Beginning your journey as an affiliate marketer may seem intimidating. It can feel like there are too many things to learn and an overwhelming amount of action steps to become successful as an online entrepreneur.
However, putting in the work it takes to become an affiliate is worth it. The more you publish content as an affiliate, the higher your income will be because it snowballs and grows as time goes on.
With these nine steps below, you can be sure that you’ve completed everything necessary for a beginner to launch an affiliate marketing business. These first steps will help you take action to get the ball rolling and bring the money in from a variety of platforms in any niche you choose to tap into.
You can build your business as quickly or slowly as you like. There are thousands of products waiting to be recommended to your readers and vendors eager to pay you a commission to do so.
Step 1: Decide Which Niche You Want to Be In
The first step you need to take in order to become an affiliate marketer is to choose the niche you want to work in. When doing this, try to pick a topic you actually like. For example, don’t start a blog on medical advice if you know nothing about health.
When people read your content, they want to feel excited about it. Intriguing your readers is something you’ll need to do if you want them to buy the products you’re promoting.
If your topic is something you personally enjoy writing about or something you have a lot of knowledge on already, your readers will be able to tell through the content you produce.
If you do end up picking a topic you’re not familiar with, do research before writing about it. The readers want to feel like they can trust your opinion, so being informed on your topic is important.
Step 2: Figure Out What Your Audience Wants
The second thing you need to do is analyze what your audience wants and needs. Each niche has an audience that wants information on specific things and needs different products to solve problems or achieve goals.
Writing content and promoting products for things your audience wants is what will help you become a successful affiliate marketer. You have to appeal to your audience if you want people to care about your blog.
One way you can do this is through keyword research. Keyword research is where you search for your topic using a tool like WordStream, Google Keyword Planner, Wordtracker, etc.
These tools will then show you a list of things your audience is searching for that relate to your topic. For example, if you searched “gifts” one of the keywords that would show up could be something like “best Christmas gifts for mothers.”
These keywords can be used to know what people are searching for. More specific keywords, called long-tail keywords, are phrases relating to your keyword that are a bit more specific. The gift “best Christmas gifts for mothers” example used above would classify as a long-tail keyword.
Long-tail keywords can also often be questions. “How do I bake a cake from scratch?” would be an example of a long-tail keyword that asks a question. You could use this keyword to write a blog post called “How to Bake a Chocolate Cake From Scratch” or something else that relates to the question.
Another place you can find out what your audience wants is on forums. Websites like Quora often have loads of people asking questions about different topics. Search the keyword of your topic and see if any questions pop up. If so, think about how you could make their question into a blog post.
Step 3: Start an Affiliate Blog
The third step is one of the most important things you can do as an affiliate marketer. You need to start a blog. Without a blog or website, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get approved for any affiliate programs.
Companies you work with are going to want to know that you’re a reputable affiliate. Showing companies that you have a website where you actually create content to promote products will get you approved for affiliate programs much faster.
Start your blog using QuickInstall to load WordPress, which is a free and reputable tool. Begin posting content on your blog, even if you can’t put any affiliate links with it yet – you’ll be able to later.
Having your own website is also important when becoming an affiliate marketer because you’re in control of it. If you only rely on social media, like a TikTok account for all of your affiliate marketing, if your account randomly got shut down one day you’d lose all of your business.
Step 4: Familiarize Yourself with Affiliate Platforms
The fourth step of becoming an affiliate marketer is to look at different affiliate platforms and programs. The platform you choose will most likely depend on the type of products you promote and whether they’re tangible or digital.
For tangible products, you’re going to want to use platforms like Amazon, Share-a-Sale, and Commission Junction. All three of these platforms are free to sign up with and are reputable among affiliate marketers.
Bloggers who promote digital products will want to use platforms like ClickBank, Warrior Plus, and JVZoo. These three platforms are also free to join and reputable, so they’re perfect for beginners.
Step 5: Sign Up to Social Media Sites
Social media is huge when it comes to marketing. Every other post seems to be an influencer promoting a new product or brand. Social media has the ability to give marketers a powerful platform with a few viral posts or uses of hashtags.
Start your social media accounts on sites like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. All of these websites are easy and free to sign up for. Make your username the same name as your blog, so people will remember your name and connect your account and your blog easier.
Incorporate the latest social media trends into your posts to make them get more views. For example, “#cleantok” is a trend on TikTok where people will film videos of themselves using different products to clean areas of their houses.
Posts like those would be great for an affiliate marketer. If you were to run a cleaning blog, you could make a cleaning video, post it with popular cleaning hashtags, put the link to your blog on your account, and tell your viewers that they can purchase the products you’re using from there.
Social media has given many of its users an extremely short attention span. There’s too much interesting content out there that viewers would choose to watch over a long, boring informational video about a topic.
Because of this, you need to make concise content that gets to the point and catches the attention of your audience. Using bold colors in thumbnails, starting your videos by asking the viewers a question, and getting straight to the points you’re making are a few examples of ways you can get the attention of the viewers and maintain it.
When making pictured content, like photos you post to Instagram, Pinterest, and sometimes Facebook, make sure to have eye-catching posts that will intrigue your followers.
When making video content on TikTok, YouTube, etc., be careful to not make your videos too long. Posting hours of content on YouTube most likely won’t keep viewers intrigued the whole time. Try to keep YouTube videos at 10 minutes long or under.
TikTok started as a platform where you could only post 15-second videos. Because of this, lots of users on the app are used to quick, straight-to-the-point videos. Try to keep your TikTok videos under 60 seconds to appeal to more users.
Step 6: Pick the Products You Want to Promote
The sixth step of growing your affiliate marketing business is choosing what type of product you want to write about on your blog and promote through your affiliate links. You can either promote tangible items, which are things customers buy and have shipped to their homes, or digital items, which are products like eBooks, courses, and other informational things.
The products you’ll promote depend on what niche you choose to work in. Some niches have products that are most tangible, while some have products that are mostly digital.
A toy blog is one example of a niche that sells mostly tangible items. Most people aren’t going to spend money on digital items for information about toys they’d want to buy for their kids, so they’ll buy tangible items instead.
A digital niche would be something like spirituality. Since spirituality isn’t exactly something you can buy, most products in this niche are going to be informational digital things as opposed to tangible items.
Some niches can combine tangible and digital products. Stress management would be a niche that could combine these. A stress blog could sell an eBook on how people can reduce their stress, while also selling items like weighted blankets, essential oil diffusers, etc.
Step 7: Make Quality Content
Step seven of affiliate marketing is making sure you are producing high-value content. Having quality content is extremely important when beginning your affiliate blog because it helps you gain the traction you need in order to become successful.
High-quality content should include valuable information. It should answer questions the customers would have about the product in a detailed and clear manner, and should also tell the readers why they need the product in their life – why purchasing it will benefit them.
Quality content should be fairly long. If your posts are only a few paragraphs, you aren’t writing enough about the product. Customers won’t feel like they’re informed enough on the product you’re selling and will leave your site.
Long content ranks well for SEO. Google ranks content that is informative and will actually help the readers more than short, general posts that lack a decent amount of information.
Writing higher-value content will also make you look good to the companies you’d like to work with. A high-quality website with informative content gives you way more opportunities to work with different brands.
Having quality content also means posting regularly. Try to post a few times a week. Posting a few times a week means you’re always giving your readers new content to read, which will keep them engaged.
Step 8: Use Your Affiliate Links on Your Site
Now that you’ve created a blog and have started posting high-value content, you can apply for affiliate programs. Most programs are free to sign up for, like Amazon and Warrior Plus.
Once approved as an affiliate, you can use your affiliate links on your website. Write content about the products you want to promote and that you have a link for.
Hyperlink the name of the product and a photo of the product with your affiliate link, so that when readers click on it to buy it, part of the money they spend on the item will go to you.
You can also use your affiliate links on your social media. One program called Linktree is commonly used among TikTok stars and Instagram users. This program combines multiple links into one page, so when the users click on it, they’ll be directed to a page that lists multiple different links for them to choose from.
Many people use Linktree to place their affiliate links in a list people can easily access from social media. Others also put links in places like the description of a YouTube video.
Step 9: Build Traffic to Your Site
The ninth step in affiliate marketing is gaining traffic to your site. You may have many quality posts, but does it matter if no one sees them? Building traffic can be easy if you take the time to analyze your site.
One huge part of building traffic is writing to appeal to the SEO keywords in your niche. Your audience has a specific type of content they want, and writing using the keywords will help them find you.
You can also build traffic by buying advertisements for your blog. You can buy ads on Facebook, pay to boost your TikTok videos to a certain audience, and buy ads on Google.
You can also do solo ads, which is where you buy an ad in the format of an email that goes out from a marketer who has a more extensive email list and a more loyal audience than you do.
You can also use social media to get attention for your site. You can post about your site on Twitter, Facebook, and other online platforms. Engage with people who are interested in what you have to say and create a relationship with them by answering their questions or promoting articles that they might find interesting. This will help you generate organic traffic from potential customers who may be searching for information related to what you’re offering.
Something else you need to do to build traffic is checked your analytics. Google Analytics is one example of a site you can use to see your website’s information. Pay attention to what kind of content is doing best, and produce more of it to build a greater amount of traffic.