Affiliate Marketing For Dummies (in plain English)


If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is then you’re not alone. I felt like the biggest dummy trying to figure out what this was.

So, let’s kill the confusion and discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of Affiliate marketing.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

It’s when you sell someone else’s stuff (usually a product) in exchange for a commission.

Like the pushy retail store salesman at Buckle who tries to sell you awesome looking clothes because the store pays him a commission.

Except you’re doing it on the internet.

The best part about that is you don’t have to worry about having your own product or shipping products.

You don’t even have to worry about payment processors or customer service.

So the icky stuff that makes you want to pull your hair out is taken care of for you.

Just listen to this stoner kid explain what affiliate marketing is…it’s perfect (and funny).

Most online retailers, like Amazon and eBay, have an affiliate program that you can sign up for for free.

Just scope out the bottom of their website, there is usually a link to their affiliate program there.

However, there are many other affiliate programs out there, some selling only digital products.

Clickbank and JVZoo are popular examples.


The problem I have with affiliate marketing is this…

…small commissions (you have to make HUNDREDS of sales per month to make life-changing income)

…little to no support (you’re left to figure it out on your own)

…the customer doesn’t belong to you (you only get paid on the initial sale, and you miss out on all future purchases that customer makes).

The last one is BY FAR the biggest issue.

The customer belongs to the guy who paid you a commission, and now he gets to sell more products to that customer over time that you won’t get paid for.

Business are build on repeat buyers. People who buy more and more of your stuff.

Smart business owners know that the big-time money is made on the back-end later purchases) and not the front-end (initial purchases).

That’s why you see affiliate programs that pay 100% commissions. They are making a KILLING on the back-end (which you don’t see a dime of).

So basically, you are bringing the company new customers and getting a small payout on the initial sale, while they BANK all the future purchases.


Not my style of play.

I would rather keep the customer and bank off those back-end sales.

Don’t worry, I’ll teach you how to do this in a minute.

But first, here’s a seemingly obvious question:

Would you rather make more money with less sales, or less money with more sales?

The answer sounds obvious, but I see so many people getting this wrong.

Most beginners believe that it’s easier to sell a cheaper product than an expensive one.

That is not the case at all, but that’s what people think. Hell, I used to think that (and it probably had something to do with my scarcity mindset about money).

Thus, they choose to sell the $37 product instead of a $2000 product.

What if we both got paid 50% commissions, and our goal was to make $1000 profit.

I would only have to make 1 sale.
You would have to make 28

What if our goal was to retire from our jobs, and we needed $10k a month.

I would need 10 sales per month.
You would need 271 per month.

Do you feel what I’m saying?

That’s why I switched to selling high-ticket versus low-ticket.

It will fund that family beach vacation in the summer and will let you escape your j.o.b. faster.

Steal My Process: Affiliate Marketing for Dummies

Step 1: Pick a Product To Promote

You have to sell something to make money.

You can find a huge range of products on Clickbank, JVZoo, Commission Junction, or you can go with Amazon’s affiliate program.

Once you pick a product, you need to get traffic to that offer, and then convert that traffic into leads…

Step 2: Getting Traffic and Leads

How does a brick-and-mortor business owner get leads? He might place an ad in the newspaper, or promote his store on the radio, or advertise it on a billboard.

Online, you can use Facebook, YouTube, different forms of paid advertising like Bing/Yahoo PPC or Twitter PPC, Blogging, and many more.

Regardless of which method you choose to master, I believe every internet and affiliate marketer needs to have a blog no matter what.

It is your online home base, and it’s where you want to point your traffic to in most directions.

I’m not going to get into setting up a blog here because I already have a post on that, but it’s a must have.

Step 3: Build Your Email List

The next step is to build a relationship with the people who are subscribing to your email newsletter.

Use a tool like Aweber to collect, manage, and email all your subscribers at once.

Most people forget that these are real people subscribing to your list!! Instead, they treat them like #’s and only want their money.

I promise you will stay broke if you are only concerned with making money.

You have to genuinely want to help the people on your list, otherwise you’ll have a difficult time gaining their trust (and their wallets).

You can do this by sharing your story, being authentic, teaching them stuff, and answering their questions.

Sounds crazy simple but it’s true.

I created an entire tutorial on how to setup your email marketing autoresponder in detail, so check it out.

Hopefully that clears up the confusing you had about affiliate marketing.

What was your biggest takeaway from this post?

Let me know by leaving a comment below! I would love to hear your feedback.



  • Tim
  • April 27, 2015

Hey I'm Tim - this blog is about sharing the digital strategies I've used to create a 5-figure income online, so maybe you can do it too (if that's what you want) :) I also have an Australian Shepherd named after Slim Shady & I'm a huge fan of hockey. Shoot Me a Message on Facebook. I'll always reply back

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Chuck Holmes - July 18, 2015

All great advice, Tim. Once again, your wisdom on high ticket sales really does make all the difference. It’s easier to make a full time income doing that than by selling low cost items. I do love affiliate marketing myself, but I think it’s vital to build your own list first, so you can reach out to your list whenever you want and recommend different products that will benefit them. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

    Tim - July 19, 2015

    Hey Chuck,

    Thanks for stopping. I agree with building your list first. That is your #1 asset as an online marketer.
    When I switched from low ticket to high ticket offers, that was the big turning point in my business.


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