If you are thinking about creating a passive income stream from the internet and do not know where to start then let me tell you one thing: start with affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is simply the easiest way to start making money online and build a virtual asset that will give you passive income streams later on in the future.

To begin; what precisely is affiliate marketing?

In simple terms, affiliate marketing means marketing as an affiliate. By becoming an affiliate, your job is to sell other people’s products in order to earn commission. Think of it as a digital version of door-to-door salesmanship.

Of course the life of a door-to-door salesman is a rather unpleasant one because they must go around all day, getting doors slammed in their face and only earning money if they get fortunate enough to land a sale. As a door-to-door salesman, you live and die by your ability to persuade strangers and you invest huge amounts of time to try and make the sale.

In the online world, things are a little different.

Now you are also selling other people’s products for commission but you’ll be doing it through the internet and you will make ways to make the customers come to you.

In the digital world, you have access to necessary marketing tools to build your affiliate system and you will be able to constantly tweak it to make more sales. What’s more, you can learn from the advice and mistakes of others and in some cases even use templates. In fact, you can even outsource the marketing process!

And because you’re investing less time in marketing this way, you can take on as many different products to promote as you want and thereby scale up your income significantly. In addition, you can do this ‘on the side’ of your current job to begin with and not rely on it for your main income. Affiliate marketing, if done correctly, makes a wonderful supplement to your income.

The Truth About Affiliate Marketing: Facts and Figures

That’s affiliate marketing in a nutshell but what do the numbers say? Check out this infographics from ExperienceAdvertising.com:

The Growth of Affiliate Marketing

As you can see, there is a huge potential in affiliate marketing if you want to make money online.

Affiliate Marketing Advantages & Challenges

Affiliate marketing is like climbing a hill. The view from the top is very beautiful, anyone can start climbing to reach it but not everyone can overcome the challenges that stand between them and the top of the hill.

One of the best advantage in picking up affiliate marketing as your method to make money online that it has very low barrier to entry.

You can start affiliate marketing for absolutely free. Unlike the multi-level marketing scheme which requires you to purchase products in order to be eligible to receive commission, in affiliate marketing the only thing you need to do to start is to sign up as an affiliate in affiliate networks and you can do this completely free.

Some of the largest affiliate networks are Clickbank, JVZoo and Amazon. There are actually thousands of affiliate networks but these three are the main ones I use as an affiliate.

Another advantage of affiliate marketing is that it allows you to make money from the things that you love and passionate about. If you are a health freak, you can start a blog about healthy lifestyle and sign up with Clickbank to start promoting health-related products to earn commission from your blog.

When it comes to promoting digital products – found in Clickbank and JVZoo – you can also expect to earn a huge commission from the product creators. There are many products in these networks that offer 60% to 75% commission and this is all possible because the creators do not need brick and mortar warehouses for storage or pay shipping costs because their products are all in digital format.

While affiliate marketing has its advantages, it also has some challenges.

One of the main challenges is the heavy competition that you will be facing. Since everyone can become an affiliate just by simply signing up to affiliate networks, then your competitors are millions of other affiliates trying to also make it. Therefore, the main challenge is on how for you to differentiate or position yourself above the other affiliates. This is about branding and I will write in separate post about this.

The other challenge is to find good products to promote. There are thousands of products out there that are simply garbage and you do not want to promote these as an affiliate even if they offer 90% commission. Why? Because once you promote garbage products, your reputation will also be tarnished even if you are not the one who created them.

Now you might wonder: why would you choose to promote as an affiliate when you could be getting more profit by creating and selling your own product?

There are many answers but the first is that you don’t have to go through the lengthy process of creating a product to sell. Creating products takes a lot of time and a lot of skill.

For example, if you’re not a proficient writer, then you might struggle to create an e-book that people are going to be happy to pay for. Likewise, if you’re not a programmer, you probably can’t make the next must-have piece of software. And if it’s a physical product that you want to sell, you’ll have to learn the entire manufacturing process.

The other option is to outsource the entire process. If you can’t write/program/design, then you can find someone who can by going onto a site like UpWork, Elance or Freelancer. Is this a good strategy? Well yes, it can be, but it will also cost you a big upfront investment and if you are just starting out, you need to ask yourself; how much are you willing to risk in creating your own products?

And here’s another thing you need to consider; you can never know if a product is going to sell well or not. So in other words, if you spend months and hundreds of dollars creating your product, you may yet find that there’s no one interested in buying it. Of course this will then leave you at a huge loss and you’ll have to either give up or sink even more money into yet another untested idea.

There are scenarios where it does make more sense to create your own product but for a lot of people, affiliate marketing makes more sense at least to begin with.

So, How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Now that you know why affiliate marketing can be a great choice for creating a passive income stream from the internet, it is time to look at how affiliate marketing works. 

Essentially, affiliate marketing relies on cookies. Cookies are small files that you can store on the computer of any online web user. These cookies can then be used to identify that user at a later point or to retrieve information about them. Cookies are what enable sites like Facebook to keep you signed in for example and they can also be used by advertising companies to show you ads relevant to your browsing history.

In the case of affiliate marketing, cookies are used in order to show that traffic came from your website/advert and these work alongside unique ‘identifier links’ which are your private gateway to that website.

So in other words, you have your own address that you use to send people to the product page. They then get redirected to the main site but during the process a cookie is stored on their computer that is basically the digital equivalent of ‘tell ’em I sent you’. Then, when they buy a product, this is logged in your profile and at the end of the week/month/quarter you get paid your due.

To get started in digital marketing then, all you need to do is to find a product you like and you think you can sell, sign up to the affiliate program and then paste your unique link in any form of marketing, advertising or otherwise. That could be a Facebook ad, it could be an e-mail or it could even be a physical flier.

The basic outline of how affiliate marketing works can be summarized in this infographics from Pepperjam.com:

Affiliate Marketing 101

How To Get Started In Affiliate Marketing

Ready, set, GO!

So now you understand the basics of affiliate marketing, the next question you might have: how to start?

The first thing you of course need to do is to find a product that you can sell as an affiliate and to do this, the best method is to sign up with affiliate networks.

Affiliate networks basically make it easy for you to find products and to manage your sales and income. They give you access to popular products and they automate the entire process so that you don’t have to communicate directly with the seller. In other words, they streamline the entire process.

When it comes to choosing an affiliate networks, my personal choices, as I said before, are Clickbank, JVZoo and Amazon.

Within those networks, you will find thousands and even millions of products that you can promote as an affiliate. The Clickbank and JVZoo networks sell mostly digital products while Amazon sell physical products.

How To Choose Products To Promote

Now, how to choose which products to promote? Here are some guidelines….

If you are just starting out, you need to pick products that concern with the things that you care about and that you’re excited for. This is a good idea because you’ll find it’s much easier to sell something that you genuinely believe in the product. 

With that being said, you also want to avoid being too obscure or taking too much of a gamble. The point is, that there are some very rich marketers online who have gotten rich selling specific products – and you have the option to sell those very same products! For this reason, it doesn’t really make much sense to sell anything else.

Is it exciting, original or daring? No – but it’s proven to work and it’s straightforward. Sometimes that’s all you need, especially when you’re just starting out.

If you’re not sure how a product is performing, or you don’t know whether you can replicate the success you’ve seen others enjoy, then you should ask yourself just generally whether you think it’s something that has good potential for sales.

Or more simply still: would you buy it?

We’ll get onto selling later and how to go about making someone really want your product….But briefly one of the most important tips is to focus on the emotional hook and the ‘value proposition’. In other words, how will you make people really want this item? What is it that it will do for them?

This is why making money products are so effective as well as dating e-books – they offer you a very concrete and significant lifestyle change/upgrade. What you should be looking for is things that appear to offer ‘the answer’.

Another thing to think about is the potential profit you could earn from the product and from each sale.

For example, if you find similar products, you might want to compare which ones you can sell for more and which ones offer you 40% versus 60%. Now think about the volume you’re likely to sell – you’ll sell a lot more books than desktop computers so even if the profit is higher per unit, that doesn’t necessarily make it the best pick.

Your Homework

Now that you have learned everything about affiliate marketing basics, here are some homework you need to do in order to get yourself ready to build your first online passive income stream.

  • Sign up as an affiliate with Clickbank, JVZoo or Amazon (FREE registration). You can sign up with all three or just the ones that suit you the most.
  • Familiarize yourself with the interface.
  • Select one to three products to promote. Generate your affiliate links.
  • Copy your affiliate links into a notepad and save it for your reference.

In the upcoming articles, I am going to share more on how to promote your affiliate links the right way. A lot of affiliates fail to generate any income at all because they fail when it comes to promotion.

Can’t Wait To Get Started?

If you cannot wait to get started and get everything you need to know about making money online from affiliate marketing, you can sign up to become a free member at Affilorama Affiliate Marketing Course. With a free Affilorama membership, you will get:

  • Affiliate marketing quick start guide.
  • Downloadable roadmap to success.
  • 120 video lessons.

Thousands of regular people have quit their day jobs and earn passive income from affiliate marketing after they enroll as students of Affilorama. If you want to be one of them, sign up for free below:

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