Introduction to Affiliate Marketing
by Kyle

Alright, it’s time to talk about MONEY. It is probably the most common thing I discuss with folks that are looking to start an online business, how to “make money” online and when this happens.

As you are seeing though, the first focus of your business needs to be your foundational building blocks. Your website, content, rankings and traffic. Once you have this in place, then you can start thinking about the “making money” part of your business, and the best strategies for that.

Tasks for this Lesson:

  • Understanding the Mechanics of Affiliate Marketing
  • How to choose products or services that align with your brand
  • Crafting content that aids conversion
  • Sign-up to at least 2 affiliate networks
  • Sign-up to at least 2 independent affiliate program

That is why we are going to be introducing you first, to affiliate marketing, which is one of the cleanest and most lucrative business models online for building a business.

In our upcoming sections, we'll peel back the layers of online affiliate marketing, what it is, and the sheer power of entering into this world of affiliate marketing (which continues to grow in size, year over year).

So let’s jump into the affiliate marketing world, the first stop being how it works and how it wll really benefit you as an online business owner.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing is a relationship between a company (the merchant/advertiser), and the affiliate (publisher). The beautiful thing about affiliate marketing is that it allows people like you or I to be able to promote millions of different products/services without having to own the product, deal with shipping, or customer support.

As an affiliate you simply send traffic to your “affiliate links” and you earn a commission. Let’s look at a diagram of what this process looks like:

Affiliate Marketing Diagram

Affiliate marketing is a structured yet straightforward process, and here is a bit of a step by step breakdown of the key aspects of a successful affiliate marketing campaign.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:

  • Establishing Affiliate Partnerships:
    • The first step is to create affiliate partnerships. This involves connecting with companies that offer goods or services relevant to your audience. By joining an “affiliate program”, like Wealthy Affiliate, you get access to unique affiliate links associated with these products or services. Pretty much EVERY product/service in the world has an affiliate program, and when you join and get approved with these affiliate programs, you can promote their products in exchange for a commission.
  • Promotion:
    • Once you have your affiliate links, the next step is to promote these products or services. This can be done through various channels such as blog posts, videos, social media, or email newsletters. The key is to integrate these affiliate links into your content in a way that is natural and relevant, maintaining the authenticity of your message.
  • Earning Commissions:
    • The final step involves earning commissions. When someone from your audience clicks on one of your affiliate links and makes a purchase, you earn a commission. This is not just a way to generate income; it’s also about providing value to your audience by recommending products or services that align with their interests.

This process outlines the basic mechanics of online affiliate marketing. However, becoming proficient in affiliate marketing involves deeper understanding and strategies, such as selecting the right products or services that resonate with your brand and audience, which we will explore in the next section.

How to Choose Products That Align With Your Brand

Choosing products that align with your brand in affiliate marketing is essential for building trust and relevance with your audience. There are 3 factors that you should be considering when you choose an affiliate product to promote.

  • Relevance:
    • Relevancy converts. If you have an article on your website selling the “best blow dryers of 2024” and within that article you try to sell your audience a pair of socks, it is not going to be all that relevant. Of course, the most relevant thing would be “blow dryers” and there will be many affiliate programs for that. Select products or services that are relevant to your brand and audience and the SPECIFIC article you are promoting them in. This relevance ensures that your recommendations resonate with your audience's interests and needs, and makes the selling part much easier.
  • Ensure Trustworthiness:
    • Research the products or services thoroughly before promoting them. It's vital to endorse items that you believe in and that reflect the reliability of your brand. Your credibility is crucial, and promoting subpar products can damage your reputation. Take the time to verify the quality and effectiveness of what you promote. If you promote something simply because it pays a high commission (and it doesn’t offer value to your customer), that will reflect poorly on you, and your brand. Put your audience in your BEST interest.
  • Consider the Commission Structure:
    • Taking off on the last point, while high commissions are attractive, they shouldn't be the sole factor in your decision. Focus on balancing lucrative commission rates with the actual value and relevance of the products to your audience. Authenticity in your recommendations should always be a priority.

Finding Affiliate Programs

Before you apply to affiliate networks or affiliate programs you should aim to have a minimum of 15 pages of content on your website, your domain, and be able to showcase your quality and helpful content. Many affiliate programs have an application process, where the programs will review you and these will be requirements if you go through a manual review.

When you are ready to join affiliate programs and start to integrate them into your website, there are a few ways to do this.

First, let’s discuss affiliate “networks”. These are collection of companies within ONE larger affiliate program. You can oftentimes promote 1,000’s of companies under one network, with one centralized management area for your stats and a centralized payment. This makes the management side of your business much easier as an affiliate.

For those looking to join affiliate networks, some of the top networks include:

  • Awin (application process). Has a wide range of advertisers, and some of the highest quality programs within their network. Sign-up here.
  • ShareASale: Offers a diverse selection of merchants, good for both physical and digital products. Sign-up here.
  • ClickBank (no application process): Ideal for digital products, with high commission rates, and instant approval. Sign-up Here.

    Note: that when you sign-up to Clickbank, they will try to sell you all sorts of stuff, an Accelerated program, along with their Spark program. You DO NOT need those, you have everything you need here within WA.
  • Large affiliate network, with lots of major brands and very current technology. Sign-up Here.
  • Commission Junction, CJ (application process): Known for a vast array of partnerships and flexible promotional tools. Sign-up Here.
  • Amazon Associates (application process): Great for a wide range of products, suitable for various niches. Sign-up Here.
  • Rakuten Marketing (application process): Renowned for its advanced technology and wide range of brands. Sign-up Here.

**Just remember, when you are signing up to programs, some networks and programs will refer to you as a “Publisher”, as you are publishing the content and the affiliate links. You will sign up as a Publisher. The Advertiser is the company that your relationship is with. Many people get confused by that terminology, so I just wanted to clarify.

Aligning your brand with suitable affiliate products not only enhances trust and loyalty with your audience but also maximizes the potential for successful marketing and sales. Remember to consistently evaluate the relevance, trustworthiness, and value of the products you choose to endorse.

Using the Promote Platform at WA

As a Premium & Premium Plus+ member, you are going to be able to access the “Promote” tab in the top menu, which is an affiliate program search that will instantly allow you to search through over 10,000 affiliate programs.

Here is a direct link here:

This also allows you to search and manage affiliate programs, and offers you details including commission structure, payment options, and details about the program itself.

I highly recommend that you use this when you are looking to join an affiliate program, leveraging the Promote tab is your first stop.

Here is an example search I did for “vertical jump”, which is related to my basketball niche. You can see I immediately found some programs I could leverage.

Affiliate Program Search

You can see these programs pay anywhere from $17.55 per sale, up to 75% commission on the sale of the product.

Finding Affiliate Programs in Google

There are also MANY affiliate programs that are independent, and not part of an affiliate network. So I do recommend that you do your research when looking for an affiliate program, and Google is going to be a great resource for doing this.

You can also find affiliate programs manually in Google, and it is very easy to do. Simply go to a Google search, and type in what you are looking for (either your niche or product), plus affiliate programs.

YOUR NICHE + Affiliate Program

A PRODUCT + Affiliate Program

So let’s just say, in my basketball niche (like me) and I was looking for an affiliate program for “basketball shoes”, I could type in:

Basketball shoes + affiliate program

And say I wanted to promote a specific product, Air Jordans, I could search for specific affiliate programs that are relevant to this particular product like this:

Air jordans + affiliate program

Once you perform the search, you can look through the search results and find a program that is suitable to you.

Understanding the MATH of Affiliate Marketing Success

OK, one last thing here. You understand affiliate programs, and how to appropriately choose the best ones for you. I want to discuss a little “math” now, and break down your potential earnings just so you can see the vast potential.

Let’s say for example, I have a $35 per sale commission,“vertical leap training” course. There are 450 MILLION basketball players globally, most of which aim to commonly improve their ability to “jump higher”.

Let’s say as I build out my website, I am able to connect with many basketball players per day, I help them with my content, and I make suggestions to them to help them improve their game. One of these suggestions is this jump program.

Here is how my monthly revenue could look, depending on how many sales I can make.

1 “jump program” sale per day = $1,050 per month

2 “jump program” sales per day = $2,100 per month

5 “jump program” sales per day = $5,250 per month

10 “jump program” sales per day = $10,500 per month!!

You can see, it adds up quickly to a 6-figure revenue stream, and this is promoting just ONE product to my audience. Through time I can and will be promoting many products/services to my audience, and creating multiple revenue streams from my website.

Let’s look at the WA Affiliate Program here, that EVERYONE has access to. We pay up to $320 per sale for the yearly Premium Plus+ membership. So when you refer someone to WA through your affiliate link, and they sign-up to our most popular membership (on a yearly discount basis), we pay you $320 recurring. Let’s do the same math here with those sales.

1 “WA Premium Plus+ Yearly” sale per day = $9,600 per month

2 “WA Premium Plus+ Yearly” sales per day = $19,200 per month

5 “WA Premium Plus+ Yearly” sales per day = $48,000 per month

10 “WA Premium Plus+ Yearly” sales per day = $96,000 per month!!

We are talking in big numbers. That is over A MILLION in annual, recurring revenue. Seeing the potential here?

This is the math of affiliate marketing. You have a MASSIVE audience within any niche, and you have the freedom to promote many different products/services.

Remember to always stay authentic, to value your readers above all else. In this digital world, authenticity and trust rule.

Onwards and upwards…and in our next lesson, we are going to be discussing.

Tasks for this Lesson:

  • Understanding the Mechanics of Affiliate Marketing
  • How to choose products or services that align with your brand
  • Crafting content that aids conversion
  • Sign-up to at least 2 affiliate networks
  • Sign-up to at least 2 independent affiliate program