We’ve all seen the ads and articles claiming, “Make money online!!! Be your own boss! Work from home!” I don’t know about you, but when I first started seeing them I thought, “scam” or “sure, sounds great, you going to let me know how?”
Despite all the skepticism about affiliate marketing, I’ve since discovered that you really can do it, it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, and you don’t have to rip people off along the way.
In this lesson, we’ll give you an overview of the affiliate marketing process to get an idea of how it all works, and then we’ll give you an example to use as a reference.
It’s important when learning about the whole process not to feel overwhelmed, so we’re going to finish off with an outline of what you can get started with straight away. So let’s dive in and discover what’s involved.
Firstly, pick a topic that you’re interested in that also has a lot of market potential. Think of something that you like, and consider whether there would be many products associated with it, or much of an audience. You can find a topic (or “niche,” as affiliates call it) with a little research. You’ll find lessons to help you with this process in the market research section of Affilorama’s free lessons.
Once you’ve got a niche all picked out, find some products that you can promote. There are websites full of these (called affiliate networks) to browse, and you can find advice here on how to choose the best ones for you. Once you’ve got a couple that are right for you, you’ll be able to get an affiliate link for them.
Next up, you need to build a website! I thought this would be extremely confusing and difficult, but it really wasn’t. WordPress and similar sites makes it super simple for anyone to build a quality website.
Fill your website with content that will be useful to the people who are interested in your niche, and place your affiliate links throughout in the most relevant places. That way when someone interested in your content clicks your link, they go to a sales page for a product that they might also be interested in, and if they buy it you get a commission!
When you’ve set this up, all that’s left to do is promote your website so you can get more people to your content, and more potential for commissions from referred sales. There are a lot of different marketing strategies out there, from advertising to social media, but you won’t have to worry about this part of it straight away.
The most important thing is just to get started. Let me give you an example of how this process could go.
Say, for example, I have an interest in weight loss. I’d do some research using the free Affilorama lessons available to me, and in this case discover that there is a strong market interested in losing weight.
I’d head to an affiliate network website like Clickbank, and start filtering through the products available.
I would want to find a small number of them that I could see myself promoting. They should also fit some of the suggested specifics outlined in the lesson, ‘How to Choose an Affiliate program’.
I would then get a hosting provider (a place to put the website on the internet) and a domain name (the name for the website), and then install WordPress so I could start playing around with the look of my website. I’d browse some free ‘themes’ (pre-designed ‘looks’ for websites) if I was tight on cash, or I might buy a high-quality one if I had the money.
To fill my website with relevant and quality content, I’d either write articles about weight-loss myself, or outsource this job to someone else, if I weren't much of a writer, I’d look at a website like Upwork to find the talent I needed to get some quality content going.
There are a few things I could do to promote my website in the hopes of attracting more website visitors. For example, as I was adding content, I’d make sure I was doing at least a little basic search engine optimization (SEO). That’s a fancy way of saying I’d show search engines that my website was full of relevant information, so that they’d display it in the search results when people enter certain weight loss topics. There’s a whole section of free lessons at Affilorama about this topic.
On top of SEO, I’d promote content on social media, and look into how email marketing or advertising could work for me too.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed at the beginning because the whole process isn’t exactly small, but you will never have to try to do everything at once. You can take it one step at a time, and when you do, you’ll find it’s not so difficult to get the wheels moving.
If anything, the extent of the process might prove that it definitely isn’t a scam, because a scam would disguise itself as a quick fix. Affiliate marketing is a real way of building your own business online, and a little hard work and time can lead to a solid online income.
So don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to read everything straight away. It’s too much to take in all at once. The most important thing is just to get something actually happening.
Take some time to tour the ClickBank marketplace. See if any topic ideas jump out at you, and discover what types of products you'd like to promote.
Once you’ve got a topic and possibly some products to promote, the next lessons you’ll want to go through are ‘Finding and Registering a Domain Name’ and 'What to Look for in a Hosting Provider.' These will give you a hand with setting up your own domain name and hosting, and then you should have some help from your hosting provider to install WordPress.
From that point on, your affiliate marketing site is a go! And you can start experimenting with themes to get different looks for your website.
There are of course more lessons that cover the basics, plus market research and site building if you want to know more about any of these beginning stages. The Affilorama forums are there to help if you have any questions or you just want to talk to others who’re also getting started.