AFFILIATE MARKETING – A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS

Have you ever thought about earning passive income with affiliate marketing? This is a step-by-step guide that will help you put this into practice.

We’ll start with a (somewhat lengthy) definition:

WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?

Basically, it’s a modern take on a very old idea: getting commission on a sale. You can make money as a blogger by building an audience that trusts you and then offering products or services that really help that audience.

Affiliate marketing really is a quick way to offer products and services without having to have your own products and services.

For bloggers, this means finding a product or service they like, promoting it to their readers, and earning a portion of the profit on every sale that is made.

HOW DOES AFFILIATE MARKETING WORK?

 Luckily, you don’t need to know all the details to get started. If you want to delve deeper into the subject, I recommend Klaus Wilhelm’s book: Affiliate Marketing* The ultimate step-by-step guide – making money online.

So let’s look at the typical process for a blogger who is serious about making affiliate marketing a major source of income.

HOW TO START AFFILIATE MARKETING IN 4 STEPS

The most important thing you need to understand if you want to become an affiliate marketer:

You earn a commission in return for providing your readers with valuable insights into products or services they have already considered purchasing.

The question is, can you help them make smarter decisions than they could on their own?

Because that is exactly where the added value you can offer them lies. You earn a commission in exchange for helping people make better decisions, and you use your blog and the internet to systematize this process and provide valuable advice to thousands of people. So definitely a positive process!

How exactly can you do this now:

STEP 1: CHOOSE A PRODUCT TO ADVERTISE AS AN AFFILIATE

As an ethical blogger, you are always limited to one of two ways in the products you choose to represent:

– Either you are limited by your experience with the products you have used that work well for your audience or

– You are limited by the products you can gain access to review (either by purchasing them directly or by receiving a free sample or trial).

Regardless of which approach you choose, expect to invest time and money researching the best products for your audience.

Here are your two main options (the first being arguably the best option as well).

OPTION #1: PROMOTE PRODUCTS YOU ALREADY KNOW AND LOVE

You become an affiliate for something that you have used yourself, that you have had good experiences with, that you have thoroughly tested and that you would like to recommend to others. You want to be sure that the people who end up buying the product will get the same results as you (or better).

If you have achieved great success with a course, mastermind or e-book that your readers could benefit from, it only makes sense for you to share your experiences and results.

Take stock of the products, services, and courses you’ve already had experience with. You might end up with a list of a dozen or more.

Which of these would you like to promote? Cross out any that you feel don’t fit the recommendation list. Now just check if the retailer has an affiliate program (you’ll probably be surprised how many actually there are).

search e.g. Google “affiliate program” +

or just email the retailer and ask. Asking doesn’t cost anything.

Here’s your checklist for good affiliate products:

· You previewed the product so you know its quality

· You have a solid refund policy that you trust to be followed

· The retailer offers good customer support (and you tested it).

· You have a good story to tell about your experience with the product

· The offer meets the needs of your audience and will not abuse the trust you have built in them.

The products that have all the boxes checked are your best opportunity for affiliate income. Then you have found your first product! Apply to become an affiliate with the retailer and start marketing the product.

If you are just starting to dive into the affiliate marketing channels, this first option will be enough to start promoting.

Option #2: Find products through an affiliate network

If you don’t have direct experience or knowledge of products in your niche that could help your readers, you can often find good affiliate products on affiliate networks.

But this requires you to invest more time researching and money buying products to try than the first option. This is because there is less trust and less prior knowledge from the start. You must do your due diligence to protect your reputation and the credibility you have built with your readers.

When you work over a network, you usually don’t know or develop a relationship with the dealer (your business relationship only exists over the network).

STEP 2: SET UP AS AN AFFILIATE

Whether you work directly with a merchant or through a network, you must apply, get approved as an affiliate, and provide certain information in order to get paid.

At a minimum, you must provide this information:

– your personal/business contact information for tax and reporting purposes.

– A bank account to which the commissions will be transferred.

In return, the retailer must provide you with this information:

– An affiliate link. Whenever you write about the product, use this trackable link. It comes with a long TAG at the end of each link that contains your affiliate ID.

A typical affiliate link looks like this: at Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Ft0ZHR *

STEP 3: START PROMOTING YOUR SELECTED PARTNERS OFFERS

Ultimately, all of your hard work finding and reviewing products only pays off if someone takes your advice and makes the purchase. For that to happen, you need to present your recommendation well in front of your audience. More importantly, you must make your recommendation trustworthy.

This is where many affiliates make a mistake. They think all they need to do is place a few banners on their blog linking to affiliate products. We know from experience that it doesn’t work that way.

What you can do is the following:

Option #1: Create a resource page on your blog

She promotes many different products, but she also organizes them according to different types of readers and what they need at any given time. It also explains why these products might be helpful to readers.

In other words, it’s not just a sales pitch. It’s educational in a way. Since it contains a lot of quality content and is also well optimized for SEO, it also ranks well in Google search results and gets organic traffic. The conversion rates are also good.

Chances are, you can put together a landing page like this in a matter of hours. Your readers will also appreciate that you put all of your recommendations in one place for easy reference. That makes it clearer.

Option #2: Create and promote custom content

WRITE REVIEWSYou can write in-depth reviews of products, courses, books, or software that you promote as an affiliate. For example, here’s our review of Timothy Ferriss’ book, The 4 Hour Workweek: More Time, More Money, More Life.* (Ps. one of my absolute favorite books!!)

The latter arguably inspires more trust, but it also distracts people by giving them lots of different recommendations.

If you want to review multiple products, one option is to create a review website where all content is just reviews and affiliate offers. It becomes a “one stop shop” for your niche.

  1. WRITE PRECISELY DEFINED CONTENT ON A RELATED TOPIC

For example, you can write an ultimate guide to setting up a WordPress blog and include your affiliate links to your favorite hosting providers. As we did on our How to Start a Blog page .

Whatever the topic, make sure the content is permanent—information that will likely still be useful and valuable for years to come. You can create blog posts, videos, infographics, or whatever—but whatever you do, it shouldn’t be a sales page. Focus on building trust and authority.

Finally, you should also pay a lot of attention to SEO – make sure to optimize the right keywords, keep WordPress running fast, and link building to your content to get a constant flow of traffic from Google.

  1. CREATE VALUABLE BONUS CONTENT

Assuming your affiliate agreement allows it, you can create bonus content that is exclusive to your readers and will help your readers get even more value from the affiliate product.

Here are some examples of bonuses you can offer:

– Video overviews or demos

– Step-by-step checklists

– Quick Start Guides

– Complementary or discounted services (e.g. coaching calls)

STEP 4: COMPLY WITH LEGAL REQUIREMENTS (AND BEST PRACTICES)

Wherever you share an affiliate link, be it in blog posts, websites, or emails, let your readers know that you can earn a small commission if they buy through you — and if they choose your link not to use, too good.

Reassure them that you wouldn’t recommend any products unless you’ve used them yourself or believed they could help them.

It’s also a good idea to create an affiliate disclaimer page on your site.

Arguably the hardest part of being an affiliate is getting enough people to click on the affiliate link and earn your commission.

If you already have a thriving blog or website, great. If you need to generate traffic first, we can also give you helpful tips on how to get more people to come to your site. “ 10 Free Marketing Tools That Will Increase Traffic To Your Site ”

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