There is no such thing as easy affiliate marketing. At one time, it was easy. Folks were clicking on banners and if you linked a banner to an affiliate link, you could make a sale for which you would gain a commission. Placing banners on your website will not make you rich as an affiliate marketer.
The search engines upon which affiliate marketers depend, hate affiliate marketers. So they do everything they can to make life miserable for them. The search engines want folks who are using their search function to find information that is relative to the information they are actually looking for. So crappy websites geared simply to pushing a product are dumped from the listings or buried so deep that it would take a month of Sundays to find them.
Affiliate Marketing Is a Business
If you’re going to go into affiliate marketing you need both training and a business plan. In my opinion, since I’ve been a member since 2008, Wealthy Affiliate is the premier site for learning affiliate marketing. You can join for free but if you want the whole shebang, you will need to be a premium member which costs $47 each month. I suggest that you pay annually where the cost is about one-half.
You can go to SBA.gov and prepare a business plan at no cost.
You really need to know where are you going before you take your first steps to success as an affiliate marketer.
Advantages to Being an Affiliate Marketer
There are some advantages to being an affiliate marketer:
1. You can work at home, if you have a computer. If you don’t have a computer, you can use a computer at the library.
2. Once the you have made enough money to leave your day job, you can save money on transportation, clothing, union dues, child care and other costs associated with working a day job.
3. Affiliate marketing can lead you to selling your own products, or products for which you have an exclusive, on the Internet.
4. The startup cost for affiliate marketing are low. The minimum cost are for purchasing a domain and having it hosted.
5. You have the potential of making a substantial income.
6. If you have a portable computing device with Internet access, you can work wherever you are.
7. You can work in your underwear if you want to.
Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing
1. You do not have control of your own products. You are dependent upon vendors who may discontinue their affiliate programs or even compete with you.
2. You do not have control of your customers. Your vendor will pay you a high commission, often up to 100%, for your first sale. But you don’t know who the customer is and the vendor will make all of the back sales where the big money is.
3. You need to give your readers, the visitors to your website, a free gift to get them to sign up for your mailing list or newsletter. You probably will have to pay some like AWeber or GetResponse to maintain your list. You must sell (promote) to this list.
4. You must attract traffic to your website which can be either a lengthy or expensive procedure.
Writing Relevant Content
To be an affiliate marketer, you must supply continually information that is relevant to the niche you are working. A niche is a small segment of a larger market. You must work within that market to learn what people are like, what they want and what they need. Your job is to promote, not to sell. Selling is the job of the vendor.
You need to begin with keyword research. I use JAAXY because it was designed by affiliate marketers for affiliate marketers. Your keyword should be in your domain name and in the first paragraph of any post or article that you put up on the web. Using more keywords may be considered to be “stuffing”by the search engines. However, relevant keywords will come up natural as you write in the search engines will use these two characterize your article. Articles need to be at least 500 words for the search engine to determine its relevance.
Many affiliate marketers purchase content from writers at Elance.com or other sites. Whoever does the writing, it must be checked for proper spelling and grammar. Fiverr.com is a good place to purchase banners, logos and many other functions related to affiliate marketing.
How To Get Started in Affiliate Marketing
1. Find a niche market. Sometimes the best niche markets are based on your own skills, talents and education. Avoid the money-making niche at least to start. It is very competitive. It is better to look in a niche in relationships, expensive hobbies and health and beauty. But don’t limit yourself. A good niche should have magazines associated with the niche. Then you can see what the niche members are looking for by reading the magazine and am looking for related advertisements.
2. Go to SBA.gov and start preparing your business plan.
3. Learn how to do affiliate marketing. Just stay away from the gurus who will give you a gift and then sell you one thing after another and may actually give you harmful information that will delay your progress. Remember that the gurus are your competition in the money-making niche. I suggest you start at Wealthy Affiliate. If I were you, I would pay for a one-year premium membership because of the low cost. That also will help you to make the required commitment that you will have to have to be successful in Internet marketing. There will be no up sales or back sales by the owners, Carson and Kyle. If you don’t have the money, then use the free membership at WAU to get started.
4. Go to the affiliate networks for the companies themselves to obtain affiliate links. CJ.com is very popular. For Digital Products, I suggest that you use ClickBank.com.
5. Develop your own products or get access to products that you have an exclusive on. You can start with a free web store at Etsy.com to sell products that you make or older products that you may pick up at garage sales. My story is MyStuffy and my granddaughters’ store is YumBaby.
Having your own little store can bring you some extra cash that can be used to get you established in Internet marketing.
6. Buy your domain name, get it hosted, and build your website. Namecheap.com is a good place to buy your domain names and HostGator.com is a good place to host them. I use Wealthy Affiliate for my hosting because I’ve been there since 2008. Most all hosting companies provide WordPress.org themes and plug-ins. You will learn to do all of these functions if you join Wealthy Affiliate.
7. Keep updated on what is going on in the Internet. That is one reason it is nice to be part of a community of Internet marketers such as WAU.
P.S. If you visit WAU, my ID there is tjbooks.