When people are looking to make an extra income they often wonder “How to learn affiliate marketing for beginners” – this is probably because they'd heard affiliate marketing bandied about as an easy way to make money online.
What is affiliate marketing and how does it work?
If you need it you can read a more detailed description of affiliate marketing here,
Most people finding this article will have a basic understanding of affiliate marketing, but briefly it's when you sell a someone else's product and, as a reward, take a share of their profits. For example with a 50% commission affiliate product, the product creator would earn 50% of the profits as the reward for creating the product, and the affiliate would earn the other 50% for finding the customer.
Both of those are difficult!
I tried to create my own digital product, spent months on it and then belatedly discovered there were far better products already created that I could have been an affiliate for and earned 50% of the profit without the hassle of creating the product.
Two of the best known affiliate platforms are: Amazon – needs no introduction from me! And for digital products, Clickbank.
So – for a beginner looking to make money online – I recommend that you learn affiliate marketing before you attempt to learn the multitude of skills required for product creation. Because even when your product is ready you then have to attempt to sell it.
Can you teach yourself affiliate marketing?
You might think you can learn affiliate marketing by trial and error – and that's what I tried to do. After all – there were these flashy adverts telling me how easy it is when I buy a $9.95 push-button tool. But I soon found that, for a beginner, finding customers for a product is just as hard as creating the product. Maybe even more difficult! I created my digital product but didn't sell enough to cover the costs of creation.
So it is still a better plan to learn affiliate marketing (selling the products) because the customer-finding skills you learn as an affiliate marketer will stand you in good stead if you still have the burning desire to create your own product.
You'll also learn the ‘dirty secrets' behind affiliate marketing that the top gurus don't want you to know!
How do I become an affiliate marketer?
One way is to open an affiliate account at Amazon, pick a product you like, start spraying your link around and hey-presto you're an affiliate marketer – but probably a very unsuccessful one.
On top of knowing the best way to select a product, then find visitors to your chosen product, you need to consider factors such as what commission rate you'll earn, and how long you are ‘cookied' onto a product.
What are affiliate cookies?
When is a cookie a ‘bad thing'?
This is probably one of the most important things to learn about when you become an affiliate marketer.
Roughly translated, an affiliate cookie indicates how many days YOU will be remembered as the person to whom the profit should be credited if the customer doesn't buy on first visiting the product.
At the time of writing the Amazon cookie only stays with you for 24 hrs – so Amazon affiliates can only earn commission from sales that take place within 24 hours after users have clicked on the affiliate link. That's not long if someone finds an expensive product via your link, but has to wait until pay-day before they can afford it. Your cookie will be long expired.
Other possibilities are:
- ‘First touch cookie' – the first person to send a visitor to the product always wins the profit if a sale is made
- ‘Last touch cookie' – the last ‘referrer' wins the profit
There are too many other ‘wrinkles' you need to know for me to go into them here. I learned them the hard way, in the ‘University of Hard Knocks'
To save yourself time and the cost of making expensive mistakes you really need to learn by taking a course from someone who is a successful affiliate marketer – and I'm not talking about me with a few thousand dollars of sales to my name. I'm talking about a course produced by one of the top affiliate marketers in the UK.
What are the best affiliate marketing courses for beginners?
I've tried several – some were good, some were too expensive for me to try, and some I tried and found they were completely out-dated.
One seemed very promising but then the course provider suddenly stopped producing / updating the course and we were all left high and dry. Luckily it wasn't expensive $200 from memory – which is enough to lose, but I did learn some useful things.
Shortly I will come onto telling you about the best affiliate marketing training I have found. And it's free – so don't go anywhere.
Can you make money from affiliate marketing?
I am 100% sure you can – because I have done so. Furthermore the group I have joined is full of other people who have made money from affiliate marketing. Some are full-time, others are part-time.
Some people had never made a dollar online before. We're all encouraged to post our earnings as proof, and to encourage people new to the group. There are so many proof of earnings posts you couldn't fake it.
BUT – the group and the training it contains dispels all thoughts of ‘magic money'.
Make no mistake – affiliate marketing is a business. You will only make money in affiliate marketing by investing time or money in your business.
Can I learn affiliate marketing for free?
Hopefully I have persuaded you not to repeat my multitude of mistakes and try to ‘learn it myself'.
But – yes! You can learn affiliate marketing for free in the group I recommend HERE.
So, not only am I giving away the training, and the full back-office that holds it all together – you will also be given rewards, including commission into your account at various stages of the training to encourage you to complete it.
The training explains affiliate marketing as succinctly as possible for a subject that's far more complex than I ever imagined, and you will be taken step-by-step through the process of what you need to do to earn money with affiliate marketing.
Some will find the training too long and not finish it. That's fine. Their motivation wasn't strong enough. But they didn't pay anything for it, so they can't feel aggrieved.
What about “The money is in the list?”
One of the ways to make money online is from a list of subscribers who will buy affiliate products you contact them about. Over and over again, if you ‘do it right'.
But first you need to build that list of subscribers. The free training covers list building and email marketing too.
Originally when I started out online I just wanted do email marketing. But building the list is slow if you use ‘free' methods, such as posting on Facebook and I became very discouraged. Those with more patience than I have, have gone on to make decent incomes without spending any money – but it has cost them plenty of time.
List building and Affiliate Marketing Combined
These two strands of online marketing are combined in my group, because you build your own team of ‘students' also learning free – BUT if anyone buys a product you can earn a commission from their purchase. They should also be building their own list / team and earning commissions themselves if anyone purchases.
This is known as two-level affiliate marketing and the structure means that someone who hasn't paid a penny for their training can earn commissions just by building a team of their own. We are taught to add our team to our own auto-responders (mailing programs) and as well as contacting them with advice about online marketing we can mail them about any offer we like – in my case a health products business.
My experience of the free training group
I originally joined the training group over 2 years ago but my Dad was ill then died and I had to get heavily involved with the family business and his Probate – on top of working on my own busy offline businesses.
So I left affiliate marketing, and this group, alone for a while. I was using the free methods and in my situation they were just too time-consuming. (Although I emphasise – if you have plenty of time – you can build a team and an income without spending money.)
However before I stopped marketing I had built a bit of a team, and some of them had built their own team. So I had a ‘list' and team of my own.
What was surprising was that even while I was completely inactive small commissions kept coming in from my earlier activities in the group. People were still buying and I was still earning.
To revert back to ‘cookies' the reason I kept earning was because the group ‘cookies' your referral to you, for at least a year. And if they buy again, they are re-cookied to you. So much better than Amazon's 24 hour cookie!
My renewed participation in Affiliate Marketing
The fact that I continued earning affiliate marketing commissions with this group even while I was completely inactive was why I revisited it – and as a matter of fact discovered it had increased in leaps and bounds.
But this time I am participating as a member where I pay to have my list built for me instead of spending time on Facebook which is what those with no money have to do.
As well as mailing the team myself, the group owner also does routine emailing to get people to his events so you can earn commission.
So now I am still earning, but faster.
Who can earn commissions in this group?
There are two types of people the program is designed for –
- Those with no money but plenty of time
- Those who understand that business needs a little investment of money if you haven't got time
- People who will NOT earn anything are those who invest neither time nor money
Two different people stand out within my team. Both have earned more than I have (and I get commissions on what they earn).
One is a guy in Morocco who started out with no money to invest but he spends every waking minute on FB and builds his earnings that way. (Not for me!)
Another has invested in the paid version and although he spends some time on his business, he lets the system do the work of finding leads and qualifying them. That's the model I am following.
Training for network marketing distributors
Although not specifically designed for this, another potential use for the training is if you are trying to teach (for instance) a new recruit to an MLM business how to market online. You can give them the best course I know without it costing them any money.
This is a great benefit as you don't need to ask people to pay for training, nor waste time on ‘no-hopers' who won't even follow instructions.
As an aside, in the back-office of my account you can see how far everyone has gone through the training, so if someone tells me they're stuck and I see they haven't even opened lesson 1 ….. well, the answer is “Do the training”.
About the paid version
An investment in your business of $99 a month brings you the traffic to build up a team on which you can earn commissions. My own commissions come from the 1st level and 2nd level members of my team. Because people don't have to spend money it makes sense to keep building that team.
At the time of writing there's a half-price offer for your first month – if you don't see it, contact me and ask me for the half-price link.
I can only offer this to people who join my team. If you decide not to continue with the advertising after your half-price month you'll have built a team to start you off, and you can either continue with the free methods taught in the course, or you can invest in advertising elsewhere to build your list.
Most businesses understand the need to advertise to build a customer-base. It's only in certain seedier circles of online marketing that the myth of ‘money from thin air' persists. Our group is firmly against that.
As with all Internet Marketing it's a numbers game, some leads are will do nothing, but you get a few gems, and the training helps you weed out the freebie seekers, expecting riches for no investment of time or money, from the serious people.
When you do the training here you will go into in the free group, full of freebie seekers but as you progress and get involved in the business there are other groups for action-takers, and Q&A sessions direct with the group owner for people serious about building a business.
Do I believe in this affiliate marketing training?
After some of my previous experiences I'm pretty cynical about Affiliate Marketing, but I've watched how this group has improved since the two years of my absence from online marketing and now I'm into the ‘action takers' group, and paying to advertise, I'm really excited about the plans for the next few months when the owner is implementing the findings learned from stats working with almost 120k ‘students'.
It took me a while to understand the business model. But it's about letting the free training weed out people who take no action of time or money from those who are serious about business.
If you want to learn affiliate marketing without wasting time or money, join us in the group and follow the training.