Affiliate marketing is an amazing way to earn money online if you know what you’re doing. It can also be extremely frustrating for beginners who don’t really know how to drive traffic to their website. When you start out, you usually don’t have an email list, and you likely don’t have the skills to drive traffic to your offers. However, these skills can be learned by most people relatively easily.
Step 1: Learn the Basics
Learn the basic concepts of affiliate marketing. This can be done free through Wealthy Affiliate’s platform. It is pretty simple. You sign up for affiliate links, and send traffic to them. When someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you receive a commission. You are a virtual salesman.
While this concept is very simple, there are ways to ensure that you’ll be successful at driving traffic to your offers, presenting your sales pages and selecting products to promote.
Step 2 – Selecting a Niche
Once you have a good understanding of the concepts of affiliate marketing, you’ll want to dive in and start creating pages and making sales. Before you do that, you should do some niche research. Think of the things that you enjoy reading about. What are topics that you’d love to learn about. You’ll basically become an expert on these topics as you grow your site, so be careful with the selection of the niche.
If you are going to be using paid traffic as your sole source of traffic, it may not be as necessary to write as much content. There are many people who do affiliate marketing on microniches and still do really well.
Step 3 – Finding Products to Promote
Once you have your niche, you’ll want to find some great products to promote. You can start by signing up to become an Amazon Associate. Amazon is the largest affiliate network with the most products. Most people trust Amazon and feel comfortable buying from Amazon. Amazon has products and services in every niche available. Another bonus for Amazon is that even if they don’t buy the product that you recommended, you will earn a commission if they buy something else through Amazon within the 24 hours of clicking on your affiliate link.
The downside to Amazon is that the commissions are only 6%. The cookies that are on people’s computers are only 24 hours, which means they have to make a purchase from Amazon shortly after clicking on your link.
There are many other affiliate networks to choose from. Commission Junction has plenty of companies that have physical products that you can promote. Clickbank is a great affiliate network that has digital products that pay up to 50% commissions.
Once you have found your niche, look for some products that you can write reviews on. Focus on things that are popular and trending.
Step 4: Create Your Content
Once you’ve settled on a niche and have some affiliate links and products that you can promote, you need to create a website and content for people to read. It is best to buy your own domain, but if you truly are strapped for cash, you can create a free website. Wealthy Affiliate has a feature that allows you to create a website free. Blogger.com and WordPress.com are other free blogging platforms.
As you create your content, you should be thinking about your consumer. What are their pain points? What do they need or want? What solution does your product solve? Will it make their lives easier? Will it be expensive or worth the investment? These are all great things that you should consider as you create your content.
Your content should be a mix of informative blog posts and product reviews. The informative blog posts will help customers along their customer journey. They can draw customers to the conclusion that they need to try a certain product. Informative posts can be focused around questions that are being asked in groups, common topics that are searched for on Google, or simply checklists of things that are helpful.
Product reviews are helpful to have on your website. People now search for online reviews of products before making a purchase. They want to verify that the product is worth buying through online social proof. People have a tendency to trust reviewers online. Therefore, it is very beneficial to have reviews of products on your website.
Step 4: Promote Your Content
There are numerous ways to promote your content online. For people who are strapped for cash, sharing your link in forums and groups is essential. You should find LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups to participate in and share your content. Be careful not to come across as too spammy. Don’t simply post your link everywhere. Make sure that you also contribute to the conversation in the groups.
Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are also great places to promote your content. Keep in mind though, that if all you are doing is posting links, you likely won’t be followed and people won’t read your content. Interact and engage with other experts in your niche. Share their content and they will be more likely to share yours.
Step 5: Drive Traffic With Paid Ads
Don’t rush into paid advertisements. You can blow a ton of money on paid ads if you don’t know what you are doing. It is recommended to drive free traffic to your website to test it out and see if it converts first. You can see if it converts with paid traffic if you have a good budget.
Where do you start with paid traffic? Bing ads and Facebook ads are the least expensive and provide the biggest bang for your buck. Once you master one or both of those, you can move on to Google ads. You can also create YouTube ads if you like doing video.
Set a marketing budget and test out the ads. You’ll want to create a few variations of the ads to determine which ones work best. Set a limit for your budget as well. If you don’t see any conversions after 100-200 people visit your website, it is likely that you’re targeting is off or your website isn’t converting well. Don’t continue spending money on ads that don’t convert.