How To Start Affiliate Marketing As A Beginner? [In 3 Steps]

Affiliate marketing may seem overwhelming at the start. Don’t worry though! I’m about to show you exactly how to start affiliate marketing as a beginner.

I have been at it for a few years now. Along the road, I spent a small fortune polishing up the knowledge and skills I am about to share with you.

How to start affiliate marketing as a beginner?
Start by deciding what niche you will be working in. Then find related, quality products to sell as an affiliate marketer. Finally, understand your target audience. This enables you to market your products in the best place for your audience.

In the following sections, we’ll explore each of these steps in further detail. As you read on you’ll see me demonstrating exactly how to go about each step the right way. This will help you avoid the unpleasant “trial and error” path that most beginner affiliate marketers endure.

How To Start Affiliate Marketing As A Beginner [In 3 Steps]

How To Start Affiliate Marketing As A Beginner [Step 1]: Niche Selection

The very first step to starting affiliate marketing as a beginner is determining your niche. This can be a little complicated if you don’t know what you’re doing. Fortunately, there are some rules you can follow to help you simplify the niche selection process.

The definition of a niche:

“A small section of the market for a particular kind of product or service”

The Oxford Collocations Dictionary

Criteria For Profitable Niche Selection

To increase your chances of a successful start as a beginner to affiliate marketing as yourself these questions:

  1. Does this niche cover a topic that I have knowledge and or experience with? If not, is this topic something I am interested in and would enjoy learning?
  2. Is there a demand for this niche? (An easy way to find this out is by checking if there are articles about it on google and if it shows up in the search bar’s auto-complete)
  3. Are there quality products available in this niche that you can sell? (If the products available will not help, or add value to, the buyer then it’s advisable to skip to the next niche option)
  4. Will buyers in this niche need the product and/or similar products on a regular basis. Repeat business means you can earn more from each customer you convert. (This step is optional but can improve results with affiliate marketing, especially for beginners)
  5. Who are your competitors? Are there big names and brands competing in this niche? As a beginner starting affiliate marketing finding a foothold against big names can be tough, cost more, and slow down your success.
  6. How saturated is the market in this niche? If everyone (and their uncle) is bombarding the audience with their products… By choosing this niche you would be contributing to further menacing the audience. Plus, the audience will be less welcoming to your prospecting efforts.
  7. What is the public impression of this niche? If the industry is full of scammers, earning the audience’s trust (as a beginner to affiliate marketing) will be difficult.

These questions will help you establish if a particular niche increases your potential for success.

The more of these questions you answer with “yes” the higher the likeliness of your success with it.

Side note: you may be wondering what is the relevance of question one to your success? If you are not familiar with a topic and have absolutely no interest in learning about it whatsoever…

You’ll get bored! Plus you won’t give it your 100% dedication. As a result, giving up too soon and failure is inevitable.

How To Start Affiliate Marketing As A Beginner [In 2 - Finding Related, High Quality Products]
product marketing manager making a marketing strategy for a new product. Manager holding new product and developing new marketing strategy plan for customers.

If you pick the perfect niche but the products you offer are of low quality or offer low to no value, you’ll struggle to make any sales. Additionally, if you do make any sales, return business will be unlikely.

Needless to mention the negative impact on your brand and trust within the market. There are two primary ways to ensure your products are high quality and add value to your buyers…

Try The Product Yourself

To try any product you have a few options and it can vary depending on the niche:

  1. Buy the product
  2. Request a free trial (this is perfect for software and digital products)
  3. Book a test drive (ideal for the automotive industry)
  4. Show up to the store and try out the demo product
  5. Order a free sample

The key here is to try the product yourself, test its limits note down your honest experience. You can even record yourself using it to show your audience how well it works. Remember to always be honest, tell your audience exactly what you liked and disliked about it.
Even if you don’t make any sales with this particular product… Your audience will trust your recommendations on future products.

Research The Product & Its Reviews In-Depth

Some products will be very difficult or expensive to buy, especially when you are just starting and have no audience or sales.

In these cases, you’ll need to take time to carefully research the product. Look at forums and see what people who bought it thought of it.

Try to discover all its features and then check if these promised features work as advertised.

I would suggest you be honest with your audience and tell them that your source of information about it was actual customer reviews.

When you inform your audience that you haven’t tried the product… but took the time to compile all the reviews for them in one place 2 things happen:

  1. If the buyer’s experience with the product differs from the reviews you’re safe. Since you let them know you’re sharing what people said about their experience you didn’t deceive your audience. (Please make sure you do enough research so that your audience can continue to trust you)
  2. Your audience will trust you more as someone with integrity and honesty.

Step 3: Understanding Your Target Audience

How To Start Affiliate Marketing As A Beginner [Step 3 - Understanding Your Target Audience]

This step is the most important one in this process. Now that you have a niche and high-quality products to sell, you need to find people to sell to.

When you first start affiliate marketing as a beginner this step could be challenging.

Relax though, there are ways to make it less difficult. Start by doing some research, you already have two valuable resources to help you…

  1. Your Niche
  2. The products you are marketing

By checking who are the followers and people engaging with your competitors’ content, videos, social media profiles…

You can easily get an idea of the kind of person who is interested in your niche. This is what we call in marketing the target audience avatar.

What Information Do You Need To Learn About Your Target Audience/Avatar?

Once you have your avatar you need to learn everything about them. Here are some of the main things you need to know about your audience:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Where do they hang out
  • What kind of language/tone appeals to them
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Things that they find offensive/repulsive
  • Fears
  • Desires
  • Hopes
  • Motivators
  • Average Income
  • Geographical Location
  • Number of Children

(Disclaimer: the following example is for demonstration purposes only and should not be considered as fact. there is no substitute to doing your research)

If your niche is beauty and your target audience are Native American, single, straight females aged between 21 and 35…

You will need to use photography, language, a communication platform, tone, discussion topics, and product features that appeal to this demographic.

In contrast, if you use the same things from above to sell a razor to caucasian, straight, males aged between 40 and 60, you won’t get much of a positive response.

Another, easier, way to find out these details about your avatar is through the products you are marketing.

Some products will already serve you this information on a silver platter.

A few will even give you some sample materials to help you mimic their style when marketing.

Using Reverse Engineering To Find Out The Ideal Prospects For Your Product

If the product doesn’t already come with sample materials, don’t worry here’s what you do instead…

Look at their website and sales page, watch the video advertisements the manufacturer uses to market the product.

You’ll need to look out for the kind of language they use, the models they are using in the photographs and videos, etc.

In other words, you can use their website to reverse engineer their target audience.

I do want to point out that the goal here is not to copy or plagiarise the content. Instead, what you want to do is find out who they are targeting and use their content as a guideline to what you create.

You may also find out which social media and communication channels the brand uses to reach its target market.

This will help you avoid wasting time trying to find an audience on the wrong channels.

For example, if they only market their products on youtube and their blog then…

It’s safe to assume, the majority of the target audience is searching for their products on search engines.

But, if they have a heavy presence on Facebook and Instagram, then these social platforms are where you need to be!

Finally, make sure to read, understand, and comply with each product’s affiliate policy to avoid getting banned and payments confiscated.

If you’d like to learn more about how to start affiliate marketing as a beginner and some more advanced tips, strategies and tactics, check out these other posts on the topic:

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