Affiliate marketing is still going strong as one of the best ways to make money online.
Although it will keep getting more and more competitive over time, it's still not too late to get started with an affiliate business.
Here are a few business ideas involving affiliate marketing that can be great for beginners:
1. Document your journey
One of the tried-and-true ways to build a new affiliate marketing business as a beginner is by documenting your journey as an entrepreneur.
Many bloggers, YouTubers, and podcasters have taken this route and now earn 7 figures online.
Just look at people like John Lee Dumas at Entrepreneurs on Fire or Michelle Schroeder-Gardner at Making Sense of Cents.
All you need to do is create content about the lessons you learn along the way of building your business.
Many people mess up when they start out by trying to “fake it till the make it”, pretending to be an expert while making content on how to build a business when they're not.
Many people will see right through you if you do this.
Instead, just be honest.
In fact, Gary Vaynerchuk talks about documenting your journey and creating content from that in his book “Crushing It”. I highly recommend you read it.
As an example of content you could do, you could do a YouTube tutorial on how you set up your website with Bluehost hosting and include your affiliate link in the description.
Something that simple could start earning you some $65 commissions.
2. Niche Pinterest profiles
Lots of internet marketing “experts” seem to overlook Pinterest for whatever reason.
It may not be the most trendy social platform like Instagram or Tik Tok, but it has one thing that most of its competitors don't: long-shelf life.
What I mean by this is when you post something on Twitter, if people don't see the tweet within a few hours, they probably won't see it at all.
Same thing with Facebook (unless you have videos on Facebook Watch), Instagram, etc.
With Pinterest, you can actually rank pins and get traffic from them for years. I've had some pins get traffic 2 or 3 years after I posted them, which is just like how you would rank a blog post or YouTube video.
This is what makes Pinterest superior to other social media platforms in terms of affiliate marketing.
How to apply affiliate marketing with Pinterest
To make a Pinterest affiliate business, you just need to create a nich profile with lots of potential products to promote.
Here are a few niche ideas:
- Art – You could use an Etsy affiliate marketing account for this which pays 4% commissions.
- Gift ideas – Think of something like ThisIsWhyImBroke.com and maybe use Amazon Associates for up to 10% commissions.
- Finance/Business – You could have product reviews, tutorials, and much more while using affiliate programs for individual sites like Bluehost in combination with marketplaces like Clickbank.
The thing is, Pinterest banned affiliate links in 2015, but in 2016, they started allowing them again.
So, they have actually addressed affiliate marketing and allow it, meaning you shouldn't have to worry about them banning your links in the future.
How to create pins
You can easily create pins for free that are optimized for Pinterest and look great with a tool like Canva.
At Canva, there are plenty of templates to choose from, so you don't have to be a graphic designer to make nice pins.
Just make sure that your pins with affiliate links were created and uploaded by YOU.
You can share pins and change the link to an affiliate link.
More on Pinterest affiliate marketing in the video below:
3. Niche product site
Sites like ThisIsWhyImBroke.com and OddityMall don't even hardly have to write blog posts, do videos, or make content at all.
They just go find the coolest products related to what their audience likes, post a short description, some photos, and a link to buy it. That's it!
Once you get your product research process figured out, you just spend maybe an hour or two per day posting the new products and you're done!
Then, you just rake in the passive income from Amazon, Etsy, and whatever other affiliate networks you use.
4. Niche blog
The difference between what I call a “niche product site” and a “niche blog” is that you have actually write longer form blog posts for the latter.
With the niche product sites I mentioned above, you just wrote a short description of the product, inserted a few images, and a link to buy it.
The sites are not meant to have reviews or analysis of the products, but to just show you that they exist and where to get them. This is why those sites can be run with minimal effort.
You can earn quite a bit of money from just doing reviews of credit cards and bank accounts from affiliate commissions like NerdWallet.
And, for these types of blogs that attract a buyers audience, the ad revenue from something like Google Adsense could be through the roof!
5. Niche Instagram account
Last but not least, we have niche Instagram accounts. These can also be great for affiliate marketing.
All you have to do is follow the example of ThisIsWhyImBroke.com or another affiliate site with an Instagram account.
Just create content about the products related to your niche and make it as easy as possible for people to buy it.
Like with Pinterest, you can also use Canva templates that are optimized specifically for Instagram, so you can create stunning images on a budget.
As far as the links, Instagram does not allow links in posts, so you'll have to get creative.
I would recommend one of two strategies:
- Shorten the affiliate link with something like Bitly so it's easy to copy and paste into a browser and you can track clicks.
- Have a link to the product from the latest post in your bio and tell people in the description of today's post to go there to get the product.
This video was made in 2018 but still has some tips and tricks that apply to today's Instagram affiliate marketing: