Affiliate Marketing FAQ

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an online business model that allows you to promote products that someone else has created.

No matter who or where you are — you can get paid “affiliate commissions” by recommending products or services to people online.

How much do you get paid?

Affiliates receive a fixed % of the final product price (typically).

So your compensation depends on the product and company you’re promoting (& how many products the customer purchased).

Example: If you’re promoting $100 running shoes for 20% commissions, you (the affiliate) will receive $20 for each sale you make.

The rest of the money ($80) goes to the product merchant (who you’re affiliated with).

The commission % depends on what company you affiliate with (it could be anything from 1% to 100%).

Physical products are typically in the range of 1% to 10% and digital products can go as high as 80% or even more.

It’s up to you to decide what company and products you want to promote so how much you get paid really depends on yourself.

Why become an affiliate?

The main benefit is that you don’t have to create your own products to sell.

Creating your own product takes time, money, and skill and even then it’s not guaranteed to be a success.

As an affiliate, you can focus on promoting products that are already proven to sell.

It’s a great way to make a living online (for almost anyone) without having to spend a fortune designing your own product.

General Questions

What Are Affiliate Programs?
An affiliate program is the system provided by product creator that allows affiliates (you) to promote products online with unique affiliate links (and make money).

Affiliate programs can be categorized into:

Private Affiliate Programs: Typically found on most websites selling their own products or services. You can apply to join these on their website and affiliate programs are almost always free to join.

(E.g. Amazon, Apple, eBay, etc.)

Affiliate Networks: A large collection of affiliate programs from different companies under one platform. The purpose of affiliate networks is to connect affiliates and sellers in a way that benefits all parties.

  • Sellers offer affiliate programs
  • Affiliates can find products to promote
  • The affiliate network earns by offering a service

(E.g. Clickbank, ShareASale, Commission Junction, etc.)

What Are Affiliate Links?
When you join an affiliate program, you gain access to your unique affiliate links that are used to promote products.

Affiliate links are mainly used to track which affiliate was responsible for referring the sale so the correct person gets paid.

There are many ways to use affiliate links but one common method is to use them in product reviews. For example, you could review a product on your website and insert an affiliate link somewhere in the content and make visitors click on that link.

When a visitor clicks on your affiliate link leading to a product sales page; a “cookie” is stored on their web browser that is used to track which affiliate made the potential sale. If the visitor ends up buying what you promoted, you earn a cut from the final sale (affiliate commission).

Who Pays You And How?
Who pays you depends entirely on what companies you want to work with (it’s up to you) — as long as the company has an affiliate program.

The companies typically pay you through their affiliate program or they could pay you through an affiliate network. It depends on which one you signed up for.

PayPal and direct bank transfers are the most common ways to get paid. The payment methods usually depend on the company you are affiliated with and some can also pay with checks or cryptocurrencies if requested.

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based business and you will typically get paid per “action”. Most often this action is a sale of a product, but there are also other actions like getting people to sign up for an email list or trials.

There is definitely no shortage of affiliate programs to choose from since around 81% of brands around the world have adopted affiliate marketing and there are over 12,000 affiliate programs in the US alone.

How Much Money Can You Make?
Affiliate marketing can earn you as much as any business; there is no limit.

For example, a normal brick and mortar cafe’s revenue is dependent on how many customers they can get every day. Very similarly in affiliate marketing, your earnings are directly related to how many visitors you can get to your website.

Getting traffic to your website is not that hard since 4.6 Billion people have access to the Internet (and everyone is a potential customer). When you think about it, it’s a rather big difference when compared to a cafe that is restricted by its geographical location and the local population.

In both cases, you need to work to get the traffic though.

You probably want to see some more definitive numbers on how much money you can make so here is one of the income proof lists inside the WA platform.

How Long Does It Take To Make Money?

Everyone’s situation is different and it depends on many factors.

Someone dedicating 8 hours a day will make money faster than someone working only 1 hour. Some people also learn and work faster while some are slower.

I have seen people making a full-time income after 3-months and people who have not made a cent after two years.

It all depends on how much effort you are willing to invest.

One thing I can say for certain; the more time you dedicate, the faster you’ll see results.

If you get started with Wealthy Affiliate, a common estimation is to start making sales at the 3-6 month mark. And 6-12 months before you can expect to make any life-changing income. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule and you could make good money before that.

How Much Time Do I Need To Invest?
The more time you can invest, the faster you’ll see results.

If you have a family life with a tight schedule, even if you invest 1-2 hours per day and keep being consistent, you can pull it off. Have 8 hours per day to invest? Even better.

When starting, the workload is usually heavier because you are learning something new, but it gets much easier over time.

At some point, you can even outsource most of the work to a freelancer (if you want). This gives you more freedom and the ability to scale your business.

What Do I Need To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing?

A Niche Topic

A niche is the topic of your website.

Your website should become the go-to source of information for whatever niche you choose.

If you have a hard time choosing a niche, don’t let it discourage you from starting. You can always change your niche later if you feel like it.

You can see more information in the niche section of this FAQ.

A WordPress Website

A WordPress website is the best option among website builders to do affiliate marketing for the simple reasons of reliability, simplicity, and customization options.

It’s the most used platform out there for websites, and it’s also free. Most hosting & domain providers allow you to do a simple 1-click installation to WordPress.

An Affiliate Program

In order to do affiliate marketing, you need to sign-up for affiliate programs in your respective niche to sell their products.

There are thousands of affiliate programs in almost every niche and they are free to join.

For example, the Amazon marketplace has an affiliate program that allows affiliates to earn money by recommending Amazon’s products to the customers.

The “recommending” happens by sharing unique affiliate links that you get once you join the affiliate program. This is also how they keep track of who referred the sale and can pay the affiliate accordingly.

How Much Does It Cost To Get Started?
Affiliate marketing is one of the cheapest forms of business you can start.

You only need a website that costs ~$15/year for a domain name and hosting which is usually ~$10/month.

It’s also possible to start with a free website before you pay anything. I recommend SiteRubix if you want a free website that can be created in a few minutes.

If you are a complete beginner, then it’s a good idea to also invest in your own education. Wealthy Affiliate is the best choice for beginners since it offers training, websites, hosting, and support all in one package.

You can get started with the training for free, and if you see any value in upgrading, it’s $19 for the first month and $49/m afterward. No hidden costs or credit card required.

Where Can You Learn Affiliate Marketing?

You can learn affiliate marketing from many free & paid resources online.

Some popular resources I can recommend are:

  • Income School
  • Authority Hacker
  • Wealthy Affiliate

I can personally recommend Wealthy Affiliate for absolute beginners since they offer a free membership option.

It’s also where I started as a clueless beginner in 2018 and thanks to the training I’m now able to run a portfolio of affiliate websites.

I’m still an active member after all these years and see no reason to quit anytime soon.

In Wealthy Affiliate, you get all the support, training, tools, a website, and hosting along with a great community of over 1,400,000 to help you succeed with affiliate marketing (including my personal help).

Niche Questions

What Is A Niche?
A niche simply means your website topic — it’s what your website is all about.

It might be hard to come up with a niche if you’ve never done it before, but all it takes is a bit of brainstorming ideas. Just keep in mind that literally anything can be a niche and every niche can make money.

As a rule of thumb, it’s better to pick something narrow for your niche instead of too broad:

  • Broad: Basketball
  • Broad: Gardening
  • Broad: Weightloss
  • Narrow: Basketball for kids
  • Narrow: Gardening for small spaces
  • Narrow: Losing weight with a keto diet

A narrow niche will have less competition and it’ll be easier to establish the site as a go-to information source for visitors.

You can always broaden your niche later to cover different areas if you feel like you have exhausted the topic.

Do I Need To Be An Expert In My Niche?
You don’t need to be an expert to help people.

In fact, most people actually prefer to read the viewpoint of an “average Joe” because it’s more relatable.

There is also a good chance that you already know more than an average person if your niche is built around your passion or hobby.

Whatever your niche is, eventually you will become an expert in the topic, but it is not required when starting.

How Do I Find A Good Niche?
A good niche is something you are interested in and can stick for a long time.

You have to create a lot of content about your niche so it is crucial that it’s about something you enjoy.

This is why I recommend choosing a niche that is your passion, hobby, or something you want to learn more about.

There will come a time when you are frustrated and having that enjoyable niche can make or break your motivation.

Website Questions

Do I Really Need A Website?
If you want to have a reliable long-term passive income business that increases in value over time; then yes, you do need a website.

There are many ways to make money online without a website, but none of them bring stability and reliability like a website. None.

Your website is an asset that increases in value over time and it’s something no one can take away from you. Unless you do something illegal.

I guess this question stems from the expectation that running a website is hard, but trust me; it’s not.

What If I Don't Know Anything About Websites?
You don’t need to know anything about websites. I didn’t know either when I started.

Creating and managing websites is really easy these days and anyone can do it.

It’s almost as easy as creating a Facebook account and posting stuff on your feed.

There is obviously a small learning curve but it’s the same with any new service you sign up for. It’s nothing you can’t get over.

How Do I Get Traffic To My Website?
Traffic is the bread and butter of your business and without it you won’t make money.

Getting traffic comes down to two options:

  • Free traffic
  • Paid traffic

Free traffic is awesome and often more reliable than paid traffic, but the downside is that it takes time to build up.

Out of many traffic methods, I recommend getting organic search traffic using content marketing (i.e SEO). Let me explain what it means;

It basically means that you will be writing articles on your website and that content gets ranked in search engines like Google. When people search for something on Google, they can find your website in the search results if your article answers their search query.

It’s a really powerful way to get free traffic and you will also improve your writing skills while doing so.

Paid traffic on the other hand gets you traffic almost instantly, but the downside is that it’s damn expensive and you can lose a lot of money even if you are experienced.

Many newcomers to affiliate marketing start with a shoestring budget and that’s why I recommend them to start with free traffic options. It’s not fun to dump a few grand to ads and realize that your page doesn’t convert as well as you thought.

Affiliate Marketing Summarized

  • Easy to get started
  • Make money online in absolutely any niche of your choice
  • Low-cost & low-risk online business
  • Multiple long-term passive income sources
  • Work from anywhere in the world
  • No need to handle customer service, recruit a team, or buy inventory.
  • Realistic potential to scale into 6-7 figure per year range
  • Anyone can make affiliate marketing work with the right mindset
  • Requires patience & dedication to make it work (6-12 months).