Affiliate Marketing: The Definitive Guide

When I first started with affiliate marketing, it was a complete disaster. It was back in 2014 and I have decided to build my passive income engine, a blog with lots of product reviews that would meet the customer on Google and send tons of affiliate referral traffic to companies, eventually generating money online while I slept. I spent 2 months writing 45 new software reviews, setting up a blog, publishing the content and then I waited to see the results.

Three months after, after all of this work, my affiliate website generated just about $200/month. Long story short, I didn’t choose the right niche and instead focussed on writing without having done my due diligence, to begin with.

This is why I advise you that if you want to start a blog and generate an income with affiliate marketing, you first have to find a profitable niche. This is probably a piece of advice that you have read somewhere else online, but it’s just so vital (more on this later).

I want to be 100% honest with you: affiliate marketing is a hard, very time-consuming process. It can’t be stressed enough: when people preach this technique they forget to mention how much time, effort, and emotional investment it demands. But the outcome is totally worth it. The work that you build pays off in the long run.

Why I wrote this guide

Books, podcasts, videos, case studies, you name it—there is so much content out there about monetising a website with affiliate marketing that you can just go on forever. I thought it would be more useful to have one resource, in one place, to guide new bloggers along their monetising journeys, helping them focus on the fundamentals and getting their bases covered. Something they could use and come back to, over and over. I couldn’t find one, so I wrote it myself.

How you can use it

The word ‘Guide’ in the title has two meanings: the content I share in the following chapters is structured in logical steps, like a book, and the content is evergreen. I haven’t focussed on trends, which change over time, but on the fundamentals, which actually pass the test of time. Each chapter can be read independently, so you can jump to any topic that is relevant to you.

Now, it’s time to dig into the content of this affiliate marketing guide for 2022. I have split the content into 10 chapters, each is a different page and it’ll take you across my website. Just click on the topic you want to learn more about and leave me your feedback in the comments.

Affiliate Marketing Guide Content

  1. How to become an affiliate marketer– the complete guide that includes also Amazon Associates
  2. 41 Best affiliate programs reviewed and compared, then broke down into niches: hosting, VPN, cloud storage, SEO, landing page and many more.
  3. 13 Best toolsfor tracking affiliate marketing sales – reviewed and compared
  4. Affiliate Marketing Strategywhy your strategy is more than just Amazon Associates
  5. Case Study + Guide: how to monetize a blog with affiliate SEO
  6. How to become a Fiverr Affiliate – a complete guide
  7. New places where to advertise your affiliate links
  8. 14 affiliate websites examplesto inspire you and motivate you
  9. Case study: example of a software review that ranks on page 1 on Google within 3 weeks of publication
  10. Seven affiliate marketing metrics that you actually need plus a dashboard template included for free (no email required).
  11. How to build a product comparison website.

How to get started with affiliate marketing

The first thing you need to think about is deciding on a platform. Do you hang out on social media a lot? Are you a TikTok influencer? Or do you see that people search for answers on Google?

Depending on the product and the niche, you might notice several trends. However, it’s much easier to build an audience and increase your affiliate sales via one of two channels: a blog or YouTube channel.

Today, starting a blog is relatively simple and inexpensive. There are several tutorials available online that will show you how to get started. What’s the best part? It’ll probably just set you back a few bucks a month.

It’s worth noting that you’ll have to mention that you’re using affiliate links. When you get money from an endorsement, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires you to be open.

The second thing, as I have said at the beginning, is to research a niche. Don’t do my mistake of putting in so much work without making sure the niche was profitable.

Select a subject that is focused on a single category. The topic of “digital marketing,” for example, is a massive category. Rather than addressing it, consider a more focused task, such as generating organic traffic.

Maintaining a narrow focus on your issues will help you attract a more focused audience and, in turn, help you rank better in search engines.

That’s exactly what I did with my blog. Rather than discussing “digital marketing” or “PPC” I opted to focus solely on SEO and Affiliate Marketing. I am now able to rank for a few important phrases and receive about 2,000 organic visits each month within 2 months.

Not only that, but I also monetise with my SEO consultant page that ranks on Google page 1, by closing commercial consulting contracts with new clients.

Once you have found your niche, it’s time to look at affiliate programs to join.

What factors should you consider while deciding which affiliate programmes to join?

This is dependent on your skill and specialisation.

If you’re targeting customers, the second model of low commissions and bigger sales volume will probably be your best bet.

If you’re targeting a corporate audience, you’ll almost certainly choose the first model: high-paying and low volume. Software and web hosting-related items are the most popular applications here.

Conclusion

There were no affiliate marketing new, cutting-edge advice given in this guide. These are the essentials, and mastering them will set you up for success.

Just don’t expect to make a fortune or be able to quit your 9–5 job overnight. Affiliate marketing is a time-consuming process.

First and foremost, concentrate on making your first affiliate sale. Set new goals for your site as it expands, and keep experimenting.

This is how you construct a site that will ultimately make you money.

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