What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is a way of making money online by promoting someone else’s products. As an affiliate you are basically a salesperson for the products you’re promoting where you earn a commission for every paying customer you send to the owner of the product. It’s a great way to get started if you want to make a living online.
- Why is it easy to get started?
This is a great way to start earning a living online because you don’t have to create anything and the product owner gets a customer in the process. You promote something that already exists which is so much easier than building and selling your own digital or physical product. Some other positive points are:-
– you don’t have to handle customer support
– you don’t need to work out how to run a shopping cart
– you don’t have to spend time creating the product
– you don’t have to buy stock to sell, or store it
- Do you need any special skills?
No, you don’t need any particular skills or experience to get started as an affiliate. Most affiliates start out with no knowledge at all, and just pick it up as they go. Having a few skills in creating a website (or blog), writing, graphics or marketing doesn’t hurt, but it’s not essential. However, you do need the following skills if you want to succeed as an affiliate.
You need determination and perseverance as the road to success can be a bit winding. Basic computer skills and an internet connection are a given. You must be willing to learn things so you can expand and develop your skills, and finally you need Patience! This is not a get rich quick scheme.
- Are there any startup costs?
A huge benefit of marketing as an affiliate is you don’t need to invest much money to get started. For a fairly basic affiliate website your startup costs will be minimal. Around $10 per year for a domain name, and about $50 a year for web hosting.
You can do most things yourself without spending any more, but lots of affiliates hire people to write articles, design graphics through websites like fiverr.com. Better to get other people to do things you don’t like, or are not very good at doing.
- Which products should I promote?
In order to decide which affiliate program you will promote you first need to carry out market research. You’re looking for a niche which will be profitable (of course) so this is a really important step. If you get this bit wrong you could end up spending months of effort on something that won’t ever make money for you.
Your ‘niche’ is the general topic for your website, eg, dog training or online dating for men, so you will usually promote affiliate products related to that topic. Check if there are any existing affilite products for your niche first using websites like Clickbank. This is an affiliate network with ‘000s of digital products you can promote. You can check the ‘gravity’ number to determine how well each product is selling. Anything over 6 is selling well. It’s good to find a few products to promote.
- How do I build a Website?
So the next step is to build your site, which isn’t as difficult as it might first sound. There are some great tools out there which will give you a very professional looking website without having to hire someone to build it for you.
First, you need to come up with a name for your website and register a domain name, eg, www.mywebsite.com. This costs about $10 per year. Try to get a .com website, but there are plenty of other domain name ‘suffixes’ if the one you want is taken. For example, www.mywebsite.net or www.mywebsite.info.
Next you need a home for your website, so you need to buy web hosting. There are lots of providers available and most are perfectly fine to getting started. You can either buy and annual plan or go month-to-month – very much like your mobile phone provider. Hosting can cost as little as $5 per month (for one website), but you can also buy a plan which will host multiple sites for no more than $10 per month.
WordPress is probably the most popular and user-friendly ways to get a pro-looking website – even if you’re not very technical. WordPress is free and has a huge community of users so you’ll find loads of tools and support if you need help.
Most web hosts will have an easy way for you to install WordPress on your website. You can find loads of help on sites like YouTube to help you install it, but your web host should also provide help with this. There is also a huge range of help forums on the WordPress.org website.
- What should I put on my website?
You now need to start adding content to your website. Content is there both to attract people to your site and to convince people to buy the products you are promoting. Not all of us have enough ability to write fresh, original content, so you can hire them. I mentioned fiverr.com earlier but you can also go to iwriter.com or upwork.com to find someone suitable.
Once your content has been created you can start posting it on your site. Simply go to Posts in your WordPress dashboard and click ‘Add New Post’. It’s a good idea to add some relevant images to your post in order to break up the text and make it easier to read for your visitors. You can go to www.pexels.com or www.pixabay.com for royalty-free pictures. Please don’t ‘steal’ images from other websites without permission.
- How do I get people to visit my website?
Getting people to your website is the most important thing for making money as an affiliate. This is the part you will probably spend the most time on. There are loads of methods to generate traffic to your site. Some traffic methods are free, but the ones which work best tend to cost money, such as Facebook ads. You will want to focus on the free methods initially, of which there are plenty of options.
Free methods include SEO (search engine optimisation) where your site appears naturally in the search engine results if your site includes relevant keywords your potential customer is using to find your target niche.
Other methods of free and paid traffic include:-
- How do I make more sales?
Getting people to your website is one thing but persuading them to buy is a completely different challenge. Firstly, make sure you’ve copied your personal affiliate link and used it in your posts so it is clickable. Your link is what tells the product owner that you are the one who sent the customer to their website. A Clickbank affiliate idea looks like this.
Try to include the link in your blog post so it flows naturally in the course of the text. For example, “I’ve listed a few tips here to help you get started with affiliate marketing, but as there is much more to learn about this topic, I highly recommend Partnership To Success. This teaches you everything you need to know about becoming a successful affiliate marketer.” (see what I did there?).
You can also add other advertising on your website to promote sales of other products. This can be done using banners created by the product owner to which you add your affiliate link, or you can even use external advertising such as Google Adsense where adverts are displayed on your web pages and you earn money whenever your visitors click them.
I hope this article provided you with enough information to help you understand affiliate marketing a bit better. If you have any questions or need any help in this area please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll answer you personally.