Another year has passed and no; affiliate marketing is still not dead and yes; there’s still plenty of money to be made – even if you’re just finding out about this business model in 2019.
Nonetheless, becoming a successful affiliate marketer is getting tougher with so much competition but don’t worry, there are 3 things that are going to give you an edge and a fighting chance and they are:
- Way too many people quit way too quickly.
- There are a lot of tools you don’t know about that will help you make it easier and
- I am about to show you a proven way of how to become successful in this business.
I have to warn you, this is going to be a long post, but I assure you; if you have your thoughts set on becoming an affiliate marketer, then you are going to want to read this post carefully.
So put the kettle on, make some hot brew, lean back on your chair and let me show you the steps I took to become a successful affiliate marketer myself.
Let’s get started
- 1 Picking The Right Affiliate Marketing Niche
- 2 When To Step Away From A Niche
- 3 Have Patience With It – It Will Happen!
- 4 Picking The Right Affiliate Products To Sell
- 5 Recurring Affiliate Commissions = Big $$$$
- 6 How To Promote Your Affiliate Products
- 7 Creating Your Affiliate Marketing Strategy
- 8 Your Affiliate Marketing Backup Plan
- 9 Diversifying Your Affiliate Income
- 10 Tools To Become A Successful Marketer in 2019
- 11 The Mindset Needed To Become Successful Online
- 12 It Takes Money To Make Money
- 14 How To Build A Successful Affiliate Marketing Website
- 15 Build Content For Your Readers
- 16 Make SEO Your Friend, Not Your Enemy
- 17 Keep In Touch With Customers
- 18 I Repeat: Recurring Commissions Are Your Golden Ticket
- 19 Have More Than 1 Product To Promote
Picking The Right Affiliate Marketing Niche
If you want to have a fighting chance at becoming a successful affiliate marketer, one thing you need to do right now is to pick a niche (which in other words is your website/blog topic).
Also, it’s important to make sure you pick the right one for you. The topic of how to pick the right niche is a complex one which you can see in the linked resource but since we’re on the topic, let me tell you why I think it’s important that you do this step very carefully.
One of the main reasons why I struggled at first because I had no idea what a niche was in the first place, and once I understood what it is and how to go about creating an authority site focused on one niche, I chose not one, but many, many niches that were just wrong for me.
Why were they “wrong”?
The main reason was they weren’t niches, but rather I thought that they will make me easy money (which is never the case in any niche you choose).
This meant that for years, I was pedaling away at something I did not like and eventually had to give them up because I ran out of ideas, they were not successful and got bored with it.
This means that for years I spent an ungodly amount of money setting up websites, buying up plugins, premium themes, collecting subscribers and not to mention the hours I put down in this thing.
At the end of it all, it was a disaster and I had gotten nowhere and made absolutely $0.
Now this site you’re reading right now was the second blog I launched and (clearly) it didn’t fail.
The main reason is this: I love blogging, I knew what I was talking about, I was genuinely interested in learning more and more about blogging (as I was running my first one) and I had the patience to let it ride.
But what if you happen to pick the wrong niche?
Well, then you get on with it and try again if you really want to have your location freedom business online.
The main step you have to do now is to simply go with your gut, look at what you like to read/talk about and experiment with it and go with that.
If you genuinely like it, I am sure you can make it through the initial learning phase and become a successful affiliate in your own right.
Ok, enough positive vibes -for now – let’s get on with this:
When To Step Away From A Niche
If you pick a niche that you actually enjoy, but for some reason, it’s just not working out, then do not be afraid of pulling the trigger and walking away.
This piece of advice contradicts with what I will be talking about next (patience) but there is no harm in walking away if that is what you want to do.
However; let it be for the right reasons.
If you have not made any money in your first week, that is not a reason to quit. If, however you go through a year without making at least some money and there is no hope in sight, then it is time to walk away.
*Please note that I also believe that every niche can be profitable and if you know what you are doing, any website, in any niche can make money in a year. That is why it’s important to know what you’re doing, which we’ll also be talking about later on in this guide.
Failure is, and will forever be, a part of your learning curve.
I know there are a lot of mistakes that I still have to do and that’s ok, I have learned from the past years of experience online that it will, eventually, work out for the better.
Do not let one failed blog ruin your goals and dreams of being free, independent and running a successful business online. Take it in stride, be hard working but if you feel things are not working out, cut your losses and try again.
Have Patience With It – It Will Happen!
Ok, continuing on from the previous point here, I’m really trying not to deliver contradicting advice that will just confuse you before you even start.
Patience is really a virtue and if you can suffer the learning phases of becoming a successful affiliate marketer online then I have no doubt you will eventually get there.
I know I told you that if you see a niche or industry is not working out for you, then get out of it but that does not mean abandon your goals.
It actually means that you should now double down, learn from your mistakes and start a new project instantly (that very same day if possible).
The most common mistake I see people do is not having great content or not knowing what they are doing, but an ungodly lack of patience.
Some even make money and yet still decide to quit. I understand that after 6 months of constant work, making $1.30c is not something to be joyous about, but that is usually the starting point of the whole show.
Is it hard to suffer it?
You bet. But that is why you have got to have the right niche (so at least you’re enjoying what you’re doing).
Have a good understanding of what it means to become an affiliate marketer and then keep working at it until those few cents you’re making a day become hundreds of dollars per day.
And believe me, it does happen that way.
Picking The Right Affiliate Products To Sell
Luckily, as affiliate marketers, we do not have to create, manufacture, promote or ship a product that we have created ourselves.
Coming up with a product that will actually sell well is a hard thing to do these days but affiliate marketing allows you to find products that are already selling well and then you can sell them on your own site to your own readers and make a commission of that product (given that the product has an affiliate program).
So, our business here is selling products that others have created and made money off that.
Where and how do we find products and how will we know if it will sell well?
There are many affiliate programs out there, and if you’re a beginner to all of this then I suggest you read a
If you do not know what an affiliate program is, I highly suggest you read What is Affiliate Marketing? A guide for beginners 2019 before you continue reading this one.
Now, there are good products to promote and bad product to promote and by that, I do not mean the actual quality of the product.
That is up to you and how you share your findings about certain products in your reviews (which we’ll be talking about next), but before you decide to promote a product.
Look at these 2 main things:
Is the product selling well?
Amazon, if you decide to use their Associate’s program, will tell you if a product is selling well or not (Simply look at the ratings the product has and the reviews. More reviews = more people buying it.)
If it is, then it will be a good product to promote if it is related to your niche. Do not waste your time reviewing and trying to sell products that even Amazon can not sell.
Amazon is a machine that has been finely tuned to generate over $136 billion in revenue a year.
If they are not selling, chances are you won’t either.
If, on the other hand, you are promoting a product form any of the affiliate networks mentioned here, then all of them have charts that will show you the best selling products for the day, for the week, for the month and even for the year.
Any product on those lists is a good product to promote as it has been shown that it does sell well, it’s being promoted and people are looking to buy it online.
Is the product new?
Sometimes a product might not be selling that well yet because it’s a recently launched product; in that case, it is ok to review it if you know what you are doing.
When a product is launched, you should expect it to be being promoted everywhere, which means people are being told about it and the first thing most people will do is to look for this product online first,
If you can write a solid review about that product and have it ranked on the first page of Google as soon as possible then you’ve just landed on a possible gold mine and if the product is good, you should expect to start seeing some sales very, very soon (that very same day even).
Recurring Affiliate Commissions = Big $$$$
This may not apply to everyone obviously, but if you are becoming an online affiliate for products and services that have a recurring fee connected with them, then you’ve just unlocked one of the biggest secrets of affiliate marketing.
Making a sale once is great, but making one sale and repeatedly get paid for that same sale (without extra effort on your part) for months and years to come is the holy grail of this affiliate marketing business.
I only came to realize how powerful this method is when I started promoting products that had recurring fees to them.
I promote Aweber (which is an email management software) and a lot more other products that all require a monthly billing system to use them.
Every sale I make will continue to pay off for at least 5 months (from my own research and data), so making a sale once was actually making me 5 sales.
This is a secret that is not often shared but trusts me; if you want to know the secrets to becoming a successful affiliate marketer in 2019, this is something you should keep in mind.
How To Promote Your Affiliate Products
Ok, there are a lot of ways in which you can promote products and make money as an affiliate for them.
The most commonly used one which doesn’t work is:
Posting on Social Media
Posting affiliate links on social media is not a good way at trying this business because social media networks hate us, (yes they do unless you’re paying them for ads) and most likely, your affiliate links will probably get removed and you banned.
Not to mention all the spam you will be creating.
If you want to use social media for getting traffic to your site and to your reviews then that is fine and I would advise you to learn how to properly do social media marketing.
A big portion of traffic for my site comes from social media. so I am not trying to put you off social media, I’m only asking you to not post affiliate links on them as it will get you nowhere.
And to be honest; I like it that way.
I’m happy to see social networks banning affiliate links as I do not want my newsfeed to turn into a retail store. Having said that, Pinterest recently did a 180 on that and have since started allowing affiliate links for some companies and for some affiliates.
The second way you can promote a product is through;
Now, email marketing has a lot of benefits sure, but it is not a quick fix for you to make commissions.
First of all, to have an email list that makes you money on a consistent basis, you’re going to need to have a sizeable email list.
Anything less than a 1000 people is not going to produce many results and if you do have a list that is bigger than 1000 subscribers, you’re going to have to learn how to properly build & manage that list while sending them quality information in a timely manner and knowing the “spam ratio”.
Creating Your Affiliate Marketing Strategy
You are no different and to make it as an affiliate marketer, you are going to need a plan.
The first step you have to do first is: get a website.
You just can’t do business online without a website so having one, even a free one is good enough. Do not skip this step.
Second is getting traffic, and although you do not need a whole lot to make money with affiliate marketing, you’re going to need some (and the more you have the more money you make).
Learn how to properly build your blog’s authority & search engine rankings through the use of quality content that you will be creating for your site.
These are not easy steps, but they are a must to have.
Getting traffic is the key that will unlock everything so again; learn how to craft content that gets you ranked in search engines and also utilize at least 1 social media platform which you can use to get even more traffic.
Third, is finding products and we already talked about this so I am not going to go into detail about it again here.
The fourth step is to have a content strategy in place (now this is going to need some explanation):
Creating a bunch of content in 1 week because you’re feeling inspired and then not posting anything for months is a sure way to kill your blog, your business and any chance you had to succeed.
Content is what brings in readers and readers are what make you money so do not neglect the importance of creating a great content schedule for yourself.
You do not want to burn out, and you do not want to just publish 1 post a month and that is it.
Your Affiliate Marketing Backup Plan
One of the major realizations I came to in this business is from a story I have read from a fellow affiliate marketer which I am lucky to be in contact with.
The story goes as follows:
At one point in time, this guy was making very close to 5 figures a month from promoting a product which was selling very, very well and he was even ranked number 1 for the review of this said product.
One fine day, the company disappeared from the internet and his unpaid commissions along with his “successful” business disappeared in a single hour!
How would that make you feel if it were to happen to you?
Me I would probably do some unthinkable things.
Yes, this is the nature of affiliate marketing; you are an affiliate for a product. You do not own it, you do not own the rights to it and you have no say when a company decides to stop selling/stop promoting the product you make commissions off.
That is why it is very important for you to have a backup plan.
There are a lot of ways you can make money online but since we’re talking about affiliate marketing here, I’d like to urge you not to build your whole business around 1 product or one company.
That is why recently I’ve also started promoting a lot of other products which, in hindsight was a good idea as my main product.
This is not something you may hear a lot of experts talking about because it rarely happens but that is why it is essential you take the time to pick a good product to promote and not just a flash-in-the-pan product that is “hot” for 1 week.
I would not have realized this loophole in this affiliate marketing business if I hadn’t heard this story from my friend so I am passing it on to you just to be careful yourself and make sure you include a whole range of products that you review and promote so that your business will always be safe.
Btw.. for those curious to know; my friend did get back on his feet and now runs a business that is making much more than 5 figures a month so don’t worry; whatever this business throws at you – if you just stay focused – you’ll be ok.
Diversifying Your Affiliate Income
Continuing on from the last point. as I just said it’s good to diversify your income and not just focus on 1 thing or 1 product.
Make sure you learn about all the ways that you can monetize your business and it’s recommended that you have at least 2 going for you making you money.
Your product may not disappear but a dip in sales could happen on “hot selling products” so if you have multiple streams of income financing your business and your life, it won’t be that big of a deal.
Tools To Become A Successful Marketer in 2019
I am a huge fan of tools that help me run my business in a much more efficient way and also, help me be more profitable in this business.
Over the year I have tried many, many online tools and while not all of them were great, I do have a few tools that I keep using time and time again as I have found that they do either one of the following or both:
- Save me time or
- Save/make me money.
Those are probably the 2 things I am most interested in and anything that can help me achieve either, while not costing too much thus it remains profitable, I’m game.
There are many tools that I use so I won’t go through them all but my main ones would be:
These are the ones I use the most on a daily basis but you can find more great tools to conquer this business on this page.
Take some time to go through them and see if something catches your eye. Most of the tools on this list are free to use (or to get started with) so go ahead and explore.
I am sure you will find them to be useful for you wherever in the “affiliate” journey you find yourself to be.
The Mindset Needed To Become Successful Online
I am no Tony Robbins, but in this section I want to hopefully change a bit your perspective on what being successful really means here and how you can go about changing your mindset, just to make it that little bit easier on you.
You Don’t Deserve It:
What? WOW, dude!
I see so many people that think because they took the first step, then it should all be laid out for them.
I even had people emailing me to start a business for them, then sell it back to them so they continue reaping the rewards.
Now why would I do that!?
My mindset is this; there is an opportunity here to make money and I am lucky to be alive during this era where information is readily available to solve any problem imaginable.
I am going to make it happen for me. I don’t want to be lucky and I don’t want somebody to give it all to me. I want to make it happen myself.
This mental process wakes me up on fire every morning and seeing success stories makes me want to do the work necessary to get there even if I don’t feel like it.
There Is Skill Involved In This:
Also, another common mental problem is that people do not realize that a certain level of skill is required to be successful in this business.
We are not born with natural abilities to be affiliate marketers, none of us are.
It’s a skill that requires patience and dedication to learn.
How long do you have to wait to become successful?
For me, as long as it takes. I will happily work for 5 years non-stop for nothing to know that one day I will have a business that will see me earning passive income while I am sleeping 24/7 for life.
It Takes Money To Make Money
With affiliate marketing, you can start with little to no money.
However, starting on a budget is one thing but to continue improving your business; you’re going to need tools and additional add-ons to make your whole affiliate marketing business run much smoother.
I understood this when I heard John Chow (a pro blogger and a master affiliate marketer) talked about how much he spends in a month to run his business.
He spends around $5,000 just to keep up with all his content writers, managers, assistants, hosting, list management etc..
Sure he makes close to six figures a month, but people do not realise that once you start growing, so do your expenses.
Me personally I also have moved away from “running it all for free”.
Nowadays, although I do not spend anything close to John’s $5K a month, I have expenses such as:
- A premium theme template subscription
- Hosting to keep my site live
- Aweber to run my email marketing campaigns
It all adds up, but I couldn’t be making money with my blog if I didn’t have these tools that help me run my life.
Also, might I add, that all that still doesn’t compare to running a real life business. Larger businesses run on thousands of dollars a month on rent and employees and they have no guarantee of making money.
Actually; I also know (on a personal basis) some affiliate marketers that pull in every month more than any branded shop on High Street can. It’s just the way it is.
The affiliate marketing business is open for business 24 / 7 / 365. There is just no stopping it and no stopping to how much you can earn.
How To Build A Successful Affiliate Marketing Website
There are a lot of platforms that will allow you to build a free site, but it’s not just about getting any site. If you want to do affiliate marketing, then look no further than WordPress.
WordPress will allow you to build a fully functioning affiliate marketing website and with all the plugins, themes, add ons and features they release on every new update, there is nothing you will be needing. (If you can,t make a website yourself so let we do it for you for free)
WordPress is the best, and best of all it’s even free to start with.
While you can go to WordPress and create a new site on their hosting, which is a site builder that runs on WordPress, doesn’t show annoying ads and it also comes with training how to build your affiliate marketing website.
Apart from WordPress, there are other tools you are going to need to have but at this point, and especially if you are working on a budget, then just a simple WordPress website is more than enough to get started and even make money.
However, once you do start getting better at this and you start making some money, it’s wise to start investing in some tools that will help you run your business easier and much more smoothly.
they sure do help and they sure allow you to reach success much quicker with your website.
I’ve seen a huge spike in traffic and sales since I started implementing premium tools and trusting them to do their job.
Remember; you need to invest money to make money so do not be afraid to spend money on your business.
Nowadays with all the pro-tools and extra fluff I have going on for my business, it still only costs me $2.74 per day to run my full-time business.
Can you imagine running a business in $2.74 a day?
It probably costs you more than that to commute to and from work every morning. Just something to think about.
Build Content For Your Readers
One thing you need to have to build a successful affiliate marketing website is content; but not just any content; content that speaks directly to the audience you are trying to reach.
This is not to be taken lightly though. You hear a lot about how content is KING but the right type of content can make you successful and the wrong type of content can send you home packing.
It’s an absolute must you know how to create content that is a perfect fit for your audience.
But Chris, how can I know what my audience wants to know about?
If you’ve chosen your niche wisely, then you should already be familiar with the “most common problems” people in that space have.
For example, my niche here is “SEO and affiliate marketing”.
I do not have to be a genius to figure out that the main thing an aspiring affiliate marketer wants to do – he/she wants to make $$$!
Also, keyword research is something that should not be taken lightly and you should spend a great deal of time just finding out keywords that your audience is looking for.
For those that do not know, “keywords” (or keyphrases) as they are sometimes called are what people type into search engines when they are looking for information.
Once you figure out what content you need to focus on and how to best deliver and promote your content, you’re already halfway to being successful so if you only do one thing from this post today, make sure it’s this one.
Make SEO Your Friend, Not Your Enemy
For the most part of my starter days as a newbie affiliate marketer, I hated SEO because it was just too damn slow and complicated.
But, once I learned how Google really works, what makes it tick and what makes it love you, I started seeing great results from it.
Keep In Touch With Customers
Your customer is not just a one-time customer and if you think that way, then it’s time for you to change your thinking.
The way I make most of my earnings is through monetising my email list. This way I “own” my customer in a sense that I can get in touch with them at any given time or day.
This is powerful! I do not need to wait around for Google to rank me on the first page or pray for my post to go viral on social.
I take care of my customers like my life depends on it because guess what; it does.
Do not think that “making a sale once”, or as some call it “hit and run marketing” is a good strategy to use.
You need to make sure that you own your customers (through the use of an email list) but also keep them happy by providing content they are looking for (there this goes again) and also a few free resources that can help them get things done quicker.
Your customer is your friend, your life-line and your bread and butter. You’d be crazy to think that they do not matter!
I Repeat: Recurring Commissions Are Your Golden Ticket
It’s good to make a sale once, but continually making money month after month, year after year from one sale you did ages ago is when you know you’re doing something amazing.
Every business needs repeat customers. If all the businesses in the world only make money from 1 customer once, then we would be in a totally different scenario when it comes to business.
You need to find out a way to promote products that have a recurring fee! That way you only make a sale once and continue reaping the profits for as long as the person remains a member.
Whatever niche you’re in; I am sure you can tie in a product like this so please do your research and try to find ways you can earn recurring commissions.
*The physical goods space might not have this luxury, but if you sell digital products, there is something out there waiting for you to find.
Nowadays, all the products I am promoting on this site have a recurring fee tied to it. That goes for domains (yearly payment), premium services (monthly payment), training course (monthly payment) and so on.
It’s the best way to make sure that your affiliate marketing websites become and stay successful earning you passive income as you live your life. Do not neglect the power of recurring income!
Have More Than 1 Product To Promote
This last and final tip I have for you goes with what we’ve just talked about and that is to have more than 1 product that you promote.
This happens more often than you think and while yes, most reputable affiliate programs and networks are unlikely to shut down, it’s not an “impossible” thing either.
Which brings me to this point: always, always, always have multiple products making you money. Do not put all your eggs in one basket here as it’s a dangerous thing to do.
Not cool but hey; that’s the affiliate marketing business for you.