Affiliate Marketing has been one of the most commonly adopted method to make money online. Do it the right way and you can be generating full time income on a monthly basis, do it wrong and you might not even earn a single penny. Everyone, even myself when we first start out in Affiliate Marketing(or any other jobs) we are all beginners with zero experience.
But with the right learning resources and tools, one day everyone can be a master of that particular trade. Today, I am creating this post to share with all the beginners(or newbies) out there on how to start Affiliate Marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Basically what affiliate marketing means is that, you(the promoter) sign up for any affiliate program and promote a particular product/service. So when a person clicks through your link and makes a purchase you will get credited for it in terms of a commission. As we go on, you will understand more of how affiliate marketing works…
Are you mentally prepared???
Before I actually go into the technical part of affiliate marketing, I want to make sure that you are ready to commit yourself. Affiliate marketing is not an “overnight” thing, don’t expect to make money within a day or a week. You have to put in hard work now, and the results will pay later.
Similarly like a tree, a tree doesn’t give you fruits immediately after planting a seed. It take sunlight, water and time for the seed to become a tree before it bears fruit. So once the tree gives you fruits, it is going to continuously give you fruits over and over again. You do not have to start the whole seed to tree process all over again.
Think of affiliate marketing that way, and you can be on your way to building a long term successful business for the coming years.
I hope you guys have a more clearer picture of where I am coming from…now without further ado I will move on to the jizz of Affiliate marketing.
Step 1: Select a Niche
I bet most of you don’t actually know what a niche is, don’t worry I was in your very same shoes when I first started. In layman terms – A niche is a distinct segment of a market, in other words “audience” Let me elaborate a bit more…
For e.g. I will use my niche, my niche is “make money online”. So the targeted audience will be those who want to earn passive income or planning for after retirement work, or working from home.
When choosing a niche, try to choose something the really interests you, it can be a passion or a hobby too.
Because this will allow you to write content or pick affiliate programs better and ultimately you wont feel lost within your niche.
Step 2: Setting up a Website
I know this may sound contradicting to some of you who have heard a different story. Some people would have told you can do affiliate marketing without a website, just promote your product on Facebook, twitter, YouTube or leave a comment on other people website.
Even some of my friends have told me, “just keep spamming the links everywhere”. Firstly spamming is wrong, you are going to create a bad impression on everybody who see that – Because of this nobody is going to trust you and make a purchase.
If nobody makes a purchase you don’t get commission. Another thing is that, without a website you can never go far(literally) in affiliate marketing, you will soon realise that you are not making money and will eventually QUIT.
Even if you managed to make some money, it can never be a business that gives you consistent income every month. So let me tell you, the basis of doing affiliate marketing is having your own website!
I purchase all my domains from namecheap because their price is very reasonable, about $10~11 per year.
Step 3: Find a product that you want to promote
Remember in step 1, I asked you to pick you niche? This is where you have to input your selected niche. Selecting your niche will automatically narrow you down to what product you will be promoting as an affiliate marketer. For e.g., if your niche is on weight loss – The possible products you can promote is diet pills, cardio-exercising equipment, calorie tracking devices and many more.
There are tons of products you can promote because the weight loss is a evergreen niche. That reminds me to say something, if you worry that there is very little products of the niche you are promoting you’ve got to do some research.
There are some niches that are evergreen in other words they will be forever famous in the market and you cant run out of products to sell.
# Tip 1: One way of choosing a product that will profit a lot is to select a product based on the current trends. What do I mean by current trends?
Basically, it just means that at the particular day, week or month you can find out what are most of the people currently searching for( You can do it using Google Trends) and you can leverage on that to choose your product.
# Tip 2: You can also use Google Alerts to get latest news on what products are available in the market. For e.g. if any new products is releasing soon.
You can do some research on that product first and start promoting so by the time the product is released you are several steps ahead of the rest of the affiliate marketers.
Step 4: Join their Affiliate program
There are many affiliate programs out there so you might want to do some research on which programs you want to join. To be honest, choosing the product and affiliate program can be done concurrently too.
You might also want to consider your affiliate program based on the commission they pay. For instance, Amazon associates(commonly used affiliate program among beginner marketers) pays out 4%~15% commission for their products, the more product you sell the higher commission you get.
But the good thing about Amazon associates is their upsells, when someone buys a product outside the products you promote you still can get credited for it, check my post on how to make money with Amazon associates for more information. As what more expert marketers always say, never put all your eggs in one basket.
Sign up for many affiliate programs and promote as many products as you want. This will increase your chances of making sales, instead of just focusing on one product and waiting for it to sell.
There are some affiliate programs that has very good commission rate, up to 50~75%. But you have to be careful with those programs, do some research on the affiliate program first.
Some affiliate programs may provide good commission to attract affiliate marketers but they might have some discrepancies. I.e. don’t pay on time or even don’t pay you, hence be careful for those. Unlike Amazon Associates(independent on it’s own), most of them have a “middle man” to settle the payments and tracking, one of the commonly used is ClickBank.
What’s the good thing about having a “middle man” is you can be more assured that you will get paid, because these affiliate networks are very reliable. To promote their product, you have to look for the page “affiliates” which can be found mostly in the bottom of the page or in their drop down menu.
#Tip 3: If you want to earn huge commission from a product, I suggest you choose an affiliate program that pays high commission or the cost price for the product is reasonably high or can be both. When you promote a more expensive product of course you are going to get high commission.
For e.g. try to avoid product that are $5~15, you can still promote them but you aren’t going to make big bucks with them. Your main focus should be own high profitable products.
Step 5: Promoting the products on your website
So after you selected the product and gotten the link from the “affiliates” page, now your task is to simply put those links on your websites.
Awhile ago, I told your task now is to put affiliate links on your website BUT wait! Obviously you cant just randomly spam affiliate links on your websites, firstly its not going to attract any visitors and secondly google will deem you site as a spam and mark you down!
What you should do is to write product review of this particular product that you will be promoting.
What do I mean by product review? – Provide lots of details about the product
- Who is the owner
- How much is the price
- What are the feature
- What are the pros and cons
- How will it help me solve my current situation
- Put images of the products
- Share your personal experience(if you have the product) or you can do lots of research and share other’s experience
- You can make your own video for the product review, or alternately look for someone else review on YouTube and share it on your web
- Make a conclusion – Share your final thoughts
There are many more things you can include in a product review, but that ultimately depends on what type of product you are promoting. But the above is just like a rough guide to how you go about doing a review.
So once you’ve completed the review for that particular product, you can drop in some affiliate links through the page. Make sure not to overdo it, 4~5 affiliate links will be good enough. Some products may also have provide their own promoting tools such as banners, you may want to leverage on them too and put them in your sidebar.
You can also do a 1 to 1 comparison on why Product A is better than Product B, this will give clearer picture to the audience, allowing them to make a better on-the-spot decision which can result in a sale.
#Tip 4: Never try to oversell your product, because it will lead your audience to not trust your product and ultimately leave your site. What I meant by oversell is, don’t try to keep using phrases like “This is the best product in the market, Buy Now”, try to maintain a neutral and persuasive tone throughout your reviews.
In other words, don’t be bias towards the product you are promoting – The audience are actually smarter than you think(they can spot the difference)
Drive Traffic to your website
Writing product review is not enough to bring lots of traffic to your site. To do that, you can do the following,
Write Niche Related articles To get more traffic, firstly you need to write lots of quality content in your website. Doing this method can actually draw “free traffic” to your website.
However, it will not have immediate effect on your traffic it may take months before you actually see a decent amount of traffic.
When you write niche related articles, if you think your post is related to any of the products your are promoting, you can link them to those product reviews.
PPC(Pay-Per-Click) Advertising As what the name already say PPC advertising means every time someone clicks on your Ads you are suppose to pay money.
The good thing about PPC is that you can drive a large sum of traffic towards your website but if not done properly you may actually be getting the wrong kind of traffic which will not result in any sale. You have to target specific keywords for your website, so only those who search that keywords are lured to your website.
This can be very costly if you are not making any profits overtime. For beginners, I will never recommend you to immediately start a PPC campaign because there are lots of fundamentals to be learnt first. One of the most commonly used PPC advertisings are from Google AdWords.
The price of each click depends on the bid fro each keyword, seem confusing right? Stay away for NOW!
Social Media Social media is a very good platform to advertise you products. You can actually use Facebook Ads to also promote your website. Other than that you should create Facebook Page, twitter, Pinterest and Google plus page and regularly promote your content on them.
My Final Say…
For those of you who are interested in making money online, Affiliate marketing is not the only method. There are actually several ways that you can actually earn a decent amount of money from. Never put your hard earned money on a gamble on “Get rich quick schemes” because they will never benefit in any way.
If you are very keen in learning the online trade, you can actually join me in Wealthy Affiliate, a place where you will learn almost everything about internet marketing and business step by step. Check out my review here.
For those of you who have any question regarding Affiliate Marketing or anything else, please leave a comment below and I will be glad to give you a hand.