Affiliate Marketing can be a a great way to generate an income online, it’s typically low cost, low risk, but your success does fall on a few factors.
Before the money starts coming in you’re going to first have to learn how to make money as an Affiliate Marketer, how you apply these learned skills will determine your success.
Let me just throw a few disclaimers out there before we get started:
- This is not a get rich quick scheme, it does take work!
- Affiliate Marketing will not make you rich over night, you have to be in it for the long term.
- If you’re someone that is after “easy” money, then this article is not for you.
Now that we got that out of the way lets get into how to make money as an Affiliate Marketer.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
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.”
Simply put it’s an online form of marketing put forth by companies where where people (you) refer customers through the links they provide, in return for a commission of the sale price.
Every time someone clicks through this link and makes a purchase you get paid. (sometimes varying from paid per click, but most being a % of the sale price.)
So it goes: Potential customer -> Clicks link -> Makes purchase -> You get paid
Of course there some more behind the scenes work done, but this is to just give you a general idea if you were unfamiliar.
To make it easy I broke up the following into 6 segments:
- Choosing your niche– Finding what direction you want to go in.
- What you’ll need– Domain, Website, Hosting
- Affiliate Programs– Getting set up
- Content Creation – Creating quality content for your readers.
- Generating Traffic- Getting users to your site
- Additional Info– Tips for the long term
Once you’re done with this you should have a good understanding on what Affiliate Marketing is all about and a solid foundation laid for your business.
Choosing Your Niche
A huge plus about online business especially Affiliate Marketing is that you control what direction you want to go in.
You don’t have to listen to anyone else tell you what to do, what you decide to do is entirely up to you.
These “directions” are commonly referred to as niches. A niche is simply just a category or sub-category of what something is going to be based around, in this case your business.
A niche can be anything from a passion, to a hobby, or something you find interesting, no niche is to small so feel free to get on the creative side and start thinking of particular niches.
Note: I’ll always recommend going for a passion or interest of yours, you want your work to be enjoyable, the less it feels like work the better.
If you’re having trouble here’s some ideas to get those creative juices flowing.
As you can see a niche really can be just about anything, so don’t stress over this to much, last thing we want is to get hung up before we even start.
What You’ll Need
Getting setup is typically low cost compared to other online business models, since your promoting other company’s products you don’t have to deal with costly start up costs like inventory or special software.
But you will need a few things to get started:
- Domain– Basically your own piece of online real estate so people can find you.
- Website– Your business platform, where it’s all going to be happening.
- Hosting– A place for your website to be monitored and secured.
Getting A Domain
There is a little science behind choosing a domain, first off you’re going to want your domain to reflect what your site is going to be about.
For example if your site is about dancing you’re domain should be something like this:
Something along those lines, before even clicking int your site, the reader knows what to expect helping you establish yourself as a credible source of information.
Not something like:
Learn what? The Beginners Guide to what? This will leave the reader confused and can hurt your credibility as a trusted source of information, and this is NOT something we want.
Getting Crafty With Brand Domains
Although I do recommend you go with the process above for your first site, you could get crafty with your own brand domain.
A brand domain isn’t some fancy super URL that’s going to boost your business or anything all it is, is you establishing your site as more of a brand.
But the rules above still apply when it comes to relativity, your content should still represent the niche for your site even thought it might not be blatantly stated in the URL.
A good example of mine would be my site, Broke College Solutions. Now I didn’t name my site makemoneyonline.com or getincomefromhome.com, but the message is still clear.
My primary target audience is college students looking to make some extra money online, or people looking for online solutions in general, and my content reflects that.
This helps me establish myself as more of an authority within my niche by separating myself from others with my own unique brand.
If you need any help coming up with one feel free to drop a comment below and I’ll see what we can come up with together:)
A domain shouldn’t be that big of an investment, most being around $15.
Setting Up Your Website
This is something that can be intimidating for most, but with today’s platforms out there it can be easy as just a few clicks, so no worries.
Of course when creating your website you’re going to want to make it the best looking website out there, I get it, but don’t get hung up on this for to long.
What’s the point of a nice looking site if no one can find it? Exactly, this can be done down the line.
Now I’m not saying don’t put any effort into it, but don’t try and compare yourself to some of the bigger sites out there.
You will evolve over time, just like they did.
>>>A great program I like to use is SiteRubix, they offer 1,000’s of free templates to choose from and can have your site up and running in just a few clicks.
Once you got your site set up and your domain purchased you’re going to need hosting.
Since your site can’t be floating in cyber space you’re going to need somewhere it can be stored when you’re not on it.
This can range anywhere from $40 a month to $200 a month, depending on what type of program you go with.
>>>I recommend using Wealthy Affiliate’s Hosting Platform, they’re a online community of Affiliate Marketers, that offers training, hosting, and website creation all for a flat $47/month.
Affiliate Programs| What They Are & How To Find Them
Affiliate programs are the programs that companies or sellers use to provide marketers (you) with the required tools to promote their product.
These are where you will be getting your links to their products so your can start promoting. Some paying per click, and some per sale.
You can find Affiliate Programs for almost anything, even with big named retailers like Amazon or online databases like ClickBank. There are tons and no niche is limited.
To find some yourself all you’ll need to do is Google “your niche + affiliate program”, and you can browse from there.
Here’s a little example I did on our topic earlier, dancing, look what it turned up…
That’s just under 3,000,000 results for that search term alone! So there’s really no shortage of programs out there
>>>Here’s an article I wrote on Affiliate Programs For Beginners that can help you get started.
Note: When placing links in your site, I usually recommend placing as hyperlinks like I did above, or in the content. This looks more professional rather then having a bare URL for your users to click on.
Now this is where rubber meats the road, creating content.
Content is going to be the lifeline of your business, when I say “content” I’m referring to blog posts or pages, like information articles, guides, tips, lists, reviews, basically anything that holds value with your reader.
This is how you are going to communicate with you readers, the kind of content you create will have a huge impact on how your site converts.
Quality is key here, never write anything you wouldn’t want to read. Here’s some tips on how to create quality content:
- Write like you were talking to an individual, not a general audience.
- This makes the reader feel like you are speaking directly to them, like I am now with you!
- Write casually, this isn’t English class so feel free to throw in some humor or personality every once in a while.
- No one wants to read something that sounds like it was written by a robot.
- Break your content into small, easy to read chunks.
- It makes a larger article feel shorter and is less intimidating to a reader then a mass chunk of text.
- Add images when you can.
- You remember when you were younger and you wanted books with pictures inside? The same applies here, but with you posts.
- Put your readers interests over your own.
- Of course our goal here is to make money but that doesn’t mean shoving affiliate links and banners down your readers throat every chance you get. If it applies then yes, if it doesn’t then find a better time to place it.
- Stay on topic.
- Simply put, don’t stray off topic. If you don’t provide the information your readers want, you’ll just be wasting your time.
Now no matter how beautiful your site is if you don’t have traffic coming to your site it will be time wasted.
Since we are in the business of converting, having a steady flow of traffic is essential to running a sustainable Affiliate Marketing business.
Ways to get traffic to your site:
- Create a guest post on a popular site. This is where you write an article or post on another site in agreement that a link will be placed to your site. This is a great way to gain exposure and gain traffic to your site/blog.
- Utilize SEO. Most commonly referred to as Search Engine Optimization where you write content according to Google’s ranking algorithm and rank on the first page of the search results. (Sounds complicated, but no worries I got you covered)
- Share your content via social network, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.
>>>If it sounds like I just spoke a foreign language or you need more explaining, go check out my #1 recommendation for beginner affiliates, they’ll break it down in detail there.
Here’s some additional article I covered on different aspects of Affiliate Marketing, knowledge is power so here you go:
Wrapping Things Up…
Hopefully this has cleared some things up on how to make money as an affiliate marketer, but there are still some aspects I’ve left out. There are still some essential behind the scenes that come with doing this business.
I would probably be here for days going over every scenario and detail with Affiliate Marketing, but sadly I’m no super human…
So if you’re ready to bite the bullet and commit, feel free to check out my friends at Wealthy Affiliate, there my recommendation for all beginners looking to get into Affiliate Marketing.
They’re a community of online marketers spanning from experts in the industry to beginners just like you. They offer everything from training, live webinars, and a thriving community so you can stay connected with the latest news in the industry.
If you want to check it out or learn a little more on what they’re all about, just click the link in blue above or the banner below.
Until next time,
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!