Interested in knowing how to start affiliate marketing? It can be overwhelming when you first start out, but learning all about affiliate marketing and how to start is actually fairly easy. Affiliate marketing is an exciting alternative to the traditional means of making money through advertising on the internet. While professional media sites often resort to increasingly intrusive popup ads and video ads that sometimes play full audio whether you want them to or not, affiliate marketers can afford to be less aggressive and yet still make a living off of advertising revenue.
That’s because the affiliate program works by setting a browser cookie when someone clicks on an affiliate link and tracks any purchases made at the destination before the cookie expires. After that, the affiliate program pays out a small commission. Thus, it’s possible to make a little money or even make a living off of affiliate marketing, but only if you can convince people to click on your links and buy your affiliate partner’s products.
However, affiliate marketing isn’t just about marketing your partners’ goods, or at the very least it can be about much more than that. Affiliate marketing is also an opportunity to create your own website or some other form of content and get paid to do so, because you’ll be running ads and providing other links to things your audience will genuinely want to buy, at least if you combine your affiliates and your interests correctly.
But enough of the pitch. To find out how to start affiliate marketing, you need to begin with the following steps:
1. Choose Your Plan
When you visit an affiliate company, you’ll be able to choose between a free plan or one that comes with a monthly cost. The premium membership comes with more support, more websites, and a stronger connection to the affiliate marketing community, but if you’re at the point where you’re just dipping your toe in the water to see what it’s like, the free membership option comes with some support for the first week and enough freedom and tools to quickly create a basic website and get going.
2. Choose Your Interest
There’s no point in lying about it: it’s not easy to make a lot of money through affiliate marketing. The best way to understand it is to think of it like a small business: you have to start at square one and build your business from the ground up. You have the advantage of not needing a business loan to begin with, and the fact that you can set your own hours for each day and each week, but you’ll need to invest a lot of time and effort into your affiliate marketing business before it will grow.
The reason you need to understand this before you learn how to start affiliate marketing is because you need to choose your interest (or interests) wisely. You’ll be spending a lot of time researching and writing about your chosen topics, and so they need to be something you’re passionate about, not just something you think is popular and will get you a lot of traffic. You may be right, but you’ll quickly burn out as you either run out of things to say or you begin to hate your topic instead.
3. Build Your Website
The affiliate companies you’ll be signing up with have powerful website creation tools that can get you up and running in no time, although a big part of the reason it can set up so fast is because it’s based heavily on some basic templates. As such, while you can move things around and change the icons and images to emphasize your chosen interest, you may still feel like the website has a certain generic quality to it. That may not bother you at all, but it’s something you’re free to change if you know html code. Learning how to start affiliate marketing also means learning how to build a website.
4. Pick Your Affiliate Programs
Once you’ve chosen your interest and you’ve create a website where you can write about it, the next step is to pick out the affiliate programs that will advertise on your site. It’s tough to start affiliate marketing without a monetization plan! With over a million products and services to pick from, you’re bound to find something related to your interests, so feel free to go crazy with ideas like underwater basket weaving and scuba lessons if your interests lie with the ocean, or organic food and organic conditioners if you prefer to discuss how to stay beautiful with only organic plant extracts.
5. Start Writing Content
…And don’t stop. This is by far the most critical step in the process of learning how to start affiliate marketing. In order to create and grow your website, you need to pack it full of content your visitors won’t find anywhere else online.
And while that may sound like a tall order, just remember that all you need to do to be unique is act like yourself as you write reviews or provide readers with blog posts and articles full of interesting information. The important part is to keep up the volume since the longer you wait between articles, the further your website will fall in the search engine rankings.
Once you get your basic website set up, your affiliates all arranged, and you start producing content that other people might want to see, it’s time to learn how to market yourself so that people will start visiting your site and finding out what you have to offer. If it’s good, word of mouth will bring others to see your website, and that (along with more marketing and SEO) will slowly but surely grow your audience. But to learn more about that, you should read some of the other articles on this site.
How To Start Your Own Website Fast & Easy!
Serious about becoming an affilaite marketer? Let's set up your website! It's not as hard as you might think! Just follow these simple step-by-step instructions, and for $2.95 per month, you'll have your own domain name on a WordPress website with discounted Bluehost web hosting. Ready to get started? Let's go!
Step 1: Visit Bluehost.com
If you use this link you'll get discounted pricing for just $2.95/mo. So click here to visit Bluehost.com. Bluehost is the #1 recommended web hosting by WordPress.org. It also happens to be my top recommendation. Every account features 1-click WordPress installation. It is one of the most well known, mos popular, and affordable web hosting options. Bluehost is especially great for beginners due to their user friendly features and one-click WordPress installation.
Click the "get started now" button and let’s get started! (see above). Select a hosting plan that fits your needs. (Normally, if you are just starting out I recommend the basic plan but, if you are really serious about this and want more resources & power go with their Prime or Pro plan). Keep in mind, you can always upgrade your plan as you grow.
Step 2: Pick Your Domain Name
Search for a domain with the domain name search tool below. Don’t spend a ton of time on this step, you can always change the domain name later. If you already have a domain name, type it in the "I have a domain name" box. Bluehost is generous enough to throw in a FREE domain name with every new hosting account created.
The next step is to fill out your account and billing information.
Review the package information below and decide what term/add-ons are desired. The biggest bang for your buck is on the 60 month term, but you can choose 36 months, 24 months or 12 months. Please note that Bluehost will charge you upfront for the entire term.
Insert payment information and accept the terms.
Congrats, your hosting account has been created! Bluehost will send you a welcome email.
Create your password. Make sure to review the requirements for creating the password. If you need help you can always click the “Suggest Password” option. Regardless, I recommend notating it just to be safe. You’ll end up needing it later on.
Go ahead and login to start getting familiar with your new Bluehost account.
Step 3: Install Your WordPress WebsiteThanks to Bluehost, after your hosting account has been created WordPress will automatically install. Start off by picking a theme, these are all free themes from WordPress.org. You can always update or customize your theme later.
Now that you’ve picked your theme, let’s jump into WordPress and get you even closer to constructing that first blog post.
Decide whether this site will be for business or personal use.
On this step, you’ll see an overview of Bluehost+WordPress integration. You can manage WordPress plugins and blog posts or pages here.
Here’s a revamped dashboard of the Bluehost control panel.
Now you can make your site look how you want! Since you are using WordPress the sky's the limit! If you're looking for a great tutorial on how to build a great looking WordPress site, check out this video.