I think everyone who jumps into the Internet marketing arena should start with affiliate marketing. There’s less pressure while you’re learning the business and the skills you learn will provide a good foundation when you get ready to start promoting your own products or services. You know that book – Everything I need to know about life I learned in kindgergarten? Well, everything you need to now about making money online you’ll learn with affiliate marketing.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing simply means you’re going to set up a website and, using your own unique affiliate link, you’re going to send your visitors to an advertiser’s sales page. If they like what they see on the sales page and they buy the product, you get a commission.
How do you choose products to promote?
There are dozens of affiliate networks on the Internet and each has a wide choice of products or services you can promote on your website. One of the most popular, for new affiliate marketers, is Clickbank.com. It’s easy to join, their system is easy to understand, and all of their products are digital which makes them a little easier to sell.
Amazon is probably the second most popular site and as you probably know, you can find almost anything you want on that site. When you join the Amazon affiliate program you’ll get your own link and you can promote a single product, a group of products, an entire category or just send people to Amazon. Either way, you’ll get a commission from each sale the happens when someone follows your link.
Every marketer has their own method of choosing products to promote. Some like to just browse the network looking for new items. Some like to stay within a particular niche. And some like to dig deeper, using keyword research to help them choose a product with a lot of interest but little competition.
Entire books have been written about the best ways to conduct niche research but basically it comes down to this – before you make a final decision on a product to promote you need to do at least some basic research to analyze your chances for success. Use the Google Keyword Tool to see if it’s a product that people are actually searching for and do a Google search to see how much competition you’ll have.
Now you need to set up a website
If you’re going to make money online then you’re going to need a website. Most affiliate marketers choose to set up a blog for a number of reasons – there’s still some debate but generally the search engines prefer the dynamic content of blogs over the static content of a website. Blogs are more attractive to readers because of the constant addition of fresh content. And blogs are just easier for most webmasters to maintain.
And this is where you really do need to do some keyword research. You need to load your blog with plenty of content to start with and then you need to keep adding fresh content on a regular basis. And each blog post should be focused on one keyword or phrase.
Let’s say you’ve decided you want to promote Stephen King books that you found at Amazon. When you type Stephen King into the Google Keywords Tool you’re going to see a list of popular search terms that people use when they’re looking for information on Stephen King. Eventually you’re going to need to write a blog post about each one of those keywords – and dozens and dozens more!
The reasoning behind this is – each one of your blog posts has it’s own URL, it’s own web address. If someone comes to the Internet looking for information on ‘Cujo’, which is one of King’s books, they’re going to get a list of search results – the search engine index – of all the webpages on the Internet that use the keyword ‘Cujo’. If you’ve written a blog post about Cujo then your site will also appear on that list and searchers can follow that link to your blog. So each bit of content you enter onto your affiliate blog is another avenue that people can use to find your blog.
Of course, there are other things you can do to promote your blog so you get more traffic and make more sales. The key is to get started. It’s easy enough to make money online with affiliate marketing, but you need to stop thinking about it and just do it.