There are many ways to do affiliate marketing on the Web. Some approaches are site-based, some approaches use Pay Per Click programs like Google AdWords. And some marketers are committed to email marketing.
All approaches work well and we recommend you learn all of them. In fact, a combination of the above is probably the best strategy and what we see most successful affiliates do.
Getting Started – Build A Content Website
By far the best place to start for a beginner is with a content website. That site can be a full-fledged content site with many pages or a simple Blog. For long term success we recommend building a site that is based on both evergreen content and more topical blog style content. You’ll have continually building traffic and a better chance to create a sustaining long-term business.
Start by building a site about a subject you love. Pick a hobby or a subject you know something about. It will make the process easier and more fun and give you better credibility. Credibility is the key for getting return visitors and putting your audience into a “open-to-buy” frame of mind.
But be sure that niche or hobby has folks with problems they are willing to spend money to solve. In other words there must be online buying intention otherwise you won’t really have a business. You’ll just be giving away free information.
Blogs do have their place. They are easy to set up and relatively inexpensive. They often attract strong initial traffic and get indexed by the Search Engines quicker than a full site. WordPress.com and Blogger are two simple blogging platforms that are excellent ways to get started with a Blog style site.
What many more advanced affiliates is have a site that is a bit of both. They have parts of their site for evergreen content and other parts for blog content. Here’s an example of a site like that.. This kind of site will probably stand the test of time. It’s a strategy that works well.
Building a full-fledged site is still the best idea. It will allow you to build an enduring business and learn the full-range of site-based promotional strategies and online marketing techniques. Particularly if you find a hosting platform or sitebuilder that gives you adequate support and training.
Site Build It!
Site Build It! or SBI! as it is called, is a system for building a content-based website. Itis a good example of a site-building system that will provide a complete education in how to succeed in site-based marketing. Building an SBI! site amounts to a post-graduate level education in online marketing. The guidance and support are that deep.
They also offer their training as a WordPress plugin, for those that prefer that site building platform. That product is called bizXpress.
Their suite of tools provides not only great free downloads on the basics of building successful web sites but also offers a complete step-by-step method for making your site successful. The complete Site Build It package includes niche research tools, domain name registration, hosting, search engine submission, a guided step-by-step process, a very friendly forum, and traffic reporting.
Site Build It! also offers an easy, anyone-can-do-it site building process that requires no design or HTML experience. Experienced site builders can use their own design tools like Dreamweaver or FrontPage as an alternative.
Everything is done through their web portal so issues of software installation and compatibility are eliminated. You can check your stats and work on your site from anywhere you are attached to the web.
Support is excellent and their forum is a very friendly place to learn and solve problems. Their $299 annual fee is actually a bargain when you see how many tools you get. It may take a year or more just to learn and use them all.
Ken Evoy, the founder, has written may great free books that are classics on the subject of affiliate marketing.
This is another system like Site Build It that provides complete training and guidance for how to build an online business. They provide video-based training, so if you like learning that way, you may prefer this system.
This is a membership program I belong to. It is really not for beginners. But if you are ready for a graduate-level education in online marketing tactics this is the one I highly recommend. It’s run by Ed Dale of The 30 day Challenge fame. Him and his partners are really experts in the advanced training and offer various step-by-step blueprints for advanced tactics. This is the good stuff.
Whatever niche you decide to go into you MUST do adequate market research to set your course in the right direction. This is the Market Research tool I use all the time. I never start a site without it.
This book has become a classic and just about everyone mentions it as way to learn and become successful in affiliate marketing. It’s not really a beginners course but it does explain her viewpoint and how she got to be successful.
This is “Monetization 101.” Unless you have your own product to sell, every site should offer Adsense to their visitors. It’s a no-brainer really. You won’t get rich from AdSense but it does provide an nice steady stream of income. In particular, if you have a strong content site, with lots of good information (even just a hobby site) you can make steady money with AdSense ($100-$200 per month).
Here’s how it works… Google will place ads on your website (AdWords) that are contextually relevant to your content. When someone clicks on those ads you make money. It may just be a fraction of a penny per click but over time that can add up. If your site niche has expensive advertisers you can make more.
By The Way…
I’m an affiliate for most of the products above. This is a good example of how to present your affiliate links contextually within the content you write for your website.