What Is Affiliate Marketing?
The Future of Affiliate Marketing
The future is looking very promising. It’s estimated that over 4 billion people will have access to the internet by 2020. As more people have mobile devices, tablets, laptops, and desktops, online shopping is expected to grow.
New innovations in “smart” technologies such as artificial intelligence and voice, will bring on a whole range of new products and services for consumers and professionals.
This new technology will produce devices and apps for the smart home. New innovations for medical devices and apps to control them will also be in very high demand. New digital devices, software, and apps to control and monitor transportation, and the environment.
Affiliate marketing spending is expected to grow to approximately $6.8 billion. There has never been a better time to start your own affiliate marketing business! This is a great opportunity to earn money through multiple streams of income by selling products to people who want them.
You’ll be learning how to promote many products to the people who know, like and trust you. This is what the affiliate marketing game is all about. Enjoy the ride!
How much can I expect to earn with affiliate marketing?
When you’re just starting out with affiliate marketing, you’ll be earning $0. It takes lots of hard work and persistence until you start gaining momentum. Some people start earning within 1 to 3 years. You’ve got to keep learning, take action, and put in the time.
But, here’s the good news. Once you’ve established yourself, your brand and authority on the internet, you’ll be gaining traffic, and that could lead to big earnings. It’s the truth that people are earning anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 per month!
You don’t have to go it alone. There are people out there who are willing to teach you and give you great support on your endeavor.
I’m writing a series of blog posts about affiliate marketing for you, the beginner. I want to help you learn how to become successful in affiliate marketing. I need to be transparent here. I’m not an expert with affiliate marketing yet. I have a passion for it, to learn just like you.
I want to get to know you. I’m on this journey with you, so we can learn together just how powerful and amazing it is to achieve success with affiliate marketing. Most importantly I value honesty and I hope that everything I write here will be meaningful and useful to you.
If you are willing to work hard, be persistent and consistent, through trial and error, you will be successful. Many people have become very successful in this industry. I’m striving to reach my goals and I want to be here for you to help you to reach yours.
Are you ready? Let’s begin.
First, we need to focus on building a solid foundation for creating your own affiliate marketing business. There is so much to learn, and I don’t want to overwhelm you in the beginning. Let this be a starting point for you.
Affiliate Marketing Is
A method of selling products or services online. A merchant has a product to sell. An affiliate marketer is a person (you) who will “help” a customer decide on the product or service to buy online using your website.
A website is used sell or advertise the product or service, in exchange for a commission. You don’t want to be a “salesman”. You want to “help people” by creating and publishing articles on your website.
These are some of the most important and basic strategies for success, I believe, a beginner affiliate marketer needs to understand:
- Define your niche, hobby or passion
- Getting to know your audience
- Setting up a domain and hosting for your website
- Build your website with WordPress
- Set up a blog
- Keyword research
- Write relevant blog posts about your niche
- The difference between an affiliate program and affiliate network
- Join an affiliate program that offers a product to sell
If you need help or if you have questions about these strategies, just let me know in the comments section below.
Define Your Niche, Hobby Or Passion
A niche is any specialized hobby, skill, passion or industry that can be relatable to a specific audience on the web. For example, an audience that relates to travel, shopping, gardening or cooking, or anything you can think of, and enjoy talking or writing about.
People go online to search for problems they may be having. By developing a relationship with your audience, you will be able to find a solution to their problems. You want to be a “helper” for your customer to make the best decision on whether to buy the product or service.
If you can do that, you will have a great opportunity to gain likeability and trust with your readers. You’ll be the go-to person and people will come to your website for help.
The easiest way to find a profitable niche and one that you’re passionate about is through Google and Amazon.
Ideally, you want to do research for a profitable niche. Some niches are too broad and have too much competition. For example, if I were to type a keyword into the Google search bar, cooking. That would be too broad a search. When you type “cooking” you’ll see suggestions for narrowing down the topic:
- Cooking classes
- Cooking classes near me
- Cooking classes for beginners
- Cooking Recipes
These are referred to as sub-niches or low hanging fruit keywords. You want to select low hanging fruit keywords because there will be less competition, in most cases. Your chances of ranking higher up on Google’s first page will be dramatically increased.
This will more likely result in your website being searched for and found because you included the most relevant keywords that people are searching for in your blog posts.
This is the beautiful thing about Google. It shows you what people are searching for. By narrowing down the topic, you come up with topics that you can handle with less competition.
Any one of those topics narrowed down could be your niche and related to the products you’re promoting. I hope I’ve made this clear to you to grasp.
You could use Amazon to find your niche because there are millions of niche topics and products to choose from that everyone is searching for every day. Also, you can find products that are ranking well on the site through the best sellers. recommended products, and buyers’ reviews.
If it’s in the gardening niche, you want to find products in Amazon’s sub-categories like
If it’s a fitness niche, the sub-niches would be
- exercise equipment
- fitness training
- fitness monitoring apps
Once you have defined your niche, you now have a foundation to build upon it through creating your website and writing articles. Once you’ve published some articles about your favorite niche on your site, then you can find appropriate products to sell to your readers.
Getting To Know Your Audience
Getting to know your audience involves knowing what their pain points are. In other words, your audience is searching for a solution to their problem. For example, they are searching for a solution to solve their acne problem.
They will go to Google and type in “how to get rid of acne”. In the results, they will see links to relevant websites where they will find their solution.
They want to know which product, usually for the best quality and price, that will give the best result to cure their acne.
If you were in the health and beauty niche you would most likely be doing research for the best products, writing blog posts about a skin care product, and creating product reviews about it.
By doing keyword research for skincare, and optimizing your blog posts with relevant keywords, this will help people find you on google, or other search engines such as yahoo, bing, etc.
If you were promoting any product or service, you’ll get more traffic as a result. And more traffic means more sales and conversions!
The buyer does research for the best product, in comparison to other similar products. He will often click on the first few websites to get the details about the product.
Or, someone is searching for a solution to losing weight. They might have different criteria for their solution. So, they will search for example, “Which exercises are best for losing weight” Or, “Which diet is best for losing weight”.
This is what I mean by finding solutions to the problems your audience is searching for. They might also be in a buying mood. They’re searching for a product like exercise equipment. Or equipment accessories.
Your job as an affiliate marketer is to “help” your customer “decide”, and “connect” them to the best solution to their problem.
As an affiliate marketer, you’ll be able to find a solution to their problem. If you can do that, they will thank you for it. Perhaps, by buying other products from you in the future.
By writing interesting articles about the topic, you can also recommend a product that will be useful to your audience.
In order to accomplish this for your audience is getting your website to rank high enough in the top search results in Google, Bing, and Yahoo. How do you get your website in front of the right people? TRAFFIC.
You need to build an audience for your website, so you can monetize for your online business. I think you’re very excited about making money when you’re just starting out.
You should focus more on building out your website and writing great content. Once you have a good framework and design for your site, give or take about 5 or 10 blog posts.
That should be enough to get started. The more relevant content, the better.
Before your audience will consider buying from you, you must be able to get them to know, like and trust you. You do this by writing quality and relevant articles on your blog that your audience loves and wants to read and digest about the topic.
Over time, if your articles are good, your audience will leave comments. This will lead to more engagement and sharing on social media. When people start writing comments on your blog, you’ll just know that they are interested. And that’s great!
Having people leaving comments on your website is a great opportunity to meet great people. You’ll be getting great feedback, positive (or negative). But you’ll learn a lot about what people are thinking about.
You’ll get great suggestions about what kind of articles, topics, videos, and products that your audience is interested in learning more about. Of course, they’ll have questions about the material on your site. It will give you a chance to clarify what they don’t understand. Your chance to shine in their eyes!
I will show you how to get traffic by promoting your articles, also known as content, through search engines, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media in another post.We’ll also be talking about email marketing, which is crucial to your online success.
But for now, we just want to get you up and running with your website.
On to the next step which is…
Setting Up Domain and Hosting for Your Website
What is a hosting service provider?
You will need a hosting service provider, in order to get your website onto the internet.
A good hosting service provider gives you inexpensive internet access and provides the following benefits:
- A place to store your files, including images and other media
- Provides a safe and secure environment for your website (also known as SSL)
- Troubleshooting and technical support for problems with your site
- Makes sure your website is optimized for speed and keeps it running smoothly
These are all excellent domain and website hosting platforms on the web.
- SiteRubix domain and hosting (Recommended)
- Bluehost (very good). Please see my review
The one I use is called SiteRubix (hosting). It’s a platform that is included in my Wealthy Affiliate membership, which is the one I highly recommend.
The nice thing about becoming a member with Wealthy Affiliate is, they give you access to the SiteRubix hosting platform with the free membership.
If you would like more details about Wealthy Affiliate’s Free Starter Membership. please see my review. (link)
When you create a new website your address is:
If you decide to join the Wealthy Affiliate premium membership, it’s $19 for the first month.This will allow you to access SiteDomains (domain name server), also known as the DNS.
Your web address (URL) becomes https://websitename.com/
It makes purchasing and registering a domain a snap. Most domain purchases are only about $13 to $15 per year. It’s a small investment. The domain is yours for life.
You’ll be able to easily migrate to and from a different server if you choose while keeping the integrity of your site.
Pick a name for your domain (.com, .net) for your website. Something that is related and relevant to your niche like https://www.fantasticgardens.com/
Or if you prefer, use your full name – JohnSmith.com.
- Build Your Website With WordPress
WordPress is the most widely used editor and has become the standard for building websites across the web and around the world. You’ll have fun using all the simple and amazing features. It helps you create like a Pro!
You’ll want to have a great looking website, so your visitors will be entertained, educated and inspired. Plus, they will stay on your site longer and you’ll will get more engagement.
WordPress provides many beautiful themes to enhance your website. Some of the themes are free, but they do have many different but interesting themes that cost money.
It’s best to start with a free theme. You can always change your theme later if you aren’t quite satisfied. Choosing a theme is easy with WordPress. I’ll explain more about themes (free and paid) in this video.
Please watch this video, which explains exactly How to Build Your Website with WordPress. (insert link)
- Set Up Your Blog
To set up a blog on your website you will need an editor. I personally use Microsoft Word for all my first draft posts. Then I copy and paste the text into WordPress. But that’s just me. With WordPress, you can preview your posts, just the way it looks in your web browser on your laptop or mobile device.
The best thing about using WordPress is that you don’t need any knowledge of HTML. Just type in your text as you would with any other text editor. You can save pages and posts as drafts as well as publish them.
Add Your Plugins
WordPress includes many plugins that enhance and improve the functionality of the website. For example, some of these plugins include:
- SEO monitoring
- Social sharing buttons
- Link shortening tool
- Yoast SEO
- Contact Forms
Of course, there are many others available for you to use to make your website as useful as possible. I will be giving you more detailed information about Popular WordPress plugins in this post. (Insert link)
A keyword is a term used for identifying a word or a group of words that help search engines like Google determine what your website or article is about.
It’s important to use keywords in your content. This enables you to rank higher in the search engines depending on how relevant and useful your site is for people searching for that keyword term.
It’s important to keep in mind that there may be many other websites competing for the same keyword. When doing research on any keyword, you’ll use a tool that analyzes your keyword for traffic it gets as well as the competition for that keyword.
The tool that I use is called Jaaxy Lite. It’s simple to use. I highly recommend it.
Here’s a screenshot of the Jaaxy Main menu. It’s included in your Wealthy Affiiate Free Starter Membership.
When choosing a keyword or keywords it’s best to find one that has lots of traffic and the lowest competition possible. The lower the competition score and the higher the traffic score, the better your chances are of ranking on the first page of Google.
This will improve your chances of ranking best for that keyword. As a result, you’ll rank best on the first page. And people will find you! That is your goal with keyword research.
When writing your article include your keyword in your title, and again somewhere in the first paragraph. There’s no need to be obsessed with keywords. Just add a keyword or two, that’s relevant to the topic you’re writing about.
When Google analyses and indexes your site, your articles will rank for many other keywords naturally.
Just include them and write as naturally as possible. Remember you’re writing for your reader first. Not the search engines. I hope this helps you understand the concept. Here’s more detailed information about keyword research. (insert Link to keyword research post)
Write Relevant Blog Posts About Your Niche
Why do I need to have a blog?
You can present yourself, your brand, your business, and your products across the web through Google Search, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and many others. Anyone can write. After all, you text your friends, write an email, journals, etc.
But here’s the truth about blogging and content. You will need traffic from engaged visitors if you want to be successful in earning an income online. You’ll want to have as many quality and relevant articles on your blog as possible.
It’s not difficult but you’ll need to keep at it and be consistent with your blogging every day to make a difference in your readership.
The more you write the more you’ll improve and the more you’ll sell. Quality and relevant content go hand in hand, according to your niche and the products you offer will make it possible to make money. It’s possible!
Here is a site that I highly recommend reading. It’s called ProBlogger. Darren Rowse is the main author. He goes into detail about creating a blog and about writing in general. He also has a great podcast about blogging, as well as his signature course,
31 Days To Build A Better Blog. Check it out! http://www.problogger.com
The Difference Between An Affiliate Program And Affiliate Network
What is an affiliate program?
An affiliate program is an offering from an individual company to its affiliates (you), to promote a product or service. The company provides an affiliate link and a landing page. On your website, you write a product review or recommend the product.
I could write a blog post about digital cameras, providing a link to my product review page. Then I could promote an accessory like photo lenses. I would write a product review or recommendation, giving details about the lenses.
Your review post includes the product’s affiliate link. When your reader clicks on the link they arrive on the company’s landing page. If the person decides to buy the product, you get paid a commission.
This is an opportunity for you to showcase your expertise in the product. By writing engaging articles, you are showing your prospective client your knowledge about the product. Remember, You are the “helper” and not a “salesman”.
What is an affiliate network?
An affiliate network is a group of many companies, sharing a network. Just browse the Amazon site and notice all the products in different departments and categories. These products are being promoted by many different companies. Not just Amazon.
Amazon is a company itself that owns the network. Amazon has its own affiliate program just like all the other companies. When you join an affiliate network, you can choose to promote many different products.
The nice thing is that when people go to purchase something on Amazon, they will purchase other products that you aren’t promoting. You’ll receive a commission. regardless of whether you’re promoting it or not.
The most popular networks are:
- Amazon Associates
- Share a Sale
- Best Buy
- And millions of other companies on the web
In the beginning, when you’re just starting out, it’s best to join one affiliate program in your niche. Amazon Associates would be the best program to start with, because they offer many benefits, including their awesome help center and support.
The best choice for beginners! I highly recommend that you check it out.
I would stay with one because it gives you a chance to learn about how affiliate marketing works. And avoid overwhelm and confusion.
As you gain more experience, then you can choose a few other niches, and promote other products. And this is popularly known as “multiple streams of income”. Clearly, you can see the potential for making money, here right?
Join An Affiliate Program That Offers A Product To Sell
There are literally thousands of merchants selling their products on the internet today. You’d be surprised to find that there are many high-end products that pay commissions that are 10% and, in some products, even 40%.
But as a beginner with marketing, it’s best to test the waters with products that are familiar and on the lower end, so you can get a “feel” for how affiliate marketing works.
Do a Google search for an affiliate program of your choice.
They advertise just about anything you can think of. From books, beauty products, toys, cameras, video games and accessories, and so on. There are millions of products that you could promote.
The commission structure is from 4% up to 10%. Amazon makes it easy to advertise their products on your website. When you join, they will provide you with an affiliate link. Just copy and paste it into your website and their ads with images will show up on your site.
You will need to find an affiliate program that is related to your niche. Go to Google and search for the product of your choice by typing into the Google search bar.
Example: product name + affiliate program
You will see lots of websites that have the product you’re interested in promoting. Click on any of the results. At the website look for “affiliates” usually found on the sidebar or the bottom of the page.
Follow the company’s instructions on how to join the affiliate program.
All affiliate programs you join will have your affiliate link. When people search for that product, they will click on that link so you will be paid your commission.
When you have your blog set up, you’ll write relevant articles to promote your product. Usually, through a product review or a product you recommend, on your blog.
I will show you how to insert your affiliate links into your article with WordPress in this post.
Go to Google and type the above keywords into the search bar. Click on any of the links and have a look at their affiliate program. Before you join an affiliate program, look at the information that they provide. Follow the company’s instructions. Ask these questions before choosing an affiliate program:
- Is this a reputable company?
Amazon is a common house word nowadays. And it will be for years to come. It’s a great place for starting an affiliate marketing business that’s very easy to join.
Rest assured they are safe to work with. Once you get your website up and running, you can promote just about any product.
Caution: Be very careful and be aware of the scams and illegitimate companies. Never give out any personal information like your social security number.
If you join an affiliate program, they will provide you with an opt-in form.
Usually, the company will only ask you for your email address and request that you create a password. Remember to save your username and password. You don’t want to be locked out!
If the company requests that you pay money upfront – don’t fall for it. Always be an investigator first to make sure if they aren’t there just to take your money.
Stay with programs that you are familiar with and trust.
What is the commission structure?
Commission rates vary for different products. The average commission rates for affiliate sales is about 4% to 30%.
- Do they offer the benefit of recurring commissions?
One example is Wealthy Affiliate’s affiliate program. When someone signs up for the monthly premium and yearly membership you get a commission for each referral.
Since it’s a membership site, you get paid each month or each year in recurring commissions.
- Does the company have a successful track record for product sales?
Yes. Everyone knows that Amazon, for example, has an excellent track record for sales.
An excellent way to research a company for sales-type into the google search bar “Walmart net worth 2019”. It works for every company listed on the internet. Easy!
- How long does their cookie last?
A cookie is a file that is uploaded onto your computer whenever you visit a website through your browser. In the case of an affiliate program site, the purpose of the cookie is used to “track” visitors entering a site.
The cookie is a text file that stores a unique ID number from the website server. Whenever a visitor returns to the site, the server “reads” this ID and “remembers” your computer.
So, for example, if you were an affiliate promoting a product from the company’s website, the cookie will track users returning to the site, perhaps to purchase a product.
Some cookies will expire in 24 hours, 7 days or up to a year. The ideal cookie lasts a lifetime. Whenever you sign up for an affiliate program, take note of how long theirs lasts before it expires.
Wealthy Affiliate’s affiliate program has a lifetime cookie.
- Does the company provide you with support if you run into problems?
When you visit a company’s website, check out what kind of support they offer you. Look for an email address in the “Contact Us” menu on the site.
In many cases, the site provides you with 24/7 support. This is a very good indication that their response will be fairly quick. Some websites will even have a “chat area” for super fast support. All the more, much better for you.
They will be able to help you resolve issues such as:
- Non-payment of commissions due
- Issues with company’s webpages not loading properly
- Broken affiliate links
Many affiliate programs, like Amazon, for example, have a centralized help center, providing you with tutorials, videos, and how-to articles. They want you to be successful in promoting and selling their products. It’s better for their bottom line, as well as yours.
This isn’t the end. We’re just getting started! I think I laid out the basics of getting started for you, the beginner. There’s so much more to learn about affiliate marketing.
In the next few posts, I will be getting into
- Working with WordPress
- Creating an email list and getting subscribers to your blog
- Promoting your articles on social media
I want you to be successful with your online business. It’s important to note that it takes hard work, trial, and error, discipline, and consistency every day. I’m here to help you!
I’m encouraging you to be patient. If you have the passion and desire to help others solve their problems, you’ll most surely be admired by many people in your niche.
The money will follow.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
If you liked this post, please share it with your friends. I really appreciate it!
Thank you for reading. Talk to you soon!