How to Get Started in Affiliate Marketing

An affiliate marketer is someone who earns a commission selling or promoting the products and services of other companies.

Anybody can become an affiliate marketer – yes, even you my fledgling entrepreneur

You may be surprised how many companies and services run some sort of affiliate program

Amazon for instance will give affiliates between 4% and 10% of any sales. eBay also run an affiliate program and if you are after a company who purely sell digital products (eBooks/software/videos) then look no further than Clickbank.com who generally offer commissions of 50%, sometimes 75%

If you are looking to setup a small business, or even create a money making business in your spare time, then you really should consider affiliate marketing

Think about it for a minute

  • You are selling other people’s products directly so there is no stock to be held
  • Startup costs are really low – you really just need the cost of a domain name and somewhere to host it – you can realistically get started for under $20
  • You can do this in your spare time.  Start small, and aim to grow as big as you want to go
  • You can also speed up the process by paying for traffic

Many people worldwide make money from affiliate marketing – indeed, so called “super affiliates” are those who are extremely successful affiliate marketers. They can earn six figures a year and they do it all from the comfort of their home. It can be a tremendously freeing lifestyle.

Interested? Here’s a short overview as to how to get started in affiliate marketing

Most people overcomplicate things so for the purposes of this article I am going to make it a very simple 4 step process

Step 1: Pick A Niche
Step 2: Find Products You Want to Promote
Step 3: Build a Website Promoting Those Products
Step 4: Drive Traffic To Your Site

Step #1 Pick a Niche

Ideally, it’ll be a topic you enjoy because you’ll be writing and talking about your topic often.

For example, if you’re a gardener and you enjoy discussing gardening tips you might choose to create a gardening website.

You can choose a tighter niche if there’s a lot of competition in your industry, for example greenhouse gardening, or lawn care.

Gardening is a great niche because as an affiliate you could promote physical products (tools, lawnmowers even greenhouses) or digital products (gardening guides as instant downloads)

Step #2 Find Products You Want to Promote 

These products and services will be directly related to your website topic.

If your topic is dog training tips , then the products and services you’re an affiliate for will be related to dogs and dog training

You can find these products and services by searching affiliate networks and directories.

You can also look to see if your favorite companies have an affiliate program.

Most companies today do recognize the benefit of having affiliates promoting them online.

Step #3 Build a Website.

Building a website is much more simple than it used to be thanks to a content management system called WordPress – indeed anybody now has the potential to put a professional looking website online

As an affiliate marketer, your primary value to any prospect or potential customer is to provide information.

It’s how they’ll learn to trust your opinion and is what will bring them back to your website and it’s what will motivate them to click on your affiliate links and ads to make a purchase.

Much of your content will also pre-sell the products and services you represent.

For example, you might write an article or a report on “10 ways to look after your rabbit” which you give away on your website .

When relevant you might link to a product or service that you’re discussing – for example, if you say that you need to invest in a weatherproof and sturdy rabbit hutch you might want to include an amazon link to a page selling rabbit hutches.

If your reader clicks through and makes a purchase, you earn a commission.

There are many ways you can create content for your website and keep your reader engaged and “coming back for more”.  Here are a few ideas

  • “How to” Articles
  • Product reviews
  • Comparison charts comparing the benefits of different products
  • “How to” videos
  • Short reports you give away (or charge a small fee) concentrating on specific issues
  • Online courses and membership site
  • eBooks
  • Newsletters
  • Podcasts

Step#4 – Drive Traffic To Your Website

The fourth step – driving traffic to your website – is possibly the most difficult step, and here is where you need to be creative.

Here are 11 ways to drive traffic to your site

  • Use social media – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the like
  • Create a video and submit to YouTube (and other video submission sites) and link back to your site
  • Comment on other blogs in your niche and link back to your site
  • Actively participate in forums with a link back.  Note that by linking back to your site and not directly to the product you are not spamming the forum with affiliate links
  • Guest post for other blogs in your niche (with a link back to your site)
  • Comment on other blogs in your niche .. with a link back of course
  • Aim for search engine rankings – initially for “long tail keywords”  (search terms of 3 words or more)
  • Include your site in your email profile  – setup a newsletter and drive subscribers back to your site in your emails
  • Start a podcast related to your niche and drive traffic back to your site
  • Setup a profile on LinkedIn with a link back to your site
  • Pay for your traffic using Facebook Ads or Google Ads

I could go on, there are many many more ways to get traffic to your website.

And sending traffic to your website (as opposed to directly to an affiliate link) will mean you come across as credible and “not a spammer”

I really do recommend affiliate marketing to anybody who is just setting out in setting up a home business or looking to make money online – give it a go and comment below if it has worked for you ….

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