How To Learn About Affiliate Marketing Online
OK, so you have heard about affiliate marketing and you are interested on possibly doing it yourself. In this post I am going to tell you how to learn about affiliate marketing online. Not only that, but I am going to give you loads more information about things you should know before you start, what to expect and how I learned (still learning) how to build an affiliate marketing business. So, get yourself a coffee and continue reading to get prepared for your next business venture.
What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does it Work?
I’m sorry if you already know this part, but I want to give you the full picture, just so you 100% understand what you are about to let yourself in for.
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting other people’s products and services in return for a percentage of the sales price. This commission is tracked through affiliate links placed on your website, I will explain with an example.
Steve wants some new freestyle skis. He has heard that the Lib Tech Wreckreate may suit him. So he decides to look them up on the internet.
Steve’s search brings up your review of the skis. This is because Google sees your review as the most relevant to his search term.
Steve likes what he reads and decides from your recommendation that they are the perfect skis for him. So he clicks on the “Buy now” button. This button contains your affilaite link to the online shop “Blue Tomato”, where he places his order.
The affiliate link tracks the purchase and you earn money from Steve’s new skis. The Blue Tomato affiliate program gives you 7% of the sales value. Now imagine thousands of people buying high value products from your website. These products could be computers, TVs, fridges, bikes, holidays, wooden flooring, furniture etc. In fact you can promote pretty much anything you want, as there is an affiliate program for anything you can think of.
Things You Should Know About Affiliate Marketing
All this sounds good doesn’t it? But, there are are a few things you need to know before you get going.
You are going to like this part. Lets assume that you can earn £30/$30/€30 for each sale that goes through your website (this is totally feasible).
The graphic above puts in to perspective of what is possible when affiliate marketing is done properly. However, your niche, the products you promote, how hard you work and the techniques you use will have an impact on your earnings.
It Takes Time
With figures like that it is very tempting to quit your job and jump in. But, it takes a very long time to make any money at all. As a beginner affiliate marketer, you will make nothing for a few months. Then you will get a few pennies, before you start seeing reasonable money coming in. In many cases it takes a year before affiliate marketers start seeing proper results. This is where many fail, as they give up too soon.
You need to create quality and consistent content for a long time to be successful. This is not a get rich quick scheme!
Use The Correct Techniques
Using the correct techniques is essential to being a successful affiliate marketer. I knew nothing about it before I started, but I found the techniques easy to learn. The correct methods of research and creating content will get your content on the first page of search engines, which will make it more visible to your audience and that will ultimately earn you more money.
Why I Chose Affiliate Marketing
I have never really liked working for other people and I always wanted my own business. I live in the French alps and love the outdoors, especially snowboarding and mountain biking. While working on someone else’s timetable, I didn’t have the flexibility to duck out and have a couple of hours snowboarding in the morning when the conditions were perfect.
Affiliate marketing gives me the flexibility to choose my own working hours (mostly). For me it isn’t about working less, as I work much more than I used to, but I can work when I want to. There has been many occasions when I have been working at 1am, but I have had an epic morning on the mountain (it is worth it, as you can see from the picture above).
As long as I complete my list of weekly tasks I am happy that I am being productive enough to continue the success of my business. This is where discipline is important, as for me there is always someone calling be to go snowboarding and then for a post ride beer. Sometimes you HAVE to say no.
How To Learn About Affiliate Marketing Online
Don't Be Tempted By "Gurus"
When it comes to learning about affiliate marketing online, there are lots of guys out there claiming that they can sell you the secret to overnight success in affiliate marketing. As I pointed out earlier, there are no short cuts. Affiliate marketing has to be done properly to be successful.
Before I started my affiliate marketing business, I did lots of research in to the best way to learn about affiliate marketing online. There are lots of “gurus” telling me that if I gave them money, they would give me all the information that I needed. However, I was still deciding whether affiliate marketing was what I really wanted to do. So I wasn’t going to pay for a course or expensive ebook because a guy with a Ferrari was shouting at me on a YouTube video. This theme was really common and it very nearly put me off affiliate marketing altogether………until I found the best affiliate marketing course.
The Best Affiliate Marketing Course!
The best affiliate marketing training provider I found was Wealthy Affiliate. Wealthy Affiliate is a Canadian company that provides very comprehensive training and tools to get your affiliate marketing business off the ground from scratch.
What Attracted Me To Wealthy Affiliate?
After being put off by “gurus”, Wealthy Affiliate attracted me because they were not too salesy or pushy like the others. At the time I was still trying to decide affiliate marketing was for me, but I needed more information to make my mind up. Luckily Wealthy Affiliate give you the opportunity to build a couple of websites for free, using the training provided in their free membership.
This gave me first hand experience of what is involved in building an affiliate marketing business. I went through the available training and I could see how good it was, build a website to see how easy it is and create content to see if it was something I wanted to do.
Overview of Wealthy Affiliate's Training
Online Entrepreneur Course
The Online Entrepreneur course is where you start. This course is for those that want to build their business around their own choice of niche.
The course is designed for those that have no experience at all. This is because it starts from the very beginning. So, if you know nothing about WordPress, building a website, creating content or search engine optimisation, this is the course for you.
There are five levels, each with ten lessons. At the end of each lesson there are a number of tasks to complete before you move on to the next one. This is great, because you know you are not missing out any important steps.
Level 1 - Getting Started
Level one is where you learn how you make money with affiliate marketing. Here you learn all the basics and you get a good foundation of knowledge to build upon with the following levels.
You will learn what a niche is and how to choose one (if you want a head start, check out my guide on the button below).
By the end of this level, you will have built your own website that is live on the internet in a niche of your choice. You will also know how to build your initial pages and put the necessary information on them. Additionally, you will learn what plugins are and which ones you need to make your website work as well as it can.
These first 10 lessons are included in the Free membership
Level 2 - Building Your Own Traffic Producing Website
To get to this point, you will need to sign up to the Premium Membership. But, by this point you will know if it is for you and if you want to carry on. If not, you haven’t lost anything, as you only needed an email address to sign up.
In Level 2 you will learn all about domain names, building trust and coming across as a professional, legitimate business.
You will also learn how to create content properly with images. But most importantly, you will learn how to use keywords properly, to ensure that people will find your content in search engines.
Level 3 - Making Money
This is where you learn how to monetise your website. It will also teach you the “Customer Purchase Lifecycle” and how affiliate marketing fits in with it.
You will learn the importance of providing information to help people in Level 3. This means that people will look for you rather than you go out chasing potential customers. Also you will learn that it doesn’t pay to be pushy and salesy, as your audience won’t like it.
When you get to Level 3, it starts getting exciting and your website starts to look great. You will see the potential in your work, but you will also see that you have a long way to go. But, we are in this for the long term, not to make a quick buck.
Level 4 - Mastering Social Engagement
Social media is very important these days and it can bring you lots of extra traffic. In Level 4, you will learn how to set up the necessary accounts and how to use them properly to promote your business.
You will also learn that you will get comments on your website and how important these are. The lessons in level 4 will tell you how to respond to them properly and how to encourage more.
Level 5 - Achieving Maximum Success Through Content Creation
You will have already created some content, but Level 5 describes the best techniques to build your content. This isn’t only to provide the best information to your audience, but to make sure it ranks well in search engines.
The lessons in Level 5 also help you to be productive, by showing you how to create a content plan. This will let you churn out lots of quality content to fill your website with the best information relevant to your audience.
Weekly Live Training
Once you have gone through all the training in the Online Entrepreneur course, you can continue to learn from Wealthy Affiliate. Each week there is live training to help you further. I have found that this training is very up to date and has a few little tricks that are a huge help that are not in the other lessons.
These training sessions are hosted in Canada, so I usually watch the recording of them due to the time difference.
Training From The Community
I am going to talk about the Wealthy Affiliate later, but the more experienced members of Wealthy Affiliate create their own training resources. This can be very helpful when you get a bit stuck with something. There is a huge amount of lessons available to you. These are usually hints and tricks that people have picked up along the way.
Not Just a Training Platform
One of the things that attracted me to singing up to Wealthy Affiliate is that everything is in one place. This just makes everything more convenient, with less passwords to remember and it eliminates the need to flip between platforms and search for hosting etc.
The website builder in Wealthy Affiliate allows you to have a live website in less than a minute. It is seriously easy to use, with no drama. This was a relief for me as I didn’t know what it entailed at the time. The websites already have WordPress installed, so you have somewhere to start as soon as it is live.
Many people go for the cheapest web hosting they can find. This is not always a great idea, as they can be slow, insecure and unreliable. But the hosting you get at Wealthy Affiliate is fast and reliable. Also it comes with SSL certificates, which means that your website is secure form hackers. Normally these are an extra cost, so this is something else that adds to the convenience.
During the training, you will learn how to use certain tools, like Jaaxy. Jaaxy is a keyword research tool, which is invaluable for knowing what keywords to bas your content around.
The technical support at Wealthy Affiliate is excellent. They solve problems very quickly once you have submitted a ticket. They are always on hand to answer questions and get back to you very quickly.
A Huge Community
I mentioned the community earlier. This is a very valuable resource when you are in a pickle, as there are lots of people willing to help you out. There are various ways you can pose questions to the community, but usually you will get an answer very quickly.
Some people will even check out your site for you to offer advice. I have found this to be extremely useful and it has saved me from wasting my time on certain things over time.
Negatives of Wealthy Affiliate?
I want to give you the full picture of Wealthy Affiliate, so I will tell you the what isn’t so great. To be honest, there isn’t much. But the main thing I have found frustrating, is some of the answers I get from the community.
On occasion, I have asked a question and I have had an enthusiastic answer from someone who is not very experienced. I understand that they are trying to help, but sometimes I end up spending more time explaining the problem, which can lose context.
This is very rare, but when you are a bit stressed about something, a newbie telling you to “follow the training” and that “they believe in you” doesn’t help the stress levels.
Is Wealthy Affiliate For You?
If you want to start an online business, affiliate marketing is a great way to go. I believe that Wealthy Affiliate is the best platform to build your business from. If you sign up to the Free Membership, you will get a good idea if you want to carry on with it.
Wealthy Affiliate provides a one stop shop to build an affiliate marketing business from. If you are looking for comprehensive training and convenience, this is the way to go.
That's How To Learn About Affiliate Marketing Online
What do you think? Please let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.