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How Can I Start Affiliate Marketing as a Beginner

Updated: Apr 20

The first step is to choose what product(s) you want to sell, or which niche you are going to sell in.

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1. Choose something you’re genuinely interested in.

If you join affiliate programs for products that don’t spike your interest, you might find it very hard to actually make sales. Because most sales are emotional, and when you believe in what you're selling, the person you are pitching to will realize right away if you sound disinterested in the product/service, if your content is WAY too “salesy” or even worse you are just desperate because you haven’t made any sales.

Finally, try to choose a product that you think will be easy to sell… something that is genuinely impressive and effective to its target market. Find something that’s easy to sell, easy being that it is in demand and you can introduce it to your target audience confidently, you will not need to beat them over the head with sale tactics and crazy call-to-actions because they want what you are selling.

An example would be the growth of podcasts and you own a blog that talks about music and entertainment, so you join an affiliate marketing program that either has products for podcasters like microphones, audio editing software, or discounts on premium distribution packages on platforms such as Podbean or Anchor.

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You post these affiliate links on blog articles about the “Best Microphones for Podcasters” or “Best podcast for indie musicians to get interviews”, either one of these is perfect for your audience and you to build trust and generate value.

2. Choose Your Audience.

You have got to ask yourself one very important question: who are you trying to sell to? Are you going after health and fitness, animal lovers or people who use software while doing their jobs? Ask yourself what does your audience spend a lot of time thinking about? Where do they hang out online? These are just a few questions that will help you better understand what your audience wants.

3. Choose Your Platform.

Get in the mindset of you being in this for the long haul. As an affiliate marketer, if you want to build a long-term business, then you’ll want to consistently create content and get a solid return on your investment. Treat this as a business not a hobby!

“You can treat side hustle like a real business and succeed, but you cannot treat a real business like a side hustle and expect to succeed.”

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Find products/programs with an excellent commission (above 20%) The affiliate program you choose should provide you with more than 20% commission. That way you will be able to spend money on advertisements and keep your business profitable.

There are several ways you can create content. You could create a blog, start a YouTube channel, create a Twitter account, get people to like your Facebook page or build an Instagram following.

I recommend just starting with one platform and then sticking to a consistent content publishing calendar. You don't want to burn yourself out before you even get started. How often are you going to create content for the platform you choose? A few times per week is enough for most platforms, we will answer this at another time.

4. Use Basic SEO to Drive Traffic To Your Offers.

In order to start making money from your affiliate relationships, you need to drive traffic to your offers. These are the two types of traffic that you’ll want to learn how to drive long-term traffic and short-term traffic. You don't want just anybody (traffic) coming to your site, you want quality traffic. People within your target market. The higher quality traffic you drive, the better your conversion rate will be.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization is the process of organically trying to get your content to rank for valuable phrases (keywords) in a search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing and YouTube, for example). It takes a long time to generate traffic this way, but it’s extremely lucrative once the ball gets rolling (give it at least 6 to 8 months of consistent content creation and optimization). Remember this is a marathon not a sprint.

Based on your keywords and tags, you will know what will and will not work for long-term campaigns and more importantly, paid advertising campaigns. Keywords and tags are just as important to a paid campaign as they are to an organic campaign using search engine optimization. So do not pass up the opportunity to save money and time, while learning what works and what doesn’t.

Learn how to find all of the right keywords for your Search Engine Optimization campaign to succeed as an affiliate marketer.

Paid Ads: This is one of the best ways to drive immediate traffic to your offers is by running paid advertisements on a platform like Facebook, YouTube, or even Google. When you choose your ad targeting options, try to only show ads to your ideal market. That will cut down on cost-per-click and keep your business profitable.

Paid Promotion: Is a little different than paid ads, but it can be just as effective. With paid promotion, you reach out to other websites and influencers who serve your target market and pay for them to promote your business or affiliate products (make sure they use your affiliate link!).

5. Become The Expert In Your Market!

Here’s a great question for you…

Why would people buy someone else’s product through you instead of going straight to the source?

The answer:

Maybe It’s the first time they’ve heard about the product? So you have become the source of new and innovative solutions!

You were able to sell the product in a new and convincing way? You do not advertise, you share and inform in a unique way, through comedy, personally, or through entertainment.

You are considered to be a trustworthy expert in this market? Your target audience knows that you are a resource with valuable information and share that knowledge online, so you share products that will solve their problems.

Now you are an authority.

And how do you do this?

Here are the best methods to establish authority

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Cross promote or C-Brand through Influencer Marketing: Find out who the influencers are in your niche. Building relationships with influencers is a great way to grow your affiliate marketing business. They can help drive traffic to your offers and you can do the same for them.

Send out emails to influencers and get to know people in your space. This takes time but is well worth the effort. Once again this is a marathon not a sprint. Pace yourself.

Use Quora to answer questions and become a resource for solutions and knowledge. Once this is established, and you place links to your content that has affiliate links, you will see targeted traffic increase. From there, you will begin to see what content gets people to convert and what content doesn’t.

Real talk, being a successful affiliate marketer isn’t difficult, it just takes time and dedication. Like anything else worth having.

Programs and networks are typically free to join, but if you can’t hit the numbers, you may be removed. So stop holding yourself back. Sign up and go hard from day one.

So what are you waiting for exactly? Go start being successful.

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