Beginner's Guide to Affiliate Marketing

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written bySonja Bosch
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Affiliate marketing may seem overwhelming at first, but there are some tips and tricks that can help you succeed. Here are 5 ways to get started with affiliate marketing, based on your level of experience. Whether you’re new to the field or just need to brush up on your skills, this guide will help you get started on the right foot!

Understand affiliate marketing

It’s important to realize that affiliate marketing is really a tool—not a business model. You can use it as part of your existing business, or you can run it on its own if you plan on creating multiple income streams in addition to your core activity. (For more information, see How Making Money Online with Affiliate Marketing Works.) The only real limit hereis your imagination and initiative.

Know the opportunity

When you’re just starting out, it can be tempting to try any kind of marketing that comes your way. But if you’re not careful, you can get stuck doing a lot of work for low returns. Before getting into affiliate marketing (or any other type of digital marketing), know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. What business are you trying to attract? Where do they hang out online? How do they interact with each other and where do they go for answers?

Select a niche

Before you begin your affiliate marketing journey, you’ll need to select a niche. Essentially, this is a specific categoryof products or services that you want to market. For example, if you were selling running shoes online, running shoes might be your niche. If you decide that running shoes aren’t for you but are interested in marketing fitness equipment instead, that could also be a viable niche.

Choose a blog platform

The choice between WordPress and Squarespace may seem like a coin toss, but there are major differences. Squarespace is easy to use and highly customizable, while WordPress has more tools at your disposal, including SEO optimization tools that Squarespace doesn’t offer. If you’re just getting started with affiliate marketing, we recommend using Squarespace as it does not require any technical knowledge or experience.

Find an offer

Depending on what type of website you have, there are a number of different ways you can monetize it. If you’re looking for an easy way to make some extra cash, consider affiliate marketing; basically, if someone clicks through your link and buys something from a third-party seller, then you get a commission. However, if your site is more specifically targeted at certain products or services (e.g., photography), you can create an affiliate store that curates and promotes those products.

Set up your website/blog

Before you can start picking up clients and earning money, you’ll need a place for them to sign up—which means creating a website or (sub)domain. There are tons of options out there (including WordPress, Tumblr, Wix and Squarespace), so find one that works best foryour brand or skillset.

Choose a monetization method (Google AdSense, Amazon Associates, etc.)

Google AdSense is a great way for beginners to get started with affiliate marketing. With AdSense, you don’t need to make your own products or sell anything directly. You simply create an ad campaign and put Google Ads on your website (or other places where it’s visible). Every time someone clicks on your ad, you earn money from AdSense. It’s a pretty sweet deal.

Market yourself

Networking, social media, and promotions—these are all good ways to spread awareness about your new business. But once you’ve gotten on people’s radars, don’t let them forget about you. Give them reasons to talk about you—again and again. This could include running contests or giveaways through social media or blogging/vlogging regularly.

Create content that sells!

Before you begin writing content for your affiliate marketing website, it’s important that you first understand who your target audience is. Understanding your audience will help you determine what type of content they would be most interested in reading on your site and ultimately purchasing. With affiliate marketing, selling information is key - don’t sell a product that isn’t directly related to the field or industry you are blogging about.