The internet has changed the way we do business. There are many opportunities for those with entrepreneurial spirit to build businesses from their own homes and make a living doing what they enjoy. One such opportunity is becoming an affiliate marketer, which is not as hard as it may seem at first glance. In this post, I will show you the steps to become a successful affiliate marketer from scratch.
What Is an Affiliate Marketer?
Ever heard of Amazon? Yep, it's an affiliate marketer. Amazon gets a commission for every customer it finds for products owned by other merchants. The question is how to own a smaller Amazon? (Hint: you don't need warehouses).
To make it simpler, affiliate marketing is a form of online advertising in which businesses pay a commission to a publisher (or anybody else) that finds them buyers. It is similar, for example, to the referral offer landlords sometimes provide to their apartment building residents: "find me a tenant and get $500." The merchant pays the affiliate marketer's commission only after the referral results in a sale or fulfilment of the merchant's requirements.
The amazing thing about being an affiliate marketer is that you can promote virtually any product that exists online. There are at least three ways to become an affiliate marketer:
1) Become a blogger: You need a website to write informative content and reviews to attract protentional customers for other merchants products that you promote.
2) Become a social media influencer: You can simply turn your social media presence into a money-making machine by promoting products on accounts such as Facebook and Instagram.
3) Run Ads: You can pay Google and Facebook to advertise products and get a commission for every sale. Of course, you will need to ensure making more money from the commission than you spend on ads.
Affiliate marketing is an excellent way for publishers and content creators to make some decent income on the side. It is also a full-time job for many people who make up to seven figures. With affiliate marketing, the earning protentional is infinite.
How to Become A Successful Affiliate Marketer in 2021?
That is the one-million-dollar question. Fortunately, the process of becoming a successful affiliate marketer is straightforward. In this article, we will discuss only the first type: a blogger. But once you know how to earn money through blogging, the other two types are easy. They all work by the same principle. Below are four practical steps to help you master affiliate marketing.
Step 1: Find Your Niche
Online affiliate marketing is relatively new, but the adage remains true with this industry: you have to break out of your comfort zone if you want to make it. Most of the effort involves finding a great niche.
But what is a niche, and why is it so important?
A niche is basically any topic that you're passionate about or know a lot about. But that is not enough; it also needs to be a specific topic that has low competition but high demand. Finding the perfect niche is not as hard as it may seem, but first, you need to know a bit more about it.
A niche helps to narrow down your focus so you can be more specific and see more clearly what your goals are. It's great for branding because it makes it easier for potential customers to find you through search engines. For example, cosmetics are too broad to be a niche for an affiliate marketing startup, but anti-ageing creams can be a great topic for you to start with. Know that you can always expand to cover more niches once you have the ability and resources, that is why when you are registering a domain name for your business, you might want to choose a broader name than your niche.
One more thing to consider in choosing your niche is whether it has the protentional to make consistent money. You need to ensure there is a steady demand for your niche throughout the year. For example, you don't want a seasonal product or something that sells well only during Christmas. Google Trends is a fantastic free tool to help you get a reasonably accurate idea of how popular an item or a topic is over a time period. Look at the chart over 12 months and see if the line is more or less straight or spiky. Avoid the latter especially, if it spikes only once or twice a year. That indicates your product is seasonal.
If you want consistent income, there must be continued demand for your niche year-round. Using the anti-ageing cream example, you can see Google Trends gives us a fairly straight line over the last 12months. But if you input “men's watches” into Google Trends, you will see only one big spike around Christmas. Look at the screenshots below.
Step 2: Build a Website
There are tools such as Wix.com that can help non-techy people build a website quickly. But we prefer WordPress.org to build a website because of all the flexibility it offers, such as installing plugins to do virtually anything such as connecting your website to affiliate networks (you will need to do this.) WordPress is one of the most powerful web design machines, used by nearly half a billion websites around the world.
There are two ways to build a WordPress website: do it yourself (DIY) or hire a professional. While the first one is cheaper, the second one is not expensive either. Once done, you can also use RevLinks to monetise your website and convert all your keywords and links into paid links.
But before doing that, it might be better to check out some affiliate marketing sites to see their design and how they promote products. You learn a lot from just looking at them. Here is a link to some of the highest-earning affiliate marketing websites.
The greatest thing about hiring somebody to design your website is that they will also install a proper theme and all the required plugins. The professional, however, still needs your instructions to install some specific plugins that carry out particular functions. For example, you can tell the developer to install our publisher tools that allow you to easily monetize your blog (and social media pages) by publishing ads or connecting your site to affiliate networks.
If you decided to go DIY, you don't need to know coding to build a WordPress site. It's a relatively straightforward process. There are hosting websites such as Bluehost and GoDaddy that allow you to build your entire site, including registering a domain name. Those sites walk you through installing WordPress step-by-step. They also have video tutorials if you need them. Anybody can do it!
Step 3: Create quality content
As a publisher, making money is a side benefit to building an audience that trusts you. To be trustworthy, you need to publish informative and factual content on your website. The information on a particular product should be detailed and specific to help protentional visitors know exactly what they are getting. You should write a type of content that converts visitors. In other words, you need to publish enough information about a product, make readers form their own opinion and decide to purchase it. Your visitors should bookmark your site and return to it as a reliable source of information. When you review a product on your website, it might be a good idea to consider the following principles:
1. Find products that are in demand with relatively low competition. You can use tools such as Google Trends and Ubersuggest to find such trendy products.
2. Review a product that you would buy for yourself or your loved ones. Don’t make your visitors buy bad products.
3. Provide both pros and cons for the product. There is no product without a disadvantage. Mention that. People have come to your site to be informed not misinformed. Mentioning the cons of a product will not discourage buyers. They will find your review more honest.
4. Make an overall judgment about the product, telling your customer why it is still a great thing to purchase despite its downsides.
Regardless of your site's content, you should be consistent with your blog posts and don't be the kind of blogger who publishes too often or not at all. Before reaching out to affiliate networks or merchants, you should publish at least a dozen posts to avoid getting rejected.
When you are writing, it's vital to remember this type of business writing is different from, for example, school essays, and should:
1. be kept short and punchy.
2. written in a simple words and conversational tone to engage readers.
3. include links to your products or services in the content, but don't be pushy about it.
Step 4: Join Affiliate Networks:
There are two ways to promote a product: establish a direct tie with the merchant or use an intermediary. There are a couple of problems with the former. Firstly, it's time-consuming for publishers to reach out to every single business. Finally, merchants are usually inconsistent in paying their clients. But the key advantage of having a direct relationship with a merchant is that the publisher usually gets paid a higher commission than what they get through an intermediary or an affiliate network.
But the benefits of working with affiliate networks are, at least, two-fold: they provide the publisher with a pool of merchants and consistent payment. Affiliate networks have been around for some time, but they weren't always well-known in the industry. In other words, affiliate networks provide a place where affiliates come together under one roof - or website - so they can promote products from many different companies all at once without having to go through each company individually.
Some of the most popular affiliate networks in the U.K. include AvantLink, Awin, Amazon Associates and many more. If you want to find an affiliate program that includes a specific company, you can simply search Google for the name of the company with the keyword "affiliate program."
To be part of any affiliate network, all you need to do is simply sign up on its website. While some programs accept you right away, others may need some time to vet you. After you join an affiliate program, you will get a unique trackable link to embed in your content to promote the product.
While it's recommendable to join affiliate networks, some companies have their own in-house affiliate programs and are not part of any affiliate network. In that case, you have no choice but to visit their website to join their program directly. Amazon, for example, has an extensive in-house program of its own called Amazon Associates.
Step 5: Have a Successful Marketing Strategy
Once you have a website with at least a dozen blogs, you will immediately need to start marketing your content and increase traffic to your website. The internet is a vast and chaotic place. It's easy to get lost in the noise and clutter of all the websites that exist out there. Your job is to make sure your website stands out from the crowd. The best way to do this is by having a successful marketing strategy with a goal of improving your visibility on search engines like Google.
Without any marketing strategy in place, it is only inevitable that your site will not be successful. There are many different strategies you can use to make sure your website reaches as wide an audience as possible, but the following four methods are central to all of them.
1. Search Engine Optimization:
There are so many different ways to market a website and increase your visitors, but there's one that stands out above all else: search engine optimization (SEO).SEO is the act of optimizing your website to rank better in search engines. The concept behind SEO is that if you can get a higher ranking on Google, then more people will be able to find your site and visit it.
There are many ways to optimise your site for SEO including writing keyword optimised content, adding meta tags, and adding keywords throughout the page. Read this step-by-step tutorial to learn the secret of increasing free traffic to your website.
2. Join Social Media
Have you ever wondered why there are so many social media sites out there? Well, the answer is simple. Social media has become one of the most popular methods of communication in our world today. With all this popularity, it makes sense that people would want to get involved with social media not just for their own personal use but also for business purposes.
The truth is - if you're not on social media, then your website traffic will suffer greatly as a result. There are plenty of benefits to joining a site like Facebook or Twitter such as increased exposure and reachability which can lead to increased sales and leads. Ideally, you should have accounts on all major social media platforms including Instagram and TikTok.
3. Social Media Influencers:
Social media influencers are people who have a large following on social media, and they use their influence to promote products and services. Influencers can be anyone from bloggers, celebrities, athletes, models or anybody that usually has an audience of at least 10k followers on social media.
You can look to find an influencer with a decent size following, which can include your protentional customers. Initially, you may want to find an influencer that does not charge you too much money for promoting your content. The way it works is that the social media figure publishes a post about your site with a link to it, resulting in an increase in traffic.
4. Run Online Ads:
If you need many visitors to your website right away, you might need to pay for advertisement on Google or Facebook. It's true that these two platforms are very different from each other, but they both offer a wealth of powerful marketing options like targeting specific demographics and bidding on keywords.
If you can afford to run ads and have done your cost-benefit analysis, you are welcome to try it, but it’s probably not a good idea for beginners, who should instead focus on increasing organic traffic to their site until they generate some income.
The organic traffic is not only free, but it's also more reliable and will get your website ranking higher in the search engines. Organic traffic is obtained by people who have found your website through their natural curiosity or from links that were shared on other sites.
To conclude, it’s a relatively straightforward process to become an affiliate marketer. The best way to start is by becoming a blogger, publish quality content, and mastering the basics of marketing and SEO. Once you have mastered these two steps, you can start making money by promoting products on your site through signing up for programs run by affiliate networks or establishing a direct bilateral ties with companies.