Affiliate marketing has become a huge phenomenon in the last few years and more and more people are seeing it as a viable way to make money online. There are literally hundreds of eBook beings sold online about how to get started in affiliate marketing and there are some huge names in the field, some you may have heard of such as Brad Callen, Joel Comm, and Ewan Chia.
The problem for some, is that affiliate marketers seem like a secret society and only a select few have the information needed to make money.
I started affiliate marketing a few months ago, using Amazon and I made absolutely nothing. However, I persevered and kept learning as much as I could. The EBooks I bought were a great learning tool and they pointed me in the right direction, but the real learning came from getting out there and experimenting.
Your first $400
This short guide is not for experienced affiliate marketers it is only intended for those just starting out and wondering where to start. I have only started making money by experimenting and tweaking what I already know. If you want a quick turnaround, forget affiliate marketing. You have to be prepared to learn as much as you can about it. If you just want a few extra dollars a month this guide will help you on your way.
I have made about $400 this month from affiliate marketing about $250 clear profit after taking off advertising costs. So I know it is possible. That is only from 1 product. I am looking to build up my product base slowly and tweak until I have a good system.
What is affiliate marketing?
I am not going to give you a lot of waffle here and you will have to research the different areas yourself. Simply put affiliate marketing is selling others people's products online for a percentage of the sale. You do not carry any stock therefore do not have the hassle of shipping any physical product.
The products can range from information products like eBooks, Mp3s and Videos to Plasma Screen TVs.
What we are going to concentrate on here is information products.
What expertise do you need?
You don't need expertise, but you do need some html knowledge, know your way around the web, a little SEO, A little marketing, and a good deal of enthusiasm.
In this guide, I will show you the tools you need to get started and the topics we will cover are:
Researching: Thinking of a product to sell
Checking out the competition
Sign up with adwords
Building a landing page
Tweaking your campaigns
First things first and that is thinking of a product you would like to sell. For the purposes of this guide, I will be showing you products from www.clickbank.com as they sell information products and it is a great way for affiliates to make money from.
Clickbank sell over 10,000 information products online. Now this information is about anything and everything so whatever your niche is they are sure to have an information product on it.
The key for affiliate beginners is finding a niche where your competition is not too big but big enough to make money from. However, don't be presumptuous and think your niche won't sell, leave that to the research.
When you think of a product to sell you have to keep in mind your competition. There is no point in, when starting out, to sell products on losing weight, diets, or anything like that as there are literally hundreds of people doing it already and the competition is just too big. When you get more experienced and know what tools to use and what to do then this can be something to look into.
So the first thing to do is sign up with click bank.
Once you have thought about a few niches or products to sell, it is time to start researching. Again this will be done in a simple way, no need to buy expensive research tools just yet.
Say you are selling a product about dog food (yes there are some people who have made a lot of money from this). The first thing you would do is go to www.google.com and see how many people have a sponsored ad (the ads on the top and the right hand side of the Google page). You will soon notice that the different types of words you put into the search field will throw up different results. For example if you typed in "˜dog food' you would get a hundred or so sponsored listings. However if you type in "˜dog food info' you will only get a few sponsored listings. This is good, the fewer the better.
How do you know if enough people are going to search on the keywords "˜dog food info'? Well another simple free tool is www.nichebotclassic.com , go to the "˜Overture' tab and type in any keyword and it will give you a guide as to how many people have typed in your keywords. In this case 327 people typed that key phrase in the last month. This tool will also give you other keywords when you use the word tracker tab and the overture tab. It's a great tool to use when getting started. Another tool is using Google traffic estimator, but you will need to set up an adwords account for this, which we will talk about later.
So think of 10 or so niches you think might sell and research them. Whittle it down to the best one and go on to the next stage.
Signing up with adwords
We will be using Google adwords to drive traffic to our affiliate's page. So sign up for a Google adwords account and read their guide on using Google adwords.
When you have your account set up you will get access to lots of useful tools like traffic estimator, and keyword suggestions. Have a play about with these until you get familiar with it. Try not to be too tempted to rush in, really get to know about Google Adwords as you are going to use it a lot over the next few months and possibly years.
Have a look at how adwords ads are made up and read all you can about google adwords on their website.
Building a landing page
The best way I have found to do this is buy a domain name and some hosting, this doesn't cost much at all. The reason for this is it will look better in the ad you will use on Google adwords. Also Google do not allow more than 1 person to have the same destination URL so it is better if you have a unique address.
Next you will want to build a simple landing page. This is a one-page website, which will pre-sell the product to the customer before you send them to the affiliate site.
Many people ask why a landing page has and I have given the following scenario:
Imagine you walk into a bookshop looking for a book on "˜selling online'. You are presented with hundreds of books, it's hard to choose which one to buy, and you might simply just leave and not buy any of them.
Now imagine the same scenario only this time a sales assistant was walking by and told you about a great book they had read on selling online and how they had put it into practice and it had worked for them. You would be in a more ready state to buy that book. Then when you looked at the book, it gave you further reasons to buy the book.
This is what a landing page does. It warms the customer up to buying the product you want to promote. The main page will do all the hard sales talk so your job is to warm them up and possibly write up a personal experience with the product and you tell them the good points and the downside but ultimately how it worked for you. You might give some customer testimonials, a link to a video if the product owner has one and use other promotional material on the page supplied by the product owner.
Here is an example of a landing page:
I am currently using this one. I know it seems a bit silly giving this info but I think it is a good way of showing people what I am doing just now.
Driving traffic to your landing page
You now have your product from Clickbank and you have the link (called the hoplink) to the product you want to sell:
There are two parts to the example above. The first part: aitchison2 is my nickname.
The second part: unexplain is the product seller's id. Therefore, any link you have from your landing page to the product page should have your click bank details in it. If you want to track your campaigns (you definitely do) you will need to add a further part:
The tid link you see above will help you track which links are converting well.
You will also have your landing page set up with your own domain name and hosting.
The next thing to do is drive traffic:
Use adwords to bid on keywords for your product. There are three types of keywords: broad, phrase, and exact matching. I tend to use exact matching which means one if some types in the exact phrase I have as my key phrase my ad will show. This means more ready to buy customers will come to my site. However if you have a broad match and more people click on your ad your ad spend will go down. You will learn more about this as you go along.
And that is it, the simplified version of making money with affiliate marketing.
Once you have read over this quick guide there are some more advanced ebooks out there which will delve deeper into affiliate marketing.
Good luck with your journey and let me know how you get on.
Other advanced books on affiliate marketing.