How to Learn About Affiliate Marketing

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When it comes to opportunities on the internet, there are so many it can be overwhelming. You can freelance, work for organizations that offer goods and services, start your own business and so on. This post will focus on starting your own business online, specifically, How to Learn About Affiliate Marketing.

So you may have heard about Affiliate Marketing and you think to yourself “This sounds pretty interesting. How do I learn more about it?”. There are actually many resources available to you. Today I’ll cover many options and then suggest my top picks, for each category, that I think offers the best option.  I’ll then offer my number one, over-all, pick that offers the training you need and so much more.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE SEE MY AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Why Affiliate Marketing?Why Affiliate Marketing?

So, I mentioned that there are so many opportunities on the internet, why choose affiliate marketing? There are several reasons that make it quite appealing:

Low Starting & Operating Costs

There’s no huge payment needed to get started. Basically, with the proper training and a decent website (which the training should teach you to build), you’re ready to go. The site I use offers a free Starter Membership and that comes with two websites for free. If you want to go Premium, it’s $29-$49 per month, depending on the payment option you choose, and that includes the web hosting and email services!

Easy to Get Into

Becoming an affiliate marketer is not difficult.  You can get started very quickly.

No Need to Have a Product or Service of Your Own

As an affiliate marketer, you’re actually promoting someone else’s products and services. Like Nike shoes? Great promote those. Into drones? Do the same. You can check out my drone site at https://mavicmaniacs.com. You can promote pretty much anything.

Product/Service Reputation

You don’t need to build a product’s or service’s reputation. You can promote what people already know about. Big brands have affiliate programs. Why build from scratch when you can take advantage of their marketing efforts?

No Warehousing/Inventory to Keep On-Hand

As an affiliate, you simply refer traffic to the selling site. There’s no need for you to keep stock of anything.

No Need for Payment Processing, Customer Information and Shipping

Because you’re simply referring the traffic to the actual selling site, there’s no need for you to collect any data or handle the logistics of offering products and services for sale. Simply refer the traffic and make a commission from any sales generated by that traffic.

Long Term Earning Potential

If you build your site right and offer great content, your visitors will return time and time again to see what’s new, get your opinion on something and so on. They will see you as an authority in your niche and trust your opinion. As such, they will continue to follow your links and purchase products and services, earning you commissions down the road as they do.

There’s a lot more to affiliate marketing but I wanted to highlight some of the best points, in my opinion, and show that it can be a great way to build a long-term source of income vs a one-off single sale, etc.

How to Learn About Affiliate Marketing?How to Learn About Affiliate Marketing?

Just like there are many opportunities online, there are many resources when it comes to learning in general. This is also true for learning about affiliate marketing. Word of mouth, books, online training platforms (including dedicated sites, YouTube, Udemy, etc.), downloadable documents (such as PDF’s, etc.), in-person seminars and so on.

Each of these sources have their pros and cons. I’m going to break them down into online resources and offline options and dig deeper into each one to see what might be the best fit for you. I have a personal preference, when it comes to the types of training resources to consider, and it’s mostly predicated on keeping up-to-date vs using stale information.

Let’s take a look…

Online ResourcesOnline Resources

Online Training Platforms

When it comes to learning, online training platforms tend to be one of the better choices. This is mainly due to the fact that such platforms are always updating their content, adding new information, offer interactive features (chat, question platform, etc.). A couple of options are:

Wealthy Affiliate

This one is my go-to platform for my affiliate marketing training. They have two excellent main training courses, the Online Entreprenure Course and Affiliate Bootcamp. Beyond these training courses, they offer several classrooms with all kinds of training topics from SEO, keyword research and WooCommerce to social engagement, writing content and so on.

WA even offers a live training course, on a different topic each week, where you can interact with, not only the training guru but, others in the community as well. Even other members can create trainings. This is pretty cool because there might be some plugin or theme that you want more information on and it may not be in the main training material but, chances are, another member may have created a how-to that you might find useful.

What’s cool about these trainings is they are a mix of text and video. Many offer the training in both formats within the same course, others use one or the other to provide the information. As such, whatever your learning method of choice is, there’s a training to match it. There’s a lot more to this platform. Check out my Wealthy Affiliate Review for more information.

YouTube

Blogging is great but, I’d argue, video is fast becoming the new media of choice. One of the great things about YouTube is you can get it anywhere. Another is the fact that a picture is worth a thousand words. Video allows you to see what the person is talking about. In a perfect world, a mix of text and video will provide the best training solution.

With video, being able to watch the steps to take, while listening to the instructor explain what they’re doing, it can be easier to learn a topic vs simply reading text.

Udemy

This one is a lot like YouTube, in as much as it offers video as it’s main training format but, it also offers a classroom-like format. Topics are usually broken down into lessons, sometimes with supporting attachments, quizzes and so on. If you like classroom-like formatting, then this might be a great option for you to consider. Just be sure to read the reviews, check the dates on the training (you want to be current) and consider the cost vs reward, etc.

Webinars

These are basically in-person seminars, just delivered via web browser. You get the ability to chat, ask your questions, interact and so on. This can be a great option but tends to be expensive and cover only so much at a time. Chances are, you’ll need to attend several to get the training you need.

My Online Preference

These are just a few options to reflect what can be found online. There are many more but I wanted to list these three as my top choices on the online front. That said, I prefer Wealthy Affiliate over the others for a couple of reasons:

Current Content

As an evolving platform, WA is constantly providing new content and updating existing trainings (That said, some videos could use updating as they still show the older interface. WA went through a redesign recently but the training content is still valid).

Price

You get a lot of bang for your buck with Wealthy Affiliate. YouTube offers a lot for free, but finding it in one place can be difficult and you need to be sure your source is qualified, or at least accurate, to instruct you. Udemy has a lot of sales that you can take advantage of but, once you build a list of courses to match what you get with WA, it’s not so cost effective.

Features

WA offers so much more than training. Hosting, keyword research tools, content creation tools, feedback and comment tools and so on. You just don’t get that with the other two platforms.

Community

This is the true secret sauce to Wealthy Affiliate. It’s like a social media platform for like-minded online entrepreneurs. Have a question, hit a snag or just want to bounce ideas off someone. Look no further than Live Chat.

Now that we’ve covered the online options, let’s take your training offline…

Offline OptionsOffline Options

Maybe you’re a more in person or tactile feel kind of learner.  Perhaps you’re not online as often or will be travelling where online access is an issue for you.  In that case, here are some offline options that might work well for you.  That said, you might also like the online options if they have a way of allowing you to download and take them with you.

Word Of Mouth

This is a great option, if you have a friend who’s knowledgeable and willing to train you, get your started or help you out. There’s a lot that can be said for trusting someone you already know. That said, take their offering with a grain of salt. Do a little research and see if they are successful in their online endeavors.

Technically speaking, your visit here is to get my take on your options, to get my word of mouth opinion. Do you know me? Do you trust me? Am I just blowing smoke?

Hopefully, you’ve read some of my other posts and know that I actually have a couple of websites that are doing well and I’m providing quality information that’s actually useful, not just providing useless content. Still, this is something you need to decide for yourself.

This is the kind of research you should perform before simply taking someone’s offer of help. Are they qualified to give it?

Books

Back when I was learning to program, I would buy all sorts of books on the subject. One thing I discovered quickly is that the books would quickly be out-of-date or, worse yet, be a version behind before they even hit the shelves. Add to that, the fact that they can’t be easily updated with corrections or new content, and you find yourself stuck with a book that quickly becomes useless.

This was especially true with programming books. If there was a typo or if the way something was taught in the book was deprecated, I found myself searching online to find the correction or new way of doing something.

The same can be said of any training program. Affiliate marketing is an ever-changing entity. Using a medium that can be updated regularly is really the way to go.

I know having that tactile feeling of flipping a page, being able to earmark it or highlight text can be a great way to engage yourself and learn but, the chance of being out-of-date before you even finish, outweighs those pluses in my book.

In-Person Seminars

These are great! They’re energized, they offer that in-person, I can touch it type of feeling and they tend to give you that one-on-one interaction that many find invaluable. There’s only one drawback, well maybe two… They are usually very expensive and they may have quite a large audience, limiting your ability to interact one-on-one.

It’s not uncommon for these seminars to cost thousands of dollars and have hundreds of attendees. As such, you may not get the attention you want or need. Still, the in-person, high energy vibe, might be something that helps you take the plunge.  One other down-side is that you’ll probably need to go to several of these to get a complete training.

PDFs

These really fall into the book category, with one exception… They can be updated regularly and you can usually download the newest version easily. If you’re a reader, this might be an option for you. Just make sure you find a program that offers true training and that they keep it updated.

My Offline Preference

Again, there are other offline choices but these are my top picks. Of the four choices listed above I actually have two that I like:

Word of Mouth

If I have a friend, who is knowledgeable and willing, to train me, I’d take that option first. There’s a trust already established and, after seeing what they are doing, I would be happy to take their instruction.

In-Person Seminars

If the cost isn’t too much, I’d probably go to one or more of these, if online wasn’t an option for me. There’s something about the in-person experience and ability to interact and ask my questions that I find very appealing. Just be sure that the cost doesn’t outweigh the potential gain. After all, you’re looking to make money, not give it to someone else.

My Over-All Preference

Hands-down, it’s Wealthy Affiliate. I’m comfortable online, love the features they offer, know that they’re constantly updating their training and tools and the price point is great. You just can get a better return on your investment.

Do yourself a favor and just Sign Up for the free Starter Membership and check it out for yourself. Worst-case scenario, you’ve wasted a little time. Best-case, you just started your journey to building your online business through affiliate marketing.

Conclusion

So, there you have it, multiple ways on How to Learn About Affiliate Marketing. I hope you found this post useful.

I’ve played around with many training options in my time and I find that a mix of text, video and some sort of goal/tracking system is the best way for me to learn. Each of the options above meets one or more of these criteria for me. Hopefully, something meets yours as well.

On a side-note, if you’re looking for affiliate marketing programs (i.e. you’ve got the foundation of your site going and you want to look at actual affiliate marketing programs to promote), check out Jeff Lenney’s post on The Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for 2019.

Do you have experience learning about affiliate marketing? If so, what works best for you? What do you like or dislike about the options listed above? Is there an option I didn’t list that you think should be included? Did you like or dislike my post? Please, let me know by commenting below.

Thank you,

Scott Hinkle

SmallOnlineBiz.com

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10 thoughts on “How to Learn About Affiliate Marketing”

  1. Trevor says:

    This is a lot of really, really valuable content! Thank you for putting this all together. I’ll be saving this to help guide me through starting my own blog.

    As an aside, the scrolling on this site is a bit annoying as it kind of slides to a stop. Sometimes it covered what I was trying to read. 

    1. Scott Hinkle says:

      Hello,

           I’m glad you found it useful.  That’s an odd behavior for sure.  Can you give me a bit more detail as to what’s happening so I can see about getting it fixed?

      Thank you,

           Scott

  2. Matthew says:

    Hi, I have tried several times to learn about affiliate marketing as I heard it could be a good way of earning some money but I gave up every time due to the fact that I didn’t have the proper training and would look for bits and pieces about it all over the internet which can be very difficult.

    I tried the Youtube method as you mentioned and I also tried the Pinterest method where you have to sign up to affiliate programs and just create pins of products and insert your affiliate links.

    That way is quite a slow process I have to say.

    Is wealthy affiliate a program that anybody can sign up to no matter what experience they have?

    1. Scott Hinkle says:

      Hello there,

           That’s the problem with the self learning path.  You have to find all the info, put it together, hope that it’s up do date and so on.

      As for the YouTube method it’s pretty much the same, find it all, put it together and hope nothing is missing or out of date.

      I consider Pinterest to be part of the overall affiliate marketing practice, in as much as it’s a great platform to speak to your visitors and generate traffic, but it’s just a small piece of the puzzle.

      Wealthy Affiliate is a great place for anyone at any experience level.  There’s training to start from scratch, more advanced tutorials and so on.  The best part is, you can try much of it out at no cost.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment,

           Scott

  3. LKick says:

    Gotta say, you put it out there really well.  I have been dragging my feet through the muddy waters, just trying to figure out what and how affiliate marketing works and if it is really for me.

    I tried to get my feet wet about 12 years ago,  and failed. I say failed because I got frustrated and just quit. I spent lots of money buying programs, and traffic, and ads. It took me nowhere fast. 

    Now I am a bit more seasoned and realize it is not fast I want. It is long term, passive income I want. So I’m back to learning about affiliate marketing. 

    Yes, I see the potential in YouTube and other social networks, but I like to write, so blogging seems the perfect route to take. Wealthy Affiliate seems to have a great platform and I went ahead to read some of your other articles regarding affiliate marketing. I believe you are leading me down a road with substance. Thanks for the great information. 

    1. Scott Hinkle says:

      Hello,

           That’s the real trick right, realizing it’s a long game and not a get rich quick program.  Many, like you, start out, don’t see much in return, in short period of time, and either quit due to frustration or not truly understanding the process and time it takes to get there.

      Wealthy Affiliate is a great platform and I highly recommend them to anyone looking to build an online business.

      I’m glad you’re back in the game and continuing to work toward your affiliate marketing goals.

      Thanks for the compliment on my articles,

           Scott 

  4. Jeff Marshall says:

    Hi, Scott.

    I loved all the information about how to learn Affiliate marketing on your website.

    I’m thinking about starting a Fishing website where people can get tips for particular species they want to catch.

    I see you have a link at the bottom of your post for a free stater membership. Before signing up – I would like a few details with the Wealthy Affiliate membership first.

    Do I need to give my credit card details to join and how many website themes are there to choose from?

    Many thanks,

    Jeff. 

    1. Scott Hinkle says:

      Hello Jeff,

           I’m glad you found my article useful.  Your fishing site idea is a great one.  You can provide awesome hints and tips and even offer affiliate links to recommended gear and so on.

      As for the free Starter membership at WA, it’s just that free.  All you have to provide is your name and email address to get started.  The only time your credit card will be needed (or PayPal) is if you decide to upgrade to the Premium offering.  That said, you’re not obligated to do so and can remain a free member indefinitely if you wish.

      As a Starter member I think you get something like 12 WordPress themes to choose from.  If you go Premium there are thousands and you can even upload ones you’ve found or purchased elsewhere.

      Please, keep the questions coming, I’m happy to help.

      Thank you,

           Scott 

  5. Jill says:

    Hi Scott, you have really given so much information, all of which is really great to give us a good introduction to Affiliate Marketing.  I have bookmarked this as there is so much to take in and such a well-written article.

    I must check with my daughter, who uses Udemy, to see how she likes it. We are both members of the best, Wealthy Affiliate, but we also attend Entrepreneurs Workshops, etc. 

    The benefit of the workshops is hearing what others are doing or looking for. Some very useful contacts can be made but it is difficult sometimes to get through all the follow-up work. Meeting up with those likely to be prospects, even so, one always learns something from their business walk. 

    All this does take one away from the work waiting to be done to build one’s own business.

    Thank you again for all this valuable information. 

    1. Scott Hinkle says:

      Hello,

           I’m glad you found this post useful.  I love it when people bookmark my articles to reference later.

      I actually like Udemy but, it’s really dependent on the instructor and how they interact.  Some can be great and engaging where others can done on and put you to sleep.  That’s really the same anywhere though.

      I love that you and your daughter are members of WA.  That says a lot when a family member refers another.  I think that’s cool.

      Workshops are great for that in-person back and forth and connection building for sure.  It’s just that they can be pricey and, again, it’s hit or miss as to what you’ll glean from it.

      Life will always try to keep you from what you want/should be doing.  The trick is to make it happen anyway.

      Thanks again.  I hope to see you in Live Chat on WA,

      Scott

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