In today’s post, we’ll slay some myths and reveal the truth about how to make money from affiliate programs. Beginners often have misconceptions that can undermine success as an affiliate marketer because myths continue to surround the industry.
So, we’ll do some debunking and provide clarification to replace some of the crazier notions. You’re in the right place if you’re eager to get your questions answered in an honest and straightforward fashion.
Affiliate marketers earn anywhere from a few hundred dollars a month to hundreds of thousands of dollars in income. Sadly, there are also people who’ve never earned anything because they either failed to get any training or they didn’t have the right mindset to achieve success.
I can help you with some excellent and very affordable training. But the proper mindset and motivation to succeed online is something you either bring to the table or you don’t.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the affiliate environment, shall we?
The Affiliate Marketing Players and How Affiliate Marketing Works
Affiliate marketing is a pretty simple concept that’s all about promoting other people’s stuff for a fee. There are at least 3 players involved in every affiliate marketing transaction – a consumer, an affiliate, and a vendor – with a possible fourth, an affiliate network.
Many companies have products or services to sell and they need to get the word out. The more exposure they get in the marketplace, the better their sales are likely to be. Hence, they use commissions as a form of revenue sharing to entice affiliates.
Not everyone has a product to sell but there are multiple products we all use in our everyday lives that we can choose to promote. When our referrals make a purchase, affiliates earn a fee. Ultimately, it’s consumers who keep the affiliate marketing wheel turning.
The infographic below describes the affiliate marketing process pretty well.
Replacing Affiliate Marketing Fiction With Facts
It’s now time for slaying a few of those myths because I want my readers to walk into affiliate marketing with their eyes wide open and not be hampered by rampant falsehoods. We’ll address three of the most egregious myths.
Myth #1 – Affiliate Marketing is Easy
Not true! I like to describe the process of affiliate marketing as simple but not easy and I believe the distinction is significant. By simple, I mean it’s not complicated and anyone can grasp the requirements.
Naturally, you need some training as you would for anything that’s entirely new. But understanding the fundamentals is not a problem. What is a big problem is when people jump in thinking they’re not going to have to work and they’re going to instantly start making money while they sleep.
Successful Internet marketing entails building a website and then filling it with quality content. Bloggers research and write articles for a target audience that has a lot of general information and product-related questions. I love blogging but content creation is real work!
Myth #2 – Posting Affiliate Links Can Quickly Make You Rich
The truth is that those affiliate marketers who persist will continue to blog consistently for at least 6 months or even a year before they earn any significant income. It’s like a rite of passage. You have to build trust with both an audience and the search engines before you start to see regular traffic.
Once you have traffic, it’s a completely different story. There are many ways to monetize a traffic-generating blog. But you have to have the motivation and patience to power through the lonely months of blogging in obscurity. The Internet is littered with abandoned blogs started by folks who became disillusioned.
Mind you, the slow months early in the life of your online business aren’t much different than what any small brick and mortar startup experiences. But we’ve heard crazy tales of overnight riches in the online space and we want the Internet to be different.
Myth #3 – Getting Started Online is Expensive
This last falsehood is one that prevents a lot of people from taking the plunge even though they love the idea of working from home. Online barriers to entry are actually very low if you find the right platform. I spend less than $1 per day for all the resources I need to operate my business.
Heck, I spend more than that on my latte habit! 🙂
5 Affiliate Programs for Beginners
Let’s look at some of the top affiliate program choices for beginners to get started with. Once you’ve created some great content on your website and you’re ready to start recommending products to your readers, it’s critical that you promote reputable brands.
Beginners can’t go wrong with one or more of the selections on this list. Signing up for an affiliate program is always free and it’s typically a quick and easy process. I do recommend that you wait until you have ten or twelve articles first. My reasoning is that most companies will want to check out your site before approving you to ensure your content is appropriate.
Amazon is an e-commerce behemoth that has become a household name since it’s early creation in Jeff Bezos’ garage back in 1995. The retailer’s signature a to z logo gives a pretty good picture of the breadth of product offerings. With a trusted name and a few hundred thousand inventory items to choose from, Amazon is a good choice for pretty much any niche.
How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m sure you can pick that up on Amazon”? Moreover, those of us who have an Amazon Prime membership are even more likely to go the Amazon route, aren’t we? After all, we know we can have it in 2 days without the hefty shipping charges!
Affiliate commissions range from 4% to 10% depending on the product category. What’s also nice is the 24-hour cookie duration. If a referral follows a link on your site to Amazon, you will earn a commission on anything site wide that they purchase in the subsequent 24 hour period.
Check out this post for instructions on how to become an Amazon Associate.
Walmart is another super retailer with total name recognition, tremendous product selection, and good value. Affiliates can earn up to 4% on eligible referral transactions. As with many organizations, Walmart uses an affiliate network (LinkShare) to administer its affiliate program.
Here’s a helpful FAQs page where you can discover more information about Walmart’s affiliate program or sign up. Walmart has a 3-day cookie duration which is helpful in the case of consumers who are initially undecided but then come back and buy. Know that they also have special promotions where you can earn higher fees.
Target is another company that everyone recognizes and trusts. They have a somewhat unique program in that they offer commissions on a sliding-scale basis depending on the number of products your referrals purchase in a given month.
Here’s their current commission schedule for your reference.
Target offers affiliates a 7-day cookie duration meaning you get credit for any sale that occurs within the first 7 days of a referral clicking your link. They use the Impact network and you can sign up for an affiliate account here.
Flex Offers is one example of an affiliate network that you might consider joining. While they’re not the largest network, Flex Offers is growing and now partners with almost 12,000 merchants. Once you join the network, you can apply to any associated vendor.
This network works with Macy’s, Kohl’s, True Value Hardware, GNC, Petco, and Callaway Golf just to name a few entities you’re probably familiar with. Commissions will vary for each merchant but you can sign up as a Flex Offer publisher here.
Wealthy Affiliate (WA) is a premier platform designed for beginner and successful Internet marketers alike. They offer a unique Online Entrepreneur Certification program that includes training in essentials like search engine optimization and social media marketing.
Additionally, WA offers a tool chest of resources that is second to none. Quite literally, they provide all the resources you need to launch a website and skyrocket to online success, And the really cool thing is that anyone can try out all aspects of the program for a full 7 days without having to provide anything more than an email address.
Now, that’s confidence!
I’m including Wealthy Affiliate in this list of top affiliate programs for beginners because they have one of the most lucrative affiliate programs on the Internet with a lifetime cookie and recurring commission schedule. And every member is assigned an affiliate link whether you’re a long-time premium member like myself or a free Starter Member.
Consider getting some solid training with WA that will have you on your way and learning how to make money from affiliate programs. Hopefully. you’re now ready to stop believing or spreading affiliate marketing myths. Instead, let’s embrace the myriad opportunities in this industry for making a steady income from home.
Finding the right affiliate programs can sometimes feel overwhelming when you’re just starting out. So, you may want to select one or more of the choices on my list. The big advantage to that approach is sticking with companies and brands that you recognize and trust.
Over to You
Are there affiliate programs you have a keen interest in partnering with? Please share your thoughts and ideas on how to make money from affiliate programs in the comment section below. And, don’t hesitate to ask your questions. I respond to all comments and it’s my pleasure to help!