If you really want to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing in 2020, then just give me your next 15 minute and I am promising you that you’ll never regret your decision.
Warren Buffet has said –
“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”
And affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money while you sleep.
Don’t believe me?
Wait let me show you some examples:
My last month earning from ShareASale affiliate program:
My Earning from Amazon Affiliate marketing program.
Don’t get overwhelmed with my affiliate Income, Because there are hundreds of Affiliate marketing experts who are making thousands of dollars every month with Affiliate marketing.
Let me show you affiliate income of some of my favorite affiliate experts whom I personally admire:
- Pat Flynn from Smart Passive income.
I call him the master of Affiliate marketing. He has been in the Affiliate industry for a very long time. Below I have attached the income report of Pat, as you can see he earned more than $160k last month out of which more than $105k he made from Affiliate marketing.
Michelle (My favorite) founder of making sense of cents earns more than $57k every month just from Affiliate marketing.
Harsh Agarwal, the guy who inspired thousands of people in India to start blogging. As you can see in his income report that he is earning more than 34k$ every month out of which more than $34k he is earning from just Affiliate marketing.
I hope now you have no doubt in your mind regarding the possibilities of making money from Affiliate marketing.
But does this mean you will also start making thousands of dollars every day from tomorrow?
No, not at all…
They have reached to this figure after working for more than 2-3 years.
That’s why here I am not promising you that you will start earning in crores overnight but If you read this guide and start taking small steps you will definitely start making money With Affiliate Marketing.
So are you ready??
Let’s get started…
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is a process where an online retailer pays you a commission when someone purchases their product from your referral link.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
There is no complex concept behind Affiliate marketing. It is a simple 4 step process.
- You Join Affiliate programs of a product or service.
- You recommend that product or service to your followers or audience.
- Your followers purchase the product or service using your affiliate link.
- You get paid a commission for the sale you made using your affiliate link.
How Affiliate tracking Works?
Every merchant adds a specific tracking system to their website that offers every affiliate a unique ID and tracks clicks or referrals from each affiliate all the way to the checkout process and completed sale.
This means whenever you join an affiliate program you get a very unique link that contains your unique tracking code and works with a tracking cookie.
When someone clicks through your unique affiliate link the affiliate ID is stored on their browser within a text file, known as cookies.
Once the user completes the checkout process, the merchant affiliate program recognizes your affiliate ID in the cookie on their browser and that particular sale gets attributed to you as an affiliate and at the end, they transfer your commission into your account.
That’s it this is how Affiliate tracking works…
I know here one thing that you may not have understood is the term “Cookies.”
See, an affiliate tracking cookies is a file that is created and stored on your visitor’s web browser when they click on your affiliate link.
And this cookies basically allows affiliate networks to have the ability to make certain that they can determine where sales have come from.
Now, this cookie is stored in your visitor’s web browser for a specific time period that is known as cookies duration.
Generally, the duration of the cookie is set to 24-48 hours but it will vary on affiliate programs.
So, what does this cookies duration means?
Well, let say if your affiliate program’s cookies duration is 48 hours then that cookie will remain on a user’s web browser for next 48 hour after they have clicked on your affiliate link.
And it simply means if the buyer purchase that product within the next 48 hours then the sale will be considered as your referral and you’ll get the commission.
How to Start Affiliate marketing in 2020?
Now that you know the basic definition of affiliate marketing and how the whole process works.
So, let’s talk about how to get started with affiliate marketing.
Step 1: Find Your Target Niche
The first step to getting started with affiliate marketing is to decide which niche you are going to target.
Choosing a specific niche or area of specialization is always important as it will give focus to your business and help you with content.
Now as far as I have seen for most of the people, Choosing a niche is the hardest part of starting their own business, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
To choose a niche, here are some key questions to ask yourself when determining your niche:
1. What Am I passionate about?
Typically the things we are passionate about are the things we are also knowledgable about.
This means it’ll become much easier to create content for product promotion if you are passionate about the niche.
For example, if you have a passion for makeup then most probably you’ll also have great knowledge about makeup that’ll help you in creating content related to makeup.
2. Is the niche already oversaturated?
This is very important.
I have seen that when it comes to affiliate products, generally people always focus on highly saturated products like hosting, fitness-related products, smartphones, etc.
But my friend, Affiliate marketing is not limited to only these few niches, there are hundreds of other niches to choose from which I will discuss later.
So, If you are jumping in a very popular niche or over-saturated niche and trying to compete with folks who’ve been around for a while, maybe give another niche a try.
3. Check your commission rate?
Before finalizing a niche, make sure to check the referral commission rate you are going to receive.
For example, if your target product is worth under $5-$10 then most probably you’ll receive $1 as commission from each sale.
That means you have to sell more than 100 products to make $100.
Which is not at all a good choice.
At the same time if you are selling a product whose earth is $1000 then you can receive $200-$500 as commission.
But this is also not a good choice for you.
Because here most probably you’ll struggle to make sales especially with fewer efforts.
So what’s the good number?
Well, I ‘ll recommend you to focus on products worth $25-$100.
These types of products will be also easy to sell as well as help you make good commission from just few sales.
4. Is there enough product to promote in your niche?
If your niche has only few selected products to promote then I’d say you’ll struggle to make successful affiliate marketing website.
So, it’s better to choose a niche where you’ll have option to promote different products.
For Example – If you are working on hosting niche then you have hundreds of hosting services to promote.
Like – Sitegroudn, Bluehost, Hostgator, WPX hosting, Kinsta, Ipage, Flywheel, InMotion, A2, Godaddy and so on.
Now, as I know some people may not have any ideas of how many categories and products are available to promote as an affiliate.
Just go to any big Affiliate network sites like Shareasale.
Under their merchant section, you’ll get a good idea of of all the available niche as well as the products available in that niche to promote.
Or in case if you are especially interested in Amazon Affiliate then nothing can be the best place than Amazon itself for finding a niche.
Just go the category section of Amazon and there you will get thousands of niche ideas.
Step 2 : Build a WordPress Site
Once you have found a profitable niche, the next thing you have to do is build a website or blog.
Assuming you don’t have already a website.
Fortunately building websites these days has become easier than ever before.
You just need two things to make your blog live on the internet.
A domain name is the web address that people type in their web browser URL bar to visit your website or blog.
For Example: the domain name or Facebook is – “www.facebook.com” Same as the domain name for my blog is – “www.bloggingnova.com”
Web hosting is essential to get your website online – It is the place where all the files of your website live. It is like the home of your website where it actually lives.
There are many web hosting providers who host and serve your website so that your website visitor can easily view all the information you want them to see.
How to Register your domain name?
Step 1: Go to Namecheap.
Step 2: Enter your chosen name in the search box.
Step 3: Click the add to cart button to add it to your cart.
Step 4: Click View Cart to access your cart.
Step 5: Click Confirm Order and complete the checkout process.
Once you complete the payment process, you are now officially the owner of that domain name.
Once you have registered your domain name, now it’s time to get a web hosting for your website.
If you are Bloggingnova regular reader, then probably you already know that I always recommend my readers to use Siteground Hosting.
Because Siteground is the no#1 host when it comes to customer satisfaction ratio.
You can check my WordPress hosting comparison guide to know how fake reviews on the internet are manipulating you to buy third-class hosting.
Choosing a good web host is very-very important as your website speed and security both depend on your host.
And for your information, Website speed is a strong ranking factor for Google.
So, if your website does not load very fast then Google will not rank your site higher in the search results.
In my 6 years of blogging journey, I have used more than 8 hosts in my life and Siteground is the fastest WordPress hosting I have ever used.
When I was on Hostgator hosting. I was struggling to maintain my site speed to at least under 3 seconds.
But Failed miserably…
But When I moved to siteground, my site speed automatically got improved….
It’s not only about me, but most of the people also found a major improvement in website loading time after migrating their site to Siteground from mediocre host like Godaddy, Bluehost, Hostgator, Hostinger, Dreamhost, InMotion, etc.
Don’t believe my words?
Check it out..
Here is how to get Siteground hosting:
Step 1: Click here to activate a special discount for Siteground first time customers.
Step 2: Once you’ll click on that the link, you’ll be redirected to the Siteground website where you have to choose a hosting plan.
I am personally using their GoGeek plan for my blog but as you are just starting out, so I will recommend you to start with Siteground Startup plan.
Step 3: Once you click on Get Plan you’ll be redirected to a new page where you have to enter your domain name.
Step 4: On the final screen, you’ll have to fill all the basic information like your name and email.
Step 5: Once you fill all the details finally click on Pay now.
Once you have got your hosting, now it’s time to set up your website on your hosting.
Step 1: Log in to your site ground account.
Step 2: Once you are in your Siteground dashboard, you will see a big orange color button “Setup Site” at the top. Just click on that button to start setting up your WordPress site.
Step 3: Now click the “Select” button appearing near the Start new website option.
Step 4: Now you have to choose the application, so here you need to select “WordPress.”
Step 5: Now you need to set an email id and password for your WordPress account.
Editor’s note: Please make sure to note your login details on a paper because you will need it later to log in to your WordPress dashboard.
Congratulation you have successfully installed WordPress on your hosting.
Now you need to complete one more step to make your site live on the internet.
Now you need to update your domain nameserver to point your domain to your siteground host.
Once you have updated your nameserver, finally it’s time to login to your WordPress dashboard.
There are many ways to log in to your WordPress dashboard, but the simplest one is to search for“www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin” into your browser.
You’ll be taken to your WordPress login page where you need to enter your WordPress account email ID and password.
Now you will need to install a theme on your website to give it a new look.
Theme – You don’t need an extra advance theme for an Affiliate site, I personally use Generatepress theme on this blog as well as on two of my Affiliate site.
Don’t go for Generatepress free version, that is a very basic theme which will give you limited feature but once you have Generatepress premium then you will get the option to add each and every functionality to your blog. You may check out my Generatepress review for more details.
Grab Generatepress premium (Use Promo code “10percent” to get 10% OFF
Step 3: Choose Affiliate Products to Promote
Once you’ve set up your website, it’s time to find out what’s out there in terms of programs and products to promote.
You have probably done a bit of research about these at the time of finding your niche, but now we need to go deep and join those programs.
Where you can find products and services to promote in your niche?
Well, most of the companies manage their affiliate program through an Affiliate network.
Now you must be wondering what is an Affiliate network?
Well, an affiliate network acts as an intermediary between publishers(You) and merchant affiliate programs (Companies).
It allows website publishers like you to more easily find and participate in affiliate programs that are suitable for you.
That means by just joining one affiliate network, you can sign up for multiple affiliate programs and manage them in 1 place.
Here are a few of the more popular affiliate networks out there, but there are so many more than this:
I personally use the Shareasale network to join and manage my affiliate programs.
Here is how it works:
First of all, you’ll need to signup for the ShareASale affiliate network. Make sure to signup only when you have at least few contents on your blog because they will not approve your application if your website has not any content.
Editor’s Note: If they reject your application, then make sure to manually contact them and explain about your website to easily get approval.
Once your application is approved, now it’s time to find products in your niche.
To find your target products, go to the merchant section to check all the categories.
Suppose here I want to promote a domain name provider then I’ll simply click on the domain category and ShareAsale will display all the product which offers affiliate program related to the domain.
Now, from there I can check commission rate, Average Sale, Reversal Rate as well as cookies duration of the program. Most of the time I choose only those products which I personally use.
Once I find a good product, I’ll just click on the join program button and finally, I’ll send my affiliate request to the merchant.
Now within few hours (normally 2-24 hours) my application will get accepted and I’ll have access to all the resources to promote that product on my blog.
Like – Affiliate links, banner, etc.
Step 4: Create a plan to Promote Your affiliate Offer
Now that your website is live and you have joined the affiliate programs, you are ready to begin perhaps the most time consuming but potentially most rewarding part of the affiliate business.
Now your main goal should be establish your site as an authority website in your niche, and the main way to do this is to consistently produce high-quality content.
If you can create content that gives good advice to your readers on what they need to do to solve their problem with the help of a particular product with your handy affiliate links, then believe me you’ll be on your way to affiliate marketing success.
Here are few types of content you can create on your Affiliate website:
1. Informational content:
You don’t need to promote affiliate products in your every content.
Yes, this is something that most of the affiliate beginner do not care, but my friend always remembers that if your 100% contents are promotional then Google will also give penalty to your website.
So, At least 25% of your website content should be informative where you don’t have to place affiliate links.
(Yes, you can always internal link your promotional content with informative content)
The purpose of these informational contents is to help answer the question those in your niche are asking.
For example, if you are working in “VPN affiliate niche” then some of the informative article would be:
- What is VPN?
- How to install VPN?
- How to unblock sites?
- How to Hide your IP?
These types of content will help you educates your audience and showcases your expertise, with the long-term goal of people seeing you as an authority in your field
2. Review article
This is one of the easiest types of content you can use to promote affiliate products.
You simply need to write up your opinion of a product based on your experience and you can describe how you used it and how it helped you.
Your goal here should be more thorough and helpful than outright promotional. It should not look like you are just trying to sell the product for your commission.
This is the reason why I generally review only those products on my blog which I personally use so that I can share my honest experience with my readers.
My review based content on Bloggingnova :
3. Comparison Posts
Comparison article also works great and converts well.
So, what is the comparison article?
Basically, in a comparison article, we compare the products that we are actually promoting, which we believe is a superior product for solving a problem with one or more than one of the competing products.
Example – Suppose you are promoting iPhone X (Just an example) then you can write a comparison article with its competitors like Samsung S10.
List article always works great for affiliate product promotion.
Whenever someone has to buy a new product (Example – smartwatch) there is a high chance that he will search “Top 10 smartwatch” or “Best Smartwatch” on the internet.
List articles are very easy to write as well as with listicles you always have the opportunity to promote multiple products at one page.
5. Case Studies
In my opinion Case studies convert 10 times better than the normal review articles.
A super in-depth case study about how you used the product and what was the result after using it will give better information to your readers than a plain review.
For example – Few months back I wrote a case study about how I use the SEMrush tool to perform keyword research for my blogs and get quick organic traffic gains.
The post provides real value to my readers at the same time promote an affiliate product “SEMrush”
These types of articles convert very well because they let people easily see how they can use the product to get their desired results.
6. Resources page
The resources page has the potential to become one of your most viewed and highest converting page on your blog.
So, what is the resources page?
A resources page is basically a reference page for your readers where they can easily find out which tool you use or which one you recommend.
Pat Flynn’s resources page is a great example of a well-structured T&R page.
Once you have created a resource page for your blog, here are few quick tips to boost your affiliate sales:
- Try to internal link your Resources page with your blog articles time to time.
- Add your resources page into your main navigation menu (You can check out my navigation menu for inspiration)
- Whenever possible, add your resources page into the Guest post author box.
- You can also add your resources page link at the bottom of your email newsletters.
You can conduct an interview with those people who had great success using the product so that your audience can hear the stories of actual people.
These types of interviews are always best to build trust among your audience.
In case if you are promoting individual merchant products, then nothing can be better than inviting the merchant itself and chat about how their product works and how your readers can get benefit from the product.
For example- Traffic crow published an interview with Terry Kyle who is the founder of WPX Hosting.
Bonus : 9 Quick Tips To Increase Affiliate Sales In 2020
As of now, we have already discussed how to start affiliate marketing. Now let me share some tips that’ll help you increase your affiliate sales and make more with Affiliate marketing.
1. Promote products that fill a need
If you actually want to be a successful affiliate marketer then listen to your audience. Find out what problems they are facing. Find a product that can actually solve their problem and try that product first yourself.
If you find the product actually worthy, then become an affiliate and recommend them to your readers. Always remember that your readers want the solution from you and if the product you are recommending is actually valuable, they’ll be always willing to pay for them.
2. Use Affiliate Link in Image
It is obvious that you’ll use multiple images in your content while writing a How-to article or review or comparison article. Try to add link in the all the images you are using in your content.
Because many people click on the images to see it, so if you add an affiliate link in the images then once they click on that image they’ll redirect to the product site and your chances of making affiliate sell will obviously increase.
3. Cloak Your Affiliate Link
Link cloaking is the process of converting a long affiliate URL into a shorter and prettier one.
This protects your affiliate commissions by making your affiliate link less visible and makes the link more visually appealing to visitors.
Let me show you an example:
Normal affiliate link – https://www.semrush.com/sem/?ref=6525031118&refer_source=bemakmoney&utm_source=berush&utm_medium=promo
Same link after cloaking – Https://www.bloggingnova.com/semrush_tool
Now tell me yourself, which link is looking spammy and which link is looking trustworthy.
Obviously cloaked affiliate link.
How can I cloak my affiliate links?
Just install a plugin called Thirsty affiliate. This plugin will help you cloak your affiliate link in just one click.
4. Create Review Box Using Thrive Architect Plugin.
Adding a summary box on top of your review article is one of the smart ways to increase affiliate income…
Authority hacker noticed 30% increase in conversion after using the summary box in each of his review articles.
Why this summary box converts very well?
Summary box or review box captures highly motivated buyers who are just looking for a quick opinion of experts before making his/her final decision.
How to make a summary box?
Thrive Architect is one of the best content builder plugins which I am currently using for my blog that’ll help you create an affiliate product review box with ease.
An example of a perfect summary box.
5. Display Target Affiliate & Relevant Offers in Sidebar/Footer
Sidebar is one of the best place on your blog to promote affiliate products.
Using banners is one of the old tactics to promote products but it is still effective. So you can add banners of your affiliate product in the sidebar of your blog.
Here is an example –
Secondly, you can add coupon boxes or deals boxes in the sidebar of your website to promote affiliate products.
Here is an example –
You can create this type of coupon or deals boxes through a Free WordPress plugin called ” Affiliate Coupons “
Apart from all these tactics, I’ll recommend you to link all your popular blog post where you have added Affiliate link into the sidebar.
One thing you should also keep in mind that be careful about too many ads in your sidebar because it will distract your readers.
I have personally stopped using anything in the sidebar because I realized my readers were getting distracted from the sidebar.
6. Add Tables to Your Blog Post
Whenever you are writing a list post or comparison article adding a table is the best way to increase affiliate income.
Actually, when you add the table in your blog post, it helps the reader to find the information easily. As result chances of getting more link clicks and sales automatically increase.
As well as when you are writing a comparison article, then you should add a comparison table at the top of your article so that it’ll become more helpful for the readers to buy your product without leaving your site
You can create these types of the table with a premium plugin called “AAWP plugin”
7. Exit-intent Popup will Increase your Sales
Exit-intent popups are always considered as one of the best ways to increase your email list in a short period of time.
But you can also use exit-intent popups to increase your affiliate earning.
Let’s understand it with an example :
Last month I published SEMRush review on my blog and created an Exit intent popup especially for this review post, which looks something like this:
As it is an exit-intent popup, so when someone is about to leave the review page, the popup automatically appears in front of him.
If You also want to create these types of exit-intent popup then you can use tools like Optinmonster (Recommended)
8. Show star rating in the search result
Adding the star rating on products review article increases your click-through rates.
Here is the three different search result appearing in Google SERPS for the same keyword.
Which result is looking more appealing to you?
So, star rating are eye-catching and helps your article stand out from competitors on the search results.
Now you must be wondering how to add star rating on your blog post.
Well if you are using an SEO plugin like RankMath then you’ll have an in-built option in your plugin to add star rating or schema markup.
Otherwise, you can also use an separate schema plugin like WPReview Pro to add different types of schema markups to your articles.
9. Offer special discounts or coupons.
Who doesn’t wants to save some bucks?
Coupons, deals, and discounts are one of the biggest incentive to increase conversion rate.
Whenever a customer is buying a product and sees a coupon box on the merchant site, chances are that he will definitely search for “Product Name + coupon” in Google.
So, if you are offering a discount coupon for a product then it is obvious that he is more likely to purchase the product from your affiliate link.
For example- WPBeginner has a separate category on their blog for Delas and discount on WordPress related products.
These types of coupon codes and deals attract potential customers to make a purchase from their links.
Frequently Asked Question about How to make money with Affiliate marketing :
1. What is an Affiliate network?
Affiliate networks act as a middleman who connects publishers with merchants offering affiliate programs opportunities for their services or product.
2. Is affiliate marketing still profitable in 2020?
Yes, without any doubt it is still profitable in 2020. Probably even more than before. Research shows that It is expanding every year to more companies and more affiliate marketers.
3. How much money can you make as an affiliate marketer?
Not just the money, if it is done correctly, Affiliate marketing has the power to change your life. Most affiliates make a couple of hundred dollars in the beginning days. A decent affiliate makes $5,000-$15,000/month. While some of the supper affiliates make more than $1,00,00 every month. (I have also shown you live example of them in this post)
4. Can I do affiliate marketing without a website?
Yes of course you can do affiliate marketing without a website. What’s important is you know how to send the target customers to your affiliate merchant site. As long as you know how to make target customers click on your link and make purchase, you are good to go.
5. How to make money with affiliate marketing without a website?
There are plenty of ways to make money even without a website. Some of them are –
- Promote through Social Media
- Create an E-book
- Try Email Campaigns
- Create Youtube videos about your affiliate products and services
6. Can I do affiliate marketing on Facebook?
Yes, you can use Facebook or any other social media platform to promote affiliate products. However, make sure to check your merchant’s affiliate promotion policy as some affiliate network completely restrict you from promoting on social media.
7. What is the average Affiliate Marketing commission rate?
The average affiliate commission rate actually depends upon which types of products you are promoting. Some products pay a tiny commission for sales and sometimes if you are promoting a digital product you can get up to 50% of the commission.
8. How do affiliate marketers get paid?
It varies upon the affiliate program to programs. The most common ways of payments are direct deposit, PayPal, Physical Check in the mail and company credit.
9. What is the minimum Payout for an Affiliate?
Every affiliate program has different payout threshold but on an average, you have to earn at least $50 first to get your payment.
10. Do you need lots of traffic for affiliate marketing?
No, Not at all. but it helps tremendously because More traffic means more potential audiences who can buy the products you are promoting.
11. What is the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners?
- Amazon Associates Affiliate Program.
- Clickbank Affiliate Network.
- eBay Affiliate Program.
- Rakuten Affiliate Program.
- Commission Junction Affiliate Program.
- Siteground Affiliate Program.
- Shopify Affiliate Program.
12. How long does it take to make money with affiliate marketing?
It will all depend on your ability to drive potential customers to your website and promote affiliate products. But still in general It can take anywhere from 2 months to 4 months to start making money with Affiliate marketing.
Final Thought on Making money with Affiliate marketing
Everyone dreams of making money while he sleeps (Passive income)
While everyone is dreaming you can change this into reality.
Ya, I agree it is not as easy as pressing a magic button but with little knowledge and strategic hard work you can definitely convert this dream into reality.
Once you have a targetted audience who trust you and your advice, Nothing can be better than Affiliate marketing to make passive income online.
The best thing about affiliate marketing is it is easy to get started with minimal investment.
You just need to $50-$80 to get started with affiliate marketing.
I have tried my best to explain everything about how to make money with affiliate marketing in 2020. Still, if I missed something then do let me know in the comments, I will answer you all question related to affiliate marketing.
One thing you have to always keep in mind that you don’t need to behave like a salesperson to make affiliate sales, If you provide valuable content that helps and educate your readers then your readers will automatically buy from your link.
Now, It’s your turn to tell us how this guide helped you? which technique you think is best for generating more sales? Let me know in the comment section…
Best of luck on your new journey.