Affiliate marketing has been around for a very long time, and it has been one of the most common methods for a lot of people to make money online. For those who are new to the term “Affiliate marketing” it simply means you earn by promoting products online, earning a cut from each sale. There are millions of products that you can promote online, which are offered by various companies around the world.
With affiliate marketing, you don’t need to create your own product in order to start making money online. You simply take a look at the products that are offered by other companies, and then try to promote those products. When somebody buys the product through your affiliate link, then you will be given the percentage of the sale into your account. Often, once the payment reached a certain threshold, you will be able to cash out your affiliate commission, either via check or bank transfer, but some networks/companies pay out on a sale to sale basis.
For instance, if you are promoting a product with a $97 price tag, and the company that releases the product offers you a 50% commission for every sale that you make using your affiliate link, then you will get $48.5 for every sale that you make. If you can make 100 sales per month for that product, then you can cash out a monthly affiliate commission of $4850 to your bank account.
The concept of affiliate marketing is very simple, but it can be very difficult to follow for an absolute beginner. If you want a step by step guide to affiliate marketing, here are a few steps that you need to follow. These steps will help you to understand more about affiliate marketing, and help you get started on your own affiliate business as quickly and as easily as possible.
Step #1 – The Foolproof Formula To Pick The Right Niche
Before you even pick the products to promote for your affiliate business, you have to pick the niche that you want to delve into. A niche is a small category of a topic that you want to work on. It shouldn’t be too broad, and it needs to have its own group of audience. For instance, “weight loss” can be considered a niche for your affiliate business, but it is a very broad niche.
For affiliate marketing to be effective, you have to pick a narrower niche that contains a group of audience desperate to find a good solution for their problems. Thus, for the case of “weight loss”, you can simply pick a narrower niche, such as “weight loss for young moms”. This is a better pick, since you can focus on your promotion toward young moms that are struggling to lose weight after giving birth.
So, how can you find the right niche for your affiliate marketing campaigns? The foolproof formula to pick the right niche for your affiliate business:
- It needs to be profitable. You don’t want to pick products that will in turn become unprofitable for you. When you spend a lot of marketing effort and budget for the promotion of these products, you may only get a small Return On Investment (ROI). So, picking a profitable niche is important, to ensure that all your hard work will pay off. You have to pick a niche that has potential for making good money, such as weight loss, finance, investment, Lead generation and so on. Consider your ROI carefully.
- It needs to have sufficient demand. When you pick a niche, you are actually choosing a market where you will promote your product. This market has an audience with its own demographics; personality, age range, income range, and so on. What you need to do is to ensure that your niche market has sufficient demand for your products. Why Do these people desperately need a solution to their problems? This is the question that you need to answer first. A lot of marketers approach this with What problems do these people have that your products can solve or How can their problems be solved. The key is to ask WHY, thus giving them the solution on a plate, rather than bartering around.
- Look at the keywords. You can research your niche by using the Google Keyword Planner Tool to search for the related keywords in your niche. For instance, if you are interested in the weight loss niche, then you will put the keyword “weight loss” on the Google Keyword Planner Tool, and search for related keywords from there. You will find thousands of related keywords, which you can research again in the same manner. Do this until you find the niche that is narrow enough with good demand and little competition.
- It should be evergreen. The niche that you pick shouldn’t only be a temporary trend. For instance, if you pick the niche “Halloween costumes”, then you will only be able to promote your products at the time of Halloween. Thus, you cannot make money each and every day from that niche. So pick a niche that is evergreen, a constant.
- Take a peek at Offer Vault. Offer Vault is the good place to search for the offers you want to promote. Search for the offers in your niche. Offer Vaults’ network directory has almost all affiliate networks, and their offers, along with other important details like payout and earnings per click, listed. It also has a list of categories to browse, as well as a list of products based on country. This way, you can discover your niche really fast.
You should spend some time researching your niche before you delve further into your affiliate marketing business. Once you’ve decided to pick the right niche for your business, it’s time to determine which products that you want to promote to your audience.
Step #2 – Pick Your Promoted Products The Brilliant Way
There are millions of products that are available online today, and a big percentage of them have their own affiliate programs or they are working with affiliate networks. When you narrow it down to your chosen niche, there are probably hundreds and thousands of products that are available for you to promote in that niche, depending on how popular your niche is. So, how can you pick the products to promote in your affiliate marketing business? Not all products will have a high conversion rate. So don’t have any prior expectations, if you are a master of your niche, conversation rates shouldn’t be an immediate issue.
In regards to this, there are some important things that you should pay attention to before choosing the products to promote. Always remember that because a product is popular, it doesn’t mean that it will have a high conversion rate. So, you cannot simply pick popular products out there and start promoting them like crazy. Here are some useful tips to pick the right products to promote:
- Understand the needs of your audience. Each niche market has its own group of audience that you will target later. This group of audience has their own needs and problems, and they are looking for a solution to fix their problems or fulfill their needs. What you need to do is to understand the needs of your audience, knowing how they think, their fears, and the problems that they are facing right now. Then, pick the products that can help them to solve their problems as easily as possible.
- Pick the products with high ratings. Whatever affiliate network that you choose to use, you need to pick the products that have high ratings and positive feedback. You want the products to be highly recommended by real users, so that when you promote it to your audience, they will not be hesitant to buy the products right away. Don’t pick products that have low ratings or no ratings at all.
- Pick the products that share a reasonable commission. Promoting these products as an affiliate marketer means you have to spend a lot of time, money, and effort into the promotional campaign. So, you don’t want your hard work to go to waste. You want to promote the products that share a big commission per sale, so that you can get your return on investment as quickly as possible.
- Lifetime commission products are the best. If you can find the products that offer lifetime commission for you, it is even better for your long-term investment. This means that the sales that you get today will produce affiliate commissions for you for years to come, for as long as your customers stay as customers. There are quite a lot of affiliate products that offer this commission structure.
- High converting sales page. Before going with a product to promote, first you have to read the sales page of the product to determine whether it will convert well or not. Try to read the sales page from start to finish, and if you are compelled to buy the product, then it is positive that the sales page is persuasive enough, and it will convert well for your audience. Go for the products that have the most persuasive sales pages.
- Ask Your affiliate manager. Consult with your affiliate manager and get their opinion about the best converting offers in your niche. Affiliate Managers have all kinds of data, so they can be a great source to help you out with selecting offers, offers which are converting on their affiliate networks. If you can build a strong relationship with your affiliate manager, they can also provide you additional material which could be of help. So always make sure you keep a good relationship with your affiliate managers.Note here are a few networks I recommend you to start with : Maxbounty , leadbit.com ,W4.comChoosing the right products for your affiliate promotion will make it easier for you to earn commissions from the products that you promote. Make a list of products to promote on your niche, and prepare to join the affiliate networks that host those products. Read more in our special guide about How to pick up a winner CPA offer.
Step #3 – Finding Trusted Affiliate Networks That Pay For Your Hard Work
Affiliate networks are basically the companies that host the affiliate products and the ones that will pay the commission for your affiliate sales. So, this is the place where a lot of vendors can list their products, so that affiliate marketers can find those products and begin promoting them. Examples of Traditional Affiliate Networks are Clickbank, Amazon, and ShareASale. Similarly, you can Find CPA Affiliate Networks which basically pay per action. For example; pay for signing up to a website, making people install apps on their phones, etc. You cannot promote products as an affiliate unless you sign up to the relevant affiliate network and become a member.
However, with a lot of affiliate networks available, the bad news is that not all of them are trusted companies that will pay you for your hard work. Sometimes, bad affiliate networks might withhold your payment, or pay you less as compared to other affiliate networks. This is why you should find/work with the best affiliate networks, ones that you can trust. Here are some tips to find the trusted affiliate networks that pay for your hard work:
- How long have they been about? If you find an affiliate network that seems new to you, check the company profile online. Has the company been around for some time, or is it a new company? Be wary of doing business with new companies, since you don’t know for sure about their reputation. To make things simple, choose the affiliate networks that have been around for some time, and have some sort of presence. Try looking on affiliate marketing groups on Facebook, If you are not sure about an affiliate network feel free to ask in our Facebook group .
- They should make the payment on time. The affiliate networks that you pick should have a good payment reputation, in that they don’t miss affiliate payments. They should treat all affiliates well, by giving their payments on time. One of the common traits of untrustworthy affiliate networks is that they will make excuses to delay your affiliate payment, and usually, they will hold your commissions for no reason.
- They should accept affiliates easily. There are some affiliate networks that are known to accept only experienced affiliates for their network. Usually they will require you to have a few campaigns running already with other networks and would like you to show them some sort of proof of earnings. These are not the companies that you want to work with, especially if you are still a beginner. Instead of wasting your time on signing up to these networks start with networks where you can be accepted easily and spend your precious time working on your campaigns. I understand the logic that not every tom, dick and harry will excel, so they have to be careful, but it shouldn’t be a chore to join a network.
- They should have a good commission structure/system. The commission structure offered by the affiliate networks should be fair for both vendors and affiliates, and they should have a good system to track your affiliate sales. There are networks that are known to be cheating their affiliates by eliminating the sales from their affiliates randomly. Be sure to avoid these types of networks. That is why you need to join the networks that are beginner friendly, yet they have a good reputation.
- They should have positive reviews from affiliates. Before you join any affiliate network that you’ve selected, make sure you read some reviews from the affiliates using that network. Usually, there are many affiliates that discuss certain affiliate networks in online forums, and they usually post their reviews and feedback there. Take a good look at those forums and make sure that you only join the networks with positive reviews from the affiliates. You can also read reviews on affpaying.com or have a look at Kj Rocker’s recommended networks lists.
Now that you’ve picked the right niche, chosen your products, and join the affiliate networks, it’s the time for you to really start the marketing process for those products. For this, you have to build your own affiliate marketing arsenal and prepare your promotional materials there.
Step #4 – The Easy Way To Prepare Your Affiliate Marketing Arsenal
When it comes to affiliate marketing, your only job is to promote the affiliate products to your audience, without forcing them to buy it. So, you simply tell them about the products and why it is a solution to their problems, and then give your affiliate link to your audience so that they can check out the sales page, and gain more insight. Then, when your audience decides to buy the product, you get the affiliate commission for your effort.
The problem here is that there are hundreds and probably thousands of affiliate marketers that are promoting the same products as you. So, you have to compete with them, which is why you need to prepare your affiliate marketing arsenal properly. In this way, you can get ahead of your competition and make more sales in doing so. So, here are some tips to prepare your affiliate marketing arsenal the easy way:
- Build your own website. You can always create a free blog for your affiliate marketing efforts, but do not do that unless you want to waste your time. The best way to promote your affiliate products is by building your own website, and focus your promotion there. You don’t need to build two or three or even ten free blogs to promote different products. Just one website is enough, and since you’ve picked your niche, you can build your website around that topic and easily attract your audience that way.
- Host your website on VPS. Shared hosting might be a good solution for the beginners who are running a website with a lower traffic volume. However, when you are running affiliate marketing campaigns as a business, its important to take it as a business and make sure you most out of your campaigns so always start with at least VPS hosting. ( check out discount form our friends at liquid web hosting). Shared hosting servers are being shared by many web masters and that can slow your website or landing page performance, which may result in loss of sales. When we are promoting affiliate marketing campaigns each and every visitor is important and a potential customer. Also if you are running paid traffic you don’t want slow website speed to turn away your potential customers while you are paying for their visit to your website.
- Build valuable content around your niche. The most important thing that you have to do with your website is content building. You need to develop valuable content for your website, which makes the visitors want to come back to your site for more. The content needs to be able to help solve your audience’s problems and it should be able to entertain them as well. You need to update your website regularly with new content. Read more about 5 Smart content Marketing Strategies.
- Link with social media pages. Create official social media pages for your website where people can get in touch with you in various social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. Whenever you update new content on your website, be sure to notify your social media followers about it, and make sure to develop a strong follower base for all of your social media pages.
- Focus on promoting several products at the same time. While you need to focus on developing your promotional materials on your website, it doesn’t mean that you can only promote one product on it. You can promote several products at the same time on your website. You can even give your audience the product comparison chart in order to make it easier for them to determine which product to buy. You can offer reviews for various products related to your niche and include your affiliate links there. Read More: Why you should build mailing list.
- Promote your products within your web content. Aside from developing valuable content for your website, you should also insert your affiliate links within your content and make it a part of your content. In this way, when people read your content, they might be persuaded to click on the affiliate link just to learn more about the product. However, you should do it only if the affiliate products are directly relevant to your content.
You have prepared a good affiliate marketing arsenal that is ready to help you convert your visitors into customers, and generate lots of affiliate sales for you. Next, it’s the time for you to find out ways to attract more traffic to your website.
Step #5 – Super Effective Ways To Build Traffic To Your Promotional Materials
Since your website contains the valuable content that your audience will read, and within the content, you will insert the affiliate links to your promoted products, then it can be said that your website contains various promotional materials for your affiliate business. Unless you can drive traffic to your website, you cannot generate any sales from your promotion. Thus, it is important for you not only to focus on developing valuable content for your website, but also to attract traffic to your website as well.
What you need to know about attracting traffic to your website is that there are generally two ways of doing that. The first way is using the organic search engine traffic, which you can do over time, for free. The second way is using the paid traffic, something you can do instantly as long as you have the budget to run the ad campaigns. The point in attracting traffic is to attract more people to your website, so that they can finally be sent to your affiliate product sales page. Here are some super effective ways to build traffic to your promotional materials:
- Provide your content on YouTube. YouTube is one of the biggest traffic websites on the internet today, and lots of people usually prefer watching videos than reading articles. That’s why it is important for you to have a solid presence on YouTube, so that you can build your own audience there. Create your own channel and provide content related to your niche, such as how-to, instructions, guides, tips, reviews, and more. Always link back to your website on each of your videos.
- Offer guest posts on related blogs. Find related blogs that are quite popular in your niche, and then ask the bloggers if they accept guest posts or not. If they accept guest posts, write high quality articles for those blogs regularly, and link back to your website home page for each article. Build your own reputation on those blogs, and ensure that people want to read more content from you.
- Optimize your content for the search engines. When writing content for your own website, be sure to optimize it for the search engines by adding your target keywords to your content. However, don’t overdo it. You need to sprinkle your keywords throughout your content without making it difficult to read. If possible, include other related keywords as well.
- Use a highly optimized web template. Your website template should also be highly optimized for the search engine, since it matters most for you to reach the highest ranking for your target keywords. Make sure that you optimize every element of your web template, including meta tags, meta description, page title, alternate tags, H1 tags, categories, and more.
- Get active in various social media platforms. You need to be active on various social media platforms with the goal to build good communication with your audience there. You can respond to their comments, answer their questions, appreciate their feedback, and more. Just be sure to communicate actively with your audience on social media platforms and encourage them to check out your website often.
Those are some super effective ways to attract traffic to your website quickly and easily. Once you’ve followed the tips above, you will be able to attract high quality traffic to your website that is highly converting for your affiliate business. This will all lead to building yourself a brand, making your consumers trust you, which is a very important aspect in the long term.
Step #6 – How To Monitor Your Results Easily And Automatically
At this point, you’ve probably started to generate some sales here and there, and you think that your affiliate business is working well. However, the problem is that you don’t know how or what causes the sales to take place. Is it a certain page on your website that makes people want to buy the products immediately? Is it the YouTube videos that make them want to hit the “Buy Now” button? Or, is it something else? You need to figure out what works for your promotion, and what doesn’t work.
That’s why you have to monitor your results all the time. You want to know the conversion rate that you have from your traffic. You want to know the quality of your traffic, as well as the quality of your website content. Here are some tips that you can follow to monitor your affiliate marketing results easily and automatically:
- Use a good affiliate tracking software. There are probably hundreds of tracking software that are available online and for free. However, only a few tracking softwares are designed specifically for affiliate marketers. The best way to track your affiliate marketing business is to use a good affiliate tracking software, which is often comes with a price. However, you should consider it as an investment on your part to make your business run smoothly without any problem. I would personally recommend tools like CPVLab.
- Mask your affiliate links. When you give out your affiliate links to your audience, you should mask your links so that your audience doesn’t know at first sight that you are giving them affiliate links. Mask your links, and use a link tracker software to ensure that you can record the click through rate of your affiliate links easily.
- Use A/B split testing. Use this A/B split testing to test between two different landing pages or content in your website, and see which one is giving you the best results. This is usually included in any affiliate tracking software, so you just need to use this feature often, until you find the best conversion rate for your promotion.
Now that you’ve monitored all aspects of your affiliate marketing business, you just need to see your conversion rate, and determine which one of your content gives you the best results, and which one needs some improvements.
Step #7 – How To Fine-Tune Your Promotional Materials And Boost Your Conversion Rate
This is the last step in this guide, and it will perfect your overall affiliate marketing business so that you can completely rely on it as one of your income sources. It’s time for you to fine-tune your promotional materials, fix some mistakes, and boost your conversion rate. The last step requires you to monitor your affiliate marketing business, and it is critical for you to do this step.
After some testing of a campaign, you should know about your click through rate, page views, and the conversion rate that you get for your affiliate campaign. At the same time, you should have enough data to find out about which pages are giving you good results, and which landing pages are giving you no results at all. What you need to do is to keep the pages that are giving you good results, and then improve the pages that give you no results. Here are some tips to do it:
- First, you have to take a look at the pages that don’t generate any sales for your affiliate campaigns. Read the page again and position yourself as an audience that is interested to learn more about the topic.
- Next, you need to be able to determine why the page doesn’t convert as well as other pages. Do the headlines not enticing enough?
- Then, you need to change various parts that may not give any motivation or interest for your audience to click on the affiliate links right away.
- Then, check the sales page of the product that you promote and see whether it is converting well or not. Most of the time, the problem lies in the product not being high converting due to a poor sales page. So, no matter how good your content, you will not be able to make people buy the product.
- If that is the case, you should change the product that you promote on your page. You should find a similar product with a better sales page than the previous product.
- After that, you are ready to monitor the new pages and see whether there is any improvement that you make from the changes.
That is all for now, I hope you like this small guide and it will also help you to understand affiliate marketing properly, If you have any suggestions on how we can improve this guide please feel free to suggest by making comments below.
P.S : Here is a test for you while reading this guide how many affiliate links you were able to spot ?
Let me know by making comments below 🙂