If your dream of earning a passive income online is dying you have come to the right place to rejuvenate it. Making a living online has never been this easy. I have the answer to all of your questions…
Many online promoters call this the fast and easy method to earning money online (overnight). I’m sorry to say but it is a bit more complicated than that.
That’s why I am here. After reading this post you will know exactly what to do to become a successful affiliate marketer and start earning a living online.
P.S. Some hard work will be required.
(This post contains affiliate links)
Before we can start with the post there are a few questions that need to be answered:
- What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting another person’s (company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale you make.
- How does it work?
As stated above, you need to find a product you like and promote it to your readers.
The temptation to promote a product with a large payout is very big. The trick is to stay clear of these kind of products. Only promote products you have used yourself.
Here are 9 steps to earning your first affiliate commission:
Select a niche
What are my passions?
Starting a blog can be very difficult and time consuming. Due to this people tend to quit or give up when times get tough. This is where your passions come in to play. You will need to focus on a niche that you love. So, when it gets harder to focus on your blog, your passion will pull you through.
Is there money in the niche?
This is the most important part of selecting your niche. Making money online can be quite easy if you implement the right strategy in the right niche. The right strategy means nothing when you choose a niche that doesn’t have any monetizing possibilities. Select a niche in which you can sell physical or informational products. After compiling a list of your passions, choose the passion that has the best possibility of monetization.
Can I write a lot about this topic?
Once again passion plays a big role. A quality blog has 30 to 100 posts on it related to the blogs’ niche. Do you know enough about the topic to write those many posts? If not, I would suggest you search for a new niche. One where you have quite some experience in and can write hundreds of articles about.
Are there affiliate programs available in this niche?
Even though you can make money in your niche doesn’t necessarily mean that there are affiliate programs available for it. The absence of affiliate programs in a niche won’t necessarily be bad when monetizing your blog. But because this entire post is about becoming an affiliate marketer and making your first affiliate sale I suggest you look for a niche that has affiliate programs.
First things first.
You will need to come up with a name for your blog. Make it catchy yet meaningful and strong.
After selecting your blog name, you will need to register the domain name and set up your web hosting service. This is the probably the most important part of becoming an affiliate marketer.
Yes, you can sell products without having a blog but the benefits to having a platform where you can work off are limitless.
While choosing a domain name has an impact on attracting visitors to your site, the web hosting service you use has an impact on your visitors site experience. I have tried and tested quite a few web hosting servers and HostGator stands out above them all. Best of all, with HostGator you have the option to register your website domain and set up web hosting all in one place.
Next you will need to set up WordPress on your site. HostGator makes this process a lot easier by providing a one-click WordPress installation service.
Themes… blog themes can both be fun and a nuisance. Fun due to the fact that you can play around looking for one to fit your blogs image. Yet a nuisance because of all the different themes there is to choose from.
When choosing a theme for your blog, you should opt to get one that has a nice look but which is also responsive. Selecting a theme is where many first-time bloggers waist a lot of their precious time. The theme you choose isn’t set in stone. It doesn’t have to be THE ONE. Pick one that you will be happy with for a while and then you can change it later on.
Research affiliate programs
Affiliate programs are the lifeline of any affiliate marketer. Without them you will only be a marketer. Haha, that was a stupid joke but I just had to make it.
Here is a list of affiliate programs to start you off on your affiliate program researching journey.
- CJ Affiliate (formerly known as Commission Junction)
- Rakuten Affiliate Network (formerly known as LinkShare)
- Amazon Associates
- eBay Affiliate Partner Network
- AWIN Affiliates
This is just a short list compiled of some of the most trusted affiliate programs online. If you are still a bit unsure of which affiliate program to choose I would advise you to click here for an in-depth review post regarding affiliate programs.
When I first started out I would sign up with every affiliate program possible. After a while you get confused and overwhelmed. The main reason is because of the fact that the more programs you are enlisted with, the more products there are to choose from, and something you thought was good for you (like a big number of products to choose from) really isn’t.
Choose between one and two programs and enlist with them. After this you will stick with them till the very end. This is why doing research beforehand is important.
The thing I usually look for in an affiliate program is the way they track your links, and the duration of time a commission can be earned after someone has clicked on them.
Find products to promote
After enlisting with a small group of affiliate programs you will need to start finding products you can promote on your blog.
The biggest choice you will have to make is between promoting physical or informational products. In my personal experience, I would opt to promote informational products if I were you. Informational products are easily distributed. Much easier and quicker than physical products. Even though distribution time isn’t any of your concern it should be.
We live in a world that is obsessed with instant gratification. By selling informational products your customers get what they paid for in a very short amount of time. This keeps your customers happy which will lead to them returning to your blog in the near future.
The big problem most people make when selling affiliate products is that they sell them blind. In other words, they sell a product that they have never used before.
I’m going to be honest with you. When I told you about using HostGator as a web hosting service and domain registrar I was indirectly promoting it. I could do this because I have tested them myself and I am happy with what they have to offer. Because I know this I can suggest (promote) them to you for two main reasons. Firstly, to help you in setting up your blog, and secondly with the hopes of landing an affiliate sale.
P.S. never lie to your readers. Only promote products you have used yourself and give your readers honest feedback about it.
Create content for your blog
“Content is king”
Have you ever heard that saying before?
If you are a frequent reader of blogs then you probably have.
The reason this phrase is so widely known is because it is based on the blogging dream. Write tons of awesome content. Promote it. Make an affiliate sale or two. And dominate your niche.
This is in short what most of you want, right?
The more content you have on your blog the bigger the chance of someone landing on one of your pages. There are a lot of methods you can implement to monetize the increased amount of traffic directed to your blog. For this post, we are going to try and sell them an affiliate product.
First of all, you will need to write evergreen blog posts. These are posts that are relevant throughout the entire year and a couple more years to come.
Another trick to becoming a successful affiliate marketer is writing content that your audience wants. This basically means that you need to find out what your audience wants to read about and write something similar to it. There is a segment in an older post of mine, Guide to Creating Quality Blog Content, dedicated to reading and listening to your audience.
A simple way to increase affiliate sales of a certain product is to write an in-depth review about it. Help your readers make a decision, and provide them with the means of buying the product by providing them with an affiliate link.
Build an audience
After creating your blog, building an audience is the second most important part to becoming an affiliate marketer. How are you going to make any commission if there is no one to buy your products?
You will need to start promoting your blog. Here is a blog post written specifically for this topic, Promote Your Blog: 26 Sure Fire Tips To Increasing Traffic.
Here are a few of the key points listed in that post:
- Build a mailing list:
Make sure to get the emails of users visiting your site. This can be done by using any basic mailing list software such as MailChimp. You can use their list building tools such as popups and sidebar subscription widgets. Offer your readers a freebee in return for their email. Your mailing list will be very valuable in the future.
- Invest in paid advertising:
I wouldn’t advise using this when starting out. Buying ads will redirect hundreds if not thousands of new users to your page. This increase in traffic to your blog can result in more sales. In the end, the ad campaign will be paying for itself. The reason you shouldn’t be doing this when only starting out is because you don’t yet know what products sell and which ones don’t. Only start a paid ad campaign if you are certain that the product you’re advertising will sell to such an extent that the ad campaign will pay for itself.
- Promote using social media:
Social media drives a huge amount of traffic to blogs all over the internet, so why not get your share of the pie. Pick one social media platform and master it. You’ve probably heard of the saying, “A Jack of all trades is a master of none”? Focusing all your attention on one social media platform has much better benefits than spreading yourself thin over all of them.
Start promoting your affiliate products
You are one step closer to making your first commission as an affiliate marketer. If you have read this far you probably have your blog set up with some content on it. You’ve already enlisted in your sought-out affiliate programs and have a few products lined up for promoting that fit your niche.
The last thing you need to do before seeing that fat commission check bump up your bank balance is to start promoting those products. How exactly do you do it?
Here are some methods to implement for promoting your affiliate products:
- Make use of banner ads
These are ads placed on your website. Personally, I don’t like them very much. All for the main reasons that I haven’t had much success with them yet, and because they make your blog look ugly.
Just because they didn’t work for me don’t mean they won’t work for you too. In the banner ads, I haven’t used them for long during their trial period, and it was at the very early stages of this blog when traffic was very low. Blogging is all about trial and editing, so try it out and see what happens.
- Invest in paid advertising
I already mentioned this during the previous section so I’m going to keep this short. Paid advertising helps to increase targeted traffic to your site. Sending targeted traffic to a post where affiliate links are present, especially product review pages (they will be discussed next), will help increase sales.
If done right a sales campaign can support and pay for itself.
- Product reviews
People tend to look for product reviews online before purchasing it.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, only promote products you have used yourself. So, the first step of writing a product review will be the acquiring of the product and testing it out for yourself. Only thereafter can you write a review about the product.
The review should be written with honesty. If there was something that you didn’t like about it mention it to your readers. This will increase the trustworthiness of your review. Usually my first priority is to build a reader’s trust and then sell them products later on which makes trustworthy reviews very important to me.
Although making a quick buck is possible, affiliate marketing is a rather long-term venture. First build the readers trust which makes selling to them in the future much easier.
- Email promotions
Remember that mailing list I mentioned earlier and how valuable it will be in the future?
The mailing list is the most important weapon in the affiliate marketer’s arsenal. Not only can you use it to send the automated weekly newsletter, but you can also use it to directly promote your affiliate products.
When your mailing list is still small I would suggest you email your readers personally. Find out what they like and what they don’t like about your site. This will give you a better indication of which products to try and sell to which readers. This method might be time consuming but it will be worth it when you receive your first commission check and all your hard work pays off.
Analyze what works
I’ve mentioned this many times before. You need to find out what works best for you, because something that worked for another blogger won’t necessarily have the same effect for you.
The first thing you will need to optimize for reader experience is the content that you produce. You will need to find out what your readers want to read about, what they like and what they don’t. This can be done by asking them to fill out a survey on your site. You can also ask your mailing list to send you feedback about their individual experience on your site.
Write more of what people want and less of what they don’t. Writing content that engage your readers can help you increase your affiliate sales.
A method to selling affiliate products that need constant testing is your banner ad promotions. A way to do this is by displaying the same add on various parts of a single page. Assign each ad with a unique tracking link. Do a few thousand impression test to determine which placement works best for your banner ads and stick to it.
After a while you will start to get a feel for what your readers want which you can use to make your blog even better.
Lather, rinse and repeat
Because of the constant changing online environment blogging is an ongoing process. Write some content, post it to your blog, analyze it to see what your readers think about it, go back to the drawing boards and repeat the entire process from the start.
When you want to become an affiliate marketer these steps need to be followed. The biggest difference is that the amount of work you need to do increases. Instead of only analyzing your content you now need to analyses your affiliate ad placements, the products you promote, as well as the affiliate programs you use.
This blog is still in its building phase, but my main philosophy is to have more content. Always more content. The more content you have on your blog the more affiliate products you can promote. Due to the increased amount of content you get an increased amount of traffic. With an increased amount of traffic you can increase the amount of affiliate sales.
Being an affiliate marketer is hard work but it does have its perks. The biggest one of them being the constant stream of passively generated income.
Times will be tough, but that is when the true affiliate marketer inside you grows stronger. Never stop working hard. Build up momentum to help you get through those tough times.
Now it’s your turn… if you are an established affiliate marketer looking to better himself/herself tell me about your favorite affiliate marketing strategy in the comments down below. If you are just starting out and still learning the tricks of the trade sign up to my mailing list to get updates related to blogging and affiliate marketing straight in your inbox.