How to Start Affiliate Marketing

It’s often difficult to know where to start in affiliate marketing.

Like so many things on the web, there are almost endless places to start.

If you haven’t already chosen a niche and checked out whether there are affiliate products to promote, have a read this page and then come back here.

Assuming you’ve chosen your niche then you need to decide how you’re going to promote the affiliate products in it.

It’s best to have your own website

bloggingWhilst it’s tempting to be cheap and use free websites like YouTube, Blogger, Weebly, forums, etc. there’s a distinct disadvantage to starting your affiliate marketing career piggybacking on these sites.

There’s nothing wrong with using free websites to support your affiliate marketing but if they’re the only things you use then your new business is being built on something that is outside your control.

Whilst it’s unlikely that any of the bigger sites will vanish (although does anyone remember MySpace?), it’s not unheard of for them to change hands or change business model. And it’s even more frequent to hear of instances where someone had built up a big business based on a free site only for a change in a computer’s mind to wipe out all their efforts.

The computer programs that run the big free sites make thousands of those “decisions” each day and it can be difficult to get through to a human if the computer says no.

So it’s best to treat yourself to a domain name and some hosting (keep those two separate just to be on the safe side) and then install WordPress using the option given on your hosting control panel.

Once you’ve installed WordPress, take a bit of time to set it up properly and add in various plugins to make it run smoothly.

Don’t worry too much about the theme (design) of your new affiliate marketing website. It’s a nice detail but one that can wait until a later date once your new site starts to get visitors.

Until then, concentrate on creating regular content on your site.

Ideally written content – that’s what the search engines index best and, contrary to what you might think with all the fuss about videos, it’s what buyers tend to use most as well,

Think about when you shop at a site like Amazon or browse TripAdvisor – are the reviews mostly written or video?

Videos have their place but they’re not necessarily the best place to get people in buying mood, despite what the broadcasters will tell their advertising clients.

Written content doesn’t have to be formal

This page is an example.

I break most of the grammar rules that you were taught at school.

Short, often one sentence, paragraphs.

Sentences that start with “and”.

Shortened words and generally very imperfect grammar.

But that doesn’t matter!

What matters is whether the content you create to promote your affiliate products is read by people.

So start by creating your content in much the same way as you’d answer an email or a text (probably without the shortened teen-speak words) or a post on Facebook.

You wouldn’t be soul searching as to whether or not your reply was perfectly formed.

You’d be concentrating on getting your message across.

And the same goes for the content for your affiliate marketing.

Make a start!

Type something relevant without sweating about whether you’ve used the precisely correct words and without worrying about what the search engines will think about the content you write.

Because here’s the elephant in the room with search engines – they’re not sentient. They don’t think. They don’t physically read your content. They just interpret it according to a set of rules they’ve been given and then display the results that best match what the searcher searched for.

What that means is that your content stands a better chance of being found if you write naturally.

That applies whether you’re just starting out as an affiliate marketer or are a seasoned expert who’s scratching their head wondering why the old rules don’t work any more. The rules like X% keyword density (where X always inexplicably varied a lot) or post length or near enough any other factor.

Create content that’s long enough to get your point across and short enough not to bore your readers,

Again, think back to those reviews.

Which did you prefer?

The stupid ones on Amazon that say “does what it says on the tin” and then go on to say “good product” or the ones where you get so much detail even the most geeky reader would be satisfied?

Even if you only skim the longer reviews, my guess is that you prefer them because they cover everything you ever wanted to know about the product.

The same goes for your content.

Don’t be afraid of going into detail.

Just break it up with headlines and bullets.

And keep it looking less daunting by regularly pressing the enter key.

Lots of white space is good on web pages.

Not to the extent of those arty pages that pretend to be adverts in printed magazines.

But definitely to the extent of short sentences and paragraphs.

Maybe with a photo or two or an embedded video to add eye candy. Your choice on those.

But make sure you start!

Just buying a domain and some hosting isn’t enough.

You need to put content on it regularly.

And that content needs to have affiliate links like this one in it at relevant locations.

So stop reading now and start affiliate marketing.

Or take a short breather and get some much more detailed help.

But either way, make a start. You’ll be glad you did.