Making money with affiliate marketing is a very special world. When you read about it online, it sometimes almost seems like you can become rich overnight. And while that sounds too good to be true, there’s definitely a point.
For me, affiliate marketing often means waking up in the morning and receiving an email congratulating me on a new commission. So that’s income while I was sleeping.
Anyone can make money with affiliate marketing. So be sure to read through, then we will talk about what affiliate marketing is, how you start with it and how you successfully earn money online.
Okay, details aside, what exactly is affiliate marketing?
1. What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a form of online marketing in which affiliates (companies) pay publishers (bloggers) in exchange for promoting their product or service. Unique to affiliate marketing is that the publisher is paid per sale (commission).
With affiliate marketing, you do not need to have your own product or service. You become a partner of companies and can start promoting their products or services for a commission per sale.
2. How does affiliate marketing work?
With affiliate marketing you place affiliate links of products or services in your YouTube video description, between the articles on your website, or in the description of a photo on Instagram.
You may even be setting up email marketing campaigns containing affiliate links.
Those affiliate links are not just links, but contain a special tracking code. It often looks like this:
So you do not only link to a specific website, but you do this with your own unique affiliate link. You will receive this link from the company in question so that you can start promoting.
When people click on your unique affiliate link, a (not visible) cookie is placed in the browser. This way the selling party knows that you have referred this person.
If someone now decides to buy the product, you will receive a predetermined commission. So you are now making money because you referred someone. These commissions can run into the hundreds of euros!
See below the simplified model on how to make money with affiliate marketing.
You can always see how much is being clicked on your unique affiliate links and how much is being bought. It is a relatively transparent world, especially if you compare it with an advertisement in, for example, a newspaper. A company then has no idea what this will yield.
But before you receive affiliate commissions, let’s take a look at what you need to do to get started with affiliate marketing.
3. Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing
Anyone can start with affiliate marketing. So no worries. You do not need any technical skills for this. What you do need is persistence, but more on that later.
In order to place affiliate links, you first need a place to do this. There can be different channels through which you do this, think of the following:
- Well read blog
- Facebook group with active members
- Instagram account with many followers
- Youtube channel with loyal subscribers
I myself earn about €3000 per month with affiliate marketing. This income all comes from my blog Johanshal Blog. On my blog, I write about how people can do business online and what life as a digital nomad looks like.
What I recommend if you are new to affiliate marketing is to set it up via a blog. This is the fastest and easiest channel to quickly reach a lot of people and make money with affiliate marketing.
Substantiation: That is because with a blog you can automatically get new visitors every month without uploading new blogs (because most visitors come via Google). With a channel on social media, you will always have to keep posting actively to earn money with affiliate marketing and you will not work on passive income. This is the case with a blog.
To start your own blog, you will first need to register a domain name and create your own WordPress.
4. Join Affiliate Networks
Once you’ve completed your channel and your blog is online, it’s time to start looking for those affiliate partners we talked about earlier.
When you just link to a company and someone buys something through that link, you don’t get any money for it. So we have to get the so-called affiliate links first. You do this by signing up to an affiliate program or network.
First the difference between the two… An affiliate program is often from one company. Such a company often has many products (such as Bol.com) and it pays to have its own affiliate program. However, many companies are affiliated with an affiliate network. This is a third party that acts as an intermediary for the tracking of all links.
If you’re just getting started with affiliate marketing, it’s a good idea to sign up with some of those affiliate networks first, then you can find products to promote from many different companies there.
I will introduce you to the two largest affiliate networks below.
4.1 Awin affiliate network
Awin is a huge affiliate network that operates internationally. Because they have a separate Dutch department, there is a lot to gain. To give you an idea of the size. Internationally, about 30,000 advertisers are connected. So if you’re looking for something to promote, you’re definitely going to find it here.
Unique to Awin is that they really try to help the publisher (blogger) to get as many affiliate commissions as possible.
To sign up with the Awin affiliate network, they ask you to pay a 5,- euro deposit. You will get this back later with your first payout. You can easily register via this link.
5. Find Affiliate Products and Services
There are tons of affiliate programs that you can sign up for through these two networks. But who are you going to promote?
Rule number one, don’t focus on commissions.
When I first started affiliate marketing myself, I mainly looked at how much commission a company was willing to give.
I even came across products that gave €700 commission! I wanted to promote it with affiliate marketing!
There was only one major drawback. These products did not match my blog topic at all and so no one bought anything through my affiliate links.
When choosing your affiliate products and services, look primarily at relevance and only later at the different commissions that different companies offer you.
The more relevant, the more you earn. Don’t just focus on the commissions, mass is also a cashier! I’d rather have a low commission with a lot of sales than not sell anything at all with some super vague product.
6. Affiliate Program
Once you’ve signed up with the two largest affiliate networks, it can also pay off to look for other affiliate programs.
If you really start looking, you will no longer see the forest for the trees. There are so many affiliate programs to join.
My biggest advice is to mainly work with companies of which you are a customer yourself. Then you know for sure that you recommend something useful and you can probably sell it better to others, after all you know what the product or service is like.
Almost all large companies have an affiliate program that you can sign up for. So google it well.
I also sometimes choose to approach companies myself if I am satisfied with their product or service and have the feeling that I can also sell this to my target group.
Sometimes they have a hidden affiliate program or they think it is a good plan to start this so that they can market their products or services through more platforms.
Examples of affiliate programs:
- Click Funnel
7. How much do you earn with affiliate marketing?
There is a lot of money to be made with affiliate marketing.
Even more interesting, however, is that these earnings are often recurring.
For example, my website ‘ Johan Shal Blog‘ has 10,000 visitors per month via Google. Even when I don’t do anything about it, these visitors keep coming. So that is income from affiliate marketing every month. It is therefore one of the best ways to monetize a blog.
How much money you earn from affiliate marketing depends very much on the type of product and service you are promoting.
For example, if you are an affiliate for online training or software, you have very high commissions of up to 50% of the sales price. Soon you will arrive at hundreds of euros.
That while for tangible products (such as books) you often only have a commission of up to 8%. Then it is only a few euros.
The target audience you attract to your channel, website, or page is essential for how much money you can earn with affiliate marketing. That target group is the one to which you will tailor the products and services that you recommend.
To give an example; someone who lands on a website with information about raising children will not purchase expensive online training. More logical for that visitor are affiliate links to children’s clothing and there is a small margin on them. You as a promoter earn less money.
In terms of earnings, I will give you an indication. I earn an average of more than 3000 euros per month passively with affiliate marketing. I do this through my website where I have about 50,000 monthly visitors. This number is growing day by day and so there is good hope that this amount will continue to rise, and don’t forget; it is passive.
For those who want to earn money with affiliate marketing, it is important to realize that you are not the only one who uses this revenue model. It is therefore a good idea to have the right knowledge to build a passive income. One of the places where I got my knowledge from in the initial phase is the course of Jacko Meijaard
Receive affiliate commissions
When I receive affiliate commissions, it often looks like this (see below). Every email is someone who signs up via my affiliate link to this one specific program. The nice thing about this program is that they have monthly recurring commissions. So I can earn money for years by referring one customer!
What I’ve learned from my work with affiliate marketing is that it’s especially important to look at average earnings per click. The affiliate programs often keep track of the number of clicks themselves and you can view this. When you see how many clicks you have and how much total income is over the same period, you divide these together. This way you can make choices about which affiliate programs to continue and which to stop.
A lot of people don’t make a lot of money from affiliate marketing and this revenue per click is one reason for this. They pick out bad affiliate programs.
Many of the techniques I use to make money with affiliate marketing have been copied one-on-one from the Affiliate Marketing Revolution. You can find this course here >>
8. Tips to make more money with affiliate marketing
When you have found a suitable program and you have joined it, it is time to place or promote the affiliate links on your website via your Instagram , Youtube or other channel. Don’t expect to make money just by posting links.
Make sure you really recommend and praise the product or service and be realistic.
There is nothing more annoying than someone who just comes across as a spammer. Also, make sure that you actively get started with content creation in order to get more and more visitors or followers to whom you can present the affiliate links.
It is nice that once you know how many people click through on links and how high the conversion is, you can also calculate how much you would earn if you had more visitors or viewers. You can then set goals based on that and it is extremely motivating.
For example, if I look at the statistics of my own website for a random month in 2021, I see that in one month there have been 50,232 visitors who clicked 3412 times on affiliate links of the Bol.com partner program. Of the clicks, 152 people placed an order with a total commission of 317.24 euros. Based on that statistic, I then look at the best performing pages on my website and add links or adjust the references if necessary.
The comment that must be made here is that the Bol.com partner program does not yield any golden mountains, but I hope this gives you an idea.
Statistics help to grow and should therefore never be underestimated :). And that’s how I do it with all affiliate programs I refer to. So be sure to learn to interpret and use statistics.
9. Keep growing your passive income
Just by getting started with affiliate marketing you will learn time by time how to sell more and earn more. There are plenty of pitfalls that everyone falls into again and again and that is such a waste of the time that people invest in them.
For example, you see a lot of people who refer to products that are not relevant to the target group, simply because they have a high commission. In the end, you don’t earn anything from it. Refer to products and services that you believe in yourself, then your target audience will believe in them too.
If you apply affiliate marketing in the right way, it is possible for everyone to earn a full-time income from it.
Everyone should be able to do this within 6 months if you fully devote your time and attention to it. Although you can of course also choose to build it up very slowly on the side. It all takes a little longer, but then you can work a little less because of the passive income!
10. Become an affiliate yourself instead of a publisher
Do you have your own product or service? Then see if you could use affiliate marketing the other way around. That you yourself become a provider of a product that others can promote and sell.
I do this myself, for example, with my own book. I have placed that book in an affiliate platform so that bloggers, bloggers, and influencers can now promote my product with a link. In this way, I am increasing my sales channel without running any risk. I only pay the promoter when something has been sold.