Anyone can start an affiliate marketing business with these easy steps. This guide is designed to offer a simple way to get started in affiliate marketing that anyone can follow. You only need to spend a few dollars to get started too, and soon be on your way to having an affiliate marketing blog or website that will earn you a steady monthly income.
And don’t let that word “business” put you off either. While it will be your own online business, it’s not some complex thing like other businesses. You’re basically just working for yourself online, setting your own schedule, being your own boss, and doing something that’s simple in nature.
As an affiliate who is tapping into a global marketplace, you can make money 24/7/365, which means you can even make money while you sleep.
Once you know how to go about it all, starting an affiliate marketing business online is actually a very easy process. You don’t need tech skills and you don’t need prior experience. In this guide you’ll learn the basics so you can be up and running in no time.
Once you are up and running, the important thing to remember is to persevere. This is not some overnight success, get rich quick scheme. It’ll take a bit of time to begin seeing results for your efforts, but once those results start to come, things can really snow ball from there.
Now let’s get into it.
Choose a Niche
A niche just means an interest or a category, and this is really the very first thing you must make a decision on.
There’s no point starting an affiliate marketing gig online, building a website, buying domain names and so on if you don’t even know what you’re going to focus on.
And you do need to focus on something and narrow it down, because being too broad is just going to be too hard overall.
This website you are now on is in the make money online (MMO) niche. It’s one of the most competitive niches there is, so probably not something you want to start with.
Instead, think about what you’re interested in, what you’re passionate about or what you’re good at and have experience with. These are often the easiest and best places for a beginner to start with affiliate marketing.
After all, there’s no point building content about a subject that bores you to death, because you’ll soon lose interest and quit.
While you don’t want the subject you choose to be too broad, I really don’t think it’s wise to go too narrow either, or you’ll have no room for expansion and may run out of content ideas.
Let’s say you like fishing, which is quite a broad niche, but you could narrow it down by focussing on a particular type of fishing, such as fly fishing or deep sea fishing.
Once you have a few niche ideas in mind and have written them down, it’s time for the next step.
Doing Some Keyword Research
This is not as technical as it sounds.
Think about when you go to Google and want to find something. The phrase you type into the Google search bar is a keyword phrase.
What you’re going to be looking for here are keyword phrases that are reasonably popular (people are actually searching for them), but don’t have too much competition (not an overload of other websites all targeting the same keyword phrase).
You now have a pretty solid idea of what niche you want to target, so now you want to find some keywords you can use within your content so that you can get free search engine traffic.
Without visitors to your site you’ll make no money, no matter how awesome your site may be, so the way to get those visitors and start earning is by doing good keyword research.
Make a list of dozens of possibilities, as you’ll later be basing your content ideas around these keyword phrases.
The best way to do effective keyword research is to use a keyword research tool. The most effective ones are generally paid tools, but there are free options as well, such as the Google Keyword Planner.
Check out the video below by Neil Patel on keyword research.
Now You Need a Domain Name
Your domain name is essentially your very own piece of internet real estate. Yes, your website will hold all the content, but it’s the domain name that makes your presence individually recognisable.
A domain name doesn’t necessarily have to be relevant to the content or niche your website is about, although it’s generally better if it is. These days it can be really hard to find the exact domain name you want though, because so many have already been taken.
I’ll be honest. This is a process that can be time consuming, trying to come up with a domain name you like and actually finding one that’s available for purchase.
Start by making a nice list of domain names that you think would be a good fit for your affiliate site. Write them all down, then start a search to see if any are available.
My advice is to always aim for a DOT COM extension, as these still seem to hold more authority and sound more professional that a lot of the new extensions that are available today.
Also avoid using things like numbers and hyphens. You want your domain name to be as simple to remember, type and say as possible.
And don’t make your domain name anything too specific that you find might restrict you in the future. A prime example of this would be using the current year in the domain name.
You can start checking the availability of domain names on your list by using the domain name checker tool I’ve embedded below. It’s from the web hosting company, Bluehost, and I’ll be recommending Bluehost for hosting for your brand new affiliate website.
They are cheap, reliable and a great host for beginners, with lots of options for future upgrades.
You Need Quality Hosting for Your Affiliate Site
Just having a domain name won’t get your online. You need to team up with a web hosting service to get your website up and running and available for all the world to see.
As I said above, Bluehost is the company I fully recommend for beginners. There is a range of cheap hosting around, but Bluehost offers high quality for budget friendly prices.
Now I’m going to run you through the process of getting all set up and ready to go on the Bluehost platform.
On the Bluehost homepage you’ll see the following welcome screen with a green “Get Started Now” button. Click on that.
The very next screen you’ll arrive at is a list of Bluehost’s most basic and cheapest web hosting packages. Have a good look at what’s on offer, but really you can get started with the cheapest one called “Basic”.
The price for Basic varies from time to time, but it’s always really cheap. At the time of writing this post, Basic is selling for just $2.95 per month.
I’d recommend starting off with Basic. You can always upgrade to a plan with more resources later on, if and when you need to.
When you buy a brand new hosting package on Bluehost, you’ll get your domain name for free for the first year. So after selecting your hosting plan of choice, it’s time to input that available domain name you found earlier and include it in your web hosting purchase.
Click “Next” and you’ll then arrive at a screen that asks for your personal details, such as name, email address, phone number, street address and so on.
Now you’ll be completing the payment screen. Keep in mind that to get the absolute cheapest price on Bluehost, you’ll need to sign up for a 36 month plan upfront. It’s not mandatory, but if you opted for 12 months, you’ll end up paying more per month.
Input your credit card info and submit your payment.
After you’ve done this, go check your email, where you’ll receive an email from Bluehost with a link to create a password for your Bluehost web hosting account.
Once you’ve created a password you’ll be able to log into your shiny new Bluehost account and get started on building your first affiliate marketing website.
It’s Time To Install WordPress
We have our domain name and we’ve set up our website hosting, but now we need the platform on which to actually build our website.
WordPress is the most popular choice worldwide for building websites, with about one third of all websites online being built on the WP platform. This website you’re now reading is a WordPress website.
Fortunately, installing WordPress ready to use on Bluehost is really as simple as a few mouse clicks, so let’s go through the process.
The first step in the process is choosing a WordPress theme that you think will suit the needs of your chosen niche. The theme will determine how your website looks and functions. Even if you choose a theme now, then later decide it’s not what you want, you can always change your theme at any time.
Once you choose your theme, Bluehost will then go ahead and install WordPress for you.
All you have to do now is log into your website and launch your site, meaning it’s now live. Okay, it might not have any content on it yet, but it’s live and searchable online when someone types in your domain name.
You should now spend some time just looking around your WordPress dashboard and learning what everything is, such as making adjustments to your site’s theme and so on.
If you feel a bit stuck about what to do next, just go over to YouTube and search for some videos that teach beginners how to use WordPress. It’s pretty basic for the most part. It’s not technical and you don’t need to do any coding.
You’ve chosen your niche, have a domain name, web hosting with WordPress installed, and you’ve spent a bit of time familiarising yourself with the WordPress platform and your new site. Before getting right into content creation, you’ll want to find some products within your niche that have affiliate programs.
Going back to the fishing theme we mentioned earlier, let’s say your niche was fly fishing. A quick Google search can bring up a list of vendors or affiliate networks that offer fly fishing gear.
Try typing the following into Google:
fly fishing gear + affiliate program
Generally that simple search with give you enough to explore.
Another option is to apply to the Amazon Associates program, as once you’re in, you can promote absolutely anything you want on Amazon as an affiliate, and Amazon sell just about everything.
Commissions on Amazon can often be small when it comes to percentages, but many an affiliate has a 6 figure per year online business promoting nothing but Amazon products.
I wouldn’t worry too much about joining the affiliate programs too soon, because it’ll take a while before your site will start to see traffic anyway, but it’s good to have a solid idea of what you might want to promote in your content and what’s available.
Now that you have a much better idea of what you’ve got to work with within your niche, it’s time to get started on some content.
Creating Content for Your New Website
Posts are better for your regular content, and perfect for writing product reviews and various other helpful content, where you can also ultimately promote your affiliate products as well.
Once again, you can find plenty of YouTube videos that’ll show you how to create content and lay it all out.
Those keywords you researched earlier and wrote out will now come into play with your content. The keyword phrases will form the basis of what each post will be about. It’s this content, combined with the keywords, that will ultimately bring traffic to your site.
And when the traffic comes, the money will follow.
Monetising Your Site
Once you have some content on your site, have joined a few affiliate networks and have started getting some organic search engine traffic (visitors) to your site, you can start monetising your content with your affiliate links.
This is the most exciting part, because now you can start making money.
Congratulations! You now have your very first affiliate marketing website up and running.
Alternative Affiliate Marketing Training
If you want to learn more about how to set up an affiliate marketing website and receive some step-by-step training that takes you through all the processes, then feel free to try out the training that I did over at Wealthy Affiliate.
You can actually join for free and take everything for a test drive to see if it’s for you.
Just click the banner below and you’ll be taken through to my Wealthy Affiliate review, which will give you a full overview of what the platform is about.