How To Start Affiliate Marketing Today
Are you interested in learning how to start affiliate marketing today? There is a lot of information out there about affiliate marketing and the sheer volume of information can be overwhelming. This is because a lot of this information is conflicting. There are also lots of gurus online, claiming to have the secret formula for being successful in affiliate marketing overnight.
Well, I urge you to stop trawling the internet for a while and pay attention to what I have to say. I am going to give you the truth about affiliate marketing. If you can handle the truth and deal with the realities of owning your own affiliate marketing business, I will tell you how to start affiliate marketing today.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
My post how can I make money from affiliate marketing goes into more detail, but in summary:
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting other people’s products and services, in exchange for a commission. To promote these products and services, you create content on your website that answers people’s questions and solves their problems. These are blog posts but come in different forms, such as reviews, tutorials, buyer’s guides and comparisons.
The Truth About Affiliate Marketing?
The first thing I want to do is give you a little warning. This is not meant to put you off, but I want to give you the full picture. This is because when I was looking into starting an online business, I wanted to know what I was getting myself in to. I wanted to know if I was going to enjoy it and if it was going to earn me enough money for the effort I was about to put into it. And I’m sure you are in the same position right now.
When I was researching various online businesses, I didn’t know who to believe. The gurus were telling me affiliate marketing was easy (with their systems), while others were telling me that affiliate marketing isn’t worth it and is saturated (I go into this in my post is affiliate marketing saturated?).
Now that I have had some experience with affiliate marketing, I can give you my first-hand account of what it is like.
You can make a very good living out of affiliate marketing, but you need to know that:
- It isn’t too difficult to start
- There is a lot to learn (although the techniques aren’t too complex, so anyone can do it)
- There is a lot of work ahead of you to succeed
- It takes a long time to make any money
- If you do it right, you can make loads of money (see my post, is affiliate marketing profitable?)
What It Takes To Be Successful At Affiliate Marketing?
To make your affiliate marketing business succeed, you need a certain mindset. It can be difficult to maintain this mindset all of the time. This is because there will be hurdles to get over, there will be mistakes and there will be days where you will be questioning if it is worth the effort or if it will ever work. But if you can keep plugging away using the right techniques, it will start to work and become worth it. So, what does it take?
Affiliate marketing takes a long time before you even earn a penny. There are a few reasons for this:
- Content creation – Creating quality content takes time. You do get faster with practice, though and there are certain techniques you can use to make content creation more efficient.
- Google algorithms – Google has an area known as the sandbox. This is where new websites sit for a few months until they prove themselves to be a good source of information. The sandbox makes it difficult for new websites to get their content to rank highly. After about four months, Google will make it easier for your content to rank if you manage to create a good amount of quality content. Often you will be able to rank within an hour.
- The learning curve – I mentioned before that the techniques involved with affiliate marketing are not particularly complex. But, no matter how much experience you have, there will be new skills that you need to learn. These will include, SEO best practices, content creation and WordPress skills.
- Mistakes – Unfortunately, you will make mistakes (I know I have). Some of these mistakes will be quite minor, such as forgetting to employ certain SEO tasks or making the odd spelling mistake. But some mistakes will be more serious. I have made some really big mistakes that haven’t become apparent for a few months. I usually find these types of mistakes when I have learned something new or have been updating old content. These mistakes need to be treated as learning opportunities. As long as you don’t repeat the same mistake, you are moving forward.
The thing about affiliate marketing is that you are working for your future. You are not working a set number of hours in return for a certain amount of money. The effort you put in now will pay off months down the line. The content you create has the potential to earn you thousands 24/7, for many months or even years.
Search engines like to see websites that are constantly updated. Posting regular content demonstrates that your website is a good source of information. This means that search engines will bump your content up the rankings. High ranking content appears in your intended audience’s searches more. This will mean that more people visit your website and spend money.
By posting a lot of content regularly, you are targeting more keywords that people are searching for. So, by the law of averages, you will be attracting more people that have an interest in the topics you are writing about.
You need to have a bit of hustle about you to make your affiliate marketing business work. This is part of the mindset you need to have. You need to want to put the effort in every day, whether that be, social media, content creation, reviewing your analytics, fixing problems or keyword research.
You need to take it seriously, as it is a proper business and your future. You can start an affiliate marketing business in your spare time, but you need to keep up the hard work. This is not something you can dip in and out of and expect it to make you money.
This is the really hard part. Because you have nobody to answer to but yourself, it is easy to not be as productive as you should be. But you need to have a lot of self-discipline to ensure you are doing enough.
This is probably the hardest part for me. This is because I get serious FOMO and freedom lets me do what I want. This is fine, as life is for living, but I have to make sure that I complete my list of jobs every week. If I do this, I know I am being productive enough, if not I have to rearrange my week, plan better and start saying no to my friends occasionally.
As I said before, you need to learn some new techniques and best practices. By learning a little bit every day, you will build up a fantastic knowledge base. This will make your life so much easier and you will be able to work much more efficiently.
There are three different methods of learning about affiliate marketing. I will go into the best way later on in this post, but you can read about them in my post how to learn about affiliate marketing.
Why I Started Affiliate Marketing
Having said all that, there are several advantages to starting an affiliate marketing business. These advantages have changed my life for the better.
I Can Choose My Working Hours
I live in the French alps with my wife. We moved here from the UK to experience all the mountains have to offer. We spend all our spare time snowboarding in the winter and mountain biking in the summer.
The fact that I can choose my working hours means that I can get to go out on the mountain when the conditions are perfect. When I was working for somebody else, I had to hope the conditions were good on our days off. Often the weather was bad during my time off and fantastic when I was back in the office. Therefore, I wanted to find a business to allow me the flexibility to work at any time.
You don’t have to be a fanatic about the mountains to benefit from this flexibility. Affiliate marketing gives all sorts of people the flexibility to manage their lives, from people travelling, parents to people that want to earn money on the side.
I Can Work From Anywhere
I have no plans to leave the French alps, but you never know what the future holds. Therefore, if we have to leave, I will be able to continue with my business, without any interruptions to how it works.
But, I like to mix it up a bit by working in a local cafe or down by the river. I could even take my laptop up the mountain and work from a bench in the summer!
Great Earning Potential
Affiliate marketing has huge earning potential. This is because of the sheer amount of people with access to the internet. Thanks to mobile phones, people can spend money from wherever they are at any time.
How much money you can earn does depend on the niche you choose, the products and service you promote and the affiliate programs you join. However, if you were to earn $30 per sale (which is very realistic), you can do very well out of affiliate marketing.
As you can see from the infographic above, you can see that it can be very lucrative. Imagine having a website full of content promoting products that can earn you this kind of money.
I Get To Write About Stuff I'm Passionate About
Affiliate marketing is pretty fun. This is especially the case if you choose a niche you are truly passionate about. It becomes an extension of your interests, as you create content based around it. You also learn a lot more about it, as there is quite a lot of research involved.
Of course, there is content that I need to create that isn’t particularly exciting occasionally. But you have to take the rough with the smooth.
I Don't Have A Boss
I have had some great bosses in my time, but I have also had some not so great bosses. Now I am my boss. I get to choose how my day goes, what I create content about and how my websites look. This all adds to the freedom and flexibility I enjoy about my affiliate marketing business.
Can You Handle It?
So, how does all that sound? Do you think that you can handle the affiliate marketing life?
How To Start Affiliate Marketing Today
With affiliate marketing, there are no shortcuts to success, but you can speed up the process somewhat. With the right guidance and knowledge, you can get a good starting point and reduce the number of mistakes you make. This will shorten your journey to success.
There are a few different ways you can learn about affiliate marketing, you can find out the three ways on how to learn about affiliate marketing here, but I will save you the trouble and tell you the best way right now. The great thing is, it is FREE (to a point anyway).
The best way to learn how to start affiliate marketing today is by using the Wealthy Affiliate platform.
What Is Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy affiliate is a platform that has developed into a one-stop-shop for affiliate marketers for everything they need to start and build their business.
The platform is made up of several elements that give you everything you need to start affiliate marketing today. I will give you an overview of these elements, but you can go straight to my review Does Wealthy Affiliate Really Work? to see what I like and don’t like about it.
The primary reason people join Wealthy Affiliate exists is comprehensive training. The training is really easy to follow and is suitable for anyone that wants to start affiliate marketing, even if you have no idea what it is. It gives you the perfect starting point and all the information you need to build up a successful business.
Included with the Wealthy Affiliate membership (even the free one) you get all the tools for building your business. These include:
- A keyword research tool
- A website builder
- Great website hosting
- A domain registrar
All this makes Wealthy Affiliate very convenient, as everything is kept in one place.
With Wealthy Affiliate, you don’t have to be alone in your journey. There is some great support available, for pretty much anything you come across. Support is available via a few different channels, from live chat, private messaging with trusted members, website feedback and an excellent help centre.
You can get advice and technical support very quickly at any time of the day, no matter where you are in the world. This support has dug me out of several holes over time and I have been very grateful for it.
The Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership
If you want to know how to start affiliate marketing today, you need to check out the Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership. This is how I started and it gave me the real-world experience to help me decide if it was something I wanted to pursue.
The Free Membership gives you the first 10 lessons in the Online Entrepreneur Course. These take you from day one to having a fully working affiliate marketing website. You get limited access to the Jaaxy keyword research tool and the training takes you through how to get the best out of it. You also get two FREE hosted websites to start your business from. Another part of the Free Membership that is useful, is access to the community. This allows you to bombard members with all the questions you have (including me).
You can see my full rundown of the Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership here.
If you want to check out the Free Membership for yourself, click on the image below.