I’ve been making money at affiliate marketing as my full-time job since 2015. I’ve made a ton of mistakes along the way, especially when I was brand new. But in the last five years, I’ve learned not only what the most important components to a successful affiliate marketing business are, but also how to master each one. In this article, I’ll cover the 10 essentials I use to be successful at affiliate marketing.
The first time I checked into doing affiliate marketing several years ago, I got scammed by a couple of guys online who were offering an affiliate marketing training course they said would teach me how to be successful at affiliate marketing. It was a scam. The course turned out to be a total waste of time and money!
Thankfully, I didn’t give up and kept searching, and I finally found an effective, step-by-step affiliate marketing course from a company called, Wealthy Affiliate. I actually learned more in their free starter program than I had learned in that entire scam course I wasted my money on.
Wealthy Affiliate teaches how to do affiliate marketing in four steps:
Step 1: Choose a niche (Covered in Essential #2 below)
Step 2: Build a website (Covered in Essential #3 below)
Step 3: Drive traffic to your website (Covered in Essential #4, #5, #6, #7 and #8 below)
Step 4: Monetize your content and make money (Covered in Essential #9 below)
Wealthy Affiliate’s Free Starter Membership is how I got started in affiliate marketing. You can read my full review of Wealthy Affiliate HERE. But for now, let’s talk about how to accomplish those four steps.
Essential #2: Choose the Right Niche
I recently wrote an article called, What Should My Website Be About? Finding a Niche in Affiliate Marketing. I strongly suggest you read that article, plus watch my video below. Choosing the right niche – specifically “targeting down” to a specific section of a niche – is, in my opinion, the difference between success and failure in affiliate marketing. What is targeted down? Here’s an example: If you enter the niche, “Losing Weight,” you’ll be up against massive amounts of competition.
I mean huge companies with advertising budgets in the millions and full time professionals marketing their products. You just can’t compete. However, if you “target it down” to something like, “Losing Weight for Women Over 50,” then your competition shrinks big-time. See what I mean? Learn more by watching my video:
Essential #3: Build a Quality WordPress Website with Quality WordPress Hosting
Anybody can create a free website with one of those free website builders like Wix. But unless your website is optimized for search engines, mobile friendly, has a fast page load time, has security set up for hacking and spam protection, automatic daily backups, and systems in place for Search Engine Optimization, then your website will have a hard time competing online.
I built my websites on WordPress using Wealthy Affiliate’s training, and Wealthy Affiliate hosts my websites. You can read more in my article, The Best Website Hosting for WordPress, or watch my video:
You can see the free, full training by Wealthy Affiliate on how to build your WordPress website here: Building Your Own Traffic Producing Website.
Essential #4: Create Quality Content for Your Website
Creating quality content for your website is essential to becoming successful at affiliate marketing because it’s the only way you’re going to get your website seen as an authority on your topic by search engines like Google. Your content needs to provide useful, valuable information to your visitors, and you must create content consistently. You can read my article, How to Create Content for a Website, or watch my video:
You can also see my video, Writing Content With Intent – Increasing Engagement and Conversations.
Essential #5: Learn How to Do Keyword Research
Keyword research is where you capitalize on the actual words and phrases people are using to search Google for what they want. To give you a very simplistic example of what this means, consider writing a blog post about Leash Training for dogs. If you title your blog post, “Leash Training,” you’ll be competing with hundreds of authority websites on the same topic. Whereas, if you use a title like, “Teaching a Dog to Walk on a Leash,” you’ll have less competition. That’s a too-vague explanation, but you get the idea.
Learning how to do keyword research is essential to choosing titles for your blog posts that will actually get ranked in the search engines. I personally use a keyword tool called, Jaaxy to do keyword research. You can read my full review of Jaaxy HERE, and also watch my video on how I find unlimited keywords here:
Essential #6: Learn SEO Strategies
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. These are the steps you need to take, for each and every post you write for your website, to make sure your post is indexed by the search engines and shows up when people search for your keywords/topic. Much like learning how to target-down your niche, learning do do SEO is, in my opinion, one of the defining components between success and failure in affiliate marketing.
I did a full training in Wealthy Affiliate called, Checklist for a Blog Post, where I list every step I take for each of my posts to maximize optimization in the search engines. I also made a video outlining each step:
Essential #7: Use Social Media Marketing
Posting your content on social media platforms is a great way to build an audience. I personally use a WordPress plugin called, Blog2Social for my social media marketing. I post all of my content on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Blog2Social makes it easy to set that up to happen automatically. To see exactly how this is done, watch my video:
Essential #8: Do Email marketing
I use AWeber for my email marketing. There are several reasons why you need to be doing email marketing if you want to be a successful affiliate marketer. First, if you’re going to go to the trouble of creating quality content for your website, using all your SEO steps to get it ranked, posting it on social media, etc. then why would you want the website visitors you get to see your content only once?
If you create an opt-in opportunity on your website, you can get their email address, then continue to get your content in front of them again and again via emails. Your email list becomes a captive, targeted, interested audience for every piece of content you create.
Once you get a visitor to your website, collect their email address, then send them to an automatic email funnel that sends them your articles with valuable, useful information – then you have built their trust so whenever you have a product or service to promote, they’ll take your advice and purchase it. Like they say, “the money is in the list.” If you’re not using email marketing, you’re truly leaving money on the table. You can read my article, How to Do Email Marketing Step-by-Step, or watch this full tutorial:
Essential #9: Monetize Your Website to Make Money
You can use affiliate marketing to monetize your website by signing up to be an affiliate for products and services related to your niche. Then, you can do product reviews for your website, or simply talk about and recommend those products and services within your content. I recommend Wealthy Affiliate’s free, full training called Simple Steps to Finding Affiliate Products in Your Niche. You can also watch my video outlining six ways to monetize your website:
Essential #10 – Mindset and Consistency
It’s important that you stick with it and continue to consistently create quality content for your website, incorporating all of the essential steps outlined in this article. But your mindset is also a critical component to your success. One of the owners of Wealthy Affiliate, Kyle (he’s the one who does all the trainings), wrote an article called, Four Attributes of Successful Affiliate Marketers. In the article, he makes these points:
- Don’t focus on the money at first – focus on providing value
- Realize you’re building a business
- Give yourself adequate time!
- Treat it like a business – be consistent and work hard
I personally read self-help books and watch inspirational, how-to videos on YouTube on a regular basis. I’m constantly learning better ways of operating my business, and I try not to beat myself up whenever I realize I’ve made a mistake or could’ve been doing something in a more effective way. It’s all a learning process, and so far it’s been a pretty exciting journey! So just keep a positive attitude, don’t give up, and keep learning.
Making Money at Affiliate Marketing
These are the essentials you need to learn and incorporate into your business if you want making money at affiliate marketing to provide a full time income. You don’t have to be a master at each one, but I do suggest watching my videos to at least get a grasp of the “how-to” for each one.
Then, with practice, you’ll master them and continue to scale your business for bigger and bigger success. You can do it! Debra 🙂
Wealthy Affiliate’s Free Starter Membership includes 20 free classes, 24/7 support, one free website, 50+ training modules, and 2 training classrooms, plus the ability to earn commissions for referring people to Wealthy Affiliate.
If you complete the free starter program and decide you want to continue, you can upgrade to the Premium Membership. That includes 100+ additional classes, unlimited support, weekly live training webinars, 1000+ training modules, up to 10 websites (including your own domains), 13 training classrooms, free access to Jaaxy (the keyword research tool that normally costs $49 per month), plus double commissions for referring people to Wealthy Affiliate.
The Premium Membership is $19 for the first month, then $49 per month thereafter. Or you can save money by purchasing a full year’s membership for $495 (works out to about two months free). You can read my full overview of what’s included in the Premium Membership HERE.