Chances are that if you visit Google frequently, you have read about affiliate marketing. You may be interested in it, but you have no idea what it is, let alone where to start. If you are a novice to this matter, I am going to explain below how you can make a start with an affiliate website. I will lead you through the process, give 7 essential tips on how to start and will introduce you to the best training program on affiliate marketing. But first of all an explanation of what affiliate marketing is exactly?
Affiliate marketing explained
Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing where merchants – often web shops for example – collaborate with partners (affiliates) on a performance-based earning model. They give the affiliate a link to their products, which affiliates then can advertise. The aim is to attract customers that go to the merchants website through this link. This is a no-cure-no-pay construction, where the merchants only pay out on results. The affiliates will receive a commission on the sale that they have effectuated. By means of affiliate marketing, companies can reach a much larger audience, at no extra cost, and only pay when selling products or services.
In the normal situation there are three parties involved:
1. Merchants with their own affiliate program or affiliate networks
This is often the web shop, they offer products or services. Aim: want to generate extra traffic and sales and make promotional material available for that purpose and link a committee to the results. An affiliate network is the link between the merchant and the affiliates. They ensure a correct measurement of the results and see where the reward is paid or not.
These are the advertisers of merchant’s products on their websites. Merchants can support the advertisers in informing affiliates about special offers. Does this lead to conversion? Then they get a certain commission for that.
The purpose of all advertising is to attract an audience who clicks on your site and then goes on to purchase some products or services.
How to start with affiliate marketing?
In order to start a website, you need to pick a niche, preferably one based on your passions, hobbies or interests. From the you will choose your domain name. I found my interest in the wine business and choose domain name chardonnayfans.com. It should be easy to remember, brandable, relevant and recognisable. Read here how to best choose a niche.
Here are the four steps to follow:
In order to build a website it is good to make use of the WordPress software. WordPress is an open source software for Content Management System (CMS), which has evolved rapidly in recent years. An additional advantage: it is constantly updated. Google prefers it. It is also very user-friendly and can be obtained free of charge. Another important point: WordPress has a lot of support available through the open source system, useful if you get stuck.
You can choose one of the many free themes that WordPress offers, but sometimes you can quickly run into some limitations. It is most important to find a theme that matches your preferred niche. Also pay attention to the responsiveness of a theme. WordPress automatically adjusts itself on all screens. The site then comes out on the smartphone, laptop, tablet and desk-top computer.
Almost all themes have extensive documentation that can help you further. If Visual Composer is not integrated in the theme, this is really a plug-in that is worth buying. This is a drag-and-drop builder, so you do not need html knowledge at the beginning. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to look into this.
4. Yoast & Akismet
These are two plug-ins that also come in handy. With Akismet you protect your website against spam. With Yoast you have a tool that helps you with the analysis of search engine marketing (SEO). The Yoast plug-in helps you to clarify what you should look for when it becomes visible in Google and actually helps you to get the hang of part of search engine optimisation. You can link the Yoast plug-in to webmaster tools (more below) for further insights into where you can improve in terms of content.
Analytics, webmaster tools & plug-ins
Has your website been indexed in the search machines? Then it is interesting to integrate Google Analytics. Create a Google Analytics account and link the GA code to your website. Then it is still a matter of installing and activating. Slowly but surely, the results will become visible when you log into Analytics.
You can then link your website to webmaster tools (also called Google Search Console). With webmaster tools, you can indicate, among other things, which country you are targeting, what your preference settings should be, and so on. In webmaster tools you can also submit a sitemap, making it easier for Google to crawl your site and the indexation goes faster. Creating a sitemap can be done quite simply with the help of the aforementioned Yoast plug-in. Using webmaster tools and Google Analytics you gain insight into a lot of data, with which you can continue to improve your site: measuring is knowing.
Content is king
Work for a number of months on content, minimum 3 articles per week, that you think will add value or interest to people. After a couple of weeks you dive deeper into Google Analytics to see how people come to your site. Which content is relevant? On which pages of your website do people click? And how long do they stay?
Quality content leads to visitors clicking, then to an audience and then to business.If everything starts to run a little and you have some traction on your domain, it is good to sign up with different merchants or affiliate networks. Read here how to write the best content.
Pr, SEO & link building
For indexation and your rankings within Google it is important that impulses, for example in the form of incoming links, go to your website. The more authority the sites have, the more interesting. This can be achieved through good PR, but SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation, can also play an important role in this.
Social and community building
Nowadays it is quickly possible to build a strong following through social media. From there you can direct more visitors to your website. This is something for when you have some content on your website already. Think of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram fans, social followers, or newsletter members.
7 essential tips to start with affiliate marketing
- First go for quality content with added value.
- Start with WordPress or another free CMS. As a starting affiliate, it is not at all necessary to invest in a completely custom-made system. Almost everything you need is free of charge. Invest first in knowledge, only then in more professional sites.
- It does not matter which niche you choose, as long as it is in your interest.
- Analyse and improve your content through Google Analytics and webmaster tools.
- You will need to have patience. The beginning is a learning process and in that period there will also be little financial income. A boon is that there are hardly any costs.
- Invest directly in a strong relevant domain name.
- Also try doing some things about SEO, link building and pr. This can boost your site in the Google rankings.
Do you have any tips to start with affiliate marketing? Let me know in a comment.
Best training program
Overwhelmed by the above but still very much interested to get into this action? Join the best training program in the world and you can do things at your own pace under constant guidance and support. You do not need to worry about:
- how to build a website with WordPress
- finding a niche and strong domain name
- finding the right keywords
- making quality content
- security and hosting of your website
- SEO will be included automatically
- including social media
- Google Analytics and webmaster tools
All of this is already part of the (training) program I am proposing. The name of this unique program: Wealthy Affiliate (WA), established in 2005, scam free and reasonably priced. You can read my full review on WA by clicking here. Through my review you can join the program for one week FOR FREE and experience this community by yourself.
If you have any questions, please put them in the comment box and I will respond within 24 hours.