How to Earn Money with Affiliate Programs, the basics

Introduction

First off, in order to sell affiliate products, you will need a website. If you do not have one, you can get two free websites by clicking here.

Affiliate “programs” are really not traditional programs most of the time. They are usually not apps, and they are also not something that runs on your computer or tablet or whatever you use.

They are a program that is located on the internet, and they are used by many manufacturers and retailers so that anyone can promote their products.

They are usually not that complicated, as companies don’t like to use to much resources on them. They will have a section of their webpage which is dedicated to their affiliate program. The page will usually have information such as your stats, and the commissions you have earned and the amount of visitors you have sent to their website.

The affiliate section of a site will also contain your affiliate link, which is the URL that you can put on your page that will bring your customers to the company website or the page of a specific product. This is affiliate marketing at its most basic.

Believe it or not, affiliate marketing is a thriving type of business. Most major companies have them as they do not cost a lot of money and it helps to sell more products.

One of the things I like about affiliate programs is that most of them uses cookies to track who is coming from your website. Oftentimes the cookie will stay in their computer for months, so if they buy a product sometime down the line, you still get credit for it!

Building a Website

 Having a website is the most important aspect of affiliate marketing.

A website will give you “real estate” on the internet where you can write content that will sell your product, and hopefully help the audience you are trying to sell to.

The website itself does not have to be super fancy with all kinds of flashy things; it just has to be organized without to many banners or ads.

I recommend using WordPress for affiliate marketing. WordPress makes everything very easy, so your not spending to much time just figuring out how to build your website. I used WordPress to build this site, and I think it turned out pretty well.

With WordPress, you can have the foundation of a website built within a few minutes. It allows you to put more focus on your content, rather than writing code.

Selling with Affiliate Programs

So now, on to the part about selling stuff!

Selling stuff through affiliate programs can be very difficult. Its not really the selling that is difficult, it is getting traffic to your website. When you are first starting, there are things you can do to expedite the process of getting rankings in the search engines (which is the best way to get traffic to your site):

1. Ads and Banners: One thing that beginners do a lot is that they fill their pages with ads, promotions, and flashy banners. While it is okay to have some, it will hurt you in the search engine rankings if you have to many. I have got to the point were I don’t use any (okay so I use one), and I have found that I am better off. 

Besides, I don’t think banners really work that well anymore. A lot of us have been using the internet for a long time, and I think that we are all tired of ads and popups or whatever. So, try to limit them as much as possible.

2. Back-links: Back-links are links from other sites that link to your site. These are great to have, and you can acquire them through a number of different channels and methods. The search engines will treat you very well if you have a lot of people linking to your site.

However, one thing that you want to avoid is buying back-links. The search engines have caught up with this method, and it will hurt you eventually, if not immediately.

3. Managing affiliate links: Do not overuse your affiliate links. You do not want promotional stuff to dominate your website, or else it will just look like a sales page.

Usually placing an affiliate link at the bottom right after your content is the best practice, as long as it is easy to find. Using a bunch of them will not make your visitors more likely to buy, and the search engines will not like it. Remember, the goal is to help people find solutions to problems that they are having. 

4. Content, content, content: For those of you that don’t know what I mean about content, I am talking about the images, videos, writing, and whatever makes up your site.

The quality of content on your site is definitely the most important thing for getting your site to a high position in the search engines (and therefore getting traffic). The search engines are getting harder and harder to fool as their algorithms get more advanced; so tricks like buying back-links and keyword stuffing do not work most of the time, if at all anymore.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have good content on your site. It helps with search engine rankings, it helps with gaining the attention and respect of your audience, and as a result, it helps makes sales! 

Having quality content is also the best way to get people to stay on your website and come back. This, of course, drastically increases the chance of you getting sales. 

The best advice I can give when it comes to content is to think about what kind of stuff you would like to see on a website that you took the time to visit. Also, proof read anything that you write, your writing and your grammar does not have to be perfect, but constantly making basic language mistakes could hurt you.

Choosing a “niche”

There are affiliate programs for just about every product, digital and physical, that is sold on the internet. This gives you a lot of options are far as what niche or market that you want to get involved in.

There are a lot of well-known companies that have affiliate programs, such as amazon, wal-mart, compusa (tigerdirect) and many more.

Every niche has a chance to be profitable. When you are choosing one, make sure that you pick one that you are passionate about or one that you would like to learn about. Don’t pick one because you believe it will be profitable, you don’t want to make creating content more difficult than it already is.

Keywords

I have already talked a little bit about keywords. Keywords are usually more of a phrase than a word. A keyword (as far as search engines go) is a search term that users will use in search engines to find whatever they are looking for.

If you utilize keywords properly, and you have strong quality content, than people will be able to find your site by the keywords that the search engines associate with your site.

The best way to use keywords is to put it on the title of the post or page that you are writing, than using it once within the first couple of paragraphs, and than you write naturally. Don’t overuse keywords because than the search engines will treat it like keyword stuffing, and not only that but your content will sound very awkward to your visitors.

Summary

That is the bare basics of affiliate marketing. There is a lot more to it, but I hope this article was helpful to you in some way.

 

 

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