Affiliate marketing is on fire. Forbes estimated that in the next five years there would be 79 million NEW home-based businesses.
Why would someone want to start a home-based business? There are several reasons why most people begin with affiliate marketing:
- Financial Stability
- More Time with Family
- Anyone Can Begin an Online Business
- You Can Begin to Make Money in Less than 6-months
- You Have A Huge Audience
- Give Yourself a Voice
- The Ability to Travel and work
These are just the reasons that came to my head in a short period of time. There are so many more reasons why you should jump into this opportunity of building a real online business.
So, how does someone become an internet or affiliate marketer, and begin to make money with the internet?
Great question! In this guide you’re going to find everything that you need to begin the process. I mean it!
After this post, you’re going to have the knowledge necessary to be able to take the next steps with internet marketing.
I have broken the process down into several easy steps. These steps should be followed in order so that you get the best results. As always, this is not a no-fail blueprint, but the steps that I took to begin my online journey.
Always remember . . .
Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme or should I say scam. It’s building a real online business, and businesses (online or offline) take effort and work.
Are you ready to pour in that effort to be a success? If yes, then you’re ready to start. Here are my 20 stops on how you can begin making money online.
STEP ONE: CHOOSE A NICHE
The very first step in building a niche website or online business is deciding on your niche.
WHAT IS A NICHE?
A niche is a small segment of the population that’s interested in a particular topic or product.
There are broad niches (like sofas), and there are micro-niches (such as sofas to sleep on), and there are hundreds of sub-niches relating to your main niche.
Your niche is like a lake with several rivers running into it. The direction, broadness or specificity of your niche is totally up to you.
Several months ago, I developed a website called icemakergeeks.com. It’s a website that reviews products relating to making ice (IE: portable icemakers, ice cream makers, slushie makers, etc).
This niche is a very specific niche site and doesn’t allow me to expand to products outside of the making ice world. Yet, it does allow me to expand past the portable ice maker world. If I would have called my site Portable Ice Maker Geeks then I really would have narrowed down my options.
To be honest, creating a website around a specific niche is harder because you have such a small window of keywords for writing content. Ice Maker Geeks was tough because most of the main keywords were competitive and it left me writing for keyword scraps.
Once my site gains authority, then it’s more likely I’ll be able to rank for those more competitive keywords.
Good Advice Ahead!
My suggestion is to always leave an open door to expand your niche. Use a domain name that suggests a broader scope of products.
An example could be: icegeeks.com instead of icemakergeeks.com!
I’m just thinking out loud for this post, and remember that all of these examples are just thoughts and not something you should pursue.
BREAKING DOWN NICHES
There are two types of niche directions that I want to explain to you, before you take the time and choose the niche for your site.
PRODUCT FOCUSED NICHE SITE
A niche product site (like Ice Maker Geeks) is solely about promoting a particular product.
You find these websites everywhere online.
Baldingbeards.com shows a popular way to display niche products
If building a niche product site is the direction you want to take, then how do you choose a product to build your site around?
Well, there are four vital requirements:
The Popularity of the Product
The popularity of the product is the backbone of a product niche site. The amount of people who want to purchase that particular product is how much you potentially can make with commissions.
There are four ways of figuring out the popularity of a product before you create a whole blog around it.
Use a Keyword Tool
A keyword tool will give you an estimated monthly search volume. It takes the number of searches a year and gives you an average per month of how many people search for related keyword about your product.
A useful search tool that I use is Jaaxy (you can begin using Jaaxy for FREE).
Keep in mind, that search tools are not always accurate (use it as an idea of demand and not as a fastened number).
Use Your Common Sense
Get away from the internet for a moment (I know that you can do it!), and think about how often your niche product would be potentially purchased online.
Razors of example, it’s a product that I have purchased online and I know others that do as well.
Maybe no one purchases that product online at all! Would you purchase it online?
An example of this would be a car (Extreme, I know). A car would have impressive commissions, but no one would buy a car on Amazon (Amazon doesn’t actually sell cars).
Several products have to be held, explained or fitted, so people are more likely to go to a store and buy them.
There are tons of products that would be perfect for a niche site, but (and this is a big problem) you wouldn’t make money promoting them because people would read your review, and then go to a store to make their purchase.
Ask yourself . . . Would I buy this online? Or would I go to a store and buy it?
Think about these questions:
- Would I buy this product?
- Would I buy this product online?
- Would there be a significant demand for this product?
Talk yourself through the buying process and consider the demand for this product (online and offline) before you use the product for a niche site.
Use Google Trends
Another way to figure out the popularity of a product is to use a free tool called Google Trends. Google Trends allows you to see the trends of different search terms over the course of the year.
Using this free tool, enables you to see if the product is trending upwards or dying off.
Above you’ll see that razors have a steady demand.
Check Out the Amazon Reviews
An Amazon review indicates a product purchased.
If a product has more than 1000+ reviews, that’s a good indication that it’s a popular product.
People are more willing to buy a product that people are already buying.
The Price of the Product
If you’re planning on making money using Amazon Associates, then you need to make sure that the product you promote are between $100-$150.
I believe that this is the sweet spot for Amazon affiliate products. If your prices are too high, then people are less likely to buy that product in 24 hours (this is how long the cookie lasts on your computer when someone clicks on an affiliate link).
A $10 product will only make you a commission of about forty cents or less, and that’s no good!
Make sure that it’s worth your investment by reviewing and promoting products that will earn you decent commissions ($100-$150).
Amazon Commissions vary from categories, so you want to make sure that you’re also in a good commission category before building out your site.
Notice the percentages below:
- 1.0% for video games and game consoles
- 2.0% for televisions and digital download games
- 2.5% for computers, computer components, DVD and Blu-Ray
- 3.0% for toys
- Amazon tablets and Kindle devices: 4.00%
- 4.5% for paper books, healthcare, personal care, sports, kitchen, car and baby products: 4.50%
- 5.0% for digital music and video downloads; grocery items, handmade items or musical instruments
- 6.0% for headphones, beauty products, musical instruments, business and industrial supplies
- 7.0% for clothes and accessories, Amazon TVs, Amazon Echo products and jewelry
- 8.0% for furniture, lawn and garden, home improvement, pantry and pet products
- 10.0% for Amazon fashion items and Amazon Coins
One of the smallest commissions on Amazon is from electronics (1-2.5%), but if you’re selling a $900 TV, then you’ll be fine. I’m not sure how many people buy TV’s from Amazon though. Would you buy a TV on Amazon?
For more answers concerning Amazon Affiliate questions, check out the article I wrote about the Amazon Associates program.
The Competition Within Your Product Niche
There are some products that are going to be very difficult to rank just because it’s just way too competitive.
Try to rank on the first page for best iPhone . . . not going to happen!
The top results are highly authoritative sites that know their iPhones and are leaders in that niche. If I were choosing a niche, I would stay clear of the iPhone niche. It’s going to be hard to compete with these top ranking sites.
Try to think of products that are popular, but has little competition.
For the record, every niche is going to have some competition. If you found a niche that has no competition what-so-ever, it’s because someone tried it and didn’t make any money.
You’re not looking for a niche product with no competition, you’re looking for a product to promote that has little competition.
The Seasonality of a Product
Do people buy your product all year round or is it seasonal? This matters because seasonal products only make money during their popularity.
When looking for a niche product, you want to make sure that there is consistent interest all year round. Use Google Trends to determine if your product is seasonal.
Notice below the demand for Christmas trees (lol). Can you see the demand in November, and how it drops the rest of the year?
This isn’t a good niche product to build a website around. The only way that this product would work is by creating a site that’s broad enough to include all seasonal decorations (at least that’s my opinion).
Notice the trend of “ice makers” on Google Trends. It peaks in June, but stays somewhat consistent. There are some peaks and valleys along the way, but you could earn all year around.
TOPIC FOCUSED NICHE SITE
The second type of niche site is probably your best choice. It’s not focused on a particular product but a topic.
An example of a topic focused site would be fightingcandida.com! Most of the websites that I mention in this post are still under-construction. They are new projects, but wanted to share with everyone.
Fighting Candida isn’t promoting a product directly, but a topic (Candida) and my story about how I deal with it every day. Notice the difference in approach, one is very direct in promoting a product, and the other way is subtle.
A topic niche is focused more on helping people than promoting a particular product. This type of niche site comes across less spammy.
No one wants to be sold too! People want to find answers to their questions and when they feel helped they are more likely to purchase the products that you recommend.
Once your site gains an audience, you can add your most used products or a clickbank product to monetize your site (I talk about monetizing your website below).
The longer I build niche sites, the more I am convinced that topic based niche sites are going to make you more money (in the long game).
An important note about topic-based niche sites is that you want to be genuine. It’s important to live your posts and put heart into it. People will appreciate your transparency and will be more likely to trust you, and purchase products, if you’re real to them.
If you create a topic niche site about maintaining a fireplace, it’s better (not always necessary) to have a fireplace yourself. Experiencing what you’re writing about adds to the authentication to each post. Don’t be afraid to add pictures of you with your new fireplace.
Also, never come across as an expert. Advertise as an average person that’s done a lot of research who wants to help others.
A NICHE SITE OR AN AUTHORITY SITE: WHICH ONE IS BETTER?
Before we leave this point, I want to explain two different approaches to creating a blog: Authority site versus a niche site.
An authority site is where your website is continuously growing; you’re always adding new content to the site. People remember your domain name and come back often to see what’s new.
An authority site is about building an audience or a community.
This type of site takes more work, planning and strategy.
A niche site (whether product or topic) isn’t like that at all. A niche site is when you build a website and add maybe 50-80 posts, and then just let it sit.
In time, the posts begin to get ranked on Google, and you start seeing significant traffic each month.
Niche sites are not designed to build a community. Most people will come to your site, get the answer they are looking for and never come back.
You don’t have to add any new content (at least not a lot of new content), but over time your niche website begins to make you a monthly passive income.
In fact, you don’t even have to touch the niche site, and you could be making upwards of $4,000 a month with commissions.
Which one is best? It’s whatever you want. If you are looking to create a passive income without the hassle of managing a website or consistently writing new content – a niche site is probably best for you.
An authority site has a greater earning potential and allows you to monetize through different means. Once an authority site grows to a certain amount of visitors you can create an info product that can make you lots of income.
At the end of the day, the decision is up to you. Do you want to build a community or do you want to build a passive income? Maybe you want to build one of each.
Think about a niche that is going to be the foundation for your new online business.
I created a list of great niches to get those creative juices started.
STEP TWO: CHOOSE A DOMAIN NAME
Your domain name is the address that directs someone to your website. It’s the base link that people see when they find your site on Google.
Any domain name will rank in Google, but you want to make sure that your domain name is easy to remember. Your domain name is more about branding your website than anything else.
I have put together some guidelines that you should follow when you choose your domain name.
- Try to use a dot-com domain name – A dot-com site is more recognized and familiar to people. It’s not absolutely required, but I think it’s where you should start.
- Don’t worry about keywords – It used to be that keyword focused domain names would rank high for the keywords in the domain name – that day is over.
- No more than 3 Words – When choosing your domain name it’s important to keep it short – three words max. This is for branding reasons, and so that it’s easier to memorize. Milliondollarmonkey.com is a domain name that’s easy to remember and actually creates a little curiosity. Think about icemakergeeks.com or helporhype.com, all of these domain names are short, to the point, and easy to remember.
NO NUMBERS OR HYPHENS
Make sure that you avoid using numbers or hyphens in your domain name which often confuses people and make your domain name hard to remember.
You want a domain, that creates curiosity and is something that burns deep in people’s mind.
Simple is normally best.
DON’T OVER THINK IT
Don’t over-think your domain name. You could spend hours looking for that perfect domain name, and drive yourself crazy! Make a list of what you’re looking for and then make a decision.
Use a website like namemesh.com for a little help.
LOCK IT IN
Once you’ve decided on a domain name, then lock it in. You may be tempted to change it after a while – don’t! Once you’ve chosen your domain name, you need to run with it, building your brand around it.
Just remember, your domain name is not a make or break detail in building a profitable online business.
Think about GoDaddy.com! They built a huge business and brand around a name you probably wouldn’t have used.
Stop searching for perfection and buy that domain name!
DON’T DELAY: PULL THE TRIGGER!
Domain names are being bought every second and you’re not guaranteed that it’s going to be there tomorrow.
So, what do you do? Buy it. It’s a $15.00 a year investment.
Also, I recommend that you purchase a domain name separate from your web host. This way you can change the host if you need to, and not be concerned that it’s going to affect the domain name.
Just use the DNS settings to direct your domain name to your host. Changing your DNS settings is easy to do, and most hosts will give you a thorough walk-through on how to make the change.
Once you got a domain name, you’re ready for the next step. We’re going to start building ourselves a website.
STEP THREE: CHOOSE A WEB HOST
Your web host is where your website is located. It’s like renting a building to store your belongings, only your “belongings” is your website. The domain name is the address to get to your site, and the host is where the website actually is located – all of the files, images and scripts (the nerdy stuff).
Every website needs a domain name and a host.
I’m not going to give you a whole bunch of boring specs about what each web host offers you. Most of the time people don’t have a clue what they mean anyway.
I’m going to list for you three primary hosts and how much they cost. These plans will give you everything that you need to begin. I also want to tell you what I decided to use for my web host and why you should consider doing it as well.
- Hostgator’s Baby Plan – $3.98/mo (for the first year and you have to pay for the complete year up front). This plan comes with a FREE SSL certificate and unlimited domains, and a ton of features. It’s a cheaper option for beginning with affiliate marketing, but be aware that the price increases by 60% the following year.
- 1and1.com’s Managed WordPress Plus – $4.99/mo (for the first year and then jumps up to $9.99 a month). This plan doesn’t come with an SSL certificate, but you do get a free domain name. Be careful with 1and1.com because they have a ton of upsells and it’s easy to purchase an upsell and not even know it until you get the bill. Also, I’m not a big fan of buying my domain name with my hosting package (as mentioned above). This is another way that hosting companies try to lock you in to continue to use their service after the price increase.
- Go Daddy WordPress Deluxe- $10.99/mo (for the first month and then $13.99/mo after that). This price is for only one single domain name which you get for free. Again, I not a big fan of purchasing my domain name with my host. Go Daddy also offers you a lot of features that you’re probably never going to use with affiliate marketing.
These are the top hosting packages that are available to you. A simple google search will bring up hundreds more. Several years ago I changed over my websites to SiteRubix hosting. SiteRubix is part of the Wealthy Affiliate platform.
SiteRubix is more than just web hosting. It gives you all the tools that are needed to build an online business:
- You can host up to 50 websites
- We get a free SSL certificate for your sites
- You get a keyword research tool
- You get awesome training on how to make your website more compatible with Google (This is called SEO, we will talk about SEO later).
- Plus a whole bunch much more features you’re going to love and need.
Why I use SiteRubix?
SiteRubix is far more than just a hosting company; it’s a comprehensive affiliate marketing community. The cost is $49 a month, but you can create a free account (no credit card needed) and actually build a website for FREE.
STEP FOUR: GET INTRODUCED TO WORDPRESS
WordPress is the platform you’re going to use to build your online business.
I wrote a great post several months ago about WordPress and why affiliate marketers use it. You can click on the link in the last sentence and check it out yourself.
WordPress is a free platform that initially was created for bloggers. Over the years, it has morphed into far more than just a bloggers platform. WordPress is used for over 20% of the websites online and over the years has been tested and proven.
WordPress has two main ways to publish content: pages and posts.
A blog post is where you write your primary content about your niche. In a blog post, you’re writing with keywords in mind (we’ll look at this in a moment) and trying to get those keywords ranked on Google.
The bulk of your content will be written in posts, not pages. In fact, very little material should be written in a page format for a niche website.
Let me take some time and walk you through some beginning steps for WordPress:
Set Your Permalinks – Click settings on the left, inside your dashboard, and then click permalinks. You want to make sure that you select [post name] from the selection as your default permalink.
This is a critical feature for SEO, and if you don’t change it at the beginning of your website, it’s going to cause a big mess, a big 404 – not found – kind of a mess.
Make sure you create posts and not pages – I have seen people build their entire blog using pages and not posts. It’s so important to make sure that you are using the posts section tin WordPress to create your main content.
Install an Image Compressor – The speed of your website is vital, and large images are going to slow it down. Using an image compressor is going to make those large images small and make your entire website load faster. The two that I would suggest is EWWW Image Optimizer and ShortPixel Image Optimizer.
Add Some Security to Your Website – In every website that I build, I always use a security plugin to keep my site secure. iThemes Security locks out people that are trying to break into my website and adds other measures that keep my site from being hacked. I would also suggest that you create a backup of your website so on the day that you need it, you’re not kicking yourself.
IMPORTANT NOTE: That’s another feature that I love about Wealthy Affiliate, WA always has a backup your website. All you have to do is contact the support team and ask them to make yesterday happen again, and your site is back to normal (or at least the way that it was!)
STEP FIVE: CHOOSE A THEME: FREE OR PAID
The platform for your new blog is WordPress (the bones), but now it’s time to put on some skin (themes). There are hundreds of free themes that you find online, or you could use a premium (paid) theme.
If you have the available funds (About $100), I suggest that you use a premium theme. A premium theme will look more professional, give you more features and give you support (in case you mess something up).
Where do you find these premium themes? There are a couple of sites that I use for my premium themes.
Both of these sites offer great themes at affordable prices.
STEP SIX: SETUP YOUR WEBSITE
Alrighty then, you have your host, your theme and a domain name. You are ready to get started.
Here are your next steps for setting up your website.
- Install your theme.
- Customize your theme
- Add some FREE plugins: All in one SEO, Security Plugin, etc.
- Add your pages: about me, privacy page and affiliate disclosure
STEP SEVEN: INTRODUCTION TO SEO
New websites have a hard time getting ranked high on Google; it’s just the way that it goes.
The best way to begin any new website is to find low competitive keywords until your site gains some authority or trust from Google.
As your site gains authority, you’re able to focus on more competitive keywords. This takes time, and you cannot rush it.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is when you optimize your blog post so that Google places it high on the search results (Search Results are sometimes called the SERP or search engine result page).
There are several important steps in making sure your blog post is ready for Google.
It begins with keywords.
STEP EIGHT: AN INTRODUCTION TO KEYWORDS
Keywords are phrases typed into Google by people looking for information. The best way to find these keywords is to look in three places:
(1) First, when you begin to type into Google, the auto-populate gives you a list of popular searches. These auto-populated phrases are keywords! It’s Google trying to guess your keywords by auto-populating it with other people’s keywords.
(2) Secondly, at the end of the result page shows you related searches. These related searches are other people’s keywords.
(3) The last way you can find keywords is using a keyword tool or chrome extension. I’ve used both. The chrome extension I use is called Keywords Everywhere, and the keyword tool that I use is called Jaaxy.
Keywords are broken down into two sections: your main keywords and long tail keywords.
Your main keywords are your core searches. An example would be: how do you ice fish.
A long tail keyword is a variation of that same keyword. An example of a long tail keyword would be ice fishing tips or ice fishing techniques.
Usually, long tail keywords are less competitive and this is why we are going to use them. As we get ranked on these less competitive keywords(long tail keywords), our website will start to gain more authority. This is the process of building out a website until it gains authority.
There is no shortage of keywords that’s for sure. Google processes 40,000 search queries every second. People are always looking for answers to their questions, and we are in the business of providing those answers.
I should also mention that your keyword needs to make grammatical sense. Don’t use a keyword that says: “best iPhone year”. Instead, use a keyword like, “best iPhone of the year”. You will see the reason for choosing grammatically compete keywords in just a moment.
Other Great Websites for Finding Keywords:
STEP NINE: FIND LOW COMPETITION KEYWORDS
How do you know if a keyword has low-competition? As you begin to create posts for your blog, you’re going to start to get a feel for the keywords that have low competition.
It does take some time, but I want to give you some basic steps to give you a head start.
Examine the Authority of the Top Sites
One easy way in figuring out a keyword’s competition is determining the authority of the sites ranked at the top.
Can you outrank those websites? How old are they? Are they large established sites that are respected in their industry or niche?
Domain authority for a given website is measured in different ways. Usually, it’s calculated from the age of the domain, the number of backlinks and the quality of the content.
An authoritative site that would be pretty hard to outrank would be: WebMD, Wikipedia, Amazon.ca and draxe.com. Note, and this is important, their authority covers their specific niche. An example would be for medical keywords – WebMD is going to be a difficult website to outrank.
Go to Google and search for “best cell phone” and notice the authority of the top websites:
pcmag.com tomsguide.comtechradar.comconsumerreports.orgpcmag.comzdnet.com (I remember downloading free software from this website as a teen onto floppy disks at the local library – it’s an old, authoritative site).
The point that I’m trying to make is that you’re not going to outrank these sites for a very very very time, and you’re definitely not going to outrank them with a brand spanking new website.
Google trusts these websites to deliver high-quality information. If sites like these are at the top for your keyword, then you need to find another keyword.
Look for keywords that have low-authority sites at the top of the results. Sites that are not even talking about your keyword!
Okay, so think about the authority of the sites that are ranking, also consider the types of sites that are ranking.
What Type of Sites are Ranking?
You have to determine if your keyword is searching for information or buying.
If you search for “iPhone”, you probably going to see Apple as the top site. It’s because Google is going to push the e-commence button and assume you’re looking to make a purchase for a new iPhone.
If you search for “best iPhone” then Google assumes you’re looking for information about the best iPhone, and that you’re not looking to make a purchase just yet.
Do you see the difference?
You need to determine how Google sees your keyword and how it’s going to respond by showing results. If you type your keyword into Google and see other niche sites then this is a good sign. Google is presenting information for that keyword, and because your site is information there is a good chance your site will get ranked.
Just a quick tip . . .
When search results show forums or knowledge base sites, I see this as a good sign for getting ranked.
Google commonly doesn’t like to display forums in their results, so either it’s a really good forum post, or it’s a low competitive keyword.
STEP TEN: WRITE YOUR FIRST BLOG POST
Now that you have you’re niche ready to go, and your website is up and running. It’s time to write that first post.
There are a lot of people that get turned off creating niche sites because they assume that they are really bad writers and that no one will read their post anyway – so why bother?
Writing for the internet isn’t hard, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. You can use free software like Grammarly that will give you the confidence that you need to begin.
After you find a good keyword that has low competition, you’re ready to write.
You want to aim to write between 1200-1500 words. This is going to be the foundation for your blog.
Tell your story. Explain why you choose the niche. The sky is the limit to your creative genius.
The keyword that you choose to write about has be placed in four places within each blog post. Are you paying attention?
You want to add the keyword in the (1) title of the post, (2) the first paragraph of your post, 3) in the slug of your post, and the last place will be (4) the alt text of an image.
I hope you got that.
The title is at the top of every post (see the picture below). This is why you need to make sure that your keyword makes grammatical sense. You can add the keyword to the title and then add more text to give some meaning.
An example would be:
The Best iPhone Review: What You Need To Know Before You Buy
The second place to add your keyword would be the first paragraph of your post.
An example would be:
“Thanks for checking out my blog post on the best iPhone review. In this post, we’re going to look at the top selling iPhone on the market today, and see if it’s worth buying.”
Notice how I began this post by adding the keyword “best iPhone review” right in the introduction. As you write more and more, you’re going to get better at this.
The next place to add the keyword will be in the slug. The slug is the extension added to your domain name that directs people to your post.
An example would be:
bestiphones.com/the-best-iphone-review-what-you-need-to-know-before-you-buy(the highlighted text is the slug).
An image ALT text is the last place to add your keyword. You can find some fantastic images for free online (I wrote a post about it here). Under the settings of your image, you’re going to see an ALT text section. This is the only part of the image that Google understands and indexes. The ALT text describes the image to Google so that it can place it in Google Images.
You don’t want to just cram keywords in the ALT text. Try to do your best to use an image that relates to the keyword or use the ALT text to describe the image.
An example would be adding an iPhone X and the ALT text reading: Reviewing the iPhone X which is the Best iPhone on the Market
This flows naturally, relates to the photo, and doesn’t come across as spammy.
Google can and will penalize you if you cram in keywords.
Okay, that it!
Now that you’ve added keywords into your post, just naturally write the remainder of the post!
Don’t worry about adding anymore keywords. If you try to focus on adding keywords while writing your content, it becomes choppy and difficult to read.
Now that your post is complete, and your keywords are all correctly placed. It’s time to tell Google that you exist.
STEP ELEVEN: CREATE A GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE ACCOUNT (WEBMASTER TOOLS)
The next step in becoming an internet marketer is to create a Google Webmasters Account. If you already have a Gmail account you should be able to link them together.
Click here and head over to the Search Console and create your FREE account.
After your done, you can head back here and we’ll continue on.
STEP TWELVE: GO TO FETCH WITH GOOGLE
One of the amazing tools that we have as affiliate marketers, is the ability to tell Google that we just wrote a post and would like to have it indexed.
Google provides a way for us to do this in the Search Console by using a feature called “Fetch as Google”.
By using the Fetch as Google feature, you’re telling Google to go now and index the post that was just written. It’s true that Google bots would find your site eventually, but with Fetch as Google you’re helping Google speed up the process.
- Go to the Google Search Console and click on Crawl in the menu to the left
- The third title from the top (under crawl) should be a menu item called Fetch as Google (click it).
- Once inside your going to see an input box, add the ending of the slug in the box at the top.
- Click FETCH
- Under where you imported the url or slug you should see your status as complete and a grey button should appear that says request indexing – Click on that grey button.
- Click “I am not a robot” and crawl only this URL.
- To complete the transaction [Click Go]
- You’re done. Google is on its way to index the site and place it where it believes it should be on their search results.
STEP THIRTEEN: SUBMIT YOUR SITEMAP
Let’s add a sitemap. If you have added the All in One SEO plugin as instructed above, you’re now going to use that plugin to create a sitemap.
Sitemaps are not life and death for your blog. If you don’t have one it doesn’t mean that Google isn’t ever going to find your website, but because we have the ability to give Google all the locations of our pages, posts and images – why not, right?
- Click on the All in One SEO title on the left menu of the WordPress dashboard
- Click on the feature manager that appears under the All in One SEO menu
- Activate XML Sitemap
- Click on the XML Sitemap menu that now appears under the main All in One SEO menu
- Click on View your Sitemap and copy (command +C on a Mac) the slug in your web browser.
- Head over to Google Console and extend the Crawl menu on the left.
- Now click on Sitemaps under the Crawl menu
- At the top right-hand corner you’re going to see a red button that says add/test sitemap – click that button.
- Add the ending of the slug which you just copied in the box (after the .com of the domain). It should be sitemap.xml
- Click submit
- You’re done. The sitemap has been submitted and will be processed by Google shortly.
STEP FOURTEEN: CREATE A LIST OF 30 MORE KEYWORDS (THE HIT LIST)
Now we are going to rinse and repeat. We’re going to do the steps I listed above all over again; actually, we’re going to do it 30 more times.
- Find a Keyword (Low Competition)
- Write a post adding it to your title, in the first paragraph, an image and a slug.
- Fetching it as Google
- Resubmitting your Sitemap
We’re going to start with finding the 30 keywords that will be the foundation of those 30 new posts.
Get to work! Find 30 more low competitive keywords.
You can use the methods that I explained above (using the related searches on Google, the auto-populate technique, or use a keyword finder such as Jaaxy).
Check out other blogs, forums or Quora to see what questions people are asking about your particular niche.
Maybe you need to step away from the computer and think of questions that you have for your niche.
It’s time to get to work!
STEP FIFTEEN: WRITE 30 MORE BLOG POSTS USING THOSE KEYWORDS
It’s writing time! You now have an excellent list of keywords and the knowledge on how to get your posts ranked in Google.
As you write out your new posts, I would add some variety to the type of posts that you write.
Write a third of the posts 1200 words or more, and focus on answering questions people have in your niche.
What iPhone is the best? Why should I buy an iPhone? Are iPhones better than an Android phone?
You get the idea, right?
I would write another third of the posts about memorable content with catchy titles that people will want to share.
30 Ways to Choose the right iPhone5 Phones Better than the iPhoneIf You Have An iPhone Don’t Do This!
The last third I would focus on meaty content that has 3000 or even 6000-word posts. These are comprehensive guides related to your niche. These posts can take days to write, and that’s okay. Just take your time and work at creating helpful content.
Your Comprehensive iPhone Guide How to Set-up a New iPhoneBuyers Guide For Buying a New iPhone
Remember you’re telling Google that you want to be an authority in your niche, so you have to prove to them that your content is worth ranking.
Get to work, the internet world is your oyster!
STEP SIXTEEN: BE PATIENT
This next section is so important that if you don’t read this, you’ll probably end up quitting.
Google doesn’t rank websites quickly. It takes serious time!
In fact, it takes months and sometimes up to a year for your website posts to find their final place in the SERPS (Remember that SERPS is the search engine results page).
Most people start their blog, and write five or ten articles, and then after several months, they check to see how many people have come to their site and are shocked to see a BIG FAT ZERO.
Within the first three months, the only traffic you’re going to see is some bot traffic (1-10 people), but this isn’t real traffic.
Sadly, most people become disappointed and give up on their blog!
Don’t give up. It may feel like you’re writing to a desert at the beginning, but as the months go by you will start to see some traffic.
Note: It is perfectly normal not to see any traffic for the first 4-6 months.
I assure you. If your keywords are low competitive, and people are searching for what you’re writing about – you’re going to see traffic in time.
Just be patient.
I would say, give your blog a good year before you start seeing consistent traffic (This is probably a conservative number. You’ll begin to see traffic before this but after a year if you see no traffic then someone isn’t right).
Let me illustrate how a blog works.
You’re planting a tree in the soil, and it takes time for it to grow.
This year I planted some grape vines beside my house. During the summer, I thought about how great it would be if I could enjoy the grapes from those vines right now. I knew that the only way that I could enjoy those grapes is by waiting until the vine matured and produced fruit.
It would be stupid of me to get so frustrated with those vines because they didn’t produce grapes that I either: planted a new vine or tore them out of the ground.
Relax. Enjoy the Ride.
You planted the seed, and it takes time for that seed to grow into a full money making machine.
When I first started with affiliate marketing, I got so frustrated that my website wasn’t making money right away that I started a new site.
I remember thinking that the niche had to be no good or my site would be making money by now. It was two weeks and I had about 5 blog posts total on it.
I jumped around from idea to idea and never allowed the seed to grow. It wasn’t until I decided to just have fun, relax and let my website mature that I started to see some success.
SEO experts say that it takes about 35 weeks for a blog post to reach its final destination on google.
If this is true, then most people quit before they give their website a chance.
Patience is the most important quality of any affiliate marketer.
Once you start getting some traffic, you can start talking about how you should monetize your website.
Okay, wipe the drool from your mouth and let’s talk money.
STEP SEVENTEEN: LOOK AT DIFFERENT AFFILIATE PROGRAMS TO MONETIZE YOUR SITE
There are three major ways that you can monetize your website:
- Affiliate Programs (Amazon, Clickbank, and many others)
- Ads (Ad Thrive)
- Creating Your Own Info Product
Creating your own info product is the most difficult way to monetize a website, and takes the most time. I wouldn’t worry about creating your own information product until you have at least 50k+ visitors a month.
Ads used to be a hard way to make money with a website (Google Adwords pays only pennies), but you can use some great premium ad platforms that work great (Ad Thrive seems to be the most popular). Don’t add ads to your site until you have at least 40k+ visitors a month).
- Share A Sale
- CJ Affiliate
- Affiliate Partners Ltd.
- Commission Factory
- Flex Offers
Some of these affiliate programs are premium which means you need a lot of traffic before you can join. To be honest, it’s better to wait until you’re getting traffic before you add affiliate links to your website.
The Easiest to monetize your niche website is once you’re getting consistent traffic add a simple products post.
Your products post highlights the products that you use the most in your niche, each of them with an affiliate link of course.
Take the top 5 posts that receives the most traffic on your site and add a link from those posts to that product page.
That’s it. You’re monetized!
STEP EIGHTEEN: KEEP BUILDING OUT YOUR WEBSITE
Keep working on your site.
The more posts that you add, the more visitors you’re going to see over time. As you gain authority in your niche, it becomes easier to rank for more difficult keywords.
Your journey is well on its way.
Make some goals and work at completing them.
One post a day, or three posts a week!
Whatever goals you set, work hard at completing them with the intention of creating new goals.
This is the cycle of success!
STEP NINETEEN: DON’T GIVE UP
You’re telling me not to give up again? Yep. I’ll tell you a million times because it’s why 90% of affiliate marketers don’t make money.
You may come to some difficult times with your site (Everyone does), but don’t give up!
Continue to the very end! Find those 30 keywords and write those 30 posts, and don’t look back. Keep on researching, writing and growing!
I started blogging to make extra money to buy some fancy tech (because I’m a nerd), and because I wanted to take my family to Disney World. It’s true, read my complete story.
Wealthy Affiliate changed my perspective of an online business and showed me that it was possible!
STEP TWENTY: USE A COACH
When you join Wealthy Affiliate, you get fantastic training, and me as your coach to help you along the way.
You can work alongside me, and I can help you with your new online business.
Not only me, but there are thousands of people inside Wealthy Affiliate that are there to help you.
This is what made the difference in my life, and I know will make a difference in yours as well.
If you have any questions about affiliate marketing, please use the comment section below and I’d love to help you out.