Do you want to earn money via your computer and the internet? Affiliate marketing is the best business model for beginners. In this article, I will outline the 11 steps that you must take in order to earn money as an Affiliate Marketing. I will briefly cover each of the 11 steps. In future posts, I will dive deep into each step individually.
Introduction: What is Affiliate Marketing
- Choose your niche.
- Purchase a domain name.
- Purchase web hosting.
- Build your Word Press blog.
- Focus on building your audience with helpful content.
- Monetize your blog.
- Educate yourself.
- Master one Social Media platform.
- Build your own successful YouTube channel.
- Build your email list.
- Communicate with your audience once per week or more often.
***Bonus Step 12: Start With Your “WHY”
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These 11 Steps may feel overwhelming, but the best way to eat an elephant is one bit at a time.
Just take the first bite (or step as it were), master it and then move to the next and in time you will have established your affiliate marketing business and will begin earning commissions. (Disclaimer: Affiliate marketing is not a quick way to earn money: It takes time and a lot of effort to be successful as well as a small investment. The upside is that it can be very lucrative once the business is set up and running efficiently).
What is Affiliate Marketing?
“Affiliate marketing is the process of earn commissions for marketing another person’s or companies products.”
Basically, this is how affiliate marketing works: you sign up to sell a product or service and when someone buys that product or service you receive a commission.
Step 1: Choose your Niche
What is a niche?
www.bigcommerce.com defines a niche as follows:
“A small but profitable segment of a market suitable for focused attention by a marketer. Market niches do not exist by themselves, but are created by identifying needs and wants that are not being addressed by competitors and by offering products that satisfy them.”
Your job as an affiliate marketer is to find a question or problem that people are searching the internet for an answer that question through your personal experience, research and softly suggest products or services that will help people to solve their problem or answer their question in greater detail.
In order to provide answers and education the people searching your niche, you will need a blog style website. Building a blog is not that complicated provided you have the very basics of computer skills (more on building your blog in Step 4.).
Step 2: Purchase you Domain Name.
What is a Domain?
To answer this question lets see what www.Website.com says:
“On the Internet, your domain name is your unique identity. Any individual, business or organization planning to have an Internet presence should invest in a domain name. Having your own domain name, website and email addresses will give you and your business a more professional look.”
I like to think of a domain name as owning Internet real estate as opposed to renting. An example of my domain name compared to a sub name of my hosting company: tomcaldwellonline.com vs. tomcaldwellonline.siterubix.com. Of course, the tomcaldwellonline.com is cleaner and more professional. I own tomcaldwellonline.com, it is my property, but if I would use firstname.lastname@example.org I would be renting a property from the hosting company. Which do you prefer own or rent?
Step 3: Purchase Web Hosting.
What is hosting?
Continuing with the idea of your domain name being internet property, likewise, web hosting is the house where you blog/website lives. A web hosting company is required to make your blog visible on the internet.
You can purchase web hosting from any number of hosting companies, the most common being:
- Siterubix (my personal favorite)
Step 4: Build Your Website Blog
Nowadays it is easy for anyone with basic computer skills to build a website using the WordPress.org platform. No computer coding or technical experience needed. I recommend beginners use Wealthy Affiliate to build their website because Wealthy Affiliate is an educational community that offers step by step instruction that anyone can follow. Best of all at Wealthy Affiliate you can build 2 websites for free!
Step 5: Focus on Building Your Audience
Rather than focusing on earning money – focus on building an audience. Without ranking in Google your website cannot be found by anyone, your website is an island in a giant internet sea. But as you begin to rank in Google and other search engines people will begin to visit your website and thus gain an audience.
Step 6: Monetize Your Blog
As you build your blog by answering questions and offering solutions for people in your chosen niche, you will have opportunity to suggestion products and services offered by companies that will aide in solutions for your audience. At that time you will share your affiliate link to the products/services. By sharing your link you will be casually asking people to buy and when they choose to buy, you earn a commission from the company that offers the helpful product or service.
Step 7: Educate Yourself
It goes without saying that you will need to educate yourself and gain experience in several skills needed for affiliate marketing. A short list of topics that you need to learn are:
- Keyword research
- Content research
- Content creation
- Traffic generation
- Social media
The important thing is to get started, don’t get stuck in the education stage. There is also a stage associated with education and that is “shiny object” syndrome. Shiny object syndrome is when a person chases every new product, service, and program offered. Jumping from one guru to the other learning and perfecting, always tweaking this or that, But never actually getting started. Get your education, gain a little experience and then get started, don’t wait for perfection.
Step 8: Master One Social Media Platform
Once you get your feet wet and some content production under your belt, it is time to add social media to your job of writing content. You will have to choose which social media is best for your niche. More on this in a future post.
Step 9: Build Your Own Successful YouTube Channel
Building your own YouTube channel will allow you to post your videos on your blog. Videos on your blog will increase your SEO value with Google.
It is not necessary to have hundreds of thousands of YouTube subscriber to be a successful affiliate marketing. You only need 1000 raving fans according to Jongo Longhurst in his Kindle book entitled 1000 True Fans: Use Kevin Kelly’s Simple Idea to Earn A Living Doing What You Love.
Here is my take on Jongo’s book: If you can get 1000 devoted fans (your audience) to buy $100 per year of what you are selling, you would earn an annual income of $100,000. Not easy, but differently do able. It will take a lot of hard work, So what if it takes several months or a few years to earn know, like and trust of 1000 raving fans. Because you will be set for life, allowing you to earn a living creating products and or services that you enjoy, working when and where you please.
Step 10: Build Your email list.
When I say build you email list I do not mean that you should be like the marketers who require your reader’s email to get a free product and then they spam the hell out of that person until he/she unsubscribes.
I am talking about sharing niche related value packed information with your email list. Compile information that is helpful, create helpful information, record videos (in front of the camera or behind the screen.)
Provide valuable, unique content for your email list. If you do this well, your list will look forward with anticipation to receiving your emails.
George Kao (author of the book ‘Authentic Content Marketing’ says:
“Think of it (your email list) as a service of convenience to your audience.”
What George is saying is your email list should make it easier for your audience to receive exclusive content that you are not already offering on your blog, social media or YouTube.
Step 11: Communicate With Your Audience
Communication is the key. Give your audience free advice, free help, kill them with kindness and a certain number of them will eventually buy.
Communicate at least once per week (more often if possible) via one of you traffic generation channels (blog, social media, or YouTube). Once you have posted that content, send an announcement email to your audience, telling them that you are giving them more free information and where to find the new content i.e. blog, social media, YouTube, etc.
******Bonus Step 12: Start With Your “WHY”
Simon Sinek Explains the importance of Starting With WHY in this video summary:
The most important Step in starting an Affiliate Marketing Business is knowing “WHY” you want to sacrifice your time and effort to build a profitable business.
- Take the time to set down with pen and paper, there is something magical about recording your thoughts on paper.
- Think hard about the true reason “WHY you want to build your online business. Simply saying “I want to earn money.” is not a “WHY”. You must determine an inspirational “WHY”. Your “WHY” will help to motivate you when the going gets tough (and at times building a business will be tough).
- Examples of an inspiring “WHY”: “I want to build an Affiliate Marketing business that earns $5,000 per month so that I can stay home and raise my children. Rather than let a daycare raise my children for me.” “I want to earn $5,000 dollars per month online so that I have location freedom. So that I can travel the United States in my motorhome and visit 49 states.” “My “WHY” for building a business is to earn $10,000 per month so that I can buy a new home where my family and I can live in comfort.” “The reason “WHY” I am building my business is to tell my boss that he can take this job and shove it.”
Once you have determined your “WHY” write it down on paper, review it regularly. Let your “WHY” inspire you.
***Make a “Vision Board
ard”, sometimes called “Dream Board”. Cut photos from magazines, print color images found on the internet, include photos of family and friends, include motivation quotes, you may want to include a photo of yourself taken during a happy moment in your life, etc.
Here is a YouTube video created by Jack Canfield entitled “How to Create a Vision Board”.
For more information on how to determine Your WHY, Take a look at my article entitled Start Your Affiliate Marketing Business With WHY
As I said at the beginning of this post :
“All this work may feel overwhelming, but the best way to eat that elephant is one bite at a time (one step at a time).”
Take daily Action! Don’t procrastinate. Get started today, Make your Vision Board. Don’t wait, the time will never be perfect, DO IT NOW!
Thank you for reading, please leave a comment below and let me know what you think of the 11 steps or how I can help you. I will not do the work for you but I will assist you if possible.
Check out my post entitled: How To Build 2 Websites For Free