This is a beginner’s guide on how to start affiliate marketing in 2020. When you start to research affiliate marketing, it can seem like everyone and their dog is earning a ton of money just lying around by the pool with their laptop!
The thing is, if you want to start affiliate marketing in 2020 and get to this stage, it’s not actually as easy as some make out. I want to be real with you, as I think a lot of people online are not and promote affiliate marketing as a ‘get rich quick’ scheme and that you can be financially free in a matter of months.
Truthfully, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online for anyone, but it does take hard work, dedication and a never give up attitude. Whether you’re a stay at home mum, an office worker looking to break free, an aspiring digital nomad, a blogger or anyone else in-between, affiliate marketing is a great way to add another passive income stream to your life.
If you’re still interested after reading all of the above, let’s take a look at how you can start affiliate marketing in 2020.
Why Start Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a simple business model that is a win win situation for the owner of a product and the affiliate marketer. An affiliate marketer helps the owner of a product get more sales and the affiliate marketer makes a commission from getting sales through their affiliate link.
It’s likely that you are interested, skilled or super passionate about one type of product or a course you’ve taken? Why not tell other people about this super awesome product or thing and make money for doing so?
Do you have a blog or website for your business?
Are you active on social media regularly?
Is there a particular niche or sub-niche you know a lot about or are particularly passionate about?
If you said yes to one or all of these questions above, you could start affiliate marketing in 2020 to make passive income and eventually scale it to a full-time business.
You can start affiliate marketing if;
- You want to break free from the 9-5 grind of your day job
- You dream of starting your own online business
- You are happy with your job but you’d also like an extra passive income stream
- You dream of travelling as a digital nomad and want to make money online
- You’re a stay at home Mum
- You are retired and want to bump up your pension
- You just want to work from home and be your own boss
The Benefits of Starting an Affiliate Marketing Business
Affiliate marketing can be extremely beneficial as a side hustle and can even turn into a full-time lucrative career if you have the grit to stick at it and take the required action.
Some high ticket affiliate programmes will pay you anywhere between 50-80% of the sale and some are recurring. Once you set up your affiliate marketing business and start promoting a proven product to the right niche, you can build a thriving, repeatable and scalable income.
- It can be lucrative and scalable
- You can start for a minimal cost or even zero cost
- No expertise is required, you can be the relatable beginner sharing your journey
- Once you do the work up front, you can make commissions even while you sleep
- It gives you an independent, flexible work life
- You don’t even need to create your own product to make money
- Promotion of your chosen product can be done on free social media sites
How to Start Affiliate Marketing in 2020
Now you know why you should start affiliate marketing and the benefits you can get from this business model, let’s take a look at the steps you need to take to get started.
- Invest in Your Knowledge
While it’s entirely possible to find free information on the big world of the internet, I cannot stress enough how much difference it makes when you actually invest your cold, hard cash on a mentor or course.
The learning curve can be long and steep when starting an affiliate marketing business. Learning from a mentor who has made all the mistakes and got the exact blueprint to get where you want to be will shorten the time it takes you to get to success.
Free information can often be outdated and made by someone who hasn’t actually had the success they make out.
When you invest your money in a course, it will drive you to take action, to not give up at the first setback and to work as much as you can so you don’t waste your investment. Having money in the game means when those thoughts of just ‘watching Netflix and chill’ hit, instead of writing that blog post, you’ll get your bum in gear and do the work!
- Choose A Niche
Before you even choose a product, you need to choose a niche that you are passionate about, have used or at least have some skill in that certain area.
Affiliate marketing works best when you choose one area to work in and position yourself as an expert. If you try to sell anything and everything, this will not make people trust you and buy from you.
Another thing to consider is; is there money to be made in that niche? While I’m an advocate of following your passion, if you’re never going to make money, you may need to think out the box slightly (unless of course you don’t need the money?)
An idea is to look into sub niches. So if your passion is sharks for example – there might not be a lot of money to make around that topic with affiliate marketing. Maybe you could look into promoting a digital marine biology course online or some tools marine biologists might need.
This is an extreme example, but hopefully you can see what I mean!
But, if you want to get into the most profitable niches, these are health, wealth and relationships. Everyone wants to be healthy, everyone wants to be wealthy and everyone wants that great relationship!
You don’t have to worry about these niches being saturated, as there is always going to be demand for products in these areas. Also, even as a beginner you can make money up against the marketers with big social media followings. You just need to know how to create an irresistible offer.
- Find an Affiliate Product to Promote
There are a few different ways to find great affiliate products to promote;
- Search big affiliate networks like ClickBank, JVZoo and ShareASale
- Become an affiliate for a private affiliate programme
I personally believe in being an ethical affiliate and only promote products I use myself. This is why my preferred method is to use private affiliate programmes. They also usually pay the largest commissions between 50-80% of the sale.
For example, I’m a student of my mentor’s course; Secret Affiliate Marketing Hacks. And after going through the training I’ve become an affiliate for his course, as I believe it’s the best out there and will change anyone’s life if they’re willing to put the work in.
I can be 100% sure this product will give anyone who buys it massive amounts of value.
If you’d prefer going down the affiliate network route, make sure you do your research. After clicking on the marketplace in ClickBank, click on a category of products and check them out.
You can sort them by popularity and check;
- The product has a high average sale price so you make a good amount per sale
- The gravity score s high. The higher it is, the better it is selling
- Click on the product to check it has a professional sales page. This is what the customer will see initially you want it to be good
- Click on the affiliate page link to see what the affiliate structure is like, what promotional tools they give you and what other affiliates are saying about the product.
Remember whatever you decide to sell, will be a reflection on your reputation for the rest of your career. Make sure its proven, has great reviews and it will get awesome results for your customers.
- Decide on a Traffic Channel to Promote Your Product
There are different ways you can start affiliate marketing in 2020 and begin promoting your product. One way is to build yourself a niche website and start adding valuable content into the blog section that will give value to your customers.
Make sure your website is easy to navigate and has a fast loading time so you don’t lose potential customers.
Increase the SEO of your website by including inbound and outbound links, optimise your website for mobile, insert and improve your metadata, make your articles informative and keyword rich and install a WordPress plugin like Yoast SEO which will analyse each article to improve SEO.
The good thing is, it’s not essential to have a website to start affiliate marketing. Other avenues to promote your affiliate products for free are;
- YouTube. Video content is fast over taking the written word and is going to continue to grow in popularity. Starting a niche channel around your product is a great way to go. Over 5 billion videos are watched a day on YouTube alone!
- Facebook. This giant is still one of the most popular out there and is a great way to connect with potential customers and build your own brand page and group. You will find most niches in a group somewhere on Facebook and by connecting and providing value to them, you can potentially get them interested in what you’re selling.
- Instagram. This platform is another way to connect with customers in your niche. Work on building up your following here with great images, interesting text, stories and funnel people through the link in your bio to your product.
- Twitter. Another big player in the social media game, Twitter is a great way to show off what you do/what you’re selling. Post valuable and inspiring content and chat to potential customers.
- Other platforms to consider using; LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, SnapChat and Reddit depending on your target demographic.
- Start Producing Informative, Engaging Content Consistently
Once you have your product, niche and chosen traffic channel, you have to start producing content that will position you as an expert in that area.
The key here is to be consistent and produce content in the form of videos, blog posts or social media posts daily. This will build your brand and attract potential customers to you.
Some ideas are; review posts. This could be in the form of a video or written post, talking about a product or service in your niche that will be useful for your customers.
Another way is to write informative blog posts that address your niche markets pain points, issues or common problems. How to posts, list posts and long form guides do well here.
Creating free informational giveaways is another useful way to educate your audience and to get them onto your email list.
Building an email list is essential to use as another way to keep in touch with your tribe and put your offers in front of them. Ideas are; an e-book, a PDF, a mini video series, a free planner sheet or mini email course.
Backlinko does a great job of this below.
- Connect with Your Audience and Have Real Conversations
After creating your content, you should be promoting it on your social media channels. This should get people to follow you naturally if your content is excellent.
Also, you can go into other groups in your niche on Facebook and Reddit to be helpful and engage. Post informative posts, answer questions and talk to people. If you help people, they will check out your profile and want to know more.
People buy from people and if you show you’re human, actually help people out without just trying to sell to them, they will eventually see you as the answer to their problems and ask you what you have to offer.
Other ways you can connect with your audience are;
- Writing on high-traffic sites like Medium. This platform gets over 60 billion unique views a month! If you start to write informative content on here regularly, you will be able to connect with more people in your niche.
- Answering questions on sites like Quora. Reportedly, around 3,000-5,000 questions get asked on this site daily. Look up questions in your niche and show what you know! Afterwards, you can point people to your product or social media with a link at the end of a post or on your bio.
- Run a challenge or promotion. Who doesn’t like a challenge and if you’re in an industry where you are helping people in some way like wealth building, people need to be pushed to take action sometimes. Good ideas are; a 7-day live video challenge, connect with 20 new people a day challenge or make your first sale in 30 days – all ways to push people out of their comfort zone which is what they might not do on their own.
- Send out emails regularly. Email marketing isn’t dead, it’s still an important part of running and building a business. Your email list is the only online asset you actually really own, social media accounts and blogs can inadvertently get shut down, with no explanation and all your hard work and leads lost!
I hope you can see from this guide that starting affiliate marketing in 2020 is simple, but you need to have the right work ethic. It can be started for free, but building a profitable online business certainly isn’t free from effort.
You need to lay the foundations of your affiliate marketing business, keep building your digital assets (content) brick by brick, engage and give value to people and NEVER give up!