So you want to make money online… don’t we all?
You can go to your work in your pajamas, drink coffee when it suits you and my favorite spend as much time as you want with your family and friends.
We are all told about this fantastic internet lifestyle but does it really exist?
In the short term, this is just a pipe dream that will lead to nothing more than tears. Having said that, it is certainly possible with a little hard work and determination you can create a life of freedom.
But it will not happen overnight.
You need to get your head in the game and stop jumping from one method to the next. Master one make money online method and then scale it up and then move on.
This is my affiliate marketing for dummies beginners guide because with affiliate marketing the dream isn’t as far away.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Well before we get into the fun stuff it is a good idea to start this affiliate marketing for dummies guide off with a definition.
“Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.” – Pat Flynn
In it’s simplest form affiliate marketing is when you make a commission for referring a sale to a vendor.
It is a low-cost method of making money online as you don’t need much to get started. To get started all you will need is…
- Web Hosting
- Domain Name
- Epic Content
- Affiliate Links
- Bang you are good to go!
Once you are all set up simply promote your pages where your affiliate links lie and every time someone clicks and purchases you will earn a commission.
It All Starts With A Cunning Plan
I will tell you this right now, if you plan to go into this with the sort as you go along attitude then you are doomed from the start. Do you think Donald Trump made his millions by winging it?
You need to have a plan so that you know exactly what you are doing and if one thing doesn’t work you can always fix and then continue. If you go into this blind what are you really working towards?
I always like to set my end goals at the start of a project because then all I have to do is work back from them.
So if my goal is to make $100 then what do I need to do to make that. Well, I would need to sell five $20 products or one $100 product.
How will you sell them? By referring customers from you super cool blog.
And how are you going to get them to click through?
If you work back through the process that your customer should take then you will have a solid plan in place. This is your funnel.
So from the example, we know we need a blog to refer our audience to the product, but there is one other problem… we don’t know what we are going to sell.
Choosing Your First Affiliate Product To Promote
There is a number of places that you can look to find products to promote. Since you are all fresh-faced newbies I would highly recommend Amazon or Clickbank.
Amazon is the number one place to buy physical products and Clickbank for digital products.
Start by looking for things that interest you, so for example, if you like dogs then look for dog related products. If you are interested in fitness then look at fitness related products.
If you choose an interest that you have then it becomes a lot easier to write the required amount of content and it will help you stay motivated and on track to meet your goals.
Look on these two sources and pick out seven products you like the look of. Don’t think of anything else other than if you like or if you don’t.
Now it is time to put your products into Google and see if they are profitable or not.
Simply put the product name into Google!
Now at the top and bottom of the results page, there will be paid adverts, if you don’t see these then your chosen product is not worth going for. If you see loads you are onto a winner.
Give yourself a pat on the back!
Do this for all the products and whittle out the ones that don’t meet the grade. After you have done this it is time to move on to setting up your blog.
Setting Up Your Blog
I know what you are thinking… what about keyword research and yes you should do that but while you are learning the ropes it is best to start with buying keywords that will bring you a more targetted and a ready to buy audience.
Your first keywords to focus on will be…
“product name review”
This will be relatively low competition and low search volumes but the people that come through are ready to snap up the product and are just needing a little push. That is your job to give them that push!
You will need to write more than one article initially but just focus on these buyer phrases for now.
When it comes to web hosting it is best to shop around, you want to find a reliable host that has a good track record. You will probably find that most people will recommend Bluehost and I think this is mainly because of the affiliate commission attached but in fairness, I haven’t heard a bad review about their service.
For me, I use Just Host and since I started with them I have never had any server downtime, my pages load at a reasonable speed and installing WordPress is a breeze with the one click install script.
I would love to review their customer support but I have never needed to contact them with any problems, so I assume their support is great!
Most good hosting companies will give you a free domain when you sign up (I know Just Host does) so that is worth bearing in mind.
When you pick your name, pick a brandable name that will help people remember who you are and what you do. Nowadays, Google loves brands, so exact match domains are a no no.
These used to get the weight in the search results but not now as it is very easy to over-optimize an exact match domain.
Always choose brandable domain name!
Like I mentioned above Just Host provide you with a one click install script that will get WordPress set up in no time at all and most decent web hosts will provide this. If they don’t check out this article by WPBeginner to see how to set it up via FTP.
Once you have the system set up you want to choose a theme and I would highly recommend Thrive Themes. The quality of their designs is second to none and they are very user-friendly, but the best part is that Thrive has optimized them for conversions, meaning that they will help make you pennies.
Don’t spend all day choosing a theme, when you see one you like and that looks professional snap it up and get it set up on your system.
Before you crack on with your content there are a few pages that you should make sure your blog has and you want to make them as good as they can be.
About Page: This page is where your visitors can go when they want to find out more about your blog and you as well. Don’t give the reader your whole life story just give them the info that this relevant to the readers goal. If their goal is to lose weight then tell them a bit about your story and your weight loss journey. They don’t need to know that you were born a Christian to a family of gorillas. Keep this page to the point!
Contact Page: At some point or another your readers may wish to contact you and this is the place to do so. Contact Form 7 is a great plugin and it makes creating this page a breeze.
Your Initial Content
This is your chance to start your blog with a bang and to do that you need to give your best ever content first. Capture your reader’s attention and make sure that they love your blog from the word go.
I want you to have at the very least 3 product reviews where you will target the keyword…
“product name review”
And 1 post that brings the 3 together…
“Top 10 Product Category Of 2016”
Lastly, create one ultimate guide article that will link to all of the other pages and really put all your effort into this one. If you do this article correctly you could get thousands of shares and maybe even your first viral post.
So if your site is about dog training then you could have…
- 3 dog training manual reviews
- 1 Top 10 Dog Training Manuals of 2016
- The Ultimate Guide To Training Your Dog To Sit
This will be your first 5 articles and it really is just the start. You should aim for 10-15 posts before you even consider promoting it. Add more reviews and add more guide posts to really give value to your customers.
When you have more content you will keep your readers on your site for longer and this will lead to a better bounce rate (the time the user spends on your page before bouncing off). If you have a good bounce rate Google will reward you!
Place Your Affiliate Links
Affiliate links come in a variety of forms, such as banners that you can place on your website if you like the advertising look, to text links or even buttons. There really is no right way it is just a matter of testing what works and replacing what doesn’t.
I find that I get a higher amount of affiliate clicks when I write a tutorial post like this one. I will insert the affiliate links when I mention the product name. I might even say something like…
“I use X product, click here to learn more”
This is a bit more aggressive but it works just as well. I would avoid banners as they just clutter your site and distract the reader from the actual content. Remember you want your readers sold on you and then you want to make money!
I would highly advise getting Pretty Link Lite, this makes your affiliate links look better and it also sets them to nofollow, by doing this you keep Google happy. It also makes your users experience a little more comfortable, what would you rather click…
I hope you said the bottom one!
Getting Your First Few Visitors
Woop! Your blog has amazing content, it looks fantastic and your affiliate links are primed and ready to make you some money. Sit back and wait… wait… wait…
“Nothings happening Joe”
Yeah, that’s because you need to promote your new blog a little.
On day one Google will most likely send you no traffic no matter how much of an SEO genius you are but I’m sure you have a Facebook account, right?
Social media is the best way to give your new site a push in the right direction. There are many tools out there to help you manage your social efforts, I would highly recommend this one.
I want you to post a status about your most recent article on your personal timeline and I also want you to private message 10 people.
Ask these 10 people to share your status on their timelines. They are your friends or family and they will be more likely to share just because you created it. The good thing about this is that when they share their friends will see, then their friends and then their friends and so on.
This will get you some traction and be a great way of getting you started. Don’t expect too much but it’s the best way to start.
Wrap It Up
I hope you are ready to put this into action! You have all the knowledge now to get your first blog live.
Choose 7 products that you love from Amazon or Clickbank and create a site around them.
Write a review and some fantastic guide posts for the ultimate shareable content.
Place your affiliate links and test like a maniac to find the best places for your links to get maximum clicks.
Lastly, tell the world or at least your friends and family. Remember you want them to share your post…
I hope you have enjoyed this first part of Affiliate Marketing for Dummies. In the next part, we will look at ranking your reviews in Google using on page and off page SEO.
If you have any questions or feedback please let me know in the comments below…