I’m going to share a secret with you…
You can make serious money online without ever creating your own product or service.
There are those who solely make a full time income by selling other people’s products and services.
This is the definition of affiliate marketing: earning a commission by promoting to your audience and persuading them to make a purchase.
I called this “Affiliate marketing for dummies” but in reality, some of the smartest people in the world make money with affiliate marketing.
In fact, affiliate marketing is one of the simplest ways to begin generating extra income because you can start immediately.
Well maybe not immediately…you still have to have an audience to sell to.
But that is something you can also begin building today. And once you have audience in place, you can start generating real commission money.
Affiliate Marketing for Dummies: What is it?
It is still one of the best examples of how effective Twitter and affiliate marketing can be.
In that example, Ed Latimore retweets a post by Joshua Lisec, a successful copywriter, that includes Ed’s affiliate link to Joshua’s copywriting guide.
When someone clicks the link and makes a purchase, Joshua makes a sale and Ed gets a commission.
In this case, Ed has done very little work aside from simply promoting the link on his own Twitter timeline.
Even better, all Ed had to do was Retweet Joshua’s tweet and boom. Clicks equal sales which equals commission money.
“Affiliate marketing for dummies: it really is that easy!”
Seriously, it doesn’t get much more basic than that.
You see affiliate marketing all over the internet. Even if you don’t realize it.
Most successful blogs or websites generate significant money through affiliate marketing.
Even this blog has affiliate links throughout it because that’s one way I monetize it.
It doesn’t stop with blogs, websites, or Twitter. Every social media platform presents an opportunity to affiliate market to an audience.
As long as you can include a link in your post or tweet or video, you have the opportunity to get people to click on it and earn you a commission.
Again, building an audience is a separate beast…there are many different ways to do it and you can click here to check out some resources to help you.
For now, lets talk about how to get started with affiliate marketing.
Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing
Lets assume you have an audience to sell to.
Honestly, thats the hardest part of making money online.
Once you have an engaged audience of a significant amount, it becomes very easy to promote and sell a product or service.
It also doesn’t matter where you interact with your audience: you can sell to your email list, you can sell with a YouTube video, or you can sell to your Facebook followers.
When people follow you, they’ve already made a small commitment based on the value you have provided them. So why wouldn’t they purchase a product or service from you?
Well one reason is because you aren’t selling something they need or want.
One key to affiliate marketing is to know what your audience is interested in.
This should be easy: you built your audience by providing them with knowledge or entertainment. Usually that knowledge or entertainment falls into very specific categories:
- Self improvement
- On and on
Whatever your “niche” is, it is likely that your audience will purchase a product or service you promote if it aligns with what content you have already provided them.
For example, one of the “niches” I write about on Twitter is selling on eBay.
So it becomes easy to understand why my followers are willing to use my affiliate link to join Products for Profit. I have already provided them with value when it comes to flipping so they know that when I promote a resellers group, they’re very likely to check it out and perhaps join.
This isn’t an exact science but for the most part, it pays to offer your audience something that lines up with what they expect from you.
You have already “pre-qualified” them with the free content you have already provided.
At times you can have success with promoting products or services that don’t necessarily line up with what your audience expects.
But here’s the key: never promote something that you haven’t actually used yourself, at least on social media.
The biggest reason people fail with affiliate marketing is they promote things they haven’t used, purchased, or had success with themselves.
Why should your followers buy something from you if you haven’t even used it?
On top of that, it always pays to be able to display some proof that whatever you’re selling actually works.
If you’re promoting an eBook about fitness, did you get visible results utilizing the information?
This is why those before and after photos are so successful.
Check out Jason’s before and after photos above. Jason has a very successful online fitness coaching business called Anyman Fitness.
Clearly, people are willing to invest in a fitness coach who can show tangible, legitimate proof of how he’s transformed his own body through his techniques.
If you purchased a course on how to build an email list, were you able to implement the lessons and begin attracting subscribers to your email list?
Social proof works best with a product or service that makes you money: if you can show tangible results of how something generated you real cash, people are going to be very intrigued.
Now perhaps you don’t have the success story to tell yet.
You can always use other people’s success to sell the product. After all, just because you haven’t fully realized success from a product doesn’t mean plenty of other people haven’t.
This works best when you can coordinate with others who have already purchased the product or with the creator him or herself. They can provide testimonials that you may be able to use yourself to promote the product.
You can also use the products or services’ actual “ratings” if they’re positive.
Now this works great on social media but what about blogging?
Blogs are a different animal in some ways.
Most websites and blogs are filled with affiliate links or ads. This is pretty standard. Unless you’re specifically promoting something throughout your blog post or website, having ads that users may or may not click on is free game.
However, success in the affiliate marketing game is the proof.
So find products or services that work and that you can implement in order to show others your results.
Where to find products and services
You may be saying “great, that all sounds good! But where do I find products or services to affiliate for?”
Yeah, makes sense.
This is titled “affiliate marketing for dummies” so I suppose I should actually tell you where to find things you can sell.
One source that I use on Twitter is Gumroad. This is a platform that many creators use to sell their products. Its a great platform because its very easy to use and you can get your product or service posted quickly.
Gumroad has become a hub for entrepreneurs and creators to sell their products.
It also makes it extremely easy to add people as affiliates.
Best of all, there are plenty of products where the creator encourages you to become an affiliate.
It’s a win/win for them: when you make an affiliate sale, they still cash a check and you did all the work.
While some creators will directly state how you can become an affiliate, sometimes you just have to ask.
Again it helps if you actually had success with the product or service.
There are also plenty of websites specifically for affiliate marketing.
Here are the most popular:
- Amazon Affiliates Program
- Aweber Email Marketing
- CJ Affiliate
- JVZoo Marketplace
- Target Affiliate Program
You can sign up for these programs and then find products that you apply to be an affiliate for.
Here’s a great breakdown of some of the top affiliate programs for 2020:
Another great feature?
Many membership and subscription groups also offer affiliate programs.
What’s better than passive income but recurring passive income.
Its a monthly subscription ($25). So when someone joins the group with my affiliate link, I make a recurring commission over the lifetime of their membership.
That means I make a 50% commission every month for every person who joins through my affiliate link.
This adds up!
Affiliate Marketing for Dummies: Final words
Now you can begin building your audience and find products or services you can sell to them.
What’s the best part about affiliate marketing?
It costs zero to begin.
Really you don’t need to invest any capital…just build your audience via social media, blog, or website and then promote services that you have used successfully or products you enjoy.
It is also very easy to integrate affiliate marketing into your platform.
I mentioned how most blogs are monetized.
Most influencers on Instagram and Tik Tok promote products directly in return for a commission or set fee.
So start building your audience and the opportunities are limitless.