Hello and welcome to our Affiliate Marketing 101 tutorial guide to start making money passively.
In this +7,000 words monster guide, we will go through all the basics as an affiliate marketer to promotion methods to making sales.
In this case, you will want to bookmark this article because it is a really long, detailed article about how you can start making money as an affiliate marketer right away.
If you ever wanted to quit your 9 to 5 jobs, you will need to find a source of income to support your lifestyle, paying rents, bills, food, etc.
There are at least four different ways you can create a source of income using your website as money making generator: Affiliate Marketing, Dropshipping, e-Commerce and Services.
I will talk more about these type of money making methods you can use on your website. However the main focus of this tutorial will be solely about how to make money as affiliate marketer and how you can become successful.
Getting started is very easy to do. But did you know that majority of bloggers quit blogging within first 3 months because they have nothing to show for others?
These bloggers came with the wrong mindset thinking they will all of sudden skyrocket and become successful. That is not the way how you can start a money making websites.
To become successful at affiliate marketing, you need to be patience, work hard, and determination.
When I first became an affiliate marketer for a drone niche blog, I didn’t make any sales in the first four months. But I was determined and kept on blogging until I saw my first sale. It brought burning passion, hope and determination to me. It made me kept on blogging and watch the sales continue to grow and grow.
That kind of accomplish you want to sense as an affiliate marketers.
No matter what website niche you are interested in, you need to be aware that as an affiliate marketer, it is not guarantee you will make a sale. Some affiliate marketers went on for months before they even see their first sale.
The most important thing here is that as an affiliate marketer, you need to be determined. If you don’t make any sales in the first few months. Don’t give up and lose hope. You just need to keep going until Google starts to notice your blog’s authority and bring traffic to you.
Most people quit blogging because they lost their hope and what happens to their dream? Not only their dreams and goals becomes harder to attain, their sense of financial freedom are limited because they still need a 9 to 5 day job to support themselves.
Money just don’t come to you as an affiliate marketer. You need to follow the money and find how you can promote them to your readers that makes them want to buy it.
As you are starting off as an affiliate marketer, you need to be aware that you can’t rely solely on one affiliate program. Which means, I don’t recommend you to stick with just Amazon only.
You need to diversify and apply for many affiliate programs as you can within your niche.
ShareASale have over +4,000 affiliate programs and ClickBank have over +6,000 programs. It makes the whole affiliate marketing much easier to do as the sales you make through these platform comes in one spot.
You don’t have to go to every different company and create a new account just to become a successful affiliate marketer. You could do that, but that will make the whole process complex, confusing and hard which is completely unnecessary.
Now that we have introduction set for you to become as an affiliate marketer. I want to explain you four methods you can do to make money using your website. The way you use your website to make money is entirely up to you.
There are four ways you can do to generate money off your websites: affiliate marketing, dropshipping, eCommerce and services.
Each have their own advantages and disadvantages. How much money they brings to you is entirely to how you plan to implement them on your website.
Let’s get started by briefly talking about these methods.
Before you make money off your websites, you need to research in the niches to see if there are any demands.
If there are a lot of demands, the chances are good that you will make money. But also there will be competitors that you need to overtake their positions.
It is possible to do so with these money making methods, but it will involve a lot of research, promoting your products the right way and driving traffic to your websites in order to make sales.
Which I will talk more about doing these later on.
An affiliate marketing is one way you can do to make money passively. It doesn’t require you to order an item or dropship for your customers at all.
Basically, you sign up as an affiliate at any companies that offer these programs. You sign terms and agreement with them, promising that you will not violate their agreement, etc.
Once they approve your application, you can go to your affiliate program and paste these pre-generated links consisting tracking ID to your account on your blog posts.
When your readers are reading your content and clicks on one of the link with tracking ID and makes a purchase on the company. You will earn a commission based on rate the company gives for every sale you make.
That money you make goes toward your affiliate account which will either go to your bank or check, depending on your payment method.
Some companies don’t have any payout threshold, so if you have $5 in your account then you will get that money the next payment the company makes. Some companies do have a payout threshold as high as $100 which means you will need to make a lot of sales in order to get that payment.
As an affiliate marketing, it can be quite a lucrative method to make money depending on the companies you choose to work with.
All companies have different commission rates that can go as high as 100% and some have lifetime cookie duration. If someone clicks on a link with lifetime cookie duration, they are yours forever until they make purchase.
The money you make largely depends on how well you promote products and how generous these companies you work with are.
Sure, it is. Everything is possible. But like I said before, money don’t come to you.
You need to follow the money and that means you have to put in a lot of effort, work hard, and most importantly, determination. It is not something you can easily make cash overnight.
It takes time. A website with one blog post or two isn’t going to make the cut. You need to have a lot of good content and posts in order to bring traffic and convert your readers into buyers.
Your job as an affiliate marketer is to showcase these product and explain why your readers should check them out. Be straightforward, honest and tell your readers like it is.
Nobody wants to hear “salesy” terms when they are reading a guide or review about a product. They came to read because they want to know more information about product. And your job is to deliver these information to your reader and convince them to buy these products.
These two sites are a large platform with multiple affiliate programs offering generous commission rates and great cookie length duration.
Plus you will have a lot easier time getting started with these programs in one spot. Each time you make sale from either platform, the money comes in one spot. Which is really nice and makes the whole process less complex and confusing.
The first step you need to do before choosing a web hosting service provider is pick a niche you want to blog about.
Naturally, if you want to become a successful affiliate marketer for your niche blog, you need to have passion about. If you don’t have any knowledge about a niche. That is okay!
As long as you are willing to learn, refine, enjoy writing and have passion to do so, you can literally make money with any niches.
A niche typically is small portion of a large category. For instance, if you enjoy talking about technology but it is very general and broad that will takes a lot of time and work to become a successful affiliate marketer.
Instead, you can tone down and focus on one area of technology like cameras, drones, computers, smartphones or tablets. From that point, you can talk about these products and promote to your readers.
If you choose camera as your niche, you can talk and promote handheld camera, action camera and drone camera as long as it is related to your camera niche website.
Your goal to create a niche website is to place an impression on the visitors to see your blog as an authority and trusted site.
If you are promoting cameras, then these visitors will expect to see cameras products. If you promote something else that is out of the box like beauty products in your camera niche website, then these visitors might think you are not a legitimate site.
Give yourself some time to think what you enjoy talking about and research your niches to see if there are any demands.
One easy way to find out if there is a lot of demand for your niche is to type in google your chose niche. For example, I typed in “camera” and the search turned up 2.73 billion results. There is a huge demand right there. But also that means you will face a lot of competition.
I will talk more about competition later, for now your goal is to find and measure demands in your niche. Once you have choose a niche for your website, we will move on to step 2 to help you get your money making website up and running.
There are three web hosting service providers that I recommend you to use for your money making websites. All of them are official hosting service providers for WordPress and have the best class in customer support. Furthermore, all of them lets you register both domain and hosting plan within one company which makes the whole process smooth as butter.
The main difference is their services and how they help you become successful website business owner.
I will talk about each web hosting service provider individually in a moment.
BlueHost is one of fewest official WordPress hosting service provider. They offer many great perks to those who sign up for their hosting plans. Below are the benefits you get as a BlueHost customer:
Their customer support services are fast and offer world-class responses to address your issues. You will never have to wait for your issues to get resolve. They go above and beyond your expectations and their results speaks for themselves.
Plus, their price are very competitive, you wouldn’t find any hosting service provider that close like BlueHost does. Which alone explains why they have over 1,000,000 accounts and world class data centers that keeps your websites up to speed.
The first month is discounted so you can trial and see how you like it for yourself.
SiteGround is one of the fastest growing hosting service provider for WordPress to Joomla to Magneto. They are arguable one of the best hosting service provider that do really care about their clients and provide plenty of tools to help you create a high quality website at an affordable price. Below are the benefits you get as a SiteGround customer:
Their customer support are very fast, responsive and go beyond your expectations. One time I had an issue with images not showing up correctly for one of my website and I chatted with a customer representative. He tried to figure out what was causing it, without wasting any of my time, he created a ticket for me and my issue was resolved within 20 minutes.
You will not get that kind of speed and genuine customer support at any other web hosting service providers beside BlueHost and SiteGround.
As a first time SiteGround customer, you will get a big discount off your hosting plan for the first year.
Wealthy Affiliate is very different from SiteGround and BlueHost. While you definitely still can register for a domain and hosting plan with Wealthy Affiliate, they are more of a platform made up of peers and mentors who help other affiliate marketers become successful.
They have huge training courses from lessons to videos to classrooms which you can learn tips, make contributions and share advice to your peers. The community is very vibrant, active and friendly. When you sign up for the first time, you will meet your mentors who will guide you through the process to start make money off your website.
Below are the benefits you will get as a starter Wealthy Affiliate:
However, if you truly want to have a complete access as a Wealthy Affiliate member, they offer premium membership which costs you $49 a month. As a premium member of Wealthy affiliate you will get these benefits, and these are just the tip of iceberg:
I can go on and talk more about countless benefits that Wealthy Affiliate has to offer for those who are interested in becoming an affiliate marketer.
You can learn more about Wealthy Affiliate by heading over and sign up for 7 free days trial, no credit card required.
Now that I have listed out three best web hosting service providers to choose from, you need to decide which one is the best pick for you to create your own first niche website.In the next step, we will talk about how to locate and apply for affiliate programs using ShareASale and ClickBank.
Now you have your website up and running. Your next task as an aspiring affiliate marketer is to locate and find affiliate programs within your niche.
If you decided to create a niche website about cameras, then you want to locate companies that sells cameras and apply their programs as an affiliate.
For beginners, I recommend ShareASale as their interface is much more friendly and easy to understand. They show cookie length duration and commission rate for every company. Not only there are a lot of affiliate programs to choose from, their deals often are very lucrative.
For experienced and if you want to take advantage of both platforms, ClickBank have over +6,000 affiliate programs and growing available. Depending on your niche, your choices to affiliate with companies at ShareASale might be limited compared to ClickBank.
So it is wiser if you register at both platforms and explore to see what they have to offer for your niche websites. Once you locate these affiliate programs you want to promote, sign their application and you can start promoting their products in your blog posts.
Making sales with these affiliate programs takes a bit more time than doing with Amazon. But the rewards are much bigger and with enough hard work, you can pull it off.
As a general rule of thumb, I don’t recommend that you stick with just one affiliate program. Go for two, three or even better four different programs to diversify your source of income.
Not only your earnings will likely to be higher, you will have a lot of opportunities to promote different type of products to your readers.
Your job as an affiliate marketer is find a product you want to promote, then get link to that with tracking ID for your account and create a post about it. In the next step, I will talk about how to do keyword researching that will bring traffic to your blog post.
When you are ready to promote a product to your readers. You need to do a keyword research and find out how you can rank well in search engines.
Short-tailed keywords like “action cameras” aren’t going to get you any traffic at all. It is too saturated and there are many companies competing for these spots.
What you need to do is create a long-tailed keywords for your blog post. They often have the least competition and that is what majority of visitors are looking for.
A broad and generic keyword of course have the benefits of bringing large traffic to a business. But the cost to do so is very expensive which you probably won’t have that kind of investment to make as you are starting off.
For now, you want to find long-tailed keywords to rank. These keywords are among one of the highest conversion rate but low search traffic. If you want to turn a blog post into high conversion money generator, then you need to be able to hit these long-tailed keywords and bring visitors to your site.
Instead of using “action cameras”, you could type down something like “best action cameras for starters to buy right now in 2018”.
Not only you will bring visitors who are looking for the best action cameras, but also people who wants to buy one that are made in 2018 right now.
See how this works now? This is one of most effective way you can do to promote products as an affiliate marketer.
Below are the free keyword researching tools that you can use to help create content and posts for your site:
However, if you want to turbo charge your content and truly want to rank high in every category, including knowing what your competitors are ranking for. These SEO applications comes with premium features which includes SEO analysis, keyword research, how much money these competitors are ranking for and more. They are also trusted brands among customers who use them for marketing purposes.
SEOPressor is a very powerful and incredible popular SEO plugin among customers. They comes with ton of features such as semantic and machine readability analysis tools to help you create the best content posts and rank high in every category. With SEOPressor plugin, you can analyze and identify what your competitors are ranking so that you can strategically position your website around them and drive the traffic to you.
Backlink Beast is a very popular backlink builder plugin. They help you create diverse and tiered backlinks that improves your site’s ranking and bring more traffic which will result in higher conversion rate. This is a must-have for any marketers who are looking to make money. If you are struggling with ranking for top spots, then Backlink Beast will help propel your site to top 5 spots and watch these money pouring in. Be sure to check Backlink Beast out and see for yourself.
BrightLocal is a local SEO services that has helped more than 60,000 business with ranking their sites high on Google, Yahoo!, Bing and more. They have all SEO tools in one place which eliminates the need for you to find different SEO companies just to in order to make your content rank high. BrightLocal is trusted by many business owners who have given it positive reviews. Plus they have 14 free days trial that you can try and see for yourself.
The next step as an affiliate marketer is to create a content that your readers will read. One of the main SEO ranking factor depends on how long the visitors will stay and read your article.
If the visitors stays on your blog post for a long time, then Google sees that and pushes your article higher because it shows how valuable the information you provide in the article. If the visitors don’t read and just leaves after few seconds, it tells Google that you don’t have the right information and will rank your article lower while keeping relevant information higher.
The main question is how you will market the product by creating a bad-ass content?
I did a quick look at some of product reviews, some of them are so dulling and boring that I left immediately. There was no headline or attention grabbers to keep me reading.
Popular sites like TheVerge who do reviews on some expensive gadgets keeps their readers reading by using attention grabbers and they are successful because of that content technique they are using.
It doesn’t matter if you are making an affiliate marketing website, eCommerce website or services website. If you are writing a blog post, you need to have eye-catching headlines and attention grabbers to reel in the readers and keep them reading your content.
Show them why they should read your content. Talk about the product that you are showcasing and make them understand why they should buy it from you.
To me, I don’t feel compelled to read or buy anything from you. So why should I bother to check out your content? I am just going to skip yours and scroll down until something catches my eyes.
Then your article gets ranked down because you are not getting any visitors, so Google have to push you down and bring other articles that is more relevant.
If you write an article with an headline saying, “Top 10 best action cameras to buy right now in 2018.” That is eye-catching headlines and I will be compelled to check out your article because I wanted to know what are these top 10 best action cameras to buy right now in 2018.
Do you see the big difference between these two headlines?
When it comes to creating a content, you need to have eye-catching headline, great featured image and personalized writing style that makes you unique and different from your competitors.
If you are just going to copy other and become a generic blogger. You won’t make much of a success.
Think of your readers like you are talking to them in person. Interact with them, and listen to what they want to know more. Be knowledgeable and show off the products to your readers in a fun way that keeps them reading and convince them to buy it.
As a starter, I recommend that you do create at least 5 to 7 different posts to promote the products on your niche website. Once you complete this task, we will move on to link building.
Link building is extremely important and a factor in SEO ranking. Without taking advantage of link building, how are you going to drive your traffic and where will your readers go? They will think that is it and leaves your website.
What if you have a similar product to one of the product that your reader is reading? Do you just hold it back or will you promote it to your reader? I think you know the answer here.
As a general rule of thumb, you always do want to promote similar products to your readers. They might be reading your article and goes: hmm, hmm. Then finds a link that takes them over to a similar product you promote on that article and reads.
What if that readers suddenly changes their mind and thinks: Hey! I like that product, the quality of that product looks much better and might fits me well. I am going to check it out right now. That is called up selling method that can be done by linking your product article to another product article.
This technique is known as interlinking. Whatever you are writing a product and you link inside text called deeplinking that refers readers to check out for more information.
Typically these link building methods have a little to no value on SEO ranking. I am not saying you shouldn’t do that, but by all the means you should do this practice if you want to bring in more traffic.
Another method of link building is called backlinking that is a bit more difficult to do so. It involves you having to do a guest blog post, posting your contents on social medias and having other people sharing your content. Backlinking have a much more profound impact on SEO factor than interlinking.
Starting with social media which is the easiest way to build backlinks because once you post your content out there. People will see and read your content. If they like it, they are going to click like and share.
What happens in this process is that each share will spread SEO juice and drive more traffic to your content. Then other people will pick it up and read your content.
Another method of backlinking that requires some time and you need to demonstrate that you are an expert in your area of topic. If you just create your own website out of air. It is difficult to do a guest post for someone else.
These website owners will check your blog and see that you have nothing to show. So why should they let you post on their website and bring traffic to you?
However if you do have content that are really good and makes them read. They will definitely take into consideration and might let you do a guest post or two in exchange to send some traffic over to yours.
You also can let someone guest blogs on your site in exchange for new content that your readers can read and some of traffic will get send over to their blog. It is a win-win situation here.
In this section you know these link building methods now:
Next step in our Affiliate Marketing 101 tutorial, we will explain you how to build your audience on social media.
As an affiliate marketers, you have a lot of tools available to bring traffic to your website.
First and foremost primary method of traffic is obviously organic. This means the traffic comes from search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. This method is free and costs you nothing. Cool, right?
But what about driving traffic from social medias to your content like FaceBook and Twitter? FaceBook have over 2 billion users and Twitter have over 335 million users that are active monthly.
That is a lot of potential traffic you can tap onto and bring them over to your content. A simple post and you are probably looking at between 100 to 1,000 visitors directly from social medias for a social media account with 100,000 followers. But keep it in your mind that these numbers correlates directly to how many people like your page and follows you.
The bigger your followers is, the more you are going to bring them to your content.
But your content isn’t going to get read if you have zero followers and likes. I know it does sounds a bit harsh, but I am just telling you the reality.
When you create your first website, you need to create social media accounts for it.
Share your work and make them public on your social medias. You also will need to spend at least some time building your audience by following other users, talking to your friends, families and strangers to like your page.
Once you have established at least a sizable audience, you will gradually spend less time focusing on having to pick up new followers as they will start to follow you every time your audience shares your content.
Lastly, you also can build your audience using influencers. These influencers typically are well-know and famous like Brittney Spears that have more than millions and millions of followers.
It doesn’t have to be millions of followers, but you should try to find influencers around your size. If you have at least 1,000 followers and you identify a potential influencer with 10,000 followers. There is a good chance they might want to work with you in order to build traffic for both of you and them.
It is a nice way to quickly build your audience and increase your proximity.
The next step is engaging your audience. As your money making website grow over the time with fresh content. You will start to see impressions, clicks and ranking for your website go up.
That means you are likely to get some comments from visitors who might ask you questions. This is a great opportunity to interact with your visitors and helps humanizes your website.
Comments from visitors also presents opportunity to impact your page’s ranking factor because they are considered part of SEO.
As an affiliate marketer, you should take advantage of it and interact with your visitors. But also keep in your mind that you also have duty to protect your audience from spammers and visitors who do not contribute meaningful discussions to the article.
Not only they are unimportant to your audience and readers, they also can hurt your website SEO ranking and google might see these as spammers and blacklist your site which will hurt you as well.
Which is why I recommend that you use JetPack plugin. They have built-in anti-spam and scans your content daily to ensure it is up to date. And did I forget to mention that they also have marketing tools that you can use to increase engagement rate with your audience?
If you are looking to build your audience engagement quickly, then JetPack plugin will help you success as an affiliate marketer.
Over the time as an affiliate marketer, your blogging skill will develop and you become much more proficient at promoting items.
You will be able to write an awesome content blog to grab readers’ attention and keep them reading yours. Now it is time for you to go back and refine your old posts.
This is a part of job as a marketer. You need to keep your content up to date with fresh information and ensure that they are accurate.
You might go back to your first post and compare them to your latest pots, saying “oh wow, I could have done this before. Why didn’t I do it at the first time?”
Relax, it is normal. Everyone did this before and updating old posts is a part of everyone’s job.
Whatever niche you are in, the competition landscape are changing all the time. And that means you will face new competitors.
You need to ensure that your content is still the best and ranks first that you can continue to bring in traffic to your website and not your competitors.
You do not want to lose your website ranking to someone else because you didn’t update your content.
Beside, updating your old posts presents major opportunities to push these rankings to front page. This is done by letting Google knows that you have updated your posts and they will bring traffic over to you.
By adding more relevant information and updating these old posts, you are effectively clenching your position as an authority in the niche. And more traffic means more of your pages and posts are going to get noticed by visitors.
Afterall, that is what you will want to do as an affiliate marketer.
Refine. Update. Market. Rinse and repeat.
If you are still blogging few months from now and you are getting traffic. You are bounded to make your first sale. However if you are getting a lot of traffic, but you are not making any sales.
Then you need to analyze your posts and see what you can do to improve these posts’ conversion rate. A healthy conversion rate for a single post according to this article is between 5% to 10%. It is possible to get crazy conversion rate by breaking as high as 11.45% and above.
But you would be very lucky to get high conversion rate and with enough hard work, you can make profit off your posts.
If you are wondering how you increase your conversion rates, then I suggest you to read this article out about conversion rate strategies and how to implement them in your blog posts.
There are many great and helpful tips all around the internet that will teach you how to improve your page’s conversion rate. And honestly, it is not a rocket science at all.
It is matter of how you put them in your posts and where you insert links in the text as well call to action.
As we conclude our monster guide about affiliate marketing 101 tutorial. We want to say thank you for read our guide and we hope we help you learn how to become a successful affiliate marketers. If we helped you and you become successful, please share with us, we love hearing people’s success stories.
Keith Ericksen is a successful affiliate marketer and founder of The Money Creator™. His goal is to help readers like you learn how to make money by creating profitable websites. During his leisure time, he enjoys to socialize, playing games, learning new things and hiking.