How Much Does It Cost To Start Affiliate Marketing

How Much Does It Cost To Start Affiliate Marketing

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How Much Does It Cost To Start Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a growing industry. According to Statista, affiliate marketing spending is set to reach $8.2 billion by 2022 in the US alone.

Affiliate Marketing Tools

However, the problem for many beginning affiliate marketers is the upfront costs, including purchasing a domain name, e-commerce hosting, courses, books, etc. So the question is: can you start for free?

The answer is yes. This guide will help you understand how to make money online with affiliate marketing (with no upfront costs) and give you a step-by-step guide on how to get started.

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by recommending products or services offered by other companies. As a business model, it is very profitable because the company pays you for every referred sale.

Not all affiliate programs are the same. Some will pay different commission percentages, others will offer fixed bonuses, and some will offer free products or services in return. With time and hard work, successful affiliate marketing can turn your site into a profitable business venture.

How Much $$$ You Need To Start Affiliate Marketing?

At this point you may be thinking, “A business built on referrals? Sounds too good to be true.” While it’s good to have a healthy dose of skepticism, according to PayScale, the average affiliate marketer in the US earns around $52,000 a year.

There’s nothing wrong with recommending a product, right? It is possible to make a living from affiliate marketing because it is a profitable business model. Here’s why:

“Affiliate marketing, especially if you’re a beginner with no startup money, requires long-term thinking,” says Vivian Tejeda, author and affiliate marketer. “First you need to focus on the basics, like deciding on a niche and a traffic source.”

According to Vivian, there are many free platforms for creators to consider when starting out as an affiliate marketer. “Instagram, TikTik, YouTube, blogging – you can create an account on these platforms for free and start creating content immediately.” Affiliate networks offer new marketers free and easy access to thousands of reputable affiliate programs that you can join instantly.

What Is Affiliate Marketing (and How To Get Started)

The journey to becoming an affiliate marketer can seem daunting at first. But if you break it down into smaller steps, achieving your goals will be easier.

The best way to succeed in affiliate marketing is to establish yourself in a niche. A niche is a topic you want to be an authority on. Some of the best niches include

The reason you need a niche is that if you recommend a wide variety of products, people won’t see you as a credible expert. Whereas if you only recommend a certain type of product and create content about it, people can see that you have experience in that field.

It also further helps you with search engine optimization (SEO) on social media and your affiliate website if you choose to build it later.

Affiliate Marketing For Beginners In 11 Simple Steps

You want to start with a niche that has a high chance of profit. For example, our research* found that business-related programs had some of the highest commissions, while clothing and books and media had some of the lowest commissions:

However, these are not your only options, and some niches work better than others on certain platforms. Remember, affiliate marketing is not “get rich quick.” You must at least have a personal interest in your niche to keep you going.

Choosing a niche is a fine balance and takes some time and practice to get right – so don’t be put off if you don’t see success right away.

Once you have decided on a niche, the next step is to choose the affiliate program you want to join. It makes sense to choose an affiliate program or product that is in line with your niche.

How To Create An Affiliate Marketing Website In 9 Easy Steps

For example, many YouTube channels promote Virtual Private Network (VPN) services so that their audience can watch them anywhere in the world. A more specific example is vegan fitness and lifestyle educator Derek Simnett, who is associated with VIVO Life supplements.

There are two ways to find the right affiliate program in your niche: direct and through the marketplace. If you already know brands in your niche that have affiliate marketing programs, you can approach them directly and sign up (affiliate programs are usually free to sign up), like Derek did with VIVO Life.

Another option is to join an affiliate program market or network where you can browse thousands of programs and sign up through the market.

Although these are all reputable options, some things to consider when choosing an affiliate program are not only its reputation, but also its commission rate and earnings per click (EPC) rate. A program may have a low commission rate, but a high EPC, meaning it may still be a worthwhile program to join.

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People often make the mistake of thinking that you need to be a blogger with a dedicated website (which costs money). While it’s handy to have it later when you feel you can reinvest in your business and scale up, it’s not essential.

You can start earning affiliate income by using other (free) traffic sources such as social media platforms, YouTube and forum-based sites like Reddit and Quora. Let’s look at some pros and cons of each channel:

You might think, “But I have nothing to do with social media! How am I going to make money?” If you don’t have a following, now is your chance to build one. However, you don’t need a huge following to make money – you just need to reach the right audience.

Many affiliate marketers earn their income entirely through social media. A good example is Papery Thoughts, a YouTube channel (among other social media accounts) that makes YouTube videos about journaling.

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Channels generate affiliate sales through product links in video descriptions used by on-screen creators. Other ways to use social media include joining Facebook groups in your niche and answering questions, or choosing answers to TikTok videos that are relevant to your industry. The key to building an audience is participation, not just spamming people with affiliate offers.

Whichever platform you choose to use for your affiliate marketing efforts, the next step is to start creating content that builds trust with your target audience. In 2020, internet users around the world spend an average of 145 minutes a day on social media. What keeps us online for more than two hours a day? Great content.

Building a content library takes time, so it’s a good idea to plan and create a content calendar or strategy. Your calendar may include an outline of the type of content you want to publish on a particular day, for example:

When creating your content strategy, you should also keep in mind the keyword strategy, especially for YouTube SEO (if you choose YouTube as your platform). After all, even high-quality content can get lost in the noise if you don’t optimize it for search results.

Of The Best Affiliate Programs That Pay The Highest Commission

You can figure out which keywords to use with a little research. Using YouTube as an example, try to find your competitor’s channel. See which videos are the most popular and note the titles, descriptions and video tags they have used.

And of course don’t forget to include a link to your affiliate product or service and add a disclaimer explaining that they are an affiliate.

Focus on publishing high-quality content that teaches your audience something. Always give them value, don’t focus the content around yourself. You will be excited to start earning affiliate sales and valuable offers, but before you can do that, build a highly engaged audience. It will pay dividends later! Kelly Marohl, owner of The Greenspring Home

When creating content on your chosen platform, it’s also a good idea to start building an email or SMS list. There are two main reasons for doing this:

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Leveraging your email list is a great opportunity to add more value to your audience – further building authority in your niche topic. Some ideas to help you get started with content for your email list include:

When it comes to building an email list for free, there are many email marketing software vendors that offer free plans, including Email, Mailchimp and MailerLite. It’s worth shopping around to see which one works best for you.

Once you build trust with the audience, you can start promoting high-ticket affiliate programs. These programs provide the opportunity to make up to five figures per sale. But you often need to have an established niche and influence to encourage people to buy more expensive products.

The last tip for growing your affiliate marketing business is to engage your audience. Generating conversation not only helps your followers or customers feel heard, but also favors you for social media algorithms.

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When people interact with your content, this is usually a signal for the algorithm to say that your material should be promoted and shown to more people who might be interested.

On TikTok for example, if you like and reply to comments on your videos,

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