You’re new to Affiliate Marketing and want a broken down process, I get it. So here’s a beginners guide to affiliate marketing for those of you still wet behind the ears.
A lot of people her about what I do now, making money online and all, and they think it’s something that can just happen overnight. Just click a few buttons and the money just starts flowing in, but this isn’t the case.
Maybe you’re a little familiar but not to sure about what Affiliate Marketing is all about, or you really just have no idea and want some answers, here’s a beginners guide to get you going.
What is affiliate marketing?
To start off I just can’t ignore the apparent elephant in the room, so what is affiliate marketing? What’s the process? Just what is it in general?
Affiliate marketing is:
“Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.”
Essentially it is a type of online marketing put forth by companies where other people refer potential customers to their products through links the companies provide.
Every time someone makes a purchase through this link you get paid a percentage of the sale price.
So the process goes: Potential customers -> Clicks link -> You get paid
To break the whole process down for you I’ll be splitting it up into 7 segments:
- Choosing Your Niche- Finding your direction
- Affiliate Programs- How you can make $$$
- What To Sell- How to monetize your site effectively
- Creating Content & Link Placement- How to attract readers and place links
- Creating A Website- Website vs. No website
- Purchasing A Domain- What is it and why is it important?
- Finding A Good Hosting Platform- What are the benefits?
Hopefully by the end of this you should have a good foundation laid for your future online business.
Choosing your niche
The one thing that many people and I love about Affiliate Marketing is having the freedom to go in whatever direction you choose to.
You’re not having a boss tell you what you have to do and how to do it, you’re in control and get to make the rules.
This “direction” you choose to go in are usually referred to as niches, and this is essentially what your site is primarily going to be focused on or around.
This really can be almost anything if it’s a hobby, passion, an interest of yours, or something you just think is cool, a business can most likely be build out of it.
Here’s just a few examples of the almost endless opportunities you could pursue out there:
So as you can see your niche really can be just about anything, so don’t get to hung up on this part, there’s an audience out there for almost anything, remember the internet is HUGE!
The reason I stated a passion, hobby, or interest for your niche is that it hast to be something that interests you, something that you won’t mind spending time with it.
If you can’t get out of bed enjoying what you’re doing, chances are you’re not going to be doing it for long.
Most likely if it’s something that interest you, you likely have a good understanding of it, you don’t want to go into a niche that you know nothing about, this will just lead to future issues down the road.
So stick to something you like and are familiar with, and it will pay off in the long run.
You find these links through affiliate programs offered by big name online retailers like Amazon, or from well known affiliate program platforms like ClickBank.
These are only a couple of the thousands of programs out there. There are affiliate programs out there for almost anything, if it’s sporting goods, cooking, video games, whatever, if it exists there’s most likely an affiliate program that sells it.
To find some yourself just go into Google and search “business or product name + affiliate program”, and you’ll turn up tons of results!
Here’s a little example I did on golf equipment and look what it turned up…
Over 1.5 million results just for golf equipment alone! So there’s really no shortage of companies out there looking for affiliates.
What to sell
Now that you have your niche picked out, what are you going to sell? This is an important aspect of how you are going to monetize your site.
You want to make sure what you’re selling ties in well with your niche.
Here’s some tips on how you can sell the right products for your respective niche:
- Is what your selling going to benefit the customer?
- If you had to base your whole business’s reputation on this one product would you still promote it?
- Would you buy this product yourself?
- Does it relate well with your niche? Someone looking for sporting equipment isn’t going to want house cleaning supplies.
- Will the merchant take good care of your reader?
Remember with every product you promote your reputation and your business’s reputation is on the line.
Don’t ever find yourself promoting poor products for a little extra commission, your readers will see right through this and will loose trust in you and your business, and this is NOT good.
Creating Content & Link Placement
Now this is where things get a little more technical, content is going to be the lifeline of your business.
This is how you are going to be engaging your readers, so how you come across is going to play a big role in how well your site converts.
Some tips on how to create quality content:
- Talk like as if you are talking to an individual instead of a mass whole.
- Be casual, you don’t want to come across as a robot and boring.
- Break your content into small easy to digest chunks
- This will mean that big mass chunks of text is a big no no
- Add images when you can
- They make the article more entertaining and helps the article flow better
- Always put your readers interest over your own.
- Meaning, don’t shove ads and sales pitches down your readers throat, this will likely push them away
- Remember to stay on topic, don’t get sidetracked and veer off from the subject.
- If you have the information your reader wants, you’ll just be wasting your time
Just old generic content is going to cut it, you can’t just put together some sales pitch and people will start buying. You have to offer value to the reader and in exchange they will go forward with purchasing the product.
A good example would be reviews:
So you’re looking to buy a product but want to know what to expect before you buy it, so what do you do? You look up a review on the product!
Now you’re not going to just listen to somebody who hasn’t used the product, you want someone who has used the product or even purchased it before.
The same can even go for those in the fitness niche, if you’re looking for a good weight loss supplement are you going to listen to the person who took the supplement and lost 20lbs or are you going to listen to someone who just “says” it’ll work?
This can be applied to any niche, readers want helpful information from experienced writers, not someone looking to just make another commission.
Generating Traffic For Your Posts and Pages
You’re going to have to get traffic to your pages, no matter how beautiful of a site you have, or how great your content is, if you don’t have any traffic going to your site, you’re wasting your time.
Ways to get traffic to your site:
- Create a guest post for a popular site. This will generate a good deal of traffic and possibly a good relationship with a popular blog or site.
- Utilize SEO, and generate organic traffic. This is utilizing Google’s algorithm to land on the first page of the search engine by utilizing a keyword tool to find high searched key terms.
- Share your content through social media.
Then just repeat from there!
Once you have the process down you can just repeat the process again and again, generating new visitors and earning more and more commissions as you go.
So now that you’re a little more familiar with the process, lets start going over some things you’re going to need to get things going.
Creating A Website
Although it isn’t completely necessary it is HIGHLY recommended you create a website for your business. Why is this?
Having a site is an important component of establishing trust with your readers, you could post your links in social media platforms liking to a product, but be truthful..
Would you really trust someone who referred you through a random link on a social media page or on a well established site? But this isn’t recommended since you will be limiting your audience to your social following.
Unless you have 100,000’s of followers all sharing the same interests, you’ll most likely won’t find to much success doing this.
On top of this most affiliate programs require their members have proof of an established site. Since these programs are essentially partnerships with the companies they don’t want to be associating themselves with a bad reputation.
This will not only hurt your overall business but will also limit your opportunities to promote and this is never a good thing.
Purchasing A Domain
To get set up online you’re going to need you little piece of online reality and that’s a domain, this is essentially the URL or Web Address of your site.
For example, mine is brokecollegesolutions.com, so if someone types this in to the address bar and presses search they will come up with my site. No 2 are alike!
Finding A Good Hosting Platform
Once you have your site set up and a domain purchased, you’re going to need somewhere to keep your site.
Since your site can’t be just floating around in cyberspace you’re going to need to find a good hosting platform.
These can range anywhere from $30 a month up to or over $200 a month, depending on the type of security, identity protection, and hosting package you get.
Wrapping things up…
So if you’re finding yourself overwhelmed or just don’t no where to start, it’s not uncommon.
This can be a lot to digest all at once, but hopefully this is a new opportunity for you that you can further pursue, with that being said if you’re serious about making money online with affiliate marketing you’re going to need training.
Then feel free to check out my #1 recommendation for Affiliate Marketing, It’s a program I’ve been apart of for quite some time now and they gave me all the training and tools I needed to get started with my online business.
Everything from website hosting, and site creation, to detailed training with a helpful community all geared toward you finding your success online with this business model.
P.S. We have a serious Taco Bell addiction and the affiliate links on our site lets us order off the dollar menu. Thanks for your support!