You’ve probably seen those youtube videos of people claiming to be affiliate marketers with their fancy cars, dream houses and whatnot.
I have to admit they do a pretty good job of selling the dream.
Affiliate marketing on the surface sounds easy. You can make a LOT of money with it doing something that, to be frank, sounds super simple. Refer a bunch of people through your link and collect money. Easy right?
Well not only does this disregard the amount of hard work involved in doing affiliate marketing properly, but I believe it also paints the industry in a bad light.
Affiliate marketing is a legitimate business. People from famous YouTubers, big well-known companies, coaches, food bloggers, tech bloggers, travel bloggers, you name it, they’re all involved in affiliate marketing in some way or another.
So if you’ve watched those videos and you’re excited to rock up to your local dealership to collect your new Ferrari 488 V8 (in red with black and silver pinstripe detailing of course) you’re going to need a few “next steps” to steer you in the right direction on your affiliate marketing journey.
Stop watching Youtube and take big action.
Step #1 – Start your website
You might have heard that you don’t need a website to do affiliate marketing. Well while this is technically true, you can do affiliate marketing without a website by using a Youtube channel or 3rd party content websites, it is much more profitable and beneficial to start a website around the niche you’re hoping to get into.
If you want to really succeed with affiliate marketing you need a website because it lets you cross-post content and build your audience.
For people who don’t know how to start a website, I suggest you consider using WordPress.
It is software that holds all the content that you’ve created and will let you manage and add to it easily.
Around 53% of websites on the web are using WordPress so its a great choice for future proofing your business too.
Initially, you can get away with off the shelf themes and plugins to start your site. But at some point in the future, you may wish to do something unique and customised.
Using WordPress, you will have access to 100s of thousands of freelance designers and developers around the world should you need to customize something.
You’ll also want to start with a WordPress friendly web host that doesn’t break the budget.
The other good thing about this hosting is that it’s very beginner friendly and a great host to start off with.
They have a 1-click installation for WordPress.
Step #2 – Get tracking
If there is a common trait amongst successful affiliate marketers it’s their massive obsession with statistics.
The sad fact is that beyond tracking the referrer of a click, the affiliate programs themselves offer very little in the way of useful tracking.
For a new website owner, one of the first things you should be installing is Google Analytics. This is free statistics software for website owners provided by Google.
Once you sign up for your account, set up a new profile for your new website. Then use the MonsterInsights plugin to install the code on your website.
This should give you 80% of the tracking data you need to see what is popular on your website.
But there’s one more step I want you to take and it’s not just because I’m the founder of this next product.
ThirstyAffiliates is a free plugin for affiliate marketers which lets you track, manage and insert all the affiliate links you want to use on your website.
It also has some great statistics reports which record what links were clicked on and with what keywords. This lets you see exactly what IS working and what is NOT working in your affiliate marketing strategy.
So be like the best affiliate marketers and get obsessed about your stats. Watch them like a hawk.
Step #3 – Start being a better content producer
Here’s the thing.
You can sign up for all the best affiliate programs and it will all count for nothing if you can’t produce content.
You basically can’t do affiliate marketing without the ability to produce content. It’s a core skill.
Instead of saying, “Oh I suck at writing, I can’t do that”, think about what you are good at.
Are you a good writer? Can you make videos? Are you really good with social media? What sets you apart from everyone else?
I suggest you start with a core skill that any affiliate marketer should master: making a good product review.
We published a video recently on how to get more from your product reviews so check that out too.
Get Started Now
We mentioned a few resources above, so go back to Step 1 and remember this one thing:
The people who succeed in affiliate marketing are the ones who TAKE BIG ACTION.