Affiliate marketing is a long journey filled with excitement, disappointment, and pride.
There is no running away from the disappointments as we all need to make mistakes to learn from them and become better affiliates.
By learning affiliate marketing basics and many of its areas, you will avoid making the obvious mistakes that beginners do.
Avoiding those beginners’ mistakes will accelerate your affiliate marketing success.
I started my affiliate marketing business 4 years ago and I have been through many ups and downs with my business. I have made many mistakes while building my affiliate marketing business, and I hope this article will help you avoid making them so you can learn from my experience.
My approach to teaching you affiliate marketing will be by analyzing an already running affiliate website that is making profits.
This way you get to learn proven selling strategies.
Choose a Profitable and Unorthodox Niche
The only thing in affiliate marketing that you can’t afford to get it wrong is selecting your niche.
Over the years, the main failure factor for beginners was failing to target a profitable niche.
The reason for this niche importance is that it can directly affect:
- The affiliate products you promote
- The traffic you get to your affiliate website (very small niches will make it harder for you to make sales)
- Your affiliate website and the content you write
So what makes a niche profitable and safe to choose?
Well, lots of factors including the average affiliate commissions in the niche and the niche size.
The affiliate marketer I am analyzing here has picked a “travel” niche. It is a good choice considering how it is one of the largest and fast growing markets online. Lots of families and individuals are looking for saving deals on hotels, flights, cruises and cars rental.
This opens the opportunity for you to build and affiliate website that compares prices from different suppliers; all using your affiliate link. Now let’s say that you don’t want to copy this affiliate and instead you want to find your own niche.
Using Google you can find a list of profitable niches which you can choose from. Do a simple Google search for “”$100″ site:.com/affiliates”:
This will give you a list of affiliate programs which offer $100 commission for affiliates like you.
The next thing you need to do is to visit each affiliate program and find the niche of their products.
Building Your Affiliate Website the Right Way
Your affiliate website’s design needs to reflect both your niche and the affiliate products you are trying to sell.
The common type of affiliate websites is a blog; something many affiliate marketers choose.
Running a blog as your affiliate website works for the majority of affiliate products.
It allows you to write product reviews and provide tips and articles at the same time.
But just because many affiliate marketers do it, it doesn’t mean that you should blindly follow suit.
Let’s go back to our travel niche example; the affiliate I am analyzing has built his website like this:
This is not a blog because he needs to add search functionality for his affiliate products (hotels, cars reservations).
In his case, the blog will not probably represent his affiliate products and could lead to low affiliate sales.
You don’t have to hire a web developer to build your affiliate website as this could increase your startup costs, especially if you are a beginner affiliate.
If you want to create a bookings affiliate website like our example, then you could search Google for “free hotel reservation scripts”.
You can also install websites scripts to clone the system and the layout of popular websites.
CloneScripts offers a wide range of scripts that you can easily install on your affiliate website.
You can launch a coupon affiliate website to sell affiliate product and target deals seeking buyers.
This also allows you to be creative on your affiliate website and control how you want to showcase your affiliate products.
Something which will certainly increase your affiliate sales and help you beat the competition from other affiliate marketers in your niche.
From Where to Get Traffic for Your Affiliate Website
As an affiliate marketer, you strive on quality traffic to boost your sales and your online exposure.
The winning formula for any affiliate website is:
Quality affiliate website + Quality products + Lots of traffic
If you do these 3 things the right way, then you are bound to make constant monthly sales.
Getting traffic is not a problem, but the quality and targeted traffic is a challenge which not many affiliates manage to overcome.
Let’s face it, when it comes to free traffic you only have few options available to you:
- Social Media Traffic
- Organic Traffic (SEO)
- Blog Traffic
Social media websites like Twitter and Facebook are filled with people relevant to your niche.
But just posting out random tweets or creating a Facebook page will not give you instant traffic and most certainly won’t be enough to be making consistent sales.
You need to work on getting exposure for your social media profiles; be that by getting followers or likes.
So don’t just stop after creating your social media accounts, learn how to use them to your advantage and spend some time promoting yourself there.
Organic traffic that comes from Google is achieved by doing search engine optimization (SEO).
Google is working hard to make it tough to rank websites, especially those who are new.
With Google constantly changing their algorithm which determines how websites rank, there are still some basics that they cannot and will not change.
- Getting quality backlinks
- Writing relevant and in-depth content
Those are things that you can control and if you did them right, you will rank your affiliate website high.
Blog Traffic is probably the easiest kind of traffic you can get, especially in the early stages of your affiliate marketing business.
You can direct traffic from other niche relevant blogs into your affiliate website by:
- Leaving informative comments that add value to the post you are commenting on
- Approaching those blogs and asking to write a guest post for them (here you need to deliver your best content and not some incomplete or duplicate articles).
The golden rule for beginner affiliate marketers is to be patient and work hard.
Yes, affiliate marketing can be frustrating at times, but as long as you stay focused on your goals, you will succeed sooner rather than later.
Top affiliate marketing gurus provide courses for beginners so that they can learn everything about affiliate marketing.
If you have a chance to join any of those training courses then do so to avoid making mistakes in the beginning of your affiliate marketing career.
Disclaimer: All images are provided by author.