best marketing software to create a complete sales funnel in minutes and get started with building email database for affiliate campaigns. If you are unsure what Clickfunnel is and how may it help you double your affiliate marketing sales? you can read our dedicated article on Clickfunnel: The ultimate Money Making Machine

5. Email Marketing Autoresponders

Email marketing is the magic potion of affiliate marketing. If you have heard the famous adage--"The money is in the list", rest assured it is true.

Our affiliate marketing earning will directly depend on the size of our email list, larger is the size of our engaged subscriber email list, more chances we will have to convert it into affiliate sales.

Let's understand this with an example. Suppose we have a list of 3000 active subscribers and we are promoting a $10 affiliate product. With a click through rate of 5% (percentage of people who click link in a received email), we receive 150 click on our product sales page. Let's assume our conversion rate is 2%, so we make 3 sale (150*2/100) of $10 out of those 150 click.

Now if we increase our email list size to 30,000 subscriber. Keeping everything intact, we will get 1500 clicks on our sales page which translate to 30 sales (1500*2/100) of $10 product making a total of $300 affiliate sales.

The above example has clarified the importance of email list size, now lets take this example a step further. Instead of 1 email, we decided to make an email autoresponder series of 5 emails on following topics:

  • 1
    Benefits of product to the consumer
  • 2
    Case Studies of success using the product
  • 3
    Testimonials of users who have achieved success with the product
  • 4
    Frequent asked questions to shatter a potential buyer's doubts
  • 5
    Limited time offer, discount or bonus

Let suppose, instead of 5% click-through rate (CTR), we get 3% CTR on email list of 30,000 active subscribers, so for each email we get 900 clicks amounting to 4500 click (900*5 emails) on our product sales page.

With even 1% conversion rate, we will be able to make 45 sales (4500*1/100) of $10 affiliate product amounting to $450 affiliate sales. That is $150 additional sales just because of sending 5 emails instead of 1.

That is the power of Email marketing autoresponders. If we really want to maximize our earning potential from affiliate marketing, we must use Email marketing Autoresponder. Period.

About Email Marketing Software

While there are many email marketing software available in the market ranging from free to paid, it is important to understand that not all email marketing software are created equal. For Affiliate marketing we need a Email provider which has marketing automation capability like Activecampaign or Convertkit where we can create autoresponder series with behavioral triggers, so once we setup the autoresponder series, we can focus on bring more traffic.

For more traditional newsletter style email marketing Aweber is a good software. 

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About the author

Abhishek Suneri

Abhishek Suneri is the Facebook Ads & Google Ads Consultant. He helps businesses acquire new customers with Facebook ads, Google Ads, Lead Generation, Ecommerce Marketing & Content Strategy. Connect with him for a Free Facebook Ads/Google Ads Audit for your Business.