How To Earn Money Affiliate Marketing: 4 Step Guide
There are lots of ways to earn money on the internet. Some of them are more appealing than others, depending on your personality, skills and work ethic. I have done quite a lot of research before starting my own online business to decide how I was going to do it. Affiliate marketing was the path I chose to go down. So in this post I am going to tell you how to earn money affiliate marketing.
Why I Chose Affiliate Marketing
Ultimately, I wanted a business where I could work my own hours. I live in the French alps and want to enjoy what the mountains have to offer, i.e amazing snow conditions for snowboarding and perfect days for mountain biking. Basically, I never want to miss a day when the conditions at their best.
Working for someone meant that I was tied to their timetable. This is frustrating when the work you are doing isn’t time critical, the sky is blue and the snow is nipple deep. So, an online business seemed like the perfect solution. I can have a couple of hours on the mountain in the morning and work all afternoon and evening. As long as my weekly tasks are done, I can work whenever I want to.
Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing
- Lots of potential for earning money
- Can do it anywhere
- Can do it at any time
- Don’t have to buy stock and ship it
- Cheap to set up an affiliate marketing business
- The right content can keep making you money all the time
- Takes a long time to earn money
- Some commission rates can be low
- Sometimes your commission is withheld until you reach a minimum threshold
How to Earn Money Affiliate Marketing
The internet has billions of users all wanting to find information. They all have their own interests and they search for this using search engines and social media.
2. Your Website
You create a website that is based within a particular niche. Other people with similar interests will find your site (as long as you follow certain techniques).
3. Customer Buys Product
If you build a reputation for having good reliable content and people trust your recommendations, they will buy the items through affiliate links on your website. This could also be from reviews you write about certain products.
4. You Make Money
The affiliate link on your website is connected to the seller through an affiliate program. This will track all the purchases that you have driven through your website and award you a commission for each one.
Getting Started in Affiliate Marketing
Here are the steps that you need to follow in order to earn money affiliate marketing. You may be surprised to find out that it doesn’t take a genius or lots of technical knowledge to create a successful affiliate marketing website. However, it does take a lot of hard work, patience and commitment, so don’t think it is easy and will make you money straight away.
If you get a good understanding of these four steps, you have a great chance of having a flexible business that will constantly earn you money.
Choosing a Niche
Choosing the correct niche is important. You may think that basing a niche around what you think will make money is the best thing to do. It really isn’t, as your niche needs to be something that you are passionate about, or at least have a good interest in. This is because, if you create content in a niche that you don’t find enjoyable, you will get bored. Also, your content will be poor quality and you just won’t enjoy it. Choosing a niche you enjoy, will make you want to write about it.
By choosing a niche you are interested in, you will be able to connect with likeminded people, which is what you really need to be doing. If you are concerned that you don’t know enough about a subject to write about it (even if you are interested), don’t worry. You will become an expert in no time. In fact it enhances your enjoyment of a subject when you know more about it. You will also have a good insight in to what people will be looking for within that niche, which will give you lots of ideas for content.
Before choosing a niche, it is a good idea to have a think about the type of content you can create for it. Think about what questions people may have, problems they may encounter, things they need and how you can help. The main goal of an affiliate marketing website is to help people, then they will buy stuff through it.
Building A Website
Building and setting up a website is actually very quick and easy. However, before you jump in there are a few considerations.
Choosing a Domain Name
People need to find your website, so you need think of a good domain name. The name has to be brandable, easy to remember and allow you to expand on later on. A domain name can be tricky to think of, but some people simply use their name or manage to come up with something relevant to their niche. Depending on your niche either method can work well, but if you are serious about making money affiliate marketing, make sure your domain name has a .com suffix. This shows the world that you have a serious site that they could possibly trust.
Self Hosted or Free Website?
You can build your niche website through platforms such as Wix. These type of websites are great for giving people information about a business or for blogging etc. However, if you want to create a proper online business, you really need to go down the self hosted route.
To create your website, you really should use WordPress. This is a platform originally designed for bloggers to build and manage their websites without needing any coding skills. I use WordPress for all of my websites. There are thousands of plugins that you can use to make your website do certain things and look a certain way.
When you build your WordPress website, you need to choose a theme. Themes determine how your website initially looks. You can tweak certain things with different themes and there are thousands of free ones. There are also loads of payed ones that have different advantages. The theme for this website is a free one and I have no problem with it.
When choosing a theme, make sure it is a “responsive” one. This means it works well on mobile devices, which is super important theses days. Check out the reviews of the themes that take your fancy before committing. However, it is pretty easy to change a theme later on.
So you have a website with a nice theme and a few plugins, now you need to create some content for people to read. Content on your affiliate marketing website is a double edged sword. It provides the users with information while attracting them at the same time. There are a few techniques you need to follow to get the most traffic possible.
Getting Content Ideas
You can’t just write about anything, it has to be relevant to your niche. So how do you think of things?
- Visit question and answer websites such Websites such as Quora give you the opportunity to see what questions people are asking within your niche. The same goes for websites like reddit, to see what people are discussing.
- Alphabet soup – Go to Google and type your niche in to the search bar. Then put an “A” at the end of the search term. You will see that Google automatically shows you popular search terms for your niche. Keep doing this for all the letters of the alphabet fo loads of ideas.
- Social Media – Join Facebook groups relevant to your niche. People are always asking questions about the topic. This will give you lots of ideas and allow you to understand your potential audience better.
It isn’t wise to just start writing about the ideas you have without some good keyword research, it can be a massive waste of time. Keywords are what people search for on search engines, so they are super important.
You can use a keyword research tool to make sure that the keywords you have come up with are actually worth basing content around.
For example, I use Jaxxy. When I want to see how well a keyword can potentially perform, I type it in to its search bar and it will tell me the amount of searches it gets per month, how much traffic it attracts if it gets to the first page of Google and how many other websites use it.
With this information I can tell if it is worth spending my time on. I can also see similar keywords that might be better to base my content around. It is best to choose keywords with high traffic and low competition.
Websites that attract lots of traffic will earn money therefore using keywords that will send free traffic from search engines to your website is essential. I find doing keyword research in bulk is the best use of my time. By spending a few hours getting a good selection of keywords to create content around will last me weeks or months.
Once you have spent some time and effort on building your affiliate marketing website with good quality and relevant content, you will notice a difference. Your search engine analytics will show that more people are visiting your site and people will start trusting what you say. Then you will start waking up to money in the bank. You are literally making money in your sleep as your business is not time dependant.
The most common question asked is “when will I start making money?”. It will take a few months before you start making anything. How long it takes depends on your niche, how good your keywords are, how good your content is and how often you post. Therefore, there is not a definitive answer of “if you work on your site for X months, you will earn X amount of money”. I wish there was, but it is a case of just plugging away at it and it will start to happen.
Where To Learn About Earning Money Affiliate Marketing
When I was looking in to making money affiliate marketing, I found lots of different courses. Many of the organisations selling these courses wanted money upfront, but didn’t really give much information of what they were going to give me for it. I wasn’t sure if affiliate marketing was what I wanted to do at the time, so paying for something didn’t really appeal to me. These organisations were too salesy and had Gurus trying to sell me an idea. I already had the idea, I just didn’t know how to execute it.
I found an organisation called Wealthy Affiliate. They appealed to me as they were not too pushy and they have a free membership. This free membership gave me the opportunity to do some training, practice on two free websites and use a keyword research tool at no cost. This was the perfect way to see if affiliate marketing was for me.
I really recommend getting some training. It reduces the amount of mistakes you make and allows you to get results quicker. When you do an actual training course, you get everything in the right order. This means that you don’t miss out on any important details, which is easy to do if you are just researching it yourself.
What Do You Think?
I love the lifestyle that affiliate marketing gives me. Yes, there are some sacrifices, but the pros outweigh the cons. I get to do what I want when I want to. But, when I get down to business, I am creating content about things I am passionate and interested in, which is pretty fun. It becomes more fun when it starts working and money drops in to your account.
Please let me know your questions and thoughts in the comments section below.