The beginner’s guide on how to start an affiliate marketing company! See which companies are the best for affiliate marketing, learn about the basics of affiliate marketing, and even get into advanced promotional strategies for affiliate companies.
Affiliate Marketing is a great way for beginners to get started in the marketing and affiliate business. Download your free report that gives you the Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Companies for Free and paid membership sites.
Amazon is the affiliate network of choice for many beginners.
Now, Amazon Associates isn’t perfect – but I’ll go into that in another article. However, this program is great for someone just starting out.
Amazon is one of the largest and most trusted e-commerce services in the world. If you want to link to any products for sale, Amazon should be your go-to.
For example, the software product Quicken once had an affiliate program with Commission Junction, the second network on this list. I placed several affiliate links for Quicken on my blog Investor Junkie, and they worked great.
However, Quicken’s affiliate program unexpectedly shut down. I quickly changed my affiliate links to use Amazon instead. That way, I was still able to monetize the web pages that referenced Quicken.
If you already have an Amazon account – and who doesn’t? – you’re already halfway there. Ideally, if you have an incorporated business, you should sign up for Amazon using your company’s information.
The biggest issue with Amazon is that its affiliate programs are country-specific. If your traffic is coming from one part of the world, you’ll need to make sure your Amazon links are set up for that country.
Here are the 14 countries where Amazon offers its affiliate program and the corresponding links to join:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- United Arab Emirates
If you’re looking to better manage your Amazon affiliate links, I recommend the WordPress plugin AAWP. This plugin can create Amazon links that apply specifically to each site visitor’s country. AAWP can also display current Amazon prices and create product summary boxes that increase conversions on your site.
Commission Junction (CJ)
Right behind Amazon, Commission Junction is perhaps the internet’s second-oldest affiliate program. Most folks in the industry refer to the company as “CJ.” Unlike Amazon, it’s a network, rather than an e-commerce store.
This means CJ – like the other networks on this list – will hook you (the affiliate) up with merchants and manage most of those relationships for you.
If you’re a new affiliate marketer, this can be a godsend because you won’t need to work with a merchant directly.
At the time of writing, more than 1,500 merchants use CJ’s service. These merchants are in a wide variety of niches, so it’s highly recommended you join this network.
CJ’s signup process isn’t particularly difficult. But once in, you’ll need to apply with specific merchants. The difficulty of the application process varies per merchant. There are some that will grant you instant approval, others will take a few days, and a few will leave you in limbo forever with no response.
ClickBank is among the top companies with affiliate programs that appeal to all kinds of marketers. Its affiliate information is completely open to anyone, making it a valuable affiliate platform to consider for your success.
ClickBank started out of a garage in 1998 but quickly grew to become one of the top retailing and affiliate sites in the world. They currently boast a large number of affiliates who’ve earned more than $4.2 billion in commissions promoting ClickBank products.
Because of their success and 20-year history, they’re an excellent option for getting started no matter what your expertise level. With tons of products to promote and a wide variety of companies to partner with, they’re hard to pass up.
To become a ClickBank affiliate, you’ll need to start an account if you want to start earning revenue. Input your personal and payment info, and then finalize your account to get started.
You’ll also be asked to complete a quick survey that helps ClickBank give you a better experience once you’ve finished the process.
Once you get through the setup, the rest is relatively simple. As a freshly minted ClickBank affiliate, you’ll have a huge database of resources at your disposal. This can help you learn more about what ClickBank has to offer and answer any lingering questions you might have.
And to find the products you want to promote, you can head over to the marketplace. Here, you can search for specific items, or browse the sidebar for a wider look at what ClickBank has to offer.
Once you input a search term and get your results, here’s what the product page will look like:
As you can see, there are usually quite a few options to choose from. You’ll have the product’s title, a short description, and then some additional information that helps inform your decision.
Leading the way in dashboard functionality and user interface (UI), Impact is another great affiliate program to consider when first setting out in affiliate marketing. With an intuitive interface that offers detailed performance tracking and reporting, this program is great for those wanting more performance metrics to help gear business decisions.
With over 1,000 brands found in a large array of niches, this affiliate program will definitely have something that suits your desired market. Known for offering one of the best UI and reporting dashboards, it is no wonder why so many affiliates speak very highly of this program.
Impact’s customer service is also known to be great for both beginners and seasoned affiliates because of the support it provides to each and every person within its program. Useful information and detailed “How-to” articles accompany your support requests, making you feel like the program actually cares about your success. Other factors that make Impact stand out from the crowd include the fact that many brands will accept you into their program in little time. This may be due in part to the fact that this program is a bit more difficult to get into at first, so let’s go over some of the anchors that might weigh you down within this program.
As mentioned above, the Impact affiliate program is not as user friendly to join as the other options we have covered so far. This can be both good and bad depending on how you look at it. Because many brands will choose to accept you into their program sooner based on the added requirements to apply, you may find this beneficial depending on your longer-term goals. The learning curve to pick up this program is also something that many have complained about based on the added functionality within the dashboard. Because this affiliate network has so much functionality built in, some users have reported a few bugs and other backend issues that you should keep in mind when making your decision.
Affiliate Marketing is the practice of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. It is a business model that rewards your hard work, perseverance and salesmanship skills with extra income for each sale you generate for your affiliate.