First things first: What is affiliate marketing? In my opinion, it’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to earn money online: You just have to recommend a product or a service with a link (the so-called “affiliate link”) that contains your personal tracking code. If anyone who clicks on that link purchases what you are promoting, you’ll earn a sales commission. The percentage you get per affiliate program varies from company to company.

Make money with affiliate marketing
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links with NO cost to you.

But how does it work? How can the company you’re promoting know that it was your link they clicked – and not somebody else’s? Well, when you hit on an affiliate link, your computer will save a cookie which will be triggered once you make a purchase.

How long do those cookies last? It depends on the company. You’ll find cookies which last 24 hours, a couple of months or years! Something important for you to figure out is who gets the commission: Is it the last click? In that case, you’ll be fighting over the last time someone clicks on a link before they buy, so you wanna make sure you lead your audience to “hit and buy”.

However, there are some companies that reward the first link ever clicked. If someone hits on your link but doesn’t buy, you might get surprised a couple of months (or years!) later.

You never know if people didn’t buy because they weren’t interested, or because it wasn’t the best timing. But that can change. And you’ll get your commission the moment they buy. So if you join their affiliate program, you’d better promote them the whole year round πŸ˜‰

How Fast Can You Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?

Fast. As fast as it goes, but there are a couple of factors to consider:

  • Do you have an audience? “Audience” means readers or visitors to your page. You need at least a network where you can share the products or services you want to make money with. Most seasoned bloggers will tell you that – if you haven’t enough traffic (that is, enough visitors to your site) – you shouldn’t be worrying about monetizing yet. And it makes sense: The more people who visit your site, the more chances there are for someone to click on your affiliate link.
    • However, you can start using affiliate links from the very first minute. You won’t have many chances to make money at the beginning, but those links don’t expire, so what do you have to lose, right?
    • That being said, you should start creating content ASAP. If you want to get consistent traffic – aka affiliate income -, you’d rather write the most valuable content ever!
  • What subject are you dealing with? Is it home decor or crafting? Then you’ll have a higher chance to earn money through affiliate marketing. Why? Because people reading your guides will be willing to find out the exact tools or materials you used. And this “finding out” takes place after hitting on your affiliate link. Got it?
  • How saturated is your market? If your affiliate marketing strategy consists of promoting the services most bloggers are promoting to other bloggers… You’ll have to wait a bit more to make money.
    • Use your creativity to stand out from other bloggers. Offer free mini-courses, free challenges or your guidance to a high–value course you’ve already taken. Show you’re willing to help!
What is affiliate marketing? If you'd like to make money online with affiliate marketing, check out this blog post about affiliate marketing strategies for beginners, both for bloggers and for people without a blog. #affiliatemarketingforbeginners #affiliatemarketingstragies #passiveincome #borntofreelance

How Can You Start Earning Money with Affiliate Marketing?

  • First, create content. We already covered that, but that’s the first move you gotta make πŸ˜‰
  • Make sure you only promote those products, tools or services you really believe in. The kind of thing you’d recommend to your friends and family for free. And if those products don’t offer affiliate commissions, promote them anyway! You want to offer the best value to your audience, right?
  • Take advantage of seasonal posts! You can’t promote Christmas cookies on Summer, just saying. Try to get into your audience’s minds before they do. So you know Christmas is coming, right? And before Christmas, Thanksgiving AND Black Friday. What does it mean? First, you know most people are getting into a shopping mode. Second, that they aren’t likely to be spending much money before Black Friday – we all prefer bargains, right? – nor are they going to be willing to buy anything after the Christmas shopping rave is over. So take that to your advantage.
    • You know that this is going to happen every single year. So plan in advance. And if your strategy doesn’t work, don’t wait until next year – start planning right away! Google and Pinterest love planners πŸ˜‰
    • The same happens in Summer, where everybody is looking for travel deals, summer clothing, outdoor activities or garden furniture. And what about the back-to-school weeks?
    • You’ve seen it your whole life at physical shops, online stores and almost everywhere – Right after the shelves take leave of the last pumpkins, you’ll see Christmas decorations everywhere! In January, the first Valentine cards start popping up in every corner, and so on and so forth.
    • So now it’s your turn to get ahead of your audience and promote before they even start thinking of the season yet to come!
  • Now, you may be wondering where you can get the affiliate links with your personal tracking code, right? Well, you just have to sign up for an affiliate program – which can be as easy as filling up a form where you’re required to leave your name, website URL and your payment details to get your commission!

How Do You Find Affiliate Partners?

There are different types of affiliate partners:

  1. Other bloggers or solopreneurs. This is probably the most profitable option, as other bloggers can offer up to 40% of the product price in commissions!
    • Ask them directly for their affiliate program, especially if you’ve already completed the course or purchased the product you’d like to promote.
    • So think of any books, courses, or tools you’ve used that you’d like to recommend.
    • The only setback here is that selling an unknown blogger’s products might get harder than most established brands’.
    • Feel free to join the Work for You Partner Program and start your affiliate journey!
Join the Work for You Partner Program
  1. Small companies specialized in offering products and services created by bloggers, like Ultimate Bundles. Their specialty is creating bundles of different kinds of products for an incredible price. They work extremely close with bloggers who promote their products, and you can even sell your own ebooks or courses through their bundles! If you’d like to join their affiliate program, fill out this form.
  2. Companies that offer an affiliate program to sell their products or services.
    • The percentage can also get relatively high, and your advantage here is that you’re promoting a more seasoned brand, whose marketing efforts may even benefit you!
    • Once again, just make sure to promote ONLY those products and services that you know and love. Otherwise, the harm can be bigger than the financial benefits, so it’s really not worth it.
    • Some of the affiliate partners I love (and yes, these are affiliate links 🀫):
  3. Affiliate networks. These are companies that offer a connection to many affiliate programs. Not all of them are easy to join if you haven’t enough traffic, but they’re very practical if you want to manage all your affiliates from one and the same place. Two of the most popular – and easy to join – are:

Can I Make Money with Affiliate Marketing Even Without a Blog or Website?

Most affiliate partners want you to have a blog or website – mostly because they want to make sure that you aren’t using their brand name with an inappropriate approach.

However, there are companies who also offer referral programs to people without blogs or websites, like Siteground, for instance.

Can You Really Make Passive Income with Affiliate Marketing?

Yes and no. It depends on what you understand under “passive income.” If you think you’re going to insert a link somewhere and get rich, think again! I mean, you could get lucky with a viral post where everybody clicks around, but that’s not always likely to happen πŸ˜‰

Creating a good affiliate marketing strategy requires work. I recommend you to stick to a couple of trustworthy affiliate partners instead of trying to get a couple of cents from everywhere. In this way, you’ll be able to focus better on your partners.

Keep in mind that your affiliate partners will most likely create special events, discounts and campaigns at specific times during the year. So make sure you leave some time free in your calendar to have some time to dedicate to these events, as you’ll be both profiting from more marketing assests and you’ll be able to offer discounts to your audience. Remember, they are the ones you’re doing it all for, so make sure you offer them valuable products & services!

Also, make sure you don’t overwhelm your readers with too many emails about affiliate offers. A good rule of thumb is joining an affiliate campaign once a month max. That’s why you should try to stick to the best – but few – affiliate partners.

Recap on Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

I hope you don’t feel overwhelmed at so much info! You’ll find it really easy once you start searching for affiliate partners (or they’ll even approach you, you’ll see!).

These are the steps you need to follow to start a successful affiliate strategy:

  1. Create valuable content.
  2. Find an audience.
  3. Make a list of books, services and tools you’ve used that you’d like to recommend, and find out if they offer affiliate programs.
  4. Select the best affiliate partners – those you’re most comfortable with – and map out your strategy!

Think of affiliate marketing as a way for you to get a small profit while you recommend your audience some valuable content you would recommend anyway. Sounds like a deal, right?

If you’d like to find out more ways to monetize your blog, check out this post on how to earn money blogging, where you’ll also find out why I love affiliate marketing!

Alicia RG
xoxo - Born to Freelance
Born to Freelance

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