How To Learn About Affiliate Marketing
When I was trying to decide what online business I wanted to start, part of my decision was that whatever I chose had to have good training resources. This is because I didn’t have any experience of online businesses and I was starting from scratch. One of the reasons I started with affiliate marketing was that I found lots of information about how it is done. In this post I am going to give you the options on how to learn about affiliate marketing. I will go through what they entail, why I pulled them out and let you know the path I chose.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
First, I will give you a little summary of what affiliate marketing is. Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting other people’s products and services through website content. This content could be a review, a buyer’s guide or a tutorial etc. You make money via affiliate links to products and services you recommend. These affiliate links track sales through your website and reward you with a commission.
If you want to learn more about the process, I go in to more detail in my post how can I make money from affiliate marketing?
Trawl The Internet
The first way to learn about affiliate marketing is to trawl the internet for all the steps you need to take. There is a lot of information out there and this is how I started my research and I’m sure you have been doing the same.
The information on affilaite marketing online is vast. There are endless blog posts, Youtube videos and eBooks to choose from. There is no shortage of people out there with answers to the questions you have.
There are some very well established affiliate marketers providing us with tips and tricks to build a website, get traffic and create content.
Why I Didn't Rely on Trawling The Internet
The problem with having so much information, is that it can be difficult to separate the good stuff from the bad stuff.
If you spend enough time searching the internet, you will find lots of contradicting information. For example, you will find people saying that the best way to get traffic is to pay for Facebook adverts, while others will be saying that you need to create quality content to get to the top of Google searches. You will also see that some people suggest that you should appeal to lots of people with a broad niche, while others will be saying that you need to choose a focussed niche.
This shear amount of information can cause paralysis by analysis. By this, I mean that you can spend all your time reading and researching the best methods, you will find it very difficult to choose a starting point.
The other problem with trawling the internet, is that it is difficult to ensure that you don’t miss anything. Without structure, you may miss out vital steps that make affiliate websites work. These steps may become apparent later on, but it could be months down the line before you realise that they even exist.
Find An Online Guru
The second way to lear about affiliate marketing, is to find an online guru that is a specialist in affiliate marketing.
There are a lot of affiliate marketing gurus out there. You will find gurus providing different levels of information. Some gurus provide eBooks that have their formula for success in affiliate marketing, while others will provide full courses.
Why I Didn't Use Online Gurus
I am not saying that all affiliate marketing gurus are scam artists, but there are so many charlatans out there, it is difficult to see who the good guys are.
Many gurus come across as too pushy in my opinion. They usually sell themselves with online videos, with them being loud and obnoxious. These videos are about 15 minutes long and try to sell you the idea of being rich with their success stories, Ferraris and boats.
I didn’t need to sit watching these videos, as I already had an idea of what kind of lifestyle I wanted. I really wanted some information about how to do it. But, these guys don’t give you any information until you have handed over your credit card details. But without any insight to what they were offering, I was very reluctant to pay a stranger money over the internet. There is never any indication of how good their information is, apart from the words of the ‘guru’ himself.
I did a lot of research on various gurus to see how legitimate they are. Many reports suggested that some eBooks provided information that was easily available for free online, they didn’t provide enough information, the courses were overpriced or their method was to flood social media with affiliate links (which is not sustainable).
In a nutshell, it came down to lack of trust. I don’t mind spending money over the internet, but there needs to be an element of trust. For me to earn this trust, I need more information about what I am paying for.
How I Learned About Affiliate Marketing
So what did I do? During my quest for quality affiliate marketing training, I came across Wealthy Affiliate. In my experience this is the best method on how to learn about affiliate marketing.
What Is Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy affiliate is a platform that was established in 2005 by a couple of Canadian guys, Kyle and Carson. Over the years it has developed in to a one stop shop for affiliate marketers for everything they need to start and build their business.
I will give you a summary of all the elements of Wealthy Affiliate and how each of them help you as an affiliate marketer.
The primary reason Wealthy Affiliate exists is to provide the best way to learn about affiliate marketing. Any training course needs to take in to account different people’s learning style. This is something Wealthy Affiliate manages to do very well.
The training is very easy to follow and is as interactive as you want it to be. This is thanks to the comments section below each lesson, which allows you to ask Kyle and Carson themselves questions on each topic. The training is provided in different formats and I will now go through each one.
You can start with Wealthy Affiliate’s Free Membership. I recommend that you do this, as you can get right in to the first course, known as the Online Entrepreneur Certification – Getting Started (level 1). With this, you get ten lessons that get you up to speed with the concept of affiliate marketing.
At the end of each lesson there are a number of tasks to perform. This is brilliant, as it keeps you engaged in the process and it means that you don’t miss out any essential steps.
At this point it is worth pointing out, that the Affiliate Marketing Free Membership gives you two free websites to build your business from. This allows you to get first hand experience in what affiliate marketing is all about.
Online Entrepreneur Certification
In addition to the level 1 course, there are a total of 5 certification courses.
- Online Entrepreneur Certification – Getting Started
- Building Your Own Traffic Producing Website
- Online Entrepreneur Certification – Making Money!
- Online Entrepreneur Certification – Mastering Social Engagement
- The Business of Content – Achieving Maximum Success Through Content Creation
Levels 2 through 5 are available with the Premium Membership. These all work in the same way and are made up with videos, blogs and exercises. All of the courses are very comprehensive and detailed, but are easy to follow.
The weekly live training sessions are a great way to get up to date information. Each week the training is based around a different topic and is hosted by Jay. Jay is a very experienced affiliate marketer and comes across as a really nice guy. His training covers lots of tips and tricks that you can use to inject some magic in to your website.
The great thing about this live training, is that it is recorded. This is ideal for me, as it is hosted on Canada and I live in France, therefore the training is in the middle of the night for me. All the recordings are archived, so you can go back over the different training sessions to help you with whatever you are currently working on.
At the end of each live lesson, Jay has a Q and A session. This is really useful, as people come up with some great questions and Jay has an answer for everything. The only frustrating part about this, is that some people obviously don’t listen and ask the same question over again, or they miss the point completely.
Training From The Community
The Wealthy Affiliate community is large and is a great resource for knowledge. Some of the more experienced members create their own training. This means that you get a whole range of learning opportunities.
Community trying sessions are made up of people’s personal experiences and how they have overcome problems or how they do certain things. These could be anything from creating graphics for your content, WordPress tips or website design.
You need the right tools to do any job and affiliate marketing is no different. Luckily Wealthy Affiliate has all the tools you need include in the membership.
Keyword Research Tool
Without knowing what people are searching for online, you are just going to be crating content that you hope will reach your intended audience. Therefore, you need to do some keyword research. Being a member of Wealthy Affiliate gives you access to Jaaxy. This is a very powerful keyword research tool that allows you to understand your audience’s search behaviours. You learn how often a keyword is searched for in a month and how competitive it is, so you can determine if it is worth using.
The built in website builder at Wealthy Affiliate lets you build a website in about a minute. This saves a lot of messing around, as it also installs WordPress for you. This is a huge bonus, as time is saved and you can get started very quickly stress free.
Wealthy Affiliate saves you the hassle of searching for a decent website host. The hosting available at Wealthy Affiliate is very fast and reliable.
Website hosting with Wealthy Affiliate also comes with the following:
- WordPress optimized servers
- The most secure hosting anywhere
- Full redundancy
- Daily backups
- 24/7 website monitoring
- Fully managed
- Email & forwards
- Site Health analyzing
- Website auto login
As a premium member, all of this comes at no extra cost. I mentioned before that people on the Free Membership have 2 free hosted websites, but Premium Members can have 50 hosted websites (25 of which are free).
Wealthy Affiliate acts as a domain registrar too. This means that you can buy your domain names from inside the Wealthy Affiliate platform.
There are a few of advantages of this. One of which, is that there are no upsells or hidden costs. The pricing of each domain is very competitive too.
I really like that everything is all in one place, so you don’t have the stress of making sure everything is linked up and having lots of different log ins. Everything is easily managed from Wealthy Affiliate.
The support offers by Wealthy Affiliate is a huge benefit of being a member. No matter what level of experience or knowledge you have, you can get the support you need.
Getting help is very important, as it keeps you working and it increases your knowledge. The support available is for technical stuff and for best practices and questions. There are a few different ways that you can get this support.
On you Wealthy Affiliate dashboard, there is a live chat stream. You can simply ask whoever is online at the time for help. This is available 24/7, so it doesn’t matter what time it is and what part of the world you are in.
You can reach out to people privately to talk about issues you may have, plans for your website, best practices and feedback. You can even contact Kyle and Carson and they will get back to you.
I recommend that you find some reliable and experienced Wealthy Affiliate members. This is because they will give you quality information.
You can use the website feedback platform to get constructive criticism from other members. This is very valuable, as people will notice things that you won’t with your website. They can help you with your design, navigation, content or anything else you want to know.
To get feedback, you need to give feedback to other people. This is really good, as you get to see what other people are doing and what their ideas are. While looking through other people’s websites you get a good feeling of what a good one should look like.
The Help Centre is where you can ask the Wealthy Affiliate experts questions. This can be anything from “Why has my website gone down?” to “am I doing this right?”. You are also assigned a mentor that you can bounce questions off.
The response time from the help centre is excellent and they have dug me out of some holes along the way very quickly.
What I Really Think About Wealthy Affiliate
I have been a member of Wealthy Affiliate for a few years now. I can honestly say that it is the best way to start an affiliate marketing business that I have found.
The comprehensive training, the support, the business tools and the convenience of it all makes it an excellent platform. If you have any interest in affiliate marketing or any of the associated elements such as SEO, marketing, promoting your business or website, I recommend that you check out the Free Membership.
What Are Your Options?
Go With The Other Ways Of Learning About Affiliate Marketing
You can trawl the internet or find affiliate marketing gurus. This is fine, as long as you are prepared to filter out the bad stuff, put in extra work to determine the best practices before you start and be prepared for many mistakes.
From the information I have given you, you may decide that affiliate marketing is not for you. This is also fine and I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do.
Check Out The Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership
The Free Membership will give you the insight to help you decide if Wealthy Affiliate or affiliate marketing is the right path for you. The beauty of it, is that it is totally risk free and all you need is an email address and some time.
For more information check out the Free Membership here
That Is How To Learn About Affiliate Marketing
Let me know what you decide to do. Also if you have any questions or thoughts about this subject, please leave them in the comments section below.