I launched a new website a few months ago, and traffic has been increasing each day purely through organic search. Since I know that I’m getting high-quality traffic that will reach 5,000 unique visitors this month, I thought that it was time to see how I could turn some of those visitors into a little bit of cash. I threw some ads up on the site and have been making a few dollars a day – but I knew that I could make more!
For the past few years I have been following a few successful affiliate marketers. Could I, too, also make money online in affiliate marketing? The answer is yes! The very first day that I placed affiliate links on my website, people clicked on them! I made money almost immediately.
I will tell you how I did it. But first, let’s take care of the basics…
What is Affiliate Marketing?
This won’t get too technical, I promise.
Have you ever heard of someone being offered a commission or a bonus for referring a customer to a business? A chiropractor that I used to go to would offer his current customers a free adjustment for each friend and family that they referred. The adjustment cost $35, if I remember correctly. Basically, his patients (customers) were paid (in the form of a free adjustment) for referring new customers (their friends and family).
Imagine this exact same scenario online. A web hosting company wants new customers. They will pay people who refer new customers to them $30 for each new signup. This type of arrangement is actually very common and is used by tons of huge, legitimate companies.
You might be asking yourself how in the world these websites keep track of who referred who?
Remember the chiropractor example? How would I know that my chiropractor is actually telling me about his new patients that I referred to him? I would have to really trust him, since he would have to ask the patients who referred him, and he would have to remember to tell me (or want to tell me!). Who knows how many free adjustments I missed because of a breakdown of communication or dishonesty?
The way it works on the internet is really cool. There is advanced software and technology that allows you to see first-hand how many people are clicking on your affiliate links or ads, and you can watch your commissions in real time.
Is Affiliate Marketing a Scam?
Absolutely not! It is used by thousands of legitimate, respectable companies and is a great way to grow a company’s sales.
There are some people who use affiliate marketing in scammy, spammy ways – and I would never encourage you to do that. I know that my readers are in this for the long-term and want to put in the work to really build a legitimate business.
How Do I Try It?
The most important thing that you need to do is have a website where you have high-quality, original content that people want to read.
Read that again: Content that is a) high quality, b) original, and c) people have to want to read it.
I can’t stress enough that you have to really pay attention and think about those three points. Thousands of would-be online marketers each year launch websites that don’t fit those qualifications.
- You can have top-notch articles on a topic, but if it doesn’t have enough people interested in it, you won’t get people to your website.
- You can have lots of good quality content, but if you stole it or rewrote someone else’s stuff, the search engines won’t drive traffic to your site.
- Even if your niche is popular and your content is original, if it is filled with spelling errors, is terribly formatted, or doesn’t go deep enough into the topic, you won’t get people to your site.
You might be catching on to the point that I am trying to make. For whatever the reason, if you don’t have actual live people who are interested in your website’s content visiting your website, then you will not make money in affiliate marketing.
Do you have all of those things? Good, keep reading!
Once you’ve built your site, and filled it with some (high quality and original) content, you can now think about becoming an affiliate marketer.
The amount of traffic that you will need to make it worthwhile depends on your niche, what types of products that they might be interested in buying (that are related to your site’s content) and whether or not your visitors are making business or personal purchases.
Pro tip: Many times – but not always – you can make more money per purchase if you are an affiliate in the business-to-business arena. This is because businesses tend to make high-dollar purchases and your commissions can be higher.
If you think you have enough legitimate traffic on your site to get started, then it’s time to join an affiliate network. There are other ways to find products that you can be an affiliate for, but the easiest way to get started is to just join a network. Usually you have to apply.
There are lots of affiliate networks. I found the one that I joined through a product that I wanted to be an affiliate for. I asked them how to be an affiliate, and they told me which network they use. A very popular one is CJ Affiliate.
Once you’ve joined, apply to some good affiliate programs for products that you already love and use. Or have loved and used. The network interface should provide you access to code for either images or links that you can paste into your website.
That’s it. If you’ve already got some good traffic and you know that your visitors are digging what you have on your website, you should see affiliate sales start pretty much right away. Yay!
Keep up that high-quality content production 🙂