I’m sure by now you’ve read countless articles on how you can earn money online, at the same time you’ve probably been scratching your head wondering whether it’s true or not, and if it is true, just how do people do it, how do you make money on the internet?
Well if I had to list every single method that most people use today to make money online, this post would never end.
In this post I want to educate you about one exciting and powerful way to generate income online, and one method that I’ve been using myself, along with thousands of other bloggers and successful internet entrepreneurs out there, and that method is doing affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing… It is one of the most profitable and most popular ways to make money online, and you don’t need to spend much, if any of your own money to do it, and if you put enough research and hard work into learning how to do affiliate marketing the right way, you can and will make a seriously huge amount of money online.
How To Do Affiliate Marketing For Beginners
You don’t need a website to start doing affiliate marketing, but, yes there’s a big but! Having your own website is by far the best method in my mind. You could use web 2.0 article sites like HubPages or Squidoo, but I’d definitely recommend you start with your own website.
So the first thing you need to do is get a website or even better, get a WordPress blog.
I did say that you didn’t need to spend much if any money to earn money online, but as with any good business venture, you do need to invest a little bit of money, and starting a website these days costs a lot less than you think, for around $6 or $7 per month you can have your own website.
So what else do you need to have apart from your own website to make money with affiliate marketing? You’ll need the following:
- Lots of high quality content
- Lots of search engine traffic
- A loyal audience (subscribers)
At this point I’ll assume that you have your blog or website all ready to roll. So your first objective is to create some content, but not any old crappy content scraped off from other websites, you’ll need to create unique, original, valuable and resourceful content.
But what kind of content should I be creating?
That’s entirely up to you, you can set up a blog or website in any profitable niche you want, just make sure you pick a topic that you’re passionate about. So for example if you want to build a site about classic Fords (cars), do it! If you want to create a blog that talks about fly fishing tips then do it.
Just remember, content is king, if your site does not have much content, you can’t expect to be successful with doing affiliate marketing.
#1 Product Selection
Now that you have some content, let’s say about 50 pages of awesome content, it’s time to find some great products to start promoting on your blog or website.
I’ve always firmly believed, and so do many other affiliate marketers, that you should only promote products and services you trust and have used yourself.
Your audience is more likely to build trust in you, and remain loyal, if you promote products you’ve already used and have had experience with yourself.
For example, if you’ve setup your own WordPress site, you’ve no doubt chosen a web host provider, so there’s a good start. Write a review of the web host provider you’re using.
Outline the benefits and features, and talk about the positive points that made you choose their services.
As you begin to find and use more quality products and services, you can review and promote them on your blog.
One of the things I use to do when I first started with affiliate marketing, was to purchase something on Amazon that I could use for my business, then I’d review that product and promote it on my blog. You can sign up for an Amazon affiliate account here and start doing the same.
We’ll talk more about product reviews in section 3.
#2. Banner Placements
You can also place affiliate banners into your website.
Whilst this isn’t my favorite method of promoting products and services online, it can work well depending on where you place your banners and how much search engine traffic your blog or website gets.
Here is an example of where you can place some of your affiliate banners. See image below.
In my experience I’ve found that the best place to display affiliate ads is anywhere above the fold, where your visitor will see them without having to scroll down the page.
Here are some other great places to consider placing affiliate banners:
- Above the folder in header
- In blog sidebar, above the fold
- Before post content
- After post content
In post content
- In footer of blog
- In your ‘recommended products and services’ page
#3. Product Reviews
Creating product reviews is by far my favorite method of doing affiliate marketing, as people love to read reviews and make their purchases based on the quality of a helpful review.
As I mentioned earlier, I won’t ever review anything that I haven’t tried or have not used myself, and this is good practice to take away. Always review useful, relevant products and services that you trust yourself.
When creating a product review, try and use various media platforms to create your reviews, here are some examples:
- Written reviews on your blog
- Video reviews on YouTube
- Infographic reviews (image based content)
- eBooks and white papers
If you enjoy creating written reviews on your WordPress blog, there is a great plugin that I’d like to recommend called Author HReview, it’s worth checking out.
#3. Blog Contests
Creating frequent blog contests are well worth the investment in time, a bit of money and effort.
A strategy that I’ve used many times before in the past is giving away premium WordPress theme packages.
If you’re wondering how do you promote affiliate products in a contest and earn money, here’s the trick:
Simply include an affiliate link to the product itself, so that those taking part in your contest can take a look at the product in more detail. Who knows, one or two of them might just go out and buy the product instead of waiting around to see whether they’ll win it or not.
Contests can attract a lot of social media interest, traffic and popularity so in my mind it’s a great way to boost your affiliate sales from time to time.
#4. Promote To Email List
Finally the most powerful way to boost affiliate sales and make money online with affiliate marketing is promoting to your email list.
This can only work effectively if you have a large targeted email audience to work with in the first place.
One of the best ways to promote affiliate products to your email list is to use unique and original content in your emails.
Don’t use spammy looking sales pitches, instead sell a story of your experience and how you found the product to be helpful and useful in your situation. People love to read and can relate to a good story.
Note: What you shouldn’t do in your email promotions is brag about how great you think the product is without sufficient evidence to backup your claims, and you should definitely avoid link spamming (placing excessive affiliate anchor text links in your email content).
OK so I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through this post and I hope you’ve learned a thing or two about starting affiliate marketing. Remember earning money online does NOT happen overnight, you’ll need to work at it like any other business venture worth pursuing.
The very best of luck.
Image courtesy of Photobucket user: shawnscott71