Don’t worry, we all went through that phase: if we could do it, so can you! Sure, affiliate marketing actually is fast, stable and simple – for a professional. Every industry has its secrets. But we’re here to tell you all about them.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, do everything properly from the get go. In this article we’ll go over the key points, talk about the nuances and methods of working with affiliate programs, show some traffic sources options and peculiar features of earning money. Immediately after, everything will fall into place: where your money is online, how to get it, what you need to do for that. Stick to the guide and make bank.
Table of contents
- 1 What affiliate marketing niche should a beginner choose
- 2 What payout model suits newbies better
- 3 How to choose an affiliate program
- 4 Audience attracting channels for beginners
- 5 How can I tell I’m on the right track
- 6 Conclusion
- 7 FAQ
What affiliate marketing niche should a beginner choose
When starting off in affiliate marketing, the first step you make is choosing a niche. Unless you do that, you won’t be able to form a stable traffic flow, which means your income will be low and “bumpy”. Imagine that you’re a fisherman that came to a river bank:
- Over there, you can catch an enormous cat-fish, but you’ll need special equipment;
- And over here there’s a whole school of hungry fishies, that fling themselves in groups of 5 onto each worm…
Affiliate marketing works the same. You subdivide future clients by place of residence, age, habits (you’re not gonna try to sell embroidery kits to fishermen, are you?). Get it? A niche is a sort of enclosure that houses specific goods and services, people from a single GEO, of one age and preference, traffic sources.
For example, you’re a college student, you understand the problems your age group deals with:
- where and how they live;
- how much time and money they spend on entertainment, say, computer games;
- what specific game genres are in demand (strategies, FPSs, RPSs).
So why not start off with the Gaming niche. The content and the ad campaigns should be aimed at an audience aged 20-30, taking into account the preferences of different GEOs.
Please note: beginner affiliates shouldn’t choose a GEO on the other side of the planet – without any experience nor any sort of understanding of the needs of the target audience you run the risk of losing your investments. But if you’re adamant – you can order a translation of the content on leadbit.com.
What types of niches exist
We will analyze in more detail what niches are there, and on what to focus on:
- Always relevant. For example, excess weight – women’s (and most men’s) eternal problem. Weight loss goods are always in high demand, someone is bound to buy them. But… everyone also wants to earn a pretty penny. The competition is stiff and the payments (seeing how easy it is to attract clients) are not that high, averaging at about $5 per lead (offers that use the CPA model offer more, but you’ll need deep insight to work with them).
- Relevant given the correct approach. Are characterized by a narrow but money-possessing audience that has its own requests (and their own rats in the attic). Due to the specific nature of working with such clients, the competition is small and the payouts are generous. To get traffic you really need to get into the heads of your clients. For example, in the LeadBit affiliate program each confirmed lead for “KETO BodyTone” for the US GEO will get you up to $90. Luxury offers are designed for people with above average incomes, they have their own understanding of where to buy such goods and for how much. A regular landing page won’t cut it with this audience.
- Relevant for a short period of time. This includes seasonal goods. For example, in Spring, there’s a surge in demand for fertilizer, in Summer for recreational goods, travelling equipment. Nobody wants winter tires or Christmas tree decorations in April. A good example is the spike in chronic diseases. Psoriasis spreads in Winter. During this period, the sales of DR.DERM FR – ANTI-PSORIASIS PRODUCT in our affiliate program are on the rise, and the payment per lead reaches $26. In a season you can earn up to $50,000.
Tips on choosing a niche
For beginners without experience in affiliate marketing, recommendations have been developed long ago:
- Work with areas you understand and find interesting. Do you know the difference between a diode from a resistor or where the camshaft controller is? Then take a look at projectors, drones, fuel-saving gadgets and other car related offers. Do you take yoga classes or know that it’s prohibited to touch buddhist monks in Thailand? You can give Eastern GEOs a try. The criteria here are your professional skills, personal experience (knowing the mentality, traditions and preferably the language in a specific GEO).
- Try to stick to one narrow niche, one offer. It’s difficult to cover all the anti-aging offers at once, it’s best to focus your attention on 1-2 specific offers. As you gain experience, you’ll be able to juggle more and more offers as well as quickly predict which offers need to be dropped.
- Don’t choose for the offers that pay the most. Newbies can start making money in affiliate marketing on registrations (dating sites, casinos), selling goods online is harder – the competition there is always fierce. Yes, cryptocurrency affiliate programs pay up to $900 for a single attracted client, but your costs will also be much higher, and unless you have specific knowledge and experience, you risk draining your entire budget.
- Be careful with novelties. For an audience to receive a product well it needs to be warmed up, and that means you need to spend money on deep informational articles and ads. It takes a lot of work, time and finances. And the risk of failure is still high. There are cases of lucky pioneers that made bank on cryptocurrencies (income from users registering on the exchange, installing crypto-wallets, etc.). And there’s cases of affiliates who failed to attract traffic and, accordingly, suffered losses. But now, everyone’s doing it, the offers are burning out (demand is falling), the rewards are getting smaller. Get some experience, trying to saddle a new niche could be too much for a novice affiliate.
For all you newbie affiliate marketers reading this we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best niches to start your affiliate adventure in. Practically all top-dog affiliates started out in one of these, but remember: the higher the payout, the more difficult it is to attract a client.
Top 10 best niches for novice affiliate marketers
- Weight loss. The problem that has existed since the beginning of time and will die only with the universe. Beginners have a wide array of offers and promo materials to choose from – you won’t need to re-invent the wheel. For example, KETO SLIM (pays up to $5 for leads), NUTRIVIX (up to $26), NUTRIVIX (up to $23). These products help get your body into shape, so they’re in high demand. And you don’t need any special knowledge to sell them. Disadvantages:
- most newcomers start off in this niche, adding to the already stiff competition;
- lot’s of cases of ideas and content being stolen.
For now, avoid FASTYSLIM (pays up to $58 for leads), SLIM ORIGIN KETO ($49) – the target audience has a few “kinks”, you’ll need more experience.
- Anti-wrinkle remedies. A female audience of 25 and older. Popular offers: MACRONE SECRET (payouts up to $5, 45+ audience), ZENZA CREAM $9, 25-35 audience). What you need to understand here is that offering the product to everyone in sight is a poor choice. A remedy designed for young women, won’t have the same effect on aged skin. You’ll get negative reviews, demand will fall.
- Loans. A short temporary offer, payments – $0.4-24. The main challenge here is to find target traffic (college students, for example). Securing a decent income is possible thanks to mass registrations.
- Combating unhealthy habits. A narrow niche in terms of marketing. Not that many specialized offers, payments range from low ($0.5-3) – if you get paid per registration (alcohol abuse hypnosis, for example) – to average ($8-15) – when the offer sells goods (for example, NICOZERO – $18-30 depending on the GEO).
- otency, penis enlargement. The target audience are 18-25 year old males (no affiliate program considers minors to be a solvent potential client!). Average payouts, for example, the GIGANT offer gives out $8-30. The competition here, just like with the weight loss offers, is fierce.
- Joint pain. The commodity group (creams, bandages, ointments) can be included in the seasonal relevance group. The demand is stable but skyrockets during periods of chronic diseases’ spikes. The audience is 35+: people buy it for their elderly parents and for themselves. These remedies relieve pain, temporarily improve the situation (these are cosmetic items, not medical drugs). Payouts: $10-30 (for example, ARTROVEX – $10, FLEXA – $19). The level of competition is high but if you single out a specific group from your target audience, say, athletes that suffer from joint pain, bruises and elongations (something that happens regularly), the competition won’t be as fierce and the profit will be higher.
- Casinos, sports betting. This niche is predominantly “male”. The competition is fierce, payment per first deposit, sometimes with a form of RevShare, in our affiliate program $14.5-150. Carefully examine the offer’s terms (what traffic is allowed, how long is the hold, what are the testing conditions) to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future.
- Dating. Payment per confirmed application (ONE NIGHT PARTNERS $2.5-4), per registration (PIN FLIRT $1.2-2.8), the payouts are small. On the bright side, almost any traffic is acceptable. These offers are perfect for beginners: you will always be able to find clients from any age group and GEO.
- Gas and electricity saving devices. LeadBit’s list includes the ENERGY SAVING DEVICE offer, that pays $14. The goods are always in demand, but there’s no Earth-shaking “wow-effect” for the customer. So, keep a close eye on statistics and online reviews and comments to make timely changes to your ad campaign.
- Webcams. The adult sector has a few individual features: you need to form traffic taking into account the tastes of your current TA. One’s into Asian chicks, the other – hentai babes. The payments are low, for example:
- NUDE DATING SMARTLINK WEB – $0.1-3.2;
- SUPERIOR ADULT SMARTLINK WEB – $0.4-2.2;
- FUCKRPEDIA – $0.4-0.
The payouts are higher if the traffic comes from France, the US, Canada, the UK and Australia. Choose narrow segments of the niche (gays, lesbians). As for topics, masturbation, teens and big tits are “in demand”. If possible, try driving traffic to a specific model. Carefully examine the offer’s terms (leads won’t count if you used fraud, fake forms, the word “free”, spam, etc.). The ad campaign needs to be set up extremely carefully, lest you get banned for porno-peddling.
Ok, that’s it for the niche. Now, let’s move on to the financial aspect.
What payout model suits newbies better
For each lead the affiliate marketer gets paid by the business they’re promoting, although technically the money is first credited to the affiliate program’s account. Marketing payouts are issued for each target action made on the landing page. There are also combined offers that pay for both the registration and each purchase, but they’re rare. There are several most common payout models:
- payment per registration, request placed or form filled out. In our network – $0.5-4. Not much, but this is the easiest way of attracting your target audience;
- payment per action. The client must not only fill out the form, but sign up for a paid subscription, make a deposit. LeadBit pays $50-150;
- a cut from each sale. Goods that cost less that $100 sell well, and the higher the price of the goods – the bigger the payout;
- Revshare. In affiliate marketing, this is sort of like getting dividends off of shares, the payment is cut of the profits. For example, a casino will regularly provide you with a percentage of the money the client you brought it lost. Or charge you if the client wins. That’s why you need to find clients that easily part ways with their money and then stimulate them to spend that money so that you don’t go in the red. Quite a challenge for an affiliate marketing newbie, this is more of an option for the pros, come back to it a bit later.
How to choose an affiliate program
Affiliate marketing is the affiliate and advertisers, with the latter being one of three main groups:
- Affiliate programs of commercial platforms
Ozon, Aliexpress, eBay and others. Quarantine taught people to shop online, clients are loyal, there’s plenty of products to promote. Out of a million offers you need to choose the one that sells well (let me remind all the beginners that outdated stuff is not in demand) and attract clients to it. It’s not as easy as it may sound:
- a lot of people are in this niche, and often they incorrectly use the affiliate link, spamming it. So the client does the following nasty trick – they memorize the address, then goes to the store with the product on their own. The link doesn’t work, the affiliate is left without their reward;
- similar goods are sold in online discounters, and due to wholesale purchases and different bonuses, there it costs less – it’s not difficult forming a stream of regular customers;
- large platforms are the talk of the town, it’s easy to register on them, clients know about them and will shop there instead of going to your website just because it’s safer.
Data from 5 years ago claims that novice affiliate failed to recoup their investments 92.7% of the time. Currently, this figure is approaching 100%. We’re not trying to dissuade you, but there aren’t any new large commercial platforms that have affiliate programs. Accordingly, your chances of making money here are slim to say the least.
- A direct deal with an advertiser
This only looks like the perfect option – direct payments without commissions, a privileged position in the market with the opportunity to publish news, first, access to promo materials. But there’s more disadvantages. It’s cheaper for the advertiser to have a whole section on a payroll. Because, as soon as you warm the market up, reel in the target audience, these direct advertisers will start stealing your creatives, along with your share of the market, find excuses to lower your pay and delay it.
- Affiliate networks
The best option for both newbies and pros. A call center, stimulating programs for affiliates, a large number of niche offers with a wide array of payout models and sizes, time-proven sales methods and promo materials. Plus, tech support and a personal manager.
If you’ve made up your mind and decided to cooperate with an affiliate program, the next key moment is choosing an offer.
How to choose an offer
Now, onto the best part – choosing an offer. This is the first step novice affiliate marketers usually take – they register with the first affiliate program they see and drain their entire budget without getting the hang of how the niche they chose works. Ignorance is the root of all errors. The correct work scheme is simple:
- choose an offer here;
- find out what target audience will respond best to that offer;
- find a traffic source;
- test it out (around 100-1000 clicks, analyze the conversion rate. If you turned a profit or at least broke even, feel free to scale the campaign).
Part of the data (breakdown of the target audience by age and gender, GEO and traffic source) can be obtained directly in the details of the offer. LeadBit doesn’t publish its data, feel free to message your manager.
Also, pay attention to some more important points.
Offer category and estimated traffic
Our company divides offers into several categories:
- NUTRA – the vertical that is masquerading as the health, beauty and rejuvenation niche. Among the separate categories are:
- COD – payment after delivery;
- Trial – payment for the delivery rather than the goods with a subsequent rebilling;
- SS – payment via bank card on the landing page.
Pay attention to the US and Western Europe, the audience here is loyal, massively buying such products online and often shopping rather impulsively. The traffic scales well. First pick a topic: it should be close to you. Then select 2-3 offers (more than enough for a beginner) where:
- you can get a lot of cheap traffic;
- the offer is a white-hat one, which means it’s legal and your ads won’t get banned, for example, in social media (ads with adult content will get shut down immediately);
- the offer pays extra for the attracted client’s subsequent actions;
- the hold is short so you get to reinvest your capital fasters.
- FINANCE (MFOs, banks, insurance). A growing niche with low traffic requirements (banks pay less and demand more than MFOs). Finance offers are suitable for the owners of trust sites.
- SWEEPSTAKES. Prize drawing is always a game and a thrill. The actions the user needs to perform are simple: leave their email, answer a few questions in a form, etc. Making money here is easy, however, you don’t have much time to form a client base before the offer expires. If you launch a campaign as soons as a new offer pops up, you’ll get to “skim the cream”, so occasionally check out LeadBit news.
- GAMBLING&BETTING. High payouts, stable “fatcat” traffic if you drive traffic to the US, UK and Germany.
- DATING. The quality of the traffic depends on how you set up the ad campaign. There will always be people that want to meet the love of their life or just hook up for a good time.
- CRYPTO/BINARY. Not the most popular niche, although quarantine saw a surge in traffic. Your competitors here are the platforms themselves, for example, crypto-wallets pay the user for installing them, word of mouth marketing beats different kinds of ads. On the bright side, the competition here isn’t as stiff between the affiliates, you can format traffic and turn a nice profit.
Affiliate marketing beginners should remember to pay attention to 4 statistical indicators:
- ROI – return on investment – an indicator that shows how well investments pay off;
- the conversion rate (CTR) – the ratio of the number of user who performed the target action to the total number of visitors;
- earnings per click (EPC);
- the overall % of accepted requests for a certain period (Apr%, approval).
For example, a commodity offer is selling a drug to normalize blood pressure. Out of 50 people that left a request, 7 actually confirmed the order. This means that the CTR is = 7/50*100%=14% Obviously, the lower the indicator, the harder it is to get traffic.
ROI = (Revenue – Expenses)\Costs *100%
If you spend 1,000 euros on promoting your website and earn 2,370 euros, then the profitability of investment coefficient equals (2370 – 1000)\2370*100% = 57,81%
This is how (not “I invested 500 euros and got 600, sick!”) affiliate marketing beginners need to learn to calculate the effectiveness of their activities.
What offers are trending in 2021
Each affiliate network has its own top X offers, but since most offers coincide, there’s not many differences, unless it’s a super specialized program that focuses on a narrow niche. In LeadBit, the following commodity programs are in the highest demand:
- weight loss (KETO SLIM, SLIM MAX, FASTYSLIM);
- joint remedies ENERFLEX (note: this is a novelty, there’s still time to “skim the cream” off it);
- anti-cellulite products CELULHOUTTE, breast (WOW BUST) and penis enlargement drugs (GIGANT);
- anti-parasite remedies FREMDGEHEN69, MONEYCAT, PERFECTION BROWS are also in demand.
LeadBit publishes news in its blog and dashboard as well as in Telegram. If you’re not yet subscribed to our news, we recommend you contact your manager: they’ll pick up the best options for you.
Audience attracting channels for beginners
The next step for affiliate marketing beginners is to analyze their target audience, draw up its “profile”. LeadBit (through your manager) offers you statistical data, which makes your job easier.
The statistics usually divide the audience by gender, age and traffic source. Now, it becomes clear where you should look for clients. For example, microloans are usually taken by young (21-24) married women to carve a home and to buy all the stuff for their future child. They see the ads in social media from their mobile devices. All the affiliate has to do now is correctly set up and launch the campaign.
You pay – you get traffic. People click the ad and get sent to a website, landing or pre-landing page. A common newcomer issue – setting it all up. Don’t rush: first, study your audience, find the best keywords, don’t forget to toggle your ads on and off.
The benefit of paid ads: given the correct setup pays off quickly and rakes in a lot more than free sources (for example, traffic grows if you rely not only on SEO but also employ paid ads that send users to the website). The downside – it’s expensive and there’s no guarantee it will work.
Landing pages: ground zero
In 90% of cases, you’ll need a landing page – a promo material with the offer’s description that takes into account the peculiar features of your target audience. This is a hook with some tasty bait that enchants the user to perform the target action.
Landing pages are made using, well, landing page builders, but the best affiliate programs (LeadBit does that too) provide you with multiple landing pages for each offer. Don’t waste time: choose the one you like best and launch your campaign.
Ad in social media
One of the most popular options. A lot of affiliates work through social media, stealing each other’s creatives through special traffic analyzing programs. That’s why the pros dedicate 3-4 days for testng, 10-14 days for “skimming the cream”, 7-10 days before finally stopping the campaign. Not the easiest source to work with, if the offer isn’t white-hat, you’ll get instantly banned without any way to get back any money that might’ve been left on that account. You’ll need additional software (target hunter).
Don’t forget that social media doesn’t randomly generate people – once they click on your link, they won’t click again. The amount of traffic is limited, even though it’s considered of very high quality. Entertainment content, mobile apps, dating offers find a good response. However, newbies should refrain from promoting online casinos in social media (even if you have cloaking).
Search engine ads
Google Adwords is a complicated and expensive channel. The quality is top notch, it depends on the right setup, the GEO and the level of competition in the niche. The ad campaign is checked by moderators, your account can be blocked and no explanation given.
The search engine’s audience is large and fresh, which is why you just set up the affiliate marketing ad and then sit back, check the performance and watch the profits roll in.
Not the best choice for a novice affiliate marketer. Although it is perceived better by the user than a screaming banner. Native ads are a text, useful information, in which the affiliate link looks natural. To make a high-converting native ad you need a pre-landing and landing page. Affiliate marketers engage in calmly persuading the client, softly promoting a product using a funnel of ads – this requires knowledge, the ability to feel the target audience and experience.
Don’t give up yet! If by any chance the thought “Dude, this is way too hard, screw it” ran across your mind. Push-notifications are a lot easier and cheaper to set up. True, the quality of the traffic isn’t the best, but newcomers easily cover their expenses with this tool. Push-notifications are great for mobile devices. People read and reply to them. Here, you also need to keep in mind what sort of audience you have and how appropriate your notifications are. When everyone’s getting ready for the summer, Christmas tree, graveyard spots or school supplies notifications look odd. All a newcomer’s got to learn is to hook the audience and the traffic will come.
Read LeadBit Review “Best push traffic sources“.
Teaser networks generate decent (for an affiliate marketing newbie) traffic. Small costs, a very easy setup, works well in narrow niches for a specific segment of the target audience. The important thing here is to not steal other people’s creatives – users won’t react to stuff they’ve already seen. And always be creative, intriguing, witty. Each ad should have its own maraschino cherry. If your sense of humor is one of your strong suits – start your affiliate marketing adventure with teasers.
The cheapest and most annoying type of ad. Due to the incorrect ubiquitous use of this format clients immediately close the ad without reading it, or even leave the website that has “that annoying crap” entirely. Here, you need surgical accuracy: carefully think everything through and double check it. This method allows you to work with gray-hat or +18 offers.
Read more about the Popunder network in this article.
Recommendations for choosing paid sources of traffic
Newcomers should start with the simplest options to get the hang of what affiliate marketing even is, train their intuition and come out with a profit. Choosing more complicated options leads to disappointment and financial losses. Don’t rush, eventually you’ll get your shot at the harder stuff.
Conditionally free channels
There are also conditionally free ways to get traffic. “Conditionally” because in theory you can create a popular website, blog or social media group without any investments, but it will likely take a lot of time. Usually, webmasters that choose this path first invest into content and then, once the resource becomes popular, monetize their free (at that point) traffic.
Your own website + SEO
The expenses here are paying for a domain and hosting, developing the website and ordering content on the exchange while taking SEO into account. And the technical part is all on you. It’s best to order original content, not just a rewrite. And account for plausible search engine “tantrums”. Your primary task is to get your website to the top of the commercial search results page. Order will start coming in once you’re 4-6 in the top 10. This is insanely time-consuming, although there are “speed-runners”, that manage to compensate all their expenses in just a month or two
Writing articles on relevant topics that are both interesting and useful and backing it all up with high quality photos is quite a task, not every beginner can handle it. First build up your reputation, amass a pool of readers-subscribers, then carefully start promoting an offer. You have to be well-versed in whatever you’re writing about and select relevant affiliate marketing offers. This is quite a challenge, not to mention that not everyone has a writer’s touch. Texts are bought on content exchanges and published. This is your main article of expenditure.
Social media pages and groups
It’s important that people actually read your stuff and subscribe to you. 3-4 texts a week minimum with a specific focus of some part of your niche. To get stable traffic, you need to keep 5-10 groups. You’ll have to hire freelancers. But if you already have a group, start shaping traffic by choosing a suitable offer in your affiliate program.
Starting expenses: a smartphone with a good camera, a tripod, and samples of the product you’re promoting. It would be best to have an assistant to fiddle with the sound and camera. A common mistake – advertising everything in sight, for all ages and social groups. People just won’t believe a girl talking about how awesome this super drill is if she can’t even properly name the tool parts. For a good video, you need a script written by a professional, and these are all additional expenses.
This is a promotion of goods disguised as regular chatting. Newbies that straight off the bat say “hi, I buy this super product here” get banned. First, you have to build up your reputation, prove to everyone that you’re just like them, be it a mommy, a beauty expert or a fisherman that caught a trout thiiis big. The traffic is high quality, however, you need to sit on forums or social media for days to hook a client. Either that or hire some assistants.
Recommendations for choosing conditionally free channels
Conditionally free sources require a lot of free time and money (and a sponsor, willing to financially support you). But if you still decide to choose this method, combine several ad formats, by forming bundles for affiliate marketing. For example, a social media group – crowd marketing – and search engine promotion through SEO.
How can I tell I’m on the right track
Statistics provide a clear answer to this question. Regardless of whether you liked math in school or not, this is something you’ll have to get the hang of. Note that analysis methods depend on the way you attract traffic and the comprehensive answer to the question “where do I start in affiliate marketing” must include analytics.
What a conversion rate is and why you need to keep track of it
Top 20 affiliate marketers calculate the conversion rate for every offer. You, however, need to learn to calculate it taking the ad campaign into account. This is the indicator of whether what you’re doing is right or wrong.
Conversion rate = (number of buyers/number of visitors)*100%
If 500 people followed the ad link, 30 left a request, and 10 actually placed the order, then your conversion rate, when a shopper becomes a client, is not 10\30*100 = 33,33%, as may be shown in the affiliate program’s landing page, but 10/500*100%=2%
Let’s compare these two indicators. These 2-33,33% are your missed opportunities. Here you need to think: why only 30 out of 500 leave a request? The answer might be bots, an improperly set up landing page that doesn’t take into account the age or other parameters of the target audience.
Next, let’s compare ad expenses. As an example let’s take $0.5 per click. That means that 500*0,5=250 dollars. And the program payout is $15 per lead or $150 in total. The end result is a loss of $100, no profit. To profit from this offer, you need to look for cheaper traffic and replace the landing page with a more efficient one.
Analytical programs and services
For beginners in partner marketing, Google Analytics will be more than enough. If you have time, you can figure out SolarWinds Network Bandwidth Analyzer or Deep Packet Inspection and Analysis from SolarWinds. The difficulty for beginners here is that specialized package programs contain an enormous amount of information. Newbies aren’t really capable of using all that yet.
Analytics are similar to a roadmap, they show what the response to a particular action is, when you should toggle your ads on and off. Use an affiliate marketing analytical program or service, dedicate some time to analyzing the data – then, you will simultaneously grow richer and more professional.