How to Start Affiliate Marketing: The Pillar Guide – John Thornhill’s Blog

As soon as Big-G, Bing, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves (remember that one?) took the center stage, those of us that could withstand a dial-up connection, tried to generate income online. magnus engo kLT5Lne ESk unsplash


It was a goldrush for Affiliate Marketers and online entrepreneurial innovators.

Email open rates were sky-high … because everyone opened up their emails at the time literally – I mean everyone.

The Pay Per Click investment for a business to advertise was laughable in comparison to what it is today. In the same vein, ranking websites for incredibly lucrative and juicy keyword terms was as easy as spam.

Gone are those days, however, and now more than ever, there is fierce competition to capture a prospective client or customer’s attention for the briefest of moments in between episodes of Lost.

Let’s be honest, now marketing can feel at times like a giant blitz towards the quarterback in order to hit them with a value prop or lead magnet you spent so much time or money on.

If you believe (like most beginners figuring out how to start Affiliate Marketing) making money online as an affiliate marketer has long past you or you just can’t do it – think again.

Rest assured! Some strategies stood against the test of time and if you’re just a little bit creative – and a touch gutsy, you are going to make it.
Three Pillars of Affiliate Marketing For Beginners

The purpose of this post is to dispel any myth that is:

Feeling like starting out as an affiliate Marketer might be too impossible to tackle. If you want to discover exactly how to start Affiliate Marketing – this is for you.

Let’s dive in.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

If you want to learn how to start marketing as an affiliate, some quick definitions need to be squared away first.

According to this article on Wikipedia:

“Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts…”

Translation: You as an affiliate, sell someone else’s product or service for them. When a sale is generated as a result of your marketing efforts, you receive some amount or percentage of that sale, also known as a commission.

It’s that simple.

Now, fully aware and understanding that you’re eager to get started and drive any type of traffic that you can read about and deploy, we’ll dive straight into it in three simple steps.

Three Pillars Of Affiliate Marketing

When you throw away all of the fancy bells and whistles of digital marketing, being an effective and successful Affiliate Marketing Beginner really boils down to these hree main pillars:

Pillar #1: Generating Traffic
Pillar #2: Capturing Traffic
Pillar #3: Follow-ing up With Traffic

Let’s go into a bit more detail so you can really see how easy it is to get started once you’re done reading this post!

Pillar #1: Generating Traffic

“Traffic” in this instance is defined as getting the attention of an audience anywhere – whether it be on one social platform or another or even across everyone in tandem – and ‘herding’ them towards a common action or location.

What does that even have to do with Affiliate Marketing?

Let’s use the almighty Google Search Engine for example.

Presently, the reported search volume (the average amount of people searching) of us actively typing in the phrase “How to Start Affiliate Marketing” is around 1,300 times per month.
For you sticklers out there, let’s assume I’m right for the sake of making a point.

In order to fulfill the First Pillar of Affiliate Marketing aka Generating Traffic, you might set up a pay per click campaign to trigger an advertisement of your own design, that’s congruent with this phrase, “How to Start Affiliate Marketing”.

When someone types this keyword into Big-G’s search engine, your advertisement is triggered to show up in front of them at some location on the screen, and they are then quite possibly enticed to click on it.

This generated “click” from advertisement, will take the person to another location and is in the most simplistic sense, traffic.

We can apply this concept to any other industry-standard or creative form of traffic generation for Affiliate Marketing such as:

1. Facebook Ads
2. YouTube Ads
3. Instagram Ads
4. Search Engine Optimization (a favorite)
5. Email Marketing (someone clicks a link in your email to take them to another location – hence, traffic!)
6. Rent or buy clicks from someone else’s email list – also known as Solo Ads (another favorite)
7. Heck, why not call up a friend (it’s free) and tell them to go to your website and stay on the phone until they do … that’s traffic

Now, the actual research, planning, building, and executing of the above traffic generation examples is beyond the scope of this post, as a beginner affiliate, you have room to explore each platform as you start.

Since we have someone or a group of people in your sphere of influence moving in a direction towards somewhere from clicking on your ad, we need to do something with them.

That’s where Pillar #2 comes into play.

Pillar #2: Capturing Traffic

‘Capturing’ might be too visceral of a phrase to use but hopefully, it’ll help you remember it because it’s a tricky one to master!

Luckily, for the beginner affiliate marketer, there is absolutely no need to be perfect as you learn how to start affiliate marketing.

Pro Tip: Perfection is the enemy of action in this case and it’s better to “shoot first’ and aim later” as entrepreneurs often grumble when it’s taken too long to launch.

In order to capture the traffic that you now happily generated, you’ll need to have some form of simple online page, survey, or if you’re a gunner, a fully built out website.

The purpose of these ‘things’ and this pillar specifically, is that they act as a means to obtain your traffic information in the form of a name, email, phone number, etc.

That’s it – you’re almost ready to get going!

To recap: You generated traffic or waved over human eyeballs or got the attention of an audience (or person) on a platform of your choosing. Now at this point, they’re being taken to a place where you can ask for their information from a click on your ad.

Pro Tip: There are many – almost too many – platforms out there now, that will build you a page or form online at the touch of a button (literal websites in seconds completely done for you) in order to obtain/ask your incoming audience for their information.

You might be wondering to yourself at this stage, “Why am I capturing their information?” and that’s exactly where Pillar #3 slides into play!

Pillar #3: Following-Up With Traffic (Now turned into leads)

This final pillar is where all of the magic happens.

If you don’t follow-up with the traffic or also known at this stage as a lead(s) that you captured (you’ll find out exactly how in just a second), you run the risk of wasting initial efforts or budget during Pillar #1 (Generating Traffic).

Consider this simple fact: once the traffic is done and gone … how will you market to them if you have no way to get in touch?

You see, obtaining your traffic’s information and turning them into a lead, serves the purpose of opening up a line of communication between you, the affiliate marketer and them, the potential buyer.

There are various strategies and types of follow-up as an affiliate marketer you can deploy.

For starters, if you asked for their email address, you can send your leads marketing material or emails that result in them taking some form of action – like buying that product you’re promoting for a commission!

Pro Tip: After you convert your traffic into a lead, send them an immediate welcome email in order to thank them for providing you with their information.

Here, you can let them know about yourself, what you’re promoting and why it’s the hottest on the block item right now!

If you offered to exchange a gift or free item in order to receive their email and contact information, now would be a good time to give it to them so they stick around wanting more!

Congratulations! You just learned how to start Affiliate Marketing!

Don’t worry though, we won’t leave you high and dry without giving a practical example for you to try out yourself.

Your How to Start Affiliate Marketing Strategy:

Step 1: Decide on what product or offer you want to promote. It helps to have an interest in what you’re promoting because there is never a shortage of creative ideas at each stage.

Step 2: Decide what platform or arena or stage you want to generate traffic (Pillar #1). Once you’ve picked one – stick to it. It’s VERY tempting to jump from platform to platform if you don’t see immediate results. Fight the urge unless it’s a good move to try something else (more on that in later posts).

Step 3: Now that you have your product and picked the platform to generate traffic, make sure you have a landing or capture page to turn your traffic into leads (Pillar #2). It’s a good idea when you’re at this stage, to test out your page or form to make sure it actually works.

All of us (even the top super affiliates) are guilty of pressing “GO!” too quickly and basically leaving the gas station still attached to the pump, if that makes sense.

Step 4: Begin your traffic generation herding it or them, towards your capture page.

Step 5: Once you’ve obtained your now lead’s information, send a welcome message or email to the address they provided.

Step 6: Follow-up with your leads (Pillar #3).

Step 7: Make Millions.

Just kidding! But hey – it could happen so never sell yourself short of the dream!

But seriously, make sure you keep routine contact with your leads and hopefully you’ll see your first sale come in as an Affiliate Marketer, so enjoy those juicy commissions on me!

Concluding your How to Start Affiliate Marketing Guide:

It is my hope that by breaking down these three fundamental Pillars of Affiliate Marketing, you’ll start to gain confidence in your decision to join us on ‘the other side’ where passive income is really achievable (some of us really do make money in our sleep all day, everyday and you can too!)
Naturally, you might want to go out and try absolutely everything and you should!

After all, what’s the point of being an online entrepreneur if you can’t test everything anyway, right?

Exactly. So go for it and be bold.

I’ll leave you with one last Pro Tip: the most successful Affiliate Marketers in history were coached or mentored by someone that’s “been there and done that”.

The value a coach or mentor will bring to the journey that’s about to unfold for you is almost unfathomable because you ‘hack’ the process and bypass the steep, steep, learning curve that’s waiting around the corner.

If you’re someone like me and would like to have their handheld from product selection all the way through to their first online paycheck, then I recommend you check out this Done For You Affiliate Marketing System Here.

Go get em’!

This is a guest post from Matt Olesiak, if you would like to be considered for a guest post please contact me.

This content was originally published here.

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