I am assuming that because you’re reading this blog post that you are interested in making money online, and you’ve discovered that affiliate marketing is the best path to fulfil those dreams.
This guide is your ultimate guide to affiliate marketing and this will teach you everything that you need to know about affiliate marketing in a simple, but a concise guide, to give you the answers that you need to get started.
There are many ways to make money online that are legit and profitable.
- 1Make money selling your time with upwork.com or Fiverr.com
- 2Fill out surveys for pennies using
- 3Build a drop-shipping business
- 4Sell digital products on Clickbank.com
- 5Sell your photography on istockphoto.com
In my opinion, the best way to make money online is affiliate marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
An Affiliate Marketing Definition
The best definition of affiliate marketing can be found on Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income website:
"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."
In simplicity, this is what affiliate marketing is all about. Notice the chart below which illustrates the above definition.
Affiliate marketing is all around us, and we don't even realize it. Have you ever received a discount on your hotel because you referred a friend? Indirectly this is what affiliate marketing is all about.
An Affiliate Marketing Demonstration
Let's take some time and demonstrate what affiliate marketing is all about.
Below you’re going to notice a simple diagram of how you could potentially make money with affiliate marketing.
YOU BUILD A WEBSITE
A VISITOR READS YOUR POST
THEY CLICK AN AFFILIATE LINK
YOU GET A COMMISSION
This is how people are making money from affiliate marketing every single day.
Selling Vs. Helping
At the heart of affiliate marketing is content.
Actually, you are in the business of providing information.
You take what you've learned, experienced and know and help people in their daily life. When you help people with the problems that they have in their daily life, you’re going to sell the products that you promote.
I built a niche website called icemakergeeks.com, promoting ice makers from Amazon.
Ice Maker Geeks reviews different portable ice makers, helping people make an informed decision on which portable ice maker would be better for them.
As I drive traffic to icemakergeeks.com, I make more sales. The more visitors, the more sales - simple.
How do you get traffic to your site? There are several ways to get traffic to your website - some free and others paid.
1. PPC - (Pay Per Click) Google Ads allow you to place a bid per click on their advertising. Google Ads are listed at the top and bottom of search results and is an easy way to drive traffic to your blog.
PPC does cost money and depending on the competition of your niche, it can cost a sufficient amount.
2. Forums and Social Media - Another way to drive traffic to your website is search around on forums and help people in your niche. As you help people with the problems they are facing, always link back to your website for reference.
Don’t send people directly to an affiliate link because this is classified as spam.
Send them to your website where they get more information about the topic and your affiliate links where they can purchase your promoted products.
Use Social media groups or website’s like Quora.
3. SEO - The final way I want to highlight for driving traffic to your website is SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s making sure that your blog posts are friendly with google so that they rank higher on search results. This gives you free traffic as you build out your site.
As we continue with this guide I want to make sure that I am clear that affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme or a secret system that generates profit.
Affiliate marketing is a real online business model that has been proven time and time again.
Countless people make a full-time income from just one single website.
These are all real people and their REAL testimonies. In fact, you can head over to Wealthy Affiliate, and read hundreds more success stories of people making an income online.
It’s possible and plausible for you to make money online with affiliate marketing.
Your Direction With Affiliate Marketing
The direction of your affiliate marketing niche website is up to you.
There are millions of products that you can promote on your website.
One of the most popular affiliate programs is Amazon.
Consider the millions of products that are available on Amazon to purchase right now . . .
oh yeah, books?
Amazon has anything that you need. It's a great program to promote because it’s trusted and has an amazing selection of products.
Also, Amazon gives you commissions on everything the visitor or customer buys after they click on your affiliate link (Within 24 hours).
Amazon is just one direction that you could follow, but there are countless.
Clickbank.com has thousands of digital products that are available to promote.
Affiliate or (cj.com) also provides several digital products for you to promote on your website.
Walmart.com or bestbuy.com are popular affiliate programs as well.
Even Apple.com offers an opportunity to become one of their affiliates and promote their latest phone, laptop or iPad.
The possibility is endless.
It’s easy to find an affiliate program, just open google.com and type your niche, and then add "affiliate program" after it.
Let's give this a try.
I want to start selling pet products as a niche. So, let's see what affiliate programs are available for me to join.
I go to google.com and write - “pet products affiliate programs” and wait to see what populates.
There are hundreds of results.
Top Pick: petco.com seems to have a lot of potential.
Now, I have products for my niche site and a direction to follow.
This is the world of affiliate marketing, and it's a world that welcomes you.
There is money to be made, and an opportunity to build a real online business that is stable and exciting.
Why Should I Create An Affiliate Marketing Niche Website?
isn't that your goal?
If you are looking to make passive income, then an affiliate niche site is your answer.
Let’s break this down, so you'll understand.
Why Choose A Niche?
A niche is a product or interest that appeal to a specific population.
I choose a niche for affiliate marketing so that . . .
(1) I have a proper focus on what I’ll be promoting
(2) I can be separated from the competition and choose a subject that I can become an authority.
Some niches are very competitive. Others niches are just waiting for you to join and make a profit.
Remember that all niches have competition! The key is to find a niche that has low competition.
Some High Competitive niches would be the health niche and the wealth niche. I choose ice makers as a niche because I had decided it wasn’t as competitive as other products.
Choosing A Niche
When choosing a niche, you want to make sure that you have traffic and low competition. You can read more about choosing a niche and what you should look for here.
A simple way to discover if a niche has high competition is to see if the domain name for "best [your niche]" is taken.
Though this doesn't always determine if your niche is highly competitive, it's an excellent place to start.
Remember that competition is not always a bad thing. Niches are competitive when people are making money.
How Do You Make Money With A Competitive Niche?
It's simple: more competition means the harder you'll have to work at breaking through and ranking for your niche's keywords.
What Niche Should I pick?
That’s a good question, but there's no definite answer.
The niche that you choose is entirely up to you. I added a massive list of niche ideas here that will help you make a decision.
When looking for a niche idea, I suggest that you consider two angles: online and offline.
The offline angle is just being aware of the world around you. Think about problems that you face each day, and how you have solved them.
Consider the products or services that you use each day. Affiliate marketing or online marketing is done on the internet, but it solves problems that we face offline each day.
Remember, a niche website is about helping people overcome their obstacles or problems. Before you choose a niche, acknowledge what happens offline every day in your life.
The online angle is to search several websites for popular subjects or products.
You can take a peek at Amazon’s Best Sellers or Product Hunt. These websites give you an overview of what people like and what products people are buying.
When you finally choose a niche to pursue, your work doesn't stop. You need to investigate even further. Find out the answers to these essential questions: How much traffic and how much competition.
How Much Traffic?
Use a keyword tool like Jaaxy to determine the popularity of your niche.
To do so, add the keyword to Jaaxy, “best [your niche}” or simply “[your niche]” and determine how many long-tail keywords there are and how much searches per month.
A long-tail keyword is a variation of the original keyword.
Consider some long-tail words for ice makers:
best portable ice makers
best ice makers under 100
best ice makers for camping
best ice makers for an RV
top rated ice makers
best icemakers at Walmart
The more long-tail keywords, the more popular the niche and available traffic for you to tap into.
How Much Competition?
You can also see if best[yourniche].com is available and this tells you a lot about the competitiveness of a keyword.
Other ways to see if your niche is competitive is by seeing which websites are ranking for the keywords.
Are the websites big authority sites like Amazon? There are several tools that can help you figure out a website's authority. I recommend that you download a Chrome extension Called Mozbar (free download) from Moz. This extension will give you the domain authority and the overall website’s authority.
This helps you figure out if a niche is very competitive or that you’ll be able to rank for its keywords.
Niche Ideas for Affiliate Marketing
It's hard for me to give you a complete list of niche ideas because the sky is the limit.
As I mentioned in the post available here, you are better off choosing a broad niche and then build it out in time.
My icemakergeeks.com website is not just portable ice makers, but anything to do with making ice. A broad niche allows you to follow several directions in time, and this could mean more money for you.
How Do I Create A Niche Website?
At the heart of affiliate marketing is a website. Without an online presence, it's challenging to make money online.
Your website is your brand.
As you build out your website, you'll become an authority in your niche.
You’ll be the voice of reason to those looking to solve their offline problems in your niche, and the guide to purchase the right products.
A website is an absolute must with affiliate marketing, but what if you have no idea how to create one?
The good news is that in our day it’s effortless to build a professional website. We have so many plugins and platforms which offer great website builders that help us put together a professional website without knowing code or programming.
Wealthy Affiliate was a considerable help to me when I started with affiliate marketing because not only did they train me on how to make money online, but also provide to me with a powerful web host with everything that I needed to succeed.
WordPress has made it easier to build websites; the plugins that are available inside the platform make building a site efficient and seamless.
I also use Thrive Architect, a WordPress plugin, that allows me to build excellent blog posts and landing pages with a real time editor.
Maybe twenty years ago building a website would have been a challenge, but not anymore.
If you want to build an affiliate niche business, then don’t be afraid of creating a web site. It’s pretty simple to do this now, and as you’ll see in the video below you can have a website online in just a couple of minutes using Wealthy Affiliate.
What are some affiliate marketing tips for beginners?
So, you have a niche, a place to build a website and a desire to make a residual income online - now what?
Be Prepared To Work Hard
As you're well aware, not everyone that begins a niche website will succeed. Most people will quit in less than one year.
They Become Discouraged
They Don’t See Any Results
They Aren’t Making Money
They Lost The Passion
A critical point about building a niche website is that this is a real online business. You need to treat it like a real business.
You have to be ready to work with little results.
You have to be able to see the long-term goal.
More Great Tips
Affiliate Marketing Tools
There are several tools that I use for affiliate marketing each day.
The first tool is Wealthy Affiliate. Wealthy Affiliate is a university that teaches affiliate marketers how they can succeed. It teaches you the fundamentals of affiliate marketing, and gives you vital tools like a keyword search tool, website builder and training to maintain your business and make it grow.
Other tools that I use on a regular basis is Thrive Themes. Thrive Themes allows me to build professional websites with little knowledge of code or programming.
For a complete list of the affiliate tools that I use, click on the link.
I hope that this post was a help to you and that you understand now what affiliate marketing is all about.
It’s not as complicated as you may think.
Begin your affiliate marketing journey today by creating your free account with Wealthy Affiliate, and continue to grow and learn personally and professionally.
If you have any questions, you can ask them in the comments below.