Earning a passive income is a dream for many, and affiliate marketing has big promises when it comes to what you can earn. But, the process of getting to earn those big bucks is nothing but passive.
Today, we’ll be showing you how to start affiliate marketing. We’ll share the different steps that are necessary to take for a successful start.
Here is our seven steps overview:
- Choose your niche.
- Find a suitable affiliate program.
- Choose your platform.
- Produce top-notch content.
- Build your audience.
- Promote your affiliate links.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat.
In 7 Steps
The easiest way to learn how to start affiliate marketing is by breaking the process into steps. Each step plays a significant role in your journey to not only become an affiliate marketer, but also a successful one.
Step 1: Choose Your Niche
Choosing your niche is the first and foremost task to do. Figuring out your niche can be a bit overwhelming, especially considering that your success pretty much depends on it.
It’s essential that you choose a niche that you’re already passionate about. It’s much easier to write about a topic that you’re already familiar with and passionate about.
In addition to that, you’re also probably more knowledgable about the topic, so you’ll be able to write much better content.
You should also be as specific as possible within your niche—for example, if you’d like your niche to be food, choose baking or grilling instead. Keeping your niche specific will narrow down your audience to people who are more likely to purchase something via your links.
Last but not least, you must consider whether there’s actual money-making potential within your chosen niche. Yes, it can be hard to let go of your passion, but if you won’t be able to make a profit, is it really worth the time?
In saying that, it can also be difficult as a new affiliate marketer to get started on a niche that’s hugely popular—such as weight loss. There might already be tons of established marketers that it can be tricky for you to wiggle your way in and find success.
Step 2: Find a Suitable Affiliate Program
You have your niche down, so now it’s time to find an affiliate program. There are three types of programs available, including:
- Low paying with big volume: Programs with low pay but that features products with mass appeals, such as Amazon Associates.
- High paying with low volume: Affiliate programs with high payouts but little appeal, meaning you might earn big money but it won’t be easy.
- High paying with high volume: The perfect mix, right? Nope, think again. High paying programs with mass appeal are often filled with highly-skilled competitors, so it can be nearly impossible for a new affiliate marketer to, well, make their mark.
Now that we have that out of the way, it’s time to choose a program. There are a few key points to keep in mind while choosing your program:
- What merchants do the program use?
- How much commission can you make?
- Are the products and services of good quality?
- Does the program provide any support?
You’ll want to make sure that you’re willing to be associated with the products available to promote. Trust is the key factor if you want to make money, so your audience have to trust you and the products you’re recommending.
Step 3: Choose Your Platform
Now that we have your niche and affiliate program down, you need to decide how you’re going to promote the products. In today’s world, there are lots of options—you could promote products on your social media accounts, such as Instagram.
However, the most effective way to build an audience and increase sales, is by creating a blog or website.
Lucky for you, creating your own site isn’t as difficult as it used to be. Today, most bloggers and website creators use WordPress—it’s easy to use, you can generate creative designs and it’s affordable.
Here are the steps you need to take to create a website:
- Buy a domain: The domain is the address of your website, such as clevertouchmarketing.com. Make sure you have different domain-name options in mind in case your chosen one is taken. You can buy a domain via GoDaddy and NameCheap.
- Buy hosting: The domain is your address and the host is your new internet house. It’s essential to go for a reputable host that you can rely on. Fortunately, hosting is very affordable, so there’s no need to scrimp. Good providers include GoDaddy, BlueHost and HostGator.
- Install a content management system (CMS): Once you have your domain and your host, it’s time to install a CMS. For this, we recommend WordPress—it’s super easy to use and most hosts already have a one-click install for the program.
Step 4: Produce Top-Notch Content
Content creating is probably the most time-consuming part of being an affiliate marketer. You need to create informative, useful and creative content that your audience will enjoy and learn from. In other words, your site has to become an authority within your niche.
Top-notch content needs to be versatile—don’t just go for blog-type posts. Here are a few ideas to help you create the best content for your site:
- Product reviews: One of the most effective ways to promote your affiliate links is by creating product reviews. These will give your audience an opportunity to see whether or not they want to purchase a product. If they choose to purchase something off of your recommendations, you’ll earn your commission.
- Blog posts: Blog posts are effective ways to build the content on your site. Before creating a blog post, do some keyword research to figure out what your audience is interested in.
Step 5: Build Your Audience
Writing post after post without anyone noticing is a bummer; therefore, you have to build your audience. There are a few ways you can do this, so let’s take a closer look:
- Use SEO: SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s one of the most powerful tools you can use. If you can rank high in search engines, such as Google, you can drive consistent traffic to your site.
- Paid advertising: This will help you to drive additional traffic to your site, which could result in more sales. Starting on social media is ideal since it’s affordable; however, you can also take out an inexpensive banner ad on smaller niche sites.
- Promote your content: What better way is there than social media? Take advantage of all your social media sites, such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. By sharing interesting posts and engaging with your followers, you can quickly build trustful relationships with new people and expand your audience.
- Create an email list: Email lists might seem like ancient marketing—but, it still remains an effective way to build an audience. You can encourage your followers to sign up for updates from you and your site. Keep in mind though, never be sleazy when it comes to email updates—don’t shove products in peoples’ faces or they just might unsubscribe.
Step 6: Promote Your Affiliate Links
This is one of the final steps in becoming an affiliate marketer—you have to promote your links. Beware, some new affiliates choose to jump straight to this step; however, that is probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
You see, what we’ve done in the previous steps is preparations, research, building a trusty audience, creating top-notch content—everything needed for success. If you skip this, you’re missing out and you won’t have a strong following.
Now that you have shown your audience that you can add value to their every day, it’s time to kick it up a notch.
There are several ways for you to promote your offers, but it also depends on your site and the things you’re selling.
Here are a few ideas:
- Product reviews: Writing honest reviews about products you’re passionate about is a great way to continue building trust with your audience. Include pros and cons of each product; this will make it more appealing and trustworthy.
- Banner ads: Decorate your site with your affiliate offers. Most affiliate programs provide you with different templates or creatives to help you create your desired banners.
Step 7: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Being an affiliate marketer is hard work—it might be a passive income, but it certainly isn’t an easy one. After you have completed steps 1 through 6, it’s time to repeat, repeat, repeat.
Keep making new, interesting and valuable content for your followers to enjoy. Make a plan of when you’ll post new content, when you’ll write it and how you want your site to develop.
Phew, that was a lot to take in. But, if you want to become a successful affiliate marketer, it’s necessary to complete the steps without shortcuts.
Also, we highly recommend that you stay clear of poorly written, cheap generic content—instead, choose a professional, highly-reputable marketing company—such as us here at Clever Touch Marketing—to help you create strong and creative content for your site.
Remember to choose a niche that you’re passionate about, or at least one that you have some knowledge of. Be as specific as possible when choosing your niche to create a stronger audience.