You’re on a beach somewhere in South America. A waiter in a pristine white coat with glinting gold buttons walks up and asks you for your drink order. You think for a moment and order a Mojito, easy on the basil. As he walks away, you pull out your smartphone to find out you just made enough money to pay for your impending drink.

Does this sound like the life you want to live? It might not be as easy as it sounds to make money while you sleep or adventure, but it is still possible in 2020?

The trick is to be a savvy marketer. If you can manage this, you can make money online in 2020. Here’s how to get started in affiliate marketing this year.

1. How Do You Get Paid?

Affiliate marketing skips the product or service management needed to make money online the traditional way. You become the middleman for companies trying to sell their products or services.

The most common affiliate marketing structure works like this:

  • You put a link on your website
  • Someone clicks the link
  • That person lands on a product or service page
  • They buy something
  • You get paid a percentage of that sale

If they don’t buy, you don’t get paid. You’re tied to the sale. It’s like door-to-door marketing but much less involved.

Pay Per Lead

Leads are the people who click on your link or an advertisement and then give you information. They aren’t customers yet. They are only interested in what you have to offer and want more information.

In a pay per lead system, these people need to convert from possible lead to actual lead in order for you to get paid. The nice thing about this form of payment is you don’t need to sell the product, only get people interested in the product enough to take action.

These actions typically include things like e-mail newsletter signups or signing up for a trial period.

Pay Per Click

Pay per click is a rare form of affiliate marketing. It can be much more lucrative if you can find the right program and get tons of traffic to your site.

You get paid based on the increased traffic on your affiliated company’s website.

Steps To Becoming an Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketing isn’t as easy as it used to be. Google’s been great at sniffing out affiliates and people trying to sell stuff through a sub-par website. But if you’re up for a challenge, affiliate marketing might be your thing.

1. Find a Niche

What’s trending? What’s something most people aren’t marketing but will be soon?

You want to find something with less competition and loads of potential.

2. Take a Class

To optimize your strategy, take lessons from other marketers. Entrepreneur courses for affiliate marketers are gold. Find someone successful and learn from them.

3. Build an Audience In Your Niche

You need people to visit your site or your YouTube channel. Otherwise, how are people going to click on links, buy products, or become leads? Entertain them. Give them loads of free info.

4. Advertise Like Mad

Learn the ropes of Pay Per Click advertising. Learn how to optimize ads to reach your audience. Wrangle the social media horses.

5. Network, Network, Network

You are building a brand of your own now. It may be connected to someone else’s products, but you now have opportunities before you. Take advantage of your new connections and network to reveal new opportunities for sales.

By Ben Mattice

Benjamin Mattice is a freelance writer/editor, horror and sci-fi writer, SEO and affiliate marketing newbie, dog wrestler, cat wrangler, capoeirista, and long distance runner. He lives in the Palouse with his wife, three dogs, two cats, and two rats. Yes, that would probably be considered a mini-zoo.