Wondering how to become an affiliate marketer? I started off looking for ways to earn a little extra money from the internet. For me, it started with the auction site eBay. After a while I learned that it wasn’t going to be for me. I wanted something which could be automated and scaled. Plus, I also was fed up of carting stock around my flat, and queuing at the post office.

The business model I was using for eBay had no way of being scaled up or automated and it relied on me doing the work continuously. Although I was selling to a global audience and using the internet to make money, I wanted something else which could maximise the potential of the internet for making money.

how to become an affiliate marketer

How To Become An Affiliate Marketer

I didn’t know about affiliate marketing at this point. I had no clue how to become an affiliate marketer either, nor did I want to be one particularly. However, I had bought my eBay ‘system’ from eBay as a downloadable type product. This business model struck me as so simple and wonderful!

how to become an affiliate marketer

It was an automated eBook which could be purchased over the internet from anywhere globally. What was even better was that the owner didn’t even have to send anything out or personally oversee the transaction. It was automated. I struggled trying to sell my own eBooks for a while but eventually came across affiliate marketing after purchasing a course which taught me how to market my own eBooks. I was sold!

Affiliate marketing, as you are no doubt aware, is a method of selling other people’s products over the internet. I quickly discarded my own eBooks in favour of some better digital products which were already selling.

Sell Digital Or Physical Products?

Anyone can sell digital (or physical) products over the internet. Simply sign up to Amazon, Clickbank.com, eBay or one of the many affiliate programs out there. Then, get your affiliate link and start sharing it on the web! Amazon is the largest company offering an affiliate program. However, there’s a few things you should be aware of before throwing yourself into a program.

I struggled for years with this business model and attempted many dubious courses promising me the world, to no avail. It was only when I started understanding the various different business models, that I began to make some solid progress. Knowledge is power when it comes to learning anything. Invest in yourself.

Some Key Facts

Not all affiliate products offer the same commissions. For example, digital products pay out much larger commissions because they are digital products. They don’t have any storage costs or postage costs. Once they’re produced, there’s no manufacturing costs either. This means the savings (and profits) can be passed on to the affiliate marketers who make the sale. If you sell a physical product from Amazon you can earn from 1-10% commission depending on the item. (See chart below and check with Amazon for latest figures). If you sell digital products, you can earn 40% commissions on them. This is obviously much better, given the same rate of sales. 

Digital Products Can Also Offer Ongoing Commissions

Another key point to know is that many digital products offer ongoing commissions for a single sale. This was a total game changer for me. I was busy trying to sell low commission physical products long before I knew about this. After all my hard work I was making 1% commissions on items when I could have done the same amount or a similar amount of work for much greater rewards if I knew which products to choose. Products like:

  • Software products: (Autoresponders), Hosting Providers, Plug-ins, WordPress themes etc.
  • Memberships: Website membership areas/Training resources

An ongoing commission is obviously far better than a single commission. For each customer, you’re going to make a regular income, not just a single commission. As your customer base grows, your income grow alongside it. This makes your business model much more sustainable.

How To Become An Affiliate Marketer?

how to become an affiliate marketer

I know, I know, the title says “How to become an affiliate marketer”. But anyone can become an affiliate marketer just by signing up to an affiliate program, grabbing their affiliate link and pasting it around a social media platform. I spent years following many step by step programs which told me to build websites, paste my links and so and so forth. However, it was the knowledge which changed things for me, not the technical know-how. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can set up a website and you’ll immediately have an income coming in. That’s what I believed at first. Here’s a few other misconceptions I had about affiliate marketing too:

  • Throwing up a website meant everyone could see it
  • I thought just by getting traffic to my website I would make sales
  • After a short while I would be able to retire to the Caribbean
  • I believed in the ‘set it and forget it’ online sales machine

Websites Are Invisible

Sorry to put a downer on everything, but if you really want to know how to become an affiliate marketer, a few home truths will help you take on the task. When I started building websites I thought I could just throw up a website and it would suddenly get traffic and make sales. In reality, I was the only one looking at it. I spent far too long making it look pretty, and far too little time on making it profitable.

Traffic Doesn’t Equal Sales

That’s right traffic doesn’t necessarily equal sales. It depends on a number of factors whether your website visitors actually buy from you. Remember, the internet isn’t a massive shopping mall. It’s an information gathering resource. Most people are looking for information. Putting the right information on your website is a key skill and will determine what kind of visitors you attract to your website.

It also determines how well Google will place you in their search engine rankings. For ages I thought any traffic was buying traffic, so I put any old content on my site. Your traffic needs to be intent driven buying traffic. Most won’t buy anyway from you, because they’re just looking for information. Get the wrong type of visitors and you’ll never make any sales however much traffic you get!

how to become an affiliate marketer

Also, people don’t buy from people they don’t know. Most successful affiliate marketers build lists of subscribers and they build relationships over time. When your subscribers know, like and trust you, they’re more likely to purchase something from you based on your recommendation.

I’m Not Yet Basking In The Caribbean

Sadly I’m not yet basking in the sun, counting my money – although I’m much further along the path than I previously was. I spent a long time working in the wrong direction and working alone making all the mistakes I’m sharing here! If you join an online training and education platform, and put your education first as a priority, you’ll avoid making the same mistakes as I have done. You can also access a community of online business owners and learn directly from those who have already succeeded here.

The Set It And Forget It Sales Machine

Working in an online business makes huge sense to me. The power of digital products combined with automation is just to tasty an opportunity to miss. Although the ‘set it and forget it’ model does exist, there’s a lot of work to do before you get to that place. With digital products and automation, it’s entirely possible to create a near autopilot money making machine. The fastest way to do this is with a ready made sales funnel and pay per click advertising. Once everything is in place, you still need to run adverts into the sales funnel and test and measure your advertising. It could be very easy to burn through a budget without getting any customers by making some small mistake. Again, knowledge is the most important factor in getting it right.

How To Become An Affiliate Marketer

Anyone can become an affiliate marketer just by signing up to an affiliate program and pasting their link on a website. This doesn’t make them a successful affiliate marketer! In fact many businesses fail in their first five years and affiliate marketing is no different. The ease of entry to affiliate marketing probably means there’s a higher failure rate than most businesses. But this is also because people rush into it after having seen some hyped up promises which of course always fails to deliver!

If you’re wondering how to become an affiliate marketer, and are serious about becoming a successful affiliate marketer, checkout my article on why affiliate marketing does not work.

Access a free video series and learn how to build your own successful online business using:

  • Digital products (40% commissions)
  • Up-sells (benefit for later sales closed to your existing customers by a built in sales team)
  • Multi-Tier Sales (Depending on your placement in a business system)
  • Subscription Products (Benefit from on-going memberships)
  • High Ticket items (let you earn more per sale and scale up more easily)