It is easy to see why many people desire becoming an affiliate marketer. Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to earn a few bucks on the side. It doesn’t cost much to get started and the benefits are amazing. After all, who doesn’t want an opportunity to make money whilst they sleep?
Affiliate marketing isn’t as hard as you might imagine. Though to succeed, you will need plenty of drive, a little bit of imagination. And an affiliate marketing guide (such as this) prepared for you by us, at Traffic Mansion.
In five easy steps, we will cover the basics of affiliate marketing to help kickstart your journey to making money online. We’ll walk you through, deciding on your niche (don’t worry we’ll explain) , choosing an affiliate programme, and getting started. We will also tackle how to create a winning content strategy.
So, grab a drink of something, get comfy and let’s dive straight in.
Affiliate Marketing Made Simple
We begin our affiliate marketing guide by answering that age old digital question: What is affiliate marketing?
Though we’re sure you will have come across plenty long winded explanations. Simply put, affiliate marketing is:
A commission for a sale of a product or a service promoted by you on the internet to your readers or followers.
That’s it in a nutshell.
There are a few ways you can do this and the aim of this affiliate marketing guide is to simplify how. One of the most common ways is by recommending products/services of a merchant on your blog, or other channel to your readers
Another way, is by advertising the merchant products/services via an advert or a link, (again to your readers). If there is a successful sale from your referred visitor, then you receive a % of the sale.
So…How Do You Make Money in Affiliate Marketing?
Now, we have walked through what affiliate marketing is; next we explain how you make money online as an affiliate marketer.
There are three (3) ways or commission models which are:
- Pay-Per-Sale – Earn a slice of the pie from each sale
- Pay-Per-Click – You make money based on the number of people clicking on the company link’s (your referred visitors can even look without need to buy).
- Pay-Per-Lead – This model requires some sort of action on the part of your referrals, such as signing up to email
All commission models have potential to earn you a sizable sum. The specific one that will you receive a payout for, depends on the industry and/or niche you decide to focus on.
For instance, promoting dating offers will require a sign up, therefore you are likely to receive commission based on the pay-per-lead model (PPL).
If you are promoting a brand new sports car for instance, you are likely to be paid on either the pay per sale or pay per click models.
Step one of our affiliate marketing guide, deals with the importance of choosing your niche.
Before we begin, we would like to reiterate: as an affiliate marketer, you make money online in exchange for your expertise and guidance on a service or product.
Therefore questions to ask yourself before deciding on which products and services to promote are:
- What topics am I passionate about?
- What would I like to be renowned for?
- What perspective can I offer my readers that my competitors can’t?
- What unique experience do I have?
- How will my brand be any different to what is currently out there?
- How can I help?
Read on to start affiliate marketing with our step-by-step guide
Step 1. Begin Affiliate Marketing By Choosing A Niche
As mentioned, your success is tied to your audience carrying out a desired action. First off, affiliate marketers need to build some sort of authority in the industry. This is why it is
important imperative, you choose a specific niche and one you are passionate about.
At the very least, you should have interest in your chosen niche so you have the desire to read and learn about it in order to become an expert. Don’t make the common beginner affiliate mistake of trying to specialise in more than one niche.
Even if you have knowledge in more than one area, where making money is concerned, it’s better to commit to one niche. Besides, it is quite unlikely that you can become relevant for both used car parts and the dating industry. Think about it: Would you ask an MOT guy, for serious dating tips?
Being involved in one specific niche helps to translate credibility to your audience. It also makes your life easier when networking and reaching merchants who stand behind products that resonate with you
Step 2. Deciding Who To Work With To Make Money
Once you’ve chosen your niche, next you will need to consider joining an affiliate program or network that suits you. Make sure to opt for those that are transparent with commission figures.
For example, Traffic Mansion dating program displays the exact amounts affiliates are paid on our website FAQ section. That way, those who are interested in becoming a partner can easily see what they can expect.
In order to start building a solid reputation in the affiliate marketing industry, you have to be careful who you partner with. A dodgy product or service won’t go down too well with your readers. And in this great digital age all it takes is a tweet or post to put you on blast and end your efforts.
In cases of product promotion, remember your role as an affiliate marketer is to provide expertise and guidance. Therefore, it’s not a bad idea to try out the products yourself to give the best possible recommendation. In the end, going the extra mile always counts and only provides you with added value.
So, to conclude step two: do take due diligence and research the merchant’s success before deciding whether to collaborate. It is also wise to honour where you are right now, in your affiliate marketer journey. Choose one that offers plenty of support.
Step 3. Getting Set Up As An Affiliate and Promoting Offers
The third step in our affiliate marketing guide is an exciting one. Once here you are moments away from making money online. Having completed your research, the third step deals with applying to become an affiliate, getting set up and promoting offers.
Whether you opt to partner directly with an affiliate programme or via an intermediary company to promote their offers, both will require you to join. The process is straightforward (or at least should be).
For instance when a marketer applies to become an affiliate here at Traffic Mansion, we typically request your personal and/or business information. We also give you the option to provide your account details for us to pay your commission into.
Taking you further behind the scenes, once approved we set you up with your personal affiliate link. This is the link you will add to your blog posts (or whatever traffic source you use to promote our dating offers). At this stage you will also be appointed a friendly affiliate manager. They will get you set up and are always on hand to answer any questions you may have.
Regardless of the niche or industry you decide to focus in, the sign up and set up process will more or less mirror ours.
Step 4. Raise Your Content Game
Step four of our affiliate marketing guide is all about your content strategy. As a first-time affiliate marketer, you need to comprehend how important it is to develop a winning strategy. Because willy nilly sticking your link anywhere won’t cut it as a successful affiliate marketer.
Your content is your most powerful means for communicating who you are. It is where you meet your readers whilst building a lasting relationship with them. Writing relevant blog posts (and/or direct reviews) helps you show understanding of the issues faced by your readers. And…it helps establish your brand within the industry too. Learn more about writing reviews here
Read on to discover some practical strategies to help you up your content game!
#1. Keyword Research
Start your content strategy by conducting keyword research. This will identify exactly what your readers want to know more about. Free version of Google Keyword Planner can be your ally when it comes to mapping the right set of keywords.
The good thing here is: solve their problems in one of your posts…they will be coming back for more. More visits mean more clicks and more conversions and thus profit for you. Furthermore, this is a pretty clear sign that you’re doing your content right.
#.2 Re:Imagined Bonus Content
As an affiliate marketer you want to educate your readers, the end goal isn’t to bore them to death! Entertain them and inspire them too. If it’s appropriate, make them laugh! Don’t be afraid to switch things and vary the type of content you publish. Remember at the start we said you will need imagination? Use it to bring more dynamics to your website by sharing:
- How To Guides
- Videos/Visual Content
Tip: Ebooks are the perfect lead magnets and they make a nice way to collect email addresses, which you can later use when sending newsletters.
#3. Start Out with a Basic SEO Strategy
For many people SEO (search engine optimization) can sound daunting, but so did affiliate marketing. Just like affiliate marketing, you have nothing to fear. In fact, the two work hand in hand.
A basic SEO strategy is something you can implement from the start to optimise your content for Google (and other search engines). This will ensure the amazing content you create is seen by the people who really want to click on your link.
Always remember – quantity must never outweigh quality.
To summarize, your content needs to be mighty and rock-solid when it comes to quality for the following reasons:
- Whether you realize it or not, you have competitors Outdoing them at every possible level (especially regarding the quality of content), should be something to aim for.
- Focus on useful and valuable content (and includes tips/ unique insights) shows your effort to educate your audience.
- Working with quality products or services, will increase your credibility amongst your target audience.
- Providing your readers with the exact type of topics they are interested in, draws them closer and strengthens the ties between you.
Step 5. Learn More About Traffic Sources
Now we covered the steps to creating your content strategy. You’re ready to move on to the fifth and final step. This step outlines how you go about driving traffic to your site and getting more clicks!
Though you might be doing a tremendous job with your content creation, it won’t mean a thing if no one knows it’s out there.
You can’t monetize traffic if you have none, right?
The Internet is a pretty crowded place, so promoting your content using several channels should be considered one of your top priorities.
This step won’t be a walk in the park to begin with, and will require you to think outside of the box. To succeed as an affiliate marketer you’ll need plenty of patience. Take the time to understand the potential behind different traffic sources.
Testing can save you time and money, so it is wise to test out different sources before putting all your eggs in one basket. For instance, complex PPC campaigns can be a costly venture if you’re not an expert in the field or at least on the intermediate level of knowledge. In any case, they can be confusing for a newbie affiliate who’s just getting started.
When it comes to PPC, the most important thing you need to learn more about are the targeting options and in-depth segmentations. This will ensure your ad is placed in front of a relevant audience. Read more about Google Ads and other types of online advertisement systems.
When considering traffic sources ask yourself: Where is my target audience hiding?
Read on to uncover more traffic sources.
# 1. Social Media
Social media is gold dust in terms of traffic sources. Facebook is one of the greatest networks that enables you to easily reach millions of people. But, make sure you read through their ad policy so you don’t break any of their rules..
#2 Email Marketing
Email marketing is another valuable source of traffic and another area you should undertake a beginner-level of study. Beginner affiliate marketers often overlook incorporating email marketing in their marketing endeavours. Do not miss out on this golden opportunity to continue nurturing relationships with your prospects.
#3 Specific Niched Traffic Sources
You can also explore specific traffic sources divided by niches and categories. Some of the most famous ones in the adult industry include:
- Traffic Factory
Bonus Step. Keep up With the Industry Trends
As promised, our affiliate marketing guide has taken you through the basic steps towards becoming an affiliate marketer. You’re more than ready to get started with the basics, but we wanted to leave you with some advice. This advice will serve useful throughout your entire affiliate marketing journey.
Just like any other industry, affiliate marketing evolves. But, to truly be at the top of your game, you have to commit to keeping on top of trends on a daily basis.
Only change is constant.
Add Snooping To Your Affiliate To Do List!
Another common mistake made by affiliates and surprisingly not limited to beginners is: not keeping up and being pushed aside. Keeping up with the trends is the only way you can rise above your competitors.
Snooping around the most recent news of valuable sources is something to add to your daily to-do list. Swinging by your competitor’s sites and analyzing what they’re doing,will help you in your affiliate marketing endeavours.
At the very least Google Analytics is a must for measuring performance of your content and getting to know your audience. Set aside time to research and listen out for tool recommendations too.
Now (you’re more than) ready to begin affiliate marketing!
This may seem a lot to handle, but following with these steps outlined in our affiliate marketing guide you will learn in no time. As long as you centre your brand in helping people, money will come. More importantly – so will your personal success, which is often a much stronger driver.
And that’s it. Now you’re more than ready to begin affiliate marketing.
Are you passionate about the dating niche? Click to learn more about our affiliate programme and start making money, while you sleep.