Affiliate Marketing for Beginners (20+ Companies to start with) +free courses

Affiliate Marketing

We all love the idea of passive income. Earning through a system that functions on autopilot, or like several platforms put it, “Earn while you sleep.” But in most cases, we do not usually see the possibility of this. My guess is we are oblivious to the opportunities that come with systems like Google AdSense, Affiliate marketing, and the rest of them.  However, in the post, we’ll be going through just one of these systems- Affiliate Marketing. But, mostly, it’s going to be a guide to Affiliate Marketing for Beginners and Affiliate marketing Companies to earn from.


So let’s start with the basics. 

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income gave a detailed yet simplified definition of Affiliate marketing: 

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make. 


However, the underside of this definition is, we think all it takes is putting a bunch of promotional codes on websites while waiting for visitors to buy from your link. Some take a step further to running paid ads to get results.  

Though, these strategies may have worked in the ’80s but not anymore. A trip to our Content Marketing post will shed more light on this assertion.  


Read Also: PRODUCT MARKETING: Overview, Examples, Strategy, Job Description, Jobs (+ free courses)

How does Affiliate Marketing work? 

According to Wikipedia, the concept of Affiliate marketing usually involves four parties, even though, in reality, there are just two sides to this coin. 

Just to clear the air though, we’ll briefly go through the four.  

The Merchant  

This party is at the top of the food chain. They are known as the brand, the vendor, or the creator.  


They are responsible for creating affiliate products.

Furthermore, participants of this party range from small companies or individuals like Mariah Coz to the big shots like Alibaba. 

But for the most part, this set of individuals do not have to be actively involved in the program. They just need to have the products, manage the program, and send your percentage after a successful sale with your affiliate link. 

The Affiliate  

This point is where you come in. An affiliate is one who promotes single or multiple products from the merchant in a bid to convince and attract potential customers into buying these products.  

Participants of this party range from individuals to companies. Affiliates basically wield the power to make commissions of a few hundred dollars to millions – depending on your approach.  

However, a basic strategy most beginners in affiliate marketing have adopted in recent years is running reviews or comparisons on the merchant’s products. But an effective review that may lead to purchases is dependent on a few factors which include the following:  

  • Buying the merchant’s products for personal use.  

There is a limit to the number of individuals you can convince with a product review based on just reading a bunch of stuff on the net. People tend to see through scenarios like this. So if you want to go down this path, ensure you buy the product first. This way, you’ll be able to get first-hand information about the product and write reviews based on personal experience. 

Read Also: Facebook Marketing: Best Guide to Scale any Business (+ Free Tips)

  • Optimize your posts for SERPs 

Whether you’re writing reviews as a guest author or on your blog, ranking on the Search Engine Results page is a no brainer. Check our post on content marketing to get acquainted. 

The Consumer 

The consumer or customer is an essential piece of the affiliate marketing program because, without a sale, it’ll be impossible to generate revenues or hand out commissions. 

However, affiliates are responsible for making these sales happen with channels that conveniently suit them. Channels like social networks, digital billboards, or search engines using product reviews or content marketing on blogs are usually the best bet for affiliate marketing beginners. 

Furthermore, in most cases, affiliates tend to be transparent with the consumer even though it’s general knowledge that marketers get a commission from each sale. But while divulging this information may help you get a sale faster, it’s pretty unimportant 

Marketers basically take this path to the trigger emotions of the consumer. But, it’s usually more professional to let the system work automatically. That is, allowing the consumer purchase the product like they usually would while getting your commission at the end of the day. 

The Network  

Although a lot of people fail to acknowledge the existence of this party, it goes a long way in ensuring balance in the process. The Network basically acts as the middle man between the Merchant and the Affiliate.  

However, it is technically possible to deal with the Merchant directly and just get your cut at the end of a sale. But with networks such as Commission Junction and Clickbank in the picture, it is almost impossible to worry about product delivery and payments.  

Furthermore, this party exposes you to an unending list of products to choose from. On the flipside dealing directly with Merchants streamlines your options just products the brand produces. 

A perfect example is the Amazon Associates affiliate program. Basically, every item sold on this platform is accessible by affiliates. 

All it demands is a sign-up, and you’ll be able to generate a custom affiliate link to any product of your choice. 

But like I said earlier, there are just two sides to affiliate marketing: The Merchant and the Affiliate. In other words, you can either become the brand and have others promote your product for a commission or become an Affiliate and receive commissions for promoting the Merchant’s products. 

The conventional path is usually to skip the brand making process and become affiliates, which is the easier route. So below are top affiliate marketing companies to earn from. 

Read Also: Marketing Communication: All you need to know (Detailed Guide)

Affiliate Marketing Companies

With the vast amount of affiliate marketing companies out there, choosing the right program could prove tricky. Regardless, this part is pretty important because a wrong choice could frustrate your efforts. So before getting you acquainted with some of the best affiliate programs, I have put together factors to make your choice process more straightforward.  

These factors need to be studied, evaluated, and compared to make sound decisions at the end of the day.  Furthermore, you may need to apply them in making choices beyond the programs listed in this post. So, let’s a quick look at them. 

Commission Rates 

Almost 95% of individuals who venture into affiliate marketing do so for the money. It’s the reason commission rates are a predominant factor in this line of business.  

Popular perceptions say, “the higher the commission rates, the more you convert.” But over time, marketers have come to realize that lower commission rates convert more.  

However, a typical example of a pretty decent rate would be that of LambdaTest. The program offers a flat rate of 25% on all recurring commissions and 50% on the first transaction of the month.  

Product Kind  

If you already run a blog or website in a particular niche, say, for example, a web-development-related blog, you would need to target affiliate companies with digital products. Considering your position as a beginner in affiliate marketing, you should stay away from products that have nothing to do with your niche. 

Furthermore, another important side of this is the value of the product. You don’t want to have to deal with promoting products people do not need.  

So, all you need is an in-depth research on products in your niche before you make a pick. You want to go for products with high demand throughout the year.

Affiliate Company Reputation 

A vital part of picking an affiliate marketing company is reputation. You would need to conduct a background check on these programs to ensure they’ve had a flawless reputation in the past.  

Although it is almost impossible to find a program that’s had a perfect record, yet a better reputation comes from the ability to effectively minimize and deal with problems when they show up. You also want to know how responsive their customer care representatives are.  

Indeed, at some point, you may need answers to vital questions, and it’s going to be a massive put off having to deal with customer care representatives that are unresponsive.  

So, a necessary fix will be ensuring your background check is thorough. Read unbiased reviews from existing affiliates. Fabricate problems and contact their customer care to see how responsive they would be.  

Method of Payment 

Most programs employ different methods of payment when disbursing commissions to their affiliates. While some programs pay monthly or weekly, a handful of others require that you get to a threshold amount before you request a payout. For example, before you get paid on the Konga Affiliate program, you would need to make up to N5000 or US$12.86. 

However, this could become an issue when you need to withdraw funds urgently. So, if you fall under this category, you might want to try out Clickbank. 

Furthermore, due to the ban on some countries by Paypal, you should also consider programs that are versatile with payment options. 

List of Best Affiliate Marketing Companies to earn From 

Based on the above factors, I have listed some affiliate marketing companies to help you get started, with links to their About us page. This is in a bid to give you a head start with your background checks and familiarize yourself with the platforms. These companies are, however, cataloged into four sections: 

Best Affiliate Marketing Companies for Beginners

Highest Paying Companies

Best Companies for Bloggers 

Best Affiliate Networks 

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

So, according to Shopify, all you need to get started include the following simple steps: 

  • Research and join a reputable affiliate program 
  • Pick which offer or product to promote 
  • Obtain a unique link for each offer or product  
  • Share those links on social media platforms, your blog, or website 
  • Get a commission each time a buyer uses any of your links to make a purchase 

However, in the real world, it doesn’t pan out like this. Using the above method only drives you to run paid ads, pay influencers to get your link out there, or worse still spam.  

The steps outlined below should get you started on the right path. 

Read Also: CPA Marketing Guide 2020 (+ Free Course)

Research  

Prior to starting out in Affiliate Marketing, this step is the most vital. It helps you decide the basic stuffs like:  

  • Choosing between a blog or landing page  
  • Choosing between affiliate merchants or affiliate networks 
  • The Kind of niche and product you would want to market   
  • The type of layout for your blog or landing page  
  • The Affiliate marketing program that best suits your niche and so on  

Making these decisions would get strenuous without strategic research. An excellent place to start with your study is using a tool known as Google Trends. You can basically research on any niche that comes to mind with this tool. It gives you real-time data on market saturation for any product you can think of. Also, an added advantage will be knowing how to explore google search results. 

However, there are other research tools out there that could aid you in making informed decisions rather than decisions based on feelings or passion. 

Choose an Affiliate program and then a Product to promote 

At this stage, your decisions concerning the kind of product, niche, and program should have been made. All that’s left will be to go ahead and pick any program of your choosing, register, and then get the affiliate links to the products you wish to promote. 

The odds would be in your favor if you opt for Affiliate networks rather than merchants. Apart from getting a huge range of products to pick from, most affiliate merchants require you already have a functioning blog with a reasonable number of traffic before you can be accepted. Although there are some exceptions that you may find out during your research phase.  

But lucky you, this factor was considered in handpicking the Best Affiliate Marketing Companies for Beginners. 

Create a Blog or Website 

While a landing page may be easier to maintain, a better approach would be to build a website or blog. Reason being that it helps you take the content marketing route, which is the most lucrative path in this business.  

Luckily, building a professional website these days do not require any form of codding. Few tutorials on the net could get your website up and running in a matter of hours. A few of them are listed below: 

Install an Affiliate Management Plugin 

As an affiliate marketer, you would need to keep track of your links embedded at different locations on the net. You may be successful at this manually in the beginning, but as you go deeper and your links increase, the task gets more tedious. Especially in cases where you have to update expired product links. 

 Although these updates do not occur very often but imagine a scenario where you have to first pinpoint the location of these links and then update them one after the other. 

Well, this is a one really strenuous task that can be avoided by installing an affiliate management plugin like Pretty links. 

Asides the fact that it is user-friendly, it will be able to accomplish these tasks outlined above in minutes if that day ever comes. 

Now that your website or blog has been created, you would need to create relevant and quality content to boost your marketing. You can go through our guide on content marketing to get you started. 

This strategy is a no brainer because basically every route you might want to take to promote your products in this era may come out as offensive or irrelevant to your target audience. Talking about paid ads, sharing links on social media platforms, and spamming. 

So, your best bet to making the money you desire in this field is staying relevant to your audience.  

And staying relevant means feeding them with the relevant content they need while marketing your affiliate products behind the scenes. Smart right?  

Click here to find out how to go about this.  

Free Affiliate Marketing Courses

To further broaden your knowledge on affiliate marketing as beginners, I  have outlined some free course below;

  1. FREE Affiliate Marketing Course for Beginners
  2. Affiliate Marketing A-Z
  3. Guide to Effective Affiliate Marketing Strategies
  4. Intro To Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
  5. Passive Income: Affiliate Marketing [WordPress Website]

Conclusion 

A wrong approach to affiliate marketing could dash those high hopes you had starting out. Hence the need to read through this post on Affiliate marketing for beginners. So, following the steps outlined in this post closely, will get you started on the right foot which is a vital factor in earning big as a marketer.

All that’s left is to take action on what you’ve read.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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