“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until

                                                                                                                                       -Warren Buffet

It’s 2019, and unless you are a super-soldier frozen for over 50 years in the Arctic Ocean, you would know that the world we live in has changed faster than Eminem rapping. Marketing is not what it used to be, and due to the internet, there has been an explosion in terms of knowledge. Information is accessible everywhere and anywhere, and people are always looking for products and things to use. And if you want to make easy money, even while you are sleeping, there is no better option than what we have to suggest: affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing For Dummies

Affiliate marketing is defined as a marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals. There are multiple ways of doing this. Coupon companies like GrabOn, GroupOn, etc. use affiliate marketing, which involves a lot of effort and has a lot of complicated technical aspects to it.

However, the easiest way to start your affiliate marketing business is through blogging. Blogging has come a long way and is not just about posting short stories and personal reviews. Companies and product manufacturers look for bloggers who will write innovative and favorable reviews about their products and disseminate these reviews to a broader audience. How do you do it? Pretty simple!

  • Start your blog
  • Find a well-known affiliate program/network
  • Review products and link them back to the product page
  • Every time someone clicks on the link/clicks and purchases, you get a commission

That’s all! It’s effortless. However, there is much more to this simple game than it meets the eye. I mean, you will be making a lot of money even while you are sleeping. Surely, there has to be more than it meets the eye, right? So, let me walk you through the entire process and in-depth so that by the time you are done reading this article, your understanding of affiliate marketing will go from zero to a hundred.

affiliate marketing for dummies

Step 1: Setting Up Your Own Blog

Remember a crucial lesson in this journey, Young Padawan. When you are going to embark on your journey, this is where most of your energy needs to be redirected. Close to 50% (or more) of your total time spent will be here. How much you earn will be directly proportional to the quality of your blog. Content is king, and if your blog has a low reader base, there will be little clicks and even lesser income. It is vital that your content is of superior quality, easy to read, and loads of insights that anyone can understand. A well-detailed and straightforward article is better than a smaller, sesquipedalian-ish blog (get it?). Also, do not forget to ensure the blog looks neat and clean and yet engaging. The reader should feel like reading or skimming from top to finish, no matter what your blog writes about. If possible, add a personalized video. There are loads of software for that (InVideo is one great example).

Select a theme for the blog as well. If you want to go with tech, stick to tech without writing loads of reviews about travel. Mixing up a lot of themes will make the reader confused about your niche. Sure, you can mix in once in a while or have an intersection but it always better to NOT muddle your broth. Don’t forget to use a keyword research tool and use a healthy mix of related keywords so that you can list yourself for a lot of words. Click here for a complete guide on SEO research and to understand how to use keywords. Let’s walk you through some easy steps and highlighters that you should keep in mind while executing the first step.

To summarize:

  • Set up a blog theme. Target what kind of niche you want to create.
  • Stick to an “easy to understand and well-detailed” blog. Don’t complicate it.
  • The blog appearance should be neat and clean. Make it user-friendly and engaging.
  • Outrank your competitors with different blog writing strategies and better content.
  • Use good visuals like images, GIFs, videos, and accessible guides to demonstrate your point better.
  • Learn the basics and beyond of SEO. Understanding advanced SEO will take time.
  • SEO has no exact science. Experience matters.
  • Do not engage in blackhat SEO practices.
  • Enroll yourself in different forums. SEO Journal, Moz, Neil Patel, etc. are good starting points.
  • Keep your uniqueness intact.

Step one is perhaps the most time-consuming endeavor in this entire journey. However, no matter how bad the road gets, stick to it. Most people burn out in the first step and think blogging is tough and hard. It isn’t; it just needs patience and determination. After a couple of months, the entire journey becomes super easy, and if you follow the whitehat SEO steps and write great content, Google’s Pagerank starts acknowledging you and the results will be equal to happiness and money!

STEP 2: Find An Affiliate Network

This is where you plant your seed for generating your income. Although there are many options for this, we recommend you join affiliate networks like VCommission and CJ Affiliate. Some of the best affiliate programs for beginners can be found here. You can sign-up here and promote different kinds of products and websites, based on your domain and area of expertise. Depending on the companies these networks represent (which can range from Amazon to any other website), you can earn a lot of money by generating top-notch articles, reviewing their products and linking it back to these websites. Now, the essential point here is to use a tracking link and maintaining a dashboard for the same. You can sign up with any of these affiliate marketing tracking software platforms as well. However, we recommend that you join the affiliate network and first learn the basics before you try to go solo. Most of them wouldn’t care about your blog’s Domain Authority and other factors if you keep on adding regular, high-quality content. Place your links well, and only review products you have either used personally or have extensive knowledge about. Remember, no one likes reading a blog that is full of adjectives and no personal experience to go about it.

To summarize:

  • Find an affiliate network. Go for the popular ones first.
  • Target low-end products first. Don’t jump into high ticket affiliate programs straight away.
  • The point is first to see your results through low-commission affiliate networks and then gradually working your way up.
  • If you achieve consistency through these networks, switch to high ticket affiliate programs.

Note: While searching for affiliate programs, put quotation marks around a phrase, and Google will return an exact match for your search term. E.g., if you want deodorants for men affiliate programs and not deodorants affiliate programs, search “deodorant for men affiliate programs.” Treat this as a suggestion and not a hard-and-fast rule.

Some popular affiliate networks are:

Amazon Associates- Amazon’s network. Low commission but a lot of products. An excellent place to test your skills.

CJ Affiliate- CJ stands for Commission Junction and is pretty popular.

ShareASale- A lot of variety, so choosing a niche becomes easy.

VCommission- India’s largest affiliate network.

And it goes without saying that before you do enroll yourself in an affiliate network, know the language and terms thoroughly. CPC, CPA, CPS. CPM- all of these are important terms. Learn more about these here.

STEP 3: Add Affiliate Links To Your Products

The most critical stroke in your Magnum Opus after you are done signing up for an affiliate program or network, it is time to add links. There are multiple ways of doing this, but an essential part is visibility. Add these links where you feel it will be the most clickable. Remember, not everyone will probably go through your entire article. They will probably only go through the first and last paragraph of each header or skim through. Therefore, make it as visible as possible. Some great places to add your affiliate links can be

  • The first line under every heading. Avoid adding links to H1, H2, H3, etc.
  • On images and banners.
  • As a “Recommended Section.”
  • A top 10-15 list, where after each product review, add a “Buy Here” option with the link.

Placing link is an art, and just like any other art forms, it needs practice. No one size fits all approach. You need to reach the maximum level of optimization and be okay with the idea that not all who come to your blog will look to purchase or even link on your links.

The most critical stroke in your Magnum Opus after you are done signing up for an affiliate program or network, it is time to add links

STEP 4: Write Guest post Articles To Generate Backlinks For Your Website

If you have done your research well OR been around as much as I have in the content marketing sphere, you would know that your website needs a lot of authority and references to be ranked via organic search (Google search, in lay man’s term). Google is undoubtedly an essential search engine as of this moment, and you need to ensure you optimize your blog/website based on their ranking factors. Backlinks add a lot of brownie points to your website. So, write a lot of genuine articles, using your older articles as citations and reference sites.

Try to get at least 10 backlinks per month. This will significantly enhance your website’s Domain Authority (DA) and site trust factor. Most blogs or websites rely on organic searches, and getting your articles ranked is VERY important. I cannot stress it enough. Some of the factors that affect your ranking include mobile-friendliness, SEO, User Experience, etc. Here is a list of all the factors. These factors change with very new Google update, so ensure you are always aware of Google’s latest updates. However, the tweaks are not that massive. As of now, consider these factors as the most important. Generate a lot of backlinks and do NOT give anyone a “DoFollow” link, unless you are getting paid heavily for it. That too to websites which have a DA closer or more than you.

STEP 5: Emailers

Here it is. The secret to a continuous and sustaining traffic: build an email list. You will probably come across multiple “Google Changes Its Algorithm YET AGAIN.” Truth be told, it can intimidate any beginner. And sometimes it can affect the best bloggers. But that doesn’t mean you have to lose money over it. Always keep an email list, taking it from your readers, after you built a fantastic website and a decent reputation. Tailor your website in such a way that everyone would love to read more from you. Get an email list through different ways like a “Sign Up For New Posts,” “Login To Read More” etc. At the end of the day, whenever you publish a new post, send this email list your latest post (learn up ways how you can do this without being spamming), so that these readers come and read your post and you can get probable conversions from them. This will work after you have created the right name and can be maximized through your blog presentation. Here are a few email marketing tools.

Conclusion

These are some strategies, which in my opinion, will work great for beginners. However, the internet is an ocean, and you SHOULD research more and have many insights and ideas on affiliate marketing. Don’t stop learning and researching on how to be better. And don’t worry about money initially. Ensure your content is top-notch and the money will follow soon. The most crucial part about affiliate marketing through blogs is never to churn substandard and unappealing content. Your articles should be complete: right from presentation to the information. The rest of the journey is a breeze.

Happy Blogging!