If you are looking for a way to make money online you have probably heard of the term ‘affiliate marketing’. This report is going to help shed some light on this subject as well as outline the basic way for you to get started.
In a nutshell affiliate marketing means promoting someone else’s products. This is the main reason why affiliate marketing is so appealing to the beginner. You don’t :te link and you are ready to start making money!
Of course there is more to it than this. That is if you actually want to be successful with affiliate marketing! Many marketers make huge amounts of money from affiliate marketing and yes there is money to be had.
Just take the time to learn the basics of affiliate marketing first. Once you have a good grasp of this then you are ready to take your business to the next level.
Enjoy and happy marketing!
One of the first things you want to think about when getting started with affiliate marketing is your reputation! You are going to be recommending products to other people. If you recommend crap then people are not going to come back and visit your other suggestions.
You really need to choose your products wisely. Take the time to research the products and the reputation behind the supplier. Don’t worry you are not going to have to start purchasing all kinds of products. You can read reviews and testimonials and come to your own conclusions.
The basics steps that you are going to go through include:
- Setting up your own website – not required but recommended for best results
- Choosing affiliate companies to promote
- Choosing a niche
- Narrowing down your selection of products
- Promoting your products
- Using keywords to promote your product
- Writing product reviews
- Driving traffic to your site
- Creating a subscriber list
- Getting Paid
What is Affiliate Marketing?
An affiliate program is put in place by the owner of a product. This could be an eBook, video series or a line of products. You have probably heard of Clickbank and Amazon, you may have even purchased products there yourself. Well these are large businesses that have put an affiliate program in place.
What this means is that they encourage people to sign up as an affiliate. Then you go out and promote these products. When you get sales the company will pay you a percentage of the money. This could be as little as 5% or as high as 75% or more. Basically you are a sales person working on a commission basis.
This is a very simple concept which is why affiliate marketing holds such an appeal to individuals wanting to make money online. But of course there is a learning curve that needs to be done.
As an affiliate marketer your main objective is to drum up traffic to your affiliate links. Your link takes the prospective buyer straight to a sales page where the company takes over. From here it is up to their sales copy to sell the buyer and make them click on the Buy Now button.
Your goal is to send targeted buyers to these sales pages as then your conversions will be higher. This equals more money in your bank account.
Benefits of Being an Affiliate
- No products to create
- No inventory to store or purchase
- No sales copy to write
- No initial investment
- Market Worldwide
- Unlimited income potential
- Low Risk
- Promotional material usually provided
- No deadlines to meet
Choosing a Niche
Before you do anything you want to sit down and choose a niche to promote. The biggest money makers online are those to do with money, relationships and life. This includes niches such as:
- Make money online
- Work from home
- Weight loss
- Skin care
- And the list goes …
Now these are referred to as broad topics. You can categorize many sub categories under these main topic headings. For example let’s take a look at the skin care topic.
- Anti aging
- Dry skin
These topics are known as sub niches and the great thing about these niches is that there is less competition in them. This means you can get your pages to rank higher in the search engines so people will find your link and purchase from you.
Your next step is to head over to the Google Keyword Tool and put in these terms. Take a look at the results and make note if there are any Ad words on the right side of the screen. These are paid promotions and are a good indication that people are making money with this niche.
Also look at the number of searches returned by Google you want to target something that has around 50,000 searches per month. As you gain experience you can target higher amounts but remember we want to keep things simple!
For now you want to pick one of these sub niches and start to promote it. In time you can add additional niches and products. But for now it is best to start with one and work your way up.
Choosing Your Affiliate Program
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of affiliate programs to choose from. As a beginner it is probably best to start off with one of the more well known companies. These would be Amazon, Clickbank, Commission Junction and Linkshare.
When choosing which program to sign up with you want to take a few things into consideration.
- Check that they take affiliates from your
- Find out what payment method they use, check or PayPal are the most common.
- How often do they pay?
- Is there an earnings cap?
- Commission %
These are all important points that are worth a little extra explaining. Some companies like Amazon are now having restrictions placed on where they can do business. For instance people in California, Colorado and Illinois cannot do business with Amazon.
The majority of affiliate programs pay out via check, direct deposit to certain countries or through PayPal. Check to see if you can receive money to your country with these methods. PayPal is adding more countries to their list but there are some restrictions.
Note: If you don’t have a PayPal account now is the time to set one up and get it verified.
The frequency of your commission payments will vary. Some programs pay out immediately while others can take up to a month or more.
Clickbank for instance pays out once every two weeks. It is important to check this so you will understand why you haven’t received a commission check yet.
Many affiliate programs put a minimum requirement on your earnings. What this means is that you will not receive payments until certain conditions are met. These normally are:
- Certain number of sales achieved
- Certain cash number required often $50 – $100
Before signing up to promote a product you want to know what percentage you will make on a sale. Is it 5% or 75%? This will make a big difference on your cheque. Look at the price of the product and then determine what your commission would be. If you are happy with this amount then go ahead and sign up as an affiliate.
Some programs like Amazon will pay you for whatever product someone buys from your link. For example say you are promoting a book on skin care the person goes from your link to the gardening sections and buys gardening tools. You will still get the commission. So in essence you are promoting every product in the Amazon store! This could end up netting you a large income.
You can also join affiliate marketing forums and ask questions about what the best affiliate programs to join are. This way you can get feedback and suggestions on who to go with and which products to promote.
Creating Your Account
Once you have decided which affiliate company or product you are going to promote then you will need to create an account. Approval time varies depending upon the company. You could be approved immediately or you may have to wait a couple of days.
Note: Some companies require that you have a website or blog before they will accept you as an affiliate. So you may wish to do this step first.
Setting Up Your Own Website
Now there are two different ways to go about this. One is a free method and the other a paid method. It is totally up to you which way you go. The downside to a free method is that you run the risk of losing your website overnight. The free service provider might suddenly decide to delete a whole bunch of blogs or websites for no apparent reason. Your hard work is gone and you will have to start again.
To set up a free blog you can use any of the following sites.
- Hub pages
You then register and create your account. A couple of things to remember here are to try and get your sub niche keyword in the title. For instance if you have decided to promote skin care and have narrowed down the niche to psoriasis, then use this word in the name of your site.
If you created an account at blogger.com the name of your blog would look something like this:
This one step will allow your blog to be indexed in the search engine that much faster.
Next you want to add content to your site. Aim for 3 to 5 blog posts or short articles. You can write these articles yourself or purchase some private label rights (PLR) articles to use. This latter method is fastest and you can find quality PLR at a reasonable price.
If you choose to write the articles visit some article directories and read a few articles on your subject. Make notes, but do not copy! Then create your own informative articles.
No matter which way you move forward you will want to use keywords in your articles to promote your pages.
This could actually turn into a whole report by itself. But we are going to go over the basics so you can get content on your site quickly.
Go back to the Google keyword tool and put in your sub niche keyword.
Let’s use psoriasis as our example.
Put this word as your main keyword and then check the box that says: Only show ideas closely related to my search terms
After you hit search you will get a list of keywords returned. The Global Monthly search results will show you how many searches are done for these terms. If you click the top you can organize this into an ordered list.
Some of the top keywords listed currently are:
- What is psoriasis?
- About psoriasis
- Treatment for psoriasis
Then organize the list to show the least searched terms and you come up with:
- Plaque psoriasis causes
- Treating psoriasis naturally
You should try and use a combination of these words on your website. Do you also see that these keywords suggest article titles or pages?
Now you can have 5 pages of content created quickly.
Tips on Creating Posts/Pages
As well as the articles try to use some photos that relate to your subject on your site. You can find free photos by doing a quick search on the internet.
At the end of each page you want to have a link that contains your affiliate link and takes the reader to the sales page.
This can be done by using this code:
<a href=”your affiliate link here”> keyword here</a>
Some blogging platforms will add this automatically while you are creating the post.
If you haven’t gotten your affiliate link yet, apply to the program of your choice and go back into each post or page and add your link.
Important Note: When creating content for your site keep in mind that you have two types of visitors. The human visitor that you need to connect with and the search engines spiders, which you need to keep happy so your site gets ranked higher in the search engine.
Your Own Website
If you are serious about affiliate marketing you may wish to get your own domain name along with web hosting. You can easily do this for around $20. There are two ways you could create a site.
You might decide that you would like to make one huge affiliate website and refer and review all types of products. Or you may wish to make lots of small mini sites and promote just one product per site.
Another option is to stay with the Skin care theme as a general site and then have pages specifically aimed at the various sub niches.
Whichever way you go try and get a domain name that has your keyword in it. For a general affiliate site you may wish to use terms such as ‘recommended product reviews’ or ‘today’s best picks’.
Once you have purchased a name and a hosting account you can install wordpress and set up your own site following the instructions from above.
Now you are ready to start promoting your site.
Driving Traffic to Your Promotion
Now that you have a site set up you need to concentrate on getting traffic to your site. Remember the more people that see what you have to offer the more likely they are to click through and make a purchase.
Most affiliate programs will provide you with marketing material. This includes items such as banners and buttons, pre written emails and articles. This is all helpful material but remember lots of other affiliates will be using the same content.
So how can you make your content stand out above the rest?
Well your best bet as a beginner is to take the material that you are given and change it. This can be done by taking the example articles or emails and then rewriting them a little. Try and make the content directly related to the item that you are promoting. Including facts and figures is a good way to do this or even making comparisons to another product.
If we stay with our psoriasis theme then research the product you are promoting and directly list the benefits on your site. Find some customer testimonials and include those too.
Give Away Something of Value
This is going to be a sure-fire method of getting your affiliate site seen. Give visitors to your site something extra! The easiest way to do this is by providing them with a report. In our example this would be a report on psoriasis and could cover the causes and treatment of psoriasis.
Inside the report you would place your affiliate link so they can still click through to the sales page and make a purchase.
By giving away a free report you are building yourself a mailing list. This gives you the opportunity to promote other products in this niche.
The way to do this is to sign up for an auto responder service. There are free or paid services that you can use. Most of them will have sign up forms that you can install on your site. Then once someone enters their name and email address your report is delivered to them.
Additional Traffic Generation Methods
You goal now is to get people to visit your site. To do this you have to let people know that you exist. This can be done in many different ways including:
- Using social media sites
- Forum posting
- Guest posts
- Blog commenting
- Paid advertising
- Article writing
- Directory submissions
- Video Marketing
To do this effectively, start off by creating a Facebook and Twitter account and posting information about your site there. Try to give
people tips, advice and basic facts. Don’t do a hard sell. Do a search on Twitter and find people in your niche and follow them.
Find forums in your niche and join them. Then start answering questions and being helpful. Over time you will be seen as someone who knows what they are talking about and people will refer your site to others.
When filling out your forum profile make references to your niche and either a photo of yourself or one related to your niche.
If you see certain questions being repeated then create an article about them and refer people back to your site. Let them know about your free report. Most people are happy to get something for free and will gladly visit your site to pick it up.
Check the terms and conditions of the forum and if you are allowed create a link in your signature leading back to your website. You can hyperlink your affiliate link to something like Free Skin Care Report.
Writing additional articles and submitting them to online directories is another way to get traffic back to your site. You can also write an in- depth product review and submit that.
Blog posting and commenting are other great traffic generation ideas. You can find blogs in your niche and leave helpful comments. An easy way to do this is to sign up for Google Alerts and insert your keywords. Then every time a new blog is indexed Google will notify you. You then leave a comment and hopeful it gets approved.
Once your website has lots of content you can offer to write guest posts on other blogs. Just make sure that the content is unique and that you won’t publish it anywhere else. This will help you become known as an expert in your niche and give you links back to your site.
You will also want to promote your sites and articles to places like Reddit, Stumbleupon, Jump tags and Delicious. There are many other sites you can use as well.
Tracking Your Efforts
A smart affiliate marketer is going to want to track their results. This way you will know if your efforts are paying off. Some affiliate programs have tracking software built into them. If not there is an easy way for you to do this.
All you need to do is install Google Analytics on your wordpress site. This will then track things like your most frequently visited pages and which keywords are being used to find your site.
It is also possible to set your account up to automatically email your stats to you monthly. Then you can see which keywords, pages are getting the most traffic as well as where this traffic is coming from.
With this information all you do is create more content about your most used keyword to drive additional traffic.
When writing content for your affiliate marketing site always keep the following in mind:
You are writing to form a relationship with your reader. By creating trust they will gladly purchase from you time and time again!
The best way to achieve this is to write in a friendly manner as though you are talking to a friend. Be honest about the product you are reviewing. If there is a negative get it out in the open and tell your readers about it.
Use sites like Yahoo Answers to find out what problems people have in your niche. Then write short articles and place them on your site. You can then answer this question by directing people back to your site and your free report.
To really become successful at affiliate marketing you should research who exactly your customer is. If you know exactly what age they are, what their main concerns are you can then address these issues on your site. When your visitor arrives they feel as though you are writing to them personally and they begin to trust you already.
This begins to take you into more advanced areas of affiliate marketing. Right now we have given you the basics to get started on your new career choice.
If you are interested in advanced tactics then these are some of the things you can look forward to learning.
- Cloaking your affiliate links
- Using paid advertising campaigns
- Spying on your competition
- Research your target market
- Creating auto blogs
- Start participating in more crowded niches
- Leveraging your email list
- Offering bonuses to your customers
- SEO tactics
As you can probably see the world of affiliate marketing is huge along with the potential of making a great income.
So get started today and start carving out your own place in this lucrative market!
To Your Success!
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