Have you heard about affiliate marketing or just getting started with internet business and need a little guidance? Here is “A How To Affiliate Marketing Guide” to get you going!
What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work?
Before we proceed any further, let's review the basics of affiliate marketing. During the whole process, keep in mind that the primary purpose of affiliate marketing is helping others. Until people deem you trustworthy, you will not be making much money.
What is Affiliate Marketing? Let me describe it in 4 simple steps:
- You create a website & blog on a certain topic (i.e. snorkeling or running)
- Visitors to your site click on a link, that you placed, which takes them to a merchant's site to purchase a product you wrote about (i.e. swim goggles or shoes from Amazon.com)
- Those visitors purchase that product.
- You get a commission for each product purchased.
You can make money in two different ways with affiliate marketing, product links and ads.
- You make income from product links when people click on a link on your website or blog that goes to an affiliate website and make a purchase. If they do not make a purchase, you don't make any income off of that “click-through.” Example: You have a post on “The Best Personal Tablet” with an affiliate link for Amazon. If the visitor makes a purchase of the tablet you setup in the link, or any additional purchases in their cart within 24 hours of the click, you get a commission.
2. The other income stream is Embedded Ads on your page like Google AdSense. With this method, you make a commission when somebody clicks on an ad on your website. This pays less than affiliate links per transaction, but depending on your niche, it can be a useful income stream.
Ok. I Understand What Affiliate Marketing is. How Do I Start?
Step #1- Find a “Niche”
You first need to have an idea of what you want to write about to help others. What is your hobby or do you use certain products at work that other people would purchase online?
Have a niche but can't choose your domain or web address?
Every person ponders what to call there website. Read this article to help your decision.
Step #2- Create A Website With a Hosting Service
Once you have decided on your niche, create a website so you can start sharing your knowledge and passion with the world. There is more to building a website then buying a domain name. Perhaps you don't even know how to do this.
I recommend the service Wealthy Affiliate as your all-in-one website hosting service. In addition to hosting your website (where you can edit your website), they will guide you step-by-step with easy to follow video lessons & tutorials on every topic including starting a website, adding content, and the tools to monetize the site. Wealthy Affiliate is also similar to a “Facebook” community with group chat and discussion boards which are useful if you need help instead of solely looking at FAQs & waiting for the Site Admin to respond to your questions. In a nutshell, WA (Wealthy Affiliate) can lead the horse to the water.
If you are still unsure if affiliate marketing is right for you or unsure about your niche, Wealthy Affiliate offers a free 7-day trial membership where you have access to lessons and can create a free website to start the foundation for your interest.
Step # 3- Build QUALITY Content To Generate Traffic
To be successful at affiliate marketing you need to remember two simple rules:
- Publish relevant & quality content that helps people
- Be patient
This isn't a “Get Rich Quick” income source. You need to remember that you are going to be a “content expert” for your niche(s).
Your goal should be wanting to help people with a particular need. This is accomplished with a webpage and blog where you publish a new post a couple times a week. If you offer quality content, your site will begin receiving consistent traffic which will help you get ranked higher in the Search Engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.). So when somebody searches for “Best Snorkeling Advice,” your website will be on the first page of their search results.
You also need to publicize your content. This is done on social media networks like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+. Just like you see billboards & tv commercials, you won't know to visit your website until you start making a presence on the World Wide Web.
Remember the second rule, “Be Patient?” You probably will not be ranked on the first page immediately. It will most likely take several months to build a respectful name for yourself on the internet. This is accomplished by following the first rule, publishing quality content that helps people.
Step #4- Begin Making Money
Your first goal shouldn't be making money, it should be helping people. Would you buy a product from somebody on their website that simply wrote, “Buy this scuba mask from me because I get a 30% commission”? Probably not. Before I make a purchase, I typically research a product and look for product reviews of it and its competitors. Most people research act similarly and they preferably want to buy from a trustworthy source.
You can put affiliate links & ads in your content practically from day one. Some companies require you reach a certain traffic volume before they provide you with an affiliate link. I do not advise against placing links in your content but they need to be tactful. Google is less likely to increase your ranking if they think your site is more of a location to solicit income than provide a helpful service.
If you have your own product or service to sell (i.e. eBook, consulting service), you can also make money in this aspect as well. This is a good way to utilize your talents, plus you cut out the middle man & can make more cash for your hard work!
Step #5- Remember Who Your Audience Is
The primary motive of your content is to help your audience, whomever that is. This also means that you will probably have to stay in tune with the changes that occur in your topic as it evolves with new technology and innovation. What worked yesterday may not necessarily work tomorrow.
If you need help with this concept, what was the most purchased Christmas present for the last two years? Parents will always buy toys for their children, but tastes and wants change yet the retailers remain in business year after year.
In every niche, there are certain products that everybody will need, especially beginners. Just as every business needs to remain relevant to remain helpful and successful.
Will My Website Always Make Money?
More often than not, Yes. Once you get consistent traffic. Just remember your content may not be as relevant and needs to adapt with the times to maximize website visits and income streams.
Once you become established and ranked, you do not need to dedicate as much time as the hard part of being ranked and attracting viewers is completed. You will still need to make posts routinely.
Perhaps you capitalized on a short-term topic and very few people are still interested in it. Certain opportunities come and go all the time. At this time, consider diversification and use the knowledge from your current website to create a new affiliate marketing website.
Affiliate marketing is not a cake walk, as is nothing worthwhile in life. With diligence and a will to help others, you can be successful!
Thank you for reading this guide and I hope it has been helpful to you. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below.
Josh founded Money Buffalo in 2015 to help people get out of debt and make smart financial decisions. He is currently a full-time personal finance writer with work featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and Credible.