The video above gives you a very basic introduction to affiliate marketing, but there are so many more options than I could illustrate in a video that’s only around a minute long. This video may have created more questions than it answered, so here’s more information that will help.
The basic concept is always going to stay the same – people pay affiliates to help them grow their business. And just like the video says, you can be that affiliate, but you don’t always have to sell something to make money in affiliate marketing. That is the most common form of pay for performance (P4P) or performance-based marketing (which is what affiliate marketing is – you get paid when you perform well), but there are many other forms. I’ll outline many of the common ones below:
1) Pay per click – It’s very possible that you’ve heard of this one. This is where you place third party ads on your website. Whenever a visitor clicks one of your ads, you get paid. Sometimes each click pays $0.03, other times each click pays $2-$5. That depends on your niche and the subject matter of your website. Google Adsense is the most popular program for people seeking to get paid per click.
2) Pay per lead – As an affiliate, you can also get paid any time you refer someone to a website and they submit their contact information to that company. Simple lead forms like a one-field email submission usually pay somewhere around $0.75-$1.00 per conversion. When the lead form is a little more complex, for example requiring a name, phone number, address, city, state, and zip code – you would probably get paid in the neighborhood of $4-$8 per conversion on average.
Now, if you’re helping generate a REALLY complex lead, for example a mortgage application which requires references, work history, social security numbers, etc… You could expect to get paid anywhere from $20-$100 per lead on average. The more complex the lead, the higher your commission will be.
3) Pay per free trial giveaway – I’d imagine you are familiar with free trials from major companies such as Netflix and FreeCreditReport.com, but what you may not know is that you can promote offers like that as an affiliate. I’ve been an affiliate for both in the past, and I believe Netflix paid around $14 and FreeCreditReport.com paid around $8 when I was promoting those offers. I enjoy promoting offers like this because many times they cost the customer absolutely nothing, but they make you, the affiliate, commissions. Sometimes the customer has to pay shipping and will be automatically billed at the end of their trial period, but not always. You’ll be able to review the exact details of each affiliate offer before you decide whether or not to promote it.
All of the offers above are known as PPA (pay per acquisition). Affiliate marketing has a lot of different names, but as I said earlier the basic concept always stays the same. Someone pays you for every action you generate that grows their business. That can be a sale, a lead, a free trial giveaway, a click, a call, or many other forms of contact.
Now you’re probably asking yourself, “Where do I find these offers?” A lot of people think that they have to contact Netflix directly to setup this business relationship, but that’s not remotely true. There are networks of dozens (sometimes hundreds) of affiliate offers in one place, fittingly referred to as “Affiliate Networks”.
I could list off several networks for you to search individually, but there’s a free resource where you can search a huge database of the most popular affiliate networks all at once. That website is OfferVault.com, and as I already mentioned it is completely free to use. An important note: Most affiliate networks have an application process where you will have to show an existing website in order to get approved, so learning to build a website as soon as possible is advisable.
A lot of scammers out there would lead you to believe that affiliate marketing is as simple as throwing up a website, posting some affiliate commissions, buying advertising or generating visitors, and driving your checks to the bank! That’s a HUGE myth that has been perpetuated by con-artists in this industry. Affiliate marketing, like any other business, will take a lot of time, effort, and dedication. If you can find a way to add value to peoples’ lives, you can make money in this industry, but you should not build your business for the sole purpose of making money. If you build your site to help people, you will eventually make money.
I know it’s counter-intuitive, but the most successful affiliates are the ones adding great value to their visitors’ lives. Their visitors trust them as a credible source, and as a result those website owners can make a lot of money from their following (as long as they don’t betray their trust!). I elaborate on this concept in my eBook, which is available for free on the right side of every page of my website, NoMoreBSReviews.com.
I hope this has given you a basic understanding of how affiliate marketing works and what affiliate marketing is. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected] or leave a comment below!