Want to leave your 9-6 work culture? After all, it is better to follow your passion and make passive income along with it.
Affiliate marketing is becoming one of the best ways to make money online. No, it’s not a get rich quick scheme. It takes time and patience to build relationships with your audience.
If you think about it, affiliate marketing is just like starting a business. However, you do have some distinct advantages, such as you don’t have to hire any employees or rent an inventory for your products.
So, how to do affiliate marketing? First, let’s start with basics, shall we?
What is affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning money through commissions while promoting companies and their products that you can stand behind.
With the introduction of the Internet, companies have begun to realize that it is the perfect platform to expose their goods and services out to a broader audience.
The idea behind affiliate marketing is that, when you promote other people’s (or company’s) products, often through an affiliate network, you will earn a commission for each sale that you make.
The merchants are the companies that sell their products and services. The publisher (affiliates)helps the company in promoting these products, and the consumers are the audience who buys these products from you.
So how can you start affiliate marketing for your blogs?
In this article, we will explain the step-by-step process through which you could start an affiliate marketing blog.
Here are the steps that you need to follow to become an affiliate marketer.
Choose a Niche
The first step in becoming an affiliate marketer involves finding out which affiliate products to sell. Every affiliate marketer has a niche (topic) in which they try to influence their audience.
What are niches?
Niche is the name given to a topic or business area of expertise. They are formed by an audience that shares some characteristics, so they are likely to buy a given product.
To find the perfect niche, you have to make a list of things that you love or have passion for. When choosing a niche, you have to pick a topic area that you can write about every week.
Write down all your interests in a paper and perform competitive research for each item on your list. Make sure that the topic you have selected has a target audience because if people are not interested in your idea, you won’t make any money out of it.
Narrow your niche. For example, if you love gardening, don’t write about gardening as a whole. It might take months or even years to write all the things about gardening. Divide gardening into all possible categories such as square foot gardening, backyard gardening, and so on; and choose one among them.
Make sure that you select a micro niche.
What is a Micro Niche Website?
Micro niches represent a small part of the audience from a broader market.
A micro niche website is a small website made up of just a few pages. Generally speaking, it can be anywhere between one to ten pages. Usually, micro niches get fewer visitors; after all, only people who want to buy something specific will look for them.
However, this audience is more likely to buy your products, because your site provides precisely the products they are looking for.
Find Products or Services in your niche.
After choosing a niche, the next step is to determine which program out there can help you to find products to promote in your chosen niche.
Affiliate marketing sites act as a middle man between merchants and affiliates. Since it is hard for merchants and affiliates to find each other, these programs serve as a gateway between them.
Many affiliate programs (ClickBank, Amazon Associates, ShareASale, etc.) are available, which you can use to find products in your niche.
Search for the products that are related to your niche. If your niche is about lawns, you could search for the best electric lawn mower, best self-propelled lawnmower, best cordless lawnmower, and so on.
Make sure that the product is based on your niche. If you write about gardening and promote products based on technology, you won’t get any conversions. People buy a product from you because you tell them how these products will make their lives easier.
So if you start a blog about gardening, then you must promote products that are related to gardening.
Find all the products related to your niche and enter it into a spreadsheet.
Build Your Blog
Now, let’s build your blog.
You might be wondering: what’s the difference between a blog and a website, right?
Blogs are a type of website. The significant difference is that blogs have frequently updated content, whereas websites tend to be much more static.
Even though there are some free blogging platforms out there, we recommend that you use a self-hosted setup, which we will describe in this section.
Choosing a domain name is one of the most crucial steps in your entire process of becoming an affiliate marketer. Your domain name is the brand name through which you will be known online, no matter what niche you choose.
Make sure that your domain name is simple, short, and easy to remember.
There are many domain registrars that you can use to purchase your domain name; NameCheap and Godaddy are the top domain registrars from which you could buy your domain name.
A self-hosted platform allows you to run a blog using your domain name. A domain name is an address to your website, and hosting is your server, which will display your site for the rest of the world.
So when you are building your website, the actual files that constitute your websites are stored in your hosting provider. There are many hosting providers that you could use; Bluehost, A2Hosting, and DreamHost are some of them.
So, the first thing that you need to do after purchasing your domain name and web hosting is to connect them both. Connect your domain name to your hosting provider by entering your Name Server in the custom DNS field.
After entering the custom Name Server, go to your hosting provider’s account and add your domain name there. Now your domain name will be successfully connected with your web hosting provider.
Since you have connected your domain name to your hosting provider, the next thing that you should do is to choose the best blogging platform.
WordPress is a free Content Management System (CMS) with numerous features and simple customization possibilities. It can be used to develop any website, be it for your business or a personal blog.
Setting up WordPress
Login to your cpanel, go to the Software section and select Softaculous Apps Installer.
Then select WordPress and click on install. Choose your installation URL (your domain), fill all the required data, and then press the install button. That’s it; you have installed WordPress on your hosting provider.
Now go to the admin URL and sign-in using your username and password.
If you want to give your audience a great user experience, you have to buy a premium WordPress theme. There are thousands of WordPress themes that are available in the market for every niche.
Yes, there are some free themes that you can use, but we strongly recommend to buy a premium theme. When a visitor comes to your website, he must feel that this is an excellent site that provides quality content.
You could buy a great WordPress theme from Envato, ThemeForest, and Thrive Themes.
After buying your theme, go to the Themes tab under the Appearance section of your WordPress dashboard. Press on the “Add new” button and upload your theme.
After installing your theme, you must install some plugins that would make your work a lot easier. Here is the list of plugins that you must use:
- Really Simple SSL – You only need an SSL certificate, and this plugin will take care of the rest.
- Rank Math – All in one SEO tool you need.
- W3 Total Cache – Improves site performance by caching and minifying resources.
- Smush – Compress and optimize images for page speed.
- Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP – Add Google Rich Snippets markup according to Schema.org guidelines.
First, go to the General settings tab under the Settings sections and add your Site Title and Tagline, if you haven’t already done it.
Go to the Permalinks tab and change your settings to “Post name” instead of “Day and name.”
Conduct Keyword Research
The main difference between a person who makes 100 dollars a month and 1000 dollars a month is proper keyword research. It is the foundation of any profitable blogs.
The purpose of performing keyword research is to find words and phrases that users are searching on Google and other search engines.
These keywords are related to the products and services of your niche. A great deal of keyword research involves taking the time to understand your audience and the questions they are asking, then finding ways to answer those questions in your content, using a mix of keywords and phrases.
Want to know what people are searching for in your niche? Simply search your keyword in google and scroll down to see the “people also ask” section.
Want to know more? Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the related search items.
Publish Top Quality Contents
You have to publish a great piece of content that provides value to your users. Don’t just copy-paste the contents that are provided by other websites.
Research and develop your own content that makes you apart from the rest of the competition. There are different types of content that you could write.
Write some great product reviews that are related to your niche. If you can, review the products that you have used.
Sometimes you have to review products that you haven’t used before, so first, do complete research about the product; find all the pros and cons of that particular product.
Then write a great review, always remember that you are writing your review to provide value to your audience. You are not writing a sales pitch, mention all the disadvantages of the products that you write about.
You could write reviews of all the products that you listed earlier in your spreadsheet.
First, find out what your audience is searching for. Keyword Research will allow you to gain this information. Write on the topics that are searched by the people in your niche.
When you are writing a guide, you should clearly understand who your target audience is, their age, their needs, and so on. This will define the style of your guide on the most fundamental level.
How-To guides are an excellent way to build your email list by providing freebies.
Product roundups are great for shoppers. A product roundup is an article or a blog that features several products within a category. The purpose of a product roundup is to describe and compare several related products, which will help your readers to decide what to buy.
People love product roundups because they love to see and compare a bunch of similar items that are available in the market. So once in a while, do a product roundup.
Promote Your Content
Never think that your work is done when you finish writing your article. Make sure that you promote your content to a broader audience that is interested in your niche.
You could use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or could use forums that are related to your topic.
Your ultimate goal should be to make your own email list. An email list is an exclusive list of names and email addresses of people who permitted you to send them updates and promotions from your business.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing, on average, sees a 4300 percent return on investment for your business in the US alone!
Apply for Affiliate Programs
Since you have started to get some traffic to your site, this might be the best time to apply for affiliate programs. Most of the programs require some traffic to get approved.
So how do you get paid for promoting affiliate products in your blog?
How do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?
The answer to this question can get a little complicated. The consumer doesn’t always need to buy the products to earn a commission. Depending on the program, the affiliates get paid in various ways:
Pay Per Sale
In this program, the merchant pays a percentage of the product’s sale price to you, after the consumer purchases the product through the link provided by you.
Pay Per Lead
Here the commission is based on the conversion of leads. You must persuade the consumer to visit the merchant’s site and complete the desired action– it may be to fill out a contact form, sign up for a product trial, download software, or even subscribe to their newsletter.
Pay Per Click
Here you get paid for redirecting consumers from your website to the merchant’s site, using advertisements, or links. You get paid based on the increase in web traffic.
Since now you have integrated your affiliate links to your blog, it’s time to promote your content again, but this time you are going to make some money out of it.
If you have built your email list, then you are going to make money much quicker. It’s hard to make people buy your products when they don’t know you.
The people who have subscribed to your list have faith in you, so when you pitch a product, they will definitely buy it. This is the main reason why you should start your own email list right now!
Add, Optimize and Track
Now you have to provide more value to your user by adding new pieces of content every week. Make sure that you post at least 4 new articles every month.
Don’t forget to update your old posts. As time goes on, there will be new products and services that are better than what you wrote early. So keep all your posts updated now and then.
Track your results. To increase your profits, you will have to track the articles that are doing well, and that isn’t. Improve the content in the articles that don’t make money and promote the articles that are already making money.
Optimize your content and improve your results. This is how you become someone who makes 100 dollars a month to 1000 dollars a month.
Affiliate marketing is a fantastic option for those who are looking to gain control of their own income.
You will be able to achieve a passive income from your home’s comfort without worrying about producing your own products or services.
By performing all the steps mentioned above, you will be able to meet your income goals, either as a primary career or a profitable second job.