We all would like more time to ourselves and have more cash in the pocket. In the online world, one increasingly popular method of creating a supplement income from the comfort of your home is by learning how to become an affiliate marketer.
Whether you are curious about how the process works or just getting your feet wet, an outline of how things fall into place makes the process a little clearer so your first step can be more certain.
In affiliate marketing, there is a process to follow while you are beginning what is often termed an affiliate campaign.
Different marketers refer to the process or explain and analyses the process slightly differently, but the general sequence of a campaign is to:
- Find An Interest – Begin by thinking of something you have a natural affinity to.
- Choose A Niche – This is where you find keywords and learn how to find your audience from your interest.
- Join An Affiliate Program – Here, you find a relevant online partner who has a commission program. This is how you make your money. Read my article on how you make money from affiliate marketing.
- Create Your Website – A website creation platform called WordPress is widely used because of it’s efficiency and effectiveness in this particular venture. This is also how to create one in under thirty seconds.
- Add Content – Add Articles, Information, tips, video, audio, resources etc to give your website value. This is easier than most people think.
and finally of course…
- Earn Commission – Get financially rewarded in commissions for providing relevant and useful information.
How to Become an Affiliate Marketer
Let’s summarize these tried and tested steps on how to become an affiliate marketer and understand a process of starting an online business.
Finding An Interest
The best way to begin your affiliate venture is to think about what topics you find interesting.
What excites you? What do you think you can you comfortably inform people about? What can you sit down and watch with interest on the TV or listen to on the radio? Think of something you enjoy writing, reading, speaking, listening or watching. It could be anything at all.
These are a few ways you can consider a good topic or interest.
Choosing something you are interested in keeps the motivation and interest active. You don’t want your journey into a new venture to feel like a chore…otherwise a regular 9-5 will do the same thing.
Have a look at this small list of topics and interests and imagine what you would love to inform someone about.
There are thousands more to choose from.
I’m sure you can think of some yourself and you have surely visited websites centred around various of these as the main theme or related content.
Like I said, pick something you are interested in or even have a wide knowledge about.
After you have chosen your desired topic, we now want to drill down a little further. This is where we uncover a niche within that interest or topic to create a website around. The reason we need to unwrap a topic further is to get our webpage ranked highly and quickly around a niche that people are searching for.
Creating an affiliate campaign with one of the topics above for example, is not good enough to create an affiliate campaign around because they are too broad and gives search engines no specifics for what people are searching for. This also means they are virtually impossible to rank highly for. The higher you rank in search results the more exposure you gain.
Choosing a Niche
Ok, so now that you have a chosen something you are interested in, how do you find out if it has the potential to be profitable?
This is where choosing the right keywords come in, this is were you find a niche to create a website around.
Keywords are search terms that people like you and I enter into the search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Search engines keep a record of these search terms and we can also find out what people are searching for by accessing these records. To find our keywords we will use a tool called the Google KeywordPlanner (formally Google Keyword Tool), for this particular purpose.
The keyword planner is very useful for picking out niches and keywords to profit from. Although there are more efficient and accurate programs available (Jaaxy), it’s a great alternative to familiarize yourself with the process of finding keywords and hey, it’s free!
Also keep in mind not all keywords are profitable. There are techniques to finding relevant keywords and profitable niches in those keywords.
UPDATE: I would now recommend using Jaxxy over Google’s keyword tool for both newbies and professionals. Reason being, Jaaxy now offers 30 FREE searches for powerful keywords and it’s actually quiet easy to master.
Try it out for yourself.
Finding An Affiliate Program
You can find an affiliate for nearly anything worth buying these days; it’s not hard to find an affiliate program to monetize nearly any product or service. You are paid a commission on successfully referring/delivering a customer to the merchant.
I have an article that outlines the process of how to make money with affiliate marketing. The easiest way to join/find an affiliate is to type the name of the product or service you will be making a website around and add the word “affiliate” or “partnership” after it.
Ninety five percent of the time you will find an affiliate to join no problem. There are also affiliate networks which manage affiliate programs on behalf of the merchants/vendors too. Popular ones include Commission Junction, Clickbank, Amazon and Linkshare.
Create A Website
There is one website creation platform that is widely used by nearly all affiliate marketers today and that is WordPress.
WordPress is a content management system (cms) that allows you to build powerful websites.
There was a time when people assumed ( and a lot still do) building websites is about expensive software and long hours mastering fancy web design skills. Nowadays this is a thing of the past. Most affiliate marketers use WordPress and it allows you to build pages and add content easily, cleanly and for free.
WordPress makes it incredibly easy to add text and media to your pages.
Getting traffic to your website is one of the key factors in an online business. WordPress leads the pack for easily facilitating you for maximum traffic and top page search engine placement. This is one of the most important things for your business because you need traffic to get visitors. This in turn brings exposure to your website.
You also have the option of installing WordPress with your hosting. This gives you extra features, flexibility, functionality and improve the overall user experience.
So, the fifth part of your affiliate campaign is to add content.
Now, one thing I always failed to grasp about people starting this journey, is their fear of writing. It can be an unnecessarily crippling mental state that literally stops you from taking action and it doesn’t need to be!
Think of content like how you write emails. Think of content like how you write letters to your friends, to your family. Think of content much like the way you communicate in general. You are after all communicating to people in text form.
Understand, it is not required that you write like the editor of The New York Times or to be a text book English student. Not at all. The only skill necessary is a grasp of English. Everything else falls into place over time. I can attest to this because I have been through the same self doubts and realisation.
When you write about something you enjoy or are passionate about, you will be surprised at how much you can write, research, advise and build a small profitable website around.
These are the basic fundamentals for an affiliate marketer.
There are much more things to consider such as;
- How to outrank your competition for No.1 search engine position
- How to set up WordPress for maximum keyword compatibility
- How to find something to sell in a crowded saturated market
- Exactly how to write effectively to get maximum conversions
- Different ways to get traffic
- How to make your site search engine friendly for good rankings
- How to get other people to write your articles cheaply
- How to setup your hosting, website and more
Earning a Commission
So finally, pointing your visitors towards useful and relevant information is important not only for trust, but also as they checkout your recommendations and take action with the merchants desired requirements, earns you a commission for your efforts.
Visitors actions are tracked via a special link provided by the merchant so any commissions earned will be credited to you.
Becoming a successful affiliate marketer can be easily achieved with just taking action. Taking action does not mean building a whole website in one day nor one month. Taking action is individual. Achievement is individual. Something that is very small to one person is an achievement to another.
There is no marker to what is an achievement and there shouldn’t be. Expert status does not come over night and you cannot call yourself experienced just through reading. You have to take action.
Once you understand what doesn’t work you will learn what will.
Many fail to take that first step because of fear. Fear of failing, fear of getting things wrong, fear of feeling worthless etc. Understand that failure comes all the time in everyone’s life, that is how you figure what works through knowing what doesn’t.
Failure is also often attributed to being unprepared. Affiliate marketing has formula – knowing what to prepare for and significantly cutting that learning curve will help you smooth out the bumps. Here is a free step by step training university I have found very useful. I still use them to this day. With 24/7 support, hassle free hosting and wordpress installation with loads of successful marketers around to hand you pointers like myself and you can get free access to the training for 7 days. Here is my profile.
A supporting hand with experienced people to steer you in the correct direction if you ever become doubtful or stuck I have found is one of the biggest missing components to success when it comes to online business.
The support they given is second to none and there is no training portal like it on the web in my opinion.
Get a free account and access training that teaches you how succeed as an affiliate marketer here.
Shoot me a comment below!