Affiliate Marketing has got to be one of the biggest areas of internet marketing that provides the biggest potential for profits with as little work as possible. The phrases, “passive income” and “push button profits” are never far from people’s lips. On the flip side, there are also more myths and lies about effective methods in affiliate marketing than in any field of marketing. That is the reason I wanted to write this post on affiliate marketing for dummies.
Everyone has an opinion on what you should do to be successful in affiliate marketing. New strategies come out every week in WSO’s and JVZoo releases for $7 that promise to remedy your confusion. Only, the courses generate more questions than they answer and you are left with ideas you simply can’t take action on… or you spend money on the ideas and they don’t work. Either way, Spending $7 5-10 times a month to learn affiliate marketing while making $0 is just plain frivolous.
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies: Strategies v. Principles
The WSO’s you’ve probably bought in the past discuss strategies and techniques that exploit loopholes to rake in fast cash. The problem with these strategies, is you can’t rely on loopholes to stay open forever – and they are usually closed by the time you even know it ever existed. The other big problem, is market saturation. When over 100 people start using the same concepts as you, they begin to lose their effectiveness.
Principles are the key to long-lasting affiliate income. Principles are not merely affiliate marketing methods. They are the concepts that never change with Google updates or the constant evolution of the online world. Principles don’t change, period. If you own a farm, you may have crops and animals you raise. These all represent the principles of your farm. Your strategies are the way you harvest your crops and the techniques you employ to raise your pigs, poultry, and the like. The strategies may change as you gain experience and tools/technology. The principles though, have always been there and will always be there.
Affiliate marketing has both principles and strategies. For the sake of this affiliate marketing for dummies guide, we will focus on the principles. They worked in 2013, they work today, and they will work in 2025! This is how I build my business and I recommend it for you as well!
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies – The 5 Steps to Affiliate Success!
We will keep this list short and sweet to keep it simple. The power behind each and every step cannot be understated! If you take the necessary steps to embrace the journey, you will NOT fail. It’s mathematically impossible. Just understand, your rise may not happen overnight or even over the next year or two. It may take quite a while depending on a host of factors. I don’t believe in the idea of being realistic with your dreams…that is why they are called dreams. They don’t exist within the realistic boundaries of how your world works right now! That is the whole point of chasing dreams – to expand what is possible!
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies [Step #1]: Discover Your Target Market
Before you can run, you have to learn how to walk. You will save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress if you nail this step before moving on. Another name for your target market (aka audience) is “niche.” I am sure you’ve heard that word before, especially if you are getting into affiliate marketing! Your niche is the area you are an expert in.
In order to be an expert, you must first understand how your audience thinks. It also helps if you are already passionate about the present topics in your given niche. If you can find a niche or sub-niche (how to lose weight is an example of a sub-niche within the fitness niche) that has a huge income potential with less competition and you are passionate about it, you stand to earn A LOT more than in an obscure niche no one cares about.
What if I’m not an expert?
The biggest issue many face, is they don’t want to call themselves an expert when they are starting out. This is why we start out the entire process discovering and researching! If you know something that others do not, they will look up to you. Every expert starts somewhere. Make it your ambition and life’s goal to know more about your niche than anyone else. That is advice straight from Mark Cuban, so you know it’s good stuff!
Once you are an expert, your next step is to find ways to solve problems your niche is facing. The more emotional your audience is, the more potential money you stand to make. Why do you think the “make money” and “fitness” niches are the biggest in internet marketing? People need more money and they don’t want to be fat! The more questions you can answer and problems you can solve, the more relevant you will be in your niche.
RECAP: Find a niche that excites you and become an expert. Once you know something, also know that someone out there does not. Define problems and solve them. What causes your audience the most pain – alleviate it. Once you know who you are selling to, you can begin building your business. Level up achieved!
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies [Step #2]: Start a Blog
If you build it, they will come. Of course, Kevin Costner had no idea what that meant at the time, and neither do you! But the fact remains – affiliate marketing will be much easier for you if you start your own blog.
Believe me, the prospect of starting a blog is much scarier than the reality of maintaining a blog actually IS. Whether your personal challenges include, lack of money, lack of technical knowledge, lack of experience, or sub-par writing skills, there are solutions out there that address some or all of these obstacles.
Strapped for cash? Aren’t we all? It is no secret that running blogs aren’t free. You have to pay for the domain, hosting, and other miscellaneous fees like advertising, some premium plugins/themes, etc. There are solutions out there that are free, though. You can start a blog on Blogger.com, Wix.com, or other similar sites. If you really need to count pennies, they are a great place to start to get your feet wet. Just know that these are not longterm solutions if you want to build a huge following.
Lack of Technical Knowledge
No matter who you are, you can learn how to market online. If you found this site, you can build a blog. WordPress enables you to build a site in just a few clicks and customize everything with powerful plugins and themes. There are endless varieties of tutorials that also walk you through everything from A to Z. No more excuses! You CAN do this!
Lack of Experience
Everyone who has ever blogged has had a first blog. It may not have been pretty. Think of the first car you ever owned. Was it a nice car? My first car was a 1990 Chevy Cavalier wagon. I was 16 and It ran. I was just thrilled to have a car! Your blog is your vehicle to passive income. The only way to remedy your lack of experience is to get your feet wet! Start today without delay! That is the best advice I can give you.
Sub-par Writing Skills
Maybe you don’t identify yourself as a writer or you truly HATE IT! That’s quite okay! Writing isn’t for everyone. Luckily, that is something you can outsource to someone else in exchange for something. Having a contract writer is a common occurrence for a lot of niche marketers who build authority sites from scratch in different niches. Outsourcing various tasks will also save you a lot of time down the road so you can focus on the tasks that are most important to your income.
Either way you cut it, you can find a solution to address your perceived shortcomings. Another idea is to partner with someone that has what you lack. Finding a mutually beneficial arrangement where you both have areas of expertise that strengthen your business more than it would be if you worked separately is the whole point of business partnerships!
What Is Blogging?
Why are blogs so important to your business? Your blog is pretty much the most visible element of your business. It represents the connection between your thoughts and ideas and other people who are searching for the information you are sharing. Google is simply a utility you utilize to share your expertise. We’ll discuss this idea more in the next section. for now, just know that your blog is simply a collection of your knowledge on display for your target audience.
What Can a Blog Do For Your Business?
Blogging has become a trend more and more businesses flock to as time goes on. Why do they flock to blogging? Because they understand the demand for content in this content-driven market. People love videos, infographics, and articles that break everything down for them in bite-size pieces.
Your blog is an income-driving apparatus that drives traffic to your business via multiple channels. Every post you put on your blog is like another road heading to your site with a new group of potential customers reading about another facet of your business. It really is a nuanced machine with thousands of little gears that drive profits through your business like clockwork.
RECAP: If you dream of truly passive income in affiliate marketing, building a blog is your ticket to a growing income. It really is your headquarters and will be the mechanism that drives your business online. The more you post, the more potential you’ll have to getting your message heard and driving conversions and sales as a result.
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies [Step #3]: Learn SEO
If your blog is your plane, than SEO is certainly your plane’s engine. Learning how to rank your blog is one of the biggest skills you can possibly learn as an affiliate blogger. Search engine optimization will take your blog to the first page of Google, which is where your customers will find you.
Whitehat vs. Blackhat SEO
There are many marketers who debate whether you should focus on whitehat or blackhat SEO strategies. The truth is, any kind of SEO is seen as blackhat by Google. SEO implies you are trying to manipulate the search engines, which is against everything Google believes. So, if you really want to rank highly in the SERPs, debating which strategies Google will penalize and which they won’t is pointless. You must approach ranking similarly to how Google thinks you would be naturally.
To understand ranking highly on Google, it is important to understand what the ranking factors are. This post is a great place to start.
To make things as simple as possible, there are four types of SEO that are vital to your success.
This type gives you the most control over your SEO destiny. Understanding what Google looks for on your page will give you an edge over the affiliate bloggers that don’t pay attention to this stuff. The on-page factors include how you optimize for your target keyword, how often it shows up in your post (keyword density), optimized meta tags, post length, etc.
Off-page is more difficult and takes the most time. There are actual debates on whether linkbuilding is dead, but that is the actually the most effective form of off-page SEO. Google frowns on off-page, because it wants to see real sites building trust from other authority sites. No matter how you approach it, Google does not want you to manipulate other sites to give your site a boost.
For that reason, SEO is a delicate activity for most businesses and it is also expensive. If you would like to learn more about my approach, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Google doesn’t penalize me and I would like to share why!
If using anchor text and backlinking is important for off-page SEO, then internal linking is just as important, but it stays within your blog. I cannot stress enough the importance of internal linking. I have had pages that only achieved page one because of extensive internal linking. Having posts that connect well with each other is a huge ranking signal for Google. The more page views each visitor gets on your blog, the better you rank, which is another reason internal linking is so important. The longer someone spends on your site, the better. We don’t want them arriving then hitting that back button on their browser a few seconds later! That is bad!
Having a following on Social Media is important, but having people share and like your content is even more crucial in terms of SEO, especially now. The engagements you get from your content you share on your various profiles, the more legit Google will see your content and give it higher rankings.
The main Social media sites you need to keep in mind, are: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Reddit, Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin, and StumbleUpon. Of course there are many, many more, but these are the top 9 you should share all content to.
RECAP: SEO is vital to improve your blog’s visibility. There are four types of ranking you should take into consideration: on-page, off-page, internal linking, social signals. There are hundreds, if not thousands of factors to rank on Google. Becoming an expert in SEO will improve your profit potential, especially if you learn how to do it in a way that looks the most natural.
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies [Step #4]: Find a Mentor
Once you have started a blog, understand SEO, and have a firm grasp of what it takes to make money on the internet, your next step is to find a mentor or coach that can take your business to the next level.
There are numerous coaching programs out there. My advice is to network on Facebook and meet other marketers in your niche. As you meet other entrepreneurs and make new friends, you will find the ones you will want to emulate. Most of the influencers will have Facebook groups and will have sites you can go to to learn more about them. Pick a mentor who is in a place now that you want to be at. Forbes has some great advice for finding mentors.
The reason most people can’t find success is because they continue to think the way they have always thought. Utilizing a mentor can help you break through those walls and evolve your skill sets. Just make sure you are set on where you are going before you hire a mentor. There is nothing more costly than working with the wrong mentor and arriving at a place you hate.
Some people will tell you a group coaching program may be right for you, while others swear by one-on-one coaching. It really depends on your personal preferences and the money you are willing to spend on a mentor. A mentor of mine used to tell me, money loves speed: the more you spend and make, the more you will continue to make. Personalized attention is definitely best, but only if you are ready to take that next step.
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies [Step #5]: Stay Consistent
The last step is more of an ongoing thing than just a phase. Remaining consistent is the most important element of any successful business endeavor. Imagine if your favorite restaurant only cooked new food on Tuesdays. Would it be difficult for them to keep their loyal customers?
I have read countless personal growth and self-help books and one common thing that they all state, is the power of habit can actually dictate whether you succeed or not. Once you have established the habit or routine, you can actually become unstoppable.
Grant Cardone advocates this in his book, The 10x Rule. To summarize, he actually says it takes 10x more energy than you think it will to beat your competitors, but if you approach your business that way, you cannot fail.
The best way to establish the power of habit and consistency, is to start a morning routine. Here is an article on Success.com that will give you some good ideas for morning routines. Other successful people that advocate consistency and having a morning routine include:
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Timothy Ferriss
- Hal Elrod
- John Paul DeJoria
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- Brad Lande
- Kevin O’Leary (a.k.a. Mr. Wonderful)
- Jillian Michaels
- Many, many more!
There is a real magic in establishing a morning routine. It doesn’t have to last hours. You don’t even have to get up before 5am! Having just 30-60 minutes (an hour is best) to start your day in peace is the key to billions of dollars in wealth for some individuals. That fact is something you truly can’t ignore. Challenge yourself to sticking with a routine for 90 days. If you can keep it up for that entire period, you will notice a distinct difference in your life… and your routine will remain.
If starting a morning routine sounds intriguing to you, I highly recommend you read “The Morning Miracle,” by Hal Elrod. That book will help give you ideas and will reinforce the power of the morning routine far better than I ever could in this article!
RECAP: Staying consistent in your daily habits and routines is key to building success. Establishing a daily routine is one of the best habits you can foster, especially a daily routine in the morning. In my research, the majority of successful people are morning people. I challenge you to commit to a daily routine for 90 days. The results may just astound you…
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies Conclusion
Affiliate marketing is an exciting field in internet marketing that allows you to influence others and generate profits with other people’s products. Your main objective is to connect potential buyers with the products they are looking for. The easiest way to accomplish this feat, is to find problems that cause people pain, and provide the solutions that alleviate that pain. Blogging is the easiest to provide these solutions passively and generate sales in the process. Your blog will be the platform that builds your audience/list, and showcases your skills and expertise to further your brand.
Learning SEO, finding a mentor, and remaining consistent with a daily routine will turn your blog into an authority site, which could turn your passion into a 6-7 figure business! So, is Affiliate marketing for dummies? Your friends may say so, but I think you will see it differently if you stay consistent with your vision and chase your dreams!
Thanks for reading this long affiliate marketing for dummies article! Tune in for more information and please share this post if you found it useful! Have a great day!