One of the easiest methods for earning money on the Internet today is by Affiliate Marketing. Whether you are a student or working a job as an employee somewhere, you can start an online business on the side. To do this requires no large monthly payments and in fact, can be started for free.
To help you avoid the possible problems and issues that some online marketers trying to learn the ropes, can fall into, I have prepared this beginner guide on how to get started with affiliate marketing.
One of the first things you need to realize is there are no overnight get rich quick schemes.
Secondly just having a website on the internet does not guarantee you an income and plastering a pile of affiliate links all over every page/post of your site is more detrimental to your rankings than beneficial.
It is true that each year has more people shopping online, and this creates more opportunity to earn an online income but only if you take the appropriate steps to make it happen.
The overall potential is enormous when you consider you can tap into the entire world rather than just your local area or province/state or even country for that matter.
The whole world is your Oyster!
A Beginners Guide on Affiliate Marketing
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Depending on your knowledge of the Internet, this may be a question you should have answered first before we continue with the beginner’s guide.
The simple answer is:
People buy products/services.
You promote such products/services.
Your Affiliate ID from the suppliers earns you a commission.
To get a more in-depth read of how Affiliate Marketing works check out my article on What Is Affiliate Marketing About?
Over the years the number of affiliate programs has been increasing in an exponential amount giving you the opportunity to offer from millions of different products/services from an online business. The majority of these Affiliate programs are free to join as they make their money from the products/services you promote for them and then, in turn, will pay you a commission for your efforts. An example would be Amazon which has an affiliate program which many people use to promote and make an income from as I use on some of my sites.
But before we get too far into affiliate providers etc. we need to tackle the first few steps required to get you to this stage.
To get started, we need to look at a few things:
Choose a Niche
Create your Site
Join an Affiliate Program
Choose a Niche
One of the first things you are require to do, for earning an online income you desire is select a niche. For most, a niche can seem to be a tricky topic to what constitutes as a proper niche to venture into, that will generate the income you want.
One of the most important things to remember with any niche you decide on is it must have a purpose and help others. If you’re not able to help others with solving a problem and give them something they need or want, then there will be no income for you down the road.
Visitors that come to your site need to see you as an authority and expert in the area of your niche otherwise they will leave. Earlier I had mentioned about plastering every page/post with banners and links to affiliate programs. If the only thing visitors mainly see are links and banners to purchase things from your site, they know your real intent is not to help them but sell anything you can.
People are looking for the best products/services that meet their requirements, if you’re promoting everything humanly possible to earn money, then your authority in the subject of your niche will be considered extremely weak.
You’re not helping anyone who visits or yourself.
A niche is any related products/services that you can market to others. As mentioned earlier there are millions of the goods/services you can choose between to promote.
The best rule of thumb is to pick an area that you know a great deal about or have a passion for learning or perhaps is already a hobby of yours.
Having an online business is work so the more fun you can make it, the better. Have the passion for the niche you choose and people will see you genuinely want to help and not just take their money.
The search engines such as Google look to see that you have quality content throughout your site otherwise you will be penalized such as low-quality content with too many affiliate links.
The bottom line is, if you can talk about your niche subject then you will be able to write about it, so choose to work with what you enjoy.
By writing about what you know and enjoy, your articles will produce a much better quality of content for the search engines for ranking and mainly for visitors to get answers to their questions.
Whether you’re looking for making some extra cash or replacing your present job, you can start this on the side and make it happen. This will be your business and the amount of time and effort you choose to put in is up to you and you alone.
When choosing your niche keep it rather narrow than trying to encompass everything.
An example would be vehicles. Trying to become an authority for all vehicles would take far more time and money than most could afford to get anywhere with online. The amount of competition you’d be up against would be considerable.
For instance, let’s just look at what people can classify as vehicles.
Far too much of an undertaking and there are others that can be added to the list.
We need to narrow the list down by picking one.
Let’s say we choose boats.
WE can still narrow down the search further.
Are we going to deal with power or sail? Are we going to deal with a particular manufacturer or parts and accessories to the specific boat type? I’m sure you can see how this is going. As we keep diving deeper into fine tuning what the topic will be, such as ” Parts for Yanmar diesel engines for sailboats.”
When choosing your niche, you’ll need to know the direction you’re going to go with it, to design, develop the look and feel of your site.
For further information about what a niche is, check out my article on What is Niche Marketing About?
This, of course, takes us to the next topic!
Create your Site
You may already know or at least heard of people making money online without a website. The truth is you can, but most people make more money better and easier with sites and especially if you are looking at creating a residual income.
Being a site owner is the way to go!
At the end of this part of the article will be a link explaining just how simple it is to create a site in as little as 30 seconds with today’s website builders.
At present, I do have a dozen sites, but I originally started with just my primary business site over ten years ago. I use to be an employee like most people but ever since I started my business back in 2005, my site was developed, published online and I’ve been self-employed ever since.
My advice would be to start and stick to one site in the beginning, and then you can always expand out from there after you learn how it’s done. The more sites you create and niches you plan to cover the more time it will take to manage.
To see just how easy it really is to create a site using the website builder that I’ve used to date, check out the article on How to Create a Website From the Website Builder!
The importance of keywords will make a vast improvement in the ranking and amount of traffic you’ll receive to your site. People from all around the world will type in words or small phrases into their browsers in search of products/services and information which the search engines recognize as keywords.
When you do proper keyword searches for your niche to incorporate these search terms used by the masses, your articles for each page/post will acquire better ranking to receive a lot more traffic, than those without the proper keywords.
To accomplish this, you need to stay focused on relevant keywords for your niche and keep within the narrow topic you chose.
For a better understanding of how to search and find relevant keywords or phrases, check out this article on What is a Keyword Research?
Creating content can easily be one of the biggest problems people believe they will face.
I have no background as a writer!
The thoughts of, how will I write content?
All what, will I write about for my content?
How do I go about writing different content?
The truth is when it comes to having a website; anyone can see about writing content for their niche. When you’re able to talk about a topic, then you can relay your thoughts into writing. Simply write your content out as if you’re talking to somebody in an easy to understand method that will keep the reader’s attention. No need to complicate your writing with fancy words, more like approach it with the attitude there is just the two of you sitting over coffee carrying on a conversation. Simple and to the point, no need for Babel.
You’re looking to create quality content that gives your visitors the answers they have been seeking to solve a problem or need. Always see about keeping to the point on what people what to know so your information will be helpful.
You can accomplish this in different methods like an article explaining the reason for flushing the raw water in your diesel engine out with plumber’s antifreeze for proper winter storage. Perhaps you could do a review explaining the reason you use one brand of plumber’s antifreeze over another for your engines winter storage.
When it comes to purchasing different products most people will check out reviews. Your reviews need, to be honest, and state the pros and cons without looking like a cut and past of the manufacturers content.
As you produce a few quality pages/posts, the search engines will start to rank your site. The better your content and amount of content will increase your ranking. As your ranking improves, your traffic will start to increase to the point where you can see about finding targetted affiliate programs to your niche.
For methods to help and improve on content writing, check out one of my resources for Free Content Writing Tools.
Join an Affiliate Program
To join an affiliate program is not difficult and there are plenty around to choose from once your ready. As already mentioned earlier, you need to make sure you have a site already created and populated with some pages/posts. Otherwise, you’ll find most affiliate programs may not take you seriously.
Even though most are free, and I suggest sticking with the free ones, they want to know your site will be ethical and show authority for what you do, or they will decline. If you are declined, you can still reapply if what they have is what you really want to promote. In most cases, they may just want your site built out a little more or receiving higher traffic levels. An example is if you connect with Amazon, and they accept you for their affiliate program. You need to make sales in the first six months, or they will terminate your account for no sales at the end of 180 days. Once you have enough traffic if your account was terminated, you can always reapply for a new account.
Get traffic before having affiliate programs!
In the event of affiliate programs that are not free and require you to pay for them, I suggest you skip and do not pay and sign up. These sites are best left alone, or when you have plenty of knowledge about making money online, you’ll be in a better situation to know if you’ll be able to make money from their product. I tell you this because most people fail at these types of affiliate programs and especially newcomers.
Newbies, don’t pay for Affiliate Programs!
Affiliate programs are easy to find, just type in the product/service you want to offer then add + affiliate program. Some different affiliate programs will show up from your search results that you’ll be able to check out to join.
Before you join, if you’re not familiar with who they are, take the time to research them and make sure they are a good match. Just as affiliate programs would expect you to be ethical, you need to practice the same procedures at who you look at promoting. Your reputation and authority will be judged by who you associate yourself with on your site.
If you promote what others view as a scam, then your site will be flagged as one regardless of what other great products you may offer. You have one chance at making an impression so make it count.
The best way to ensure that you avoid falling into the trap of promoting bad products. Is by promoting what you use, know a great deal about or have done extensive research on the product to know they are of quality and worth the value.
Create your content to explain all pros and cons to give fair judgment for the products/services you promote or talk about so others can formulate their opinion. You’re not in the business to tell people what is best for them but to only educate what is available for people. They will be the final judge of what is right for them.
When reviews are negative for a product, you can show better options so your visitors can make a more informed decision.
Now that you have affiliate programs that you can promote, your next step is to paste their links into your site. Each affiliate program will have a set of guidelines to the usage of their links and for your site. They will supply you with text links and banners and will have an affiliate ID number specifically for you. You’ll be able to use these on your site but as I had mentioned earlier in this article do not plaster your pages/posts with them.
Use the occasional picture, text link or banner to promote a product you are doing your review or discussion about in your content. Many will place a link in a widget in one of the sites left or right column depending on your site’s design.
Taking Your First Step
So far you have had a beginners guide on affiliate marketing. To get more information about driving traffic by other means such as social media and how to increase the traffic volume by the many tools available to you for tracking, you need a full out course to teach you everything you need.
There are many places you can go to see about learning everything you will be required to know. This can take a lot of money and time to search all the information you’ll need.
To help get you started with saving uncountable hours of searching the Internet and costs for the purchase of courses and training. I can recommend to you what I have discovered after ten years of being online.
Unlike other providers that only host a site for you, this provider will supply everything they do, plus offer you all the training you will require to have a totally successful online presence. If your serious about wanting to earn an income online then you can start for free and earn and learn as you go.
You’ll need to see this with your own eyes to believe the real value of this offer, check out my Wealthy Affiliate review and get your free websites and start your business, its free to sign up and you have nothing to lose.