Only a computer and internet connexion, that's all you need to start an online business, especially affiliate marketing. As a publisher (please refer to the previous post about defintition!), you need to have a place where you'll promote the products/services from “advertisers”: this can be a social media page or posts (facebook page, twitter posts, pinterest posts, etc.), youtube channel or a website. I recommend to have a website for long term success in affiliate marketing, it can gather audiences who'll increase year by year and will ensure potential clients and collaborations to develop your business.
But you have to know where to start and how to do it. Below are some steps you need to follow in order to become affiliate marketer:
– Find your niche
– Build your website
– Create your quality content
– Find affiliate products/services to promote
– Get commission and track the results
1. Find your niche
When it comes to starting an online business and selling others' products for commission, people tends to choose too many products in various areas and finishes overhelmed.
First of all, you need to find your niche. A niche in the business world means a small segment of a market where a marketer focuses his/her attention to build a profitable business. It's so useful that it will give focus to your business and help you with content. It seems to be very hard to choose from the various sectors/areas/fields/topics/categories your unique niche. It shouldn't be. You need to find out what is your passion in life, that's all! Please refer to my previous post about finding your passion in life. Your business niche should be your passion or your interest or your hobby or something you would like to learn about. To help you dig a little bit about it, here are some questions you should ask yourself: What am I passionate about?, Is the topics big enough to sustain and narrow enough to avoid dispersion?, Is the niche not saturated yet to jump in with profit expectation? What's the profitability of your niche?
In a nutshell, the niche can be assimilated to a subtopic within a topic. You can check out on affiliate network like Amazon Associates or Clickbank to see a list of topics and subtopics to choose from.
Examples of Clickbank topics and subtopics:
2. Build your niche website
Once you've identified your niche, you can turn your niche idea into a tangible business starting with your website.
There are different website builders in the market such as WordPress, Wix, Joomla, Drupal, etc. Those are called CMS or Content Management System, allowing you to create, manage and modify the contents of your website without HTML or CSS coding skills.
With CMS platforms, you can build yourself a great website all on your own. No need for developer anymore, no need for previous experiences.
I recommend the beginners to stick with WordPress (which is empowering about 52% of websites in 2019) for the following reasons: it's free, it's popular, it's user-friendly.
Here are some steps you need to follow in order to build your website:
a- Register a domain name: this is a web address like yoursitename.com or thebetterbusiness.online,
You can just search for available domain name in numerous sites: name.com, domain.com, enom.com, bluehost.com, hostgator.com, godaddy.com, instantdomainsearch.com, namecheap.com, sitechecker.pro, etc.
You can buy/register a domain name for a month, a year or multi-year, and renew it by its expiration date.
Web hosting is needed to make your website visible on the internet, and to store your various contents such as images, texts, other file contents.
Generally, you register and host at the same time a domain name with the same provider. But you can as well register a domain name with one provider and host your domain (your website) with another provider for different reasons (ex. Cost).
c- Set up your Website: Once you've got your domain name and host it with a provider, it's time to get your website up and running. Firstly, you'll need to install WordPress to your domain, it's very easy, just a few clicks and voilà. Then, give a design to your website by chosing a theme (there are thousands of free themes you can chose from). Finally, add content to your website.
3. Create your quality content
The content of your website (content that internet users can see) will be composed of pages and posts. Pages are mostly used for static content, whereas posts are meant to be timely and with author.
Main pages that you should consider are:
– ABOUT US: To let visitors know a bit more about you or your company
– CONTACT: To let visitors contact you through special form
– DISCLAIMER: Where you can honestly declare that your site is monetized and state the limit of your liability and responsibility regarding the information you share and the service you offer
– BLOG: To allow you share your posts
Posts are contents that display in reverse order on your home page and/or blog page. Posts usually have publication time, author and comment fields at the end.
You should post at least everyday to keep and grow your audience and increase their level of interest to stay on your site. The more visitors your website have the more likely the sales through your links increase.
You've certainly heard that content is king, that is because the more valuable is your content the more potential customers it draws and the more sales you make.
Some affiliate networks and affiliate programs require that your website has a number of content and/or monthly users to validate your demand to become affiliate. So, you need to strengthen your website first before looking for affiliate programs and products to promote. At least you should have five strong quality content posts on your site.
Quality content is not quantity of posts but quality of posts. You need to offer valuable content and mostly keyword rich content. If you use the right keywords in each of your posts, you'll have more chance to get ranked in Google and other seach engines. The way of increasing the search engine rankings of your web pages so that they appear higher in search results is called SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Content consistency leads to authority, Authority leads to rankings, Rankings lead to traffic and Traffic leads to income opportunity. There are many tools and strategies you can use to find the best and relevant keywords for posts, but I usually use Jaaxy, a great tool that I'll show you in other post.
4. Find affiliate products/services to promote
Now, once your site is ready enough, you can proceed to find products to promote to earn revenue through commission.
This is the easiest part because there are plenty of products, in various areas and from different qualities and prices. I suggest you to start with the products related to your website niche and website content. Eg. If your website is focused on pets, it's likely that you make sales easily with pets-related products than other products not linking to pets, that's logical as people are interesting to learn more about pets if they spend time browsing your site, so they are more likely to buy what you propose about pets.
There are three types of products you can promote: 1- physical products (eg. dress, beyboard, etc.), 2- information products (eg. ebook, software, etc.), 3- services (eg. refering people to an online course website) . Notice that there are affiliate programs for every product you can imagine, really! Affiliate programs and affiliate networks (remember the intermediaries between publishers and advertisers) are where you find the link for the products you choose to promote after registering. Yes, you need to register to one or more affiliate program or affiliate networks in order to get the links (in the form of short codes) you paste in your web pages/posts.
When you're looking to find products and affiliate programs, you can just google the following expression: nameofproduct+affiliate program. For example, if I want to find affiliate program for pets I just tape in google search box “pet + affilialte program”, and you can see the huge results below, about 29 millions of result pages :
Then, you can join one or more of those affiliate programs, identify products, copy their links and paste them on your website pages/posts which are relevant enough for your pages/posts.
Some well known affiliate programs are:
– Amazon affiliate program,
– Wealthy affiliate program: I'll develop more about it in next posts as I think it's the best.
Some networks of affiliate programs are:
– Commission Junction
5. Get commission and track your results
You make a commission each time a visitor you refer clicks on your links and buy the products. Sales commission can vary from 1% to 50% and even more for some products and affilialte programs.
You can track your results in the affiliate program's dashboard of your account. Other way to do so is to install plugins in your website, for eg. google site kit or monsterinsight, etc.
Happy blogging and wish you success!