How to start affiliate marketing from scratch and do it correctly is the main subject matter of this site and also this article.
Affiliate marketing is when you are promoting other people’s products and get a commission every time someone buy them through one of your affiliate links.
I will explain what I think is the best approach to affiliate marketing so you can start your journey to success with it – if it is really your goal.
Keep in mind though, that, success doesn’t happen overnight. But if you start on the right foot and with the right mindset, and work at it consistently, it will be something that will grow over time.
Give Yourself A Few Months
I don’t believe in get rich quick systems. Regardless of the type of online business you choose, whether you are doing dropshipping, ghost writing or any other type of services in places like Fiver, Upwork, or anywhere else you can post for freelance jobs, you need to build yourself a reputation.
And for this, you need to provide good quality service. It’s not different with affiliate marketing. Before you can expect someone to buy from one of your affiliate links, you first need to gain their trust. And this doesn’t happen overnight.
I would say, give yourself a whole year, choosing a specific niche and audience publishing at least three posts a week. And in 3-6 months from now you might see your first affiliate commissions coming in. In about 10-12 months you might be getting close to the salary you are actually making. And in maybe 18 months you could even kiss that job goodbye.
It may sounds like extravagant claims, but it’s the reality of many who have walked down that road. One year is not such a long period of time when you consider the benefits you can reap from it at the end of it.
That’s why I say that you need to give yourself a few months not only to learn how to do this properly, but also start to build something that people could see as a good source of information online for what they are looking for.
And that’s the reason why you need to…
Go With Something You Like And Can Talk About
The best way to be seen as an authority or expert online is by going with something you already have an interest in and can talk about.
You won’t try to do freelance writing for people when you know you don’t have the skill for it. It’s the same thing with affiliate marketing. You shouldn’t go and try to recommend products to others that you are not sure if they will be good for them, or if it’s a field that you know nothing about. People who are in that field will notice it and won’t buy it.
Of course, you don’t need to have the same approach as everyone else on the subject. In fact, being different can even be to your advantage. But you have to look like someone who knows what he is talking about.
That way, when you are talking about certain products, people will be more inclined to trust your opinion on them, because they will see that you know the subject well. That’s why it’s important to go with a market or niche that you have a certain interest and knowledge in.
The good news is that, the online market world is huge, and even the smallest field of expertise – one that you have and think may be insignificant – can be profitable.
Another important aspect is to…
Identify the Specific Audience You Will Be Helping
Beside going with something you like and can talk about, you need to know your audience. You need to know the kind of questions they have, the problems and issues they like to solve, the kind of results they want.
When you know these things and know how you can address them, you can almost consider yourself in business.
In order to do this, you need to be involved in the platforms where your audience can be found and where they are asking questions and looking for solutions.
The best place to start is in relevant forums. You don’t need to be a top contributor in those forums, but it’s important to go there regularly and get a feel of your audience and what they are looking for so you can provide it to them on your website, newsletter, or anywhere else you are posting content.
Approach This As A Brand That You Are Building
The best approach to this whole affiliate marketing thing is to look at this as a real business. It’s to look at this as building yourself a brand where you will eventually be recognized by others online as an authority on the subject.
A brand is like your mark, your signature, your label, the image you project. You are starting to build yourself a brand when you have a website with a brandable name and logo, and where you keep on adding relevant content to that website.
It’s when people online are starting to recognize you for all these things. When they start to trust the kind of content you publish because they have started to know you through it.
And here, it goes with the first point I started with, you have to give yourself some times. It won’t happen overnight. But if you are constant and consistent with your business, and believe in what you do, you will get there!
So, my next recommendation is to…
Start With A Well Structured Website
Some will recommend to build yourself a list or create a YouTube channel and start publishing regular videos. These are not bad ideas, but I don’t think it’s the best place to start when you’re new at this.
Doing YouTube videos is not for everyone and it can be costly in term of equipment you need to do quality videos. But it can be something you can do eventually beside building your website. And beside, if you look at those who have success with YouTube, you will see that they are publishing videos regularly.
The downside of it – when you have a YouTube channel – is that, you are not really the owner of it. You are at the mercy of YouTube conditions and policies. If YouTube decide to change anything overnight, it can affect your YouTube business greatly.
A website on the other hand, provided you have your own domain, is like having an online real estate. Of course, the same thing can be said about Google versus YouTube when it comes to the way Google rank websites. And many in the past years have seen there business dropped because of it. But if you are aiming at building a brand and a business that really help people, you are walking on a safe road.
Building a list through email marketing can be a good way to make money with affiliate marketing. But still there, you need to build yourself a reputation online and start to be recognized before people would feel comfortable to buy from you.
That’s why I think building a website is the best approach to start with.
You want to build a well structured website. This mean that, you already know or have a good idea what you are going to talk about, who’s going to be your targeted audience.
You’re going to have 4 – 5 important pages that are going to cover the different aspects of your subject. They are going to become the main categories of your site. Than you’ll have a domain name that is going to become your brand.
Get Your Content Rank in Search Engines
The next thing you’ll do after you have your important pages and categories for your site, is find yourself a list of low competition keywords under each of these categories that will eventually have a chance to rank in search engines like Google.
Keywords are simply search terms that people are typing to find what they are looking for online. And the role of search engines is to give those people the best relevant results for their queries. If your site happens to be in the list, they will put it in those results. That is how you’re going to start to have traffic to your site.
Each time someone will be typing one of those keywords and the post you wrote around it appear in the first page result, it’s your chance to be seen, read and get known by people on the web who are looking for the kind of stuff you have on your site.
That’s why it’s important to have a well structure site with content that is answering the kind of questions, issues and results the audience you are targeting are looking for.
Write Product Reviews
One important type of content you need to have on your site that will bring you affiliate commission are, product reviews. There are two approach to this.
You can have posts containing individual reviews of one single product each. Or you can have posts with multiple products in a same category on it. That’s where some affiliate marketers are writing “best of” posts where they are reviewing a series of the same products but of different brands in a same article.
Some prefer that approach because they find it much easier to write a long post with many product reviews on it than just one post with a single product reviewed. But you can also do both.
Think of your website as a regular magazine. All magazines have articles on the subject relevant to the topic discussed inside their pages, and they also have products featured in them. A website is not that much different.
A website should have articles relevant to the main subject that the website is about, and also reviews of products that are related to that subject as well.
That’s how magazines are making their money – beside the selling of their magazines – it’s through the products they are advertising in them. And that’s how affiliate marketers are making their money also through their website and/or newsletter if they have one. It’s through the product reviews they write.
Need More Guidance?
Affiliate marketing is a little more than trying to rank in Google and hope that people will click on our affiliate links through our product reviews.
It’s more about choosing the right market for us, and do our best to help the people in that market to get the things they want. And yes, it includes products we can earn a commission with.
If you need more info and guidance on the subject and how to do it effectively, you may want to read the Affiliate Marketing Beginner’s Guide.
Also, if you have any questions at any time, don’t hesitate to ask them below. It would be a pleasure for me to answer them to the best of my knowledge and experience.