Welcome to the what is affiliate marketing beginners guide.
In this guide you will find answers to most of the common questions such as how to start affiliate marketing and also descriptions of terms such as SEO.
It will show you how to find affiliate programs and how to promote products online to earn you referral fees.
The guide is a step by step format and also contains links to further articles that give in depth information on each topic.
You will also find links to various affiliate networks you can join to get you started and how to get traffic to your offers.
So, grab a drink, sit back, and enjoy.
What Is Affiliate Marketing And How Does It Work? – Definition
Sometimes called referral marketing, affiliate marketing is the practice of referring customers to a third party website that sells products or services via links.
If the customer makes a purchase, the affiliate that posted the link earns a commission.
Chris has a blog based around laptops and has also built up a small following on social media.
He joins an affiliate network and finds a program for a company that sells electronic goods.
The affiliate program pays 10% commission on any referred sales.
Chris writes some articles and reviews for his blog.
He also posts some affiliate links to the electronic companies website within the articles and reviews.
He then posts links to those pieces of content on his social media so that his followers can read them and also share with their followers.
After a week or so, Chris’s content has been read and shared on social media quite a few times.
Some of the readers have clicked on the links to the electronic companies website and made purchases of the laptops that Chris linked to.
In total, the sales Chris referred, amount to $15000.
The affiliate program pays 10% of the total, which equals $1500, to Chris in commission.
That is a basic overview of how affiliate marketing works and how it is usually done.
Affiliate Marketing Terms Glossary
In the above example you probably saw some terms you were not familiar with.
In this section we will look at some of the most commonly used terms and ones I will be using as we go through this guide.
The Advertiser, also known as a “Merchant” is the person or company who is offering products for affiliates to promote in exchange for financial compensation, (Commission or Bounty).
This is the company that actually sells the products that the affiliate is promoting.
A person who use online platforms and techniques to promote third party products or services in exchange for commissions or bounties.
also known as an “affiliate marketer”
A unique I.D that is embedded into an affiliate link. The I.D. indicates which Affiliate is responsible for referring a sale.
For example, a website link may be thissite.com but with an affiliate i.d. embedded it may appear as thisiste.com/ab14
ab14 would be the unique code that tells the merchant that a certain affiliate referred the sale to them and they would then know who to pay commission to.
A tracking link (Sometimes called a referral link) URL that contains an Affiliates unique I.D. code that indicates the individual that referred a sale to a merchant.
*See above example.
A network that recruits affiliates and merchants and acts as an intermediary. The network will act as a hub for affiliates to browse a directory of merchant affiliate programs. The network also handles collection of payments from merchants and payment of commissions to affiliates that refer sales.
*There will be examples of affiliate networks further on in this guide.
This is a program offered by merchants who will provide affiliates with tools such as banners and other promotional materials in order for them to promote the merchants products. The merchant will offer affiliates a commission or bounty in exchange for qualified sales or referrals.
*There will be examples of affiliate programs further on in this guide.
A website that uses a series of posts to provide informational content for visitors to the site. Often considered as a diary format due to the posts being displayed in order of date created.
This guide you are reading is an article from what is affiliate marketing blog
A percentage amount paid to affiliates by a merchant on any qualified referred sales. For example, if an affiliate is in an affiliate program that pays 10% and refers $1000 in sales. The affiliate commission is $100.
A word used to identify the topic of a piece of content on a web page or to retrieve a piece of content via a search engine request.
For example, a users search request in Google may be “Shoe Stores”. The words entered are keywords and will inform Google what the user is searching for. A website content creator would add “Shoe Stores” to their keywords in order to identify related content on their site. Google would then present the search results composed of the most relevant content that has been marked with the keywords.
Usually a static web page designed to convert a page visitor into a customer or to perform a specific action such as to click on a link to a product or service.
Long Tail Keyword
A search phrase as opposed to a single word. So a keyword may be “Shoes”, but a long tail keyword may be “Where can I buy cheap leather shoes”
A topic that the affiliate is promoting within.
For example, “Weight Loss” would be an affiliate niche.
A name given to a site visitor sent to a website via an affiliate link with the aim of them purchasing a product or service.
For example, Jim posts an affiliate link to a health supplement website on his blog. Chris clicks on it and is taken to the product page of the supplement company. Chris is a “referral” of Jim’s.
An abbreviation of the term Search Engine Optimization. The practice of optimizing web content in order to appear high in search results and therefore achieve a high PR (Page Rank).
*We will look at SEO more closely further on in this guide.
Web traffic is another term for site visitors.
To learn more terms, you can access the affiliate marketing glossary on this site
Affiliate Marketing Networks
An affiliate network is a company that houses a number of affiliate programs and acts as a bridge between the seller of the products (Advertiser/Merchant) and the Affiliate.
For example, A clothes shopping website (Advertiser/Merchant) joins an affiliate network and sets up an affiliate program.
John, an affiliate marketer, joins the affiliate network, browses their programs, and decides to join the clothes shopping websites affiliate program.
John will find various tools, such as links and banners, with which to promote and drive traffic to the clothes shopping website.
Each link and banner will have Johns affiliate I.D. embedded into the referral links.
Every time someone clicks a link they are sent to the clothes shopping website.
If they purchase something, the clothes shopping website will handle all of the payment and shipping of products etc.
The referral link will also let the affiliate network know that it was John who referred the person who made the purchase.
The shopping website will then pay the network the commission and they will forward it to John.
Some affiliate programs are “in – house” and are maintained by the sites/companies who handle the paying of the affiliate commissions directly.
A lot of companies tend to use affiliate networks because it enables them to get their programs in front of far more affiliates than if they were to promote their program on their own.
*We will look at programs in the next section.
Here is a video from the Rakuten Advertising YouTube Channel that describes the process of affiliate marketing and networks.
Examples Of Affiliate Networks
An affiliate program is set up by a company that wishes to drive traffic to their website with the aim of selling products or services.
For example, a home furniture company may have a website where customers are able to purchase products from the company.
The home furniture company realizes that the more people they can get on their website, the greater chance they have of increasing revenue.
The company decides to join an affiliate network (See Above) and sets up a program that includes links to their site and various banners for affiliates to use for promotion.
The company also decides to offer a 5% commission on any referred sales.
Any affiliates who are part of the network can then join the program and promote the companies site and products in return for a 5% commission on any sales they refer.
Some companies decide to manage their affiliate programs themselves rather than join a network.
Such a program will be handled by staff at the company and they would process all the commission directly to the affiliates rather than have a network take care of it.
An example of an in-house affiliate program is Amazon Associates
If an affiliate joins their program, they would get all the tools such as links and banners directly from Amazon, and any payments would be paid directly from them.
*It’s actually a great program and probably the largest one in the world. Affiliates can link to products on Amazon and if the customer buys anything, it doesn’t even have to be the original product linked to, within 24 hours, they earn a commission.
Here is a video from the Amazon Associates YouTube Channel
How To Do Affiliate Marketing
Although affiliate marketing may seem a simple concept, it is actually a detailed skill set that needs to be developed if success is to be attained.
There is, however, an overall process that is reasonably straight forward.
Below we are going to lay this out step by step.
Step 1- Choose A Niche
An affiliate niche is a topic that you are going to be promoting products from.
For example, if you are promoting protein supplements and vitamins, then you are involved in the health and fitness niche.
If you are promoting golf clubs, then you are involved in the golf niche, or perhaps the sports niche if you also promote products from other types of sports.
Niches are usually considered to be in two different forms.
“Broad niche” and “Deep niche”
An example of broad niche topics would be “Health and Fitness” or “Sporting Goods”
Deep niches would be “Vitamins for men over fifty” or “Best Golf club sets for under $500”
A deep niche is simply a more focused aspect within the broader topic/niche
When choosing a niche, it can be very tempting for beginner affiliates to chase money rather than look at this step strategically.
This is not a good idea and will be an obstacle to success.
It is far better to choose something that is not only profitable, but also something you are passionate about.
If you are passionate about something, the chances are you have knowledge of the topic and also are enthusiastic about it.
This will show in your content quality and also your work rate.
If you choose a topic purely because you see dollar signs, then you may not know much about it and will get bored when it comes to creating content related to your niche.
This will show in your content quality and also your work rate.
No one likes working on things that bore them to tears.
Choose something you are passionate about and you will not only be willing to stay up to date on information, but also create a steady flow of content.
How to find out if a niche is profitable.
Simply go online and Google your favorite online retailer of products within your niche.
When you go to the site, take a look around in the menus, and often at the bottom of the page, for a link that is usually labeled “Affiliate program” or Partner program”
You will then find information and often commission rates.
People join the Amazon Associates program because the site carries such a huge range of products and people tend to prefer shopping there.
But, this is not to say that other sites do not make online sales.
They would not be able to stay in business if people didn’t shop with them.
People trust online shopping more than ever, so do not think that just because a site is not a household name that people will not buy from them.
You will often find that such sites offer higher commission rates in order to attract affiliates, so be sure to take advantage of this!
Also, not everything is for sale on Amazon.
Some companies prefer to keep their products solely on their own websites, so customers may not have a choice if they wish to purchase.
For example, credit card affiliate programs often offer very high referral fees, but can only be applied for on the cards website and nowhere else.
I have seen credit card companies offer $150+ for each referral that successfully applies for a card.
An affiliate would only have to refer 100 people a month who successfully apply for a card to be earning $15000 a month or $180k a year.
So be sure to look around at what products are profitable in your niche, but again, do not just chase money without checking your knowledge base and enthusiasm for the topic.
After all, you do not, and should not, want to be giving out financial advice on debt if you are not knowledgeable in that field for example.
But, each niche is different and you know your own knowledge base.
You can also take a look around and read reviews on products.
Are people singing their praises and buying products from that niche like hot cakes, or are the reviews flat, negative, or few in number?
Such things will give you a feel of how popular products are and also how likely you are to make decent sales volume.
If You Wish To Look At Choosing A Niche In More Detail
Step 2 – Research Keywords And Competition
A keyword is a factor that helps search engines decide what information and topic a piece of content is about.
For example, if an article has a keyword such as “dogs” in it’s title and main content of the article, then it will deduce that the content is related to dogs and list it as such in search results.
Now, another type of keyword is known as “long tail”
A long tail keyword is a string of words rather than just one or two.
For example, a long tail would be “Where can I get free affiliate marketing training online” rather than just “Affiliate marketing”
As you can imagine, long tail keywords can consist of several, or even many, words.
Normal keywords tend to consist of one or two words.
Search engines such as Google use these words to find the most relevant and useful content to display in their search results.
An article that is full of detailed information, videos, infographics, and links to further relevant information, will rank higher in search results than content that just skims over the information.
A lot of factors go into SEO, but keywords are still a fundamental base factor.
Because keywords are so important to SEO, (search engine optimization), then the competition to rank highly in results is fierce on some keywords.
The reason is that, one keyword for a topic may get tens of thousands of searches per month, while another keyword for the exact same topic may only get a dozen.
So it stands to reason, the leaders in any topic are going to go all out to rank top for the most searched terms.
Drawing people to your content is the key to success online.
You can have the greatest content and website on a topic, it will make no difference if no one sees it.
Think of online success like this.
Monetized content + Attention = Revenue.
If you create great content, find a way to monetize it with affiliate marketing, ads, or whatever makes you money, and get it in front of people, then you make money.
Think in terms of YouTube videos.
Have you ever seen a video that is amazing, but only has a few thousand views, but then saw other videos that are basically trash nonsense that have millions of views?
Who is making the ad revenue?
The trash video with all the views (attention)
The simple reason is keywords, trending searches, and social interaction.
If the video has the correct keywords for a term that is trending (People are searching for) and people encounter the video and share it, then it trends as the most relevant for the search that is trending.
That is often how such videos get so many views.
Yes, there are other factors such as subscriber numbers, likes, and shares, but the core factor is the keywords.
If it does not have the correct keywords, it will not appear in the results for the search term that is tending.
You will find that a lot of top YouTuber’s will deliberately use words that are trending in their video titles.
As a beginner in affiliate marketing, you should research relevant keywords to your niche to see what kind of traffic they are usually getting and also who you are going to be competing against for those terms.
To research keywords you should use a keyword research tool.
There are multiple free ones online and they are of varied quality to be honest.
Almost all have a premium paid option where you get the best data.
The free versions are usually very basic, but they can be a decent starting off point.
The way they work is very simple.
You type in the keywords that you think are relevant for your niche and the tool will then display results.
Typically, it will be how many searches per month and also how many people usually click on the top result.
For example, you may type in “make money online” and your results might be 136584 searches per month and 23220 traffic.
This means that the term is typically typed into search engines 136584 times per month and the top ranking site in the results will typically get 23220 site visits per month from that term.
I personally use Jaaxy and find it be extremely useful and informative.
As a beginner you should also look at the competition for your keywords.
To do this write up a list of 10 keywords and phrases you think would be relevant to the niche you are thinking about marketing in.
Simply think about what your potential customers would search for.
If you are going to be affiliate marketing in laptop related products, then you may write down term such as “Best laptops” and “Gaming laptops under $1000” for example.
Once you have your list, then you should type them into Google one by one and see what results come up.
When you do a search, click on the first three results and take a look at each page, and also the site in general.
Is the information detailed or thin and is the site full of content with recent posts or is it thin on content and rarely updated?
If you are up against a detailed page on a robust site full of fresh content and a large archive of back content, then you are going to be in for a challenge to out rank them for that keyword.
If the site is not so great, then if you create better content and optimize it correctly, you will outrank them and take the top spot in results
Top spot = most traffic.
Traffic = attention.
Monetized content + Attention = Revenue.
Step 3 – Choosing A Domain
A domain is the web address of a site.
Usually ending in .com, but can also have other variations such as .info or a regional such as .co.uk
When choosing a domain, there are two main things to take into consideration.
Does it contain keywords and/or is it a brand.
A keyword rich domain would be “realestate.com”
A brand/keyword domain would be “jimsrealestate.com”
A brand domain example would be “zillow.com”
The difference is this.
The first one would be an ultra targeted keyword domain and the name clearly tells your user what content to expect.
This kind of domain is likely to be taken, or if not, it will usually be far more expensive to purchase than other domains.
The second one contains targeted keywords but also has the “Jim” brand attached to it to distinguish it from other sites.
The third is a word not connected to the targeted keywords the site contains content about.
You may be thinking, “Why is the third a good idea?”
Because you can dominate search results for that name and if you can build the brand to where people associate that name with the topic, then you dominate the search results without competing for the keywords.
I have used Zillow as an example because the name has nothing to do with real estate, but it is one of the biggest names in real estate.
It dominates its own search term for the name and people actively search for Zillow instead of typing in “real estate”
This is a great example of branding.
When choosing your domain you should put consideration into which avenue you are going to take.
I have written an article choosing a domain name that goes further into detail on this step.
One of the most popular places to search for and purchase domains is Godaddy
Step 4 – Social Media
The next step you have to consider is your social media presence.
Social media will be a great compliment to your search engine traffic.
As you probably know, if a post goes viral it can draw the attention of a lot of people in a very short period of time.
Monetized content + Attention = Revenue.
As an affiliate marketer you are going to want to have as much social media presence as is feasible.
Notice I said feasible and not possible.
I say this because social media can take up a lot of time and not all platforms are effective for every niche.
On those platforms you have to capture peoples attention and entice them to click links to your content with imagery.
Twitter is sort of the middle ground.
An image will draw people to your tweet, but its the short 280 character limit text you write that will usually draw actual clicks.
There are plenty of other platforms and quite a few that have a growing user base that may surprise you.
The main reason I used the term feasible is that you do not want to spread yourself too thin by having too many platforms.
To be successful on social media you need to be posting consistently and also interacting with your followers via comments etc.
If you are running multiple platforms, then you will end up spending a lot of time bouncing from platform to platform.
Time that could be spent creating content that can be monetized and posted to social media.
The same content that could rank in search engines and bring in traffic day in and day out rather than in short bursts every time you post a link on social media.
Social media is a huge topic and each platform has its own nuances and techniques for success, and is too much to cover in detail in this article.
When beginning, you should decide on 2 to 3 platforms and focus on those rather than try to be present everywhere.
You should also not grab up social media accounts until you have settled and purchased a domain name.
But, if you have settled on a domain, then you should check to see if you can get the social media accounts of the same name before you commit to the domain.
After all, the last thing you want to do is buy a domain and then find out that all the related social media accounts are already taken.
If people learn about your site, they may look for you on social media and find accounts of the same name that are ran by someone else.
Not only is this not good for your earnings, it can also be bad for your brand if someone is posting undesirable content under that name.
You also need to consider how you will be utilizing the social media platform.
Some platforms will not allow you to post affiliate links but will allow you to post a website link in your bio.
In this case it can be good to create posts that encourage people to click on your website link in your bio and have them land on a page that is monetized and leads to more of your content.
Other platforms do not mind you posting affiliate links, but you should also consider the fact that people usually do not follow you purely to get shopping links blasted at them all day.
People follow for interesting content and posts and this is what you should aim to provide.
However, there are some affiliate marketers that base their business model around shopping deals and do nothing except post affiliate links all day.
They can do this because their followers are fully aware that they are following a deal finding account, so they expect to see that all day.
On the other hand, if you started a social media account base around dog training and started with posting lots of cool articles, then that is what they expect to see.
If you end up just posting affiliate link after link to products such as dog baskets and cool collars, then you may lose followers.
They didn’t follow you for that, so will either unfollow you or simply scroll past your posts in their feed.
Even if the platform does allow affiliate links, be sure to post more content posts than you do affiliate link posts.
This way you will attract and retain more followers with your content and still be able to post occasional affiliate links to them.
Another platform to be present on if you have the ability or are willing to learn is YouTube
Primarily known as a video platform, do not disregard the fact that they allow you to post affiliate likes in the video description.
You will see review videos that will mention that there are links to the product in the description.
These are often affiliate links, and considering the amount of views that some channels get, they are most likely earning quite a bit from viewers clicking on their links and making purchases.
YouTube also has a social aspect via the comments section and the ability to build a subscriber list following.
YouTube is one of the best ways to market, but not everyone is comfortable with being on camera and putting themselves out there.
If you are willing to put in the work needed, YouTube is easily one of the best marketing platforms for almost any niche.
Step 5 – Choose A Web Platform
Once you have settled on your domain name and researched your niche, keywords, and social media, then you need to research what platform you are going to use to host your blog,
As I said earlier, you can do affiliate marketing with just a social media presence, but just posting links usually will not get you very far in terms of significant results.
People want content and will convert into sales at a far better rate if you have quality content to offer them.
Creating and promoting a blog is the best way to do this.
A blog is simply a website that has dated posts that are displayed in a chronological order.
What you are reading now is a blog post.
Granted it is far longer than most blog posts, but a post it is nonetheless.
Some sites will use static pages instead of blog posts.
A static page is not dated and has slightly different aspects to a blog post.
Blog posts often allow readers to post comments and also use categories as well as dates to be archived on the blog.
Some people prefer blogs and others prefer static pages.
I personally use both on this site and find that it works fine for my style of doing things.
Regardless of what kind of format you settle on, blog, static, or mix, you are going to need a platform.
There are many platforms online and most are either free or at least allow you a free trial.
I use WordPress and I’m happy with that.
I have tried many platforms over the years and I find WordPress to be suitable for what I need.
It offers far more flexibility than most platforms, but it does come with a learning curve.
Some of the other platforms are a lot easier to use when creating a site as a beginner, but as the person advances in their skills and aims, they often find the free platforms limiting.
Such platforms are usually known as WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)
They are drag and drop interfaces that allow the user to literally drag and drop different features they want on a page.
The user will select a feature, let’s say a picture gallery feature, and they can then drag it with the mouse to where they want it on the page, then let it drop and it is set in place.
The user can then use the mouse to resize and position the element as they see fit.
I’m not going to review each platform here but I will show you some of the most popular and well known platforms.
Here is a video from the Wix.com YouTube channel
Here is a video from the Weebly YouTube channel
Step 6 – Create Content
Online content can take many forms, articles, pictures, videos, but here we will focus on articles.
Once you have completed the above steps, you should work out what kind of content you are going to create and note down as many ideas as you can.
I will use the laptop niche for our example.
You should aim to create content based around reviews, and also niche information, primarily.
These would take the form of blog posts and would be as detailed and informative as you can possibly make them.
If you write a review, then be sure to include things such as pictures, videos, and anything else you deem relevant to your readers.
Once you have written the review, you would then add your affiliate links to the product you have reviewed and perhaps a couple of similar models.
There is no need to plaster your content with links and banners.
This may actually aggravate your readers believe it or not.
They are reading a review to see information on that product, not to see a sales brochure for 35 other laptops.
Keep it relevant!
If your review is for a gaming laptop under $1000, then suggesting a couple of comparative models and affiliate linking to them is a good idea.
If you instead cover the article with links to $5000 models just because you are commission hungry, then do not expect as many conversions than if you only link to comparative models.
Make sure your information is accurate as well as relevant.
Do not make things up or, even worse, just cut and paste someone else’s review and rewrite it a little.
In affiliate marketing, it is always best to only review products you have actually tried and experienced.
Obviously if you are posting content on various models of laptops, then it may not be possible to actually handle each one personally.
In that case, then instead of writing a review, write an informational article.
Research on the manufacturers page and find out the specs for the model and any other relevant information that you can use to write an article.
Do not write a review on something you have never used.
Firstly it’s unethical to claim you have experience with something when you do not just to earn money.
Secondly, if you just read the specs etc and then make up a review, you may just end up looking like a fool if the product gets bad reviews from actual users after you wrote a review singing it’s praises just to get link clicks.
Reading the manufacturers website is always going to give a great impression.
No company is going to write, “Here’s our latest model. It’s not too bad compared to our competitors with the same specs, runs a little slower, but it’s 20% higher in price!”
Obviously they are going to sing its praises in order to sell units, so you are not going to find any downsides in their information pages.
As a side note, a way you can get hold of lots of products to review is to create a trustworthy brand name via your blog etc and build a following.
You can then contact companies and offer to do reviews or even sponsored posts if they are willing to send you products to experience.
If you do a sponsored post, be sure to announce from the start that it is a sponsored post.
A review is simply your own opinion, good or bad.
A sponsored post is a promotional piece in which the company will pay you expecting a positive showcase of their product.
A sponsored post can never be an unbiased review because there is always a financial incentive for the blog poster to give a good impression so that the company will pay for more sponsored posts.
Always be honest and transparent with your readers.
Besides affiliate links, do not forget there are other ways to monetize your content.
Ads are a common way to draw extra money from your content.
One that is regarded as the most effective is Google Adsense
Here is a video from the Google AdSense YouTube Channel that explains how this works.
Before committing to a content niche, another thing you must do is write down as many ideas for content as you possibly can.
Let’s say you are planning to do articles primarily.
You should be able to write down at least 50 article ideas before committing to purchasing a domain and setting up social media etc.
If you are going to be creating a site, video channel, or any other kind of content within a niche, you must have a solid list of content ideas to work with.
If you can only come up with 12 article ideas, then you are going to run out of steam pretty quickly and also struggle for new content ideas.
If you can get perhaps 30 ideas, that is still sufficient, but the more the better.
Let’s say that you are planning to do a blog post article every day.
If you have 30 ideas, then you have a months worth of content and can have 30 articles for your readers and search engines.
Your site has content.
If you only have 12 then you are out of content within two weeks.
Sure you can always think of more in the meantime, but only being able to come up with a low number to begin with is not a good sign for the long term.
If you can come up with a good block of content ideas, then you have plenty of time work on more ideas, and enough content to keep your site going in the meantime.
Again, do not panic if you have a low number, do some research online for inspiration and see if you can boost the lists numbers.
Also, do not get hung up on posting every day.
Some blogs do, but also, some blogs have teams of writers and often outsource for free lance writers.
If you are a one person operation, then obviously posting every day can be a challenge.
It is possible, and many people post every day, but do not feel that posting several times a week is not enough.
Post as you see best for your personal circumstances.
The key is to keep posting fresh quality content whenever you can.
With this blog, I post as often as I can and on my other projects I post on a schedule.
Most of my content I have put as static pages and have only recently added the blog as a compliment to those pages.
It will build up over time, but I’m also not going to stress about not posting every day.
Several times a week is sufficient for my aims.
You should view your project the same way.
If you can post every day long term, then fantastic, that’s better for you, but do not blow through all your ideas in two weeks and end up not posting for several weeks because you have no new ideas.
Step 7 – Traffic
Attracting traffic to your content is the key to the kingdom when it comes to affiliate marketing.
Monetized content + Attention = Revenue.
You can have amazing content but its success is dependent on people seeing it.
The more the better.
Above I mentioned SEO (search engine optimization), this is a staple of affiliate marketing.
Getting ranked in search engine results can provide consistent quality traffic that can convert into sales via clicking on your links.
Search engine traffic is different to social media traffic based on the fact that people have searched out a topic rather than stumbled across it in their social feed.
Create content that answers questions and get that content to rank in search engines.
People looking for answers will then find your content.
Someone actively searching for laptop reviews is far more likely to click your link and make a purchase than someone who stumbled across your link in a social feed.
SEO is a detailed topic that requires the development of a skill set in order to produce success.
It is far too large of a topic to cover in detail here, but below I will tell you how you can learn this skill set for free.
Obviously social media posts are an effective way to draw traffic to your content, and a viral post can produce staggering results.
However, people usually do not trawl social media to search for product information.
Sure, they may click on a link that attracts their attention, but they are far less likely to purchase something when compared to someone who is actively seeking information on products.
To highlight this, who is more likely to buy?
Someone who us searching for product reviews on Google?
Or someone who stumbles across a link who was scrolling through social media awhile on their lunch at work?
Social media is an awesome way to draw traffic, but, its results as a conversion to sale rate are usually far lower when put in percentage terms.
A blog post may get 100 views from search engine results but get 15 sales (15%) conversion
A social media post may get 1000 views but only get 2 sales (0.2%) conversion.
Sure you can have the mentality of getting as many social views as possible in order to get the actually sales numbers up, but that effort could be put into creating content for search engines and having a far better conversion rate.
Also, search engine results can keep producing sales for quite a while in the future.
If something is ranking in search engines and no other content comes along that pushes it down the rankings , then it is possible that the post will be producing high converting traffic for years to come.
Social media posts are often ineffective within a short time frame of maybe a week at best as the constant flow of new posts pushed it so far down the feed that viewers simply do not scroll that far.
Social media is a fantastic traffic source, but SEO provides better conversions and over a longer time frame.
Pay per click (PPC) advertising can be a very effective, but also very expensive, way to attract traffic to your content.
This form of advertising is base around bidding on keywords in order to have your ad displayed on websites and in search results.
For example, a person with a laptop blog may set up a PPC campaign and decide to bid on keywords such as “laptop reviews”
The keyword may be very competitive and have an average bid of $4.
This means that in order to have the ad with the link to the site displayed it will cost $4 every time someone clicks on it.
The ad may be shown 1000’s of times, but only get 40 clicks.
However, these 40 clicks will cost the blogger $160 (40 clicks x $4)
There is of course no guarantee that any of the 40 site visitors will buy anything when they read the content.
Some keywords can be bid on for a few pennies, but others can cost upwards of $20 a click.
So as you can see, it can get very expensive very quickly.
How affiliate marketers tend to use these ads is by creating a page that converts into sales really well and produces commissions far higher than the cost per click.
If an affiliate is making $100 commission for each referral sale, is paying $2 per click, and the content is converting at 15%, then it is worth it.
In that scenario, 100 clicks will cost the affiliate $200, but 15 people will convert into $100 commission for a total of $1500 in commission.
So PPC has it’s benefits, but again, there are skill sets to be learned before even considering attempting to be successful at PPC marketing
Below I will show you where you can learn these skill sets for free.
Here is a video from the Google Ads YouTube channel.
Who Does Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing can be done from anywhere that has an internet connection.
There are people all over the world right now who are sitting in home offices, at the table after dinner, in coffee shops, and on the couch at home, busily running their affiliate marketing business.
There are people who do it full time and some who do it part time.
Some people are simply doing it to earn a little bit of extra money each month, some do it as a full time work from home job, and of course, some do it to make their fortune.
Earnings from affiliate marketing can range from a few hundred dollars per month, to a job income, right up to thousands of dollars per day.
It really depends on the affiliate, their dedication to putting in the work, their chosen niche, and most importantly of all, their skill set.
As I have said multiple times through this article, you can have the greatest content and products possible, it makes no difference if no one sees them.
It is essential to learn the correct skill set and stay up to date with developments.
The internet change constantly, and what works today may not work in a few months time.
If a person is dedicated to becoming a successful affiliate marketer they must commit to learning the skill set and putting in the effort to work consistently, effectively, and to stay up to date.
Many people across the world do just that and enjoy success in affiliate marketing.
Retirees, stay at home moms, students looking for extra income while in college, full time affiliate marketers, and online entrepreneurs.
Affiliates come from all walks of life and success can be found through dedicated effort and the correct skill set.
I have written an article that goes into further detail on can anyone do affiliate marketing
Where To Learn Affiliate Marketing
There are basically 3 methods to learn affiliate marketing.
1 Teach yourself
It is possible to go online and research the basics for yourself.
You can pick up tips from this very site.
But, teaching yourself affiliate marketing is like teaching yourself any technical skill set.
You may not know that you are picking up bad information or habits.
SEO is constantly evolving and you may find information on a technique that was once very effective, but is now actually frowned up on by search engines and can get your content slammed down in results.
Would you, as a beginner, know the difference between good information and bad information?
2 Buy a pre-packaged course
There are plenty of courses for sale online.
Too many if anything.
They are of varying effectiveness and are often obsolete in short order.
The reason is that most use some “special technique” that produces amazing and quick results.
This can be tempting for newcomers who see it as a way to quick success.
Here the sticking point.
A lot of these courses use “special techniques” that cut corners and use dubious SEO practices.
The course is sold to as many people as possible in the shortest time frame possible and leads to a rush of people creating content that manipulates search engine results or exploits social media platforms.
This rush of dubious activity attracts the attention of search engines and social media platforms who then ban or punish such practices.
Its then bye bye to the “special technique” and farewell to the business model you spent time and money on.
Personally I advise against such courses, but this is not to say all are bad.
I just have yet to see any that last long term and do not use “special techniques”
They are usually easy to spot by the way they are marketed.
“6 months ago, I was broke. Then I found this secret technique to make money online…blah blah…beaches..blah…living the life I want…blah mansion..car blah”
Its almost always a similar format.
I have witnessed it happen year after year for over a decade now.
It’s barely changed, and still produces swathes of unhappy people who end up thinking making money online is a scam due to being sold sketchy techniques on the back of outrageous promises of success.
Personally I advise against such courses.
3 Join an affiliate marketing training platform
The difference between a training platform and a course is simply the amount and quality of information.
A course may be 100 pages long and showcase a “special technique” as described above.
They usually have very little, if any, after sale support and the student us usually left to follow the course and get whatever results it produces for as long as it works.
A training platform will have large archives of information and will be current and up to date at all times.
There will also be robust support in the form of mentors and live chat to answer questions that the student may have.
By far the best training platform I have encountered, and still use to this day, is Wealthy Affiliate.
15 years in business, 1.4 million members, and students across the globe, it is a well established premium training platform.
Training is step by step and often includes videos to show the student the training in practice.
I have written an overview What is Wealthy Affiliate where you can learn more details.
If you just wish to get started straight away, then below is a link to an article about a free membership training course.
It’s free and you can start training straight away with no credit card details or private information needed.
Affiliate marketing is currently booming and is moving into a phase of historic growth.
Businesses are going to be pushing to attract as many affiliates for their programs as possible.
The competition for online revenue is going to become extremely fierce, and those that take advantage by learning the skill set will be in position to profit from this potential gold rush.
If you choose to learn the skill set, I wish you the best success!
If you choose not to, then I also wish you the best success.
The choice is yours.
I hope you enjoyed this article and please share it with friends and followers on social media!