Earn Money Affiliate Marketing
You have probably found this post during your search for ways to make money online and want to learn more about affiliate marketing. If this is the case you are in the right place, as I am going to go through how to earn money affiliate marketing, what you have to do, how it works and how to learn about it.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is the process of promoting other people’s products and services in exchange for a commission. By building a website and creating content based around the the product or service, you earn money when people buy something from your recommendations.
For a full explanation, check out my post how can I make money affiliate marketing?
What Do I Actually Have To Do?
There are a few step that you need to take in order to earn money affiliate marketing.
Step 1 - Choose A Niche
You need to be able to target a particular audience. To do this, you need to choose a niche to base your content around. Your niche is an interest that a group of people have. For example, it could be a hobby, sport, lifestyle, aspect of life or a common problem.
The thing is, not all niches are profitable. This is down to their popularity, the amount of other affiliate marketers working within it, the types of products and services available and the type of people that are in it. Therefore, you really need to make a careful choice about what niche you choose to work in.
Check out my guide on how to find an affiliate marketing niche for all the details.
Step 2 - Choose A Domain Name
Choosing a good domain name is also really important. This is because it creates the first impression of your business and helps with SEO. I go in to all the details in my post how to choose a domain name for your business, but in summary your domain name should:
- Not be in use
- Easy to type
- Easy to say
- Suit your brand
- Be memorable
- Not be too long
- be a .com
Step 3 - Build Your Website
The next thing to do, is to build your website. This doesn’t need to be anything fancy, in fact, I have found that the more simple the website, the better. This is because they are easy to navigate and they load faster. These are some of the things that search engines take in to account when deciding how high your content should rank.
Build a website isn’t that difficult. You can have one up and running and ready for you to start publishing content with a few minutes.
You need to get your domain name registered, find a good host and install WordPress. This can all be done from a decent website host, such as Bluehost. But I will go through another platform that offers more services later on in this post.
Once you have built your website, you can start to customise it to look how you want it to. You do this by using WordPress themes. Many of these are free, and allow you to change lots of things such as colours and layout. You can add extra functions and features to your website, with WordPress plugins. Many of these are free and can make a huge difference to how your website looks and operates.
Step 4 - Create Great Content
Now your website is up and running, with a great theme installed, you need to start creating content. Your content is what brings people to your website and keeps them coming back. Therefore, it needs to be created in a certain way. But the first thing you need to do, is find some good keywords.
By basing your content around keywords, you will reach people that have an interest in what you are writing about. This is because, keywords are what people type in to search engines. Check out my guide on how to do keyword research for content marketing.
Once you have a list of quality keywords, you need to create your content to do 2 things. The first thing you need to concentrate on, is helping your audience. This is because people are looking for the most helpful information possible so they know what the best course of action to take is. Your content also need to be engaging, to keep your website visitors reading and to develop trust in you. This way they will take on board your recommendations, which means that are likely to buy through your website.
The second job your content has, is to rank highly in search engines. Search engines look for certain things to determine how relevant content is to people’s searches. So you need to use some search engine optimisation techniques when writing content. These are not particularly complex, but they are essential for ranking as high as possible.
If you sign up to my newsletter, you get a free guide to SEO, that simply explains how to do this.
Examples of content you will create as an affiliate marketer are:
- Buyer’s guides
- Personal experiences
How Do You Monetise An Affiliate Marketing Website?
It is all very well getting high ranking content, but at the end of the day we do this to make money. So, how do we earn money affiliate marketing?
As an example, let’s say that you have written a review on a product and you recommend that your readers buy it. By placing an affiliate link in to your review, your website visitor will click on it and they will be taken to the merchant’s website, where they can but the product.
To get this affiliate link, you need to join the appropriate affiliate program. This is pretty easy to do in most cases, and if you can think of something that can be bought online, there will be an affiliate program for it.
Affiliate programs give you a unique affiliate link that tracks sales of a particular product or service. The program will reward you the commission. I go in to the details in my post what is an affiliate program and how does it work? But, I recommend that you find affiliate networks too. An affiliate network is a website that has lots of affiliate programs associated with it. You can learn all about them in my post what is an affiliate network? But in summary, they are far more advantageous for the affiliate marketer. This is because you can join multiple affiliate programs and they are all managed from one place. This means it is easier to join the programs and you get paid in one lump sum from all of the programs.
Is It Worth Doing?
Absolutely! However, even though it is easy to start an affiliate marketing business, it isn’t particularly easy to make it successful. But, by following the correct techniques, working hard and posting consistently, you can definitely make a success out of it.
Before you decide to take the plunge, I recommend that you read my post the pros and cons in affiliate marketing. But, you will see that there are more pros than cons, and most of the cons can be overcome with putting the right amount of effort in to the right places. But, if you are wondering what the earning potential of affiliate marketing is, picture making $30 per sale, which is perfectly realistic, now check out the infographic below.
As you can see, there is a decent amount of money to earn affiliate marketing. Imagine having a whole website promoting content that will earn you this kind of money. Once you get more established, you can start more websites too in different niches.
How Long Does It Take To Make Money?
This is the most common question when it comes to affiliate marketing. The problem is, there are a lot of variable that are involved to give you a definitive answer, especially if you are starting an affiliate marketing business in order to quit your day job and do it full time.
The first thing you need to know, is contrary to what lots of online gurus say, you are not going to get rich overnight. It is the same as any other business, in the fact that it takes time. The people that are rewarded are the ones that put in the time and effort and build their skills while doing so.
Many affiliate marketers fail for various reasons. One of the reasons, is that people focus on making money rather than helping the people within their niche. This leads to poor quality content and little or no sales. Therefore, you niche needs to be one that you have a passion about or at least have a good amount of interest in. Even if you don’t know much about the niche, you need to want to know more and be prepared to learn. This passion will come across to your readers and the quality of your content will be recognised by search engines.
Another way people fail at affiliate marketing, is when they give up too early. If I were to put a rough time limit on earning money with affiliate marketing, it takes months before you make a penny and it could take a couple of years before making any significant income.
To actually choose a niche, choose a domain name, find a good host and build a website doesn’t take long. This can be done in an afternoon, but the hard part is making sure your content is SEO friendly and helpful enough to reach your intended audience.
What Does It Take To Be Successful?
I don’t mean to keep labouring on this point, but many people give up after a few weeks or months when they don’t see any money coming in. This is because it can be soul destroying, to see nothing after putting in a serious amount of work. This is why you need to be prepared for, what seems like pointless work for a while. You will eventually start to see your content rise up the rankings and more people starting to visit your website. Then you will see some pennies coming in, but nothing too impressive. Although, when you start seeing a little bit of money, it gives you hope and spurs you on to keep plugging away. Eventually, you will start to earn good money being generated by content you created months ago.
The reasons why it takes a long time to earn money affiliate marketing are:
- The learning curve – The things you need to learn are not particularly difficult. But, you need to learn them and remember to use them.
- Mistakes – Mistakes are part of the learning curve. Unfortunately, you won’t find some mistakes until months after making them. This is because you will update old posts and notice things, or realise that you have learned something since writing it. But, as long as you learn from the mistake and don’t make it again, you are moving forward.
- Creating great content takes time – I see lots of affiliate websites that have pretty poor quality content. Often it is too short, badly written and doesn’t incorporate any SEO techniques. Creating quality content isn’t a quick job, but if you get organised, you can start churning out some great content much quicker. Also, as you get more experienced, you will learn techniques to speed up your productivity.
- Google algorithms – Google has an area reserved for new websites, known as the sandbox. This makes it difficult for websites to rank their content highly. The idea is, is to make sure that the content that people see, is of good quality and that the websites are good sources of information. A website spends about 4 months in the sandbox until it has proven itself to be a good source of information. Once it is out of the sandbox, it is much easier to get your content to rank well.
Website visitors and search engines like to see websites that are updated with new content regularly. This demonstrates that your website is a good source of information and it is an authority within its niche. In an ideal world, you need to post great content every day to show your visitors and search engines that your website is alive, kicking, up to date and informative.
You really need to keep topping up your knowledge as an affiliate marketer. Even if you learn a tiny thing every day, you will become more efficient and productive. This is really important for improving your rankings and generating sales.
How Do I Learn About Affiliate Marketing?
If you think you can deal with the aspects I have highlighted above, you may want to get some real world experience. This will help you make your mind up if you want to start an affiliate marketing business or not. There is a way that you can do this without having to spend a penny, while getting some quality training. In addition to this, you don’t even need to pay for a hosted website. This comes from something called Wealthy Affiliate.
What Is Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate is what I used when I was trying to decide what online business to start. I am now going to concentrate on the Free Membership, as I believe that it is the best way to get proper insight in to what it is like to have an affiliate marketing business. You can lear all the details in my rundown of the Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership, but I will summarise what you get here.
The training you get from the Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership takes you from knowing absolutely nothing, to creating quality content that attracts an audience and engages with them. This is done via what is called, the Online Entrepreneur Certification. The free membership gives you the first 10 lessons of the course and by the time you have done them, you will have a fully functional website that can make you money.
To build a successful affiliate marketing business, you will need to use certain tools. Included in the Free Membership, is a website builder, the Jaaxy keyword research tool and a content builder. The training takes you through how these work and how you get the best out of them.
Wealthy Affiliate gives you quality website hosting. It is fast and reliable, which is essential for a good website. The Free Membership gives you 2 free hosted websites. These are yours to keep and use no matter if you decide to stay with Wealthy Affiliate or not. These websites give you the perfect opportunity to get first hand experience of affiliate marketing risk free.
One of the daunting things about starting a business based around technology, is the thought of “what if something goes wrong and I can’t fix it?”. Well the technical support available at Wealthy Affiliate is great, whether it is your fault or not, the help centre will be able to get you out of trouble.
In addition to technical support, there are lots of ways to get answers to question about anything related to affiliate marketing. There is an area in the help centre to help you with anything else you are struggling with. But the help centre isn’t your only port of call.
The Wealthy Affiliate community is a great resource for information. During your first week of signing up to the Free Membership, you have unlimited access to the community. This is your opportunity to grill as many people as possible about the platform or about affiliate marketing. If you click on this link, I will be notified if you sign up and I can be your first contact on the inside. Don’t worry, I won’t be pestering you, I’ll just be there if you need any help.
What Are My Options?
Once you have done a few of the lessons in the Free membership, you will have a good idea about whether you want to continue or not. But, here are your options.
Forget About It
You may quickly decide that it Wealthy Affiliate or affiliate marketing isn’t for you. That is totally fine, as you haven’t risked any money or personal information. All you need to sign up is an email address, so you can just cancel your membership or just forget about it and look in to other options if you wish.
Stick With The Free Membership
You could carry on with the Free Membership and run your business using the free websites you started in the training. I think it is possible to earn money with the free membership, but I wouldn’t rely on it being as good as it can be. This is because the tools available are limited and the free websites don’t have a .com suffix.
After going through some of the free training, you will probably know quite quickly if you want to pursue an affiliate marketing business or not. If you are serious about making it a success, I recommend that you sign up to the Premium Membership. You can see what is included in my rundown of the premium membership, but it opens up all the tools and training to take your business to the level it deserves to be at.
I am a Premium Member and what it gives me is invaluable. From the extra weekly live training sessions, support and unrestricted access to the tools. The Premium Membership is for those that want the most out of their business.
What Are The Alternative Ways To Learn?
Before I found Wealthy Affiliate, I was doing a lot of research in to online businesses and how to learn about them. This is because I was starting from scratch and had very little knowledge about how they worked and what it was like to run one. One of the prerequisites my new venture had to have, was good training resources. Wealthy Affiliate is the best one I found, but you may want to find another way. There are a couple of options you will consider, but there are a few things you should know about them.
Find The Information Yourself
One option, is to glean all the information from online searches. The good thing about doing this, is that you will see how it is done from different people’s perspectives. However, you won’t get the full story from one website. So, you will continue looking for answers, but the problem here, is that you will get lots of conflicting information. This will make it difficult to decide what steps to take and there is so much information out there, you could be researching forever without having a clear staring point.
There are a lot of gurus that claim they have the secret recipe to earn money affiliate marketing quickly. I touched on this earlier, but these guys are trying to sell you a their ebook. The thing is, you have no idea if these books are any good. And if they tell you you can make money overnight with their methods, they are lying. They are rich because they have sold their book to lots of people.
That Is How To Earn Money Affiliate Marketing
I hope you have found this post informative and I have helped you make a decision. I really recommend that you check out the Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership for real hands on experience in affiliate marketing.
If you have any thoughts or questions about this subject, please leave them in the comments section below.