The 7 Things You Need To Start An Affiliate Marketing Business

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The time has come!

The time is now!

It’s time for you to make money online. And you can do that with affiliate marketing. You can now stop wasting your time and energy looking for ways to earn money online. You need to search no more. This is the perfect time for you to start an affiliate marketing business.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to supplement your regular income and you don’t need to be a marketing expert or anything like that. It is something everyone can do. Affiliate marketing is simply earning commissions for marketing someone else’s products. The affiliate (you) chooses a product to promote and every time you make a sale you earn money. That’s it.

A simple 3-step process:

  • You choose a product or service to promote
  • Your audience purchase the product/service through your affiliate link
  • You earn a commission for every sale you made using your affiliate link

You don’t need to create a product. You don’t need to worry about shipping, customer support or anything like that. There are millions of products you can promote online and thousands of affiliate programs to join. Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest and cost-effective ways to make money online.

Starting your own affiliate marketing business is, in my opinion, the best gift you could give yourself. It is something you can do while having a full-time job in your free time and at your own pace. Although affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme and shouldn’t be considered so it is still one of the easiest ways to make money online.

How much money can I make as an affiliate marketer?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions. Every beginner wants to know if it is possible to earn a full-time income with affiliate marketing. The answer is there is no limit to the amount of money you can earn as an affiliate marketer. But you shouldn’t take that for granted. Many affiliates earn very little or nothing at all.

In other words, your yearly income can be anything between zero and millions of dollars. That is because success depends on you. There are of course several other factors that contribute to your success as an affiliate or not. Like your niche, your ability to generate traffic, your online marketing skills, the types of products you promote, your content, etc. But in the end, you’ll get what you put into. Succeeding or not depends on your performance.

Now let’s take a closer look at the 7 things you need to start your own profitable affiliate marketing business.

1) Choose Your Niche

This is the first thing you need to do. Finding your niche is the first big step towards success. Choosing the wrong niche will make your life difficult. On the other hand, choosing the right niche will make it easier for you to make sales and earn money. However, the process of choosing a niche shouldn’t scare you. You shouldn’t worry too much about choosing the perfect niche because that doesn’t exist.

But what is a niche anyway?

A niche is simply a group of people sharing a common interest. In other words, your target group or your audience if you prefer. Almost anything you can think of is a niche. Every affiliate marketer has a niche in which they focus and try to effectively communicate with their audience and promote their products.

A common mistake many affiliate marketers beginners do is choosing a very broad niche or not choosing a niche at all. By doing that they risk any chance ever creating a meaningful connection with an audience.

The best way to choose yourself the best possible niche is by figuring out what is that you want to talk about online. Your niche should be a hobby, a passion or something you would like to learn more about and share your knowledge with your followers.

You are going to be creating content within your niche and that is why you should choose something you are passionate about. Otherwise, you’ll get bored after a couple of months and run out of ideas. You don’t have to be an expert in your niche but you should have the desire to become one soon.

But choosing something you enjoy talking about is one part of this equation. The other part is making sure there is money to be made in your niche. You don’t want to join an oversaturated niche market or a niche people don’t care about. You also want to make sure there are affiliate programs to join within your niche.

The good news is there are several tools you can use to help you make the right choice. And they’ll cost you nothing. They are free to use. One thing you need to remember though is that narrowing down your niche will increase your chances of success. At first, every niche might look too competitive for you to join but that is not the case. Focus on one segment of your niche and create specialized content. That will give you an advantage over your competitors.

Now the first tool to use is Google Trends. It tells you how popular a search term is and how many people search for that term on Google. Search terms that consistently rank above 70 are considered popular enough and worth looking into. Google Trends can answer your question if there is any demand for your niche and which affiliate products to promote.

Choose your niche

Another way you can use to determine how high the demand is for your niche is to use a keyword research tool called Ubersuggest. Just type your niche or your base keyword and you’ll be presented with details like search volume, content ideas, keyword ideas, your competition and more.

Free tools to choose your niche

Another great keyword research tool you can try is Jaaxy. There is a free version you can use and it can help you narrow down your niche. Just type your niche and Jaaxy will show you a list of hundreds of keywords in alphabetical order. Click the ones you like the most and find out how competitive they are, their search volume, how much traffic they generate on average, etc.

Keyword research tool

And finally, let’s not forget about Google itself. You can easily discover how competitive your chosen niche keywords are by doing a simple search. Take a look at the number of pages listed for that keyword, Google Autocomplete Suggestions and the keywords used at the ads on the first page of Google’s search results. That is a great way to discover what is trending right now in your niche and discover new ideas.

ways to find your niche

Many affiliate marketers earn a great income online by promoting affiliate products in a narrow niche. It is easier to become an authority and position yourself as an expert in a small niche market. Spreading yourself too thin by trying to cover a wide variety of topics and operating in multiple niche markets all in once is the wrong thing to do.

2) Build a Website

Now that you have found your niche is time to build your platform. One thing every beginner wants to know is if it is necessary to build a website to do affiliate marketing. The answer is no. You can make money with affiliate marketing without a website. But the truth is building an affiliate site is a much better choice.

Although posting your affiliate links on social media might sound like an easy way to make sales is not. Every social media platform has its own rules and restrictions you have to follow for directly posting affiliate links. You also risk coming off as spammy by sharing the same content again and again. It is also necessary to already have a large number of followers because if not how are you going to stand out from the rest?

Email marketing is another way to promote your affiliate links without a website. But again you must either already have an email list or build one. Buying solo ads (basically “renting” someone else’s email list) is an option but it comes with a price. Also, some affiliate programs like Amazon Associates don’t allow their affiliate links to be used in emails. Any email including newsletters.

Website builder

So the best thing you can do is build a website. It is pretty easy to build one. I suggest WordPress but there are other options as well like Wix. The choice is up to you. To set up your website you need 2 things:

  • A Domain Name
  • A Web Hosting Service

Generally speaking, domain names are cheap. A new domain should cost you anywhere between $10 to $20 per year depending on the TLD (.com, .org,.net, etc). The price also depends on the registrar you use. If the price is too low though there is a good chance that is only for the first year. You need to keep that in mind.

Tip: 14 Tips For Choosing A Great Domain Name

Finding a reliable host won’t be a problem. There are plenty of options like GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, etc. You can buy hosting for as low as $3 per month but that may not be the best choice to make. After all, you get what you paid for. At the end of this post, I share with you a platform where you can build your affiliate sites, buy domain names, get hosting and much more. So, keep reading.

3) Research Affiliate Programs To Join

The next step is to look for affiliate programs to join. There are two ways to do that. One way is to type in Google “your niche+affiliate programs” and search for programs available in your niche and apply directly to them. You can also take a look at what your competitors are selling.

The other way is to join an affiliate marketing network. Affiliate networks are essentially marketplaces where affiliates (like you) can find products to sell. They act as the middleman between retailers and affiliates.

Here are some most popular ones:

  • Amazon Associates
  • Clickbank
  • CJ Affiliate
  • ShareASale
  • Awin

There are plenty more affiliate networks but which one you’ll choose depends on your niche audience. Affiliate programs and networks are free to join and there is no problem joining more than one. Before signing up with any affiliate program make sure the commission rate is worth your time and effort.

4) Create Great Content

Affiliate marketing is all about content. But your content doesn’t have to be all in the form of text. It can be anything you like. Videos, infographics, podcasts, webinars, newsletters, images, vlogs, live streams, social media posts are just some types of content you can use. But it has to be great. It doesn’t matter if you build a website or not content is everything.

One thing all successful affiliate marketers have in common is publishing high-quality content. However, your content shouldn’t be all about promoting your affiliate links. The majority of your content should be educational and offering solutions to your audience problems.

Tip: Content Marketing in 2020: Top 6 Expert Tips

Certain types of content can help you attract more visitors and stand out from your competition. Here’s a list of some you should try regardless of your niche:

  • Product Reviews
  • Tutorials
  • How-to Guides
  • Q&A/Ask Me Anything
  • Lists
  • Roundups
  • Landing Pages
  • Compiled Research Blog Posts
  • Comparison Posts
  • Checklists
  • Case Studies
  • Why Blog Posts
  • Resource Page
  • Long-Form Articles
  • Personal Storytelling

Content is also important for one more reason. Certain affiliate programs and networks require their affiliates to already have published a minimum amount of content. That is also why creating a website is the smart choice.

The phrase “content is king” is true and without high-value content, your conversation rate will suffer.

5) Drive Traffic To Your Website

Without traffic, there is zero chance of making any money online. No matter what you are selling or how good your content is if no one is reading it you won’t make any sales. Web traffic is the lifeblood to the success of any online business.

Once we have traffic, we have the opportunity to earn revenue. You can drive traffic to your website using paid advertising methods but there are also several ways to get free traffic to your website. Offering high-value content is, of course, necessary whatever the method you choose. Most affiliate marketers use a combination of both free and paid methods to generate traffic.

The good with free traffic is that it won’t cost you anything but it usually takes more time to see any actual results. Social media sites are a great way to generate traffic for your affiliate offers and promote your content. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Quora can help you increase your website traffic. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is also a must if you want to rank high in the search engines and gain organic traffic.

You don’t have to become an SEO expert to do that. Learning the basics of SEO is easy and a lot of tips and guides are available online for free.

Guest blogging, targeting long-tail keywords, creating evergreen content are also great ways to get free traffic. If you do have the budget though and want to drive traffic with advertising I suggest trying first Facebook ads and Google ads (PPC).

Affiliate marketing is a numbers game. But it is not about reaching as many people as possible. It is about making the most out of each contact. Quality is the key, not quantity. Generic traffic doesn’t convert but targeted traffic does.

6) Promote Your Affiliate Products

A common mistake affiliate marketing beginners make is having a “set it and forget it” mentality. Just because you created some content and shared it on social media doesn’t mean it’ll earn you money again and again for weeks on end. You need to create fresh content regularly and effectively promote it online.

In my opinion affiliate marketing is a way to create that “passive income” you always wanted but it is not itself a passive way to do that. You need to actively promote your affiliate links and market your products. Sitting back in your chair posting your affiliate links on social media now and then is not going to work.

There are several ways you can market your affiliate links. The trick is to not focus solely on one way but combine a number of strategies.

Here are a few ways you can promote your affiliate products:

  • Blog content
  • Email Marketing Messages
  • YouTube Affiliate Links
  • Social media campaigns
  • Offer promos, coupons
  • Affiliate Banners
  • Testimonials in the form of blog posts

Promote products that can help your audience. Don’t choose products based only on the commission you earn from each sale. Trust is everything. And building trust with your audience takes time. You don’t want to jeopardize that by promoting low-quality products.

You don’t have to purchase every product you want to promote but don’t recommend products you don’t fully understand how they work or how they can be used.

7) Enjoy It!

Starting an affiliate marketing business shouldn’t feel like a job. Or a second job you do after coming home from your full-time job. If you are only doing it for the money I can tell you right now you’ll get bored after a while and run out of ideas.

Having fun while doing it is essential. We all want to earn more money and create a passive income online. But if you don’t enjoy the process of building an affiliate business you will not succeed as an affiliate marketer.

Tip: 5 Top Reasons Why Most People Fail To Make Money Online

Many people give up way too soon. It takes time to build a profitable affiliate marketing business. Don’t expect to see great results right from the start. Give yourself and your business 8 to 10 months before deciding to pull the plug. If you don’t like your niche change it but don’t give up.

You’ve got to fully commit and go all in. If you don’t love what you do, you can never become successful.

Final Thoughts

You have to do it!

The more you think about it the more time you are wasting. Affiliate marketing is something you learn by doing. You can read about it but the only way to find out what works is by starting your own affiliate marketing business.

As you can see starting your own business requires only 7 things. It doesn’t take a huge upfront investment of money to get started and with hard work and persistence, you can make a good income. One thing you’ll also need is a PayPal account. Many affiliate programs pay via PayPal.

Now that you know how to start you might also want to know where to start. There is an affiliate marketing platform I highly recommend that can help you get started. They offer everything you need to succeed online.

  • Top-notch Webhosting
  • Affiliate marketing training
  • SEO training
  • Keyword research tool
  • Affiliate programs research tool
  • WordPress training
  • Content creation training
  • Weekly webinars
  • Technical support for your websites
  • An easy to use website builder
  • Domain registrar
  • Traffic generation training

These are just some of the features offered to you at the price of $49 per month. For more information click the button below and read my review. You can create an account for free and test it out.

You are more than welcome to leave your comments and thoughts below. And if you like this post please share it with your social media followers.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and buy one of the products on this page, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you). For more information you read our Affiliate Disclosure page.

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12 Responses

  1. Anthony Hu says:

    Thank you for your post. It is useful for me. I started my business for a while now and It is hard to create my own products. It is great idea to carry out affiliate marketing.

    You give a straightforward description on the affiliate marketing process, choose a product, get audience, and earn a commission. 

    It is so nice that I don’t need to create a product, don’t need to worry about shipping, customer support or anything like that. I simply need to focus on marketing of the products and certainly like this business model.

    I will start my practice on affiliate marketing. Thanks again for the information and inspiration.

  2. Martin Burt says:

    Like you say Affiliate Marketing is a great way to add an extra income, with the potential to even built this into a full-time business.  I have been building my affiliate marketing business over the last 18 months and I am already earning several hundred dollars a month and its growing all the time. I would also agree with your article and say that training from people who have been there and done it will really help. 🙂

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Martin,

      That’s awesome. Hrad work and persistence pays off.

      Thank you for your comment,


  3. fyre says:

    I got into affiliate marketing when I realized how many years I’d been promoting companies, products, and stores for free!  When I realized how creative I could be and, the fact that I could work from home, starting an affiliate marketing business of my own was a no-brainer for me.

    I agree with your #7 wholeheartedly, you have to enjoy it!  Even when you get stuck, don’t freak out, even hurdling an obstacle is really satisfying when you are passionate about your business.  

    Affiliate marketing has given me a new lease on life.  I found it when I wasn’t looking for it and then I discovered it was what I’d been searching for half my life.

  4. Changingworldnews says:

    Thanks for this post. It is of much particular importance to people like us who just joined affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is indeed one of the best means of adding an extra income to your salary. I know many friends who started it and as time goes on they built it into a full time business. One them actually motivated me to join wealthy affiliate, and just some few months into it am seeing much prospect. I constantly receive training from them, which have increase my confidence level in succeeding in this business, and presently things are really working smoothly for me. So your article really points out the truth in affiliate marketing and I am a testament to that.  

  5. Destination 100 says:

    Okay, you convinced me.  Affiliate marketing is the way to go.  Your comments and instructions on the tools to determine a productive niche were very helpful.  Utilizing google search is like finding the secret in plain sight.  It is also a great way to discover similar niches to branch out into.

  6. Okon Joseph says:

    I so love this post. I have been looking for better ways to make money from my blog aside selling my SEO services to business owners. I am giving affiliate marketing a try. Do you know of any affiliate program that offer digital products or services on SEO and Instagram marketing?

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Okon,
      If you want to improve your affiliate marketing skills i suggest Wealthy Affiliate. They offer high-quality training and they also have an affiliate program available to both free and premium members.

  7. Julie says:

    I just started adding affiliate links to my site, so your post is inspiring to do more! Thank you for the detailed suggestions. Other than Amazon I wasn’t aware of the other affiliate programs, so that gives me a great place to start.

  8. Dragana says:

    Finally the best site where i can find all i need for my future blog. All in one place. And, the site layout and theme is perfect. It also gave me a great idea of how the site can be organized. Thanks:)

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