Affiliate Marketing has changed my life.
I never thought it would be possible, but I can’t believe I’m earning passive income while I cook, sleep, eat and drive.
My names Jordan and I’m a full-time digital marketer and I’m going to explain to you everything you need to know about Affiliate Marketing, the steps involved, and when and how you can start.
I was hesitant on creating this guide, because it’s what true affiliate marketers don’t want to tell you. I’ve included all my secrets and tips that made me successful. This is the truth. It’s not easy. It requires hard work, dedication and time.
Here's What we'll be covering:
- What is Affiliate Marketing?
- How does Affiliate Marketing Work?
- Who is Affiliate Marketing for?
- How do I start an Affiliate Marketing Business?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Affiliate Marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other peoples (or Companys) products.
You partner with a company, promote their product and earn a commission for that product. For example, let’s say I partner with Nike. I will promote their shoes all over my website. When customers click the link from my website and purchase the product, Nike will give me a commission for that sale.
So… how does Nike know the customers came from my website? Simple.
They give me my own unique URL. For instance the regular URL will be www.nike.com/shoexample, but my unique URL will be www.nike.com/shoexample=source-user32287. I’m user 32287. It’s all tracked through cookies and browser history.
When you become an “affiliate” for these companies, they will educate and equip you with everything you need. When I sign up to become an affiliate with Nike, Nike will email me my own login and password where I can access my commission reports, unique URLs, sales forecasts and product discounts.
Sounds simple right? It is.
The only thing you need to worry about is finding these people to buy your affiliate products. We’ll explain this more below.
Affiliate Marketing is for individuals seeking to earn passive income. You must also be willing to put in time and effort into building a succint website that lives and breathes your niche. Search Engines must be able to find you, or else your website will be a dry desert with no people visiting it.
Ok, so you’re interested in starting an Affiliate Marketing business, I’ve broken in down into 6 important steps.
Let’s go through through each step in detail.
Before getting started in Affiliate Marketing, you should choose a niche.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a niche is defined as “denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.” Essentially, it’s choosing a specific area you’re looking to focus on.
Some people choose fitness, health, beauty, baby strollers, etc.
This is a very important step before creating your business, so I recommend you think long and hard about this.
I’ve created a few questions you should ask yourself before selecting a niche below.
"What Am I Passionate About?"
If you could make money doing what you love, what would it be? What are you interests you wouldn’t mind spending hours talking about?
Some people have a passion in makeup, so they’ll dedicate their business on makeup products.
It’s important to choose a niche in which you’re passionate about, because there will be days you’re exhausted and tired putting so many hours into your business.
I’ve easily spent over 1,000+ hours into this website. It was brutal, tough and tedious at times, but it’s what I’m passionate about so I don’t mind. It brings me joy to know I’m creating the ultimate database website for people to reference before purchasing a money making method online.
"Is There money to be made in this niche?"
It’s important to do your research before you choose a niche. I truly believe there’s no such thing as a bad niche; however, some niches make much more money than others.
According to Wealthy Affiliate, the top 3 highest paying niches are wealth, health and fitness. if you choose one of these niches, you have a high chance of making a lot of money.
So ask yourself, how much money do I want in order to be happy?
"How much can you write on this niche/Topic?"
If there is one key factor to success in affiliate marketing, it’s content. There’s a saying “Content is King”. These are words you should live by when thinking about your niche.
Writing about your niche is critical to the success of your business. Ensure you can write a lot about it or else your business won’t succeed. This is very important because search engines like Google/Bing use the content you write to rank high on their pages.
Ok, here’s a scenario for you: imagine you visit a website about fitness and there’s only 1 blog on there without any pictures or content. You won’t stay very long right? You’d leave right away.
"Are there Affiliate Partners within your Niche?"
It’s important to make sure the niche you choose has affiliate programs associated to it. These affiliate programs are how you’re going to make money. The more affiliate programs, the more you can diversify your channels for revenue.
I talk more about this in the next step.
Making money through affiliate marketing relies solely on the affiliate programs you choose.
When you’re first starting out, it’s important to not choose too many. Stick with 2 to 3 to begin with. The more website traffic you attract, the more you can start adding. Having a website spammed with ads, promotions and “BUY HERE” can be overwhelming and can scare your readers away.
Researching the affiliate programs associated with your niche is critical and should ask yourself a few questions before partnering with them.
"Which Affiliate Program offers the best commission?"
Companies with affiliate programs may choose to pay out in a fixed dollar amount ($) or by percentage (%).
I like to look for programs with no more than 40% commision rates. Depending on your niche, there may not be many to choose from. It’s important to research these programs prior to confirming your niche.
If the affiliate program pays through a fixed dollar amount, I wouldn’t settle for anything less than $30. You have to remember that you’ve put in hours of your time on content and website building, therefore you deserve a decent return on your investment.
This is my personal opinion; however, depending on what you’re looking for with your financial goals, you can choose what you’d like.
"Do You truly believe in the product or service you're promoting?"
The first step to making sales begins with trust.
The products and/or services you promote will be a reflection of who you are and what you represent; Therefore, it’s important to believe in the product/service you’re promoting.
You don’t want to be promoting poor quality products or services with bad reviews, or else people won’t return or trust you. Having the mentality of trying to get quick “pay checks” will not make you successful in this business.
It’s important to develop a reputation as somebody who is genuine and truly believes in the product and service they’re promoting will make you successful.
Everything that we’ve talked about up until this point has been important to be successful in this business. What we’re going to be talking about now is JUST AS IMPORTANT.
The next step in affiliate marketing is having a platform for people to visit. That’s where building a website comes in.
Building a website should be something you should put lots of time and effort in. If you don’t know how to build a website, don’t worry, it’s pretty straight forward. I’ll provide the steps to build a website below.
A website will be where your readers/visitors go to read about what you have to say, your recommendations, suggestions and tips/advice. Your website will house all your blogs, content and images; therefore, it’s important to take your time when building your website.
For me, user experience is #1. Never bombard users with sketchy ads, annoying pop-ups, and shady behaviour that paints you the picture of being somebody you can’t trust.
Having a clean, minimal website is my advice. As a digital marketer with over 8+ years in this industry, I live by this line: “less is more”.
When you build your website, try to see where your eyes go on the website and improve it. There’s no such thing as a perfect website, but making a habit to always make enhancements is great for your website. Plus, Google loves when you enhance your website. It improves your domain authority and trustworthiness (I talk about how Search Engines rank your website in the blog mentioned below).
Unsure how to build a website? Read my blog on “How to Build a WordPress Website Step-by-Step (2019 Guide)”
Already know how? Great.
Then the next step is to know how to rank on Page 1 of Search Engines like Google. Read my blog on “How Search Engines Rank Your Website (2019 Guide)”.
Ok, If you got up to this point, then you have everything you need to get started on developing content.
In my opinion, content is the most important aspect of affiliate marketing. It will be the main reason for your success in the business.
The number one reason why people fail in affiliate marketing is because they don’t produce enough content. The reason being: it’s time consuming. The amount of hours I’ve spent on blog writing, review writing and product testing has easily equaled 1,000+ hours. People don’t want to spend these hours on writing content. They want a get rich quick scheme where all you do is promote products and make commissions… but what they forget is how do you attract the customers/readers? Content.
Google/Bing searches the web and finds your content and ranks it on the search results. Without content, Google/Bing won’t find your website.
Content writing should be your main focus for at least 6 months. Don’t expect any results or money until then either. Similar to opening a small brick and mortar business. You don’t start seeing profits until at least 1-2 years (sometimes 3!).
Producing content for the sake of producing content doesn’t work either. Making high quality content is critical, because it encourages people to return and bookmark your website. If you write and make sense, people will enjoy your content and return.
Unsure about what to write about? No problem. I’ve created a few content options you could write about. See below:
Informational Tips & Advice
This is the most popular content option for many affiliate marketers because they know that customers like to educate themselves before committing to something. For instance, I don’t have 6-pack abs, so I’ll Google, how to lose fat in the stomach area. I’ll get website results and your site might be one of them.
If you choose this method, make sure you establish yourself as an expert in the area you’re providing advice or tips in. For instance, you can’t be a personal trainer providing fishing advice. Make it clear that you are an expert fisher who has been fishing since he was 8, caught 76lb fish, etc. Your readers will then be inclined to trust your advice/tips.
This is another popular content option for many affiliate marketers because they know that customers like to read about the product/service before they buy.
If you choose this method, make sure your website is dedicated to product or service reviews, because customers will bookmark and return to website if you provide quality reviews and build a trust with them.
This is more for advanced marketers who are educated in building course-like material. If done correctly, you can earn high commissions because customers/readers are always looking for free education. There’s a saying “knowledge is power”. What you’re doing right now is educating yourself about affiliate marketing.
If you choose this method, make sure your website is provides high quality guides that aims at educating their readers. If you provide in-depth guides that provide true value, readers will return to your website.
This is for individuals who prefer to speak in front of a camera instead of writing. Videos are a powerful way to convey your messages and content. A lot of people like myself prefer to watch videos than read. I’m guilty, just the other day I YouTubed “how to winterize my patio furniture”. I could have Googled it, but I prefer to watch somebody do it instead of tell me in writing.
If you choose this method, make sure your website provides videos that contain value. Don’t speak in front of the camera for an hour. Get straight to the point, speak somewhat quickly and put some effort into your videos. Purchase a microphone and record yourself with a 1080p camera in a room with good lighting. If your watchers find value in your videos, they’ll subscribe and return to your website.
One of the main reasons why we develop content is because is attracts readers/visitors. The more content you create, the higher the chance you have to generate website traffic.
Depending on the content you develop, you could establish an audience that returns, spreads the word, and continues to purchase from you because they trust you. You become an “influencer” to them. Think of Kevin David, a YouTuber who has built his career on helping people become online entrepeneurs.
People trust him, they subscribe to him and look forward to his advice and suggestions. This is achievable. You can do this too. It requires hard work, time and a consistent approach of producing high quality content.
You may be asking.. “how do I attract people to my website?” Here are the most popular ways:
[FREE] Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is the most popular way of getting people to your website. It’s called search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a technique used for Google/Bing to rank your website high on their search engine results.
When you build a website, write content and post frequently, Google/Bing will notice this and start ranking your website on Page 2/3 and sometimes Page 1. There’s a science behind this. Some companies charge thousands of dollars promising you to be on Page 1 using the technique called SEO and use sneaky methods to get your page ranked quicker.
Don’t worry, I’ll tell you how they do it, legitimately and/or sneaky. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which route you want to do. Read my blog on “How Search Engines Rank Your Website (2019 Guide)”.
[PAID] Pay-Per-Click Ads (PPC)
This is another way of getting people to your website; however it requires your money. It’s called Pay-Per-Click Ads (PPC). PPC is a technique used when you want your website to rank #1 on Search Engines for certain keywords.
For instance, you’ll pay Google $0.30 cents for each time a person clicks on your ad. When they click on your ad, they’ll go to your website. You can buy certain keywords like “fishing rods”. When someone searches for “fishing rods”, Google will put your ad as #1 and if someone clicks your website, you’ll pay for that click… but hey, you have a website visitor!!
[PAID] Social Media Ads
This is another way of getting people to your website; however it requires your money. It’s called Social Media Ads. Social Media Ads is a technique used when you want your website in front of eyes on a certain Social Media platform. The most popular social platforms include YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & Pinterest.
For instance, let’s say you pay Facebook a daily budget of $5 to run an advertisement about your website. When you build your ad, you’ll get to select the target audience, location and time frame to run your ads. When people see your ad (also known as an “Impression”) you’ll get charged like $0.02.
This is everyone’s favourite part, because this is where you start earning income.
You’ve worked hard, chosen a niche, built a website, developed content and now you’re ready to start promoting your affiliate offers. Once your offers are live on your website and visitors start clicking them, you’ll start generating money!
There are a variety of ways to promote your affiliate offers. Let’s take a look at the most popular methods:
This is pretty straight forward. These are banner advertisements placed on your website. There are a few locations to place these banners; however, the most popular are the far right sidebar or top navigation menu. Some affiliate programs have the structure where: when a user clicks the banner, you’ll get paid OR when a user clicks the banner and makes a purchase, you’ll get paid.
Affiliate Text Links
This is the most popular way of promoting affiliate products. Your affiliate partner will provide you custom URL’s specific to you. An example of this would be:
Are you looking to lose belly fat? I highly suggest you try Jordan’s Diet Plan today! (The link highlights as blue)
Affiliate Button Links
This is the second most popular way of promoting affiliate products. Your affiliate partner will provide you with custom URL buttons specific to you. An example of this would be:
Are you looking to lose belly fat? I highly suggest you try:
This only applies if you have an email list on your website and you’ve got email subscribers. If you do, then you would email your list with affiliate offers and promotions.
You may be overwhelmed, but it’s important to remind yourself why you’re doing this: To create a better life financially. All your hard work will be worth it once you earn your first commission. Remember, there’s no get rich quick scheme. This requires hours of your time.
There are a number of important factors that contribute to your success as an affiliate marketer. If you take the time to master all 6 steps, you will have great success with this business. That’s guaranteed.
Again, these steps include:
- Choose a Niche
- Research Affiliate Programs
- Build a Website
- Develop/Write Content
- Attract an Audience
- Promote Affiliate Offers
If you’re looking for a good place to start building an affiliate marketing business, I would recommend Wealthy Affiliate, as they will provide you with the tools, resources and training videos you need to get going. It’s 100% free.
If you still have questions, then that means I didn’t do my job explaining it properly. Nevertheless, I’ve prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Affiliate Marketing.
I’m happy to help. If you need help setting up an affiliate marketing business or just need advice, feel free to reach out me.
It can be about SEO, setting up ads, or developing a website, there’s no such thing as a bad question.