affiliate_marketing_dummiesAffiliate marketing is not complicated.

All it takes is a little bit of knowledge about how to follow a clear, proven process that can help you build a profitable online business.

In this post I’ll provide a brief overview for affiliate marketing dummies. I’ll show teach you the basic principles of affiliate marketing and show you how to get started with a free, easy affiliate marketing program.

Affiliate Marketing Overview

Once you cut through all the online jargon, the basics of affiliate marketing are simple.

At its core, affiliate marketing is simply the act of companies paying people to refer customers to them.

This means that there are three sides to the equation:

  1. A company willing to pay for product referrals,
  2. A website that links to that company’s products, and
  3. A user (potential customer) who is looking for those products.

As an affiliate marketer, you will be building a website, such as a blog, that provides information within a targeted topic-area, commonly called a niche. On this website, you will include specific links to products the user is looking for.

As your site generates traffic, users will click on the affiliate links you have on your site. When a user buys the product after clicking one of your specific links, you earn a commission for the sale.

Why Affiliate Marketing Works

Many people new to affiliate marketing make the mistake of thinking that affiliates are like parasites, injecting their website between the individual user and the company in order to make a quick buck.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The best affiliate websites are websites that genuinely help their users. Affiliate marketing works because people search for far too many variations of related product content than companies can realistically target. This means there’s a gap between companies looking to sell products and users looking to buy those products. Affiliate marketers help close this gap, such that everyone wins.

Think about the last product you purchased online. If it was a product you’ve never purchased before, chances are you did a little bit of research to figure out exactly what you wanted, before you bought the product.

If you were looking for an electric toothbrush, for example, you might have searched for information on types of toothbrushes, and then searched for information to compare several different options. Maybe you looked for the best toothbrushes under $50, or maybe you looked for the best soft bristle toothbrushes.

Either way, you wanted more information before you bought the product, and you found a website that helped you make the decision.

How To Build an Affiliate Business

Once you’ve decided if affiliate marketing is right for you, there are a number of different routes you can take to get started earning money with affiliate marketing, but my recommendation (if you’ve not worked with internet marketing before) is that you choose a training course.

Finding a good course will help make the process easier so that you can start earning money more quickly.

For beginners, my #1 recommendation is Wealthy Affiliate, which provides 10 free affiliate classes that will walk you through the process of choosing a niche, launching your website with WordPress, and writing high quality content that will generate traffic to your website and earn revenue.

It’s important to remember that, as with any business, the secret to success is to take action. If there’s one thing you can do right now that will set the groundwork for your success, it’s simply to get started.

Click here to read more about the best free affiliate marketing training.