Want to know how to start affiliate marketing today? Then know that by the end of this step-by-step guide you will have already taken the first few steps to making that a reality.
Affiliate Marketing is a fantastic option for making money online, it doesn’t require huge start-up costs and despite what some say, you do not need to be a technical know-it-all who knows computer coding to be able to achieve it.
In fact, you could get started with affiliate marketing today with expert help, support and training without any real technical knowledge and you will not need to spend a penny either. Does that sound like a great deal…? Then read on and we will first talk about what real affiliate marketing is, how it works and then show you a simple step-by-step guide into how you could get started today… Let’s get started…
What is Real Affiliate Marketing?
The reason I always start out with these posts with clarifying what real affiliate marketing is, is because there are plenty of scams or low-quality programs out there that claim to be affiliate marketing but are really not worthwhile, or are MLM schemes or are clearly there to just rob you of your money. Real Affiliate Marketing is by far one of the best ways of making money online, but it is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
That is one of the first signs that it is not real affiliate marketing or is not worth getting involved with.
Affiliate Marketing is not going to make you rich overnight. Even if you get started today, you will not see instant results. Anyone who promises that is not your friend.
There are four key stages of affiliate marketing:
- Choosing a Niche
- Start a Blog Website
- Attract an Audience
- Make Revenue
You will notice that the making money part is the last part and it will require a lot of your time and effort doing what I am doing now which is creating quality content to attract an audience.
Affiliate Marketing is a great passive income as you are not required to hand-hold any transactions, you do not need to keep stock. In a sense, you are the middle person in-between the person who owns the product and the person who wants to buy the product but wants to know a little more about the product before buying.
That is your opportunity to be that person who offers an insightful post to highlight why you think that product is worthwhile buying or not and if your audience has trust in you, they will go and buy that product and you can earn a commission from that sale.
Let’s get into how affiliate marketing really works
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
There are 3 parties involved in affiliate marketing.
- There is the Person looking for help with a particular product to help them make a purchasing decision.
- There is you, the affiliate marketer.
- And there is the owner of the product (for our example, we are going to use Amazon).
You have someone who is looking for the best gaming laptop online (it could be any niche you want; we are going to use gaming laptops for our example.
They want help finding this out and go to a search engine such as Google.
They type in: best gaming laptop
The search results come up with:
They go and visit the option at the top and read about the best gaming laptops on that page, which happens to be a blogger using affiliate marketing.
They read up on the best gaming laptops and decide that one of the options that the blogger has gone through in detail is the best option for them.
So, at this point we have a customer who is deciding on a purchase. The affiliate marketer (you) has helped them come to a decision with that purchase with a helpful guide to what they consider the best gaming laptops for 2019 and our customer is ready to actually make a purchase.
The gaming laptop blog does not have any actual stock, but they are an affiliate with Amazon. So, if the customer chooses to follow the link in the post to buy the Alienware m17 R2 laptop that they highly recommend. They are taken to Amazon’s page for that laptop.
The customer has a lot of trust in Amazon, as I think most of us do and they decide to go through and purchase the laptop.
Your reward for helping that customer to that decision is a percentage of the sale price.
No, this affiliate actually has signed up with the Dell Affiliate scheme, but it works in the same way and you will find there are literally thousands of affiliate programs you could sign up with.
The laptop’s retail price is $1499. If the affiliate program commission is 6%, that equals = $89.94 of passive income.
If you happen to help 10 people to a similar decision, that is $899.94. As you help more people, you will find your income can grow and that is just from one post that this blogger has written.
Not bad, when you do not need to be there for your reader to make the transaction.
Affiliate Programs do all the hard work of tracking this type of stuff, allowing you to crack on with the creation of high-quality content that gets you to page one of the search results.
Here is How to Start Affiliate Marketing Today! Take the First Step…
Affiliate Marketing is a great way of creating passive income, and the added advantage is that you could choose any subject you want. We used Gaming Laptops in our example, but the same premise works for literally any topic you could think of – technology, sports, fitness, health and wellness, losing weight, homeware, coffee, knitting, pets, childcare, new parents, making money online, gadgets, cbd oil, art, etc.
Affiliate Marketing does not have to be just about products, you will find a lot of services also provide an affiliate program. There are thousands of affiliate programs, Amazon is good for new affiliate marketers but as you progress you will soon find that there are programs with better commissions rates elsewhere. But Amazon is a great starting point due to the sheer number of products they offer…
If you are serious about starting affiliate marketing today, then we can definitely help you with the first step. If you follow our advice, you could have your very own blog set up and ready to go within a matter of minutes. But the first step is to actually choose the topic you want to use for your affiliate marketing.
If you want a more comprehensive guide that involves training and support for starting an affiliate marketing business today, then we suggest you check out the free starter membership with Wealthy Affiliate – it is how we got started and is a fantastic platform that provides everything you need to get started with affiliate marketing.
Choose a Niche
This can sometimes be the hardest decision to nail on, as it isn’t just as simple as picking a subject. That is because if you start too broad, you will have a harder time of actually breaking into the market. That is why our advice is to choose a niche – a narrow or small segment of a broader market.
The more niche you go, the better chance of getting your affiliate marketing campaigns a kick-start and appearing higher up the rankings.
So, if you are thinking about a particular subject, try and narrow it down to as a small niche as you can. You need to become an authority on this niche. Once you have achieved this authority, you can then start broadening out into the larger market.
A great way to do this is to go to Amazon. Go through their categories, and you will see they have done the hard work for you. You will see there are sub-categories and then sometimes they have dug down again to another sub-level.
It also gives you an idea of the products that you could review when you are up and running.
If you are not too sure what your niche could be, then you might find this training useful from the guys at Wealthy Affiliate. It has helped a lot of people narrow down their niche…
Spend the next 30 minutes thinking about what your niche is going to be for your affiliate marketing business. It is great brainstorming this and if you need any help, write your ideas in the comments section and we will help you narrow down your niche ideas.
Start a Blog
Once you have your niche nailed down, you can then start the task of starting your very own blog website. Now, this is where most people do not believe they have the technical skills required to build a website and often walk away before they even get started…
But let me take that worry away!!!
You could have your very own website up and running and ready for you to create some content within a matter of minutes.
You do not need any technical knowledge, you do not need to understand html or coding, etc. All you need to worry about is picking a domain name.
WordPress has made building a website really easy with a one-click install. Follow these 4 steps and you will have your own website up and running:
Step 1: Choose a Domain Name
First off you need to pick a name for your affiliate marketing website or a domain name. A domain name is what you will see in the address bar. For example, our domain name is https://bestaffiliatemarketingtools.org
Spend 30 minutes coming up with some good domain names that could match your niche and target audience and then you can use the tool below to see if it is available:
This will give you access to Wealthy Affiliate’s training platform and access to 2 free websites. All of the hosting is included, and you will also gain access to some awesome training on affiliate marketing too.
Step 2: Complete your sign up with Wealthy Affiliate
Create your free account with WA, and you will be one step closer to your own website.
Step 3: Customise Your Website
Once you are signed in with WA, you will be taken to the page where you choose how your website will look. You have already chosen the domain name but give your website a title and choose from the available website themes to choose how your website will look.
Step 4: Click Build This Website
All you need to do know is to click to build your website. Within about a minute you will have access to your very own affiliate marketing website ready for you to create content.
Bonus Step: You Have Gained Access to Wealthy Affiliate’s Training
Not only will you have your own website, you will also benefit from the training available within the free Wealthy Affiliate starter membership. Follow the ten lessons included within the starter membership and you will have all what is necessary to be successful with affiliate marketing.
Now you have access to a website, you can concentrate on the key step that is going to get you an audience to be able to promote your affiliate products to – Creating High Quality Content.
Create High Quality Content
If you have followed the steps above, you will have your own affiliate marketing website within a couple of hours including the research needed for picking the right niche and domain name for your website.
But what now???
Before you can even think about applying for an affiliate program, there is little point until you start creating some content to attract an audience.
No Audience/Traffic, No Sales…
Now I am going to assume you are looking for how to attract an audience for free and the best way to do that is through search engine optimisation or SEO.
SEO is about creating high quality content that targets a specific keyword that hopefully gets onto the first page of Google. The majority of clicks comes from the first 3 results of the search engines, so your primary target is to create content that Google likes and that anyone who clicks it likes to.
Often people make the mistake of creating content that only targets the search engines. It might give you good rankings, but if anyone who clicks on it doesn’t relate to it and doesn’t find it helpful, they will not follow your recommendations leading to no sales.
The first step to creating the quality content is to understand who your target audience is, then you need to employ some keyword research too.
Remember at this point your website is brand new and you need to build trust with the search engines, so they want to put your content at the top of the search results as the best option for their users.
They are desperate to provide the best answer to the question that someone is searching for. If your content does that, then they will gladly rank you higher. But if you were targeting really competitive keywords and were up against authority websites, then you will struggle to break into that crowd.
A keyword research tool allows you target less competitive keywords that get a little bit of traffic. A little bit of traffic is better than no traffic, right?
The best thing to do is to show you what I mean. I am going to go back to the best gaming laptop example we used earlier in the post. Below you will see my Jaaxy dashboard searching the keyword “best gaming laptop”
In the screenshot you will see 10 keywords that have been generated that are relevant to our original keyword.
But if we targeted that original “best gaming laptop”, it is really competitive. Let’s break down the headings, so you know what we mean.
- Avg – The average number of searches for that keyword a month
- Traffic – Visits to your website if you can achieve number 1 position in the search engines
- QSR – The number of competing websites for that same keyword
- KQI – Keyword Quality Indicator
- SEO – A score based on traffic vs. Quality
So, our original keyword that we could target, “best gaming laptop” has got great traffic potential… but we would be up against 160 competing websites for that same keyword and we are only just starting out.
Now, if we looked at the other results and looked at “best gaming laptop computer” – it doesn’t get as many searches a month, but it has an amazing potential for a beginner just starting out as it only has 42 competing websites for that same keyword.
I would much rather get 21 clicks a month from a keyword like this one, then try to compete for the original one and get nothing.
Also, when you have picked up on a keyword to use, check out the other websites competing for that keyword, you might actually find you are more informed and can write a much better option for the search engines can.
If you have taken up our recommendation and joined Wealthy Affiliate, we have found that WA members tend to write the best content because of everything that WA teaches when it comes to writing high-quality content.
That is why you will need to do keyword research before writing any content. Once you have nailed down a keyword to use, you can then start to identify who the target audience is for that keyword.
High Quality Content requires you to provide Help and not Sell.
If someone was to click on your post about the “best gaming laptop computer”, what do you think they want to see?
Option 1: a website that tells them this laptop is the best and that they should buy it. It provides no in-depth information about why you recommend it. You just tell them it is the best.
Option 2: an in-depth post about both the benefits and concerns of a certain laptop, that gives them good options for if they have a high budget or a low budget. Gives them a look at what others are thinking about these types of laptops and a chance to see some good informed information about them?
If people had already decided which laptop they were going to buy, they would not need to search the internet to check out what other people’s opinions were.
People who are undecided need help, and that is what you need to provide.
I think at this point; it would be good for you to understand the customer purchase lifecycle. As when you are writing content, you need to consider where people might be. If someone is not ready to purchase, you cannot sell to them. You might just help them get an understanding on a subject and not even recommend any products at that point.
If you would like to learn more about the customer purchase lifecycle, I recommend you check out this training. If really helps you when deciding where you audience might when writing your content.
Target the right keyword, understand where your reader might be in the customer purchase lifecycle and write a really in-depth guide that helps, and you will soon see your search engine rankings soar to the top…
Gain an Audience
Getting to the top of the search engines is your goal with your content, because then you will start to see an influx of people starting to visit your website.
Once you start to see people coming to your website, it is now time to start applying for some affiliate programs.
You might be asking yourself, why have I waited so long to apply for an affiliate program, when I want to start affiliate marketing today.
That is because this is not a quick route to making money, it takes time to build up the trust with the search engines to put your website at the top.
This could take a month, or two or even 6 months depending on your niche.
But affiliate programs are in the business to make money and you will need to register some qualifying sales. Without any traffic, how are you going to register any sales?
That is why we wait until we are starting to get some traffic. Then as you begin your quest, you can apply to join Amazon Associates. There are plenty of affiliate programs out there, but we feel amazon is a great starting point for when you are starting out and this purely down to the number of products you gain access to and your readers will trust the association between your blog and amazon.
Apply for an Affiliate Program – Amazon is Best for Beginners
The affiliate program at Amazon is called Amazon Associates. It allows you to promote any product that is available on Amazon on your website. You get an affiliate link that you can add to your website that tells Amazon that you were the one who referred this customer to their marketplace and if they make a purchase, they will pay you a commission.
Applying for Amazon is not difficult, but you need to have 3 qualifying sales within 6 months to stay in the program. That is why we suggest you wait until you are starting to get traffic before applying. 6 months sounds like a long time, but it goes quicker than you think and if you do not get your qualifying sales you will be booted out and need to reapply again.
If you are ready to apply for the Amazon associates program as you are getting traffic, then you can follow the steps below:
If you already have an amazon account, then the first step is to login to that account.
Then you can scroll down to the bottom of the screen and you will see a link for the amazon associates program.
You can then apply for the Amazon Associates program; they will ask you for the following information:
- Account Info – Personal Details
- Website Information – your website and provide some details about it
- Profile – complete your profile
- Identity Verification – Depending on your country, they may ring you.
You will also need to consider where you are in the world. We live in the UK, so signed up with the UK Amazon Associates program. But if we noticed that most of our traffic is coming from the US, then we would need to create an Amazon.com account for the US and apply for that associate account, so we could benefit from earning commissions.
Write Product Reviews with Affiliate Links
Our advice is to not flood your website with affiliate links!! The search engines do not like to see affiliate links everywhere, so our advice is to centralise your affiliate links into review pages. It is a sound strategy as most people searching for product reviews are in the buying stage of the customer purchase lifecycle.
Create high quality content about your niche that flows into product reviews and then they are more accepting of a promotion for a specific product and will follow your suggestions into making purchases.
This is the part you want to hear about. But it will not happen overnight. We have showed you up to this point how you can get started with affiliate marketing today, but the point at which you are earning money does depend entirely on how much time and effort you are willing to put in.
I will not sugar-coat it for you, this is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme but done correctly can easily become your full-time income if you put your mind to it and work hard.
But as you create more high-quality content, and as your traffic grows and as you build up your product reviews you are going to see this becomes an awesome passive income stream.
One post you write could become an income stream on its own. I know of many affiliate marketers that are seeing consistent sales from a post they wrote years ago. You only need that trickle of traffic to become a flow and as long as you follow the right strategy you can see this become your perfect work from home job.
Never let anyone tell you that it is not possible, every affiliate marketer started out from scratch and by employing the right strategy you can too.
Want Expert Help & Support Through Your First Steps?
You can get started with affiliate marketing today following the steps we have laid out today. The hard part, we found was going through it without any support. That is why we want to offer our help and support and the help and support of experts available to you from Wealthy Affiliate.
Most people are put off by building a website, but these days it is one of the easiest tasks to complete. WordPress is just a one-click install.
You also require support to get you through those early stages where you are not getting any traffic.
But know, that most affiliate marketers fail, not because of their content or lack of hard work. They typically fail, because they gave up too soon.
The only reason you will fail at affiliate marketing is if you give up before you were going to make it. The image below sums up why most fail. They give up too soon and end up walking away and yet they might have only been days from it making them money…
What we can offer on behalf of Wealthy Affiliate, is there will always be support and expert training to help you achieve your goals. They will not do the work for you, but they can help you work smarter.
If you accept our invitation to try out Wealthy Affiliate, you will always gain personal access to us via the platform where we can help you with every step.
How to Start Affiliate Marketing Today – Conclusion
We love affiliate marketing; it is a fantastic business opportunity that allows you to literally pick any interest and hobby and earn money from it online. But we have found the biggest factor to whether you will succeed or not is whether you receive the best help and support along the way.
WE FOUND THAT when we first got started through Wealthy Affiliate’s training.
You will find plenty of gurus claiming that you can earn thousands if you start affiliate marketing today with their program, but guess what… You will not!! IN fact, you will have just wasted your money!!
Wealthy Affiliate is totally honest with you about the time and effort required, that it is not a get-rich-quick scheme and you will have to work hard to achieve success!
But then, they have helped thousands of affiliate marketers achieve all that. They have proven success stories within their ranks, and we are so glad we found their training platform.
If you truly want to start affiliate marketing today, then you will find no better partner to achieve your goals. Know that whether you start today or leave your decision a little while that the sooner you start and persevere, the sooner you will have those sales you are looking for.
If you think you cannot do it, then I suggest you think again. Many members of WA will tell you they had no clue how to do affiliate marketing before they signed up. Many didn’t know a lot about their computer and whether they could do this, and they are achieving great things.
Trust in yourself and put the work in and together we will can achieve your goals. Trust in the training at Wealthy Affiliate and follow it to the letter, and you can be earning money from your own affiliate marketing website.
If you want to really start affiliate marketing today, the real first step is to click on the button below and join Wealthy Affiliate with a free starter membership and then crack on with the training.
Have you found our post useful? Have you any experience with Wealthy Affiliate that you could share with anyone who is still considering whether it is a good move or a great move? We would love to hear your experiences, stories or any questions you may have. Just write them in the comments below and we will g