Hello and welcome to part 3 of this 4 part series about affiliate marketing for beginners.
Great to have you join me on this affiliate marketing journey of discovery.
If you missed parts 1 and 2 of the series then as a beginner affiliate marketer I strongly suggest you go check them out first and then come back to this part 3 of the series.
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If you prefer to listen then here’s my podcast version BUT please dont forget to leave me your comments below – that’s the “lifebood of my business” and your feedback is always appreciated so much.
In part 1 we looked at a whole lot of critical things for affiliate marketing including “What Really Is Affiliate Marketing?” “How does affiliate marketing actually work?” and a whole lot more.
In part 2 we looked at “7 Key Reasons Why You Should Consider Affiliate Marketing”; “How Can I Make Money from Affiliate Marketing?” and “What Affiliate Programs Should I Select?”
In this part 3 we’ll cover:
How Best to Get Started as an Affiliate Marketer?
Two Different yet Successful Affiliate Marketing Strategies.
Let’s get started.
How Best to Get Started as an Affiliate Marketer?
The following are the 7 essential steps to get started with your affiliate marketing business.
1. What Market Niche is Right for Me?
So many people get this bit wrong and its not that hard!
Think about what you are interested in and NOT just the money potential of a particular target market.
You need to do some research here.
It doesn’t take long but it is critical to your success as an affiliate marketer.
Think about WHO your ideal target audience person would look like?
Think about WHERE the people in your niche would hang out online and go there?
Maybe they belong to certain social media groups or forums.
Go and LOOK, LISTEN and LEARN
Watch this video that shows you how to use a great free tool called FAQFOX – this will help you discover what’s being talked about in forums.
Find out what are the major challenges, problems, “pain points”, issues being faced by people in the niche.
Can you relate to this market?
Do you understand the lingo?
Are there enough people looking for information that you can sell to them?
Pick a niche that enables you to sell products according to your area of interest.
2. Starting Your Website
Before signing up with any company you need to start your own website.
I recommend you start with a wordpress blog and here’s a link that will show you all about this. It’s called “Free Beginner’s Guide to Successful Blogging”
Please note that many companies would want to see the status and content of your website before accepting you as an affiliate for their products.
3. Choose the Right Affiliate Program
Always, always, always research the affiliate marketplace BEFORE you make any decisions about which affiliate program (network) you are going to start with.
As a beginner just select one and become very familiar with it.
The affiliate programs or networks you select will depend a lot on the type of products that you are selling. As I mentioned previously different affiliate programs will focus on different items.
Some affiliate networks like Commission Junction mainly focus on selling website subscriptions and services while places like ClickBank have a focus on digital products like ebooks and software packages.
Sooner or later as an affiliate marketer you have to make a decision about which affiliate network is going to fit best into your chosen target niche.
For example if you have affiliate offers like advice about car insurance or health insurance then you’d use a lead based affiliate network to promote insurance quotes.
If your niche was the “make money online” niche then you’d look for affiliate programs that offered digital solutions to the challenges faced by people just like you trying get started online.
As always do some research and be aware that some affiliate networks are known for late payments and other bad business practices. Try not to learn these lessons from your own experiences.
4. Signing Up for Affiliate Products
Depending on which affiliate program you selected, you may be also required to sign up with companies who are offering the particular affiliate products you want to promote.
After signing up you will receive a tracking link and from then onwards while promoting that company’s product, you will recommend that affiliate link to direct the consumer to the company’s website.
Be aware that the companies you are seeking to get affiliate offers from might ask you for your website URL (this is your website address like www.google.com)
For your reputation and credibility it’s very important that you choose the right “merchant”
When you promote a product you are also promoting the person or the company who is behind the product so try to choose wisely.
Usually, companies that offer good customer service will have better customer satisfaction so try to stick with promoting their products.
5. Choosing the Right Products
As a beginner affiliate marketer be very careful here. It will be so eay to be completely swamped and confused with the range of different products you can offer.
Don’t make the classic mistake of deciding on a product and then go looking for someone to sell it to!
The time you spent researching your target market (your niche or target audience) is now going to pay off big time for you.
How you ask?
Well that’s an easy question to answer and one that very few beginner affiliate marketers bother about.
The research you did was to focus on finding a VIABLE NICHE.
In other words where a group of people with a COMMON “PAIN POINT” who are also prepared to PAY to overcome, remove or avoid that “pain point”
Once you know the “pain point” then all you need to do is search for the best solution.
This is a far better way than coming up with a solution and then to go searching for people who may have a need for that solution – you’ve just out the cart before the horse!
Avoid falling into this trap.
Its one of the major causes of affiliate marketing failures and it’s usually brought about because people are TOO LAZY to do the initial research.
Don’t be one of these potential losers. Promise?
You need to spend some time doing research on the products that you’re going to promote. Always keep in mind your target audience’s needs when assessing any products.
However, unlike your niche where you are focusing on a specific or small market, in your product selection you can expand the affiliate products you want to make and offer a wide variety of products or lead generating links when you’re marketing to readers.
Use some restraint here and don’t go trying to promote lots of offers. Simply go for just a couple of products that are very relevant to your niche.
If you are going to operate your affiliate marketing business using a blog (and I hope you are) then know that your readers will have broad based needs within your niche so you should try to appeal to every aspect of their need.
This means some of your readers may prefer an ebook solution to a particular problem whilst others may want software or video solution.
Whilst researching your products click on the “Gravity” or “Network Earnings” options on the affiliate program for all the stats on what products are selling the best.
6. Critical: Buy the Product FIRST
As mentioned before it’s just so important that you are familiar with anything you are going to promote as an affiliate marketer.
It can take some time to create our online reputation but only one stupid mistake to instantly ruin it!
You simply cannot give real information about a product if you have never used it?
When visitors come to your site or contact you looking for product information and you can’t confidently provide them with all the details then you’ve just lost a customer.
Not only that they are going to leave your website and probably never come back. Interested traffic is hard enough to get so don’t mess this bit up.
Buy the product and use it.
Get to know all there is to know all there is to know about it and never try to fake your way through a product review or an email response.
7. Share Your Experiences with the Product
Most successful affiliate marketers always relate their personal experiences with the products they are selling.
As a beginner affiliate marketer you can do exactly the same.
Share your experiences about how you uses the product and what difference did it make in your life. People love stories and always get inspired by the real life experience of others rather than just being asking to buy the product.
Two Different yet Successful Affiliate Marketing Strategies
As an affiliate marketer be aware that thousands of people, if not millions are trying to promote the same products as you.
To make money with affiliate marketing, you basically have 2 different strategies you can follow and each have their own pros and cons:
There are no “magical short-cut solutions” to making money online.
So stop chasing those “overnight success dreams” because that’s exactly what you’ll get – just a dream that puts no money into your bank account.
You can either –
Drive Free Traffic with Blogging: This is a proven strategy that takes time and patience.
Use the Paid Traffic Approach: This will definitely get you a quicker result but it’s still not an “overnight success” process.
If you advertise on different websites or use things like solo ads then this can be a faster method of driving traffic to your affiliate programs to make money, but it needs you to have money to invest.
Here’s a brief comparison of these 2 approaches
Let’s take a look inside each way and compare them to find the best one for you.
- Driving Free Traffic with Blogging
Assuming you’ve identified your target audience ( your niche) and their specific needs and wants then to drive targeted visitors to your blog (and or your product review posts and pages) you have to create valuable relevant content that is aimed directly at your chosen target audience.
You are reading a real life example right here as this series of posts is aimed fairly and squarely at my target audience – beginner bloggers and affiliate marketers.
Reach Out and Share
You then have to reach out to other bloggers in your niche who are ahead of your blog development and build relationships with them.
These other more established bloggers will be the ones who drive most of your free traffic to your blog.
This process of networking and engagement is very enjoyable but also extremely time consuming.
Many people will tell you that you also need to learn just a little bit about basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is all about driving organic (search engine traffic using keywords). It’s not a rocket science but it’s better to have some understanding about this.
I know very little about SEO and the whole topic bores me to tears. That’s probably why for some time I had trouble getting very much organic traffic to my site.
The Product Review Approach
Many affiliate marketers create their content all around “product reviews”. Now I realize this works wonders for bloggers who are established with lots of credibility and traffic.
Many bloggers are providing excellent, honest reviews that are very much appreciated and accepted by readers. They are definitely a great way to promote your affiliate offers to your target audience.
Why Beginners Should Avoid Creating Product Reviews
Despite the success bloggers have with their affiliate product reviews I am suggesting (recommending even) that as a beginner affiliate marketer you should not try this approach.
You may not like this but you just have to accept that at this stage in your online experience (which basically equates to zero) you have no reputation, no knowledge and absolutely no credibility with anyone except you grandma if she ever visits your blog.
So why would any visitor to your blog (if they ever found it) bother to take any of your product reviews seriously?
They wouldn’t and I know this sounds harsh but it’s also the truth.
As a beginner blogger come affiliate marketer you have to earn your reputation and your credibility and this takes time and effort.
However, once you start to gain acceptance with your valuable blog posts then people will also start to trust you.
The amazing thing is that most people online are extremely skeptical but as well they are all looking for people they can trust.
As a beginner you can start to build your reputation for competence, credibility and achieve trust with the value you give in your posts, your blog comments and in your emails to your list.
Yes, I strongly suggest you start building your email list as soon as possible.
For some more practical ideas about getting started online go here to get your copy of my free ebook called “10 Things You Should Know About Making Money Online”
Once you have earned the trust of your subscribers your affiliate marketing then becomes a heck of as lot easier.
Please don’t get any hangs up about being a beginner blogger because you now have the chance to avoid all the mistakes people like me and others have made.
Become a Giver Not a Taker
You’ll find many bloggers who are only too happy to share and help if they see you are genuinely trying to build your reputation.
When you give value, provide comments and ask genuine questions, people will notice you and respond.
So make it a daily action to reach out to others in your niche, leave them a valuable comment on their posts. You will grab people’s attention and this is the best way to start your networking actions. Learn to be a giver.
You’ll also need to spend time promoting your posts on social media using catchy headlines that create some curiosity to come and see what you have created.
Be active and spend some time every day promoting your posts as well as sharing on social media the posts you made comments on – this will definitely catch these other blogger’s attention.
2. Use the Paid Traffic Approach
If you don’t have the willingness, time and knowledge to create a blog then you can promote your blog posts with paid advertising and advertise with popular networks.
This is the paid traffic route but it can provide you with very quick results.
There are many options like Facebook, Google Adwords or Bing where you drive traffic from these ads to a page about your affiliate offer that you have created.
Just remember this traffic is “cold” – they don’t know you, like you or trust you.
So sending just a few hundred of “clicks” won’t result in many sales.
You need lots of traffic from websites to make this work but as a beginner affiliate marketer I’m also assuming (maybe incorrectly) that you also have limited funds available for advertising like this.
That’s why I am not recommending this strategy to you if you’re a beginner marketer.
For more details about the “paid traffic” option check out this video post called “Profitable Traffic Generation Methods Revealed”
That’s it for this part 3 of this 4 part series.
See you next time! But don’t miss Part 4, the last part in the series that gives you:
“11 Massive Tips for Success as an Affiliate Marketer”
It’s Your Turn
I know just how busy you must be so many thanks for taking the time to leave me your comments.
As a beginner affiliate marketer did you have trouble finding the right niche?
Do you already have a blog? If not, why not?
Care to share why you decided to become an affiliate marketer?
What have been your biggest challenges or struggles as an affiliate marketer?
What has really worked well for you as an affiliate marketer?
What were the key things you got from this post?
Would you like some help with your affiliate marketing?