If you have ever wanted to start your own online business with affiliate marketing, then you have come to the right place. I’m going to show you, How To Start Affiliate Marketing For Beginners (The Easy Way). While I’m sure, that experienced affiliates could benefit from my recommendations here, these steps are targeted to the absolute beginner who knows little to nothing about the process of affiliate marketing or owning a website of their own.
These steps assume that you are a beginner, starting from scratch with no money, with near zero knowledge about affiliate marketing, and you plan to start a website to host your affiliate promotions.
If you’re interested in this method without a website, I will link to another post at the end that can help you use affiliate marketing without a website.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is the process of selling other peoples products and earning commissions for those sales. Commissions are most often percentage based, meaning that you will only get a percentage of the total sale value.
Example: You sell me an affiliate product that cost $100 and You earn 50% of that commission. You just earned $50. 10% = $10 and so on. Affiliate sales do Not increase the cost to the customer. The commissions earned are what the product provider is willing to pay you for selling their products.
How Much Can I Earn As An Affiliate Marketer?
Commissions can vary greatly from one affiliate program to the next. It’s important to understand that in most cases, the same amount of work is required to sell high commission products, as it is to sell low commission products.
As an Amazon Associate, you can only earn up to 10% on certain products. Most products will NOT earn you this much. You will also earn commissions if your customer buys other products during their visit or within a certain time period, after that, no more commissions. This means you will need to produce a ton of affiliate sales to see any noteworthy income. Not impossible, but it’s the same amount of work to earn far better commissions thru another source like the following example.
As a ClickFunnels Affiliate, you can earn 40% recurring commissions for each user that signs up. This mean that every prospect that signs up to a monthly membership will earn you revenue each month until that user cancels. The more people who remain members, the more profit you see every month. And you only had to sell to that person once.
Pretty big difference right?
Now you can see the difference between affiliate programs and how the structures from each company can be different. While this is an important component to choosing what to promote on your site, its still very important that you either, have a working knowledge of your niche market or you are passionate about learning as you develop and construct you affiliate offers.
Now that you understand the concept, let’s get into the core of this post.
How To Start Affiliate Marketing For Beginners (8 Simple Steps)
Step #1:You Need Education
If you’re reading this, then you are already headed in the right direction. As a beginner, its critical that you ingest everything you can related to affiliate, and online marketing, to better prepare yourself for what’s to come.
You need to have a firm understanding of what’s involved with owning and managing your own website, how to create quality content that will provide value to your customers, and how to optimize your site for organic traffic, aka: SEO ( Search Engine Optimization). This is just to name a few.
You can spend countless hours” searching the net, sifting thru resources, and avoid signing up for some high promise, under performing training platform. Or you can go straight to the best known resource for helping others learn how to start affiliate marketing as a beginner.
Wealthy Affiliate was founded in 2005 by a couple of guys named Kyle and Carson. Since the founding, Wealthy Affiliate has grown into one of the top renown affiliate training resources on the net. They have helped over 1.7 million people during this 14 year history and this number is growing all the time.
They will teach you everything from start to finish about running a successful affiliate marketing business online. In fact, my website is the product of their training, and it was created in less than 30 seconds. I’ll explain this a little further down in step #4.
I can say from firsthand experience, that you will be hard-pressed to find any other training platform that offers the value Wealthy Affiliate does. That’s why they are my top recommended platform for beginners looking to start affiliate marketing.
If your interested in learning more about the platform, check out my Wealthy Affiliate Review (The Short Version). If you have time and want to everything about WA, check out my Ultimate Wealthy Affiliate Review instead.
Step #2: Choose Your Niche
Before I explain how to choose your niche, You should understand what a niche is. Check out the description on Wikipedia here for Niche Market. Just think of a niche as a narrow audience in a particular market.
- Remote Control Toys is a market
- RC Cars is a subset of that market and would be considered a niche because its more specific
- RC Drift Cars is an even more narrow subset of the same niche market.
The more you can narrow this down, the more likely you are to reach a specific audience with your content.
Remember: It’s important to choose a niche early in the process of setting up your affiliate website. Your niche will determine your direction, and by knowing this early, it will be easier to focus your efforts and understand the overall goal or your niche site.
So, as I mentioned earlier in this post, You should have a working knowledge of your niche and/or be passionate enough to learn on the fly as you create your quality content.
Wondering what I mean by “working knowledge”?
I mean that you have firsthand experience with a product or service, and understand it enough, that you can educate others on how to use it or explain other various aspects about it.
What’s that about passionate?
When I say, be passionate enough to learn on the fly, I mean having enough interest to learn everything about a product or service and educate others as you learn. This will in turn build your working knowledge as you go.
Passion is a big component to your success because it will keep you learning and make the education process far easier and more rewarding, both because you’re helping others, and because you have better odds of success when you are genuine about what you promote. It will also keep you moving forward when things seem unfavorable.
As I mentioned earlier, Wealthy Affiliate will teach you everything. Here is one of the many training videos found only on their platform. Click the image below to check it out.
Step #3: Choose Your Products
I also mentioned earlier about the difference between affiliate programs. While this is an important aspect of you strategy, you should focus on whatever provides the most value to your audience.
Let’s just say, hypothetically, that you deliberately exclude affiliate products from Amazon because you can get higher commissions thru another supplier. By doing this, not only are you leaving money on the table because many savvy shoppers will simply find the cheapest option by doing a little more searching, but you are also proving to your audience that their problems and needs are not as important to you as your own.
Always put your audience first and you will benefit more by creating trust and encouraging return visits or future purchases thru your site. Don’t compromise your brand by focusing only on your profits. Provide real value and profit will follow.
How Do You Find Affiliate Programs For The Products You Want To Promote?
There are many options when searching for related niche products to promote within your site.
Wealthy Affiliate has a huge, built in and recently upgraded, affiliate program directory that allows you to search millions of products from various other affiliate networks. This is one of many other great resources that WA has to offer, and one of many reasons that they have remained at the top of my recommended list for affiliate training.
If you want to search out these resources for yourself, I’ll leave the list below. Some require that you already have a website, have to wait for approval, and one even requires a phone interview.
- ClickBank – They have one of the largest affiliate directories online
- ShareaSale – At 19 years in business, they have an affiliate network with over 3900 affiliate programs (website required)
- Peerfly– Another large and growing affiliate network
- JVZoo – 2016 and 17 rated Inc. the fastest growing company, they have a lot to offer as well
- MaxBounty – connecting affiliates to vetted high paying advertisers (Phone interview required)
Step #4: Build Your Niche Website
As promised, this is where we go a little further in depth about creating a website and where I show you how Wealthy Affiliate helped me create this website in less than 30 seconds.
In fact, Wealthy Affiliate actually gives you two free affiliate websites, hosted on their servers, with the first 10 training videos for beginners absolutely free. NO CREDIT CARD INFORMATION REQUIRED!!!!!
Let’s start with the video from WA on creating your site quickly. Just click the image below to follow the link.
The creation process is just the beginning, now its time to customize everything else about it.
First up, pick a theme.
The theme you choose will allow you to control the overall look and feel of your website. This can affect usability depending on the theme itself. While it may not be the most important aspect of building your site, at least at the start, it could hinder your efforts in the future if you stick with a very low quality theme.
When choosing a theme, do a little research, and see if you can find one that is free and comes with both a header and a footer. Many popular themes will have one, or the other, usually with an optional upgrade to unlock the rest of the features.
If you can find one with both built in and free, let us know by commenting below, this way everyone who visits this page can benefit. Thanks in advance
You should know, some themes require more technical skill than others. While you can just play around with the settings and see what happens until you figure it out, I would suggest finding one you like the look and feel of, and then doing a little research on it. Make sure that it is updated regularly and has good user feedback.
Second up, pick some plugins.
There are an endless supply of plugins available for your niche site. From adding emojis to adding the reCAPTCHA security checks for users to log in to your members area. Whatever you need, there is a plugin for that.
Remember that in most cases, the more plugins you add to your site, the more it will slow down your site. Wealthy Affiliate recommends using 5 or less but I’m running 10 myself with no issues. Some plugins are designed to speed up your page load times like Lazy Loader, WP Rocket, and W3 Total Cache.
There are virtually endless possible combinations in this step that can make your website act and look however you choose. If you take the time to learn some coding such as HTML, and CSS, then you will have another advantage when it comes to overall website design.
Let’s move on.
Step #5: Set Your Site Up For Search Engines
So far, so good. Now to get your site ready with some SEO, or search engine optimization. This is how all the search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo will find your site.
After the search engines find your site, they will crawl your pages and rank your content for certain keywords found within.
Crawling refers to the search engines sending out, what they call spiders, to crawl your pages and read your content. This is how they know what your site is about. Keywords refer to the words and phrases used in your content that people could be searching for thru the search engines.
All search engines want to provide the most relevant content to match the searches of their users. Keyword research will play a big role in your content creation process.
One of the easiest ways to get your site set up for SEO, is to use the All In One SEO plugin. Yet again, Wealthy Affiliate has a training lesson on this that I will refer you to. SEO is one of the most important aspects of your site. If your site doesn’t rank, then you will not earn any commissions thru organic traffic, which means you either get no traffic at all or you pay for it thru ads.
Check out the training video for setting your site up for SEO by clicking the image below.
Step #6: Do The Keyword Research
As I just mentioned, keyword research will play a big role in your content creation process. Yet again, Wealthy Affiliate has this covered with their ultimate keyword research tool, Jaaxy. Free members get their first 30 searches absolutely free. Your welcome to test out your first search using the Jaaxy search tool below.
There are many other keyword research tools out there that may offer similar results. Some may not have enough information, and some will have too much. Jaaxy is down the middle, giving you only the data you need to make an informed decision when creating your content.
Some other completely free keyword research alternatives are listed below.
Google Trends: This tool is absolutely free. My firsthand experience suggests that, while it seems accurate, not all keyword phrases are covered. This means that you may get zero data on some searches when another tool like Jaaxy would have given you some real metrics to work with.
Google Correlate: This one is in the same boat as the last with me.
If you want a great free way to search keywords and your not worried about the data behind them, you could always just do a Google search and before pressing enter, google will show you common search phrases.
Use the alphabet soup technique. Just start a search and Don’t press enter. Place the letter A behind you search phrase and see what google suggests. Still Don’t press enter. Now remove the A and place a B to see the next suggestions. Rinse and repeat as much as you like, going thru the alphabet.
This is incredibly simple and effective but lack’s the competition data and search volume for those keyword phrases among other things. That means that you will be going in blind with your keywords and you may not have a great list of relevant keyword suggestions.
How Will Keywords Affect Your Content?
Simple, if you rank for keywords that get no traffic, i.e. monthly searches, then you also will get no traffic. Traffic equals commissions and it will be hard to keep your business afloat if you never earn any income from it.
What Are The Important Aspects Of Keyword Research?
Here are some key points to consider when doing the research. These will help you decide what is worth pursuing and what may need further thought before using.
Start by choosing a keyword or phrase and then consider these metrics:
- How many searches does the keyword get each month?
- How many people visit sites for that keyword?
- How many competitors will I be up against?
- How likely am I to rank for this keyword if I write a great quality post?
- What are the odds that I can rank on page one of the SERP (search engine results page)?
- Are there any domain names available that I may consider using for my current or future sites?
If your keyword research tool doesn’t answer all of these questions with accurate and obvious data, then you need a new tool.
Here is an added Bonus: After you have decided on the main keyword for your post, do another google search for that exact word or phrase. After the results show up, scroll down and check all the words that google has put in bold.
Google finds these words relevant to your keyword. This means that you can incorporate these words into your post and show google that your content is relevant.
Step #7: Produce Quality Content
The one thing that everyone needs to run a successful website, is quality content that users are actually looking for and find helpful. Quality content can mean many things depending on your chosen niche and the style of your site.
Are You Running A Review Site?
Your reviews should be based from personal experience or extensive research. Anytime someone searches for a review, they are looking to find out the good and bad of a product or service.
Nobody searches for a review just so we can say, its good, by it now thru my affiliate link.
We all want to know the details.
- Why is it good?
- How is it better than the competition?
- Is there a cheaper alternative with the same quality?
- What are the weak points?
- How will this make my life easier?
- Is there social proof?
- What qualifies you to speak about this product or service?
While you may not need to answer all of these, this is a good starting point.
Put yourself in the shoes of your customer.
- What are they looking for?
- Are there any concerns that you can solve with your product review?
- Why do they need this product or service?
- What problem are they looking to solve?
All of these details can apply to many other website models. Just remember that your audience is the core of your success and you need to cater to them within reason.
Is You Content Engaging?
Does your content flow as if you are speaking directly to your visitor?
This has been proven to be one of the most successful tactics when writing quality content. People want to hear from other people, not robots.
Speak to your audience as if you’re speaking to them face to face. Have a conversation that keeps them engaged.
Seems pretty simple right?
It’s not as easy as it sounds for most people and I’ll be the first to admit, that even I have yet to master this one. That won’t stop me from trying though.
There are many aspects that will go into high quality content creation.
Just remember to focus on helping others and you don’t have to be a writer to learn how to make engaging quality content.
Step #8: Build An Audience.
Now that we have made it this far, its time to build your audience and promote your products.
There are many ways to start building a following and I’ll discuss some of these now.
You should have a Facebook page dedicated to your niche website. Everytime that you post new content to the site, post it to your Facebook page also, then share it with as many people as you can.
Over time, you can grow your following on Facebook and these users will have a direct link back to your site. They will have the option to share your posts with their friends which will increase your reach further.
Facebook also allows you the option for paid advertisements if that is something your willing to invest in.
Why have a Facebook account and not one for Pinterest also?
Pinterest is a great visual/social platform to promote your affiliate products or website. If your content is engaging, people will share your pins, and this will also increase your overall reach.
Much like Facebook, Pinterest also offers a paid traffic solution.
Very similar to Facebook, but for professionals. This is yet another great way to grow your audience and reach.
#How To Start Affiliate Marketing For Beginners
Virtually every social platform that you can think of, including Twitter, is another opportunity to expand your followers.
The more followers you have, the more you can re target past prospects or customers. It’s far easier to get someone to purchase from you if they have already done so in the past.
Step #9: Repeat The Process. Start With Step 3 and then 6-9.
Now that you have made it this far, the only logical thing to do, is do it again and again and again. This is the point where it never really ends.
You choose your product, pick your keywords, produce quality content, keep building your following, and start over.
In order to maintain your website, keeping it active and current, you will need to repeat this step as much as possible. The more content that you produce, the better your odds of success. This is one of many ways that your site will build authority within your niche.
Remember that it will take time:
When starting a new site, Google and other search engines, will obviously not consider you to be an authority. Your site will not have much, if any, content. The search engines consider how long your site has been active, how much content you have, how many people are interacting with your site and if they stay for a while or leave immediately.
There are many things that will affect your overall rankings. It’s best to just keep working and watch it grow over time. This is the only cheap option to start earning organic traffic without investing in paid advertising.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.
Time To Go:
I hope that you have enjoyed this post on How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Beginners and that it has answered any questions or concerns you may have had when considering this business model.
If you feel that I left something out or have any other suggestions, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below.
I look forward to hearing from you.
To Your Success,