Did you know that there are roughly 1.5 Billion websites on the internet today? And 350 new websites are created every single minute. That works out to be about half a million websites a day. That’s a lot of websites. Now, that’s not an exact number, and I’m not sure anyone has an exact number on that, and it doesn’t include how many websites are being removed each day.
My point is, that there are a lot of websites on the internet, and a lot coming online every minute of every day. I don’t say this to discourage you, but to point out that you’ve got to have a method to the madness. The search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) have to figure out which websites are worth showing to the person that is searching for some piece of information.
Keep this in mind as we talk about how to make money at Affiliate Marketing. Additionally, the information that follows is designed around methods of getting free traffic and PPC (Pay Per Click) is not discussed here. That is covered in a separate article of its own.
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In The Beginning
So, I’m going to assume that you know what Affiliate Marketing is, or you wouldn’t be here reading this. If you aren’t sure, just click the little blue link and a popup window will give you the answer.
I’m going to go over the basics real quick so we are all on the same page. You can get detailed information on how to get started by going to my article on Affiliate Marketing for beginners.
The basic process we follow is this.
- Identify a niche or a problem that can be solved with the right information.
- Build a website that is relevant to the niche. Preferably with WordPress.
- Add relevant content to the website that provides useful, sought after information for your niche.
- Monetize the website using relevant affiliate products. Products must relevant, high quality, and solve the problem.
Remember, Affiliate Marketing is about creating a brand. A brand that people will trust, like Walmart. This is your business. You should understand who your niche market is, research them, study them, and find out what makes them tick. You’ll need this information to gain their trust, and ultimately convince them to buy a product that will alleviate their problem.
With a good understanding of the Affiliate Marketing process above, we are going to dive into the key aspects of the processes that are going to help you to make money with Affiliate Marketing.
One of the first things we have to do when we start out on our business adventure is set expectations. While it is great to have long term income goals and goals in general, it is important to understand and set expectations for short term goals.
Goals are important and we must have them, but it’s also important to understand that Affiliate Marketing is a long term investment. it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight, no matter how many gurus may have told you so in the past. It takes time for your website to gain authority, time to add content, and time for the search engines to start recognizing your website as an authority.
Your short term goals during the first 6 months should be strictly focused on content. Building your website out with quality, informational content your niche wants to read. Articles should be around 2,000+ words in length on average. That doesn’t mean every article has to be 2,000+ words, some may be more, some a little less. But as a rule of thumb, more is better.
Google is looking more now at the quality of website content than ever before. And websites with short articles, averaging less than 1,000 words are not ranking like they used to. Your content should also focus on incorporating great keywords. What I like to do is research my keywords first, then write an article around each keyword. See my article on keywords here.
You should be adding content on a consistent basis. Something like 3 to 4 articles a week is a great target. By the end of your first 6 months, you should have 75 to 100 articles targeting keywords that are relevant to your niche. But don’t stop there, content should be added to your site consistently, on an ongoing basis.
Why Doesn’t My Website Site Rank?
I see and hear this all the time. “My website isn’t ranking for my keywords in Google”. Again, if your website is less than 6 months old, it’s probably not going to be ranking for much. I know you don’t want to hear that, neither do I, but its a fact. During your website’s infancy, so to speak, Google is just learning about it. The search engine algorithms are running constantly. Google bots crawl your page over and over again, indexing content. Remember how many websites are out there. Once again it takes time.
So do yourself a favor. Don’t keep looking at Google every day to see where your website is. Look at it once a week maybe, but don’t freak out because your articles aren’t on page 1. The fact is, some keywords may never rank, and some articles will rank for keywords you didn’t intend for them too. That’s just the way it is. Follow the steps in the keyword article above to find keywords that are considered the “low hanging fruit”. More than 50 searches per month, and less than 100 competition.
With all of that said, here are some key things that you need to do as relates to SEO.
- Make sure you are using either “All in One SEO” or “Yoast” on your WordPress website. These plugins handle the SEO pieces of your website.
- Be sure that “Sitemap” has been enabled in whichever SEO plugin you choose to use.
- Setup your website in Google Search Console and the Bing webmaster tool.
- Submit your Sitemap URL to Google Search Console and the Bing webmaster tool.
- Setup Google Analytics for your website.
Here are some things you need to do related to your content.
- Write in short paragraphs with 3 to 4 sentences, rather than long paragraphs. Content broken up this way is easier to read.
- Use standard fonts. Don’t use script or other difficult to read fonts.
- As previously mentioned, publish your content on a consistent basis.
- Place your keyword in the article title, introduction, once or twice in the body, and the conclusion.
- Use relevant images in your content. People are visual in nature, and a picture says a thousand words, as they say.
- Use video where you can. You can record your screen with applications like Camtasia, ScreenCast-o-Matic, or IceCream Screen Recorder. Video has begun to play a much larger role in Affiliate Marketing.
- Proofread your content. If you’re like me, I leave out words and my grammar isn’t that good. You can use a free tool such as Grammarly to catch these embarrassing mistakes. Professional-looking content is key.
- Use lists and bullet points where appropriate. People like lists, so doing this improves readability.
- Try to be as unique as possible, and try to anticipate any question your reader may possibly have, and answer it.
- Above all, your content should always be your content, in your words. Never, ever, copy another person’s content or misstate information.
- Again, the name of the game is Quality Content.
And regarding your website.
- Design your website so that is simple to use, but gives your readers the best experience. Avoid distracting graphics and colors.
- Design your website so that your articles are displayed as black text on a white background. This has been proven over and over to be the best converting and most readable format.
- Make sure your website is “Mobile Friendly”. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to test your website. If your website does not score well, make every effort to correct the issues and make it mobile-friendly. People use mobile devices to search content frequently these days and it’s much easier and more secure now to purchase items via mobile devices.
- Make sure your website is responsive and fast. That means keep your images optimized and as small as possible and use the least amount of WordPress plugins. Also, use a responsive theme.
The three other resources that will help you are listed below, and are found right here on this website.
Using Social Media
Social media is big these days. Heck, just look how much our President tweets! Seriously though, you need to have a social presence. There are many social media sites out there. Pick a few and start using them. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are good ones to check out, and there are a lot more. Keep in mind though that you cannot manage all of them. Pick two or three favorites and run with them. Whatever social media outlets you choose, make sure you stay active and post frequently. It’s completely fine to start out with one social media site, like Facebook, then add others later, once you get the hang of it.
Try not to come across as a sales pitch when posting on social media. You’ll lose your friends, and lose your followers that way. You want to share useful nuggets of information. You can make what they call Micro-Posts on social media. Check this quick training tip on what kinds of information you can post on social media.
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “The money is in the list”. Creating an email list via an opt-in page your website is a great way to connect with your readers, create a list, and also a great way to promote a product. I say this with caution though. If you’re going to create an opt-in list you need to have a strategy ahead of time. You don’t want to start creating a list and not have any idea where you are going with it.
I recommend that you save the email list until you have started getting regular traffic to your website and making sales. Once you have your website established and gaining some authority, it will be easier to get opt-ins and will also give you time to lay down your email list strategy.
You can use an autoresponder service such as AWeber to create and manage email lists and your follow-up sequences.
Here is a link to a getting started guide with email marketing. View it here.
And here’s a video on creating a follow-up sequence for an email list. View it here.
Don’t Commit Affiliate Suicide
It goes without saying that are certain things you can not do if you want to succeed at learning how to make money at Affiliate Marketing.
Affiliate Marketing involves becoming a brand as we said earlier. Someone that your niche readers trust. So here’s a list of things that in my opinion is Affiliate Suicide.
- Outright selling without providing useful information.
- Copying someone else’s content.
- Using PLR (Private Lable Rights) articles or ebooks. This information has likely made it around the internet a few times. Google will see it as duplicate content, and let’s face it, even though you may get the right to rebrand it, it’s really not your content. So PLR = NO-NO.
- Providing poor, non-relevant content to your readers.
- Writing short (500-600 words) articles. Remember, Google wants real content, not just a list of bullet points. Focus on the CONTENT and helping your readers.
- Keyword Stuffing, or using keywords many too times throughout your article. Like we said earlier, in the title, intro, once maybe twice in the body, and the conclusion. So that’s 3-4 times. Any more than that and Google may see that as keyword stuffing.
- Article spinning. This is an old technique that involves using article spinner software to create different versions of the same article. Google has gotten too smart to be fooled by old tactics like this.
- Promoting products just to promote them on the off-chance they will convert. A great way to lose trust with your readers and run your business into the ground.
- Not keeping up with the changes. Things that work today, may not work 6 months from now
- Neglecting SEO.
This isn’t an all-inclusive list, but it covers the biggies. And like I said, if you focus on helping your readers and giving them what they want, the rest will take care of itself.
“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.” – Ray Kroc
At the end of the day, learning how to make money at Affiliate Marketing is what it’s all about. After all, it’s what pays the bills. Your conversions are going to come from the quality content you create. By giving your readers what they want, you will get what you want. It’s all about helping people, that’s it. Your focus should always be on your customers and satisfying their needs.
So, here are a few things that can help increase your conversions.
- Enable comments on your blog posts (Settings-Discussion in WordPress). And also be sure to reply to your comments. If your readers see that your website is active with discussion, they are more likely to trust what you’re telling them.
- As we have drilled into your head already, content, content, content. Keep posting quality, relevant, helpful content on a regular basis.
- Creating a sense of urgency. If you can create a sense of urgency by using phrases like “Discount Expires [some date]”, “Last Chance”, “For a Limited Time Only”, any kind of phrase that creates a sense that they will lose out on an opportunity will work.
- Preselling your readers. If by the time your reader gets to the end of your article you have told them about the benefits of Product X, they are more likely to pull out their credit card.
- Only promote products that you use personally.
- Use video that shows your readers how to use your product, or review a product.
If you haven’t implemented some of these tactics, give them a try, you’ll be surprised.
My Best Advice
We’ve covered all the basic details of how to make money at Affiliate Marketing. Following these practices, you can take your website from inception to making money online. I’ve given you a number of online resources to help you at various stages in the game, as well as what to do, and what NOT to do.
Remember, you’re building a business, and it takes time. You’ve got to be in it for the long haul. When you’re feeling discouraged, take a break, and remember why you wanted to start this in the first place. There will be times when things don[‘t go the way you planned, that’s just part of the game, take them in stride, and learn from them. Most of all, never quit.
To speed the learning curve, and avoid some of the bumps in the road, I recommend you take a look at Wealthy Affiliate. Join me and surround yourself with successful marketers who can help you every step of the way. It costs nothing to check it out as Free Starter Member, No Credit Card Needed, and try things out at no risk. You even get two websites for Free as a Starter Member. As someone once said, “If you want to make a million dollars, surround yourself with those that make a million dollars, and do what they do.”.
To Your Massive Success,
PS. Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.