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 doing something that, to be frank, seems 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 to big well-known companies, coaches, food bloggers, tech bloggers, travel bloggers, and you name it, are all involved in affiliate marketing in some way or another.
So, you might have watched those videos and you're ready to head up to your local dealership to collect your new Ferrari 488 V8 (in red with black and silver pinstripe detailing of course). But you're first 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've heard that you don't need a website to do affiliate marketing. This is technically true — you can do affiliate marketing without a website by using a Youtube channel or third-party content website. However, 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.
WordPress is a software that holds all the content you've created and lets you manage and add to it easily.
Around 53% of websites 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 customized.
Because WordPress is so popular, you'll have access to hundreds of thousands of freelance designers and developers around the world should you decide to customize something.
You'll also want to start with a WordPress friendly web host that doesn't break the budget.
Right now, if you sign up through our link below, you can get Bluehost hosting for about 50% off. That means it'll only cost you about $50 for the whole year. What was the last thing that you spent $50 on???
The other good thing about Bluehost is that it's very beginner friendly and a great host to start off with. (It even has a one-click installation for WordPress.)
Step #2 – Get tracking
If there is a common trait among 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 install 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 Google Analytics 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's popular on your site.
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 that lets you track, manage, and insert all the affiliate links you use on your website.
It also has some great statistics reports that record what links were clicked on and with what keywords. This feature lets you see exactly what is and isn't working in your affiliate marketing strategy.
So if you want to be like the best affiliate marketers, 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.
If you're not 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 every 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 one and remember this one thing: The people who succeed in affiliate marketing are the ones who TAKE BIG ACTION.