I will answer your affiliate marketing questions and guide you with 6 easy steps so that at the end you will have an affiliate marketing website. Therefore, after reading this article you will be ready to start earning passive income.
Start with 6 easy steps.
Step 1. Decide on a niche.
Step 2. Set up your website.
Step 3. Sign up for affiliate sites such as Amazon Associates. Similarly, you can add ShareASale or ClickBank, or others.
Step 4. Write content and publish.
Step 5. Connect to social media. (optional)
Step 6. Keep repeating step 4.
Coming up we delve into each step in more detail, but first, we discuss some of the typical questions about affiliate marketing.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is simply where you get paid a commission from another company for referring someone that then makes a purchase. Someone will click on a link on your website and they are taken to the company's website and you will get paid a commission for the referral. It's very straightforward. The company will know to pay you the commission because they have given you a link to use that identifies you as the referrer.
Does it cost me anything?
The company you choose to be an affiliate for does not charge you anything but they will have to accept you. I have only joined 6 programs. One is Amazon Associates and the other five are through ShareASale. Amazon accepted me immediately and ShareASale I was turned down by a few or I would have 8. I think I was turned down because they didn't realize I have multiple websites therefore they may have only thought it was one in an unrelated industry. I explained to them and one immediately accepted me but the other two have not. So if you get turned down just reach out by email and explain your website and marketing strategy to see if you can change their mind.
It will cost you to create your website. Roughly anywhere from $60 to $120 depending on what hosting service you use. I can only speak to the ones I have used. There are a ton of others too. What I use is Siteground currently and I have used BlueHost in the past. (Siteground and BlueHost use WordPress that is free). Wix is super easy to use but is more expensive. Siteground/WordPress is a little bit of a learning curve but there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube.
How much can I make with affiliate marketing?
The general consensus is it depends. There are a lot of variables that go into this but if a site is aged one year and has 100 posts it can make on average $2800. Watch this video from Income School for a detailed explanation. As you can see in the video it could be a lot more or less.
What tools do I need?
A computer and a comfortable place to work are all that is really is needed for getting started. Once you have done about 30 posts you might want to look at creating a more comfortable and user-friendly workspace.
Steps in Detail
1. Decide on a niche
This is surprisingly one of the most difficult parts. I did a lot of research on how to do this (meaning I watched countless hours of videos) and I still would consider myself a novice at this. What I learned was two different schools of thought. One was creating your niche around a product and the other was creating it around a subject. There are numerous ways to go about making your decision and validating it as a good idea and here I will just refer you to the two Guru's I followed and let you watch their videos on niche selection.
Greg Gottfried has a ton of excellent videos and the good news is he provides the content for free and doesn't try to sell you some course or anything. Income School also has a video with another method of selecting a niche. Check out both of these links as it is important to NOT pick something that is too competitive. If you do you will put in a lot of work for very little results in the way of traffic. By the way, Greg promotes the product idea and Income School says that is a bad idea. I have done both and my sites are less than a year but you can check my website for progress updates in the future.
2. Set up your website
HostGator is a better deal because It is just a little more than half the price of Wix and if you buy the Baby plan you get unlimited websites. That means I could have had all my Wix websites on here for free! The only cost would be for the domain, the SSL, and privacy. I would have saved a bundle. I paid $75 for this site you are on. HostGator uses WordPress which is a little more difficult to learn but doable.
Wix is fantastic and so easy to use and if you go that route you should get the Unlimited plan for Freelancers. They frequently run discounts on Wix and my most recent website cost me $109 and it was 50% off. This was for 12 months so when it renews I will be looking at $218. Ouch! See why HostGator is better. I currently have three websites on Wix.
3. Sign up with the merchants to be an affiliate
To start with most people will become Amazon Associates. Amazon is the quickest and simplest way to get started with affiliate marketing. There are some pros and cons to Amazon but it is still your best way to get started.
- The benefit of a trusted Amazon name.
- Easy to start.
- Amazon great customer service.
- Tons of products.
- Low commissions.
I also use ShareASale which has so far been very easy to understand and utilize. Once you sign up with ShareASale there are a lot of merchants to choose from. All it takes is a click of a button to request to become an affiliate of a particular merchant and you will get access to links that you can use on your website.
4. Write content and publish
Now it is time for the rubber to meet the road. You need content. A good resource to find topics to write about is a website called answerthepublic.com. It is free and you can enter your keyword and it will give you all the searches related to it and you can write articles on them. You can also print them in list form so you should explore this site because want to answer these questions. For instance, if my site was about campers I would enter that and it would tell me all the things about campers being searched.
These posts will be response posts and should be written to help the reader not sell them. I do not put affiliate links on response posts. They are there to generate traffic. Below is an example of a few questions on campers. There are about 100 on the report so this is just a snippet.
|are campers worth it
|are campers safe in thunderstorms
|are campers 110 or 220
|are campers insulated
|are campers a bad investment
Types of content on affiliate marketing websites
If you look at the menu on my website you will see I have education and ideas. Those are the only two types of posts I do on this website. On my other sites, which are product-related, I do reviews, top list, and education. All of your posts need to be 1000 words or more. There is a lot of disagreement on the internet as to how long they should be so you can research that and make your own decision. I am usually around 1500 words or so but on education posts, it is very difficult to go that high so I may be as low as 500.
Quality is better than quantity. Just remember to help the reader and don't be wordy just to hit some arbitrary word target. A lot of experts say you need 30 total posts and 8 months' time before Google will recognize your articles. This is backed up by a lot of data from other bloggers.
5. Social media
I don't do anything on social media but many others do. As a result, that is one of the things that attracted me to affiliate marketing. When I first watched Greg Gottfried on YouTube and in his video he said you don't need it unless you want to I liked the sound of that. Now you can do it if you want to and maybe you will gain some additional traffic but it is your choice. Just don't be spammy if you do. Maybe join groups related to your niche and see if there are questions that your education post would answer. Just paste in there but don't try to sell.
6. Just wait
Because of the 8 month delay before your traffic explodes you can do your 30 posts then go work on another site or keep writing more posts and get your site up to 100. Above all else, Just keep learning and get better at writing. You will improve with practice.
Please send me comments and let me know what you think about this article and check out others I have written. I hope this helps you on your path and yes I realize it is not really passive in the beginning but rather there is work to do up front but you could be earning for years to come if you do things right.