What is Affiliate Marketing? Can you make money out of it? In this article I will give some pointers to start your adventure in affiliate marketing. At least, you will get to know what is it. As a portuguese saying goes: knowledge doesn’t take place.
Affiliate Marketing: Run Your Online Business
Far from me to want to teach you about affiliate marketing 😀 I am still learning and giving my first steps. As I’ve said, Wealthy Affiliate is the best place to know about this subject, it’s like a Coursera focused on affiliate marketing.
You can check out this post to have an idea of what is affiliate marketing and what it entails.
In Wealthy Affiliate, besides a 50 lessons course that takes you to building a website for affiliate marketing, I was able to find tips for many things, that actually work well. I will leave here some tools you can use, and why you should use them:
Developed by the same people that created Wealthy Affiliate website, is considered almost unanimously the best tool for keyword research. The most important piece of information that gives you is how competitive the keyword is. My personal experience is that it works as a keyword research tool, but don’t take traffic estimations to the letter; they are a bit underestimated. A lite version comes free with premium subscription in Wealthy Affiliate, otherwise you either pay or you have access to only 30 searches per month.
A free keyword research tool, it calculates traffic estimation given a certain keyword. Looks more accurate with traffic estimations, but my experience is still short-term. For free, you can also have information about your website rank for 10 keywords.
When you start thinking about email marketing, use this tool!! It offers a lot of good services for free, in fact, it’s the tool with most services offered for free. Their service is paid when you start having a good number of subscribers – more than 500 – or you are sending more than 3000 emails/month. It’s great to start though.
A great tool to design pretty stuff I wish I knew since the beginning….. With a free subscription, you have access to loads of pretty templates for pretty much any sort of marketing material you want to make, including Pinterest pictures. You can make your own unique images here, for example. It gives you access to free royalty pictures, although for many of them you will need to subscribe to their Pro membership. By the way, Wealthy Affiliate also gives you access to a big image database of free royalty images.
NOTE: do NOT use images downloaded from the internet on your posts. Most of them are copywrite-protected. Make sure you use a royalty-free image database .
Google Analytics and Google Search Console
To measure how your website is doing in terms of traffic and position in google searches, these are your best friends. There are other tools but they are not free. Besides, this is Google about Google! They know their own system better than anyone. This is also the most reputable data about websites, as no one will doubt about them. Still, no point in using them before you have like 15 to 20 posts on your website, as data will be very erratic.
Affiliate Marketing: The Shady Side
It was during my internet searches to find out how to increase traffic to my website, that I knew about SEO, affiliate marketing, and how to make money online. I have also become aware that there are a LOT of blogs about this subject, most of them with claimed tutorials about SEO and affiliate marketing.
The problem was that I was not learning anything with them… Fortunately, I am quite thrifty about spending money on the internet and I didn’t spend a single cent until I was convinced I was going to learn something useful. I’ve found out Wealthy Affiliate through One More Cup of Coffee, and its owner, Nathaniell, has been my mentor. It’s probably where I’ve spent the most on internet, but the timely manner and the amount of knowledge I’ve gained there are totally worth it for me.
Probably you wouldn’t be reading this article on my website after one year of blogging, I wouldn’t be so knowledgeable.
However, there are a lot of training scams on the internet, especially about affiliate marketing, which is sought by people wishing to make money easily online. Newbies like me are the perfect target public to spend money as we don’t really know what we are looking for… Many paid e-books, tutorials and videos are not exactly teaching you wrong stuff… But they are vague enough to not teach anything useful, pretty much like many internet posts about the subject (but the latest ones are free!!).
Even worse, there are a LOT of scamming websites, with pyramid schemes and fake promises of teaching you how to get rich fast, how to make thousands of dollars with only 2 hours of work per week. Be especially careful before you get yourself into an MLM (Multi Level Marketing) program. Here is what you should be avoiding:
- Sites offering easy money, getting rich in less than one month, or getting 5000$ for 2 hours of work per week!!
- Sites with no product/service to sell, or that you can’t understand it before paying something. No legitimate website is going to make you pay to see what they have to offer….
- Sites that force you to purchase and X quantity of their product, no matter if you want it or not
- Sites where you have to pay to join.
Please, take a look at this post it’s a very easy reading and a good summary of what you should avoid.
- If it’s too good to be true, get suspicious.
- Ask Google: there are a lot of scams, but there are also a lot of bloggers reviewing these programs and telling you if they are good or not.
- Do not take one answer as good, check out a few.
- Check out the company webpage and cross-reference stuff like company address, the website owner (it’s a red flag if you can’t find one easily!!)
Next Up in Creating Your Own Blog Site: Affiliate Programs
In case you’ve missed the previous posts, please find here the whole series: