Affiliate Marketing For Beginners 2020 [The Defensive Guide]

Learn what is affiliate marketing and how you can dive into for making unlimited money
harpreet kumar

Affiliate marketing 101 is a technique to make a thousand dollars per month just by referring others' products.

I know that seems unbelievable but after reading this article you will trust my words.

Even, I also use affiliate marketing strategy in 2020 to make money on WP Blogging 101. So you are also wants to know about this strategy from the beginning to end this beginners guide is going to become your next Bible.

Because, in this 10 minutes super affiliate marketing 101 for beginners guide, you will be learning:

  • What is affiliate marketing 101?
  • How does it works?
  • What are the pros. & cons.?

And of course many related terms to become master in affiliate marketing 101.

Moreover, I will also show you some real examples of professional affiliate marketers, are making a thousand dollars monthly from this strategy.

So let’s take a cup of coffee and start learning what is affiliate marketing 101 and how you can make money from it.


Affiliate marketing 101 For Beginners 2020 [Introduction and Work Process]

Before I start start affiliate marketing 101 for beginners, let me explain, “What is affiliate marketing 101 and how does it works?”. It is the most question asked on the Internet.

By the way, the simplest definition is, “Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other’s products”.

When you promote a product you like and someone buy that then you earn a decent amount commission from the product manager for sending him/her a customer.

This commission might be fewer dollars or more depending on the affiliate agreement.

affiliate marketing

Let’s see an example.

In my GeneratePress free vs premium article, I  introduce my readers about the difference between GeneratePress theme’s free and premium version, pros. of upgrading to buying GP Premium.

If you visit GeneratePress free vs premium post, you will notice, I use hyperlinks on the keyword GeneratePress, that is my affiliate link.

And if you or someone click on that affiliate link and purchase the product, I will earn 35% commission of the total purchase value.

affiliate marketing process

Image Credit - yuboss.konga.com

As a blogger, it’s much easier to promote do affiliate marketing 101 other than selling or promoting affiliate products on social media and Youtube.

So, on WP Blogging 101, I deliver articles on product reviews, comparisons, coupons and offers e.g. Black Friday deals or Cyber Monday offers.

The best part of affiliate marketing is that you no need to do hard work for creating a product by self because someone else has already done it.

Your job is to find a product or service that relevant to your niche, join their affiliate programme, promote it to your readers, and earn a commission on each sale that you make. This is the sweetest side of affiliate marketing.

“THIS IS ALL YOU HAVE TO DO”

But wait-wait, there are many more important terms and definitions you need to know about affiliate marketing 101 for beginners such as how to get started with and the more challenging is how to succeed in.

So let’s move to the next step.


Why you should learn affiliate marketing in 2020?

Affiliate marketing 101 is not only the best-earning source especially in blogging field but also one of the most profitable online business.

Google Adsense and affiliate marketing are the most used monetization methods used in blogging. Even most of the beginners prefer to make money from Google Adsense instead of promoting products on their blog.

Trust me, ads are not the key to earn a real profit. I understand you get disappointed with my words because popular sites like Labnol and Wikihow blogs using Google Adsense to make money from their blogs but think:

  • Are you a Labnol or Wikihow? NO
  • Are you getting lakhs of daily VISITS? NO
  • Do you know, how long they have been in the market?
  • Can you wait for long years to earn decent money from Google Adsense?

No, right?

And the most fact is ads are annoying that distracts blog design. Even sometimes the web page load faster even you are having an expensive web hosting servers like Siteground, Bluehost or WPX Hosting.

But in affiliate marketing you can earn big money with a small amount of traffic, nut condition is the audience should be targeted.

There are hundreds of new and old blogs on the internet without having too many audiences but earning thousands of dollars and millions through affiliate marketing.

On WP Blogging 101, I also don’t use any advertising network for making money. I am doing affiliate marketing to earn passive income.

And I am a partner with 30+ affiliate programs. Here is a list of my favorite affiliate programs.

All I want to say, “if you are not familiar with affiliate marketing then you are leaving a lot of money on the table to let someone pick up without noticing”.

Don't believe me? Let’s make a calculation of affiliate marketing vs Adsense.

Affiliate marketing vs Google Adsense

Here is how I determine earnings between Affiliate Marketing and Adsense Advertisements.

Adsense earning calculations

Suppose you are getting 30K page views per month with average CTR 10% and CPC 0.10. Then here is your monthly income:

Traffic × CTR × CPC = Total Income

30,000 × 10% × 0.10 = 300$ (21,000 Rupees)

Affiliate marketing earning calculations

Again, suppose, your monthly pageviews 30K, conversation rate (CR) 1% and Per Sale Commission (PSC) 30$. Then you will earn:

Traffic × CR × PSC =Total Income

30,000 × 1/100 × 30 = 9,000$ (6,30,000 Rupees)

That’s a shocking difference, right?

Now you understand, how much money you can earn from affiliate marketing instead of using Adsense ads with a limited number of visits.

6 compelling reasons to start affiliate marketing 101 for beginners

1. Start with ZERO investment

You know, there are many expenses of creating a product or service to sell in business. But, in the affiliate marketing 101, you can start with zero investment.

All you need to create a website and join the right affiliate program and start promoting products on your blog.

Don’t have a website or blog? START HERE (no technical knowledge required). If you are from India here is exclusive blogging setup guide for you.

2. You become your own BOSS

In the affiliate marketing industry, you are your own boss and you will decide what to promote what not.

No matter its day or night, you have full freedom to work whenever you want or have time. You can earn millions of dollars monthly as you want by putting honest efforts on it.

Not only this, you can quit the job and become a full-time blogger and affiliate marketer like Harsh Agarwal (Admin and CEO of shoutmeloud.com).

He is earning thousands of dollars monthly from his blog through affiliate marketing - read his blogging story here.

There are more super affiliates like Anil Agarwal also earn more than $100.000 yearly. He is running BloggerPassion.com blog from last 10 years and earning 10K+ dollars every month from affiliate marketing - read his recent income report.

I know, earning like pro marketers looks like a dream. But believe me, once you are in, you’ll also start generating passive income.

3. You can sell whatever you want

Affiliate marketing is not like Adsense, where you have no control over ads. Here you have full freedom to display whatever you and whats not. Also, nobody is going to force you to work with people you don’t like or to promote the products you don’t like.

Your time is in your hands and right to shape your career on your own. That’s the sweet smell of it.

4. Easy to develop into something magical

Affiliate marketing is a scalable business. If you are doing well, hire people to write content for on your blog. This will save a lot of your time writing those lengthy product reviews.

You also no need to worry about establishing an office for doing affiliate marketing 101 as you can do it right from home, no matter you are sitting on bed or chair.

Once you have a decent amount of targeted audiences, become a direct seller by introducing your own products for selling and shipping to your readers.

5. Competition

There is saying, “If there is money then competition also involved“.

In the field of the affiliate marketing field, you have to be competitive against other affiliate marketers to get better performance for the products you are promoting.

Ultimately, this practice improves your inner creativity in the competitive market. That is the perfect image of a successful businessman.

6. No stress for tech support

Your job is to send the customer to the product’s website and if he/she buys the item, you earn a commission.

There is no need to worry about tracking sales, setting up payments, providing support to buying and anything else.

And the sweet part of it is that there is no headache to fix customer problems with the product sold through your affiliate link. This stress belongs to the merchant.

Affiliate marketing is a low-risk method to earn passive income online. It doesn’t require a significant time or money investment but needs to give your 100% efforts to get positive results.

Sounds pretty good in above points, right? Let’s dive into more details.


The Glossary - Affiliate marketing 101 for beginners

Till now you have learnt what is affiliate marketing and why you should start learning it. Now we will discuss important concepts to explore knowledge about affiliate marketing strategies.

Though affiliate marketing is a great idea to make money online. But really complicated when you are just starting out.

affiliate marketing steps

Image Credit - yuboss.konga.com

In order to get into more in-depth, there are check out below the most important concepts about affiliate marketing 101 for beginners.

Remember, affiliate marketing is all about the relationship’s chain. It will be confusing for the first time you enter but go on, I bet you will familiar with these three concepts, mentioned below:

1. Merchant (Product Owner)

The merchant is the first key in the affiliate marketing chain. He is the one, who create or produce the product you are going to promote.

The merchant is also known as the advertiser, product seller. It is the merchant who sells the product. He/she can be anyone, from an individual, blogger, entrepreneur to big brands like Amazon and Flipkart, all they just need to have their products to sell.

2. Affiliate (It’s YOU)

In affiliate marketing chain, the affiliate is YOU. Yes, the person who promotes the product is called AFFILIATE. Whether it’s on a blog/website or any social networking site.

The affiliate can be a single person or a large company. The prime goal of an affiliate is to promote the product in his/her community.

No matter, you are promoting a product on your blog, through your email newsletter or by running ads. You are the affiliate who uses your marketing skills to convey the features and benefits of the merchant’s products to the customers so that they end up buying it.

The affiliate doesn’t earn a commission until the sale made. The commissions may be a few dollars to hundreds of dollars per sale, depending upon the product he/she promotes.

3. Consumer

A consumer is a person who buys the product. Ultimately this is the last person who completes the affiliate cycle.

When a customer clicks on an affiliate’s product link, it takes him/her to the merchant site to purchase the product.

Once the sale made successfully, the affiliate gets a fixed amount of commission as a thank you from the merchant.

Attention: Now 99% of affiliate programs offer ‘cookies period’ till which the affiliate is entitled to the commission. For example, if the cookies period is 30 days, the affiliate will still get a commission, even the customer doesn’t buy the product same but buy it in the next 30 days.

Apart from the above three concepts, here are some more important points you have to learn:

Affiliate Agreement: is an informal agreement which includes term and conditions for both parties agree to follow responsibilities, rates to be paid and other legalities.

Affiliate Manager/OPM: is a person who manages the affiliate program for the merchant and product sellers. Ultimately, this is a person who helps affiliate marketer to increase sales.

Affiliate Link: is a unique link that use to promote a merchant’s product. This is a trackable URL that identifies the affiliate as the source of targeted traffic to a merchant’s site. One click on an affiliate link counts as one referral. See below screenshot as an example of an affiliate link.

bluehost affiliate

Affiliate ID: is almost the same term as an affiliate link. But some of the affiliate programs offer a unique ID to create own affiliate link. Such as my Bluehost affiliate ID https://www.bluehost.com/track/hkharpreetkumar.

Affiliate Network: is a marketplace, where the merchant list the products to sell and the affiliate find the products to promote. Affiliate network plays the role of a bridge between merchants and affiliates. CJ, Shareasale and ClickBank are the biggest examples of affiliate networks.

best affiliate networks

Affiliate Program is a program used to sell products through affiliate marketing. This is a system that set up by merchants to pay commissions when affiliates refer and make a sale from their readers. For example A2hosting affiliate program and WPX hosting affiliate program.

Affiliate Software is a system software used by the merchant to create an affiliate program for their product such as iDevaffiliate.

Commission is a percentage of the total sale that merchants pay to the affiliate for generating a sale. The commissions are predefined in affiliate agreements.

Link Cloaking is a technique of making long ugly affiliate links into short and rememberable links. See an example of my Hostinger affiliate link:

Payment Mode is a method to make payments to the affiliates for generating sales. Sending payments via PayPal or direct bank transfer is the most common examples.

Cookies are the multitude of information can be stored in a visitor’s browser cookie such as his/her IP address, visit duration, date and time of visit, affiliate ID, and even website name. Cookies usually have a predetermined lifespan. So that even if a customer doesn’t buy the product at the same time right but a buy another day (within cookies period), the affiliate marketer will still get credit for the sale.

CPA stands for Cost Per Action. It refers to the money paid to an affiliate for generating the desired outcome.

CPC stands for Cost Per Click that determines how much money paid to the affiliate for a click by a user on your website or link.

CPM stands for Cost Per Mille (Thousand) refers to the total money spent on advertising per 1000 impressions.

PPC stands for Pay Per Click stands for the amount of money paid to an affiliate by the merchant whenever a click on the affiliate link is generated.

ROI stands for Return On Investment is a ratio or percentage to analyze the affiliate marketing efforts.

ROI Formula = (Gross profit – Investment) / Investment  × 100.

PPL stands for Pay Per Lead. It is the total amount of commission per lead generated.

Impression refers to how many times your ad was shown on a single page.

Landing Page is a deal or promotion page used to generate leads or sales. Check out my deals and coupons page.

SEO stands for SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION. It is a practice of optimizing a website or blog pages to get “Free,” “Organic,” “Editorial” or “Natural” traffic from SERPs (search engine result pages) for desired keywords.

Split Testing is also known as A/B testing. It is a practice of showing 2 variants of the same webpage to different segments of website visitors at the same time to see which one performs better for affiliate marketing goals.

Above concepts are very important for beginners to get dive into affiliate marketing terminology. At first, you may confuse but by time to practice, you will get mastery in above-mentioned points.


How do I become an Affiliate Marketer?

Fortunately, getting started with affiliate marketing is a little technical. But believe me you really no need to be know all the backend details, the only thing you need to have a website or blog.

If you don’t have a blog right then click here to get your blog ready in next 10 minutes.

Affiliate marketplace is systematic software runs in the background. Here is the process that runs inside affiliate program software:

  1. 1
    The affiliate joins the merchant’s affiliate program.
  2. 2
    The merchant provides the Unique ID to find and promote the product.
  3. 3
    The affiliate includes that link into his/her blog content, emails, social posts etc.
  4. 4
    A person clicks on that link and visit the merchant’s website and buys that product.
  5. 5
    The buyer complete the buying process and the merchant checks the sales record for a cookie identifying the source of the referral.
  6. 6
    Once the merchant clarifies the referral ID, the affiliate is credited with the sale.
  7. 7
    At the end of the payment period, the merchant makes payment to the affiliate for generated sales.

Getting started with Affiliate marketing 101 for beginners

As we discussed already, you just need a website or blog to start affiliate marketing. However, you can start promoting products via social networks or Youtube channel but trust me having a blog will skyrocket your conversion rates.

Here is an important thing note that never goes with a free blogging platform such as Blogger, Weebly, Tumblr.

Because by using these tools you will face some restrictions regarding the products and services you can link to.

As you look at WP Blogging 101, it has been created on wordpress.org (a self-hosted blogging platform). And I highly recommend you to always do a blog with WordPress CMS.

WordPress is an open source blogging platform. It is 100% free to use but you will need a domain name and web hosting making a blog on it.

By the way, you don’t need to be confused, just take a look at this article on starting a WordPress blog from scratch.

Once your blog is ready, don’t forget to add Affiliate Disclosure and Privacy Policy pages. No idea what it is? Check out my pages:

Once you are done with the above steps, the next move to find an affiliate products for promoting.


How to find affiliate products to promote?

There are millions of products available on the internet to promote even Amazon & Flipkart has millions of different items you can start promoting on your blog.

Here are a few easiest ways to find the products to promote on your blog:

1. Join the affiliate programs of the products you are using

Being a blogger there are plenty of paid services we need to run a blog such as web hosting, email marketing tools, themes, plugins etc.

All you only need to visit the product’s website, search for “Affiliates”, “Become Partner” or “Affiliate Program” link and sign up their affiliate program.

For examples read my A2 Hosting affiliate program review to know how to sign for a partner program.

Once your application approved, start writing product reviews, comparison articles and offers an article on your website.

This is the most profitable method to convince your readers about the product as you already aware it features, pros. & cons and productivity.

2. Join giant affiliate networks

Big affiliate networks such as CJ, Shareasale or Clickbank are working with thousands of affiliate marketing programs.

These sites play a role a middleman between the affiliates and merchants. You need to read their terms before joining then send your affiliate application.

Once they approve your application, start promoting their products on your blog.

3. Learn from others

Always keep an eye on your competitors, what they are doing, what are they promoting in their cycle. Analysis of their strategy and start implementing into your website.

This is yet another useful method to find the best affiliate programs for your blog. Finding right affiliate networks in your niche is an easiest and the smartest way to skyrocket your affiliate sales.

4. Outreach via emails

In case, if you want to promote a product but can’t find their affiliate program information anywhere.

Then just send them an email that you want to join their partner program. If they are allowing the referral sale, surely going to add you in their affiliates list.

Remember this is possible that some websites don’t support affiliate programs such as Ahrefs (Keyword research and MailChimp (Email software). But asking through email is a good idea and positive side of a good affiliate marketer.


Pros. and cons. of affiliate marketing 101

This is the last step to learning what is affiliate marketing. You know every coin has opposite side and affiliate marketing do too.

Though affiliate marketing one of the easiest ways to earn passive income for beginners.

But, there are some limitations such as if your website generates a sale, then you get a commission and if not, you get nothing.

So, before getting started with this earning source discuss it’s pros. & cons.

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Pros

  • Start with ZERO marketing skills: There are no such requirements like brilliant marketing skills to start affiliate marketing 101 for beginners. The only thing you need to have a self-hosted blog or website and decent numbers of traffic.
  • Unlimited affiliate programs: There are unlimited affiliate programs available on the internet e.g SiteGround affiliate program. All you need to find the right one for your audience and start promoting on your blog.
  • No joining fees: 99.9% of affiliate programs do charge a penny to join. are free to join. This is a 100% risk-free process of generating passive income from your blog.
  • Less work and a lot of potential cash: All you need to include affiliate links inside your content to make sales. No matter what content type of you publish on the blog, send through emails or share on social media.
  • No headache of customer support: As an affiliate, you no need to worry about product issues. The merchant is the one responsible person to help the customer to answer queries related to the product.
  • Bigger scope: In affiliate marketing, you have many unlimited choices to join different affiliate program in case the one is not working for you. This fluidity gives you a transparent opportunity to find success in another affiliate field.

Cons

  • No guaranteed success: There is a huge competition. Most of the pro affiliates already there to make best of it. Sometimes you have to spend a lot of months even years to get positive results. Even I had waited for the first 6 months to generate my 1st affiliate sale.
  • Big investments: You have to invest first for web hosting, themes, designing a website. After this, it is not clear that you will get success because there are so many experts doing the same things.
  • No control over the programs: There are plenty of rules and terms for their affiliates and what seems like a great program today could be a bad program tomorrow.
  • Anyone can join and become a success: This is the positive side of affiliate marketing but negative too. Because anyone can sign up for most affiliate marketing programs so the competition is rising every second.
  • Easy to steal codes and links: There are certain affiliates know how to hack an affiliate link so they can earn a commission from a sale. If they target yours then you might be loosing so much commission, you’re earning.

The above pros. and cons. of affiliate marketing 101 for beginners show how it is good or bad in today’s world.


To be successful in affiliate marketing, evaluate each point carefully, proceed with caution and represent the trusted products or services you’re passionate about.


When you can make that happen in the right way then you can become successful at affiliate marketing.


Bottom line about affiliate marketing 101 for beginners 2020

Passive income from affiliate marketing. That seems like a dream in today’s world, right?

That dream you’ve had of making money while you sleep isn’t just a silly idea but actual reality.

I admit it’s not as easy as earning from Adsense but believe me monetizing a blog with affiliate products is much better than Google Adsense.

A little knowledge and showing transparency of a product to your readers build trust. So be honest with your readers and provide valuable content to educate them.

This will take time and huge patience and a day come when all your dreams will be turned into reality.

affiliate marketing 101
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