Affiliate Marketing For Dummies
We are all looking for extra ways to build a residual income online, and affiliate marketing for dummies is a way that you can earn some extra coin.
The problem is so many people don’t understanding how affiliate marketing actual works. That why I’ve put together with post so you understand the process from beginning to end.
So let’s go through this process together:
1. Understanding Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is referring a product or service from your website or social media platforms and in exchange for the referral you get paid a commission. You are given a distinct affiliate link and this is how the company you are promoting knows that you referred their product or service.The payment of your commission will depend on each affiliate program. So research the terms and conditions.
The growth of the affiliate marketing based on information from Forester Consulting, the affiliate marketing spending in the USA for 2014 was set at $3.4 billion dollars, and that is great news if you are just starting out in 2016 as it is set to reach $4.5 billion in 2016.
But don’t be fooled as with anything in order to be successful with affiliate marketing it’s going to take time and more importantly effort.
We should also mention that it is important that you familarise yourself with the affiliate network agreement together with the affiliate program agreement. These agreements are also referred to the terms of service. And you are bound by these agreements. These are legal binding documents.
Also be aware of the legal requirements of affiliate disclosures, essentially this means your website must have a dedicated page to disclosure policy page.
We want to help you build a successful road map for your affiliate marketing career.
2. What Makes A Successful Affiliate Marketer?
Successful affiliate marketers know how to build an audience and get that targeted audience to visit their sites. Note I said targeted audience. They also understand the importance of conducting thorough research.
They also know which niche markets are profitable so they start to make money from the onset. At the same time successful affiliates love what they do. If you enjoy what you do, then you are prepared to do what it takes to be successful.
Here are further things that you need to take into consideration. Successful affiliate marketers know:
# Click through rates.
# The traffic sources they are going to use to drive traffic to their websites.
# Link types such as – Banners, text links, product links and reviews.
# Conversion rates.
# The average order value.
# Payout on the affiliate referral.
# The number of reversal transactions.
That is what makes a successful affiliate marketer. Do not be misled expecting a fully automated passive income stream. Devote what time, money, and skills you have at your own resources.
3. Where To Find Affiliate Programs
There are two types of affiliate programs and those are: affiliate networks and in-house platforms.
Affiliate networks act as mediators connecting affiliates, affiliate programs, providing tracking, reporting, and maintenance services both to merchants, meaning those who run their affiliate programs on these platforms, and to affiliates.
If you want to know the top in-house platforms in the US they are: Impact Radius, CAKE, ClickInc, HasOffers, Performance Horizon Group, Post Affiliate Pro and Proprietary solutions.
Merchants who run their own in-house affiliate programs are: Amazon and their Amazon Associates program. eBay, with their eBay partner network, or a Groupon.
Or start with google. You simply type in your niche market and I will give you example below:
Let’s say we are interested in the cooking niche so we type into google cooking + affiliate programs.
When you find one that you like you can sign up.
It will be on this page that you be given information such as:
# Overview of the product/service.
# Benefits of joining.
# How you will earn for each referral.
# How to start earning commission.
# Whether you need your own website or if they have pages for you to promote.
My recommendation always is to start with your own website.
Quality affiliate programs will generally want to review your site before approving your application, and this is a good thing. So your approval may take a few days to sent to your email.
4. Other Places To Find Affiliate Products
As mentioned earlier affiliate networks manages many different affiliate products which are being promoted on the network site. So in this instance you get paid by the network not from the individual company product or service you choose to promote.
And a great site to find affiliate products to promote is shareasale.com, another popular site is clickbank.com and the great thing about clickbank is that the commission rates are very high, in addition the products are digital.
Last another great place is cj.com formerly known as commission junction.
A word of caution when it comes to promoting other peoples products and services is that you want to review, buy and test before marketing. No point promoting a crap product or services that is not going to give you a good return on your time. Right?
5. What Are The Top Niche Affiliate Industries?
The top niche affiliate industries to make good affiliate commissions are:
# Business and Personal Coaching.
# Information products.
# Niche Information Products digitally delivered. (Example Paelo diet, Paelo recipes etc)
There pretty much is an affiliate program for anything you could possibly imagine.
6. Building Your Community
This is the part most people skip when they get started in affiliate marketing for dummies, and that is understanding that you need to become an authority. People will purchase or deal with someone they like, know and trust.
So you can’t expect people to buy from you if you are not a trusted authority in your niche market place.
To get started you firstly help people, you can do this through video tutorials, regular blog posts which provide value to your reader, showing someone how to resolve a problem. How you deliver can vary, but you literally become the go to person for help.
If you do this, then you will be seen as a trusted authority. You’ve got to give to receive.
At the end of the day the best thing is to pick a niche or topic that you have experience in.
7. How Find A Niche Market
Brainstorming is one of the best things you can do to find niche market and topics that you want your affiliate site to be about.
What you need to know is that your site will need to updated on a regular basis with content, so you need to have an interest in that topic. The plan is the site you are going to build is a long term project, not just a slap it up and put it on the internet.
A topic as an example is broad a niche is specific, and then you have micro niches. The idea is to one be interested in the topic but at the same time narrow this down to a micro niche market. The success with micro niche markets is way less competition and much easier to rank for specific keywords.
Now on another note don’t depend on traffic to your site from google, any traffic you do get is a bonus.
Use other mediums such as youtube, webinars, podcasts, social media, forums etc. Diversity is what will get traffic to your site. But website traffic in itself is really another topic.
8. Understanding Keyword Research
Another critical element of your success as an affiliate marketer is understanding keyword research.
In this video I will show you how to conduct keyword research.
Would you believe it if I told you that you can also spy on your competition? Well you can.
Here is a quick video which shows you exactly how to do it!
Forums are a great way to find questions which are being asked in your niche market, the other benefit is if you see the same question being asked over and over again it allows you to create content which will answer the question.
Create the content and do it well and this can benefit your rankings in the search engines.
10. Your Affiliate Business Online
By now I assume you have chosen your niche market, completed your research. So what comes next?
Registration of your domain name. This will be www.yoursitename.com or what ever extension you choose.
So obviously as this post is all about affiliate marketing for dummies I am going to promote who I use to purchase my domain names and hosting. And that is Bluehost.
The best thing I love about Bluehost is you register your domain name and set up your hosting at the same time. No need to switch between service providers. The actual start up cost for your affiliate website should set you back about $150.00 for the first year.
But feel free to use whoever you see fit.
Before you start to build your affiliate website. Consider the fundamentals:
# Choose your niche. We have explained how important this is.
# Preferably have a passion for your niche, and an understanding. If you lack knowledge about your niche market it will be reflected in your conversions.
# Follow hot trends, and the best way to do this is to use google trends. Also follow twitter and facebook hash tags. You can monetize these.
# Be an influencer in your niche and build your community.
# Know your target demographic.
# Provide solutions to your target market audience.
The time has come to now build your website, and the quickest and easiest way platform to master is WordPress.
Now with WordPress you have the option to use wordpress.com or wordpress.org. My recommendation is to build your affiliate website using wordpress.org. This means you have full control of your website as it will be hosted on your hosting account.
Now this blog is not about how to set up affiliate website, this is about affiliate marketing for dummies.
12. Affiliate Site Popularity
One of the key factors to help you to start earning affiliate commissions is getting your website to rank in the search engines. And the best way to do this is to have a basic understanding of search engine optimization.
We don’t want to be competing with big competition brands and services, as we mentioned earlier in this post it is important to narrow down your topic and niche as much as possible.
So we need to undertstand what are the ranking factors that are considered important in todays terms:
This means you have quality links to your website, this is referred to as back links. Think of back links like networking an offline business.
The more back links the more your site becomes popular. One way to achieve this is by commenting on other blogs that are relevant to your niche market. Please never spam because this will not help your affiliate website.
This is about interaction and earning the opportunity for authority blogs to link to your content. Many sites allow in the comments section when you have posted a comment a place where you link leave a link back to your website.
If you find an authority site in your niche market study the content they are putting out there and reference them on your own site.
One of the experts in the field of building backlinks is Brian Dean who built the site backlinko.com So if you want to understand the full benefits of building an affiliate website that will earn you commission and want to achieve this by building back links. Brian Dean is the man.
Social media helps your website to build it’s popularity, but I want you to understand that ranking in the search engines is something that you build overtime.
So the key is to put content out on a regular basis, build quality back links and share your content on your social media platforms.
13. List Building
What is list building? Basically it doesn’t matter what type of product or service you are going to promote you need to have a database of clients. And the way you do this with your affiliate website business is to build your email marketing database.
Building your list is very challenging to say the least, but it is a must if you are going to be successful with your affiliate website.
In order for someone to subscribe to your email list you need to have a professional high quality offer to give away in exchange for someone subscribing to your list, that is your website visitor leaving their name and email address.
There are many types of offers you can use such as an ebook, a free training video series, a podcast, webinar, or a simple optin form on your blog so people can sign up to get updates on the latest content you produce.
We mentioned earlier that people only do business with people they like, know and trust. So before you think about sending out a heap of emails to your list to buy from you, you must build a relationship just as you do in any business.
Provide your email list with great valuable information and content for free, help them solve their problems. Be real about their expectations and yours. Do this over a period of time and only when you gain their trust can you start to market to your email list.
One of the best resources available to help you market to your email list is an auto responder, and the best autoresponder on the planet is Aweber.
Now, finally we want you to be set up for success with your Affiliate Website and the one take away from this post is you must build your email marketing list. And let me tell you there is no better money generating medium than email marketing.
You will not be able to generate sales income if you have no list to market to. You must have the mindset that you are building a business, the only difference is you are not building a brick and mortar business you are building an online affiliate marketing business
14. Setup Your Affiliate Website For Success
# Set up goals for your affiliate marketing business.
# Make your affiliate marketing business personal. (Share your experiences both failures and successes). People want to know there is a real person behind the website.
# Share your blog posts, webinars, podcast whatever content you are producing with your email list. It’s another strategy to drive traffic back to your website. This will be your number 1 traffic generating strategy.
# Set up your about me page on your website. This is critical as people want to know about your journey, your success and more importantly how you can help them. And what better way than learning something unique about YOU!
# Set up a product page, review page, or services page. This is another way that you can earn money through your affiliate links.
# Balance your affiliate website between producing content and promoting affiliate products.
# Use demonstration videos for the affiliate products that you are promoting. This will help with the conversion and sales.
# As your affiliate business grows you have the opportunity to produce and promote your own products and services.
We wanted to save the best for last. Amaz