Affiliate Marketing For Beginners In 2018: The Definitive Guide
This is a complete guide to start your own affiliate marketing business. Even if you are a beginner, you can go full time by applying the steps below.
Do you want a proof?
This guy started from scratch and now, he earns $10000 per month.
This is not the only affiliate marketing success story. Check more of them here.
Today, you will learn the exact steps that those people followed. If you take action and apply them, good things will happen for you.
What Is Affiliate Marketing And How It Works
You can find a few definitions of the affiliate marketing on the internet. But I will try to explain it in a few words:
Affiliate marketing is a type of marketing in which a person or a business earns money to promote other people’s products. The affiliate earns a commission for every sale is made by his/her referrals.
For example, some of the links on this site are affiliate links. If you buy a product or service from the recommended sites, I may get a commission.
It’s one of the easiest ways to start your own business or make some extra money online. There are many types of affiliate marketing businesses, but today, we will go through a simple way to get started. Simple but really profitable, enough to change your life if you use it properly.
The process has four main parts. You start by finding your niche. A niche is a group of people who have a common interest.
For example, in the make money online niche, your audience will be interested to find a way to make more money.
Next, you will start to communicate with people in your niche on different platforms. A website and some social media accounts or pages could help you. Of course, you will share with your followers and visitors information, offers, and interesting content.
The last step is to send traffic to your offers, then some people will buy the suggested products and you will earn money.
All these steps are analyzed below in more detail. So, let’s start with your niche.
Everything Starts When You Choose Your Niche
By the time you are selecting your niche, you can start building your online business.
When you get into a new business, your plan should be to stay there for a long time. The same applies to your affiliate marketing business. While most affiliate marketers have more than one website, they spend the time to grow them.
So, building a site on a topic you like or you want to learn could be a great beginning. It will give you the energy to continue when the things do not run as planned, and it will be easier for you to create content and work for something you love.
It can anything you want:
- A hobby
- Your favorite sport
- Something you are good at
- A category of products you like
- A problem you can solve
- Something you like to talk about
- Anything new that you want to learn
These tips have helped a lot of people to choose their niche and they may help you to find one.
However, there is not a perfect niche and anything that has an audience can be profitable. Do not overthink about it. Just choose something you like and go to the next step.
You Will Become An Expert
Many people see those guys who write with so much confidence on their blogs and they think that affiliate marketing is only for experts. Well, if I tell you how you can become an expert, would you do the same?
Well, I will reveal you the “secret”:
That’s right. Imagine yourself a year from now. But this year, you are researching on your niche, finding interesting products, writing articles and reviews, making videos, and posting on social media. Yes, you will become an expert.
The secret is not secret at all.
Like any other type of business, you grow as you go through this.
However, you must start from somewhere. When you have decided your niche, the work begins. Now, you will choose what you are going to write about, do your research and help people to find what they are looking for.
So, you do not have to be an expert to find the right information to share with your audience. You can start writing about topics you already know and expand your knowledge as you grow your business.
Create And Grow Your Brand
You do not have a business if you do not have a brand name. Your brand must be your own domain name. Something easy and attractive. For example: Amazon, eBay, Google, etc.
Also, you need a place where your audience can find you. You need a website.
While you can make money from affiliate marketing without a website, it is important to build a brand and trust with your audience. Also, it will be the only place on the internet where you will have absolute control.
You can make social media marketing, video marketing, email marketing, PPC and more. However, your website will be your foundation. You can easily send the traffic from all these sources to your website where you can make your offers and connect with your audience.
Additionally, the value of a website is increased over time if you update it regularly. You can only win in the long run.
Domain Names And Hosting
Your brand should be your domain name. No one can imagine Google to have a different domain than Google.com.
When I look for a domain name, I want something that people can remember. To achieve that, find a brandable domain with some of the following characteristics:
- Easy to spell
- Relevant to your niche
- Easy to type
- It is important to make sense
When you find something that it looks nice, just get it. Again, do not lose too much time to this step.
Then, find a hosting provider for your site. Keep it simple here. You need security, fast load time and good support. I use the hosting services of Wealthy Affiliate but other reputable providers could work for you too.
Create Content For Your Website
Content is a scary word for many people. They do not know what to write or do not believe that someone wants to read it. But what if you know what exactly people want to read?
There are two ways you can use to figure out it:
1. Content ideas based on keyword research
When people type a keyword or a phrase on Google, they need information about something. By giving them the information they want, you can be sure that they will be interested to read your posts and pages.
You can do keyword research manually with the Alphabet Soup technique. Simply, visit Google and type:
keyword (your niche) + a letter
Then, you will get some recommendations from Google. These recommendations are phrases that many people search on Google. You can repeat the process for all the letters of the alphabet. Then, you can go deeper and do the same for subniches and other variations of your keywords.
You can easily get hundreds of content ideas with this method.
If you click the search button, you can get even more recommendations on the end of the page. These are not only great for new articles but you can use them to structure your articles also.
2. Content Ideas From Forums and Q&A sites
Every niche has forums which are usually based on a target audience. Q&A sites are questions and answers sites that cover many different topics.
Starting from the forums, you can find many of them with a simple Google search:
inurl:forum + “your keyword”
Then browse some forums to get ideas for your site. Forums are a renewable source of content ideas. When you can answer a question or give your ideas for a topic, create a new article about it.
Next the Q&A sites, here are some popular ones:
They work in a similar way with forums. You browse them to find questions in your niche and write content answering them.
Find The Best Affiliate Programs
When you have created a website and written some content, you can make a plan for earning money. Affiliate marketers do not need to have their own products. Another idea could be to put some ads but usually, you will make only a few cents per click.
In my opinion, an affiliate offer is the best choice when you do not have a product. There are many different types of affiliate programs and the commissions are not always the same. Let’s see some ways to get started:
1. Affiliate Networks:
An affiliate network is a website with many affiliate programs. You do not contact directly with the vendor but the network handles everything from the delivery of the product to the payments. They tend to have available offers in many different niches. Here are some reputable affiliate networks:
2. Amazon Affiliate Program
Amazon has a great affiliate program with thousands of affiliate marketers. If you have visited Amazon before, you know that it has many available products. You can recommend any of them to your readers.
3. Find Affiliate Programs With A Google Search
It is the faster way to find an affiliate program. You type on Google:
affiliate program + keyword
Then, you will find many available affiliate programs on the results. The only problem here is that you need to make your research to make sure that are legit ones and worth your time.
To get the best results, you must make offers relevant to your audience and your content.
Also, do not focus on the price but on the quality of your recommendations. When you recommend low-quality products and services, people will not trust you in the future and you may lose a part of your visitors.
Types Of Affiliate Programs
There are many types of affiliate programs. The differences are on the commissions and the way you earn the money. All the affiliate networks above will pay you when your referrals buy something.
However, there are networks that pay you per action like a lead or a signup. They are called CPA networks. The difference is on the way you earn commissions.
Check two popular CPA networks below:
Also, there are sites which combine these two methods like the affiliate program of Wealthy Affiliate.
Get The Maximum From Google
There are many sources of traffic that affiliate marketers use to get visitors to their sites. The most effective of them is the traffic from search engines like Google.
When people say that SEO does not work anymore, they do something wrong or they have completely misled by fake gurus and get rich quick schemes. If you optimize your website properly and update it consistently soon you will get ranked on the first page of Google for many keywords.
- Make a proper keyword research to find low competition keywords
- Optimize the homepage of your site with plugins like Yoast SEO
- On-page SEO for almost every post and page of your site
Find Low Competition Keywords
If you use the techniques above to find content ideas, you will find keywords too. However, we do not know how much traffic they have and when it comes to SEO, we need to figure out if we have any chances to get ranked on the first page of Google.
Most affiliate marketers use keyword tools to figure out these metrics. I use Jaaxy which is created to figure out the competition and the chances you have to get in the first place of Google for a specific keyword. It is also created by affiliate marketers. Check my review to learn how it works and how you can get started.
Optimize The Homepage
We will mention the keywords again but first, let’s start with the homepage. Install an SEO plugin on your dashboard and do the following:
- Add a meta title and include your main keyword (the title of your site)
- Add a meta description and include your main keyword (what is your site all about)
- Generate a sitemap and submit it to the Google Search Console (you need a free Google account)
With these simple actions, Google can understand what your site is all about and it can get your updates.
Optimize Your Posts And Pages
If you have made keyword research with Jaaxy, you should have chosen some keywords. The next step is to include them in your content. The ideal scenario is to find keywords and then, write your articles based on these keywords. Here are some important things to do:
- Target only one keyword per article
- Include the chosen keyword once in the title
- Include it once in the first 100 words
- It should be included in an image’s alt text
- Include it in the URL
- Again you need an SEO plugin and you should add the keyword on the meta title and meta description
After that, you must write the rest of the content naturally for you readers. Getting high rankings on Google is not an event that will happen only by following some rules but a process. You need to be consistent to gain trust and authority from search engines. The above rules will help search engines to understand what is your content all about.
So, keep creating content for your audience, do on-page and you will be rewarded.
You have found some nice low competition keywords, created interesting content and now you are waiting to get ranked, right?
Well, it can work, but there is one more missing element. An important ranking factor is engagement.
Google wants to send traffic to sites that people want to see. For this reason, it prefers sites with engaging content.
The easiest and most efficient way to prove engagement is by receiving comments and answer to these comments too.
But how will you get comments on a new site? You probably have not any traffic yet.
Well, there are a few ways.
The no recommended way is to get fake comments. The recommended way is to find some fellow affiliates and exchange honest comments.
That’s mean, they will read your content and leave you a comment. Check my articles on this site, most of them have many comments. These are real comments from real people.
When I get comments, my visitors are encouraged and ask questions or leave their own comments as well. So, I communicate better with my audience.
There are major benefits when you receive comments consistently to your sites. Most of the authorities in any niche receive a lot of comments daily.
So, make sure you do the same thing.
The only online community I know that encourage the comments, and it has created a tool to check the uniqueness and quality of a comment is Wealthy Affiliate .
Other Sources Of Traffic
Affiliate marketers use many ways to promote their sites and offers. Often they get really created. Here are some of the most effective ones:
While email marketing is one of the oldest ways to do internet marketing, it is still super effective. Research has shown that 77% of people prefer to get promotional messages via email than other ways.
The only problem is that you need another source of traffic before you can start collecting email addresses from your visitors. You also need an autoresponder and an email form on your site.
The best part is that email marketing can be an automated process. You only need to set it up once.
The second in traffic website after Google. If you like to create videos, you can send a lot of visitors to your site.
SEO for YouTube works in a similar way to Google. You find keywords that people use to search and create relevant videos. You also include the keywords in strategic positions like the title, description, and tags.
Lastly, there are many ways to create a YouTube video and you do not have to show your face into the camera if you do not feel comfortable. Some of these ways are the powerpoint and recording the desktop videos which are really popular.
There are many social media platforms and most of them are easy to get started and start building your audience. They are created for the average user so you will not have any problem to create an account for your new brand.
While they are beginner friendly, usually, they do not convert as the other ways above but still, you can get a lot of free traffic.
A simple strategy is to create an account at least on Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and Pinterest and share your content. If you want great results from a specific platform, you need to spend the time to engage with your followers.
Adding some social media buttons to your content could increase your shares.
Forums and Q&A sites
You can use some forums threads to get content ideas as mentioned above but you can also get some of their traffic.
Many times forums have a lot of traffic and can be a huge boost for your site. It’s a nice idea for beginners to make a few sales because they have not got organic traffic yet.
So, go to a forum and start helping some people. Your help must be honest. Then, add a link to your profile and the signature. It depends on the rules of the forum how many links you can add and when.
If you help people, some of them will visit your site and will buy your recommendations.
You can be creative on finding forums. Sometimes, you can simply participate in Facebook groups, Reddit, and other platforms. It’s the same process, help people and just add a link to your profile.
For more ideas, go to Google and type:
“your keyword” + forum
Most of the times, you will find the best forums in your niche.
Tips To Improve Your Conversions
1. Banners, Text Links, and Buttons
When you are an affiliate marketer, you need to add your links on your content and hope that your readers will click them and buy your recommendations. If you have created helpful content and you recommend legit and useful products, you can focus on ways to maximize the clicks to the affiliate links.
Banners, text links, and buttons are three common ways to add your affiliate link on your site. Here are some stats on how often people click on them:
- Banners: 17%
- Text links: 34%
- Buttons: 43%
While text links and buttons work much better, you should also find and the right places to add them. The best way would be to test different things and check how the big sites in your niche work. Also, it would be a good idea to keep a balance. You do not want your site to look spammy.
2. Product Reviews
You can start by reviewing some products that you have already used. Some affiliate marketers create review only websites with great results.
They work so well because their keywords are low competition and when someone searches for a product review, he is one step before his final decision to buy the specific product.
You can find some products to review on Amazon or on any other affiliate network. To maximize your results review both of good and bad products and be honest about them. It will build trust between you and your readers.
3. Give Something For Free
It usually works when you give something to get your readers emails. It could be an ebook, video, case study, newsletter, etc.
You offer helpful information for free and you ask in exchange something important for you. Your visitors will feel that it is worth to give their personal details so it is a win-win situation for everyone. Just make sure that your freebie has some value.
Other ideas are to make contests on social media or give small prizes once a month to your followers. You can be creative here. There is not any specific rule to follow.
With that process, many affiliate marketers have built profitable businesses and works well for beginners.
You start by selecting a niche and your domain. Then the marketing begins. You create content to help your visitors, make recommendations, share it with your followers, and your business grows through this process.
Many successful affiliate marketers have created their own products after a while or they sell relevant services. So, your plan should be to get started. Then, you will discover many ways to scale and expand your business.
Would You Like Some Help?
I work with fellow affiliate marketers at Wealthy Affiliate. You are welcome to join or ask any questions. Here is my profile.
Feel free to contact me anytime you want. You can leave me a message on my profile or send a PM. I usually reply in a few hours.
The fact is that most affiliate marketers fail because they do not have the right guidance and training. So, let me help you or find a way to get quality training.
Thanks for reading my article! For any questions or feedback, leave your comment below.