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What’s affiliate marketing? A simple explanation for beginners

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What do you do when you don’t have any skills to sell to people? You start selling other people’s products with affiliate marketing.

Start selling other people’s products that you already love and use.

This business model is perfect for anyone who doesn’t have any skills to sell or want to create a product. The product is already created for you.

All you need to do is find people who would benefit from the product, put it in front of them, and drive traffic to the landing page. You don’t need to close the sale, that’s the job of the company, your job is to drive traffic.

Inside this blog post, we’ll look at what affiliate marketing is put very simply from my experience of doing it for many years with lots of different products.

Definition of what affiliate marketing is


Before we delve into what affiliate marketing is, here’s a quick definition from the Oxford English Dictionary.

A marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals

Oxford English Dictionary

How people are driving traffic to their affiliate offer

You tell someone in your network about a product and then they buy the product through your affiliate tracking link.

People make referrals with their

  • YouTube channels
  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Email campaigns
  • Social Media
  • Pinterest
  • Ads

Plus just tell people that are in your network whenever you see someone who could benefit from a product you’re an affiliate with.

What are affiliate tracking links?

Sign up to be an affiliate of a product and you’ll be given a tracking link to use when promoting the product.

The affiliate tracking link is completely unique to you. When someone makes a purchase or signup after clicking on your link, you make the commission.

An affiliate tracking link is usually a pretty ugly link. It’s typically the domain that ends with random letters and numbers. You can make it better looking by using a shortener URL such as bit.ly which is free to use.

There will be times such as on Pinterest when you can’t use a shortener, you have to use the ugly link you’re given. Make sure that when you use a platform to promote your affiliate link, you’re following their guidelines or you’ll be kicked off the platform.

Facebook is notorious for this. They hate it when people are constantly dropping their affiliate link on their platform. This is when you need another platform that gives content like a YouTube channel, but to get the product you need to go through the affiliate link that’s been shortened.

How much will I make in commissions with affiliate marketing?

Typically physical products have a low commission.

Amazon is the typical place people are an affiliate for physical products. Commission for Amazon does depend on the product type, price, and level of sales from your links.

On the other hand, you’ve got digital products. Digital products have a much higher commission as they don’t have any fees for the business in relation to postage and shipping.

Digital product commissions vary from 20% up to 60% commission. Even better your affiliate link will have a tracking cookie. A tracking cookie means simply that if someone buys inside a certain length of time, you get the commission

A tracking cookie could be 15 days or 90 days, it just depends on the business as to what length of time you get.

Amazon does have a similar tracking cookie on their affiliate links. When someone clicks through on your tracking link. Anything they purchase from Amazon within 24 hours of clicking on your link, you get a commission on.

So even if you just promote some fashion items which they clicked through on. If they go on to purchase an item, even if it’s not what you were promoting, you’ll get a commission.

In A Nutshell,

What is affiliate marketing? It’s a word of mouth marketing strategy but taken online and reaching more people with your product recommendations. To get started with affiliate marketing, decide which platforms you want to use in driving traffic, choose an affiliate product, enjoy those commissions you get.

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