How to do affiliate marketing?
To make money online with affiliate programs you at least need to know the basics. In short, I can tell you that affiliate marketing offers a great opportunity for making money online with any kind of product and in any kind of niche.
This post contains sponsored links to some of our affiliate partners. We may make a commission if you click on any of the below links and make a purchase.
How to join affiliate programs?
You can use a site like this (Affiliate Marketing Pro – where you can read about the details of each program that often requires registration to get access to) or our competition or search engines, to find the best affiliate programs that pays the best and offers the best quality & value products and have lots of marketing material for affiliates. You can search for “TOPIC affiliate” in Google and find affiliate programs for TOPIC. Some require that you have a website set up (keep reading) and some require you to have a registered business, but most do not.
Affiliate programs are available for every kind of product and service that is sold online. All the big names like Amazon and even most small niche brands do also have affiliate programs nowadays. This is great for everyone who wants to make money online. You can sell millions of products from your website with the only investment of money needing to be the web hosting plan to host your website for the world – but spending money on marketing is also essential though to increase visitors and make more money.
How to start a website?
First of all, you need a website. You can create a blog easily with a content management system (website software) like WordPress.org which is supported by almost all hosting companies. Find a great web hosting company on our webmaster resources and tools page. Make sure your plan allows for lots of MySQL databases and add on domains if you want to create several websites for different niches of affiliate programs.
I would also stress having like 4GB of RAM on your server. The cheapest web hosting plans might not be suitable for aspiring affiliates that want to create multiple websites. Having too cheap of a web hosting plan might cause your websites to go offline when traffic peaks, even though those peaks are not that big.
You do not have to be tech-savvy to create your own website at all. All of the listed web hosting companies (link above) have these features including 24/7 support. Using software like WordPress makes it easy to troubleshoot most kinds of issues and add almost any function to your website with the help of free and premium plugins.
With white label affiliate programs, you can usually just plug and play a website and focus on marketing. Sometimes you will need to create a landing page with unique content. That may be the easiest way to get started. I would suggest multiple approaches though to see what gains traction.
Affiliate marketing without web hosting
You can use free website services like WordPress.com if you are just starting out and can’t to spend any money on your own hosting plan. This will be a great way to learn about the WordPress system which you can use for new websites in the future and you will also learn how to practically implement affiliate ads into the content and other parts of your website.
Content is king!
This is a phrase often uttered in online marketing forums. It means that unique and useful content is important in so many ways to create value for your visitors. The more content you have – text, images, and videos, etc. – the more visitors you will get and the more sales you will get and ultimately you will make more money from affiliate marketing. It has to be unique though since the search engines will not send their traffic to sites with content that has been copy-pasted from other sites. And it needs to be interesting to keep visitors reading.
Remember that you can write content about anything – take some time and think through what you want to learn more about and write about!
Creating unique and selling content
If you get a lot of visitors but none of them are buying it still does not make sense though. You need to bear in mind with every piece of content that you create that you want to sell more of the products you are marketing.
The relevancy of your affiliate ads is very important. This is where ad systems like Google AdSense shine. They combine the topic of the content and the user’s internet surfing history to serve visitors with relevant ads. However, they are often not as relevant as they could be and many people see ads like “Russian dates” and other off-topic categories of ads for no apparent reason other than that those ads are paying well per click.
With affiliate ads, you can solve that problem and always show highly relevant ads. You can even write your content ABOUT the advertisements – since you know exactly what ad will be displayed.
For instance, if you want to try out the high-paying niche of web hosting you could create content answering common questions people have related to web hosting. That is if you have the relevant knowledge or are willing to do a lot of research … or have the means to hire a writer to create the content for you.
No matter what niche you are approaching I would suggest doing keyword research to get good ideas for what content to create. I use SEMRush myself. They offer a free 7-day trial which is great for getting some work done for free if you are just starting out and have a low budget.
Other ways to find topics to write about
Go to Google and type in a phrase relevant to the topic of your website or the affiliate program you want to promote. For instance, if you want to promote web hosting affiliate programs you can enter “web hosting USA” and at the bottom of the page it will show a list of similar searches – you can use one of those as the topic for your new content or you could click on it and go to a new search page for that phrase and look at similar searches for that phrase.
This is a great way to get new ideas for content that actually people are searching for. You can also use Google Trends and enter a search phrase there to check how much traffic you could potentially get if you start ranking for the terms.
If it is suitable you should also explore other kinds of content than text and articles – if you create videos you can upload them to YouTube and other video sites and get traffic through those existing high traffic sites.
You can link to your website in the description of the video or add your website address with some video editing, onto the video. People love video content. You should try to make your own to stand out, and always try to make your content really useful. Try to make it worth watching and reading and even worth sharing!
The better your content (and relevance of ads and quality of advertised products and their commission rate) the more money you earn from affiliate marketing.
Investing money in marketing for affiliate programs
If you have a great website with interesting and useful content that you think will help sell your advertised products and services then you are ready to start getting visitors. You can use SEO – basically making your website easier to understand for the search engine spiders.
Learning the basics of SEO is easy and quick. There are lots of great free resources for learning SEO online. I would suggest to check out the following:
- Backlinko SEO Blog by Brian Dean – Awesome blog with free actionable SEO tips.
- Experts on the Wire – Great SEO podcast.
- Marketing Scoop – Weekly SEO & SEM podcast.
- SEO Blog by Ahrefs – I don’t read this blog but I bet it is awesome.
Another way to get traffic for your website and drive more sales is through Facebook ADS and Google Ads. These methods will, however, cost quite a bit and you should keep track of your spending vs. your earnings. If you have good content and good affiliate ads you could make money fast this way. The sky is the limit to how much traffic you can buy through these sites.
Myself, though, I’ve not been able to make money buying ads for affiliate sites. I always fall back to focusing on SEO instead.
Another way to help to get your site noticed is to offer to write guest posts on similar sites as yours with links back to your site. You can also pay the other sites to write about your site. Buying links is NOT considered white hat SEO though and is something Google might penalize your sites for. I would try to get free guest posts and free links instead.
Getting traffic can be hard, and you need to put in work to create a high-quality site to make money – Affiliate marketing is still pretty new though, and you will not have as much competition as you might think.
Also, check out
- Beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing
- Wealthy Affiliate – affiliate marketing community
See all questions and answers in my affiliate marketing FAQ