How to become successful in Affiliate Marketing? This is one of the most common questions asked by people that are interested in making money online through affiliate marketing.
This post will give you 6 actionable suggestions to help you succeed. If you follow the advice you will be light years ahead of your competition and well on your way to success.
Before we get there, let’s talk about Affiliate Marketing. Over the last few years it has become an extremely attractive and popular method of making money from home. This has attracted a lot of bad players.
There are tons of SCAMs out there, looking to separate people from their hard-earned money.
So let’s address the broad concept of Affiliate Marketing and what it is and what it is not!
WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?
Affiliate marketing is simply an arrangement between a product owner and a website owner (you). Here is how it works. You get a commission every time one of your readers leaves your site to purchase a good or service from the merchant’s site.
The technical part of this arrangement is also pretty simple. When you sign up with a product owner (merchant) to become an affiliate, you get a unique identifier in the form of a link.
When your readers leave your blog through that identifying link, a cookie gets placed on their device.
Upon arriving to and purchasing from the vendor’s site, the cookie with your data get read and the sale gets credited to you.
A pretty cool tidbit of information is that Amazon was the first company in the early to mid nineties to come up with and popularize this type of system. It has since been adopted as an industry standard and is now the accepted way of making affiliate arrangements.
WHAT AFFILIATE MARKETING IS NOT- BEWARE OF THE SCAMS
This is where we talk about the dark side of Affiliate Marketing. As I mentioned above, there are a lot of scammers taking advantage of folks. You need to be able to recognize a SCAM and learn to stay away from it no matter how enticing the offer is. There are 2 common threads to SCAMs:
- 1-They claim Affiliate Marketing is “easy”. SCAMs come in many forms. But everyone of them is consistent in pushing the benefit that their system is “easy”. They advertise their system as requiring little to no effort in order to see success.
Look for keywords like “done for you”, “set it and forget it”, “No Effort”, “Secret”…
The funny thing is that many of these scams will reference some “secret formula” that came from some obscure scientist in Europe or some other nonsense like that.
If you hear or see anything referencing how easy affiliate marketing is, then run away as far and as fast as you can!
- 2- They promise results in days or weeks. Anyone that tells you that you can achieve success in affiliate marketing in a couple of days or weeks is lying to you.
“Start making money in as little as 24 hours from now”, “Start earning commissions in 48 hours”…… These are all telltale signs of affiliate marketing SCAMs.
Scammers are affiliate marketers too. They are just the wrong kind. They are often very good at what they do. They study their niche (you and me). They know our deepest wants and desires as well as the pain points we encounter in trying to earn an income online.
They know that some of us are desperate to get out of a job that we hate. They find out that there are people that need to make money right away to pay their bills. They realize that some people want to make sure that their families are financially safe…
Unfortunately they key into these needs and take advantage of them. The result is that people that can least afford it, waste their hard-earned money on false promises.
Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires a lot of hard work. Now it may not be difficult, or extremely technical work, but it is still work.
There is no secret to success in business. Whether the business is a traditional brick and mortar business or an online business, success requires work. And lots of it.
Affiliate Marketing is no different. You will need to put in a lot of hours researching your niche, and building up enough good content to start seeing a trickle of traffic.
It will take at least 3 months of consistent work to see income starting to trickle in. Over time your income will snowball. There are no shortcuts and if anyone tells you otherwise, they are lying to you!
THE BENEFITS OF AFFILIATE MARKETING
Why is affiliate marketing so appealing? Other than the uncapped income potential, here are few things that are extremely attractive to people:
- Low cost of entry: You can get started in affiliate marketing with a relatively low amount of money. The only things that I feel you absolutely need are your own domain and hosting. Add in a few tools and training materials and you are still looking at a few hundred dollars per year.
If you want to start a brick and mortar business, good luck doing it without a $100K minimum.
- No inventory: This is huge. You don’t have to buy or store any inventory. I did Amazon FBA and the $$ required to buy enough inventory was significant. With Affiliate Marketing, the merchant has to worry about all those things, not you.
- No Shipping: Again, you just have to put your reader and the merchant together. You don’t need to worry about shipping any goods to your readers. The merchant does it.
You can see that the merchant has a lot of the heavy lifting to do. You don’t and that is the appeal of Affiliate Marketing.
But remember that it is your readers that are making use of a product that you recommended. If the merchant offers crappy service or if their product is garbage, it is you that will suffer. Your readers trusted you to recommend a solution to them.
Make sure you pick a reputable merchant with a good track record. Make sure that the product or service you recommend is absolutely top-notch! At the end of the day, these are your readers and you need to take care of them!
- Work from anywhere: This is one of the biggest perks of having a successful online business. You can just as easily work from a coffee shop down the street as you could from a beach in Europe. All you need is an internet connection.
- The whole world is your market: That is the beauty of the internet. In a physical business, your potential clients are limited by geography. In affiliate marketing, your potential customers are in the Billions! The whole internet is a potential customer.
- Passive Income: This is the big appeal! It is true that affiliate marketing provides the opportunity for passive income. This means that you can get paid even while you sleep or if you are on vacation.
We all love that idea, I get it. But I feel that we need to clarify that you have to put in the effort up front, then reap the benefits of that work multiple times over, at a future date. Passive income does not mean you get paid for doing nothing!
It is clear to see why affiliate marketing is such a popular choice for making money online. What’s not to like?
So what are the six steps for you to become successful with affiliate marketing?
STEP 1- LEARN THE SKILLS
Affiliate marketing can be summed up into 4 general steps. You need to learn the skills to perform each one of these steps:
- Pick a niche: Determine what audience you want to target. There is one school of thought that says you need to pick something you are passionate about to start. This is because you will need to write a lot of content about your chosen subject. Loving and knowing the topic will help you a great deal.
- Build a site: A blog or website will be the platform you use to reach your audience. Many people are intimidated by the thought of building a site. Don’t be! A little knowledge along with the right tools is all you need to accomplish this.
Of course, you will need to learn a little bit about websites to make some minor changes and to troubleshoot small issues. You will pick up these skills in due time.
- Attract an audience and build traffic to your site: This is the lifeblood of your business. You need people to visit your blog in order to build a loyal audience.
How do you do this? You create a ton of awesome content. You give them original and helpful information that helps them to solve their issues. You can do this through written post, videos, info graphics or a combination of the three.
- Monetize your blog/site: Make money by researching and recommending the best solutions and products for your audience. If you did a good job in the content creation step, you should have no problems in this step.
As you can tell, the steps are not overly complicated. You need to learn how to research a niche, how to create excellent content, how to research good keywords and how to perform good search engine optimization.
It sounds like a lot, but it is not. It is absolutely doable. You just need a blueprint… A little more about that coming later in this post.
STEP 2- KNOW YOUR NICHE
This is a big part of your success. It is one of the reasons that it is highly recommended that you pick a niche that you are passionate and knowledgeable about.
You will need to understand your audience in and out. Your sole purpose is to help people. To do this you need to know what your niche’s pain points and problems are. What do they worry about the most?
Before you can research the right solution, you need to pinpoint what the problems are. How do you do this? You do this by deep diving into the subject. That sounds pretty vague so here is one way I learn about the problems of a given niche. I look for forums related to that niche.
Type in the niche + forum in google. You will likely get one or two forums related to your niche. Look through the forum at what main topics are being discussed. A few hours in a good forum should help you determine what problems keep popping up over and over. What are people complaining about? Those will be the pain points of your niche.
Only by knowing your niche will you be able to recommend the most effective and targeted solutions. This is how you achieve success in affiliate marketing. That takes us to the next step.
STEP 3- HELP YOUR READERS, DON’T SELL TO THEM
I feel like this is a huge mistake that new affiliate marketers make. They are so eager to make money online that they forget the main goal which is to help their customers.
The distinction is not very clear but believe me, it makes a huge difference.
Successful affiliate marketers do not sell anything to their customers. They research the best solution among many and recommend that solution to their readers. Do you see the difference? Their first duty is to their readers, not their own pockets!
People that are constantly sold to will eventually disengage. No one wants to feel like they are a cash cow for someone else. Unfortunately, many affiliate marketers have the same reputation as a used car salesman. You do not want that.
Success of affiliate marketing is based on a model of trust. If you erode that trust by constantly marketing different solutions to your audience, you will lose your readers.
STEP 4- BE PATIENT – ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN ONE DAY
The good news is that it will not take you nearly as long to see success as it took to build Rome.
As I discussed briefly at the beginning of this post, AM is just like any other business. It takes effort and time to start showing results.
Continue working on your business even when things get hard. Have faith in the process. You will have to embrace the entrepreneur mentality and be ready to dedicate many hours, for many weeks and months without seeing a significant return.
I would count on not seeing any $ coming in for the first 3 to 6 months. But I promise you this! Your first commission will feel like nothing else in the world. It will validate that the model works and that all your work was not in vain! Stick with this and you will experience the exhilaration of knowing that you are able to generate money from your online efforts. The freedom and the pride you will feel will be worth every long hour of work. You will be energized to keep on going.
STEP 5 – BE CONSISTENT
Many affiliate marketing novices start with a lot of enthusiasm. They pour their hearts and souls into their business. This is a time of great anticipation and motivation.
As the days go by, the motivation wanes and doubt starts creeping in. Does this work? Am I doing it right? Am I wasting my time?
Once the questions start creeping in, they start taking their foot off the pedal. They dedicate less time to their business. Eventually the effort dies off and they only spend an hour here or there every couple of weeks.
This is a certain recipe for failure. Affiliate marketing requires constant work. Content is the life blood of AM. New affiliate marketers need to build trust in their site and the only way to do this is by consistently adding content.
The more posts and articles a site has, the more likely it is to be displayed by search engines. The more content a blog has, the more likely that the content will be shown to potential customers.
Affiliate marketers spend most of their time creating content! This takes a lot of time. But more than just time, it requires consistency. Successful affiliate marketers are the ones that have a set schedule of deploying content weekly. I have found that new websites will get off the ground faster if new content is added 3 to 4 times per week – every week.
Be consistent in putting out content. Be consistent over several months and you will eventually gain the traffic that you need to succeed. There simply is no cutting corners for this step. If you post new content sporadically, you will not get any visitors and your income potential will be almost zero.
STEP 6 – DON’T QUIT
The worse thing I have seen is when new affiliate marketers put in months of consistent work and then suddenly quit.
Some quit after a week, and most before the month is out. They say that the model does not work and that it is a SCAM.
The sad part is that they will never know how close they were to make a commission. Impatience got the better of them.
There is cartoon out there that I love. I don’t want to post here because I do not have the rights to it but look it up! Google “image of the miner that quit”
As of this writing, it is the first result you will see. It’s a miner that is digging towards a cache of diamonds. The next frame shows him going back with his head hung low. It is clear that he is quitting. What he does not know is that he was one pick axe swing away from finding the diamonds. Don’t be that person!
WHERE CAN YOU GET HELP?
No one can help you with Steps 4, 5 and 6. That has to come from you. You need to be deliberate, patient and consistent. But what if I told you that you can get help for steps 1, 2 and 3?
What if I told you that you could get help for FREE!
I am part of an online community whose sole purpose is to help new affiliate marketers. There is a free “starter” membership that will walk you step by step through the skills mentioned in Step 1.
The free classes have a combination of text and video courses that will walk you through the steps to pick a niche, create a website in seconds and start putting good content on your blog.
You also get 2 free websites to put what you learn into action.
Check out this video as an example of what you will get access to:
It is totally free with no credit card needed and no time limit to upgrade to the paying membership
I hope you give it a look, you have absolutely nothing to lose!
I hope you found this post helpful! It is a bit long, but I feel it was needed in order to cover these important topics. Please share your thoughts and comments below! I love to hear from my readers.
Thank you for reading!!
To your affiliate success!