Question: What is affiliate marketing and can I do it in 2019?
Let me answer the second part first since that is the heart of it all.
Yes, you can do it if you work hard at first and then smarter as you get better at it. In the beginning, you need to learn a lot.
Skills such as learning how to write for a particular audience, the basics of setting up a website, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and keyword research are just a few of many.
Of course, you can outsource these tasks. However, if you do not know how to handle at least the basics for each, then how are you going to manage your outsourced work? I see people that are new to Internet marketing fail at this time and time again.
Do not make the same mistake. Learn first, then outsource.
If you are tired of reading already then watch the video:
Table of Contents
- The Keys To Getting Started
- Create A Schedule And Be Determined
- What Is Affiliate Marketing
- The Merchant
- The Affiliate Marketer
- How Much Can You Make
- How Long Until Financial Freedom
- Why You Need A Website For Affiliate Marketing
- Pick A Niche
- Get A Niche And Get Going
- Build Your Affiliate Website
- Build An Email List From The Start
- Type Of Content For Your Affiliate Site
- Three Types Of Content For Affiliate Sites
- Promotional Content
- Drive Potential Customers To Your Website
- Social Media Sites
- Search Engines For Affiliate Traffic
- How To Get Traffic From Other Sites
- Wrapping It Up – The Basics Of Affiliate Marketing
The Keys To Getting Started
To get started, you have to be willing to invest time and a certain amount of money to the learning process during the first few months of your initial struggle.
Not that in a few months you can master all you need to know, but you should be well on your way by then.
If you do not have time, find it. Stop watching TV, stop watching sports, no more Netflix binge-watching, stop partying, give up a few so-called friends… You can find the time.
Money is a little harder to deal with and obtain. Times are tight these days for many. However, you do not need a lot to get started.
Typically, the more you can spend, the quicker you can make money. Cut out a few things in your life, find part-time work online or real life, and anything else you can think of to invest in your future.
Create A Schedule And Be Determined
One other important note when it comes to “can I do it” is focused on schedule and determination. You have to have a schedule and be determined to stick to it! Successful people plan and then follow-through.
You might change your path many times, but the point is you need a map in front of you to determine where you are going. Randomly writing blog posts and hoping that you do well is not a strategy. Hope is never a strategy.
Having a program like the ones I promote help you to develop a plan that you can stick to while speeding up the initial start time.
Find a proven process, the tools you need, and access to other successful affiliate marketers.
What Is Affiliate Marketing
Okay, okay, okay, now let me answer “what is affiliate marketing?” At the most basic level, you promote products and get paid a set amount from the product owner.
The process involves three parties:
- The merchant who owns the product
- The affiliate who is you
- The buyer, otherwise known as the customer with the money
The merchant creates the product, and for online sales, they typically use Amazon, ClickBank, ShareASale, JVZoo, and other established platforms to handle their affiliate marketing efforts.
Some merchants do run their affiliate programs on their own as well. If you search for “weight loss affiliate program” you see many examples.
The affiliate marketing program tracks each click and sale. That is how they determine the amount paid to each affiliate.
The Affiliate Marketer
Back to you the affiliate. You build websites, use social media, buy ads, and perform other functions to attract potential customers.
These potential customers click on links that direct them to the merchant. Sounds simple, and yet it is at times, while at other times it can be extremely complicated.
How Much Can You Make
Regarding “how much can you make,” well that depends.
You typically get paid per sale, per click, or lead. To simplify things, let’s stick with per sale.
Commissions typically range from 1% to 40%, while some can be even higher.
Commissions are the amount you get paid based on the percentage of the cost of the product.
Sell a product that costs $100 at a 50% commission and BAM you make $50.
The equation is:
(Cost of the product) X (Commission rate) = Money to affiliate
You are probably thinking “where do I sign up?” You will find that out later.
How Long Until Financial Freedom
Another common question is “how long until I am financially independent?” That depends on your dedication, motivation to stick to an action plan, and how quickly you can master the art of affiliate marketing.
You’ll find it hard to make a large amount of money until you become good at affiliate marketing and learn how to outsource your work. That is the secret combination needed to become highly successful.
Outsourcing is a massive topic to be covered at a later date.
So, if you are entirely new to building highly effective websites, then we should start there.
Oh, and for those of you that have read you can run affiliate marketing without having a website, yes you are correct. However, you are not going to be as successful as a competitor with a website.
Why You Need A Website For Affiliate Marketing
If you are in it for the long run and want to make passive income, you need a website.
By the way, this is why the Wealthy Affiliate program is one of the most effective programs for the complete newbie, or for those of you that are stuck in the learning process.
The program shows you how to set up a website, choose the proper products to promote, and other functions that you need to master.
Yes, you can learn all this on your own and more, but it is much easier when you follow the process at Wealthy Affiliate.
Do not be discouraged; You can make simple and effective websites in very little time. Just keep it simple. Keep everything simple when you first start and then add the extra complexity as you master each component.
Do not think that you need a super fancy website. You need a clean, simple design with easy to understand content, a way to collect emails, all combined with an authoritative approach.
Keep in mind that many potential customers are on tablets and smartphones. The more complicated you make your website, the harder it is for the customer to view it.
Pick A Niche
Before you start writing posts and adding images, you need to pick a niche.
A niche focuses on smaller audiences. When you build the website, do not focus on trying to capture the eyes of the whole world.
Instead, focus on a particular type of person, or what we refer to as a tribe. The tribe needs to connect to your content and mostly you.
An example of a niche would be weight loss post-pregnancy instead of merely losing weight. The best matcha of tea instead of the broad category of tea.
Summer outdoor activities with your family instead of outdoor activities. Those are just a few examples.
Selecting a niche is a skill you want to spend a fair amount of time learning. However, do not overthink the process.
Get A Niche And Get Going
Keep in mind that as you progress, you end up building multiple sites, with various niches. Do not drive yourself crazy over the perfect niche for your first website!
It is best to start with something you know a fair amount about and highly interested in building.
If you pick something you know little about or are not highly interested in, then you most likely fail. Why? Either you become bored, quit, or you lose the motivation to put in the effort needed to be successful.
Having knowledge or the interest, which some people refer to as passion, keeps you going through the first of many websites.
Build Your Affiliate Website
Now that you have your niche it is time to pick your domain name for your website. One place where those who are new to domains fail is not realizing the name has been taken on social media sites.
You might have the domain name, but someone else occupies the Twitter or Facebook profiles.
It is not 100% necessary that you use social media. However, it is best for you to at least secure the names of popular social media sites in case you want to use them in the future.
After you have your domain name, you want to pick a reliable host. If you are a Wealthy Affiliate member, you can have 25 websites running on a stable, fast cluster of servers.
Lastly, start adding your content, your menus, your images, and a whole list of other tasks to build a successful website.
Build An Email List From The Start
Included in tasks to do when you first start in affiliate marketing is an email list. Have one from the beginning, and figure out the best ways to capture emails from your readers.
The easiest way is to grow your list is through free guides in exchange for their email. There are other methods as well as covered in longer posts on the subject.
Like the experts say the money is in the list!
Oh, that reminds me, make sure you go to my sign-up page to join my various lists.
Type Of Content For Your Affiliate Site
Building your site is done through a combination of pages and posts. Most of your content is in the form of blog posts.
Content is what drives potential customers to your website, and exceptional content is what keeps them glued to what you have produced.
Your content might be complete garbage when you first start. Do not worry, be consistent, and over time watch your content and page rankings improve.
As a reminder, eventually, you have to outsource your content creation. Master how to create good content first, and then you can push out the job to others.
Before we go any further, let me state that there are exceptions to outsourcing. If you are like me, you actually might enjoy writing content. At least with the critical content which I don’t trust in the hands of anyone else.
Content includes videos, images, and photographs and of course text.
Three Types Of Content For Affiliate Sites
For a successful affiliate marketing website you want to have three types of content:
- Sales Focused
- Give away guides and checklists
Educational, or informative content, teaches the reader about subjects they are learning. That is why you need to know about the products you are promoting or willing to put in the time to learn about them.
People spend time reading authoritative, informative content in the form of:
- Top or best list
- Do it yourself
- How-to guides
You embed affiliate links in the informative posts to earn money through them but focus more on helping instead of trying to make money from them.
Sales focused content is still informative, but you are more direct as to the intent. Provide value while fully promoting a product or multiple products.
Examples of useful promotional content include:
- Comparison posts of similar products
- Review posts of single products
- Product groupings or listing products that work well together
- Top tools posts where you display your set of tools that you use
- Give Away Guides And Checklists
The third piece of content is not located directly on your site.
For this type of content, you give away a free guide, checklist, or something else of value. You do this to build further credibility and more importantly to create an email list.
Too many people leave this out of the equation. Build your email list as soon as possible. By that, I mean from day one!
Do not put off creating and giving away free content to grow your list of email subscribers. Yes, I am repeating the same point over and over again.
Drive Potential Customers To Your Website
Beyond great content, driving people to your site is probably one the most critical components to becoming successful. Quality traffic and content increase your chances of making a sale.
There are many different traffic sources, but the big three are:
- Social media also known as Web 2.0 sites
- Search engines
- Other websites with similar content
When you first start with a new domain, it is near impossible to get traffic from search engines. There are multiple reasons as to why, but the main reason is new domains rarely get indexed right away.
Social Media Sites
Social media in the form of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and others help with an initial boost to your traffic.
Web 2.0 properties in the form of sites such as Quora and Reddit are beneficial as well. These are similar to Social Media sites regarding the point that they lead customers to your website through posts and conversations.
With both of these, you answer questions and help others to generate credibility.
Social Media sites are under the same umbrella as Web 2.0 sites. However, social media sites are focused on the sharing of user content. That is a fundamental difference, but the fact is you should be using both.
Search Engines For Affiliate Traffic
Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuckGo are crucial for long-term growth and sustainability. Currently, Google controls a vast amount of searches.
Social Media requires constant nurturing while traffic from search engines eventually becomes mostly passive.
That is where search engine optimization(SEO) comes into play. You build on this through great content that is sticky, well formatted, indexed, and referenced from many sources. That is a basic view of SEO.
You should consistently be working on highly optimized content with a well thought out link building strategy.
How To Get Traffic From Other Sites
Getting traffic from other websites typically takes the form of guest blogging. Another process is through well written, helpful comments that lead people to your website. There are other functions as well, but those are the main two.
Wrapping It Up – The Basics Of Affiliate Marketing
So let’s wrap things up. To become successful in affiliate marketing, you need to:
- Learn a lot of new and at times boring things
- Have the determination to put in the hours and effort
- Learn from the experts and through proven systems
- Find a niche you can build content for until the day you die
- Build effective content with the proper balance of being informative while also selling products
- Get people to your website
- Rinse and repeat steps three through six until you are an expert
- There are items that I did leave out since this is not an exhaustive post intended to answer all of your questions.
I will continue to add to this post and other posts on my website.
What I’m giving you now is enough to get you started. Please do stop back here from time to time to see any updates.