How to Earn Money with Affiliate Marketing

With the recent world events, we have seen thousands of people lose their jobs and businesses, while others have thrived.

Businesses with strong online presence that deliver digital products and services, such as software, apps, courses, memberships and ebooks have done extremely well.  Also those offering to deliver quality and essential products have doubled or even tripled their sales.

Hopefully we never have to face another world pandemic again, however, there are many other life circumstances that can impact the running of one’s business including:

  • illness
  • accident
  • changes in trends
  • changes in regulations
  • decrease in need for a product/service

so it is vital you future proof your business, should you need to or wish to take time out.

One of the easiest and fastest way to earn extra money through your website, social media networks or email lists is through affiliate marketing.

If you haven’t heard of affiliate marketing, let me explain.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

  1. You partner with a company that allows you to sell their products via an affiliate program
  2. You recommend a product or service to your subscribers / followers / customers using a unique affiliate link
  3. When someone purchases a product or service after clicking on your unique link, you get paid a commission.

Before I go any further, let me clarify one thing – affiliate marketing is NOT multi-level marketing.  If you want to find out more about the difference between these two business models, click here

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

  • Free for you to join
  • You don’t need to carry stock or ship products or deliver services
  • You choose the companies you want to work with
  • You can promote as many companies / products as you wish
  • You do not need to provide customer support for products / services sold
  • Be your own boss and work when it suits you
  • Work from anywhere in the world
  • You can run it as part of your current business
  • Reach new customers
  • Gain more credibility by aligning with well known brands

What Businesses can use affiliate marketing?

Just about every business can add complementary products / services to their range.  Here are some examples;

Business Coach

  • Business related books
  • Business software
  • Internet services including webhosting
  • Business printing services
  • Computers & laptops
  • Mobile phones, calculators
  • Online marketing and business courses
  • Printers & cartridges
  • Stock photos and images
  • Website design services
  • Graphic design services
  • Accounting services

Hairdresser / Beautician

  • Hair products
  • Hair accessories
  • Cosmetics
  • Skincare
  • Image consulting
  • Books about skincare
  • Online courses
  • Wedding related products and services
  • Photographers

Wedding Planner / Marriage Celebrant

  • Honeymoon travel packages
  • Flowers
  • Cakes
  • Wedding invitation printing
  • Photographer & videographer
  • Bridal accessories
  • Gift registry
  • Jewellery
  • Hair and makeup
  • Wedding dresses and suits
  • Wedding venues

Children’s Clothing Store

  • Toys
  • Books
  • Bikes
  • Children’s furniture
  • Children’s bedding
  • Games
  • Crafts
  • Children’s movies and shows
  • Video games

Fashion & Beauty Blogger

  • Men’s, women’s & children’s clothing
  • Makeup
  • Skincare
  • Jewellery & watches
  • Shoes
  • Online beauty tutorials and courses

Personal Trainer / Yoga Instructor

  • Exercise and fitness equipment
  • Athletic wear
  • Supplements
  • Sports footwear
  • Fitness trackers
  • Online training programs and classes
  • Insulated water bottles

Plumber & Electrician

  • Hardware
  • DIY and home improvement products
  • Tools
  • Building materials
  • Appliance parts

What companies offer affiliate programs?

There are thousands of companies that offer affiliate programs.  Here are some well known brands.

Where do I find companies who offer affiliate programs?

Many companies run their own affiliate programs and you can generally find these on their website.  However, there are many affiliate portals, that offer hundreds of different brands and products.

What product / service categories are available?

  • Baby Products
  • Online Business Products and Services
  • Cars and Bikes
  • Children’s Games and Toys
  • Clothing and Fashion
  • Competitions
  • Daily Deals
  • Dating
  • Department Store
  • DIY and Home Improvement
  • Electrical
  • Entertainment
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Flowers and Gifts
  • Good and Drink
  • Gadgets
  • Health and Beauty
  • Holiday and Travel
  • Home and Garden
  • Internet Services
  • Jewellery and Watches
  • Learning and Education
  • Membership
  • Music and Equipment
  • Office Supplies
  • Personalised Gifts
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Software and Downloads
  • Sports and Fitness
  • Telecommunications
  • Weddings

Do I need to have a website to offer affiliate products?

Technically no you don’t … you can promote affiliate products via an email list or your social network, but it is better you have your own website.

Most merchants will want to see your website before they approve you as one of their affiliates.

Also, you have much more control over your website than you do over social networks.  On your own site you can change content and add extra functionality at any time.

Whilst social networks are great marketing tools, your website should be the centre of your business universe and everything else should be linked to from there.

Most people don’t realise the dangers of running a business directly from a social network:

  • You have very little control over who sees your posts.
  • If your social account gets hacked, it can be temporarily or permanently shut down and you could lose your whole business.
  • The social network can get shut down or people may stop using – for example Google Plus shut down despite having 198 million users.

How much do I get paid?

You can get paid anywhere between a few dollars to a few hundred, even thousands of dollars for each sale.  Most merchants pay a set amount or a percentage per lead, sale or sign up.

And some offer ongoing commissions, especially for digital courses and software.

How do I promote the products?

Many merchants will provide you with sales materials including emails, banners, coupons, data feeds, text links, widgets, videos.  You can then promote the products / services using these materials on:

  • Your website
  • Your blog
  • Guest articles/posts on other websites
  • In your email signature
  • Your mailing list
  • Social networks

How do I set up an affiliate program to sell my products/ services?

If you would like to get your own salesforce of affiliates who will promote your products, the easiest way to do that is to sign up for a Merchant account on one of the Affiliate Portals

Discover Best Affiliate Marketing Platforms –

Where do I find the best affiliate programs for my blog?

If you have a business, personal or travel blog that you are looking to monetise.  Check out the following guide which shows you the best 55 affiliate programs for bloggers.

55 Of The Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers 

How do I get started with Affiliate Marketing?

There are many entrepreneurs that teach affiliate marketing – some are great, others not so much.  One company I have found and would highly recommend is the Income School.  These guys teach you how to figure out the best business that suits your lifestyle and passion and then how to monetise it.  They have many resources and help to guide you to ensure the success of your business.


by Ivana Katz
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